El Presidente’s musings – October 2015

Right – so you wanted the web page to be updated regularly! I heard you. So to try and add some life to this site, I’m going to have a little article at the start of each month with most of the content (I’ll edit out the the routine stuff that doesn’t need to be repeated) from my El Presidente’s Musings emails from the last month.


Well after the AGM, it’s time to get down to the serious business of enjoying our photography some more!

So first up, some house keeping:

  • Peer Review – in the almost standard format. Bring your prints, bring your digitals. Remember, this is for constructive discussion, so don’t be afraid to share even if you’ve never shown something before.
  • The Annual Exhibition is coming up. We’d love to have your images displayed. Don’t be shy – show us your best. This is judged by a panel off site, so you’ll get a score and maybe an award. I’ve attached the form. Here are few details
    • images will be judged on 7-Nov-2015 (in private) for the results to be displayed on 19-Nov-2015 
      A reminder of the rules etc:

      • Each member is allowed 3 entries per section in the Annual Exhibition – and entry forms must be handed in by 22-Oct-2015 or emailed to the BPC secretary email address – by 28-Oct-2015 (so that we can be organised for the judging of the exhibition on November 7).  This is for ALL entry nominations.  The print entry email address is NOT BEING USED for the annual.
      • The Entry Form is attached to this email, or can be obtained from the website, via the Forms page
      • Prints/slides must be delivered for judging by 5-Nov-2015 (the night of the final Peer Review of the year)
      • Digital entries must be emailed to the account by midnight on 4-Nov-2015 – entries sent to any other account will not be considered. You have been warned!
      • Entries are open to financial members of the Blackwood Photographic Club.  Entries must not have been entered/displayed in any previous Blackwood Photographic Club Annual.
    • We also have the Australiana Landscape Trophy
      • only 3 Digital Images section entries are allowed in the Blackwood Photographic Club Annual Exhibition
      • One of the the 3 images entered in the Digital Images section may be nominated for the WEA APC Australiana Landscape Trophy and should be identified as such on the nomination form
      • The image must meet the following definition: 
        • Objects and/or people that are part of the Australian rural landscape and tell a story about that landscape may be included. The image need not conform to traditional landscape images and could highlight a significant natural feature in the landscape such as a cliff face, gum tree, mountain side, riverbed etc. Close ups of a feature against a plain background are not acceptable
        • Eligibility for acceptance is to be adjudicated by the Digital Images Entry Secretary based on the definition
        • Normal judging will occur of all images in the Digital Images section
        • The highest score for the images entered in the Australiana Landscape Trophy will be awarded the trophy
        • In the event that 2 or more images achieve the highest score, the judges will be required to choose the best of the images achieving the highest score
    • A reminder to everyone to return the trophies/plaques you may have won from last year so they can be engraved as soon as possible after the Annual Exhibition Judging – by 23-Oct-2015 please
  • The Bill Templar Award nominations are also required by 28-Oct-2015 (sent to or 23-Oct-2015 (in person to the committee). The winner will be announced at the Annual Awards night.
    A reminder about the Bill Templar Award:

    • This award is for the Most Outstanding Contributor to the club as voted by the members – so think about who you think deserves it.
    • Voting (if required) will be conducted (by email or notes to a committee member) and will close on 7-Nov-2015 (the night of the Annual Exhibition judging)

I also thought a rough summary of the discussions raised at the AGM might be in order too. So here are a few thought bubbles (not in priority order and probably not complete):

  • The discussion forum idea has a lot of merit – it would be good to ask questions and get some help when needed. Flickr has limitations, but is pretty open – but it’s not the perfect vehicle. A closed Face Book page makes sense too. That could be used to gather opinion as well. We’ll need someone needed to moderate it though.
    I think the committee should have a discussion but if you have any ideas please pass them on. And let’s not make the moderator one of the regulars – if you’re interested please let us know.
  • Outings and email lists – the Face Book page could work. Julie informed me after the AGM that Kerry and Graham have started working on the week day outings process.
    In the spirit of all our other email accounts (Secretary, President, Print & Digital entries), we should probably set up a BPCoutings@gmail account. The outings coordinators can then send out emails to all as a BCC (as we do now)
  • Member details etc. We maintain a spread sheet, but regularly run into the problem of incorrect emails. We’ll be making a serious attempt to update this as we need to have it current, and then ensure that emails (as the main form of communication) are current.
  • The issue of copyright and intellectual property is important. Thanks to Ashley for discussing it and giving some perspective to those present.
    It is fairly easy to capture images from a screen – if you can see it you can get it. We will persist in only loading images that are no more than 1024 x 768 and 72 DPI. However it needs some education for all and we’ll prepare some guidelines indicating how to both protect and share images.
  • Competition definitions – is going to be hard work. We’ll try to improve that for both clarity and to reduce ambiguity. We need to have the ideas and their descriptions BEFORE we set the programme and get the judge coordinator to guide us. In the meantime, please send us any idea you have – and make sure the definitions are tight.
  • The novice section needs a bit of thought. I like the yellow dot that Alberto & I mentioned – and the digital Novice section. Historically, the Album prints were the novice section, but digital is perhaps an easier way to enter.
    But who is a novice? How many times you’ve entered? How many points you’ve accrued? How long you’ve been a member is a bit simplistic.
    Perhaps a combination – not experienced elsewhere, a number of entries AND scores achieved to work out an average score. When a threshold is reached (it could be several) you are out of Novice and into main stream. It does need a sunset clause – you can’t stay novice for ever.
    So 2 years max or an average score > 7.5 or 50 entries? Or some combination of all?
    However, the yellow dot (unlike the novice digitals) probably shouldn’t mean easier scoring – but it should mean more constructive comments from the judges.
    If you have any thoughts about a novice section please let us know
  • Web page – yes it is a bit stale at times. Are there any volunteers to do write ups? We might tap you on the shoulder and as for a few paragraphs and post them. We will request write ups from someone before the meeting so they are primed.
    If someone has a burning desire to be an editor please let the committee know.
  • Peer review – has been evolving but needs some more work. The impression I get is  everyone likes it. The idea of photo essays seemed to work well, and we have also considered an essays on photographers that inspire you. I think the round tables have worked well too. So we’ll mix it up a little more and see if we can evolve it further.
  • New & younger members – we need to find a way to appeal to them. What do you think? How can attract new members and freshen our thinking? Our club has a proud history of being different – and new ideas help that. But new ideas are often brought in from outside.

We’ll send out the complete minutes to you soon – while the AGM is relatively fresh in your mind.

Finally, here are a couple of web pages I’ve been looking at lately with some interesting thoughts:


What a gloriously sunny and warm weekend! That should shake off the winter blues!

I hope those that went on the club outing to Mannum Falls had a good time – I was doing some work around the house that’s been waiting for sunshine! I’ve already seen a few images on the Flickr group – more to come please! Bruce has posted a piece on Camera Clips webpage……

We certainly had an interesting critique night last week. I was really pleased to see so many interesting images. At least 90% of the images displayed were competition level – and the rest just needed some tweaks (in my opinion – see the web links below)! Well done – hope to see them in the Annual (if not before).

So on to general business

  • On 22-Oct we have a guest speaker – Chris Oaten – who will talk about photographing live music. I’ve seen the outline of Chris’ talk and it looks like we are in for a treat. Remember to bring a plate to share.
  • Kerry has sent me an email about the Festival of Architecture and Design (see which runs from 8-Oct-2015 to 13-Oct-2015. There are lots of free events (and some you’ll pay for like a tour of the infamous Z ward). Check out the web page and the program (see to see what is covered.
  • On the topic of outings, if you have any suggestions for outings, please let me know and I’ll forward them to Graham, Kerry or James (we’ll be setting up the BPCoutings account shortly – I’ll let you know when its up and running)

Finally, some more interesting articles to read:

And two that shows the variety of image capture and perception:


Well I hope you’ve had a great long weekend! Been a tad warm. I’m sure we’ll see lots of images from the long weekend, including the Flinder’s Ranges outing soon.

Unfortunately, I missed a lot of the weekend – had to work both in the office and interstate :(

But I did get a few shots in from the Oz Asia Festival (my wife and I were part of the mega crowd) and had some fun in China Town in Melbourne last night (had to work in Melbourne today….). Once again, I’ve been inspired by night shoots which show a different side to the cities you know. Hopefully the outings masters will organise a night shoot whilst the weather is warm and give you all a chance to play in this wonderland of light and shadow.

So on to the routine stuff:

  • This week is the Shadows competition (not the band from the 60s!). The digital entries have closed but you can still enter prints by sending the subject and the titles to by 7pm Tuesday night
  • Don’t forget the Annual Exhibition and Bill Templar award – we already have an Annual entry form from one enthusiastic member
  • Next meeting (22-Oct) is our guest speaker Chris Oaten – all about live music photography!

And now to a some interesting web links again – this time about 2 different photographers – one current and one regarded as a father of photography as art.

I like to listen to podcasts when travelling on planes (the in flight entertainment is pretty average!) and rather like Ted Forbes The Art of Photography

Ted has some interesting conversations and the two that have taken my fancy this weekend have been on street photographer John Free (visit his website for lots of images and idea) and another on Ansel Adams  (you can also view some images of Adams work on the site).

Most of you know my opinion regarding photography as more than just a picture that some judge likes and these two podcasts reinforce that. John Free tells stories with his street photography with (as he puts it) trying to (and I’ll paraphrase it) generate an emotion from your photograph and not just a print, whilst Ansel Adams escaped the pictorialist view of early photography clubs and created art with his landscapes. In both cases, photography has moved beyond the purely technical – although the technical needs to be understood to achieve their outcomes – and on to a higher plane. Something we should all aspire too. Have a look and tell me what you think.

Chris ;)

BPC Mannum Falls

Jen - Untitled-4

There is a new article in Camera clips about the recent excursion to Mannum falls.  There is a write up by Bruce Nankivell.  It is a great chance to compare notes and see what photos were taken by your fellow club members.  Follow the link – The other Mannum – by Bruce Nankivell


September Edition Camera Clips

orange Banner 2

We have just published our September edition of Camera Clips.  I would strongly recommend that you have a look.  There are some excellent articles from club members.  In my mind there are 3 articles that stand out.

  1. Jack Dascombe writes about his passion for infra red photography
  2. Bruce Nankervill tells about his journey on the Camina de Santiago in Spain.  (This article has had over 75 view in it’s first week.)
  3. Vivian Maier an American nanny has achieved post-humus fame upon discovery of her massive archive of unprocessed street photography.

There are also excellent articles by Jen Williams and a collection of photos from the Mt Lofty Botanical Gardens excursion.

To have a look, follow the following link;    Camera Clips September 2015

I hope that you enjoy this edition.


Nature in the City – Aug. 27th

Helen Whitford_City Gulls

Helen Whitford_City Gulls

It seems that at Blackwood PC we are all individuals and won’t be told what to photograph!  :) Once again our set subject received far fewer entries than the Open section, although Nature in the City seemed like a relatively user-friendly subject.  Judge, Keith Seidel, came armed with his ready wit to exchange repartee with Chris over image titles and his penchant for segues. Keith took our images seriously though, thoughtfully discussing aspects which impressed him and offering suggestions for improvement.

It was great to see one of our relatively newer members, David Brown, do well with his artistic images – Microcosm and Silk Screen and battle with Alberto Giurelli and Helen Whitford for top spots in the Colour Prints. Current President, Ashley Hoff, made a great impression with his projected monochromes and James Allan and Gloria Brumfield showed some beautiful nature and wildlife images.

But competitions nights are not  just about scores – they’re a great opportunity to receive feedback on your images from an experienced photographer and to show other members your images that you like.  All members are encouraged to enter competitions and especially now start gathering your best images for our Annual Exhibition.  It would be fantastic to see at least one or two images from all members!

Visit our Top Projected Images and Top Print Images to see some of this month’s great images, and scroll back through the year for perhaps a little inspiration!


The 7 Deadly Sins – Sloth wins! – July 16th

Ron Hassan - Sunset in Turkey_ Open

Ron Hassan – Sunset in Turkey – Open

Last month I mentioned that I hoped we’d do better with our Set Subject this time around but it seems that while there was a little envy over other people’s scores and pride in achievement, we mostly displayed sloth (or am I being mean saying we were too lazy to get out there and find some sins to photograph?)  Perhaps we’re all too angelic or maybe  we need to stick to more conventional Set Subjects?  Committee members will be looking for suggestions for 2016!

Out of a total of 68 images presented on the night just 8 were in the Set Subject.  At least we didn’t give the judge, Susie Lipert, too much difficulty in deciding what was ‘in category’.  Susie gave a lot of thoughtful feedback, showing a preference for sharpness throughout the image and often urging us to get in tighter.  She made the poignant comment that maybe what the author intended was not what she was seeing.  Subjectivity in judging is unavoidable, and I’m sure we all want the judge to ‘get’ our image, but this is never guaranteed!

We were all very pleased to see Ron Hassan’s “Sunset in Turkey” get the recognition it deserves with a 10.  Gloria Brumfield is also shining this year with some brilliant wildlife and nature images.


Gloria Brumfield – Is it Edible? – Open

Ursula Prucha impressed the judge with her night light scenes, taking out all the Projected Image tops.

c16_Ursula Prucha_West Terrace light show_open

Ursula Prucha – West Terrace Light Show – Open

It was great to see an excellent turnout on such a cold night and brilliant to again see a number of new members and visitors.  It would be great to see entries from our new members in the next competition – “Nature in the City”!

As always, click the links for Top Prints and Top Projected Images.


Helen :)


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