An interesting subject for our July competition and one that resulted in some clever and creative images. On top of this we were yet again left highly impressed with the range of photos presented in the Open Category.
To work one by one through the 75 images from 17 members (that is a 25% participation rate, our target is 33%) we were fortunate to have the well-recognised and highly valued critique of judge, Keith Siedel. The ‘Judge Co-ordinator’ for the SAPF, Keith is also a member of the Edwardstown Photography Club and has over 30 years of photo club experience. It all began for him with a Pentax Spotmatic at the age of 13 years.
For him the two key ingredients to photography are:
- First and foremost, ENJOY what you are doing;
- Photograph things that excite you. Photographing what excites others is just a bonus.
Some of the tips I picked up as he took us on a journey that evening included in no particular order:
- Too many bright spots in an image “deflect focus”.
- Tone back any brightness in the background.
- Birds ideally are photographed in total relief eg. for a bird its outline needs to be free of any obstruction such as tree branches across the tip of a wing or similar.
- For furry animals the sharpness of the nose, whiskers and eyes is the most critical thing.
- For flowers it is preferable to concentrate on one flower and get that right, then concentrate on the remainder.
- The most difficult part of double portraits is to get the lighting comfortable/balanced.
- For animals the eyes are most important as they tell a story then it’s the details all over the head such as fur and highlights.
- Sometimes consider changing an image from landscape to portrait as it could remove distracting backgrounds in some cases.
- Children – getting all of the face is important eg. don’t want the face cut off at say below the lower lip such that you can’t see the chin.
- Children – sometimes a vignette can help create greater focus for the viewer.
- Give space around the subject eg. if it is a leaf, space around it will add to the image.
- Among the hardest photos to take are of babies.
- Black and white needs strong contrast.
- Strong character faces needs strong focus on the face so that distractions are very much in the background.
- A good portrait tells something of the character of the person.
- When considering an image and how to present it, it is sometimes valuable to just look for the strongest section of the image for use.
If you find value in just one of the above tips then I’m glad I put them in. Photography is certainly a step by step process.
Now let’s have a look at the images presented on the night beginning with the set subject of ‘Worms Eye View’:
The following are from the Open Category:
Looking forward now to our next competition night on Thursday August 25, with the subject ‘People At Work’. But before this we have an excursion on Sunday August 7 to Victor Harbor / Pt Elliott, so expect to hear more soon from James Allan who is putting this one together for us. I believe he’s ordered a sunny day with a bit of cloud