With a large number of impressive but odd things from members gardens to consider our judge for the evening, Keith Siedel, had a busy task but as expected he once again did it very well.
Keith is well known to club members as a photographer with a significant portfolio of internationally exhibited and awarded work. His work has been exhibited in 35 countries and published widely. He as been a member of the Edwardstown club since 1986 and is the longest active member. Keith is also the Judging Co-Ordinator for the SAPF. With that sort of background he had plenty of wisdom to pass along.
Some of the key points Keith raised were:
- Be conscious of the background and tone it down where necessary so that it does not distract.
- Any sharp, strong colours should be cropped as they are too noticeable.
- Quite a number of shots had a shallow depth of field, to their detriment. He definitely did not like soft edges.
- Fill the frame with detail, make it a tight composition.
- Some images just needed something added to tell a story and make it more powerful.
- Be careful of over-sharpening.
- Try and draw the viewer into the photograph.
- If using macro, think about what needs to be sharp and what is ok to leave soft.
- The time of day of course can have a major impact on the quality of the image.
There were once again a good number of entries in the Open category and they added to the wide variety on display.
Another great night with a larger number of entries from a broader membership mix and this was also reflected in the results.
It was chillier than expected so after adding extra layers or thicker jackets eight of us headed into the wetlands. The birds at Laratinga seem to be more tolerant of people which was great as it enabled us to get quite close to many of the birds. The group soon split up as different birds caught their attention.
The great thing about photography is that it slows you down and enables you to concentrate on the behavior of the birds. You need to watch the birds carefully to enable prediction of that special moment to get the great photo. Or you hold your finger on the shutter and hope that moment is captured somewhere in the burst!
The blaze of blue from the Superb Fairy-wrens captivated everyone. These birds flitted from the ground and into the shrubs feeding themselves and finding food for their begging young.
The Willie Wagtail flew out and came back with tiny sticks and cobwebs to build its nest.
The Red Wattle bird foraged in the litter and probed the tree bark for insects. I thought they were nectar feeders!
The Australian Spotted Crake scuttled across the path to the muddy shore then disappeared into the reeds.
The Mallards thrilled us with brilliant flashes of colour as they moved their wings.
As the Australasian Shovelers dived their tails rose up and their feet paddled.
The synchronized swimming of bird pairs was great to watch.
The freshwater tortoises sunned themselves on the fallen log.
We finally moved our eyes from our cameras and enjoyed a picnic lunch together. But was great to peek onto someone else’s camera screen to see what they had captured!
The challenge for us this time was to ‘…produce images that “break the rules” and challenge your own comfort zone.’ While down on entries this time, there were some excellent examples for us to consider.
Our judge for the evening was Lindsay Poland, who is a professional photographer and works at Diamonds Camera Video and Digital. To pinch words from James Allan in the September Camera Clips article ( https://cameraclips05.wordpress.com/2018-camera-clips/september-camera-clips/ ):
‘Lindsay has quite a reputation, conducting workshops and has just returned from judging in Victoria. Coming from outside the camera club circuit he has a different approach. He favours strong simple compositions and rewards well printed and presented images. He penalizes post processing that is obvious to the viewer, in particular if it increases noise and sharpening artifact. His attention to detail is phenomenal, viewing the images from close up he is uncanny in his analysis of camera technique and post production. It is hard to pull the wool over his observant gaze.’ Thanks James, well summarised.
He was certainly hot on spotting images where he saw evidence of over sharpening and it was clearly a focus for him.
We hope you enjoy some of the images from the evening.
On Sunday August 12 a happy group of seven club members met in historic Strathalbyn. Our mission? Simple really, have fun together taking photographs. The bonus would be to try and take some images that would fit with the upcoming club competition entitled ‘Break The Boundaries’. In other words looking through the view finder it was an opportunity to break the rules and challenge our own comfort zones.
It was an alive township with plenty of weekend activities taking place. In amongst it all apparently there was a back of the truck wine sale complete with tastings and apparently the wine was quite ok. 🙂
After a couple of hours of roaming the historic streets and picturesque park areas in search of the “perfect” images we all enthusiastically joined the queue at the local bakery and enjoyed our health food with coffee. An enjoyable morning in excellent company.
Suzie Lipert from Eastern Suburbs Camera Club was our judge for an evening on the streets. Our competition was titled ‘Street Photography’ which is all about ‘storytelling images recording everyday life in public places’. Unsurprisingly she had some great images to critique and she did it in a mighty fine way, offering lots of positives on every image and mixed with suggestions for improvement. She reminded us that “photography is about coming up with something different.”
Suzie made the same comment for quite a number of images and that was that they could be “printed harder/stronger” to make a bolder impression. The colours or blacks and whites were sometimes just too soft and not jumping out of the image as much as they could she thought. Her strongest comments on this were for the black and whites.
In a similar way she saw opportunity for some images to be cropped tighter to give a greater focus on the real subject of the image. Another way of saying that might be to say ‘less is more’.
She enjoyed the story telling, the pushing of boundaries in some cases, the simplicity and detail, the filling of the frame for some images, the crispness and clean lines of well cropped photos.
In all she was highly impressed with the quality of images presented by members and that’s a credit to those putting their images out there. Congratulations everyone and thank you Suzie for a very positive evening.
Natural light portraiture, always a challenge and especially so in low light. For this competition we were fortunate to have plenty of images to admire for their ability to largely overcome the natural light challenges. These mixed with a yet again impressive array of open category photographs to admire including some members who stretched the creative boundaries with some experimentation.
The definition given to us for Natural Light Portraiture was: ‘No studio set-ups here, nor use of any form of man-made light source. It’s all about using natural light to produce portraits. Whether it’s outside during the day or using daylight coming through a window or even moonlight, you need to use the natural light available to illuminate your subject.’
Our judge for the evening was Peter Phillips from the Edwardstown Photography Club who once again provided us with much valued feedback and well considered advice. There was something to learn for everyone.
He spoke of such things as:
- Less is more, fill the lens.
- Flat lighting is a photographer’s challenge but use luminance in Lightroom to assist.
- Avoid front focussed direct light on subject.
- It is critical for the portrait to be sharp but be careful not to oversharpen.
- Black and white images require good tonal range.
- Numerous comments on the importance of space in the composition.
- He encouraged members to continue experimenting with such areas as abstract images.
Another enjoyable evening with plenty of good images to study.
Our first competition for the year was held on February 1 and was titled Landscape/Seascape and defined as: ‘An image featuring the natural scenery or terrain.’ In our programme for the year we were reminded that ‘Many people mistakenly believe taking a landscape is easy, but there are so many variables that getting that excellent landscape image can be quite challenging!’ So true.
Our judge for the evening was the affable and always welcome, David CG Smith from the Eastern Suburbs Camera Club. One of the most highly awarded amateur photographers in Australia, David’s comments are highly valued.
In the mix of feedback provided by David included:
- The importance of capturing a mood
- Considering the merits of landscape vs portrait when composing a shot
- The value of leading lines
- How shooting water with a slow shutter speed creates a soothing effect
- The need to be careful not to oversharpen images thereby creating a halo effect
- When cropping an image be careful not to make it too tight
There were many other valuable comments but this will give you a feel for where he was coming from.
We certainly had our share of high quality images in both the set subject of Landscape/Seascape as well as in the Open Section so we hope we enjoy some of the great work shown here.
The final meeting for the year was over, but for a seven of us (plus a couple of very patient partners) the final excursion for the year was a chance to freely take shots with no competition in mind. Unsurprisingly much of the fun was simply in bouncing ideas off each other.
Our meeting point was the Adelaide Railway Station which is where we began taking shots, mindful of the restrictions placed on us by Adelaide Metro. It’s an interesting place if only to observe people as they pour off the trains heading for their Christmas celebration events among other activities on a Saturday night.
We progressed very slowly and some more than others up the side of the InterContinental Hotel to the Torrens River banks and for a few, over the new Adelaide Oval foot bridge.
A quick thanks to Ron Hasan for his as ever enthusiastic willingness to offer guidance/advice where required on all things photography.
We finished the night observing more of Saturday night life in the city as we sat outdoors drinking coffee, eating waffles and sharing our experiences.
As you will observe we were all looking at the same space but, no surprise, we all saw things differently. Such is the beauty of photography.
The club meeting on Thursday August 31 dealt with that most changeable and often most talked about subject of ‘Weather’. It’s a sure fire way to get a conversation going with almost anyone, especially farmers, apparently.
The definition of weather for this competition was: ‘An image that conveys weather as the major feature, not simply the effects of weather.’
Our judge for the night was well known Edwardstown photo club identity, Peter Phillips. With some 35 members present and around 85 photos to work through it was a busy night.
Here are just a few of Peter’s comments from the evening:
- Colour contrast can often help
- Simple images work, they don’t need to be colourful to tell a story.
- We don’t get points for difficulty of taking the shot.
- Animals need sharp eyes
- Sometimes a clear blue sky is more value than a cloudy one to help highlight the focus of the image.
- Macro shots need to be ‘pin sharp’.
- An image needs something to hold the viewer’s attention.
- Shooting in the city on a wet night is always good as you can get great reflections etc.
- Don’t be afraid to make your image square….presentation is important.
- Don’t crowd the image in a shot, give it room.
- Wait up to half an hour after sunset and you’ll still get good colour.
- In the mono set he commented that it is ‘good to have something dark in the image for contrast’.
- He suggested several times on ways to crop certain images to maximise the focus and impact.
- “Is it an image I’d want to look at for a long time?”
One important comment that stood out for me was “Shoot for yourself not for a photo club judge”.
Above are some of the high scoring weather shots and below a few examples from the open section.
With the challenge of an upcoming competition entitled ’50 Shades Of Orange’, eighteen of us headed into the Adelaide Central Market on Friday January 20 to see what we could photograph, orange or otherwise.
Those who attended were provided, prior to the night, with two articles on how to photograph an indoor market, one by James Allan and another by Bruce Nankivell. Before entering the market those who needed technical assistance were helped out by willing participants including Mark Pedlar and our thanks goes to these members. In future we’ll be looking to provide this sort of assistance for every excursion and asking various members to help.
The Adelaide Central Market is always a busy place on a Friday night and even more so when the city is busy with the Tour Down Under (TDU). Some of our group even ventured to the TDU Village to broaden their night’s activities as you’ll see.
The lighting in an indoor market present a whole raft of challenges for a photographer. One of our participants made the following comment: “With my camera I was not able to take many photos of patrons at cafes due to the low lights and needed to adjust my ISO’s continually due to different lighting throughout the area. I am amazed at how many different ways ‘orange’ can be used from signs, clothes, food, lights, flowers, cars and many more. The challenge is to make them interesting.” From the images shown here I think we did a pretty good job, so nice work everyone and thanks for coming along.
Our next excursion will be to the Mt Lofty Botanic Gardens on Sunday March 5, which Tariq will give us all the details on when it gets closer.
Bruce Nankivell – market life
Chris Schultz – Lollipop…Lollipop
Stephanie Mallen – Personal Training
‘Sports’ was our subject and according to the Oxford Dictionary sport is ‘an activity involving physical exertion and skill in which an individual or team competes against another or others for entertainment.’ In Stephanie’s example above we have an individual who looks like he’s sneaking in a bit of personal training during lunch break. I believe this is Stephanie’s first entry, which was in the Novice category and it scored a perfect ten….congratulations Steph!
As with all of our previous competitions, an excursion was arranged prior to competition night to provide an opportunity for members to create entries for the subject. The excursion this time was to the City To Bay Fun Run and pleasingly there were some entries as a result.
Our judge for the evening was Benjamin Kerr who is relatively new to the world of judging and it has to be said he definitely impressed as reflected with considerable positive feedback. For me it was enlightening to have a judge who looked upon each photograph for what it was and judged it as such rather than judge it perhaps less highly because he didn’t quite understand the image.
Benjamin states: ‘Photography for me is about validation and connection – giving the viewer something that they might desire or simply identify with and to provide a perspective that gives you an opportunity to think and contemplate.
Having recently graduated with my Diploma in Photo Imaging (June 2016) I must be honest and say that I am yet to find myself as an Artist with a definitive and recognisable personal style.
I enjoy what I do and yes I intentionally flit around and experiment between Commercial Work, Portraiture, Weddings and Formals, Landscape, Abstract, Macro, Astro, Architecture and a whole suite of other categories.’
This range of interests in his photography came through in his judging with a wide understanding of what is required to make it all work in the different scenarios.
You can check out some of Benjamin’s work and find out more about him at: http://www.snapshotdigitalimagery.com/Pages/home
Just grabbing some of his feedback for a moment:
- ‘Need to be sure the focus of the image is in a dominant position ‘eg not too far to one side of the image’. The word balance comes to mind.
- Many shots impressed with their clever inclusion of ‘leading lines’.
- He enjoyed the strong contrasts in many images
- Ben showed understanding and appreciation for photos that are difficult to take due to light conditions, reflections, shadows etc.
- A comment we’ve heard from other judges again raised it’s head: ‘Be mindful of what is in the background and if it’s a person and it’s going to be distracting, wait until they have moved out of the frame’.
- Be careful of empty space
- ‘Everything you need to know is in the picture’
- He enjoyed the play of the intentional slow shutter speed in some cases which created a mix of sharp and blurred
- With sports images ‘slower shutter speed gives an increased sense of movement’
Thanks Benjamin for a job well done.
Our Open Category once again resulted in plenty of stunning and high scoring images:
This was our last competition for 2016 and we hope you’ve enjoyed all of them. Our thanks go to all the judges who’ve helped us through the year and to those who’ve done all the organising behind the scenes for our competitions, something that should never be taken for granted.
Now we can look forward to finding out what the best photos of the year are via our 2016 Annual Exhibition Awards Night on Thursday November 17.
People At Work was our subject for August which had the following definition: One or more people conducting their normal daily occupation must be the significant focus of these images.
For this night, our judge co-ordinator, Alberto Giurelli, stepped “outside the bubble”. Instead of an SAPF judge we were privileged to have an interesting new perspective on critiquing club member images via professional photographer, Peter Barnes.
Peter is a commercial photographer based in Adelaide and specialises in architectural, industrial and landscape photography. In amongst his accolades, in 2015 he was awarded Master of Photography by the Australian Institute of Professional Photography (AIPP). A host of awards are his, including Commercial Photographer of the Year in 2011 and 2013 and Travel Photographer of the Year in 2012 and 2013. He is also, by the way, a judge of the annual SAPF Annual Exhibition. He states that “My photography celebrates the things we build…” and I have to say much more too. If you want to check out some more of his work besides the images immediately below try http://www.fotografo.com.au
I was trying to pick up on the key messages coming from Peter and he had plenty of positive feedback for many images eg:
- Good composition
- Good light
- Excellent colour
- Good expression
- “I got a strong connection with this….”
- “I feel the power of water in this”
- “..lots of energy and passion in the subject.”
- “good contrast of colours”
- “..the simple focus of this image works”
Peter also had provided suggestions on how to improve:
- Faces need to be clear and well lit.
- Sharpness is critical as is appropriate use of depth of field.
- Look for any distractions in an image eg. any unnecessary lines across the image or things that don’t add to the image.
- It is important not to over photo-shop eg. a building was “too green” and another image “over sharpened”.
- Balance the foreground with the background.
- Try not to leave the viewer trying to guess what the message of the image is, such that they don’t have to assume too much.
- Always ensure the horizon is straight.
- Look after the detail eg: “Need more control of the whites in the clouds”.
- Check the background when photographing and when preparing an image for judging, check it again and if necessary crop.
- The composition should ideally “jump out” at the viewer.
For me the main repeated messages I got related to the need for greater sharpness and to ensure faces are clear and well lit.
With all this said we once again had plenty of pretty special images to peruse and it should be noted that the points allocated were lower than we are familiar with using SAPF judges.
The highest scores among the 27 entries we had for the Set Subject category (People at Work), were 8’s. These were awarded to:
- Jenny Pedlar for Moving The Herd
- Alberto Giurelli for Gondoliers
- James Allan for Worker
In the Open category we had 40 entries and from these we had two that scored 9 points:
- Alberto Giurelli for Remarkable Rocks
- Alberto Giurelli for Palm Cockatoo
There were 11 entries that scored 8 points:
- James Allan for Album 48
- James Allan for Album 46
- Eric Budworth for A Good Match
- Grant Coles for Looking Up
- Helen Fletcher for The-Bride
- James Allan for Laminar Flow
- Alberto Giurelli for Dream Flower
- Ron Hassan for Can I Help You
- Alberto Giurelli for Tranquility
- James Allan for Jonquils
- James Allan for Caged
Looking forward now to our next competition night on Thursday October 6, with the subject ‘Sport’. But before this we have an excursion on Sunday August 18 to Victoria Square in the city to photograph the City to Bay Fun Run. There is a separate detailed note coming out shortly on this via our President Chris Schultz.
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 🙂
While the recent Photo Journalism competition was a great night, it was unfortunate that only 18 members from a possible 69 (26%) joined in. This has prompted club President, Chris Schultz to call for all of us to take a more active part and has set us a participation rate target of 33% as a starting point. While we had 77 photos to show, 50% of these came from just 5 members. Without these members it would have been a relatively poor showing and an early night.
With the style of judging consistently provided in a positive mode, we all have every reason to put photos up. There is much to be learned, even if we don’t always agree with the score or comments. When it’s your photo being critiqued you most definitely take greater notice of what is being said and this can only lead to improvements in your photography. From my own experience I’ve found everyone to be extremely positive, supportive and encouraging even when I’ve put up photos that I would now look at and cringe…..that’s learning. So let’s make this 33% target a reality.
With that said and my fingers crossed that you will all participate (just one image will do) let’s have a look at the successful night the Photo Journalism competition was. We have plenty of enthusiastic support from members attending and this night was no exception.
We were privileged to have as our Judge David Smith of the Eastern Suburbs Photographic Club. David is a highly qualified photographer and provides a well-balanced and considered approach to his judging and always has plenty of positive suggestions. I really enjoyed that he verbalises his thinking as he assesses each image. This is valuable for everyone and as mentioned earlier, particularly for the photographer.
At the top end ten images were given a full score, a further fourteen scored nine and fifteen scored eight. That’s an impressive 56% scoring highly and reflects well on the skills of the club.
In the Photo Journalism categories there were a total of 6 images that scored 10/10.
Sam Savage showed us with an excellent mono image what it looks like to live on the streets in Spain and provided us with a view of a somewhat darker side of life.
Helen Fletcher provided a stunning and colourful portrait within a street scene in Vietnam, entitled ‘Bac-Ha Woman’.
Mark Pedlar’s ‘Graduation’ image was one of strong colour contrast set in a mood of graduate celebration.
James Allan’s ‘Is It True’ captured beautifully the Anzac Centenary Memorial Walk as an ex-serviceman gently touches it to ensure it is indeed true
A bright red Ford Thunderbird, photographed by Ashley Hoff, shone brightly in the early evening light as a part of the Tanunda Cruise (hot rod) event.
The final full points photo of the category was from Alberto Giurelli, entitled ‘International Horse Trials’ and portrayed a horse receiving some close veterinary attention.
In the Open Categories the winners started with Theo Prucha’s beautiful image ‘Abandoned Farmhouse’ in the Album Prints Category. This was followed by James Allan’s ‘Corella’s Play’ in the Colour Prints and Alberto Giurelli’s stunning mono image ‘The Violinist’. Finally Ashley Hoff presented ‘The Bass Player’ in the Projected Image section.
Of course credit goes to everyone who put their excellent photos up on the night; every one of them would have gained some benefit from doing so.
Our next competition is entitled ‘Worms Eye View’ on Thursday July 15, but before then we have an excursion on Sunday July 3 at the Botanical Gardens where the goal will be to capture images for this upcoming competition.
Finally, let’s all aim to put at least one image in and make sure we hit the 33% participation target or better.
Our first competition for the year on Thursday January 28 was a great starter for what promises to be a busy and stimulating 2016.
The subject for the night was ‘Leading Lines’, which is a composition technique where the viewer’s eye is led into the image. Our judge was David Rowlands from Edwardstown Photography Club and what an encouraging and uplifting judge he was. With a significant number (115) of impressive images to work through he did so with a burst of positive and constructive feedback for every one of them. His comments were well considered, informed, concise and articulate.
Regardless of how your photograph scored you felt like you’d both learned something positive from the commentary and you were left inspired to reach greater heights.
With our constantly growing club the evening was well attended (about 45) by a welcoming and appreciative audience all very keen to learn.
First time entrant, Di Gage presented us with two inspiring images, one of a very beautiful soft Victoria River sunset and another of a fishing boat and its perfect reflection complete with bird resting obediently on a rope. A perfect start with one image scoring full marks. Another relatively new entrant, Robyn Due, was justifiably excited to score a 9 for her Port Adelaide excursion image, entitled ‘Pot’ a well spotted image of paving, posts and buildings providing interesting leading lines.
Some of the excellence of our seasoned performers was on display with the likes of Alberto Giurelli, Helen Whitford, Jenny Pedlar, Ursula Prucha, James Allan and Chris Schultz
Mark Pedlar’s image (below) entitled Cornwall’s Motto captured, for those who weren’t there, the area in which the recent Port Adelaide excursion took place and plenty of Leading Lines. A quite stunning shot.
The following are more of the high scoring ‘Leading Lines’ images from the night.
It seems to me that photography is one of those games where just when you think you’ve nailed some small part of it you are instantly reminded via someone else’s display of skill that you really haven’t and there is a long way to go. I’m convinced it is a never ending story of learning and I guess that’s why we all love it.
Makes you wonder what kind of fabulous circles we can create with our next competition, entitled ‘Circles’, of course.