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.