Blackwood Photography Club News

How about a bit of Sport?


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.


Bruce Nankivell – City Bay One foot after the Other

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:

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:


Helen Whitford – Elephish

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.

Click these links to view other Top Prints and Top Digital Images.

September edition of Camera Clips


This is an early edition of Camera clips.  Fortunately I have been given enough material to post early this month.  Camera Clips in my mind is a club magazine because it reflects the knowledge and views of our club members.  If you have a point of view, a beef, write to me and I will publish your experiences and ideas.  We accept that there is diversity of experience and we aim not to have an editorial bias.

Here is the link.

So this is what I have to offer you this month.  How to take portraits with Holi powder.  Burning steel wool.  Madagascar and East Africa. The changing face of Singapore, a light pollution map of South Australia and of course photos from our club excursions to Para Wirra and City to Bay.  Of course that is a very quick run through.  Go and have a read for yourself.  Quite a diverse offering this month.  I have enjoyed putting this together.



B05_Ron Hassan_loving her work_set subject

Loving her Work – Ron Hassan

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

 .Image result for peter barnes photography  Image result for peter barnes photography  Image result for peter barnes photography

I was trying to pick up on the key messages coming from Peter and he had plenty of positive feedback for many images eg:

  • Original
  • Good composition
  • Good light
  • Sharp
  • 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
B02_James Allan_Train Driver_Set

Train Driver – James Allan

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
C06_Alberto Giurelli_Palm cockatoo_Open

Palm Cockatoo – Alberto Giurelli

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.

Click these links to view other Top Prints and Top Digital Images.

August Camera Clips


I have just published the  August Camera Clips.  The banner this month comes from Ron Hassan, “A lovely time of day”.  This was an open entry from the August (people at work) photo competition.    I suspect it is an image from his recent trip to North America.  I have also collected articles from Helen Whitford (Tips on zoo photography) and Eric Budworth (Digicam control – free software that will run your camera) as well as myself (Focus stacking using digicam control, Phone Apps for photographers and Art Photography – quotes from the art photographers).  Lastly I have compiled a photo essay of images from the successful zoo excursion.

It has been a busy month in the club so have a look at what we have been up to.  I hope you enjoy this edition.



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:

  1. First and foremost, ENJOY what you are doing;
  2. 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’:

B12_Steve Wallace_Lamella Close Up_Set

Steve Wallace – Lamella Close Up

The following are from the Open Category:

C14_Adrian Hill_Hallett Cove Beach Railway Station Dusk_Open

Adrian Hill – Hallett Cove Beach Railway Station at Dusk


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🙂

Click these links to view other Top Prints and Top Digital Images.