Blackwood Photography Club News

Farewell from El Presidente

My last blog post as President of Blackwood Photographic Club – and my last El Presidente musing for your viewing pleasure.

It’s been a fun ride the last 6 years – as President, Vice President, President and from this Thursday commoner.

In that time with my friends and the committee I’ve tried to steer our club to a more enlightened photographic view – sometimes successfully, sometimes failing. My wish is to see the successes continue – but that is up to you.

Whatever the outcome, I hope you continue to evolve whilst I contemplate my future in photography club land…..


Chris 😉



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.

Heather Connolly foggy cliffs

Foggy Cliffs- Heather Connolly

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.


For more images from the night visit our Top Prints and Top Projected Digital Images pages.

Light Painting – July 20th Competition

It seems that despite a workshop and an outing dedicated to the set subject Light Painting proved a bit too much of a challenge for many of our members, with entry numbers in the Set Subject very low.  But a few brave souls tested the waters with some interesting and creative results.

Kerry Malec turned her image into a Monster Mask which also looks a little like an owl.

Monster Mask – Kerry Malec

Ron Hassan and Duart McLean each had a different take on the Port Willunga sticks.

Seaside Sphere – Duart McLean

The Sticks by Torch – Ron Hassan

And Helen Whitford momentarily fooled judge Matt Makinson with her fake Northern Lights.

Northern Lights – Helen Whitford

Matt, a professional photographer whose business Black and White Photographics provides great service to many photographic club members  on the north side of town, gave constructive criticism of every image from a different perspective. As someone who works with illustrative or art photography he focused on techniques to improve the presentation and sale potential of images, addressing elements such as paper type, vignetting and selective treatment to part of an image.  Members appreciated Matt’s fresh approach – even if he didn’t grant any 10’s!
For more images from the night visit our Top Prints and Top Projected Digital Images pages. (More images coming – check back in a couple of days!)

Return to Port Willunga

Yvonne Sears Light BallIt is nearly 4 and a half years since we had an excursion to Port Willunga.  You can see the image gallery in the May 2013 Camera Clips.   The image above is by Yvonne Sears.  Now it’s time to do it again.  But how do you cast a new light on a familiar subject?  We are going to try light painting.  I have made some notes about our previous experience.

We will meet at the Star of Greece restaurant car park at 4,30pm on Sunday 2nd July.  I expect the sun to set around 5.30 and dusk to last until around 6.45pm.  After that the sky will not be dark until the half moon sets at around 12.30am.  If there are no opportunities for star photos I will be leaving around 7pm.  Remember there may be up to an hour of travel time.  It is worth sharing a ride with club members who live near you.

What to bring: Camera and lens – standard to wide angle, tripod, remote release, torches, light painting equipment if you have any.  You will need warm clothing and sturdy shoes.  You may want to eat before or after the exercise.

I am sure you will enjoy this excursion.  Hope to see you there.

Peer Review/Critique Nights are Evolving!

Have you attended a BPC Peer Review this year?  If not you may not be aware of the changes.  The format has evolved in response to feedback at the end of 2016 and now takes the form of round-table, small group discussion where everyone  has the opportunity to voice their thoughts in a non-threatening environment.

We’ve discussed features to look for in an image, placing Impact, Emotion, Story-telling and use of Light ahead of the technical aspects (Composition, Focus, Exposure etc.).  We still offer the opportunity for members to ask for feedback on specific aspects of their image and to compare images eg. “Is this image better in colour or mono?”, “Which works better, the low angle or the high angle?”

I asked this week which people preferred out of this “straight out of camera” shot and a different image taken on the same night which has been edited.  It was interesting to hear the outcome!

Under the Milky Way – Straight out of Camera

Under the Milky way II – Different image, edited

We’ve also dedicated Peer Review nights to either Prints OR Projected Images to ensure that everyone gets to have at least one or two of their images viewed.  The next Peer Review night on August 3rd will be Prints Only and everyone is encouraged to bring along at least one print, more if you have them, to share with other club members.  The discussion over images has been very animated, thoughtful and has provided useful feedback to those who have shared while inspiring others to have a go at different ideas and techniques presented.

As an added point of interest we’ve introduced a brief presentation at the start of the night where a specific technique may be discussed or famous photographer presented.  This time Chris gave us an insight into the work of Trent Parke, challenging us to change our perception of photography and art. You can see the presentation in El Presidente’s Musings.

So if you haven’t been to a Peer Review for a while come and check out the new format and take advantage of the chance to share your images and receive genuine, constructive feedback.  🙂