Blackwood Photography Club News

A NIGHT ON THE STREETS

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Diners – Chris Schultz

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.

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Natural Light Portraiture!

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.

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Impressionist – Heather Connolly

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.

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Stasy Calm 2 – David Hancock


LANDSCAPE / SEASCAPE ON SHOW

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Alone in the Mist – Judy Sara

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.

 


31 Day Challenge – December 2017

A few dedicated club members undertook the 31 Day Challenge on Flickr for December 2017. We have done this each year since 2010 (wow – that long?). The idea if you haven’t seen it before is to take a photo a day and post it on the club Flickr page. No prizes other than a satisfaction in completing a fairly daunting task and keeping it fresh.

For me, it was certainly a challenge and I approached it in two parts. Firstly all posted images had to be black and white. Secondly, I tried to maintain a theme for a week to create a little photo essay (for later use). The second part sort of worked and I think I can get some essays together on commuting, street life and some dark imagery. But more importantly, I’ve had some fun along the way and got some shots I’m very pleased with.

The participants that managed to post a photo a day were Judy Sara, Jennifer Williams, Bruce Nankivell and myself. One notable near daily posters was club life member David Douglas-Martin. James Allen threw a few into the mix as well.

Both Judy and Jennifer tried the black and white treatment too – and the results were very good. Hopefully that means a few more monos next year in competition.

I had a look through the images and selected my top 5 – with myself excluded from that mix (conflict of interest!) and chose the following (click the image to see it full size on Flickr) with comments as to why:


Judy Sara - Feathers and Curves
Judy Sara – “Feathers and Curves”
The rim light tells me what the subject is, and the negative space is perfect

Bruce Nankivell - Mood Lighting
Bruce Nankivell – “Mood Lighting”
Clever use of shadow and a clean surface

James Allan – “Eurobin Falls”
The twist through the rocks of the water works so well – sharp yet soft

Jennifer Williams – “Protea – Day 6”
This has the feel of the Walker Evans, Dorothea Lange et al Farm Security Administration images from the 1930’s

Judy Sara - Henley Beach
Judy Sara – “Henley Beach”
Low key, wide angle, unusual patterns, good use of perspective – what else can I say?

How about you? What about selecting your favourite shots and telling us why? Click on this link to see the full set for the 31 days and choose your own favourites. Let the photographer know what you think as well or post here and share your thoughts.

Cheers

Chris 🙂


OUR FINAL EXCURSION FOR THE YEAR – Happy snapping by the river!

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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.

 

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