Blackwood Photography Club News

Light – Competition August 25th 2022

With a theme as broad as Light there was a wide range of subject matter within the set subject this month.

A few photos emerged from the Illuminate Festival which was the basis of our outing in July.
Judy Sara again did well with Lights on the Roof #1, Illuminate Burst, Festival Centre and The Washing, all taken at Illuminate.

Helen Whitford’s Beam me Up, Scotty, Sheila Gatehouse’s Lighting the Way and Steve Wallace’s Radiating Out were also taken at the event.

Beautiful sunlight peaking through clouds or backlighting the subject featured in Michael Selge’s Lit Clouds and Fading Light, Judy Sara’s Golden Light and Sunrise on the Windfarm, Ray Goulter’s Dawn – Elliston and Gordon Lindqvist’s Shearing Shed at Dawn.

The remaining top photos in the Set Subject were an eclectic mix – Ray Goulter’s Eggs, Sheila Gatehouse’s Swimming in a Sea of Blue Light and The Old Fluoro and Helen Whitford’s Across the Torrens, Mythical Moose and Northern Lights Mystique.

In Open, Jenny Pedlar’s Sundew and Fly Agaric impressed judge, Fred Bray, along with Heather Connolly’s Australia’s Favourite Tree, Gordon Lindqvist’s Spiny-cheeked Honeyeaters, Judy Sara’s Galahs Landing, Black Winged Stilt and Dawson Pub and Helen Whitford’s Cockling on Goolwa Beach.

Click the links for all of the Top Prints and Top Digital Images for this and previous competitions.


Curves and Angles – Competition July 14th 2022

With over 100 entries this was by far our biggest competition so far this year, with Curves and Angles proving to be a popular Set Subject.

Judge, Robert Dettman, was impressed with James Allan’s style, with many of the top scores going his way including for Canoe Sculpture, The Savage House, Remember Dr Duncan and Curves and Lines in the Set Subject.

With many places where curves and angles can be found there were a good variety of subjects, though architecture dominated.

Judy Sara’s Unfurling showed the simplicity and beauty of a new fern frond and Different Structures showcased contrasting architectural shapes.  Ray Goulter’s Dawn – Elliston challenged the judge, Di Gage highlighted the well-known curves of the Opera House, David Hancock took the Footbridge and Sam Savage showed an iconic French landmark.

Others to do well included Sheila Gatehouse’s Blue Steel Angles, David Hancock’s Curve Net and Across the Chasm, Meredith Retallack’s Stark Contrasts and Gordon Lindqvist’s Iconic Bridge. Judy Sara was the most successful entrant in the Set Subject with Decorating the Cake, Autoclave, Palace of Charles V and Windows to the Courtyard also faring well.

In Open, Michael Holmes joined the ranks of members with top photos with Happy Honey Eater and Portrait of Daisy

Click the links for the other Top Prints and Top Digital Images.


Dance & Movement – Competition June 2nd 2022

This was always going to be a challenging subject as most people cannot access and photograph Dance performances so it was not surprising, but somewhat disappointing for our dance specialist judge Suzanne Opitz, that most entries were “movement” rather than “dance”.

In fact, of the “movement” photographs, most were of subjects other than people.  Still we had an interesting array of images.

Frances Allan’s The Splash and Helen Whitford’s Flight Path both impressed Suzanne with quite different captures of movement.

Other Set Subject photos to do well included Sheila Gatehouse’s 1,2,3 Up you Go, Judy Sara’s Butterflies Rising, Don’t Land Here and Aussie Rules, Meredith Retallack’s Still in Motion, Helen Whitford’s Eye on the Ball and In Tandem and Ray Goulter’s Practise 3.

Overall, Suzanne found the Open sections to be stronger with top scores for Sheila Gatehouse’s These Boots are ready for Working!, Helen Whitford’s Galah Pair, Frances Allan’s Dusky Robin and Xenica in my Garden, David Hancock’s High Tide, Judy Sara’s Emu and David Hancock’s On the Beach.

Suzanne gave a balanced assessment of each photo and, while she again suggested cropping and vignetting a number of times, also commented on other aspects and found plenty to like in many of the images.

Follow these links for all of the Top Prints and Top Digital Images.


Water – Competition Thursday April 21st 2022

Our Set Subject of Water was very broadly defined, resulting in everything from seascapes to macro droplets on miniscule dandelion seeds.

Entries were fairly evenly divided between Set and Open but numbers were again relatively low, with just 24 prints and 43 digital images.  This meant that judge, Peter Phillips, was able to give time and thought to every photo.

Whilst he looked for impact first he had many tips for technical improvements and, whilst claiming not to be a “cropaholic”, he did suggest tighter framing for quite a few of the images, mostly to remove distracting elements.

The very highest scoring photographs are shown below.

Click the links for all of the Top Prints and Top Digital Images.


Framed – Competition March 10th

It was a bit quiet at BPC on Thursday night, with just 55 photographs to be critiqued by judge, Don Brooks.

There was an interesting variety of “Frames” used to present the images, from tree branches and old stone walls to drain pipes and glass blocks.

(Insert Judy’s Knobbed Hornbills, Meredith’s Kanyaka Stone,  Libby’s Viewpoint, Helen’s Mythical Moose)

The depth created by a frame of receding pillars impressed Don in Steve Wallace’s A Distant Doorway and Di Gage’s Framed by Pillars.

(Don generally preferred images in which the frame retained detail rather than simply being a dark shape around the subject although he still awarded Judy Sara’s Split – Old and New a 10 for the well-presented scene.

Judy Sara – Split-Old and New

In Open subject Judy’s exquisite Sunflower received a glowing review and Don was impressed by Sam Savage’s Unwanted Distraction, Helen Whitford’s Post Coital Screech and Di Gage’s Gnarly Tree.



Overall Don gave constructive comments and took the time to properly evaluate each image.

It was an early wrap to a good night.


Questions on Notice (February 24th, 2022)

On Thursday February 24th a panel consisting of James Allan, Judy Sara and Helen Whitford, with supplementary comments from Steve Wallace and MC, Mark Pedlar, answered a range of questions relating to photography which had been posed by club members.

The following questions were posed to the panel.

  1. Do I really need a tripod/ monopod if my camera has good image stabilisation. Please comment for A) Landscape and B) Birds.
  2. I would like to be able to view my photographs and get rid of the bad ones before I load them into Lightroom. Is there a way to do this and is it the best thing to do?
  3. What are the best settings for star photography?
  4. What are the advantages (and disadvantages??) of mirrorless cameras compared with DSLRs and which would you recommend?
  5. How should I prevent and/or correct colour cast in my photos?
  6. How does multi-point focus work – how does it decide which focus points to work on.  Is single point focus better – is multi-point just a lazy way of doing things?
  7. How do I improve the quality of my competition entries?  Please comment on such things as bright/over exposed spots; over-sharpening; distracting elements; principles of effective composition.
  8. Panoramas – what are the best settings?  What are the key issues in producing good panos?
  9. How do you use off-camera flash??
  10. A club member has had his photos downloaded by an acquaintance who has claimed them as his own. What redress is there? What would you do? And how can he stop it happening again?
  11. What’s one thing you always take on a shoot?
  12. Of the photo gear you have bought, what wouldn’t you buy again?
  13. Is it possible to use flash units from the pre-digital era with digital cameras without frying the electronics?
  14. What’s the difference between “grain” in film and “noise” in digital?
  15. How is an “unsharp mask” used in digital and what is its purpose?
  16.  Can anyone recommend a SLR film camera repair person/business.  I have an old Pentax that may need attention.

Answers and other related documents are available as pdf’s; located in the Reading and Reference section of the Website (See tab at top of the Home page.)

Thanks to Paul Hughes who collated the questions and to Mark Pedlar for acting as MC.

Thank you to those who asked and answered questions!


Architecture – Competition January 27th 2022

In a good start for Set Subjects in 2022, Architecture accounted for 75% of entries – a popular choice!

We changed a couple of sections this year, dropping Album prints and dividing Projected Images into separate Colour and Monochrome sections.

Judge, David Rowlands, provided thoughtful comments on each image.  In Architecture he particularly looked for a different perspective and ways in which the photographer made the “art” their own.

The high scores were well spread with Di Gage doing particularly well from photographing Port Adelaide with Old Port Woolsheds, Old Port Woolsheds 2 and Woolsheds as well as The Cloisters, Iona Abbey.

Judy Sara’s Windows and Different Structures impressed David with their simplicity and clean lines, as did Steve Wallace’s Old against New.

The more classic Pont d’Avignon and Maison Carée by Gordon Lindqvist, along with Heather Connolly’s Big end of Town, Judy Sara’s Palm House and Geometric and Sheila Gatehouse’s Building up to the Sky, You Can’t Hide your Best Angle and Hart’s Mill rounded out the Set Subject High scores.

In the smaller Open sections the most successful photographs were Judy Sara’s Ladybird on Duty, Helen Whitford’s Post Coital Screech, Ray Goulter’s Tree Skeletons and Balmy Afternoon and Meredith Retallack’s Orange Spider Wasp.

It was great to see a good number of different entrants doing well!

Click the links for galleries of Top Prints and Top Projected Images



Blackwood Photographic Club Annual Exhibition 2021

Our Annual Exhibition was held on Thursday November 18th with a good turn-out of members to celebrate our achievements for the year.

It was great to see some different faces among the award recipients, including Sheila Gatehouse who won Top Colour Print with Lily, Ray Goulter with Top PDI, Lillies after Rain and Heather Connolly with the Top Album Print, Wanderer Feeding. Judy Sara’s Spoonbill Perching was the Top Monochrome Print and also earned the Nature Award. Judy also did extremely well in Aggregates!

The Australian Landscape Award was won by Steve Wallace with Lindsay Waterhole and the Portrait Award went to Parry by Frances Allan.

The awards were presented by Julie Goulter, the club’s president.
The full list of awards was as follows:

Projected Digital Images

1st  Hutt St Photos Award – Ray Goulter – Lillies after Rain

2nd  Vicki Kramer – Hear the Little People

3rd  Sam Savage – Screech

Merit   James Allan – Wood Duck Nesting

Merit  Heather Connolly – Magpie Lark

Merit  Paul Hughes – Much Easier after Covid

Click HERE to see a video presentation of all the projected digital image entries.

Aggregate – PDIs

1st Photographic Wholesalers Award – Judy Sara

2nd James Allan

=3rd  Vicky Kramer & Jenny Pedlar

Monochrome Prints

1st Judy Sara – Spoonbill Perching

2nd Frances Allan – Pimelia

3rd Di Gage – On the Prowl

Merit – Frances Allan – Parry

Merit – Judy Sara – Poppy

Aggregate – Monochrome Prints

1st Blackwood Times Award – Judy Sara

2nd James Allan

3rd  Vicki Kramer

Colour Prints

1st Fotoswift Award – Sheila Gatehouse – Lily

2nd Sam Savage – Beautiful Firetail

3rd Judy Sara – Up, Up and Away!

Merit  Di Gage – Coming in for a Landing

Merit  Steve Wallace – Lindsay Waterhole

Merit   Helen Whitford – Bee, Mama!

Merit  Helen Whitford – Cormorant Preening

Aggregate Colour Prints

1st Blackwood Photographic Club Award – Judy Sara

2nd James Allan

3rd Vicki Kramer

Album Prints

1st Ege Malpas Award- Heather Connolly – Wanderer Feeding

2nd Sheila Gatehouse – Sean

3rd Helen Whitford – Willie Wagtail

Merit   Sheila Gatehouse – Sunflower

Aggregate – Album Prints

1st Vicki Kramer

2nd Helen Whitford

3rd Heather Connolly

Landscape Award – Steve Wallace – Lindsay Waterhole

Nature Award – Judy Sara – Spoonbill Perching

Portrait Award – Frances Allan –  Parry

Thank you to our judges, Brad Hodge, Suzanne Opitz AFIAP AAPS and Peter Barrien EFIAP FAPS.

Service Awards

Di Gage was presented the Bill Templer award for service to the club.

Julie thanked the following people for their assistance throughout the year.


Birds in Nature – Competition October 21st 2021

The Set Subject of Birds in Nature joined Head and Shoulders Portrait as our most popular this year, each accounting for over 70% of entries respectively.  This demonstrates where our photographic passion lies!

Still, only 12 members entered the competition and it would be great to see more members enter the fray!

There were some stunning photographs with beautiful captures of birds in action – flying, feeding, calling and interacting but images of birds simply perching and resting were also impressive.

Don was impressed overall with the standard of our bird photography and loved Judy Sara’s Fish Dinner, Screeching Seriema, Spoonbill Perching, Landed, Wren Huddle and Cape Grassbird.

Frances Allan demonstrated a talent for capturing the moment and the light and was rewarded by judge, Don Brooks, with multiple 10s.  Her Splendid Wren in How Splendid wowed everybody and The Smile made everybody smile, despite Shoebills being an “ugly” bird according to the judge and Art Deco Eyes was something a little different.

Di Gage’s Coming in for a Landing, Eastern Yellow Robin and Fairy Wren, Helen Whitford’s Am I Welcome?, Bee, Mama!, Cormorant Preening and Lori, James Allan’s Tell the Truth, Hope to Die, Ansty Osprey and Feeding Time, Sam Savage’s On the Move and Screech and Sheila Gatehouse’s Fairy Wren in the Rain rounded out the Set Subject high scores.

There were also some beautiful photographs among those which didn’t make the top scores as the competition in this Set Subject was fierce.  And I haven’t even mentioned the Open category!

For all of the high scoring images, including Open Section photographs, go to Top Prints and Top Projected Digital Images


Love Story – Competition Sept 24th 2021

This competition saw an almost equal number of entries in the set subject and open categories. Members’ interpretations of the subject was quite varied, with many images depicting love between animals as well as humans.

Vicki Kramer’s entries were all in the set subject, with Labour of Love, Loving Sons Bidding Farewell and Twins Love among the top scoring images.

Paul Hughes entered a collage, Walter and Doris, showing aspects of a couple’s loving life together.

Judy Sara’s Cormorant Love Story was a clever interpretation of the topic.

In the open category James Allan’s Landscape gained the top score. The Judge, Geoff Smith, was impressed with the composition and lighting; a great shot both technically and aesthetically.

James also had success with Dunes and Collapse of Greater Plains

Di Gage’s Fairy Wren and Sam Savage’s Morning Light were also among the top scoring images.


Copycat night

At the Peer review workshop next week we will be looking at imitation as a technique to unleash creativity. To kick off the discussion I would like you to look at these famous monochrome portraits, select an image and have a crack at emulating the style. Bring your images along to the workshop where we can discuss how it went. Regards James.

Not sure what to do? Here is an example.

Above is an image I took that was inspired by the famous image below.

I am interested to see what you all come up with. Regards James.


Zoom Burst – Competition August 12th 2021

Following our creative workshop on Zoom Burst last month we checked out some of the results and images inspired by the night in Thursday’s competition.  For the most part members were not keen to print these images, with few entries in Set Subject in the prints but in PDIs Set and Open were equally represented.

Judy Sara and James and Frances Allan were rewarded for their creativity with Banksia, Art Gallery, Zooming on Traffic on a Wet Night, City and Let’s Celebrate.

In Open, Vicki Kramer’s Outback Sunrise impressed judge, Peter Phillips, who felt that it took him straight into the Nullarbor.  We sincerely thank Peter for rushing his dessert, dropping everything and coming in at the last minute following a judging mix-up.  Peter gave positive, thoughtful commentary on each image with lots of helpful tips.

Judy, James and Frances continued to make an impact in Open with Inside the Poppy, Waterfall and  All things Citrus.

Click the links to see all of the Top Prints and Top Projected Digital Images.


Half the Story – Competition July 15th

In a rather different night, we broke with tradition and ran this competition with “community
judging.”

“Half the Story” proved challenging, with only one third of the 64 entries being in Set Subject, most
of which were images showing half of an object or creature.

Vicki Kramer’s “Fill in the Blank” was probably the most creative take on the theme.

With the exception of Judy Sara’s Delicious, images showing a whole image or scene which was half
of a story requiring interpretation did not fare as well.

In Open, Di Gage impressed with Blue Heights and Chameleon, Frances Allan’s Parry got everyone’s
vote and James Allan’s From another Dimension was popular.

It was an interesting change which gave everyone the opportunity to step into the judge’s shoes for
a night. Some liked the fit, some didn’t but there was general agreement that the right photographs
rose to the top.

Thank you to James for organising the evening!

Follow the links for Top Projected Images and Top Prints.


Head & Shoulders Portrait Competition – June 3rd 2021

Members embraced the Set Subject of Head and Shoulders Portraiture with more than two thirds of entries being portraits. There was some stretching of the Head and Shoulders definition though which gave judge Brad Hodge a few headaches.

Brad gave thoughtful comments and clearly explained his thinking, taking a casual and amiable approach which put members at ease. Sheila Gatehouse’s strength emerged in this Set Subject,

She was joined “on the podium” by Judy Sara and Vicki Kramer.

It was great to see a good number of prints and an increase in monochrome photographs.

Other high scoring images can be seen here.

Click the links for Top Prints and Top Projected Images


Blue Hour – Competition May 6th 2021

Thursday night saw us feeling blue, but not in a bad way! Finding lovely Blue Hour light can be quite a challenge, requiring you to be in the right place at the right time, and to have a bit of luck, so in this competition our Set Subject images were significantly outnumbered by Open section photographs.

Helen Whitford’s Double Bolt got a “Wow!” and Judy Sara’s Ghost Mushrooms impressed judge, Peter Phillips, in both the image and the degree of difficulty, while Vicki Kramer’s Melbourne Blue and Judy Sara’s Brisbane River were seen as classic Blue Hour shots.

In Open Subject a number of images caught Peter’s eye. Top Print images will be added as they are received.

NOTE: Apologies – the Top Images Gallery and Top Prints and PDI pages will be updated later. WordPress has completely revamped the way it is used. The easy “Classic Editor” which I always loved using seems to have disappeared and I am stumbling my way through trying to work out where to find things in the new system, when I really don’t have time. Not happy, WordPress!

Helen

 

In the meantime, the Top Open PDIs are here.

 

 


What a Load of Rubbish! – Competition April 8th 2021

Thursday was a rubbish night with our Set Subject being Rubbish/Trash.  Being just after Easter it was in danger of being all over very quickly with very few entries but we rallied and had just enough to make a competition.  (Yes, we’ve learned a lesson – no comp just after Easter!)  Few members were willing to commit to printing their Rubbish photos, with only six prints in Set Subject, while 23 were in Open.

The challenge was to “capture the subject artistically”, which proved difficult for some.  The only photograph which convinced judge David Rowlands that it had done so was Jenny Pedlar’s Elsehul Wilderness.

Jenny Pedlar – Elsehul Wilderness

Some others seemed to achieve the goal to a lesser degree.

In Open subject Jenny and Mark Pedlar impressed with Sea Ice, Drive Safe and Survival! along with Vicki Kramer’s The Orphan and Helen Whitford’s MY Grevillea!

In projected images these were also of interest.

For Top Prints and Top Projected Images from this and other 2021 competitions click the links.


A Surreal Evening – Competition March 11th 2021

Our Surreal competition was a challenge to everyone – entrants, viewing members and the judge!  Members came up with  a wide variety of interpretations of this set subject which stretched our imagination. Here is a selection of the more creative entries.

Judge, Tim Newberry, seemed to get caught up in the “dream” part of our definition “Surreal – Seeming like a dream or Fantasy” but he appreciated the creativity in images, as long as they didn’t include a cat!

It was great to see the top scores spread around a bit, including to new members.  View Top Prints and Top PDIs here.


Landscape/Seascape Competition February 11th 2021

“If at first you don’t succeed, read the instructions.”

This was a “meme” before anyone had heard of memes and I have to admit it popped into my head a number of times during preparation for this competition.  I don’t usually do these write-ups from a personal perspective but I feel the need this time as so many of the members who entered had issues with their entries – “out of category”, too big, incorrect file names, titles provided not matching title on print/file, category not nominated etc., almost all of which could have been avoided by carefully reading the subject definition and the entry instructions.
At the risk of sounding like a teacher, I do ask that everyone please take care to avoid these mistakes because each one of them makes the task of putting the competition together take that bit longer.  Gordon and I are very happy to manage the competitions but it is frustrating when it takes twice as long as it should.  OK, whinge over.  Thanks for “listening” – Helen

Now to the competition!  We had a good number of entries, with 82 photographs from 14 different members, and the entries in the Set Subject of Landscape/Seascape well outnumbered the Open category.

Despite photographing a spot which is becoming an iconic location, James Allan made an impact with From the Clifftop.  Jenny Pedlar’s daring Impressionist Hay Plains did impress judge Keith Seidel, who was in his element judging Landscapes, and Helen Whitford’s panoramic Parachilna also caught his eye.
(Click on any image to see it at full size.)

 

In the Print sections, Vicki Kramer’s El Capitan’s Fluffy Hat, Mark Pedlar’s 69 Degrees South, James Allan’s Remarkable and Judy Sara’s At Horizontal Falls were the most successful entries in Set Subject. (Photos coming soon!)

 

In Open category Keith commended Vicki Kramer on “breaking with convention” in baby photography with Baby Liam and he admired the simplicity of Judy Sara’s The Curl.

Keith gave thoughtful, constructive comments and offered useful tips on ways to improve technical aspects of the photographs.  It was a great start to our competitions for the year!

For more Top Prints come back in a few days for an update.  Top Projected Images are available for viewing now.

 


BPC Annual Exhibition and Presentation of Awards December 3rd 2020

2020 has been an extraordinary year, full of twists and turns and surprises, including the postponement of our Annual Exhibition due to the brief Covid 19 lockdown two weeks ago.  Happily, we were able to hold the event live on December 3rd with 25 members present.

As our 2020 competitions were revamped to include only Projected Digital Images the evening took a slightly different format, with no prints on the walls, but with twenty members entering a total of 163 images we had a strong competition and a fabulous display of the talents of our members.

Congratulations to