Club outings

Laratinga Wetlands Outing – Sept. 16

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!

JUDY

GREG

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

DI

KERRY

BRUCE

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Breaking the boundaries in Strathalbyn

Judy Sara_In the Frame

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.

Bruce - Game On!


What happened at our 30th Anniversary High Tea!

30TH ANNIVERSARY CELEBRATIONS HELD AT MITCHAM CULTURAL VILLAGE INSTITUTE HALL ON SUNDAY 22ND SEPTEMBER 2013.

On a beautiful spring day we celebrated 30 years of our photographic club with 65 members, family and colleagues in photography.

The afternoon began with a digital presentation of fabulous images that have been entered in interclub and competitions by our members over recent years.

A scrumptious High Tea was served, including cakes, slices and scones, along with a selection of teas and coffee.  We then stepped back in time as I read a brief but interesting history of the club.  Later a series of images were shown and many interesting and often amusing stories were told about days gone by. An insight into the people and events that established the club and its reputation as a very social and different club who don’t just want to take photographs, but want to have fun doing it.

Alberto Giurelli, the President of SAPF and his wife Katy and John and Maureen Mack, past and long-time proprietors of Photographic Wholesalers in Hutt Street were our special guests. A message was also read from the Mayor of Mitcham, Michael Picton, apologising that he was unable to attend and wishing us continued success in the future.

It was a great opportunity for new and old members to meet and for everyone to see the images of those who have since passed away.

The afternoon concluded with Ray Goulter getting all club members together, past and present, for a group photograph, taken with his Arca Swiss 4” x 5” View Camera.

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Yours in photography

Julie Goulter
Secretary
Blackwood Photographic Club of SA Inc.

But wait – there’s more! There is a President’s address:

Firstly from the Immediate Past President (Chris Schultz):

Before I give you the address from our current President, Ashley Hoff, I’d like to make two thank yous.

Firstly, I want to thank Julie Goulter, who has worked hard and almost completely single handedly (with special thanks to our caterers too) to make this 30th Anniversary event happen. Without Julie we wouldn’t be enjoying our afternoon as we are now. Thank you Julie!

Secondly, the club itself needs to be applauded. We are a diverse group of people who come together to enjoy a passion. In doing so we work at sharing our knowledge, giving advice and embracing a community spirit which may seem lacking in the wider world. As a group we aren’t overly competitive, we value art as much (if not more) as technique, we like to share & help, we like being different from the mainstream photography clubs. While those things remain we will continue as a club for many years. For those reasons I feel that Blackwood Photographic Club as a gestalt entity needs to be thanked.

President’s address: Ashley Hoff

“Greetings from Singapore!  I’m sorry I couldn’t make it today.

Firstly, thank you to all our invited guests for coming today and helping to celebrate the 30th anniversary of the Blackwood Photography Club.

I am a strong believer that the strength of any club lies solely with the people that make and have made it all happen.

Initially, I wasn’t sure about being involved with a photography club.  I must admit I had heard not too flattering stories from a few friends who had been to various meetings with a few different clubs (not ours mind you!), that I just wasn’t sure.  Also, being part of the internet age, surely I would be able to engage online?

But with a little persistence from my good friend Matt Carr, I decided to give Blackwood a try.

Now, I don’t know whether it was dumb luck, or whether Matt was really onto something, but this club, just so happened to dispel my initial concerns.  Straight away, I could feel it was a good fit – it was (and still is) a club that is very accepting of anyone who has a passion for photography, regardless of their experience, their style or equipment they use.  Very rarely have I heard a ‘mine is bigger/better/more expensive’ conversation within the club (which is a blessing, considering how gear obsessed this hobby can be).

There are other strengths as well.  When it comes to imagery, as a club, we challenge what might be accepted as ‘good photo club’ photography.  We accept that sometimes what makes a good image that is engaging may not necessarily score a 10 (or even a 2…don’t I know it) in a competition.  With the re-introduction of peer based review nights, we have given our members another outlet that can be used to explore their own individuality as photographers, without the apprehension of being judged.

The biggest strength, though, of our fine club is it’s membership, both past and present.

I would like to thank all our past members.  You input over the last 30 years has gone a long way to forge a club I am proud to be the current President of.

Also, I would like to thank all our current members.  Without you, we would have no club.  Your attendance, efforts, good humour and willingness to help and be involved each meeting makes this club operate with minimal stress and concern.

Your efforts each meeting to keep the tradition alive puts us in good stead to hold our values well into the future.

Now, I probably feel a bit old fashioned doing this, can I ask for 3 cheers for the Blackwood Photography Club?

Thank you and have a fine afternoon.

Ashley”


BPC goes hunting for orchids! 8-Sep-2013

It is an amazing thing the Adelaide Hills orchids.  The tiny little flowers, no larger than your fingernail are intricate, precise and exquisite.  It is a special thing to find these small beauties.

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My Uncle Bob had told me to look for orchids on the October long weekend.  But I have discovered that this gives only a small part of the whole picture.  There is a progression of species that starts in mid winter (July) and extends all the way through to early summer (December).  What you see depends upon what time of year you go looking.  First there are the helmet orchids and greenhoods and mosquito orchid followed by the yellow sun orchid, the waxlip and the donkeys, the spiders then the various blue salmon and white sun orchids and lastly the hyacinth orchid.  Thrown in amongst these are rarer species that I don’t see very often – bearded orchids, duck orchids and fire orchids.

So we planned this trip in early September.  What happened?  There was only a small group who met for this excursion.  Kim and Glori had photographed them in Western Australia.  Heather and Reg have been walking the trails of Belair national park and had a good idea where to look.  Mark and Jenny have been volunteer weeders in the park for a number of years and were also aware of where the orchids could be found.  Alan seemed to be quite familiar with them also.  Jo, although she didn’t attended this excursion, had driven along the Sheoak road boundary to photograph them a day or two previously.  You can see from the attached photographs what a wide selection we encountered.

Earlier on in the excursion Kim felt disappointed that we would see only 1 or 2 species.  Mostly the donkey orchids.  Heather however proved extremely valuable in adding to this number with a lot of discoveries.  I had to leave early.  As I departed, Alan arrived, adding further to the number of species encountered.  Kim and Glori had brought black and white backing screens to help isolate the flowers in the picture.  It is a funny thing seeing everyone getting down onto their haunches to train their macro lenses on the tiny flowers, a mere 5-10cms above the ground.  It is amazing how a tiny breeze comes out of nowhere and starts to move the flower around, just as you thought you had it focused. Although a small group, we were passionate and enthused and it was an enjoyable excursion for all.

James Allan


BPC goes Trainspotting : 21-Jul-2013

Trainspotting is a 1996 British black comedy about drug dealing directed by Danny Boyle based on the novel of the same name by Irvine Welsh.  I know this because it is one of my son Tom’s favourite movies.

This however was not the theme of our latest BPC excursion.  It was all about the trains.  More specifically a steam train, the 620 class steam locomotive – 621, The “Duke of Edinburgh“.  This is a 4-6-2 locomotive, one of 10 fast passenger engines originally intended for the Adelaide to Port Pirie “East-West” route.  4-6-2 refers to the arrangement of wheels, the middle number “6” referring to the number of large drive wheels that propel the train.  The first and last numbers refer to the smaller wheels fore and aft .

The Duke of Edinburgh was scheduled to leave Mt Barker at 10.00am to arrive at Strathalbyn by 11.00am and Goolwa by 12.00pm.  We arranged to meet at Mt Barker at 9:15 to witness the coupling of the train prior to departure.  This however was too early for some, who were concerned about road conditions.  There had been a pile up on the freeway the previous morning when it had iced over.  Regardless we had a good turnout with around 8 keen trainspotters, (and one that we acquired).  We befriended Nigel from the Edwardstown camera club who was out with his wife and nephew.

The magic of the steam trains is in all that steam.  The 140 ton steel monolith comes alive when it belches out steam from its various orifices and lurches backwards and forwards along the tracks.  No one failed to be captivated.  Just have a look at the photos.  Standing on the low ground we were enveloped in dense white steam as the “Duke” whistled then tugged it’s carriages out of the station up towards the Wistow highland.

We had a plan.  I had a map of the train line showing the location of the 11 level crossings between Mt Barker and Strathalbyn.  In our cars we drove ahead of the train and parked near a crossing in order to photograph it.  This was quite exhilarating and a lot of fun.  On a few occasions I arrived too late, seeing the train chug past as I was parking the car.  My fellow photographers however were nicely positioned and have excellent photographs.  At Strathalbyn we parted company.  Some drove home, others carried on chasing the train.  Ken unfortunately had to take his wife to hospital after she developed knee pain.

The photography was interesting.  With the stationary train at Mt Barker it took some discipline to step back and look at the scene more analytically.  Once I had a photo of the train at the station I needed to move around and look at new angles to improve the mood and the intensity of the subject matter.  However once the train started moving it was a different story.  Waiting at a crossing it was easy to get bored.  Finally as the train rounded the corner and first came into view I wanted to fire of a salvo of shots.  It was however too far away and as the train neared the focus was lost and it was easy to get blurred photos.  I felt like a fusilier in Zulu dawn.  There was a risk of shooting too early and missing the target entirely.  I needed a gunnery sergeant to tell me when to hold and when to fire.

Overall it was a well rated and enjoyable outing.  Fortunately the predicted bad weather came on later in the afternoon.

James Allan