What we’ve been up to at Midhurst Camera Club.
Speaker Night – Roy Matthews
Light Painting Still Life
Anyone who is interested in Photographic Art, and Still life in particular was given a treat last night when Midhurst Camera Club welcomed Roy Matthews to give a talk on “Light Painting Still Life”. Indeed, Roy is an expert on this subject and his measured approach to a branch of photography that requires great patience, and a good dose of creative skill, was masterly.
We had a good attendance for the evening which was split into two parts. The first part of the evening was given over to a presentation about the history of light painting together with examples by photographers such as Gjon Mili, and Man Ray. Roy then went on to show the different areas where light painting can be used and the tools that can be employed to achieve the effects. Roy also showed examples of Dutch Still Life paintings such as: “Banquet Still Life” by Adriaen van Utrecht, and “Asparagus” by Adriaen Coorte, explaining how works such as these have influenced his photography.
The second part of the evening was in the form of a demonstration consisting of a small table top display of objects, a selection of light sources, and a tethered camera.
The table display was in the form of some pewter jugs and a two year-old bulb of garlic on a black velvet cloth. The camera was mounted on a tripod and tethered to a laptop through Lightroom.
After taking several shots, adjusting the camera and employing different light painting techniques, Roy ended up with a series of images with different light “footprints”. He was then able to select the images he liked, adjust them in Lightroom, and load them up as layers into Photoshop. In Photoshop Roy then adjusted the blending mode of each layer so that each layer interacted to produce a result very close to a Dutch Still Life painting.
Club Members were then invited to participate and try their hands at light painting. Like Intentional Camera Movement (ICM) there is a lot of trial and even more error involved in this. You are bound to end up with a lot of unusable images. The idea is to end up with a some good images amongst the bad. This brings us back to the bit about patience.
It was hoped that this part of the evening would be longer but unfortunately we ran out of time. It was very informative evening and I fully expect to see images using these ideas making an appearance in Club Competitions.
Roy started his photographic career in the early 1980’s with publishing house Hodder & Stoughton where he became chief photographer producing cover artwork, author portraits and advertising media.
In 1990 he turned freelance and has since worked in many areas of photography including advertising (food & product), travel, tourism, company report & editorial for such clients as the BBC, BT, Unwins, CB Richard Ellis, M&S, and John Lewis.
In recent years Roy has also been running a variety of photography workshops, both locally and at the Royal Academy of Arts, London.
Article and Photographs by Richard Corkrey – 09/11/2017
Competition: PDI – Round 1 – “Open” – Judge: David Eastley LRPS
Last night we held our first PDI Competition of the season. The theme was “Open”, and the judge was David Eastley LRPS. This is a league competition so the scores will be aggregated, counting toward the League Cup. There are three competitions in this category and as the name suggests all entries are Projected Digital Images.
All MCC members are split into two leagues “Club” for new members, and “Advanced” for the more experienced. Last night there were 32 entries in “Club” Class and 39 entries in the “Advanced” Class. I have to say that the standard in “Club” was exceptionally high. Many images could easily have held their own in the other class.
The judge’s comments were fair and comprehensive with more time spent on the “Club” images to help the newer members improve their craft.
The first part of the evening was for “Club Class” entries. There was quite a variety of subjects including a dungeon, some backpacks, and a theme park attraction to name but a few. The results were:
1st – “Bygones” by Ann Wright
2nd – “Underground Dungeon” by Luis Ramos
3rd – “Greylag” by David Trojak
The “Advanced Class” section, which took up the second part of the evening, results were as follows:
1st – “Gray Wolf” by Tony Jones
2nd – “I Think He Went That Way” by Colin Bird
3rd – “Fulmar on Fair Isle” by Jill Denis
It was good to see some of our newer members receiving places in this competition. I hope this is a trend that will continue.
Our next competition is a print competition with a theme. “Blue Mood” on Wednesday, 22nd November. The Judge will be Roger Crocombe.
Article and Photographs by Richard Corkrey – 26/10/2017
Speaker Night – Clive Nichols
Photographing Plants & Gardens
This week we were pleased to welcome back Garden Photographer, Clive Nichols to Midhurst Camera Club. Clive is a garden and flower photographer with over 25 years of experience. His photographs are frequently seen in magazines, and rarely does a month go by without them appearing in The English Garden magazine. With this sort of pedigree we knew that the evening would be special and we were not disappointed.
We were expecting an increase in audience numbers so instead of using the smaller room which is our normal venue, we moved into the large hall for the evening. It was a wise decision because we would not have had a lot of space in the other room.
Clive photographs are quite unique and it is easy to see how he has reached the top of his trade. He “lives and breathes” gardens. When you spend a lot of time photographing in a specialist area like Clive Nichols you become part of the fabric. Clive instinctively knows the “when, where, and how” of garden photography. This sort of knowledge takes time.
The images covered many aspects of the garden. From sweeping vistas to intimate close-ups and with each photograph Clive explained his technique for capturing it. He explained the lenses he employed right down to the aperture, shutter-speed, and ISO used and his reasons for using it. I wish more speakers would do this. Many camera club members (and beyond) are not experts and join clubs to obtain this sort of knowledge and Clive Nichols provided it in spades. He particularly favours telephoto lenses such as the 70-200mm over a wider angle lens for many of his shots. “It focus the eye on the subject”, he said. “Fast shutter speeds are a must for magazine photography. Editors don’t want to see blurred images”. His wide-angle lens of choice seemed to be a 21mm. He also favours a 180mm lens for macro work. Clive also makes a lot of use of smaller apertures, even going up (or down) to f/32. I do happen to know that many photographers are nervous about using apertures this small because of diffraction problems. I have to confess though, that there is no evidence of this in Clive’s photographs. Every one of them is stunning. A light touch in Photoshop is all that Clive employs. You do need to do a little postprocessing with this type of work. There is only so much you can achieve in-camera.
An informative question and answer session rounded off what was for me an excellent evening. Many people I spoke with afterwards felt truly inspired and I fully expect to see many garden images appearing in our forthcoming competitions.
Clive Nichols has established a reputation as one of the world’s finest flower and garden photographers. His passion for the subject comes across in every image that he makes. Clive has photographed many of the world’s best gardens, including HRH The Prince of Wales’s own private garden in Scotland, Lord Rothschild’s private garden in Corfu and Lord Heseltine’s private garden in Oxfordshire. In addition his work has appeared in hundreds of books as well as in countless magazines, calendars and brochures. Over the past 25 years he has amassed a stunning collection of over 60,000 images which are available for reproduction. Clive regularly gives master classes in flower and garden photography for The Royal Horticultural Society and for the past 5 years he has been one of the two main judges for the prestigious ‘International Garden Photographer of the Year’ awards.
Clive also photographs interiors, travel, architecture and lifestyle, undertaking many prestigious commissions including a calendar of the world’s best modern buildings for a Russian Senator, a book about the finest Villa on Lake Como for Conde Nast and a new brochure on the historic BMA House in Tavistock Square, London, for the British Medical Association.
Article and Photographs by Richard Corkrey – 12/10/2017
Competition: Ladies and Gentlemans Trophies – 2017 – Judge: Stephane Rocher
The Ladies and Gentlemen’s Trophy Competition is traditionally our first competition of the season. This is a non-league competition which means that the scoring here does not count towards member’s league aggregate scores. It also gives our newer members a chance to see what happens during a competition which will prepare them for later in the season.
The members are split by gender and not by the normal “Club” and “Advanced” categories. This means everyone is in together which can lead to some interesting results Last night 65 images were submitted, 31 in the Ladies Class, and 34 in the Gentleman’s Class. The Judge was Stephane Rocher from Petersfield.
Stephane’s method of judging differs in many respects from many other judges insomuch as he is no lover of what he calls the “club crop”. A lot of judges insist on cropping close around the subject of the photograph. “This can lead to a claustrophobic image”, he says. “Pictures are about atmosphere, and colour. They need room to breathe”, he added.
The first part of the evening was the Ladies section. Many fine images were up for judging. The results were:
1st – “Urban Creek” by Michel Facer
2nd – “Staithes” by Val Carver
3rd – “Early Morning on Winsford Hill” by Sue Bird
The Gentlemens’s section which came after a short break brought the following results:
1st – “Pebbles in a Rising Tide” by PJ
2nd – “Ceibwr Bay” by Richard Corkrey
3rd – “On the Turn” by Clive Bennett
In the judges opinion the standard of the Ladies images was a lot higher than those offered by the Gentleman. “I want to push people and bring out their creativity”. said Stephane. His parting advice: “Get rid of the labels! Photography is about mood, atmosphere, and movement. It is also about shape, light, and form”.
Last but by no means least we offer our congratulations to our very own Membership Secretary, Shirley Blott, who was presented with an award for “Image of The Year”. The image being “The Great British Summer” which can be viewed on an earlier blog.
Article and Photographs by Richard Corkrey – 28/09/2017
Workshop: Camera Basics
Our first Practical Evening/Workshop: Camera Basics was a successful evening with about 22 people in attendance. We are a small Club with just over 40 members and many of our more experienced members tend to skip this one, so this was a good turnout. We even attracted two visitors. Camera Basics is traditionally our first workshop of the season
The evening started with a Powerpoint presentation by the Chairman (PJ) demonstrating the relationship between aperture, shutter speed, and ISO. The presentation also included a description of the Digital Metering Modes of the camera. Anyone who needs a refresher on DMM can get one in our Knowledgebase. This was followed by a practical run-through by me. Many different makes of camera were in evidence so the aim of this section was to help people find each mode in turn. The longest time was spent on Programming Mode. Many experienced photographers hate this mode but I reckon it makes a good first step out of Automatic. It’s also a great “grab mode”. We the touched on Aperture (A/Av), Shutter Speed (S/Tv), and Manual (M). The final part of the evening was a hands on session where people were invited to experiment with depth of field using mugs on the table.
It’s very easy to confuse and deter people who are new to photography so we deliberately kept the evening simple. I think we struck the right balance.
Article by Richard Corkrey, Photograph by Peter Jones – 21/09/2017
If anyone has any interesting photographs or would like to contribute to this blog in any way please send it to: firstname.lastname@example.org