This, That and the Other 14/4/2019

Hi All,

Last week’s newsletter was a bit long so this week I will try and keep it short and provide only correct information (well done to all who spotted last week’s mistake).

A big thank you to Darren Shipman of Dpix Studio for entertaining and educating us in the art of studio/portrait photography last week. It was interesting to see how small changes to lighting can make a big difference to the effects on the portrait. Also a big thank you to our delightful model Michelle who gave us all several laughs even if some were at her expense. It was very generous of Darren to donate his fee to Edwards Trust, a local charity who help children and parents deal with the bereavement of their children or visa versa. I must say I was somewhat taken aback in a most wonderful way by the generosity of so many of you who added to the collection to the tune of an additional £67. Amazing! thank you. If you want to know more https://edwardstrust.org.uk.

During the week a few of us were invited to Beacon CC (Malvern) to look at how they have become one of the most successful clubs in the Midlands and if there were any lessons we could learn to provide a better offering to our members. I am pleased to say the differences between our two clubs is very little. The evening was a PDI competition (and maybe I am biased) but I thought when it came to quality of work we are definitely not lacking. They start their evening at 7.30 pm going on to 9.30 pm. Would that present a problem for anyone? (This is just a general ask, there are no plans, but please let me know.) I would like to thank Beacon for making us very welcome and giving us some thoughts for the future.

This week I see it’s me for the early session on ‘alternative software’ (so I had better start swatting). The main event Is the Novice Annual Competition for both prints and PDI’s so best of luck to all the entries.

Finally any chance of a few more pics or posts on our facebook page, it would appear we have quite a good following (although sadly not in the millions).

That’s it, no more waffle, hope to see you Tuesday.

Roger L

This, That and the Other 7/4/2019

Hi All,

Something a bit different for last week so thanks to:
Jan Harris and John Davidson for their ‘creative lights in the dark’ I got the feeling those who took part had a good time.
Tony Hawksbee assisted by Sue Young for the flower display and to demonstrate you can get great results from inexpensive non-photographic lights.
David Jellie put on two tables one of which showed how to get shadow-less images with the use of a light tent.
I noticed a few were intrigued with the polarised light set and I don’t know about anyone else but I had great fun with the strawberry splashes. Unfortunately time went so fast and there was so much more we could have done with the splashes (would be nice to see some results on the club’s facebook page).

I haven’t spoken to Sophie (Cos Play model from our last studio evening) but she has put up a few more members images up on her facebook page, thank you. I hear from Colin Close that he has so far got one very attractive model for our Studio evening on the 23rd so just one more to find.

This week we have a competition and critique session by Colin Close on the stage at 7 to 7.45 pm whilst the main event at 8 pm is a demonstration by Darren Shipman, a pro photographer from Dpix Studio on lighting for portraits as well as a few ideas on photographing food.

This is also handing in week for the Novice Annual Competition, please see Nigel Taylor’s message of a couple days ago but basically you can enter up to a total of 12 images, 2 x colour, 2 x mono, 2 x nature both in prints and digital projected including previously entered monthly entries. You can of course enter as few as you wish the only stipulation is that the entries meet the normal specifications and that you have entered at least one image over our year in that particular section. If you are not sure about anything , just ask or read the rules towards the back of your members handbook.

Out and about this week I called in at the Midlands Art Centre (MAC) in Cannon Hill Park, Birmingham for the Royal Photographic Society (RPS) 161st International Photography Exhibition. If you want to visit it finishes soon on the 12th April. I personally didn’t find it that inspiring although there were some really good images with that wow factor that made the trip worthwhile. What was good was another exhibition on the ground floor which was from a selfies project in Handsworth from 1979, some really great portraits that certainly took me back as I lived in Handsworth for a couple of years in the early 70’s. Whilst mentioning the RPS, Colin Close sent out a post re their Dig-news and the article on underwater competition entries, absolutely stunning images well worth a look and you don’t even need to get into the car, go too: https://issuu.com/royalphotographicsociety/docs/dig_news_april_2019
Go to page 13 for “underwater photography”, click “read more” then “110 pictures”. Thanks Colin.

Thanks to everyone who supported last week’s raffle we made £41 and also thanks to some members generosity we made £21 on the bring-and-buy table which helps offset some of those increasing prices and allows for a better programme.

I know The AGM is still a month away but you might like to start thinking about proposals and if you would like to help shape our future by getting on the committee, I think the next few years might be interesting (in a good way).

Best wishes.
Roger L

This, That and the Other 31/3/2019

Hi All,

Last Tuesday saw the last of the season’s monthly competitions so the competitive ones amongst us will be calculating their final scores to see if they are in for an award. Of course the main reason for competitions is the challenge to improve one’s work and get better as a photographer, but an award is a sweet bit of icing on the cake. I will stick my neck out again and say how impressed I was with the images up on the easel particularly some of what you could call contemporary creative impressionism, well done, I do like to see new work.

I attended a meeting with several other camera/photography clubs yesterday and was fascinated at the different ways other clubs work and although I have to put in a report to committee first I don’t mind sharing one idea. A way of solving the long outstanding problem of the refreshment break which is normally unfairly left to a few who generally are the lady members is that all members take a turn which if you think about it would mean your turn would be about once a year. Has this got legs? please let me know.

Please note there is no Early Session this week.

This week is a Members’ Practical Evening where members put on something themselves and offer a chance to try something new and take some photos.
As it stands David Jellie is putting on at least one table-top show;
Tony Hawksbee is going to get creative with flowers;
Jan Harris and John Davidson (depending on weather) are either outside or on the darkened stage for some light painting (so warm and dark clothing if you want to get involved with this creative opportunity);
I have seen a YouTube video on capturing incredible stress patterns from clear plastic objects using polarised light and a polarising filter and will be trying to recreate the technique. I have to be honest and say I haven’t had chance to try it yet so this will be “like a virgin for the very first time”. If you have a polarising filter please bring it along and if you haven’t got one hopefully we will have a couple of spare ones you can use. Also if you have any clear plastic objects please bring them along too;
We will also have a Challenge Table where, with the aid of a selection of odd objects, you have the challenge of creating something different;
And finally we can go back in time to our childhood adventures of playing in water with water splashes, such fun!
Anyone else wanting to contribute to the evening you are most welcome.

Got to keep it short this week (hospital visiting) so hopefully see you Tuesday for a creative and fun evening.

Best wishes.
Roger L

This, That and the Other 25/3/2019

Hi All,

Just got back in from the Midphot Exhibition over at Smethwick and really pleased to see Bromsgrove well represented on the walls and on the projector screen. A particular congratulations to our three ladies (Jenny Webster, Julie Hall and Sue Vernon) who picked up MCPF ribbons. I thought sports images, portraits, travel, landscapes particularly with snow, trains and planes were well covered although still-life which seemed to be coming back last year was poorly represented.

I understand many visited the Photography Show last week and some spent some money and some spent some serious money, cameras, lenses and even a drone. I spent my pocket money on some intriguing macro lights including a UV one so I’m hoping for something a bit different, no doubt time will tell. I managed to snap a couple of the many models walking around with my smart phone (wish I had taken my main camera), couple of pics attached. There were some amazing images around the Hall so if you didn’t come back with goodies you came away with ideas and inspirations.

Last week’s MCPF Travelling Portfolio seemed to go down well after a break of three years so hopefully we will be taking the next one in a year’s time. I thought the commentators had improved on previous years giving a lighter more personal perspective.

Please note there is no early session this Tuesday (nor next week). The main and only event this week at 8 pm is our 4th print competition with a fixed subject of ‘painting with light’. I understand there is a good entry so lots for the judge to work with and hopefully some good critique.

Next week 2nd April is a members’ practical evening and I am desperate for a bit of help please, nicely please. We will have “The John Dignum Bring and Buy Table” and a water/liquid splash and droplet area which I can do unless someone else wants to do it. We need someone to offer a problem/solution software table (Elements and/or Photoshop), someone who can do something nature themed and someone who can do either a macro set-up or a still life. Other ideas gratefully received. Please get in touch with me.

I have heard from our last model Sophie who has now had a few more images but still hoping for a few more: nolimitcommissions@gmail.com. By the way she and her partner Nick are at this weekend’s Comic Con at the NEC (that’s if you can bear another trip to the NEC). I am hoping to be there.

Short one this week so hopefully see you on Tuesday.

Best wishes/
Roger L

This, That and the Other 17/3/2019

Hi All,

Lots seem to be going on at the moment, the Photography Show at the NEC started yesterday (Saturday) and goes on till Tuesday giving us a chance to see (and in some cases try) the latest kit and additions to fuel our interest in driving our own personal photographic journey. I am going tomorrow when hopefully it will be a bit less busy so hope to see a few of you there. My favourite part is looking at the many galleries of prints on the walls and salivating over the incredible images and repeating to myself “I could do that”, if only!

This brings us to this Wednesday which is the opening of the Midphot Exhibition at Smethwick PS to see the best of Midland’s photography and proud to say Bromsgrove is well represented. Doors open at 7 pm. Sorry I can’t make the Wednesday and if you are the same it opens again both Saturday 23rd and Sunday 24th with doors opening at 10 am until 4 pm.

The NEC features again this coming weekend with the Birmingham Comic Con event a great photo opportunity if you are looking for something different. Which reminds me, I was speaking to Sophie (from our last model evening when she and her partner Nick gave us a taste of the ‘cos-play’ genre) and was somewhat surprised and disappointed to find that they had only received images from three members and that included me. Ok, so yes we paid them but the deal which adds the sweetener is the promise of a good selection of images, so please people if it is only just one image please, please send to: nolimitcommissions@gmail.com, and then perhaps we can ask them again in the future.

I thought John Hartshorne’s presentation last week was brilliant with, superb images, interesting back stories and technical info of the cameras and lenses used. Well worth checking out his web site: http://www.johnhartshorne.co.uk

This newsletter is something I do as a way primarily to keep everyone informed of what’s going on. To add a little interest and spice, I occasionally express an opinion which please note is a personal opinion to which some might disagree. I do welcome any other point of view which helps give clearer thinking for future commentary.

Back to Business. This week we have no planed early session on the stage however, following some recent requests, I will be doing some very basic editing techniques starting at 7 pm sharp for 45 minutes. The main event at 8 pm is the showing of the Midland Counties Photographic Federation Travelling Portfolio. This is both a print and projected image evening although, depending on time constraints, it might be more prints but we will see how it goes. It is also handing in night for next week’s 4th Print Competition with the set subject of ‘Painting with Light’. Having seen a few of the entries I think we can look forward to an eclectic mixture of images that will definitely keep us awake.

Finally, we had a good evening on Thursday at Stourbridge PS with the 5-a-side competition against Droitwich, Kidderminster, Stourbridge and Wall Heath. We certainly can hold our heads high being just narrowly beaten by a small margin and coming third (right in the middle). Thanks to all those who put forward there photo’s and the selectors who had the very difficult job of putting together the entry. “Next year Rodney”

That’s it for this week. Hope to see you Tuesday.
Roger L

This, That and the Other 10/3/2019

Hi All,

Fixed subjects have always been a challenge to get a good number of entries however we had 70 odd entries so in the end not a bad entry at all, so thanks to all who entered and of course congratulations to those who got a placing. It is interesting in that one of the top clubs in the region only do fixed subjects so fingers crossed for entries into the “painting by light” print competition in a couple of weeks time. I have got to send off to DS Colour Labs for a couple of prints for myself this week so if you want any of yours included just let me have the image files, the bigger the file size the better, but around 6+ megapixel will normally produce a good A3 size print.

Whilst mentioning last week I must congratulate Nigel Taylor on his selection of Dave Ticker as judge who must be one of the best Judges we have had for a long time, and I’m not saying that because I manage to pull a winner (no money crossed hands I assure you, although it was a nice surprise). Apart from Dave’s excellent critique, suggested improvements and friendly manner he mentioned he was an ambassador for on-One Software a software I use a lot myself (although I use a previous version to the latest one). Does anyone else use on-One? I would love to get a small group together to learn the full potential of what this editing and effects software can offer. Please let me know.

This coming Tuesday we start at 7 pm prompt on the stage with our own Tony Gervis FRPS giving another entertaining and informative 45 minutes of pure gold. Our guest speaker at 8 pm is John Hartshorne LRPS DPAGB EFIAP BPE4*with the “Big Picture Take Two” which I understand is mainly a print showing so if your eyesight isn’t great make sure you get close to the front or bring binoculars (actually it won’t be that bad as there is a lot of large A2 size prints). This is a very respected and well known Midlands Photographer and judging by his web site, I’m sure there will be something for everyone to come away from the evening inspired and recharged.

Yes it’s that time of the year for the biggest photographic event in the UK and it’s just up the road at the NEC. We really are lucky having the Photography Show on our doorstep whilst the rest of the country has to brave our nightmare motorways. The show opens this Saturday and goes on till Tuesday 19th. Check out their website as there is lots going on with lectures, workshops, all the gear you could possibly imagine and some great displays of amazing photographs and imagery. Getting excited already, sorry credit card I might need to wake you up.

Also next week we have the 5-a-side Competition over at Stourbridge PS. on Thursday 14th at The Bonded Warehouse, Canal St, DY8 4LU. Start Time 7.30. We haven’t won this one for a long time so hopefully our selectors have picked the winning entry for our time in the spotlight. I’m looking forward to starting the following week’s meeting with Queen’s “We are the Champions”.

From our last Committee Meeting (of which most of the time was spent on the Summer and next year’s programme and how to improve our projector or more to the point getting a better image from our projector) which looking at last week’s projected images I think Nigel has achieved, a real improvement. A very important item on the Agenda was welcoming Richard Chapman who has agreed to be co-opted on the committee as our Web Master. Richard takes over from Tony Hawksbee who we thank for doing a great job in modernising and sorting out some serious and challenging problems with our previous site. Tony remains on the Committee looking after the General Data Protection Regulations keeping us up to speed with this complex legislation (he is however more than happy to pass this on if anyone is interested).

That’s it for this week, hope to see you Tuesday.
Roger L

This, That and the Other 1/3/2019

Hi All,

Don’t know about you but I managed to get some great images at Tuesday’s model evening, in fact my biggest problem is culling them to select the best. I hope you’re having the same problem. A big thank you to Sophie and Nick and if we can get them plenty of images I’m sure we can ask them back in other disguises (I’m thinking Summer Programme). Send them all to Sophie’s email which is- nolimitcommissions@gmail.com. It would also be nice to see some images from the night up on our face-book pages. Unfortunately I’m pressed for time as I’m having a small break but will try to get a few up before I go, now over to you.

This week we have our favourite presenter Tony Gervis FRPS for the early session. I ‘m not sure of the subject but I do know, without a shadow of doubt, it will be informative and entertaining. 7 pm sharp start.

Then we move into the last of our monthly PDI competitions which is a fixed subject for mono and colour of ‘Speed’. Best of luck to all entrants.

Thinking about up-coming competitions we have our 4th Print competition on the 26th of March with handing-in on the 19th. If it is of any help I will be sending my prints off to DS Colour Labs on Friday 8th March so if you want to save on P&P then let me have the digital files by Thursday the 7th so that I can bring the prints to the Club on Tuesday 12th which will then give you a week to mount them before handing-in. This is another fixed subject of ‘Painting With Light’ which if you think about it, gives a wide scope for interpretation.

Still hoping somebody will give a thought for evening outings on the Summer Programme. Not had one suggestion yet! Someone please.

This is a short one, as the weather changes for our short UK break in the rain, I will be back for Tuesday and hopefully see you then.

Roger L

This, That and the Other 24/2/2019

Hi All,

Interesting presentation last Tuesday, I thought it was going to be purely black and white prints however, not only did we get B&W we also got some colour and most prints done in panels of three super large A2’s. We as a club don’t do panels anymore but there is still a reasonable following in the photographic community so it was a bit of a reminder to past days when not only did the print have to be good but also had to work with the other prints alongside it. We then had a brief encounter with Lightroom and Photoshop on how to do a mono conversion and after a bit of technical stuff didn’t he make it look easy, almost magical.

Well some of us have been doing things right as the results from Mid Phot are now in. These big competitions are always so unpredictable as the three judges only have a few seconds to make that in/out decision so the image either has to jump off the easel or screen and smack them in the face or be so totally different to rattle their brains. The results I have so far is Julie Hall with 3 acceptances plus a MCPF Ribbon, Colin Close with 3 acceptances plus a HC ribbon, Sue Vernon with 5 acceptances, me with 7 acceptances and Jenny Webster goes from strength to strength with 8 acceptances including 2 Ribbons. There may be others but well done to everybody who entered as the entry was massive and the judges stated the standard was very high. It is only a pity the acceptances don’t count towards the BPE distinctions system as I understand several members are getting close to their first crowns.

This week there is no early session as it’s a studio evening. I have attached a couple of photos of ‘No-Limit-Cosplay’, aka Sophie and ‘That Famous Cosplayer’, aka Mike. As you will see it’s something a little different which hopefully will get those winning images. We also have a new grungy background which should work well.

Just a reminder when you arrive please enter your name on the rota list for the shooting sequence and also please refrain from trying to get grab shoots when it is not your turn, they very rarely work anyway and all you do is distract the model and ruin it for those whose shooting time it is. You were all so very good last time.

More external competition results coming up soon and don’t forget it is handing in or emailing your entries for the next PDI competition with ‘Speed’ as the theme this Tuesday.

We are starting to run short of time for finalising the Summer Programme so we really need your suggestions (preferably for a Tuesday evening but that’s not written in stone).

And finally we need some more help with the refreshment break as the more members we have the greater we can spread it out, please talk to Julie Bridgewater.

Hope to see you Tuesday,

Roger L

This, That and the Other 17/2/2019

Hi All,

What a good turnout we had on Tuesday and proves the popularity of our competitions. Obviously members are interested in different aspects, some are very competitive and are there to win, whilst, I suspect that most of us want to learn and improve (and then win). Last week’s judge was a little controversial with many feeling he was more interested in the technique used rather than the image itself. I mean, how can you say that a particular image was shot at an aperture of f10, so long as what should be sharp is sharp does it matter and as for implying there was some fiddling and diddling going on in a nature print certainly ruffled a few feathers (rant over!). However I think the final results were pretty much spot on and nice to see John Davidson’s landscape getting a well deserved 1st (even if it was a composite, which it wasn’t lol). I must say the nature section was superb with so many of those images worthy of being in a National or International Competition. Well done everybody, now it’s panic time for the next PDI comp. with the set subject of “Speed”. I’m thinking ‘out-side-the-box’ ideas as possibilities.

This week’s early session is by our own very popular and entertaining Tony Gervis starting at 7.00pm sharp. The Presentation is ‘PEOPLE’. The most photographed subject by a long way, but probably the one photographers know little or care about. He will show you some basic poses, family shoots, weddings, groups and how to get the best from children and a whole lot more. Please note, this is NOT street photography.

The main event is Andy Beal FRPS with a presentation entitled “The digital monochrome print”. As an established lecturer on the photographic club and society circuit, Andy enjoys a reputation for producing thought-provoking black and white pictures printed in a dark and gritty style. The first half of the evening is large A2 size prints followed by a digital presentation. Should be a wonderful evening of visual delights.

I called into Smethwich PS on Saturday for the Masters of Print Exhibition which is worth a visit but what really interested me was they were getting ready for the judging of the Midphot Exhibition in the afternoon (I did get an invitation to watch it but Gail is in car hunting mode, and I’m not that brave). Anyway, I have never seen so many boxes of prints – there must have been thousands of prints – so for those who say the print is dead, you are wrong!

Finally summer is approaching (as I pen this email the sun is streaming through the conservatory windows so it’s possibly here already) and we need to start thinking of what we want from the Summer Programme, so ideas please. This will be one of the topics on tomorrow’s Committee Meeting.

Hope to see you Tuesday,
Roger L

This, That and the Other 10/2/2019

Last week didn’t turn out too bad in the end, in fact it turned out much better than I had hoped. Julie Hall’s daughter, Sophie, was a real star in Colin Close’s Portrait Studio (don’t forget she would like some of your images). Dave Riddle brought along some exotic butterflies from the Stratford-on- Avon Butterfly Farm where he seems to have a special relationship for getting things most can’t. John Davidson was kept busy with mounting, showing and answering the many questions. Jan Harris had a very busy bring-and-buy table with quite a bit of money changing hands so thanks to everybody who brought some really nice gear along. The only disappointment was the still life tables which didn’t seem to inspire, perhaps we need something more exciting, answers on a post card please!

Wednesday evening six of us were made very welcome at Kings Norton PS for the Six Societies Annual Competition. Unfortunately we did not win but we did come 3rd with 96 points which if they were giving out medals that would have been a bronze. This year Redditch came 4th with 93 points; then Studley with 91 points, and finally South Birmingham with 90 points. We were just behind Kings Norton on 98 points but Droitwich could do no wrong with 108 points. It was a very enjoyable evening with plenty of good humour banter and some cracking prints.

A personal bit of amusement came from the Judge Mr Bob Moore who during his opening remarks mentioned fashions and trends and what genres are in and out and he happened to mention that church interiors were dead and no longer got anywhere in competitions which caused a little giggle from our group as my entry was an interior shot of St David’s Cathedral. Judged before it had even been seen, thank you, I thought!

This week we have our 3rd Print Competition (Colour and Nature) so best of luck to all the entries (could this be the entry that gives you a trophy on Awards Night?).

The early session on the stage (7.00 pm – 8.45 pm) is Colin Close helping with competition and distinction entries so please bring along a print for discussion.

Something which might be of interest is that Smethwick PS is hosting ‘Masters of Print Exhibition’ until the 28th of February, see the attached Poster.

Finally a request for some more help with getting a bigger rota for the refreshment break and as strange as it might seem men are quite capable of making a cuppa and tidying up after. Please talk to Julie Bridgwater.

Hope to see you Tuesday.

Roger L