Club Night Summary #100

100th
Club
Night
Summary!

I would like to to mark the 100th club night summary with a special thanks to Steve for all the effort he puts into making the club a success, from the work he does on the committee, to running the Zoom sessions and indeed writing such warm and inclusive summaries for us all to read. Well done Steve! – George

Rod, our Treasurer also adds: our Chairman has written 100 continuous weekly updates for our Newsletter and Website reflecting on our activities and deserves a big “thank you” for the encouragement contained in his weekly notes. Well done Steve – keep it up.

Now back to Steve…


One of the great things with ‘open’ competitions is seeing and enjoying the diverse nature of the entries, with everything being covered, Including landscape, portrait, macro and nature.

Our latest league print ‘open’ competition certainly provided all of the above, with some excellent Images on show for visiting Judge Rojer Weightman, who had the difficult task of critique and awarding points on the night. There were 48 Images entered in the competition.

It’s very rare for someone to gain two Images scoring 20 points in a competition, but our club Secretary Denise Noverre achieved just that, with her two outstanding floral Images.

The competition was naturally shown as a PDI through Zoom, but the judge took into account with his marking the qualities which would also make the Images good prints.

Thank you to everyone who took part and congratulations to Denise and the other high scoring authors on the night. Once again an enjoyable evening where we maintained our high standard of competition entries, through the creative and Inspiring Images presented by our talented members.

Steve


Cat’s Corner

For the Love of Mono

Our own Cat Humphries muses on monochrome photography…

This week I was invited to judge a monochrome competition at one of the local camera clubs. Being asked to comment on images is always and honour and so I decided that I should do a bit of homework in advance of the competition to make sure I was up to the task.

The club chairman had given the advice for their members to “feel free to experiment, not only with black and white images, but also sepia, cyanotype or shades of any other colour.” This echoes our own club’s rules on the Andrews Cup for prints, so I was in familiar territory.

Looking back through my own competition entries I initially thought “I don’t really do monochrome” but then I realised that although my camera club images are usually in colour, I’ve been producing mono conversions for theatre rehearsals since the 90s. Removing any problematic chroma noise in low light shots and toning down the often-colourful notice boards in community centres and rehearsal rooms.

As Stewie Griffin will tell you “Ooh you took a black and white picture of a lawn chair” and you think you’re an artist! Well, the 17-year-old me certainly thought so, and she had the film enlarger to prove it. Maybe the winter lockdown is the perfect time to look through the archives and see if a monochrome conversion can bring some life to my other images?

Monochrome has been used since the dawn of photography and since the young upstart of colour came along, mono has been used by authors to distance their subject from the “real world” we see around us. Presenting the viewer with an image where form, texture and pattern take centre stage. It’s probably most well-known for street photography or photojournalism, but it can be used to great effect on almost any subject.

The grand master of the monochrome landscape Ansel Adams’ once said that “the negative is similar to a musician’s score, and the print to the performance of that score. The negative comes to life only when ‘performed’ as a print”. Not averse to the odd bit of dodging and burning myself, the equivalent today is the Raw colour image file being interpreted as a black and white photograph. As authors we can choose how we process monochrome images to produce our own unique view on the world.

Using Photoshop or Lightroom to adjust the lightness of a colour in a monochrome image can help us darken blue skies, change the tones in a grassy landscape, or lighten the red on a stop sign. If we need more help as a starting point we can use presets or specialist plug-ins like Nik Silver Efex that have a range of conversions to try on our images, fine-tuning them to our own tastes. The 2012 version of the Nik Collection is available to download from the DXO website for free and there are tons of freely available Lightroom presets like these from On1 (https://www.on1.com/free/lightroom-presets/), so it’s easy to give it a try.

How have I got on with my experiments in mono? You’ll have to wait for the next few club competitions and see.

Cat.


Club Night Summary #99

Rosebowl Third Round

Our journey in this years external Rosebowl competition finished last week with us contesting the third round against Imagez, Ealing and Pinner Camera clubs. Once again we fielded a strong selection from our talented membership, but unfortunately we couldn’t quite get the points we needed. Cat Humphries was our star of the night scoring 2 x 19s with her held back Images. We also got 18s from George Purchase, Mike Brankin, Stuart Craig and Steve Bailey Congratulations to Imagez who won on the night.

We gained valuable experience from the competition and it was a great opportunity to compare our Images with other clubs.

Thanks again to external competition Secretary Stuart Craig for his final selection for each round, taken from the committee chosen pool of Images representing our club.

We now look forward to next years external competitions to build on our success of this season, where we reached the semi final of the NW fed competition. A tremendous achievement. At our Workshop last week we got the chance to have a look at some of the high scoring Images so far this season. A nice Informal Interactive evening which is highly suitable for the Zoom meetings. Authors gave an Insight into some of their excellent Images, sharing detail of their thought process and other Information.

A very enjoyable night, filled with good humour and plenty of photography conversation.

Steve


Club Night Summary #98

PDI Competition Night

We have started our 2021 section of our programme at pace, with a workshop on ‘quick editing techniques’ presented by some of our talented members followed by our first trophy competitions for Nature and Triptych. This was then followed by a great talk ‘The world of a wildlife photographer’ presented by David Boag. We also squeezed in two external competitions with the Rosebowl and a semi final of the Nw fed competition, which unfortunately we narrowly lost to Amersham CC.

Finally we completed January’s programme with our first open league competition. Judged by Lloyd Moore it was the usual tightly contested encounter with some great Images presented for critique and attaining points to enhance the members league position.

Congratulations to the higher point scorers for their excellent Images and thanks to everyone who entered in making it such an entertaining night. Judge Lloyd Moore made a complimentary reference regarding the overall high standard of our clubs Images.

We now look forward to our February programme, which is once again carefully planned to give our members maximum variety, Including a members workshop, a print open league competition, a talk on Improving your photography and finally a themed PDI competition with set subjects ‘Lines’ and ‘Creative/Experimental’.

In this turbulent world we currently live in, could there be a better distraction!

Steve


Club Night Summary #97

Defeat at the NW Fed!

Part of our ongoing pledge to our members is to try to provide Inspiration, generate enthusiasm and creativity. We had plenty of Inspiration and enthusiasm provided by our latest speaker. David Boag who gave us a riveting evening as he presented his topic of ‘the world of a wildlife photographer’ David the Author of eighteen published books, filled the evening with wonderful Images and stories of his travels around the World capturing some amazing Images. He covered a tremendous amount of material in the allotted time, explaining among many things, his business ethic and how photography life had changed from when he first started his career to the current day.

Thanks to club Secretary Denise for once again providing another top class speaker making this such an enjoyable night for everyone.

Earlier in the week, our semi final in the NW federation competition resulted in a win for our opponents Amersham. Some great Images were entered by both clubs which meant a very competitive encounter. Unfortunately Amersham had the edge overall winning with 317 points against our 307.5. We had entered a strong selection of Images from our talented membership, with our top scores going to;

  • Cat Humphries ‘ Haunted’ 20 points
  • Gordon Calder ‘ Bodacious’ 20 points
  • Cat Humphries ‘ Hollywood Starlet’ 19.5 points

It was a tremendous achievement for our club to reach the semi final of this competition and there was certainly not a lot to choose between the two sets of Images entered by each club. Thanks to external Competition Secretary Stuart for his diligent work in organising and his careful final choice of Images to represent the club.

Thanks also to those that were able to tune in on the night for the Zoom meeting to support the club.

Steve


Club Night Summary #97

Rosebowl

Second round

On Tuesday we took part in the 2nd round of the prestigious Rosebowl competition. Hosted by Witney cc on Zoom, with Buckingham and Windsor camera clubs also taking part We finished joint third on the night in this very tightly contested event.

  • Windsor 271 points
  • Buckingham 266
  • Croxley 265
  • Witney 265

There were some great Images entered by all the clubs which meant a very narrow margin on the final scores. We had some great scores with Mike Brankin receiving 20points for his ‘the eyes have it’ Image. We also received 3 x 19’s for;

  • Cat Humphries ‘Haunted’
  • Stuart Craig ‘Reclining nude’
  • Steve Bailey ‘Character’

Plus four Images that scored 18 points. Thanks to all that represented our club and for presenting such a high standard. We now look forward to our next external contest, the semi final of the Nw fed competition on Wednesday against Amersham. On our club night on Thursday we had our first Trophy competitions of the season for both Nature and Triptych cups. Judged by Peter Cox, there were some great entries amongst the 55 Images, spread across the competitions.

Our multi talented Cat Humphries was the recipient of both trophies with her great images in both competitions. The full results were:

Triptych
1stLove triangles on Sunset BoulevardCat Humphries
2ndTriple pointeAnthony Highet
3rdThe defining bootsMike Brankin
Nature
1stRobber fly at restCat Humphries
2ndEmerging otterSteve Bailey
3rdDragonflyRod Lacey

Many congratulations to Cat and the other placed authors and thanks to everyone that entered both competitions, making it such an enjoyable night.

Steve


Club Night Summary #96

Quick Fire Editing

Members share their tips

As we start 2021 we wish everyone a Happy New Year. Thank goodness the vaccine is now being rolled out at pace and there is sight of some form of normality on the horizon. We hope that soon we will then be able to continue our wonderful photography hobby, without the caution and restrictions we are currently enduring.

At our first meeting of the new year we continued our excellent programme with a members forum/ Workshop evening, featuring quick fire editing techniques given by a number of our talented members. It was a great Interactive evening led by Anthony Highet with David Eckland, Arron Dowdeswell, Alan Rhodes and ‘Ant’ all contributing editing techniques, that they use as part of their editing workflow. Each of them shared their screens and presented the varied Information, which ranged from photoshop tips through to a background ‘walk through’ Information on ‘Capture one’ software. It was a fascinating workshop with lots conversation and creative Information shared by the members. Thank you to all that made this such an enjoyable night.

We have a very full January programme which Includes two external competitions. On Tuesday 12th we have the second round of the prestigious Rosebowl competition which is hosted by Witney cc with Buckingham cc and Windsor cc also taking part.

On Wednesday 20th January we have our semi final of the NW fed competition against Amersham cc. A very busy month which also features a Wildlife talk, two trophy competitions and a an open league PDI to enjoy.

Steve


Club Night Summary #95

Happy Xmas

Signing off for 2020

As we approach our Christmas break in this most unpredictable year, we held our first virtual Christmas party online.

A fun packed night, with quizzes and good humour enjoyed by us all on our weekly get together on Zoom, which has been a godsend in keeping us together as a club and enabled our programme of events to seamlessly continue since March.

Thanks to Rod for the quizzes he had put together and great dialogue as a quizmaster! We also had a musical classic Christmas tunes challenge, which covered the decades with very familiar songs. All ably put together and technically controlled by George. In addition we had a challenge to put up the best festive zoom backdrop of which there were many challengers, thanks to everyone who presented. Although a difficult choice, the ultimate winner was Arron Dowdeswell with his excellent snow covered Christmas tree scene. Congratulations also to Cat as the overall winner of the accumulated scores on the quizzes.

Although we miss the physical contact and communications the community centre hall brought us, while the world is still battling the coronavirus pandemic, Zoom has offered us a good alternative, which we have adapted too.

Thanks to everyone that attends the weekly meetings, making the club so successful in its endeavour to continue to grow and develop as a camera club. We understand that meeting online isn’t for everyone and we appreciate some members that have still rejoined this year but aren’t able to attend the meetings. We hope that next season we will be able to resume physical meetings in the hall and finally get everyone back together.

We wish every member a happy and safe Christmas and look forward to continuing our exciting programme on January 7th 2021 Merry Christmas

Steve 🎅🏻🌲☃️


Club Night Summary #94

No Layers Editing

With Gordon Calder

We are very fortunate to have a lot of talented club members, who are always eager to share knowledge and techniques with other members of the club. On Thursday at our last workshop evening of the year, much valued club member Gordon Calder gave a great presentation, with the intriguing title of ‘No layers editing’.

Gordon brilliantly demonstrated examples of how he turned his visions of an Image into reality, by some ‘fine tuning’ and professional use of photoshop to complete the transition.

It was a really enjoyable presentation in which Gordon shared a number of his successful competition Images, by showing ‘before and after’ photographs and explaining and demonstrating via shared screen on zoom, how he achieved the ultimate desired result.

It was an Inspiring presentation which had something for every member, no matter what level of editing competency they may have. It’s really great that despite our enforced change of meeting weekly on Zoom this year, we have seamlessly been able to maintain such a consistently high standard of programme, which has been supported and embraced by a large proportion of our membership.

Steve


Club Night Summary #93

Croxley Goes
Though to NW Semi Finals!

It’s always great to report success, regarding the very talented and versatile photographers within our club. We are delighted to report another successful league competition against Harrow and XRR, has now given us a semi final place in the Federation of south west London photographic society competition.

Another hard fought evening, judged by the experienced Micki Aston and hosted on Zoom by Croxley, once again had some excellent Images entered by all three clubs. The final score was;

  • Croxley 186
  • XRR. 178
  • Harrow 173

The judge awarded two Croxley photographers with the coveted competition stars awarded for their excellence. Congratulations to Gordon Calder and George Purchase for their achievement.

As with the previous rounds in the competition, the Croxley team scored consistently high throughout all disciplines of the competition;

  • Gordon Calder. ‘Bodacious’ 17
  • Gordon Calder ‘La Vie En Rose’ 20 ⭐️
  • Steve Bailey ‘Chinese water dragon’ 19
  • Steve Bailey ‘Character’ 20
  • Stuart Craig ‘Fun in the square’ 18
  • Cat Humphries ‘ Haunted’ 18
  • George Purchase ‘A modern pin up’ 17
  • George Purchase ‘East Lyn Devon’ 20⭐️
  • Gordon Calder ‘Partial Eclipse’ 19
  • Ian Bennell ‘ Brighton Sunset’ 18

Thank you to all photographers representing our club with their Inspirational Images.

Special thanks to our external competition Secretary Stuart Craig, who expertly curated the final entered Images from the committee selected pool, which was taken from Images produced last season.

We look forward to our semi final place against Amersham cc in January.

Steve