Club night summary – 7th February

Cat lead a well attended workshop exploring creative Depth of Field effects.  In addition to cameras and tripods, the members brought a vast array of fascinating items to photograph, which were arranged into several fine art scenes.  Five in total if I recall.   

At the end of the evening the hall lights were turned off and a little light painting took place to finish an excellent  club night off.


Winter Portrait Social Summary – 2nd February

Ant Highet led Louise, Beth, Stuart, Archie & George in a portrait session in Casiobury Park last Saturday with model Ria Fantastic. 

Even though I say so myself we were a dedicated bunch as it was absolutely freezing, with an arctic breeze blowing across the park’s open spaces.  However the cafe saw brisk business with us making frequent trips back inside to warm-up with a cuppa.

As usual the session finished off with an agreeable lunch in the Coach & Horses on The Green to review the day’s events. 

A huge thank-you to Ant for organising & planning the session.  Great fun despite the cold.


Ant kindly donated this image from the day for the newsletter & website.

Club night summary – 31st January

On a very cold night with snow forecast a surprising number of hardy members of the club met for an entertaining evening with Sean Meehan, the Chairman of South West Herts Astronomical Society.

We were treated to an excellent talk about astrophotography and were shown some truly amazing images mainly taken by members of the Society. Sean brought along a wide variety of equipment including his 11” telescope with which he is pictured below. We learnt a great deal about the subject some of which were very revealing such as the colours we see in the photographs are not seen with the naked eye and the moon is actually black! In the second part of the evening members had a lot of questions which indicated the interest shown in the subject and the success of the evening.

A sincere vote of thanks to Sean for his efforts in bringing such a vast array of equipment to the club and his offer to host a CCC members only visit to the Society’s own observatory in Flaunden which would be limited to say 12 people.

Members were reminded to note Cat’s latest Newletter and the Entry Deadlines for the forthcoming competitions; in particular members are asked to support the Photography Unplugged event. Entries are now open on photoEntry.

Acting Chair (poorly)

Club night summary – 24th January

Ant tells us more how his Brenizer workshop came about:

We recently held a practical workshop evening at the Club where I was asked to demonstrate the Brenizer method.  This didn’t just happen by accident, following a short talk at the club where I shared my experiences of learning this technique (it’s still very new to me too), a number of members have asked me to talk a little more about it.  Last night we had that chance.  But being a practical evening, I had no intention of talking ‘at’ my fellow members, I wanted them to bring their cameras & laptops along and give it a go for themselves.  There’s no better way to learn than to do, right?  Don’t worry, I won’t write war and peace on the ‘how to’ here, but if you would like to know a little more about it, why don’t you pop along to a club night where I’ll happily talk to you about it in more detail over a pint?

During my demonstration, we limited the number of images that we were going to shoot & stitch as it was important that we are all able to walk before we try to run.  We shot a number 3 and 4 shot ‘vertoramas’, and maybe next time when everyone has practised a little more (myself included), we can try some more complicated 9 and 12 shot ‘spirals’.

Once we’d all had a go at learning the appropriate camera settings, and shooting the right sequence of images, we got the laptops out and started to stitch our images together in Lightroom & Capture One.  What was great about this session, was being able to demonstrate in ‘real life’, how the Brenizer method affects our images, and why it affects them the way that it does.

Personally, I like to use shallow depth of field in my portraiture, but using a long focal length often means that I will lose some of that depth of field when shooting half body or 3/4 length portraits.  This method allows me to shoot much closer to my subject, whilst throwing more of the scene out of focus.  This might be especially useful for those that do not have lenses with very wide apertures.  In the image on this page, you can see the very obvious characteristics that this method creates in portraiture…sharp eyes with the focus ‘dropping off’ almost immediately due to the very shallow depth of field!