2017 01 - Show & Tell

18th February 2017
Retford & District Photographic Society - Press Release - Joy Allison
25th January 2017
Images by Des Lloyd, Russell Nye & Jane Brownley

Show & Tell Evening

Our 'Show and Tell' evening was a great success. Members brought one or two prints or digital images and talked about them.

Ben Searson gave us a perspective on images which had not pleased a judge and reinforced the maxim that we take our photos for ourselves. Ben also showed his lightweight Fuji kit which all fits into a back pack. We saw night time shots of the capital, taken after the ideal time, which may be too late for the judges, but Ben likes them. His image taken at the Le Mans 24 hour event resulted from a weekend which enabled him to hone his technique.

Liz Tilstone chose her images because she likes them. She described processing both in Lightroom to enhance her scenes of a statue of King Alfred in Tintagel and a picturesque bridge.

Tony Kerswill’s view of Florence put his next image into perspective. He got the idea for 'Planet Photos' from a book. This technique involves drawing the two ends of an image together creating a disc. It was a fascinating image and food for thought for those who enjoy pushing the creative boundaries of photography.

Des Lloyd’s wildlife studies permit only the most minimal processing. He invests many hours researching local wildlife and the results speak for themselves. Tonight we were treated to two images which would not find favour with judges. A shot of a short eared owl on a road sign was taken with a 600mm lens and a Nikon camera. Des' second shot of two Little Owl chicks, one just waking up, was taken from a prone position. Judges would criticise the grass in the foreground, but the images were beautiful and admirably sharp.

Jane Brownley showed tenacity. After trying in vain to photograph hares the fog rolled in she almost gave up. When the fog began to lift a roe buck came walking towards her. Jane got a wonderful, atmospheric shot of him with the fog creating a lovely mellow background.

A qualified dive instructor, Jane used a Canon S100 in a waterproof housing to cacpture a shot looking up at a seal lying on a rock while she was in the water.

Gerry Kemp uses Sony kit. Recently he has been taking macro shots using a 105mm lens and a Polaroid ring flash. He used this on full power to capture a very detailed image of a painted lady butterfly in daylight which made it possible to study the insect in a way which is impossible by eye. He had also achieved Jane's goal of a good, sharp shot of a hare.

Alan Dibbo showed a monochrome HDR image taken in Fountains Abbey. This proved the benefit of taking all your kit when you leave the car as he realised when he got into position that he needed his tripod to take the three exposures he would need to combine later.

The final volunteer was Marilyn, a visitor on the night. She showed three A1 size prints of panoramic shots taken with new kit which described. Practice had perfected her technique, which required three rows of overlapping photos later to be combined on the computer. The final images each consisted of 36 individual shots and spoke for themselves. An image showing the interior of a church at Louth in great detail was a triumph.

President Alan Burkwood opened the digital section describing his long exposures of coastal scenes taken using a 'big stopper' filter to allow the water to appear milky. Andy Paul followed with a stunning shot of night time aerial acrobatics taken at the end of the Jersey ‘Battle of the Flowers’ showing the aircraft lit with coloured lights.

Dik Allison showed two images which taught him something. A composition at Spurn Point had a Dalek added among the exposed woodwork. Including an element he had not taken would disbar this from a competition, but producing the image helped him learn the technique of combining images. His mackerel shot was taken with a phone camera and had almost been deleted until, in a moment of inspiration, he turned it black and white.

George Hodgson, one of two new members to speak, admitted to having no patience for sitting waiting for a shot and shooting what he sees. His woodpecker sitting on a telegraph pole stayed there long enough for him to capture a very pleasing image. Similarly a cheeky looking seal had been spotted waiting for returning fishermen to deliver a feast in Peterhead harbour.

Jayne Mair described the techniques used in ‘light painting’. We learned that long exposures will show up colours we cannot see, e.g. a pink horizon resulting from pollution. Illuminating selected parts of a scene for some of the exposure can produce interesting results. She showed a church and the Hepworth Gallery at night - both different and thought provoking.

John Hutton was the second new member to show his work. By his own admission a picture of a Nazca Booby taken in mid-Atlantic was not a winning shot, but it was an example of how the context can give an image importance. This bird's habitat is the west coast of America - hundreds of miles from where he took it 400 miles east of Brazil.

John's apparently straightforward photo of three highland cattle at the roadside revealed on closer inspection that they were guarding the body of a dead calf.

Mike Vickers showed two beautiful images of waxwings feeding on white berries. The images had a beautiful pink, out of focus background created by a brick wall. He had tried to show the way the birds all descend together, staying only a few seconds before all retreating to the tree tops. He hand held a Sigma 150 - 600mm lens bought for its relative lightness and had achieved great results.

Russell Nye explained that he had spent two months planning his shot of the Brownlee brothers cycling in the Leeds triathlon. He prepared the right kit, planned his vantage point and practiced on some competitors in another race to get his settings and shooting angle perfect. When the Brownlees were in view he was able to fire off around 20 high speed shots before they were gone. His careful planning had enabled him to capture exactly the shot he had visualised.

Spike Walker ended the evening with a shot through a microscope. He described how a scientist connected a video camera to the microscope to line everything up. When it was all positioned Spike plugged in his camera and took two rolls of film using a wide variety of settings, hoping one would be right. The results were disappointing and it was not until much later, after many attempts to no avail, that he used a filter in PhotoShop which revealed a sperm lined up head first in a micropipette ready to be injected into an egg which was being held in position with suction. It was a fittingly impressive shot on which to end a very successful and interesting evening to which 18 individuals had contributed.