Blog entries tagged with "waverley camera club"

Using the Big Stopper

Thursday, June 11th, 2015 at 8:19 pm

This last weekend was a long weekend due to the Queen’s Birthday public holiday. I spent it down at Phillip Island with others from the Waverley Camera Club. I took a lot of photos, ending up with a final selection of 40.

As well as giving me an incentive to get out with my camera, the weekend was also the first time I experiemented properly with me Lee filters, in particular the Big Stopper. It is only a year since I got them…

My first stop when I got down there on Friday was at the wreck of the SS Specke. Unfortunately this was after high tide and I didn’t get much water around the wreck itself. This image has movement in the clouds, but others I have seen from this angle have smoothed out water.

Broken

For the sunset on Saturday we split into two groups, I went with others to Red Rocks near Cowes. Although this image doesn’t feature the smoothed out effect in the water, I prefer it as it was one of the brief times that the sun broke through the clouds.

Lit rocks

The sunrise on Sunday was quite colourful, but that doesn’t require the big stopper. Once there was more light I started to play around, getting images such as this around the Rhyll boat ramp.

Pole

The middle of the day isn’t the best for photography, so while scouting around for other locations we stopped at an old chicory kiln (albeit with a new roof). A wider shot with more of the sky and interesting clouds would be an improvement to this shot.

New roof on the kiln

While at the kiln I took a photo in a different direction, while not a good image overall there is something about the effect of the dead trees being stationary against the branches moving in the wind.

Windy

While down at Pyramid Rock for the sunset on Sunday I took most of my photos without the big stopper as I wanted to catch the shape of the breaking waves, but I took a couple with the big stopper to see what it looked like.

Afternoon light

It was a good weekend, with my only regret being that I didn’t get up for the sunrise on the Monday.

Tagged with: ,

Another year at the camera club

Sunday, December 14th, 2014 at 11:22 am

Among my growing collection of unfinished blog posts there are a couple about my entries to the monthly competition at the camera club. As the year is now over I am rolling them up into a single post.

One of the few photos (because there were so many people) I took on the Trey Ratcliff photowalk in early 2013 was of the underside of the Princess Bridge.

Beamwork

In 2013 I joined a weekly black and white photo project, while I only managed to stick with it for six months it did force me to take a number of new photos specifically for monochrome. This was was taken for technology.

Standing alone

Taken while on a photowalk, submitted for archtecture, the to the camera club.

Within the Sanctuary

While on the club weekend away to Marysville a couple of us split from the main group and headed west towards Murrindindi. There were a few other cars and bikes around that had kicked up dust and while stopped taking photos of the rays of sunlight some bikes went past. A fair amount of adjustment was done to balance out the light, and in the final version the bike and rider was darkened to be a silhouette. This was awarded image of the month for May and then got third place in the end of year competition.

Riding through

How could I not resist submitting an image of a Lego minifig that shot for silhouette under ‘Shadows, Silhouettes & Reflections’.

Upright

The topic one month was ‘creative’ and I had no idea what to submit, it was a struggle as I try to be accurate and reflect what is there… While sorting through some older images I came across an image that after some extreme level adjustment came out like this:

One giraffe drinks

There were three competitions after I returned from my US trip and all of the images I submitted were from that trip. Starting with this early morning shot in San Francisco. It wasn’t until editing the image later that I noticed the cyclist which I thought changed the whole feel of the image. At the monthly competition this received a merit, and in the end of year it received second place for monochrome print.

Morning ride

I don’t take photos of people, so for the portrait competition (even when extended to include animals) I struggled and only submitted one entry, but it was this image of an owl in Owl Canyon which is near the infamous Antelope Canyon in Arizona.

In the canyon

It took me a while to adjust to my new job (started right after returning from my US trip) so I got a bit slack with entering printed images. I should have made the effort as the judge liked the two images I did submit for the ‘Travel’ competition, obviously they are from my US trip.

Different colours

Behind and in front

I still have a lot of things on my todo list, but one thing for sure is that I enjoy going out to take photos and I will make sure I find the time. We have the list of topics for the club competitions in 2015 and I have just seen that the B&W Project will be running as a project 26 in 2015.

Tagged with: ,

How I print and mount photos

Wednesday, May 21st, 2014 at 9:23 pm

Last night I lugged a bunch of stuff – computer, printer, mat cutter, supplies, past images – up to the camera club to do a demonstration on how I print and submit images for the monthly competitions. While I rambled on and showed things in a non-sequential manner I think that at least a couple of people got something out of the night.

In case this might be useful at other times, here are some notes from my process: (with the disclaimer that this is just my process, there are other ways to print images)

  • I was very lucky that at the time I decided to start printing my own images I was able to pick up a secondhand printer at a reasonable price.
  • From the beginning I decided to stick with genuine Epson inks.
  • I got a sample pack of different Ilford papers and did some test prints with both these and some Epson papers.
  • I decided to just use Ilford Galerie Smooth Pearl paper, even though some types of images can benefit from certain types (matt, gloss, art, metallic) of paper. I looked around online to get A3+ paper at a good price.
  • Ensure that you use the profile for your paper/printer combination, you get these from the paper manufacturer.
  • I do not try to match the print against my screen, instead I care about a print that looks good.
  • Do a nozzle check if it has been a while since you last used the printer. The one time I forgot to do this there was a blocked nozzle (fixed by a head clean) that ruined a full size print.
  • Any unused areas of the A3+ sheet are salvaged into 6×4″ pieces. Test prints are made on these before committing to a full size print.
  • The size of the printed image is worked out based on the size and orientation of the mat board, the border width and allowing for a small overlap.
  • Leave a small margin above the image on the paper, this is the area that will be used for tape later.
  • Mark everything out on the back of the mat board. These markings are then lined up with the edge of the rail in the mat cutter. I cut slightly longer (both before and after) to ensure a clean cut in the corners with no tear out.
  • Only use tape across the top of the image, this allows it to float between the mat and backing, otherwise it might buckle.
  • I use double sided tape (squares in the corners, spots along the edges) to attach 3mm foam core board as the backing. As no tape is exposed it cannot peel up and cause damage when in the box with other prints.
  • The foam core board is larger than the 16×20″ mat board, this is attached and then trimmed down to the size of the mat board instead of trying to align exactly.

Tagged with: , ,

A heavily worked image

Wednesday, May 2nd, 2012 at 8:40 pm

Two years ago I took this photo of the Albury railway station:

Grand old station

However the version I submitted in the May competition at the camera club was the result of a few hours of processing, the most processing I have ever done to an image:

Grand old station (modified)

I first took the image out of Lightroom and into GIMP where I “corrected” the perspective. You know, to make the verticals vertical. I also stretched it vertically because it was looking a bit squashed.

Once back in Lightroom I began to liberally apply the spot removal tool to remove the parking signs and one of the chimneys, the goal being to make the image symmetrical. My final changes were to add a gradient to bump up the exposure of the bottom half and an overall change to the levels.

I entered the image as a print, which the judge awarded a highly commended.

I also recieved highly commendeds for two other images, both from the Perth road trip and both entered as EDI. First was this image of the red earth and blue skies near Marvel Loch:

Red and blue

Second was this image of water pooled on some rocks in the desert:

It rained recently (modified)

This second image was also modified from when I first posted it to Flickr, it is a different crop, contrast has been increased and a gradient applied to the sky to bring out the clouds.

My final image featured the regrowth on the trees near Marysville, burnt in the Black Saturday bushfires:

Regrowth

Tagged with: , , ,

Square pilings

Wednesday, April 4th, 2012 at 9:01 pm

For the April competition at the camera club I submitted this image of the old pilings at Princes Pier as an EDI:

Piled

The judge did award this a merit, but after seeing it as a square thumbnail, I tried changing the crop to square:

Piled (square crop)

I much prefer this version of the image and I wish I had submitted it this way. As I am planning to enter images into the Warrigal National this year, I will submit it to that (and the Pakenham National) as the square version.

On the other hand I am happy with my other images I submitted for the monthly competition. The two prints were both from a road trip up to the Snowy Mountains and are both photos of the road:

Corner

Down the middle (cropped)

My other EDI entry was from another recent road trip, specifically Wreck Beack on the Great Ocean Road. To shoot the sunset from the beach you do need to climb back up three hunderd and sixty six steps.

Anchored

By the way, expect to continue to see a number of road trip sourced photos, because that has been where I have actually been taking photos…

Tagged with:

In monochrome

Thursday, March 8th, 2012 at 8:23 pm

While there are no set subjects for the monthly competitions at the camera club this year, there are two competitions where the entries must be submitted in monochrome. What this ends up meaning for me is that I look through my photos for ones with textures or patterns, and then convert them to monochrome.

The first of these is a version of an image that is currently up on my wall, one taken at the old Spotswood Pumping Station. I tried to bring out the patterns made by the brickwork and also brightened the dial as it was looking washed out.

Bourdon's Combined Gauge

My second image was from a day trip down to the Mornington Peninsula on ANZAC day last year, a day where heavy fog covered Melbourne and the surrounding area all the way to Hastings. This foggy image was almost monochrome to start with.

Isolated

My third image was from my recent trip along the Great Ocean Road over the Australia Day weekend where I captured the silhouette of a bicycle rider. It is the perspective that makes them seem out by themselves, and I hoped to enhance the textures in the clouds in monochrome.

Out for a ride

My final image (which recieved a merit) was taken of an old shack in Jamieson (near Lake Eildon) and much of the processing was done while experimenting with Snapseed on another club members iPad.

Corrugated

Tagged with:

Four images from last year

Friday, February 17th, 2012 at 10:40 pm

Earlier in the week I posted about the first of the monthly competitions at the camera club for the year. After which I realised that I had not posted about the August, September and October competitions from last year.

Of my ten entries, these are my favourites:

On the last legs of the Perth road trip we arrived at the Ceduna jetty at exactly the right time for this long exposure image that was awarded a merit.

Receding

The Easter break included a day trip down the Mornington Peninsula on a day that fog covered all of Melbourne, even down to Hastings where it began to lift.

Solitude

While keeping an eye out for timber structures in interesting shapes I looked at the scenic railway during a club outing to Luna Park, this was awarded highly commended.

Zig

The final topic of the year was “sports action” where I returned to stereotype by setting up a scene involving lego (to get a highly commended).

Awaiting service

Tagged with:

A new competition year

Monday, February 13th, 2012 at 9:49 pm

Last Tuesday was the first of the Waverley Camera Club monthly competitions for 2012. This year all of the topics are “open” with two of those being “open monochrome”. Personally I don’t like that, as I have said before I much prefer to go out and shoot new photos to a set topic.

My first image was taken during the second half of the interrupted road trip along the south coast of New South Wales, from up the Green Cape lighthouse. This print was awarded a merit.

The old light

My other print was also awarded a merit, and was also the subject of discussion as a number of people asked how I got the shot. The image was taken at Cat Bay on Phillip Island where there are the remains of an old jetty. The other people I was with were taking photos of the main structure out in the water, but I grew tired of that and focused on one part, lighting it up with a flash from directly above during the long exposure .

Remnant

Neither of my digital entries received an award. One may have been seen before as it is from the big Perth road trip last year

No entry

while the other is from a camera club weekend away to Mansfield at the end of September.

Last rays

My monochrome entries are already in for the next competition, so shall see how they go.

Tagged with:

…with a photographer

Wednesday, July 6th, 2011 at 11:18 pm

Ever since the topics were set for this year’s monthly competitions at the camera club, I have tried to keep them in mind when out shooting photos, in particular during the road trip earlier in the year.

The topic for July, judged last night, was “Landscape with a photographer” which was the incorporation of a photographer, in the act of taking a photo, within your landscape. Two of my four entries were from the road trip, but I am pleased to say that all four entries received an award.

Assembled using Hugin from 14 images and then printed as large as possible on A3+ paper was this image of Lucky Bay in Cape Le Grand National Park:

Lucky Bay, Cape Le Grand (beach level)

I am glad that the person walking along the beach had a camera and was using it because it was awarded highly commended and image of the month for A grade prints.

My second image from the road trip was as a digital entry and was taken from the top of Bluff Knoll, looking west along the Stirling Ranges.

The Stirling Ranges

This was also awarded a highly commended.

My other digital entry was a panorama taken from Burke’s Lookout in the Dandenong Ranges, the photographer may look familiar:

Towards the city

This recieved a merit.

My final image was a print and is my favourite, primarily because it features the newest addition to my camera bag, Lego 7567 Traveller:

From the hide

This was awarded a merit and was taken from one of the bird hides at Swan Lake on Phillip Island.

The remaining topics for the year include “man made timber structure in monochrome” and “sports action.” I have accumulated plenty of possibilities for the first topic, but expect to struggle for the second. However, I have an idea or two for posed minifigs.

Tagged with: ,

Judging images for Berwick

Monday, June 6th, 2011 at 11:38 pm

Tonight I travelled out to the Beaconsfield Pub to have dinner and then look at a series of images, for eight seconds at a time.

Every year the Berwick Viewfinders have their Pub National where club members enter their best images from the past year. The “pub” part of the name should have been immediately obvious, while the “national” comes from using the same format as a national competition.

As one of three judges (also from Waverley Camera Club) we were shown each image for eight seconds, after which we each held up a card with a score (between 2 and 5, for a total out of 15).

It was definitely an experience, with challenges.

The first challenge was the fixed period of time that we were shown each image. At first eight seconds sounds like a very short period of time, but it is actually longer than you think. Even so, the time limit meant we had to judge mostly based on initial impact.

The second challenge was what score to give, especially for the first image in each section. If that first image is good and you give it a 5, what happens if there is a better image later on? If that first image isn’t very good and you give is a 2, what if a later image is worse? In the end we realised we would judge against possible images, not just what could be in the section.

Overall it was a good night, that was well worth doing.

Tagged with: ,

Shades of grey

Wednesday, March 2nd, 2011 at 11:12 am

Last night was the judging for the March competition at the camera club. The topic was monochrome so a bit over a month ago I was playing around with many images to see how they looked in monochrome.

I really only have anything to say about one of the images, as I was experimenting to see how a rainbow, the point of which is colour, would look in monochrome:

Rainbow

It was awarded a merit.

Another two of my images were also awarded merits:

Evening on the water

Down the ramp

My fourth image didn’t receive any award:

Across the lake

Tagged with:

Cobbled together

Wednesday, February 2nd, 2011 at 11:19 pm

For the second year in a row I have missed writing a post for the entire month of January, the lull extending back to just before I moved into my place. A few times I started posts related to settling in, but none have been completed.

Last night was the judging of the February competition at the camera club, so it falls to that to be my first post of the year…

For the same reasons that I didn’t write any blog posts, I didn’t spend as much time as I should have preparing my entries that I cobbled together at the last minute.

Two of the images I submitted were from the Point Cook Air Pageant early last year. The first being a print of the flag drop that received a merit:

Flag drop

The second being a digital entry of the Harvards in formation (no award):

Nearing the top

My other two images are more recent, being from one of the short road trips that Damien and I have been taking in preparation for the three week trip to Perth and back. The trip in particular heading down the Great Ocean Road to Cape Otway and then back inland past a few waterfalls.

The waterfalls gave many photo opportunities, resulting in a print of the Hopetoun Falls:

The falls

This is a 1.5 second exposure that is directly from the camera, which makes it all the more sweet that it was awarded a highly commended.

Of course we stopped off at the Cape Otway Lightstation, where it was quite frustrating waiting for people to stop walking into shot. I picked one as a digital entry that was awarded a merit:

Old navigation aid

Unlike my other three entries this month, I did fiddle with this by changing the levels to increase the contrast and by adding a vignette. The judge did confirm a suspicion I had, there is too much vignette, something I will keep in mind for next time.

Tagged with:

A surprise at the end of year competition

Friday, December 10th, 2010 at 3:16 pm

I got a surprise at the camera club on Tuesday in the end of year competition. First prize for monochrome print and second place for colour print.

For the end of year competition we could enter up to three images per section that had been entered into a monthly competition in that year. With the sections being monochrome print, colour print and EDI. The judge then selects first, second and third in each section.

As I had only submitted two monochrome prints (I had done a couple of mono EDIs, but they had to have been entered as a print) that is all I was able to submit. Of these it was my photo of water lillies that got first place.

Nymphaea

As I mentioned at the time, this was a colour image that I played around with in monochrome. While most of the effort I put into it was to remove spots from the leaves, the judge read a lot more into it. But hey, first is first.

In the colour print competition I received second place for an image that I liked mostly for the joke:

Sit down!

The judge agreed, but not enough for first place :(

I was a little disappointed that my Lego based images didn’t get any prizes, but there only being three prizes and all of the entries being people’s best, that is not surprising.

Tagged with:

Wired for a merit

Wednesday, November 3rd, 2010 at 10:01 pm

Last night at the camera club I received a merit for an image of the evening sun hitting some high voltage powerlines:

Wired

This shot was taken on some random road in the hills to the west of Bright. It has been cropped down from the original, which was taken through the car’s windscreen. Converting it to black and white made the powerlines stand out a lot more.

Given the opportunity to take this shot again, I would frame it without the tree to the left and not have the lines dip into the bushes at the bottom. Of course that would involve stopping and then getting out of the car.

My three other images in the “open” competition didn’t receive any awards. Two are from my first trip to the Melbourne Zoo in at least 15 years, with the third from the club outing to Scienceworks.

Brickwork Caged There's something up there...

Tagged with:

After dark

Tuesday, October 5th, 2010 at 11:19 pm

The judging at the camera club didn’t run as smoothly as it normally does due to a last minute replacement for the judge. Fortunately the replacement, at 36 hours notice, was excellent.

As I prefer, there was a set topic for this month’s competition: after dark. ie taken between sunset and the sunrise on the following day. Predictably most of the entries were of the city at night. The judge picked up on this as a larger issue in that to have your image stand out, you can’t take the same shot that everyone else takes, you need to obtain a different perspective.

At a recent outing to Albert Park lake we were shooting shots of the city. Nice shots, but nothing special:

Dusk

Another common comment from the judge was in regard to the sky. A black sky will result in the city lights blowing out due to the high contrast. While a sky with light will both reduce the contrast of the city lights, it can also add interest with colour. The sky in my image above still has colour and texture from the clouds which makes the buildings stand out.

When I first heard his comments about the sky the expectations for my other images lowered as I knew they had a black or a very dark sky as in this image from the development near the Exhibition Centre on the Yarra:

Decked

This image was awarded a highly commended despire the dark sky. There isn’t that much of the sky in the shot, the leading lines from the boxes and decking, and the zigzag of the lights provide enough interest.

My two digital entries have pitch black skies. Yet they were both awarded merits.

One night after Perl Mongers I stopped by the Shrine to take some night shots. The shot I entered was taken square on to the Shrine and from low to the ground. Afterward I changed it to monochrome and increased the contrast to bring out the texture in the stonework.

Remember

Although it is a common shot, the judge liked the strength of the shape, which is why having a black sky in this case works.

My second digital entry was a slight rework of a shot I took in Brisbane the night before OSDC last year which the judge liked as it wasn’t the typical side-on shot.

On edge

First I tried cropping out the distracting detail at the bottom, but the wheel looked too short and the supports wrong. So I decided to keep the detail, but the window to the office was off centre which made the whole image look a bit off centre. I moved the window across to better balance the image.

Next month is again an open topic, so the images I have submitted are a bit of an experiment. I shall find out if the experiments worked in a month’s time.

Tagged with:

A random selection

Saturday, September 11th, 2010 at 9:43 pm

Earlier in the week at the camera club was the judging for the September “open” competition. As I have said before, I prefer to have a set subject to work towards. So when an open competition comes around I trawl through my photos and randomly pick a few that I like.

Now, although I don’t like the extra effort involved, I can’t really complain as I do end with awards. In this case a merit and a highly commended.

The merit was from a print of an image I took during a club outing to Melbourne’s laneways earlier in the year:

Sit down!

What I really liked about this image was the joke. Fortunately the judge also liked it.

Back in January over the Australia Day long weekend I went on a road trip up to the Snowy Mountains. While I haven’t sorted through all the images and posted completed sets, I have used a few in previous competitions. As we were heading out on the Friday night I snapped a shot of the sunset in the car’s side mirror:

Driving away

The framing of the mirror and the multiple reflections provided enough interest for it to be awarded a highly commended. I repeated this shot throughout the trip, but none of the others came out anywhere near as good. Partly because of the increasing layers of dust on the car.

My other printed image was from the club’s outing to the Cranbourne Botanic Gardens where there are sculptures made from watering cans. I and others had found photos of these cans a bit bland, so following a suggesting I shot straight up from below:

Watering from below

My final image (second digital entry) was again from a club event, in this case the Macro workshop:

Feather

The judging night was also the deadline for next months competition (“after dark”) which I selected four images for, but I need to start thinking of the November competition (again “open”) and, inspired by my Pakenham results, I will also enter some in the Ballarat National competition.

Tagged with:

Fences, gates and walls

Tuesday, August 3rd, 2010 at 11:57 pm

Tonight at the camera club was the judging for August competition, the topic: fences, gates and walls. As I have said before, I much prefer a topic compared to an open competition as it gives me something to aim for. The September competition is open and last night I was rushing around to pick four images and then print and mount two of those.

My favourite of my August entries is an image that I knew I would enter for this topic (and entered into the Pakenham National, I’ll say more about that when I get the results) ever since I took it. At the start of the year Damien and I went on a day trip up to Mount Buffalo. As we were driving from Bright to Wangaratta we were heading towards a great sunset. A couple of times we pulled over so I could get a shot and it was at one of these that I noticed a gate in the fence along the side of the road:

Setting

It was awarded a merit.

I have become known for entering photos of Lego, so it should come as no surprise that I would try somthing with the old fence pieces that I believe are older than I am:

Studded

Another merit.

The club’s Sunday outing in July was to Cloudehill Gardens in The Dandenongs. Gardens are not my thing, but that is exactly why I went along. Fortunately these gardens are awash with fences, gates and walls of the living, wooden, brick and stone varieties. When reviewing the photos the only one that jumped out at me was of two free standing gates, one open and one shut:

Open and shut

Awarded a highly commended.

I really struggled to select my final entry and I finally selected a photo from the Labour Day weekend up to Halls Gap. On the track up to The Pinnacle was a short section of fence that appeared to be made from trees that had been cut down nearby:

Locally made

The judge commented that it was too busy and I agree. The dead sticks in the foreground and on the ground, the burnt fallen tree with regrowth in the back just obscure the actual fence.

Tagged with:

Why I prefer a topic

Tuesday, June 1st, 2010 at 11:44 pm

Tonight at the camera club was another example of why I prefer competitions with a topic, in this case “slow shutter.”

Experimentation with a sheet of black perspex, a small lamp, a lego car and some black thread resulted in a highly commeded for:

Lego speed

I braved the threat of rain for about an hour on a bridge over the Eastern Freeway for a merit:

Streaming home

A failed attempt at startrails ended in playing around with glowsticks and lasers got me another merit:

Glowsticks and lasers

My final image was from an impromptu road trip out to Noojee and the Toorongo Falls.

Somewhere to sit

This was a week after I missed the club outing to the same location. I was lucky in that was late in the day and quite overcast (shortly after it poured with rain) which gave even lighting.

I also mounted the two prints (the waterfall and the freeway traffic) on white this time instead of black as I have done previously. For these images it made quite an improvement, but I think black does still have a place.

Unfortunately the next competition is open, but after that it will be “fences, gates and walls.”

Tagged with:

Some open images

Wednesday, May 5th, 2010 at 9:28 pm

Last night I found out the results from the May ‘open’ competition at the camera club. As usual I had struggled to select images, I find it much easier with a theme.

Although I haven’t sorted through the images from the Grampians Trip earlier in the year, I did select one image from the very early morning excusion to Lake Fyans for a print:

Lake Fyans sunrise

This received a merit.

My other print was from when I went hot air ballooning over the Yarra Valley. (Yes, another set of images that I have to process)

Floating over the sunrise

I probably could have submitted this one as a monochrome.

For one digital image I selected a shot from Point Cook earlier in the year. I had a couple that it was difficult to choose between. I went with:

Burnished Mustang

Based on the judge’s comments, I should have selected the other one which was a tighter crop through the wing, so the people were not visible in the bottom corner.

My other digital image as a bit of an experiment, it being a low close up shot of a broken down sandcastle at Wilsons Prom. (again, another set I have yet to process)

Remains of a castle

Here’s hoping that next month is better, when the topic is ’slow shutter’. Of course that includes a stereotypical waterfall shot.

Tagged with:

From the backlog: Blue Lotus Water Garden

Friday, April 23rd, 2010 at 9:59 pm

On the first Sunday of 2010 the Waverley Camera Club went on an outing to the Blue Lotus Water Garden in Yarra Junction. I have lost track of how many photos I took on the day, but I have completed processing them down to 34 images.

Obviously most of them are of flowers. Solitary…

Blue Lotus Water Garden (06)

…in groups…

Blue Lotus Water Garden (11)

…as a bud…

Blue Lotus Water Garden (30)

…or somewhere in between.

Blue Lotus Water Garden (08)

There were also some bridges of interest…

Blue Lotus Water Garden (24)

Two of the images are HDR, the one above for example, but for the others I first cropped, tweaked levels to increase contrast (a lot of tweaking for a couple of the images) and finally added a slight vignette.

All can be viewed in their Flickr set.

Tagged with: ,

Experimenting with macro

Wednesday, April 21st, 2010 at 9:57 pm

At the camera club last night we were discussing macro. After a discussion on what macro is and the various ways of achieving it (macro lens, extension tubes, a close up lens, reversing the lens, etc) we broke out and started to shoot the variety of items that were brought along.

I don’t have a macro lens, but I was able to borrow a set of Kenko extension tubes which I used with my 50mm lens. I didn’t keep many shots from the night, but I started out shooting a Dandelion clock lit by an external light:

Parachutes

With the extension tubes using autofocus was pointless so I switched to manual and focused by moving the entire camera back and forth. I also quickly switched to using and off camera flash (triggered by an ST-E2 so I had TTL)

Dandelion clock

However, I found that shooting the flash through the object from below gave more interesting results:

Clock lit from below Feather
Tiny flower Open the pod bay doors, HAL

Although these are quite interesting and deserve further experimentation, my favourite shot was more conventionally lit:

Mmmm... Gooey.

Of course to experiment further I will need some more equipment. While I cannot justify an actual macro lens, a set of Kenko extension tubes are quite affordable…

Tagged with: , ,

Landscapes in portrait

Tuesday, April 6th, 2010 at 11:04 pm

Tonight at the camera club was the judging for the April “Landscapes” competition. Three of my four entries were actually portrait. By this I mean that the entries were of the landscape topic, but were framed in the portrait orientation.

I had difficulty finding images as I don’t shoot that many landscape images. In fact two of the entries were from a day trip along the McDonalds Track in Gippsland, while the other two were from the road trip to the Snowy Mountains over the Australia Day weekend.

This late afternoon shot up the Snowy River from Jacks Lookout received a merit:

Snowy afternoon

Processing three exposures as HDR really saved the bottom half from being too dark and I was sure that the judge would point out that the change in light broke the image in two. He didn’t.

A midday shot looking north from the McDonalds Track at Mount Worth received a merit:

From Mount Worth

HDR came to the rescue again as the sun was quite harsh. When picking this image it was a close call between this and one in landscape orientation that showed more to the right. I went portrait with this one to try and have the viewers eye follow the trees in the valley up the image.

My other printed image was from surge tank looking over Lake Jindabyne:

Reaches of Jindabyne Lake

The judge pointed out that the sun reflection was blown out. As this was also HDR I should have noticed that before printing and manually brought back detail from the -2 exposure.

My other printed image was from earlier in the morning on the McDonalds Track:

Rolling hills

At this time the clouds were a bit more defined and were casting shadows over alternate hills. Again this is HDR from three exposures and in hindsight I should have actually gotten out of the car to take this shot as I would have been able to leave out the fence at the bottom.

Tagged with:

I don’t shoot in monochrome …

Tuesday, March 2nd, 2010 at 11:06 pm

… so finding entries for a ‘monochrome’ topic meant I needed to find suitable photos to desaturate.

After lots of experimenting I ended up with four images that I submitted last month, one of which was awarded a merit tonight:

Nymphaea

This is a photo from the club outing to the Blue Lotus Water Garden earlier in the year. The flowers were originally pink/white and after converting to greyscale I spent a lot of time removing distracting spot from the leaves. It turned out to be worth it.

My other printed image was of the cooling towers at Loy Yang Power Station, also earlier in the year:

Cooling

By changing the greyscale mix I was able to increase the contrast on the towers, as well as making the bright blue sky quite ominous.

I also spent a large amount of time fiddling with one of my images of the Murray 1 hydro power station to get:

Murray 1

My final image was taken by combining a Lego Technic figure, a seamless white background and a flash:

Over here!

Tagged with: ,

Photos from the backlog

Sunday, February 14th, 2010 at 10:10 pm

Today I knuckled down and sorted through photos, resulting in two new sets on Flickr. I still have a lot more sorting through as I am still four months behind.

The first set is from a Sunday morning in August when I walked around some of Melbourne’s laneways and arcades with the camera club:

Melbourne laneways and arcades (05) Melbourne laneways and arcades (21) Melbourne laneways and arcades (32)
Melbourne laneways and arcades (43) Melbourne laneways and arcades (46) Melbourne laneways and arcades (23)

Melbourne laneways and arcades

The other set I uploaded to Flickr was from one lunchtime where I walked over to campus for the specific purpose of taking some photos. This was related to a competition we were running at the time for students and staff to submit photos to appear on the my.monash login page. Although we were not eligible, it was a good enough reason to get over to campus.

Monash Uni - Clayton (01) Monash Uni - Clayton (07)
Monash Uni - Clayton (09) Monash Uni - Clayton (11)

Monash Uni – Clayton

The next lot of photos I have to sort are those from Brisbane, when I wandered around Brisbane CBD and Southbank on the day before OSDC2009.

Tagged with: , , ,

First competition for the new year

Tuesday, February 2nd, 2010 at 11:43 pm

Tonight was the first judging night for 2010 at the Waverley Camera Club. The topic was “Opposites” and I submitted four still life photos created specifically for this competition.

After digging through my box of Lego and my Dad’s box of Dinky toy cars I came up with this as a print:

Diecast vs Extruded

The opposites include: diecast metal versus extruded plastic, new (relatively) versus old, battered versus unbattered and of course facing left versus facing right. The judge awarded this a Merit and also added truck versus car.

My second print was of wine bottles:

A varied drop

I took way too many photos of these (and some others) bottles from different angles, with different lighting (for the shadows), and different orientation before choosing this one. The judge commented that the shadows behind, but at the same level, added interest.

My two digital entries were about denominations and opacity:

Dollars and centsOne is softer

Tonight I submitted monochrome entries for next month, including a last minute change so that at least one shot included Lego.

Tagged with: ,

Bumped up to A grade

Thursday, November 5th, 2009 at 9:52 pm

For the camera club competitions next year I will no longer in B grade, as my results from a few days ago bumped me up to A grade.

A print of this HDR image from the club outing to Montsalvat received a highly commended:

Time for a swim

This image is the result of running the bracketed exposures through Photomatix with the default settings. I was quite pleased with how it came out, even though the colours are slightly oversaturated compared to what would be seen in real light.

In addition this image from the club outing to Puffing Billy received a merit:

Emerging

I played around with this image for quite a long time until I tried it as black and white. It was then a straightforward matter of adjusting the levels to increase the contrast to arrive at the image above.

My remaining images recieved a mix of positive and negative comments. Starting with this heavily processed HDR image from the club outing to Hanging Rock (I have yet to complete sorting the remainder of the photos from tha day):

After the storm

And this image from Melbourne Photo Walk #3:

Flagpoles in the forecourt

This was the last of the monthly competitions for the year, as next month is the end of year competition which is composed of images that had been entered in the monthly competitions. As I didn’t have any monochrome prints, I entered three prints and there digitial. I shall find out about those in December.

Tagged with: ,

A brand new site in 8 hours

Friday, October 23rd, 2009 at 10:53 pm

Three days ago I became the webmaster of the Waverley Camera Club. Tonight I rolled out a brand new site that combined the existing static content with existing posts from an external blogspot blog.

Around about 8 hours of effort. Most of that was working my way through the migrated posts to both sort out better categories and to remove garbage markup that screwed up the rendering.

I also hadn’t planned to release the site so soon, but my testing/experimentation was going so well that it would have been a shame not do.

How?

By using WordPress and making the decision that I would just assemble the pieces, I avoid writing code.

I chose WordPress for two reasons. One is that I am familiar with it and two that I knew it would be suitable for what we need the site to do at the moment. In the future I know it won’t be suitable if we proceed with some of the ideas that have been talked about.

Once I knew I would be using the latest version of WordPress my next decision to make would be how the site looked. To avoid the hassle of designing and then building a theme, I turned to the Free WordPress Themes directory. I wasn’t there for long as there were a couple of possibilities in the featured themes list. After running them by another committee member I decided to go with Pixel. The deciding factor was the info box at the top of the sidebar where we could put the club’s logo.

It was at this point that I started the largest task: importing the existing posts from blogspot. That specific task was easy using the import tool. What took time was going through each of the 140 posts to set a new category and to check that the post would render. I couldn’t believe how much crap had been added by blogspot. The biggest issue was badly nested divs, but second to that was the apparent random application of fonts and colours.

In the midst of this work I also played around with the widgets to customise what was in the sidebar and footer. It was only once there was content that widgets such as recent posts would make sense. This also allowed me to add the credit to the footer which is part of the conditions of the free hosting for non-profits. If it weren’t for the widgets my approach would have been to edit the theme.

But that isn’t to say that I have not modified the theme. Although the theme was working quite nicely, there were a couple of niggles. One was that in the header the tag line was too dark to be read, and another was that an empty box was showing below posts that would contain tags, if we were going to use them.

A while ago I read about WordPress theme inheritance where you can selectively override parts of another theme. So that’s what I did and my only changes were two CSS statements, one to change the text colour and another to hide the tag box. I later added a 404.php to give a slightly better not found page.

And that’s mostly it, except for some additional plugins that are quite nice to have:

Of course there is still content to migrate from the old site and it hasn’t yet had any real use. But that is for later.

Tagged with: , ,

Feeling good about “blue”

Tuesday, October 6th, 2009 at 10:17 pm

Being the first Tuesday of the month, tonight was judging night at the Waverley Camera Club where the topic was “blue”.

But what is blue? Is it the colour? What about the mood, such as depression? Or sex, such as a blue movie?

My first idea involved taking a lego car outside:

LEGO off-road

Yes, it is just a blue toy in the garden, but I spent quite a while shooting this in various locations until I thought it conveyed a sense of action. With the dirt on the wheels I can imagine that it is driving up into the frame.

The judge awarded this a highly commended.

Next I spent a lot of time thinking about how to convey the colour blue, but not necessarily with the colour blue. For this I turned to the drawer full of games and was able to assemble a few variations of the word ‘blue’ from non-blue coloured blocks.

But then I started playing around with a Scrabble set and the Wikipedia shades of blue category:

Shades of Scrabble

I spent hours playing around with different words layouts and lighting until I was happy with the photo above. But I also had a close alternative image that I would have titled “3-1-1-1″. What that photo would have been is an exercise for the reader.

This print was awarded a merit.

After spending a considerable amount of time on the two printed images, I was lazy with the digital images and ended up picking two that I had taken previously, one from Melbourne Photo Walk #3, and one from the night after the photo walk.

This HDR shot of Eureka was a no brainer due to the sheer amount of blue. The entry was further cropped down to remove a tree from the bottom corner:

Eureka

This was awarded a merit.

My final image is one that I quite liked, but I considered it flawed because the subject was flawed:

Giant Sky Wheel

The flaws are evident in the lights of the ferris wheel, some sections are not lighting up and other sections are stuck on the wrong colour.

The judge obviously didn’t care about those flaws and he awarded this the image of the month in the B grade digital category. I was pleasantly surprised.

This is my highest result so far, with all four of my photos receiving an award. This also means that, at this rate, my aggregate score will soon be high enough to push me up into A grade. I welcome the challenge.

Tagged with: ,

Learning more from photo competitions

Tuesday, September 1st, 2009 at 11:50 pm

Today is the first Tuesday of the month, this means it is judging night at the camera club, when I find out how the photos I submitted a month ago have been judged.

This is also the deadline for next month’s competition – topic of ‘Blue’ this time- so that has been dominating my thoughts for the past week or so. But those photos are done and submitted, so it was time to listen for feedback.

As the September competition was open, aka no topic, there were a record number of entries. Good for the club, good for learning, bad for me individually as there is more competition.

Then it was announced who the judge would be: Pele Leung. After seeing that he was interested in architecture I didn’t expect this fairly safe image of the Sydney Opera House to get much of a reaction:

The house on the point

In his comments Pele said that although technically quite good, it was a pretty standard shot and would have been better from an different perspective than everyone else. Despite this he awarded it a merit.

Earlier that same night I took this photo:

Bridge at night

The judge back in May gave this a highly commended award. Significantly because of the interest created by the unusual angle. He said that at first he didn’t recognise it as the Sydney Harbour Bridge.

And my three (because I am entering the full two printed and two digitial) other entries?

On the club outing to Macedon I took this photo low to the ground down from the waterfall in Stanley Park:

Close to the ground

I quite like the shallow depth of field and for me the small green leaves are the item of interest. However Pele didn’t agree, he wanted something of interest amongst the leaves.

My third entry was from the War Memorial which we visited on the third Melbourne Photo Walk:

Late afternoon in the forecourt

This is actually a cleaned up (some cloning to not have floating body parts) version of the photo for which I received an unexpected prize:

20090719T164311_132-7056And2more

If I hadn’t received the prize I would have entered this photo of the flagpoles on the other side of the forecourt:

Flagpoles in the forecourt

I had spent some time in GIMP to correct the perspective from this:

20090719T164443_132-7065

Maybe I should have entered this one as in this case the feature (the flags flying from the flagpoles) are nicely backlit. The comment from the judge about the other photo was that he considered the Cenotaph to be the feature, yet it is too much in shadow.

And my final image? As I wan’t sure what to enter I chose an image of the peacock from Montsalvat for the humour aspect:

Curious

This is a modification of this photo:

20090607T134130_132-5460

For the competition entry I increased the crop, rotated the image further and added a vignette. I like the quirky aspect, but apart from that it’s nothing special.

I believe that I am learning from this experience and hopefully my photos perform better for the ‘blue’ theme. But as they have been submitted I need to think about the November competion.

Tagged with: ,

An unexpected prize

Wednesday, August 5th, 2009 at 10:14 pm

When I uploaded my photos from the third Melbourne Photo Walk, I added a selection of them to the group pool. Although it wasn’t my primary intention, this selection of photos then put me in the running for a prize.

On Monday – before I found out the camera club competition results – I found out that this HDR image of the Cenotaph and Eternal flame in the Forecourt

20090719T164311_132-7056And2more

… was one of two winners of a $50 voucher.

At the time I was still finalising what images I would submit for the September competition at the camera club. I had decided on which two I would submit as prints and I had a shortlist for digitial. This image was in the shortlist, but towards the bottom as I was more likely to submit this image of the Flagpoles on the other side of the Forecourt:

20090719T164443_132-7065

I had even gone as far as using GIMP to correct the perspective (so the flagpoles were not leaning over) and to clone out the couple of people. But then I decided to go with the Cenotaph/Eternal flame image.

As the people had moved in between the bracketed exposures the final image contained some extra body parts. It would have been too much work to remove the people entirely, so I just removed any excess body parts. Have a close look at the image on Flickr to see what I mean. I also changed to a tighter crop, but that is all I did before submitting it last night. Now it is a matter of waiting a month before I hear the results.

If I find some time on the weekend I will upload the modified flagpoles image to Flickr for comparison. I might even upload the current camera club competition entries. Previously I have waited until after I hear the results, but I don’t really have a compelling reason to wait.

Tagged with: , ,

I would like to thank Strobist…

Tuesday, August 4th, 2009 at 11:45 pm

… because without his lunchbox technique, last night at the camera club would not have been as good.

Being the first Tuesday of the month it was a judging night. The topic was “Still life” and the judge was Adrian Smith. It was noted that while the number of entries were lower than normal, they were even lower than expected for a competition with a topic (compared to an “open” competition) as still life can be particularily difficult.

I had entered four images, two prints and two digital, so when the judging began I didn’t know what to expect. As it quickly became clear that Adrian has a preference for diagonals and that the photo needed to tell a story, my expectations fell.

I was wrong.

This image pretty much follows Strobist’s technique to the letter:

Stressed sports

As it was my second favourite image of those stress balls (my favourite would have worked square, but I had already cut the mount for 3:2) I got it printed. It received a highly commended award.

On the same night I experimented with all sorts of lighting and I thought this one using direct lighting came out quite well:

Stressed shapes

As I didn’t like it quite as much as the sport one (and I didn’t want to enter two prints that were pretty much the same) I entered it as a digital image, where it received a merit award.

While looking around for inspiration for still life I played around with various arrangements of the items I use to cut out the photo mounts and ended up with this:

Mounting equipment

I printed this out and it also recieved a merit.

By the time I got around to selecting my second digital image I had run out of ideas, so I grabbed one of my small Lego sets and shot it against a white background:

Snow Scooter

I like it, but it doesn’t really grab me. It didn’t grab the judge either and this didn’t earn any awards.

So, for a topic that I was not confident about I ended up with three awards. I am happy, except now I have to wait a month to find out about the images I submitted tonight, and I need to start finding images now for the following month’s competition: “Blue”

Tagged with: ,

An outing to Montsalvat

Thursday, July 16th, 2009 at 10:49 pm

Over a month ago, back at the start of June, I went out to Montsalvat for the monthly outing of the the Waverley Camera Club. I have finally found some time to finish sorting through the photos I took that day and uploaded them to Flickr.

20090607T124320_132-5336

I had never been there before and although the weather didn’t quite cooperate – a fair amount of rain – it was quite a good day out, although the eclectic mix of buildings doesn’t really appeal to me.

20090607T140811_132-5502

The photos in the Flickr set have been minimally processed – cropped and levels tweaked to increase contrast. I do have a few more that I took multiple exposures of for processing as HDR, but they will be posted later with another blog post.

Tagged with: , ,

July photo competition results

Thursday, July 9th, 2009 at 9:33 pm

Two nights ago it was the first Tuesday of the month, ie judging night at the camera club. I had four entries, two digital and two prints, but none of them received an award.

The two prints (this time in mounts I cut out myself) were:

Incomplete cover Tupperware

Yes, that toy dog is real Tupperware, it is part of the Zoo-it-Yourself set. I had planned to take a photo of the three animals in the set for the still life competition, but that didn’t happen.

The two digital entries were:

Orange glow Connecting rods

My original plan had been to enter the bridge as a print instead of the sunset image. However when David printed it for me the orange wasn’t quite as intense, but the sunset one came out fine. The close up on the connecting rod was taken on the Puffing Billy outing a few months ago.

As usual I prefer to keep the image manipulation to a minimum. All of the photos have been cropped and the levels tweaked a bit. The connecting rod image was the most manipulated, however that was a focal black and white filter to only keep the colour on the brass plates.

Tagged with: ,

Balloons, bulbs and party poppers

Wednesday, June 17th, 2009 at 9:55 pm

Last night at the camera club we popped balloons, set of party poppers and smashed light bulbs.

These activities in a dark room containing a bunch of photographers and a sound triggered flash resulted in balloons like this:

Purple balloon

party poppers like this:

Side lit party popper

and light bulbs like this:

Light bulb

These photos plus more are in the Balloons, bulbs and party poppers set on Flickr.

Although it was only the other day that I saw an article about this, it has been on the club’s program all year and the trigger we used was built by George about twenty five years ago.

It was a good night and David and I have actually borrowed the trigger. However a design improvement that would have been handy last night was the “double fire” protection that this simple circuit has.

Tagged with: ,

Another round of judged photos

Tuesday, June 2nd, 2009 at 11:04 pm

I have just returned from the judging of the June competition at the camera club. Although I didn’t go as well as last month, I am happy with the result.

Against the theme of “Melbourne’s Parklands (taken within a Melbourne park)” I entered three photos, one print and two digital. Although I had a number of photos that met the theme, I struggled to narrow that down to ones I like.

The photo that I liked the most was this one of the flag of the Governor of Victoria flying from the belvedere tower at Government House framed by trees:

Golden standard

It earned a merit.

My other digital entry was taken at Jells Park of a tree and some cloud patterns:

Patterns

The judge commented that it would have been improved by increasing the colour saturation of the clouds to bring out the orange.

My final entry was a print of a photo, taken on the same day as the one of the Governor’s flag, of bare trees reaching up to the moon:

Reaching

The judge didn’t really comment on this one.

Tonight was also the deadline for the July competition, thankfully the topic is “Open”, in which I have entered two printed and two digital images. The prints were again printed by David, but I cut the mounts myself.

However, now I have a month to sort out my entries for the August competition. The issue there being that the topic is “still life” for which I will have to take photos from scratch.

Tagged with: ,

Learning how to mount photographs

Thursday, May 21st, 2009 at 8:57 pm

At the WCC workshop night earlier in the week there was a demonstration on how to cut the mount for a printed photo from mat board. Although I had read about how to do it – including a detailed guide from Hugh Sykes (PDF, 195KB) from a club in Sydney – an actual demonstration shows more of the detail.

The main demonstration was done by Roger:

  • Use two L shaped pieces of mat to determine what size the cutout should be for the particular print, eg 160×240mm
  • Double the chosen border size (eg 60mm) and add to the cutout dimensions to get the overall size of the mount, eg 280×360mm
  • Cut the mat board with a straight edge to size
  • On the back of the board mark the sides of the cutout
  • Mark the top and bottom of the cutout so that it is slightly above centre, eg 58mm for the top, 62mm for the bottom
  • Align the straight edge with the marked line
  • Using a pull style 45° cutter, cut along the line with multiple passes
  • Repeat for each side of the cutout
  • If the cutout doesn’t release cleanly, use a craft knife
  • Run an emory board along the newly cut edges
  • Place a strip of tape along the top edge of the print and set it face up
  • Put the mount down on the print in the correct location and press to make the tape stick
  • Attach a backing board to the mount

Fred then showed us another way to attach the print without using tape, instead he attaches the print to the backing board using sticky photo corners. This means that there isn’t any tape on the print and makes it easier to reuse the mount.

Now I know in a fair amount of detail two ways to cut the mount and three ways to attach the print to the mount. Which way will I use?

Last week I ordered two push style cutters from the US. I ordered two to save on international postage as I will easily sell the second one. Now, although this is the same cutter that Fred showed, Roger used a pull style cutter that includes a marker bar that would make it easier to mark the cut lines.

Today I bought a sheet of black mat board from a local framing shop. While I wait for the cutters to arrive I will cut it down to size, I’m thinking a size suitable for 6:4 printed on an A4 sheet which would give me six mounts from the raw mat sheet.

Tagged with: , ,

Happy with the judge’s response

Tuesday, May 5th, 2009 at 10:49 pm

At the camera club tonight I had two digital images in the competition. This is actually the second month that I had entered photos, but last month there was a mixup and my entries were missed.

This month I am extremely happy with the response, one receiving a ‘highly commended’ and the other with positive feedback.

I took this photo of the whistle on top of one of the Puffing Billy locomotives on the WCC outing last month:

Steam whistle

I entered this image because I liked the condensation on the whistle and how the whistle was framed by the steam in the background. I wasn’t quite happy with the sharpness of the other parts of the image, and the judge picked up on that.

So that means that this image of the Sydney Harbour Bridge that I took last year before OSDC2008 received the ‘highly commended’ award:

Bridge at night

I took this image as it was getting dark. This was just one of many long exposures I took from around the same area.

The judge commented that he didn’t recognise the bridge at first because it wasn’t taken from the typical angle. He also liked that there was still colour in the sky and the varied colours in different areas of the bridge.

All up a very good experience.

Now I need to work out how to best print and then mount images so I can enter four images (two printed and two digital) each month. I am also planning to post some images to the club’s comment gallery in addition to taking some along to the next workshop meeting which is a photo discussion night.

Update: The images are now available in the club’s gallery: Steam whistle, Bridge at night. In the galleries you can see what other photos were being judged that night, for both A and B grades there is one for digitial images of the prints and another for the digitial entries.

Tagged with: ,

BBQ and photos at Jells Park

Tuesday, February 17th, 2009 at 11:02 pm

Tonight, aside from catching up on a couple of blog posts, I went with David to the Waverley Camera Club meeting: A BBQ at Jells Park.

I ended up taking about 200 photos, some of which are multiple exposures ready for some HDR experiments. Now I need to find time to process them, but I have run out of time tonight, and tomorrow I’ll be in the city for Sub Standards.

Tagged with: , , ,

Improving my digital workflow

Thursday, February 5th, 2009 at 8:56 pm

Earlier in the week I went along to another judging night at the Waverley Camera Club. Like the first meeting I went to, hearing the comments from the Judge, Peter Ryan, was quite informative:

  • being technically correct (focus, DOF, exposure, etc) isn’t enough
  • don’t take the same photo as everyone else, be different
  • what is cropped out is often more important than what is left in
  • removing distracting elements from the edges
  • ditch the rule of thirds and other ‘traditional’ rules
  • push objects of interest into the corners
  • use diagonals to draw interest around the frame

He also briefly talked about how he processes his images; from shooting in DNG and the programs he uses for various tasks.

This made me think again about my digitial workflow, which is currently:

  • Shoot in JPEG
  • Copy files to date based directories with a perl script that uses ExifTool
  • Using Picasa:
    • Review photos and delete unwanted ones
    • Basic editing (cropping, colour adjustment)
    • Export to JPEG

I need to change the first step which is to start shooting in RAW, specifically CR2. But where do I go from there?

  • Do I leave them as CR2 or do I convert them to DNG? This is supposed to be better for long term support.
  • Copying the files from the CF card based on the EXIF data will continue to work after I change my script to look beyond JPEG files.
  • Picasa does support RAW files (both CR2 and DNG), but it doesn’t give the control that a program with proper RAW support gives. I have installed Canon Digital Photo Professional which came with my camera, but there are plenty of other tools (mostly non-free).
  • If I batch update the white balance of the photos, do I then have two copies to manage?

It is a lot to think about. My next step will be to read through explanations of other people’s workflows that I have bookmarked.

Tagged with: , , ,

Joining the camera club this year

Wednesday, January 21st, 2009 at 9:34 pm

After going on the outing to Docklands with the Waverley Camera Club both David and I were thinking about joining. Unfortunately neither of us were able to make it to the December meeting – I was in Sydney for OSDC2008.

When I checked earlier in the month the website hadn’t yet been updated for 2009, but when I checked tonight it had been and I found that this year’s program included an outing last night to a nearby park. I hadn’t checked it sooner as I had assumed that the first meeting wouldn’t be until February.

Another change is that this year they are having a regular Sunday excursion which sounds very interesting.

Now do I get the details for the first Sunday in February, or do I just go along to the meeting on the following Tuesday?

Tagged with:

Camera club outing to Docklands

Wednesday, November 19th, 2008 at 8:20 pm

Last night the Waverley Camera Club, which I first checked out two weeks ago, went on an outing to Docklands. David and I went along.

After meeting at the Cow Up a Tree sculpture we took photos for a while as it started to get dark, stopped for dinner, and then took some more photos. Unfortunately the weather wasn’t the best as it was very overcast (which reflected the city lights) and it drizzled off and on. Apart from that it was an excellent evening.

It was interesting to check out what equipment the others brought along. Unlike when I did the digital SLR course the dominating brand was Canon. Then within that it was interesting to note that there were mostly low end bodies (eg 350D or 400D) but the glass was consistenly good with no kit lenses in sight. I spotted a few Canon L lenses (such as the 17-40mm) but also higher end Sigma’s.

The other area of dominance was in the choice of tripod. Again almost all were a single brand, in this case Manfrotto. However, all of them were recent models, not as old as mine.

Actually using my tripod highlighted two possible issues: the top section of it is a bit too large to grab comfortably (the current models are smaller), and the 484RC2 ball head came undone a couple of times. I’m wishing I had the 486RC2 ball head which, being larger, is able to use the set screws on the tripod which prevents it from coming undone.

I’ll try to get some of the photos put up on Flickr over the weekend.

Tagged with: ,

Checking out a camera/photography club

Wednesday, November 5th, 2008 at 9:01 pm

Last night I went along to a Waverley Camera Club meeting to check it out.

They meet twice a month, the first meeting for the guest judge to go through the photos submitted two weeks prior and the second for an outing or workshop. Last night was a judging night.

This type of night involves the guest judge, from the Frankston Photographic Club this time, going through each photo from the two categories, printed and projected, to give a score and comments. They have had the photos for a week for review, so thought has gone into it. Although I didn’t agree or understand all of his comments, most of the others were informative and I did learn a lot about how to improve a photo.

What interests me a lot more is that the next meeting is actually an outing, probably to Docklands for the evening.

Tagged with: ,