First Third Done

So that’s the first term of the 2015/16 season completed.

It’s been an interesting and varied time for the club. We started off with a presentation evening where members showed some images taken during the summer break. This also gave us the opportunity to learn a bit more about our newer members.

I gave a presentation on phone photography apps back in September. This gave some pointers in how to process phone images with some app recommendations. There was method in my madness as we were due to have a phone and compact camera competition later in the term.

At the end of September we had our first studio night of the season. These have gone down well with a section of the club. Up until this session we have always had a model pose for us. By way of a change we got a couple of show dogs in.

Nemie ad Steve brought to little white & fluffy Maltese show dogs for us to photograph. They also brought along a variety of props for the dogs to pose with. We tried a few different lighting setup with one, two and three studio lights. It was very different subject matter for most members but I think everyone enjoyed the experience.

Our first competition of the season arrived at the beginning of October. We welcomed John Law as judge for the night.

In October, we welcomed back Vivecah Koh for her second visit to the club. Viveca wowed us with her photographs of abandoned buildings last year and several members were keen to see her back this season. She presented an evening of iPhone photography, where she also demonstrated some processing apps, very useful for our forthcoming competition. She also presented the series of images which led to her gaining of the RPS Fellowship.

I presented an evening of DIY photography projects. These were all little items which can be used to enhance your photography made with cheaply available household products. There were light modifiers made with Pringles tubes, home-made softboxes and various other easily-made photographic accessories.

For the first of our “Members’ Nights”, club vice-president, John Dingemans brought in one of his drones, or quadcopters. He spoke about how he uses drone photography around his farm and how the use of the drone has improved the workflow on the farm as they are able to do aerial surveys which cut down on the time they would normally have to take doing the work by leg. He also showed some images and videos he has taken with his drone.

In November Colin Westgate visited us to give us a presentation about his images from Iceland. Some stunning photos were shown from the many visits he has made to the country over the years.

We had our phone and compact camera competition in early November. Members were able to submit up to three images which had to be taken with a phone or a non-system compact camera. Ten members were given voting slips and had to score the images out of ten. When all the scores were added up, the winner was a composite image of a fairground ride by Judith Duddle.

Six members made the journey over to Hertford on 13th November for our annual four-way battle between Letchworth, Hertford, Stevenage and Welwyn Garden City camera clubs. It was the closest competition we’ve been involved in; the spread of points was only four between all four clubs. Stevenage and WGC scored 180 points while Letchworth and Hertford scored 176. The title went to WGC as they scored more 20s than Stevenage. With three maximum 20s, Letchworth scored more than any of the other clubs.

November 19 saw our second studio night. This time we did table top photography. We had several didn’t setups and backgrounds with a variety of different lighting at each and spent the evening taking images of tabletop items.

Our first themed evening came next. The first of this season’s themed nights was on the subject ‘Red’. A significant proportion of the membership submitted images and we had an interesting evening showing and discussing our images.

Our penultimate meeting before Christmas was a speedlight night. I spoke about some of the technical details of speedlight, or flash, photography and was able to demonstrate some of the features available on speedlights which some people won’t have tried, such as high speed sync, second curtain flash and multi-flash modes.

We ended the term with our annual Christmas social. As last year we had a quiz and split into five teams to answer a variety of questions which included photography and Hertfordshire.

So that was it, the first third of the 2015/16 season is over. It’s on to the second section and we have quite a few things to look forward to. Highlights for me will be visits from Tom Way talking about his wildlife photography, an evening on astro photography from the president of the local astronomical society and another studio night.