Thursday 27th September 2018
This week's guest speaker was Andrew Gray from a village close to Alnwick, Northumberland.
His presentation "My Camera as a Brush" introduced us to a technique known as "ICM" intentional camera movement. He describes himself as an Abstract Landscape Photographer. Andrew is a born and bred Northumbrian lad and takes his inspiration from the local area of his home.
He explained that like most new photographers he worked his way through the usual fields of traditional landscapes, iconic location shots and experiments with slow shutter speeds. Then converting to black and white.
He finally found his niche when he came across the work of Valda Bailey from East Sussex who uses multi layered images. As he said to us he was "captivated" and so his journey into ICM began. Using 19th century painters and JW Turner as his inspiration he has developed a style to create his current work.
He showed us images of Bamburgh as we had never seen, in dark blue tones and bright reds. Poppy fields from the dunes in various forms but all of an abstract nature. He also uses double exposures in his work and his images of the "Weeping Poppies" at Woodhorn were a great example of this skill. He has also published a book "Intentional" with 46 images.(Kozo Books) Sold out!!!
He went on to explain his technique and with anecdotes of his workshops how he moves the camera, sometimes in a full 360` to get the effect he wants. His gear is not as you might expect, the latest but a Nikon D700 which he sai will live forever although it is looking a little battered now. Lenses, his most popular the Nikkor 16-35mm. ND filters are a must he explained to get the effect.
An excellent evening
Our guest for this coming Thursday evening (27th Sept) is Andrew Gray. Andrew is a Northumberland based photographer who uses his camera in motion. A technique called 'Intentional Camera Movement' (ICM) to create abstract landscape images. We very much look forward to Andrew's visit.
This evening (20the Sept) we were delighted to welcome back Neil Atkinson. Neil needs little or no introduction to Cramlington CC having appeared as a guest speaker in the past and many members have participated in his locally held tutorials.
Neil's return was this time however not as a speaker but as a tutor. Neil was given the brief of explaining to those of us who are not as self assured as others on how we might improve our portrait photography. This he would do by explaining such things as camera settings & preferred lenses, composition and also importantly, model etiquette, ie how a photographer should conduct his or herself when addressing and posing a model. All this would be done using a very basic setup of two studio lamps, without flash facility.
Neil started be explaining the best camera settings and his preference to using a 70-200mm lens thus enabling him to remain at a distance from his model so as not to intimidate by encroaching on their 'personal space'. He continued by explaining how best to frame the model by ensuring the correct amount of space existed, in the right places, around the head & shoulders to provide a pleasing image.
Referring now to etiquette, Neil told how when interacting with a model first one had to realise that they were interacting with a person, who had to be respected. He explained how no physical contact should be attempted without the full permission of the subject and should involve only minimal contact, be brief and used only when absolutely necessary.
The members were then let 'let loose' under Neil's watchful eye to practice what they had learned on the 4 models who had so kindly devoted their time for us this evening.
The evening proved a great success and ran on until well after nine. All who attended, whether experienced in portraiture or not, remarked on how well they had enjoyed the evening.
I and the members would like to thank Neil for an interesting, entertaining and informative evening. Special thanks must go to Lydia, for once again agreeing to be a model, and for her patience.
It should also be noted that Neil's fee for the evening was donated, in full, to the Paediatric Intensive Care Dept at the RVI.
Bob Finlay (President)
On the 6 th September our guest speaker was Keith Collins who gave an interesting talk on Lightroom and Photoshop digital workflows. An accomplished speaker Keith has 45 years experience in photography with a range of interests from landscapes, wildlife through to portraits and weddings. He showed us some examples from his portfolio with some stunning images captured around the world.
He then took us through first the photographic equipment he uses and then moved on to the tools he uses for post production describing the hardware, software and ergonomics along with some useful reference material both in book form and on the internet.
Then followed an explanation on reading histograms and how altering the exposure affects the histogram and the image.
Keith then compared and contrasted the main differences between Photoshop and Lightroom software listing their individual strengths and weaknesses of the two and whilst there were good arguments for using one or the other Keith came to the conclusion that you probably need to use both. He then demonstrated how to edit an image of a rhinoceros in Lightroom with four clicks; setting the camera calibration, adjusting lens correction, white balance and sharpening. It was fascinating to see the subtle but effective differences these made to enhance the image.
After that we were taken through a Lightroom workflow on a relatively simply landscape before using masks and sharpening on a complex landscape of Paris. Again the subtle but very effective changes made substantial differences to the image.
During the evening we heard many tips and tricks that Keith passed to help either speed up the editing process or making it more effective. Finally Keith showed us some of his recent images with an eclectic mix of wildlife, landscape and portraits.
Our thanks to Keith for an entertaining and educational talk covering a wide range of images and explaining the techniques that can improve them using Photoshop and Lightroom.