Category Archives: Uncategorized

Negative Space

This month has been a mixed bag with Marie having her cataracts removed and a little down time as a result. I have also spent some time thinking of some techniques I need to work on. A couple of weekends ago, I wanted to test a Photoshop technique where you can photograph a scene and have the people removed. To achieve this, I took my tripod out and captured images for approximately eight minutes of various buildings around Brisbane. Taking an image every 45 seconds resulted in around 10 images per location.

The ten images for a location are then loaded into one file in Photoshop and a script is run which creates an image of the unchanged parts of the images taken. Most had some artefacts still, but I had one image where it required virtually no extra work to get the result I wanted. This image was of the Brisbane GPO and it appears below:

Marie and I are focusing on improving our fitness and on most Saturdays walked to build stamina and along the way capture some images. Here is a small selection of images I captured on these walks:

I submitted some images for the Presenters Night at BCG this month. A short showing of members current work is made so we can see how our images look on the large screen. Here are the ones I submitted:

BCG came second in the River City Print Competition which was a very pleasing outcome for the club. This competition is “impact judged” and my prints performed around the middle of the pack. Looking at the scores reinforces to me how subjective judging can be. I had one print in the Non-A Grade Colour section and it scored 21 out of a possible 30 points. The three judges scored it as 8, 5, & 8. The highest scoring print in the section scored 26 out of 30 points.

The most surprising result for me was my print “Walking Down the Alleyway” which was in the Non-A Grade Monochrome section. In the BCG annual competition late last year, this image was judged the best overall monochrome print for the club. The judges in the River City Print Competition judged it as 3, 5, & 8 totalling 16 out of a possible 30 points. The diversity in scores from the judges for this print shows just how much subjectivity there is in judging.

I entered two images in the set subject for the BCG monthly competition. The set subject topic was “Negative Space”. I received one acceptance and one honour. Also, I entered one image in Open and it received an acceptance. The highlight for me was winning the best image overall in my grade for the month for which I received a Sponsors Award from Brisbane Camera Hire to the value of $30.

Golden Tower – Acceptance
The Damage Has Been Done – Acceptance
Dancer in White – Honour

July’s Competition topic is “Photo Replication”. The definition is: “Photo Replication is the copy or reproduction of a famous photograph, painting, sculpture or piece of art. It can be replicated, reproduced or copied in any way as interpreted by the photographer, however the photo must clearly remind the viewer of the artist’s/photographer’s style. Photo  Replication is not considered plagiarism as this is the intention of this concept to flatter the artist’s/photographer’s work by copying or reproducing his/her’s work. The image can be in mono or colour.

This is going to be a challenging topic!

Until next time, keep on creating!

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Conventions, Competitions and Photo Walks

Marie and I attended the Photographic Society of Queensland (PSQ) Convention which was held over the long weekend in May. It was a great opportunity to catch up with some old faces and to meet some new ones too. The program was varied, and I gained some insights that I am sure will help my photography over time.

The keynote speaker was Professor Des Crawley who spoke on “Visual Cultures and the Imagined Vision”. There was so much in this presentation and I am very grateful he made the slides and supporting material available to attendees. I am planning to refresh my memory by working through his papers.

He also closed the Convention by speaking on “Developing Creativity at Club Level – The Portfolio Process”. This talk also provided many insights and I think will assist me with my next print project with Brisbane Camera Group (BCG). Many of the principles can also be applied to photobooks too.

Another speaker I found particularly interesting was Adam Williams. He spoke on “The Search for Meaningful Photography” and lead a workshop on “Creative Photoshop Wizardry”. Russell Brown spoke on “Change the Channel – Utilising the power of colour spaces in Photoshop” and afterwards I purchased his book, so I could follow some of his techniques to improve my images.

My first photobook arrived in the post during the month. It was done using chatbooks and I am happy with the results. Like any other first, it is a learning process. I need to pay more attention to the settings when I am ordering as the size was not what I expected. Also, I thought I selected that the title be on the spine but that didn’t happen. From a image selection perspective, I need to be careful not to have key elements too close to where the book is bound.

Recently I attended a photo walk conducted by Bruno Domingues Photography which focused on natural light portraiture in various Brisbane CBD locations. There were approximately 30 attendees and 6 models. This was very much an opportunity to create images of the models rather than being a workshop. Here is a selection of some of my images:

Each Presenters Night at BCG has a short showing of members’ work. I don’t submit every month as I often forget or am more focused on getting my competition images ready. This month I did submit some images and here they are:

Each year the club enters the River City Print Competition which is for clubs located in South East Queensland. I have been fortunate enough to have some of my images selected to form part of the club entry. They are below:

I entered three images in the set subject for the BCG monthly competition. The set subject topic was “Impressionist”. I received 2 Merits and 1 Honour.

Everglade Reflections – Merit
Waiting for the Storm to Pass – Merit
Peaceful Fields – Honour

June’s Competition topic is “Negative Space”. The definition is “Negative space, is the space around and between the subject(s) of an image. Negative space may be most evident when the space around a subject, not the subject itself, forms an interesting or artistically relevant shape, and such space occasionally is used to artistic effect as the “real” subject of an image.

I haven’t given this topic any thought yet, so I had better get moving and seeing what I can produce. It is always good to have a challenge that I can learn and improve from.

Until next time, keep on creating!

30 Years

This month just seems to have been busy! I ran out of time to prepare images that met the Brisbane Camera Group monthly competition topic of “Transportation”. As I could use images from the annual competitions that hadn’t previously been used in monthly competitions, I decided to enter three in the Open section.

Two of my entries received acceptances and one received a merit. I was hopeful of a better result but I think effort to make new work in the set subject rather than pulling out old images for the open section will push me harder and build my skills better. The images I entered are below.

Romenade du Paillon (Acceptance)

Scanno Exit Reflections (Acceptance)

The Strongest Man (Merit)

At the Brisbane Camera Group Presenters Night, we were given a taste of photo books in all their shapes and sizes. My eyes were opened to the creative efforts some people make with there books. The following week we had a “workshop” session and I discovered websites and software available to create photo books and the various services that will print them.

While I had no plans to get involved in photo books when I attended these sessions, I came away motivated to give it a try. One of the options I was impressed with was the books available through chatbooks.com. This seemed like a great way to dip my toe into the water for very little cost. So, I picked 30 images from the week Marie and I spent in Caloundra in February to celebrate our 30th wedding anniversary. I have titled the book “30 Years – February 2019”. I am now eagerly waiting for it to be printed and delivered.

Marie has been working on her skills in taking in camera multiple exposure images. On our last photo walk, I have also been giving this form of photography a go to see what I can do with it. Doing it on a photo walk means one’s creativity is stretched to the max as you have to make the best of what is presented to you. This makes it challenging and difficult to get to come away with many “winners”. We also did a photo walk through the valley on a Saturday night which was an interesting experience.

Here are some of my recent images:

Looking to next month’s competition, the topic is “Impressionist”. The definition is “A style when the photographer tries to convey the feeling of a scene, a general impression, or suggestion of a scene. Lacking in detail these impressionist images emphasize colour over line and are often soft, dreamy, and have a painterly feel.” I am working on some images and plan to have three prints to submit for this topic. I am confident I won’t need to resort to finding images for the open section to compete in May.

Until next time, keep on pressing that shutter button!

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Celebrations and Competitions

Wow! Is it really two months since I posted my last update? Where has the time disappeared to? All I can say is I have been busy, and I know that is no excuse.

The Brisbane Camera Group February competition has been and gone and my result was an acceptance for each image submitted. This was not the start of the year I was looking for as I was hoping for one or two merits at least. While I understand the judge’s reasons for the acceptances, I also know they are opinions I can choose to take on board or not. Here are the images:

Church of Saint Ferreol-Augustinians Marseille – The judge suggested the image could be improved by cloning out the church behind.

Inside Galleria Umberto I – Naples. Improvements suggested included showing less of the ceiling and having a panorama style print showing the art work with less distractions.

La Pergola Nice France – He suggested less sky and a person on one of the balconies would make a difference.

In February, Marie and I spent a week in Caloundra celebrating our 30th wedding anniversary. We both took many images especially of the beach. Marie has been playing around with in camera multiple images and encouraged me to give it a try. Here are a couple of my images that worked out okay.

Ice Cream Time at Noosa
Keeping a Watch
Learning to be Surf Life Savers

The March competition topic was “Movement” – “a finished image that depicts motion blur resulting from long exposure or panning or in camera movement. The image cannot be a freeze frame photo, it must show some blur in some part of the image.” I submitted two prints into the competition set subject and one print into the open section.

This was a far better month! I received one merit and two honours, so I am really pleased with these results. My “Movement” prints scored a merit and honour while my open entry was an honour. Here are the images:

Slow Dancer (awarded an honour)
Getting Ready to go back for More (awarded a merit)
Bicycle Built for Two (awarded an honour)

Looking to next month’s competition, the topic is “Transportation”. The definition is “The image must show the action of transporting someone or something or the process of being transported.” I haven’t begun to think about this topic yet. Time is running out, so I need to start sooner rather than later.

Until next time, keep on pressing that shutter button!

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What Does 2019 Hold in Store?

It is hard to believe that January is almost behind me. Where has the first month of the year gone? Usually, January is a great time to put plans into place to achieve my goals. This year seems to be very fuzzy just now.

I have been saying my key photography goal this year is to do what’s required to move from AB Grade to A Grade at Brisbane Camera Group. What this means is I need to submit a minimum of 15 images in the monthly competitions and achieve a grade point average of at least 10. I have been asked what genre I am going to focus on. This is a tough question that I don’t have an answer for. My thought is to focus on the set subjects each month wherever possible and to do prints rather than DPIs.

The first monthly competition is in February and the set subject is architecture. The definition is “..The picture must be of a building intended for human occupation or use. It may be a picture of the exterior or interior and may be a detail of a limited part of a building or buildings that displays architectural angles and lines in a dynamic or colourful way (Monochrome allowed)…”

While I have thought of going out and taking images around Brisbane in readiness for the competition, I find now that time is running out. Instead, I have reviewed my images from the last couple of years and have decided to submit three images from our trip to Italy/France in September/October 2017.

Last weekend Marie and I attended a workshop run by Digital Camera Warehouse. The topic was blur and sharpness in the same image. They had two dancers for us to photograph in a studio setting. While the dancers were great, the backgrounds were not great, and I was left with a feeling I would not get anything out of the images.

The March Monthly Competition set subject is “movement”. Hopefully I can rescue a couple of images from the workshop to enable me to submit them. This could be a further opportunity to improve my Photoshop skills. Here are a couple of images from the workshop:

So what else have I been doing since my last post? I pondered the question: what do you do will all the images that just missed the cut for my Print Project submission last year? I decided to use a number of these images around a theme or series and apply some textures and effects to re-purpose them. Here are the series I created:

Until next time, keep on pressing that shutter button!

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As 2018 Draws to a Close

Sorry for the delay in putting up this post. I decided to change web hosts and plans to save some money as this is a hobby site. This wasn’t the best idea and I have been sorting out performance issues since and have needed to upgrade my hosting plan to be able to do what I need to do. As a result very little financial saving has been achieved, just plenty of lost time.

Brisbane Camera Group held its Annual Dinner and Awards Night on 3 December. My prints did well (view them here) and I was happy with the outcome. Here is a list of my results:

Pictorial Monochrome Prints AB Grade
            1st – Walking Down The Alleyway
            3rd – Black Goat of the Family

Pictorial Colour Prints AB Grade
            2nd – Sienna Cathedral Ceiling

Nature Prints AB Grade
            1st – Galah

People Prints AB Grade
            2nd – Leanne in the Ring

Creative/Experimental Prints AB Grade
            2nd – Summertime
            3rd – Building Patterns

Social Documentary/Photojournalism Prints AB Grade
            1st – Preparing for Winter
            2nd – Anzac Square Redevelopment
            3rd – Artistic Weaver at Work

Being at the judging gave me an insight into how to improve some of my images. In Pictorial Colour Prints, my image was a tie for first place. The judges were required to judge these two images again for first and second placing. A key reason my image came second was the central part of the ceiling was off centre. In People Prints, my image was also a tie for first place. The other image was very different to my image. However, a key factor was not all of the shadow was in my image. If it had have been then I may have placed first.

These are tips for me to remember when preparing my images for future competitions. That said, I was pleased with my haul of ten awards in my grade for the print categories. There were two more moments in the evening that I am proud of. The Club Champion Monochrome Print is selected from all the monochrome prints that placed irrespective of grade. My print “Walking Down The Alleyway” was chosen as the recipient of this award. It was a very proud moment to have won the Champion Monochrome Print. Here is an image of me receiving my award:

Image courtesy of Lex Lucas.

After the judging, a couple of the judges suggested my image would have improved by reducing the impact of the sky. It could be either darkened or cropped as the key focus is the two people walking down the alleyway. Here is a copy of the image after implementing the judges’ suggestions.

At the end of the night I was awarded the President’s Award for my service to the Club over the year. This is a book prize and is tremendous recognition for my contribution to the Club. Here is an image of me receiving my award:

Image courtesy of Lex Lucas.

After completing my Print Project which was exhibited last month with other members of Brisbane Camera Group, I was wondering what to do with the many images that didn’t quite make the final six images. I decided to start a series based on “…everyone wants to be a clown…” and call it “Clownsville”. This series has been appearing on my Instagram account. Here is a selection of the images:

 

Now that the year is drawing to a close, I will have some time to think about what I want to achieve in photography in 2019. Club activities recommence in February but the first monthly competition needs to be planned for and images created by late January. The first topic is “Architecture” and it is defined as “The picture must be of a building intended for human occupation or use. It may be a picture of the exterior or interior and may be a detail of a limited part of a building or buildings that displays architectural angles and lines in a dynamic or colourful way (Monochrome allowed).” That will be my first challenge.

Wishing you all the very best of the festive season. May 2019 bring you closer to what you desire in photography and life. Thanks for reading my posts and following my progress.

See you in 2019! Keep on creating images!

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Print Project Exhibition

This month my focus has been on the Print Project Challenge. The submission date was 5 November and I just achieved this. I sent my images to Streets Imaging on Wednesday 31 October and collected them on Thursday 1 November after work. The paper stock was beautiful but the actual images were over sharpened and could not be used. I knew what I had done wrong and was able to go back to the previous version of the images and send them off for reprint. Fortunately they were ready on Friday 2 November for collection after work. I was then able to mat them over the weekend.

Opening night for the exhibition was on 16 November at The Maud Street Photo Gallery. Marie also had images in the exhibition along with 17 other members of Brisbane Camera Group. Marie’s images were stunning and she has taken a giant leap forward in her photographic development. My Photoshop skills continue to develop and I think my images are an improvement on what I presented last year.

Image courtesy of Marie Sinclair

My project is titled “It’s the Time” and is based on a poem I wrote 20 years ago. This project aimed to reinterpret the poem as a series of photographic images. Click here to read my artist statement and poem. Here are the images I exhibited:

There was no monthly competition in November. Marie and I assisted other club members on 4 November for the annual competition print judging. This is a hectic day and everyone was tired when it finished. I submitted 23 prints over 6 categories. One print was disqualified as I made a mistake in the entry process. I had 3 images in Nature but after the disqualification I ended with only 2 images in the category.

Marie and I are both AB grade members. It was disappointing that only 4 AB grade members (including Marie and I) entered prints in the annual competition. The results of the judging will be announced at the Club’s Annual Dinner on 3 December. The images I submitted this year can be viewed by clicking here.

Since last post I have submitted a number of images to my Instagram account. Here is a sampling of some of them:

My next post will be after the Brisbane Camera Group Annual Dinner on 3 December. I will then know how my prints performed and will be able to share that news.

Until then, keep on taking images!

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Print and Mat, Print and Mat

During the month Marie and I attended a natural light portrait photography workshop run by Ash Kashyap and the model was Helena Schutt. Portraits in natural light can be quite tricky and it is important not to have the model in direct sunlight otherwise there will be skin blow outs. Also, having the model too far into shadow can lead to flat images. Both Marie and I really enjoyed photographing Helena and we came away with some images we were very happy with. Here is a small selection of images I created at the workshop:

 

 

Each month at the Brisbane Camera Group Speakers Night, there is a digital show of images submitted by members. This show enables members to submit images they have been working on and share them with their fellow members without being critiqued or judged. For the show on 8 October, I submitted the following images:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The monthly competition topic was “Old Things” – images where the central feature is an object or objects that is old. It is not necessary to be antique. I entered one image in the Digital Projected Image section. The judging was conducted last Monday night and my image was an acceptance only. The judge said the background distracted from the subject. On reflection, I can appreciate what he said and it reminds me I need to pay more attention to all the detail in my images. Here is the image I submitted:

The rest of the month was spent on preparing and printing images for my entry into the Club’s annual competition. A maximum of 24 images can be submitted over 6 categories. My entry is 23 images. The categories are Pictorial Colour, Pictorial Monochrome, People, Creative/Experimental, Social Documentary/Photo Journalism and Nature. Nature was my weakest area and I only submitted 3 of a possible 4 images. Judging of the print entries will be conducted on Sunday 4 November 2018 so I should have an idea of how my images performed after that.

Our Print Project Challenge is also due for submission by 4 November 2018. I have my 6 images almost ready but need to do further work to fix a few issues before they go to print. All Brisbane Camera Group members participating in this activity will have their images exhibited in The Maud Street Photo Gallery. Opening night will be 16 November and the exhibition will finish on Sunday evening 18 November. It is always a proud moment to have your images on the wall of a gallery – especially Brisbane’s number 1 photography gallery.

Until next time, keep on making images!

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The Long Weekend and Image Preparation

Since my last post, Marie and I haven’t attended any workshops. We spent a “long weekend” at Noosaville on the Noosa River and a highlight was a boat trip through the Noosa Everglades. The waters are like a mirror and everything is reflected in detail. I have been posting some images from the weekend on Instagram. Here is a selection of them:

 

 

Each month at the BCG Speakers Night, there is a digital show of images submitted by members. These images don’t have to be competition quality. They are meant to be a reflection of current work. For the show on 10 September, I submitted the following images:

Jemma

Me and My Girls

Night Lights on the River


Tanya

 

Apart from our little break, this period has been quite busy. I have been preparing for the Brisbane Camera Group AGM which was held on 10 September as well as attending to a number of action items from the recent Committee meetings of the Club. Also, I have continued selecting images for possible entry to the BCG Annual Competition.

My Print Project Challenge has been developing slowly and further progress has been made. I need to create a maximum of 6 images for my entry. I now have 2 images that are well developed and 3 that a partially developed and 1 that is still back at the beginning stage. I still have time on my side but need to be careful that it doesn’t run out too quickly.

The BCG Monthly Competition wasn’t high on my list this month. As a result, I didn’t enter any images. It was more important for me to progress my Annual Competition and Print Project Challenge entries. In conclusion, here are a couple of images being considered for entry in the Annual Competition:

 

 

Until the next post, keep on clicking!

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Seeing Where the Light Falls

This month featured my first attempt at astrophotography. Brisbane Camera Group had an outing on the shores of Lake Wivenhoe and we were fortunate that the clouds parted so we could witness the Milky Way. Our club President provided guidance to those who had never done astrophotography before. The challenge is to avoid light pollution impacting on the image. Also, the full impact of the Milky Way is not evident until post production. Overall, it was a good learning experience. Here are some images from the outing:

 

Circus! Circus! Circus! was the title of a Cam Attree Workshop Marie and I attended this month. It was a great opportunity to photography Lucy Luxe as the Ring Master and Pete Hartwig as the strongest man. We also had models performing on the rings which was challenging to photograph. Our models were from aerialicious – Tami Dawson & Leanne Smith. Here are some images from the workshop:

 

 

 

Marie and I were fortunate to attend a studio lighting workshop run by internationally respected glamour and fashion photographer Peter Coulson. I attended his natural light workshop last year here in Brisbane and gained a lot from the experience. He has a couple of sayings that stuck in my head – the photographer’s job is to turn shit into chocolate. He also said that when socialising people ask him what his profession is. He responses by saying he is a photographer. When asked what he photographs, he responds by saying “eyes”. He says that models that can communicate with their eyes have a longer career than those who can’t.

The workshop was learning first with some time to put it into practice. The placement of the model relative to the light source and the image impact were demonstrated. A key focus was learning to see where the light falls. He advises not to get caught up in the beauty of the model, instead focus on the light and what it is doing to the image.

Here are some images taken at the workshop:

 

 

 

Weather was the set subject for this month’s competition at Brisbane Camera Group. I decided to enter the open section with two prints of images taken when Marie and I visited Italy and France last year. The aim was to receive feedback on the images in readiness of preparing images for the annual competition.

One image received a merit and the other an honour, which was a very pleasing outcome. “Morning Reflections on Lake San Domenico” received the merit and the judge indicated a spot at the bottom left corner of the image that I should have removed. Also, she suggested that I removed the sky from the top of the image so that it is only shown in the reflection. “Sienna Cathedral Ceiling” received an honour with no feedback on improvement. Here are the images:

Morning Reflections on Lake San Domenico – Merit

Sienna Cathedral Ceiling – Honour

 

My Print Project Challenge entry is progressing slowly. During the month I have taken more images as my ideas develop and take shape. A couple of images taken as part of these shoots have been shared on Instagram. These are not in the format they will take for the Print Project – they were just a bit of fun. Here are the images:

 

With the closing date for the BCG annual competition getting closer and closer, I have started to develop a short list of possible images I will enter. My plan is to enter prints only this year. The Annual Competition is made up of six subjects: Pictorial Monochrome, Pictorial Colour, Nature, People, Creative / Experimental, and Social Documentary / Photojournalism. I plan to enter at least 4 of the subjects at a minimum. If I have images that satisfy Nature or Social Documentary / Photojournalism, then I will enter these also.

Until the next post, keep on clicking!

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