Tag Archives: #bcgmonthlycompetition

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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Learning from Amazing Images

Wow! What a month for photography exhibitions. Marie and I attended the Queensland Camera Group Print Project challenge exhibition. The quality of the entries from the members was very high and it was easy to spend time there getting lost in the images. Some of the techniques used were thought provoking for our own work.

The Professional Photographers Association of Queensland (PPAQ) Print Exhibition was the first time they had held such an event. It showcased the work of their members. Again it was easy to get lost in the images. We also spent time discussing various images with the makers and they were very happy to share tips and techniques with us.

We were confronted with many images that expanded our world view and showed some of the pain and suffering in the world today when we attended the World Press Photography Awards exhibition. We were struck by the power of photo journalism to tell a story in a single image. I wonder how these photographers can spend time in these environments and not come away with their lives being impacted by what they have witnessed and lived through to gather the images they made.

Our home club, Brisbane Camera Group, was the organiser and host of the Queensland Interclub Audio Visual Competition which is held every two years. Marie and I attended the awards evening where every Audio Visual submitted was played and the winners announced. This was a different way of seeing images and was very enjoyable. The quality of work was very good. A key to having an effective Audio Visual is being able to tell a story that holds the attention of the audience. This requires both well captured images and a suitable soundtrack.

Marie and I attended an Adobe Lightroom and Photoshop Workshop run by Ash Kashyap to improve our skills with this software. We came away having learned new ways to process our images. For me, I enjoy seeing someone else’s workflow as there is usually something I can take and use in my own workflow to improve my images more effectively.

The second Adrian Lowe Workshop was held recently. Adrian is the creator of the SMARTS process of evaluating an image. His talks are about learning about yourself and how you impact your photography. Using this knowledge, you learn to create images that are unique to you. That way you will stand out from the crowd and have your own style.

Construction was the topic of our July monthly competition. I submitted two DPIs taken with my mobile phone. One image had some work done on it to make it appear more “surreal”. The other was a more natural representation of the scene. The judge for the month was Melissa Anderson, an AIPP qualified judge who I have a great deal of respect for. My “surreal” image received an acceptance and the key take away was the treatment I had applied had confused the colour palette and there were aspects in the image that made it hard to know what the focus point of the image was. The other image received a Merit which I was very pleased about. The images appear below.

Preparing to Lay a Floor (Merit)


Under Construction (Acceptance)

 

I am still making slow progress with my Print Project Challenge entry. I purchased a couple more props for the shoot which should help. Last weekend I captured a few images of my nephew and his girlfriend for possible inclusion in the project. It was a lot of fun and I’m hoping I can make some of the images work into the story line. Here are a couple of images from the shoot.

 

My Instagram activity has been modest this last month. I have called up some older images and worked on them before posting. A few new images were also featured. They have been a mixture of portraits and other images. Here are a couple of images for you to enjoy.

 

Until next post, keep on clicking!

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3 Prints – 1 Merit & 1 Honour

This month has been busy with workshops and learning opportunities. Marie and I attended a Neon Glow Photo Workshop with Cam Attree via meetup.com. This was a fun, creative and experimental photo shoot, playing with UV light, neon makeup and body paint. The hair and makeup artist was Jessalee and the models were Bernie and Saskia. We took a mixture of head shots and full body shots. For me, posing the models was challenging and the biggest part of the learning experience. Given the nature of the shoot we needed to set our cameras to a high ISO. I shot with a 50mm prime lens that has a f1.8 maximum aperture. Some of my images are below:

We are still chasing the light and working to improve our knowledge. We also attended a Creative Speed-light Portrait Photography Workshop conducted by Ash Kashyap also via meetup.com. Ash gave an overview on how to use speed lights creatively and illustrated that best results are achieved off camera. He demonstrated the use of 2 and 3 speed lights and the impact they have on the results one can achieve. An advantage of speed lights is they are a lot more mobile that studio lights and you can take them virtually anywhere. However, speed lights do have their limitations and studio lights do provide better images within a studio environment. After the theory and demonstrations, we then practiced some shots with a model. The model is Kylie Fursey. Some of my images are below:

I have never been overly enthused to watch video lessons via the internet. If there wasn’t a written component to read, I would move on as I believed that learning via video was too slow whereas books or ebooks enabled me to skip to the topic I wanted to learn without having to go through all the waffle. However, this year I have discovered there is a wealth of information in online courses including video content. Currently, I am really enjoying working my way through the CreativeLive.com course “From Capture to Print” with Rocco Ancora as the course leader. I am learning so much especially about post production in readiness for printing an image. He is also explaining the impact on the image of your paper choice and how to use profiles to get the print results you want. I haven’t finished the course yet and am looking forward to the remaining lessons.

The Brisbane Camera Group Monthly Competition topic for June was “Abandoned”. I chose to enter three prints in the Open section and this was the first time I have submitted all my entries as prints. I was very happy to receive an acceptance, a merit and an honour. These images have previously been shown on Instagram.

Look Right Look Left and Smile – Acceptance

Surfing Gold Coast – Merit

Psychedelic Dreaming – Honour

 

The topic for July is “Construction” – images where the focus is on what is being constructed. Marie and I had a wander around Brisbane CBD last weekend to see if we could find any suitable images. We didn’t find anything that we were enthused about for this competition topic. However, as we were returning back to our car we came across a tree being felled. This proved to be an interesting set of images and while not construction, we could use them in the future in an Open or other competition. Here are a couple of images:

My Print Project Challenge is progressing very slowly. I have been looking for props and also trying to visualise how my images should look and what exactly I want to convey. Some of the images will need models and I have contacted my nephew and his partner and they are keen to assist. A shoot has yet to be arranged but it will definitely be in July. I am hoping that by the end of July I will have a few draft images to assess how well the concept is working.

Until my next post, keep on chasing decisive moments!

 

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Chasing The Light

The Brisbane Camera Group competition topic this month was “Yellow”. I entered two DPI images into the set subject and one into the open category. My images received acceptances which I was half expecting. As I wasn’t at the meeting, I didn’t receive the judge’s feedback. However, I know I scrapped around for set subject images and didn’t shoot with purpose. My open entry was more of an experiment and I know I can do better. Here are the images I submitted:

Set Image: In A Garden – Acceptance

Set Image: Worksite – Acceptance

Open Image: Piercing The Clouds – Acceptance

 

On Sunday 20 May, Brisbane Camera Group was very fortunate to have WPPI Grand Master Rocco Ancora conducting a workshop on Light: The Key to Emotion. Marie and I attended and it was one of the best workshops I have attended. Limited to 20 participants, it was great to learn tips and tricks from a world-renowned photographer.

Rocco suggested visiting old art works by the masters to see how they used light. In their paintings they would have deep shadows with detail and highlights with detail. They often used a single light source such as a window. He said don’t be afraid of shadow – without shadow there is no depth or mood.

Nikon provided a model and here are a couple of images I made on the day:

Model: Ella Golding

Model: Ella Golding

Marie and I have been chasing light this month in a big way. On May 7 we attended an Andrew Merefield (Elite Studios) Workshop and we had to set up a lighting arrangement to achieve the results we were after. I wanted the look of one side of the face in light and the other side in darkness. This worked out well but was improved by Andrew’s suggestions of some alternative lighting arrangements. The key thing I learned was what I saw was not what I would get in camera. There is always the need to take test shots to ensure the lighting is set up to provide the image you are trying to make. Here are some of the images I made:

Model: Cleo DeFleur

Model: Cleo DeFleur

Model: Cleo DeFleur

 

On the following weekend we supported the Verge Collective. Lisa Kurtz is a member of this collective. Lisa led our tour of Italy late last year and we have a close relationship with her. She is also our mentor for the BCG Print Project Challenge this year. The Verge Collective had their art work on display in Boonah and we stayed there for the Saturday night. A Still Life workshop was held on the Saturday afternoon which Marie and I attended. Emma Wright was the workshop leader and she emphasised having fun while creating the images.

Here is an image I created:

Photoshop is a challenge to learn and we attended a basics course with Andrew Merefield. This was more like a refresher for me but I still learned a few new things to put into practice. The shortcuts are always useful and not always obvious.

Brisbane Camera Group is increasing its community involvement by helping in raising funds for the RBWH Foundation. This will involve members submitting prints that will be sold with proceeds going to the hospital. Over the weekend I spent some time choosing some images for consideration.

Also, on the weekend I started to take some images for my print project challenge entry. These are very initial steps in the project and I still have a long way to go.

My recent posts to Instagram have been inspired by the workshops I have attended. Here are a few of the more “creative” images I have posted.

 

On a personal note, I have successfully returned to work. I am very pleased that I have fully recovered and feel like I am back to where I was before the illness set in.

Until next time,
Keep on making images.

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Repeating Shapes

In my last post, I mentioned in passing that I was off work with the flu. Since that post, I have spent nine nights in hospital because of having Influenza A. This illness has hit me hard and sapped a lot of energy that I once had. I am home now but still coming off medications and working on rebuilding my strength and stamina.

A return to work date is not yet known and will depend on my progress and the assessment of my doctors. I do a bit, rest a bit, and repeat with trying to do a little more each time without overdoing it. During the rests, I enjoy my reading which has been a mix of novels and photography books.

While in hospital, I was fortunate to have a room with a very good view. Using my phone, I captured images through the window and some made their way onto Instagram. Here are three of my favourites.

A rainy day looking towards Brisbane CBD (taken from room)

Night looking towards Brisbane CBD (taken from room)

Strong tree and part of Brisbane CBD around 6pm (taken from lounge down passage from my room). This image was my farewell to hospital image.

 

The March Brisbane Camera Group monthly competition set subject was “Repeating Shapes”. The definition was “an image where a series of the same or similar elements are repeated in such a way as to add strength to the overall image”. I entered two images in the set subject and one image in open. Due to illness I didn’t enter the February competition, so March was my first for the year.

My set subject images were sourced from a few visits to Broadbeach on the Gold Coast over mid-December to mid-January. They were captured with the intention of possibly being suitable for this topic. The image submitted in the open section came from our week’s holiday in Caloundra in February. I am chuffed with the results obtained for the images.

Set: Building Patterns 1 – Honour

Set: Building Patterns 2 – Merit

Open: Sand and Rock – Merit

 

While I couldn’t attend the meeting to hear the feedback from the judge, I am hopeful that BCG’s new competition system will enable me to see the feedback in the next day or so.

 

Last year Brisbane Camera Group held a Print Project Challenge which I participated in. My project was about my “inner selves”. BCG has decided to run the challenge again this year and I have registered my interest to participate again.

My working topic is to produce up to six conceptual images that relate the story of a poem I wrote back in 1998. The poem is called “It’s The Time”. One of the reasons I like this poem is it was written with no effort – I sat down and thought of the first line and the rest just flowed out. It was written in about 20 minutes.

Twenty years later I am looking at it again and wondering what it meant back then, what it means to me now, and how will I convey that through conceptual images rather than literal images. I think this will push me out of my comfort zone in more ways than just clicking the shutter on the camera. I’m looking forward to the challenge.

 

A photography book I have just finished reading is “Within the Frame: The Journey of Photographic Vision” by David duChemin. This book talks about developing your photography vision and being aware of your intention. When creating an image, you have an intention on how you want the image to look. Honour that intention even if you are the only one that cares about your image.

The story or emotion in the image depends just as much as what is included in the frame as what is excluded. Every decision you make in capture and post production helps you convey your message or messes up the communication to your audience. I particularly enjoyed this book because he discussed his principles not just in general, but specifically to photographing people, places and cultures.

 

Until next time,
Happy image creating!

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Sometimes Judges Produce Surprises

Unfortunately Marie and I were unable to attend the Brisbane Camera Group’s Competition Judging evening last Monday. Therefore I have only received the results but not the feedback provided. This was one of the few months this year where I submitted four images for judging.

The set subject was “Self Portrait” and I only submitted one entry in this category. As my Print Project Challenge is based on a series of self portraits, I didn’t want to submit any work done to date. Instead I took one of my test shots and tried to be creative with it. This resulted in the image “Rock Solid” displayed below which received an acceptance.

Rock Solid – Acceptance

As I mentioned in the previous post, I submitted an image for judging that I also submitted for the image show. I must have experienced a “grey moment” for that to have occurred. In hindsight I was not very happy with the images I submitted in the Open section and was not expecting much at all. And that’s where sometimes the judges surprise!

I was very surprised when the image I least expected to do well received an honour. The other two images only received acceptances which was most probably all that they deserved.

Lions Guarding – Acceptance

Rusting – Acceptance

Peace Brother – Honour

Photoshop still remains largely a mystery to me. However, last Saturday I worked my way through Peter Eastway’s “How to Master Photoshop Layers” and found this to be a very useful resource. Just watching how he does his selections was a revelation and has made my workflow a lot easier. On Sunday I put my new found knowledge to work to do some proof of concepts for my Print Project Challenge.

The tutorial sections on Hayley Robert’s Photography website are also proving very useful for assisting my knowledge development. For example, she illustrates how she creates shadows in her images using Photoshop tools. So my learning journey continues.

 

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