Annual General Meeting and Special Presentation Thursday 16th November

Our AGM started with a brief formal meeting where the existing committee was re elected for another year, a great vote of confidence in the hard working members who have helped make LCCP one of the leading amateur photographic groups in Sydney.

As part of the AGM proceedings, our ever hard working Secretary, David Edmonds was made a Life Member by popular assent of the members and Committee.  David has held the Secretary's position for over 10 years and his dedication and commitment to the club has been outstanding.  Well done David.

Mauve Flower taken with a self made lens - (c) Jim Crew 2017

Following the AGM we were treated to not one, but two special presentations.

Michael Stevens demonstrated the simple Artist's easel he has made as a temporary display stand for his many finished prints.  Using the easel, you can display your prints for a brief time with a simple way to change them around without having to frame and fix prints to a wall.

Our second Presentation was in two parts.  Jim Crew demonstrated a home made lens he has made using an old set of bellows, some PVC waste pipe, a few "aperture" plates and a single lens element.  An example is shown above.  Jim demonstrated how the simple lens can be used as a creative tool in image making.  Obviously Jim has too much time on his hands, but for those with a desire to experiment, making a simple lens can be a lot of fun.

The second part of Jim's presentation centred around the use of Photographic language.  Using several examples of the photographic language terms and a brief outline of Gestalt Theory we were presented with example images and the audience was asked to identify the language used.  An interesting and thought provoking night that everyone enjoyed.

Outing to Woolwich Dock

Reflections (c) Michael Smyth 2017

Saturday 11th November was the date for our breakfast and outing to Woolwich dock, just a short stone's throw from our meeting rooms.  The morning started off with a sunny and clear day, not a given this year and well received by all.  We started with a sumptious breakfast at the Ironwood Cafe, followed by a leisurely walk to the dock area and beyond.  All who attended enjoyed the early summer weather and the casual stroll around the waterfront.  Sydney has many interesting historical areas that are worthwhile exploring and thanks to Margaret Miller for her fine work in organising the day.

The Gala Night of Portfolios

Last Thursday night we held our annual Gala Night of Portfolios.  Members who have participated in the Portfolio project this year all presented their work in a "gallery" type exhibition.  We were fortunate to have professional artist Robyn Ross to make some comments on the work and discuss the thoughts, ideas and execution of the work with the authors.  

This year we again broke our own record of work on show, with a total of 30 Portfolios on view, comprising audio visuals, slide shows, books and of course the majority being a series of mounted prints.  A selection of the portfolios presented can be found on our Portfolio page, or click HERE to go directly to the page.

From the Series "Tunnel Vision" by Kirstin Sercombe (c) 2017

Photographing Wild Animals - Presentation by Jacci Schipp-Benz

Sun Bear (c) Jacci Schipp-Benz 2017

Sun Bear (c) Jacci Schipp-Benz 2017

This week we had a long awaited presentation by our member Jacci Schipp-Benz.  Jacci is a passionate animal lover, she has about a 100 pets (perhaps a slight exaggeration) and has spent years volunteering at Taronga Zoo.  Her passion extends to photographing zoo animals in such a way that they don't look captive and she tries to capture something of the personality of her subjects.  In other words, create a portrait of the various animals she is photographing.

Jacci's tips for making animal portraits in zoos and wildlife parks:

- Become a member – go as often as you like,

- Focus on a different animal group each time not try and get around the whole zoo

- Get there before opening - less people, have a coffee and get to the animal you selected before anyone else does :-)

- Go on overcast days – colours pop more, the light acts like a large soft box, no harsh shadow/highlights from enclosures - less people

- Animals are fed early morning, mid to late afternoon so that's when they are most active

- You can shoot through scratched finger printed reflected glass:

- Use a rubber lens hood against the glass at an angle and adjust to minimise reflections

- Scratches and fingerprints become unnoticeable as depth of field is sharp on animal , not on glass (shoot with a wide aperture)

-You can also shoot through cage bars and wires

- Rest the front of your lens parallel on the cage, focus on subject

- The cage becomes unnoticeable as depth of field is sharp on the animal , not on the cage

- Wait until the animal is closer as this is always a better shot than at a distance and cropping. 

- Stand still with camera to face and watch through the lens moving it around to follow the animal

- Shoot with the animal's eyes looking at the camera..... mostly 

- Images look better sharp from eyes to nose

- Catch lights in their eyes, makes the image more emotive 

- Research the animal and its behaviours

And the last tip, be patient.  Great shots come to those who take the time to wait for the magic moment.

To see more of Jacci's Images, go to or click HERE...

Elephant photographed at Taronga Zoo (c) Jacci Schipp-Benz

Elephant photographed at Taronga Zoo (c) Jacci Schipp-Benz

New updates to Lightroom and Photoshop

PS Splash screen.jpg

Adobe has released new versions of Lightroom and Photoshop and each of these is a major upgrade that requires installation of a new full version.  To make matters more confusing, there are now two versions of Lightroom - Now called Lightroom Classic and Lightroom CC.

For those who are still using the fully paid for version of Lightroom (Version 6) the news is that there will no longer be an option to purchase a new standalone version of the software.  The coming upgrade will be the last ever.

Does this mean the end of civilisation as we know it ? 

Not quite, but in an age when the major players are all moving to subscription based models, this was probably inevitable.  We think that most photographers will eventually move to the subscription Photography plan that remains at $14.29 per month, or $171.48 per year.  This plan now includes 20 Gb of online storage, for those who want to use this facility, however many of us have very large files that would eat up this space in no time, so its not much of an option for storage.  Realistically, $171.48 per year is little to pay for software that is continually being upgraded and fully supported.

Lightroom now comes as two versions, most people who keep their images stored locally will remain with Lightroom Classic,  with Lightroom CC designed for people who need to have their image files accessed from several devices including mobile phones and tablets.  For those of us that have large image collections, this is going to be a difficult choice, particularly with our below par internet speeds.  We recommend using Lightroom Classic for most users.


For those who will be upgrading, the new versions are available from the CC panel, where you can also still download and install older versions.  Once the new versions have installed, you will need to move your NIK filters from the old version of Photoshop to the new version.  We have tried this on 3 different installations and it has worked successfully (on Windows machines at least).  The method of copying the NIKsoftware is outlined below.  (Note: we don't recommend using NIK directly from Lightroom as it does not allow for use as a Smart object or as a separate layer with Blend Modes and Opacity adjustments).

Note to all users of the NIK collection:  After installation of the new version you will need to move your NIK plug in to the new version of Photoshop.  You do not need to reinstall NIK ! In fact  if you have created your own presets and recipes, it is important that you do NOT reinstall NIK as you will probably lose your presets.

For Windows users, to copy your NIK plug ins to the new version of Photoshop you need to do the following.  Note - do not start Photoshop CC2018 before completing these steps:

1.  Open Windows Explorer and navigate to the folder containing the old Photoshop program.  It should be found on your C Drive here:  C:\Program Files\Adobe\Adobe Photoshop CC2017.

2.  Go to the folder called "Plug Ins" and select the folder called "Google"  Copy this folder (Right Mouse click and choose "Copy").

3.  Next go to the folder containing the new version of Photoshop, which will be visible under the Adobe folder and will be called Adobe Photoshop cc 2018 ( C:\Program Files\Adobe\Adobe Photoshop CC2018.  Next open up the main folder and select the folder called "Plug Ins".  

4.  Next Paste the Google folder you copied in step 2 into this "Plug Ins folder".  This folder will already contain a folder called "Generator".   Now close Windows Explorer and you are all done.

If you launch Photoshop from a shortcut on your menu bar, you will need to create a new shortcut.  The program icon should appear at the top of the Start menu (Windows 10). Right mouse click on the Photoshop icon, then choose "More" and select "Pin to Taskbar" 

For Mac users we are advised that the source path for the Plug Ins folder is :  Mac HD/Applications/Adobe Photoshop CC 2018/Plug-ins/Google.    As always, these recommendations are given with all care and no responsibility.  If you are unsure what to do, seek help from an expert.  Please also note that with the coming Mac OS upgrade, it will only allow 64 bit programs to run, so Nik will not work.

For further information on the updates, go to Adobe or DPreview where there are details and demonstrations of the new features.

Evaluation Night October 5th

Floral Skeleton (c) 2017 Margaret Miller

Floral Skeleton (c) 2017 Margaret Miller

Another Evaluation night for our members and visitors was held on October 5th.  This night the mentors were Jim Crew and Michael Smyth, with lots of valuable input from members and some lively discussion.  Once again there was a great variety of creative work on display, with a positive atmosphere of cooperation and mutual appreciation of the efforts and thought put into the works.

Presentation by John Swainston on Architectural Forms

Chichester Cathedral (c) John Swainston 2017

Chichester Cathedral (c) John Swainston 2017

Last evening we had  another very special night, with an interesting and passionate presentation on photographing architectural forms by John Swainston.  John has been involved in the photographic industry for nearly 50 years and continues his passion for photography as a board member of the A.I.P.P. and acts on the advisory board of Head On.  John's personal passion is architecture, especially the cathedrals of England and the images and discussion of his approach was fascinating.  John completed his presentation with a personal view of where photography is heading, based on a perspective from within the industry.  In an era when over 4.5 Billion people carry a camera (smartphone) with them at all times, it is interesting to see if and how we can make a difference with our photography. 

The Portfolio Process 2017

Each year members of Lane Cove Creative work towards our annual Gala Night of Portfolios.  A portfolio is a collection of images - usually 6 or more that speak to a theme or concept.  During the course of the year we hold regular night where we can discuss the work in progress and assist the participants refine their vision and image making.  Last Thursday night was the final preparation for our Gala Presentation on November 2nd.  Judging by the work in progress, we will have another bumper year of creative and expressive work.  Here are a few examples of work in progress.  

"A Not To Be Missed" exhibition - Journeys into the Wild - Images by Peter Dombrovskis

Commencing on the 21st September at the National Library of Australia and running until the 30th January 2018 is an exhibition of 70 images from the late Peter Dombrovskis.  See the National Library website for further details of click HERE to go to the link on the Phototutor website.

Morning Mist, Rock Island bend, Franklin River 1980 or 1981 by Peter Dombrovskis.

Morning Mist, Rock Island bend, Franklin River 1980 or 1981 by Peter Dombrovskis.

Challenge 2 - Self Portraiture

(c) Lucie Loane

This week we had our second challenge for the year - Self Portraiture.  This followed on from the presentation earlier in the year by Almitra Hill where she demonstrated some ideas and techniques.  One again we had a wide variety of creative and intriguing images from the members.  From a scary multiple reflection series to some revealing images that spoke to the photographer's interests and backgrounds, plus some personal insights, we had a wide mix of creative image making on display.  We also had the pleasure of welcoming some new visitors and old friends who came along on the night.

"My Style" Presentation by Peter Eastway

Sea Horse by Peter Eastway

Last Thursday night we were privileged to have award winning Australian Photographer Peter Eastway make a presentation of his creative process and methods.  Peter is well known as the publisher of Better Photography magazine, but many people do not know that he is a published author as well as a Grand Master of Photography, as awarded by the AIPP.  To see more of Peter's work, click HERE...

 To view and subscribe to Better Photography magazine, click HERE...

Judging by the questions and comments afterwards, the night was a great success.

Creativity, Language and the Creative Process - Presentation by Emeritus Professor Des Crawley

Once again, Lane Cove Creative members have been treated to a night to remember, with Des Crawley taking us on a trip through the creative process, starting with a discussion of the language we use in our photographic work.  We also had a lively discussion and exploration of the differences between Subject and Content, where the audience was asked to identify the content in an image and then discern the subject.   Understanding what the subject is in a photograph is fundamental to our understanding of photography, yet many people are unfamiliar with the language used to create meaningful imagery. 

Des also recommended that everyone visits the Guardian Newspaper to look through the 20 photographs of the week to look at the use of photographic language and understand the subject.  The latest ones can be found here:

Maiduguri  Nigeria, Photograph: (c) Florian Plaucheur/AFP/Getty Images

Maiduguri  Nigeria, Photograph: (c) Florian Plaucheur/AFP/Getty Images

What photographic language has been used here ?  What is the subject ?

At the end of the night we had a lot of people who were inspired and excited by the journey and we plan to emphasise the analysis of the submitted images at our next Evaluation night.

"Colour: Chaos and Confusion" Presentation by Michael Smyth

"Stupendous,  brilliant and thought provoking" 

These are just a few of the words I used to describe my presentation at Lane Cove last Thursday night !  In a fitting tribute to Star Wars Day, where illusion is the name of the game, I explained many of the problems with colour, colour perception and how little we really understand the nature of light.  Members were treated to a "shock and awe" journey through the minefield of colour, where we learnt that colour only exists in our minds, that everyone perceives colour differently and, worst of all, our perception is easily fooled. 

Fortunately, there are solutions to these problems, but if you weren't at the presentation, sadly you will never know what they are.  LCCP members will have access to some notes that are being prepared for distribution soon. 

Our colour perception is easily fooled.... The orange square and the brown square are really the same colour...Yes, they really are. 

Our colour perception is easily fooled.... The orange square and the brown square are really the same colour...Yes, they really are. 

Evaluation night 20th April

The Secret Garden (c) Jacci Schipp

The Secret Garden (c) Jacci Schipp

Our evaluation night again brought out a wide range of interesting and creative images for discussion.  Members are producing more and more interesting images and we had a good series of discussions.  The image above, by Jacci Schipp was a succinct reminder of what is happening to Sydney - the encroachment of high rise living into the heart of the city.  

The Photo Challenge - 10 topics

For our first challenge this year the members had a choice of 5 out of 10 suggested topics to cover in a series of images.  Some chose to cover multiple topics in the one image while others chose some unique and different approaches.  

The topics available were: Moving water, A long exposure, A lone tree, A splash or red, A silhouette, People from above, A worm's eye view, Blurred crowds, Car park abstracts or an historic building. 

Once again we had a fun night with lots of discussion, some friendly banter and a lot of laughs.  Below are a selection of images from the night.

Photo Autopsy or Image Deconstruction

This week we had a special event, a dissection or deconstruction of the photographic process, presented by three of our members:  Ian Cambourne, Almitra Hill and Diane McKenzie.

Each member presented their thoughts and ideas in a unique way, reflecting the differing approaches and expertise of the individuals.  Ian presented a tour through his thoughts in making his Rookwood series.  Almitra took us through her process of making her delightful soft focus and Bokeh shapes.  Diane "deconstructed some of her still life (some not so still) images and showed us her method for working in Photoshop.

The night was a great success with lots of questions and discussions amongst our burgeoning membership.  This is a night we will plan to repeat next year.  

Image (c) Ian Cambourne 2017

Image (c) Ian Cambourne 2017

Sydney Harbour Outing - Sydney Flying Squadron, Saturday 11th March

Photo (c) Ian Cambourne 2017

Saturday the 11th gave us a beautiful sunny day for our outing to watch the 16 footers in action.  We commenced with a tasty luncheon at the club's restaurant (which may not have been a good idea for those poor sailors amongst us), then everyone headed over to board the historic ferry to chase the boats.  Fortunately everyone managed to survive the mild conditions on the harbour without needing to feed the fish.  All up we had a healthy 20 plus members attend, each vying for the best photo opportunity.  It was a great afternoon and everyone enjoyed the day, especially those who saw the "hello sailor" moment from a passing cruiser.  A very BIG thank you to Kirstin Sercombe for organising the day and who managed to get us all to and from the ferry in time.  The expression "herding cats" was mentioned a few times. 

Photo Book Presentation

Thursday saw Lane Cove playing host to Libby Jeffries and Geoff Hunt, the founders of Momento Photo Books, who came to us as a special favour, due to a friendship with Michael Smyth.  

Once again we had a fabulous night, a packed room, lots of questions and discussion about book making and an opportunity to talk to two people who are passionate about producing a quality handmade product that is made right here in Australia.  Geoff showed us a video walk through of the book printing process, showing off the Indigo Machine used for the consumer range products, all the way up to the venerable Epson R3880 that is used to produce the premium books that are printed on a range of beautiful Rag papers.  

Geoff is the person who designed the Momento software and he gave us a run through the features of this valuable tool.  One of our "key" members, who is definitely a non technical user told the audience how simple it was to use for a recent book project.

Libby then demonstrated the range of book options, including binding, papers, covers and all the fine details that go to making a fabulous fine art book.

Lane Cove Creative has signed up to the Momento Pro program, which entitles financial members to gain access to the Pro range of book options, as well as substantial discounts.  Judging by the level of interest, we can expect to see some books at this year's Portfolio presentation.

Image courtesy Momento Photo Books

Image courtesy Momento Photo Books