Presentation September 20th Improving Problem Images by Michael Smyth

With this presentation, Michael followed on from his previous presentation on processing RAW files. This time we were taken through the process of ensuring that Lightroom and Photoshop “talk” to each other, then we were shown how to process “problem” images in both Lightroom and Photoshop.

Michael Smyth showed how to take this uninspiring image into the image below.

Minnamurra rocks at dawn (c) Michael Smyth 2018

Problem images can be defined as those where the lighting falls on the wrong part of the image, or where there is too much contrast, or an image with distracting elements. Using a combination of techniques, Michael showed how many images that would otherwise be discarded can be rescued and made into creative and meaningful images. Comprehensive notes have been prepared and can be found on the club’s Support Page.

Evaluation Night No 5 September 6th

For this evaluation night, we were fortunate to have as our guest evaluator, Analia Paino, who is a Portrait Photographer and a member of the AIPP. Analia made a point of giving feedback on every image presented and offered many meaningful comments and suggestions for the members present. Again we had a bumper crop of expressive and creative images.

Guillemots on The Edge (c) Michael Smyth 2018

I Don't Need Therapy, I Have Photography !

(C) Diane McKenzie 2018

In lieu of our advertised session with Pieter De Vires, (who unfortunately was unable to make it last Thursday night), we were treated to a very special presentation by Diane McKenzie.  It goes to show the depth and breadth we have at Lane Cove when we can put on such a special presentation at short notice.  If you missed this night, you have missed one of our very best nights of the year.

Diane took us through her thoughts on why we photograph, citing several examples of artists who produced their best work as a result of personal stress or angst. Diane's approach does not rely on "angst", but does respond to her passion for her subjects to inspire her creativity. 

Diane gave us a series of important tips on how to improve our approach to our image making:

Tip #1:  Don't avoid lens flare, use it to enhance the feeling in the image.  This applies to any "undesirable" aspects of image making.

Tip #2:  Find new delights in the familiar.  Don't assume that being in a new location will necessarily enhance your creativity, most of Diane's expressive work is taken near her home.

Tip #3:  When travelling or in unfamiliar locations, don't just try to collect images like souvenirs, being observant and in the moment will open new creative opportunities.

Tip #4: Break compositional "rules" with gay abandon. Rules inhibit spontaneity and creativity. 

Tip #5:  Turn a negative situation into a positive photographic experience.  Channel negative emotions and thoughts into new ways to see the world.

Tip #6:  Don't be concerned about the future, face it by doing somersaults, spinning around and generally rolling about.  In other words, don't take things too seriously !

Tip #7:  Embrace a "hysterical" histogram.  Don't worry about your histogram being all over the place, the image and the emotions they contain are the only things that are important. There is no such thing as a "perfect" histogram anyway.

Tip #8:  Don't dismiss accidents, embrace them and see where they take you.  Some of the best discoveries are made by accident.   

Tip #9: Chase your missing "Sparkle" by delighting in photographing the joy of the simplest of things.  Use these to change you perception of beauty.

Tip #10: When you can attain utter stillness, you will become receptive to messages from your unconscious mind, and your heart.  Creativity will flow when you relax and let the images come to you.

Herons in Flight (C) Diane McKenzie 2018

Portfolio Development Night No.3

4thOct.jpg

Alfonso Calero - our mentor and coach - returned to provide positive and constructive feedback to all members during our last 'official' portfolio night. As Douglas Adams wrote in his classic Hitch Hikers Guide to the Galaxy science fiction series, 

Don’t Panic - Arthur Dent

Members including myself are way behind in developing our Portfolio for 2018,  however it is never to late. We have four more club nights before the deadline - that's 8 weeks - during which time you can bring in your portfolio for comment and advise. Additionally, Alfonzo is also happy to provide feedback via email. 

As a reminder there are no rules, no limits, no restrictions and no constraints. You portfolio can  comprise of between 4-8 individual images. Any mode of presentation is acceptable. The final panel can be in the form of mounted prints for display, an audio visual, a slideshow, a book, or any other suitable format. The choice is entirely yours.

To avoid disappointment, all Portfolios must be submitted on or before Thursday 4th October. We will not be accepting Portfolios on the Gala Night itself. 

Evaluation Night No.4

Mike Sea was our facilitator for the evening, our fourth evaluation night of the year. I have to say I tip my hat to Mike, his first time at our club and he chose to try something completely new.

 Just for fun by Rosemary Foster

Just for fun by Rosemary Foster

Mike gave each member a number from 1 to 8 and then asked us all to get up and sit with fellow members with the same number. Each group was then then given a card with words like composition, storytelling, and aesthetics.  As Mike selected an image he asked each group to comment on the image based on the words on their card. Talk about getting audience participation, genius!

Sadly - and I mean this in a positive way - members submitted over 70 images and the format had to be adjusted or we would have been there till midnight! 

Mike is used to judging at clubs who still do competitions, so presenting at Lane Cove was a refreshing experience for him and member feedback at the end of the evening was very positive.

Tonights format was excellent and got us talking, thank you so much.
— Steve Mullarkey

Below - and above - is a small selection of the images submitted by our members on the night. Clicking on the image will enlarge into a lightbox. 

Clump of trees by Linda Cotterill

RAW files demand to be processed

Abandoned DC plane on Sólheimasandur © Michael Smyth

Yet another one of Michael's thought provoking presentations on how and when do we process the image data to produce great photo's. He even went as far as to offer some secret sauce!

Back in the days of the dark room we processed our images and just because we are now digital it shouldn't be any different, but how much is appropriate?

Polar Pioneer & Rocks © Michael Smyth

Michael's presentation notes can be found on our support page or here

Photo Challenge - The Scavenger Hunt

This week we held our annual challenge night, where members select 5 topics from a list of 10 options and present images that reflect those topics.  The emphasis is on creative interpretation and members are encouraged to make new images for the challenges.  This year our own in house expert on creativity, Jim Crew acted as moderator and the night was a lot of fun.  There were a lot of fun and creative work on show and everyone enjoyed the night.  

Here are a few images from the night. 

White on White (c) Linda Cotterill

Indoor Abstract (c) Margaret Miller

Street Shadows (c) Steve Webster

Portfolio development night #2

Thursday 14th June saw our second Portfolio development night for the year and we had a number of members present work in progress for discussion and commentary by our valued mentor, Alfonso Calero.  Alfonso brings a wealth of experience and a practised eye to bear on the work, giving the participants valuable suggestions and further avenues to explore with their work.  As usual, there was also a lot of good suggestions and comments from the floor, everyone going home with some more ideas to work with to further refine and expand their portfolio.

Due to a technical issue with the club's laptop, we only have images from Michael Smyth to share on the website at present.  Michael's portfolio is called "Spirit Creatures" and portrays imagery of mythical or totem creatures that can be found by looking at the hidden figures lurking within everyday images. The images come from diverse regions including Greenland, Tropical Northern Australia and the wilds of Tasmania.  Be afraid, be very afraid. 

Troll emerging, Greenland (c) Michael Smyth 2018

     

The Kraken Wakes, West coast Tasmania (c) Michael Smyth 2018

Evaluation Night 31st May

Our May evaluation night was another night of exploration of creative ideas and images from our members.  Ably handled by our facilitator, Brian Menzies, we had some wonderful images on show.

One of the strengths of Lane Cove Creative is the in-house knowledge and experience we can draw on to to discuss and suggest improvements to the images being presented.

The images presented ranged from a series of images using a slow shutter speed technique by  Rosemary Foster to a stark commentary on the developments at Barangaroo, by Mike Cave

Abstract image by Rosemary Foster

Barangaroo image by Mike Cave

Workshop - Night (or Low Light) Photography and Freelensing with Almitra Hill and Ian Cambourne

Freelensing Example (c) Almitra Hill 2018

This week we had one of our in-house workshops where we utilise the experience and expertise of our members to demonstrate various techniques to the membership.  This time it was the turn of Ian Cambourne and Almitra Hill to share their knowledge and experiences.

Ian Cambourne started the night with a demonstration and presentation documenting his experiences with low light and night photography.  By showing us the many pitfalls and problems to be solved with low light image making, Ian has helped the members to avoid the same issues and to be able to approach low light work with interest and confidence.  As Ian said on the night, it is all about having fun and learning.  Each time we fail, we learn something and go on to develop our skills.

Almitra Hill followed Ian with a presentation on Freelensing that was a bit scary for some of the members, but Almitra's results encouraged everyone to have a go.  Freelensing is a fascinating techniques that brings a unique aesthetic to the images and can become quite addictive.

At the end of the presentations, the members broke into two groups, the first went outside to try their hand at photographing the lovely sandstone church next door, whilst the others experimented with freelensing using a series of still life props that Almitra had brought along.  After a short time, the groups swapped over and everybody had an opportunity to  try both techniques. 

To aid members in experimenting with Freelensing, Almitra has prepared some notes.  To access these notes, click HERE  or go to the Support Page and look for the title under the heading "Presentations". 

Congratulations to both Almitra and Ian for their presentations and enthusiasm.

WOW! Rob Smith Presentation

All we can say is "Wow" in response to Rob Smith's presentation at Lane Cove last night.  If you missed the night, you have missed one of the major highlights of the year.  Rob took us on a journey through his evolution as a photographer, punctuated by humour, pathos and images that oozed feeling.  Rob's presentation centred on the integration of stills, sound, video and music and had the audience mesmerised throughout, so much so that there was barely a breath taken during the duration of Rob's visual extravaganza.  

Loners (c) Rob Smith

Rob has an amazing passion for photography and his motto is "If it moves you, shoot it "  Note the placement of the comma.  His work ranges from an obsession with birds, "ornithotitus" (possibly a made up word), described as an uncontrollable desire to put birds into photographs, through to current projects that deal with the massacre at Myall Creek in 1838, all of which are approached with a creative eye and an ongoing passion for photography.

Rob's images and blog can be found at:  http://wowfactorpix.zenfolio.com

Evaluation night 5th April with Gavin Perry

Thursday the 5th of April saw our second evaluation night of the year and the chance to give our co-webmaster, Gavin Perry a chance to act as our mentor for the evening.  As usual with LCCP members we had a bewildering array of different and creative work on display and Gavin handled the evening with flair and confidence, offering some constructive comments on each image and managing the input from the members in a timely fashion. To best utilise the feedback and commentary from the group, many members are now providing different versions of their work to help with the discussion of where they should take their vision.  Here are two examples from the night of the finished images.

Bicycles (c) David Edmonds 2018

Armenian Landscape (c) Suzanna Harroothunian 2018

Challenge 1 for 2018 - On the Spot

This year we issued a challenge to our members to create 4 different images from the one location.  The photographer was allowed to turn around and take no more than one step in any direction away from their starting position.  As is usual for LCCP, our members rose to the challenge and presented a wide variety of images.  From a 360 degree panorama, a series of images made in the misty reflections of a bathroom mirror, to views of the same location taken at different times, there were many interesting interpretations presented.  Here are a few:

With thanks to John Chapman, Diane McKenzie, Steve Mullarkey, Geoff Clark and Mike Cave

Ballast Point Equirectangular - 4 images in one

Our outing at Taronga Zoo

What is the collective noun for a group of photographers, anyone know?

Here was a chance for LCCP members to put into practice all those fantastic tips that Jacci Schipp-Benz gave us when she did her presentation last year on ‘Photographing Wild Animals’.

We had a fabulous turn out of 14 enthusiastic photographers and after a quick coffee pitstop, Jacci marched us off to our first location, the all new Tiger Trek.

Wow, what a great addition to the zoo and what a treat it was to spend what must have easily been 45 minutes patiently photographing three beautiful Sumatran Tigers. We were also the first group through which was perfect timing. We then made a quick dash across to the Elephant tower for a birds eye view of these amazing animals. 

We visited a wide variety of animals and judging by the rapid fire of our cameras we must have collectively taken 100's of photos. I can't wait to see some awesome images at future Evaluation Nights.

We start them young at LCCP. Little Aston at just 4 years and his first Nikon.

A big thank you to Kirstin Sercombe for coordinating this event, it was such a shame you were unable to join us due to a nasty virus. A thank you to our fabulous President Diane McKenzie for stepping in to rally the troops in Kirstin's absence.

And a special thank you to Jacci Schipp-Benz herding us through Taronga Zoo!

Oh What a Night !

Impossible (c) Adam Williams 

Last night members of LCCP were treated to what several described as the best night in years, with a presentation by AIPP Master of Landscape Photography, Adam Williams.

Adam presented the members with a brief history of his life in photography, forming an interesting and thought provoking insight to his image making.  Adam has his ego well under control and was generous with his explanations of his inspirations and influences.  Adam also took us through his insights into creating images, with an emphasis on not being afraid to fail.

Adam is running a series of workshops, starting in Sydney on the 7th April with "Workshop of Wizardry" at Dee Why RSL.  Adam also runs online courses and details can be found below.  All in all, a wonderful night, with inspirational images and an open discussion of Adam's life story and passions. Check out all his courses here.

Lane Cove Theatre Company - Rehearsal Photo Shoot

Recently some of our members had the opportunity to attend the dress rehearsal for a theatre production by the Lane Cove theatre Company. This was a chance to photograph a genre that is normally difficult for amateur photographers because of copyright issues.

If they are pleased with the results we could be invited to photograph future productions thus giving more members the opportunity to take theatre photographs.

Some examples of the results of the exercise are shown below.

Images courtesy of Almitra Hill, Michael Stevens and Jim Crew.

Evaluation Night #1

Flower for Diane (c) Steve Mullarkey 2018

Our first Evaluation night for 2018 was a great success, with a wide variety of creative and intriguing images on show, several from new members and several from members who are new to printing. 

Our in-house Evaluator gave each image some worthwhile and constructive comments, with additional input from the members present.  As usual, some images created a variety of opinion and discussion, with alternative processing and compositions suggested for the photographer to consider.   Congratulations to all who participated in the night.

Mark Kelly Fine Art Presentation

 Windswept © Mark Kelly

Windswept © Mark Kelly

Last Thursday night, we had the pleasure of welcoming Southern Highlands based fine art photographer, Mark Kelly.  Mark gave us an inspiring and informative discussion on what is art and how these principles are applied to creating images.

I want my images to make you feel something, see something, remind you of something. Everyone is unique
— Mark Kelly

A take home point from the presentation was that you can't make beautiful images unless you get off your lounge chair and get out into the world.  Often we are finding it difficult to decide what or where to start "capturing data", so just making a start on anything that catches your eye can be a catalyst for finding that elusive inspiration.  Mark is a master printer, sharing Lane Cove's passion for putting images onto beautiful fine art papers, many of which were on show on the night.

To visit Mark's website, click here, and a copy of his presentation can be found here.

Gallery Crawl

Intrepid members of Lane Cove Creative Photography braved the hot and humid conditions on Saturday for a gallery crawl "par excellence".  Commencing at the Australian Centre for Photography in Oxford Street, we browsed amongst the images from students that ranged from the mundane, the insane and the extraordinary.  Much debate was had amongst the members on the meaning and messages in the images.

The group then decamped for the short trek to the UNSW Galleries in Paddington, where several exhibitions awaited us.  The most powerful and thought provoking images were from the "in your Dreams" series by 14 international photographers, who examined the ever widening gulf between the rich and poor.  An added bonus was the series "Tell", an exhibition exploring Aboriginal and Torres Islander life and culture.

After a well earned lunch, punctuated by a spectacular (but no injuries recorded) incident with a scooter and a Taxi, those with some stamina left headed to the Art Gallery of NSW to view the Robert Mapplethorpe exhibition.  Of those that made the trip to the Art Gallery, we were rewarded with a Tour De Force of the iconic images from this master of Photography.  We highly recommend all of the exhibitions to all who could not make it on the day.  Everyone  who came on our "crawl" went home inspired and invigorated.  A huge Thank You to Margaret Miller for organising the day.  

Portfolio Night No 1 - Wow!

 The ideas were burning bright tonight

The ideas were burning bright tonight

Despite a late change to the program giving members just one week to prepare for our first Portfolio night we had a cracking turn out. With 18 Portfolios already underway the ideas stretched from architectural history to people and space, refraction and bird poop. Yes, thats right, bird poop. You had to be there to appreciate it!

We are also delighted to have Alfonso Calero as our mentor and coach for 2018 who will provide positive and constructive feedback to all members during club nights and via email. 

For those that don't know Alfonzo, he is a professional photographer based in Sydney, Australia. and over the past 15-20 years, Alfonso has photographed everyone from politicians to artists and everything from exquisite food to amazing landscapes.

If you're still looking for inspiration, Alfonso has provided 10 superb links to international photographic awards sites that are well worth a look.

  1. Neutral Density Awards
  2. Colour Awards
  3. World Photo Organisation
  4. Monochrome Awards
  5. Emerging Photography Awards
  6. Photo District News
  7. Prix de la Photographie
  8. National Geographic
  9. The Pano Awards
  10. The Smithsonian Magazine