Presentation & Discussion

Photographers who have helped shape my photographic practice

A last minute change in the program resulted in a fabulous night with Susan Buchanan. The title for the evening was “Photographers who have helped shape my photographic practice

Susan is well know in the photography community for her work and for also being the President of Northside Creative Photography Club for 10 years. She has a tremendous passion for the art and it really showed during the night.

People and words have helped shape Susan’s photography and below is just a few of the people and the words that were shared with club members.

People

Words

A wonderful poem called The Road Not Taken by Robert Frost.

Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,

And sorry I could not travel both

And be one traveler, long I stood

And looked down one as far as I could

To where it bent in the undergrowth;

Then took the other, as just as fair,

And having perhaps the better claim,

Because it was grassy and wanted wear;

Though as for that the passing there

Had worn them really about the same,

And both that morning equally lay

In leaves no step had trodden black.

Oh, I kept the first for another day!

Yet knowing how way leads on to way,

I doubted if I should ever come back.

I shall be telling this with a sigh

Somewhere ages and ages hence:

Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—

I took the one less traveled by,

And that has made all the difference.


Susans final words were:

“If there is one take away from tonight it is this, pay attention to your heart and soul”

Principles of Processing your RAW images

Four presentations in one night - wow!

Statistics

Thank you to everyone that responded to the clubs 1st survey. In fact 76% of club members took the time to complete the survey which is fantastic. In summary:

  • Lightroom is the Primary editing tool with 61% of members using Photoshop as the secondary

  • Those member who used Photoshop as the primary application 70% used Nik Collection.

  • And, 25% only use one editing software, that being Lightroom.

Thank you Gavin for pulling this together. Full details of the result can be found here.

Lightroom

A RAW image is an unprocessed photograph captured with a digital camera. It contains the raw image data captured by the camera's sensor and saved in proprietary file format specific to the camera manufacturer. Therefore every image needs to be processed!

Michael has put together a simple two pager on the process. These are the basic steps that should be applied to almost all images. The quick development guide can be found here and apparently, you should be able to apply them in 60 seconds!

Photoshop

Jim kicked off his presentation with a simple question

Photoshop - to need or not to need, that is the question.

The simple answer is - maybe, and if there is one person in the club that knows Photoshop well it is Jim.

Jim is a big fan of Julieanne Kost an Adobe Ambassador, she provides indepth tutorials, training, techniques, and shortcuts for working with Adobe Photoshop and Lightroom. The best thing is it’s all FREE. Below are two links to get you started.

A copy of Jim’s notes can be found here and the presentation here.

Topaz

The members survey showed that there are a number of people in the club using other editing tools such as Topaz. The good news is Brian, a fellow club member, is a fan of the software and took us through the basics of the application LIVE.

For more information on the software please visit their website.

If you trial the software and would like to purchase it there is a club discount which we will share via email to all members. This was the 1st time Brian presented at the club and we thank him for his time and effort in preparing for the session.

Street Photography Presentation

We had the pleasure of Richard Lynch, a photographer, digital artist, consultant and a lecturer at the Sydney Community College deliver a visually stunning presentation on street photography.

To a packed hall of over 40 members Richard shared with us the legalities of taking photos of people in public. He also shared with us a large collection of images that demonstrated the diversity of street photography styles. We have listed a few of the notable street photographers instagram pages below for your inspiration.

You can also follow Richard Lynch on Instagram

Street photography, also sometimes called candid photography, is photography conducted for art or enquiry that features unmediated chance encounters and random incidents within public places. ... Street photography does not necessitate the presence of a street or even the urban environment
— From Wikipedia, the free Encyclopedia

2019 First Meeting of the Year

Death and Life (c) Jim Crew 2019

Our Vice President, Almitra Hill started off our first meeting of the year with a rundown of the presenters and activities planned for the year. The committee has put a lot of work into the program and has tried to bring some new ideas to the club, so this year should be exciting and different.

Almitra’s presentation was followed by Jim Crew who gave a very logical and detailed run through the portfolio process, which is the central plank of the club’s activities. Comprehensive notes can be found on the Support Page, or by clicking HERE…

Following Jim Crew’s introduction to the Portfolio process, we introduced John Chapman who will act as our mentor for 2019. John is a member of LCCP and is a former member of Northside Creative and a current member of Nebuli Arts, a group formed to exhibit and promote creative photographic work. You can see some of Nebuli Art’s work HERE…

Members Short Talks October 18th Part 3

6 minutes, 3 images - short presentation by Steve Mullarkey

As part of our members’ presentations, Steve Mullarkey put together a short video demonstrating how an image can be processed in a few minutes. Please note - these follow Steve’s workflow and users should adapt to suit their preferences and outcomes. The video has been uploaded HERE…

Rainy Night in Croatia (c) Steve Mullarkey 2018

Member's Short Talks October 18th - Part 2

This is the second part of our series of notes following the member’s presentations on October 18th

PHOTOGRAPHERS THAT INSPIRE ME - PRESENTATION BY ALMITRA HILL

Almitra is one of our most creative photographers, combining the role of being a young mother with two small humans to care for (plus a large one), with a passion for freelensing and other creative pursuits. IN this presentation, Almitra introduced us to three photographers she takes inspiration from.

David DuChemin - www.craftandvision.com is a humanitarian photographer with a refreshing and inspiring approach to photography. David publishes a fortnightly email called “The Contact Sheet” that is a must read, plus there are several resources on his website, mostly free.

Mihaela Noroc - www.theatlasofbeauty.com is a Romanian photographer who has spent the last six years travelling and making portraits of women that celebrate the diversity of beauty around the world. Mihaela’s book “The Atlas of Beauty” contains over 500 portraits. Her work is filled with compassion and sensitivity and demonstrates the wornderful diversity of culture and beuty around the world.

Susan Burnstine - www.susanburnstine.com is an American creative photographer who has made her own cameras and lenses and uses these to make extraordinary works of art that reflect her dreams and night terrors experienced in childhood. Susan’s images are evocative and inspiring in their dreamlike portrayal of another reality. Susan has published two books: “Within Shadows” and “Absence of Being”.

Freelensing (c) Almitra Hill 2018

Member's Short Talks October 2018

At our meeting on October 18th we again invited members to make a short presentation on a topic or subject of their choosing. Each year we are amazed by the breadth and depth of knowledge of the membership of this creative body. Over the next few News posts we will cover some of the material presented by the members.

GOING BACK TO THE WELL - Presentation by Ian Cambourne

Ian has been a member of Lane Cove for several years and each time Ian presents something, it is always thoughtful and thought provoking. This time Ian talked about the concept of “Going Back to the Well” to use a quote from musician James Taylor. Having experienced the value of sharing thoughts and opinions of one’s peers, it is important to remember the original inspiration for your photography and to return to those roots from time to time. Often we can be overly influenced by the opinions of others and, whilst helpful in expanding your vision and knowledge, occasionally we need to go back to the beginning, to be alone with your thoughts and ideas, to experiment freely and without constraint. Being free to re imagine your photography frees you to take fresh inspiration from the world around you, to try new techniques and to push your own limits. By pushing yourself forwards, you might just drag someone else along with you.

Freelensing experiment - (c) Ian Cambourne 2018


Len Metcalf Presentation October 4th

ON the 4th of October Lane Cove welcomed well known photographer Len Metcalf, who inspired us with his imagery and approach to photography, especially the use of space in an image. Len primarily works in Monochrome, most images are finished in a mild sepia or Creamtone effect. For more of Len’s work, visit his website www.lensschool.com

Mini Haha Falls by Len Metcalf (c) 2018

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.

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

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

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

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.

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.

2018 Begins Here | Image Evaluation by the one and only Jim Crew

Our first night of the year kicked off with a very large bang, with an exceptional presentation by Jim Crew on the Evaluation of Images, with some additional details and outline of our major project for the year - the Portfolio. 

Lane Cove Creative Photography has, for several years led the way forward for enthusiastic amateur photographers.  Our emphasis on evaluation and discussion of images is critical for advancing our understanding of the communication inherent in all images. 

Having a clear understanding of what a photograph is communicating helps us to understand what the photographer is trying to say with their image.  As photographers we have strategies available to assist us with our image making, so that our resolved image becomes an effective statement.  

Part of the process of evaluating an image is understanding the fundamental difference between the "Subject"  (what the is is about) and the "Subject Matter", or "Content" of the image - the elements used by the photographer to illustrate the subject.  Comprehensive notes on the process can be found on the support page, as well as detailed guidelines to help members get to work on their portfolio project for 2018      

What is the Subject ?  What is the idea being communicated ?  (c) Jim Crew 2018

 

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.

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 www.vision.images.com.au or click HERE...

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

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


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.