Presentation & Discussion

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

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. 

"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. 

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

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



First night for 2017 - Presentation by Jim Crew - Updated

High Key (c) Jim Crew 2017

Thursday night kicked off Lane Cove Creative's program for 2017 with a presentation by Jim Crew on Creative Exposure.  This presentation covered all aspects of creative image exposure and discussed "What is Correct Exposure" and in Jim's usual style combines an informative and educational presentation with practical examples and some touches of humour.  

The first night of the year was a great success, with several new members and visitors all keen to see why Lane Cove has gained a reputation for being friendly, welcoming and generous with support for photographers of all levels.  At the end of the night one committee member remarked that prior to Jim's presentation her head "exploded" trying to work out High Key and Low Key, but now she gets it.  High praise indeed.

 For the detailed notes relating to Jim's presentation click here...

Presentation by Shirley Steel Thursday 3rd November

Image copyright Shirley Steel 2016

On Thursday night we had the pleasure of a presentation by Shirley Steel, who took us through her background and early experiments with images to the present day.  Shirley has created her style based on camera movements and the use of textured overlays to create a dreamlike world.  Shirley has been strongly influenced by the work of Freeman Patterson.  All of the members present enjoyed hearing Shirley's story and viewing her images.  you can see more of Shirley's works HERE... 

Monochrome presentation by Alan Coker - report by Jim Crew

Image (c) Alan Coker 2016

At the meeting on October 6 we had a presentation about monochrome photography by renowned photographer Alan Coker. Alan presented a comprehensive talk that included details of the various methods available for creating monochrome images and enhancing them to a final stage using the tools available in Photoshop. Each method was explained in detail with the advantages and disadvantages of each method expounded. This was followed by a practical demonstration whereby Alan used several of his images to show his preferred method for creating monochrome images and the work flow he uses.

To finish the presentation Alan displayed around 30 of his excellent monochrome photographs and explained how and why each was taken and the messages and emotions they showed.

Members were well informed about the processes and reasons for making monochrome images and were provided with inspiration to give it a go if they had not previously made monochrome images or to enhance their results if they already knew the basics.

Alan's work can be seen here...

Presentation on Blend Modes

Rail Trucks, Oberon NSW (c) Michael Smyth

Thursday night saw a presentation by Michael Smyth and Jim Crew on using blend modes in Photoshop.  We delved into the mysteries of the using layers in Photoshop and the 4 elements of layers:  Layer type; Layer mask, Opacity and Blend Mode.  For those relatively new to advanced image editing, working with layers in Photoshop allows ultimate control over the content and appearance of your images in ways that are not possible in Lightroom.  

A commonly asked question is:  "When do I work in Lightroom and when do I take images into Photoshop ?"  The answer is that all Global editing and adjustments should be made in Lightroom as these are "parametric" adjustments that are applied to the RAW file before it is rendered into Pixels for editing in Photoshop.  For a great many images, there may be no need for further editing in Photoshop if all you are doing is making Global adjustments to the image data.  Where Photoshop shines is in detailed editing and composite work on your "Hero" images.  For more explanation on use of Blend Modes and General Workflow click here...

Close up and Macro Presentation

Kitchen utensil (c) Jim Crew 2016

Our first night at our new venue saw a good turnout of members for our group presentation headed by Jim Crew and with input from Debbie Mooney and Michael Smyth.  We provided a broad ranging discussion of the pleasures and pitfalls of macro and close up photography, with some practical demonstrations of equipment and techniques by Debbie.  All of the members present were impressed with the new venue and we look forward to a long association with Hunters Hill.  A tutorial paper will be available soon.

Still Life Photography Presentation by Graham Munkman

Grapes with Blue Vessel by Graham Munkman

Thursday 28th January Saw our second presentation of the year by Lane Cove Creative member and Still Life Maestro, Graham Munkman.  Graham demonstrated his techniques and process towards creating a masterpiece.  The most important lesson from the presentation was that you need a lot of patience to get everything "just right".  Graham has prepared some notes from the night.  Read more

Introductory Lecture "Getting and Using Creative Ideas"

The first night of the year was a presentation by Debbie Mooney and Michael Smyth on "Getting and Using Creative Ideas".  This presentation was Debbie's first for LCCP and was an excellent presentation on how she finds her (very) creative ideas. 

Those people lucky enough to possess a natural gift for creativity often fail to understand how the rest of us struggle to find ideas that work for expressive or creative image making.  Asking creatives how they come up with ideas is often pointless, most naturally gifted creatives I know just “get” ideas from somewhere. 

For the rest of us who have to work at getting ideas, this presentation is for you. Download and save the document here

Interclub Night | Year 3

This is the third year we have held the Interclub Night between Mosman Camera Club and Northside Creative Photography and this year it was hosted by Mosman. 

Thank you to all those that submitted their work, the selection was fantastic, and a special shout out to our Lane Cove Creative Photography members that turned up it was great to see so many of you there. 

If you are not a member and want to develop your photographic skills contact us today to learn more.

A night not to be missed

For our meeting on September 10 we have two very special guest speakers from the Sydney Morning Herald visiting our club. Yes, not one but two photojournalists will talk to us about photojournalism and word on the street is they give a very good presentation.

If you have an interest in documentary photography, recording daily life or street photography, there will be loads of interest. If you would just like to know how those stunning news pictures are captured then you will find out. Their presentation promises to have loads of interest for all photographers.

Taking or Making ?

Jim Crew will present a discussion on "Taking or Making" on Thursday July 2nd:

As the owner of a camera you have two basic choices. You can use the camera literally to record events and objects or in other words to take photographs. Or you can make photographs that are more creative and which communicate your ideas.
The choice is yours.
Cameras are basically mechanical devices that on their own cannot do anything. They cannot think, do not have ideas, are not selective and have no power to interpret or inform. They are nothing more than a tool. A tool that creative photographers use to make photographs that inform, move, educate or influence the viewer through the use of visual language.  Learn more