Cirencester Camera Club Talk

Last night I visited Cirencester Camera club for the first time to present a talk to their members.  What a lovely group!

They made me feel very welcome and I had some very appreciative comments from several of the attendees. They’ve already asked if I’d go back and do another talk for them in the future, which I’d be very happy to do so I think we can call that a success :-)

Yesterday’s talk was based on my somewhat ‘maverick’ approach to photography, bucking the trend and deliberately not succumbing to the ‘typical camera club’ mentality. I spoke about the common excuses I hear all the time from students and how to get past them, how I go about shooting on location and dispelling the rumour that no, I really don’t just shoot naked ladies.

They have a raffle on their club nights and I offered a prize in the form of a half-day training session with me which was won by Katrina Ellor. Well done Katrina, I’m looking forward to it!

Here’s a little snap from their Facebook group.  Please excuse the goon at the front, I didn’t realise they were going to post the pic, I just thought the chap was taking a snap!

Portrait Editing in Photoshop – #2 Skin

Portrait Editing in Lightroom – #1 Eyes

RPS Workshops / Committee matters

A quick update about my role in the local region of the Royal Photographic Society..

Following a very successful series of workshops I helped to run at the RPS HQ last autumn, I will be presenting three more at the RPS in the spring on the topics of digital workflow and editing with Lightroom and Photoshop.

I’ve also accepted a position on the committee of the RPS Western Region, which is the societies largest chapter with some 800-odd active members.  My role will primarily be concerned with education and training, but I’ll also be dealing with the region’s membership database, mailing list and newsletters etc.

Talking of newsletters, I’ll be sending out a new year update myself very soon with preliminary details of some travel and training events for this year so keep an eye on your inbox!

Mono Conversions

The example below show how much more effective a simple image can be with a monochrome conversion.

Hopefully by the wonders of modern science you should be able to move your mouse over the image below (grab and drag the little handle) and see a before/after example of the original image with nothing done to it (other than a slight crop), and then the ‘after’ image with a little TLC applied. What’s been done? Actually on this one not that much.

  • Cloned out the plastic bag
  • Converted to mono
  • Localised exposure adjustments to bring up some shadow detail

Move the slider to the left to reveal the ‘before’ image..

Never leave home without it..

Here’s another before/after example illustrating the benefit of using a circular polariser:

Move the slider to the right to reveal the ‘after’ image with the polariser..

Note, other than the crop and adding the copyright text, these images are both straight out of camera. The only difference between the two was the use of the polariser.

If you’re looking to buy a polariser, in my opinion you can’t beat the ones made by B+W. I use their top-end ‘Kaesmann’ filter, which isn’t cheap but it really is the Rolls Royce of polarisers. Here are a couple of recommendations for you, with Amazon Links:

Hoya Pro-1 (minimum spec I’d recommend for beginners)
Hoya HD Digital Circular Polarizing Filter (better)
B + W Circular Polarizer Filter With Multi Resistant Coating (pro-spec)
B+W Kaesemann (The best imho!)