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Club Photography

April 12, 2012 Leave a comment

 

2008 was important year for my photography. After a while of ’meaning to’, I finally took the plunge and decided to go along to a local camera club/photography Society and see what they were all about. I must admit I had no idea of what to expect although I had heard about club competitions from a friend, who is a member of a club in Winchester, and the idea of winning trophies appealed to me very much.

 

I tried a couple of clubs before I found the one for me. The first one i attended was the closest to my home. It was held in a small back room in a local library. A nice enough membership but not very big and i am sure i brought the average age of the people in the room down by about 40 years!

 

I did meet another prospective new member there though that had already done the research on some other local clubs and was planning on attending another the following night. We swapped deets and met at the next club.

 

Now this was more like it. Over 50 members, (not all members were over 50 either) and we were greeted with a warm and friendly welcome. Where do i sign?

 

I did! I signed up that day and the following season i became a member of the committee, and remain so to date.

 

Since joining a club i have viewed photography in a different way. Before, my aim with each shot was to get everything in sharp, all in focus, no noise etc etc.. Most of my concentration was on the technical side of the shot. Nothing wrong with this but it didn’t have any creativity.

 

I have seen a wide variety of work from club members as well as work from other club photographers in the region. I have been inspired by so many different people and made quite a few friends along the way, not to mention the skills i have developed too.

 

I now look more towards the compositional and story-telling side of my shot before clicking the shutter. This has given me a new direction. I think more about project work, trips out to shoot various vistas…just having fun with my camera. I certainly use my camera a lot more. Before joining my photography was about going out and finding something (normally an object) to shoot. Now it is about going out and using my camera, using the light (complaining about the light) and getting out with other photographers.

 

If i were to pick out my favourite element to being a member of a photographic society it would be the competitions. With this comes the excitement, anticipation of what the judge of the night is going to say (which I can guarantee only the winners on the night will totally agree with what the judge says), and the scores of course! There is always some friendly rivalry throughout the season.

 

Are you a member of a camera club? If not, i highly recommend you seek one out and attend one of their open evenings to find out all about club photography. I warn you now though… It is addictive!

 

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Waterfall at Llandulas Beach

March 31, 2012 1 comment

Waterfall at Llandulas Beach – North Wales

Sometimes a shoot requires extra effort and some risk. The risk in this case is that I am stood in the middle of the fast flowing water with my tripod legs dipped below the surface, wedged in between some rocks to steady my kit. With wellies on I am fairly confident my feet won’t get wet, but the grip on the soles are not the best and I am conscious that if some part of me does get wet it will be all of me! All or nothing – including my camera kit! Worth it? I think so!

A neutral density filter is required for a shot like this. A 10 Stop filter would be overkill for what I am trying to achieve here. 3 stops will be plenty, given the available light on this particular day. A polariser is also needed to bring out the cloud detail in the sky.

Flowing water is a brilliant subject to photograph because you can control the kind of mood you are trying to create. You could use a fast shutter speed and freeze the movement or use a slower shutter speed as above to give a more milky effect. I particularly like the smaller flow on the right of this scene. Can you spot the caravan park?

Llandulas beach is a shingle beach in North Wales with plenty of subjects to photograph. You can see more of my work from this location on my main website. I like to work a location when I am there. There are receding groynes in the sea (wave breakers), plenty of pebbles with interesting shapes and colours and this waterfall of course. Whilst only a small beach I think it is worth a visit for any landscape photographer.

Lowepro Vertex AW200

March 29, 2012 Leave a comment
Mini review

I have been after a new kit bag for some time now. I already own a couple of bags. I have one for walkabout shooting or shoots where I know I only need the camera and one lens, like photographing butterflies and damselflies – the Kata Ligh-tri 315 DL. My other bag has historically been for my landscape work or for storing all my kit in or for just going out and not really knowing what kit I will need.

My kit has built up significantly over the years though and the Kata DR 467 just isn’t big enough anymore. Ideally I need a bag that can hold all of my kit at any one time without it being a squash.

Having done some research online and asked around I finally went for the Lowepro Vertex AW200. I was a bit nervous at first of buying something that wasn’t from the Kata range. I now realise this was silly. This camera bag is a beast. It can hold all of my kit (except tripod which has its own padded bag anyway) and has a gazillion pockets. I even have room to grow into the bag – perhaps a dangerous thing because that will no doubt cost me more money!

The main sections are zipped off with weather proof zips and is padded to high heaven so I know my kit will be protected from accidental knocks. I have managed to fit my main camera body, two medium sized lenses and 3 other lenses and still have loads of room to spare. All of my filters are inside, as well as the usual stuff like spare memory cards, batteries, maps, etc etc.

Highly recommended.