Photoshop; Peter Gennard - Street Portraits; Portrait Comp. Members BPE1 & Local Calendar images.

Why not try out snow, rain or rainbows; or whatever the weather you fancy in fact! At a recent meeting of our Digital Group, there was a demonstration on how to make climate changes in our photos, via software such as Photoshop. The alternative image-effects were truly amazing. Many tips and tricks like these are explored by the group, and also methods of maximising image-presentation in general, together with the work of experts in digital work, and those who are not so expert. Visitors to clubnights are always welcome.

What would any party time be without a camera to keep the memory alive afterwards. Arguably the most photographed images are people. Whether it is a snazzy snapshot or a carefully posed studio lit shot, photographs of people are amongst our most treasured possessions. So last week we decided to run a competition honouring Portraiture.  

Emma by Bob Baddeley

The judge arrived promptly and was eagerly looking forward to judging mono/infra-red prints only to learn it was a Portraiture competition After a bit of persuasion, he agreed to carry on and do the best he could. Although not an expert on portraiture (so he said) he gave the entrants valuable pointers on trying to get interaction between the model and viewer and also between elements in the image, such as dogs and their owners.

 The 66 images covered family pictures, close ups of sportsmen, candid shots and studio portraits. The winners and commendations were chosen on the merits of lighting and technique, interest and interaction, such as the expression on the subject's face. The 3rd place image in particular was chosen on this basis - the expression of pleasure on the face of the horse's owner outweighed the slightly unacceptable background.

The winner was Bob Baddeley with Emma (shown above); second was David Slade with Sam; and third was Paul Matthews with Horse Whisperer. Additional commendations went to Brian Ross, Clare Beech, Ray Baddeley, Don Barker, David Gaham, Denise Kendall, Ray Baddeley and Clive Shenton.

Portraits of a different nature figured in our programme recently. Peter Gennard who gave the presentation specialises in Environmental 'Street' Portraits and is particularly interested in punk and body art - especially people who adorn their faces with metal. He also had shots from the Tough Guy challenge where competitors have to run through burning straw and other such feats. There were also some from a 1940's re-creation, and one memorable shot was a soldier kissing his wife as he left on a train. As Peter said, it's all about getting an idea, planning the shot and then telling people what you want them to do. His portraits were all unusual. He uses natural light and gets his wife or even a passer-by to hold the reflector.

The Club has been successful in capturing a place in the wider world of photography over the last year or so. Under the auspices of Sonja Haig and Will Knight, we have achieved a strong profile in many important external competitions. The two of them have worked tirelessly, collecting, sorting and delivering entries over a wide area in the Midlands and they have never missed a deadline. Amongst the award winners, most notable are Sonja, and Don Barker, who have each gained their BPE1 (see report on the Blog).  An example, “Needing the Shield”, gained a Merit for Sonja in the 20th Guernsey Salon of Photography 2010.

One of our longest serving members, Margaret Walker LRPS, has had images chosen for a calendar “Views from around the Staffordshire Moorlands 2011”. This will make a lovely Christmas gift and is on sale in the locality costing around ?5.50.

The club will shortly be holding a large Exhibition locally where members' high standards will be on display. Watch the website for details in the next two or three weeks and please come along, we think you will find a lot to interest and hopefully impress you.

Report by Ann Sharratt

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