GROUP – Photography for Fun

Group Leaders : Terry Moore & Judith Moore

The group meets on the 1st Wednesday of the month at 1.30 pm.

We meet in the Brammer Room at the Village Hall


About our Group

We meet monthly where we share our digital photographs taken on a specific theme for the previous month. Below you can read about these meetings and view some of the presented photos. We are not competitive but do consider aspects of composition and technique to improve the shots we take. Members use smartphones as well as all sorts of compact cameras and DSLRs. New members are welcome to come and join us.

Themes for 2023 – 2024

These are the themes we will be tackling from September to July next year:

PFF Photography themes 2023 – 2024
September 20233 viewpoints
October 2023Black and White / A pop of colour
November 2023Faces
December 2023Beautiful Blur
January NO MEETING
February 2024Capture the Night
March 2024Patterns
April 2024No meeting but Visit to Felley Priory
May 2024Macro Magic +  Felly Priory shots as a slideshow
June 2024Sports
July 2024Seasons
AugustNO MEETING

Meeting Notes February 2023

Review of the Ru3a  Photography for Fun  meeting 7th February 2024

We had a good number at our meeting on Wednesday with only a few absent or ill.

Visit to Felley Priory Gardens

The plans for our visit were decided first. We will cancel the meeting in April for the Brammer room and instead go to Felley on the same date, Wednesday April 3rd. We will meet at 12.30 pm in the Village Hall Car Park to sort out car sharing, unless you need to go independently in order to get back early. We anticipate being able to arrive around 1.00 pm and have a couple of hours if needed to take photos, finishing in the café about 3.00 pm (or earlier if desired!) as it closes at 4.00 pm. Alternatively you could do it the other way round of course! There is a charge of £6.50 to enter the gardens unless you are a member. Finalised details to be confirmed at our next meeting.

10 Minute Talk:  Andy

Andy had prepared a talk for us outlining the basics of the development of photography, starting with a pin hole camera and how it worked and relating it to how all cameras have worked in principle since! The addition of lenses was explained along with terms we now all use such as ISO, aperture and shutter speed. An understanding these elements are still the basic requirements for all photography, no matter what camera or phone you use! Well done Andy and thanks. Judith and I are keen that you get involved in the sessions so if you fancy sorting out a 10 minute talk yourself on any Photo related subject (no matter how loosely) then get in touch.

Photos sent in:  Theme:  Night time

We had quite a few to look at, although some members had found the rainy and cold weather a bit off-putting! Nevertheless, some interesting shots were seen with contributions from Andrew T, Andy B, Heather, Charles, Judith, Maureen and Terry, which gave us plenty to talk about! I’ll create a PDF of some of these and add it to the website later on.

Every Photo Tells a Story: Heather

A different slant on this idea from Heather this week who had been exploring the photographs of Sir Don McCullin. You can read more about him on Wikipedia here: Don McCullin – Wikipedia. Heather explained his background as a photojournalist and showed some of his well-known photos such as “The Guvnors” a well know London gang who Don had gained trust from. The publication of this photo in the paper set him on his journey of success.  This is another way to get involved! Can you contribute to this section? Do some research and have a go!

Shots of The Month

Elizabeth had managed to capture shots of some rare ‘rainbow clouds’ over Ravenshead and there were also more sunset or sunrise shots too. Maureen had been photographing Waxwings and a Great spotted Woodpecker in her garden. Mandarin Ducks on Ice were shown by Heather, a good shot in difficult circumstances. Well done to all.

NEXT MONTHS  THEME: Patterns

We viewed a couple of videos and many examples of how patterns can be used in photography. The slide show is attached to this email as a pdf and the video links are here:

CREATIVE PHOTOGRAPHY TIPS & TRICKS – Seeing And Using Patterns (youtube.com)

Composition Pattern: You Keep Shooting with Bryan Peterson (youtube.com)

Have a look again at these before you start to take your shots this month. You can find suitable subjects inside your house, in your garden or further afield! Try and think about what will make the photo interesting rather than just taking a photo of a pattern. Compositional techniques such as a pattern disturbed by a focal point was one of the ideas from the videos as well as mixing natural and artificial subjects. Don’t forget to consider the rule of thirds or the use of diagonals and leading lines and other things to help make the picture stronger. Best of luck!

We hope to see you all on Wednesday 6th March 2024 1.30 pm Brammer room.


Meeting Notes December 2023

Review  PFF WED December 6th   2023  Theme:  Beautiful Blur!

Judith welcomed members to the meeting and collected a £10 sub per person for the room hire next year. There were a few recorded absences and others that were missing without anyone’s knowledge. Let me know if you are unable to come to the meeting in February, please.


Photos sent in.              Theme:  Beautiful Blur
We started by looking at photos that members had sent in to view on the theme of Beautiful Blur. There was a variety of types of blur being used in the photographs many of which we highlighted as possible at our previous meeting in November. There were good examples of background blur where the subject really stands out as well as various ICM shots that produced interesting effects and a couple of ‘motion bLur’. Well done to all those that had a go.
Heather showed us a photo taken in camera that uses a ‘double exposure’ mode. “Double exposure photography is a technique that involves layering two different exposures or images on top of each other to create a single image. The overlaid image is less than full opacity, so a bit of both images can be seen, producing an almost ghost-like image.” This is exactly what we saw from Heather. I checked my camera, and it is too old to have that feature, but yours might. If so, give it a go!

Visit to Felly Priory
Elizabeth showed us some of her own photos taken at Felley Priory at various seasons during the year. This gave us a good idea  what the visit might entail for us, and we all thought it would be worthwhile. The date and time will be confirmed once we know dates of opening for some of the key events so this will be discussed further at our meeting in February.

Every Picture Tells a story.
We viewed a photo of a mural taken by Charles on holiday whilst at Invergordon. Entitled “Our Legacy”, it showed environmental issues in the locality and had a strong message: “Take nothing … but pictures.” “Leave nothing… but footprints.”  “Kill nothing… but time.” Charles also explained some of the history behind the mural and its making.

Judith also showed us some photos and a video about photographer Elliott Erwitt. He had an interesting approach where he took sequences of photos, a bit like a story board, sometimes with an amusing finale. If you missed the meeting, watch the video here:
https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/av/magazine-17295728 

Maybe some of you can come up with some sequence photos of your own?

Shots of the Month
A robin, blue tit, and Tawney owl were seen (with good background blur) from Andrew, Maureen and Heather, whilst Andy showed a couple of lovely Landscapes from his recent holiday to New Zealand. Charles showed a nicely framed photo of a beach scene (with a bit of correction needed to straighten the horizon!) Thanks for sending them in.

Night time photography

The remainder of the session was spent looking at the possibilities for Night Time photography. The presentation is attached to this email so please check it out. There are lots of possibilities such as ‘Light trails’, ‘Nightscapes’ and ‘Christmas Lights’ but read the presentation to get the full options and tips. Also attached is a more complex Action Card for those with more experience to follow. Geared for DSLR/Mirrorless cameras particularly using Manual mode. Give it a try!

Helpful tutorial pages are here:
The Ultimate Guide to Night Photography (digital-photography-school.com)
Light Trail Photography: A Beginner’s Guide (+ Examples) (digital-photography-school.com)

And the final video link is here:
How to Photograph Christmas Lights! (part 1) (youtube.com)

There are many more videos and tips on Night Photography on the web so explore yourself to get them.

Finally.
We hope to see you all on Wednesday February 7th 2024   1.30 pm Brammer Room to view your Night Time Photography shots. Hopefully you will all have time to ‘have a go’!
In the meantime Judith and I wish you all a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year and look forward to seeing you in February.

Judith & Terry


Meeting Notes November 2023

Review PFF meeting WED November 4th   2023  Theme:  Faces!

Judith welcomed members to the meeting which included two more “first timers”, Karen and Mick. Mick was “just visiting” but we hope to see him again in December along with other members of the group both new and old! We have set a very broad theme for this month, “Beautiful Blur”, which gives you lots of scope for the subject and style of your photos, so I expect most of you to “have a go”. More of that later in the email but   follow the links and attachments provided which will offer a good deal of assistance!
Please remember that our group is not competitive so don’t worry if you haven’t got things ‘perfect’ but trying things out for yourself will obviously help towards improving your skills and the quality of your photographs. Also, by viewing these together, we can see how the more experienced photographers amongst us have tackled the theme, and understand better the techniques involved, as well as learning from our mistakes! 

VISIT?
Elizabeth and Charles have suggested organising a group visit to Felley Priory. We will get more details at the next meeting, but maybe the Spring period would be best for this.

SUBS!
Judith also reminded members that we would need to collect a new batch of Subs at the December meeting to pay for our use of the Brammer room for another year. Consequently, we ask you to bring along £10 cash to cover this. Thank you! (Incidentally, all subs received are sent directly to Sue Owen our Ru3a treasurer, who banks this for us and pays the Village Hall each month.)

Theme photos: FACES!
We started by looking at the Photos that were submitted on the Faces theme. Again, this was a broad subject, but we received quite a few portraits of people as you would expect. Thanks to Andy B for his submissions of performers at an event in Mansfield. If you hear of other suitable events, let us know as others might want to attend.
On the other hand, there were also different interpretations of the theme. Heather included “The Face Of The Moon”. It was her first go at this type of photography and yet it was an excellent photograph. Perhaps it is something that you could try out in time for our Theme in February “Capture the Night”. Not easy, but worth trying! Along with other street performers, we also saw various portraits of sculptures, a lemur, (I thought we might see more of other animals, including pets but we didn’t) as well as ‘family photos’ and self-portraits which included Maureen’s Pumpkin family! Thank you to all those that had a go. I’ll put some of these on the website when I can.

Every Picture Tells a Story
Andrew had researched an iconic photograph, originally shown on the front cover of the National Geographic magazine, “Afghan Girl” in June 1985. He explained the details of how it was taken, and the history of the girl involved in the photo. More details… ask Andrew!
Please let us know if you can do something like this yourself. It can include your own photos as well as ‘iconic’ ones. We also try and include a ‘10 minute talk (photography related) if anyone is interested in doing a short presentation. Let us know.

Pareidolia (seeing faces, and other images in inanimate objects such as clouds or everyday objects!)
We only saw a couple of these so keep looking and let me have them!

Shots of the Month
Andy had sent us a photo of a view from his hotel in Singapore, just to make us jealous, I think! Others were from Maureen who was experimenting with a new camera, Andrew, with an extra picture of a street trader and Trevor with a symmetrical view of the Grand Mosque in Muscat. Heather’s close up capture of a Bee on a flower, with its wings frozen sharp, allowed us to see things in detail and discuss the techniques for taking the photo.

NEXT MONTHS  THEME: Beautiful Blur
We saw a presentation of ideas which outlined some of the techniques of capturing BLUR in photographs and the different types that are possible, including Background blur; Bokeh; and Motion Blur including panning and ICM photography.) Please look at the attached pdf of the presentation for details. Also attached is the Photography Cheat Sheet that we handed out. The information is good, but the spelling isn’t! We started this session with a short video to remind us of the principles of Depth of Field. The video can be found here:
Depth of Field in Photography – Explained in 2 Minutes!! – YouTube 
However in the past some of us have seen a free course of tutorials on YouTube by Chris Bray which I would highly recommend to you if you haven’t seen them, no matter what you use to take photographs. The one linked here is the one about Aperture and Depth of Field and is worth a first (or another) look at!
Aperture & Depth of Field made EASY – Photography Course 5/10 – YouTube

The presentation included mention of other useful website pages which can be read at your leisure before embarking on one of the Blur types. Here are the links to view:

How to Achieve Blurred Backgrounds in Portrait Photography (digital-photography-school.com)
How to Take Beautiful Bokeh Christmas Images [With 39 Stunning Examples] (digital-photography-school.com)
Bokeh Effect in Photography: A Guide to Gorgeous Background Blur (digital-photography-school.com)
Motion Blur Photography: The Ultimate Guide (+ Tips) (digital-photography-school.com)
ICM Photography: A Guide to Intentional Camera Movement (digital-photography-school.com)

If you are an android or iphone user then this page might also appeal:
How to Blur a Picture on iPhone or Android (businessinsider.com)  but be aware that it also mentions installing an app which I haven’t tried. I think it is OK but check out the information about it if you try it out.
Other apps that are related to this topic and will help create some of the effects that a DSLR can produce are listed on these pages:
How to recreate any DSLR photography effect with your iOS or Android phone | TechRadar
Although I have tried a few of these out, (free ones) please check out the details before downloading. Some sound really good but may require payment! Remember that there might already be features on your phone that can be used for what you need such as Portrait and Food mode and the PRO settings which enables you to alter the ISO, Aperture, and Shutter speed.
Quite a lot of “Homework” there for you but well worth looking at when you get time.

We concluded our meeting a bit early so that members could chat and try a out a few things related to the Beautiful Blur theme for next month.
Judith and I hope to see you all there then, on Wednesday 6th December 2023.
(If not, I guess we had better wish you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year as the next time will be in February 2024!)

Best wishes, Judith and Terry.


Meeting Notes October 2023

Review  PFF WED October 4th   2023  Theme:  Black and White / Pop of Colour

Judith welcomed members to the meeting which included two more prospective members, Jo Beardsley and Andy Fensom. Some regulars were absent for a variety of reasons including holidays and Covid. We hope to see you all next time.

 Regarding payments for the Brammer room Judith announced that we would need to collect subs again in December. £10 each would cover us again for most of next year!

Ideas for a photoshoot was mentioned again and perhaps someone could organise that for us? Over to you!

We also showed the PFF display board from the u3a day coffee morning. It must have worked as Jo and Andy came along to find out more!

1.     Photos sent in:  Theme Black & White / Colour pop.

This seemed to have been a popular theme for those that submitted photos. Members showed an effective range of photos in pure black and white. These included ‘Skegness beach’ from Heather and Maureen’s ‘Hardwick Hall’ and Judith’s ‘Millenium Bridge’.

The colour pop technique had also been popular with effective photos from members of the group including Heather’s subtle colour pop version of a Cormorant, Andrews ‘Pick of the Crop’ and Andy’s ‘Salford’ which included a reflection in a puddle in colour whilst the rest of the photograph was Black and White.  Getting to grips with an editor using layers for the colour pop shots was good practice. Well done to all!

2.     Every Picture Tells a story

Judith introduced another idea to enable members to contribute to the meeting. She showed some examples of ‘iconic’ pictures such as “Lunch atop a Skyscraper”, and  “VJ day in New York” as well as one when Sweden went from driving on the left to the right. Photos can be from any source, such as historical events or from your own photographs. The key is to research and be able to “tell the story of the picture”. We saw one of Judith’s with Terry being told off by some Italian guards!

Can you have a go at this? Any volunteers for next month? Let us know!

Don’t forget that we also encourage you to provide us with a “10 minute talk”. This can be on any topic of your choice as long as it contains some photographs for us to show.

3.     Shots of the Month

There were contributions from Andy from the War Museum trip, Andrew from a trip to Budapest, Elizabeth from a trip around the UK including Orkney and Ireland. Clearly a well-travelled group but  Maureen happened to a have a Heron visit her own garden and was delighted that she was able to take a photo!

4.     Next Month’s Theme: FACES!

Please make sure you read the attached pdf which was shown as a PowerPoint presentation in order to understand the theme for this month, particularly if you missed the meeting! A couple of video’s were included in the presentation and these can be seen here: (click on the links).

Slide 3 #Faces Photo Theme Slideshow – YouTube

Slide 10 100 Examples of Pareidolia – Seeing Faces in Everyday Objects – YouTube

The final slide summarised the task but here is the text:

FACES!

Interpret this theme ( as always) in your own way using some of the ideas presented. If you are trying out portraits check out the links that I will send in the summary email later.

Send 2 or 3 ‘Faces’ shots to show next month. Also, your shots of the month which are unrelated to the theme.

Pareidolia.  

If you find inanimate objects with faces send those as ‘extras’ in addition to your theme shots. We can have a look at those too, next month.

I also mentioned some free resources that I have obtained by signing up to various photography sites. Three of these are also attached to the email and relate more to taking portraits but are worth reading.

That’s it!

Judith and I hope to see you all at our next meeting on Wednesday 1st November 2023, 1.30pm Brammer Room.


Meeting Notes: September 2024

REVIEW OF THE PFF MEETING WED September 6th   2023  Theme:  Three Viewpoints

Judith welcomed members after the prolonged break over the summer period and Phillip Panto who was visiting for the first time. Some members were on holiday or were unable to make it. For those members particularly, ensure that you understand the theme for the following month and check out the attached pdf presentation and links to helpful websites included in the text below.

We didn’t get round to organising a photoshoot in July or August but perhaps some of you could research possibilities for us and let us know next month. They might be in connection with some of the forthcoming Themes.

U3A day / week is coming up and I’ll put together some photos from past themes to display at the coffee morning on Saturday 23rd September 10.30 – 12.30. I if you are able to, please encourage some potential new members to come along with you. There will be displays by several groups and an opportunity to find out more about the u3a movement.

Photos sent in:  Theme 3 viewpoints

There were a variety of approaches to this topic. Some members found it difficult to produce anything, but others managed to take a number of photos of a subject from different viewpoints, or several subjects from different viewpoints including above below or straight on. For example, Maureen produced collages of both types whilst Andy showed different angles of Aeroplanes taken at an air show.  I’m grateful for those people who sent in photographs but couldn’t make the meeting as it helped see the potential of the theme. When taking any photograph, try taking the subject from various angles and viewpoints rather than just the obvious one!

Shots of the Month

Only a few this month, with Andy showing a couple of landscape shots and a crow. Heather had sent in a couple of good Heron shots but decided not to attend the meeting having come down with cough etc, and hopefully not covid! Judith showed “a million-dollar view” taken on holiday near Invergordon.

We mentioned some of the compositional aspects in many of the shown photographs in the meeting as a reminder of what it is that helps to improve our photography.

Themes 2023 – 2024: We talked through a few of the suggested new themes. Note that the Seasons theme is in July and gives you an opportunity to take photos throughout the coming months and could potentially include all four seasons! This list is below.

PFF Photography themes 2023 – 2024

September 2023     3 viewpoints

October 2023          Black and White / A pop of colour

November 2023     Faces

December 2023      Beautiful Blur

January                     NO MEETING

February 2024        Capture the Night

March 2024             Patterns

April 2024               No meeting but Visit to Felley Priory

May 2024                 Macro Magic + Felly Priory shots as a slideshow

June 2024                 Sports

July 2024                  Seasons

August 2024            NO MEETING

NEXT MONTH’S THEME: Black and White

As for many previous themes I collated several ideas from the internet. These are shown on the PDF version attached to this email. Please read this to understand how to go about the theme for the month ahead.

This page may also help: Monochrome Photography Tips for Black & White Images – 42West (adorama.com)

 In summary though you need to either take 2 or 3 Black and White / Monochrome photos with perhaps one using a colour pop. Use camera inbuilt B&W settings or convert colour images to monochrome using an editor or an app on your phone.  This tutorial might help you.

Simple tips to make your black and white photos memorable – Affinity Spotlight

The Colour Pop option is shown on the slides, but I demonstrated this using Affinity Photo on the meeting afternoon. Choosing a subject for monochrome needs to have a good dynamic range (black through greys to white) whilst a colour pop photo needs to be taken in colour and converted to black and white in an editor that can use layers like Affinity Photo, Photoshop or Paintshop Pro. I think that there are phone apps that can do this too, but they may cost you some money.

This is a help page demonstrating this and much more in Affinity Photo, but will be similar in other editors:

Create black and white ‘colour pop’ photos using masking – Affinity Spotlight

This is a link to a review of Android apps but many will have a iPhone version:

Best Android Apps to Get Color Pop Effect on Your Photos Manually (nerdschalk.com)

I hope you have some fun with this theme, so get out there and get snapping!

We hope to see you all next month, Wednesday 4th October 2023 1.30 pm Brammer room.

Best wishes, Judith and Terry

Meeting Notes: June 2023. Theme: Still Life

Review PFF  WED JUNE  7th   2023  Theme:  Still Life

Judith welcomed members to the meeting. There were a few missing again with holidays, illness or other commitments and Diana made it just in time after a gardening session in the morning and forgot to come until the last minute. We had a good meeting however and welcomed a new member, Graham Howell, to the fold of PFF!

We once again reminded members that we will not meet again until the September meeting, but we may be able to sort out a ‘photoshoot’ together sometime in the intervening weeks. If so, we will email you with the details.

PHOTOS THEME:  STILL LIFE

Thanks to the members who had a good attempt at this topic. It wasn’t the easiest one to achieve,  but at least we had a go and enjoyed looking at the results and hearing of the trials and tribulations of setting up for the photos. Some stayed indoors but others took photos outside which enabled them to take advantage of good light and even some sunny conditions! There were some contrasting ideas, but in some cases, food had been used which made us think that ‘Food photography’ might make a possible theme for the future.

I showed three photos, two which weren’t great, but the third one managed to create some excitement in the room! I confessed that; it wasn’t my own work. In fact, it was no persons work at all but the work of Artificial Intelligence! By asking (writing) the Windows Edge image Creator to produce a still life image using kitchen utensils and fruit in the style of an old painting, it produced something unique of superior quality! Much better than I could do myself in fact!

This created a good discussion particularly after we had watched a video reporting that a photographer had won a competition using AI which he immediately rejected, having entered it to prove a point that competitions need to be wary of this. You can see the video here:

AI-Generated Image Wins Sony World Photography Award, Sparking Debate – YouTube

Needless to say, we will not be accepting AI images in PFF meetings, but they are fun to try. We did this and failed with anything which included Boris Johnson but came up with a politician wearing a hat surfing on the Manchester ship canal!

SHOTS OF THE MONTH

When I eventually found her photo, Diana told us about her visit to the Jaguar /  British Motor Museum, Gaydon near Coventry, Andy had photos from his visit to the Pumping station and Maureen had a good seascape. David also brought in several shots from his visit to the Southwell Workhouse and explained how it had been revamped and was worth a visit. Thanks again to those that showed photos.

NEXT THEME: VIEWPOINTS

As this Theme is not being shown until our next meeting in September, you all have lots of time to prepare for it! Don’t leave it till the last week!

We went through a slide show to explain things. It is attached as a pdf for reference. Included in it were two videos which you can see here:

Composition: Camera Angles and Viewpoint – YouTube

Inspiring photos with different VIEWPOINTS – YouTube

This was the text from the last slide explaining the task in more detail:

Next theme for showing at our September meeting (Wednesday 6th   September)

This is what we originally said:

JULY: One subject, three viewpoints.

Take three images of a subject from three different perspectives. Think about how you will present them, initially as three separate photographs then maybe in a triptych or collage so that they can be seen together.

However, on reflection with just ‘ VIEWPOINTS’  as the  theme, it might be easier to have  more than one subject,  as seen in the videos and photos in the slide show.  Clearly some Viewpoints are suited for certain subjects, and some viewpoints may be impossible for other subjects unless you have a drone!

Therefore, interpret the theme in whatever way you think best. It might be ok for you to try the original task,  or perhaps change it to  TAKE 3 DIFFERENT SUBJECTS FROM 3 DIFFERENT VIEWPOINTS.

As in the last  video these can be simplified as from ABOVE, UNDERNEATH or the SAME LEVEL as the subject!

So that is what we are after. 3 good photos with 3 different viewpoints. You can send them as 3 individual files,  3 individual files and one collage / tryptic or however you want to approach it.

Just have a go and see what you can come up with!

Future Themes

We had a look at potential themes for inspiration for next year on these sites:

Community Contests – Free Photo Competitions | Photocrowd Photo Competitions   and 

u3a – u3a Eye

Scroll to the bottom of each page to see the full list. If there are any themes or ideas that you want us to include, then LET US KNOW!

If not Judith and I will produce a plan.

Finally

Judith reminded us that the next Ru3a monthly meeting is at St. Peter’s Church 10am on Tuesday 13th June. After the AGM we will have a short PFF presentation including Andy featuring his photos from the Antarctic trip. There will also be a couple of other presentations from the Belly Dancers and Chair Yoga. Please attend if you can!

Judith and I hope you all have a good break from PFF but keep taking photos to improve your technique and composition. If not before, we hope to see you there in September.

Judith and Terry

Meeting Notes: May 2023. Theme: ICM (Intentional Camera Movement)

ICM-Title

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Review of the PFF meeting WED May 3rd 2023.  Theme:  ICM Intentional Camera Movement

Members were welcomed by Judith and reminded that we have one more meeting in June before our two-month break. Hopefully, we can arrange to meet as a group for a photoshoot together during that time. After the break, our meeting in September will be to view the theme photos for the previously proposed theme of ‘One subject, three viewpoints’. This will be discussed at our last meeting next month, so try to be there if possible.

ICM Intentional Camera Movement

We then started a discussion on the month’s ICM theme and the problems that some people had in completing the task. The main issue was with the amount of light, particularly when outdoors and not being able to achieve the desired results. ND filters, and finding a darker situation had helped some members, and for iPhone users Diana had discovered and purchased an app that helped produce some good results. Just search for ICM app. There may well be something for Android users too, so check it out yourselves. The ICM effect is one to consider when out and about taking photos, just give it a try! It might be a theme we can repeat at a later date. Well done if you tried it out, there were some interesting shots.

Shots of the Month
Not so many again this month but some good ones from Charles and Elizabeth who were away in Holland and at the Keukenhof Gardens in the Netherlands. Maureen managed to capture a double rainbow and Heather a proud peacock! Maria snapped a fleeting moment when a deer was seen eating camellia petals for breakfast in her garden. Thanks for sending them in.

Antarctica – Andy

Andy then took us on a photographic journey to Antarctica, where he explained not only the journey, but some of the wildlife shots he had taken, along with photos of the magnificent views. He explained that he had been very lucky with the weather being bright and clear as it could have been so different. Despite the seasickness, it was a once in a lifetime experience! Thanks Andy, and a reminder that we want members to get involved with the meeting with their own 10-minute talk!

Next Month’s Theme: Still Life

A slide show of images and ideas on the photography theme of Still Life followed. Members were invited to comment of some of the ideas presented and the different types of still life that can be considered for this theme. It gives plenty of scope and good practice in forming an image from scratch, where you decide totally on what to include, the composition, the lighting, the background, the depth of field and other settings. A pdf of the slideshow is attached so that you can check it out before tackling the task. There followed a video where we saw a photographer having a go at setting things up for himself at home and some of the issues involved. There may be better videos to look at, some can be quite long but have a search on YouTube for Still Life Photography for yourselves!

We concluded the meeting with a reminder that for the new term, starting in September, we will need to decide on new themes for 2023 -2024. If you have ideas and things that you would like to include, please bring them along to the next meeting or send them in.

For some inspiration, have a look at the u3a eye page. At the bottom of the page is a list of themes that they have covered in the past. u3a – u3a Eye

Judith and I hope to see you all next time!

Judith and Terry

P.S.

Robert has sent me a sheet with some ideas on for keeping you busy during the summer break! Have a look. It is also attached. 

Meeting Notes: April 2023. Theme: Industrial / People at work

Andy - Fireman 1

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Click on the arrow keys above to view the next image.

Review of our meeting on the 5th April 2023.

Judith welcomed those present and reminded them that we were not meeting in July or August for our regular session but invited ideas for a ‘photoshoot’ together during this period.

PHOTOS SENT IN:

Theme: Industrial / People at work

We looked at these first. Fewer photos than usual were sent in but there was a broad selection in a variety of settings. There was a mixture of ‘People at Work’ photos as well as ‘Industrial landscapes’ and ‘Close ups’ of machinery. These ranged from Andy’s Firemen shots, and Charles’s and Elizabeths’ shots at Calke Abbey to Heather’s Rainworth Colliery photos and other member’s shots of various building machinery etc. Maybe it was a more difficult topic to tackle but well done to all those who had a go.

We then turned to the Technical Task that was set and there were a few to see and discuss. It was useful to see the original photo and then compare it to the edited version. Judith showed how a close crop; conversion to Black & White; and the addition of a slight vignette, much improved the original. On the other hand. Maureen proved how difficult it was to remove fence bars from her photo resulting on a first view a good result, but on further inspection, the cloning process showed some strange results! Again, well done to those who sent these in. It is recommended that we all consider editing as part of the photography process to help to improve the final version of the photograph.

Shots of the Month

Andrew showed us an interesting shot which included LED lamps with reflections in a dark conservatory. He had to explain that to us as we couldn’t work out how he had made the shot. Andy showed us just a few of his Antarctic expedition photos, with more to follow at a later date, and Heather had a great photo of a nuthatch. Contributions from other members also of course!

Next Months Theme : ICM (Intentional Camera Movement)

We saw many examples of photos and a videos incorporating this technique, which may be new to some of you. The PDF of the presentation is attached to the email so use this to remind yourselves of the ideas and settings involved. The videos that we saw are shown below:

ICM Photography Tutorial – Intentional Camera Movement – YouTube

The Art & Beauty of ICM Photography – A Visual Journey by Stephanie Johnson (StephJohnPhoto) – YouTube

There are quite a few other tutorial pages and videos available when searching for “ICM photography” on the web. Try having a look yourselves! However, I have added another free PDF ‘Mastering ICM’ for you to read which may be helpful.

We concluded the meeting with a practical half hour session to ‘have a go’ at ICM. Members seemed to enjoy the process, but the results remain to be seen!

We hope to see you all at the next meeting which will be on Wednesday 3rd May at 1.30 pm in the Brammer Room.

Judith and Terry

Meeting Notes: March 2023. Theme: Whatever the weather!

Andy-Austria-Snow

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Click on the arrows above to browse through some of the member’s theme photos.

Review of the Ru3a Photography for Fun group meeting: March 1st 2023

Judith welcomed those who attended the meeting, it being reduced in numbers due to a number of factors. Some were away on holiday, others were on a Ru3a trip to the Richard 3rd centre and Elizabeth had Covid so Charles stayed away, ‘just in case’. We hope to see you all at the next one!

Photos sent in: “Whatever the Weather” theme

We had a good selection of photographs to view from those present as well as from those who couldn’t attend but sent photographs in. Thanks! Photos included sunrises and sunsets, a rainbow, frosty leaves, flowers from all seasons, snowy scenes and striking cloud formations. Heather showed a good compositional photo ‘Greaves Lane’ using the rule of thirds as well as an interesting use of the ‘temperature slider’ in her ‘Blue Hour’ image. Well done to all. This topic was wide ranging giving plenty of scope for interpretation, which Maria took advantage of by including a photo of emergency ‘First Responders’ who operate ‘whatever the weather’ and a photo of turnips which we are told we can eat ‘whatever the weather’ instead of tomatoes! This gave rise to a bit of a discussion!

Trevor’s photo ‘Getting windy’ and Maureen’s ‘Rainy Window Pane’ prompted us to remember the editing possibilities of straightening and sharpening and the reason for an extra challenge for next month which is explained next:

Technical Challenge : Using an editor. (On your computer/phone/tablet/online)

  • Task1: Take one photo, the subject / style / theme/ can be anything. Save a copy of that photo with the file name changed to your name and ‘original’. Don’t edit the original!
  • Task2: Use an editor to work on a copy of the photograph, to improve or change it in whatever way pleases you. It might be an idea to make a note as you go along of what you do as you will need to tell us at the next meeting! It can be as simple or complicated as you like; from cropping and straightening to using camera raw, HDR, filters and multiple edits in layers!
  • Task3: Save your final edit as a new jpeg with your name and ‘edit’ in the file name. Send BOTH photographs in a separate email with Technical Challenge as the title.
  • Task4: at next month’s meeting we will show the unedited photo first followed by the edited version and you can summarise what you did to ‘improve’ the final image using the editor.

Shots of the Month

These included photos of rare birds and extra weather related images as well as shots while members were out and about during the month, including deer and a dinosaur from Elizabeth!

NEXT MONTHS (April) THEME: Industrial/People at Work

We saw a slideshow of information and pictures that had been collected from the internet. There was one particular website that had proved useful here: 10 Valuable Industrial Photography Tips to Get Started With (expertphotography.com) and one video which we watched here: How to improve your industrial landscape photography – YouTube. A pdf of the slideshow is attached. Please view these to gain a better insight of the theme and the issues involved. Safety is key should you venture on to any ‘industrial’ sites.

Once again, how you interpret the theme is up to you, but we concluded this part of the meeting with some ideas from group members as to where we might look for inspiration more locally. These included pumping stations, pit top winding wheels and museums, wind turbines and telecom towers, building sites, garage workshops, textile mills, warehouses docks, harbours, and railway and canal locations. These will give us opportunities for both ‘industrial’ and, if you ask, ‘people at work’ shots.

Finally we saw a few funny photos of people at work selected from the internet!

It was a good meeting and we hope to see you all there next time!

Judith and Terry

NEXT MEETING Wednesday 5th April 1.30pm Brammer room.

Meeting notes: February 2023. Theme: Miniature

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Review PFF WED February 1st   2022  Theme:  Miniature

It was good to see most members at this meeting, our first one since the winter break. For those that were missing, and a reminder for those attending, there are some links and attachments in this email which may prove useful.

After welcoming everyone back, Judith went through a few items:

  • Themes for the remaining months are on the website, but there will be some alterations due to changes in dates. We will send a revised and extended list for the year at a later date.
  • There will be no meeting in JULY (some of us are going on a u3a holiday!) Nor will there be a meeting in August as previously announced. So, after our June meeting the next one in September will be viewing the photos you have taken on the theme of One subject, three viewpoints.
  • Some of us went to the LIGHT NIGHT event in Nottingham last year and were able to take some interesting photos. If you would like to go this year, it is on THIS WEEKEND Friday and Saturday evenings. Have a look at the webpage here:

Light Night 2023 – Visit Nottinghamshire (visit-nottinghamshire.co.uk) . You could include some as your SHOTS OF THE MONTH perhaps

Photos sent in:   MINATURE theme

We enjoyed looking at these photographs and hearing about the effort and techniques that had gone in to creating them. Maureen gave us a detailed account of lying prostate on the ground and being attacked by her dog!  Andy explained how his Gravy Pond photos were created and then the contents were eaten afterwards! Members had certainly tried hard with this theme and put a good deal of time into thinking about it and planning how to produce suitable photographs. They also enjoyed it. Well done to all that contributed!

Shots of the Month

Not so many this time round, but Charles had captured a good shot of the Shard in the evening along with one of a sunset at Newstead Abbey with the lake frozen, Elizabeth with an interesting collection of green vegetables entitled Christmas Dinner and Maureen took a good shot of several Canada Geese flying. Thanks for submitting these.

NEXT MONTH’S (March) THEME: Whatever the Weather

Terry showed a PowerPoint of ideas for this theme.

See the attached pdf for reference.

We also looked at several webpages with good examples that fit with this theme. For inspiration have a look at:

Weather Photographer of the Year 2020 – in pictures | Environment | The Guardian

50 Wonderful Photographs of Rain – The Photo Argus which includes some technical tips for this type of photography

Finally, we looked at a related video which had some use ful ideas, although no one fancied taking photos next to a large puddle while a car came by! See:

5 Rain Photography Hacks to Take Amazing Photos In Bad Weather – YouTube

That completed the afternoon session! We look forward to seeing you at our next meeting on Wednesday March 1st at the usual time and venue.

Judith and Terry

Review of the PFF meeting WED December 2nd 2022 Theme: Glass (see video of shared photos)

Judith welcomed members to the last meeting of 2022, reminding them that we will not be holding a meeting in January. This means that you have plenty of time to have a go at the new theme of “miniature photography” which we will be viewing at our February meeting.

Judith also reminded members of the monthly meeting on Tuesday 13th December which will start at 10.30 pm and will include some festive entertainment.


Photos sent in: GLASS

All members attending had supplied an interesting selection of photos to view on this theme using a variety of subjects either in a home situation, where they had experimented with different setups and lighting or when visiting stately homes, churches and city centres. Dianna told us that she had used a newly acquired ‘light box’ for her shots which included inbuilt lighting and different colour backgrounds. Something to consider asking Santa for perhaps!


10-minute talk: Heather

Heather showed us a small selection of photographs that she had taken whilst on various photography courses and outlined some of the technical aspects and issues involved. A couple she mentioned are linked below. There were some lovely photos, showing Heather’s grasp of photography.

Photography Courses: Photography Workshops Going Digital

Workshops (jackperksphotography.com)

Please remember that we like you to get involved in the meeting so if any of you have any ideas or would like to investigate something and put together a 10 minute talk, please let us know.

Shots of the Month

Another good variety of photos taken this month including some nice portraits by Andy taken at a 40’s event at Papplewick and a chicken from Heather!

Next Month’s theme: Miniature Photography

We had had a glimpse of this genre of photography a few months ago, which inspired the idea for the next theme of Miniature Photography. Using small scale figures and settings that are created at home or outside in any environment, photos are created that can be lifelike or amusing. See examples and tips on the attached pdf of the PowerPoint slides that were shown at the meeting.

Search miniature photography in YOUTUBE to see lots of videos on this subject:

(308) minature photography – YouTube

NEXT MEETING

We hope to see you all back on Wednesday 1st February 2023 at 1.30pm in the Brammer room for our next meeting.

Judith and I wish you all a Merry Christmas and a Happy new year!

Judith and Terry


PFF THEMES 2022-2023

  • SEPTEMBER: Statues and Sculptures
  • OCTOBER: Threes

It is thought that groupings of three are aesthetically pleasing to the eye. What do you think? Interpret this as you like.

  • NOVEMBER: Colours of nature

Look out for autumn colours, skies at sunrise or sunset, floral, wildlife etc.

  • DECEMBER: Glass

We have already looked at other materials such as stone, wood and metal. How could you illustrate the properties of glass in an image?

  • JANUARY: NO MEETING: ENJOY THE BREAK!
  • FEBRUARY: Create a miniature scene

Let your imagination run wild! Something to amuse yourself with over the Christmas break!

  • MARCH: Whatever the weather!

We couldn’t fit this in last year so plenty of time to look out for a variety of images.

  • APRIL: Industrial/People at work

This could include industrial landscapes, buildings, action shots and portraits .

  • MAY: Intentional camera movement

What effects can you create by manipulating the camera?

  • JUNE: Still Life

Create a group of objects to form an interesting still life image. Maybe a chance to experiment with light sources or look for shapes and colours which complement each other.

  • JULY: One subject, three viewpoints.
  • AUGUST: NO MEETING

Our group ranges from beginners to experienced photographers. We are a self help group.

See the Diary of Events for more information about what is planned.


Group Contact Details

If you are not yet a member of Ravenshead u3a and would like to find out more about this or other groups, then contact the Group Leader using the link below.

Contact our Group Leaders : Terry Moore & Judith Moore


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