Skies, can’t live with them, can’t live without them, indicates some of the difficulty that the greatest source of light on the planet can present to photographers and may explain why some retreat on a more or less permanent basis to a studio where these things can be controlled. That, however is not the fate of the landscaper, the wedding photographer, the took-the-camera-on-holiday snapper, well, anyone who takes a photograph of, or in, the great outdoors. Pretty much everyone, then.
Dynamic range is the problem, luminance, the ability of a sensor to reproduce the extremes of blacks and whites in a photograph and everything in between. The human eye/brain combo has a dynamic range of 10-14 f-stops, about 1/1,000,000,000 times the faintest light to that of the of our local star in the middle of a bright and sunny day. DXO give the highest dynamic range of any commercially available DSLR at 14.8 stops. So how can that be a problem? Most modern DSLR’s and CSC’s appear to be within that 10-14 stop range so can emulate the human brain. Yes and no. The question is where the average that you are metering for lies in that range. Your camera does not possess the same dynamic processing capabilities as your brain which constantly adjusts to available light levels (and has been several million years in the development in doing so). What we see in an image is the capture of a moment. It is fixed. The exif data tells you that. What we see with our eyes is dynamically adjusted to what we “know” and changes constantly. In our brains the “shutter” is always rolling, not fixed.
That expectation can be shown in an image with a high dynamic range (that’s a clue) but necessarily arranged around the average the light meter has constructed or the camera instructed by the photographer. Those f-stops in the range have captured the information, we just need to rebalance the image to our expectations. That was the subject of our last meeting and Gerry Painter, Mark O’Grady and Nick Hale gave us some valuable leads on how, with some contributions from the floor, using both Adobe (Elements, Lightroom and Photoshop) and Smart Photo Editor how we can use that inbuilt dynamic range to our own advantage; and yes the same applies to JPEG and to RAW, just not in equal measure.
Broadly the latitude in a JPEG is plus or minus 2 stops over the “correctly” exposed average. With RAW that moves to approximately +/-3 stops. What the sensor can see, approximately, and what the eye can see, is not the same as the sensor records in straight numbers. There are a number of solutions that are available including HDR either from a single or multiple frames plus the various trips that we were shown using the tools available in the photo editing suites and we mentioned above. A single HDR image taken pushed to reveal the highlights and so then back to the original and push to the shadows then combine the three to cover a greater range is one way but if the range needs to be extended further then three separate shots can be used. To get the best out of this will usually require dedicated software such as Luminance HDR, which is free, or Photomatics or any number of similarly capable software, to blend the images into one.
There are, of course, other factors to consider, especially if you are blending two images, especially the quality/temperature of the light needing to match to make things convincing. That is convincing, not accurate – see the discussions of this over the last two posts. This was shown to be relatively straightforward, what doesn’t match between two images really stands out rather clearly and it is down to being a little critical of the outcome. Does this look as if it is one image, or does it look like more than one image crammed together. The hit and hopes do tend to stand out. As ever it is a matter of personal taste. It’s your photograph, what are you happy with?
Which brings us to round 2 of the ROC. Paul McCloskey was our judge and thanks to him for his insights and reflections on the night. The number of images commended was the highest to date and reflects not just a growth in quality but also one in diversity. The club moves from strength to strength. There was some conversation about what Paul saw and what some in the audience saw differently, as ever when we compare and contrast each other’s work, but that is both a good and necessary thing. The story we think we are sending out won’t always be the story that other’s think we are telling, and that can open us to other opportunities.
Results are as follows, those marked No Image Available mean exactly that. There was no image in the cloud folder for them.
Digital Print Images
Beauty and the Beast
No Image Available
No Image Available
No Image Available
Centre of Attention
The Big Bang Theory
Who Needs a Parrot?
Butterfly With No Name
It’s a Bird
Brecon Beacons – Falls
Sorry I’m Late
The Greek Goddess Ariadne
Congratulations everybody, a fine showing.
17 December Meeting SCHOOL IS CLOSED. REPAIR TO THE UPSTAIRS OF THE LANGTON COURT ON LANGTON COURT ROAD. Bring something festive to eat and lots and lots of prints of any size – it will be fun.
Next meeting at the School: January 7th 2016 – Chairman Maurice has the floor. Read up on your Little Red Books …
The competition season reached the trophy round last meeting with the awarding of the John Hankin (print) and the Stan Scantlebury (projected image) Shields. It was an interesting evening with the chance of looking back at some of the more favoured images over the season and see them in light of a fresh competition and a fresh judge, John Bjergfelt and our thanks to him. Rules for this round are as per the open competition but with the exception that this is restricted to entries that have already been submitted for the open and no points are awarded. All images are accompanied by a short summary of the judge’s comments in the catalogue only, see the link below.R E S U L T S
2nd – The rat catcher – Ian Coombs
3rd – New dog old trick – Ian Coombs
Highly Commended List –
Proud to be Russian – Eddie Deponeo
and Lady of the lake – Mark O’Grady.
Commended List –
A road well travelled – Julie Coombs,
Unearthed beauty – Mark O’Grady
and Tintern sunrise – Eddie House.
Digital 1st –
2nd – Must get ball must get ball! – Eddie House
3rd – Sailing – Roy Williams
Highly Commended List –
Plitvice Waterfall – Annamarie Miles,
Happy Meal – Alison Davies,
Ivy Leaf – Wendy Goodchild
and Against the night – Mark Stone.
Commended List –
Bathtime – Pauline Ewins,
Desolate Industry – Mark Stone,
Masquerade – Ian Coombs,
Summer Bloom – Pauline Ewins,
Simple Crocus – Debbie Griffin,
Hidden in your shell – Mark O’Grady
and Fairy wand – Alison Davies.
The Full Catalogue with summaries of the Judges remarks (at least as fast as my thumbs would type on my phone) is available here:
A very big thank you to everyone who made this happen, an enjoyable evening and a chance to get another judges comments on work we have already seen judged.
– that the Flickr competition this month is about Food & Drink.
– that Rich Price is running a trip to Exmoor to photograph the Milky Way. Details re on the club Flickr site, dates are . Looking forward to that one (all weather dependent of course).
The new Brunel wing is now open and we will have a chance to exhibit. Details to follow.
THURSDAY 22nd May is European/Local elections: NO Meeting at the School this week due to it being used as a polling station. Instead meet at the Dovecote pub next to Ashton Court @ 19:30.
The first meeting of 2014 to start in the daylight, OK twilight. Competition night, round 4 of the Open. Would we have a judge this time??? Peter Weaver did not disappoint and as ever made the evening even more enjoyable. A big club thanks to him and of course to everyone who made this evening possible. But on with the competition. The number of entrants was quite low again, 14 Novice and 18 Advanced projected images 2 novice and 8 advanced prints. The ground between novice and advanced was declared, again, to be very close and I know the committee are taking on the comments from the judges. As ever everyone else’s images looked better than mine but then other’s have said the same thing to me about their own entries. The difference is the judges keep agreeing with me, not them! I think the photo marathon brought out the best in the club, maybe not technically – you make a different image when you have more control – but certainly creatively. Take this to the next step, it is only logical and it is only a small thing, and enter the club competitions to get feedback. “Feedback is the food of champions”, according to Ken Blanchard. Here to get better? Enter the competitions! Put the feedback (suggestions) into your next photo session. Simples! to quote a certain Meerkat.
The lights dimmed and up came the first of the Novice images ……. Actually you might want this running in the background whilst you view (for those of us of a certain age) .
the full catalogue you can get from this link 140403 Round 4 but the winners by category were:
1st Bridge Landscape – John Pike
Ding, ding, round three (of the Open Competition). Me? I am more of a crossword boxer – enter the ring vertical and leave horizontal. I enter the open competition rounds on the same basis and there were some great images on show, again, in this round. To everyone who made it happen, entrants, committee and judge thank you, it was an enjoyable evening. The rest of us? Well the more images the better, so why not give it a go? We lose nothing and gain insight from others with considerable experience. Novice? So am I. True it might not go as well as we hoped but then it might go better. Given a half way decent judge we get some valuable feedback. Go and try what they say, see if improves it for you. In the words of Mrs Doyle, “Ah, go on. Go on. Go on, go on, go on”.
Going on, a fine evening we had of it. The numbers of prints was quite low this time round, indeed if the club were looking for a motto it could do worse than the words of the Cilla “Norra Lorra Prints” – from the ancient Liverpudlian, well Cilla’s way older than me and I am no spring chicken. What there were showed sound photographic skills, were varied, well executed and interesting. Judge Peter Kessler pronounced himself quite a fan of black and white and they showed better this time round than last, or indeed in the battle with BPS, in both print and projected categories I have summarised the judges comments with the images in a separate pdf file – I have had a few problems with Word Press and pictures . The file can be found here > 140206 Open Competition Round 3 edit.
We were also treated to a short presentation by Paul Kessler from his four trips to Thailand, and we thank him for that. Very informative and a whole extra biscuit at break next week for anyone who can give the full name, in Thai, of the city we call Bangkok!
Congratulations to the winners and well done everyone for another interesting evening. Once again thanks to all who made this happen.
There will be a change to the running order from 20th February (Published Work) , please see separate post for details.
There will be a photomarathon on 2nd March 2014 – Ian C has details.
FLIKR (http://www.flickr.com/groups/reflexcc/) competition for February is up and running the theme is Transport and is for uploaded images taken in the month of February on the theme.
ROC Round 1 Results
Here are the winning entries for Round 1 of the ROC (Reflex Open Competition). There were some fantastic images entered and the standard was amazing, as usual. We’re trying out a new way of posting the images so please let me know what you think. To see them full size you just need to click on one and it will open larger. Then to show them as a slideshow simply click on the little triangle in the bottom left corner of the border that is around the image.
Results (names in red link to one of that persons websites) :
Digital Projected Novice
(at time of posting this stands. Although it may be altered later)
Digital Projected Image (advanced)
Prints (Advanced) Section
Thanks to everyone that took part and I’m looking forward to seeing your entries for Round 2.
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Reflex Open Competition Results
The winners and runners up in the 2012/13 season of the Reflex Camera Club Open Competition. Congratulations to you all and a huge thank you to everyone that took part.
1st Suzanne King 65 points
2nd Maurice Thompson 39 points
3rd Julia Simone 37 points
1st Richard Price 37 points
2nd Mark OGrady 27 points
3rd Angie Nelson 25 points
1st Suzanne King 44 points
2nd Richard Price 38 points
3rd Angie Nelson 36 points
Photographer of the Year
1st Richard Price 75 points
2nd Suzanne King 65 points
3rd Angie Nelson 61 points
Best Digital Image (Stan Scantlebury Shield)
Best Printed Image (John Hankin Shield)
The following Novices are promoted to the Advanced Section:
Suzanne King, Julia Simone, Wendy OBrien, Dan Ellis, Gary Horne, Maurice Thompson
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Thursday night we had the judging for the Reflex Open Competition Round 4, here are the winners;
Novice Print Section Winners
1st – John Pike with Faces
2nd – Dan Ellis with One London Bridge
3rd – Suzanne King with Rusty Flower
Highly Commended – Wendy OBrien with Purple Web
Commended – John Pike with A Winters Day
Commended – Maurice Thompson with Hadley Hall
Regular Print Section Winners
1st Richard Price with Swanage Pier
2nd Mark OGrady with Blackened Light
3rd Angie Nelson with Red Eyed Tree Frog
Highly Commended – Roger Gowan with Gnarly Old Wood
Commended – Alison Davies with Dying Beauty
Commended – Mark OGrady – The Repose
Novice Digital Projected Image Winners
1st – Julia Simone with Giving it My Best
2nd – Barrie Brown with Lonesome Jug
3rd – Dan Ellis with Cover Her Face Mine Eyes Dazzle
Highly Commended – Julia Simone with Enjoying the Beach
Commended – Gary Horne with Rush Hour
Commended – Rona Green with Jasper
Regular Digital Projected Winners
1st – Richard Price with Cabot Circus
2nd – Angie Nelson with Dark dreams
3rd – Ian Coombs with Two’s Company
Highly Commended – Richard Price with Nash Rocks
Commended – Mark OGrady with Day of the Dead
Commended – Alison Davies with Observation Point