Tagged: roc

26th October 2017 – Round One DPI’s and Development Opportunities

2017-2018 Season Round One of the Open Competition (DPI) was an evening of considerable variety. The prints will be judged next session. Congratulations to Wendy Goodchild for her winning entry and thanks to our judges, multiple award winning husband and wife team Peter Brisley and Sue O’Connell, who are back next session to judge the prints. We have had to split the judging for this round because of the volume of DPI’s in particular, but the number of print entries, gratifyingly, is also up. Our thanks to our judges for being so accommodating.

 

What was striking was the variety of subjects and styles on display. This we can take as a good thing because we get to see other people’s interpretations of subjects we have almost certainly chanced our arms at in the past. There is also an advantage, not immediately obvious, in watching our and fellow club members progress over the course of a season. Thinking about what we do is an important part of developing our art. There is a difference between someone who has taken 10,000 photographs and learned from their mistakes and someone who has taken one set of mistakes and repeated them 10,000 times (with several, increasingly expensive, kit upgrades in the interim, no doubt). There is a difference between a photographer and a-bloke-with-a -camera after all. Well, most of the time, if not for everyone and increasingly for next-to-no-money whatsoever.

 

Yet we cannot get anywhere meaningful without the effort. There really aren’t “bad” cameras anymore. Ditto lenses. This rather points to the photographer as the weak link in the chain.  At some point we want to be more than just the button pusher. Creativity requires effort and lots and lots and lots of practice. Not a blinding revelation and not the first time it has been mentioned on this blog, but certainly it is a truth of learning.  Anything we learn pretty much follows that pattern. We know this so why not use it?

 

Critique, like we get in competition rounds,  but not exclusively restricted to that, is a good source of fuel for our development. Structured in its delivery and used as a starting point, or rather a restarting point, if we were to take that image and again and apply the observations we have been given, would the image be more effective at relaying its story?

 

Like or dislike of an image is natural and almost instant. When sorting through a large number of images for editing or weeding a good rule of thumb is if it doesn’t hold your attention for two seconds (or more) bin it. Critiquing requires we go beyond the immediate reaction. Even the most experienced of judges can suffer a failure to understand. A good judge will be honest about this – and we are also our own judges so I am not just talking about club photo competitions – and give us a reason or set of reasons why not.  But it will be structured and it will provide information we can consider the next time we have the camera out. The key is the word because. This is, absolutely, the key.

 

For sure critique needs a framework to be meaningful and for sure it is subjective, but there is no one method, and every time we look at it we take a slightly different path to reflect this.  This might give the impression that it is not very effective. Yet no artist ever develops without nurturing one. The same way as having a purpose in taking the pictures we want rather than the pictures that present (that’s not to say we shouldn’t be open to the unexpected)  is part of the same process.

 

Look at the opportunities the club presents. Practicals for sure, are pretty obvious. Ditto the competition rounds. Speakers are a chance to get ideas from, to look for alternatives and also to interact with the material presented, to say I like that because … or I don’t like that because … I would alter that … I will try that … how did they do … Whatever else, you cannot beat a bit of deliberate action.

 

And take lots of pictures.

 

And look at lots of pictures. There are plenty of sites on the web to give us ideas. Flickr, 500px and other general sites to more specific and curated ones, like the Magnum Agency and the stock photo sites like iStock or Shutterstock, or social media groups like those to be found on Facebook or sites like Instagram. Look, but look critically.

27th October 2016 – Open Competition Round 1 and Rob H talks Kit and Iceland

ROC round 1 judged by Ralph Snook, a first tie judge for the club and thanks to him for his efforts. Results will be on the club web site http://www.reflexcameraclub.co.uk/

So, for a change, the second of our ocassional contributions from club members, this time Rob Heslop on “It’s not the camera it’s what’s in front of it”.

Having just upgraded a perfectly good camera to the next model up, which is basically the same except for a few functions I’ll never use, for absolutely no reason other than the shop presenting my with a fantastic offer, got me thinking about camera kit our and do we really need half of it or could our photography improve if we invested elsewhere?  It’s easy to get swept up with the latest must have gear, magazines are full of reviews with photos taken in exotic locations by professional photographer which somehow lead us to believe that if we buy that bit of kit we will be able to take that photo.  Then there are the debates on the Internet about the subtle differences between kits that lead us to believe that anything but the latest pro lens is just not worth having.  Even club members harmlessly chatting about their newest toy or a guest speaker explaining what kit they used lead us to subconsciously question is our own kit good enough.  All this creates a mindset of I need an xyz if I’m to take photos that are any good and I know I’m as guilty as anyone when it comes to falling for the marketing hype, but the “greats” never had half the kit we do, whilst that’s not to say they wouldn’t have used the technological aids if they had them, merely that they took mind blowing photos without half the equipment we have and it didn’t hold them back.

Which leads me to wandering is there a better way than fixating about the camera, perhaps if we want to take better photos we should instead invest more in what’s in front of the camera than the camera it’s self.

Over the years I’ve gone on various photographic ‘holidays’ around the UK and I use the term holiday in its loosest sense mind as who gets up at silly o’clock just to sit in a car in the pouring rain waiting for a sunrise that never comes before retreating to a cafe for breakfast.  Then a couple of months back I took the next step and went international and for the price of a lens I headed over to that infamous photographic location; Iceland.

Having never been before and as this was primarily a photographic trip not your traditional holiday there was a great deal of planning in the local pub using the likes of Google maps and Flickr to pick places (and times) we wanted to shoot and subsequently places we would to stay in-order to get the conditions but foolishly we never planned places to eat, more on that later. The idea was simple; fly into Keflavik (the only international airport on the island) pick up a hire car and drive along Route 1 to the glacial lake, then make our way back taking photos on the way, simples .

Keflavik, is on the western tip of the island meaning we flew along the southern coastline which gives an amazing view of the glacial ice, the black sandy beaches and of course the ocean, all hinting at what’s to come. The plan touched down on what I can only describe as the surface of the moon or maybe it was Mars either way I’m pretty sure I could see the Apollo capsule in the distance.

On landing we picked up our car and I was relieved that the choice extended beyond the red one or the blue one, before proceeding on one of the most challenging drives ever; not because it of the navigation (there is only one road) not because of the road conditions (they were better than the UK) not because of the other drivers (both of the cars we past were polite and courteous drivers) but challenging as we had to force ourselves to drive past some of the greatest photographic opportunities we had ever seen; I had a feeling that it was going to be very hard to take a bad photo.

That evening we arrived at Jokulsarlon the glacial lake on the south of the island, the lake was stunning with icebergs breaking off the glacier slowly crashing into each other before drifting out to sea. They were a sight to behold and presented a wealth of photographic opportunities, well worth the drive.  The plan was to wait for sunset, get some photos and head over to our accommodation for the night. There is however a catch we had forgot to make plans for dinner and found ourselves hurriedly eating cold sandwiches and lukewarm soup for dinner before the only cafe for two hours in any direction closed for the evening. We discovered that in the winter the population along the southern edge of the island is less than 100 people and if I’m honest I don’t think it’s much more in the summer, so it’s no surprise that food is limited.  Still after a hurried dinner, closing on time seemed to take priority over feeding the dozen or so tourists that had also fallen foul to the lack of places to eat, we settled down to some serious photography but soon realised that whilst it got colder sunset wasn’t going to happen any time soon, to be honest I’ve no idea if it even happened as we were worn out and exhausted long before the sun was.

The next day was spent on the road to Vik about a two hour drive according to Google maps or an entire day’s drive if you include photos stops. The landscape was epic with and endless feel but somehow constantly changing offering a dearth of photo opportunities and it was all ours, every so often we’d see the odd car drive by but for most of the time we could lie down in the road if we wanted, oh and we did even if it was just to get the right camera angle. Vik however was a real treat for photographers with it’s black sand beaches and stone monoliths rising out of the ocean it’s hard to see how you could take a bad photo but I probably managed luckily I also managed to take a few keepers, rather than wax-lyrical about Vik I’ll simply recommend doing a quick search for images on Google, Flickr or similar, as like the old saying goes a picture speaks a thousand words and even that isn’t enough to sum up the photographic opportunities.

The final day was spent driving back to Reykjavik trying to remember everything that was saw on route a couple of days previous.  This was our first insight to the touristy parts of Iceland; Skógafoss and Seljalandsfoss Waterfalls, not to say these aren’t worth visiting from a photographic perspective, they are stunning but from mid morning on the crowds of day trippers on their coach tour excursions from the city started to build making photo opportunities more challenging, but they did at least mean food was more plentiful.

Then as quickly as we’d arrived it was all over and we were on the plane back to the UK.  Sat in my seat my mind reflected back on the trip, the sites I’d seen, the photos I taken, and places I want to go back to, yet at no point did I find myself thinking if only I had that latest bit of kit.  And that’s just it, despite what the adverts may imply having the kit on its own won’t magically lead to better photos and it won’t provide you with experiences or stories.  So next time you find yourself starting to lust after that new piece of camera kit ask yourself would it be better to invest in your subject matter, it doesn’t need to be far flung and exotic, just give the subject of your photos the same attention as you give to the camera.

Thanks Rob, really interesting points and I am not at all jealous …

N E X T   M E E T I N G

Week 10 – 3rd Nov 2016 19:30 – Practical “Reflex Reflects”. Creating images using various types of reflective surfaces and objects.
(Bring your cameras, tripods and lights/flashguns)

Reflex Open Competition

Reflex Open Competition Digital Image Round 1 Winners

Thursday saw us eagerly anticipating the results of the first round of the Reflex Open Competition (from now on just called the ROC as I’m too lazy to type all that out every time). What most members didn’t know is that the day before the Judge we had booked backed out due to illness! It has to be one of the things most Club Competition Secretaries dread. Unfortunately we couldn’t find a replacement before the meeting so we were going to go with giving everyone a piece of paper and getting them to mark each image. Then luckily for us, not for him, Simon Caplan walked through the door. Under no pressure whatsoever, honest, he volunteered to judge the images for us. Maybe he should of asked how many had been submitted before he agreed as he soon discovered cold judging 77 images isn’t the easiest thing in the world. So I’d like to take this opportunity to thank Simon on behalf of everyone for stepping up and putting himself in the firing line.

A small reminder of some of the rules

Before I give you the results I’d just like to remind you all of some of the rules for entering the ROC. The website has a dedicated page just for the ROC which you can find here.

  • Your digital files MUST be named correctly or they will not be entered.
  • They must begin with a number sequence of 01, 02 or 03.
  • Then you MUST use a SINGLE underscore _ . The underscore is normally found by using shift on the minus key of your keyboard.
  • Then you type the title of your image followed by a SINGLE underscore.
  • Finally enter your Membership Number. If you don’t know your membership number you can ask the Membership Secretary or the Club Treasurer
  • All files must be in JPG format and should be saved in the sRGB Colour Space
  • Maximum image size is 1400 pixels wide and 1050 pixels in height
  • If you submit PRINTS you MUST submit a digital copy of that print

Here are a few examples of correctly named image files:

01_My Wonderful Image_251.jpg
02_My Wonderful Image_251.jpg
03_My Wonderful Image_251.jpg
PRINT_My Wonderful Image_251.jpg

And Now For the Winners

1ST – Rays of Light – Eddie Deponeo
2ND – Common Darter – Richard Price
3RD – Wot No Pollon? – Rona Green
HC – Moss – Mark Stone
HC – Morris – Steve Hallam
HC – It Was Just A Blur – Eddie Deponeo

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ROC R1 Results

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

1st    Misty morning by Pauline Ewins
2nd   I ain’t afraid of no dog by Barrie Brown
3rd    Yellow Flowers  by  Rona Green

 

Novice Print

(at time of posting this stands. Although it may be altered later)

1st Proud to be Russian by Eddie Deponeo
2nd Young and Old by Eddie Deponeo

 

Digital Projected Image (advanced)

1st      Forest Girl by Angie Wallace
2nd      Hidden in your Shell  by  Mark OGrady
3rd      Time to Give up by Geoff Morgan
HC       Loch Carron by Steve Hallam
HC      Happy Meal by Alison Davies
HC      Masquerade by Ian Coombs

 

Prints (Advanced) Section

1st   Unearthed Beauty by Mark OGrady
2nd  Looking into you by Mark OGrady
3rd   Forlorn by Alison Davies
HC   The Old Fart by Julie Coombs
HC    Sunset Tide by Ian Coombs

 

Thanks to everyone that took part and I’m looking forward to seeing your entries for Round 2.

This Years Meetings

New season’s programme of Meetings

The new season is about to start and here at Reflex we’re excited to announce the fantastic Programme of Meetings for the 2013/14 season. You can take a look at our programme by going here.

The first meeting

On September 5th we have the first meeting of the new season and we need you, our brilliant club members, to submit ten images that showcase what you’ve been doing photographically over the last couple of months. You can either submit them via Dropbox, email them in using the clubs usual email address or bring them in on a memory stick. To remain fair to everyone please only submit 10 images. If you submit more than 10 only the first ten will be shown. You can choose to talk about the images or not. It’s totally up to you.

New Rules for the ROC

There are some new rules for the Reflex Open Competition this year. The main difference between this and last is the naming of files. From now on you will need to know your membership number to enter competitions. The files will be named 01_title_Membership Number.jpg & 02_title_membership number.jpg. Now I can hear you all saying that you don’t have a membership number but be patient. We are waiting for the new Membership cards to be delivered and once they are here we will hand them out to fully paid up members and they will have your membership number on them. The full changes to the rules can be found on this page  of the website

Reflex Open Competition Round 4 Winners

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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

Creative Round Results

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Sorry its taken me so long to get the results posted, its been a combination of problems with the server and illness.  I also have to apologise to David Morgan as I can’t find what I’ve done with the digital version of his print (I know I had it, I checked, but I can’t find it anywhere). So David if you want to email me another copy I’ll add it to the slide show.

Novice winners of the Reflex Open Competition DPI Creative Round

1st FLX vs Joker by Kineta Hill

2nd Multiplicity by Gary Horne

3rd “Closing in on the Pawn” by Suzanne King

Highly Commended “Snowy Smile” by Wendy O’Brien

Novice Print Winners of the Reflex Open Competition Creative Round

1st “Oops I missed a bit” by Maurice Thompson

2nd “Bolt close up” by David Morgan

3rd “Neon Light Flowers” by Suzanne King

Advanced Print Winners of the Reflex Open Competition Creative Round

1st “Sunken” by Richard Price

2nd “Tranquillity” by Alison Davies

3rd “To Fly Away” by Angi Nelson

3rd “Jetty” by Richard Price

Highly Commended “Sgt Pepper” by Ian Coombs

Highly Commended “Tribal” by Angi Nelson

Commended “Envy” by Julie Coombs

Winners DPI section of the Reflex Open Competition, Creative Round

1st “The Rush” by Mark O’Grady

2nd “Suppertime” by Angie Nelson

3rd “Partial Light Orb” by Richard Price

Highly Commended “Event Horizon” by Mark O’Grady

Highly Commended “Flower Faerie” by Alison Davies