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Mid year – Presidents thoughts

It only seems like a few weeks ago it was New Year, and here we are just past the shortest day of the year, AGM has been and mid-year dinner fast approaching.

I also can’t quite believe that nearly a year ago I managed to get myself elected as President of the HBPS, and step into the rather large shoes of those that had gone before me. And as always things haven’t always gone smoothly in that year, but overall I am pretty happy with some of the changes that I, and the Committee, have managed to implement in that time. Some of the changes are small, some are boring admin things that the club members don’t ever get to hear about, and some of the changes have been quite fundamental to the way the Club runs.

Of those changes I am most pleased with the way that the introduction of the mid-month workshop meetings have gone, the support that they have received from the Club members, and the way that ( in my humble opinion ) the quality of the images submitted by both A grade and B Grade has improved over that time as a result. Also this has allowed the end of the month Club meetings to become a little more relaxed without the pressure to include some level of hands on / tutorials into the already limited time frame.

The 2018/19 year promises to bring a few more tweaks to the way the Club runs, but I will always ensure the you are all kept informed of any plans we have.

 

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2018

Welcome to the start of a new year – and hopefully lots of new adventures in photography.

2017 really showed the diversity of the talent among members – with lots of learning off each other and the occasional “how did they do that moment.”

No doubt some of you got some new photography goodies for Christmas and are already trying them out.

The first set subject for the year I hear is challenging some people. We’re not used to being the subject – particularly those of us not from the “selfie” generation who I suspect are much more confident in this aspect of photography.

There’s a couple of documentaries on Vivian Maier well worth watching. Her photos were discovered in a storage locker shortly before her death and provide not just some stunning photography but some outstanding history as well.

She oft took self-portraits in a street scene environment and this link may provide some inspiration to you.

http://www.vivianmaier.com/gallery/self-portraits/

While we are talking about set subjects just note a slight change to the order for September and October. These two subjects have been reversed to fit in with the judges availability.

This year when you label your entries we would also ask that you label them for the month submitted – rather than for the month presented back to the meeting. The committee feels this is simpler to understand.

The first entries for the year would now be labelled January. The results will be presented to the February meeting.

Congratulations again to those who moved up to A grade at the end of the year. For those still a little nervous about the jump just remember you got there because you produced some really good photos. Like all of us you’ll develop further as the year progresses.

Was pleased to find that the website reached 20,000 views towards the end of the year. When it first started it was averaging 10 to 12 people a day looking at it. It’s now up to 20 to 30 a day. Most popular time is 9:00 am on a Monday.

All the best for the year ahead.

Progression

At the first committee meeting for the new committee we had a bit of a discussion about how do we tell if the society is healthy and how do we measure progress.

As much of our meeting is taken up with revealing the results of judging certain aspects would indicate things are in a good space.

Obviously people entering photos would be one of those – you can’t judge un-entered photos.

The second would be that we can see the quality improving.

So having a look behind the scenes we can see that both entry volumes are increasing and more honours are awarded.

This is a good reflection on you all as members. It takes a bit of confidence to enter your work and to get a judgement on it, a score and feedback.

Well done.

Jane will be working with a small group of newer members over several months to help build the both the confidence enter and the skill to improve.

We’ve also decided to have a second meeting each month to practice and learn specific skills. This will start this year – more details as we work out the practicalities.

With the move to use NZIPP accredited judges and the use of digital prints it has been decided to no longer accept prints for our monthly society competition.

This decision wasn’t taken lightly and we still want to see your photos in print form.

We are going to raise the awareness and lift the importance of our print competitions throughout the year to compensate for this. The print medium is still very important.

It was very nice seeing the wide range of prints at the mid-year function.

Thanks to Rosemary for organising and Stu for judging.

B grade results:

1st    A Bleak Day At North Piha – Vivienne W

2nd    Pretty Pencils – Sherryl N

3rd    Cadillac – Lester O

A grade results:

1st   Curtsy Ballerina – Rebecca M

2nd    Calm After The Storm – Liz C

3rd    Hill On Fire – Bruce C

Well done to all who entered. It was quite obvious from the discussions as people looked at the prints that everyone had their favourites and had fun guessing, often wrongly whose picture was whose.

The competition was worth it for those discussions alone.

I really liked the puffin with his mouth full of fish.

On a final note for this month I’d like to refresh the random banners that appear on the website.

If people wish to highlight some of their photography, with a widish panoramic type shot then that’s be cool. It’s a slightly different style that some might be used to but it’s also quite a good way of experimenting with a different crop of an existing photo.

No more than 3 each and email them to the competition email address with banner 1 (or 2 or 3) followed by your name.

They should be cropped and sized to 2000 pixels across x 500 pixels high to keep a consistent sizing. Have fun.

Judges comments

I missed last meeting due to an eye operation (yay I can see again) but people must have enjoyed the judges comments because I’ve been asked to add them to the website.

Bruce Shanks was the judge and he’s kindly given permission for his comments to be added.

I found an overall very good standard of images, within this competition.
Some of the things which we don’t stress enough today about images is, does the photographer have a story to tell ?
More often images appear to be an exercise, of trying to emulate a successful type of image that one has seen elsewhere, or searching for a formulae to success, rather than finding a story to advance
.
A lot of great images, are preconceived. i.e. they are thought about, and constructed from a blank canvas ( formerly piece of unexposed film , now free-space on a capture card. Things to consider for a successful image; are good lighting, understanding of depth of field, and composition, and the importance of using the space available, to great advantage.

 

When I learnt to judge, way back in 1959 at Tauranga and District Photographic Society, we judged on a points basis:

30 Points for Conception

Did the photographer have a story to present.

40 points for how the image w
as constructed, put together,(known as composition), consisting of shapes, placement of objects, balance of tones, light and shade, lines of view, darker at the base, lighter at the top etc.

25 points Photographic Technique

mainly over ridden today by the camera manufacturer’s in-camera software

5 points for presentation, mounting, matting, outlining, titling etc.
Of course that was in the days before, light meters, rangefinders, SLRs etc although the TLR (Twin lens Reflex) were fairly common ( Rollei’s etc) did have focus, on a screen, but an inverted image.
A good tip is to flip your image, and view the reversed image often, weaknesses will be seen, in this mirrored image, often it may be a stronger image, but be careful of writing, watches on the wrong wrist, and other, give away factors.
Try always to have a focal point, for the viewers eye to linger on.
Study the guidelines of composition, at the least.

Google “Rule of thirds” , “Golden ratio” or “Golden mean” or Fibonnaci number, spirals, and golden section.

 

Other forms of composition worth study, are balance, S curves, Triangles.

 

We pooh pooh construction of our image to our detriment, and an understanding of the balance and harmony between colours is a useful skill for the exhibition photographer to master.

In the knowledge basket section of the society website is a section on composition which gives guidance to some of the compositional considerations Bruce Shanks talks about.

https://hbps.co.nz/composition/

Welcome to 2017

2017 has started and it’s nice to see another art form occurring around town – namely all the murals being painted for Pangeaseed’s Sea Walls: Artists for Oceans project.

This is the second project in Napier and the murals are pretty cool.

Occasionally people submit photos of others art for judging and often this results in a not achieved, even when the artwork is very beautiful.

The thing to consider when photographing anther’s artwork is how to add value. What difference has your photography added to the original art-work.

It’s your photography skills being judged, not the beauty of the artwork itself.

An example of this would be this image. This was captured at the moment the artist, Faith47, was signing her name after she had completed the mural.

Without the artist and the capture of that unique point in time it simply would have been a photograph of her mural.

So it’s not impossible to include others artwork in your submissions – you just need to consider what part you have played in creating the overall image.

Next years set subjects

Next years set subjects

Thanks for all the suggestions for next year. Certainly more suggestions than months available by a long way.

Final selection is thus:
Jan  – Orange
Feb – Kiwi Summer
March – Repetition
April – Very rural
May – Broken
June – Architecture
July – Weather
August – In the distance
September – Negative space
October – Frozen in time (Fast shutter speed)
Christmas Party – “X”

I’ll add a page to the website with this and meeting dates during the week.

So new members know – you don’t have to take the photo in the month of the competition. You can use both existing photos or take them well in advance.

Some people have been known to do a little chart up and tick them off as suitable opportunities appear.