Welcome to Joomla!

Peter Flower

This is not a travel article. Although it sounds like it might be, Joomla is not a hill station on the Indian Blue Mountain Railway from Coonoor to 'Snooty' Ooty! It is the CMS (Content Management System) that is being used by Jill to develop the new web site. 

Web site design and development is complex because the results have to be shown via a vast range of web browsers, different operating systems and screen sizes. Until now our web site has been displayed in a format that requires considerable sideways scrolling and enlarging on smaller screens. The contrast is shown in the comparison image of a Windows 21” monitor, an Android 10.1” tablet and the 3” screen of an oldish Sony Ericsson phone. The second shot shows how much of the image is lost on the phone if it resized to match the text size on the tablet.

 

 

 

The next image shows a prototype opening page for the new web design. As will be seen, even on the tiny phone screen compared to the computer monitor, the information is much more readable. This is because Joomla 'cascades' the three elements (two posters plus the menu) down the screen if it is not wide enough to display at a reasonable size.

 

 

The prototype system has been tested on a range of different devices, including Apple iOS and Safari on iMac and iPad, Android OS on Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 tablet, Sony Xperia T phone and Sony Ericsson Xperia Mini, and Windows PC with Google. In all cases it worked very well, but it would be useful to have feed-back from members. 

For some time there will be links across from the old web address, and vice versa, to aid the transition.

 

Hasselblad Lunar Camera

PF

In Random Report No. 58 Techman reported on the Hasselblad Limited Edition Lunar camera designed to celebrate the Chinese New Year. This camera was to be sold in a limited edition of 200 pieces for an amazing $10,000. News has now reached us of an auction in Vienna where a Hasselblad camera claimed to have been used by U.S. astronauts on the moon sold for over $900,000, despite questions as to the authenticity of its travels. It was claimed that the camera had been used on the Apollo 15 mission and was one of at least four Hasselblads to have been brought back from the surface of the moon. (Most equipment was left on the moon to provide more room for mineral samples from the surface)

Hasselblad Lunar Camera

 

The history of this camera is regarded as highly suspect in that it had already been auctioned once previously (with a different lens and magazine) without being cited as having been on the surface of the moon. WestLicht (the auction house) claimed that an engraved number '38' inside the camera corresponds to images known to have been taken on the moon's surface. However, some researchers say the number doesn’t line up to the images in NASA’s collection. It's also not known how this camera, which was being sold by a private collector, came to the auction as it would have been property of the federal government. It seems clear the camera was used in space, though likely only in the orbital command module. Despite these concerns, the auction closed well above its expected price of around $200,000.

 

Fuji X-T1 Split Image Focus System

Techman

In previous reports, including recent ones about the latest Olympus viewfinder features, I have written about developments that aid photographers in viewing and focussing with electronic viewfinders. Fuji has now introduced yet another feature that should help in getting pin-point focus accuracy. As one of the display modes available in its 'Multi Mode Viewfinder' feature the photographer can choose 'Split Image Focus'.

 

 

Fuji X-T1 Split Image focus

 

As will be seen from this reproduction of a typical viewfinder image there is a conventional view to the left, together with an enlarged view of the subject focus and a manual focus scale along the bottom.

Another mode - Focus Peak Highlight – is also available. This is a feature that can be found on other cameras, so is not unique to Fuji. However, Fuji has introduced a facility that I believe is unique, in that it is possible to select from a choice of no less than three colours – white, red or blue – to highlight the points of the image that are in focus.

The availability of these two systems provide a valuable aid when manually adjusting focus.

 

London's Changing Riverscape and The New Basics – 31 March 2014 – Graham Diprose

Report by Peter Flower

This was a talk that addressed a number of different topics, and ranged across a time-span that took in the past, present and future. The first part was a story of a project that involved the creation of a modern version of a London Thames riverscape, to match that of a 1937 continuous photographic panorama commissioned by the Port of London Authority.

That panorama covered both riverbanks of the Thames from London Bridge to Greenwich. It survived in the PLA archive and became part of their collection in the Museum of London. The panorama was presented in a form that had fold-out sections spanning individual lengths of 2.5 metres. From that era there were also other individual photographs, still retained in the Museum of London archive, taken by John H Avery of scenes in the dockland area. Graham showed some examples and commented on the fact that, for example, the red funnels of boats appeared to be black. This was explained by the fact that photos had been taken with orthochromatic film which was particularly insensitive to the red end of the spectrum. (More modern panchromatic film recorded the colour spectrum in shades of grey that better represented our perception of relevant 'darkness'. 

The 1937 PLA panorama came to the public eye in ‘London’s Lost Riverscape’ a book by Chris Elmers and Alex Werner in the late 1980s. Three photographers, Charles Craig, Graham Diprose and Mike Seaborne formed London’s Found Riverscape Partnership, with the aim of revisiting the 1937 panorama for the millennium. In 1997, LFRP made a new panorama using 6cm x 17cm Fujichrome colour transparency film. 

Their original attempt had been made from a boat cruising down the river and using a Hasselblad camera with a wide-angle lens. However, they soon found a problem with this technique in that, due to the extensive bends in the river, background tall buildings appeared several times. It became obvious that the solution was to photograph from opposite banks using a much longer focal length lens. Graham explained how he had been able to get Fuji to supply all the film required, because he persuaded them it's potential archival properties were so superior to other makes, but also to ship in the rare 300mm long focal length lens from Japan on loan to do the job! 

The project was also shot on 5” x 4” Ilford black and white sheet film because of concerns about the long term archival durability and permanence of colour film. In 2000, LFRP published a book ‘London’s Riverscape Lost and Found’ with additional new text by Chris Elmers and Alex Werner and a foreword by Ken Livingstone. 

Two comparison images of the old and new scenes along the Thames are shown below. 

In April 2004, at a time when Ken Livingstone was still London Mayor, an LFRP Show was mounted in the foyer of City Hall. However, there was a problem in that the City Hall had not been built at the time that the panorama had been created. (The building work was at the time obscured by hoardings) In order to correct the image a modern shot of City Hall was taken using a Leaf 22 megapixel digital back on a 5 x 4 camera Seven shots were taken to produce a 102 megapixel joiner picture. Readers will be familiar with more modern panoramic shots of enormous size created with this technique, but at the time this was record-breaking stuff. 



Further projects were to follow. In 2007 LFRP were invited to make a new screen based version of the panorama to be shown in the Museum of London’s new City Galleries opening in 2011. The Port of London Authority sponsored LFRP to make a new 2008 panorama as part of their Centenary Celebrations for March 2009 and Frances Lincoln agreed to publish a new hardback book ‘London's Changing Riverscape’. This project involved the use of a Canon 5D Mk 2. with perspective control lens.

However, work during this period was not exclusively on panoramas, or London, and Graham showed examples of further large-scale joiner images that had been created. In 2006 a total of 21 images were combined into an overall 248 megapixel image of Gas Street Basin, Birmingham. Below is a very small reproduction of that image. If you look below the arch of the black and white bridge you will just spot some men enjoying drinks outside a pub. The second picture is a selection of the overall image, showing these chaps outside the Canalside pub. The detail in this scene is sufficient to enable you to read what's for lunch on the blackboard on the big file !




The following image shows Graham and his colleagues working with a 10 x 8 Sinar camera which had a Leaf 33 digital back and was used on some projects.
 

The second part of Graham's talk concerned the subject of archiving. This was a natural follow-on from his previous discussions in that he, and the clients concerned, wanted the images from his projects to still be available into the distant future. Thanks to the way in which it had been printed and preserved the original black and white panorama had lasted well for a considerable time. It was important that the current work should also be available as a valuable work of reference. The aim was to ensure that the current work was archived in such a way that it would have a life of up to 300 years. 

Graham discussed the various different technologies that might be used in order to achieve this aim. In theory digital recording should give an advantage in that the deterioration of images on film or photographic paper could be avoided. However, he pointed out the flaws in this strategy, which are already obvious to any of us who have recorded data, including audio and still or moving pictures, onto reel-to-reel tapes, audio cassettes, VHS, Betamax, floppy discs, Minidiscs and a whole range of other largely obsolete media. The medium on which the recordings were made could have a limited life but the principal problem was that recording technologies moved on, leaving us without the equipment for play-back.

Two stories that illustrate these problems appear in a later articles -
BBC Domesday Project and Shooting For The Moon.
 

The potential archival life of a range of options was discussed, comparing the analogue and digital methods available. Historically we would have relied upon film, especially monochrome. If carefully processed and then stored in a controlled environment the reliably anticipated life is quite lengthy, potentially up to 150 years. Colour is much less than this because the pigment layers are much more prone to fading. Prints tend to have a much shorter life-span. This is largely dependent upon the quality of paper on which they are printed, protection from light which can cause fading, and the conditions under which they are stored. 

It might be thought that digital methods of recording would be a better solution, but for the reasons already mentioned this is not necessarily so. As an illustration of the shortcomings it is relevant to consider just one form of media - the magnetic or optical disc. In either form this has largely displaced the magnetic tape, mainly due to its convenience and speed. However, over the years discs have appeared in numerous different forms and been the victim of much the same differing recording standards as tape. One of the longest-lasting has been the CD which was introduced 32 years ago. For nearly 15 years it was the only digital audio medium. Two other standards - SACD and DVD-A arrived at the end of the last century expecting to usurp it, but the hapless powers behind it ensured that the public got confused and stuck with what they knew. The format war between the two incompatible new hi-res formats put the public off. 

DVD was another digital optical disc storage format, developed by Philips, Sony, Toshiba, and Panasonic in 1995. This offered much higher data capacity and was specifically aimed at video recording. In the early years beyond 2000 yet another format – BluRay – has appeared on the scene to cope with the much higher data volumes of high definition television. Whilst these are not necessarily of interest to the stills photographer they are indicative of a trend for constant change. However, what is of interest to us as photographers is the archival qualities of this media. There are recognised industry standard tests which attempt to to estimate life expectancy but the results are inevitably hedged around with all sorts of caveats. As might be anticipated one of the most significant factors is the quality of manufacture. My research on the web indicates that if the media is carefully stored, and not subjected to physical damage, it is believed that the life of an archival-quality CD-R or DVD-R can be as long as 100 years, compared to the typical five to ten years for non-archival quality optical discs. For some reason DVDs do not compare favourably with CDs. One report quoted - 'Virtually all CD-Rs tested indicated an estimated life expectancy beyond 15 years. Only 47 percent of the recordable DVDs tested indicated an estimated life expectancy beyond 15 years.' 

However, as Graham pointed out, it was unlikely that any form of this digital media would satisfy his long-term archival requirements. The highest quality CD Gold media would be unlikely to last beyond 100 years (and that assumed that readers were still available!) which would not even match the estimated archive life of 150 years for silver gelatine. For this reason he had sought advice from one of the foremost institutions, Wilhelm Imaging Research, renowned for its expertise in respect of print permanence.Strange as it may seem the answer to the quest for long-term archival of his images was solved by resorting to printing. The advice is that pigment ink jet printing on acid free papers can achieve a life of 300 years or more. He uses an HP Z3100 printer and Canson Rag Archival paper. This gives exquisite over-200-year quality using HP Vivera pigment inks. 

He showed examples of the prints which are being produced, but also explained how the images would be archived without taking up vast amounts of space. Smaller versions of the images are printed 16-up on large sheets of the archival paper. The quality of the individual images is such that at any time in the future it would be possible to scan them and produce enlargements that are comparable to the originals. 

Two examples of these 16-up printed sheets are shown below. The first shows an array of historic Port of London Authority photographs. The second contains 'then and now' images from an earlier project to revisit the sites of Henry Taunt's original photographs that had appeared in a book entitled ‘Illustrated Map of the Thames’. Graham had given us a talk on this subject 'In The Footsteps Of Henry Taunt' in December 2012.

 

 

Summing up, this was a highly interesting evening. It combined a fascinating tale about projects to replicate a photographic record of the River Thames, modelled on the original panorama of 1937, together with details of the research and thought processes that went into ensuring that the new versions would be long-lasting. It came as something of a surprise to learn that the archival system chosen was based on a variation of the paper printing process. However, if you read articles which follow later you may not be so surprised. As a finishing word on this topic, Graham mentioned the potential problems of 'bit-rot' ! (You can Google the term!)

 

There are a number of web sites associated with Graham Diprose which can be found via Google if you type in his name.

 

Footnotes 

The HP Z3100 printer uses 12 pigment ink cartridges, including light cyan, magenta, light magenta, yellow, red, green, blue, light grey, grey, photo black, matte black, and gloss enhancer. You may have noticed that cyan is missing. HP claims that it is not needed and that the R, G and B inks compensate. Instead there is a Gloss Enhancer cartridge, along with 4 blacks. The unique feature of the Z series printers is its built-in spectrophotometer using Gretag Macbeth iOne technology. This device lives in the printer's head assembly and allows the user to create ICC profiles for almost any paper that they wish to use, and to do so in about a half hour with the press of a single button. 

The following images show the built-in spectrophotometer and the profiling print.

Between printing the profile target and drawing it back in for scanning, the Z printer pauses for the ink to dry. This would normally be for about 5 minutes of drying, but if the user wishes this time can be extended and the target reloaded at a later time for scanning and profile generation.

Research into print permanence
Henry Wilhelm is co-founder (with Carol Brower Wilhelm) and director of research at Wilhelm Imaging Research Inc (WIR) established in 1995 and co-founder (with Carol Brower Wilhelm and and Harold Fuson) of the Center for the Image established in 2010. WIR test methods have become the worldwide de facto standard for print permanance evaluation and are currently being used by HP, Canon, Epsom and other OEMs. WITR also provides consulting services to museums, archives and commercial collections on sub-zero cold storage for the very long-term preservation of still photographs and motion pictures.
 

As an example of the WIR archival rating the following is an extract from a document about the Canon PIXMA PRO-1 printer which uses 12 high-stability pigment inks (Canon LUCIA PGI-29 ink tanks). Depending upon the paper used and the way that the prints are displayed or stored the years before noticeable fading and/or changes in colour balance were expected to occur could vary between 32 and greater than 200 years. 

Xerox iGen 4 Press products and Matte Dry Ink are also rated for permanence by WIR at between 20 years (framed under glass) and 200+ years if stored in dark conditions.

This document also claims that average reliability of memory cards is 5 years. 

Henry Wilhelm “The mere act of taking a picture is preserving a moment in time. Our work is to preserve that moment as long as possible in the best possible condition.” 

For information about another interesting aspect of archiving, in which Henry Wilhelm features, it is worth looking at the video at the link below. This gives details of the Bettmann Archive (a collection of more than 11 million historical images) which Corbis Images has stored underground in an a former limestone mine. 

http://www.dpreview.com/news/2014/05/02/photographic-treasure-trove-stored-in-former-limestone-mine?utm_campaign=internal-link&utm_source=related-news&utm_medium=image&ref=related-news

 

BBC Domesday Project (Aptly named!) 

Peter Flower 

Obsolescence is really a serious problem with computer data stored in increasingly complicated forms. With something like a gramophone record, movie film or microfiche a reasonably competent mechanic can work out how to re-create apparatus to hear/view/read what is stored, but it gets increasingly difficult the more heavily processed the data are. Could the British school that put into a time capsule a recording prepared on a BBC Microcomputer and buried it in the 1980s now dig it up and retrieve the information without some serious expert help unless someone has still got a working BBC Microcomputer? 

 

 

LaserDisc was first available in 1978, two years after the introduction of the VHS VCR, and four years before the introduction of the CD. It was the media chosen by the BBC for their Domesday Project in 1986, a school-based project to commemorate 900 years since the original Domesday Book in England. Children gathered information about their area, photographs and personal memories to create this extensive record. Over a million people contributed to this snapshot of the country. The information was contained on two Laserdiscs. It was intended that LaserDisc machines would be available in schools and libraries for children and the general public to access the information. However, theusers needed a BBC Master computer running special software to access the Domesday interface and the whole equipment cost of around £5,000 put it out of the reach of ordinary people, as well as most schools and libraries. In fact, only 1,000 Domesday systems were sold nationwide. 

The following image shows how big the Laserdiscs were by comparison with CDs. There was also a downside in that the media could only be purchased pre-recorded which left it at a disadvantage to VHS equipment. 

Manufacture of LaserDisc equipment ceased by 2002. Because of the way that the information was recorded it was not readily transferable to any other media. This meant that the records in this ambitious project were on discs inaccessible to all but a few enthusiasts. They had, realistically, lasted for less than a quarter of a century. 

However, the BBC later announced the CAMiLEON project (a partnership between the University of Leeds and University of Michigan) which developed a system capable of accessing the discs using emulation techniques. CAMiLEON copied the video footage from one of the extant Domesday laserdiscs. Another team, working for the UK National Archives (who hold the original Domesday Book) tracked down the original 1-inch videotape masters of the project. These were digitised and archived to Digital Betacam. 

More recently after a year of extracting, copying and indexing, the BBC has made the contents of the 'community disc' - which details everyday life in Britain - available on the internet. This can be seen at the following internet address -

http://www.bbc.co.uk/history/domesday 

This report is based on information from the BBC website.

 

Shooting For The Moon 

Peter Flower 

This is an amazing story that also illustrates the problems of long-term archiving, involving a mixture of technologies, and the dedicated work by a group of enthusiasts to recover some historically important pictures from NASA missions that had taken place about forty years previously. 

In 1966 and 1967 five Lunar Orbiters were launched, their principal objective being to identify potential landing sites for manned moon missions. Orbiting at about 30 miles above the moon they took pictures onto 70mm film. These films were developed automatically on board, the resultant images scanned and then the information transmitted to one of three ground stations where it was recorded by Ampex FR-900 drives onto analogue tape. The satellites were crashed onto the moon. 

The Ampex drives were supposedly disposed of and the tapes passed through a number of hands in subsequent years. However, a team of enthusiasts who have now formed the Lunar Orbiter Image Recovery Project located two of the Ampex tape drives and and a large collection of tapes. Since 2007 they have managed to recover 2000 images from 1500 of the analogue tapes. The story of how they were able to get the Ampex drives operational again with components from Radio Shack and other electronic component suppliers and to work out the method to convert analogue signals into digital picture form is fascinating.

However, amongst all the images recovered so far perhaps the most interesting is the one showing Earthrise over the Moon as seen by Lunar Orbiter 1 in August 1966. Most people will be aware of the iconic photograph, in colour, that was taken by the astronauts on Apollo 8 on 24 December 1968. The black and white image recovered by the LOIRP enthusiasts, from over two years before, deserves its own place in history.

The images from the two events are shown below -

 

Acknowledgement is given for the information gained from the 'Wired' and LOIRP web sites, plus the images of NASA/LOIRP.

 

A video about the Apollo 8 photographs can be found at the following link -

http://www.space.com/24038-nasa-recreates-apollo-earthrise-video.html

(If I have it correct the photograph was taken with a Hasselblad camera using 70mm C368 (SO-368) Ektachrome film at 1/250th second at f/11 !)

Street Photography – 7 April 2014 - Dave Mason

Report by Peter Flower

© All photographs in this article are copyright of Dave Mason 

It is very difficult within a brief report to give an adequate flavour of the evening's event. Members who were lucky enough to attend one of Dave's earlier talks back in October 2011 or January 2013 will have known what to expect. Dave specialises in street photography and his current talk followed much the same theme as before but with a new range of photographs. However, the entertainment extends beyond merely showing the photographs. They are accompanied by a humorous commentary on the subject matter and the way in which they were captured. The atmosphere is very much along the lines of those celebrity television programmes “An evening with . . . “ where anecdotes and jokes come thick and fast.

Members who have tried street photography will be aware of some of the difficulties involved. There is suspicion by certain elements of the public about intrusion into their privacy, and the rights of the photographer to photograph them, as well as problems with uniformed jobsworths. Dave cited many examples of the problems he had encountered. However, he said that with the right approach it was possible to overcome the potential obstacles. The wide range of informal and entertaining images that he used to illustrate his talk were evidence of his success in this respect.

Dave explained that he preferred not to manipulate his images in any way. However, he had made an exception with his opening projected photograph. This showed a hoarding image with a man pointing a gun, apparently towards a bystander at the side, on which he had been superimposed the text 'I Shoot People'. (An apt opening image for his talk!)

He acknowledged the fact that leaving potentially confusing elements in his pictures left them open to detailed criticism, but generally his concern was to produce humorous and thought-provoking photographs rather than pleasing a judge. To quote from his web site “My preference, regarding the type of images I produce, is that they have an honesty about them, captured in camera with little, if any, post-processing.” The following photograph (Two Nuns and a Splat) is an example of the point that he was making. You can hear the judge saying 'I find my eye wandering towards that green graffiti in the bottom left-hand corner. I would have cloned out that cable in the top right corner, and it's not a very good idea to have text in the picture'. 

This photograph also serves to illustrate a technique that Dave uses frequently. This is to find an interesting backdrop and then wait patiently for some interesting characters to enter the frame.

A similar situation is shown in the following picture. The huge facial images on the facing wall needed some human interaction to add interest. What happened was that two women came past who also realised the potential. One came across to where Dave was standing, waiting patiently, and asked her friend to adopt the huge open-mouthed grin and prepared to take a photograph. At this moment the oddly-dressed character walked by and Dave captured the shot. He asked the lady standing beside him if she also got the shot. The reply 'No, I was waiting for that guy to get out of the way'! 

This was typical of many situations that Dave encountered. Passers-by would often hesitate to walk in front of him when he raised his camera, whereas he really wanted them to be a part of his picture!

A further example of the use of background posters and images is shown below. In the first instance the huge cartoon characters on the wall behind seem to be reacting to the activity in the foreground. One giving thumbs-up approval, and the other horrified. But there was a further interesting aspect to this photograph of the amorous couple in the Rome setting. Dave had taken a number of pictures of them, walked away and then checked the images on his camera. To his dismay he found that they were all incorrectly exposed. Anxious that a subsequent visit might reveal that the graffiti images had been removed he decided to return immediately. Imagine his surprise when he found them still in the same close embrace about seven minutes later! 

 

A most interesting aspect of Dave's images was their sheer variety. Unlike previous examples where 'borrowed art' formed a backdrop to the overall subject matter the following photograph was taken in an open rural landscape. Once again, this breaks all the 'rules' of composition, with two characters (rather than three), set against the outer frame of the picture. Yet, its sheer quirkiness holds the eye. It is, in fact, a picture of two ladies spectating at ploughing event taking place away to the left. 

 

Although many photographs were taken at venues in London there were examples of those taken in other countries. These very often featured run-down architecture as well as people in countries such as Latvia and other ones of the former eastern bloc. There was also an interesting sequence (some images of which we had seen before) of parked cars in Cairo. Walking around the back streets of the city Dave was fascinated by the number of parked cars that had hand-made 'dust sheets' over them. These tended to have fairly similar striped colours, and look as though they are made of sheets and camel blankets.

A regular source of interesting sights is provided by the various carnivals, markets and street events that he visits. We were shown a wide range of shots from events such as the Pride Brighton and London events, Santacon events, involving large numbers of people in Santa outfits (including a slightly risque shot of Santas in a gents urinal!), crazy golf courses from around the country, an Elvis Presley event at Porthcawl, nude cyclists on Pall Mall, a Tough Guy event involving lots of mud, street market scenes and the London Lord Mayor's Parade.

The following round-up of images is a further example of Dave's work. Particularly impressive is the shot taken at the time of the Olympics showing a backdrop of cyclist on a large poster with two cars in the foreground – almost like a racing start. The picture of a phone box with a strange pose by the lady was in fact taken during a photo-shoot by a professional photographer and team of assistants away to the right. The clown is obviously not impressing the young lad and the 'zombies' (including the guy with the megaphone) were unhappy to be photographed. Was the picture of the chap reading the 'Times' upside down specially posed or not?

Summing up, this was a highly entertaining evening with a great variety of interesting images, accompanied by Dave's humorous commentary on when and how they were captured. As I said at the beginning, it is very difficult to give more than just a brief flavour of the event and how enjoyable it was. I would suggest that you visit Dave's web site (detailed below) where, if you were present, you will be able to refresh your memory of the wealth of images shown on the evening. For those who were unable to be present, you missed a cracking evening's entertainment, but a visit to the web site will enable you to admire Dave's work. 


http://www.davemasonimages.com/

 

The BRBAC Arts Festival – 3-6 April 2014

The following message was sent by Carol Hicks -

The Reigate PS exhibition at the Harlequin, based on the theme 'Creative', attracted over 200 visitors, many of whom offered very many complimentary comments as to the quality of the work and the creativity of members. We had just on 200 votes for the public’s preferred print, won by Jackie Martin with her superb embroidered print ‘Shafts of Light’. Congratulations Jackie!

Thank you to members who undertook stewarding duties, some covering 4 or 6 hours at a time. Without them we could not have presented the members’ work or the Society to visitors nearly as well as we managed.

Les Dyson's report on the event in the Surrey Mirror of 10 April 2014 is reproduced below -

Last week, Reigate Photographic Society held an exhibition as part of the Borough of Reigate and Banstead Art Council's Arts Festival 2014. The exhibition was held in the upper foyer of the Harlequin Theatre in Redhill, and the theme of the exhibition was 'creative'. Members of the society took examples of their photographic work and then presented the images in a more creative and imaginative form. Some of the original photographs were turned into 3D sculptures, or even pieces of embroidery.

Other images showed how creative the photographers could be with the aid of computer software and their imagination as they worked outside their comfort zone and demonstrated other skills outside of their photography.

Members of the public visiting the exhibition were asked to vote for their favourite image from the 50 examples on show at the Harlequin to see how how the visitors appreciated their work. The image receiving the most votes over the four days was 'Shafts of Light' by Jackie Martin.

This image of sunlight through the trees had been printed on silk and leaves and texture on the trees had been embroidered onto the finished work by Jackie.

 

(Unfortunately although Les supplied a photograph to the Mirror it was not published. We show the image below -

 

 

Comments by Jill Flower

In addition to our own exhibits I arranged a small display of work by young people in the area who had participated in YMCA 'Express Yourself' projects. A much larger exhibition of this work will be held in the Dorking Halls on 10 June 2014.

 

Flash Photography Workshop - 12 April 2014 - Jayce Clarke

Report and photographs by John Fisher ARPS

I first met Jayce Clarke two or three years ago when I attended a 'Portrait Shooting with Speedlights' Workshop at Calumet near Euston.

This workshop was superb and I was so impressed with Jayce, both as a knowledgeable photographer and as an excellent teacher. The workshop was a full day but Jayce was happy to chat through the coffee break, through lunch and even to stay after 5.00pm for those who wanted to.

So, I determined to book him for Reigate Photographic Society. He lives in Warrington but comes to the London area quite frequently, but having met him again at an exhibition, we found a date when he was in the area. He came to see us last season for our normal Monday evening, but it was very clear that two hours just wasn't enough to cover the subject.

I had almost given up on the idea but about 12 months ago I got involved with the new Photographic Group at the Royal Automobile Club. They were interested in the topic and so was the Chairman of the London Region of the Royal Photographic Society. So we suddenly had the making of a four day session for Jayce. Friday at the RAC, Saturday in Reigate, Sunday in London for the RPS and Monday in London for a 'one to one' session.

This all happened on the 11 to 14 April and we were even able to invite Jayce to the SPA Dinner in Reigate on the Friday evening.

The workshops were as good as ever and although the topic is not really very complicated, it does take time (if you are anything like me) for it all to sink in.

We were taught about ambient light, fill flash and dominant flash as well as using Pocket Wizards to control the lights from the camera by radio. We were also introduced to the Sekonic L-478DR Lightmeter that allows the power of Speedlights to be adjusted by radio directly from the meter.

As we all know, it is the shutter speed that determines the affect of ambient light in a picture, the aperture that determines the affect of flash and the ISO affects both of them. Armed with that information, we were able to set our camera and lights to achieve almost any effect that we want. With Jayce's help we turned day into night and if we had stayed later, could have tuned night into day.

I think I can say that everyone enjoyed it. We all learned an enormous amount and also discovered that speedlights aren't just for portraits but can be used to help many if not all types of shot.

There is a demand for a second session to look at metering in more detail and several people are also looking at 'one to one' or 'one to two' sessions. A great weekend of fun, education and photography.

Editor's note: This event took place in the Reigate Community Centre and Priory Park (for the open-air session). It was attended by a number of our members. A small sample of John's photographs appear below -

 

 

 

Leica T – new camera system

PF

Leica has just announced a completely new camera. The Leica T is a mirror-less compact system camera that features a 16 megapixels APS-C format CMOS image sensor. One of the camera’s outstanding features is its compact and solid body. This is manufactured with innovative precision techniques from a single block of solid aluminium at the Leica factory. A 1.2kg block is machined down to 94g. Each body is then individually polished by hand. This process is carried out at the Leica factory in Portugal before the bodies are shipped to Germany, where they are assembled together with their electronic components. Manual controls are on the top of the camera, with additional selections available via the touch-sensitive 3.7” TFT LCD screen that completely dominates the rear.

As will be seen from the images at the end of this article the camera has a very distinctive appearance. One could well imagine that this is the sort of design that would have been chosen by Apple if they entered the camera market. Audi Design were responsible for the camera's design. Initially there will be just two lenses available, a Summicron-T 23mm f/2 ASPH and Vario-Elmar-T 18-56mm f/3.5-5.6. Although both have autofocus capabilities neither has inbuilt stabilisation and, according to reliable sources there, there is no sensor stabilisation either. Interestingly, the lenses are manufactured in Japan. An optional viewfinder, called the Visoflex is available which also provides an in-built GPS facility.

  

Chatham Challenge - Colombia Road Flower Market, Brick Lane and Spittalfields - 4 May 2014

Jill Flower

Having accidentally won the last challenge I organised this years event to take in an area of East London that has a number of Sunday markets. This is a livley and vibrant area that is a personal favourite of mine. We were fortunate to have superb weather and the transport was working well. We had dodged tube strikes and line closures but the route finally settled on was easy.

I gave out 17 sets of subjects in advance so people could make their own way if they wanted to use different routes or times. 2 of the subjects required a Lego character to be in the picture so all entrants armed themselves with Lego type characters and it  seemed that everyone enjoyed this feature.

I really enjoyed the day, meeting up with many members on and off throughout the day. John Fisher introduced a small group of us to the Box Market by Whitechapel Station which is made with containers, each of which is a separate restaurant and made a good lunch stop. As we wandered around the markets and surrounding streets small groups formed and then drifted apart as different interests took us. I commented that this was easier than taking groups of Young People out when I am working, if you loose any of those you have to find them again!

This was a lovely day with a lot of variety. I have put a few pictures below supplied by Stephen Hewes, Lester Hicks and myself.

 

 

And finally . . . .

PF

 

  

Enjoying the view 

This is an image I came across on the web. This led me to explore Will Burrard-Lucas's web site where I found the amusing video of him photographing meerkats. A really charming and amusing video. Well recommended! 

http://blog.burrard-lucas.com/2014/04/photographing-meerkats/