Members' Talks - 27 March 2017 – Les Dyson and Stephen Hewes

Report by Peter Flower

This was an evening in which two members shared the 'stage', talking about continuation of the 100 days photography project by Les, and Stephen commenting on the entries to the original project by 11 of our members.

Les Dyson – Binge Photography beyond 100 days (325 photos since May 7 2016)

Les has been using his iPad mini to take images (and process with various apps!) each day which were then posted on a Flickr site. Needless to say the images were varied, but it has to be said that certain themes were evident. Readers will be familiar with Les's mannequin figures which appeared fairly early on in the 100 days project, to be joined later by his white mask which showed up in various different guises. We were not disappointed, because they have continued to live on in much later days. Some of these are shown in the collages below.

© Les Dyson - Day 41, Day33, Day 152

© Les Dyson - Day 304, Day 275, Day 213, Conspiracy

Some of his images have been entered into competitions. Conspiracy was one of these and was awarded 10 points by the judge. No such luck was had by the second picture below, which was entitled 'The Watering Hole'. We have become familiar with the many images that feature coffee shops, in which Les and his wife seem to spend much of their time. These pictures are just two of many that Les has taken during this project. In comparison with 'Conspiracy' that obviously impressed one judge, another one found 'The Watering Hole' to be so badly flawed (and failed to see the humour in the title) that it scored a lowly 6.5 points!

© Les Dyson - In the style of Edward Hopper, The Watering Hole

Just to show that Les is not totally obsessed with mannequins, masks and coffee shops we show an assortment of images, but which still show the Les Dyson sense of humour, as instanced by his 'Man On A Stick'.

© Les Dyson - Where've You Been, Man On A Stick, Angel Of The North

Another three images show a combination of the influence of Les's graphic design skills and a sensitive eye for nature in a photograph for the 'Signs of Spring' theme.

© Les Dyson - Day 190, Day 248, Day 317

Les continues with his quest for a picture a day. Perhaps he will return next season with a talk including Day 730 plus! If so, you can be sure of a good evening's entertainment, in the same way that we enjoyed this one.

You can see his full set of pictures at -

https://www.flickr.com/photos/les-in-his-elements/page1/

Stephen's Surprise – Selection from the 100 Days project

Stephen had the much easier job of selecting images (!) from the 1100 that had been posted on the Flickr site by 11 members – Carol and Lester Hicks, Peter and Jill Flower, Rosemary Calliman, Grahame Singleton, Pete Welch, Mick Higgs, Paul Renaut, Les Dyson and himself. He had used a selection process that included some of his own favourites, whilst making certain that all the participants were represented and that various different topics featured as well. He started off with Day 1 which happened to be my 'creative' photograph of a happy face.

© Peter Flower    Day 1

Grouping common themes together, it was coincidental that both Carol and Lester Hicks had chosen to picture rainy days. (But not the same day!) Umbrellas which might have been useful were pictured by Les Dyson, but in sunnier times.

© Carol Hicks, Lester Hicks, Les Dyson - Day 21, Day 42, Day 78

It was inevitable that pictures featuring THE WINDOW (belonging to Stephen Hewes) would be included. Although Stephen did not show any of his own pictures I have added one or two to my report. Stephen organised a photo-shoot of Alice, one of the students who attended Reigate School of Art alongside Jill last year. Stephen, Jill and I took part. The Window was utilised for some shots. The following collage includes photographs of this event by the three of us, as well as an earlier picture that Jill took through Stephen's window at the Cage in Reigate.

© Jill Flower, Stephen Hewes - Alice, Day 16

Peter Flower Day 16, Jill Flower - Chairs, Day 3

Animals and wildlife featured quite strongly, as evidenced by the following group of pictures. The black dog image was one of a number that Mick Higgs submitted. The gull in flight by Paul Renaut and puffin landing by Mick were excellent examples. On more than one day I recorded the ongoing battle with a pesky squirrel that invaded the bird feeder. On one occasion it managed to release the bottom half of the protective cage. That problem having been fixed it managed to squeeze between the bars, until such time as it got too fat!

© Mick Higgs Day 77, Paul Renaut Day 49

Peter Flower Day 73, Mick Higgs Day 59

Charming girls featured in entries by Carol Hicks and Paul Renaut.

© Carol Hicks – Bad hair day, Day 22, Paul Renaut Day 56

Grahame Singleton's entries were represented by two very contrasting images.

© Grahame Singleton Day 38, Day 33

Stephen had chosen two of Rosemary Calliman's entries, both simple but effective graphic images. The second one featured shadows in much the same way as that of Jill Flower's part of an art installation.

© Rosemary Calliman Day 51, Day 18, Jill Flower Day 18

The following collage brings together some of the more unusual, and spooky, images that Stephen commented upon. Pete Welch's image shows dolls that appear lifelike, but with slightly sinister faces, and his close-up of a slug looks like some alien monster. Jill's image shows the head being added to an exhibit at the Art College. (No hi-viz jackets or helmets in sight!)

© Pete Welch Day 82, Day 66, Jill Flower Day 40

As Stephen explained, all of those taking part experienced the frustration of having too many images to choose on one day, intermingled with days when 23:59 was approaching without a single photograph haven been taken. It could also be difficult to come up with new ideas. This is illustrated by two photographs that I have selected, taken by Stephen on successive days!

© Stephen Hewes Day 20, Day 21

And finally, my homage to Les Dyson, plus Rosemary's photograph that poses the question – why did we get involved?

© Peter Flower Day 37, Rosemary Calliman Day 74

Summarising, this was a most entertaining evening. The variety and quality of pictures that were presented showed the advantage of being challenged with a project, but one not constrained by a particular subject type. The full gallery of images can be viewed at the following Flickr site -

https://www.flickr.com/groups/reigate_ps_100/

Monthly Theme Competition

Stephen Hewes

We had a bumper crop of images on Carol's 'Signs of Spring' theme. Pick of the crop with the most favs from Reigate PS members was Les Dyson and his crocuses 'Catching the light'

The new theme set by Les for April is 'RED'.

After a bit of debate, we settled on limiting the number of entries to 3 each - all to be taken in the month of April. We'll also limit the number of likes/favs to 3.

Annual Lunch – Saturday Natter – Denbies Vineyard – 1 April 2017

Report by Peter Flower

On this first Saturday in April well over 24 members (and other halves) assembled in the Denbies restaurant for this event. Gathering in this way is a much more flexible arrangement than a formal dinner, allowing members to select food of their choice, whilst combining this with the normal social chat that goes on at the regular Saturday Natters. Spread out across several tables it is impossible for me to report on all the matters discussed but, once again, I am indebted to others who contributed comments and photographs.

Lester Hicks

Here are a couple of images from each end of the table at the RPS Lunch last Saturday.

© Lester Hicks

At the far (inner) end of the table I was explaining to Phil Johns how the Chatham Challenge works. There was also some discussion about how to print images for those wanting to move on from PDIs to do prints as well; the merits and problems of home printing against what commercial printing firms can do. When I moved to the other end of the table nearest the entrance I photographed the mineral samples Jill has brought back from the Black Desert in Egypt to send on to some of my former expert geologist staff for advice on what they were, and how they were formed. I also explained to Irek Burakowski the relationship between the Exhibition print and PDI judging evenings, which were coming up shortly, and the Exhibition itself, which was still over 6 months away in late October.

Pete Welch showed me his recently acquired Nikon Coolpix A camera. This is a high-end compact (pocketable) camera with a DX (APS-C) format sensor, and a fixed 28mm (equivalent) lens. Ergonomically, the A is a cross between Nikon's previous high-end compacts like the P7700, and its recent mid-range DSLRs. Offering full manual control and solid build quality, this camera is designed to appeal to enthusiasts. Its large 16 megapixel CMOS sensor is undoubtedly the camera's major selling point, and it lacks an optical low-pass filter for maximum resolution. Like so many similar cameras from other makes it is intended as an ideal carry-around camera to a conventional DSLR. We both agreed that the naming, 'Coolpix A', had been a bad choice by Nikon. There are so many other Nikon Coolpix branded cameras, with most having the tiny 1/2.3” sensor. (Note: The P7700 was an exception, having a 1/1.7” sensor)

John Fisher showed the interesting gizmo, illustrated in my photograph below, which attaches to the rear of a device to provide a stand when needed.

John also experimented with some flash photographs taken with a flashgun mounted on his Nikon camera. For some reason the exposures were incorrect. I popped a Nissin flashgun onto my Panasonic GX8 camera and took comparative shots across the table. The Nissin flashgun, as used in this configuration for the photo, and image of Anthea and Gill are shown below. Compared to the non-flash shot there was an added sparkle to this image but without any problems from reflections in the glasses.

© Peter Flower - Nissin Di466 flashgun       Anthea and Gill

Anthea was interested in the close-up capability of my Samsung Galaxy camera. Like a lot of compact cameras this can be used very close to the subject; virtually touching it in the selected 'Macro' mode. (Note: This is not necessarily as convenient as using a macro focus lens which, dependent on its focal length, can produce a true macro image at greater distance) Anthea's close-ups are reproduced below.

Peter Tucker provided the following images, taken with His Nokia 808 PureView.

© Peter Tucker

Interestingly, and purely by chance, we had both taken pictures of a group of three at the far end of the table. The original, unedited, pictures are virtually identical. However, on cropping into the detail of Modesto holding Irek's Lumix camera the contrast between the Nokia image and that of my GX8 camera become startlingly clear.

 

© Peter Tucker and Peter Flower

On subsequent research I was puzzled by the disparity. The PureView was originally announced in 2012 and was claimed to have the best camera in a smartphone. Despite its small sensor it had 38 megapixels. In a review by GSM Arena published in its blog of 18 June 2012 the Nokia was praised for exceptional performance, comparing it even to a Canon EOS 5D Mark III. To quote GSM Arena - “The camera is the main reason everyone is interested in the Nokia 808 PureView. It was off to a flying start after emerging victorious from our blind test, comfortably beating the Olympus E-PL2, and matching the detail levels of our 5D Mark III DSLR. (My emphasis)The Nokia 808 PureView is the best cameraphone ever made.”

Comments from any of our Canon 5D users would be welcome!

Finally, a photograph of the winner of the 'Signs of Spring' monthly competition.

© Peter Flower

Mainly Street – 3 April 2017 - Dave Mason

Report by Peter Flower

Dave has visited Reigate on numerous occasions to entertain us with the great variety of his street photography, accompanied by a humorous commentary on the subject matter and the way in which the images were captured. Previous talks were given in October 2011, January 2013 and 7 April 2014. My report on this last event in Newsletter 60 is still accessible for the benefit of newer members. It will be obvious from the number of his visits that Dave is popular with our members and that he can be relied upon to provide an interesting and amusing evening's entertainment.

It is quite difficult in the report to cover the full breadth of subjects that Dave captures, but I have chosen what I hope is a representative selection of his images to accompany the text. The main thing to stress is that people will feature strongly in them and that there will always be an element of humour. He told the following stories about the background to these images.

© Dave Mason - Pyramid and Sphinx, Egypt,                      Portraits, then and now

Not for Dave the conventional pictures of the Great Pyramid and the Sphinx. The photograph was taken from one of the tatty residential streets that have gradually crept nearer and nearer to these grand monuments. Dave was asked by someone what the subjects were. Dave patiently explained what they were and that they were on the outskirts of Cairo. “In that case I won't bother going there” came the reply. The second picture features a man who Dave met sitting in Gloucester town centre. He was somewhat down on his luck but asked Dave to take his photograph. As Dave prepared to take the shot he produced a picture of himself taken when he was seventeen years old. In the picture he was smartly dressed and looked full of optimism.

© Dave Mason - Gagged politician and Missing cat.

These photographs were taken in different countries and at different times. However, the messages that the posters contain, and the way in which they were doctored, add to a common sense of humour.

© Dave Mason - Lady at Whitby with seagull,    Lady in Paris with road sign

Careful positioning by Dave has ensured the humour in these two photographs.

© Dave Mason

These are just a few examples of his photography which take advantage of the bold colours and the interplay between subjects and street scenery.

© Dave Mason

In these images, careful positioning has ensured that the lady with her selfie appears to using a security camera. A display at the Tate Modern needed that little girl walking past in the background to add interest to this picture, The bobble on the hat really does look like a sea urchin in this aspect. The British Goat Society picture, taken in inclement weather conditions, reminds me of the the work of Martin Parr who has spent decades capturing the idiosyncrasies of British society.

Dave has used a variety of camera equipment but now mainly uses a Panasonic GX7 together with 14mm (equiv. 28mm) and 45mm (equiv. 90mm) fixed focal length lenses. The GX7 has the advantage of a folding rear screen that allows him to take discrete street photographs without drawing attention to himself. He also uses a Panasonic G1 which has been modified for infrared photography. Examples of typical street photographs using this method are shown below, together with just one of his many infrared images. The first two images in this collage might be called 'colourful' characters; first the girl with yellow hair, and then the man with traffic cone. (What is he doing?)

© Dave Mason

As I said at the beginning of this report, Dave can be relied upon to provide an interesting and amusing talk. Anyone who aspires to involve themselves in street photography or recording any social events can learn from the comments that accompany his varied and amusing pictures. This was yet another successful talk by Dave.

A large number of his photographs can be viewed in the gallery of his web site or a Flickr stream at the links below -

http://www.davemasonimages.com/gallery.html

http://www.davemasonimages.com/section690365.html

New Cameras

Techman

New models have been recently announced by four of the principal manufacturers. There are three that are incremental improvements on previous models, but one which I suspect will cause considerable concern amongst its obvious rivals.

Sony A9

This first announcement is unlikely to directly interest our members, but I include it here to provide an insight into the rapid improvement in camera features, especially from Sony. Within a very short time frame (since September 2012), from when the 7 series was announced, Sony has introduced no less than 9 full-frame cameras, two SLR types and seven SLR-style mirrorless ones. In the same time Canon introduced just 5 new full-frame models and Nikon 8. This gives some indication of how aggressively Sony is attacking this sector of the camera market.

On 19 April 2017 Sony announced the alpha 9 high-end full frame mirrorless camera at a live event in New York. The A9 has a 24 megapixel stacked CMOS sensor for super-fast readout, allowing a completely silent electronic shutter. This allows it to shoot at 20 frames per second with no blackout, potentially better in this respect than rival DSLRs. (An explanation of Sony 3-layer stack technology was given in Newsletter 92) Sony claims improved subject tracking and Eye autofocus speeds, and focus down to -3 EV with an f/2 lens (a full stop better than the a7R II). The camera primarily uses an electronic shutter but also features a mechanical shutter mechanism, allowing a flash sync speed of up to 1/250th of a second. In respect of focusing, this new model has 693 on-sensor phase detection points, covering 93% of the frame. It also has five-axis image stabilisation that offers 5 stops of correction. Additional features include a 1280 x 960 resolution viewfinder that runs at 120 fps with very low latency, twin SD card slots (one of which supports UHS-II cards) and a battery which Sony claims has twice the capacity of previous models. A battery grip holding two batteries will also be available. Features such as an AF joystick, AF mode dial and customizable 'My Menu' have been added. You can also instantly switch to one other AF area mode by assigning it to a custom button to quickly adapt to changing scenarios.

There are many other class-leading features – too many to include here. It is a camera that is clearly aimed to compete with the top professional models from Canon and Nikon, and appeal especially to photojournalists who need to capture images in fast-changing events and sporting action. This will be a serious wake-up call to Canon and Nikon who have previously dominated this market.

The camera is scheduled to be available from June 2017, priced at approximately £4,500.

Nikon D7500

On 12 April 2017 Nikon announced this successor to the D7200. The D7500 features many improvements, including some that are common to the APS-C flagship D500. It uses the same 21 megapixel sensor with no optical low pass filter as the D500, as well as its Expeed 5 image processor. (It should be noted that the D7200 had a 24 megapixel sensor) This new processor is 30% faster than the Expeed 4 processor in the D7200, a speed advantage that gives the D7500 an advantage in key areas like burst speed, buffer depth, video capability and native ISO sensitivity. The D7500 is marginally lighter than its predecessor and its body is slightly more narrow. The slimmer body design results in a slightly deeper grip. Weather-sealing on the camera has also been improved over its predecessor, though the camera loses its second memory card slot. However, it does gain the benefit of a touch sensitive tilting LCD screen, although with slightly lower number of screen dots. The touch capabilities are a welcomed inclusion. They can be used for selecting an AF point in live view, or navigating the camera menus and playback images.

The Nikon D7500, body only, is priced at £1299, or with the Nikkor 18-140mm f/3.5-5.6 ED VR for £1599.

Canon PowerShot SX730 HS

This new compact superzoom model was announced on 6 April 2017. This is an ultra-compact camera with a long 40x zoom lens. The optically stabilized lens has an equivalent focal length of 24-960mm and is paired with a 20.3MP BSI CMOS 1/2.3” sensor and Canon's DIGIC 6 processor. It has a 3" LCD that can flip upward 180 degrees for self-portraits, a useful Zoom Framing Assist feature for recomposing at long focal lengths, 1080/60p video and Wi-Fi/NFC/Bluetooth connectivity.

Panasonic TZ90

This is a model that follows on from the previous TZ70 and TZ80 compact travel cameras. In many respects it is similar to the Canon in that it has a 20.3MP BSI CMOS 1/2.3” sensor, but not such an extensive zoom range. In this case it has a Leica DC Vario-Elmar lens giving an equivalent focal range of 24-720mm, and with maximum apertures of f/3.3 to f/6.4. It also has a 5-axis Hybrid O.I.S stabilisation system. It has a similar LCD that can flip upward 180 degrees for self-portraits, but does have the advantage over the Canon in that it does have an electronic viewfinder that the Canon lacks.

Rumour about Ricoh (Pentax)

Peter Flower

It does not come as a surprise when speculation about the financial performance or other difficulties of manufacturers appears in the media. Just such an item appeared on the web site of Nikkei Asian Review which said 'Ricoh is shrinking its money-losing camera business to concentrate resources on commercial applications as smartphones continue to crowd out long-established names in photography. The Japanese company will undertake a radical review of a production and manufacturing strategy centered on cameras for the retail market, including such brands as Pentax and the GR series of compact models. Options include withdrawing from the personal camera segment altogether.'

On 12 April 2017 the following official announcement was released by Ricoh - 'Today there was an article saying that RICOH considers to shrink the camera business and withdraw from consumer products. This article is not based on RICOH's official announcement. RICOH is focusing its resource on the high added value products such as PENTAX and GR that are appreciated by the existing users and photo hobbyists. RICOH is also a market leader of input devices in the VR or AR market with its "RICOH THETA" where we can see rapid growth, and will keep on expanding the business even more in this field. In addition, RICOH will develop and expand the imaging business in the solution business field for corporate, by creating new market utilizing its own camera technology.'

Sony Full-frame Sales in USA

Peter Flower

The previous comments about the introduction of the Sony A9 model gave an indication of that company's intention to become a major player in this sector of the camera market. It should be said that market analysis is not necessarily uniform across all the different world-wide regions. What is popular in Japan or the wider Asian market may not be the same as in Europe or North America. However, the following report from the web about the sales of full-frame cameras by Sony in the US must be a great boost to their confidence, and a worrying factor for Nikon.

'Sony has announced that it is now ranked second in the U.S. full-frame interchangeable lens camera market, a position formerly held by Nikon. The data comes from The NPD Group, which shows a 23% increase in Sony's full-frame interchangeable lens cameras and lenses sales this year. (It should be pointed out that these figures apply to the first two months of 2017) According to Sony, its 'key models,' including the a7R II and a7S II, were large factors behind this increase. The full-frame interchangeable lens camera market as a whole benefitted from Sony's success; without it, the overall market would have experienced a 2% decrease year-on-year. Such data is based on NPD Group's sales figures for Sony from January and February 2017.'

Comment

Sales figures from different sources are always difficult to interpret accurately, as we have commented before. Are we counting numbers of units or retail values? As an example, taking current prices from Park Cameras, a Nikon D5 body at £5099 equates to the same value as 13.45 Canon SX730s or 12.78 Panasonic TZ90s. What this analysis does bring home is why brands like Nikon, Canon (and Ricoh as mentioned above) are concentrating on sales of their top-end models.

Canon Q1 Sales Figures and Forecast

Peter Flower

Canon recent acquired Toshiba's medical equipment unit. This has helped strong first quarter financial results for the company. As a result it has increased its full 2017 operating profit forecast. However, the company's forecast on 2017 camera unit sales is gloomier, with ILC unit sales dropping 7% and compacts down 13%, a drop of 9% overall. It is important to point out that Canon has three main operating units. The Office unit provides such products as copiers, laser printers, digital production printing systems, high-speed continuous feed printers, wide-format printers and document solutions. In 2014 this unit accounted for no less than 55% of overall sales. The Imaging System unit's products include EOS cameras, digital compact cameras, digital camcorders, lenses, Speedlite flashguns, other camera accessories, inkjet printers, image scanners and projectors. This unit accounted for 36% of sales in 2014. The Industry and Others unit provides a wide range of other products, making up the small remaining earnings.

Comment

It will be seen from this how important the wide range of products is to Canon's overall sales performance. It also brings into focus the vulnerability of, for example, Nikon which is reliant on a much narrower range of products. In addition to Canon, there are other examples of camera manufacturers who have a wide range of available products. For example, Panasonic can add televisions, home entertainment systems, microwaves, fridge-freezers, washing machines and tumble dryers, shavers, cordless phones and many more items, too numerous to mention. Much the same comment could be made about Samsung, but also through its Heavy Industry division can add shipbuilding! It is notable that Samsung gave up participation in the camera market in early 2016. This company had moved its emphasis on new models away from the relatively cheap compact models up to those like the flagship NX1. But even this move, backed by the financial clout of Samsung, was judged by their management not likely to provide a viably sustainable market for the longer-term future.

Don Morley becomes President!

Peter Flower

In Newsletter 90 I reported on the fact that Don had been invited, and accepted, to become the next honorary president of the 'Association Of Pioneer Motorcyclists' (APMC). The appointment is now official, as shown in the following photograph of Ken Blake investing Don Morley as new APMC Honorary President on 8th March 2017.

Image conversion

PF

Apps that convert photos into paintings, with styles ranging from Monet to Van Gogh or Cezanne have been all the rage recently. Prisma is one of the most popular offerings. A research team at UC Berkeley has now developed an artificial intelligence algorithm that can do the reverse – and much more. Using what they refer to as 'image style transfer' their AI can convert Monet's impressionist paintings into a much more realistic image that comes close to photo quality, thus giving you a good idea of the scene that the French painter was looking at when he started to paint. In addition, the system is capable of changing winter to summer in an image of a Yosemite scene, turn apples into oranges and horses into zebras. Readers can find further details at this link -

https://junyanz.github.io/CycleGAN/

Serendipity in Bergen, Norway

Peter Flower

At a restaurant in Bergen we happened to be sitting at the next table to a photographer who had local knowledge. At the end of the meal he got into conversation and recommended that we should visit a nearby classic camera shop. But for this conversation we would not have come across it. A short walk from the restaurant we found the Antonio Stasi Classic Camera shop. As can be seen from my photograph below, this is a very large shop. The windows, interior shelves and display cabinets are absolutely crammed with just about every type of classic camera, cine camera and items of photographic kit that you could imagine. Classics like Leica, Contax, Rollei and Hasselblad, through to the humbler box and folding cameras of all ages are on show. We had an interesting chat to Antonio Stasi, the owner, talking about some of the older cameras that I owned, and telling him of our membership of Reigate PS. We also exchanged details. He then asked if he could take my photograph by the hydrant and graffiti on the side wall of his shop. He showed us a huge collection of such portraits that he had taken over the years of previous friends, customers, celebrities and classic camera enthusiasts. The photographs were taken with an old Polaroid camera, now using Fujifilm Instant 100 film. The camera is one of the Pro series 180-185-190. Whilst it is not in the same league as being photographed by Karsh of Ottawa I am privileged to have my photograph added to Antonio's collection and to say that I was photographed by Stasi of Bergen.

Shop, Antonio surrounded by classic camera displays, a wooden Leica in the shop window.

Polaroid print that was taken, my photograph of Antonio in the same location

© Peter Flower

An Evening With Mike Dales ARPS CPAGB - 24 April 2017

Report by Peter Flower

Mike explained that although he had taken photographs earlier it wasn't until early 2003 that he decided to take up the hobby again with any sort of seriousness and joined Carshalton Camera Club in South London. His web site states 'My first faltering attempts at producing competition pictures were met only by encouragement and I freely acknowledge my debt to 'CCC' and its members.' However, there was a very different story when Mike showed his first print which he said had caused some concern when shown at that club. It was a picture that could have been used as a poster for a space odyssey film, which had been compiled from a number of component images including a lunar-like landscape that was really Egyptian desert. There was an argument about whether this was a true photograph rather than a CGI. This argument goes on but it did not deter him from producing some other poster style images like a terror attack from Mars, with the spaceships actually being Honda hubcaps! I hasten to add that the majority of his pictures would not have been questioned as 'real' photographs. However, Mike's humorous comments on this topic set the tone for the rest of his talk. A particularly interesting print was one taken in a park, with a central tree, which merged winter and spring images across the two halves.

The major part of the first half of the event was taken up with Mike's showing of the portfolio of images from the London Underground that resulted in the award of ARPS in March 2008. He had originally intended to concentrate on the architecture of the system, indeed a very symmetrical monochrome image of Southwark station appeared as the centre-piece in the panel. However, he changed track (sorry!) to a scheme whereby commuters mainly featured. The images in effect became a story-board, tracing entry into the tube network (with a picture featuring an advert for 'Journey To The Centre Of The Earth'), escalators, images of tube trains and commuters, then finalising in two upward escalator shots with a 'Way Out' sign. Mike explained that it was possible to purchase a pass that gave permission to photograph freely on the network. This had the added advantage that the prominent ID pass gave the appearance of taking photographs as an official, rather than intruding on people's privacy. Regarding technique, he explained that he tended to use a shutter speed of 1/30 sec and ISO 400, allowing the aperture to be set automatically. This dealt with the lighting levels and image quality, whilst allowing minimal blurring of people walking by which he was quite happy with. The image of which Mike was most proud (and has gained numerous awards) was his 'Mind The Gap'. He explained the difficulties of getting this shot. The train door had to coincide with the door opening. He wanted a single person's feet in view. Normally there would be a huge throng of commuters pouring out. Then, he wanted to capture the moment when one foot was just about to touch the platform. Just as well he wasn't using film! Between train arrivals he had time to clear the failed images off the memory card. In total, the process took two and a half hours.

© Mike Dales - Mind The Gap

Over the years his pictures have received numerous awards, but even more impressively some have even resulted in cash prizes! Some more of his images are shown below.

© Mike Dales - Original Sin, Tea with Liz

Blonde, brunette and redhead,   West Pier and Girl in Red,   Egypt,Fadi the Baker

This was the final talk in the society's 2016/17 calendar. Mike provided us with a host of high quality images, accompanied by an interesting commentary, which ended our formal events on a high note.

Readers can see more of Mike's photographs in the galleries on his web site -

http://www.mikedalesphotography.co.uk/gallery.html

And finally . . . . . . . .

PF

Two items for you in this edition -

Essential equipment if you need to cope with April showers.

A VERY graphic warning sign together with an indication of the penalty.