Last week we got the results of the first of the monthly competitions. You can always learn from competitions, you might not agree with the judges remarks, or marks for that matter, but there is always some truth in what they say and more times than not it is worth taking on board. The meeting report and winners can be found here. Below are the three images that I submitted.
Room For One More
The judge thought that this image or at least the presence of the gull in flight could have been an accident. It may have crept into the frame of what was going to be a picture of gulls lined up on the railings. He did however say that that did not matter as many a good picture was the result of serendipity. I honestly cannot remember if the flying gull was there by luck or excellent timing and judgement on my part. What he did criticise was the fact that it should have been the flying gull in sharp focus not the ones on the railing. He liked the composition of the railings going diagonally though the image but expressed concern that there was not enough space between the flying gull and the op of the image. I agree and it concerned me when I put the image into the competition. His solution, that did not occur to me was to extend the canvas upwards and fill the extension with sky colour. He gave this image 14 out of 20.
T S Royalist
The judge liked the panoramic crop of this images and the way the sailing ship, the subject of the image was well framed by the other two elements, the beacon and the wreck. He felt that the subject matter displayed good tension between the old, bur seaworthy TS Royalist and the new but wrecked fishing boat. This tension he said helps the viewer construct a story or at least makes the views think about the image. He told us that some people believe that there is a convention that an object travelling from right to left in an image symbolises going back into the past. The sailing ship is therefore strengthening the narrative of the picture. He liked the lighting coming in from the left giving a 3D effect to the wreck. This lead him to think that the image could be converted to black and white to be more effective. Score - 15
Loanhead Stone Circle
The judge thought that the HDR treatment of this image was effective as that technique works well in picking out textures. He said he would like to have seen the whole of the foreground stone in the image and this was a composition issue. He noted that the clouds on the right were burnt out (over exposed) and said that with the closeness of the sun this was more or less inevitable. However it should not have been kept in the image. The right hand clouds should have been cloned out and carefully replaced with well exposed clouds. He emphasised that these were not journalistic or nature images and that sort of change was perfectly acceptable. He liked the star burst effect of the sun at the top of the foreground stone. This one got 16 points.
The other big development of the past few weeks has been my acquisition of a new, to me, lens. It is a sigma 150 - 500mm f/5-6.3 APO HMS DG OS lens for a canon. I bought it on an E-bay auction, a first for me previously I got thing from E-bay on a 'buy it now' basis. Its main function is to take wildlife shots. There are several thing about the lens which are new to me and with which I am impressed.
1st the large front lens lets in a lot of light so even at the long end of the lens it is often possible to get a fast enough shutter speed to use it hand held.
2nd the image stabilisation seems to be better on this lens than my old 70 -300 canon lens again making 'hand held' an option
3rd the auto focus is quicker and quieter then any other lens I have got.
4th and surprisingly it seems to be well balanced enough for me to carry it about without and discomfort even though it is heavy.
5th the images come out all right as well!
Here are a few of my efforts with it
Other notable events include a couple of runs out on Stuart Fenty's RIB, a couple of photo shoots one to the Montrose area the other to Gamrie a trip to Edinburgh and the zoo and the return of the geese to the Loch of Strathbeg. Here are a few more images
I'm Mike, I am the (Self appointed!) web master for Fraserburgh Photographic Society (FPS). I started taking photography seriously a couple of years ago and joined Fraserburgh Photographic Society