G & J Jack Fish Merchants
This week I had a trip round G & J Jack Fish Merchants place in Fraserbugh. I was shown all the inner workings of the factory by the owners son and given an insight into the companies activities. I was not surprised to learn that the majority of their workforce were not from the UK. What did surprise me was that there were only a few women working there. Here are some of the images I took.
I got another 'paparazzi' commission this week, unpaid of course. The Lighthouse museum was making a presentation to the winner of their Christmas card competition and make the draw for the raffle.
I was asked to take the official photographs.
Those of you who read last weeks blog will recall that I was wanting to get a flash. The image on the left above was taken with the on camera flash. The one on the right just used the ambient light. Needless to say, forgetting that the composition of the one on the right is much better than the one on the left, just on the basis of colour reproduction and clarity the one on the right is the one I recommended that they use. When I get a flask I will have to think carefully about how I use it. Here is the difference again.
On Saturday Jill and I had a night out. Lonmay Public Hall was holding the first concert in 50 years following a refurbishment to make it a fit place to hold events. Thanks and congratulations must go the the Hall Committee for making it all possible. Raising money and getting grants from a variety of sources had worked wonders. As usual I took my camera. I hadn't got through the door before I was asked to take some photographs for the Hall Committee for them to use in future grant applications and no doubt to show the existing funders how well appreciated their contributions were received.
Once I was in the hall I was asked to record the presentation of a cheque from the 'entertainers', the Scottish Accordion Music Group to the Fraserburgh Development Partnership for them to put towards a special wheel chair they were buying . They wanted something for the press.
More unpaid commissions!
It was a great night. As you can see everyone enjoyed themselves and the event raises another £900 for the Hall funds. The drummer by the way is 91 years old and he didn't miss a beat.
I took a some images while I was out and about during the week. Here are a few.
And finally to sum up today
Not me! But about 150 other people who took part in the Fraserburgh Half Marathon. I was in town so I took a picture of the start. Getting a picture of the athletes warming up proved to be impossible as they were all milling about in the same area.
I then rushed home because their route took them past our house. It was at about the half way mark so just down the road was a water station. That is where I went to take photos. Here are a few of them
If you recognise anyone and want to get them a print for Christmas get in touch and I might be able to sell you one.
Finding New things on my Canon
If you haven't got a Canon camera you might want to skip the next bit.
I am a regular browser of the Guardian Camera Club web site and the Flick page that goes with it. One of the links a member had provided was to a Canon advert/documentary about a new Canon camera being field tested in France. Anyway they were on about the 'Back Focus Button' and how good it was. I didn't know if I had one on my D600. The manual wasn't very helpful either. However trawling the internet I found an article that explained what it was, how useful it was and how to activate it . So foe all you Canon owners here is the link. I used it today for the Half marathoin images andvery good it was too.
And here is the link for the same thing on a Nikon http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WyPv1bLkwqA
Wanting New Things For My Canon
One of the things the Guardian camera club do is set assignments every month. The one for November is 'Flash Portraits'. I was going to submit six portraits taken using the built in flash on my camera. But then I read one of the reviews of someone elses six images and the thrust of the comments was 'all right but it would have been better to have used an off camera flash' So I have given the assignment a miss this month.
Then coincidently the judge in the Fraserburgh Photographic Society print competition this week said exactly the same thing about one of the prints I had put in. So I want an off camera flash for my Canon. If you have one spare you now know who to give it to .
This is covered elsewhere on this web site. But I thought you might want to see the prints I put in. You will have read, above what the judge said about 'White Foxglove'. In 'Rattray Sunrise' the lighthouse was not sharp and in 'New Slains Castle' the blending in of the sky was not perfect and the castle walls not straight.
Here is an image that I have put as the cover of my facebook page.
In photoshop I have enhanced it so that the image shows more of what is inside the doorways. Which do you think is better?
And here are a few of the images I took this week.
Most of the week seems to have been taken up with sorting through the images I took at the Maelstrom Parade and getting them down to Theatre Modo. They are now displayed on one of their 'facebook' pages along with the imaged of the other volunteer photographers.
We learnt last week of the death of Jim Flett a member for over 30 years and 'Zoom In' in the Fraserburgh Herald. Go to the meeting report
It is amazing what a difference a tripod makes to getting a sharp image. Yesterday on my morning walk the sun was shining and the leaves were sparkling with autumn colours of browns and golds mixing with greens and the blue of the sky. I took some photographs and was disappointed to find that all of them showed signs if camera shake. Today I went armed with my tripod and all was well. The day before I was in the 'secret walled garden near where I live and , without a tripod came home with some nice sharp images, and some apples which will become chutney very soon. Unfortuneatley I didn't keep the blurred ones to show you. But here are some of the sharp ones.
I stood on that road for as long as I could waiting for something, someone, to fill in the scene. Nothing and no one did. So I put one in. It doesn't look quite right does it.
There is a great photographic exhibition on at the Lighthouse Museum in Fraserburgh. Fiona McRae's images of the area are quite stunning and well worth a visit. Its a great pity the her life is so busy that she is unable to join FPS.
Following normal custom and practice here are some images I have taken during the week
My evening as a member of the Paparazzi was a success. I had one of my photographs published and as a bonus the Fraserburgh Herald printed most of my write up of the 'The Night The Light Went Out' Halloween event at the Lighthouse museum.
I like Rod Wheelan. I have to explain. Rod Wheelan was the judge of the last club competition and for the first time one of my images came in the top three. So I like Rod Wheelan and his impeccable ability to see a good photograph. My other two entries did all right as well. Here they are:-
You can see the other winning entries on the Competition page
This is the title of the parade, organised by Theatre Modo, that wound its way through the streets of Fraserburgh on Friday night. I was there as a volunteer photographer for Theatre Modo. I was joined by one other club member, Norman Robertson, three members of Peterhead Camera Club and a couple of other local people. We were given orange hi-viz vests so we could have access to all areas. Another of our club members, Stuart Fenty was there as a steward and had a yellow hi-viz vest.
So we took photographs of the 600 young people getting ready, of the parade itself and the crowds watching and of the fireworks at the end.
There are a couple of things to take away from the night.
Hi-viz vests can ruin photographs.
Not the one I was wearing but all the others that were around. The other photographers, although there weren't that many, the stewards, and there were a lot of them, the police, the Red Cross attendants and I am sure other categories of volunteers helpers and officialdom that were all necessary to the smooth running of the event.
The problem with the vests was the luminous strips they had on the front and back. The seemed to suck all the light out of the photograph and keep it to themselves and steel the show. In reality the camera was adjusting exposure to the brightest part of the scene and therefore underexposing the rest. Here are some examples.
There may be an in camera solution but I couldn't find it so I had to resort to cropping and cloning in Photoshop to put things right.
Night scenes without flash can be effective
Most of the pictures I took used the on camera flash and this produced some good results however I did take some without flash and these produced a more atmospheric image. You will see this in the gallery below.
Taking Firework Picture
This was, for me the most unsuccessful part of the whole event. I was too close to the action. Where I was was great for the spectators but a nightmare for taking pictures. I found it difficult to get everything in the frame. The brightness of the fireworks and their closeness caused chronic overexposure. I read on a blog the day before that ISO had to be high 800 at least. If you read this advice ignore it. An ISO of 100 is what is needed. You will be taking long exposures and fireworks are bright there is no need to up the sensitivity of your censor. The other thing to bare in mind is that a firework display is not a long event, unless its an Olympic games opening or closing ceremony, you will have litte time to alter camera settings and no time at all to change you position. Here are some failures! A couple of half decent ones are in the gallery below.
It was all about getting the event on record, of trying to capture the enthusiasm of the participants, and sometimes the effort and concentration that they required. It was about the people of Fraserburgh, those in thwe parade, those helping and those watching having a good time. Hopefully I have captured some of that. See for yourself in the gallery bellow.
And in time honoured fashion some of the other images I have taken during the week
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