Wednesday, 5 December 2012

Walsall wood camera club on the move.

I attended this weeks camera club, not knowing what was on offer for the night.
It turned out to be an interesting night, with a show from one of the members and a show of hands from the members.

Once everyone had settled into their seats, John Smith addressed his audience  John is the chairman of the club and a very friendly and welcoming fellow.
I knew there had been an emergency meeting in the week as i was at a committee members house having a lesson in framing.
It turns out that the meeting was to look for or at a new venue for the weekly meetings. John explained to his audience that the old Brownhills boys school (the Anex to me), had some very good facilities and were courting him to take the club there.

I must admit that the church hall that they use is very small and the parking is disastrous  Often the church will have events on the same night as the club, which causes visitors to park way away from the hall. The hall itself is not quite big enough for the amount of members they have. It all adds up to make sense for a move to a new venue.

The show of hands was almost unanimous for the move. It was stated that the subs/fee's would have to go up, and this was not because of the cost of the new hall, they would go up anyway.
From a new members point of view, the subs are very cheap indeed. i paid £5 to get my membership card and £1 per week subs. For that i get a cup of tea and a biscuit, which is bloody good value i think.
I would at least think putting the subs up to £1.50 would be the least they should do.

Now onto the show, which one of the senior and very skillful members put on with his wife.
One of his images in particular was a fantastically good shot in my opinion.. It was a black and white shot of a tattoo'ed gypsy, taken at a horse fair.
I had a chat with the presenter about HDR (high dynamic range) photography. He shoots almost all of his images in RAW. Most cameras convert photos into jpegs as soon as you take your shot. they do this to compress the image size and save space on your storage. Where a jpeg will lose the information captured in dark areas (i.e in the back of a dark shadow) RAW will keep that information to allow you to try to enhance it. I have now decided to give RAW a go and see if it improves my shots. We got into talking about HDR photos which really float my boat. The quality of HDR images is easy to see. In essence you take three photos of a subject without moving the camera if possible. Your first photo should be under exposed and your second over exposed, the third should be correctly exposed. One photo will show the images in its normal and acceptable light. The second will be dark and highlight the features in the very bright parts of the image. The third will be too light and show details of the shaded dark areas of the image. What you do then is in simple terms merge all of the images so that your dark areas have definition, the light areas have detail and your base shot fills out the rest. It works, but it does take some mastering. i tried a quick experiment at work today as i drove to my office. I wound the window down in my car and took three snaps of some random trees.
HDR attempt

 none HDR photo.
On the face of it there is not much difference in the images. I think the top image is slightly deeper than the second image, but that may be my imagination. I will do some more HDR photos soon and get them put on the blog.
I am off on a metal detecting dig on Sunday which may offer some opportunities for good Photos.

Happy snapping.

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