It was “Show and Tell” time.

The evening of Monday 30th January saw a good attendance for an eclectic mix of topics. The formal title for the evening was “How I got that image”. It came out of observing that during judging competitions and talks, many members in the audience have often whispered and wondered “How did they do that” or “How can I create the same effect”. Well tonight various members put themselves on the line by bringing along some images and trying to explain “How I got that image”. However the first short talk was by Dr Murban Hussain who spoke about dementia and his “Side by Side” support group as some of his service users had expressed an interest in photography and he would need volunteers to help them. It was a very interesting talk which was warmly received.

Then on to the main subjects of the evening. Sally Sallett introduced this as “Show and Tell” which some may remember from school days. First up was David Kershaw who chose as his topic image resizing. Any member who enters a competition will probably have to resize their image at some point and evidence suggests that many have problems with it. David went through the procedure using Microsoft Paint as it is a free package available on all Windows PC’s. He went through it step by step with plenty of illustrations and then moved on to using the preview function on Apple Mac’s so that all bases were covered.

Next up was John Gardner and his theme was how to achieve a shallow depth of field whilst retaining a wide angle of view – usually mutually incompatible. John explained how he used a 500mm lens to get a shot of a Grey Heron in Hungary and then, with everything set at manual, took overlapping shots around the bird. These were then merged in Photoshop to create the effect he wanted – and very impressive it was. Certainly many members were making mental notes to give it a go.

After a break Sally took us through the procedure she uses to create some of her wonderful flower images that have always attracted so much attention. She started with an image of the flowers on a simple white background and then added layers of textures. These could be anything really – bricks, certificates, fabrics, letters, you name it. The textures were put onto layers and the opacity, hue and other settings were changed until she got the effect she wanted. Finally a vignette was applied and hey presto – a striking image. Again these tips were avidly digested by members.

Finally Steve Wood gave a talk on the use of drones and how he is using his to create both stills and videos that could not be achieved by other means. He brought along his drone (I think many members wanted to see it fly in the room!) and explained various aspects of its use, including safety and regulations. He then took us through some of the shots he has managed to obtain with some wonderful views of Mam Tor offering a totally different perspective to the one you would normally expect. Another sequence took us to the east coast for video and stills on the shore. Steve explained that unless you paid a LOT of money for the kit, then the camera was still basically a point and shoot affair. However the quality of what he produced seemed to be far above that (anyone spot the drone-related pun/joke?).

All in all a really interesting evening with a very varied content with lots of rally practical help. There was also plenty of opportunity to discuss each presentation so an enjoyable evening was had by all.

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