With heavy snowfalls in parts of Buckinghamshire and road conditions quite bad there were a limited number of members attending the evening.
I expect some members were getting lots of cold pictures on their cameras for the next round of the club’s championship lol.
Anyway, for those that missed the evening there were three of us presenting different topics in a more informal way.
The first to speak was Chenxi on a project he was interested in some time back concerning solar bodies, the first being the moon.
This image was taken with a 600mm lens and a tripod. Everything else is made dark or the moon will blow out. A 500 shutter speed at f5.6 was use in this picture.
This one was hand held with a shutter speed of again 500. Further improvement on image quality would need more money thrown at it with better lens etc and Chenxi’s interest was not there to pursue it further.
Chenxi tried a creation in competition but the judge was not convinced as he felt it was unreal.
Chenxi moved on to getting shots of the Nebulous in space after hearing about hiring of an American telescope online, hire costs were by the minute.
The camera can be set up before hand to get everything in focus. The image from the telescope is only in Monochrome.
But multi-shots can be taken in the RGB mode and then stacked together in Photoshop.
This was one of three shots done in the RGB green mode followed by the red and blue versions
Then all three colours are combined
Also further solar bodies can be viewed and pictures taken from the telescope.
Chenxi spoke to a friend in Majorca who had bought a star tracker device which fixes to the tripod and moves the camera the opposite direction to the earth to keep the stars in line without moving the camera for sharper images in slow exposures.
The cheapest ones are around £200.
Moving on to a different project Chenxi then tried his first shots using a shot every 30 seconds for an hour in the grounds of a hotel in Wales as the sky was clear and there was not too much distracting lights.
Chenxi was not too worried about the quality of the picture as he knew it had worked.
Then pictures got better with more experience of using this method.
Producing this one for competition
Here we can see Photoshop stacking each picture to form the circle of stars which are set by the camera taking a picture every 30 seconds for an hour
After which I did a talk about entering competitions but not just ones in Photography. I took members back to my youth and me needing a car.
I entered a competition to win an Italian Sports car and ended up with a duck.
The duck was pulled out of a box and I explained it had been with my wife and I for forty years and reminded me of five embarrassing minutes of my life.
I explained to members what I had to do to enter the competition and producing an apt slogan to suit.
After several months of not hearing anything my wife called me to say we had not won the car but second prize a trip to Venice staying at a five star hotel.
Something we had never experienced before with things like caviar on the menu.
We had to pay for drinks and any trips ourselves.
So I had with me some pictures which I scanned onto my computer
and briefly described some of the places
The Bridge of Sighs said to be the last thoughts of prisoners taken from the courts to be executed
We wanted to do a gondola ride but had already been tipped of about expensive cups of coffee in St Mark’s Square by Judith Charmers in ‘Wish you were here’ programmes.
So we asked a Gondolier who quoted us silly prices.
We walked away and he ended up chasing us and gave us a much better price.
It was only on a small circuit but we were happy lol.
We saw the Sistine chapel ceiling but did not take any pictures of it as in 40 years time some judge just might say it was somebody else’s work lol.
Looking in the shops I was fascinated by Murano glass and said to Lin, “I would love to visit the Island of Murano to see how the glass was made”.
However, not wanting to be stung by a silly price I asked our Hotel’s Concierge who had been so friendly to us.
His answer just amazed us.
“No problem we will take you out on the Hotel’s private launch”.
A phone call was made and the launch came around the front. Lin and I were taken out as sole passengers to the Island.
On Arrival the works manager came out to greet us and personally took us on tour around the factory. At the end of the tour he took us into a fantastic showroom and pointed up on the ceiling saying, “Perhaps Sir or Madam would like one of our chandeliers for your mansion”
Things suddenly clicked into place, Oh my god, he thinks coming from a five star hotel and driven out on their launch we are millionaires.
My eyes glanced at a little duck in a cabinet and I asked what would be the price of it. As everything in the showroom are perfect copies it was too expensive for us.
I gulped with embarrassment and thanked him, I said, “we would think about it” but could not get into our waiting launch quick enough lol.
On our last day we bought this duck as a second in the shops for about £10 and has been with us ever since lol.
Next Peter gave a talk on the subject of Wild Life in Buckinghamshire reservoirs, mainly in Tringford, Wilstone, Marsworth Startops and Weston Turville.
Peter said, there are over 200 species of birds to be found on these reservoirs.
Tring Wilstone at night
Peter told us of the number of acres each reservoir had available. Peter said, he was not a Twitcher and does not know the names of many of the birds.
However, this is a heron and Peter said they are difficult to capture for a good shot in flight
Peter loves the sound of the pounding of swans made in take off and landing
Red kites are around but he has never seen them catch any fish but apparently there have been reports of them catching fish in the Rutland area.
One of the ducks this year had eight chicks but one did not make it and there were only seven on a second visit.
Peter captured this shot of a heron which he believed was sunbathing
Grebes are one of Peter’s favourites and he said if there is a chick around you can often capture it coming up with a fish to feed its young.
However, adults have to feed and this one is taking the fish by swallowing it whole.
Coots are not that interesting but as a group they can certainly stir up the water
Peter said one time on the water there were eight intruding swans and there was a battle to get rid of them by the resident swans.
All eight flew off elsewhere after the battle.
Apart from birds there are other wild life and this dragonfly had just shed it’s skin on the reed below it.
Also there are flowers and bees to take pictures of too.
Finally I finished off the evening with a small demonstration of the On1 software
where I used cropping, sharpening and vibrance to create this picture that got me my first 19 points
to end up with this
Then using masking and sharpening on this one
to make this picture
Next week we welcome Watford Camera Club
Watford CC Visit
Tuesday January 29, 2019 from 20:15 to 22:15
Members of Watford CC will be joining us to present and talk through their work.