Tuesday, 8 April 2014

April Meeting Review

We had one of our largest gatherings yet at the April meeting with members anxious to see anything resembling Spring and its welcome floral displays. Luckily, our guest speaker for the evening – Court Noxon – put on a vivid display of County wildflowers and other living things that we all hope will soon be the subject matter for many of our photographic exploits in the coming months. Court is the author of “Field, Forrest, Hedgerow – A hiker's wildflower guide for Prince Edward County”. Besides being a naturalist, Court is also an avid photographer and put on an artistic view of flora and fauna in this region. Court also has a very helpful website (www.wildflowers-pec.on.ca) that is geared to assist in the identification and understanding of wildflowers that inhabit the County.

We also saw a splendid display of the landscape and unique wildlife of the Galapagos Islands by Bert Jenkins, from a trip he made to the area in 2009. Member slideshows from our recent trip to Honey Wagon Farms and our March theme challenge - Still Life – were also well received – these two shows have now been uploaded to our facebook site (www.facebook.com/countyfotoclub) for your viewing pleasure. The club would like to extend a very warm thank you to Sandi and Ed Taylor who graciously allowed us to tour and photograph their wonderful property – Honey Wagon Farms.

In a continuing attempt to get to know each other better, we played a little game with the goal of matching up the (member) photographer with his/her image – in a test of photographic styles. The co-winners of this contest were Ramesh Pooran and Margaret Liddon with identical scores of 13 out of 18. The average score was more in the 50% range implying we probably have more work in front of us on this "get-to-know-each-other" bent! Ramesh received a gift - “Exploring Photography” - a historic BBC look at artistic photographers and their photographic styles. It is expected that this book will be passed around and shared with other members in the group over time.

In regards to our Still Life challenge, only 17 members participated this time around, down somewhat from recent club challenges. I'm guessing that the reasons were two fold. First, the subject matter may not immediately appeal to many of us who would prefer more active/expansive subjects – animals, people, landscapes, birds, … Second, to do this well, it took work! It wasn't just walking around with the camera and clicking the shutter. In most cases, you had to set up the display, move it (or arrange lighting) to where the subject could best be transposed onto film and finally, compose the image in the viewfinder often with camera on a tripod while taking the image. For some of us, it also required considerable post image processing to get rid of marks on glasses and annoying/unwanted reflections etc. However, I'd suggest that those who did not take part, really missed out on a learning and “pushing the comfort zone” exercise. Many of the submitted images where truly spectacular – especially from a lighting, physical composition and viewfinder composition standpoint. Please take a careful look at the facebook images as to how various photographers have used lighting for dramatic effect.