Andrew Macpherson


A Successful Exhibition

by on Jun.29, 2010, under Camera Club, Competitions, Presentation

The Club Exhibition at the Rhodes Arts Complex (Bishop’s Stortford was Cecil Rhodes’ birthplace so he’s commemorated in the name) went gently.  The main benefit is when other events at the complex use the gallery to have their refreshments, as this gives quite a good audience.  We had a reception on Wednesday evening, and were really delighted that the Lady Mayor and several councillors attended, as did Malcolm Tinn President of the EAF

We also had a visit from the town’s tourism officer who wants members to submit photos

Advertisement for the World Wide PhotoWalk on July 24th

Click to join the World Wide Photowalk in Bishops Stortford

for inclusion in the tourist calendar she is putting together for 2011.  She agreed to extend the deadline till after the photowalk so participants could enter too.  I’ll post that link when it’s available

The poster picture was taken when I was scouting the walk.  Canon 5D MkII, EF14mm f/2.8L II USM Auto bracketed HDR.  And yes I know the HDR is seriously OTT for normal viewing

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Join the World-Wide Photowalk

by on Jun.13, 2010, under Camera Club, Competitions, On Site

On Saturday July 24th I’ll beJoin Me for the Photowalk leading the Bishop’s Stortford photowalk, part of the worldwide photowalk. I’m expecting it to be great fun, and a great chance for us all to show off how fine Bishop’s Stortford is.

Scott Kelby, prolific author, is offering a prize of one of his recent books on Lightroom 3 or Photoshop CS5 for the best local photograph, and we also hope to offer the author a fairly large print of their winning photograph locally.  The local winner also gets entered into the worldwide contest for a $1000 photo equipment worldwide first prize (and lots of runner up prizes too…).

The prize is great, but the main aim of the day is to get local photographers together to share their enjoyment and enthusiasm, maybe offer mutual help and encouragement…  All levels of photography experience are welcome, all equipment from camera phones through point-and-shoot cameras, DSLRs to stand cameras with sheet film backs will take pictures — bring what you’re happy with.  Any one of these might take a great photograph, guided by your imagination and eye as the photographer.

I look forward to seeing you on the day!

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What is a ‘soft’ print?

by on Apr.10, 2010, under Camera Club, Competitions, Learning

On Friday evening I went to an eye-opening evening at Hertford Camera Club who had invited Kevin Herbert, a judge of 35 years experience, to give an insight into the judge’s view of a competition.

He added to the theory I had spent days researching about depth of field and the viewing distances which reduce a circle of confusion to a single point in human perception, with a remark about a British standard for how close to inspect a print.

The answer was a fairly surprising requirement to view from a distance of twice the diagonal, and not more than four times the diagonal, which he qualified with the comment that one can then look closer to analyse defects seen from that range.

That was the technical bit.  Most important was the initial overview in which the judge has to assess the author’s intent, or at least the effect of the author’s work and presentation, putting firmly aside personal likes and dislikes of subject matter.  How to deal with the technically excellent presentation of the boring or revolting, the technically poor but original presentation?  All good thought provoking stuff and an evening well spent.  I hope we’ll have Kevin along to the local club in the near future, as I’m sure others would enjoy his talk, and come away with entirely different highlights.

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Club Competition 2009

by on Oct.26, 2009, under Competitions


Well it’s all about learning and taking part, isn’t it?  Sometimes it’s also about discovering that a judge sees disinterest where you are trying to convey something rather more complex or “softness” where each hair is distinct.

Anyway on the  B&W print front, I’ve made an abominable start.  The consolation was selling 2 of the 3 on the way home, so they can’t have been too bad.

I did get 2 really good marks on colour prints, and was surprised and delighted to get nice marks on my first 2 projected images.  I really do want visitors to rate the photos I’m putting up here, so please do click on te stars or leave a comment (but not in Russian thanks 😀 )

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EAF Exhibition in Harlow

by on May.04, 2009, under Competitions, Presentation

Saturday saw the opening of the East Anglia Federation of Photographic Societies annual exhibition in the Gibberd Gallery at the Civic Centre in Harlow. It was due to be opened by a Harlow civic dignitary, but they were delayed, so eventually the show proceeded without them. If I heard it right there were over 1500 prints for the judges to select from, and a similar number of projected images, so the judges have to be congratulated on their stamina right up front. If each work had 10 seconds consideration that is about 5 hours on each category.

After the presentation of awards we went upstairs into the nicely air-conditioned council chamber to see the projected images (the few slides had been scanned for this).  It may have been an artifice of the usual low resolution of the digital projection, but to me the show had an extreme acutance that screamed too much shrinking, too much photoshop.  However I’m not anaesthetised to these effects by watching TV, having banned the haunted fishtank back in 1988.  Others may be less sensitive.

It was fascinating to see what caught the judge’s eyes.  The nature shots were mostly ‘doing something,’ along the lines of Terns fighting, Eagle with prey, birds with nest materiel…  There was lots of monochrome, which seemed to favour the grainier or higher contrast (lith) styles which certainly do nothing for me.  Almost completely missing were architectural shots and normal daylight landscapes.

Definitely worth a visot — 10am to 5pm weekdays, and Saturday mornings 9am till 12pm.  Parking at the Water Gardens is more expensive (and difficult) on Saturday, but if you need groceries from ASDA you can get a partial parking refund on your way back to your car.

Some of the EAF types running the projected image section had a splendid sense of humour.  They managed a completely straight face while maintaining that the projected resolution was completely irrelevant, and there would be no benefit from increasing to 1960 x 1080 from 1400×1050.  Quick, let’s enter some 72dpi black and white lithograph prints for next year — nope too late; someone’s already gone there

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