Creativity

In a recent discussion about creativity, club member Sue Carey said:

It is not only, or always, the most exotic trip, or the most Photoshopped photo that has the greatest impact. One does not have to risk life and limb in the winter, or go on exotic trips, to ‘get the shot’. It may encourage all members to look and play with their camera, within a meter of where they are.

Sue recommended this exercise from Freeman Patterson to stimulate creativity:

The best place in the world to SEE is wherever you are.


Time and again I’ve had somebody ask me the question “Where’s a good place to make pictures?” The translation is: “Where can I photograph my preconceptions?” Answering this question is one of the best ways I know to stand still creatively. It’s rather like taking a bus tour to Washington, D.C. to see the cherry blossoms without ever having noticed the beauty of the wild flowers (weeds) in your back yard.


Long ago I came to realize that a good, simple exercise for improving a person’s ability to see is to ask a friend to pick a number, let’s say between 20 and 50 (perhaps 36) and a direction “left,” “right,” or “straight ahead,” then to take 36 steps in the given direction and stop. Using your camera or your smartphone make a minimum of 30 thoughtful compositions in that place (staying within a circle no wider than a metre.) Beginning is easy, as you’ll photograph things you always notice in ways you always see them. However, if you feel like tearing out your hair after struggling to “see” more than 15 or 18 good pictures, you can be almost certain that persisting will reward you with a visual breakthrough.


You have to get on the other side of your normal ways of seeing, to challenge your perfectly natural need to label everything in order to see what’s there, to see in ways you’ve never seen before.


The challenge is often hard, but the achievement is always exhilarating. Give this exercise a serious try at least once a month – especially right around home where everything is so familiar you don’t see it. This is a great exercise, not just for photographers, but for everybody who wants to be more observant.


I made the photograph on page one and the three that follow at spots I move through so often that, every now and then, I make a conscious effort to observe them carefully in order to “see” what normally doesn’t register at all.

Freeman Patterson

Thanks to Freeman Patterson for permission to use the above quote from his IMAGES, IDEAS, and REFLECTIONS Periodical Letter #6 March 2019. For more ideas and images from him, check out his website.

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A “Sneak Peek”

Until March 17, the West Carleton Arts Society has taken over the Kanata Civic Art Gallery for their Spring Fling group exhibition and sale. The gallery is just down the hall from where we hold our camera club meetings and the show is well worth seeing.

When you check out the show, be sure not to miss the three beautiful photographs by Danielle Barabé-Bussières who will be the featured speaker at our April meeting.

Negative Space Photography

Here are four videos on Negative Space Photography which were presented at the March 1st 2019 meeting.


Negative Space in Photography Tutorial by Visual Art Photography Tutorials


Photography Composition Tutorial – Negative Space Photography Using a Cup of Coffee by Visual Art Photography Tutorials


Photography Tips – Negative Space in Photography by Mike Brown


Photography Composition – Simplification and Negative Space by Ted Forbes from The Art of Photography


Phil Tughan

Photo Editing Courses

The Hazeldean branch of the Ottawa Public Library is offering two introductory courses on photo editing that may be of interest to some of our camera club members.

The first is Basic Digital Photo Editing (Demo Only) on March 4th from 6-8 PM

The second is Basic Digital Photo Editing (Hands On) on March 25th from 6-8 PM

Both courses require registration with the library as described in the links above.

Black & White Photography

Here are five videos on Black and White Photography which were presented at the February 1st 2019 meeting


Exploring Black and White Photography from Lynda.com


Setting Your Camera for Black and White by The Snap Chick


Exploring Black and White Photography Tutorial – Using Shadows By Visual Art Photography Tutorials


Exploring Black and White Photography Tutorial – Tips on How to Create Mood By Visual Art Photography Tutorials


9 Quick Tips for Better Black and White Photos by Jamie Windsor

Phil Tughan

Frank Dugal on Portraiture

At the February 1st meeting, club member Frank Dugal will give a presentation on portraiture.

Frank is a self-taught life-long photographer.  He was the founding co-leader of the RA Photo Club Digital Group, President of the Orléans Photo Club and the leader of its Digital Group.  He is a member of the Kanata Seniors Centre Camera Club and the Arnprior Photo Club.  He has been shooting digital since 1998 when he bought his first Digital Camera.  Now, his cameras of choice are the mirrorless Fuji XT1 and his iPhone.

For a number of years, he was a weekend warrior and photographed weddings and special events.  People photography is his first love.

Frank believes Photography is a school from which you never graduate.  It is a continual learning process.

<added 2019-02-01>

You can review Frank’s presentation here.

Total Lunar Eclipse

Robert Allan, a new club member sent along this link about photographing the upcoming total lunar eclipse on Sunday evening January 20th. He also provided a link to this page which shows the local start, maximum and end times.

To plan your photography, remember that The Photographers Ephemeris – available for  web, Android, and iOS – will show you moonrise and set azimuths for your location.

If you get any images of the eclipse that you want to share with the club, email them to us here and we’ll put them on the website.

<added 2019-01-16>

Ko Fung sent a link to this Global news item on the eclipse which includes a time lapse video of a lunar eclipse and explains why this is a super blood wolf moon.

 

 

Mirrorless vs. DSLR Camera Tips Presentation

**These points vary widely from make-to-make and model-to-model**

Mirrorless cameras are a development in technology. They have some pros and cons verses DSLRs, but they are still just light-capturing tools. They won’t instantly turn you into a better photographer. Like any other camera, it just captures whatever you point it at. It is up to you to be creative and make a great photograph.

Mirrorless camera bodies are generally smaller and lighter than DSLRs because they don’t have the moving mirror, pentaprism and mechanicals inside.

Lenses are generally about the same size and weight across the two platforms. Remember to compare lenses designed for the same size sensor and bodies of the same sensor size.Where DSLRs tend to have a few focus points clustered towards the centre of the sensor, some mirrorless cameras have as many as 693 focus points spread over as much as 93% of the frame. This provides much more flexibility in subject placement and focus tracking within the frame.

Some mirrorless cameras can perform very effective eye autofocus, which means that they can acquire and lock onto a subject’s closest eye to the camera as they walk around the room. This can be quite an advantage in portrait photography.

Many mirrorless cameras have In-Body-Image-Stabilization (IBIS) built into the body. Like Image Stabilized lenses for DSLRs they can counteract movement of the camera while taking the picture. This reduces the chances of blurred pictures in low light or slow shutter speed situations. With IBIS in place, ANY lens you have on the camera is stabilized.

Many mirrorless cameras, with adapters fitted, can work with many lenses of different ages or manufacturer allowing a wide variety to play with.

Mirrorless cameras can shoot completely silently as they don’t have a mirror to slap up and down with every shot. A mirrorless camera still has a moving mechanical shutter, but even that can be disabled to shoot without it. This is a great advantage when trying to shoot during weddings, golf, concerts, some wildlife, or anywhere where silence is important. You can shoot 20 frames per second and make zero noise. Having no mirror slap also eliminates the vibration caused by that action.

Most mirrorless cameras have a tilt or flip out screens on the back, which allows you to take pictures at ground level or over your head without having to lie on the ground or stand on a stool to look through the viewfinder. Some DSLRs have a tilt screen too, but they tend not to focus or work in the same way while in “live-view” mode.

Mirrorless cameras are “live-view” all the time, so when looking at the composition, viewed on the rear screen or through the electronic viewfinder (EVF), is pretty much the picture you will get when you take the shot. When you change a camera setting, you see the result in the viewfinder. You can also view other info like a live histogram right in the viewfinder. When you look through the viewfinder of a DSLR, you are looking at what the camera is seeing , but not how the resulting picture will turn out like, based on the current camera settings.

DSLRs benefit from using hardly any battery power until you actually take a picture, so you can look through the lens even without having the camera turned on. With mirrorless, the rear screen or EVF and sensor have to be active all the time that the camera is being used. This drains batteries faster, but can be they can be programmed with varied “sleep” settings. This however results in short “wake-up” times when the camera is put up to your eye. Sometimes these milliseconds can be important when trying to capture a fast action shot. Therefore mirrorless cameras need to have bigger batteries than their DSLR cousins to have similar battery life. DSLRs have zero wake up time to view the scene.

Mirrorless cameras tend to be much more capable video cameras than DSLRs.

If you are considering making a switch from your DSLR to mirrorless, I would recommend doing a lot of research on the current makes, models and sensor sizes currently available. Also carefully check out the cost and availability of lenses to use with that “system”. Sometimes, depending on which system you are coming from and going to, you may only have to change the body, and use your existing lenses together with an adapter. You may not get 100% functionality, but it will probably work well enough until you get “native” lenses. Since mirrorless cameras have made tremendous leaps in speed, autofocus ability, EVF resolution and battery life in the last year, I would recommend only checking out reviews that are made within the last year. You could also rent a camera to see how you like the “feel” of the camera before making the big switch.

Maybe you enjoy playing with the latest technology, like I do, or maybe you prefer sticking with whatever camera you are comfortable with. Whatever tool you choose to work with, keep growing your skills as a photographer and enjoy your shooting experience.

Phil Tughan