Critique a Photograph

We can all learn something by having someone who’s opinion we value give constructive criticism of our photographs. This article, this video and this article all contain tips on how to critique a photograph. We can also use these techniques as guidelines to help us when creating photographs.

Adjustment layers and layer masks

During the March meeting John showed a video example of using adjustment layers and layer masks. This article shows the same technique in much more detail. This technique applies to all versions of Photoshop and to Photoshop Elements since version 10.

If you want to practice you can use one of the public access computers at the Centre. If you want one-on-one help, you can book a session with a computer tutor.

Camera Raw Defaults & Image Resize

During the February meeting, John Williamson showed us how to:

His notes that explain how to do both have been added to the meeting resources list on the Meetings page under February 2016. They can also be accessed buy clicking the links above. Thanks for the excellent presentations and notes.


(not) Professional Photo Tips

Contrary to the name, Joshua CrippsProfessional Photo Tips channel on YouTube is a great collection of short instructional videos that all of us can watch and learn from. Some of the topics he covers are basic for example his recent video: What is a Stop?” and some are more advanced like: “How to Use a 10 Stop Neutral Density Filter for Long Exposure Photography“.

Take a look. If you find any other sites you’d like to share with the rest of the club, please let us know at

Catherine Easton Slideshows

At the February 5th meeting, Catherine Easton showed 2 slideshows she had made. The first was done using the PicturesToExe program (Essentials: $69, Deluxe: $129) and the second using Microsoft’s free program Windows Movie Maker. Note that this was the first slideshow Catherine created with Movie Maker.

Well done Catherine and thank you for sharing.

If you have a short (3 minute or less) slideshow you’d like to share at a future meeting, please let us know by emailing us here.



Get Photography Help

If you missed our recent “Learn your camera” workshop, don’t despair. Before every monthly meeting the Mentors are available to help you with issues you have with your camera. They are also there to help you improve your photography with ideas on composition and post processing. Between meetings they can be reached by phone and email.

One-on-one help is also available from the Seniors Council Computer Tutors on topics such as:

  • transferring your images from your camera to your computer
  • organizing your images
  • backing up your images
  • processing your images using Photoshop Elements or Picasa,
  • sharing your images using web sites like Flickr (used for the club galleries)
  • making slide shows

One hour sessions can be booked at the front desk for $8. Three one hour sessions can be booked for $20.

At today’s steering committee meeting Sue Carey reminded us that, if you have a library card from the Ottawa Public Library, you have free access to all 4300 professionally created courses for creatives at Some of that photography topics include:

  • Cameras + Gear (106)
  • Raw Processing (77)
  • Masking + Compositing (67)
  • Portraits (61)
  • Photo Management (53)
  • Lighting (52)
  • Sharing Photos (43)
  • Retouching (40)
  • Printing Photos (24)
  • Color Correction (23)
  • Photography Foundations(22)
  • iPhone, iPod, iPad (17)
  • HDR (16)
  • Night + Low Light (16)

(numbers indicate how many courses are available under each topic)

Normally this access would cost $30 per month.

Just go here to begin.

Explore Your Camera Workshop

Sue helping out

Many camera club members got together on January 13th and had a great time learning more about their cameras.

Under the guidance of Sue Carey, and with the assistance of members of the Camera Club Executive, topics included aperture priority, shutter priority, manual fixed focus, lighting, portraits, spot versus matrix metering, and exposure compensation.

More pictures of participants and some of their results are in this gallery. The handouts are here.

Special thanks to Sue Carey for coming up with the idea for the workshop and for making it happen.