Just a few weeks now until the Club reopens for business, so here’s a run-down of our plans for the early part of the autumn “term”…
Deadline for entries for the October Quarterly Competition is September 20th.
Your summer holiday shots could include a winning image for our third Quarterly Competition. Entries can be sent now to David Whinyates at firstname.lastname@example.org or handed to him on a memory stick no later than the September 20th meeting. When submitting entries please ensure your images fall within the usual formatting criteria and are saved at a resolution no higher than 72dpi.
Annual Photographic Competition:
The Camera Club sub-committee will be meeting in late September to discuss our showpiece event and some significant changes have already been mooted. We’d like to hear any ideas from the wider membership ahead of our meeting and would be grateful for any input.
If you have any thoughts or ideas on the future format of our blue-riband event please e-mail your suggestions to me at email@example.com before September 20th.
Early Autumn Programme:
WEDNESDAY SEPTEMBER 6th: Post Processing video tutorials…
Still confused about the black art of post processing? Hopefully we can iron out some of the confusion with a series of videos explaining how to get started in some of the most popular software programs including Picasa, Gimp and, of course, Adobe Photoshop.
WEDNESDAY SEPTEMBER 20th: Creating a slideshow/ Quarterly Competition deadline.
If you had a good summer visiting exotic parts away from Cyprus, there’s no better way to keep your holiday memories alive than to bring your shots together in a slideshow which you can share with friends and family. In this session we’ll be demonstrating creative ways in which you can do it.
WEDNESDAY OCTOBER 4th: October Quarterly competition.
Judged by Janine Scott. A PDF file showing all the entries will be e-mailed to members in advance of the meeting. Please bring your laptop/ tablet to the meeting to enable you to view the images as they are presented and critiqued. Images will continue to be projected on the big screen.
I hope you find this information useful. Please retain this bulletin or print it out for future reference….
August 18th, 2017
Derek has provided the notes below following his talk on July 12th
From left to right, Janine Scott, David Whinyates, Liz Unwin, Paul Knight, Carol Nicholson and Tom Brown
COMPUTERCAMERA CUB REPORT FOR MAY 2017
On May 3rd Jim Crowe, Chairman of the Computer Club, gave a talk entitled ‘Bits and Pieces’.
This covered a whole range of tips and wrinkles to help us make better use of the software on our computers – how to get Windows 10 to look like Windows 7 at startup by using ‘Classic shell’ to replace the Windows 10 start screen with Windows 7 format’ how to personalise display settings; lock screen; screen saver settings.
‘Recuva’ is a programme which will help to recover accidentally deleted files (we’ve all been there!) provided the files haven’t been overwritten.
Jim suggested that if anything in a programme you are using is confusing do a Google search – someone else has always had the same problem and there are usually answers to clarify or solve it.
Programmes for playing discs include Windows Media Play and VLC.
Ripping music discs to MP3 compresses the content but results in a loss of quality.
‘Audacity’ is a free downloadable programme designed to help edit and modify music files.
Lots of useful information there, so thanks to Jim for helping to make our computing life easier for us.
On Thursday 4th May the Camera club held its annual Photo Competition and Prizegiving Evening. Entries for the competition totalled 147 and the quality of all entries submitted was the best ever. The entries had previously been judged by two independent judges – Andrea Christofi-Hunziker – a freelance photo-journalist and teacher of photography, and Andreas Evzonas – a professional wedding and portrait photographer based in Paphos.
Certificates were awarded for all prizewinning entries and trophies presented for the Photographer of the year – Paul Knight, Photograph of the Year – Chris Scorer, Brian Crawford Trophy for Creative Digital Magic – Tom Brown, and Quarterly Competition Winner for 2017 – Chris Scorer. Other prize winners were Janine Scott, David Whinyates, Liz Unwin, and Carol Nicholson.
Chris Scorer was unable to attend but will receive his prizewinning trophies and certificates at a later date.
After a successful and very enjoyable presentation many members of the audience stayed to enjoy a delicious meal prepared by Debbie and her staff.
A photographic Treasure Hunt was the challenge set to members on 10th May. Camera club Chairman David Whinyates had set a trail which took us to Emba, Banana Bay Akoursos, Kissonerga, the deserted village of Androlykou and finally to Latsi for lunch. When each ‘clue’ was found we had to photograph it, just to prove we found it!
At the end of a very enjoyable and interesting day, not everyone found all of the clues but we all had a great time trying to do so.
Members who didn’t go on the Treasure Hunt watched a video about photography at the Clubhouse.
Thanks to David for organising a different but nonetheless enjoyable field trip.
On May 17th Janine Scott gave a presentation entitled FKeys and Shortcuts.
‘F’ in this case stands for Function on a keyboard.
Janine explained the function of all 12 of the function keys and enlightened us to ways which could save a lot of time at the keyboard if they are used properly.
She then went on to explain short cuts and how they can help speed up work on the computer. There are usually multiple ways of performing a task on the computer, but it is useful to be familiar with shortcuts to make life easier.
Keyboard functions can be used to watch videos, listen to music, find bookmarks, help with form filling and search history, open programmes to name but a few. There is also a facility built in to customise your own shortcuts.
Thank you Janine, for all these time-saving tips which I am sure will be much used in the future.
Budapest, Hungary, was our destination on 20th May as 10 members of the Camera Club and/or partners jetted off from Larnaca to spend 5 days in this beautiful and historic city. Photographic opportunities, in the form of elegant buildings, striking statues and people going about their daily business, presented themselves round every corner. Two of us managed to squeeze in a day trip to Vienna whilst we were there, giving us an added bonus for even more photographic opportunities in this famous city. Some of the group spent the day on the ‘Danube Bend’ tour, visiting three historic villages situated on or near the Danube, plus a quick 20 minute trip over the border into Slovakia from where we were able to photograph a castle on the Hungarian side of the river – well, at least we could say we had visited Slovakia, even though our visit was very short and we would like to have explored a bit further afield. On the return journey back to Budapest by boat the heavens opened, lightning flashed and the thunder crashed. The rain came lashing down so fast photography was impossible, but since this was the only bad weather we had, the rest of the time being warm and sunny, we couldn’t complain.
On the final night of our visit we all gathered on board the ‘Europa’ ship docked on the Danube. When all the 100 plus passengers were on board the boat glided off for a relaxing journey up and down the ‘blue Danube’ (well actually it was a murky green!). Whilst on board we enjoyed a superb meal washed down with several glasses of wine. This was a very fitting and enjoyable end to our visit and our table was serenaded by the group of musicians, who, having enquired where we came from, immediately burst into an enthusiastic rendering of ‘Zorba the Greek’. After we disembarked some of us took to practicing our night photography skills (albeit in the teeth of a high wind) whilst Tom undertook a guided night photography tour to hone his skills even further.
Altogether a very interesting and enjoyable trip (albeit tiring as we packed so much into it), but the general opinion was it was a very worthwhile visit.
For those members remaining on the island a very interesting presentation was given on 24th May by John Butler, an award winning Irish photographer and chairperson of the Drogheda Photographic Club. John described himself as “mainly a people photographer taking photos that show people in their environment" and entitled his fantastic presentation “Mainly People”. The subject matter ranged from the Traveller families at Horse Fairs in Southern Ireland, to the sectarian graffiti in Northern Ireland, and people from South India to Romania and Cuba. There were interesting stories and hints and tips associated with all of the images. John also brought some of his prize winning prints to show us the quality of the printing he can achieve. To get good quality portraits he often spent at least half an hour with the subjects to create trust and allow them to relax, and he never used flash. Most images needed minimal post processing but he always shot in RAW to maximise his options, and would also check if the image looked better as black and white. John suggested that if the subject wanted a copy of the picture to write down their address and take a photograph of it immediately - then it is linked with the correct person and can't be lost. Other practical tips included profiling your monitor and getting the correct printer profile for the paper you use by sending it to the manufacturer. Learn to use all the options on your camera and look at the work of famous photographers for inspiration.
Our thanks to John and we hope to see and listen to him again for a future presentation.
On 31st May Derek Noronha gave the first of two talks about the World of Smart Devices. His talk on this occasion centred on present day smart devices.
Smart devices are interactive electronic gadgets that can understand simple commands sent by users and can help in daily activities. These gadgets include the ubiquitous smart phones, cameras, TVs and fridges to name but a few.
The first smart phone was invented in 1998. Today we hear about ECU’s – Electronic Control Units for cars which control emissions and all operations in the engine. Even the Air conditioning Unit in the car is a smart device. Google Glass is a device to wear on your head which gives you a small picture of something else in the top corner of the glass, whilst you are looking at something else (I think) forgive me if I got that bit wrong but I got a bit bogged down in the technicalities at that point!
Smart watches are ‘gadgety ’but not very practical.
Derek then showed a short video describing other smart devices –a portable clothes cleaner that will clean your washing whilst you are travelling, a levitating speaker that produces all round sound, and how to lock your door by Bluetooth.
An app called Fitbit checks your health and provides a warning if something is not quite as it should be.
We learned about smart heating systems which you can turn on whilst at work, by an app on your phone. A similar app will turn the lights on and open and shut the curtains in your home. Also, smart washing machines are available (I wonder if the day will ever come when we can have ‘smart ironers’ to do that boring chore for us!)
Surgery can be performed using smart devices and there are also smart medicines available.
And finally GPS systems can be used in conjunction with Google Maps.
Thank you Derek for this enlightening talk about smart objects of today and we look forward to his next presentation which will be about upcoming smart devices (perhaps the smart ironer is in the pipeline I hope).
On 5th April Liz Watson was able to continue with her presentation on ‘Facebook’ which she was unable to complete a few weeks earlier, due to the unwelcome interference of Windows 10 doing updates on the club’s computer.
Social Networks, of which Facebook is one, are a new way of communicating, either with friends locally or those anywhere else in the world.
As well as Facebook there are numerous other social network sites – Twitter, Flickr, Pinterest, Instagram, Google, Linkedin and Patients Like Me.
Liz showed a video entitled ‘Facebook for Seniors’ which described in detail how to set up and make best use of your Facebook account.
She went on to explain the difference between a closed group and a public group, and how to create a group.
Social Networks are a great and rapid way of communicating, but need to be set up and used with care to ensure that the information or photos you wish to post on them go to the right people.
Thanks to Liz for a detailed account of how to make the best use of the rapidly expanding field of Social Networking.
‘Ice Ice Baby’ was the intriguing title of Chris Scorer’s presentation on 12th April.
Earlier this year Chris and his wife Sue completed a 30,000 kilometre round trip which took them to Argentina, Antarctica and the Falkland Islands. Having arrived by air to Buenos Aires from Cyprus via Madrid, they spent two days exploring Buenos Aires before boarding the Celebrity cruise ship ‘Infinity’. Chris had compiled a slideshow with some of the photos taken by the 2000+ passengers on board the ship.
From Buenos Aires their journey continued south to Ushuaia – commonly regarded as the southernmost city in the world and close to the notorious Cape Horn where the weather can be very unpredictable. However, on this leg of the journey the weather behaved itself and the ship was able to proceed successfully to Antarctica. In this part of the slideshow we enjoyed some stunningly beautiful shots of icebergs in all their majestic glory as well as some delightful shots of the many penguins and other sea creatures who make their home here.
Hot refreshments were very welcome after this somewhat chilling spectacle and after the coffee break the slideshow continued with the next leg of the journey, which was to the Falkland Islands. This section included two hilarious videos of a penguin hesitating but finally taking the plunge into a puddle, which turned out to be very muddy, and a group of penguins having a bit of a domestic (or was it taps of friendship?) on the beach.
The presentation concluded with some photos of life at sea and life on board the ‘Infinity’ as it made its way through the ocean.
Our thanks to Chris for this fascinating travelogue, and I, for one, can’t wait to travel in their footsteps!
On 19th April Jim Crowe gave a presentation entitled ‘Configuring Audio and Video for optimum results.
Sound from the TV signal goes to a VCR, DVD, television or computer. The sound can be transmitted by audio out into built-in speakers in a device, or headphones or an external setup. Video can be displayed on a computer, TV screen, projector or all three.
The options for listening to audio or watching video range from fairly cheap to very expensive – a top of the range audio surround sound system can cast as much as £54,000 – not the price that many of us would consider!
Rooms in Cyprus are not the best for good listening, but Jim went on to explain ways of getting a good signal, the best headphones to use and quality external speakers and amplifier.
The technology involved in obtaining the best from your audio equipment is a minefield for most of us, but Jim’s presentation opened our eyes to what is available if you know what to ask for, and, at the extreme, have a bottomless pocket!
On 26th April we were delighted to welcome back Barrie Allington, a former club member and presenter, now living in England.
After showing one of his new ‘gadgets’ for which he was famous in the past - this time it was a Lightning Flash Drive-he went on to describe, through photographs and narration, how he set up a Haymaking project around the village of Yetminster, where he now lives. Altogether he took 400 photos describing the process of haymaking, from cutting the hay to hauling the bales into a Dutch barn for storage. The machinery shown in the photographs was not state of the art, but still did a great job and clearly identified the skills involved by the people operating the machinery.
The final 12 photos were then displayed in a small gallery in the village.
This was an important project which put on record skills and equipment which may not be available in future years. Thanks to Barrie for this fascination insight into rural life.
After coffee Janine Scott had us putting on our thinking caps with her presentation of ‘Thinking Around a Theme’.
Themes are a great way to practice photographic skills, and there is a huge range of ideas for themes on the Net.
Subjects include war, poverty, sports, doors, to name but a few. Photos on a theme can include similar technical compositions – all black and white, long exposures, negative space, interesting surroundings. Also conveying a mood such as love, anger fear etc.
There are many reason for ‘theming’ pictures – creating a true record of something important (confirming the point made in Barrie’s talk earlier), family records, competitions, decoration, advertising.
A theme is an essay in pictures –storytelling using pictures instead of words.
Janine finished her presentation by showing some photos from the Sony World Youth competition, whose theme was ‘beauty’. Inspiration for all of us, thanks to Janine.
Shopping Online was the title of David Owen’s Presentation on 22nd March. The word ‘Amazon’ readily springs to mind when thinking about buying online, but David’s presentation revealed that there is more to online shopping than just zooming straight to the Amazon website.
David questioned whether it is always cheaper to shop online. We should think about returns and after sales policy. Sometimes it is better in the long term to buy here as it is easier to return faulty goods here, whilst returning goods to UK or wherever bought on line can be a lengthy process with the uncertainties of the postage system – sometimes a courier service can prove more reliable than the post. However, Amazon are good if you are asking for a refund.
Using discount cards for general sales or closing down sales can make the price more competitive. Use sites such as ‘Pricerunner’ for comparing prices; This is Money; Camel-camel-camel and Flubit websites are also worth a visit. Other bargains can sometimes be found under ‘Graded stock’ – items which have been returned, or ‘Today’s special’.
Amazon also has websites in France, Germany, Italy and Spain, as well as Amazon.com and it is sometimes cheaper to look at their other European sites which may be selling the item you want more cheaply than the UK site.
Wherever you shop, be it Amazon, Ebay or any other of the many online shopping stores, do some research beforehand and make sure that the item you are looking at is exactly what you want.
For items under €23 there is currently no duty, but, like many other aspects of European life at present, it is uncertain how Brexit may affect duty or deliveries once the separation (or should it be ‘divorce’) has been finalised.
Thank you David for enlightening us on how to get the most out of our online retail therapy.
On 29th March Tom Brown started the morning by announcing the results of the Quarterly Photo competition.
These were as follows: Audience Scores:
Millie - Margaret Wright.
All the Fun of the Carnival- David Whinyates
Big Buddha – Chris Scorer
Sri Lankan Wedding – Joe Stone
Gethsemane - Derek Noronha
Dubai Sevens – Paul Knight
Neglected – Chris Scorer
Giverny – Gordon Henley
Stained Glass Window – Margaret Wright
Ely Choirmaster – Paul Knight
The placings given by the judge (Tom Brown) correlated exactly with the audience scores:
5 joint third places (as above)
4 joint second places (as above
1st – Ely Choirmaster – Paul Knight (as above)
Well done to all the winning entrants.
After announcing the results we were delighted to welcome our new guest speaker – Andrea Christofi. She opened her talk by telling us that earlier in her career she was a teacher of Arts and Crafts, later becoming a Press Photographer. She later decided to combine the two disciplines and teaches photography to groups, combining the lessons with field trips.
The theme of her presentation was ‘Composition’. She explained in some detail the importance of getting the right ‘background’ for your photos – shape, surroundings, depth of field. Other aspects to think about are the ‘rule of thirds’, symmetries, lines, shapes, patterns and colour – lots of things to think about, but all are important to get that perfect photo when you press the shutter. She compared a camera to a musical instrument – you have to work it and play it. All these aspects of photography were well illustrated with photographs from her own portfolio and some from her students.
Our thanks to Andrea for this very interesting and enjoyable presentation and we look forward to seeing her again soon as she has kindly agreed to be one of the judges for our Annual Photographic Competition. Judging of entries will take place on 20th April and the prizegiving evening will be on 4th May at the Clubhouse.
‘FACEBOOK’ was the title of a presentation given by Liz Watson on 22nd February.
Facebook is a vast and ever-expanding organisation which aims to keep people in touch with each other, provides useful information on a wide range of topics and has special sections focussing on particular interests and topics – the UKCA Camera Club has its own page – firstname.lastname@example.org
Liz was hoping to show a video entitled ‘Facebook for Seniors, Grandparents and Boomers’ but due to the unwanted and lengthy interference of Windows updates it was not possible to show the video on this occasion. The link on You Tube to this video is https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FVy6q2JHfKU.
With the short amount of time that was left after Windows had settled down Liz went on to talk about how Facebook can be linked to other organisations such as Flickr and Pinterest. There are lots of videos on You Tube to help us familiarise ourselves with Facebook, but we were grateful to Liz for informing us on the basics and we look forward to a future presentation on this topic by Liz, which hopefully will go ahead without any annoying interference from Windows 10 and its ubiquitous updates!
Paul Knight made a welcome return to the Wednesday morning slot on 1st March to give us further information on Lightroom – a programme which can manage and edit our images.
A valuable feature of Lightroom is that it is a totally non-destructive editing programme – any editing done to an individual photo is saved as a separate file, and the original file remains unchanged. Both copies can be saved.
Images can be copied directly from your camera into Lightroom. Paul advised backing up copies in Lightroom, but also back up a copy to a separate hard drive.
He described in some detail the various functions of the Lightroom interface – Library, Develop, Book Slideshow, Publishing to the Web and Printing. There are many built-in presets in this programme, as well as the facility to watermark your photos and export them to various destinations, i.e. to Photoshop for further editing, or as an attachment to an email etc.
As with Facebook there are many tutorial videos on You Tube about using Lightroom, but it is always good to have a real live and informative presentation such as Paul gave us on Wednesday, so thank you to Paul for these many useful insights.
On 8th March during the first half of the Meeting Computer Club Chairman Jim Crowe gave a talk on ‘Shapes’. This intriguing title had us wondering what to what sort of ‘shapes’ Jim would be referring.
He went on to explain how pictures can be shaped to fit a monitor, or TV.
Some photos, straight off camera need to be first converted to DNG format.
Readily available software which will help with positioning and cropping photos are Microsoft Office Picture Manager, Picasa and Photoshop. All these programmes are good for positioning and cropping photos, but, of the three Photoshop is best, followed by Picasa.
For our competitions a ‘shape’ of 4 x 3 is needed.
Shaping proved to be quite a complex subject which needs practice to achieve the right shape to fit the medium you are using to display your photos.
Thanks to Jim for helping to enlighten us.
After coffee Derek Noronha brought us up to date on ‘Smart Devices.
A ‘smart device’ is anything that is enabled by connection to the Internet – TV’s tablets, phones, watches etc.
The ‘shelf life’ of new technology is about two years.
New ‘smart’ ideas sometimes fall at the first fence – 3D TV’s had a very short life and were discontinued in 2016.
As soon as sales of a ‘smart’ object start dropping a new one or newer version of the old one is produced to tempt people into buying or updating their equipment. From the manufacturer’s point of view smart devices are only designed to last three years.
Smart home systems are currently rising in popularity – home security, smart meter readers for gas and electric accounts, central heating systems and lifts.
Microphone technology is being developed to replace the traditional keyboard and mouse – I wondered if we have to start talking to our computers instead of swearing at them!
The speed at which such technology comes and goes is quite staggering and our thanks to Derek for keeping us up to date.
March 15th was the occasion for the first of this year’s Quarterly Photo competitions, with a record entry of 45 photographs. The competition structure now gives members the opportunity to submit three photos – two of a general nature and one theme-based. The theme for this competition was ‘Religion’.
Tom Brown gave a detailed critique and score for each entry – maximum of 10 points for Impact and a further maximum of 10 for technical ability. The audience also gave their own scores for each photo after the critique. When the results were announced at the Meeting on 29th March it was interesting to note that the audience’ scores correlated quite closely with that of the judge.
Computer & Camera Club
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