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).
Computer & Camera Club
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