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Newsletter #52 12/3/2021

Editor - Derek Godridge Guest Author – Paul Cooper

Hi Everyone

Dennis Scrace with Wendy Bate 2010
Dennis Scrace with Wendy Bate 2010

Firstly we need to mark the sad news a few weeks ago of the passing of one of our long standing members and ex President, Dennis Scrace. Dennis was a gentleman of the old school who was a very skilled photographer and member from the very early days until around 7 years ago, when his health deteriorated. He was always there to offer his advice and every year he judged the President’s Cup. We will remember having fun with Dennis and wondering which numbered sky he had dropped in to his latest landscape creation! He will be fondly remembered by many of the club’s members who knew him and we pass on our deepest sympathy to his wife Jill.

PCC News of the Week:

After such a busy weekend, maybe a few of you may have been able to screen some of the Zoom meetings from the WCPF and/or the Photography Show. If not Paul has written a short summary for you below.


Hopefully you may have found my Zoom show last night interesting and entertaining and give you an idea of how to store and file your work but also to give you some thoughts as to where you could try out something different.

Competition News

1) Congratulations to the joint winners Jan with Pip Appeal and Victor with I am smiling.

2) Next Lockdown subject is “Tranquility” on the 18th March and you will need to judge 1, 2, and 3 so be prepared!

3) KF3 results will be on the 25th March with ex-member Helen Davis (Gadd) judging. WCPF Meeting & Mark Walker at The Photography Show By Paul Cooper

WCPF Area map

After the Western Counties Photographic Federation (WCPF) meeting, following a short break, they launched into the Knightshays Trophy competition “Togetherness". They used an interesting format; initially showing all 169 entries at 5-second intervals (= 14 minutes) - enough to get a sense of the image.

Judge Nick Bodle, President of the WCPF, extracted the top 49 and gave an informative and detailed review of those images. On completion, he selected several highly commended images, third, second and the trophy winner “Helpless and Frightened” by Rachel Domleo.

WCPF Knightshays Trophy competition winners
WCPF Knightshays Trophy competition winners

If you would like to see the winning images click this link. Some images were studio shot, but most were to a similar composition and standard to our “fun competition” entries. If you fancy having a go (and why not, your images are good enough) next years subject is “Simplicity” and the results will be on Saturday, 5th March 2022. ____________________

The afternoon talk was on "The Eloquent Landscape" by Chris Palmer. Chris split this into two parts, the first discussing composition, foreground, mid-ground and distant interest. He covered portrait versus landscape orientation, with examples.

Chris used several “sets” of images of the same location but taken with a different zoom lens, different orientation or different lighting to illustrate his points.

Moving on the second half covered two abstract formats Chris has been experimenting with; trees and ice. It’s clear Chris spends time and effort setting up each shot and more time waiting for the lighting he saw in his mind. The results were impressive, as this screenshot shows.

"The Eloquent Landscape" by Chris Palmer
"The Eloquent Landscape" by Chris Palmer

NB “Mist” can be purchased from Screwfix if you want to try this yourself.


Finally this weekend Mark Walker asked us to view his “High-speed sync flash” talk at The Photography Show. You use high-speed sync flash when you want to use a shutter speed faster than your camera’s native flash sync speed, or when you want to use a wider aperture setting that requires a higher shutter speed as is often the case with outdoor daylight shooting.

For example, you may want to take an outdoor portrait, and your TTL meter tells you to set the f-stop at f/16 with a 1/125s shutter. Those settings will give you WAY too much depth of field. Everything in sight will be in focus. Instead, what you want is a sharp subject, but a soft, blurred background, which you achieve with an aperture of about f/2. That’s six stops of light difference, which means that shutter speed needs to go up to 1/5000s. So set the flash to High Sync Speed*.

*NB; I’m told, but don’t know, that a) once set the camera remembers this setting and b) for slower shutter camera speeds the flash “knows” not to use high speed so I’d suggest set- and-forget.

I checked my Nikon and, fortunately, it defaults to an auto high-speed sync BUT I rarely take people images outside so don’t often carry my flash (as bad as leaving the camera home?). Something to ponder, especially if trying street photography. One thing Derek said - you need a powerful flash to offset the sun so, for me, the jury is out on this one. Is lugging the extra weight (and remembering to use it) worth the occasional benefit? Time will tell. The advantages to a professional were clear from Mark’s images. A different, but similar talk by Mark is on YouTube here

These images are also impressive.

Best, Paul



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