Yahoo groups, blogger and Flickr provide the tools by which the group will share photographs and discuss photography. Meet-ups are encouraged e.g. an evening in a local pub to discuss photography over a pint and a bite or a photography trip to London or elsewhere. Group activities include setting members photographic challenges and assignments.

Saturday, 31 December 2011

Photographs are connected to the physical world

An interesting and thought provoking video from the Guardian

Errol Morris: 'We've forgotten that photographs are connected to the physical world' - video

Writer and Oscar-winning documentary maker Errol Morris talks about the nature of truth, art and propaganda in photography. Drawing examples from the photographs of Abu Ghraib and the Crimean war, cited in his book Believing is Seeing, he argues we've often underplayed the link between photgraphs and the physical world

Tuesday, 27 December 2011

Post-processing in the digital age: Photojournalists and 10b Photography

From the British Journal of Photography

10b Photography has established itself as one of the world’s leading digital darkrooms, handling post-production for scores of award-winning photojournalists who trust that the company knows where to draw the line between processing and manipulation. Olivier Laurent meets the founders.

10b is a digital darkroom and, for all intents and purposes, works similarly to an old-fashioned darkroom. "The recent introduction of the raw shooting format has enabled digital photography to share a very similar workflow than with analogue photography," says 10b on its website. "Just like a negative, a raw file cannot be printed the way it is and needs to be ‘developed' first. Contrast, saturation and hue, for example, have to be set during the editing process. This step takes the name of ‘raw conversion' and, with the exception of chemicals, it resembles the developing process of a film."

continue reading article 

Sunday, 4 December 2011

iPhone 4S v pro camera - in pictures

From the Guardian

"iPhone 4S v pro camera - in pictures

Recently Annie Leibovitz recommended the new iPhone 4S as "the snapshot camera of today". Photographer Katherine Rose put the phone's camera through its paces to see how it would fare in comparison with the Canon 5D mkii she uses profesionally"

Saturday, 3 December 2011

Top tips: Photographing your area

From the Guardian 

Photographer Alicia Canter gives her top tips on how to take pictures of your local area

Plan your trip before you go out, is there somewhere in particular that would make good photos? Think about what your area is about and what kind of things could represent that visually. Make a list and prepare!
Time of day
Think about the time of day that you want to shoot your area in, would it be more atmospheric at night with Christmas lights and reflections in the shop windows? Or is it more alive in the day or at the weekend? You can always include a mixture. Think about it as though you're shooting for a glossy magazine or a feature about the place where you live.
If shooting at night remember to take a tripod – and a flash if you're going to do close-ups. Think about the kind of lens you will need too, I used a 100 for close-ups and a 16-35mm wide angle for the general shots.
Talk to people
People are a valuable insight for the viewer – it's important to include some human presence in the pictures. If you live near a market and want to photograph the stallholders, or want to take pictures of people drinking coffee outside cafes, ask them first – people will usually say yes.
Focus in
You could focus on just one part of your area if it's diverse enough to create a six-picture story.
Capturing movement 
This conveys the feeling of a busy environment. Remember to take a tripod, use a slow shutter speed and be patient when you've set up your shot – it won't happen instantly.
Think about how to make your pictures interesting. Try different angles, use the environment (railings, cobbled streets, etc) to help lead the viewer's eye into the picture.
Go back
If you don't think your set is finished after your first outing, don't be afraid to go back again. This is good practice and allows you time to reflect on your pictures and improve them – you have a whole month to get the assignment right, don't be afraid to use it.
Adding glamour
If you want your pictures to show the best possible (and slightly more glamorous!) view of your area, post production is important. You can adjust your levels and curves to bring the contrast up, and oversaturate the images slightly. Burning in the edges of your pictures to help the draw the viewer in to it. All of these are things that could've been done in the darkroom.
Try to make your pictures timeless, good stock or travel photographyshould be useful all year round and have a long shelf-life.

Monday, 28 November 2011

A challenge water droplets

Inspiring images from HeinMaier Stuttgart germany

"I’ve been photographing since the end of 2010. I'm fascinated by everything in the photography I would really like to try everything at once but one after another. I do not know yet which genre I would be developing in, but right now I am experimenting in macro photography (insect and water drop photography).I photograph in my free time; that is the best way for me to relax."

Friday, 25 November 2011

Crack-Berry a modern addiction

Crack-Berry a modern addiction

I shot this image  in the City of London. I like the way the shadow kneels and looks as though its in prayer

A  video of  Bob Turner FRPS judging this image  Malden Camera Club  projected image competition - 24/11/11

David Sillitoe's 24 hour narrative Guardian staff photographer David Sillitoe discusses his approach to shooting this month's camera club assignment

From the Guardian

"A photographic narrative is simply a story told with pictures, and can be journalistic (for example a photo essay), artistic and/or abstract, or simply function as entertainment.
The word narrative derives from the Latin verb narrare, to recount, and is related to the adjective gnarus, meaning knowing or skilled. Owen Flanagan of Duke University, writes: "Evidence strongly suggests that humans in all cultures come to cast their own identity in some sort of narrative form. We are inveterate storytellers."
So where does this leave this months assignment: "Your camera club mission this month is to document 24 hours of your life in six images." This is one of those briefs that initially seems quite simple, but the more you think about it, the harder it is to pin down, and to make some kind of sense of. Of course one could approach this in a simple and literal way; the 24 hours could be documented as a linear timeline, starting when one awoke, and ending with sleep.
As Lee Welton succinctly summarized on the Flickr thread, his day is simple:-
Coffee; Train; Work; Train; Dinner; Bed
Each of these could be an image, and that approach would certainly work, added to which, I'm sure Lee is being modest, there'll be more to it than that!
As an aside, there is no requirement to use the full 24-hours for this, it can be any amount of time you choose. But the temporal approach is one choice of several; an examination of place is just as valid; unless you're immobile (or choose to be), you'll certainly move around within a day. To counter that, it would be possible to tell a story, and not even leave your chair. So, if we dismiss those contrived self portraits which rarely work, what is it that we can actually make pictures of? My 6 images are were made over a morning, where I got up, did some work in my house, and watched part of a scary movie, which to a degree informed the aesthetic of the photography."

Tuesday, 22 November 2011

My new camera for street photography

I have in the past used a Canon 40D for street photography. Being a large DLSR the Canon 40D tends to be too obtrusive , I am fortunate therefore to have been given a Olympus XZ-1 compact camera as birthday present.

 A big plus is the fast f 1.8 lens and good low light performance and its so much lighter than the Canon 40D.  A priority is to compare image quality with the Canon 40D by printing at A3

 I cant wait to go out and give it a test. The first opportunity will be the demonstrations by civil servants in London on 30th November 

Friday, 18 November 2011

Amateur street photography: a beginner's guide

From the Guardian

Amateur street photography: a beginner's guide

Camera Club member and photographer-about-town John Carvill explains how to capture great street scenes – and why they're worth it despite the perils of the pavement

Picture the scene: you're out on the sidewalk – maybe shopping, chatting or just daydreaming. Suddenly, you notice a shifty-looking bloke pointing a camera at you. What's your reaction? Discomfort, embarrassment – anger?

Before you lose your temper, spare a thought for the person behind the camera. As a practitioner of the increasingly popular art of amateur street 
photography, I can assure you there's every chance the photographer is feeling as embarrassed as you, and is just as uncomfortable with the idea of invading your privacy.
So why do we do it? Are we just voyeurs and stalkers out to spy and gawk? Well, no, but these assumptions mean we're often in a precarious position. Perhaps our most compelling excuse is the chance to make something out of nothing, to preserve or even celebrate a fleeting moment that barely existed and yet contained something special – a look, a feeling or just a random assembly of shadows and shapes.
We talk about "taking" a photograph, but the process is nowhere near as one-sided as the word implies. There's a crucial exchange between a photographer and the one-off moment they seek to capture. The moment was already happening and yet, at the same time, was also brought into existence by the photographer – it wasn't fully there until it was recorded. It's like taking a scalpel to the flow of the street and slicing off a fragment, which becomes something more than it was. There's a kind of drama to the act.
City streets are a great place to take photographs. Even mediocre shots can capture something of the energy and romance of communal life. It's no wonder that street photography is enjoying a renaissance. You may have noticed people pointing cameras at strangers in the street, or perhaps you're tempted to try your own hand – either way, Thames & Hudson's recent anthology Street Photography Now confirms its increasing popularity.
For those who yearn to make the leap from admiring other people's photographs to photographing other people, street photography is the obvious starting point. But it presents a challenge: you only get one chance to capture each moment before it's gone; there are no second takes. The advantage is that there are an infinite number of these moments.