Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Not so august?

I have to say that “White on White” is definitely not easy. Attached are before and after of the attempt I put in to club. Confession – the after is “temperature adjusted”, screwed up on the brightness scale by about 60% and converted to black and white, then taken down for the print by 2 stops.

Does it work? We will find out next week.

Went to the final installation of the Grade 2 course the club has been running. Lying around was a print fairly similar to the idea I have been following. Spoke to one of the notables who promptly claimed ownership and said that it had got rubbished at the print night competition the previous night. Oooo-K! Good start that is. I did not press on the point, but if the print was as submitted I can think of two very good reasons why – not the least of which was the cropping as it was marked on the print I was looking at. Given that, my attempt will be lucky to get Acceptance, pushing hard for Merit.

For the open I am beginning to get a bit desperate. At this stage the breaking wave is winning – I might crop that to a 19:6 or thereabouts to take out all but the wave itself. Looking at that on-screen with the blinkers on it might just work for a HC.

The course final night was quite a good evening. In most respects. Out of the ten or so taking part most were a pretty good crew; a police forensic photographer, a retired lady whose husband has very bad Parkinson’s, a lass who is almost blind (and takes a mean photo), a couple others who are better than I am, and the rest. Well, let me limit the rest to just one gentleman. Best illustration of his attitude came toward the evening. There had been a discussion on bulb exposure for fireworks – up to 30 secs. I could not recall if the Lumix had a bulb setting so I tripped through the “snow” to the car and took it inside. No, it does not have a bulb setting; maximum exposure is 8 secs. I was just ruminating this with the person I had been talking to and a voice behind gives a sniff and says “You could not get a decent image with that. Buy a proper camera.”


The two entries - both Merit. Well, not as bad as some that were rejected as not meeting "White on white" requirements.

The major objection to the vases was "over-exposed". The judge was one of the tutors from the classes and I have to say that he is right. It was not in the camera though as comparison of before (I must find out what caused the white balance to go that way...) and after. There was an intermediate which I rejected because it was too clear; the idea I had was to get the vases to "disappear". Strange.

Image of the night was without doubt presented by another C Grader. Absolute perfection as a product publicity shot; good enough for Vogue even. It will be up on the club site next month.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Starting Au-gust..

I am in a quandary.

The set topic for this month is “White on white”. The print competition was last week, and I did not go to club that night. I have this horrendous joke about “monthlies” that would go right over the heads of some senior executives (especially if they have worked for EMA) but which even SWMBO appreciates even if she doesn’t like the tone of the humour one bit. In my case the monthlies strike, without fail, in the last two working days of every month and the following three working days. It is not driven by glands but the need to report to powers-that-be at higher levels of the company by whom I am employed. This need results in emotional and hormonal responses that take out the best part of that week.

As I said, the print competition was last week, and I was not there to see what was going on. I had a brief natter with another member on Tuesday night and was given a rough description of white flowers over white background; kind of thing.

So, why the problem? I know what I want to do. I have had a couple of goes at it and it has not quite worked for me as yet. Yes, it involves white on white; white crockery on white table to be exact. Well, I want the crockery to “disappear”, blend with the tabletop, leaving the tea/coffee, toast and poached egg – with hollandaise if SWMBO wants it. Place the cutlery so that the outlines of the crockery are hinted but not seen… It can work, if I can get sufficient blend between crockery and table without burning the image out by pushing the white too far up and without excessive reflection from the cutlery. So the problems are –

Finding sufficiently white crockery
Removing all shadows and retaining a semblance of depth
Removing the reflections from the cutlery
Interrupting Sunday breakfast long enough to set up the photo.
Not taking so long that SWMBO's egg gets cold

For the open competition? I haven’t really given that any thought. There are a couple of half decent images from Niue I could test the water with. There is a portrait of a senior club member which might go – taken at the last “class” evening when we were playing around with studio and lighting. There are a couple of architecturals which might fit the bill. None of them grab really the goulies.

I have a m-lemma.