Courier Report 20th October 2023

Date Published 
Mon 23 Oct 2023

A constant plea from the membership is “Could we please have more practical evenings to help us to learn and refine our skills?” Well, the recently elected Committee has listened carefully to these requests and has responded positively by building into the 2023/24 programme several such evenings when the more experienced members will be on hand to give advice and guidance. So, the Committee will doubtless have been extremely pleased last Wednesday evening to witness such a splendid attendance, and it was particularly gratifying to see several new people who, it is hoped, will have enjoyed the experience and, possibly, might wish to join the Society as members.

The hard-working Committee had been especially busy over the summer months in planning and arranging a first practical evening of indoor photography at the St John Ambulance HQ, using different types of artificial lighting. Clearly, the members of the Committee had gone to a great deal of trouble re-arranging everything in advance and erecting tripods, artificial lighting stands and backdrops! For this, many thanks are due to our new President, Barry Murphy, ably assisted by Nigel Owen, Tony Curtis, and Jeremy Broome-Smith, who had been busy turning the meeting room into a studio. There were two set-ups – one with constant LED lighting and the other with traditional studio lighting.

The less experienced members were then offered helpful and patient guidance and tuition on how best to use the two different set-ups and gently encouraged to operate their own cameras, utilising a transmitter attached to their camera’s hot shoe, to trial the different effects for themselves. (Everyone had been asked to bring their own cameras along with them as this was to be a part of their learning process).

In addition, three models had agreed to come along as photographic subjects. These were Hazel Walsh, Anna Moore, and Joanne (Jo) Crellin, one of whom was dressed in Halloween-type attire, and one as Red Riding Hood. This, and the backdrops, made for dramatic portraiture modelling.

Those present had varying degrees of experience but were all able to take various learning points away with them at the end of a relaxed, fun evening. The key lessons were that there is no need to be nervous about ‘having a go’ and experimenting with artificial lighting. It is also unnecessary to spend a fortune on the equipment, if the basic rules are followed, which helps to remove any mystery there might have been about the more technical aspects. Making minor adjustments to the positioning of the light source to achieve the desired balance can mean a more successful and pleasing outcome too.

Following another group excursion to Peel beach to photograph “fire spinning,” our next gathering will be on the 25th October at 7.00 pm at the St John Ambulance HQ, off Glencrutchery Road, when there will be a special presentation by local photographer, Colin Russell, on landscapes, followed by a tutorial from Colin on this specialist topic. (All guests will be welcomed on payment of a modest admission charge).

By Antony Hamilton