This note gives guidance on the topics for the DPS Electronic Portfolio Group. The topics alternate between a themed topic and an open topic.
Images should be submitted by the close of play (mid evening) on the 7th of the month for that topic, so images for ‘wheels’ should be submitted by the 7th August. There is no set time for images to be taken.
Note that there are references to a number of websites in this document. These websites are examples and may not be the best ones on the web but should give you a start. I have not tried all the techniques in web links so cannot vouch for their effectiveness. Use your common sense and your usual security precautions when looking at any web sites.
When it comes to open subjects you can treat the way you take them as the same as a set subject, the main thing to remember is to get your exposure correct as you do not want burned out highlights or blocked in shadows, to overcome the burned out highlights I tend to shoot at .03 underexposed as my Nikon D300 tends to shoot overexposed at the zero setting, also I shoot in RAW format and I can adjust the exposure in Adobe RAW, for those of you who are not using RAW I find that you can make so many alterations in this part of Photoshop, a good book is ‘Understanding RAW by Andy Rouse’ (this may be available at your local library) of course you can always adjust your exposure settings after looking at you histogram on the Led screen.
One of the golden rules is to place your subject matter on one of the thirds intersection, (this rule can be broken as I like to bait the judge at my photography club) also it’s good to have a lead in line from the left bottom corner, bearing in mind you can flip your image horizontally, but be aware if you have any writing or numbers in the image as these will be mirrored.
Your image needs to be sharp and have a good depth of field, when taking natural history images make sure your camera is perpendicular to the subject matter also make sure the background is thrown out of focus, this can be obtained by using a good depth of field i.e. F stop, another point is to do some gardening before you hit the shutter button, I usually have several clothes pegs and small canes in my camera bag just to hold back unwanted branches, grasses etc.
If you are photographing architecture it’s good to have some people in the shot as this gives the image a sense of scale. I am sure there are things I have missed but you will find by looking at good photographic website such as ephotozine http://www.ephotozine.com you will learn more or even consider joining a photographic club, if you do this do not worry if the judge is not complementary to some of your work as personal preferences do creep in which is not the correct way to judge a image/photograph.
If you are interested in monochrome, there is a good book on how to produce Monochrome images ‘Digital Black & White Photography’ by John Beardsworth http://www.bookdepository.co.uk/Advanced-Digital- Black-White-Photography-John-Beardsworth/9781908150295
I hope these notes have given you some ideas how to go about the set subjects and some possible interpretations. Hopefully all subjects will be able to be done by everyone and I have tried to indicate how a broad interpretation of the topic will make the topics inclusive.
The guide gives a few ideas, but ultimately your inspiration will come from yourself and the images you choose to share will reflect that. I hope that you will find the topics enjoyable, thought provoking and will encourage you to try new things. The EPG is not a competition; it is about learning, understanding, and sharing our thoughts and experiences so that we all improve our photos and get more enjoyment out of taking them.
If you have any suggestions for topics for 2017, do let the organisers know so that we can put them into the pot. We plan to post the next set of topics/themes in early to mid 2016 so that you all have plenty of time to think about, capture and process your images before they are due,
At the end of the day remember all we are doing is getting out and enjoying ourselves by partaking in a wonderful and enjoyable interest that allows us to express ourselves and provide beauty for others to enjoy, not to mention provoking thought from images that are outside their comfort zones. Photos can convey very powerful messages as well as being things of beauty.
Sandy Robertson LDPS
Download the Intro Guide for Commenting.
If you have any questions do please email the organisers SandyR & PaulG: firstname.lastname@example.org.