× An area for discussion on the up and coming exhibition topics

2020 Schedule - July Topic

18 Dec 2019 16:35 - 27 Jun 2020 09:45 #6634 by Bear
2020 Schedule - July Topic was created by Bear
Projected – Fungi (Manjimup Photo Club Competition Topic)
An image where the main subject is fungi.

Fungi typically grow in dark, dank and inaccessible places, you have to be prepared to get down and dirty to achieve good shots. However, if you’re a nature photographer, don’t overlook their picture potential. After all, they are one of our planet’s oldest and most fascinating life forms, existing for millions of years and evolving into an extraordinary and varied range of species.
They can be shot in situ – in context with their environment – or in a frame-filling close-up.
Fungi can emerge suddenly and disappear again almost just as quickly. Therefore, it is worthwhile visiting local woodlands regularly, what you will find can quite literally change from one day to the next.
Having located your subject, you need to consider shooting angle. Often a parallel, or worm’s eye, viewpoint works well. With mushrooms, a low angle is often the best choice, as the lower perspective will allow you to highlight the subject’s gills. The gills often look interesting and, being translucent, suit being backlit – either naturally by sunlight or using an LED light to mimic the effect. Achieving such a low viewpoint can be challenging, particularly if the subject is growing close to the ground. In the past, a right-angle finder would have been required to compose and focus shots. However, today, LiveView is a great aid for low-level work, particularly if you have a digital SLR with a vari-angle/tilting monitor. Using one will prevent you from having to contort your body awkwardly to compose your shots.
As mentioned before, natural light is normally in short supply under the dense leaf canopy of woodland. To complicate things further, a mushroom’s gills and stem will typically receive less light then its cap, so if you opt for a low viewpoint, you really need to supplement the light in order to keep it balanced. Flash is one option, but I prefer manipulating natural light using a small reflector or LED device. The advantage of using bounced or LED light is that you can preview and regulate its effect prior to taking the shot. A sheet of white card, a mirror, or kitchen foil will also do the job.
Stabilize your camera.
As with all close-up subjects, a lack of depth of field is a common challenge. In my experience, an aperture in the region of f/8 will normally provide an acceptable level of sharpness. That said, some types of fungi are oddly shaped, which can complicate how much depth of field is required. For example, a toadstool’s cap can extend much closer to the sensor plane than its stalk. To keep both acceptably sharp, a smaller aperture will be needed. The exact f-stop required will depend on the subject size and type; the level of magnification; the effect you desire – be prepared to experiment with settings. If you can’t achieve the depth of field you require in one frame, consider ‘focus stacking’. This is a digital technique where you shoot a number of frames, adjusting the point of focus incrementally, in order to merge together during processing.
You will find it is often important to do a spot of ‘gardening’ when shooting fungi. To ensure your shots are aesthetically beautiful, check your subject’s background is clean and uncluttered. Carefully remove any distracting twigs or dead leaves from the background before releasing the shutter. Try to keep compositions simple too. For example, it is often better to isolate just one or two mushrooms, rather than photograph a large, spread-out group. Deliberately using a shallow depth of field in order to isolate subjects against a diffused backdrop can work particularly well.
On particularly damp days shine can be a problem and mushroom tops can end up overexposed. To combat this, fit a polarising filter to the end of your lens which will reduce the shine. You may be wondering why you couldn't just head out on a dry day and there's no reason why you can't, however, there’s no better time for photographing mushrooms than after (or during) rain. The colours strengthen, and everything adopts a lovely sheen."
Soft focus background tends to highlight the main subject of the mushroom.

Print – Inspiration – Current Events
An image showing what is happening in the world today? Be inspired by current events. Think local, state, national or international.

NOTE: Safety, Safety and do not take inappropriate images of people or of Government sensitive topics or installations. Different to “Documentary Photography” more like Reportage Photography.
More than any other style, reportage photography lets your pictures tell a story. One where the visual element is emphasized.
No matter whether it’s a demonstration on the square, a company party, or a concert, in reportage the rules of the game remain almost the same. A photographer has to be quick and attentive. If you miss a moment, it can’t be repeated, and there’s practically no way to influence the events or conditions.
Learning to predict the next few seconds or minutes is a valuable skill for everyone who wants to do reportage photography. It’s important to always laser-focus on the situation and its participants. How they relate and react together.
You can react and predict a bit faster and better if you do at least some brief research beforehand. So always collect information in advance about the event you’ll be photographing. Who’ll be there, who’s too important to leave out of your set, what the event will be like, and what kind of program to expect.
Take a moment to verify the event’s space and its lighting in advance as well. Then you’ll be better able to adapt your choice of lenses and other equipment. And if you’re getting ready for outdoor reportage, don’t forget to check the weather forecast.
Even though observation is a large part of reportage, remaining a mere background observer means missing out on lively photos with depth. To keep your photos as authentic and attractive as possible, you have to become a part of the action.
Don’t be afraid to get close to people and move around where the action is. Talk to people and gain their trust. Sometimes just a smile or a nod is enough.
Let them get used to your presence. In time they’ll stop double-checking themselves, and so you’ll get more natural pictures.
You can also make your pictures more “readable” using depth of field. Your subject should be sharp and visible. Choose your depth of field based on whether you want to make one or two specific people stand out, or on the contrary you’re planning to show the whole scene.
Try to include all the relevant elements and the situation’s context. For example, if you’re photographing a speaker in front of an audience, then the audience’s reaction will also be interesting.
But you don’t always need to include everything in a single photo. And showing too much can even worsen the photo. Try to think of reportage as a story, and of photos as its building blocks—or chapters and sub-chapters.
An event’s atmosphere is also an important part of its context. After all, reportage photos don’t necessarily have to just describe events. Play with colours and perspective and seek the emotions that characterize the event’s atmosphere.
Always keep in mind that with reportage, you’re telling someone the story of an event. And that’s the biggest challenge.
The following user(s) said Thank You: MikeB, SharonG

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20 Jun 2020 15:45 #7248 by Jodie D
Replied by Jodie D on topic 2020 Schedule - July Topic
Print – Inspiration – Current Events
An image showing what is happening in the world today? Be inspired by current events. Think local, state, national or international.
The following user(s) said Thank You: Bear

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31 Jul 2020 15:48 #7338 by Jodie D
Replied by Jodie D on topic 2020 Schedule - July Topic
Our projected judge was Joanne Hitchcock (Fred Snow (printing) and the Photography Boutique)

Projected critique attached

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Our print judge was Jon Gellweller - JLGPhotogaphics.com - ex SW Times Photographer and now a freelance photographer

The following user(s) said Thank You: Bear, JillH, Richard H, SharonG, LilengA, AnneC

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30 Sep 2020 09:04 #7461 by TrevorS
Replied by TrevorS on topic 2020 Schedule - July Topic
Hi Jodie. Do you have the critique from the print category? I'm trying to get my awarded images up to date and uploaded and can't find anything relating to this.

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