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The 2020 calendar from our local pipers.

A wee plug for the 2020 Haddington Pipe Band Calendar, which is out now. I have enjoyed the clever photography of Nick Callaghan over the last few years. This year, Edinburgh based Paul Hock takes over, with a movie theme and a lot more Photoshop. I particularly like October. The band gives a lot to the town and deserves everyone’s support. The calendar is still just a fiver and 2020 is a leap year. That’s a whole day free! Away out and buy one for yourself and one for Auntie Jean in Auckland. The originals will be on show in “The Loft” until January.

The more attentive readers of membership cards may have spotted a teensy anomaly. There is no entry for November 19th. This is due to Brexit. Fortunately, you can find it here in the Calendar and events pages.

There is a post about how to use “Wetransfer” here. It’s actually far easier to do than to explain.

15 October. So, why do you like some landscape photos a lot more than others? Do all your “good” images have things in common? If so, can you say what those things are? That’s a simplified version of the question Neil McCoubrey asked himself. Few of us would pursue the question in the sort of depth Neil has, but none of us (as far as I know) is working towards a PhD in photography. We are used to the sort of “Rules” of composition which score points in club competitions. Cheerfully ignoring rules of thirds , slapping the principal element square on the optic axis of his lens and laying his horizons wherever he thinks they belong, even if it’s right in the middle, Neil looks for 2-D geometries which can fade in milliseconds of overthinking the image. I think there are a lot more ways of seeing images than his , as I’m sure he would agree, but I liked a lot of his images, even if my reasons differ from Neil’s. A lot to think about here , in a very different approach to Landscape from that of Neil Mcdade a few weeks ago.

08 October was a “Members’ night”. In theory, so is every night, insofar as if any member has something to contribute, they are very welcome to do so. That might be “5 favourite photos” , or a suggestion for something you want to know a bit about; it might be a query about how to solve a problem with your camera, or about which camera / tripod / software to buy. It might be something you found out that you think we should all hear. It can be any input at all and the more the better. It’s your club. Don’t just sit there. Stand up and shimmy.

Links to the free editing programs we mentioned are below. All four are free to home users, though if you feel like contributing something, I’m sure the people behind them would appreciate it. For most of what we need as club photographers, “Faststone Image Viewer” is fine, as Colin demonstrated. If you want layers, try Gimp. If you want to edit raw files in Gimp, try one of the two raw handlers- Rawtherapee or Darktable. The links below are to the correct download sites.

Gimp

Darktable

Rawtherapee

Faststone Image Viewer

This fellow, Michael Davies, has a load of tutorials on Gimp and Darktable.

01 October. Wow! Eagles! Buzzards! Bison! Dolphins! Dragons! OK , no dragons, but if there was one on Mull, Zaneta Blasczyk would have a great picture of it. There are two key aspects to wildlife photography- knowing your equipment and understanding your subject. Real wildlife photographers must master both and it’s clear Zaneta fits the description.

Of course, willingness to go where the subjects are is critical, too-which is where a willing assistant like Chris comes in very useful. No wildly exotic locations here though- we’ve all been to Mull and Musselburgh is just up the road. This is the sort of quality we can all get if we a) Are willing to get up early at the right place and b) Have an incredibly good eye for animal behaviour. It just takes hard work and talent. Which lets me out. I enjoyed this evening very much. It really is time I went back to Mull.

24 Sept. We covered a lot of ground this evening. First, Colin gave a briefing on the “Safari” and teams were chosen. Paul, Colin and Jim showed five favourite images, with Jim giving the first presentation of prints rather than projected images. Everyone’s photography is different and these short presentations let every member show a bit of what they do and tell us what they like about it.

Grace then gave us a double item, first about using phone apps to edit images downloaded from a camera, so sidestepping the need for pricy software like Lightroom by using apps which are free or cost literally pennies. She then gave a talk on what photography is for from her point of view. Most of us would share several of her reasons for carrying a camera, but there are loads of others- photojournalism, for example. If anyone would like to do a similar talk, just speak up at a meeting.

17 Sept. Some really lovely views of Scotland tonight from Neil McDade, the man behind Facebook’s “Spectacular Scotland” site. I would have been happy to have taken any of the images Neil showed us. He is determined, whenever possible, to find a new viewpoint from which to photograph Scotland’s best known views, so his results are recognisably different. I have images of the Forth Rail Bridge from Dalmeny station, but it never occurred to me to go there at night, in fog. It occurred to him. The tree-framed shot of Kilchurn Castle, the snowy highland border hills beyond Stirling Castle, from Bannockburn- original variations on old themes that present known scenes in a fresh new way. It clearly takes a lot of time and effort- which is usually the secret of doing anything well. Neil’s off to Iceland soon. I will be interested to see what he brings back.

10 Sept. Apart from a closely averted disaster with the kitchen cupboard keys, things went generally to plan at the first meeting. There was a lot to get through and I can imagine first timers and maybe several old members were reeling from information overload, In particular, the new competition rules do need a bit of explaining. It will be easier when we actually do it.

Same goes for the hasty explanation about the projector resolution. Keep that screen height limit of 1050 pixels in your mind and don’t worry about the rest. We will go over it again.

To the new folk. We hope you will be back. It would be useful to know what you expect from the club. What do you hope to get out of it? What do you feel you can contribute? What would you like to see? The more you put in, the more you tend to get out. Don’t be scared to speak up.

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On the subject of flowers and gardens- The good folk behind “Blooming Haddington” would like photos of the floral decorations in the town for their submission in next year’s “Britain in Bloom” competition. Anyone happy to take such photos on their own schedule, please mention it at the first meeting on Sept 10th.

What are camera clubs about? Here’s an introduction with some frequently asked questions.

The club meets in winter, from 10th September. Experience has shown that organising anything in summer is difficult, as people are busy with other things- like taking photographs. If you are considering joining in autumn, feel free to send us an email address via the contact page . We will send you a reminder in September. Contact data will NOT be used for anything else and (in this case) will be erased after a single use. Contact page is here

Twitter @ClubHaddington

We are making experimental changes to competition scoring systems this year, to reduce work for the Competition Secretary and to avoid entries getting lost. There will be more about this before the season kicks off. Please take time to read this page and check it for updates.

Our Data Protection Policy is here.

The first draft of the 2019-2020 syllabus is here.