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U3A Photo Group One - Feb 2020

by David Appleton - 19:37 on 26 February 2020


Two days before planned outdoor meeting in Birsay the weather forecast looked bad so we decided should meet indoors, only to doubt the change when there was a pleasant sunny afternoon next day. However, that soon changed to cold, wet and sleety conditions and proved that being inside was much the better choice!

Fourteen of us met in the Dounby Centre where Tim provided an insight into the benefits and challenges of black and white photography by means of extracts from a DVD tutorial. It was clear that there are many things which must be taken into account in order to achieve a really good monochrome picture. These include artistic aspects such as lines, shape, form and texture together with more technical issues such as lighting, contrast, the variation in grey scales of different colours, use of colour filters for emphasis, and selecting which area of the subject to set the exposure. The example photographs shown helped demonstrate the effects of changes to all of these variables.

As with so many tasks and skills, it can look easy when watching a skilled or expert demonstrator. It will be quite a challenge for most of us to remember all the details, even more so to apply them effectively. Perhaps we may have identified a future self-help project.

On a less academic level, David gave a short presentation about a recent trip to southern Spain with photos of several well known places such as Seville, Granada, Cordoba and Ronda. There were also a selection of birds and butterflies, even an iguana, for natural history fans.

The photos of last month’s project on ‘weather’ demonstrated a good selection of different seasonal variations – from reminders of blue summer skies to snow and ice – together with dramatic cloudscapes, some tinged by morning sun, and stormy conditions.

The next meeting is on 25th March starting at the Houton ferry terminal. Rod will circulate more information nearer the time.

The project this month is to take a maximum of three photos illustrating your choice of well-known song titles. The answers are to be guessed by those at the next meeting and there are rumours of a small prize.

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