05/05/15 – Speaker Adrian Langdon

Adrian used his PowerPoint talk with examples as a reminder of the things to think about when taking pictures and started with the basics – Apertures, Shutter Speed, ISO and Depth of Field based around the 4 main variables when we are taking photographs:-

  1. Aperture settings
  2. Shutter Speed
  3. ISO
  4. Focus point

The biggest aperture is the smallest f number ie f2.8 allows in far more light than f22.

Shutter speed usually varies (depending on the camera) from bulb, where the user can hold the shutter open for as long as they keep the shutter pressed, to 1/8000 of a second.

ISO – try to keep this as low as possible to keep the ‘noise’ down, as often above 800 will show a ‘grain’ like appearance in images and possibly coloured speckles/tinges.

Focus – many cameras/lenses now have image stabilisation, which help with slower shutter speeds. Focus is linked to Depth of Field ie the amount of the picture that is in focus. The larger the f number the more of the picture that will be in focus. Adrian showed images at different f stop aperture settings to demonstrate the difference. A picture taken at f22 was in focus from the beginning of the image all the way to the horizon but the same picture taken at f2.8 only had the first fence post in focus.

Adrian then explained the direct correlation between aperture and shutter speed:-

Shutter Speed Aperture Result
1/1000 F2.8 All these combinations allow the same amount of light through to the sensor
1/500 F4
1/250 F5.6
1/125 F8
1/60 F11
1/30 F16
1/15 F22


He then went onto explain hyperfocal distance where there is more in focus behind the focal point than in front and showed us the engravings on an older lens that had these markings on. Unfortunately very few modern lenses have these markings, so it often a question of experimenting with your own camera and lenses to check the results.

Adrian then stressed the importance of checking the histogram on the back of our cameras when we have taken a photo to make sure we have exposed it correctly. With software it’s better to slightly under expose, as dark areas can often be lightened but over exposed areas are often burnt out and unrecoverable. Adrian then showed us examples of exposure issues.

When taking photos Adrian reminded us to think of composition and showed us examples of the following:-

  • Rule of thirds
  • Using diagonals
  • Foreground interest
  • Movement (using shutter speed to show or freeze it)

He had brought in some of his equipment to let us see and handle the equipment he uses.

After a round of applause he said he would be leading our trip to Golitha Falls on Sunday 17th May and will happy to help anyone during the day.

Golitha Falls Trip – Sunday 17th May

Following our talk by Adrian Langdon on the 5th May, he kindly agreed to lead us on our day out to Golitha Falls and the Cheesewring.

We all met at the Golitha Falls car park at 11am and fortunately the weather was dull but dry. We started by walking through the woods down to the falls where Adrian showed us some of the best places to capture images and was on hand to help members with their questions on composition and camera craft. He said that the water level was lower and quieter now and that in the winter they make an impressive run.

After taking many picture we all drove to the nearby hamlet of Minions for an excellent lunch at the Cheesewring Hotel.

Following lunch we walked from the car park to the Cheeswring and onto the Hurlers, with Adrian once again providing us with excellent tips and ideas.

By Ian Williams.


14/04/15 – Monthly Speaker – Aaron Polhill – Action Sports Photography

This month we had an inspiring talk by Aaron Polhill, who is an action sports photography specialist. See his website.

Aaron works full-time as an engineer and spends his spare time taking part in action sports such as sky diving, climbing and snowboarding. Whilst skating he started taking pictures of his friends and was always looking for different angles to give his photos more impact.

Using a PowerPoint presentation Aaron showed us examples of different photography techniques:-

  • Freezing the action
  • Allowing some blur, for example the wheels
  • Motion blur and panning
  • Multiple images, for example stacking jumping off cliffs into the sea

He only uses manual settings and tries to make sure each photo tells a story. He also thinks about the intended audience by looking at:-

  • Lighting
  • Composition
  • Important features
  • Leaving enough space for magazines to insert titles

He went through the important features of the equipment needed for action photography, such as minimal shutter lag, discussed the types of focus modes he uses and explained about second curtain flash uses.

He had kindly brought along his equipment, which comprises of a Canon 5DIII, 70-300 and fisheye lenses. He also uses several Canon flashguns with Elincrhom triggers. At the break he allowed us all to see up close the equipment he uses.

By Ian Williams.

12/02/13 Malcolm & Barbara Jenkin

It was a good start as, all the repairs having been completed, we were back to our usual meeting place – the St Agnes WI Hall.

Our speaker had been booked well in advance, but like the Titanic, at very short notice we struck an iceberg, when due to illness he had to cancel his visit. Where do you get someone at even shorter notice to take his place? Well, following some frantic phone calls by Geoff, we ended up with two for the price of one in welcoming Malcolm and Barbara Jenkin.

If we did not know already, we were in very capable hands as they are both very well-travelled and competent photographers and have entered numerous competitions. Their favourite cameras are Nikons – convenient for sharing lenses on expeditions!

We were treated to a very interesting and varied programme – in particular relating to their cruise to Antarctica. This included Buenos Aries and the Falkland Islands – the latter being apparently more British than Britain. Their photos were excellent and showed to good effect the numerous penguins and colourful tin roofs of the houses in the Falklands.

Malcolm was perhaps more conventional than his wife, who admitted to a love of cranes [not birds], containers and clouds. She illustrated her talk by starting with a photo of some straw hats, then showed how it could be manipulated in Photoshop in about 10 different ways and stages to produce a very interesting, award-winning creation. Barbara said that with all the facilities now available to us on the computer we should start all experimenting and be creative.

We were also shown some examples of their prize-winning photographs and left with some ideas of what is out there beyond club photography.

One of the highlights was the ad. lib. commentary by our two guests, interrupted by the banter between a loving husband and wife.

It was a good evening and we look forward to their next visit when hopefully, they have will have been given just a little more notice!

By Ron Meloy.