14/06/15 – Field Trip to Porfell Wildlife Park and Sanctuary

St Agnes photographic club members at PorfellFollowing Wendy Winstanley’s short visit to the club evening on 9th June, eleven intrepid Members, armed with lenses of varying focal length, spent a Sunday afternoon photographing the residents at Porfell Wildlife Park and Sanctuary.

The visit started with the necessary fortification (a pasty!) to see everyone through until afternoon tea. The site comprises several acres of enclosures of various sizes and members enjoyed a couple of hours making their way around photographing anything from meerkats, to lemurs, to zebras to reptiles – enjoying every moment.

A great afternoon rounded off by tea (cream tea for some!) back at the café and a chance to reminisce on the events of the afternoon.

Words and image by Geoff.

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.