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.


10/02/15 – Monthly Speaker – David Edmonds, Commercial Photographer

This evening we had a very interesting talk by David Edmonds, who is a professional commercial photographer. Further details are on his website.

David started his talk running through the equipment he learnt with whilst studying at University, from a Pentax to a Russian medium format and then on to a Nikon FM2. He then went on to explain the many aspects of what his photography covers:-

  • Products
  • Architectural
  • Food
  • Event
  • Portraiture
  • Fashion

To help him cover all these areas of photography he brought along his current ‘tools of the trade’ in a very robust Peli case – fortunately it had wheels it was so heavy. In here he had:-

  • Nikon D800 (plus a D7100 as backup)
  • 24-70 F2.8, 70-200 F2.8, 105 macro, 24mm tilt shift, 17mm Tokina lenses
  • SB910 & 700 flashguns, triggers for remote firing
  • Polarising and 10 stop ND filters
  • Manfrotto tripod with geared head

As he said, all his equipment has to be useful and pay for itself!

He’s now moved to using a Mac and subscribes monthly to the Adobe Creative Cloud, where he has access to the latest Photoshop and Lightroom software. David stressed the importance of downloading your pictures as soon as possible and making multiple backups before reusing your cards. He also explained about the insurance requirement and risk assessments.

David then showed us projected examples of his work, as taken then followed by processing in Lightroom and Photoshop. As he said, taking the picture is only half the work and clients often don’t realise the amount of post production work and time required.

Following a break for tea and coffee, where we had a chance to see first hand the equipment he uses, David gave us a practical demonstration of using Lightroom.

Here we were shown how to catalog, rename and label images, plus various non-destructive adjustments. Lightroom keeps the original image and creates a file with what has been adjusted, so the original is still there as it was. To use the adjusted image you need to export it in the format you want (eg jpeg), where the adjustments will only then be incorporated permanently. Although Lightroom will work with jpegs, David recommended we use RAW files to get the best possible image quality from our cameras.

He also explained the benefits of colour calibrating your screen and using the colour profiles of somewhere like DSCL to obtain prints that best match the original image.

After answering our many questions we finished with a round of applause for an inspirational talk and many of discussed afterwards about getting Lightroom for ourselves.

Words by Ian Williams.