Top Images 2016

The images presented here represent the best of a years work for the members of the Blackwood Camera club.  I have sought to represent not only the award winners but also the highest scoring image from each participant.  Most entrants have been able to describe the ideas behind their image and explain some of the techniques used. Personally I learn a lot from looking at other photographers work.  I hope you enjoy this article.

Projected Images – 

Hutt Street Photos Award – Tranquility – Alberto Giurelli


2nd – As the Sun sets – David Hope


As the Sun sets ” was taken at 7.42pm on 29th of June this year at Broome.
We were in the council caravan park on the sea front on the less frequented part of Broome, as most as go the overcrowded Cable Beach.
It’s a RAW file, iso 400, 1/80 th sec at F7.1.
It’s taken with a Canon 7D with a 24-105 lens at 24mm
As I was walking away from a small rise this couple who were walking their dog stopped to admire the sun going down. The silhouette looked so good,
I was lucky to be in that position at just the right time.
I did make the foreground darker  so as not to distract from the focus the couple with the dog by the baobab tree .
I entered this shot just because I liked it and was a lot more creative than most of my previous photos.

3rd – Nation Ridge Cloudscape – Chris Schultz

Week 2

Describe the photograph.  What does the title mean?

Nation Ridge Cloudscape – a landscape and a cloudscape – the title says it all
Is there a story behind the photo? 
I was taking part in the Dogwood Challenge (a photo a week for a year) – and went for a walk one dusk as I’ve always liked that view
Where were you?
Nation Ridge Road, Aldgate
When was it taken?
Dusk in mid January 2016
How  was it taken? 
On a tripod – remote release and trying to get the maximum dynamic range
What equipment did you use? 
My Sigma 10-20mm at 10mm
Any special techniques? 
This is a multiple exposure – 5 shots bracketed at 1/2 stop each to try to get the depth of colour and light at that time of night (from the sun to the clouds). The aim was to make sure I got the line of the grass, the lines of the shadows, the line of the fence with the hills rolling behind. The lines are important as they echo the lines of the clouds streaking in the sky
Do you have the Exif data?
Yes – f13, ISO 400, exposure time varies as it’s +/- 2.5 stop
Post processing?
Lightroom CC – HDR merge tool
Why did you choose this photo for the end of year competition?
I’m proud of this shot and the effect generated that is not typical HDR – just a soft landscape

Merit – Smudge – David Hope

Smudges” was taken in Melbourne in Sept this year at the Nations Gallery of Victoria (NGV).
It’s taken with a Panasonic Lumix DMC- LX100 which I bought the week before the trip to Melbourne as I was sick of carrying the big ,heavy SLR everywhere.
RAW file, iso 200, f 4.0 at 1/125s . the camera has a 24-75 mm lens.
The shot is of water running down the window at the entrance to the NGV. There was a group of schoolchildren outside which added interest and a focus.
I called it Smudges as it does look like the image is smudged not blurred. Again I’m trying to be imaginative and more creative and sometimes it just comes off .

Merit – Blowhard Hut – Jen Williams


 Merit- Boogie Boarder – Richard Wormald

Describe the photograph.  What does the title mean?The photograph is of an unknown boogie boarder riding through a tube, he caught the wave and rode the wash until he reached the tube. He was looking directly at me when I took the photograph which was number four in a burst of six shots. The subsequent two shots show him disappearing behind a wall of water as the wave eventually breaks over the top of him.
Is there a story behind the photo?  Where were you? When was it taken?Whenever I get the chance I head out for the day with a friend. It is a social day with the added bonus of enjoying our common interest in photography, we always take our cameras to see what we can find to photograph. We are constantly looking for new places to go but still regularly travel around some of our favourite areas hoping to catch the right conditions and opportunities. The photograph was taken from the granite boulders adjacent to Knights Beach. These are on the western side of the point at the southern end of the bay at Pt Elliot. It is always a bit of a risk when there is an off shore wind, you get the good surf conditions but also the fine sea spray that has the real potential to damage your equipment. I took this photograph nearly two years ago in January 2014.
How was it taken?  What equipment did you use?  Any special techniques?  Do you have the Exif data? Post processing?
Capturing that perfect action shot can often be hit and miss. I stood on the boulders for what seemed like an eternity not only waiting for the right wave but also for the right boogie boarder to see the same potential I did in the wave forming out the back and then to have the timing and skill to catch and ride it.I used a Canon 5D Mk III with a 100mm to 400mm L Series Zoom Lens on full zoom. The camera was hand held.ISO 200, f13, 1/8000 secIn the original shot the boogie boarder’s face was darker from the shadow cast by the wave, I also cloned out some distracting seaweed in the white froth of the wave and a water droplet on his nose that had caught the light and was a distraction and was also cloned out.
Why did you choose this photo for the end of year competition?
It is a favourite of mine and currently being used as the wallpaper on my computer screen. The photograph was initially entered in this years’ interclub with Edwardstown and later chosen as the main picture for October in the 2017 Calendar.

 Duart McLean – Cascading Water


The photo was taken at Liffey Falls in the middle of Tasmania towards the end of a week long Photographic Tour of Western Tasmania in April this year. These falls are some way off the main road and there was quite a windy single road down to the bottom of the falls. After parking the mini bus, we had to walk down further steps to reach the base of the falls -but it was worth it. I am attracted to the sense of moving water over the solid rocks – the water was cascading over several levels as part of the falls – hence the title. I enjoy the chance to capture water movement as it is a great opportunity to produce interesting images.

I used a tripod with a high f number to allow the long exposure to capture the sense of movement. I have undertaken minimal post processing – played with exposure a little. Equipment details:

  • Camera – Canon 600D
  • Exposure – 5 sec F number – 22
  • Lens- 18mm
  • ISO 100 Tripod.

 Stark cliff face – Ray Goulter

Firstly, I’ve copied the slides using a projection screen and Nikon D300, so this type of conversion loses the sharpness and delicate gradations of slide film and unfortunately results in a lot of “noise”.  I’ll have to set up the scanner to get better results but we’re having changes to our house and a lot of stuff has been packed away.
Hopefully the images will be suitable for what you need.
Taken June 1996
Ektachrome 100.
Nikon F2AS
Lens not recorded (probably 50mm); f-stop not recorded; shutter not recorded.
Taken during a BPC outing on the Murray River near Mannum.
The members on this June long weekend outing had hired a houseboat for the weekend.
The main interest for me was the intensity of sunlight that gave the riverbank cliffs a golden glow.
One reason I chose this image for the Annual was for it to be considered for the Landscape trophy, and to maintain interest in slides.

Sunlit Cliffs by Ray Goulter

Comments: “Sunlit Cliffs”.
Taken June 1996
Ektachrome 100.
Nikon F2AS
Lens not recorded (probably 50mm); f-stop not recorded; shutter not recorded.
Taken during a BPC outing on the Murray River near Mannum.
The members on this June long weekend outing had hired a houseboat for the weekend.
The main interest for me was the cloud formation and the section of sunlight that gave the riverbank cliffs a golden glow, which contrasted with the sombre mood of the tree-lined bank opposite and the dark clouds above.
Observant members will find a Galah roosting in the gum tree near the top of the image.
The slide was masked to give it a more panoramic effect.

One reason I chose this image for the Annual was for it to be considered for the Landscape trophy, and to maintain interest in slides.

Album Prints

Edge Malpas Award – Blue wren – James Allanwren-2

This is a male Blue wren taken while bird watching at Laratinga wetland in Mt Barker.  Actually this is an excellent spot to get a blue wren photograph.  Along side the lakes there are paths planted with native trees.  In the bright sun the wrens twitter away.  I can pick their sound anywhere, it’s quite distinctive, like the tinkling of a tiny bell.  They are the craziest thing to watch.  They will sit on a perch for just a few seconds and then hop to the ground, back to another perch and so on.  They are in constant movement, the tail snaps back and forth like a flag in the wind.  You have to be both quick and patient.  However the difficulty in taking the shot is made up for by quantity.  At Laratinga there are just so many of them.I have discovered that it is no good chasing wrens.  They just fly away.  However if I stay still they will assume after a while that I am not interested in them and they will go about their business.  Their job is to comb the area for insects.  If they are moving toward me, I stay still until they come to within inches of where I am standing.  Sometimes too close for the lens.  You almost need a macro.  If they are moving away, I tell myself not to fret.  They often do a circuit.  They will come back around eventually.Equipment:  I use my Nikon D7000 with a 300mm Nikor lens and 1.7x teleconverter.  I have the ISO set around 200 and “auto ISO” to increase this value to ensure a shutter speed remains 1/256 or faster.   I have the camera in aperture priority f5.6.  The lens focuses very quickly.  I use continuous  focus with a centre weighted pattern.   Occasionally I will also have an external flash at -2.7eq, but not in this instance.  For this kind of photography the camera is hand held.  When the birds are further away I use a monopod to steady the lens.I chose this photograph as it captures some of the spirit of these perky jaunty birds.     Paused just for a moment looking for the next tit bit.  Bird watchers call the posture and distinctive behavior of the bird its “jiz”.  To my eye the subject is sharp in contrast to the blurred background and is reasonable harmonious within the frame.  The bird is just right of centre looking to the left (don’t tell Jonathon Newbury who tells us we must work the otherway around).  There is a nice soothing feel about the bright blue against the green back ground.  I like the texture in the rock, but was worried the out of focus yellow flower may be distracting.  Overall however I liked the image and that was my only real criteria for submission.

2nd – Cuttlefish by Helen Whitford

3rd – Mum and Bub by Helen Whitford

Red Parrot – Di Gage


 Hi James,

Here is some info you wanted for camera clips on my red parrot. Not that informative but hope this is helpful enough.
Anything you would like to tell us about this picture? 
This was taken in the aviary in the Adelaide Zoo during our club outing on 21/8/2016.   see article on the Zoo excursion.
What does the tile mean?
 What can I say, pretty ordinary tile isnt it? I was unsure of the name of the this parrot but on doing a bit of research I am wondering if it is a King Parrot be happy for someone to confirm this or let me know what this pretty guy is.
 What techniques did you use?
 The lighting was quite good inside the aviary.  Light was not too harsh unlike some other areas in the Zoo. Shallow depth of field was used to blur the background and place focus on the subject.
 Exif data
 Nikon D750 Nikon 70-200 f.2.8 lens

1/60sec f2.8 ISO 400 200mm

Monochrome Prints

I’ve been Framed Award – Remarkable Rocks – Alberto Giurelli

2nd – Venice – Alberto Giurelli

3rd – Flight of the Ibis – Alberto Giurelli

Merit – I want it by Helen Whitford

Merit – Past Elegence by Helen Whitford

Paternoster Environs – Mark Pedlar

paternosterenvironsShot in colour from the top of the dome of St Paul’s Cathedral, London, looking down into Paternoster Square. Converted to monochrome in Photoshop CS5. The image shows and contrasts many years of different architecture. These contrasts seem best displayed in Monochrome.

  • Camera: Canon 700D
  • Lens: Tamron 18-270mm
  • Zoom Aperture: F22 Speed: 1/125 ISO: 400
  • Original Exposure 17/6/2013
  • In Photoshop – Conversion to Monochrome. Cropping Minor changes of contrast and exposure

Gloomy Day – Ray Goulter


 Comments: “Gloomy Day”.  (MONO PRINT ENTRY)
Taken June 2016
Ilford FP4 – 120 rollfilm
Mamiya RB67 ProS
Lens  250mm; f/16; shutter 1/30.
Taken during a holiday to Oatlands in Tasmania.
The sky was overcast and the water on the lake at Oatlands of similar tone to the cloud cover.
The copying process to a digital image means the delicate gradations of grey obtained with film have been lost in conversion along with important detail.

I rather like these atmospheric images available only on rainy overcast days.

Colour Prints

Fotoswift award – Peaceful by Alber5to Giurelli

2nd – High Key Lillium by James Allanlilly-1a

This photograph was taken in Alberto Giurelli’s shed as we experimented in order to run a “high key” workshop during the year.  Details of the technique are discussed in a previous edition of camera clips.

3rd – Next of kin by Helen Whitford

next-of-kin“Next of Kin” was taken a while back.  I barely got my camera out this year so I confess I went hunting through my photos for Annual entries.  I chose this image because it was one I liked but when I took it I didn’t know much about post processing, and it had a few flaws which I wanted to correct – a distracting piece of straw across her forehead and a bright sharp corner in the background.  So I fixed those flaws and submitted it.

What I like most about it is the feeling of connection from the intensity of the gorilla’s gaze.  It feels like she’s looking right into my soul.  I was present at judging and as soon as one of the judges saw it he said, “Ah, there’s my brother!”  At that point he hadn’t heard the title, “Next of Kin”, and I knew I had achieved what I set out to do by submitting it – get people to feel that connection.  (But he was wrong – it’s his sister!)

I think gorillas are amazingly beautiful creatures.  It saddens me enormously that people still hunt them for bush meat and fear them when in fact they are very gentle, intelligent creatures who have rich family lives and live peacefully and sustainably.  The world is richer because they exist and it will be a terrible loss when human greed eradicates them, which is almost inevitable.

Merit – Port River Dolphin – James Allanport-river-dolphin-2

This photograph was taken on a club outing to Port Adelaide in the early part of the year.  There is a photo essay of photographs taken during this outing.  Apart from sharpening and contrast enhancements in curves, I used a NIK filter to give a graduated colour wash over the image.  This created a gradual transition in tones from the top to the bottom of the image.

Merit – Red Capped Robin – James Allanred-capped-robin-1

This had always been on my wish list. A good Red Capped Robin photo. We were camping at Wilpena Pound.  I had observed these birds previously in the Native Pine woodland at the beginning of the St Mary’s peak walk.  Having some time to kill I went out to look for one.   I found this bird working it’s way from perch to perch about 200m into the woodland.  There was also a female in the vicinity.  It took me about an hour to get close enough to get a descent shot.This was one of my favorite images last year.  I was a bit disappointed that Keith Seidel decided to mark the image down.  Well now I can be pleased that it did alright in the annual – achieving a merit.

Shy Albatross, Stewart Island.- Steve Wallace

Albatross, Stewart Island

Stewart Island is off the southern most tip of the South Island of New Zealand, an hours very rough ferry crossing from Bluff. The island is a somewhat sleepy place which could be described as quaint. Fishing is the main activity although tourism is quite significant these days. Largely a national park, serious treks of several days are popular.
The highlight for us of a boat trip to a smaller island in the group, a bird sanctuary from which all feral pests have been eliminated, was the encounter with approximately 12 albatross. The operators feed the birds each afternoon so they came very close to the boat, almost close enough to be hand fed.
The one I choose for the Annual is not socially reserved but is actually known as the Shy Albatross (Thalassarche cauta).

In the waters off Southern New Zealand it is quite a long way from home as they only breed on two islands south of Tasmania and one off the NW tip of Tasmania.
I used my Pentax 55 – 300 Zoom lens with my K20D for this shot at very close to full stretch, meaning a focal length of approximately 425mm given the crop factor for my camera. After a very slight crop in Lightroom I used Photoshop to add a small mount of contrast with a Curves adjustment layer, a second Curves adjustment layer with a Layer Mask to maintain feather detail along the back and a final adjustment layer for a Vibrance and Saturation adjustment of +15.
I have several pleasing shots from those few minutes with the albatross so you may see others in competitions in 2017.

 Reflections by Julie Goulter

Taken in Tasmania near the Ross Bridge in June 2016 whilst on holidays.
I was walking around looking at angles to take the bridge and noticed this clump of reeds out on their own, and liked the reflections in the water which allowed me to separate the lot from background objects – hence the title.
Camera: Nikon D3300
Lens: 18-55mm
Auto exposure; hand held
No post production
The overcast conditions allowed more detail in the reeds to be shown instead of having too much contrast from bright sunshine.

Palmer Picnic by Stephanie Mallen.

palmer_picnic_2016-29This was a naturally occurring ‘photographer’s delight’ moment, taken in March 2016 at the Palmer Sculpture Biennial, a Fringe Festival visual art event curated by our local Blackwood sculptor, Greg Johns. Palmer is a property owned by Greg,  located near Mannum on the Murray River. I spotted the couple picnicking at a distance and remember thinking ‘ oh wow, don’t stuff this up’. My camera was already set for the light conditions and with my Nikon 55-200 mm lens attached. So I ran off a few quick shots – either in case the couple moved and the moment was lost or otherwise as test shots. Thankfully it was the latter and I was able to do what I think of as ‘settle into the shot’. I love this space where you have time to analyse the scene, start composing the elements you want to highlight and those you want to downplay and take into account how the instrument of our art, the camera, is eating up the image. For me this became one of the rare moments when I incorporated my limited knowledge of using the ‘golden section’ principle, with the key focus on the intersection of the third in the lower left and hopefully drawing the eye in a clockwise arc around the image according to the repeating ‘golden ratio’. I hope it works for you. Two of my favourite aspects of this shot are the unexpected backdrop of the distant hill rather than the expected sky and the angle of the light. Another appealing aspect is that I do not know until this day whether the subjects were adults or children.  Either way the obvious delightful connection between them makes this a story captured within a still image. This image is one of my personal favourites of 2016.Metadata

  • Camera :Nikon D5000
  • ISO: 200
  • Shutter Speed: 1/640
  • Aperture: f6.3
  • Focal Length: 200mm

 Ger by Jenny Pedlar


Ger – by Jenny Pedlar Typical habitation of nomad Mongols throughout the countryside of Mongolia. Shot on Mongolia/China Holiday 2016. Usually accompanied by sheep, cattle, horses and yaks. Modern additions often include, satellite dish, solar panel, ute and motor bike.

  • Camera: Nikon Coolpix S7000
  • Aperture: F9.8 Speed: 1/400
  • ISO: 125
  • Original Exposure: 17/7/2016 No adjustments post exposure

Eucalyptus Woodland by Kerry Malec

I organised a mid week excursion to Woorabinda Bushland Reserve in Stirling on 13 April 2016.  Entered at the No. 2 entrance off Branch Road into the reserve.  A short distance from the entrance I discovered tall eucalyptus trees with the morning sunshine lighting up the different colours of the trunks and barks that were shedding which caught the light.  Took many other photos including the bark hanging at the base of the trees like banana skins, fungi, birds and of course, the ‘Model Yachts’ that race on the Woorabinda Lake every week on Wednesday morning. Another excursion to this area to capture more stunning trees.

Processed in Lightroom with a ‘Natural’ landscape preset to put some blue into the cloudy sky.  Edited some of the highlighted areas on the tree trunks.  The preset has changed the colour of the tree trunks to a bluey grey which I have tried to remove without success.

  • Canon Powershot SX50 HS
  • f/8;  1/50;  ISO 160

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