Top Images 2017

I write this article every year after the annual exhibition.  The tradition is to represent not only the award winners but also the highest scoring image of every entrant.  After all this is not only the best work from the club, but it is also is the best work from each of the participants this year.  As such I feel that it should be a celebration of our year in photography.  Hopefully we can acknowledge and give recognition to all of the participants.  Well done.  Also it is an opportunity for participants to tell the story of their images in their own words.  You don’t always get these insights on the night of a competition. Read on and enjoy the culmination of this years work.

2017 Aggregates

Projected Images – Photographic Wholesalers Award
1st James Allan, 2nd Chris Schultz, 3rd Kerry Malec

Projected Images Novice
1st Liliana Prucha, 2nd Al Falah Dhanji, 3rd David Hancock

Monochrome Prints – Blackwood Times Award
1st Mark Pedlar, 2nd James Allan, 3rd David Hancock

Colour Prints – Blackwood Photographic Club Award
1st Jenny Pedlar, 2nd Mark Pedlar, 3rd Howard Seaman

Album Prints – JV Spick Award
1st James Allan, 2nd Howard Seaman, 3rd Helen Whitford

2017 Annual Exhibition Awards

Projected Images

1st Ron Hassan – Good Morning Mum – Hutt Street Photos Award

Ron Hassan_Good Mornning Mum

Ron receiving his award from BPC President, Mark Pedlar

I chose this image as it told a story of nature a mother looking after its cubs.  The image was taken on the coast of Alaska and 5.30 ish sunrise.  The sun was just rising and it was raining, not to mention that fantastic bitterly cold wind.  I used a high ISO, I think over 6000 if not 12000.  There were 10 of us there and the bears couldn’t have cared if we were there or not , their focus was on the fish.

The image is slightly cropped and I dampened the highlights, to get the detail in the shadow areas of the animals.  I do my best to use Light room as little as possible to merely give me what I saw that the camera cannot reproduce.   Anymore than that is a creation of art in my opinion.  IMO Manipulation sucks.

I do not try to emulate anyone.  No I shoot what I like and or feel.  If such images create a desire in others to look after nature then my job is done.  I am pleased to have won the award, despite their only being  21 odd entries into this category.   I look forward to when we have 100+ entries into this competition.
Ron Hassan

2nd James Allan – Purse Slipper Nest

James Allan_ Purse Slipper Nest

This is a female mistletoe bird sitting in its nest.  It was taken on the BPC excursion to Goolwa for the October long weekend.  Bruce and Judy and Greg had come down to join Gordon, Di, Frances Steve and myself for this day excursion.  I believe that most people took a photograph of this bird and nest.  I had my Nikon D7000 with the Sigma 150-600mm lens that I call my bird lens.  I had sat for a while hoping to capture the bird entering or leaving the nest, or perhaps the more colourful male bird, but had failed.  When I later saw the picture on the monitor, I was struck by the softness of the nest and the lovely way the prickly acacia framed the negative space in this picture.   I had scored well in the nature competition, Helen describing it as cuteness personified, and so I decided to use it in the Annual competition.
3rd Helen Whitford – The Three Faces of Moyo

Helen Whitford_The Three Faces of Moyo

The Three Faces of Moyo
I volunteered on a lion programme in Zimbabwe where their eventual aim is to reintroduce lions to areas from which they’ve disappeared.  Part of this involves taking cubs out into the bush to practise stalking, hunting and playing as wild cubs would do with their mothers  Moyo was a sweet, shy little guy who I adored.  On this excursion into the bush he sat for a while in the grass playing and resting and I kept my lens on him to capture his different expressions.  I thought it was the perfect subject for a triptych.
Merit – Jennifer Williams – Kuitpo

Jennifer Williams_Kuitpo

Merit – James Allan – Jewel Bug,

James Allan _Jewel Bug

This is a jewel bug and not a jewel beetle.  Bugs have a different body shape to beetles.  The striking metallic blue and red exoskeleton is quite striking.  This is the male, the female being more red with small patches of blue.  I had spied him at Belair where Frances and I were bush walking.  I picked him up and placed him into the plastic spare battery container for my camera.  When I got home I set up an impromptu light tent with a piece of paper and a Tupperware container.  With an external flash firing through the Tupperware from the left and a reflector (tin foil) on the left I was able to achieve fairly uniform lighting.  I needed to stack three images to get most of the bug in focus.  After a dozen or so photos I released the bug into my back garden.
WEA Landscape Trophy – Helen Whitford – Fall in the Forest

Helen Whitford_Fall in the Forest

Fall in the Forest
I had admired a photograph of Hopetoun Falls taken by David Dahlenburg of Barossa Club, which won the Landscape award in the SAPF Annual a couple of years ago and thought that if I ever got to photograph them I’d try to get a similar shot.  We went  to the Otways this year and when I reached the falls I was disappointed to see that the creek which ran away from the falls was very cluttered with tree trunks and debris following what must have been fairly significant flooding, so there was no way I could get the image that David had achieved which was a panorama with the falls in the background behind a long view of the creek.  So I clambered around trying various angles and trying not to fall in and this was the best of what I got.  Those who’ve been there may see that I’ve done a little manipulation – but I’m not giving away what it was!  I didn’t get as good an image as David did, but it’s one of my better landscapes.

Helen receiving an award

Anthony Kernick – Marina Bay – Projected Images


First night in Singapore, looking for different scenes around the Marina Bay area well after sunset. The white structure is the Science and Innovation Museum and makes for a good contrast between newer developments and the famous Singapore skyline.

Long exposure naturally and I chose about 5 seconds to make a nice water effect. I wanted longer but didn’t have an ND filter. For composition I wanted the museum structure to be 1/3 from the left edge and the water surface 1/3 from the bottom edge.

Post processing: I made the white balance a little warmer than normal and did some sharpening on Photoshop.

I used it in the annual because I felt it was a decent image and the post processing turned out quite well. I also wanted something different.


Bruce Nankivell – Jatbula Reflections – Projected  Images


Bruce Nankivell – Jatbula Scrub – Projected  Images


Duart McLean – Seaside Sphere – Projected Images

Duart McLean_Seaside Sphere

I took this photo at Port Willunga during the Camera Club outing in July.

I enjoy experimenting with long exposures in low light environments and the opportunity to try this out with other club members was too good to miss out on.

The sphere was created by one of our enthusiastic members swirling lights around himself in a circle . Keeping the shutter open for 30 seconds at F5.6, using the zoom lens at 18mm, the sphere effect was created. During the 30 second exposure we also washed the Port Willunga Jetty remanents with light to  highlight the posts of the old jetty.

I like the concept of expanding my photographic horizons and try different aspects of photography – I chose this photo as it created an interesting effect combined with a well photographed item such as the remanents of Port Willunga old jetty . Low light photography does create a wide canvas to experiment as the boundaries are virtually unlimited.

Monochrome Prints

1st James Allan – White Naped Raven – I’ve Been Framed Award

James Allan - White Naped Raven

As we travelled through Uganda we encountered quite a few of the black and white Pied Crows, however as we come into the Bwindi mountains we met the slightly larger White Naped Raven.  This heavy set bird has a heavy bill that looks like the blades of a pair of Secateurs.  The feathers at it’s throat are extended.  I think the central placement works well, with the bird angled in relationship to the frame.  I converted the image to black and white and adjusted the curves to bring out the wonderful texture in the feathers across the birds back.  The texture of the post complements these feathers nicely.  A slight vignette was added.  It is an iconic image that looks terrific when printed.  Despite the very controlled feel of the image, it really has not had very much processing done to it.  The resulting image had scored well in the Interclub with Edwardstown.
2nd James Allan – Zebra and Young

1- B&W Zebra young 2

Another African image.  You have to agree that zebras work well on black and white.  I had a series of shots as the newly born Zebra walked around the mother and suckled from her.  This shot however struck me as having a lovely intimacy between the mother and foal.  The feeling of the endless plain beyond the zebras gives the image a stamp of authenticity.  You can’t take this photo in a zoo.  There is a mild vignette.  Monochrome conversion was in Photoshop.
3rd James Allan – Stints

3- Stints Departing

These birds migrate to Australia from the Philipinnes every year.  At low tide they disperse to feed over the mudflats.  At high tide they congregate on exposed sandbars and flit across the waters surface in large flocks.  Every bird beats its wings synchronously with its neighbors, so the whole swarm changes in an instant from white to grey, to tan.  I focussed my lens on the swarm of flying birds, allowing the “continuous autofocus” to track the movement and keep it focussed.  I used burst mode to take a series of shots at 6fps.  It is tricky panning the camera in time with the flight of the birds, but it pays off when you get the lovely isolation of the subject as I have achieved in this image.  There were quite a few duds as well.  Looks really good printed at A3 in monochrome.
Merits – Helen Whitford – Blue and Gold Macaw,


Blue and Gold Macaw
The judges thought it was funny that an image titled Blue and Gold Macaw was in the Monochrome section!  This is Manu during his free-flight session at the zoo.  I photographed him whilst still on the perch to get the detail in the feathers and the cheek patch. I took the shot in colour but thought mono would help to bring out this detail and I particularly like the texture in the skin.

Merit – Mark Pedlar – Port Willunga Shower


Port Willunga Shower – My school friend now living in Victoria (we were in the same class as one another from age  – 18) on the beach at Port Willunga.

  • Shot in colour and converted to  mono using Silver Efex Pro.
  • Contrast increased in CS5.
  • Whole image flipped horizontally.
  • Canon 700D with Tamron 18-270 zoom.


Colour Prints

1st James Allan – Variable Sunbird – Fotoswift Award

James Allan - Variable Sunbird

Early in the morning before breakfast I wandered down the road to a series of fields growing vegetables.  I don’t know what this plant is called but it was obviously a favourite with the sun-birds.  I stood some meters off and watched as the duller female came and fed from the flower.  Eventually the male flitted out and started feeding as well, dipping his long curved bill into each flower spike in turn.  It was a case of waiting patiently until he moved from the reverse side of the flower to my side and I had my shot.  I took the photo as a horizontal image and even printed it in this format.  However I was unhappy and eventually re sampled the image in a vertical format which works much better. The feathers on the head are all the same colour, but they inflorescence in the bright sun, changing hue according to the angle of the light.

2nd Chris Schultz – Antony and the Guitar

Anthony - 8 - I love my guitar - really

This is an image of Jen’s son Antony who volunteered as a model for a shoot we did at Studio 91 at Morphett Vale.  Antony plays guitar, and I was trying to capture the feeling of the passion for his music and his instrument. Looking directly at me, leaning into the instrument and cradling it like a treasured friend seemed appropriate.  There had to be no background distraction so a dark image that lit his face well and enhanced the textures of the guitar was essential.  The studio owner Allan is a lighting technician from TV and we used continuous lighting rather than flash, which allowed finer control. The ability to add gels and regulate multiple lights allowed us to concentrate on the art and not the equipment.

Pentax K-1 with Pentax SMC FA 50mm f1.4 lens, manual exposure (f3.5, 1/100s), ISO 800. Manual white balance (for the lights) Lighting continuous with one overhead light and one low down to illuminate the guitar.  Processed in Lightroom with minor image sharpening and cropping.

I was proud of this image – it captured subject and an emotion well – a story. The lighting enhances that relationship. It’s a portrait – no one style in particular. Emotionally I believe you get a feeling for the subject – I feel it is a strong character shot.

3rd  Eric Budworth – Match Point

Merit – Eric Budworth – Lake Maligne

Spirit Island Lake Maligne

Gloria Brumfield – Honeyeater – Colour Prints

Howard Seaman – The Boathouse – Colour Prints


The Boathouse

Taken on a cloudy day at the Alfred Nicholas Gardens in the Dandenong Ranges this boathouse is a throwback to a bygone era.  What appeals to me is the sense of calm and beauty, the lush vegetation, the simple but elegant style of the boathouse with its reflection and the touch of colour provided by the pink camellias.

With the poor light on a very overcast day this was taken using ISO 800 at 1/50th sec and f8 on my Sony A65 and my 18-135mm Sony lens at 18mm. The photo also required some tweaking in Photoshop to remove some fallen bark that hung from one of the trees across the front of the building.

Howard Seaman – All Lit Up – Colour Prints


All Lit Up
I fancied trying some night time photography so headed to the city to see what I could find after dusk.  Again it was a lovely still evening and I spent a couple of hours wandering around experimenting with different settings. The colours of the bridge together with the Adelaide Oval in the background really caught my attention.
I found that using a tripod I got the best and sharpest results using a 10 second timer. It was also interesting to see what length of exposure I needed to use to get sufficient detail in the picture, in this instance it was 10 seconds at f8 with ISO 100 on my Sony A65 with my 18-135mm Sony lens at 18mm. I also reduced the exposure, shadows and blacks in post production and increased the contrast, clarity and vibrance to darken the water and sky and make the lights really stand out.

Jenny Pedlar – Devil’s Marbles – Colour Prints


Devil’s Marbles

  • On Pooh and Piglet’s Hexpotition to the Northern Territory we thought we saw a woozle or maybe wizzel but it turned out to be the Devil’s Marbles
  • The sky was perfect for my point and shoot Nikon S7000.

Mark Pedlar – Track in the Park – Colour Prints


Track In The Park

  • Early morning Belair National Park
  • I had been treating invasive Periwinkle weed at the edge of the track.
  • Weather was cool before a warm Autumn day in 2017.
  • Canon 700D with Tamron 18-270 Zoom.
  • Some minor cropping and use of Levels in CS5.

Mark Pedlar – River Crossing Mongolia – Colour Prints


River Crossing Mongolia

  • Shot during14 day 4WD tour of Mongolia July 2016.
  • Canon 700D with Tamron 18-270 Zoom.
  • Tonal range and contrast altered in CS5 using Levels
  • We had stopped briefly while our guide waded waist deep across the river prior to us fording it.
  • This is the northern edge of the Gobi desert but unseasonal torrential rains had made all the tracks almost impassable and the normally dry brown landscape green.

Kerry Malec – Blue Wren – Colour Prints

Sam Savage -On Watch – Colour Prints

Sam Savage – Lift Off – Colour Prints

Di Gage – Fraser Island Dingo – Colour Prints

Album Prints

1st  James Allan – Yellow Rumped Thornbill – Edge Malpas Award

James Allan - Yellow Rumped Thornbill

Taken at the Pike river near Lyrup.  The yellow rumped thornbill would perch on the wire for just a moment as it transitioned between the ground and nearby salt bush thickets. You have to be quick.  With the 600mm lens the bokeh is beautiful and creamy with little to distract from the subject.  So the rest is about framing and cropping.   Space was put in front of the bird.  The wire and the bird were both placed on their respective thirds.  I did not straighten the wire, but felt the image was stronger when I straightened the frame according to the wing of the bird.  My aim with this kind of image is to bring the viewer into the little world of the bird.
2nd James Allan – Web

5- Web

Also taken in Lyrup in the early morning light.  Same fence as the image above, taken with a 200mm lens.  The web has a knack for going out of focus, so I stood at 90 degrees to the plane of the web, looking into the rising sun.  I did a little contrast enhancement in curves to make the web stand out from the background.
3rd Helen Whitford – Malabar Parakeet


Malabar Parakeet
This bird is in a walk-through aviary at the zoo so I can’t claim points for difficulty!  He’s a “relative” of my Indian Ringnecks but my aviary isn’t big enough for me to get portraits with this nicely blurred out background so this photo might be considered a substitute for what I want to get of my own birds!  (And my yellow girl has become very camera shy so my chances of getting great shots of her are diminishing!)