Last night was all about picking, processing and presenting our images, including the first pre-meeting tutorial from Steve Haywood on using Photoshop. Steve is offering six sessions of half an hour to run just before our usual programme and the first, last night, was well-attended and a good start. Steve has a reassuringly calm approach and set out clearly what he plans to achieve in the given time and what we can expect to be able to do by the end of his sessions. He demonstrated on the screen how he sets out a simple workspace, picking from the myriad options, just those elements useful to him and how he uses layers and masks to enhance images. I think he intends to set us homework to check we are all following, but let us off last night. We really appreciate Steve giving us his time, expertise and effort.
Then, our chair, Natalie Robinson set out for us the details of the forthcoming exhibition at the Barbican Library. We are given this opportunity every other year and this time it is from 01 - 23 March. All the information Natalie gave us is now on the website, but it was good to revisit the arrangements for those members who took part last time and to introduce newcomers to how it all works. We are very keen to have enough images submitted for a selection group to choose from and there is plenty of guidance through the process of hanging fees, mounting, framing and pricing for those whose images are selected. However, all members and their friends and family are expected at the opening party - date to be confirmed.
We moved on then to a practical demonstration of measuring and cutting window mounts for those people who want to make their own, rather than order online from such firms as FrameLizard. One of our members, Bill Gilliam, led the workshop and made it look so simple and straightforward that I was inspired to maybe have another go. It makes sense to cut your own, particularly if you have an non-standard size or shape of print. It can also be more economical. He showed how to work out the dimensions of the window, including a small overlap so that your print can be secured rather than falling through and he demonstrated the use of the specific cutting tool which gives a bevelled edge and can be bought at most art and craft shops.
Our last presentation of the evening was Caroline Preece giving us a very useful and concise overview of the competition scene - internal and externally. She prefaced this with a discussion of why it helps to enter competitions - to get your work off the hard drive, to get feedback and to enjoy seeing other people’s images too. We have a competitions page with all the dates and requirements listed and it would be great to see more entries at all levels across the range. When our guest speaker was the winner of the Young Landscape Photographer of the Year, 2014 Chris Page, we heard how much he had benefitted from the process of entering the competition and how he felt such events stimulated him to make progress. Let’s make it work for us! Many thanks to all those who took part last night and who helped get the year off to an enthusiastic start.