Review - Virtual Club Night - Members' Lockdown Projects, 01 Jun 2020

A review by Helen Jones - Virtual Club Night - Members' Lockdown Projects, Monday 01 June 2020
Virtual Club Night - Members' Lockdown Projects, Monday 01 June 2020

On Monday 2nd June we experimented with a club night via zoom. The idea was that members talked about their current projects. Some of our members had their first experience of sharing their work with others over the internet via Zoom. We had a few teething troubles but once they were sorted it all ran pretty smoothly.

We started with Iain Cameron who showed us an AV demonstrating how he photographed the birds in his garden at ground level. Stunning results and something we can all try.

Derek Philpott was next. In our recent Creative Competition Derek entered a photo called "Starts with a Tulip" processed using 'twirling' in Photoshop. This lets you take an ordinary photograph and turn it something quite stunning and very far removed from the original. You are never quite sure what you are going to get! Derek ran through the process using some of his work as examples.

John Tilsley should have been planning for Wimborne Minster Folk Festival in a fortnight's time ... instead he showed us a selection of great photographs taken in both rain and shine at last year's festival and talked about why this was subject he really enjoyed and how fascinating some of the characters were. Lockdown had given him a chance to work on his festival images and a prepare a talk to give to other clubs.

Next we welcomed back Mike Martin from Bristol Photographic Society. Mike gave an extremely popular talk to us a couple of weeks ago and tonight he returned to demonstrate some of his creative techniques - including his take on twirling.

After the break, Jane Tearle gave us a brief introduction to her lockdown photography project in Cerne Abbas then demonstrated one of her favourite techniques - double exposures,something she has been doing a lot of recently, and also trying to incorporate some ICM (intentional camera movement) into it.

Stephen and Helen Jones have been experimenting with very basic cyanotypes using a Fotospeed kit and flowers or leaves from their garden. They gave a photo-essay showing about how the process works, then demonstarted some of the effects you could get if you scanned the resulting cyanotype and processed it in Lightroom or Photoshop- for example adjusting tone curves, playing with hue and saturation or adding and removing clarity.

They also showed an attempt to recreate one of Gavin Hoey's techniques - bubble photography - blowing bubbles of washing-up liquid via an empty ball point pen tube and bouncing light onto the bubbles using a piece of white mountboard placed on the toaster! Off-camera flash was used to light up the mountboard but it was very difficult to both focus on the bubble and capture a picture before the bubble burst!

Penny Piddock completed the evening with some fascinating macro photographs of ferrofluid. This is a special magnetic liquid that forms spectacular shapes in the presence of magnets. The liquid is poured into a petri dish and the magnets moved underneath to make the liquid sculpt itself. Penny said she had to be careful to stop the liquid leaping out the dish on to the magnet and making a mess. She needed at least three hands to make this work. Use of coloured lights made some wonderful abstract photos.

All in all, an extremely interesting and varied evening, showing some of the projects we are enjoying during lockdown - nothing stops us taking photos!

Thanks to Penny Piddock for organising the evening and to our two Zoom co-hosts, Stephen Jones and Pete Yendell for trouble-shooting and advice!

~ Helen Jones