• Paul Cooper

Newsletter Week 30

PCC Newsletter No. 30

Derek Godridge – Editor’s Notes


Hi Folks! ....... we still have some members who have yet to pay their subs and don’t forget you can pay half before Christmas and half afterwards if you wish. If you have ANY ISSUES please do not hesitate to call

  1. You can either pay your £20 direct to Chris Hamshaw, our treasurer by taking real money ! (Or a cheque made out to Penryn Camera Club) Just ring her first to confirm when she is at home in the evening or if you wish to pay during the daytime at the weekend.

  2. Secondly if you do internet banking, you can pay via BACS direct from your bank account to Penryn Camera Club Account.

PCC News of the Week:


Website:

A big THANK YOU to Paul and Keith for all the work done to update our website!!


Virtual PCC Members’ Meeting:

As Paul mentions later, our very first Virtual Club Meeting went off well, despite the fact it was ME giving a show from the trip Jan and I made to Alicante, Spain back in March !! We really DO want you to join us on the next virtual meeting and I make no apologies for including your committee member’s details to provide help if needed. They definitely don’t bite by the way !


Maru, Paul, Victor, Keith


Paul Cooper – Guest Author

Oh great, I have a challenge from Derek to follow Victor’s impressive newsletter!


Virtual Club Meeting:

Fortunately, I have some success to report when last week we tried a full meeting in the virtual world of Microsoft Teams. The committee has used Teams successfully recently however, it was great to see and chat to, members who have been isolating. Phones, Tablets, Laptops and modern desktops have a camera and microphone built-in so once Teams is installed by clicking a link Maru sends out, joining was easy. Later Derek Godridge hosted an excellent slideshow of a visit by him and Jan to Alicante. 


At the same time, Victor tested running Teams on our large TV in The Space, which worked well. We are also investigating a similar program, Zoom. The Space existing health certificate covers groups over 30 (well above our levels) so we can now combine face-to-face and virtual meetings which means everybody, isolating or not, can re-join the social element of our club.  


Penryn Camera Club Website - https://www.penryncameraclub.org.uk.

The committee has also been refreshing content on our web page and updating is still a work-in-progress, but we have climbed the initial learning curve. Recently refreshed content:

  • Past newsletters (One to eighteen completed at the time of typing) - look in the blog

  • Lockdown (#2) four competition entries and winners - look in the Gallery.

  • Newspaper submissions - look in the blog (you can filter to “newspaper’ if you want to).

  • Location - can now use Satellite and zoom. Have requested pin location update from Google.

  • Google search data - Corrected several out of date issues.

There’s still a way to go to bring the web up-to-date with recent club activities, but we are smashing the formatting and content issues. Once completed, the next steps are to check the site works on mobiles (about 45% of users these days) and various laptops and we will be asking for your help when we reach that point.


PCC Competitions:

The committee has drafted a program for future competitions which they will issue once dates and subjects are finalised and inevitably it will be a reduced programme due to time constraints imposed by C-19. Prints are not allowed this year, but our other categories are well covered and we are now set-up for judges to attend in person or virtually, which has removed some potential issues.


Back to Basics:

To help me (and future authors) find relevant content for the newsletter, I wondered if we could start an “A-Z of photography” section to help those newer to photography?


I’ll kick off with an easy one — Aperture — but some feedback to Derek, our Newsletter Editor, would guide future contributions. The Aperture is one of the three legs supporting the stool of photography (Speed and ISO are the other two). It is the size of the hole that lets in light to the camera. Changing the Aperture can affect the speed and ISO and the depth of field (DoF - how much of the image is in focus). 


Imagine a real three-legged stool, you can shave a bit off one leg and still sit on it but shave off (or add) a lot, and you have to adjust the other legs as well.


Cameras measure Aperture in fractions (f numbers), and it’s confusing that small numbers represent large holes, lots of light, but a small DoF! A small number is also termed “wide open” and “a fast lens” whereas a large f-number is a small Aperture. Finally, each f-number is half the next higher number or twice the lower number. Are you confused yet?


Here’s a simple tip; Small f numbers = small DoF, Big f numbers = big DoF


In the real world;

  • Landscapes need a big DoF (big F-number), f9-f16 are common

  • Portraits, including animals, and birds need a small DoF (Small F-number), 

  • Smooth running water, or waves by using a slow shutter speed (0.25-2 seconds ish) which, with your camera in [A] (aperture) mode can be forced by a large f-number - but you need a tripod.

  • Sports need a fast shutter speed (1/250 sec or faster), you might be lucky to get this with a small f-number, but you will probably have to go into [M] manual mode and also change the shutter speed, letting the ISO float.

  • Night shots (large aperture - small f stop) need a high ISO setting (= more noise introduced).

As with all things in the art of photography, there is a trade-off to consider. Assume you want to take a group of people, so you need a mid-range DoF to get them all focused. Yes, the point of focus will be on the main attraction, the birthday girl, or the celebrating couple, but everybody will want to see themselves, so you decide around f8. 


Unfortunately, it’s an evening shot, so you need the aperture to be wide open (remember, small f-number) to let in as much light as possible, but that means Great Aunt Gertrude, at the back of the group, is out of focus! 


Typically the FOCUS on the subject (the whole group) is king so stick with f8 (or close) and perhaps bring the shutter speed down a bit (potentially introducing movement blur if you don’t have a tripod), or you can increase ISO (potentially adding noise). 


Finally, can you increase the light? Perhaps you have a pop-up flash on your camera or maybe you remembered to pack your electronic flash, or can you move the whole group somewhere brighter.


I’ve just scratched the surface of Aperture.  For a better written, vastly more detailed article look here. In the meantime a couple of examples below:


f4.5 – LARGE aperture to give a shallow DoF and isolate the child


f16 – SMALL aperture to give a large DoF and ensure everything is in focus

I hope this newsletter finds you safe and okay and helps keep you in touch with the club's activities. I am looking forward to seeing you in The Space or on-screen soon.


Best, Paul