Sunday, 3 February 2019

HDR software - for free!

Aurora HDR 2018


If you have yet to reach page 72 of Digital Camera (issue 212) you're missing out on a free download.

Aurora HDR 2018 is perfect for your HDR images!

Raw or Jpeg, it shuffles your bracketed shots, aligning them as it goes and even deals with any ghosting that may have occurred.

Lots of presets to choose from and can be used as a plug in with Adobe LR, PS and Elements as well as Luminar and many other key brands doing the rounds.

Visit https://skylum.com/l/dcw - you'll need your name and email address, but that's all they ask for.  Simply copy and paste the access code and away you go!

After watching the tutorial and half an hour playing with the presents, filters, layers etc. a total novice turned the top picture into the bottom one - not a work of art, but easily done and an improvement on the rather dull original.


Before


After

Sunday, 20 January 2019

Where to next?

Are you looking for inspiration?

There isn't a photographer in the land that doesn't, on the odd occasion, get stuck in a rut, making photos of all the usual 'stuff', finding it tricky to think outside the box and finding out about brilliant photography opportunities just after they have happened!


Here are a few local events which may be just what you're looking for:


March - May

Vale of Evesham Spring Blossom Trail
A 50 mile AA signposted rout around the UK'S only blossom trail.
www.valeandspa.co.uk/blossom

Saturday 23rd March

Droitwich Spa & District Horticultural Society Spring Flower Show
Chawson Barns, Droitwich Spa WR9 0AQ
Facebook - droitwichhortsoc

Sunday 7th April
Spring Show 
The Village Hall at Bishampton
www.bishamptongardeningclub.org.uk 

Saturday and Sunday, 27/28 April
Wartime in the Cotswolds
Gloucestershire Warwickshire Railway, Broadway
www.gwsr.com 

Friday 3rd - Monday 6th May
St. Richard's Canal Festival
Vines Park, Droitwich Spa
www.strichardsfestival.co.uk

Saturday and Sunday 5/5 May
Evesham Rowing Club Annual Two Day Regatta
www.erc.club

Sunday 5th May
Tiddesley Wood Spring Open Day
Tiddesley Wood Nature Reserve, nr Pershore WR10 2AD
www.tiddesley.org.uk

Sunday and Monday 5/6 May
Cropthorne Walkabout
www.cropthornewalkabout.co.uk

Tuesday 14th May
A morning walk with stunning views
Start Bishampton Store WR10 2LX
www.eveshamramblers.org.uk

Friday 24th - Monday 27th May
Dubs in the Middle
Ashdown Farm, nr Evesham WR11 7EL
www.dubsinthemiddle.co.uk

Saturday 25th May
Little Comberton Street Market
Manor Lane, Little Comberton, nr Pershore
www.little-comberton.com/street-market

Saturday 25th - Monday 27th May
Cotswold Festival of Steam Gala
Gloucestershire and Warwickshire Railway, Broadway
www.gwsr.com

Sunday 9th June
Classic Vehicle Clubs Day
Gloucestershire Warwickshire Railway, Broadway
www.gwsr.com

Friday 21st - Sunday 23rd June
National Morris Weekend
In and around Evesham
www.nationalmorrisweekend.co.uk

Friday 21st - Sunday 23rd June
Steam and Real Ale Weekend
Gloucestershire Warwickshire Railway, Broadway
www.gwsr.com

Saturday 22nd June
Hampton Ferry Car and Bike Show

Late June to early July
The Confetti Flower Field
Wake Manor Estate, Wick, nr Pershore

March Hare Charity Quiz Night

Calling all BPC Members!

Fancy a good night out and all for a good cause?
BPC Member, Steve Arbery, is hosting another of his amazing quiz nights, the proceeds of which will to to help blind children at the Mtandi Primary School in Tanzania.

It would be great if BPC could field a team.  What do you think?
Please contact Steve, see details below.


MARCH HARE CHARITY


Saturday 16th March 2019

7.00 for 7.30pm at Birlingham Village Hall


Supporting the unit for Blind Children Mtandi Primary School,Tanzania

Teams of 4 - 6
Cost £8pp to include a Fish & Chip* supper
Bar and Raffle

For tickets please contact Steve Arbery 01386 750877
*A vegetarian and gluten free option will be available. Please inform me when booking.
The Friends of Masasi & Newala Charity No.1009963

Feedback from BPC Winter 2018/19 Exhibition

If you didn't get the chance to pop into Revill's Farm Shop and Cafe at Defford, Worcestershire, you missed a real treat.

Many thanks to everyone at Revill's for making us feel so welcome, not to mention the delicious homemade cake!  Also, thank you to all the photographers who exhibited and to our visitors, many of whom were kind enough to leave comments in the exhibition's visitor book.

Thank you everyone!

Visitor Book Comments


Congratulations...
on a lovely and varied exhibition, showcasing genuine local talent in a great location.

Congratulations...
to everyone involved in this exhibition.  Well done.

Great Exhibition...
demonstrating superb photography skills.

Lovely afternoon...
celebrating Birlingham's photographic skills in a super teashop.

Super images...
and a cream tea.  What a combination!

High standard...
of photography displayed in a lovely setting - well done all.  Look forward to the next exhibition!

A very nice spread of photos...
all well presented.  Thanks to Angela for organising the exhibition.

A lovely exhibition...
well done to everyone involved.

A lovely selection...
of photographs.  It's interesting to see the contrast between colour, black and white and sepia photos.  What a talented bunch!

Came for coffee...
but found a super photo exhibition.  I specially enjoyed Evesham Sunset and Pershore Old Bridge and The Kings Head really drawers the viewer in.  All the best Birlingham Photo Club.

Impressive array...
of photographs.  Well done all.

A lovely combination...
of coffee and photographs!  Good range of photos.  Especially like The Kings Head and New Chinese Bridge at Croome.

Lovely images...
loved Autumn Splendour, Serenity and New Chinese Bridge photos.

Lovely display...
of varied subjects from talented artists, great depth and focal points across all photos.  Really liked the variation of black and white photos vs colour.  I particularly enjoyed the works of: Steve Reynolds, Pete Allen, Rose Finch and Tissy Davidson.  A huge congratulations to all the artists/togs involved.  Great exhibition.  All involved should feel proud.

Wednesday, 9 January 2019

What Software - 8th January presentation

As promised, here are the notes from Rose's presentation on Topaz Adjust.

PRESENTATION FOR BIRLINGHAM CLUB - 8 JANUARY 2019
By BPC MEMBER, ROSE FINCH

Good evening everyone. Tonight, I am going to try and show you, how you can edit your images in a software plug-in called Topaz. The privately owned company - Topaz Labs is located in Dallas and has been around for many years.

The website to look at is - topazlabs.com

There is a wealth of information to look at, which not only shows you the various plug-ins that can be purchased, but where you can also download - Topaz Studio, which is free and has a range of adjustments you can access. These flexible tools can fast track your photo editing and take a lot of hard work away. But they can all be customised to your own particular style and taste. There are also a number of tutorials available on the website to help.

Now to the nitty gritty!!

The procedure is very similar, whether you work in Lightroom or Photoshop. 

For Lightroom

1. Go to Library and select the image that you want to work on.

2. Do all your basic adjustments first, as you would normally. If you click on the 
   AUTO button, this can be a good starting point.

3. Double click and go to the Develop Module.

4. Then - Photo - Edit In - Topaz Adjust. 

5. The screen will open up and you will see various "Collections" on the top LH side
    - Classic, Film, HDR etc. 

6. Choose Classic and then click to view all Presets available. Each give a 
    different variation on your pic. If there is one that you like, double click on it and
    it will appear on screen, for your to work on further.

7. If you decide that you don't like it, don't worry, just click on Reset and it reverts 
    to your starting image.

8. Look at the various Collections.

9. On the RH panel, there are a set of Global Adjustments you can use to alter 
    Contrast, Brightness, Hi-lights, Shadows etc. to your own taste.

10. In Finishing Touches you can add Grain, Warmth, a Border or Vignette, as you
      wish.
11. When you have finished, click OK.

12. Finally, go to Export and choose your own name and file format, to save the 
      new image.

For Photoshop

1. Open the image that you want to work on.
2. Do all your basic adjustments first, as you would normally. If you click on the 

   AUTO button, this can be a good starting point.

It's always good practice to ensure that you work on any RAW file in a 16 bit format.

3. Go to Layer and create a  Duplicate Layer. This is what you will work on.

4. Go to Filter - right at the bottom, you will see Topaz Labs. Then you can choose
   the plug-in that you want to work in. 

5. The screen will open up and you will see various "Collections" on the top LH side
    - Classic, Film, HDR etc. 

6. Choose Classic and then click to view all Presets available. Each give a 
    different variation on your pic. If there is one that you like, double click on it and
    it will appear on screen, for your to work on further.

7. If you decide that you don't like it, don't worry, just click on Reset and it reverts 
    to your starting image.

8. Look at the various Collections.

9. On the RH panel, there are a set of Global Adjustments you can use to alter 
    Contrast, Brightness, Hi-lights, Shadows etc. to your own taste.

10. In Finishing Touches you can add Grain, Warmth, a Border or Vignette, as you
      wish.

11. When you have finished, click OK.

12. I then go to - Layer - flatten the image.

13. Finally, go to File - Save As - and choose your own name and file format.






Sunday, 9 December 2018

Standard soaring at BPC annual club comp!

Congratulations to everyone who took time out to work on, what became, an amazing collection of submissions to the 2018 club photo competition.  

This year's competition proved to be a bit of a hybrid, merging digital submissions with hard copy and presented a variety of challenges to our long-suffering judge, one of Smethwick Photography Society's best, Peter Siviter!

Peter takes each photo and gives a positive critique, outlining the good in each image and suggesting ways that might enhance the final version, sometimes this, he advised, could be something as simple as a tighter crop.

62 images were submitted, a massive increase on last year's competition and a 500 per cent build on 2016!

Peter was quick to notice the significant improvement in the overall standard of the images.  He particularly liked the thought behind photographs that told their own story, those that capture the fine tones of a dramatic landscape and shots of everyday images which had just that something extra in the colour, the crispness and the execution in capturing the mundane and making it magical.

As is the tradition with BPC club competitions, the members had their vote, a simple 'first past the post' vote and as if to prove that members knew what they were looking for the same image scooped both Peter's top prize and that of the members.

The results:

Overall winner and Members' Choice

Christine Farrell - for her beautifully dramatic landscape.





The two runner up prizes went to:

Mark Waidson for his eagle-eyed opportunity in capturing this New York scene




And Steve Reynolds, pictured below (R) with his delightful image. 
(L-R) Mark Waidson, Christine Farrell, Peter Siviter and Steve Reynolds.


BPC 2018 Christmas Party

What a Christmas cracker!

Many thanks to the chef and staff at Whistlers in Pershore, for making this year's BPC Christmas 'do' a total success.

Fantastic food (thanks chef), delicious drinks and way to go waiting staff!

Many thanks to all of the members who had left their regulation Kagouls and camera kit at home, swapping them for high heels and a generous sprinkling of sequins (for the girls of course!!).

Here are a few of the highlights. 


Paul, starts the night off with a glass of something good! 


Before the cracker pulling begins! 


Come on Sheila, show us what you're made of! 


Sue enjoys a rather amusing little number, the wine that is,
 not Colin, who is sitting next to her! 



Graham presents Irene with her long service award
Thanks Irene for everything you do for BPC 




Ahhhh - and then there was pudding!