NZ CameraTalk To p r o m o t e t h e w i d e r e n j o y m e n t o f p h o t o g r a p h y
T H E O F F I C I A L M A G A Z I N E O F T H E P H OT O G R A P H I C S O C I E T Y O F N E W Z E A L A N D I N C
October /November 2020
In this issue PRESIDENT Moira Blincoe LPSNZ t. 027 473 3038 e: firstname.lastname@example.org
Karen Lawton t. 021 143 7764 e. email@example.com
TREASURER Mark Lawson PO Box 462 Timaru e. firstname.lastname@example.org
SECRETARY Patrice Nilsen 8 Raroa Terrace, Tawa, Wellington 5028 t. 04 232 1565 e. email@example.com
WELCOME TO THE fifth edition of CameraTalk for 2020. We are pleased to bring you another packed edition. The issue includes a special feature on digital compositing. PSNZ President Moira Blincoe LPSNZ outlines the key decisions from the September Council meeting. The speaker line-up for the 2021 National Convention is revealed. In addition, we showcase the results of the National Photojournalism Competition, the Creative Focus Competition, the Nelson National Triptych Salon and we congratulate member successes in the NZIPP Iris Awards.
Paul Whitham LPSNZ Editor
Key Dates for the Diary
The Story behind the Image
Lindsay Stockbridge LPSNZ 14 Poynter Place, Whanganui 4501 t. 06 348 7141 or m. 027 653 0341 e. firstname.lastname@example.org
Special Feature: Compositing
The next CameraTalk deadline is
Canon Online Results
On the cover
Wrapped in my Bubble by Julia De Cleene LPSNZ - Category winner and Supreme winner of the 2020 Creative Focus Competition. See page 58 for a report on the salon.
What Those Letters Mean
EDITOR, ADVERTISING & LAYOUT Paul Whitham LPSNZ PSNZ Councillor t. m. 021 644 418 e. email@example.com
1December 2020 Email your contributions to the SubEditor at his email address. Editorial should be sent as Word or .txt files. JPEG images generally should be saved at 300 dpi, compressed to high to medium quality. Include return postage if you wish material to be returned. The opinions expressed in this newsletter are not necessarily those of the Editor or of the Council of PSNZ.
JUST WHEN WE thought spring was with us, the country was plummeted into the depths of winter from the arctic blast. While the snow-covered land of the South looked spectacular and beautiful photographs were made, my heart went out to the animals on the land, many of whom were due to produce offspring at that time. Fortunately, most of the farmers could quickly adapt to the changing conditions. Adapting to change is what PSNZ has been doing this year. Not only Council, but all Clubs have had to adapt and reschedule their meetings, workshops and the general programme, depending on the level of lockdown the region is in. Council has adapted as best we could but it was a great relief to be able to catch up with everyone last month and have a full weekend of round table discussions. The agenda was full with much to focus on, especially for the strategic direction of the Society. You can read about the key decisions we have made, after robust discussions, on page 10. Over the past few weeks I have had the opportunity to attend the Thames Camera Club meeting at which Toya Heatley APSNZ provided a very illuminating presentation on nature/bird photography. Toya included many of her award-winning images in her presentation and also shared key tips on camera settings, techniques, post processing and equipment. While my wildlife photography has mainly extended to photographing gannets at Muriwai Beach and some dotterels at Whangamata, I am very keen to extend my own nature photography. Some local Auckland lakes and parks are providing me with great opportunities to capture the wonders of nature with this season’s newborn chicks of many species.
A Note from the President Over the last week I travelled to Rotorua and the Hawke’s Bay to meet two members who responded to my previous calls for off-Council and Council assistance. Their interest and enthusiasm was refreshing and their skills will be greatly utilised. As we all know the Society cannot survive without the commitment from members to step up and volunteer, and for this I am truly appreciative. Plans are well underway for the 2021 National Convention Vision-21 and with only a few months of the year left the marketing and promotions for the convention will soon ramp up. Ian Walls FPSNZ, Chair of the organising committee, and his team are another example of adapting to change, due to the cancellation of this year’s event. The programme for 2021 is looking great, so start checking your calendars and block out 15–18 April, 2021.
I’m excited to be filling the last few months of the year with great educational opportunities. Next week Chris and I will be delegates at the Macro workshop in Nelson and in November we’ll stop off in Taupo where I’ll enjoy the Macro creative flower workshop with Annette Johnson APSNZ, hosted by the Taupo Camera Club. Then it’s on to Paraparaumu where we will join the Wildlife workshop with Craig McKenzie on Kapiti Island. I’m looking forward to putting faces to the many member names I talk to over the wires.
On a final note, in all my conversations with members and trade partners, the workshops in our Workshop Series always get high praise and acknowledgement. Not only do delegates get a master class in the specific genre of photography, everyone comments how great it is to meet so many new members. Suffice to say, the 2021 Workshop Series will be bigger and better than ever. Happy Spring shooting. Kind regards, Moira Blincoe LPSNZ
Image by Toya Heatley APSNZ
Key Dates for the Diary October 10-11 October 11 October 25 October 29
Judge Training in Wellington PSNZ Workshop - Macro Photography - Matt Leamy Canon Online Round 5 closes Entries for Jack Sprosen Memorial Trophy Competition open
PSNZ Workshop - Portraiture - Aaron Key
PSNZ Workshop - Bird Photography - Craig McKenzie
November 16 November 26 December 25 2021 January 17 February 1
Entries for Interclub Salons open Entries for Jack Sprosen Memorial Trophy Competition close Canon Online Round 6 closes Registrations for National Convention open Entries for Sony National Exhibition open
Member Successes at NZIPP Iris Awards PSNZ congratulates the following members on their successes in the 2020 Iris Awards run by the NZIPP: • Sarah Caldwell APSNZ – Finalist in the Commercial category • Jay Drew APSNZ – Finalist in the Creative category and highest scoring print in the Family category. • Ilan Wittenberg FPSNZ – Finalist in the Landscape in Camera, Portrait in Camera and Travel categories. • Kuran Yohannan – Finalist in the Nature category You can view all of the finalist images at https://issuu.com/nzipp/docs/pro_report_2020_draft__ awards. We also congratulate the following members for their NZIPP distinctions achieved this year: • Simone Jackson LPSNZ – NZIPP Master of Photography with Distinction (1 Bar) • Tracey Scott FPSNZ AFIAP - NZIPP Master of Photography with Distinction (3 Bars) • Susie Whelan APSNZ - NZIPP Master of Photography with Distinction
The story behind the Image
Tauranga photographer Jay Drew APSNZ received the highest score in the Family category of the NZIPP Iris Awards. CameraTalk asked her what was the story behind the image and how it was created. Here is Jay’s reply:
I recently completed a personal project called ‘52 portraits’. I had two portraits to go to finish the project when lockdown came along. Without a lot of subject choice I created my family’s portrait in a bubble for one of the images, and then a self portrait for the final image of my project. I posted them to instagram and facebook, and someone saw my family bubble and commissioned one for their family. For this second family bubble it started with me talking with the Mum about what each family member had been up to during level 4 lockdown. I let the ideas swim around in my head for a few days, then drew a bit of a plan on paper (stick figures!). When I had the story fairly clear in my head I went to the family’s house, set up a makeshift studio in their garage, and captured all the elements I needed (including the leaves in their yard, the hedge behind their garage, and the family members singing, playing and exercising). The bubble itself I created at home on my kitchen bench. There are about 13 or 14 images in the picture.
2020 Creative Focus Competition Blooming Beautiful Category Winner
A Swirl of Drops by Ann Bastion FPSNZ EFIAP MFIAP
Editorial : Who are you Shooting for? By Paul Whitham LPSNZ
WHO ARE YOU photographing for? This may seem a silly question, but please bear with me as I ramble through my train of thought. For professional photographers the answer is generally fairly clear. On the whole they are taking pictures for their clients in return for payment. In fact, some professional photographers go so far as to not take any photos unless it is for pay. The majority of professional photographers do undertake personal work. This may be completely different to what they shoot on a regular basis, or it may be an extension of it. Now for some, this work will simply be to challenge them or grow their skills, but for quite a number the personal work may be related to areas of photography that they wish to move into. For those of us who don’t make a living from photography, it is very easy to say that we shoot for ourselves. But, is this truly the case? Many of us enter images into photographic salons and competitions. A lot of people simply dive into the back catalogue to find images that match the theme of the salon. However there are others, myself included, who will often shoot specifically for the competition. In such cases, can it truly be said that we are shooting for ourselves, especially given the topics may not be areas that we usually shoot in? We are shooting images to try to please a set of selectors. You could argue, and I’m sure some people will, that in doing so we are actually developing our skills and challenging ourselves. There is an element of truth in this, however I believe it is mitigated by the fact that just about ‘no’ PSNZ salons provide any feedback from the judges. Other than receiving an acceptance (or, for some, higher grades), we actually have no idea how the image performed. What is more confusing is that with the subjective nature of assessment it is quite possible for the same image to have vastly differing results. Compare this to the way that the NZIPP undertake their annual Iris Awards. The judging occurs in open forum, and even if judges are in complete agreement on the grading, the photographer receives some comments back. I would say that the ultimate assessment process within PSNZ is the honours system. I have a love/hate relationship with the PSNZ honours system. I managed to get my Licentiate on the second attempt, having failed miserably with the first try. I have started an A set three times, and three times I have stopped it. In each case it was because I came to the conclusion that it was not going to be successful.
The reality was that I was shooting based on what I perceived a set of judges wanted rather than something that I wanted for myself. Then, earlier this year, I had a “light bulb” moment. I was listening to a broadcast by Havelock North photographer Richard Wood GM.NZIPP. He was talking about the benefit of entering competitions, and particularly in challenging yourself. Admittedly, this was in connection with the style of competition that the NZIPP run. His main point was that we need to produce images that represent who we are as photographers, and which we are proud of. If the judges like them, then that is a bonus. We should not be producing personal images solely to get high marks with what we perceive the judges want. That was almost a “eureka” moment, and so the next day I decided that I was going to resurrect my last idea for an A set and finish the rest of the set. But, that it would be my goal to complete a personal project, and in the style that I wanted to do it. If an A set did emerge from it then that would be an added bonus. That gave me the enthusiasm to shoot the set, and last month I completed it. It was a set of portraits, based around the zodiac, in which each model was representing their own star sign. I had even found a set of Gemini twins. I am very proud of what was produced and the set has received widespread positive comment from those that have seen it. In the end, it will not be submitted for my Associate, as it is deemed not to have sufficient diversity of photographic approach. A year ago that would have really annoyed me because I would have felt that I had wasted my time. Now it really doesn’t bother me, because I shot it for me, and I am happy with what I achieved in doing it.
An Update from PSNZ Council By Moira Blincoe LPSNZ
In the roller coaster world of 2020, September was the first opportunity for Council to get together around the table for a full Council meeting. Gathering in Christchurch, we spent two full days covering a myriad of items including budgets, strategic plan, membership, events, NZ Camera and more. One of the reasons Council exists is to ensure that the purposes of the Society can be continually developed, reviewed and amended in accordance with the expectations of members and the changing environment in which we conduct PSNZ business. On top of this Councillors also manage and implement the various components of their individual portfolios. With the ongoing uncertainty we have experienced this year due to “you-know-what”, coupled with the personnel changes on Council and a shortage of support, all Councillors are feeling somewhat stretched. A significant amount of time was spent looking at what we as a Council are trying to achieve for members, but the key question we continually asked was, “What is it that our members want?” We know that many members enjoy events such as the national convention, the SONY National Exhibition, the Interclub competitions and the Workshop Series. We also consider our programmes such as the Judge Accreditation Programme and the Honours Awards to be valuable member benefits. However, in order to achieve these activities each calendar year it takes much work, planning, managing and implementation, as well as significant dollars. While we continually call for assistance and support from clubs and members in order to organise these events, fewer and fewer members are stepping up to the plate to assist. In short, these activities cannot be organised and implemented by the Councillors alone. To determine what the priority events the Society should continue to offer will be, we will implement a member survey to seek direct feedback on what your expectations of the Society are, going forward. Your honest answers will help finalise and define the strategic plan, confirm the events and programmes and assist with succession planning. Resulting from some robust discussions significant decisions were made and Council agreed to implement a number of changes. These decisions were not taken lightly. We appreciate that some of these changes may not be to every member’s satisfaction. However, as Council is charged with the ongoing development and sustainability of the Society, we make these changes in order to be just that — sustainable, reputable and transparent.
SONY National Exhibition: Trophies All trophies and/or cups awarded in the national exhibition, interclub and regional salons will be retired as of 2021. The names of the trophy will be retained but the physical trophy will be replaced. The gold medal that accompanies a trophy will also be withdrawn. These trophies will be replaced by a new version, custom designed in glass or crystal, which the recipient will be able to retain, forever. Many factors came into play in reaching our decision. For the last two to three years, we have been balancing the fragility and lack of engraving space on the trophies; the rising costs of distributing trophies to and from conventions; missing trophies; increased administration time in liaising with members, and the coordination and distribution of all trophies. The silver and bronze medals will be retained and awarded as will the Honours ribbons. The new trophies will be presented at the national convention in Christchurch,Vision-21, 15-18 April 2021. We are confident members will be delighted to receive a freshly minted trophy which they can proudly display in their office or lounge forever.
Two-Year Image Capture With our priority being on showcasing current photographic trends and raising the profile and standard of photography within New Zealand’s photographic community, Council has made the decision to introduce a ‘two year image capture’ policy for the SONY National Exhibition, PSNZ interclub competitions and NZ Camera entries. This means that every element of the image submitted must have been captured by the submitting photographer in the previous two calendar years. This change will come into effect for the 2022 SONY National Exhibition. We believe that the introduction of this new rule will allow photographers to be further challenged in all aspects of their photographic skills, techniques and boundaries. For NZ Camera (see next page) this policy will come in to effect from 2021.
Random Original or Raw File Request Council has been made aware of concerns regarding the non-compliance with competition rules, specifically in nature images. While all our entry forms request entrants to check a clause that they understand the rules it appears, at times, that this is insufficient. As part of the conditions of entry, photographers agree to make the original, out of camera (raw) file available if requested. This is usually reserved for cases where the organisers or selectors suspect a breach of the rules. In addition, for 2021 random entries will be selected and the photographer will be asked to supply the original file(s) to confirm adherence to the rules. This new policy will be implemented for all PSNZ salons, SONY National Exhibition, and NZ Camera entries.
NZ Camera Our showcase publication goes from strength to strength with some wonderful feedback and accolades on the 2020 publication received. The way in which this year’s book was produced has proven that positive changes can come out of a crisis. The new remote and digital selection method worked smoothly and efficiently and it was agreed that this will be the way forward. Entries for the 2021 NZ Camera publication will open approximately 1 March 2021. All images must have been captured no earlier than 1 January 2019.
Financial Update Whilst it was the intention to separate the Treasurer’s role into two components the reality of this division has proven that it was too fragmented and an inefficient use of time. Consequently, it has been agreed that Mark Lawson will now assume the role of Treasurer. Mark’s firm, Lawson Accounting, will continue to manage the day to day accounting operations of the Society. Council certainly appreciates the time and effort that Judith Bishop LPSNZ of Thames has put into the Treasurer’s role and certainly her patience in the previous transition during the difficult period of lockdown months. Thank you, Judith.
Under Development Two new initiatives are currently being developed. A Digital Critique Circle (similar to our successful print circles) is a â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;work-in-progress to trial optionsâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; and a Mentoring Matchmakers group is being formulated. Full details will be promoted to members through bulk emails and social media posts.
2020 Creative Focus Competition All Jazzed Up Category Winner
Bath Time by Gail Stent FPSNZ
Salon News By Craig McKenzie â&#x20AC;&#x201C; Councillor for Salons
Interclub Competitions Four interclub competitions are run annually, two print and two projected image. Each format has open and landscape competitions. Each entry consists of four photographs taken by different club members. The open print competition (Bledisloe Cup) has a further condition in that the photographs must have been exposed in New Zealand. The photographs will be judged as a set and, in arriving at their decision, the judges shall take into account relevance of subject matter and the general attractiveness of the set. Detailed information can be found in the relevant bylaw. The top entries are displayed at the national convention, with judging taking place shortly before. Last year, entries were open for the same timeframe as the national exhibition, from 1 February to 1 March. This timing is not ideal as clubs are mostly closed down for the holidays immediately prior. This year we will open entries in mid-November to make it easier for clubs to put a set together. The closing date will remain the same.
Four Nations 2020 PSNZ congratulates the Australian Photographic Society for winning the 2020 competition. The competition takes place each year among the societies from New Zealand, Australia, South Africa and Canada. We also congratulate our own members for the following individual awards which will be presented during the Christchurch Vision 2021 National Convention. Photographer
Jo Curtis LPSNZ
James Gibson APSNZ EFIAP
The catalogue of top photographs from each country can be seen at https://drive.google.com/ file/d/18MzP2Ez2VDeMSBZApolfcBduaZpuX4oe/view?usp=sharing The easiest way to have your photographs considered for our entry is to tick the box while entering the national exhibition. If your photograph is accepted it is also considered for the Four Nations competition. A call for entries is also made around April/May.
SONY National Exhibition Slideshows of the digital sections and digital representations of most of the prints for 2020 are on the Society website at https://photography.org.nz/salons/natex/national-exhibition-results/. They may inspire you to enter the 2021 exhibition which will open on 1 February and close on 1 March 2021.
2020 Creative Focus Competition Creative Focus Category Winner
Soaring Wide by Barbara Lee
Vision-21 returns to Christchurch PSNZ and the Convention Organising Committee are delighted to announce that Vision-21will be held in Otautahi Christchurch once again. Vision-21will be an exciting event for photographers of all levels, whether you are a seasoned professional photographer or you just picked up your first DSLR camera this year. The annual PSNZ national convention aims to inspire and help attendees discover what truly drives them to capture the world.
During the general registrations phase, you will be asked “In the event of a COVID Level 2 Convention Plan being activated will you elect to attend?”. Registrations will open on 17 January 2021. In early February, the maximum allowable number of those who have elected to attend at COVID Level 2 will be asked to submit their Level 2 workshop request. During February and March, planning for both a full convention and a restricted numbers convention adhering to Level 2 restrictions will continue.
COVID Response Plan 2020 Vision was originally due to be held in April 2020, however the organisers had to make the call to cancel the convention due to the looming COVID-19 crisis. With ongoing uncertainty the Convention Organising Committee has decided to proceed with an approach that hopes to deliver a successful event at either COVID Alert Level 1 or Alert Level 2. The updated registration phase will be as follows: 16
At any point prior to 5 April, should the government change the COVID level status or should conditions indicate that change is likely, then the PSNZ Council in conjunction with the Convention Organising Committee may elect to move to Level 2 plans. Refunds will be processed for any Level 1 only convention registrations. After 5 April it will not be possible to implement COVID Level 2 plans and a change in COVID status will result in the cancellation of the convention. Refunds will be processed for all registrations.
2021 Speakers Announced
While we are all hoping for the miracle that will allow Julieanne to travel to Christchurch, we are not expecting that to happen. Instead she will join us virtually to give us a taste of what is to come when borders open.
Bruce says “My photography is an intensely personal expression of who I am, and hope to be.” Come and hear him talk about how to make your photography about who you are.
Conor is a lecturer at the Ilam School of Fine Arts so if you see yourself, or would like to see yourself, as an artist with a camera rather than as a photographer, then you really need to come and hear Conor speak.
Tony’s artwork achievements live in a space between photography and painting. The story of how he came to make this work will inspire you.
Craig TurnerBullock Craig is a crazy cat daddy, puppy parent, patisserie addict and claims to have the best job in the world! He has been capturing the uniqueness of Dog for 20 years.
Dean’s passion for wild places and knowledge of New Zealand’s unique flora and fauna will make for an informative and unique presentation.
Chris is an internationally recognised travel and wildlife photographer who has journeyed across the globe in pursuit of beautiful imagery.
Special Feature - Compositing This edition’s special feature is about compositing which is the creation of an image by bringing together elements from several sources. We are very pleased that US Educator Rickard Rodin allowed us to reproduce his article on the “Seven Essentials of Visual Magic”. PSNZ Member Tracey Perrin shows how she creates magical portraits for her young clients, and CameraTalk editor Paul Whitham LPSNZ shows how to make a simple composite. We also look at some terminology and also what is allowed under PSNZ Salon rules. Finally, we realise that all of the articles reference Adobe Photoshop, and that there are alternatives to it. This is in no way an endorsement of any software product, but rather the fact that it is the software used by the authors of the articles.
Terminology The following descriptions are intended to help you to understand the various terms that you will see in articles about compositing.
Clear-Cut: The term applied to both an object and the process by which it has been removed from its background, making it easier for it to be placed in another image. Compositing: The overall term used when an image is created by bringing together several elements that may or may not have been shot at the same time. Destructive editing: This is a term that is used when you are directly editing the pixels that make up the individual elements of an image. In compositing the most obvious example of this is using the eraser tool to separate an object from its background. While destructive editing is quite simple, it has the major drawback that once the file has been changed you cannot easily go back and amend it. Masking: This is the term used to describe the process by which you either hide or reveal the images under the layer that you are working upon. In programs like Photoshop the layer mask is fully editable, which makes it easier to correct mistakes or to come back later and make changes. Non-destructive editing: This is the opposite of destructive editing and mainly involves techniques where the adjustments do not involve permanently affecting the pixels that make up the image elements. With tools like Photoshop this will generally involve the use of layers with the editing carried out in such a way that the underlying layer is not affected. It has the advantage that you can go back at a later stage and re-edit the image. Smart Object: Smart Objects are Photoshop layers that contain image data from raster or vector images, such as Photoshop or Illustrator files. Smart Objects preserve an imageâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s source content with all its original characteristics, enabling you to perform non-destructive editing to the layer. Stacking: The action of loading multiple photographic images into separate layers within the software used to create the digital image. Stock Art/Image: Images that have been photographed by other people and then made available online either for sale or free download. These can range from entire photos to individual elements that may have already been removed from their backgrounds.
Photo Compositing: Seven Essentials of Visual Magic By Rikard Rodin
PUTTING VARIOUS PHOTOS together to create a new, unique image is an essential skill of any designer. Photo compositing can range from the simple (changing out a sky or background) to the complex (creating an entirely new image from a collection of different photos). The reality is that you will be hard-pressed to find a design project that doesn’t require some form of photo compositing. Even if you aren’t creating a fantasy scene, you may be required to add a product to a background or combine two elements into a single image. However large or small your photo compositing project, there are certain basic principles that will help get you the best results.
It should be mentioned here that the best result of any photo compositing project is the absolute transparency of your work. Every person who sees the image should believe that the image was never more than a single scene. No one is amazed at some fake wings pasted onto a Rikard is the creator of ZevenDesign and founding co-partner of Tethos Creative. He’s been in the design industry for the last 20 years, having amassed more than 25 design awards. He started in a darkroom and has personally worked in virtually every aspect of graphic design — typography, typesetting, printing, foiling, embossing, die making, illustration, you name it. His specialty is branding and cover design. He’s a father of twin daughters, loves photography and movies. He runs professional training in Compositing through Nucly.com
photo of a girl. But a photo of a girl with wings… well, that’s a different story. Here are seven “golden rules” for photo compositing, gleaned from 15 years of experience and working with all manner of artists and designers in the field.
1. Match up your elements. Perspective, lighting, resolution This is the first step and one of the most important. If your background is a photo taken at night, you’re going to have a much better time with a foreground element also photographed at night. If your foreground element has high contrast light (noon on a clear day), then your background shouldn’t be lit with ambient light. It’s also very important that perspective matches between images. Having different perspectives in an image is a tell-tale sign of Photoshop manipulation. This extends to scale, texture, resolution and film grain. While some of these elements can be made consistent through the photo compositing process, the better you can match up elements to begin with, the better off you will be. For this very reason you will find that the top photo composite artists are photographers—by taking your own photographs you can match lighting and perspective between all your elements.
As a recap, these are the things to look for when gathering elements to make your composition: • Lighting quality and contrast (sharp light, spot light, ambient light, back light, etc.) • Lighting direction/shadow direction (light coming from above, from the left, front, etc.) • Perspective—unless your element is a sphere, it will have a visual perspective. This needs to match your source image/background. • Scale—relative scale is important. While you can easily shrink an element, the opposite is not true. Your source material should not be smaller than you intend on using it as scaling it up will cause degradation. Level of detail also comes into play; the level of detail needs to be consistent throughout the final image. • Resolution (see above on scale) • Texture/grain—while there are tricks to reduce or add grain, you’re better off starting with images that have a similar amount (or lack) of grain/texture.
2. Good masks make for good composites. Bad masks are the sign of an amateur. There is a large subset of skills that come into play when doing a photo composite—colour grading, artistic composition, lighting, digital painting, etc. Of all these, the most important is masking. A mask will make or break your composite. A good mask is seamless while a bad mask is very evident and screams “cut out”. Photoshop’s suite of tools for masking continues to improve and there are third party plug-ins that also help the process. However, I would urge designers to become skilled in doing it the old-fashioned way—with the pen and paint tools and using channels. At that point, using the newer tools simply improves and speeds up the process.
3. Lighting is everything. Don’t let it be accidental. I already mentioned above the importance of having consistent lighting between your elements. This is just as important when you have your elements put together. Adjust the lighting of your various elements, foreground and background, so that they perceptually have the same lighting. This may mean using your curves and other adjustment layers to add or reduce contrast. It may also mean using a brush to add highlights or glowing edges to elements. It also means changing the colour of your highlights to match the image light source.
One particular thing to look for is the black point of your elements. As elements are further away from the camera, they will have a certain amount of “atmosphere” on top of them. This will make the black less and less pure. Your black point is essentially how dark your black is. The closer an element is to the camera, the darker its black will be. This can actually be extended to the full contrast of an element. The closer an element is to the camera, the higher the contrast will be. The further away, the less the contrast will be.
Finally, lighting extends to adding lights and light flares to your scene. JJ Abrams is the master of lens flares and I’m not mad at him for it. Lens flares do an excellent job of “melting” different elements together. Because flares are a “defect” that occur in the camera, the subconscious 24
impression you purvey with a lens flare is that the scene was captured by a camera and not put together in Photoshop. The one caveat to that is that the built-in lens flares provided in Photoshop are terrible. You will need to find a lens pack online or get the Knoll Light Factory.
4. Add uniformity in colour. Colour is like the rug that holds the room together. As you’re putting together your design, try to keep all colours adjusted to a neutral white balance. In simple terms, greys should be grey. This gives all your elements a somewhat consistent colour balance to begin with. Only after you have your composite together do you want to colour balance the image. Depending on your image, you want to give it a cast—either warm or cool. By doing it across the whole image, you make disparate elements come together and feel much more cohesive.
5. Layers and blending modes are your friends. Essentially, a photo composite is cut-out photos layered on top of each other. Before the days of computers, photo compositing was done by hand; literally photos were cut up with a razor blade and photos were taken with multiple exposures. The results weren’t that great by today’s standards, but for their time they were “magic” and led to some famous hoaxes. The introduction of layers in Photoshop 3.0 in 1994 opened the door for virtually any photographer or artist with a computer, photo scanner (remember, this was before digital cameras were widely available) and a copy of Photoshop to do photo compositing. And while Photoshop is now on version 21, layers and their blending modes are still the most fundamental building block to any photo composite. If you use Photoshop, you should be familiar with the Overlay and Softlight blending modes. These are your friends. Unlike Multiply and Screen, which are “one-sided” blending modes (they make something darker or lighter), Overlay does both; areas of the top layer (the overlay layer) that are lighter than the background layer make the background image lighter and areas that are
darker make the background image darker. Softlight does the same thing as overlay, but more subtly. Using these two blending modes, you can add texture, grain, light, colour and contrast to your image. And because you are doing it on top of the composited elements, it works to bring the whole image together. One concept artist I worked with used this method to do almost miraculous things—adding panels to spaceships, dash panels to cars, etc. Experiment with these blending modes and you’ll be surprised at how useful they actually are.
6. The middle is the sweet spot. Have a foreground, a middle and a background. Put your subject in the middle. If you’re adding an element into a background, place it “in the middle” instead of on top. Your composite should have a foreground, a background and a middle. The middle is where your subject should be. Not all backgrounds lend themselves to a “middle” but this simply means that you need to become more inventive. It may require that you composite an additional foreground element so that your subject falls into the middle of your composition. Common cheats are fog, fire, debris, rain, snow and light flares—by making these foreground elements, it pushes your subject further into the composition and creates a much more realistic looking scene. Here’s a series of three composites by the talented Peter Jaworowski that show this principle really well. By putting elements in front of and behind the subject (bottle), the whole thing feels much more cohesive.
In this series by SeventhStreet Studio, you can see how light flares and butterflies were added to the foreground in order to push the subject of the composition further into the scene. The result is an almost magical looking photo that, in reality, is just photos layered on top of each other.
7. Direct attention. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. Show it where to look. This obviously applies to any design; it could almost be stated as a purpose of design. But when it comes to photo composites, you can direct attention away from areas where the compositing may be more obvious toward the areas where you want your audience to look. A good example is where feet touch the ground. This is an area that is not easy to fake and so directing attention away from it by either cropping it out or darkening it will go a long way toward making the whole image work better. In the example on the next page, I did take a few minutes to make the feet touching the ground look realistic, but darkening it and focusing on the soldier through a strong vignette makes the whole image work quite a bit better.
Summary Using the above, you can make any photo composite better. Always remember that the end result of a good photo composite is that “people can’t tell it’s a photo composite”. For most projects, this simply means that people think the image is a single photo. For more complex photo composite projects, it means creating that sense of awe you felt as a child when seeing a magician perform a trick for the first time. As Thomas Heinrich says, “They should surprise, bring astonishment and a slight grin.” As a final statement on photo composites, there is a prerequisite to any good photo composite not covered above; a bright idea. Without a bright idea, you’re just putting photos together. This is true of all design and is best summed up by German graphic designer Thomas Manss: “To create a memorable design you need to start with a thought that’s worth remembering.” Many photo composites serve only as a small part to a larger whole (such as putting a product into a background), but when you are doing a photo composite as a piece of art in and of itself, then starting with a good idea is a necessity. Bright ideas and strategies to come up with them is fodder for another article (or series of articles) so I haven’t covered it here.
There are a lot of great photo composite artists out there. Just do an internet search for “photo composite” and “photo manipulation”— you’ll find a whole bunch. But here are a few “stand outs” that I’ve run across. ·
Thomas Herbrich: A photographer and photo compositor, Thomas’ work is amazing on many levels. Excellent attention to detail and great ideas. His mantra is “Surprise yourself, and your audience!” and this shows in his work. His site took a while to load (I almost thought it was broken) but once you’re in, you won’t be disappointed.
John Wilhelm: Almost all of his photo composites use his daughters as the primary subject, which I think is great because it shows you that it doesn’t require a big budget to do great photo composites—a camera, friends or family as models and a copy of Photoshop. His work is amazing. I also suggest visiting his Facebook page, where he shows a lot of before-and-afters and works-in-progress. Studying how he does his composites is a learning process in itself.
Tim Tadder: Probably my favourite on this list, Tim is a photographer who does excellent photo composites. Each one is a project and the end results are a testament to his craft. His site has a lot of great photo composites but you can also find some of his “behind the scenes” on behance.
Erik Johansson: His composites are excellent but what sets him apart are his very intriguing ideas. His photo composites are reminiscent of surrealist Dali paintings.
Peter Jaworowski: Most of his work is commercial, but nonetheless amazing. He is the Executive Creative Director at Ars Thanea. You can also see a lot of his work on his behance account.
Aaron Nace: Photographer, Photoshop artist and instructor (he has quite a few courses which you can check out at http://phlearn.com/). His work is really good and worth a look at. The plus is that if you like his style, you can take one of his courses and see how he does it. You can see a lot of his work on his flickr account as well.
National Photojournalism Competition Street & Social Commentary Category Winner
Hongi by Lynn Fothergill LPSNZ
Compositing in PSNZ Are there any specific issues that you can run into when entering composited images into PSNZ salons or competitions. Fortunately there are very few rules surrounding composites so it is fairly simple.
Where is it not allowed? As compositing is a digital alteration of the image, then it is not permitted for any images entered within the nature or wildlife categories. They are also disallowed in photojournalism sections.
Where is it allowed? In the open categories compositing is allowed; however all of the images that make up the final image must have been shot by the photographer. Therefore the use of stock images is completely banned.
How will the judges know it is not all my work? In the event of a query being raised, the bylaws allow for the judges to request the original files. For most images this is just the original RAW file but for a composite image, it could include the Photoshop document that contains all of the layers.
Do I have to be a master of Photoshop to enter composited images? While the individual elements within the composite must be the work of the photographer, the rules do actually allow for someone else to assemble the composite. This is, however, provided that they are working under the guidance of the photographer. How exactly one proves that this is the case is not specified; however I suggest that you would need to show some mockups of the image or the instructions that were given to the artist.
Useful Resources by Paul Whitham LPSNZ
There are literally hundreds of books and thousands of video resources online to help with compositing. Listed below are those that I subscribe to; they post regular content on compositing in Photoshop.
YouTube Channels (free) Antti Karppinen https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCir13Zf_KMjGIYikQh_BuUA Brook Shaden https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCPMepYNZn8LpMwoOCay4eMA Glyn Dewis https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC9eJ0QMxVANECYICsnM1yzA Nemanja Sekulic https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCdf6WtVkThVyEFARiUbr5yQ Phlearn https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC47XN5bhLTBH5TRFyKaUpKg Photoshop Training Channel https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCdQ_ZkYaMe6qPoueUyPQgpQ PiXimperfect https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCMrvLMUITAImCHMOhX88PYQ
Complete multi-hour workshops (paid content) CreativeLive www.creativelive.com NuclyÂ www.nucly.com Phlearn www.phlearn.com
A Simple Composite By Paul Whitham LPSNZ
WHEN WE THINK of composites we often conjure up complicated images made up from multiple sources. The reality, though, is that composites can be of varying complexity. In this example I will demonstrate a simple composite involving a body part swap. This technique is particularly useful for group photos where you need to swap a head because somebody has either blinked or pulled a funny face. The background to the scene is simple. I wanted to shoot Libre as part of my Zodiac series but I was unable to locate a suitable set of scales. I therefore made a single scale, using a stainless steel bowl and some cheap chain. However, as I only have one of these, it meant that I was forced to shoot the photo twice and then composite them. For scenarios like this, it is best to have the camera on a fixed position, as it makes matching the images much simpler. In this case the camera was mounted on a tripod and my model Zaniah was asked to stay in one location. We were shooting with studio lights and the camera was in manual, which meant that the exposure would be consistent throughout all of the shots.
It was then a simple matter of taking a photo of Zaniah holding the scale in her left hand, and then again with it in her right. These were then brought into Lightroom and I chose the two images that I wanted to take further. I made certain that any Lightroom adjustments were done to both images before I selected the option to edit them as layers in Photoshop. Once Photoshop opened, I selected both layers and under the Edit menu chose the option to â&#x20AC;&#x153;Auto Align Layersâ&#x20AC;?. This was just an extra guarantee that the majority of the image was in exactly the same place, in case the camera had been bumped between shots. To blend the two layers together, I simply created a mask on the top layer. Using a soft brush I painted black over the area of the underlying image that I wanted to reveal. Given that Zaniah has been in a similar position and that the background was very simple, the selection did not need to be particularly precise. The advantage of using the mask is that if you do not get the selection correct on the first attempt, then you can go back and amend it. To finish the image I simply ran a recipe that I created within Nik software. In total, the final image took about five minutes to create, and proves that you donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t need to spend large amounts of time on the computer. The key, however, was in the planning, as I had a clear idea of what I wanted to achieve, and that I had ensured that the lighting and the camera position were consistent between the shots.
Photoshop Alternatives There are a number of alternative software packages on the market to Photoshop, the most popular with PSNZ members being ACDSee, Affinity Photo and Gimp.
Creating Fairy Images By Tracey Perrin
I HAVE BEEN asked how I approach creating fairy images. First off, I thought I would start with a little back story. Having always enjoyed art and photography, I bought my very first SLR camera in the late 80s. A few years ago I decided to change to digital and bought an entry level DSLR (which has now been upgraded) and was using Photoshop Elements. While home one afternoon I decided to watch the NZIPP awards online and found that the creative section really caught my eye and imagination. I had discovered a whole new and exciting world! Through my research I discovered Karen Alsop and her Story Art Facebook page, and quickly became a member of her tutorials, learning a lot about lighting your subjects, shadows and colour matching. Over the years I have also watched a number of tutorials from Phlearn with Aaron Nace, CreativeLive with Brooke Shaden and Lisa Carney, as well as various YouTube videos. One of my biggest fairy photography influences is Andrea Black from Chasing Whimsy. Through her support and tutorials (which she put on sale during lockdown) I started recreating my composites over lockdown. This brings me back to the original question - how I approach my fairy images. I have a small home studio that is a 13mÂ˛ bedroom; within this I have some props and costumes, most of which I have made, and my studio lighting. I tend to use my studio light off to one side of my fairy; this will be the side I will put the sun ray in my background. Most of my young clients request unicorns as their theme. I have made a few different unicorn background scenes from digital renders and elements which I have paid for, adjusted and blended together, and then saved as PSB1 files. During the studio session I pose the fairies in such a way that they will fit into one of my backgrounds.
1 Photoshop large file format, enabling files to exceed 2GB in size 36
Workflow Once I have chosen the files that I want to edit I bring them into camera RAW and make my adjustments, and then open in Photoshop CC as a smart object. In the quick selection tool I click select and mask, then select subject for detailed extraction. I will then use the refine edge brush to help refine hair and the see-through parts of the dress. From here I have output set to new layer with layer mask. This layer mask is what I drag and drop into my background scene.
Once the subject is in the scene I will resize and position, then on my layer mask I will blend the edges. It’s really important to fix all the edges, especially the hair and dress where it is seethrough. Now it’s a matter of blending into the scene creating grounding shadows. Then I create a copy of this layer and rasterize it so I can make adjustments on the skin to remove bags under eyes and any pimples or rashes on the skin. The reason I rasterize is because the healing brush and patch tools won’t work in smart objects. This is where I will highlight the eyes to bring out the colour and the shadows and highlights on the face, hair, skin, dress and flowers with dodge and burn using curves layers.
I never flatten any of my layers in case I have to go back and retouch anything later, but I will use a stamp visible layer (shift ctrl alt e) which will make a merged copy of everything below it, leaving the layers open underneath. This is the layer I will run the Flood Photoshop plug-in to create water. My final layers will be foreground shrubs, lighting adjustments such as sun rays, sparkles and a light overlay.
National Photojournalism Competition Sport and Action Category Winner
Throwing by Anne Lambe
Creative Photography with Bruce Girdwood FPSNZ By James Gibson APSNZ AFIAP
AFTER A TUMULTUOUS start to the Workshop Series and the re-scheduling of five of the six workshops, some more than once so far, we’re now under way with the remaining events. We’re sure you’re all excited to get out and about with your cameras again. Bruce Girdwood’s Creative Photography workshop was originally scheduled for late May this year, so we had all been waiting with bated breath for the rescheduled event to go ahead, and on Saturday 12 September Bruce led a group of eighteen PSNZ members on a journey through his very personal photographic journey. Using his own memories and images, Bruce examined how his life experiences had shaped his photography, and how people and places had influenced this development. With this backdrop, Bruce asked us to think about who we are, why we make images, and to consider that our view on the world can only be seen through our own eyes. Being so open and expressive about his experiences really resonated with me, and I think also with other attendees. With familiar names within PSNZ and several newer members, we were all able to relate to Bruce’s experiences and how he applied his own take on art and photography to our own personal photographic journeys. In the afternoon it was our turn to see where our creativity could take us, each being handed a specific, individual challenge – varying from making a selfie, asking strangers if you can take their portrait, to my own challenge of making a photograph of a flower. Within an hour we had a fantastic array of images and it was really enlightening to see how different people had interpreted their brief. Having been involved in organising the workshops over the last two years, it was a real pleasure for me to attend as a ‘student’. The face-to-face aspect of the workshops really brings home to me the huge range of talent, diversity and enthusiasm of our Image by Bruce Girdwood
membership, and how willing everyone is to share and help each other. Long may this continue! The remaining four workshops for this year are all full; last weekend (3 October), Judy Stokes APSNZ took a group on a creative tour of her own photographic ‘back yard’ at Muriwai. This coming weekend Matt Leamy LPSNZ will be hosting a macro masterclass in Nelson. November 7th sees us in Hamilton with Aaron Key taking a modelling workshop; then on 14 November Craig McKenzie has the honour of running this year’s final workshop, on Kapiti Island. For those who haven’t had the opportunity to attend one of the PSNZ Workshop Series events yet, don’t worry – next year’s events are gradually being planned and we’ll make more announcements later in the year.
Images on this page by James Gibson
Audio-Visual News by Trish McAuslan AV-AAPS FAPS APSNZ EFIAP Coordinator of Audio-Visuals for PSNZ
Jack Sprosen Memorial Trophy Competition This is your competition - because it is only open to members of PSNZ or clubs affiliated to PSNZ. Please support it if at all possible. This year it is being organised by the Tauranga Photographic Society. Entries will open on Thursday 29 October and close on Thursday 26 November. Judging will take place on 5 December. You can enter any AV that has not been successful in the JSMT competition before. Success means that the AV received a â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;commendedâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; or an award. This means you can enter newly created AVs you have created, and AVs you have entered into your club competition or into the Tauranga AV Salon.
A reminder - there is one change to the rules this year. Entries in the documentary category may run for any duration up to seven (7) minutes. The length of entries in all other categories has not been changed they may run for any duration up to five (5) minutes. If you are interested in the reason for this change, check the Audio-Visual News in the last issue of CameraTalk. If you have questions or would like some help, please ask, either on the AV Group Facebook page or by emailing Trish (mcauslanav@gmail. com).
Creating a New Audio-Visual Suppose you have been somewhere interesting and have taken heaps of photos. Now they are sitting at your computer and you would like to share them in an audiovisual. Your first important question is: ‘What story can I tell with these images?’ Next you have to decide how to organise the information you have. This may involve doing some research to gather more information about the location or the event. You need to have a way to start or introduce your story. If possible, try to capture the interest of your viewers so they become interested immediately. Next, it is important to organise your photos to tell the story logically. Finally, think of a way of ending the story without having to tell the viewers that this is the end. One way of planning your AV is to make notes on a piece of paper before you begin sorting out the images. At this stage, decide which aspect ratio you will use; the images should all be cropped to that ratio. Common ratios are 4:3, 3:2 and 16:9. The ratio you choose may depend on your camera or what suits the images or the story, but whatever you choose should be the same for all images in this AV. Now it’s time to sort out which images you will use to tell the story. Select images which have been well taken, i.e. they are sharp if they need to be, and they contribute to the story. By sorting out the images first you will not waste time post-processing images you are not going to use. Every image in your AV needs to be post-processed. This may include removing distracting elements, sharpening, and cropping each image to the ratio you have chosen.
Open your audio-visual software and load the photos. Check that the images flow and that they tell your story. Set the image length and the transition times, although these may need to be adjusted after the audio track is added. Remove any images that do not contribute to the story. Often a shorter AV which tells the story clearly and concisely will hold the interest of your audience while a longer one may become boring - not to you maybe, but to someone who wasn’t there. The audio track is an important part of the programme. The music you choose is very important as it can make a big contribution to the mood of the AV. You also need to decide if your story could be told better with a narration. Combine the audio track with the images. Check that they work well together and that the AV is not longer than is allowed in the category or competition that you plan to enter. Tidy it up. Play the programme each day, and adjust the bits that don’t quite work well. Show it to someone whose opinion you trust, and adjust it some more. When it is ready, keep a working copy so you can make more changes later if you want to. Save a copy as an mp4 and enter it. Good luck!
PSNZ Canon Online Results from Round 4, 2020 The winner of the fourth round is Allysa Carberry LPSNZ from Auckland. Allysa has been a photographer for a few years now. She writes, “I went back to school for a change in career when my children had grown. I was the oldest in the class, but that was okay. I have taken a break from photography this year due to going through breast cancer.” “This image is special. The father is a friend of my daughter’s and these are his beautiful twin girls.The photograph was taken for a father’s day gift.” The judge for this round was Janet Munnings LPSNZ LRPS. She writes: “My career as a veterinary nurse was abruptly ended when I broke my ankle and foot about eight years ago. I then joined a local camera club and started taking photos, competing in the monthly competitions. After attending a Sally Mason workshop in Hopewell I was hooked on photography. I received my LRPS from England and my LPSNZ five years ago. All the help I have received from various people over the last 10 years inspired me to offer my help to others and last year I qualified as an Accredited Judge.” “Thank you for the opportunity to evaluate all your images this month. Thank you to everyone who submitted; I only wish I could have chosen 15 entries instead of 10 as there were some very worthy top images. I chose photographs that I felt the photographer had taken exceptional time over or were a bit different from the norm. I enjoyed seeing you push your boundaries. Congratulations to everyone.”
Paul Willyams APSNZ AFIAP MNZIPP Canon Online Coordinator
Comments from the Judge
1st It’s Mine by Allysa Carberry LPSNZ I found this black and white image stunning. The connection the photographer has captured between him and the two little girls is beautiful. I love the way the girls are oblivious of the camera and more interested in trying to pull his hat off, resulting in an infectious smile on his face.
2nd Karearea by Deborah Martin LPSNZ I find this image has been perfectly executed in every way. Superb clarity has been captured throughout the bird’s feathers. The photographer has captured excellent detail and tonal ranges throughout the bird’s body. I love the depth of field that helps draws my eye immediately to the subject with no distractions and I find the circular framing compliments the curvature of the bird.
PSNZ Canon Online 3rd Wrapped in My Bubble by Julia De Cleene LPSNZ Poignant story telling captured in this image. I like the subtle colour pallet, soft lighting and the creativity. The feeling I get from looking at the girl portrays to me a sense of loneliness and she is wrapped tight in her own bubble - and teddy is hanging on by a thread.
4th Beach Forest by Derek Teague I find this image fascinating; the more you explore it the more you see. I canâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t decide if it has been made naturally or designed by the photographer, and I find it very creative. The textures and colour tones captured in the sand are stunning. The black areas I feel give this image depth and another dimension.
5th Soccer on Beach by Prashant Joshi The simplicity, composition and colour tones in this image I feel work well together. I like the layers captured in the image. The dark tones in the sand lead my eye to the subtle shades in the water to the hint of light on the horizon with good detail in the sky. I like the fact that the photographer has captured separation of the two human elements and the ball, achieving a strong image. 6th Leucistic Piwakawaka by Jayne Francis I wondered if this beautiful little bird might be presented this month. I have seen a lot of shots of it and I believe from the comments that he is very obliging and a bit of a show off. Perfectly captured by the photographer, using an excellent depth of field and even achieving a catch light in its eye. I would think this is a once-in-a lifetime shot - well done.
7th Deep in Thought by Leanne Silver I felt the photographer had achieved an amazing image of this child. He is so deep in thought, with such an intense stare that I could not take my eyes from his eyes. Good choice of black and white, achieving no distractions, just drawing my eyes to his.
PSNZ Canon Online 8th Covid Kiss by Markham Mail APSNZ The title resonates well in these uncertain times at the moment. I like the orange glow from the setting sun, which gives warmth to the image. The photographer has very cleverly captured a little heart in the middle of the two subjects under their chins, which I feel adds greatly to the story.
9th Lightning, Papamao Beach by Karl Tretheway LPSNZ This is a once-in-a-lifetime dramatic shot. I love the moodiness of the storm clouds; it is well exposed and has good composition. I find the lights from the city give a sense of scale to the image. The detail in the sky makes me feel I want to be there under all those twinkling stars. 48
10th Abstract African Daisy by Nadine Campbell LNPSNZ This image reminds me of the glass paperweights you can buy. I like the light and dark tones of the lavender that run throughout the subject, and the white centre immediately draws you in. I find the image artistic, creative and I love its sense of movement. Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s an image I can look at for a long time.
Entries for Round 5 close on 25 October
Kuran Yohannan - Silver awarded image in the Nature Category of the NZIPP 2020 Iris Awards.
Nelson National Triptych Salon 2020 by Peter Wise FPSNZ - Nelson National Triptych Salon
THE NELSON CAMERA Club is pleased to announce the results of the 2020 Nelson National Triptych Salon. We wish to congratulate all who achieved awards but most of all, thank you to all those who took part in this ‘outside the square’ event. It was great to see what creativeminded photographers can produce each year, and this year was a fine example. We received 466 entries from 112 entrants. With COVID-19 shutting down so many organisations and businesses, more prospective entrants had time to create triptychs. It was good to see an increasing number of entries from three separate images. This involves more planning and sometimes more creativity, but the rewards are greater as well. This year we invited Sue Brown FRPS of the Royal Photographic Society of Great Britain to be one of our selectors. She holds two Fellowships with the Society, one of which is for Contemporary Photography. She is an experienced assessor and was for some years on the British National Visual Arts Committee. Our other two selectors were Jane Trotter APSNZ and Bruce Burgess FPSNZ, both chosen for their experience in critiquing multiple image works. A presentation evening will be held on 12 October at the Nelson Marlborough Institute of Technology (NMIT) in Nelson, and all are invited. The evening will begin at 6.00pm in the Johnny Cash room off carpark 7, Nile St, Nelson. Please visit https://www.nelsoncameraclub.co.nz/2020-results.html to see results and a slide show of the High Awarded images. After 12 October clubs may view the Presentation Evening AV at their meetings via access to the same website. Enjoy.
Judges’ Comments for Champion and Best Category Awards Champion Midnight Train to Georgia by Dianna Hambleton LPSNZ A beautiful, complex, compelling and engaging triptych, Midnight Train to Georgia poses many questions for the viewer and makes us wonder. Each of the women inhabits her own panel and projects her own story and emotions. One clasps a suitcase with a querying, anxious look; another’s eyes are averted in quiet contemplation, while the third hurries into the carriage, pensively stroking her chin. The three panels serve to highlight our protagonists’ isolation and inner worlds, even though they are only a few feet apart. In a haunting twist, the almost ghostly reflections in the glass add yet another dimension – spectral observers also separated from their worldly counterparts.
Champion - Midnight Train to Georgia by Dianna Hambleton LPSNZ
Best ‘Around the Corner’ - Lake Ruataniwha Abstract by Jay Drew APSNZ
Best ‘Around the Corner’ Lake Ruataniwha Abstract by Jay Drew APSNZ This is an excellent example of ‘less is more’, with the author skilfully relying on alignment, balance and correct proportion to bring the whole triptych together. There are several corners to be navigated as the viewer moves from panel to panel, the buoys receding and advancing in an easy regularity. With its minimalist, graphic qualities, clever pattern development and ‘out of the box’ thinking, Lake Ruataniwha Abstract is a testament to the author’s creative vision.
Best ‘Weather’ - A Brain Storm by Helen McLeod FPSNZ GPSA ARPS
Best Monochrome - Fortune Teller by Karen Moffatt-McLeod LPSNZ
Best ‘Weather’ A Brain Storm by Helen McLeod FPSNZ GPSA ARPS This is a wonderfully creative and very clever interpretation of the ‘Weather’ category. There’s a bit of everything: pouring rain, brooding thunder clouds and crackling lightning. All are judiciously presented and carefully balanced within the three panels, especially the swirling leaves. With a deft touch of storytelling thrown into the mix, maybe there’s a glimmer of hope as the ‘brain storm’ rages and then passes, with clearer skies hinted at on the distant horizon.
Best Monochrome Fortune Teller by Karen Moffatt-McLeod LPSNZ The three images in Fortune Teller are not only excellent black and white portraits; more importantly, they present a developing and engaging storyline. With an inspired and ingenious use of depth of field, the author takes the viewer on a mysterious journey. Present, but not in focus, the fortune teller looks inwards, finding her inspiration. Gaining greater clarity in her future insights, her expressive hands come more to the fore, until finally, in the third image, she is crystal clear, eyeballing the camera, ready to deliver her prognostications. Ilan Wittenberg’ FPSNZ - Silver awarded image in the Portrait in Camera Category of the NZIPP 2020 Iris Awards. The category is intended to reward technical and creative excellence in photographing and presenting an authentic representation of a scene through in-camera capture and without the use of compositing techniques. In other words, these are photos of a single scene as captured by the lens. Post-production work must not obscure or eliminate elements, nor affect the authenticity of the original image. Ilan says that the image represents sexual objectification of women as products.
29th National Photojournalism Competition John Stewart LPSNZ Reports
THIS YEAR WE welcomed the Maree Turner Trophy for award to the top placed image in the Street and Social Commentary category. Maree, a great portrait and social commentary photographer, has been a long-time friend of the club. She recently relocated to the Wellington area, and gifted to our club equipment to help members with portrait photography. From this year onwards, the Walker Trophy, honouring the late Ted Walker, will be awarded to the top image in the Sport and Action category. Again the judges debated long and hard on many of the images, often discussing whether there had been digital manipulation, and a few were rejected for that reason. Discussion on two of the top three images in the Sport and Action category went on so long that we advised the panel that they could award two “second equals” and drop the third place if it made their job easier - and that is what they did. We will blame the COVID-19 pandemic for the slight decline in entries this year, and hope numbers rebound next year. A few regular contributors were missing this year, but we also had a few newbies. And, in 2021, we will host the thirtieth year of this competition. A big thank you to the three judges – they did a brilliant job! Graham Dean LPSNZ Michael Molloy AFIAP Dip Photo Gilbert Wealleans
The results were: Sport and Action (Walker Trophy) First
Throwing the Fleece
Racing the Rain Pauline Allen Gore
Reach Lynn Fothergill LPSNZ Auckland
Street and Social Commentary (Maree Turner Trophy)
Hongi Lynn Fothergill LPSNZ Auckland
Salt Workers Dorothy Walker Auckland
Protester (School Strike)
Anne Lambe is presented with the Walker Trophy by Ron Willems Hon PSNZ FPSNZ FAPS AFIAP ARPS
Racing in the Rain by Pauline Allen
Reach by Lynn Fothergill LPSNZ
Protester by Patrick Flanagan
Salt Workers by Dorothy Walker
Pukekohe-Franklin Creative Focus Competition 2020 By Bev McIntyre
THIS YEAR SAW a record number of entries into the Creative Focus competition. There were 984 images submitted by 106 entrants: 355 in Creative Focus, 249 in Blooming Beautiful, 245 in The Blues and 135 in All Jazzed Up. All Jazzed Up saw a wide variety of interpretations. Even though the numbers were fewer, everyone put a lot of thought into their entries. All up, 469 images were accepted, just under 50%. The effect of COVID-19 was threefold. Firstly, it seemed that photographers unleashed thir creativity while they were in lockdown and submitted more images. But it created greater logistical difficulties when trying to organise the competition whilst not being able to meet. And we had to cancel our prizegiving which was very disappointing for all concerned. The judges were awesome to work with and all said they felt honoured to be part of the competition. They were super-impressed with the quality of the entries and the incredible creativity of the entrants. They found the images inspirational and thought it fantastic that there is a competition offered for New Zealanders to showcase their photographic creativity. The competition is not only for New Zealanders though; it is open to anyone in the world who wishes to enter.
Category winners: Creative Focus
Soaring Wide by Barbara Lee APSNZ
Wrapped In My Bubble by Julia De Cleene LPSNZ
A Swirl Of Drops by Ann Bastion FPSNZ EFIAP MFIAP
All Jazzed Up
Bath Time by Gail Stent FPSNZ
Congratulations to the Supreme winner! Wrapped In My Bubble by Julia De Cleene LPSNZ
PSNZ New members We have great pleasure in welcoming the following new members of PSNZ, who joined between 1 June and 30 September 2020.
Alison McLeary Moore
Images Photography Group Covid-19 Challenges and Responses By Bev McIntyre, Secretary Images Photography Group
WHEN NEW ZEALAND went into lockdown earlier in the year, it first impacted on our April meeting. Our scheduled judge for the evening was Geoff Beals APSNZ and he usually does walk-in critiquing for our club. He agreed to have the images sent to him over/through the cloud and to produce a slide show with voice-over critiquing. Once completed it was posted to the gallery page on our club website for all members to access. He also completed result sheets for us to be able to update our points table. We, as a club, were very appreciative of Geoffâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s willingness to become creative in the delivery of his judging. The resulting slideshow is fantastic and very informative for our members. May saw the country still in lockdown and our scheduled monthly meeting was to include internal judging, whereby members have the opportunity to comment on the image displayed and then vote on the award to be given. The challenge was to find a platform for this to still happen. Our solution was to have all the images put into a slideshow and posted to our website gallery. A word document scoring sheet was also posted to the website for download. Members watched the slideshow, awarded their scores and then sent in their completed score-sheets for compiling the final results. When the results were finalised they were sent to our club webmaster who updated the slideshow and reposted it to the website gallery. This collaborative effort worked well. We did the same thing again in September as it was our bi-monthly Internal Judging night. The club is based in Auckland City, Pukekohe to be precise, so meeting in person was not to happen. The processes were in place, they had worked the first time, and they worked again. We just needed to have the ability to adapt to the constraints of what is called our new normal - and our wonderful members did just that. www.images.org.nz
Club news If your club has information or events that you would like to share, email the details to LindsayÂ Stockbridge LPSNZ at dilinz@ actrix.co.nz.
Those Letters after Peopleâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Names By Paul Whitham LPSNZ
IF YOU HAVE read CameraTalk for some time, or have seen other PSNZ publications, you will notice that some people have letters after their names. These represent the various levels of honours that have been bestowed on them by PSNZ or other photographic societies that PSNZ acknowledges. The following appeared in 2020 issues of CameraTalk.
PSNZ Awards LPSNZ
Licentiate of the Photographic Society of New Zealand Success in submitting a portfolio of 10 images.
Associate of the Photographic Society of New Zealand Success in submitting a portfolio of 12 images.
Fellow of the Photographic Society of New Zealand Having received an APSNZ, success in submitting a portfolio of 18 images.
Life member of the Photographic Society of New Zealand Awarded for outstanding service to photography, particularly through organisational work
Honorary Fellowship The highest service award granted by PSNZ. This is awarded to a member who has made unique contributions of significant importance to the Society.
Other New Zealand Awards ANPSNZ
Associate of the Nature Photographic Society of New Zealand Success in submitting a portfolio of 12 nature images to the Nature Photographic Society of New Zealand.
Recognised Overseas Bodies Australia Photographic Society AAPS AV-AAPS FAPS
Associate of the Australian Photographic Society Associate of the Australian Photographic Society in Audio-Visual Fellow of the Australian Photographic Society
The honours levels within APS can be gained through two completely separate pathways. For more information, refer to their website https://www.a-p-s.org.au.
Royal Photographic Society (Great Britain) LRPS
Licentiate of the Royal Photographic Society Success in submitting a portfolio of 10 images.
Associate of the Royal Photographic Society Success in submitting a portfolio of 15 images.
The RPS honours system is much more extensive than the PSNZ framework. More information can be found at https://rps.org/qualifications/.
The International Federation of Photographic Art (FIAP) AFIAP
Artiste FIAP Having taken part in at least 15 international salons under FIAP patronage in at least eight countries and received at least 40 acceptances with at least 15 different works. Also includes a minimum of four different prints that have received acceptances.
Excellence FIAP Having previously been awarded an AFIAP and had at least 250 acceptances with at least 50 different works in at least 30 international salons under FIAP patronage in 20 different countries. Also includes a minimum of 12 different prints that have received acceptances.
Master FIAP Must have been a holder of EFIAP for three years and submitted a portfolio of 20 images.
Excellence FIAP for Services Rendered Awarded to those persons who have given exceptional service over a long period for the benefit of FIAP.
Photographic Society of America Portfolio based BPSA
Bronze Distinction Success in submitting a portfolio of 10 images.
Silver Distinction Having received BPSA and success in submitting a portfolio of 15 images.
Gold Distinction Having received SPSA and success in submitting a portfolio of 20 images.
Recognition of Photographic Achievement (ROPA) QPSA
Qualified Having received 54 acceptances from one or multiple PSA Divisions.
Proficiency Having received 288 acceptances from one or multiple PSA Divisions. Excellence Having received 700 acceptances from one or multiple PSA Divisions.
More detailed information on PSA distinctions can be found at http://www.psa-photo.org. 62
PSNZ Membership Benefits Helping photographers grow As a PSNZ member you can enjoy a range of benefits, including: • Expert advice to help improve your photography. • The opportunity to achieve a higher Society distinction (APSNZ, FPSNZ). • A complimentary copy of New Zealand Camera, and the ability to submit your images for selection in this annual publication. • Access to member only resources, including a member only PSNZ Facebook page for social chat and updates with other members. • The opportunity to enter the Canon Online Competition, with trophies for each round and for the overall winner each year. • Discounts for Society activities, such as the annual PSNZ national convention, special workshops, international competitions and much more. • The opportunity to participate in regional club meetings and events, including the PSNZ Workshop Series. • A copy of our bimonthly magazine – CameraTalk, with news, reviews, events and some of the best photography around. • The opportunity to exhibit your work in exhibitions such as the PSNZ Canon National Exhibition, Regional Salons and other member only online competitions. • Access to judge training workshops which are free for PSNZ members. • Ability to promote your website on our website. • Receive our regular blog posts to stay up to date with the latest news on events, activities and special offers. • Product discounts and savings when they are offered from our corporate partners and associated companies. • Discounts for major NZIPP events as a PSNZ member.
The Last Image
Sarah Caldwell APSNZ - Gold awarded image in the Commercial Section of the NZIPP 2020 Iris Awards