‘Architectural Britain – old and new’ is the theme for the 2014 National U3A Photography Competition, and the closing date for entries is not far off – so what better time to visit our Digital Photography Group led by Alan Saywood.
Of course to be a member of this group you need a camera, and it is helpful if you have some knowledge of how to use it. Many modern digital cameras are quite complicated, as are the computer programs available to modify or enhance the photo, and it is therefore very useful for the members of the group to discuss matters, and for the more knowledgeable to pass on their expertise. Some good results have even been obtained with cameras in mobile ‘phones.
At fortnightly meetings the members each bring a small number of prints to be discussed and criticised by the others, with suggestions for improvement. The leader Alan is an artist and so has a good eye for colour and composition, and each of the others has his own particular strengths. Sometimes the subject matter of the prints to be shown has been decided at the previous meeting, but quite often each member simply brings what he (male embraces female for this purpose) has recently prepared. Subject matters vary widely with some preferring buildings, others such things as vivid colour and oddities, another small insects and wildlife and others landscapes or simply skilful composition. From time to time an ‘away day’ is agreed at a suitable location to obtain interesting photos, such as Coggeshall or Tollesbury.
Future subjects may include close-ups or holiday magic moments, or perhaps taking a camera apart and seeing what goes on inside. Another subject Alan is keen to explore further is the manipulation of photographs using programs such as Photoshop Elements – one member is extremely good at this (and I know of one who would benefit from it!).
The group held its own competition where each member entered two pictures on the theme of architecture and then each cast a vote for their preference. The winning photographs are shown below:
More pictures can be seen under the group’s website entry Digital Photography Pages
Alan has been group leader for about three years and the meetings are held at his house. He says that not all members are able to attend every meeting and although space at times may be tight, he could accommodate two more members.