13th November 'How I did that'

Photographic technologies a century apart were demonstrated by a group of club members in a ‘How I did that’ set of presentations. Whilst the majority of the evening provided tips and guidance on the use of post-production image software, the advances of the previous century were also on show proving that in any field of creative endeavour that there is always something new around the corner. What remains to be seen is whether today’s advances will have the durability of the past at least in physical terms.
Jon Peters began the meeting with a very useful guide to re-sizing digital images so that they met the requirements for projection in club competitions. He showed how with just a few clicks of the software buttons re-sizing was very simple and even more so if you wanted to apply this technique to multiple images.
Blurred and out of focus images were problems tackled by Tom Borg using Focus Magic. Here, pictures which might not impress a judge because of their softness or lack of clarity were brought back to a crisp and sharp state that might make them future winners. The message clearly was – try not to have camera shake but if you do all may not be lost if use this software package.
Competition pictures which are dramatic and eye-catching can be created by a little enhancement using programs such as Topaz Adjust or Topaz Black & White effects. Peter Elliston demonstrated these but warned of the dangers of too much ‘picture pop’ rendering an image too bold and unnatural.
Maurice Sadler took the club back to the D-Day landings with a series of evocative photographic images of wartime locations translated into spectacular artistic line drawings using Photoshop Elements proving that even ordinary and common views can be modified and artistically changed using twenty-first century artifice.
But it was Tony Drew who showed that one hundred and twelve years ago Kodak produced a technology that could stand the test of time. His Kodak Panoram is part of his extensive camera collection and he described with enthusiasm how the invention of this early wide angle image camera from a bygone era – essentially a wooden box with a fixed lens and no conventional shutter - was every much as sophisticated as the cameras of the present. It was not a case of ‘the old ones are the best’ but more you need the past to invent the present.