After our usual pre-flight safety demonstration, it was time for lift off! This time it was Brian C in the lion’s den, having taken over chairing from Mark B. His plan is to continue reinvigorating the club, building on Mark’s great work. Brian is especially keen to develop additional club activities, out and about at other times and places. 

We had a whistle stop tour of the new Programme from Mark B. It looks nicely varied and offers an excellent spread of speakers. It’s really great that a number of speakers will be including live demos of how they achieve their stunning photography. I’m especially looking forward to finding out more about night-and-day panoramas, astro photography and light-painting.

There were a few necessary logistics from Anne H: Don’t forget to return your signed membership form (for GDPR purposes), even if you pay by bank transfer. It’s also important that you include the registration number(s) of your car(s), if you ever intend to park in the church car park during our meetings. If your windscreen permit has faded, fear not, as you’ll soon be issued with a replacement.

Have you ever wondered how you get from the image on your computer screen to a properly printed and mounted photo suitable for entering in a club competition or adorning one of your walls at home? Brian C and David P ably demystified the process for us, in their presentations and demos for the rest of the evening.

First, Brian C talked about online and in-store printing services as well as printing at home. In terms of online or in-store, he suggested you opt for one of the professional quality firms, that would give you the most control over how the finished product would look. For instance, Loxley Colour or the more high-end WhiteWall. Apparently, Brian had amassed a large number of personal email addresses – on the basis that firms often offer an initial once-only joining discount!

It’s worth asking firms for samples of their papers, so that you can choose the best paper for each photo you’re having printed. Generally, judges seem to prefer matte/ lustre/ semi-gloss, rather than a gloss finish.

Next, Brian talked about his own workflow in Lightroom. This was quite a technical part of the evening. The idea was to achieve greater control over how your photos would look when printed out – WYSIWYG, in other words: ‘What you see is what you get’. By applying the profile supplied by online printing firms or the printer and paper profiles for your own printer, you can ‘soft proof’ in Lightroom and be pretty confident of the finished result, once you press the ‘print’ button (‘print to file’ if you’re sending off your photos to be printed online). If you’re printing at home, it’s worth starting by printing small and then you can afford some trial and error before scaling up. 

If it was all a bit complex to take in at one go, Brain recommended a Kindle book by Robin Whalley: Perfect Prints Every Time: How to achieve excellent photographic prints

Next, David P explained how to mount your print, using shop-bought mounts, DIY or using the Photocraft mounting service (see members’ area of our website). If you’re cutting your own mounts you will need some specialist equipment, such as the Logan Compact Mount Cutter or the Keencut Ultimat Professional Mount Cutter. But why bother, when David can prepare the mounts for you (all profits to Photocraft)? 

There is, by the way, a brand new feature in the ordering process: you can choose between border-priority and mount-priority. So, for instance, if you need to end up with a 50 x 40 cm mount to enter an SPA competition, just specify that overall size within ‘mount priority’.9 October

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