On the move!

by Mar 17, 2024

Last week we enjoyed our third critique evening of the season, this time with the optional theme of “movement”.  As with similar evenings, members were encouraged to introduce their images (for example, describing where the image was taken, what attracted them to the subject, or maybe how they took the image) and then other members were invited to comment and ask questions.  Once again we enjoyed a great selection of images covering a wide range of subjects!

Christine G kicked us off with her clever take on movement – a scene from a Cuban carnival – where colour and movement were in plentiful supply!  Members agreed there was great use of shadow to frame the picture (giving the image a pleasing balance), and that the spacing between the people in the image worked well.  A number of members also commented that the silhouette of the person on the left would have made a great picture in itself.  A great image to get us going, and taken on a smartphone, so a reminder you don’t need to have fancy photography gear to get a great image!

“Carnival in Cuba” – Christine G

Up next was Alfred C’s black headed gull.  Alfred explained how this was one of the first images that he took with his new Pentax camera, putting the autofocus capability through its paces in Beddington Park.  Alfred took 20-30 images in total, but happily admitted that not all showed motion, unlike this image which has a nice bit of movement on the wings while keeping the body of the bird nice and sharp.  Post-processing was limited to a bit of darkening of the background in order to accentuate the main subject, and voila! For those interested in the technical details, this was taken at 1000th of a second / f9 in order not to completely freeze the motion. It looks like the new camera is going to be a formidable weapon, so watch out everyone!

“Black Headed Gull” – Alfred C

Martin D then took us to Italy with his wonderful waterfall image.  This Umbrian waterfall is apparently the largest man-made waterfall in the world .. and if you want to get a feel for the scale, look for the two little people in the upper right-hand corner of the image.  To capture the movement of the water Martin used a 10-stop ND filter which allowed him an 8 second exposure.  If you notice a bit of “softness” (to coin a judge’s expression 😉) in the foreground, Martin explained that this was caused by vibration from the sheer volume of water crashing! A really lovely shot that reminded me of a scene from the Lord of the Rings .. I can imagine the elves living here!

“Marmore Falls” – Martin D

Back to the UK next and flying high with David M’s Spitfires!  David shared how he took this image about 10 years ago but hadn’t done anything with it as the silhouettes were too dark against the bright sky.  Thanks to the amazing capabilities of the latest editing software, David managed to produce this excellent image .. so don’t be over-zealous deleting images, as you never know what you might be able to do with them in the future!  A number of members commented on the halo’s around the wings, for which there appear to be a number of fixes .. perhaps that should be the topic of one of our upcoming editing evenings?

“On Display” – David M

From flying planes to flying arrows, with Philip R’s perfectly captured speeding arrow.  Taken at 1600th of a second, this image perfectly stops the motion of the arrow in flight (which many of us noted was not heading for a bullseye!).

“Speeding Arrow” – Philip R

Brian C (who henceforth shall be referred to as Brian C LRPS – well done Brian – brilliant achievement!) then took us to Brighton with this gorgeous shot.  While Brian was unfortunately not able to join us to explain his image (he had more important things to do, like getting his LRPS!) we speculated that maybe this was taken on the recent day out that a number of us enjoyed in Brighton .. beautiful soft colours in the sky, loads of movement with the murmuration, and an added feel of movement through what a number of members mused might have been some “lens twisting”.  Great image!

“Sunset in Motion” – Brian C LRPS

And now for something completely different!  David P gave us a picture of his neighbour’s toilet window (yes, really) so perhaps a very oblique reference to movement there (toilet etc?!) .. anyway, what makes this image so different to everything else is that it was taken using a “zone plate” .. “What’s a zone plate?” I hear you cry .. well not many of us had heard of them before either, so Google away if you’d like to learn more!  Alternatively, here’s a link to a photographer who explains a little about what they are and also showcases the effect that they create: https://www.cynthiamerzerphotography.com/BodiesofWork/Zone-Plate-Imagery

As David explained, the effect that this gives is a soft look which seems to work well with architectural subjects where you have geometric shapes.  As if we weren’t already “out there” enough, to use David’s own words “To confound things even more, I used an infrared camera” .. trust David 😊.

“A Small Window” – David P

Dave S then literally took us to a different world with his clever take on a tropical sub-sea scene .. but as normal with Dave, nothing is quite what it first appears to be, and this was very much the case with this image!  Look closely and you will see that the “coral” is actually a macro shot of lichen,  which Dave colour-adjusted to make more tropical!  Very convincing!

“A Different World” – Dave S

Roshan R then gave us a quick demo on how he created his take on motion.  This image was based on a shot taken at Alexandra Palace and was the output of a number of editing processes that involved all manner of clever manipulation that I cannot begin to describe here (I really am a Photoshop luddite!).  Anyway, through his Photoshop wizardry, Roshan managed to turn an image with no discernible motion into this fantastic motion-packed image.  Well done indeed!

“Powered by Gravity” – Roshan R

After coffee (and having seen one image from each member that submitted work) we then had a slightly faster canter through the remaining images.  Accordingly (and before you fall asleep reading) I will similarly pick up the pace on the blog narrative 😊

Brian C (yes, he’s an LRPS now!) gave members a lot to consider with his second image!  There was a lot of speculation on how Brian created the blurred effects, with some “interesting” consequences being noted e.g. half of a building being in focus and half of the same building being blurred.  Brian will have to explain what was going on in this image some other time 😊

“Here ComesT’ Train Again” – Brian C LRPS

Despite the worrying lack of health and safety, Martin D delivered some great motion in the steam powered saw  and flywheel.  Members also appreciated the strong colour patches which contrasted well with the almost monochrome saw.  Thankfully no fingers flying off in this image (that would have made for  a very unsavoury interpretation of the motion theme!!!).

“Steam Powered Saw” – Martin D

In the next image Brian C LRPS (you get the idea yet? 😉) managed a great capture of in-flight birds framed between two smoke trails.    One member suggested that the image would have been even better if the birds had been in front of the planes and had the smoke trails coming out from behind them .. maybe a job for Dave S!?

“It’s No Use, We Can’t Keep Up” – Brian C LRPS

Back to the train theme, Dave S introduced movement to this scene by blurring the view out of the winder.  Very effective!  Members also commented on the vibrancy of the seat upholstery and appreciated the symmetry in the image.

“Passing Through” – Dave S

Martin D ‘s image from Balmoral was a great example of what you can do without a tripod or expensive gear (camera and lens cost around £100!).   This image was taken handheld, so f22 and a short shutter speed.  Luckily the rocks to the right of the image gave him something to lean against!

“River Dee” – Martin D

Christine G then took us off to somewhere more exotic (I can’t quite recall where) with this great shot of The Royal Clipper (https://www.starclippers.com/en/our-fleet/tall-ships/introducing-royal-clipper.html).  Somehow Christine managed to persuade the captain to put a tender out so that she and some fellow passengers could get a picture of the ship under full sail .. a great shot and members felt it worked really well not having the top of the mast in the frame, as this almost makes the ship feel taller.

“Royal Clipper at Sea”- Christine G

Back to the Bluebell Railway and Dave S sped things up a bit in this image by selectively adding some blur to key moving parts (wheels, con rods etc). Very clever, but some members wondered whether the implied speed of the wheels was somewhat at odds with the rather vertical rise of the smoke column .. the editing devil is in the detail 😉

“Steam Power” – Dave S

Philip R then took us back into the skies with this great shot of a bird of prey taken near Andover. A crop form a larger image, this shot is still brilliantly sharp (you can zoom right in and it’s still very clear).

“Preparing for Touchdown” – Philip R

Next we found ourselves in Brands Hatch courtesy of Alfred C.  Taken a few years ago, this was captured on a 180 degree bend which works really well for photographers: not only do the bikes have to slow down (making it easier to shoot them) but most follow the same line through the bend so you can prepare your shot (focus etc) in advance.  A good example of panning (keeping the subject in focus while the background gets blurred) and a nice amount of space in front of the bike for it to “move” into.  The “OMG” on the back of the bike nicely sums up what it must feel like for the rider!

“Superbiker” – Alfred C

Another example of David P’s zone plate (go read about it if you haven’t already!) .. if I noted it correctly, this was the equivalent of ISO 640, 80th of a second and f45! This image was also taken with David’s infrared camera, so he added sepia tones in post-processing.  This is apparently as sharp as it gets with a zone plate, so something to challenge our judges with 😉

“Suburbia”- David P

A quick trip to Amsterdam allowed us to share in the obvious enjoyment that this couple were experiencing on their bikes.  While Philip felt that there could have been a bit more wheel blur, members had a slightly different view and thought it was just right (as was the blurring of the background). Another good example of panning (keeping the subject sharp and the background blurred) and lovely to have something red in the image!

“We Enjoy Our Bikes in Amsterdam” – Philip R

Our final image of the evening was courtesy of David M and was another from his 10-year old archive.  As with his first plane image, this one benefitted from the amazing capabilities that editing software now make available to us. We all enjoyed the nice lighting behind the lanes and the movement in the propellers!

“New Recruits Required” – David M

A great evening full of active engagement and lively discussion.  Thanks to everyone that entered an image, and thank you to Chris R for handling the IT and Alfred for stepping in as compere in Brian C LRPS’s absence!

Read More 

Open PDI Competition No.  4,  judged by David Lloyd LRPS

Open PDI Competition No.  4, judged by David Lloyd LRPS

Open PDI Competition No.  4 was judged by David Lloyd LRPS.  David travelled to us from the Dorking area and is a member of the United Postfolios of Great Britain organisation. He explained that this is a postal / online photographic organisation that...

Better late than never?!

Better late than never?!

Well it seemed like an OK idea at the time when I agreed to take a turn on the blog rota two days before going away on holiday, but with hindsight that probably wasn’t so wise as I completely forgot I needed to write something until this morning! Oops! Sorry for...

Leave a comment.

1 Comment

  1. David Pelling

    A great blog Mark, thank you. For anyone interested I have added some information in the Forum about zone plate photography. You need to click on the link at the bottom of the post to open the image of a zone plate.

Submit a Comment

error: Content is protected !!