Written by Keith Nuttall
Ten of us met on a quiet cloudy evening in Stockport town centre, armed with cameras and tripods.
The challenge was to see what would make a good photograph, given the available light, which wasn't great. Most subjects were poorly or unevenly lit, and the lights themselves were much brighter than their surroundings.
Some of us set up tripods outside the Art Gallery, and tried to capture the gallery or the Town Hall opposite. Some of us tried to avoid the traffic, and some of us wanted more traffic! Occasionally, a confused pedestrian would have to navigate an array of cameras, worried about ruining someone's shot!
Heading down the hill, some attempted the deserted bus station and the viaduct arches, whilst others headed for the public space outside the Merseyway shopping centre, where the most eyecatching subject was the Plaza Theatre.
There was a strange still atmosphere in the 'square', made stranger by a bunch of amateur photographers, desperately looking for something interesting to shoot. The shopping centre didn't really cut the mustard, so we concentrated on the Plaza itself.
The local police circled us a few times, clearly concerned that a bunch of people with cameras on tripods were up to no good, but left us alone once they discovered we were actually just taking photographs.
This was thirsty work, so we decided to call it a night and head for some liquid refreshment, before heading home with our memory cards.
Written by Keith Nuttall
The judge at a recent SPS Compex 4 competition kept referring to some prints as "full size". I wondered what he was on about, and the penny has just dropped.
He criticised one of my photos as being "not wide enough". It was a vertical format photo down an Italian alley. The original file is only a tiny bit wider, so I couldn't have obliged, although I suspect, he'd have been happier if I'd cropped it closer at the top and bottom, to make it shorter.
Reading between the lines, I think the judge isn't happy with the limitations of projectors. They usually present images in a 4:3 or 16:9 horizontal format. Landscape format images will always appear larger than their portrait format equivalents.
So, his advice to make vertical format images as wide as possible seems to me to mean: make your images as *big* as possible on the projector screen.
I'm sure we've all thought about this when selecting portrait format images for competitions. At Bradford PS, we had a 'friendly' print competition, where the biggest prints usually won. It seems obvious to me that size matters.
Maybe, if we don't want to favour one format over the other, digital images should be submitted in a square format, like 1050x1050.
Written by Tony Hewitt
Recently, the society arranged a photo shoot in the centre of Manchester. We met at Piccadily and 8 of our members ventured up Tib Street on foot, into The Northern Quarter.
There we split into smaller groups and spread out around the back streets. There were various areas of interest, some very run down and showing signs of severe wear and tear, others were were very new and shiny. Some parts were streets of bars and restaurants, with a very nice friendly atmosphere.
The street art was very striking, with quite large buildings painted with murals and other parts had smaller works of art that were more like mosaics.
There were several building worth a revisit in better lighting conditions. Most people were working hand held.
People who had brought tripods benefited as the light levels dropped very quickly as the sun went down and cast shadows in narrow streets.
This area is worth a visit, particularly for anyone interested in street photography.
At the end on the evening, the light finally failed and we retired to a bar for refreshments.
Written by Tony Arnold
The Stockport Photographic Society was founded in 1890 and so its 100th anniversary was celebrated in 1990. To commemorate this at the time, a Centenary Year Book was published.
Unfortunately not many copies survive to this day, and so to preserve this publication, work was undertaken to digitise the book. This work has now been completed and a PDF copy of the year book is now available. The original format and images of the book have been preserved as best as possible.
To download a copy, click here.
Written by Tony Arnold
Last Tuesday saw a group of us at Millwood Studio in Stalybridge trying out our skills at photographing models in a studio environment. The studio has only been open a week or two so everything was very clean and modern. It was well equipped with several sets on two levels.
Downstairs there was a white room with a double ended infinity cove. Ideal for taking shots with a perfectly white background. Add your own more interesting backgrounf if you want.
We had three models, some more experienced than others but all were excellent in my view.
Thanks to Alan and Diane for arranging this evening. It was great fun! Can we go again please?