HAPPY 2013

We wish all members and friends of JPS a safe and relaxing festive season and a happy new year. Looking forward to some ongoing improvements to continue to roll out in the new year.

The first meeting will take place on 15th January 2013.

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Photokina – It’s A Wrap

Now that Photokina is over and all of the press releases have hit the Internet. I am certain most of you have seen what’s been released. However I will summarise some interesting changes and new releases.

If you have not heard the big news is that Google has bought Nik Software! (That’s the company that brought Snapseed to around 9 million iPads near you) However you look at this, it is going to bring change and possibly some change we may not want, Google have said in a press statement that they support the pro side of the software, and its business as usual. I think that is great news. Fantastic product that would be sad to lose, plus it keeps the other players in the software market on their toes.

On the product front Nikon released the D600, the most affordable full frame sensor DSLR they have ever offered. Canon followed a couple of days later with the 6D also an affordable full frame sensor DSLR.

Sony has been very very busy, they not only released more new product than I want to type about, but at various levels they have business relationships with Zeiss, Nikon, Fuji, Apple and now Hasselblad. And that’s what comes to mind without doing too much research. Canon must be feeling lonely?

Speaking about Hasselblad they showed a new mirrorless concept which is a dressed up Sony Nex 7. I’m sorry but after the ugliness hits you, the sticker price knocks you out. I can only scratch my head in wonderment. What were they thinking? Is Hasselblad that desperate?

Talking about Zeiss they are going to be releasing lenses for the new Fuji XF mount (as well as the Sony E mount), this offers a lot of credibility to the commitment to this new mount. They will also be offering a new higher end range of manual focus lenses designed at DSLR’s with 30Mp and above resolution. And Fuji releasing the X-E1 a smaller more efficient and more affordable X-pro1, with two additional lenses starts to turn this into a system. The X-E1 also won the Photokina STAR 2012 award.

Leica showed several new cameras and lenses, but I’m only interested in the new M. There are two, the M-E is the M9 repackaged at a lower price. The new M has a 24mp CMOS sensor and will sell for the same price as the current M9. It has live view, video, the option to add a EVF. So the M is new but not much different. It still looks fantastic. Yes it’s pricing is really high end. It’s lenses are built like objects of art, and if the manual focus bit did not scare me I would want one more than I want one.

So all in all a lot of the same but with improved specs. Lots of great tools for the photographer to make some really wonderful images, no matter what you are using these days.

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Photographic Conceptualisation: Inside the mind of a crazy person (a photographer)

We have the first written words from one of our members, a big thank you to Marc for his ramblings. What he does not know is that now, he has to follow with a serious of discussions taking concept to final image.

Even if we start with the image and take it to a final conceptual idea.

Photographic Conceptualisation: Inside the mind of a crazy person (a photographer).

 

I was talking to one of our club members the other day about how we take photo’s these days. We were discussing abstract photography and photographic manipulation. While I like all types of photography, the more abstract “photoshopped” ones I steer away from as they are not really my cup of tea.

That being said, during the discussion, one of these images is exactly what I thought of. I have not yet taken the pictures, but I would like to take you through my thought processes. All too often we see pictures with the camera settings, but we very seldom have a glimpse into the thought behind the image. Here we will start with the thought, we have no captured image (yet) and hopefully inspire photographic thought.

The image concept

 The image is a flood image, with references to Noah in the bible, climate change, and images from the “2012” movie.

The foreground of the image is taken up by an olive tree on dark soil. This soil fades into the background of a sand dune (Namib style dune, big). The top of the dune merges into a crashing wave coming from the back of the image and threatening to envelop the scene. There is a small amount of sky above the wave. There is a white dove (fairly small) in the foreground carrying off an olive branch.

Ok, so that is the image.

Now from the author’s perspective, the dove could mean the false information around climate change. “Look world, everything is ok”. One might even add a rainbow. The dune and the wave indicate the drying and flooding that will be experienced by climate change and the olive tree and dove have obvious connotations.

Making the image

Ok, now that we have the concept, how to get there?

1.  Find an olive orchard and photograph an olive tree from slightly high perspective. Look for one on dark soil with an expanse of soil behind to reduce processing.

Lighting from behind and left.

  1. Photograph a dune – golden orange colour

Lighting from behind and left.

  1. Photograph a large about to break wave. On the beach (protect camera), use a tripod and get a low angle (tripod legs horizontal). Work on white balance to get a blue turquoise green colour in wave.

Lighting from behind and left.

  1. Photograph and olive branch and the dove

Lighting from behind and left.

Now we have our images. We merge them in photoshop and hey presto an image appears. Well it will when I get all the images!

Lighting is incredibly important. Different lighting angles will make the image look false. This is why I emphasised it.

I know I don’t have an image to show you. So what?! The crux of photography is the image in your mind. Go out there and show us what your mind sees!

Marc Leroy

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Photokina 2012

The photography trade show held every two years in Germany, called Photokina is around the corner. Its Big, as in range of 1200 exhibitors and 180,000 attendees. Apparemtly there will be over 6000 journalists at the show.

So from September 18th to 23rd, a lot of new stuff is going to be introduced. I am certain that the web, followed by print media will cover all the new product launches. We already are seeing leaks as well as official releases from the top players. Sony have released specs on new Nex cameras, Fuji are pushing forward with new models in the X series. Possible affordable full frame DSLR’s from Nikon (D600??) & another offering from Canon. Rumours are abound that we may see a M10 from Leica. Imagine they may even launch a affordable (relative in Leica speak) mirrorless, but don’t hold your breath.

What should be interesting is how the various players market their strategies. With a shrinking point and shoot market, a confused mirrorless market and a mature SLR market this makes for fascinating viewing. All I can hope is that camera makers stop holding back on the features that should be in their products and ditch the rubbish no one ever uses but makes for marketing bumf.

How about a mirrorless Aps-C or even a full frame sensor in a compact well built body that has battery life, can focus and a EVF that has technology from this decade in it. And one small additional request it is not another soulless cold box of circuit boards. Yes I know it’s a tall order but I know it can be done! As each request has been met by a different manufacturer, and that is the problem. We need just one to pull it all together.

So let’s sit back and wait to see how all this promotion will benefit the photographer.

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The World Of Photography

Photography, is as subjective as the image itself. It asks as many questions as it answers. The Internet has changed photography! Or perhaps photography has changed the internet?

It has provided beginners and advanced photographers with access to so much information. Books, educational training and tutorials, web blogs and discussions by top photographers, google + hangouts, software downloads are all a click away.

Here we hope to be able to bring some hands on  feedback on a regular basis on various topical discussions. Looking at the options, benefits and considerations that the world of photography gives us.

One thing that photography will remind you time and time again is that there is many more than one way to achieve a result.

Some of the subjects that will be looked at initially will include  discussions often on the mind of beginners and sometimes overlooked by long time shooters such as RAW vs Jpeg, Post Processing, Which Camera? and Tripods just to mention a few.

Look out for the first blog article to be available soon. And please feel free to share ideas, experiences and knowledge.

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Where to next?

The new JPS website has been up for a few months now, with updated and refreshed content which hopefully is more accessible, in an easier to navigate site. But most importantly the focus (no pun intended) is around trying to keep it current.

Events, images and content has been at the top of the list. This should be a place where members and fellow photographers can visit to get information as to what’s happening at the club, but also find other resources that will be of interest and hopefully will spark further investigation into subjects and create discussion.

Various points are made and discussed at club meetings. Many questions are asked followed by comments and sometimes instruction. Some of the more interesting and often debatable issues from club meetings will be dealt with on the clubs blog.

When possible member and  guest articles or instruction will be included. We look forward to some feedback that will assist the club in providing visitors with greater value and information.

As we are entering into the next stage of the growth of the JPS website, the club hopes that all enjoy and join into the discussion of photography.

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Photographic Competition For Clubs

The Voortrekker Monument and the Heritage Foundation in Pretoria are
planning to publish a birthday calendar on 1 December 2012, to celebrate the
175 years’ commemoration of the battle of Blood River (16 December 1838).
Twelve monuments in South Africa have been selected for inclusion in the
calendar;  French Huguenots (Franschoek ), Afrikaans Taalmonument (Paarl),
Karel Landman Monument (Alexandrië), Vrouemonument (Bloemfontein), Vegkop
(Heilbron), Freedom Monument (Vereeniging), De la Rey equestrian Statue (Lichtenburg), Coert Steynberg Granite Wagon, Blood River (Dundee /Vryheid), Paardekraal Monument (Krugersdorp), Voortrekker Monument
(Pretoria), Kruger Statue (Church Square, Pretoria) and Louis Botha
equestrian statue (Union Buildings, Pretoria).
In order to obtain photos of these monuments, for use on the birthday
calendar, photography clubs countrywide will be invited to take part in a photo competition.

After the closing date, (12 October 2012), a panel of experts will
adjudicate the photos submitted for the competition.  Twelve winning photos
will be selected for the birthday calendar (one photo for each month of the year). The overall winner, as well as the second and third runners-up will
receive prizes sponsored by various sponsors.

All members of  JPS photographic club are invited to participate.

As  JPS has had this exciting competition extended to us., we ask you to please enter this competition.
The committee will decide on how to select the photo’s for the club submission and will notify you in the near future of the process regarding submission.
However,  in the mean time, you can get on with visiting the monuments and taking in some history and many pictures.

 

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Welcome to the new JPS Camera Club Website

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