Thursday 22 November we had a workshop on `Photography using Cross Polarisation organised by Michele Emslie. As you can see this involves using an LCD screen as the light source. This emits polarised light, in other words the light generated by the screen comes out in a narrow angle. We all had polarising filters on our cameras and by rotating these we can block most of the light from the screen so it appears black or a dark magenta (Apple Retina screens).
If we then put a transparent object in front of the screen that has some degree of polarising capability (because of internal stress or molecular structure) the polarised light gets rotated and not blocked anymore by the polarising filter on the camera. Clear plastic things like cups, cutlery, CD case, safety specs all do this to varying degrees, as you can see from the images captured on the night. The different colours are related to the thickness and the stress in the plastic, the light gets rotated more when the plastic is thicker, as it has to travel a longer path.
A few images of club members in action, we had to turn the lights off in the room to avoid reflections and spoiling the colours, hence it was a bit dark apart from the laptops lighting up the room.
We all enjoyed this evening and since this is easy to do once you know how, I’m hoping to see more of these images from our Visionaires. Many thanks to Michele Emslie for organising the evening.
October shots have an autumn theme, red squirels by Hugh Smith and Alan Meek, Madasgaskar talk by Lynda Gordon ( a few of those here). Wildlife, weddings and a few shots from our pole dancing shoot at the club.
Put these up on our blog as I told the young artists I’d post them on the Visions page but then realised our facebook page is closed. So hopefully they will find this via Google. Maybe this page can be updated with the finished work, when one of us visits the beach.
Another trip from our summer excursions programme, this time organised by Pamela Adam. First a brief stop at the wreck of the fishing boat at Cairnbulg. Light was rather dull here, so we did not linger too long.
Then onwards to Fraserburgh harbour, where we wandered around briefly and took a few shots of boats etc.
Our next and final stop was at the Lighthouse Museum which provided more interesting opportunities as the light had now improved and the setting sun was coming through the clouds. We met Derek Gray here and we all tried our version of a shot he was taking.
Just for fun I’ve posted three versions of more or less the same shot below:
Our summer outdoor excursions programme took us to the Forest of Birse near Finzean for a look at the water powered 19th century mills. I’d visited these circa 7 years ago as part of the photography course at Grays, and knew it would be good if we could arrange access to the buildings. Guy Haslam, the chairperson of the Birse Community Trust was extremely helpful and arranged to meet us at 7pm outside the mill. The mill is still in operation on a part time basis and manufactures fence posts, brooms and wooden kitchen implements like spurtles and dough rollers. In the past it used to make wooden stoppers for herring barrels.
Further along the river is the bucket mill, which we did not visit on this occasion. The following a bit more info from the Historic Scotland website: “The Finzean Sawmill and Turning Mill, on the N bank of the River Feugh, is a remarkable survival in full working order. The sawmill, and the site of the Bucket Mill were established in the early 19th century to exploit the Glen Ferrick pine woods. From the 1830s to 1871, the sawmill was occupied by a range of different timber contractors who were harvesting timber on Finzean Estate. During this period the sawmiller was Charles Young. In 1871 the operation of the Sawmill passed to Alexander Duncan, who had built the Finzean Turning Mill in the 1830s on the outflow from the sawmill. The Sawmill and Turning Mill is still operated by a member of the Duncan family. In 1999, the ownership of the mills passed from Finzean Estate to Birse Community Trust. Extensive restoration work has been carried out on the mills using local timber milled at the sawmill.”
After a brief intro he took us upstream to the weir that had just been restored after serious damage by storm Frank in December 2015.
We then walked back to the main saw mill with the water wheel. It is here I first noticed the annoying midges that started to attack if you stood still for any length of time. Fortunately we soon moved to the inside of the saw mill, with some fearsome looking circular saws. Here the logs get rolled in from outside and sawn into planks.
The wheel is cast iron with wooden paddles held together with wooden pegs and can’t be allowed to dry out too much as it would fall apart.
Health and safety regulations- 1922
A good evening out enjoyed by your editor and those present judging from the comments on Facebook. Many thanks to Guy Haslam for treating us to the full tour of the mills.
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