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).

At the top our light source (the Led’s in the laptop screen). Then the polarising filter (the Liquid Cristal Display), at the bottom the polarising filter on the camera rotated by 90 degrees so the screen appear dark.

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.

This image by Alan Meek shows that the laptop screen appears black, because he has his polarising filter at 90 degrees to the light emitted by the laptop screen. The forks rotate the light a bit so some of it is not blocked by the filter.

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.

The women’s section: Susan, Kirsty and Eileen.
Team Murty
Alan Meek at work, with (L2R) Michele, David and Martin in the background.
Michele checking if Trevor is following the instructions?
Mike from Team Murty at the controls.
Trevor fine tuning his set up. You can see that the screen is dark but the plastic cup is bright, as I took this shot with a polarising filter on my camera.
Kirsty Russell took this shot after drinking most of the Pimm’s. ūüėČ
Another still life of the Pimm’s jug, this one by Susan. Obviously no Pimm’s left at all now!
David Drage made these plastic chess pieces specially for the event!!
Crossing forks and crossed polarisers by David Drage.
In sharp focus by Trevor Stuchbury.
Forked specs by Trevor.
Triangular composition by Alan Meek.
Clearly empty by Susan Gordon.

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.

Visions at Fittie

Last month a few of us wandered around Footdee, the old fishing village of Aberdeen. To make things more challenging we were handed a brief to take foto’s fitting the following categories: Action, history, colour, texture, different perspective. Here are a few of the shots that members posted on Facebook:

Fire Spinning on the beach 5 April 2018

Kevin organised a brilliant evening on the beach to demonstrate his fire spinning skills. An unprecedented number of Visionares turned up near the Beach Ballroom armed with with cameras and tripods. Basically Kevin stuffs some fine wirewool in a whisk attached to a piece of string. He lights the wirewool with a small battery and swings the whisk around. It is advisable to stay well clear as the sparks fly a considerable distance. Not that impressive to see in real time, but when it is dark enough and you take a long enough exposure (10 secs or so) the resulting image is quite spectacular. Below a small selection  culled from Facebook. Fascinating to see the different shots that were posted up.

A small plantation of tripods

It took a while to get dark enough, so there was a bit of talk amongst yourselves before the fireworks started.

Sharon Forsyth.jpg
Sharon Forsyth
Sharon Forsyth 2.jpg
Sharon Forsyth
Anna Horne.jpg
Anna Horne
Rob Romani.jpg
Rob Romani
Tony jones 1.jpg
Tony Jones
Gregor McAbery.jpg
Gregor McAbery

Someone suggested we used the Beach Ballroom as a backdrop, very effective.

Alan Meek.jpg
Alan Meek

Later the action moved to the tunnel under the road which produces a nice rectangular frame.

David Davidon 3.jpg
David Davidson
David Drage 1.jpg
David Drage
Michele Emsley 1.jpg
Michele Emsley
Michele Emsley 2.jpg
Michele Emsley
David Davidson.jpg
David Davidson
David Davidson2.jpg
David Davidson
Kirsty Russell.jpg
Kirstie Russell

Lighting – July 2017

On Thursday 19th July we had an indoor practical session with the new lights and backdrop.


The first group were photographing still life/flowers.


The second group were trying their hand at portraits.  Needless to say this group was the most fun and soon everyone had gravitated over to that side of the room.


The models (aka club members) were many and varied:

We had Adorable Anna…..

Talented Tony. . . .

Tony by Anna

Crazy Kevin – (he’s not really, but it was better than Kinky which was the only K adjective I could think of!)

Kevin by Tony

Mysterious Michele.. . . .

Michele by Tony

and no doubt the star of the show…….

Cool Clive. . . .

We had a lot of fun – and after a lot of practice even managed some levitation!!

Suspended Stella. . . . 

“Ground Control to Major Tom” Stella by Steve

Food Photography – March 2017

On Thursday 30th March, we had a real treat Рwell lots of treats really.  Diane from Jotolio Photography came along to teach us about food photography.  We were all invited to bring along some food to photograph and we excelled ourselves. There was everything from a wonderful cake with glazed fruit on top, to chocolates, eggs with fluffy chickens,  tropical fruit, etc.

Diane started with a presentation showing us just what is possible when photographing food.  The photos she showed us were stunning and very inspiring.

You can see some of them here: http://jotolio.com/food-photograph/

Diane ¬†reminded us that this type of photography is¬†totally under our control. The food is not going to move and the lighting isn’t going to change. We can take our time and be as creative as possible.

Scott concentrating on a shot.

She invited us to think about Why, What and How.

Why are we photographing the food: is it the colour, the form, the story or to make a statement?

What should we put in the photograph and what should be left out? In particular careful consideration needs to be given to the background.

How should we take the photograph? We were encouraged to be creative and to have fun, to play with bouncing light, using card and foil.

Rob: Everyone looking very busy.

Black backgrounds work really well with bright food, but be careful the food doesn’t leave a smudgy mark!


Colour is important with food and photographs should not be oversaturated. The food needs to look appetising. Coloured plates can add to the photograph, but if the same colour is used it must be exact or it will clash.

Rob: All red.

The general rules of photography work just as well for these food photos:

Where is the eye drawn to and is it to what you hoped would be the main focus of the picture?

My eye was drawn to this tempting photo by Anna!

Decide how to present the food – would it look better cleaned up, cut up or broken up?

Annette: Rob preparing the oranges.

Use a small depth of field to separate the elements of the picture.

Decide how much of the image to show, use reflections and shadows.

Consider if you want to present a story or create a drama and use background props to show this.

Martin: Anyone for supper?

Try different camera angles, crop your photos.

Look for or create patterns.

Mike: an arrangement of tropical fruit
Anna: a pattern of strawberries

Consider composite images e.g. add smoke

Veli: a composite image using different focus points.

Consider using a simplified colour palate e.g. use green and pink, purple and green etc

Consider the lighting – use back lighting or a perspex sheet and light transparent objects from underneath.

Rob: slices of orange on a perspex sheet and lit from underneath.

After the talk we had a great time working our way around the hall photographing the lovely food that had been brought in.

The eggs and little fluffy chicks proved a popular subject.

Needless to say some of the arrangements changed somewhat over the course of the evening

Tony: this cake was just too tempting…..

and there was definitely less food went home than was bought in. All in all a thoroughly enjoyable evening.

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