A Few Reminders


Don’t forget we have a St Clair sunrise Photowalk scheduled for this Sunday, 10 March. Meet at 7:00 AM by the shark bell. We have arranged for the sun to rise at about 7:30 AM. 

A-Z Challenge

During our next meeting (on Monday 11 March) we will project submitted images responding to the letters C and D. The interpretation of each letter is up to you. Please email your photos to Bob Dagg at slides.dpsnz@gmail.com by midnight Fri. 8 March. Title your images with your name and the letter, e.g. Freddie Mercury A or Elizabeth Windsor B. Images should be in jpeg/jpg format, less than 2 MB, and not longer than 1620 pixels on the horizontal and 1080 on the vertical.

You can also post your images as a comment to the C and D posts that David Steer has published on our closed Facebook page (for paid-up members). The purpose of this challenge is to encourage us all to take photos regularly and to share and comment on them. The spirit of this challenge is to generate new work, not to use images from your archive.

Projected Image of the Month Submissions

A reminder that Entries close Midnight Friday the 8th of March

Theme for Month: Flora and Fauna

Upload your submissions here: https://dps.org.nz/piotm

Appraised by: Gary McClintock
Additionally, there is now the option to submit a second image to be critiqued by this months appraiser. The second image will not be eligible for points but will allow for valuable feedback so you can improve your skills. The image category is open and the critiqued images can be submitted for future competitions.
Please note:
  • Only DPS Financial Members may enter
  • Image files must be in jpeg/jpg format
  • Images cannot be longer than 1620 pixels on the horizontal and 1080 on the vertical.
  • Image files must be less than 2MB
  • Please give your images the same filename as the title

Next Meeting: Monday 11 March at 7:30 PM

Mornington Presbyterian Community Centre, 16 Maryhill Terrace.

What’s up?

  • A Short Talk with Praveen Kumar: “My life’s journey as a photographer”
  • Gary McClintock: TBC
  • Workshop with Ita Daniels: Light Painting (please bring your camera, tripod and light sources)
  • Projected Image of the Month: Flora and Fauna, appraised by Gary McClintock (see above for submission guidelines)
  • Fortnightly A-Z challenge: C and D (see above for submission guidelines)
Window Display, Scavengers' Paradise, 414 Princes St., Dunedin, New Zealand, 9.35 AM Monday 4 March 2019 (Photo by Mark McGuire)
Window Display, Scavengers’ Paradise, 414 Princes St., Dunedin, Detail (Mark McGuire)

The A-Z challenge — submit photos by Fri 22 Feb.

This post is a reminder about the new A-Z challenge that we have initiated. During our next meeting (on Monday 25 Feb.) we will project submitted images responding to the letters A and B. The interpretation of each letter is up to you. Please email your photos to Bob Dagg at slides.dpsnz@gmail.com by midnight Fri 22 Feb. Title your images with your name and the letter, e.g. Freddie Mercury A or Elizabeth Windsor B. Images should be in jpeg/jpg format, less than 2 MB, and not longer than 1620 pixels on the horizontal and 1080 on the vertical.

You can also post your images as a comment to the A and B posts that David Steer has published on our closed Facebook page. The purpose of this challenge is to encourage us all to take photos regularly and to share and comment on them. The spirit of this challenge is to generate new work, not to use images from your archive.

Mark McGuire (Social Media Secretary)
Woodcut diagram of a visual alphabet
Woodcut diagram of a visual alphabet and its application from Johann Horst von Romberch’s work on memory, Congestorium artificiose memorie (Venice: Melchiorre Sessa, 1533) (Public Domain Image)

Guest Speaker: Clive Copeman (Mon. 29 Oct. 2018)

Clive Copeman, Commercial and Portrait Photographer

In advance of Clive Copeman’s talk at the first meeting of 2019 (Mon. 11 Feb.) I thought I would provide a summary of a talk he gave on 29 Oct. 2018 (better late than never, right?).

The Dunedin Photographic Society offers opportunities to learn skills that can help us to improve our photography. Often, the best teachers are our fellow members, a few of whom are also professional photographers. On Monday 29 October, professional photographer and DPS member, Clive Copeman, led a workshop on portraiture.

Clive discussed a number of practical and aesthetic approaches to commercial portrait photography, using examples from his work to illustrate his points (a selection of these images is below). It was instructive to discover what goes on behind the scenes of a portrait shoot, including appropriate gear and design considerations. He talked about how he puts his subjects at ease and how he arranges pairs and groups of people in front of the camera — rarely side by side and face on but at angles that create a considered relationship between the individuals. He explained how he plans and composes images that combine studio portraits with background settings that are shot separately (like the first image below). Although natural lighting can be effective, Clive also discussed the use of flash and coloured light to create a mood and enhance the scene. He then demonstrated the effects that are possible with different lighting angles by taking several shots of a volunteer from the audience using lights positioned above, to the sides and below the subject’s face. The difference was pretty dramatic.

You can see more of Clive’s work on his website, Facebook and Instagram, where you can follow his forays into the Otago hinterlands on his #FatBike.

Photos supplied by Clive Copeman.


Our First Meeting for 2019 — Mon. 11 Feb.

The first meeting of the Dunedin Photographic Society for 2019 will be at 7:30 PM Monday 11 February at the Mornington Presbyterian Community Centre, 16 Maryhill Terrace. The meeting will include the following:

1) Projected Image of the Month
Summer, appraised by Clive Copeman.

2) The new Fortnightly Challenge
The Council would like to invite you to participate in a new initiative, The A-Z Challenge. Members will submit images for a slideshow to be shown at each meeting, we will cover the full alphabet over the year, starting at the first meeting of the year with the letters A and B. The interpretation of each letter is up to you, be as tenuous or obvious as you please. For example, A for Archive Photo and B for Bee, let your imagination run wild. With the exception of the first week, the spirit of this challenge is to generate new work, not to use images from your archive.

For the first round, please email your images to slides.dpsnz@gmail.com, please title your images with your name and the letter, e.g. Freddie Mercury A or Elizabeth Windsor B. Please have your photos submitted by end of the Friday before each meeting.

3) Short Talk
Our President, Glenn Symon, will give the first Short Talk. This will be a regular feature of our meetings going forward.

4) Speaker
The first speaker to kick off 2019 is Kane Fleury from the Otago Museum.
Topic: Photography at Otago Museum — big, small, complex, fragile, deadlines.

5) Workshop
Clive Copeman will give a workshop on single frame storytelling. He will explore the story content in some well-known images and discuss his own take on how to tell a good story with a single image. Additionally, Clive is offering you the opportunity to submit one of your own pictures for us to examine and talk about on the night. Email your photos to Glenn Symon (president.dpsnz@gmail.com) by 7:00 pm Sunday 10 Feb. (that’s tonight, you laggards).


— Mark McGuire (Social Media Secretary)

1082-1088 Queen St W. Toronto, Canada, 3.38 PM Mon. 8 Oct. 2018 (Detail) by Mark McGuire (CC-BY)Photo: 1082-1088 Queen St. W. Toronto, Canada, 3.40 PM Mon. 8 Oct. 2018 (Detail) by Mark McGuire (CC-BY)

Guest Speaker: Craig Potton

Craig PottonWe were very fortunate to have Craig Potton speak to the Dunedin Photographic Society on Monday the 22nd of October. He is a committed conservationist and New Zealand’s best known landscape photographer. Craig brought a collection of slides to illustrate a wide-ranging and very informative talk about his work and the work of others who have influenced him over the years. He highlighted the importance of studying art as a way of learning the principles of colour and composition and he reminded us that artists can help us to see both better and differently. He discussed Mark Rothko’s Colour Field Paintings, Japanese landscape paintings, classic Japanese gardens, David Hockney’s joiners and many other examples of work that has had an impact on him. He talked about the need for an image to work within the frame as a composition, whatever the subject matter. He showed some of his favourite photographs that he has taken over his long career, and it became clear that he has learned to apply the lessons he’s learned from the artists he has studied. For example, photographs like Beech Forest, Beach Tree, and Boulder Bank, have no central subject, which frees the viewer and encourages an exploration of the complex field of colour and texture, often drawing attention to the edges of the composition. He talked about the lengths he is willing to go to get dramatic images of magnificent places that have become familiar to us through more conventional, and much tamer, representations. To illustrate this, he gave us the back story to his photo of Milford Sound during a storm and a dramatic shot of the Mount Ruapehu Eruption. In his effort to get the best image possible, he would often return to the same place multiple times, photographing the same scene over and over again in an effort to capture an image that does justice to the place. One of his personal favourites, the Fox River Limestone Reflections, shows that this perseverance and dedication can pay off in the end. His work, as well as the work of other artists and photographers, can be seen in the Craig Potton Gallery and Store in Nelson.


2018 Projected Image Exhibition

The results of the Projected Image Exhibition for 2018 were announced and presented at the meeting on Monday 12 November. The Open Section images were selected by Trish and Alistair McAuslan. They were not present at the meeting, but their comments were read out by Melanie Middlemiss. The Natural History Section images were selected by Craig McKenzie who commented on each of the images as they were projected.

The awards, which are summarised below, were presented by our Patron, Ian Wyllie. Congratulations to all ten members of the Society who had images accepted for the exhibition, and to the six who also received Honours awards. Special recognition went to Andre Koschinowski, who received the Champion Award in the Open category, and to Gary McClintock, who received the Champion Award in the Natural History category. Gary was also awarded the F.H. Williams Memorial Trophy. Special thanks to Trish and Alistair McAuslan and Craig McKenzie for their careful selection and the insightful and constructive comments. Videos of past exhibitions and field trips can be seen here.

Simone Jackson 2 Acceptances Open
1 Honours Open
Andre Koschinowski 2 Acceptances Open
1 Honours Open
Champion Open
Gary McClintock 5 Acceptances Natural History
Champion Natural History
3 Acceptances Open
F.H. Williams Memorial Trophy Open
Mark McGuire 3 Acceptances Open
Simon Parsons 4 Acceptances Natural History
1 Acceptance Open
1 Honours Open
Paul Sorrell 3 Acceptances Natural History
3 Honours Natural History
Bill Stanford 1 Acceptance Open
David Steer 6 Acceptances Natural History
6 Acceptances Open
Ian Thomson 1 Acceptance Natural History
4 Acceptances Open
1 Honours Open
Dave Wilson 3 Acceptances Open
1 Honours Open



Guest Speaker: Chris Gillman Gable

Our guest speaker, Chris Gillman Gable,  came to talk to us about documentary photography.  Chris is currently a lecturer in digital photography at Otago Polytechnic.

As is the case for many photographers, Chris started out taking pictures of things that he found aesthetically pleasing.  After years of travelling, he returned to Dunedin in his late 30’s, to discover a different looking Dunedin.  It was then that he became more aware of the transient nature of life and began his journey into taking photos that told a story and which preserved a slice in time.

Chris explained the various forms of documentary photography and gave examples of well-known photographers.

Typologies: this form may be seen as capturing details of a single subject, often seen as a rather scientific or analytical method.


Karl Blossfeldt (1865-1932) produced a massive photographic study of the various forms and designs of plants, as seen here.

(Sub)culture: ethnological form of documentary photography.  Examples of this form include Edward Curtis’s (1868-1952) 30 year project photographing native americans.

August Sander (1876-1964) also similarly photographed portraits of germans, including during the Nazi regime.


Issues: Lauren Greenfield’s (1966) photographs chronicle the culture of anorexia, youth and gender issues.

Geographical: photographers who capture aspects of their surrounds, such as Frank Meadow Sutcliffe in the 1860’s, who took pictures of victorian life in a northern english fishing town. Eugene Atget (1857-1927) also famously documented changes in parisian architecture.

Another example was Vivian Maier (1926-2009) who documented life on the Chicago streets.


Vernacular: French photographer, Jacques Lartigue (1894-1986), started taking photos when he was a young boy – everyday photographs of his family and friends, often at play.

The Human Condition: Phillip Toledano (b.1968) documented the emotional declining health of his father due to dementia.

Richard Billingham (b. 1970) became well known with his candid photographs of his alcoholic father.


Events/Narrative: Frank Hurley’s (1885-1962) work as an official photographer on Shackleton’s 1914 expedition to Antarctica, documents the ill-fated trip.  He also later documented many battlefield scenes during the war.


Documentary photography makes us think about the significance of the photos we take.  As time passes, our photos take on a new meaning and value.  It is important to record not only the happy, beautiful moments of our lives but also record a slice of time that can become a valuable reference in the future.

Chris concluded this interesting and thought provoking talk with some examples of his recent works in documentary photography.  These can be seen on his website: http://www.chrisgable.co.nz/


Guest Speaker: Greig O’Kane

Greig O’Kane from Nevill Studios in Dunedin,  was the guest speaker on Monday night (12th September).

Nevill Studios was opened as a photographic studio on 1934 by the Nevill sisters. Greig O’Kane’s family bought the business over 30 years ago, and began a transformation from photographic studio to framers, after seeing how long it took their framer to get their prints framed, and realising they could do it quicker!


Greig showed us a variety of glasses and mat cuts, and shared some interesting facts:

  • Mat cutters (such as the Logan brand) are getting harder to come by, so if you have one, treat it like gold! One place in Wellington is still selling them along with the guide rails, but it doesn’t look like anyone else is importing them to New Zealand now
  • Greig tends not to use colour mats on black and white prints, as it can be too distracting, so will usually use either a black, white or, occasionally, grey mat
  • He doesn’t believe that colours really go in and out of fashion – what is most suitable to the print in colour and size should look good on almost any wall
  • Nevill Studios recommend neutral or simple frames for exhibition work, so that viewers can focus on the image (e.g. a white mat in a black frame), while in the home, more colour and complexity might be suitable for the environment
  • They use the ‘eye-o-meter’ for working out dimensions – what looks most pleasing to the eye, tends to be the most balanced. Too small of a mat/frame will hem in the image, while it will be lost in too large of a mat
  • They also recommend that the bottom border of a mat be cut slightly wider than the other three sides – by about 5mm for a small image, or up to 15mm for something larger. Greig feels that if the border is even on all sides, it can give the illusion that the image is slipping down a bit in the frame
  • Nevill Studios use either archival hinging tape to fix images to backing boards, or a heat mount press to dry mount the image and flatten it so there’s no ripples
  • They only use acid-free, archival products in their work – anything they do must be completely reversible, so that the art is conserved properly, and not damaged in the process
  • They only use wood or aluminium componentry, no plastic or wood composites.   They prefer NZ made, but some of the gilt or high-end finishes have to be imported from overseas
  • Museum glass is a new technology – it’s super hi-def, with UV coating. It’s not cheap, but is almost invisible and allows the viewer to see the true colour of an image, so is perfect for high-quality images
  • There is also the older style conservation glass – this costs around 30% more than standard glass, while museum glass costs 50-60% more
  • Nevill Studios use a computer mat cutter now, which can do almost any kind of shape from standard to curved or intricate
  • One week’s work by a human mat cutter can be done in about 2 hours by the computer cutter!
  • Nevill Studios sell all of the bits and pieces related to framing, so you can buy whatever you need separately, from glass to dry mount tissue, and hooks and nails are free
  • If you need any advice, contact info here: http://www.nevillstudios.co.nz/

Guest Speaker: David Wall

David Wall was Monday night’s (8th August) guest speaker.  David who runs a stock photography business (http://www.davidwallphoto.com), recently returned from a family trip to the U.S.  He rented a RV campervan and embarked on a 22 day road trip, leaving from Los Angeles travelling up to the Grand Canyon, through Colorado and around to San Francisco.  He showed us some spectacular landscape photographs of various geological places of significance such as the Grand Canyon, slot canyons such as the Antelope Canyon, the Rattlesnake Canyon Arches, hoodoos (tall, thin spires of rock),  and the Yosemite National Park.  He also showed some photographs of the ancient ancestral ruins at the World Heritage site of Mesa Verde National Park.

He also visited Las Vegas which was a complete contrast to his preceding days of travelling through rich cultural and geological areas.  Nevertheless, he found it a very interesting place to photograph the opulence and grandiosity of the city.  After Las Vegas, he moved on to Yosemite National Park and then a further three hour drive to San Francisco, before heading back along the Pacific Coast Highway to Los Angeles.  He also took some helicopter rides around the city to take some aerial shots of Alcatraz, the airport, various highways, the Golden Gate bridge and some colourful palattes of salt ponds.

During the planning stages of these trips, David does some research using Google Earth to explore the areas he intends to visit and also view the photos others have taken in these areas.   David’s photographs certainly made us feel in awe of the diversity in landscapes from another part of the world.  If you missed the talk, you can see many of David’s photographs of his trip on his website.