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, 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 ( 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



Photographer Profile: Murray McCulloch

Into the small world with local photographer Murray McCulloch this month.

Murray is a finalist in the New Zealand Geographic Photographer of the year 2018, so don’t forget to give him your vote. 

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Name Murray McCulloch
Photography Awards/Honours Otago Wildlife Photography Competition 2014 – Overall winner, New Zealand Geographic Photographer of the year competition 2016 highly commended in the wildlife section, New Zealand Geographic Photographer of the year competition – Winner of the People’s Choice award 2016, D-photo 2017 – Winner of the Macrophotography category,  New Zealand Geographic Photographer of the year competition – Runner-up People’s Choice award 2017, New Zealand Geographic 2018 – current finalist
Current Camera Nikon D7000
Favourite Camera you have ever used/had I had an old 600-polaroid that I acquired for our wedding day, which was certainly a bit of fun and something different.  I’ve had my trusty Nikon D7000 for a while now and it does everything I need (Though I say trusty, it is my second body as I flooded the first one (as well as the house!).
Which do you prefer? Digital
And why? I’ve always envied people who are adept at using film and think that it must be much harder to be able to review your photos on site and not have as much freedom to really experiment as much, or have the liberty to go out and take a couple hundred photos.
With digital photography you can keep doing more and more, and photographers keep coming up with exciting new techniques.  I do a lot of focus stacking with my macrophotography which just wouldn’t be possible with film.
Which medium do you prefer? Print
And why? I think nothing beats the feel of seeing a printed image, nicely displayed and in good lighting.  Projected images do have some great advantages such as being able to shoot a photo through to friends, family and the wider world, and all at the flick of a button.
How did you get into photography and when? I was introduced to photography mainly by my Dad, Bruce, and my older siblings all do some amateur photography too.  I bought my first camera in 2009 when I was at University – a small Canon “point-and-shoot” which I had fun playing around with.  Then in 2011, when I started working, I purchased my first DSLR (Nikon d7000) and a “do-it-all” 18-200 mm lens.  It was a year later that I got my first macro lens (Nikon 105mm) and flash unit.  It wasn’t until then that I really started to get into macro photography.  My kit has then evolved from there with new lenses, a tripod and macro slider.
Photography is a very personal thing for me and I tend to just shoot photos in a way that that I like and don’t really worry too much what other’s think of my work.  I am very self-critical about my own photos, and it’s often small distracting things in the photos which push me to improve the images.
What keeps you inspired with your photography? I take inspiration from looking at other’s photography, as well as just getting out in nature and being creative.
I actually have a list of ideas and techniques that I want to try out, several of which when tried will likely not be technically possible to do, but that will then spark another idea, which is then added to the list!
Do you have a particular theme that would summarise your photographs? I suppose my theme would be getting up close with nature. I’ve always been interested in more unusual creatures, and it wasn’t until I started macro photography that I developed an appreciation for how amazing these smaller animals are.  With the degree of magnification that you can achieve you really can see these creatures from a new perspective.  Often they appear as an alien-like species and you can simply step outside and observe a whole new world in your own backyard.
Where is the best place that you have been to take photos? Last year my wife and I were lucky enough to travel to the Galapagos Islands where there were many unusual and wonderful animals to take photos of, most of these being non-macro shots, however. The diversity of the wildlife there is breath-taking, and the animals are not as frightened of humans, making taking closer images much easier to achieve.
That said, some of my most successful photographs have been taken in my backyard or at the local park, the great thing about macro photography is that you don’t have to go far to discover a whole new world.
What piece of equipment could you not do without in your camera bag? Probably my Nikon 18-200mm “do-it-all” lens, though it isn’t the sharpest or have the greatest optics, it’s a great all-round lens that will always be in my bag.
Do you have any advice for your fellow photographers? Just get out there and experiment, take heaps of photos…  You don’t need the fanciest gear or big expensive equipment. I’ve seen some pretty amazing photos taken with some pretty simple equipment.
Take aspects from other people’s work, and try to be creative and original.  If I see another photo of a log on a beach, or that tree in Wanaka I might stab my own eyes out!
Do you have any favourite photography related websites or web resources that you’d like to share with us ? (this includes your own) Here’s my own
Also there are plenty of Facebook groups for all different types of photography

Holiday Photo Planning

Holidays bring new photo opportunities, but finding those opportunities isn’t always easy.

A bit of research can be a good idea to start you off, before trying to find that unique take on a beauty spot.

Click here for a tool that combines the Google maps interface with various photo sharing sites to give you a start on planning your next trip.

Be aware that the accuracy of the tool relies on the GPS data that comes from the image and may not always be spot on.