Focus Groups: NatMAT

Thanks to Judith for putting this together for us recently – looks like the NatMAT group has been a hive of activity!

Themes and Fieldtrips

What has the Nature – Macro – Astro – Timelapse (NatMAT) focus group been doing??

Well, we started with a chat and found out we were keen on photographing pretty much anything ‘outside’, taking part in field trips, and learning from our colleagues. So with those things in mind we set up a field trip to the Botanic Gardens.

The aim was to take some macro images. We had a beautiful afternoon of sunshine with nearly a dozen of us finding bees, weevils, flowers (especially yellow flowers!), yellow and black bugs, and some fungi. These images got critiqued at our next face-to-face meeting, and we learnt good ideas from each other.

Then COVID-19 came along and turned the world upside down!

Nature-Macro pivoted to online! We decided to meet once a week (Sunday evening) using the DPS Zoom room, sharing images based on a theme.

We started with ‘My Garden Inhabitants’ which showed up some skills within our group. We’ve challenged ourselves with birds, water, focus stacking (after Ged shared some techniques for focus stacking), fungi, insects (after a DPS presentation on insect photography), ‘creative nature’ (after some ideas from Tulipa), astro/stars, and always open.

As soon as we moved to level 1 Nature-Macro scheduled a field trip!!

In mid July another dozen or so of us arrived at Yellowhead, Broad Bay, again on a stunningly clear beautiful afternoon with a low tide. We enjoyed a wonderful slow stroll around the point with images of birds, krill, harbour, sky, boats, and lots of the cliff face. All supported with lots of chat, catching up, and friendships – new and old.

Our club colleagues from the Astro-Timelapse focus group opted to come along and join in. As the group size expanded, so did our name!!

More recently, we’ve learnt from Karen about the different twilights, and the transition from light to dark. We’ve challenged ourselves to use that learning with astro and twilight themes. More trips and themes have included Purakanui, birds in flight, green, weather, asymmetry, black and white, and Aramoana.

This week we’re working on spring images, thinking about other things we’d like to do, and hoping for a nice enough weekend to visit Aramoana. If any of this sounds like you, please come along – DPS Zoom room, Sunday, 7:30pm.

Here are some of the images that we’ve taken and shared and learnt from:


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  • Judith

Post Instagram from your computer

Regardless of whether you are new to Instagram or an old hand, you probably wish it was possible to upload images directly from your computer. Well, it is now. Here’s how:

  1. Open Google Chrome (install if needed)
  2. Use the following shortcut; either Ctrl+Shift+i (Windows), or Command+Shift+(Mac) . This opens the developer window that can be resized so it doesn’t dominate your screen.
  3. Use the following shortcut; either Ctrl+Shift+m (Windows) or Command+Shift+m (Mac)  You are now in Mobile simulation mode.
  4. Login to your Instagram account, hopefully things will appear the same as viewing Instagram on a mobile device.

Note: Instagram appears to be ignoring #hashtags when posting them with the image itself. However, posting #hashtags in a separate comment will work correctly.

Insta2

 

Triptychs: Three reasons to give it a go

The 2018 Nelson National Triptych Salon is open for submissions, so if you’re not a regular creator of triptychs, here are three reasons why you should give it a go.

  1. It stimulates creativity
  2. Your post processing skills will have improved by the time you’ve finished
  3. It’s fun

Some examples, ideas and the concept of a triptych here

How to make a triptych in Photoshop or in Elements

All the information you need to to enter the National Triptych Salon is here, including further help on making a Triptych.

Regardless of entering the Salon, why not share your triptychs on the DPS Facebook page.

Trip3

 

 

Getting creative with Jenny: Part 3

In this 3 part special feature Dunedin Photographic Society member Jenny Longstaff shares how she goes about creating her fascinating artworks that start as simple photos. [PART 1] [PART 2]


Here is another design, utilising just one photo (a maple tree in Dunedin Botanic Garden) copied and modified with various Photoshop effects. The photos were then positioned and arranged in InDesign to a large file size as the final design was printed onto a PVC “banner” for display in the Botanic Garden.

1.maple tree
Photoshop effects included manipulating colour balance and channel mixers, inverting colours, and using “twirl” in the “distort” filter menu.

2.colour play

The design is called “Variations for Vivaldi”, aiming to achieve a feeling of The Four Seasons and musical rhythms (the 5 wriggly lines at the bottom of the banner).
3.variations for vivaldi

Getting creative with Jenny: Part 2

In this 3 part special feature Dunedin Photographic Society member Jenny Longstaff shares how she goes about creating her fascinating artworks that start as simple photos. [PART 1]


Here is another design, called “Maritime Networks”, created from 4 separate photos of fishing net details (location: Taieri Mouth) arranged into patterns, with a photo of fishing boats (location: Moeraki).

1.net details
I chose 4 fishing net photos, paying attention to the colours and angles of the rope strands, then in Photoshop I modified the proportions so they were each equal-sized squares. The photos were then placed on a blank page in InDesign program, repeated and mirror-imaged as necessary, achieving a kaleidoscope effect – my version of “knitting” the designs into fishermen’s jerseys (or guernseys, or Arran-Isle patterns) As an aside: did you know that, in the past, each fisherman’s hand-knitted woollen jumper was unique, so he could be identified if he drowned?
You will notice that the top woven band includes vertical fish-shapes. The top circle represents the Moon; the bottom circle is the Earth, and the large dotted circle represents the connection with the Moon influencing the tides. It also represents maritime navigation with the stars or lights.
2.maritime networks

Getting creative with Jenny: Part 1

In this 3 part special feature Dunedin Photographic Society member Jenny Longstaff shares how she goes about creating her fascinating artworks that start as simple photos.

The first 2 images are repeat patterns:
  1. a kereru native NZ pigeon – photographed on my back yard clothesline
  2. an Australian rainbow lorikeet – photographed when I was hand-feeding it at Broulee on NSW south coast.
1.kereru 3.rainbow lorikeet
I removed the backgrounds (in Photoshop) so the shapes of the birds were clearly defined. Through my past working life as a book designer, I am familiar with the InDesign program, so I use that to position my photos on a blank page (dimensions to my own choice), then arrange copies of the photo to create the repeat patterns. Using commands such as copy and paste, mirror image, and flip vertically or horizontally, or changing the angle of placement, brings in as much variety as I need.
For the kereru design my main preoccupation was to create an ambiguous design of positive and negative areas that would not be immediately recognisable. In fact, some people never see the birds until they are pointed out to them!
For the lorikeet parrot designs I was playing with the vibrant colour arrangements. The images were included in an exhibition I held during the International Science Festival, which I called “Pigments of Imagination”, aimed at children. It was about colour theory and mixing, so the bird’s plumage was a good example of primary and secondary colours. I arranged them to enhance the feeling of rhythm and energy, and colour vibrations. A drop-shadow effect was added to the larger single bird to make it more 3-dimensional.
2.pigeon pairs4.parrot patterns