The DPS Honours group was formed last year to encourage and support members to submit for a PSNZ honour, such as Licentiate or Associate. We meet each month and in February some of us submitted a set of photos for assessment. There was then a very long wait due to Covid-19 restrictions delaying the assessment panel meeting. This week we received the results. The following people can now use letters after their name:
Gary McClintock APSNZ
Greg Hughson LPSNZ
Gordon Speed LPSNZ
Judith Swan LPSNZ
Ross McIvor LPSNZ
Tulipa Briggs LPSNZ
One other member of the group was unsuccessful this year but is planning to start earlier for the next submission and hopefully, the feedback from this year will be useful.
Congratulations to all those who did the hard work of applying. This year the Honours Board approved 49 people for an LPSNZ so our club made 10% of those numbers. I think this is a great result for the focus group and I personally found it very useful both for knowledge and feedback, and for motivation to keep working towards a goal. Our group continues to meet with a plan for working towards another submission next year and has been working through a series of exercises. We will now have to up our standards for the next submission.
All members of DPS are welcome to join our group and we will help each other to work towards the goal of a PSNZ Honour. We meet on Zoom on the third Monday of each month. It is a friendly group, and everyone is supportive and willing to share their information and knowledge. If you are interested drop me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org and I will welcome you to the group and add you to the reminder emails that I send out.
Thanks very much to Judith, our PSNZ Liaison Officer, for updating us with the following:
There is heaps coming up from PSNZ in the next few months and lots to plan for as the year unfolds. Have a look below for individual competitions, club competitions, honours challenges, workshops and judge training opportunities …
On 8 Feb there were 3 spaces left! PSNZ members only. $140.00. Information and registration link. Note – workshop attendees must be fully vaccinated and provide vaccination passes for accommodation and hospitality venues associated with the workshop.
Canon Online Competition round 1 – entries close 25 February 2022
PSNZ Sony National Exhibition 2022 – entries close 28 February 2022
Digital only this year (due to COVID-19). Open to ALL New Zealand residents. Two categories: Open and Nature. A number of trophies are able to be won. Information, 2021 winning images, entry form here: National Exhibition information.
Attendees must be fully vaccinated and have a valid vaccine pass.
Previously PSNZ have subsidised the workshop series, this practice is stopping. Hence workshops are more expensive than previous years, but will still be cheaper than attending directly with the presenters.
The workshop programme kicks off from May. Registrations will likely open in March. All workshops are tentative and depend on the evolving COVID-19 situation.
Astro – Tekapo – Joseph Pooley – 27-28 May May be residential and include accommodation
Landscape – Queenstown – Meghan Maloney – 15-15 July Will be residential (include accommodation) and will include transport to the shooting locations.
Astro – New Plymouth – Leith Robertson – 23-24 July
Street / Urban – Wellington – Helen Westerbeke – 5-6 August
Creative Portrait – Tauranga – Karoline Ferbei – 1-2 October
Landscape for Novice and first time workshop attendees – Buller / West Coast – Graham Dainty – 22-24 October
Possibly also South Island workshops for bird, and studio portrait or natural light portrait.
Judge Training Weekends 2022
A number of Judge Training Weekends are being planned for later in the year. More information is available at Judge Training. These are, of course, dependent on the COVID-19 situation but should be able to operate under the current red settings.
Orewa – 18-19 July – Hibiscus Coast Camera Club
Taupo – July – More details to come
Christchurch – September – More details to come
Dunedin – October – More details to come
Judge Training weekends will require full vaccination and valid vaccine passes.
The NatMAT group have organised an Astrophotography trip, open to all members, which should be a great night out! Judith Swann has also put together some very handy information to look through before the night, so have a read and start preparing 💫⭐✨
When: Meeting at 1800h on Saturday 12th June 2021 depending on the cloud cover. We will have another look at the weather on Saturday morning and if we need to cancel we’ll let you know, otherwise see you Saturday evening.
The new moon is on the 10th June, so on the 11th and 12th it will still be basically moonless and dark. On the 11th and 12th sunset is at 1658h; moonset is at 1718h and 1805h; and the tide will be falling. High tide is at 1520h and 1600h.
Safety: Think about your safety. Bring a RED LIGHT torch our eyes take longer to adjust to the dark after looking at white light compared to red light. It is also very easy to get temporarily blinded by white light. Put fresh batteries in your torch. Remember Sea Lions use the sand and they don’t leave just because it is dark! Check before you take a step backwards. Lights: Folks around you may NOT want your torch on just so you can make adjustments to your camera. Practice beforehand so you can change your camera settings by touch. Talk to each other about putting lights on. Focus: Focusing in the dark is really hard. Find out if your camera will do focus magnification and turn it on. Teach yourself how to turn on manual focus by touch! On site, find a star and manually focus on it until it is crisp pin point of light.
Cold – More than likely it will be COLD
Layers: Taking astro photos can involve quite a lot of standing around, in the cold, doing very little. You will get cold. Wear some warm layers, bring more, including a wind-proof layer. Hat, scarf, gloves, chemical hand warmer pouches, something to sit or kneel on if you think you’ll need it. Camera & Batteries: Your camera gear will get cold, and cold batteries don’t work so well. Take some spare batteries and keep the spares in a warm pocket. Putting a cold camera into a warm car risks inducing condensation inside the lens and/or camera. A Ziploc plastic bag or dry-bag with a silica gel sachet in and a plan to warm up your camera slowly will reduce this risk. (https://www.photographymad.com/pages/view/how-to-protect-your-digital-camera-in-cold-weather)
Movement – The subject (the sky) moves and your camera is at risk of movement
Subject movement: Actually it is the earth that is moving (turning) while the sky stays still! We perceive this as the stars moving. Photographing this movement is how you get star trails. If you want points of light for stars your exposure time needs to be less than about 25 seconds. Camera movement: The long exposure time means you have to hold your camera completely still so a tripod, bean bag or similar is essential. Remember your cable release, or work out how to use the timer on your camera. Work this out in the light and warmth of home before you set out.
These articles are good backgrounders to taking images of the stars. Read about wide open aperture (f/4 or lower if you can get), higher ISO (1600 and up), longer exposure times (10 – 30 seconds), and white balance to 3200Kelvin (if you can). Then also read the pros and cons of each of these variables in this situation.
Star trails use very similar settings but are taken for longer so your camera captures the movement of the stars OR you take a number of star photos and stack them together to make the star trails.
The techniques and settings for stars usually work for the Milky Way as well. One difference is learning where the Milky Way will be, at the location you’ll be at and at the time you’ll be there. The videos on this site (https://www.davemorrowphotography.com/p/tutorial-shooting-night-sky.html) describe using free apps and programmes (Blue Marble, The Photographers Ephemeris (TPE), Google Maps, Stellarium) to work out where the Milky Way will be. The Milky Way should be just to the seaward side of Taiaroa Head at about 1900-1930h on the 111th and 12th June.
Every screen displays colours slightly differently. The image you see on your computer monitor screen will look slightly (or hugely!) different on your phone screen, and different again on anyone else’s computer monitor screen. This is partly due to the inner workings of the screens, and partly due to tweaks and settings on each screen.
Calibrating monitors to a standard set of colours, lessens the differences between the different monitors and improves the consistency of colour rendition. Consistency becomes particularly important when you want to print, as the professional printers are also calibrated to the same standard.
DPS has the X-rite i1 Display Pro screen calibrator available to borrow to calibrate your screen/s.
Basically you download some software to your computer (and restart your computer), plug in the calibrator, then, following the instructions, you hang the calibrator in front of your screen and let it do it’s magic!
The calibration process will measure a range of colour variables (colour, gamma, brightness, contrast etc), and optimise your screen settings. These settings are stored on your computer or monitor and used each time you use your computer screen.
Depending on your screen a calibration will take about 10 minutes to complete.
How do I borrow the calibrator?
Please note: the DPS calibrator is only for the use of financial DPS members – sorry, but we can’t lend it to non-members!
REQUEST: by emailing Nicola (email@example.com) and ask to borrow the calibrator. Judith will then get in touch with you about when and how you’ll get the calibrator and when it needs to be returned by.
USE: following the instructions.
RETURN: the calibrator, or pass on to the next member, by the date agreed when you requested the calibrator.
I want to read more about monitor calibration.
Excellent! Here are some useful sites (which are also the references for this blog post):
This resource from Northrup’s website has tutorials on many modern cameras, covering the basics through to more advanced features. So if you can’t find a feature on a camera you’ve owned for a few years or you’ve just bought a new camera, have a look and see if there is a tutorial for you.