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

Photographer Profile: Adam Gibbs

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For this month’s profile we leave New Zealand shores and head to North America with  Adam Gibbs.

Name Adam Gibbs
Photography Awards/Honours 2nd 2017 International Landscape Photographer of the Year
Current camera Nikon D850
Favourite camera you have ever used/had ShimoToho FC45x 4×5 camera
Which do you prefer? Either – no preference
And why? Digital for its ease of use, film is what photography is all about, skill behind a camera not a computer.
Which medium do you prefer? Both – no preference
And why? Prints are more tactile, have a lasting presence and are second to none when a fantastic print is viewed in optimum light. Projected, instant, a great way to show the world or larger audience without a lot of effort.
How did you get into photography and when? I got into photography in the 80’s after reading a book about nature photography written by John Shaw. I was captivated by the quality of images and wanted my photography to have the same appeal.
What keeps you inspired with your photography? Canada has a wealth of wilderness areas and living on the west coast I am constantly inspired by my surroundings. Photography is somewhat of an excuse to get me out and explore.
Do you have a particular theme that would summarise your photographs? Wilderness landscapes, nature, intimate scenes of nature especially woodland, ancient old growth forest.
Where is the best place that you have been to take photos? Very hard question to answer as there are so many. The Enchantments in the Alpine Lakes Wilderness, Washingon always comes to mind. Tonquin Valley in Jasper National Park, Port Renfrew on Vancouver Island, Lake O’Hara in Yoho National Park. Carmanah Provincial Park on Vancouver Island.
What piece of equipment could you not do without in your camera bag? Extra batteries for the camera, bit tongue and cheek but true, I have been known to leave home without batteries.
Do you have any advice for your fellow photographers? Photograph the things that you love to shoot. Above all else concentrate on light and its effect on your subject or just photograph the light itself.
Do you have any favourite photography related websites or web resources that you’d like to share with us ? (this includes your own) Youtube Channels

Adam’s full bio here