Annual Scavenger Hunt Photo Walk

Christmas by Melanie Dick

This weekend, we finally managed to run our annual photo scavenger hunt, after postponing due to threatened bad weather (that never eventuated), then changing our venue at the last minute due to some semi-bad weather…but luckily we had an excellent turnout of members. Even though I greedily demanded a very quick turn-around of images, so we could fit the slideshow into the last meeting of the year, I received a whopping 108 photos, making this the longest photo walk/field trip slideshow of the year – it’s so long, I had to find three totally irrelevant songs to accompany it!

The themes were:

SummerNewSurprising
SmallChildishCovid
PurpleGlassLeaf
Christmas

Thanks to everyone who submitted their images so quickly!

  • Nicola

Photo walks and field trips

Field trips and photo walks are a great way for us all to stay in contact with each other, so while we’re still under some Covid restrictions, we’ll try to make sure we plan these regularly. Hopefully all members have received my recent email with details of our upcoming trip out to the lovely Maple Glen gardens this month, as well as our annual photo scavenger hunt in December. Try to get along to one or both of these if you’re missing DPS contact 🙂

We had a really good turn out for photo walk around the wharf area last weekend – here’s the slideshow in case anyone missed the meeting.

  • Nicola

What’s On: November and December 2021

Looking through Chiharu Shiota’s ‘The Web of Time’ – Nicola Pye

It was decided at our last Council meeting that we’ll keep using Zoom for our meetings for the rest of the year, regardless of any possible Covid level changes. The underlying reason for this decision is to protect the health of all members, and the issue of vaccination requirements is key. While the Council strongly supports vaccination, any decision around vaccination requirements will likely need to come first from the government and from the Maryhill church where we meet. In the meantime, we’ll carry on as we have been, with meetings over Zoom, and field trips or photo walks in areas where we can socially distance as needed (at least as long as we’re at level 2 or better). Fingers crossed things will be closer to normal when we return next year!

DateActivityDetailsLocation
7:30pm, Monday 1 November  View Finder #14: Tony Carter – Another World, portraits from Ōhura Zoom
7:30pm, Monday 8 November  Club meeting: Speaker TBCProjected Image Of The Month: Open      Zoom  
7:30pm, Monday 15 NovemberFocus group meetings       Zoom and various  
9:00am Saturday 20 NovemberField trip: Maple GlenMeet at Bayfield Park carpark for carpooling at 9am, to reach Maple Glen about 11:30am. Bring lunch and a cash donation to enter the gardens.Wyndham and surrounding areas, possibly Invercargill?
7:30pm, Monday 22 November  Club meeting: Ferg Campbell and The Projects Group  Projected Image Of The Month: Reflections  Zoom  
10:00am Sunday 5 December  Photo walk: Annual Photo Scavenger HuntMeet at the main gate to the Gardens, at the corner of Great King St and Opoho Rd, finish with coffee/lunch at Croque-o-dile café.  Botanic Gardens and surrounding areas
7:30pm, Monday 6 DecemberView Finder #15: Judy Stokes – The art of painting with your camera   Zoom
7:30pm, Monday 13 December  Club Meeting: President’s Evening Final meeting of the yearZoom
  • Nicola

DPS on YouTube

As most of our members will know, after we’ve run an exhibition, a field trip, a photo walk, or a big trip away, we usually gather images from those who participated to make a slideshow. Although we haven’t had many trips over the last year or two, we’re still collecting the slideshows, and you can view them any time, along with our seasonal and Festival exhibitions on our YouTube channel. For those who missed our slideshow of Arthur’s Pass, here you go!

  • Nicola

What’s On: August 2021

Wildings by Nicola Pye
DateActivityDetailsLocation
7:30pm, Monday 2 August  View Finder #11: Paul Hughson – Real estate photography in Norway Zoom
7:30pm, Monday 9 August  Club meeting: Stuart Clook – Alternative Photographic Processes – the art and practise of the handmade photographic print  Print Of The Month: Open
Appraised by Paul Sorrell        
Mornington Presbyterian Community Centre, 16 Maryhill Tce  
7:30pm, Monday 16 AugustFocus group meetings   Zoom and various  
Saturday 21 – Wednesday 25 AugustPrint ExhibitionSelectors: Karen Lawton (Open) and John Hart (Natural History)Moved to Zoom  
7:30pm, Monday 23 August  Club meeting: Meeting at Dunedin Community Gallery  Projected Image Of The Month: Flow  Dunedin Community Gallery, 20 Princes St, Dunedin CBD  
1pm, Sunday 29 AugustField Trip: Taieri Historical Society and MuseumMeet at: -12:15pm at the Bayfield Inlet to carpool
– or at the Wobbly Goat at 1pm for a pre-photo coffee
– or at 2pm at the little museum
Bring $5 cash per person for museum donations
Outram area
Sept/Oct TBCField Trip: Monarch Wildlife CruiseAll details TBC – an email will be sent out when they are confirmed the ocean
  • Nicola

Photo Walk: Scavenger Hunt, May 2021

We recently had a Scavenger Hunt photo walk around the University campus, where participants were given a list of 12 topics to inspire their photos at the start of the walk. The plan had originally been to take these photos anywhere between Dunedin and Lawrence over a few hours, but the weather was so wet that we decided to stick to somewhere where we could find shelter quickly! We hope you enjoy the results.

  • Nicola

Astrophotography and Field Trip

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 💫⭐✨

Image by Trevor Douglas

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.

Where: Aramoana. Meet at the memorial carpark. Hereabouts: https://what3words.com/waterfalls.goalie.hubcap.

Moon, sun and tide.

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.

What photos could I take?

Stars – https://www.flickr.com/photos/emmakey/34495994481
Star trails – https://www.flickr.com/photos/joedsilva/6132188906
Milky Way – https://www.southproud.co.nz/listing/aramoana-beach/
Foreground
Light painting
Reflections (in the wet sand)

How do I take these images?

You keep yourself and those around you SAFE

Dark – It will be DARK

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.

Stars / Milky Way

https://www.capturelandscapes.com/how-to-photograph-stars/
https://digital-photography-school.com/beginners-tips-for-night-sky-and-star-photography/
https://www.nikonusa.com/en/learn-and-explore/a/tips-and-techniques/photographing-the-night-sky.html

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

https://nightskypix.com/how-to-photograph-star-trails/
https://www.lightstalking.com/how-to-photograph-star-trails/
https://learnandsupport.getolympus.com/learn-center/photography-tips/astrophotography/astrophotography-101

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.

Milky Way

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.

Light Painting

https://digital-photography-school.com/add-more-interest-astrophotography-with-light-painting/
Bring along an led light source (torch, head lamp, panel) so you can add some more light in the foreground.

Aurora

http://www.aurora-service.net/aurora-school/how-to-photograph-the-aurora/
Just in case!!!

More details?

Have a look at these sites.

Stars:
https://www.davemorrowphotography.com/p/tutorial-shooting-night-sky.html

Star Trails:
https://www.davemorrowphotography.com/2012/03/StarTrailsPhotographyTutorial.html
https://www.photopills.com/articles/star-trails-photography-guide#step5

Milky Way:
https://www.photopills.com/articles/milky-way-photography-guide

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

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.

Tool