The Practical Camera Club (of Southampton)

Developing our hobby in the digital age

Other resources

Members may find the resources below of interest in addition to the information and resources elsewhere on our website.

Opinions expressed are not necessarily those of the Practical Camera Club (of Southampton), its Committee, its members or its Webmaster, and featuring a website, product or supplier is not an endorsement or recommendation.

  • Lens Ball Photography
  • 3 Elements That Affect The Impact Of An Image
  • Lens Calibration
  • What’s New in Photoshop 2020
  • Curves Adjustment
  • Colour perception test
  • RAW previews in Windows 10
  • Charlie Waite – Landscape photography
  • Printer evaluation – test image and method
  • Mounting and matting prints
  • Getting off auto mode
  • Open University Course
  • What you can/cannot photograph in the UK
  • Professionally printed images
  • Standard test image
  • Plan your outdoor photography
  • Ideas for places to photograph
  • Clear information and tutorials
  • DSLR simulator
  • Night exposure guide
  • Beginner’s DSLR Guide
  • Image size, resolution, printing and screens
  • Clarity versus Contrast
  • Photoshop and Lightroom keyboard short-cuts
  • Lights, reflectors, backgrounds, posing props, etc
  • Capturing droplets, breaking objects, passing animals
  • Lens Ball Photography

    Lens Ball Photography was quite popular once.  It has a limited range of possibilities but can be fun to try out.  If you have one (or several even!) some interesting images can be captured, and these tips may help you do that.

    3 Elements That Affect The Impact Of An Image

    This is a brief summary of the 3 key elements that contribute to a great image.

    Lens Calibration

    This video explains calibration of a lens-camera combination i.e. what is the problem, how does it arise, what is the solution, and does any of it matter?

    What’s New in Photoshop 2020

    Hold onto your seats and take a whistle-stop tour of the top 20 added benefits in Photoshop CC 2020.

    There are a few nuggets among them!

    Video by PiXimperfect.

    Curves Adjustment

    What it does and how it can be used

    Curves adjustment

    Colour perception test

    Colour management is all very well but different people perceive colours differently. The following link provides some information about this plus a test you can do to see the extent to which you can discriminate similar hues.

    RAW previews in Windows 10

    It has long been an irritation for some that RAW files did not preview in Windows.  Yes, you can do without them if you use Lightroom or Bridge, but sometimes it is nice to see them in File Explorer.

    In fact, some people take both JPEG and RAW just in order to have the preview functionality.

    Others just shoot RAW and manage everything via Lightroom or Adobe Bridge.

    However, Windows 10 has an app/extension that enables it to read RAW files.  This could be very beneficial for anyone who wished to use Photoshop without Lightroom or Bridge or who wished to be able to see their RAW captures in Microsoft Photos.  

    DP Review has a brief article with some more detail here.

    Charlie Waite – Landscape photography

    Charlie was the opening speaker at the 2018 Meeting of Minds conference in Penrith.  

    His talk was an engaging investigation into what the landscape photographer needs to attempt to invest into the photograph to draw a favourable and positive response from its audience.  He celebrates beauty in the landscape and invites us to attend to every detail in the design of our images so that each element is intentionally included or omitted.  The presentation lasts about an hour.  (The interview session afterwards is less worthwhile!)

    Printer evaluation – test image and method

    A standard test image can be used to visually evaluate the output from your screen or printer. You can download a test image: here; and a detailed explanation of what to look out for in the test image is to be found: here.

    Mounting and matting prints

    Mounting is the way a print is attached to a support board. Matting is the paperboard window which surrounds the print. Framing is putting the mounted, matted print into a frame, preferably behind glass.

    A DIY guide to mounting and matting is available here.

    Getting off auto mode

    Auto mode on your camera has its uses but generally you will be able to acheive better photographs by “Getting Off Auto”.  First you will need to understand the Exposure Triangle: Shutter Speed, Aperture and ISO.  Notes from this presentation from a club in New South Wales provide a good introduction for beginners.

    Open University Course (Ref TG089)

    This ten-week online course (reference TG089) from the Open University, developed and presented in partnership with The Royal Photographic Society (RPS), will develop your ability to create and share digital images.  Develop your technical and visual skills as you learn the principles of digital photography and image editing.  You will share your images with other participants as you develop your photographic and evaluation skills.  Weekly assignments allow you to practise the skills you learn.  The course culminates in submitting 10 of your own images for assessment and feedback.

    At the time of writing registration is open for the course commencing in October 2019. This is expected to be the last time the course will run.

    What you can/cannot photograph in the UK

    What is and what is not legal when it comes to taking photographs in the UK is largely a reflection of what common sense and politeness dictate!
    There is some useful information in the UK Photographers Rights Guide which is available here.

    Professionally printed images

    Members can have prints made for them by a local business at very low prices as they can benefit from bulk prices on non-bulk quantities.  Please note this offer is for paid up members only.  Full details can be obtained at club meetings.

    Some members use DS Colour Labs and find their service competitive in terms of price and quality.  They do charge postage & packing, but saving up several images to print at a time can reduce the impact of this.  One member has found that it is best to lightly over-expose and over-brighten the images before sending them off in order to get a printed result with proper vibrancy and punch.

    There are of course many other businesses that will also print your images.

    Standard test image

    You can use a standard test image for testing the colour or black and white rendition of your monitor and printer.   Visual tests allow you to evaluate sharpness, colour casts, skin tones and general scenes.  These can be found on the internet.

    As an example, you could refer to Northlight Images website for test images and associated articles.

    And the Colour Science test image is still available here

    Plan your outdoor photography

    Sunrise, sunset, moonrise and moonset for any selected day and place and lots more is available from The Photographer’s Ephemeris website.  They provide it free as a desktop web based programme and as a paid for App for iOS and Android.

    Ideas for places to photograph

    There is a vast amount of information on the Photographers Resource website.  They are in the process of redesigning and moving the site so the site may go down for a while; but if so, we are told it will be back…

    Clear information and tutorials

    The Cambridge in Colour website has clear and concise information on a range of topics.  They have first class tutorials with links to more detailed articles within the site.  The tutorial on Digital Photo Editing Workflow, for example, is excellent.  There is also a very active  forum where you can get some expert opinion on hardware and software queries and critiques of images.

    DSLR simulator

    Canonplay has a free facilty to simulate the effect on an image of changes in variables such as aperture, shutter speed, ISO and camera modes.  Unfortubately it does not cover focal length, distance, lighting etc.

    Night exposure guide

    Here is a guide to some camera settings that may be suitable as a starting point for low light night photography for a variety of subjects/scenarios.

    Beginner’s DSLR Guide

    This link has a general beginner’s guide and lots of articles concentrating on particular aspects of hardware and types of subjects you might photograph.  Also quite handy as reminder for the intermediate photographer.

    Image size, resolution, printing and screens

    What is a pixel?  What is a 20 Megapixel camera?  If my image contains 2 Megapixels will an A4 size print look okay?  What is meant if my screen resolution is 1920 x 1080.
    Read this resource and it may help you answer this type of question.

    Clarity versus Contrast

    The Digital Photo Mentor has an excellent analysis (with examples) showing how adjustments to contrast and clarity affect images.  It is worth studying to  get a detailed insight to the topic so that you can choose the right tool for your task.

    Photoshop and Lightroom – keyboard short-cuts

    A cheat sheet of keyboard short-cuts is available here courtesy of Mitchell Cruickshank.

    The keyboard illustrated is an Apple Mac keyboard but the list of shortcuts, which are helpfully laid out in groups, are given for both Apple Mac keyboards and Microsoft Windows keyboards.

    It is based on Adobe CC 2016, but many of the short-cuts will work in earlier versions such as Photoshop CS6.

    Lights, reflectors, backgrounds, posing props, etc

    There are various videos, short tips, product overviews etc provided by Lastolite’s website.

    Naturally they are promoting their own product ranges but much of the information is transferable.

    Capturing droplets, breaking objects, passing animals, etc 

    TriggerSmart offers a way of remotely capturing digital still and motion images.  The camera is activated by the use of sensors that trigger the camera on the detection of sound, light or on the interruption of an infrared beam.  See>