Festive Greetings from Ockbrook

Members entered into the Christmas spirit this month, enjoying an evening of celebration, feasting and the annual festive quiz, along with some fabulous images for our black and white themed Contrast.
Congratulations to Lesley Wright for winning this year’s Members vote for ‘Christmas Best In Show’ with her wonderful festive image.

© Lesley Wright

Ockbrook Members would like to take the opportunity of thanking you all for your support and to wish you a Very Merry Christmas and a Happy Healthy New Year.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.


It’s Never a Simple Black and White Choice!

A great turn out for October’s OBIC session followed along from the previous month’s practical session and put the spotlight on the use of black and white photography. The session was facilitated by Valerie, Mick and Kevin and encouraged discussion in small groups around:
  • Pre-visualising black and white
  • Manipulating black and white
  • Reviewing black and white.
Members learnt how some of the best known professionals use black and white to great effect, with a look at images from some superb books. The highly skilled will see the image in black and white and even take the photo in that format. Most of the rest of us will probably convert a colour image into black and white using software, but there are several options for fine tuning that simple conversion. You can have fun editing in fine detail or use pre-sets to suggest effects for you. And finally what works in colour may work better in black and white and/or vice versa; we reviewed members submitted images replicated in colour and black and white and selected which format suited the content best. Three images were unanimously voted as working best in black and white and one image split the group equally in half. The rest seemed to depend on the viewer but also what the photographer was trying to communicate and we concluded that several different subjects work well, and emotions, texture, agelessness and focus can all be enhanced using black and white.
Members joined in the fun by dressing in black and white which in itself just showed that there are dozens of variations of both ’tones’ showing that whilst there are thousands of clouds, there are also a wide variety of variations of black and white and every shade in between.
Thanks for all the contributions both by the facilitators and the members. Enjoy looking at your images.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Members Gallery – Gone in a Flash!

Well it seemed like our February meeting did go in a flash, which is appropriate given that flash photography was our theme this month.

We started the evening with a super tutorial from Dave King, going through the basics of flash photography, the pitfalls and the best techniques to use to avoid them. This was applied to on-camera pop-up flash as well as the ‘Speedlight’ type of flash gun.

I was volunteered as model for the evening, which was always going to be a challenge for Dave, but to give him credit he persisted, despite this handicap.

One of the items we demonstrated was the difference that a flash diffuser can make to an image. So part 2 of the evening was a Blue Peter style make session to build a flash diffuser for either pop-up or Speedlight flashgun. The design specs for this are in our Members Only page and Dave will be adding his flash tutorial as soon as he can.

Hopefully, the evening went some way to demystifying the use of flash and will encourage some of you to give it a go.

And so, on that note, why don’t you have a crack at photographing something (person, still life or whatever) using flash and send me a copy of your image at


We’ll have a look at your images at the March meeting. lf you use a homemade flash diffuser to create your image, even better, so make sure you let me know.

Look forward to seeing you all, along with your pictures, on the 6th March.

Members Gallery – November Practical Evening

As usual, our November meeting was a practical photography night and the theme this year was ‘Abstract’.

We arranged the room with a number of tables around the outside and in the middle, a variety of props, lighting equipment, background sheets and other ‘stuff’. The objective was to use these, add a large dollop of creativity and produce some stunning abstract images. After the initial reaction of “What the ……”, the Ockbrook spirit took the challenge and soon there was a buzz around the room as small groups experimented with the props, lighting and photographic technique. Room fixtures and fittings and even other club members became the ‘subject’.

I think most of those who attended would say that the exercise took them out of their comfort zone, but without doubt, everyone I spoke to was having fun and experimenting. So much so, come time to finish, some folk had to be dragged away from what they were doing!

As usual, creativity shone through and some amazing images were produced. When you consider that everyone participating came to this ‘cold’ and in many cases, were using photographic techniques they had never tried before, I think the output was stunning.

So, enjoy the fantastic creativity of …. you!

This slideshow requires JavaScript.