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.

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Project 111: Seeing in Black and White

triptychTo start off the tenth year of the club, Mick and Dave hosted a practical evening in which members were encouraged to think about taking images in black and white.

This session was part of a short series of evenings where we explore aspects such as what works in B&W, visualisation, camera settings, post-processing and software to enhance B&W images etc, and also served as a lead-in to Kevin’s B&W discussion in October.

So, members were sent out into the wilds of Ockbrook to get some black-and-white images for themselves, having in many cases adjusted their cameras to display b&w on their rear screens. Time was a little tight on this occasion as the light was fading – so they had around half an hour to see what they could come up with.

Then, it was time for a review of one image from each member – done anonymously and straight out of camera – and there was plenty of encouraging and positive feedback to help members with their ‘homework’ for October’s meeting.

As always, the range of subjects and treatments was broad and there were some fabulous images to enjoy.

You can enjoy them again here – still anonymous. Of course, copyright remains with the photographer.

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The Experience of Creating Images with Vanda Ralevska

This month’s meeting brought closure to our fantastic 2016/17 membership year, and what better way to finish the season than with our very special professional guest from London, Vanda Ralevska.

What an absolute pleasure and privilege it was to welcome Vanda to Ockbrook and for everyone to be captivated not only by her presence but also her ‘photographic journey’, through some absolutely stunning imagery and thought provoking words.

Whether Vanda is walking in her local park, in the hills, by the sea, or in the City, she has an extraordinary eye, as she is drawn to the smallest of detail and the widest of views. Even on the streets of London, she gives us an insight into the beauty of life beyond that as we may know it. Her images are very poetic in themselves, and yet her use of words alongside some of her work adds another dimension to her art.

I like those moments in time, when everything goes quiet, my heartbeat gets faster, I take a deep breath and the time stops…until the shutter clicks, and the moment that took my breath away is preserved…forever…” VR.

Please read Vanda’s story Life Behind The Lens for yourselves, enjoy her beautiful photography and poetic language by browsing through her inspirational website.

Vanda’s award winning photography has been published and exhibited widely both in the UK and overseas.

Making Waves

All images copyright Vanda Ralevska

It is an illusion that photos are made with the camera…they are made with the eye, heart and head” Henri Cartier-Bresson

A quote from Vanda’s website and one to leave you to think about…

To our friends and supporters, have a wonderful Summer, as we look forward to returning in September, when we will be entering our 10th year together as a Club…now that has to be worth some kind of celebration!

Ockbrook and Borrowash Image Club





Perfecting the Print: An insight into printing and colour management with Doug Chinnery

Our village hall was once again full to capacity on Monday evening, when we welcomed back to Ockbrook our friend…professional photographer, teacher, writer and printing specialist Doug Chinnery. This is Doug’s third visit to our club and he never disappoints.

With an all round wealth of knowledge, each visit has brought with it an evening of learning at a level of understanding for everyone, making his presentations not only enjoyable but beneficial for all those attending.

This time Doug talked at some length to us about ‘perfecting the print’ through image preparation.  As a teacher of printing and colour management for the Fotospeed Academy, he also demonstrated through his stunningly beautiful images, how different photographic papers can have such varying results on output, a very important part of the creative process.

According to his website, Doug claims to have not won any awards, but it’s difficult to understand why, as he is such an accomplished artist, and very modest with it. He writes for a number of magazines including Outdoor Photography and On Landscape, and has also exhibited in a number of galleries. In addition to running his own very busy programme of workshops, he is also a leader for Charlie Waites Light & Land Photography Tour Company.

As you can imagine we felt very privileged indeed to be able to spend an evening with him, and wouldn’t hesitate in recommending him to your group…thanks Doug, we look forward to number four!

Please do take a look at Doug’s website when you have a few minutes to sit back and enjoy his work, but in the meantime a small selection to whet your appetite has been included in our post.