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.

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An Evening of Photographic History – W.W.Winter Ltd

This month we were delighted to welcome our first guest of the 2017/18 membership year.

Jane Middleton-Smith archivist at W.W.Winter Ltd took us back in time through her fascinating presentation, from the birth of Walter William Winter in 1842 to his death in 1925, his acquisition and relocation of the business in 1867, where Winters continues as a photographic studio to this day.

While this year has marked the 150th anniversary of the opening of the studio with a superb exhibition at Derby Museums in conjunction with Format International Photography Festival,  it is 165 years since French photographer Emmanuel Charles first established a photographic business on Midland Road in Derby, which Walter Winter then took over on Charles’ death moving the business across the road, giving them claim to being the longest running photographic studio in the world.

Ockbrook enjoyed looking at some very old photographs many restored from glass plates, a fantastic archive of memories, through the continuing preservation of Winter’s collection of photographs and negatives, supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund.

More information on the work both past and present of this Derby photographic studio can be found on their website link http://www.wwwinter.co.uk

Beyond Limits – Chatsworth

To round off our evening there was a short presentation of images from nine members of Ockbrook, who recently enjoyed a pleasant day out at Chatsworth with their cameras.

With favourable light and weather conditions which improved as the day went on, the group wandered by the river before heading to the gardens for the sculptures, all set within a beautiful landscape full of photo opportunities.

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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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