ECCG ‘Silhouette’ Competition – 20/5/14

Silhouette Results-10

photo: Finbarr O'Shea

Thirty one members attended the third internal competition of the year at the Midleton Park Hotel on Tuesday 20/5/14. The theme was 'Silhouette' which had members practically gasping for inspiration when it was first announced a couple of months back but as you can see in the slideshow below, interpretation was diverse among the twenty-three entries received.

Silhouette Results-12

Number crunching: Anthony OConnor and Denis Barry by Karen Fleming

Following two viewings of the projected images, scores were awarded, checked and entered into our new results program. 1st, 2nd and 3rd in each Grade and overall, were projected 'live' on-screen as the results were recorded which made for a fascinating spectacle as competitors in the top places changed and interchanged as the process developed.  There were some tight battles in some grades and it was great to see some of our newest members feature in the top three of Grade C.

With the final results computed and checked, the winners and runners up were declared and it was no surprise to anyone to see Karen Fleming make it a hat-trick of wins for the year in Grade A. The results were as follows:



Above photographs of the winners and runners up with Chairperson, Denis Barry, by Finbarr O'Shea and Mervyn Daly.

See all entries below. Mouse over the image to see and activate the slideshow control buttons and photographer's details. Well done to everyone who entered. Enjoy.




Group Meeting 6/5/14


Ann Marie Collins speaks to the Group by Denis Barry

We were delighted to welcome Ann-Marie Collins L.I.P.F. as our guest speaker at The Midleton Park Hotel on Tuesday 6/5/14. A former member of ECCG, Ann-Marie has recently turned professional specialising in Custom Newborn Photography. As a mother of two herself, she appreciates how fast baby's first few weeks go by and decided that she would capture those precious memories in her East Cork studio for parents to treasure for a lifetime. Her passion for this genre of photography is evident even in how she speaks about the subject not to mind the exquisite photography she produces.

Ann Marie presented a slide show of some of her work which you can see on her website here. The variety of poses and props were amazing while all her subjects seemed quite at home posing for the camera! It was a revelation to hear that sessions can take several hours to complete but considering her passion to get it just right, it was not surprising. She also showed some wall hangings in canvas and other materials as well as albums and prints which really show off her subjects well.

Newborn photography is a particularly sought after service so if you want Ann-Marie to perform her magic on your newborn, don't wait until baby arrives as you will be too late. Contact her studio some months ahead of time to ensure your booking.

See Ann-Marie's website here. Find her on Facebook here. You can contact Ann-Maire here.

Our next speaker was Mervyn Daly who demonstrated the art of mounting photographs for framing or exhibition/competition. A delicate operation in its own right, Mervyn covered the subject in detail showing all the tricks involved to get a perfectly mounted image.

The Group were delighted to welcome three new members at the meeting and look forward to working with them and seeing their work in the months ahead.



How I took that shot by Mervyn Daly

In the recent group competition, 'In Costume', Mervyn Daly ran out the deserved winner with his image with the 'Tears of a Clown' theme.

Mervyn Daly

Learn how Mervyn, who is becoming a fixture on the winner's podium, put this shot together here:

"I had an idea of creating an image with a 'Tears of a Clown' theme. I convinced (bribed) my daughter, Tara , to model for me, telling her what I was trying to create and getting her ideas also".

"I began by setting up a white backdrop which was lit by a 200w Elinchrom light at half power on the left, a 400w Elinchrom light at full power on the right. I metered and got a reading of 1/125sec @ f8, ISO200".

"I got out the make-up from my wife and Tara's stash and did the face painting and, when finished, I placed a folded sheet over her head and began shooting".

"The image was cropped and levels and curves adjusted, I burned in a couple of spots on the background to remove some creases and then converted to b&w on a separate layer and selectively deleted around the mouth to expose the colour on original layer".

"I shot with Nikon D300s, with sigma 17-70 2.8-4.5. @ 20mm. I used a reflective umbrella on the 200w head and a shoot through umbrella on the 400w head. Post processing was done in Photoshop CS2".

Well done Mervyn and Tara on producing a wonderful shot.


‘In Costume’ Competition – April 2013

16 entries were submitted for the 'In Costume' competition at the Midleton Park Hotel on 23/4/13. Variety was in evidence as the members judged the projected images.

The members broke up into groups of 5 and looked through all the images quickly first so that everyone could get a flavour of the entries. They then went through them again slowly so each group could discuss the image and mark them out of 10 each on composition, lighting and creativity.

While scores were being totted up each photographer spoke about how they came to take their chosen image and how they lit the subject etc. With the scores tallied the winners were revealed: in 3rd place Vivian Lee with her image of a floating mask. In 2nd place Finbarr O'Shea with a photo of a child eating an apple, and in 1st place was  Mervyn Daly (February's third place) with an image of his daughter dressed as a Heath Ledger-style clown.

View all the competition entries in the slideshow below. Mouse over to see the photographers’ details  and to use the controls.

Well done to all the competitors.


How I took that shot – by Mervyn Daly

In our recent 'Food' competition, Mervyn Daly won 3rd place with his unusual 'landscape' made entirely of food. Here, Mervyn explains how he created this image (click to enlarge).

by Mervyn Daly

"I wanted to try something a bit different. I originally wanted to replicate one of my seascape shots but the sea proved too difficult to get right, so I resorted to using mainly broccoli as trees. When my kids were younger we used to call broccoli - 'baby trees', in an effort to get them to eat it (unsuccessfully, I must add)".

"I set up on the kitchen table in front of the patio door with only natural light. The camera was mounted on a tripod, level with the table top. I began with the foreground by using brown sugar as soil, then placed some soda bread pieces as rocks and adjusted them to get the composition I wanted. These were positioned only a few centimeters from the lens. I then began individually placing the broccoli pieces, propped with cocktail sticks, checking the composition as I worked. I used drinking chocolate powder for the pathway, strips of curly cabbage as hedging, and I cut a loaf of bread in half for the hills at the back, and there is some asparagus thrown in for good measure".

"I had a white background behind which went muggy and grey with the settings I used, which I wasn't happy with, so I resorted to importing a sky on a new layer and blending it in. I was trying to create a kind of fantasy shot so I think I can be forgiven just this once".

Technical Details:
Nikon D300s. Sigma 17-70mm @ 20mm
Natural daylight, 3 sec @ f22, iso 100. Adjusted curves.

See more of Mervyn's images here