Amersham Beyond Group - 5th Nov. 2020

Meeting Notes on Creative Photography and Photo-Art
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Amersham Beyond Group - 5th Nov. 2020

Post by spb » Sat Nov 07, 2020 4:45 pm

Face to face meetings have been cancelled due to COVID 19 but the November 2020 meeting was held on Zoom and a recording of the meeting can be viewed by APS Members here.

All Amersham Beyond Group Challenge images can be seen at Amersham Beyond Group on Flickr.

For APS Members only this month's images are also available for viewing and commenting at the APS Members Only Facebook Site
IMPORTANT - please spend time viewing and commenting upon the images - this is our primary source of feedback at the moment. Authors are also encouraged to provide commentary on their creations here.

We viewed the current Challenges which are;



and the latest;


Several self-referencing sources of #16 inspiration for our members this month plus Game of Thrones, VE Day, Bridget Riley, Cindy Sherman and many more. Alan Colegrave showed a series of processed portraits influenced by our own Ken Batchelor.

The #17 Abstracts were hugely imaginative and varied and some engendered emotional responses which was great to experience collectively, despite the physical distancing between us. One thing that many of these images had in common was that they were truly unique – in an unexpected way. They could not be replicated because the author had thrown a bucket of apps, filters, layers, blending modes and what-have-you at the original image, none of which was recorded or could be reproduced!

Despite wanting them to remain unidentifiable as true abstracts should be, we/I could not resist the temptation to know what the images were and how they were created. Having satisfied our curiosity we have now put that information aside to enjoy the end results. You have to see them – do check them out on Flickr (see above).

The next Challenge is;


This is a ‘thing’. In fact it seems to have been a thing since the early days of photography.

The Challenge is to combine two (or more) images that relate to one another or interact. The term ‘Portrait’ can include any body part, human, animal, figurative artwork etc. It can be assembled in camera or by post-processing.

This concept may be difficult to grasp until you see examples and then it will rapidly become clear. I suggest that you search any image database such as Google Images or duckduckgo using ‘Double Exposure Portrait’ as a search term.

There are also many video tutorials on how to achieve some of these effects. They all use different methods and achieve different results so I am not going to recommend any. Search for ‘Double Exposure Tutorial Videos’ for an example that works for you.

As I write this we are under the second Covid national lockdown and it may be difficult to achieve a suitable portrait image with which to start this Challenge. As a result there is a (maybe controversial) concession this time; one of the exposures may be a copyright-free image from an online source such as unsplash or pexels. The author and source must be attributed in the title and the other image and the processing must be yours.

By the way – in case you are tempted by that image already sitting on your hard disk – a reflection is not a double-exposure.


The next meeting will be held on 3rd December by Zoom.


Useful Tutorial Videos. If you have Photoshop CC you may have noticed that it has recently disappeared to be replaced by the new 2021 version. If, like me you wondered what’s new, here is a video Top 21 Photoshop 2021 New Features in 21 Mins from PiXimperfect. Try not to be put off by the Max Headroom look-alike presenter. There are maybe a few useful new bits and pieces such as further improvements to the Refine Edge brush.

Ever wondered how to change the colour of anything in Photoshop? Here’s another tutorial unsurprisingly called How to Change the Color of Anything in Photoshop from Phlearn. I’m afraid it’s another ‘distinctive’ presenter.

Broadband Backup. Broadband can go down and your laptop can be left disconnected for days or weeks. So long as you have a smartphone and a half-decent 4G signal you have a backup. Switch on your phone’s Personal Hotspot, choose the option to make it discoverable and then point your laptop wifi receiver to that signal. This can also work for a desktop. TV box or other device if they have a wifi receiver. If you think that your smartphone does not receive a 4G signal at home, try switching off it’s wifi. You will often find that a 4G signal suddenly appears. Note that using data in this way will be chargeable to your smartphone contract – watching a film by 4G takes around 1GB per hour.

Alt-Tab. Everyone on Windows should know this. Hold down the Alt Key and then tap the Tab key. Each press of Tab will cycle around your open programs. When you let go of both keys the selected program will come to the foreground. I use this shortcut all day, every day and muscle-memory makes it instantaneous. If your computer doesn’t respond to this shortcut in Windows 10 try Settings>System>Multitasking>Virtual Desktops> and toggle the Alt-Tab settings. This seems to resurrect it from the dead.

Cheers, Steve

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