Amersham Beyond Group - 7th Jan 2021

Meeting Notes on Creative Photography and Photo-Art
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Joined: Tue Mar 25, 2008 7:04 pm

Amersham Beyond Group - 7th Jan 2021

Post by spb » Sat Jan 09, 2021 12:03 pm

The meeting was held on Zoom and a recording can be viewed (by APS Members only) here.

All our 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
Please spend time viewing and commenting on the images - this is our primary source of feedback at the moment. Authors are also encouraged to provide commentary on their creations.

We viewed the current Challenges which are;



and the latest;


The feedback on the new food images was very positive. Further work on this theme over the coming couple of months might explore getting even closer for an abstract or graphical result and further experimentation with lighting. LED torches are inexpensive and very useful for local and directional lighting. Colour temperature is only important for mixed lighting or skin tones where subsequent adjustment in Photoshop is more tricky. Brightness is not an issue in a tabletop or studio setting – in fact many LED torches are far too bright.

Another useful gadget is the LED light pad which, as well as providing the backlight for John’s veg slices, makes an excellent small studio and Zoom light panel. Several members, including me, are very pleased with their Vario light pad. The A3 size is a good compromise.

I presented our work to Kingsbridge & District CC (Devon) last month and they were very interested in what we have been doing. To my surprise, a Powerpoint presentation of 22 K&DCC responses to our first eighteen months of Challenges arrived recently and we viewed the images with much pleasure. I will be in touch to see whether we might continue a relationship.

The next Challenge is;


Create a design for a postage stamp, including perforations. It could be for a specific country or no country. It could be styled as a commemorative, definitive or ‘Cinderella’ (a stamp-like label). The subjects for stamps are usually iconic and usually produced in a set so your stamp should have this potential although only one example need be produced. If not obvious, I may ask what is the subject of the set? If you are feeling ambitious you could produce a First Day Cover containing one or more stamps.

The image(s) need not be newly taken and for many members this may be an exercise in image selection, refinement and presentation. Being small, the image(s) should not be too complex. Stamps are usually rectangular but circular and triangular examples have been known.

Perforations and Postmarks. There is a good tutorial here by Gavin Hoey on producing perforations and postmarks. NOTE - Photoshop Elements, unlike Photoshop CC, does not have a Spacing option for the Eraser Tool but there is a Spacing option for the Brush tool and this could produce the same effect by selecting and deleting the brush marks.

Another source of perforation templates are clip art sites such as where a search for something like ‘postage stamp borders’ will reveal free scalable downloads of stamp outlines that can be opened in Photoshop. Beware of ‘Royalty Free’ sites that nevertheless require a registration and fee. There are also plenty of stamp images online where I would have no concerns about capturing the edge pattern but discarding the actual image.

As always, use your anti-virus software to scan any download that you have the slightest concern about – this is often a right-click context-sensitive option in the file manager.

Any questions – don’t hesitate to email me.


The next meeting will be held on 4th February 2021 by Zoom.

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