Amersham Beyond Group - 4th Feb 2021

Meeting Notes on Creative Photography and Photo-Art
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Amersham Beyond Group - 4th Feb 2021

Post by spb » Sat Feb 06, 2021 12:26 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.

A presentation on the Beyond Group to Wycombe PS last week was well received and created discussion about the scope of images usually seen in the society and how members could be encouraged to be more creative. They particularly liked with the phrase ‘permission to play’ which we have used in connection with the Beyond Group.

We viewed the current Challenges which are;



and the latest;


Everyone managed the potentially tricky perforations very well, either creating them with the spacing setting for brushes or utilising a download of a stamp but replacing the central image with a new one. There was a wide variety of subject matter, in themes, many of which would make very effective real commemorative stamps.

The next Challenge is;


This Challenge has been suggested by Laurie Turner.

It can be interpreted in the widest possible ways;
- a moving subject, blurred or re-positioned eg a child on a swing or multiple exposures of crowds
- a stationary object with pent-up movement eg a stationary train wheel or a clock movement
- a dynamic composition suggesting motion eg an image with converging lines to a vanishing point such as looking up at skyscrapers
- a protest movement for change or growth eg a Black Lives Matter demonstration

A very interesting competition on the Art of Movement was recently held by MyModernMet although the winners are perhaps a bit ambitious for us to try at any time, never mind during lockdown! Much more achievable examples are available on image sites such as Flickr by searching for ‘Movement’ or synonyms of it.

The Photographic Potential of the Microsoft Flight Simulator 2020.
I also gave a short presentation on this. It was re-launched in 2020 and includes 3D modelling of the entire surface of the planet based on satellite imagery and height data. Whilst primarily intended for flight simmers this is also of potential interest to photographers. The default scenery is good but is also greatly enhanced in many areas by hand-crafted models of key locations such as cities, airports, landmarks etc. which can be added. Some are free and some are paid add-ons. The ability to choose the time of day, date and weather enables the scenery to be lit in an infinite variety of ways. Furthermore the scenery can be explored not only by an aircraft but far more flexibly, by a free flying drone. It would be impressive at any time but during lockdown, when travel is virtually impossible, I am finding it fascinating.

The basic sim is £50 (& you don’t need to spend more). Although a fairly powerful PC is specified, this is to handle the visual computing needed to fly over complex 3D landscapes with simulated lighting and weather. For static photographic purposes, speed and smooth visuals are irrelevant so a more modest specification should be suitable. However there are epic downloads involved (150GB+) so plenty of free storage on an SSD and a good internet connection are going to save a lot of downloading and app-loading time.

In answer to a question – although a PC running Windows 10 is specified, a version on Xbox is planned this year and apparently it is possible to use a Mac running Windows 10 and BaseCamp software with some loss of performance. I would recommend a download from the Windows Store or Steam rather than the 10 DVD physical version which I bought by mistake. It took just as many hours to install and the 10th DVD was faulty (!) so I had to go to the MS Store anyway and start again.


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

Cheers, Steve

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