Amersham Beyond Group - 6th May 2021

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

Amersham Beyond Group - 6th May 2021

Post by spb » Sat May 08, 2021 3:05 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 here.
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.

Introducing the meeting I observed how varied my own images in the last two years had become thanks to the Beyond Group. This was, of course, the point of the group to push us out of our comfortable ruts. I have lost count of the feedback from members that they have enjoyed the process and learnt lots along the way. Long may it continue (after a summer break) with lots more Challenges in waiting.

We viewed the current Challenges which are;



and the latest;


As I suspected, Texture was very popular with 65 new images. However there are no complaints as the standard remained high. As well as experimenting with blending and opacity of their own textures members had discovered some other good sources;

- Ken recommended Texture Labs as a good source of free textures.

- Maggie recommended the textures and image effect actions provided with Photoshop CC (load them from the menu at the top right of the Actions palette).

- Tony also mentioned the Adobe Color Wheel – a color palette generator. Tony says Lots of interesting things here including colour analysis of your own imported images in “Extract Theme”. You can then save the pallets, gradients etc to your Adobe Account on Creative Cloud. I then opened this site on my phone and discovered you could use some of the tools in real time via the camera’s phone. Again you can save them to the Creative Cloud on the move. Then another email arrived telling me about the “Adobe Capture” app available on IOS and Android. I downloaded it (free but needs a Adobe account) and spent the evening analysing the members images as they appeared on my monitor. It works via the phones camera but is far more comprehensive and robust. I found it a fascinating app with shapes, colour pickers, pattern generator and much more. Again you can upload your results to CC and then call up libraries of pallets etc to use in any way you wish. Who needs to take photos when you can analyse the real world on the trot?

Finding the Image in Textures. This talk by Karl Schrader concentrated on finding and building-upon the images suggested by textures rather than applying an overall texture to a different image. Using this approach he showed us the initial textures and then dramatic images of seas and landscapes created from them.

The next Challenge is;


After 15 months of COVID restrictions let’s celebrate the freedoms of summer 2021 (we pray). However this is a group for creative visual art so try to go beyond mundane snaps of a busy beach, pub, traffic jams etc.


The next meeting will most probably be held on 7th October 2021.


Photo Printers.
Are you fed up with the weekly struggle to keep an old photo printer going? My three Epson R3000 printers need attention almost every time I use them. The exhibition and a new season of print competitions are on the horizon so, like me, you may be keen to put them on eBay and buy a shiny new photo printer. However – have you actually tried to buy a printer this year? If so, you will have found that there are virtually none for sale! In fact disregarding unappealing models there are actually none at all for sale. Everything is out of stock or on ‘pre-order’ which is just another way of saying ‘out of stock’. This is totally unprecedented. How has this happened?

The pandemic has created a huge demand for home office equipment. Laptops, webcams and printers are at the top of list and have completely sold out at various times over the last year. Right now, in spring 2021, there are no decent photo printers for sale new.

The vast majority of us with photo printers have either Epson or Canon models. If you need help keeping these going I have found Marrutt and Permajet to be very helpful in this regard with tutorials, videos and telephone support, in addition to their excellent third party inks and papers.

When printers do become available the choice between Epson and Canon is a very difficult one. I have always had Epson printers and have had a love-hate relationship with them. The prints have been superb but the printers very fussy to own. If forced to buy another I would swallow hard and avoid third party inks despite the huge cost penalty. They add a whole new layer of fuss and mess to an already fussy process. Third party papers are largely fine. Canon printers are seemingly built to military standards (weight can be in excess of 30Kg!) but the results are equally impressive. For me, their major disadvantage appears to be the massive and wasteful ink usage as the printers do a head clean every time they are used. Of course this results in greater reliability. I feel that they are not designed for domestic situations and especially not printing the odd spreadsheet as I do with my Epsons.

Another benefit of Epson is that if you need one repaired, we have had excellent service from John Lynch at Repro Repairs. They are an Epson printer repairer for commercial customers but have kindly done work for us, so long as they have the capacity and the printer is not too old or uneconomic to fix.

Online Printing.
The alternative to home printing is online printing and members have recommended the following in recent years. They can provide excellent prints at economical prices without the home printing hassle. However you will have to wait a day or two for each print job, colour management can take some time to establish and it's worth batching prints to save on postage;

Simlab in Hatfield

DS Colour Labs

BPD Photech – used by Wigan 10 for their exhibitions. Pro quality

Photobox – frequent offers, OK quality. Cheap n cheerful

The Print Space in London. Pro quality

Loxley Colour in Glasgow - fineartprints

Cheers, Steve

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