Amersham Beyond Group - 7th April 2022

Meeting Notes on Creative Photography and Photo-Art
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Amersham Beyond Group - 7th April 2022

Post by spb » Sun Apr 10, 2022 11:27 am

Following Challenge #26, our members submitted 22 images to the Royal Academy Summer Exhibition 2022. They were variously, thoughtful, intelligent, insightful, creative, beautiful, and playful. Some took inspiration from the ‘Climate’ theme. Disappointingly none were shortlisted which was at the very least, disappointing. We know that photography is a minor component of this world-famous annual exhibition of contemporary art but without more insight into the criteria used for selection there is little encouragement to repeat this next year. However, I do encourage everyone to visit the exhibition which is in Piccadilly between 21st June to 21st August 2022. It’s inspiring and mad in equal measure and a good day out.

At least we contributed over £800 to the RA school of art.

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 on Facebook here.

The current Challenges are;



and the latest;


Several members who were not at the last meeting said that they were not sure what was meant by ‘Toning’. This is a traditional colour technique which has recently found popularity again after being adopted as a house style by music streaming sites such as Spotify. It involves converting an image to some combination of black, white and a very limited range of colours – typically just one or two. This can be achieved in an image editor by a wide range of methods many of which I detailed in last month’s notes.

The next Challenge is;


The idea is to create an image in which shadows are a significant part of the narrative. This can be achieved by post-processing or in-camera.

What do I mean by this? Perhaps the shadows reveal something that is not otherwise visible in the image. Perhaps the shadows do not match the object that is casting them but are amusing or create a different story. The shadows could also be genuine but unusual, interesting or attractive in their own right.

If you wish to create a shadow in an image editor, it can be done quite easily and realistically. Create the required shape as a selection (marching ants). On a new empty layer, fill the selection with black. Blur the layer. Reduce the opacity of the new shadow and position it appropriately to match the lighting conditions.

To create the starting selection shape from a subject in the image, you could draw around it with tools such as the lasso or polygon lasso but there are increasingly sophisticated object selection and quick selection tools to get close to the required outline much more quickly. This selection can then be added-to or subtracted-from with other selection tools to get the exact result required. The selection shape can then be transformed, stretched or squashed to match the lighting direction.

As always – email me if you are having a problem.


The next meeting will be held on Thursday 5th May 2022 in the LARGE BARN HALL – not the new Drake Hall.


Split Toning. Chris S raised the subject of Split Toning and illustrated it with one of his images. This is an image enhancement and processing technique rather than a particularly creative one and wasn't one that I had in mind for Challenge #30. Part of the reason for this is that Photoshop is my editor of choice and this can only achieve Split Toning indirectly via the Camera Raw Filter or more obscure means. By comparison, Split Toning is built into Lightroom, which I don't use. Consequently I was aware of it but had never used it. There are many tutorials online such as this one; The Power of Split Toning.

It looks like a powerful and perhaps overlooked technique which I will investigate further.

Cheers, Steve

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