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The Cyclist makes the shot!

Let's get creative in 2024!

Janet Miles shares a wealth of knowledge and personal expertise!
Janet Miles, from the Mid-Somerset Camera Club, was our speaker on Thursday exploring the theme of “Using Exposure Time Creatively”. Janet herself is a prolific, and very talented, photographer in her own right. Self-taught, she describes herself as “a Jack of all trades”, but she is undoubtedly master of many as a result of extensive experimentation, and the sheer joy of playful indulgence with light and shutter speeds!

Janet’s well-constructed talk clearly articulated and graphically illustrated many photographic techniques that ranged from using fast shutter speeds to capture the moment, flashes and external triggers to shorten exposure times for discovering the shape and form of drips and splashes and the excitement of exploding balloons, to the super slow for smoothing the waves and clouds, or for introducing subtle shades of movement in otherwise static scenes.

Janet used the two hours she had with us extremely well, and was very generous with her tips and advice, giving clear instructions about how to make the camera do what we want it to, and encouraging us enthusiastically to just get out there and have a go! Not only did we have the privilege of viewing numerous processed images of her own making, that combined the skills of capturing images in camera with post processing to present them at their best, but we were also treated to photos that clearly showed how she had set up the possibilities, and utilised the services of her many friends. These willingly manipulated external supports and props, got drenched in the water and helped with the clearing up, but clearly learning a great deal alongside Janet as they did so.

It was certainly an inspirational evening during which our attention was held, and our curiosity was aroused. We learned the subtleties of lighting from above and behind, as well as the art of bouncing the illuminations to avoid unwanted reflections. There were wine glasses suspended with invisible fishing lines, plastic ice cubes dropped into a variety of containers, as well as fruit and veg immersed in waters both still and aerated. The technical details were given in ways that did not overwhelm those of us who, for years, have avoided the intricacies of flash photography. More versed of late in the use of ICM and slower shutters, we fully appreciated the latter part of the presentation in which Janet ably portrayed her love of the Isle of Harris, in the Outer Hebrides, through coastal and landscape images rendered abstract by slow shutter speeds and deliberate camera movement. I think there was something for everyone, and I for one will be making 2024 the year I master the flash- both on and off the camera! I just hope my friends are as willing as hers!!!

Picture of the Year images have now been submitted to be judged, and we are hoping the weather looks up so we can get out there and snap away, although if not we now have a wealth of ideas for indoors!!
Next week I shall be presenting an evening of Sports Photography in which I hope to illustrate that it is more than just freezing the memorable moments! I have a lot to live up to!

Jenny Short. 05.01.2024