Australian Photographic Judges Association

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The Yarra Ranges Photographic Society were the hosts for the second course of Photographic Judging, at Wandin, run by the APJA. Stef and Jill organised the day, making sure everything was in place so the event ran smoothly, and their efforts were seen as the day went without a hitch.

There were four main topics presented, with images projected onto the screen for the first three, and the fourth was a mock judging session so we all had a go at cold judging. The APJA are holding more of their courses in the future and you can get all the info from www.apja.org.au

- Greg Carrick

Cold Judging, Critiquing and Copping it Sweet.

Our Thursday, May 2 workshop on Judging was either going to be a success or an all-out bun fight as we opened the floor for all the members to do some cold judging! Thankfully the good humour prevailed and no ambulances were called. El Presidente opened the session by going through some basics of what judges will be looking for in photos and threw in some added advice on recognising that different genres of photography need some different allowances.

The concept of not just bringing along one print you liked and one you didn’t, but also cold judging someone else’s print that you liked and one you disliked was both unique and intriguing. I learned that one of my images looked better upside down, and we all are now aware that future Pelican photos need to be very special! A big thanks to all the members who allowed their photos to be scrutinised, and also to all those who had a go at cold judging. Several people remarked afterwards that this should become an annual event. - Greg Carrick

Maroondah Reservoir Adventure

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Jill, Jan, Rose Michelle, Rob and Stef headed to The Rose Walk and the Maroondah Reservoir Wall. Anticipating the wall to be closed for building works, we were so surprised that we were able to walk along the wall. Linda and Jill went trekking through the Forest Walk. After a quick chat, we went to the Beechworth Bakery for a coffee. Jill and Stef went on over to Badger Weir. This is a lovely spot, filled with ferns and as it turns out and a variety of fungi. It was a spectacular day out; thanks for everyone that participated and a special thanks to Jill for organising it.

Outing to Melbourne Botanical Gardens - Tuesday 23rd April

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The day started out with a brisk walk to the gardens, stopping at various locations along the way to take an occasional snap. Though generally quiet around Melbourne, there was a lot of activity around the shrine preparing for Anzac day. Some of us were a little slow getting out our cameras, while our president was right in the thick of it with his old retro Minolta digital and his well-advertised Fuji X70. James McEwan was shooting with Widelux 35mm film camera, and Antony Dimmock was shooting with a very small old digital camera, it felt a little like the twilight zone. Eventually, the Canons' came out and we began shooting.


There are some very large and spectacular trees and a variety of plants at the gardens. Unfortunately, the photos don’t do them justice. We made our way around the gardens stopping at the hothouse where there were some very colourful exotic plants. But our lenses immediately steamed up once we entered the building, making it impossible to get a clear image, but it did create some interesting effects. We hadn’t gotten far when we came upon two black swans with four cygnets. A definite photo opportunity.

The last stretch, we headed around the lake, a few nice landscape shots presented themselves before reaching the front gate. All in all a great day, the weather was just right, and we had covered around 8 km.

March Workshop - Photo Books

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Photo Books proved to be a most informative and interesting workshop. Eight members brought in quite a large variety of photo books. The idea for the night was to highlight the do and don’t of printing your own and to provide information about the suppliers, costs, ease of their software. We received some very good examples of who NOT to use. The quality of nearly all the books was very high and comparing one company from another was quite difficult at times.


Some of the tips from the workshop included:

  • Don’t rush your completed photo book through to the company - best to proofread a few time and get a second opinion - once the order is placed it’s too late.

  • The image size should always be hi-res full size, the software will manage and resize.

  • Have some sort of plan with regard to setting up your photo book.

  • Wait and watch, discounts are always coming through, don’t pay full price.

  • From the workshop, Albumworks, Blurb and Momento were the main suppliers.

Macro Photography Workshop

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We had an exceptional turnout for Rob Wagner’s presentation entitled “Rob’s Quick and Dirty Approach to Macro Photography!”. Topics covered included the benefits of using a good macro lens, tips for shooting macro, the process of focus stacking in Photoshop, and more. The presentation included many examples of Rob’s work in this area. Later in the evening, there was an opportunity to try out some hands-on macro shooting.

2018 Annual Awards - Print and Digital Images of the Year

Batman - Nick Sage - Print of the Year

Batman - Nick Sage - Print of the Year

Mario Mirabile, our guest judge for the 2018 awards presentation.

Mario Mirabile, our guest judge for the 2018 awards presentation.

Thirty three attended out Christmas luncheon and end-of-year awards presentation. It was a nice relaxing and social afternoon. Our judge, Mario Mirabile, gave a general review of the images that were worthy of a mention. Mario did a great job in detailing his selection of the winning prints and electronic digital images. Congratulations to all the winners and placegetters in this year's competitions.

Rage Against the Dying of the Light - Rob Wagner - Digital Image of the Year

Rage Against the Dying of the Light - Rob Wagner - Digital Image of the Year

Nick Sage receives the Print of the Year trophy from judge Mario Mirabile.

Nick Sage receives the Print of the Year trophy from judge Mario Mirabile.

Sharon Maher collects her 1st Place certificate for the Colour Projected Image section.

Sharon Maher collects her 1st Place certificate for the Colour Projected Image section.

YRPS Weekend away in South Gippsland – Toora

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The changeable Victorian weather threatened to ruin our weekend; however, it turned out quite fine with fluffy grey clouds and patches of sunshine. My wife and I chose the “big circle” route. Driving through Powelltown, Neerim Sth, Nilma to Traralgon, turning off to Yarram and winding around the hills of the Tarra Bulga National Park. One special jewel in the crown of this area is Tarra Valley forest walk. This forest features lots of high and low ferns, together with myrtle beech trees and mountain ash, covered with all sorts of moss and fungi. Meandering creeks running over falls and a beautifully peaceful air makes one appreciate the diverse beauty that our state offers. If only the camera could justify. We came across our very own Rob Wagner peering thru his lens endeavouring to do just that very thing. Travelling on we dropped in to check out Tarraville, Port Albert and Port Welshpool. Personally, I wanted to photograph birds captured in flight, however, this can be difficult as the birds themselves are somewhat “flighty”.

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Meeting together at the Toora Tourist Park after settling in, we strolled to the local pub where we all enjoyed our meal and made plans for the next day. It was decided that we would all travel together and head west to Port Franklin, where we were rewarded with some terrific opportunities for bird photography. This port is a peaceful little river port set on the Franklin River surrounded by mangroves and plenty of birds. Of course, moored pleasure and fishing craft.

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Onwards to Foster where we enjoyed lunch and visited a gallery that displayed the talents of the South Gippsland Camera club. We all agreed that the photography was of a very high standard. We were all impressed. So much so that one of our members purchased an excellent example of the art that was on display. The Knox Camera Club had also chosen this weekend for their time away together with more than 30 of their members staying at the Foster Tourist Park. Travelling on with a plan to visit the Liptrap historic lighthouse, we all managed to grab a few shots before the wind nearly blew us off the cliff tops. It was certainly not suitable for long exposures on that day. We did however find a more sheltered area around Walkerville South. After enjoying an evening meal at the pub once again, we met back in one of the units for drinks, nibbles and review.

All in all, it really was a pleasant weekend, great company, too much food, and wonderful sights, and while some headed home Sunday straight after breakie, a few of us enjoyed photographing the wonderful jagged coastline around Cape Paterson.
- Russell Brand (Weekend Excursion Coordinator)

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Workshop Presentation by James McEwan - Photojournalist.

Jim McEwan's journey in photojournalism, starting in around 1970 He commenced his photographic career in Scotland and ending up in Australia. Jim explained that he started in the darkroom, developing the images for most of the well know photojournalists of the time, in the UK and Australia. This gave him a good grounding in his own pursuit of Photography. He worked for major newspaper/media groups, magazines plus photographic assignments for large companies, like Kodak.

Jim lead us through his journey with around 100 images, Portraits of well know Australians. Some of his images made the front page in national & international publications. We were shown some of Jim's more artistic images of motor vehicles and a variety of sailing vessels and aircraft which also graced a number of magazines. A lot of Jim’s images were taken on film, a number with the Widelux Panon camera. Some of his antidotes on how he was able to take some of these images left a few members amazed on how far you had to go to be in the game and get that one in a million shot.

One suggestion for the novice photographer was to practice by shooting seagulls, perfect your panning, focusing and shot selection. A good tip!

Photoshoot - Lilydale Lime Quarry- 135 Years of History

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Having worked at the quarry Lime plant for 45 years, and in that time taken many photos, it was a little different going back and seeing and photographing it in its derelict state. You would have thought that it had been derelict for many years, but in fact, it closed in 2015, only 3 short years ago. This was an opportunity to try and capture something artistic/ different given that there may not be another opportunity to visit.

Seventeen members attended with 11 in the first group and 6 in the second group. After the basic induction and donning out safety gear, safety helmet, glasses and high-vis vest, the first group headed out into the plant. We started at the old Limil bagging station through to the tunnel, where the old pot kilns are located. These were the first kilns on site around the 1870s. Then on to the kiln discharge area, hydration, kiln burning area and finally to the top of the quarry. We spend about one hour walking around, unfortunately not sufficient time to really visit all the interesting locations. I was hoping that we would get to the very top of the kilns, unfortunately, this didn’t happen. Great views from there. - Rob Field (President)

28th Eastern Interclub Competition

First Place (Print Section) - Carnage - Rob Field

First Place (Print Section) - Carnage - Rob Field

Merit (B&W EDI Section) - Sky Walker - Russell Brand

Merit (B&W EDI Section) - Sky Walker - Russell Brand

Merit (Print Section) - Scholar Sharpening Quill Pen - Rob Field

Merit (Print Section) - Scholar Sharpening Quill Pen - Rob Field

Twelve members ventured down to North Ringwood for the 28th Eastern interclub competition. Nine photographic societies competed in this year competition. I am pleased to report that we fared reasonably well in the overall competition. Equal First with Eastern Suburbs for prints, second last in colour EDI’s and second in B&W EDI ’s, so overall a very good result. All the scores were reasonably close with only a few points separating the images in all the categories. The quality of all the images and prints was excellent. It was good to catch up with members from other photographic societies, some having judged at our club over the years. Joseph Maher, president of ESPS and myself jointly receiving the perpetual trophy for the print category. Eastern suburbs will hold the trophy on the proviso that they will dust it regularly.

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National Photographic Portrait Exhibition - Lilydale

We got our group portrait taken!

We got our group portrait taken!

A few members recently attended the National Photographic Portrait Exhibition opening, held at the Lilydale Museum on a Friday evening. Group talks were held on Saturday & Sunday by varying photographers & The National Gallery Portrait Curator. These talks were held at three locations - Lilydale, Mooroolbark and Warburton.

The Lilydale Shire, Exhibitions group & Museum arrange many photographic and art exhibitions on a regular basis. From time to time, we are invited to attend an exhibition opening. Most times they have some very interesting and thought-provoking exhibits, other time it might not suit your artistic palate, but they always provided food for thought and an opportunity to discuss the works with the artist and others patrons.

There is also an advantage in attending these type of exhibitions/functions, not to mention the free food and wine, but more so to promote the society with other local artists /photographers. From this involvement we have been able to promote the society with the Unseen Lilydale exhibition, workshops, networking with the shire and other relevant personnel. So if you have the opportunity to attend one of these functions, it’s well worth your time.
- Rob Field (President)