We’d all like to know how to expand our photographic horizons.

So, on Wednesday 8 November, we had an evening of “How Did You Do That?” sessions from some of our members.

Graham Meers presented “The Stag Leighton Buzzard – Then and Now”.  Having been inspired by some pictures he’d seen in Southport by local photographer Matt Dodd, he has been merging old and new images of Leighton Buzzard to produce new “merged” images.  He demonstrated how he had taken an old photo (copied from a book) of The Stag pub in Heath Road and merged it with a picture he had taken himself from about the same spot.  The left-hand side of his new image showed the pub as it was back in the day while the right-hand side showed it as it is now.

Emma Burrell described how she had gone about producing her winning “Lest You Forget” image for last season’s Long Exposure competition.  This covered her camera (her iPhone equipped with the Slow Shutter app), other kit, and the settings used, as well as the lighting and the smoke and other effects.

Martin Wood has been taking photographs for many years and used to work for Kodak.  He showed us the slick method he has developed to digitise around 4,500 of his old transparencies dating from 1968.  Using “bits of old kit” to capture the images on the slides as RAW files, he did the job in about five weeks!  He was extremely pleased with the results and the pictures “brought back loads of memories”.  He was now working on some old family prints.

Tricia Meers showed us how she had created a “book of memories”.  On holiday with her sister in East Neuk (the northerly end of the Firth of Forth) she took many photographs around the fishing villages.  As she loves prints and books, she decided to produce small prints (postcard size) and stick them into little ring-bound, blank books (procured from Room No 9 in the High Street), matching the images into similar pairs.  She has made a book for herself and is now making one for her sister.

Carol Curd gave us a live demonstration of a variety of ways to change the colours in an image.  Her starting point was a bland image of a bit of church wall.  She showed us several Lightroom techniques to manipulate the image and produce a wide range of colourful effects.  These involved working with the Temp, Tint, and Dehaze sliders in Basic, plus the Hue, Saturation, and Luminance sliders, as well as the Point Color Dropper, in Color Mixer.  Moving over to Photoshop, she showed us how to use the sliders in a Selective Color adjustment layer to similarly manipulate the image.  The basic methodology is to play about with the sliders and see what produces a pleasing result!  These techniques can also be used in other post-processing software such as Affinity Photo.

Paul Dimitriou finished the evening off with his collection of practical tips for taking pictures out in the countryside in the cold weather of Autumn and Winter.  This was illustrated with a selection of his own splendid images.