In the Herald - Challenge gave us all some focus

Date Published 
Wed 14 Jul 2021

"A dull and overcast evening was the backdrop for our Irvine Camera Club Summer Challenge in Ayr last week. Despite that, we had a good turnout of members, ready to attempt to take pictures themed to this weeks choices: "Street", "Picturesque Riverside" and one a little bit more technical than usual, "Black and White Square crop".

The "Street" type shot is what it sounds like - anything that involves people, actions, or chance events in public places. Usually, the photographer does not let the subject know that they are having their picture taken as the whole purpose of street photography is the "chance" element and "observation with no interaction" being key elements in this genre.

As you would imagine the "Picturesque Riverside" is trying to capture the best of the riverside, a challenge at the moment with all the construction/repair work going on near the College. Walking further up river, some of our members seemed happy with what they captured. Others took their chances closer to the harbour.

Lastly, the "Black and White square crop" section. Digital Cameras always* take their pictures in colour (in the so-called RAW format) and then, using the in-camera software, convert them to your chosen output. Most of our members have cameras that save both RAW format and the most common processed format of JPEG. If you set your camera to "Black and White" or "Monochrome", you will see the processed JPEG in black and white on your camera screen. Those Camera Club members who prefer to do the "post-processing" themselves from the RAW format, will be working on the RAW format colour picture, and processing it to black and white with computer software.
The "square crop" simply means that the picture is as wide as it is long, or a "square" shape, "cropping" being the term used for removing the excess to make the picture square.

Sorry, that was quite technical, but if you want to be able to understand these sorts of things, the Irvine Camera Club is a great place to start. Over the summer we mostly go out on regular photowalks and to specific places, but during the main season (starting September) we regularly have guest lecturers, presenters and speakers on anything photography related, friendly competitions with other clubs and also internal competitions, as well as practical evenings and "how-to" sessions focusing on digital processing, including software to use and techniques to try out for yourselves. And don't forget - we were all beginners once, so we know how difficult it can be to just ask questions.

If you would like to find out more about the club please visit our website ( where you will find all of our details.

* With one exception that I know of - a "Leica Q2 Monochrome" camera at around £4000+!

By Shane Kelly

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