Angela Rixon’s presentation to the Photography group
Group member Angela Rixon brought along 30 of her mounted prints in order to illustrate fundamental aspects of general hobby photography. These were placed on an easel and illuminated with a digital projector. She began the presentation with an A3 enlargement of the centre of a poppy to underline the importance of correct exposure and depth of field in close-up work and with macro lenses.
Portraiture was covered next, contrasting an indoor high-key study of a young child with a very colourful record of a warrior of the Samburu tribe in Kenya. The importance of good rapport between photographer and subject was stressed, as was the aesthetics of having the camera at the right height, usually at eye level with the model. Angela had some amusing tips for ensuring that subjects looked their best and that everyone in a group shot kept their eyes open at the critical time!
Out-and-about record photography was covered by photographs taken from the London Eye, to illustrate the use of wide-angle and standard lenses to optimise depth of field; followed by the subject of motor sport, where high-speed settings were used, the camera set on a tripod and pre-focused, the shutter being released when the subject reached the chosen spot. At this point it was demonstrated that some colourful subjects can also work well in monochrome and are easily converted in post-processing.
The techniques for photographing landscapes and interiors were discussed next, with some examples shot in Namibia – some sweeping dunes contrasting with the derelict sand-filled rooms of an abandoned desert ghost town.
Angela indulged her love of wildlife photography, beginning with prints of birds, some portraits and some showing interesting behaviours, followed by a range of African animals, including a huge bull elephant, zebra at water and on the run, several species of antelope, a cheetah head study and, finally, lions, fast asleep, on the move and at water. The final print (above) showed a mother lion trying to pick up her reluctant snarling tiny cub!
Throughout the presentation Angela emphasised the importance of supporting the camera by any means available – on a tripod, monopod, beanbag or anything handy. She explained that she always uses the aperture priority setting on the camera, as this is the only way to ensure the optimum depth of field to obtain the desired degree of sharpness in the background. She is then able to adjust the ISO setting to gain speed when needed for fast-moving subjects or, conversely, to add blur.