Help Needed at the May Games

We’ve had the fowling appeal for assistance from Contexture Theatre who are organising the event for the council:

Bishop’s Stortford’s unique May Games celebration is under a week away and we need your help.

We’ve got an amazing day planned – our professional cast are busy rehearsing for their street performances, our team of supporters are sewing costumes and making props and the Fayre in Monastery Gardens is slowly taking shape. Read all about it in this Observer article

But we need some extra help to make it happen.

Could you spare some time on Sunday 17th May to help the event go smoothly? You could be act as a steward during our plays, run one of the stalls with children’s activities or help just us set up and clear away

May Games is a celebration of the people, put on by the community, for the community. Your involvement would help to make it truly special.

If you can help at any time during the day, please get in touch on 01279 461285 or at

The Camera Club has already agreed to try to capture the fun of the event, please contact Andrew Macpherson on 843188 who will try to co-ordinate photographic effort

A team effort for CazFest Burn’s Night

Green Screen Lighting Test

Green Screen Lighting Test

January 25th was Burns’ Night, and local charity CazFest held a traditional Ceilidh to raise money at the Raddison Blu on the airport at Stansted. A small team of club members, (Sandy, David, Kevin and Andrew) went along to do some Event Photography, both the formal (or even slightly chaotic) portraits and some off the cuff shots at table, and of the dancing.

The photos were all processed and printed on the night, with half the price going to the charity.

We set up a Green Screen (Westcott no-crease 9×15 — recommended) with studio lights, and photographed with the main camera tethered to a laptop. The laptop screen was positioned where the guests could see the initial photos coming in off the camera. Shooting in medium sized JPG this was fairly fast, and we (David) could then pick up the photo from the shared folder they came in to, and sandwich it between an Outer Hebrides beach as the background, and a discreet CazFest charity logo in the bottom right using FXhome chromakey software. Not quite as easy as the advertising would have one believe, and the masking needs a brush tool, but extremely effective none the less.

The green screen itself is only 9′ wide so this limited how wide a group could be, a restriction that helped a lot with the perennial photographer’s problem: getting people to stand closer together. We also had some Apple Boxes to hand (full, ½ and ¼) to even up the eye line for some couples.

After adding the background

After adding the background

We had fun, and raised £180 for CazFest. We have a private website for those who were there to possibly order more prints, or different formats. If you were there and don’t know where to look please call Andrew (see his contact page).

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Town Calendar ready to print

A very satisfactory collaboration between the club and the Tourist Office to produce a 2014 calendar for and of the town. We provided nearly 90 images to select from, from members at all levels. The successful members who were included were:

  • Matthew Bickham
  • Nigel Otter
  • Mark Seton
  • Geoff Eldridge
  • David Woods
  • Andrew Macpherson

who will each recieve a copy, otherwise the initial print run is limited, so you may wish to get your orders in quickly.

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Promoting the town

Photo of Andrew Macpherson

Andrew Macpherson

On Monday I was honoured to be asked to help the Bishop’s Stortford Tourist Information Centre chose 13 photos for the town’s 2014 calendar.

A calendar photo is a very different image from a club competition shot, edgy does not work as an image to have on the wall all month.

We had over 80 great photos to chose from many different club members, and it took 4 passes of difficult (anonymous) elimination to get to under 20, at which point aligning the months with suitable photos made the final elimination easier.

The actual photos chosen are on general embargo until the calendar is ready to launch, though I have contacted some members to get higher resolution photos, or to suggest edits, the members whose photos will feature are Nigel Otter, Geoff Eldridge, Mathew Bickham, David Woods, Mark Seton and Andrew Macpherson. Well done! And well done! to everyone who entered, will you have a go next time?

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Easton Lodge Competition 23rd June

The Gardens of Easton Lodge Preservation Trust are having another amateur photo promotion competition details here, including a junior entrant’s section

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