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Saturday, February 2, 2013


Tony & Betty Rackham January 2013
Photos: T.A.S. Editor
Fellows of the Royal Photograhic Society Betty and Tony Rackham exhibit their photographs with Romsey and Southampton camera clubs as well as showing paintings with Totton Art Society. The January 2013 meeting  revealed how they produce superb photographs of nature and wildlife using rules of composition, viewpoint, natural light, artificial light, abstract shapes, and lots of experience! They projected their digital photos onto the screen and provided an absorbing commentary. Also on show were their own cards and paintings.

Betty informed us that not only do they use the 'thirds' rule - placing important focal points one third from the top and side, but they also believe that eye goes to the top right of the picture first of all, folowed by the top left, bottom right and then bottom left.
They also confirmed that 'hot' colours appear to advance towards the viewer, wereas on the other had, cold colours appear to recede. Her photographs are usually taken with a Panasonic Lumix camera wth interchangeable lenses or this Fuji FinePx F600EXR compact camera.
Tony showed how to improve images by digitally cropping, increasing the tonal contrast (making sure that the highlights are adjusted to show more detail before adjusting the dark areas), and possibly changing or removing unwanted elements, such as rocks.
He enjoys using using his technical knowledge to achieve unusual special effects. Both he and Betty look for abstract patterns and shapes within natural subjects, for example: a seed head looks like a piece of engineering. They sometimes prefer to use a black and white image instead of the usual colour image.
Taking close-up photographs is frequently successful. The small group of red and purple autumn leaves with white frosted edges was so simple yet so beautiful. He advised always to take a photo before making changes and setting up the final scene. He confessed to removing petals, repositioning objects and even throwing a stone in the water to create the ripples of a rising fish.
The audio-visual films at the end of the evening were beautiful and with the music, quite emotionally moving. The passion for nature that Betty and Tony share is forcefully shown through their photography. Finally they urged us to manage our digital photographs by discarding unwanted one, sorting, labelling, storing and backing up to two or more separate disks, lest we lose them all when the computer develops a fault.
Artwork by Tony & Betty
The demonstration ended with warm applause and questions from members.