Workshop 2:  Creating “Impact and Mood” – 19 June

By Barry Dench                    

Presenter: Barry Dench

Topics: Impact and mood, focus stacking, lens choice and selective focus, focus peaking as an aid to getting sharp focus in manual mode, filters and auto v manual HDR. 

Twenty members attended this the 2nd workshop for 2021. Starting at 9am the session ran till approx.

11.30, of that about an hour was spent on practicing focus stacking using a variety of props- flowers, sea shells, autumn leaves with a ruler to visually see the progression of sharp focus and Russian Babushka dolls.

The content changed somewhat from that envisaged when the years program was drawn up, however we covered the topics originally sketched out plus others. The presentation handout (18 pages) reflected the amount of time on the 5 subjects and the practice session was entirely devoted to focus stacking.

The handout and discussion covered:

  • Objectives and aims of the workshop
  • Impact and mood- Barry had a number of competition prints to illustrate what he considered had either mood or impact or both.
  • Focus stacking. This is one of the methods for achieving sharp focus covering macro, landscapes etc and has advantages and disadvantages compared to the likes of a high F-stop or using a tilt-shift lens. 12 of the 18 pages covered this subject reflecting the emphasise put on this topic today. Notes covered the features, advantages and disadvantages of focus stacking v other methods, gear and software available, how-to-do guidance for in- camera and incomputer phases, issues with the 3 main focus stacking software applications and resource free to view videos and articles took up 2 pages of the notes.
  • Lens choice and selective focus.
  • Focus peaking – benefits from using this feature found in modern mirrorless cameras and a small number of DSLR’s. A very useful aid (manual focus only) to assist in seeing which parts of a scene are in focus and where multiple shots are being taken for a focus stack either with the same or different focal distances.
  • Filters- brief mention
  • Auto in-camera v manual HDR where shadows, highlights and mid-tones are metered for. Brief discussion on this

With 20 members involved, this was a well-attended Saturday morning workshop and from the feedback – well received. My thanks to members for making this a successful exercise and setting up the room etc.