They may not be the ideal location for serious photography, but members of U3A’s Photography Group in recent weeks have been snapping away in their backyards because of stay-at-home rules prompted by COVID-19.
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Without their twice-a-month meetings at Hawks Nest Community Centre, members have been submitting photos online for their regular review session where they can be viewed by colleagues and their content discussed.
Member Bob Bush, noted for his wildlife photography, reminded the group that, “While the situation may not allow photographic expeditions, there will be ample opportunities in the backyard, or inside and around your home, so I urge you to experiment.”
Each month Bob sets the group a subject or theme. His nominated subject for April was ‘Patterns: natural or man-made’, and shots captured by members ranged from a striking close-up of a rosella’s feather patterns, to plants and tree bark, and a pattern created by sunlight.
When submitting her photos, member Joan Eastman wrote: “Hi fellow photo fans, after more than two weeks in isolation and one week in quarantine, you will be relieved to know that you get used to it.”
The subject set for May is how best to make use of depth-of-field with ‘bokeh’ (a Japanese word for blur). Bokeh is about creating a soft fuzzy, out-of-focus background to emphasise the foreground subject, a technique often used in portraiture.
A challenge for some perhaps, however member and tech whiz Paul Mulvaney sent members information and illustrations on how to create the effect. It’s part of making available a range of instructional topics on how to improve photographic skills, a substitute for the group’s other monthly get together — a workshop/tutorial session.
“We are all looking forward to seeing the creative and interesting results to come,” said group co-ordinator Andrew Sillar.
“And generally, this has been a good exercise in keeping members in touch, encouraging them to be resourceful, as well as helping ease anxiety.”
By Michael HOHENSEE