Tag Archives: composition

DPS May Competition winner  by David Sheilds

DPS Competition May 2015

A most enjoyable night was had by all at the Drogheda Photographic Society competition held on 7th May 2015.

The night was well attended and one could feel the excitement and tension as examiner, Photographer John Doyle, studied each photograph under the following headings: Exposure, Shutter Speed, Lens Aperture, Camera Lens Focus.

John Doyle is accredited with many awards and accolades in landscape, portrait, press & news, science & nature photography, to mention but a few. We are most grateful for his generous time and expertise given to the Society.

Points allocated for each criterion were totalled and awarded to the winner on the night. It was widely acknowledged by all that John had provided well-structured and helpful feedback in respect of photographs submitted.

Congratulations to David Shields on his award of first prize.

DPS May Competition winner  by David Sheilds

DPS May Competition winner by David Sheilds



Bridge of peace grafitti spin & zoom small file

Spin and Zoom

An introduction to Spin and Zoom by David Sheilds, from one of our recent group outings at the Bridge of Peace in Drogheda.

I first discovered this technique on You Tube from an American photographer called Bryan Peterson. This was my first time trying this technique and boy, did I get lucky.

The subject was the graffiti located underneath the bridge of peace on the South bank. I shot in aperture priority mode, and as this technique requires a ‘relatively’ long exposure time I dropped my ISO and aperture to my camera lens lowest settings.

Using my kit lens, ie the 18-55mm, I focused on the 3A in the picture at 18mm. Switching to manual focus, as I pressed the shutter release button I zoomed the lens to 55mm while at the same time rotating the camera/my hand from a three o’clock position to a twelve o’clock position.

David Sheilds

Bridge of peace grafitti spin & zoomBridge of peace grafitti spin & zoom

Bridge of peace grafitti spin & zoom

Camera Settings
Nikon                  D5200
Lens                    18-55mm kit lens
ISO                      100
Aperature          f22
Shutter Speed   1/3 second

Technique by Bryan Peterson displayed here:






stately home visit by Paul Murray

Stately home visit

A short article from our Co-ordinator Paul Murray on one of his days out describing the image below.

The sky was blotted with scattered puffy white clouds. Intense sunlight drenched the scene. After mounting the camera on a tripod, I followed my line of discipline which is based on the checklist of camera settings and values listed below:

— Manual Mode


— Shutter Speed

— Lens Aperture Value

— Camera Lens Focus / Automatic

The resulting photograph was unacceptable.

Shadows were clearly defined but the highlights were without image details. I waited for the sun to become obscured by cloud cover.

As I watched the blanket of light change from undiluted intense sunlight to diffused light I knew the brightness range was shorter. The camera was now capable of rendering the full brightness range.

Its not a photograph I would expect to excite the viewer or take first place in a Photo Competition but I like it – and for me, that makes it


Wide Angle Lens / Low Zoom Number
Lens Aperture Value: f22
Shutter Speed: 1/2 of a second
ISO 100
Camera Lens Focus / Automatic Mode
File Format: jpeg
Tripod / yes

 Paul Murray




Throw crop

A Stone’s Throw

Our last entry is the winning picture in the DPS advanced level competition

In April and May, The Drogheda Photographic society had a series of in house competitions that cover beginner and higher level entries.
The purpose is to help members learn and develop their photography within a group environment.

The last entry is from Daz, which as you can see below, is a unique and outstanding perspective of the Giant’s Causeway .

He also gave us a little insight into how it came about…..

After braving a windy walk down the trail to the causeway, the heavens opened, leaving the throngs of sightseers huddled together in any available shelter points. A 30 minute wait and the rain stopped, allowing these small dots on the landscape to seep gradually back out onto the basalt.
The sky began to clear leaving behind wisps of now empty clouds. Taking a somewhat unconventional viewpoint looking back towards land from the waters edge, the pattern of the stones and the perspective created by them as they point towards the cliff, weight the composition in the bottom third. The stones lead the eyes toward the cliff and from there to the cliff top, which seems to stretch and reach further into the sky. The peak is centrally composed, while supported by the mass of stone column foundations beneath.
With poor weather, wet, cold and overcast, a short reprieve thankfully offered a brief chance to capture the natural beauty of this landscape on this visit.


DazThe photograph was taken in Raw, at 17mm, 1/40s, f18, ISO 200. Post processing was carried out using Lightroom.


Knight Takes King

Knight Takes King

In April and May, The Drogheda Photographic society had a series of in house competitions that cover beginner and higher level entries.
The purpose is to help members learn and develop their photography within a group environment.
Last week we had a look at Erichs photograph.

This week we get to have a look at “Knight Takes King” by David Sheilds, who achieved 2nd place in the beginners competition.
David also gave us a quick walk-through on how he set up the image above.

While composing this photograph, I was at all times trying to execute some of the classic rules of photography i.e. rule of thirds & leading lines.
Once I was happy with my composition, I used trial and error by taking a number of shots at different shutter speeds & aperture values until I got the shot that I was happy with.

To prepare the subject, I set up the chess board & composition of the pieces on my kitchen table and using a Nikon D5200 & 60mm Tamron macro lens I focused on the scene until I was
happy with the composition.

After switching to manual focus & using the mode setting I switched the lights out. Then using a technique called light painting, I used a pentorch to light up the subject.
David Sheilds

Davids photograph was taken with the following camera settings:

ISO                                    100
APERTURE                  f22
SHOT IN                       RAW





Drogheda Photographic Society Beginners Competition winner

Beginners competition 2014 – 1st place winning photograph from Erich

In April and May, The Drogheda Photographic society had a series of in house competitions that cover beginner and higher level entries.
The main purpose is to allow our members the chance to learn and improve along with their peers, and to get a general feel for
what can be accomplished with their camera.

Over the month of May and June, we will be adding some of the images with a small description from a selection of the participants with their permission.
Erich Sumperhofer entered the beginners level competition in April and we asked him to give a little introduction to his winning photograph.

This picture above was taken almost 10 years ago during a sailing trip through the Baltic sea off Northern Germany.
It was taken with a Nikon F60 – film camera using aperture priority mode, unfortunately I cannot provide any exposure information as I do not remember the settings, but it is most likely using an aperture of F16 or smaller to ensure that everything would be in focus.

I did take care that the sun would be hidden behind the sail, to limit the brightness in the picture and to ensure that the details of the ship would be correctly exposed.
I also took a meter reading from the sunlit wooden deck and used what is called the exposure lock function of this camera
(the camera switches to centre weighted metering when the exposure lock function is used).
Once this was done, I focused on the area around the mast of the ship and then took the picture.

When selecting pictures for entry into the competition, I chose this one because I felt that this image portrays the feeling of being confined on a small ship in the vast ocean and sailing into the wide open sea.

Erich Sumperhofer


An introduction to perspective

When it comes to planning the composition of your image, there are numerous styles and approaches that will suit your needs and personal taste, and  a lot can be learned when looking at how filmmakers are plying their trade.
One particular example that has been promoted recently is the use of symmetry by Wes Anderson in his latest release “Grand Budapest Hotel”.
If you have seen the recent trailer, you might notice that it plays on his preference to centre the subject in many of his scenes.


This can be viewed as either a play on an approach to perspective under the guise of the “Rule of Thirds” or the “Golden Ratio”, and with this take on perspective in mind, a new video provided by a filmmaker by the name of Kogondo has appeared on the web highlighting one of Andersons signature approach to many of his films.

Kogonda has also produced a similar review of Kubricks approach to “one point perspective” which Kubrick used to great effect in many of his films.

And finally, to give a very effective breakdown of the use of many forms of perspective used for staging a scene, an excellent collection from Ali Shirazi using “There will be blood” as the subject by Paul Thomas Anderson