The blog of photographer Kim Ayres

Camera Club Special - Episode 14 of Understanding Photography with Kim Ayres

Episode 14 of Understanding Photography with Kim Ayres was a Camera Club Special.

In response to the Covid-19 pandemic, 3 local camera clubs – Stewartry, Abbey, and Loreburn – decided to join together online and have weekly competitions for anyone who wanted to take part. These were then split into 2 categories – those taken with a phone, and those taken with a more regular camera.

During a conversation a few weeks ago with Keith from Abbey Camera Club, the idea came up that perhaps I could judge one of their competitions. I've given talks to all 3 clubs before and have good relationships with them, so I thought that instead of just choosing and announcing the winners in one section of the podcast, I could actually give feedback on the photos.

Initially I figured I would maybe just give a bit of critique on the top 3 in each category, but then I thought it's those who don't feature in the top spots that often benefit the most from some considered pointers.

I received the entries a few days before the podcast to give me time to go through the images and decide what areas of each photo could be addressed.

I was chatting to my son, Rogan, via Skype about this. He's been hugely supportive of my podcasts, helping me to shape them, and giving feedback after the episodes allowing me to hone my presentations.

I showed him a couple of the photos where I was feeling a bit uncertain where to begin, and because he managed to act partly as a sounding board, but also view things with an entirely different eye, it helped me past my blind spots.

Rogan suggested I send him all the photos, and we could talk about them the following evening.

So I did, and what followed was a marathon 3 hour call going through each of the images, where he would call me out if I'd missed something that occurred to him.

I must admit I thought Episode 14 would probably be shorter than many of the others. Although there would be 22 photos across 2 categories to go through, I felt much clearer on what I had to say about each one.

However, once the live podcast began, the bit of me that will never give a 30 second explanation if a 30 minute one will do, kicked in. So each image got a pretty thorough going over, and I also veered off into explaining the different elements required in impressing a judge when entering a competition.

2 hours later – the longest podcast by far – I quit the live feed and slumped back in my chair, feeling exhausted, yet buzzing at the same time.

And desperately suffering from post-podcast munchies.

On my list of possible developments for the podcast has been the introduction of occasional, or even regular competitions for followers, so this was useful as a sort of trial run.

But if I do, I'll definitely have to restrict the feedback to fewer images.

Below is the episode in full, with lots of juicy information on improving your photography...


0:00 - Introduction - what's coming up
6:45 - Phone entries in the competition and feedback
46:50 - Understanding the elements for a competition entry
55:00 - DSLR entries in the competition and feedback
1:58:30 - Coming up next week

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And, or course, if you would like to submit a photo for feedback, or just ask a photography related question, then do join my Understanding Photography with Kim Ayres Facebook group and I will put it into the following podcast:

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