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                            Electronic Digital Imaging
   EDID                              Division                                     Editor:
                             www.a-p-s.org.au/digital.html                   Phil Deschamp
 Newsletter                                                                        AAPS
 December                    Australian Photographic
                                     Society                                     s.org.au
   2006                              www.a-p-s.org.au

        Why do we shoot? (Pele Leung)
        Perspective Control (Ian Bock)
        Correcting Perspective in Photographs (Ian Bock)
        Text in Photoshop (Ian Bock)
        Amish Experience (Suzanne Opitz)
        The Tekapo Story (Ron Jackson)

        Funny Caption Competition (Louise Wolfers)
        When you were a newbie (Raelene Hall)
        Copyright (Rob Lewis)
        Tri Nations Electronic Photography trophy (Phillipa Frederiksen)
        Collector's Items (Paul Bennie)
        More Creativity Quotes from David Baird (Phillipa Frederiksen)
        Christmas lights (Jason Nitz)
        Mildura 2006 (Charlotte Bradley)
        A Newbie’s view (Ronald Jore)

           The Tri Nations Electronic Photographic Competition between
                     Australia, New Zealand and South Africa?
You are invited to send 4 of your best photos via Email (or CD) to participate in this competition.

I have received images from 10 people and we need more than 150 images to compete against the
other countries.

The Australian judges have been chosen and the overseas judges have been chosen (see the Letters
section) now we just need your images!

Please read the instructions carefully so that I don't have to re-size etc. Also, please write a little
note in your email giving permission for your images to be put onto CD as an exe file to be
distributed amongst the participants.

Follow this link for detailed information and the entry form –
                                                                                            Thank you.
                                                                                  Phillipa Frederiksen.
Australian Judges:                                    International Judges
Elizabeth Kodela AAPS from QLD                        Dr. Chris. Hinterobermaier E.FIAP From Austria
Anne Specht EFIAP FAPS ESAPS from SA                  Barbara E Miller from USA
Margrit Wendt AFIAP AAPS From WA                      Roger Reynolds, APAGB, HonFRPS, FBPE,
                                                      FBPPA from Great Britain.
Why Do We Shoot

                                        Kings Billabong Mildura

I consider myself a lucky person as my lovely wife gives me plenty of personal time but minimal
domestic responsibilities. Although freedom is at my fingertips I usually only stick to two things
reading and photography. If I am not taking part of any photographic activities, I would probably
immerse myself in the book world. I know almost every single corner in the bookshops nearby. If there
are any new books, especially those photographic ones, I would be aware of them at my visit.
Apparently the rate of photographic publication is growing rapidly and I find new books almost at
every weekly visit. My gut feeling is that everybody from housewives, business people, workers,
seniors, professionals to teenagers, does something related to photography nowadays. What is the
driving force behind this trendy phenomenon? Why are we care to pay a fortune for a few photos? If
we are not mad we must be rich and lonely. In order to understand myself a bit more, I emailed a few
dozens of our EDID friends and hope to find out whether I am the only sick person around. At the time
of writing, I received 29 replies. The sample size is not huge but I am hoping we still can get a glimpse
of the world out there. Here is my finding:

                                             The Light Bulb

The average human life is about 650,000 hours. It appears to be a huge number but if you are lucky
and enjoy every single hour in your life, you probably would beg for more. Humans seem to be a
strange living thing as they want not just survival like other animals but also mental food. They like to
express themselves and also deserve self satisfaction. These mental characteristics usually cannot
be found among other animals, at least not that often as human beings do. Therefore, I do not feel
surprise that the majority of people (80%) indicate how important this driving force is behind their

How do you feel if I call you Master Photographer? Feel great, of course. Who does not want to be
recognized? Everybody loves and enjoys their own photos but it would be even better if the people
around you agree as well. According to the feedback I received, there are many ways to achieve this
from gaining photographic honours, entering competitions to having photographic exhibitions. In
simple terms, the more exposure you get the better chance to earn recognition from your peers. We
got 4 out 10 people with interest in this area.

School holiday? I love it even though I do not have any kids. Why do I love it? Because it improves
the traffic a lot in the morning! Do we really have that many kids on the road? Not quite but there are
definitely many parents taking their kids to schools every day. We are just so family oriented.
Photography included but how much. 40% of people rank the priority of taking family photos fairly high
and they also believe that it is important to keep some family records for their children. Perhaps it is
hard to stop the clock and freeze those happy times but at least a meaningful photo would bring back
some sweet memories. We respect Thomas Edison as he brought "convenient" light to us every night
but I would prefer my father's photo to his in my wallet. You got the idea.

Life is short and we want to have fun. Taking photos appears to be fun as it brings people together.
Surprisingly there are less than 30% of people who expressing interest in this arena.

To be honest, will you take my offer if I pay for every photographic trip you go on? Of course, the
copyright is still yours but there is no free lunch. The only way (almost) to make this happen is to take
your work to the commercial world. Do not be shy if you want to charge for your service. Perhaps
most of the survey contributors are already retired so the commercial interest I gathered is
insignificant, only 14%.

"Take" and "give" are two common but opposite behaviours in our daily life. "Take" is just so natural
that most people would just take everything for granted. "Give" is something that our society needs
most but it just does not happen as often as we need. To those photographers with expression of
taking photos for the community without asking for any return, please accept our applause. Although
you belong to the minority group (only 10%), you are honoured and respected.

Regardless of the reasons why we shoot, keep shooting if this makes us happier. There is one more
thing to say before resting my case. I was told that many members like to hang their own pictures at
home. In an extreme case, it could be more than a few dozens. This is understandable but why only
our own pictures, not others even if they are better. The question is best to be answered by our
parents when we were young. Even if we did not look and study better than the kid next door, to our
parents, we were and will be always their loved ones.

Finally, I would like to thank all survey contributors especially the one who has taken his time in
preparing an email of 1,500+ words.

                                                                    Merry X'mas and Happy New Year.
                                                                                         Pele Leung

Perspective Control (Ian Bock)
As some of you know, one of my photographic interests is buildings and as I do not have a collapsible
cherry picker in my gadget bag (nor do I usually carry along my ancient Linhoff with its rising front),
buildings sometimes look as if they are falling over (The old adage was if you can’t correct the leaning
verticals them make it so everyone knows you meant it.)
Digital images and the computer enable me to correct these verticals.
Using Photoshop’s <edit/transform/perspective> did not always give the result I wanted. If you expand
the top, the building is too squat; if you compress the bottom, it is too tall. Doing a bit of both can give
a more pleasing result.
Incidentally ‘perspective’ adjusts both sides at once which is fine if the building was squarely in the
frame. If it was not you have to move the handle in the centre to get the correct result. Perspective will
adjust the perspective either of verticals or horizontals but you can do both before hitting “OK”.
So I decided to have a play to see exactly what happens.
I photographed a whole chess board from only a slight angle. I included a couple of rulers thinking I
may need them but in the end I did not need them.
In the computer, I corrected the board both ways, compressing the base and expanding the top to get
the sides vertical.
Then I adjusted the height so the squares looked square. I did this using <edit/transform/scale> and I
had already used the measure tool (it is under the eyedropper tool) and calculated how much the
vertical dimension had to be changed to make the chessboard square. (The scale operation allows
you to insert a percentage multiplier.)
This test is not perfect as the zoom lens I used has obvious barrel distortion.
I then changed the hue of the various layers to separate them and stood them all on the same
There were two conclusions that I hadn’t really expected.
•        If you don’t want to fiddle with the height, compressing the baseline seems to work better.
•        When the height was changed, all the squares came out square – I was expecting them to be
         uneven with the top ones shorter than the lower ones.

Correcting Perspective in Photographs

In Camera:
Camera location:
The cause of inclining verticals is obvious. The top of the building, etc. is further away than the base.
If you place your camera where the top and base of the building are an equal distance from the
camera you will not get converging verticals. But most of us do not have cherry pickers in our gadget
Horizontal Camera:
If you hold your camera so its back (film plane) is vertical, you will not get converging verticals. This is
due to the design of most of our lenses which are termed ‘rectilinear’ – they render straight lines
straight. This does pose two possible problems – (1) you may not be able to get far enough away from
the building to get it all in and (2) you will waste nearly half of your image in unwanted foreground.
Shift Lens:
Some manufacturers make a perspective shift lens that will rise to the occasion. You set your camera
up with its back vertical and raise the lens until all of the building is in the picture. This is the major
advantage of large format cameras. Such lenses for our SLRs are expensive, difficult to acquire, and
are usually fixed focal length, manual focus and aperture. This means you are forced to use a tripod
and work slowly – good for improved picture quality but likely to be frowned upon by the authorities.
In Computer (Photoshop):
1. Crop Tool: A little know extension of a commonly used tool.
    • Many people know that you can rotate the crop lines about the centre, however it is often
        convenient to rotate about one corner so move the centre point to that corner (or anywhere
        else on the image as desired). Did you also know that you can move the crop lines outside
        the image area – which will increase the canvas size.
    •    Having roughly selected your crop lines, look at the menu bar at the top of your screen. You
         will now see a box labelled “perspective”. If you check this you will now be able to move the
         crop lines to adjust perspective. (Note: if you check this box, it will remain checked until you
         uncheck it. Also it will be greyed out if any layer eg. a text layer, is in vector form.)
    •    You will have to adjust the building height – see reason below.
    •    This technique is excellent if you have copied a picture and the image is not quite square as
         you can move the crop corners onto the picture corners.
        Note: This action permanently changes your image so make sure you are working on a copy

2. Perspective:
    • Select whole image ([Ctrl][A]).
    •   <Edit/Transform/Perspective>. Drag on top or bottom corner handles and both sides of image
        distort out or in. Adjust till perspective looks right. Sometimes you will need to drag the centre
        handle to left or right to get the sides to balance.
    •   This procedure will not correct the height of the building – if you dragged the top corners
        outwards the building will be too squat and if you dragged the bottom corners inwards, it will
        be too tall. Avoid by making the corrections at both top and bottom or extend/shorten the
        building by moving either the top or bottom middle handle up or down.
    •   Hit OK then crop the image as needed.
    •   Note: you can correct both vertical and horizontal perspective but you have to set one before
        adjusting the other.
    •   I find it advantageous to enlarge the canvas prior to correcting perspective.

3. Distort:
    • As for ‘Perspective’ above but go to <edit/transform/distort>.
    • This operates similarly but with more flexibility and you have to alter each corner separately.
    • Again you have to adjust the building height.

4. Free Transform:
    • As above but go to <edit/free transform>.
    • Distortion is not normally available but if you hold down the [Ctrl] key as you drag the corners
        it will behave as for ‘distort’ above. You need to hold down the [Ctrl] key if you wish to move
        the top centre handles to left or right.
    • Again you have to adjust the building height.

    • To help get verticals vertical, select <view/show/grid>. Alternatively use guide lines – first
      <view/rulers>, then you can grab a guide line off the ruler and move it anywhere on the
      image, then replace it on the ruler. If you leave it on the image, remove it by unchecking at
    • If you make the verticals vertical the image may look unnatural, leave a slight convergence to
      correct for this.

5. Lens Corrections:
    • This is only found in Creative Suite SC2 (or Photoshop ver. 9).
    • Go to <filters/distort/lens corrections>.
    • A new screen appears with a grid over it (can be removed, scale changed or shifted).
    • Most of the effects are done by sliders on the right.
    • ‘Transform/vertical perspective’ corrects vertical lines.
    • ‘Transform/horizontal perspective’ corrects horizontal lines.
    • ‘Remove distortion’ will correct barrel or pincushion distortion.
    • ‘Vignetting’ will darken/lighten the corners.
    • There is a straighten tool at the top left. Run it down a line that should be vertical (or
        horizontal) and it will automatically correct. Beware, you cannot undo this unless you cancel
        the whole effect.
    • If the image goes outside the visible area, use the ‘scale’ slider (bottom right) to decrease the
        image size.
    • There are other effects you can do with this filter but I will leave you to investigate.
    • These actions (2 to 5 above) only change the active layer/s.

                                                                                               Ian Bock.

Text in Photoshop (Ian Bock)
We often have need to include text in our photographs. Perhaps it is to help explain the image or
name persons in it or even to date it (though the date is often imbedded in the image data). We may
be making a title slide for an AV.
Many programs for making AVs and slide sequences have their own facility for including text but on
other occasions this is not convenient. I have made sequences for the Australian Photographic
Society where I wanted the Society’s name and logo imbedded in each image.
How often have you tried to type text into Photoshop or Elements and it did not work first up?
The two most common reasons why you cannot see the text is it is the wrong colour and/or size.
•   Colour: the text colour always defaults to the foreground colour and this is usually black but may
    be white. Either way when we pick a plain area for the text it is often the same colour and the text
    cannot be seen.

•   Size: Text is always size by points. There are 72 points to the inch – a hang-over from the old
    days in the print works. Most of our documents use 10 or 12 point character size (or font).
    My camera only produces its 6Mp images at 72 pixels/inch so a 10 point character, then would be
    only 10 pixels high.

The best way to get the right sizing of the font is to view the image in Photoshop at 100%. The
characters will now be at the size they will print if printed at 100%.
The Photoshop menu only goes to 72 point but you can type in much larger numbers.
Of course what you should do is to re-size the image to the size at which you want it printed or
viewed. Make sure you leave the “Resample Image” box un-ticked if you do not want to lose image
If you are making a title slide, then you may want to embellish the text.
•   Type in the text at the desired font, size and colour.
•   Right click on the layer menu and select “Blending options”.
•   On ‘Styles’ on the left of the blend menu, double clicking on any option will bring up a menu of
•   I like to use a drop shadow (can vary size, distance, grain, direction), Bevel/contour, and Pattern
Font. As a general rule, for text that is short and to be read rapidly like titles and road signs, a sans
serif text like Arial is preferred. If there is a lot of text as in a document or book, a serif font like Times
Roman is often more interesting and less tiring to read. Fancy fonts should be reserved for very short
messages or headings. Some are difficult to read and should be avoided. One of my favourite fancy
fonts is ‘Arabia’.
I have included two images:
I felt “Fishing” needed a title.
“The End” – Prepared for the APS convention. “The End” is 160 point Arabia font, drop shadow and

                                                                                                    Ian Bock.
Amish Experience (Suzanne Opitz)
Recently I returned from a trip to the USA where I visited my son, who is studying in New York. During
a previous trip, we had made friends with people living on a farm in the Amish country in
Pennsylvania. I was fortunate enough to spend 10 days visiting them & was given the rare opportunity
to spend a day with their Amish neighbours on their farm. Here I was able to experience some of their
lifestyle and culture.

                                            Amish Farmer
The Amish do not take photos or permit their photos to be taken, unless from a distance where their
features are unclear, or from the back. Knowing I was a very keen photographer, they were happy to
allow me to photograph their farm and lifestyle, but not them. They happily showed me around their
property but carefully stepped aside when I raised my camera. However, they were enthusiastic to
view the photos on the screen, especially the 2 little pre-school boys. (Becky, the constantly working
mother of 11 children thought I was mad going off to take photos of shadows of the buggy. However,
once she saw them, she actually agreed that perhaps I had retained modicum of sanity!)

                Buggy                                                 Coach
The photos of farmers in the fields are of a different community and were taken from the car. As
everyone knows, the Amish do not own any vehicles with an internal combustion engine, so all their
farm machinery is horse-drawn and they travel in buggies. The Lancaster and York counties of
Pennsylvania have buggy lanes similar to our bike lanes, but they are constantly in need of repair, the
horses wearing them down into a ditch.
Lesser known perhaps is the fact that no Amish vehicles have pneumatic tyres, specifically to keep to
a slow pace. This is so that life does not speed up to a pace whereby they do not have time for family
or God, their highest priorities.
There are many myths about the Amish and modern technology. Each community decides what of the
latest technology they feel comfortable accepting & what to reject, although generally most
communities are similar. Much of their farm machinery is diesel powered, although horse-drawn. Most
have solar and/or wind power, mainly to charge batteries to run power tools. The dairies are all run on
electricity, as the milk is bought by the "English" dairy companies. There is even enough electricity to
run an old ringer washing machine. However, none of the electricity they use is from the grid it is all
from their own supply. It is very basic, but at least they do have some power.
                Buggy shadow                                     Bush Hog
Again, the lack of technology is to allow them time to spend with their families, usually of around 10
children, and to worship God. To adapt machinery to work with horses, the Amish are extremely
inventive, in much the same way as the people in our Australian bush. As there are limitations on their
use of modern technology, they need to keep their old machinery going or invent new machines.
Benny, the man of the house I visited, is particularly inventive & adaptable, being able to fix almost
anything, including neighbours' cars, despite having never driven one. He invented an incredible
looking beast he calls the "Bush hog," made of bits & pieces he has picked up. Apparently it is used
for weeding the paddocks.

                Contrasting lifestyles                           Farmhouse
Amish children start school at 6 years old, which is when they learn to speak English. At home they
speak a language called "Pennsylvanian Dutch" which has derived over the last 300 years from
German. In tone & intonation it is very similar to Swiss German, & they assure me they understand
Swiss tourists enough to hold a reasonable conversation. At Church, they only use high German, as
their language is not a written one, so their Bibles are in German.
The 2 little boys I met did not speak any English, so it made communicating a bit tricky when they
wanted to see the photos again! School finishes for Amish children after Year 8, when they turn 14,
but they continue at a combined school for ½ day a week until their 15th birthday. From then they help
in the family business, usually a farm but frequently shops & stalls.

Field work                                                           Washing

The Amish lead a very simple, hard-working, gentle and innocent life based on strong family ties and
an intense Christian faith. Although they obviously spend most of their time within their own
communities, they also freely interact with the 'English' (i.e. everyone else), forming strong friendships
within the wider community. I feel very privileged to have been offered the opportunity to have been
welcomed into their house & share their life for even a day.
                                                                                         Suzanne Opitz

The Tekapo Story
I would say that most antipodean photographers would recognize the location of this New Zealand
landmark. So say that it is well known would be an understatement.
The last time I was in Tekapo they had absolutely clear blue skies and a sprinkling of snow on the
mountains. However, a totally different weather situation confronted us on our visit there in March
2006. It absolutely poured down all day. The church had a wedding scheduled for the afternoon
which went ahead despite the hordes of wet tourists trying to get through the door. No hope for
photography here so we returned to our hotel.
About 5pm. through the window I spotted a slight gap in the clouds just above the western horizon. Is
this to be my only opportunity?
Into the car and down to the church dressed for the weather. It stopped raining and after setting up my
tripod and camera in a predetermined location, the sun broke through just above the mountains and lit
up the church with a beautiful golden light. I could not believe my luck.
The following morning I managed to capture a few more images with the sun on the eastern side of
the building, but nothing to match my evening shot.
As a postscript I entered this image in the Passion for Pixels November competition open section and
managed to score top picture. The last time I was in Tekapo they had absolutely clear skies and a
sprinkling of snow on the mountains!

                                                                                           Ron Jackson
Letters to Monitor
Funny Caption Competition
Hi Phil (of the west)
This is just an idea for next newsletter. Here is a funny photo that needs a funny/witty "caption" from
our members.

It was of a Koala at Pound Bend, Warrandyte in Melbourne that was woken by a huge gust of wind
and was very startled accordingly (lucky i was doing a continuous frame shooting of him/her).
A Caption could be = OHhh Damn, I think I locked the keys in the car!!

Maybe the members could send you their caption ideas (as an email) and you could publish the best
ones (or all depending on how many) in the following newsletter and someone in your newsletter team
is to pick the winning caption. Then the winner has to submit the next picture for a "new caption" and
so on, each month.

Obviously you would need to contact the winner early so they could send a new funny photo, before
you publish the winners results in next newsletter (so that we have a new photo to look at/comment
each month). Its really funny to see what people think when making up a caption for a photo. We
could restrict the size to say 10cm by 15cm max and less than 80kb or smaller??

What do you think??
                                                                                Louise (of the far east)

When you were a newbie
Hi Phil
Part of my problem is living on an isolated property with no access to camera clubs, tuition etc.
However I shall soldier on!!

As a new member I'm beginning to wonder if photography is one of those 'you get it or you don't get it'
type of hobbies. I can do basic crosswords but don't ask me to sew, I can write but don't ask me to
The more I try to understand photography the more confused I'm beginning to get. Have figured out
one thing -even the best of cameras needs a half way decent operator!!

Has anyone out there thought they'd never get the hang of it but one day -finally -the light bulb
switched on?? I live in hope that someone will say 'yes' so I know I'm not wasting my time.
                                                                                           Raelene Hall
                                                                                   Neds Creek Station
                                                                                      Meekatharra WA
For anyone who is interested in Australian photographer's copyright information I noticed this helpful
link in the DPReview forum:


scroll down to 'P', click on 'Photographers G011'. This'll open a PDF document on your computer.
                                                                                          Rob Lewis

Tri Nations Electronic Photography trophy!
HI Phil,
So far only one person has sent photos for the Tri Nations Electronic Photography trophy!
We need lots more people to send photos. They can email the photos to me or send them to 28
Corringle Close, Helensvale 4212.

                                                                                    Phillipa Frederiksen
Collector's Items
Hi Phil
I was wondering if you could include in the next issue of the Monitor that the following CD's can be
obtained by sending a cheque in the name of Australian Photographic Society for $12 each to Paul
Bennie, 42 Sunbakers Drive, Forster NSW, 242.

1 The CD of the of images presented to APSCON 07 as part of EDID presents section .

 2 The CD of the presentation by EDID members to Sth Africa which is excellent and resulted in the
establishment of the Tri Nations Comp with NZ. This is a collectors item .
                                                                                     Paul Bennie

More Creativity Quotes from David Baird:
1. Go into the garden of creativity with praise and encouragement and it will bloom all around you. But
enter with Criticism and discouragement and it will wither before your eyes.

2. Creativity creates exceptions and becoming one of these can be a blessing mixed with glory and

3. For creativity to flourish one should try to look at everything as though it were being seen for the
first or the last time.

Best wishes to everyone for a happy Christmas!

                                                                                    Phillipa Frederiksen
Christmas lights
Hi Phil

Many months ago I joined the APS and like
many things in my life, I haven't had the time to
devote to it or photography in general.

As your calling for contributions, I did happen
to catch a unique moment last weekend when
we had one of our usual wet season storms
pass through Jabiru, NT in the middle of
Kakadu national Park. This storm had an
unusual ferocity about it and there were up to 5
lightning strikes per second. We received very
little rain from the storm but it heralds the start
of the storm season and was quite an eye

It was taken with a Nikon P2 (I usually use a
D70) and I think there was a lot of luck with
shutter timing as the P2 isn't the fastest on
shutter lag. Do you like the Xmas theme with
the lights?

If you need any further info, please email me.
I'd like to become a regular contributor maybe
a New Years resolution is in order?

                                       Jason Nitz

Two Photos
Hi Phil,

Here are 2 photos:
1. Max Brooks, taken at Perry Sands shows a typical Aussie Bloke relaxing with his camera.
2. Boy and his mum

It is very hard putting words to those photos as I do not really know the characters. I was taking shots
of the desert at Perry Sands and Mungo National Park, trying to catch the views before there were too
many human footprints indented in the sands. However, other photographers doing the same were
criss-crossing the area and I just gave up and decided to go with the flow. So my camera turned
towards capturing the scene as it unfolded and amongst those that I took were Max Brooks, who was
happy to pose for me, and I remember his name because of the badge he was wearing, and the shot
of the boy and mother, who I did not get to meet during the convention.

I love the atmosphere in both these shots. Max looks great in his typical Australian outfit, with camera,
and his face lit by the glow of the setting sun. And the little boy, just contemplating and kicking up the
sand, as his mother follows behind, keeping him in sight.
                                                                                        Ruth Goldwasser
Mildura 2006
I don't know whether I have caught your December Newsletter deadline, Phil ... but I thought I would submit some the
images I took when I attended the APSCON in Mildura for your consideration. I have been a happy snapper for many years
taking about 3 or 4 rolls of film annually until my husband bought me my first digital camera for my birthday some 18 months
Well! I hadn't realized the potential of digital until I had that camera in my hand, and when I discovered Photoshop
Elements, the whole thing went into a spin! My photography has now just about taken over my other hobbies (cooking,
quilting, tapestry you name it!). I have spent the last year or so experimenting with my camera as well as reading books and
magazines in order to teach myself the basics.
I had subscribed to Australian Photography for about a year, when I came across the advertisement for APSCON. I decided
to 'come out' from my solitary confinement and begin finding out what everyone else is doing. The APSCON was quite
inspirational I was very impressed with the calibre of the presenters and some of the other photographers who also
attended. It was an eye-opener. Thanks everyone for such a well organized event!
I have since joined both the APS and the Camberwell Camera Club (which I hadn't known had been operating some 50 odd
years just round the corner!) and hope to learn many more tips and techniques from the talented and generous people I met
there during my first meetings. Another main objective for me is to learn to be able to critique my own work, which I find
quite a challenge. I am attaching several images I captured around the Grand Hotel, Perry Sands and Mungo and would
appreciate any comments you might have about them and if worthy, you might select one or two of them for the Newsletter.
                                                                                                         Charlotte Bradley

    Water feature opposite the Grand              Jetty opposite the Grand                      Bush at Mungo 2

      Photographer at Perry Sands                     Bush at Mungo 1                           Dunes at Sunset 1

          Patterns in Sands 1                       Patterns in Sands 2                         Dunes at Sunset 2

        Railway tracks at dawn                     Rock surface at Mungo                 Rock surface at Mungo composite
A Newbie’s view
Hello Everyone,

My name is Ronald and I am a new member of both the APS and EDID. It was suggested that I write
about my impressions, questions and ideas regarding both, from the perspective of a newcomer. Of
course the views I present here are solely my own and I would be very interested in any comments
any of you has to offer and will be happy to discuss any and all of my statements, questions, and so

1.      Introduction
Firstly I would like to say that from my very first contact with the APS, everybody I encountered was
very open, friendly and helpful. I am excited to be here and to be able to get in touch with so many
people interested and involved in photography. If some of the things I talk about below seem
somewhat negative or critical then please interpret that in this context. Below I am going to bring
forward some strong opinions, however they are weakly held, so please do not feel offended – they
simply represent my observations, interpretations and questions and are not meant to offend anyone
rather than enter into an exchange and maybe get some discussion going.

Obviously this publication is the official EDID organ, but I cannot really restrict all my comments to
EDID alone because EDID does not stand isolated within the APS and neither did I jump straight in
here from the outside without a look at the rest of the Society.

2.      Why Divisions, and which to join?
In fact once I had made up my mind to join the APS, the journey began with the joining form, where
one needs to tick which Division(s) to join. This resulted in me putting the form back on hold because
it was not at all clear to me which ones would make the best sense for me.

Well I have worked that one out – for now – but that does not mean that I understand the way the
Society is divided, nor why it needs to be divided at all. It is clear that a number of different interests
need to be catered for, but to me the Divisions seem to encourage hard splits more than loose
groupings. This is not meant as an accurate analysis about what has been happening within the APS,
because I don’t know anything about that, but just my personal impression – if I make a choice for
one, I part from the others. Of course I can join multiple Divisions but still somehow the requirement to
make this choice from the very start seems, let’s say, odd.

I think everyone knows what I am talking about, but just to spell it out: I shoot mostly slides, but also
some negs (both colour and B&W) and some digital. I would like to do some traditional B&W work
again, so that would be “Print”, but most of my film I scan, which makes it “EDI”, while some of these
files gets printed, too. I do like nature and occasionally make photos of it, some of my shots may be
contemporary and it would not be the first time I do a slide-show with sound, so that makes it AV,

So which Division(s) to join? All of them?

The funny thing is that by the looks of it I could actually just join any of them – or so it seems – for
example there are “Nature” folios both in the “Print” and “Slide” Divisions, while the “Nature” Division
offers “Print” and “Slide” folios – the case may well be similar with “Contemporary”. (Obviously there
is no contemporary nature or AV print, although both might not be entirely inconceivable, nor
projected print, which is. At least by me, in any way that would make sense.)

Overall that seems like a lot of replicated effort, or do those different folios covering the same ground
work together? It does not seem so – someone please tell me if I am wrong – but if they do, then what
again were the Divisions for? If they don’t, then why not?

Similarly, “Slide” caters for (apart from slides) projected digital images and “Print” for printed ones,
while “EDID” comprises them all. None of them is concerned whether the files came from a scanner,
camera, X-ray machine, electron microscope, or whatever else fits into the definition of “Photograph”,
EDID also does not care how they are going to be presented. So should there be an EDID slide and
an EDID print folio? Maybe with Nature, Contemporary and whatever other sub-folios?
It would not make much sense but also does not look too different from how the rest of the Division
and folio landscape is organized.
3.      The Digital Division
Now here is the main thing I do not understand about EDID itself: why is it a Division?
Is there an analogue Division? No.
Why a digital one?
How is it dividing anything, between or into what, and how does that benefit the overall good of the
Society and its members?

Is EDI not part and parcel of modern day photography? Should it not be part of the very core of any
photographic society, other than the one for the conservation of analogue techniques, rather than just
some section of it which people need to make up their mind about joining, and paying for, or not? If
not, then why is there no Division for optical-lens-based photography?

I have no idea how many people there are who still maintain a fully analogue work-flow, but their
number surely is marginal and even just scanning or digitally photographing the finished end result to
post on a website or print in a catalogue makes them part of the digital game.

Mind you, I do like my film (and manual focus, and manual metering) and intend to stick with it for
some while to come, but it is quite obvious what most of the rest of the world is doing and it just
seems a bit anachronistic to sell digital as an “extra feature” rather than “built-in”, in the 21st Century.

If I had to guess, I would say that probably this Division is still there from a time when digital
photography was new and uncommon, but that would have been many years ago – ages in terms of
technological development. Of course, if I could go back to that point in time when it was started, I
might still ask the question “why a Division”? Do people need to make up their mind and take sides?
Ok, I will try not to repeat myself (too often, anyway).

4.      Some Numbers
Let me introduce some factual information to complement my theoretical ramblings:

As of 12/12/2006 had 1664 members, with the Division memberships being AV 52, CONTEMP 138,
SLIDE 334, NATURE 378, DIG 531, PRINT 654

I don’t know about you, but with these numbers AV and Contemporary look more like interest groups
to me than something you are either in or outside of. Supposedly (that is my guess, at any rate) most
members of these two groups would also be active outside of that respective Division.
EDID and Print are drawing the biggest numbers and that makes perfect sense because both of them
are relevant to virtually everyone doing photography, so in fact I would take the numbers to mean that
those two are directly competing for members.
Imagine asking members “Would you prefer to work digitally or rather print?” – what look would you
expect from them? But that is one of the questions they are confronted with when choosing a Division.

479 APS members are not members in either of these two, which is a sizeable minority and it would
very much interest me where amongst the 902 members of the other Divisions they are hiding out, but
I would hazard a guess that the reason for not being in either EDID or Print is not that all those 479
people neither work digital nor print their images.

Then there are the Slide and Nature Divisions, which are in the middle size-wise between the other
two groups I just identified. I am not sure quite what to make of them, and while there may well be
some people in the Slide Division who work predominantly or exclusively analogue and even some
who do not print very often, I cannot tell much about the Nature Division from the outside. However
when adding up all the membership numbers for all the Divisions, it turns out that there are 423 more
Division than APS memberships. I account for two of them and it may be interesting to know how the
other 421 are distributed. Personally, I can spend hours on analysing statistical data but do not want
to bore you with that any longer, nor do I have more detailed data anyway.

Summing it up thus far the Division system is something that I see not just as a personal challenge for
new members which can potentially turn them away, but potentially a big problem for the APS in the
longer term. The reason why I believe this is firstly because the Division categories are not really
independent of each other, which leads to overlaps, replicated work and, unless APS members
function completely different than humans in other organisations, rivalry. Even if it does not go that far,
the resulting compartmentalisation is still more than likely to impede cooperation between areas which
could well work together.
5.      Online Folios
Now I have chosen my Divisions – Print, Slide and EDID – and have already run through one cycle in
the online folio. It is great that there are online folios in place so there is no printing or mail handling
necessary to participate – just connect, login and enjoy. It is really and truly a great facility, and it is
nicely done and well-organized, too.

6.      Surprise...
There is just one thing that really took me by surprise about the online folios, and that is that every
participant can just upload one picture per month. I had been looking forward to some regular
checking and chatting and looking and uploading but no, one picture this month, then wait for the

I have been told that this is so because of the way traditional folios used to work (and still do), and
that the monthly cycle is more than short enough for many people. There is no doubt that most people
do have a job and/or a life that is more important and there is nothing wrong with that, but considering
that there is no delay caused by the medium itself, I think there should be other ways to address this
issue, given the flexibility these tools afford.

7.      Consider this
Firstly, I am sure that it is not just me who would be willing to post more often, so it would be nice to at
least have the option. There are some people out there who participate in multiple folios and thus
must have enough material to post more often – why not consolidate things a bit and get them to join
one that turns more quickly? Also with digital folios not everyone necessarily needs to make a
submission in every round, so it would be quite possible to have one round every week and leave it up
to everyone how often they would like to contribute. It is not like in traditional folios where the whole
thing going forward depends on everyone doing their part in every round, it is more something you
can opt-into if and when you like and find the time, and skip otherwise.

Maybe larger groups would be needed to have enough submissions every week, but it would also
make the folios more interesting to follow. Up to now I have been logging in nearly every day, but
more than one third into December there are still just five files up in my folio – of course that does not
sustain enough interest for participants to check in often because there is just not enough activity
going on to make it worthwhile. Checking in every day to look at the same things everyday is pretty
pointless, thus people do not do it, which makes it easier for the whole thing to slip one’s mind, which
potentially leads to realizing just before the end of the month that the submission is due, which may
well result in feeling stressed about it. I can totally understand this cycle, but in my opinion the stress
here does not result from one month being too short, but from it being too long.
However that is certainly very much a matter of personal preferences and many people might think
quite differently about it, but maybe there are some who agree – maybe even enough to make a

I have no practical experience yet with traditional folios because mine have not come around to me
yet, but from what I gather I get the impression that the participants contribute not just two short
sentences of comment to everyone along with their own submission, as seems to be the case in the
online folios.

At least in my slide folio I have already been told that usually everyone puts in some information about
themselves, maybe even a mugshot, some personal words to the other participants and some well-
thought-out comments about the other submissions, and that friendships have been forged that way. I
understand that the online folios are new and work in progress but it would be good to see them
support more personal interaction, for those who want to make use of it.

8.      Wishful Thinking
I also understand that the brief style suits some and personally do not really mind it, but that combined
with a monthly cycle means that there is not much communication going on at all and in my mind
severely limits the value of the folios for getting feedback (and being able to implement it in a timely
fashion). I would find it nice to be able to follow some threads, as in posting something, getting
feedback, doing some work on it or the technique in question, posting again, and so on. Completely
out of the question with a monthly folio.

Then of course it would be nice to see more of what others are doing. I can well understand that not
everyone wants to generally present all their submissions to a larger audience, or even the general
public, and I would not want everything I post seen by the world, either. On the other hand it seems
quite probable that some of the users would not object to having at least some of their submissions
shown to, say, all online folio participants, or all EDID members, or all APS members, or some
possibly even publicly.

I would find it great if the folio system would allow for adjustable levels of disclosure. This would also
allow participants to test the waters step-wise, and for any photographic society it is only fitting to
have a nice, and growing, photo-collection on their public website. Which might be one of the best
ways to attract new members, too.

In fact I know that I am not the only one having strong opinions on this topic, because there has been
a relatively extensive discussion about it in the online forum.

9.      Please count: One! (next)
Which brings me to my next point: I am wondering where all the people are. According to the numbers
above, 531 of the 1664 APS members are EDID members. Of these 531 members, just 202
participate in the online folios, which represents 38%. As I understand it, the web folios can be used
by every APS member, whether they belong to EDID or not, so the percentage of EDID members
using the folios may potentially even be lower, but as I do not have any more detailed information, let
us just work with that number.

It puzzles me, because what do the other 62% do? What do these 329 people get out of their EDID
membership? Is it just the “EDID Monitor” they want? Is there something else offered only to
members which I am not aware of? Do they choose to be in EDID out of solidarity? Why are there so
many members who do not even sign up for an online folio to see what it is like?

Timid? You will find that the atmosphere is rather supportive and nobody is being hided there. Not
sure if you like what you are going to find? Just have a look – nobody is forced to participate and
nobody even knows you are there until you do. And after all what happens in a folio largely depends
on the people who participate in it. (In my opinion it is a fundamental problem of the online folios,
though, that unless you are a folio member the whole thing is totally opaque which does not help to
attract people. With postal folios there is not really a way to avoid this but with web folios there are
heaps of possibilities.)

No time? I am sure you have some shots sitting there just ready to be uploaded – it does not take
Not sure how to sign up? Email Eugene and he sorts it out for you.
Not sure how to get there? Just go to the APS homepage and through the “Members” menu there.

Any other reasons? Surely, so what are they?
Are the groups to small? Too large? Is one month too often? Too frequent? Too much competition?
Or not enough? Are the folios too closed? To open? Too anonymous? Too personal? Too hard to
use? Would a demo account attract you to have a look? Or a folio that is open to view for everyone?
Prices to be won? The ability to rate or vote?
I am just guessing wildly but what is it really?

Is it not baffling that 329 out of 531 members do not participate in the offerings of the Division? A
silent majority – I would sure like to know what the reasons are and what would need to be done to
address them. Or are they known already?

10.     Let’s Talk
There is actually a great facility where such things can be discussed: the forum.

Which I find nearly more baffling. Nearly, because one does not need to join a Division to participate
in it and thus it does not represent something one pays money to get. Still, of the 1664 APS members,
as of today 190 have registered for the forum, which is less than 12% of the membership. Of those
190 maybe 10% can be seen contributing to discussions, and of those maybe half more or less

This mode of communication is just so incredibly convenient that I simply do not understand why it is
not used much more, by many more people. The forum is really well-setup and all it needs is people
who use it. You can get there through the same “Members” menu on the APS homepage which leads
to the folios, and Melinda has posted a number of mini-tutorials explaining how to get registered, how
to post, and so on, right on the front page. Of course there is also nothing wrong with just going there
and having a look around.

Incidentally, the longest discussion on the forum to date is one about participation in the EDID online
folios. It is an interesting read and a bit sad that only 10 people have been contributing to it – it would
definitely be useful if some of those who could not be tempted to the folios yet would speak up and let
their view be heard (or read, rather).

Some people, including me, have been arguing for a “Picture of the Day” folio, to which either every
folio member, every EDID member or every APS member could upload up to one picture per day and
which would be publicly visible. There are many ways to run such a thing; it could just be a daily
gallery, or it could allow commenting, rating or voting on submissions – again either to just
participants, or to folio members, EDID members, APS members or the public. If pictures are rated or
voted on, then there is a new winning entry every day which could be prominently displayed – how
about on the APS homepage?

Is that, as in one or more of these options, something people would be interested in? I know that you
all have lives, but I am sure you also have reasons why you joined the APS, and the EDID.
What are they, and are they being served? If not, or not well enough, the best way to do something
about that is to start participating and making your point of view known – it has never been as easy as
it is now.

11.     In Closing
Now I understand that I may be looking a bit funny here on my soapbox, presenting an article about a
newbie’s view that goes right on about what is wrong with the APS and the EDID and how the shop
ought to be run. Right. Just what you have all been waiting for, or no? And as if all of this had not
been discussed before, ad nauseam.

All I can say in my defence is that this is what I see, coming in from the outside. As it goes, I may not
see some of these things anymore after being around for a while, or I may feel less strongly about

I am sure that I am not the first one by a long shot to bring up the Division issue, but I am also sure
that this is one of those long-standing and slow-moving problems that many people want to go away,
and that only eventually does so if being attacked often enough, by enough people and from enough

Also as I said, these things are only part of the picture and what I have seen so far from the rest of
EDID and APS looks very good to me indeed. There are many people putting large amounts of work
to keep things going and everyone happy. There is a lot of cooperation, friendship and support that I
can see and feel. In other words, I think this is a good place to be and I came here because of that.

I can also see quite a few people struggling to get or keep things moving – the website and forum and
online folios are clearly the results of some major effort by a number of people and I very much
appreciate that. In my opinion they deserve everyone’s support. In my opinion there is no alternative
to going forward and actively using and engaging the possibilities new technologies present.

12.     Wrap-Up
Just like there is no way around embracing digital imaging because it has just become all-pervasive,
the same is happening with digital communication technologies – the early adopters stay ahead of the
game while resisters end up marginalised. The case may be different for a conscious and well-
reasoned personal decision, but for an association it is not affordable and in the longer term leads to

I can already tell from my limited perspective that there are great people doing great work everywhere
in the APS, including the EDID. I think the new web tools are the way to go in order to improve the
internal and external communication. There is definitely still some way to go, but I have already seen
that there are some very committed people around who are willing to put in the hard work to get there.
What’s required now is for the rest of the organisation to open itself up more, both to the inside and
the outside, and reform the internal structure to make better use of the existing resources.
As I see it, the best thing members can do to make sure the Society and EDID keep working to their
best advantage, and in a healthy, sustainable way, is to participate in the process, make use of the
facilities that are provided and let their opinion be known.

This is how I see my own responsibility too, now that I am a member, and that is part of the reason
why I took on the commitment to write this piece. I hope you got something out of it – if you have any
comment then please sound off, either on the forum or send me an email. Greetings to all!
End of Transmission.

                                                                                         Ronald Jore

Well this certainly was a well supported edition of EDID News. I thank all the contributors but I am

I might take a month off. The January edition will just be for notices and letters responding to this
month’s content or other EDID issues.

                                                                                Phil Deschamp (Editor)

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