Photography ArticlesThis is Bradford Photographic Society website's teaching and activities section, where you can find advice and stories from members.

Along with reports of our meetings.

We hope to eventually have a good collection of interesting and entertaining articles on different aspects of photography.

With a total of 45 images in the gallery in advance, we had a lot to talk about on this our second critique evening of the year. I was interesting to hear what the author was trying to achieve in each case and how he/she had gone about it. It was surprising how often opinions on how an image could be improved developed into a consensus - and there were the inevitable disagreements. One man's meat will always be another man's poison!


Thursday 12 February saw the third of our competition evenings for projected images. Howard Toll stepped in to do the judging at short notice, giving us an entertaining evening without the aid of his owls.

First up was the Percy Lund Rose Bowl for the best Novice All-Rounder. A very close contest, just won  by Kyle Smith with his images 'Goit Stock Falls', 'The Old Sew', 'Steam Punk' and 'Gin and Tonic'. A close second, also scoring a total of 65 points was Tony Kilcoyne. Very bad luck, really! Indeed the lowest score in this competition was 63 - not far away!

Next to be judged was the VB Lloyd Trophy for photojournalism, action and sport. From a healthy, varied entry of forty images, 'Lunch Break, Haworth Wartime Weekend' won; a great candid shot by Graeme Mitchell.


Following our 'Training Evening' on 5th Feb 2015, Stephen Goodfellow circulated some useful information about focus-stacking which desreves to be perserved for future reference - thanks Stephen!


Focus stacking is the combining of several images to create one photo with a greater depth of field. It is mainly used in macro photography where you have to deal with small depth of fields.

First you'll have to shot several photos using a tripod. In each image you'll put the focus point a bit further away on your subject. Make sure you've got some overlap in each image.

If you have Photoshop CS4 or a newer version you can stack your photos in Photoshop. Start by loading the photos into Photoshop and putting them together in one file. Each photo should have its own layer. The order you use is important; each new layer should be the next step in focus depth. If you mix them up stacking them won't work.

When you've got all the photos together in one file, select all layers. You can do this by clicking the top layer in the layer palette, hold down your shift key and click the bottom layer. All layers are marked blue now. Go into the edit menu and choose auto-align layers. In the window that opens, just select ok. The automatic mode should do the trick. This process aligns the layers so any movement in between the different shots is corrected. 

Next step is combining the layers into one. Again, choose the edit menu, but this time select auto-blend layers. In the window that appears you choose the blend method Stack Images and also check the Seamless Tones and Colors. Press ok do let Photoshop work its magic. 

In most cases the automated result will be good. If you find something to be off, you can correct it by editing the layer mask Photoshop created. You'll need to crop the edges out to get your final photo.


Here are five low-res images you can try it with:

























and you should get something like  this:













Because they are lo-res images the final result will look blocky when viewed at a high magnification, but the improved depth effect can still be seen if you compare the outcome with each individual image. 

Since there are only 5 images to stack you may not achieve seamless depth of focus, as you might with 130 using specialised software, but you'll get the general idea and if you want to move on, the sky's your wallet.

Have fun,

Back in the warm on 5th February, we set out to share our knowledge of Macro photography. During the introductory video, with its American presenter, you could hear a pin drop. That was because the sound level from the projector was so weak that it was almost inaudible! We need decent extension speakers.

Tom Heggie illustrated his experiments using extension tubes on his existing non-macro lenses. Paul Richards showed a full-scale macro set-up complete with a solid tripod, focus rail, ring light, remote release and a special lens with bellows. He also explained the inherent issues with depth of field, sensitivity to camera shake and getting light on the subject. Then Kyle Smith showed his macro lens and some of the images he has taken with it - complete with suggestions for attractive subjects and tales of image stacking.


On 29th January, a truly impressive number of members (12+) turned out for this outdoor expedition in snow-covered Bradford. We met in the Jacob's pub in the city centre - itself a revelation for the uninitiated. After a brief run-down on night photography techniques by Stephen Goodfellow we ventured forth. There was a surprising lack of reluctance to leave the pub!

It was cold, but not as cold as expected since the forecast wind did not materialise. We managed the cold and slippery conditions without mishap. Unfortunately one member was taken ill and an ambulance was called to be on the safe side. She got home late that evening, fully recovered and we look forward to seeing her pictures.


On 22nd January we held our second Print Competition Evening of the 2014-5 session. Three trophies were on offer giving a full evening's work for our judge, JM Newton.


The   Trophy,  for the best set of four All-Round monochrome  images, was won by that master of the monochrome Donald Crabtree with a total score of 71 out of 80 points! His prints were: 'Wells Cathedral Steps', 'Loving Arms',  'Jock and Jan, Street Musicians, Greenwich' and 'Neolithic Dwellings, Stonehenge'. Michael Myers came second with 59 points and Sandra Cockayne third with 56 points.


The WH Hammond Trophy was for the best single print of a portrait, figure study or image of people. It was won by Rais Hasan with his classic portrait "Black History", see above.

At 10:30 on Saturday 10 January over a dozen BPS members met nine members of the White Rose Yorkshire Steampunks at the Leeds Industrial Museum at Armley. Braving the high winds and negotiating road closures, most people eventually arrived.

Our first meeting of 2015, on 7 January, was entitled 'Many Visions'. Since members brought their work on memory sticks, as requested, there was some delay in collating the images. However this gave Peter Sykes the opportunity to run his much anticipated tutorial on the operation of the BPS web site. Even those of us who thought we knew about it discovered hidden depths in there! Hopefully everyone will now be able to fully access what is a very valuable facility.

For our last meeting of 2014, held on 18 December, we hosted a battle with Bingley Camera Club. Each club submitted 15 prints and 15 DPIs which were shuffled and presented to Brian Hemsworth CPAGB for marking. Since marks were not revealed until the end, everyone was kept guessing as to which club had won. A glitch in the scoring spreadsheet gave a rather distorted impression of the outcome on the night. Once discovered and corrected afterwards, it was still a win for BPS but the scores were much closer with both clubs scoring 256 for the prints while Bingley got 257 for their DPIs to Bradford's 267.

Our second Trophy Night for projected images went fairly smoothly. The judge was Gerry Padgett from Wakefield.


The Bronze Statuette for novices was won by Tom Heggie with an inviting scene, "Como Water Colour". Second place went to Baljinder Gill for "Pair of Ducks in Flight" and third was "Monet's Haystacks, Giverny" by Tom Heggie.


The D Bates All-Rounder Trophy was won by Don Crabtree for his set of 4 images: "Swan's Head",

 "Portrait of Cole Best", "Wet Afternoon" and "Bradford Cathedral interior" (which scored a 20). 

A Talk by



Members of BPS were treated to a double bill at the last meeting on 27th November with Shelia and Dave Coates displaying prints from all over the world.
Running commentary from Dave explaining the history of each print with the occasional comment from Shelia added an amusing story. Both Shelia and Dave are very well established photographers and judges, having accredited themselves with substantial photographic qualifications.
An interesting night from a very accomplished partnership whose enthusiasm for photography would clearly never fade.
Image shows Shelia and Dave with President Tom.


On the morning of Saturday 22nd November an intrepid group of our more waterproof members  assembled at Leeming Reservoir. The  select group were shown the opportunities for landscape images in this interesting location by Steve Swis who's striking landscape images have graced many a club competition. 

The reports of the meetings held by Bradford Photographic Society

Reports of BPS Exhibitions and talks held by others

Articles on the history of Bradford Photographic Society

Reports about Bradford Photographic Society photowalks and shoots

Articles on how to improve photographic techniques

Other articles about Bradford Photographic Society or photography in general

Reports on the various competitions in which BPS is involved

These are emails received into BPS from persons/companies offering photography related courses, competitions, exhibitions, etc.