Musselburgh Camera Club

Photograph pine martens and badgers

I have Pine Martens and Badgers that I have been feeding for two years now and they come every evening for the food and have built a purpose made hide that can take three people. It is all set up with photographers in mind and I supply all the lighting needed to take some beautiful images of these animals.
I am writing to ask if you could pass this information on to your members again as this time of year is by far the best time to see them as they come in the early part of the evening and I get more visits as food is scarce for them in the wild. I now also have Buzzards that are coming every day and you can see them and photograph them from approx 20 feet from the comfort of the hide.

Thank you
Dave Beatson

Club Meeting 13.12.12

The night photographic outing on 20th Dec. major update

Last night it was discussed and some members are going to go into Edinburgh by train, so Joe Fowler who will guide us around Edinburgh has decided that members going by car meet outside Fisherrow Centre gates by 6.30pm, for car sharing – leave cars outside Fisherrow Centre or they could get locked in.

The idea is then for everyone to meet up at the top of the Waverly Station steps ( by Balmoral Hotel) at 7pm.

There was an enjoyable evening last night when 28 members had the club’s annual Christmas Dinner at the Ravelston Hotel, where not only the restaurant had been modernised, but the food has much improved.

Further to my comments of last week regarding building a digital image of members work, I have tried to work out a way of making it easier for both the members and myself.

To this end I have ordered a supply of CD-RW ( rewritable) discs and utilised a recycled set of ‘plastic jewel boxes, one for each member.  I will set these up and bring them along to the club meeting on the 10th Jan. ( I am away on the 3rd.) The idea is that I would ask you all to copy images onto these and when I have put them on the ‘data base’ I will return them to members for using the next time they are required or you have updated or added to your images.

Meantime it would be helpful if you would set up folders on your PC based on the subjects of the club’s competitions – Digital, Colour Print, Portrait, Monochrome and set subject.

Then copy your images into these categories (jpegs only) – they do not need to be the ones that were in the competitions, they can be anything that you think worth considering and those you might have amended based on the judge’s comments. They can be ones that you have taken over the last eighteen months or earlier if they are special.

Please re name the file names as follows:-  club number and short title

e.g. 00 Short Title.jpeg   -  Please select up to 5 images per subject.

For those that have already supplied me with images, I would be grateful if you would also re do them on the above basis so that we have uniformity and make it easier to load down the files onto a new data base.

There are at least five benefits to obtained by doing the above.

  1. Enabling the selection of images for external competitions and giving advise on how to improve them.
  2. Provide a good selection of images that can be used on ‘Critique Evenings’
  3. New images that can be used for a regular update of our club room gallery, the Library exhibition and open days.
  4. Images for use on the web site.
  5. Give one to one advice to members on how to improve their work.

If you wish to ‘op out’ of this exercise, please let me know and I will withdraw your CD and use it for new members who join us in the new year.

When you get your CD’s copy these folders onto it. I use a free programme for this – Ashampoo Burning Studio 6 -  Google it if you want to use it. It is a more efficient way that ‘cut & paste’ !

Please remember to bring your two monochrome prints to the meeting on the 3rd or 10th Jan.

If I didn’t see you last night, then Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.


Photoshop education

Several club members  want to improve  their Photoshop skills. The Adobe TV Channel has very helpful short tutorial videos at  ”” .  Select “Photo Editing” then look carefully through the  list of Adobe photo – editing products to  find the one you  use e.g.  Elements 7, CS4, CS5. There are lots of different options for doing the same thing so don’t get stuck trying identify the right way to do it – have fun !

Club Meeting 06.12.12

The last meeting at Fisherrow for 2012 was a good fun evening with a quiz set up by Anita  and Ross, which we thank them for the effort they put in. Everyone was a winner – with the ‘Christmas Cracker’ answers  we now know that the first viable photo was taken in 1827 and the first long exposure was 8 hours and that Sam Fox has had the most ‘boob’ exposure!

The ‘Four Way’ competition hosted by Stirling C.C. on Wednesday 5th Dec. proved to be a bit of a disaster for us as we came third, at least we were ahead of Haddington CC, Edinburgh just piped Stirling to the post by a single point.

Our problem was that we did not have enough images to choose from, so it is  essential that we now re examine our procedures and way of operation.

Firstly we must build a full data base of members images, as I have been requesting, we want everyone to join in and co operate and let me have any images that you feel would be worth looking at. This can go back to last year, so will everyone again look through their images and let me have digital images in jpeg format. Either via a CD or e-mail.

Please ensure that the file name is set out as follows – club number and short title

e.g. 00 sunset delight.jpeg

We are now going to set up a small panel, consisting of two committee members and another -  they will appraise the data base and select possible images, we will then make contact with the selected members and if thought advisable, to suggest some improvements. With respect to Print entries we will then request for the selected print to be brought in and again discuss any changes and re print. To start with Joe, myself and Jennifer will tackle this task.

All work that is submitted to external competitions must be the total work of the submitting member although help and suggestions will be given and hopefully taken on board.

Our next external competition is the ’12 Way’ on Sunday 10th Feb. Therefore we will need to send in our entries by the end of Jan. so there is not much time if we are to make a better impact  and get us back up where we ought to be.

Jim Tod has come up with a proposition about holding some workshops outwith our normal meetings, I have done this for Portrait Workshops, which I hope to resume early next year.

So long as they are self funding (room hire in the region of £5.60 per hour) and it is lead by one person in charge and I am fully informed, then it will then go under the ‘banner’ of the club and be covered by the club’s insurance.

The club laptop/projector can be used, so long as they are cared for and locked away after the session.

So if a group want to get together let me know and we will take it from there.

Next Thursday (13th Dec.)we have our Christmas Dinner at the Ravelston Hotel, Musselburgh – 7 for 7.30pm.

The night photographic outing on 20th Dec. will be lead by Joe Fowler who will guide us around Edinburgh. Meet outside Fisherrow Centre gates 7pm, for car sharing – leave cars outside Fisherrow Centre or they could get locked in.



Permajet – Colour printing course in Dumfries 8th December – special offer






The day will cover everything you want to know about digital colour and monochrome printing based on the popular Epson printer range. File size and quality, 8bit vs 16 bit images, getting the best from your digital files.

Digital contact printing.  Adjustment layers.  Sharpening. Interpolation. Importing and saving files, using and converting RAW files, monitor and printer colour management. Printer problems and solutions. 

Installing and using profiles for consistent colour and quality. Test printing. Advanced black and white features for specialist monochrome printing and the use of PermaJet papers.


Course Tutors will be Rod Wheelans FIPF,MPAGB,FRPS,MFIAP and Libby Smith MPAGB, FIAP


The cost of the course is £60.00 per person, per course and would include the following:-


The Training Course

Tea/Coffee on arrival

A Light Lunch

Afternoon Tea/Coffee


All the courses start at 10.30am on the Saturday morning with Tea /Coffee on arrival followed by the introduction by the course tutor.


We will break for a light lunch at around 12.30 and restart the course from 13.15 until 16.30 pm where you will have the chance to ask any questions and take the opportunity to buy some paper at a special discounted price just for the courses.

There are extensive course notes provided for you to take away in order for you to refer back as required.

 If you wish to reserve a place, then please let me have your contact details so that I may call you to secure your place.




Louise Hill – Sales & Customer Support
Direct : 01789 739207
Fax    :  01789 731569





Club Meeting 29-11-12

I think that we had a very successful evening last night, everyone brought in a print, all of which would require extra work, which was exactly what was needed. All members were able to discuss the various issues and make comments as to how they could be improved.

We therefore had everyone on a group basis discussing photos and hopefully picking up ideas and guidance which they can utilise in their own ‘learning curve’.

We will build this exercise into next year’s syllabus.

Next week we have another ‘relaxed’ meeting, which we will again have on a group basis, a quiz, based on photography. This is the last Fisherrow meeting for 2012, the following week we will be having our Christmas Dinner at the Ravelston Hotel.

On Thursday 20th December we can meet up at the gates of Fisherrow and Joe will lead a trip into Edinburgh ‘he knows the hot spots’, where we can capture some of the night life!

Remember that we will be taking in submissions for the ‘Monochrome’ comp. at our first meeting in 2013, on Thursday 3rd Jan. If you cannot make this meeting we will also take in ‘late entries’ the following week 10th Jan.

Thinking Caps on – You have until 7th March to come up with ‘an abstract’ print image, which can also include an image which may not be true abstract but is somewhat ‘way out’. Look around you and rise to this challenge. The competition will be judged by Jennifer who was the winner last year, when we had a good number of some very inspirational entries.

It looks like we will be getting some ‘frosty’ opportunities this week, so rap up warm and get out there.


Club Meeting 22.11.12

The twenty members who visited the Beeslack Camera club last night had an excellent evening listening to an illustrated talk by Charlie Waite, the well known landscape photographer. He gave a lot of informative advice, the main one being to see in your mind what the image that you want to end up with and then take time and care to get it right, especially with the light. Try not to compromise, take time for as long as it takes or go back another day. If things are not right, don’t waste time in taking the image.

His mono images were  superb, although some of our judges would not think so! His main point was that if you want to take mono select the subject for that purpose, don’t take colour image and then just try it in mono.

Much food for thought.

Remember that our first competition in the New Year is for Monochrome Prints, so start thinking about this and get two prints ready for submission.

Next week we are back at Fisherrow where we have our ‘experimental’ evening when everyone needs to bring along a print and to repeat myself from last week:-

” It does not need to be mounted and in this case ‘size does not matter’. Neither does it need to be of competition quality, just one that you like or would like to have advice on.

We will then be setting up seven table and the idea is to have a group at each table (headed by a member of the committee) hopefully all will discuss each of the images on the table and after about twenty minutes to move to another table”.


See you all next week – picture in hand!



I own a couple of Canon speedlights, a 600RT & 430EX11 and a couple of flash triggers Pixl King.

I’m trying to get my head round the possibilities for groups ETTL etc. anyone familiar and know how these can all be paired? In particular, can i have one set at ETTL and the second as Manual? …..I could read the 180 page manual of course lol

Club Meeting 22.11.12

Please remember that there will not be a meeting at Fisherrow next week, 20 members will be visiting Beeslack Camera Club at Penicuik to hear a talk by the Landscape photographer Charlie Waite.

For those members who do not want to go directly to Penicuik, meet at Fisherrow Centre to leave at the 6.45pm the latest. Those sharing cars, leave cars outside the Centre car park or they will ‘get locked in’.

The following Thursday 29th November we will be running with a new idea and want everyone to take part.

The plan is that everyone will need to bring in a single printed image, it does not need to be mounted and in this case ‘size does not matter’. Neither does it need to be of competition quality, just one that you like or would like to have advice on.

We will then be setting up seven table and the idea is to have a group at each table (headed by a member of the committee) hopefully all will discuss each of the images on the table and after about twenty minutes to move to another table.

I hope that this will prove to be a friendly and entertaining exercise, so please sort out an image and join in.

We are still interested to hear from members with comments and ideas that will help us devise next year’s syllabus, so please give it some serious thoughts and send me an e mail.

Last night we had Michael Thomson, President of Haddington CC back again, this time judging our ‘Human Portrait Competition’. He gave us his views and pointed out areas that would have improved the image, getting the right background was one of the main areas, where they distracted from the main subject.

‘Depth of Field’ is what needs to be considered – this depends on the focal point, the ‘F’ setting and the distant from the subject. In general a ‘wide aperture’ (low number)i.e. F7.1,F5.6, F4.5 will usually ‘blur’ the background, depending upon the distance, but it is essential that the focus point is the persons eyes.

If you try to ‘blur’ the background via Photoshop, a lot of care needs to be made when selecting the area to be adjusted.

I have put the details of the top six entries on the web site under ‘Competitions’, so have a look. If I had had CD’s I could have put the images on!

Hope to see you all back at Fisherrow on the 22nd November – please remember to bring along your print image.


Club Meeting 08.11.12

Welcome to everyone, especially to our new members.

Please note that in two weeks (22nd Nov) there will not be a meeting at Fisherrow as the 20 members who purchased tickets will be visiting Beeslack CC to hear a talk by Charlie Waite.

Christmas dinner -  we now have 25 members, but there is still room for other, we have to pay for the meal in advanced, so please let David Howie have your £21 asap.

We are invited to a joint 4 way competition by Stirling & District Camera Club on Wednesday 5th Dec – there is a notice on the board – please put your name down if you want to support MCC – we can then sort out transport.

However, this is causing Del a problem, as we have not had sufficient CD’s with images from which he can choose, for those that have not yet done so please put your recent comp entries on a CD and bring it along next week – this is really important as Del has to send off our entries by the 24th Nov, so please make a real effort.

Next Tuesday we are having a committee meeting where the main subject will be next year’s syllabus.

This is your club so please give this some thought and send me an e mail with any ideas that you might have regarding subject matter, thing that you like and even those which you do not think much of. Contributions and ideas from members is what will keep this club viable and interesting for the year ahead

Last night we had Sandy Cleland from Edinburgh Photographic Society who was  back again following his judging of our Digital Image Comp on 4th October.

Sandy is a highly qualified photographer and for those that missed last night, look at his superb images on the EPS site and you will see what I mean. His photos  of dragon flies among other wild life images are something really to strive for. (

What a fantastic insight into his skills as a photographer, the range and quality of his images were outstanding, he learnt his skills with film cameras, where you really had to be in control of the camera to get such results, now he has converted to digital, he still uses the camera mainly in manual mode, which reflects the stunning results.

First thoughts are that it ‘puts one of bothering to take pictures’  - but it is really an inspiration to take control of the camera, rather than ‘point & shoot’. Lets’ all take on board some of his advice and improve our output.

Next week we have Michael Thomson President of the Haddington CC who will be judging our ‘Human Portrait Comp.


Club Meeting 01.11.12

I think that the ‘Critique Night’ went well with many of the images ‘straight out of the camera’, which was what was wanted. So that it could be seen how many could have been improved by using the ‘crop tool’ where the main subject could be identified, the ‘clone tool’ where problem areas could be corrected and ‘levels’ where parts of the image could be darkened, lightened or the ‘contrast levels increased to get a more dramatic look to the image. Using the ‘magic wand’ to select an area will also make it easier to make adjustments.

John Napier has come up with a web site offering a video on Photoshop Elements (good early Christmas present) –  go to:-

Allan Cameron gave us an introduction to how a large posters can be created with an A4 printer by using a free software ‘PosteRazor’ and a ‘Pritt Stick’ or other stick glue. Go to:-

If anyone else have such ideas, please let me know and we can then share them with all members.

The benefits of joining the MCC web site can be seen by  a recent ‘Post’ relating to filters -  a stream of comments and surplus equipment offered for sale. So if you have not yet signed up please do so.

I really want the club to get a lot more from the web site – we have a gallery, which was last year contributed to by a number of members – if those members want to update their images, please let me have a CD with new jpeg images and I will arrange for them to loaded onto the site. It is also open to all members, so if you want to be included, please let me have your pics via a CD.

I had mentioned earlier that we can hold ‘help sessions’ prior to a meeting (7-7.30pm) and we will try to get someone to help.

Mike Clarke has some knowledge of lens filters, so if you want some advise come early next week and he will give some assistance. Lets make the most of this type of help, let me know of any other areas that can be dealt with in this time frame.

To those that are going to join in the club’s Christmas merriment, please bring along £21 next week or asap, (to David Howie)  which will cover the cost of the meal and the tip, not the ‘booze’ thought!

Next week Sandy Cleland (who judged our recent Digital Image comp.) is returning to talk on Nature and General Photography.

See you all next week

Filters for sale

I have some filters for sale mainly due to duplication. I thought i would give the club first choice.

for sale-






Club Meeting 25.10.12

Last night Dougie Allen, from Beeslack CC gave us his considered opinion of the 46 images in the  Coloured Print Competition from 23 members. The marking was very close and I have put details on the web site under  ’Competitions’.

If you like your image the way it is that is OK, but if you make a digital copy of it and take up some of the points made by Dougie and then see what you think of it – if it does not then look right to you, then ‘delete it’.

He did point out some ideas:-

Take a number of images of what you are photographing, as a slight angle change or s few seconds later could provide a better result.

Try to get something that immediately catches the eye ( main subject) and have this in sharp focus.

If you are taking a ‘total person’ don’t cut off feet! – the same goes for item ‘sticking up’ i.e boat masts – if there is a cut off item, you can always try to ‘clone’ in a substitute. I have done this with closed eyes, by taking more photos, but this one is what is wanted, clone from ‘an open eye’ one.

Dougie did comment on ‘Art paper’ – I do not necessary agree with this, this medium can be effective. It does need to have a correct ‘paper profile’ so that the colours are correctly reproduced. Jennifer’s ‘Through the Gate’ was a good example of this.

Dougie did recommend using Grad and ND filters for enhancing skies, this is an area we need to talk about at the club. Any volunteers who uses them?

Next week we are having a ‘Critique’ night, where we would like everyone to bring in up to four digital images on a stick or CD, we want to have a general but brief helpful comments on them, there will be no actual judging or marking, hopefully much can be learnt.

Also please bring in your two prints for the Human Portrait Comp. (check on web site if you are not sure of the rules). I would like to get a larger entry that with last night’s images, so please make a real effort.

See you all next week


Grad and ND filters

Anyone got any advice on low cost but decent filters? Looking to experiment, not too expensive. Are the square type best?

Club Meeting 18.10.12

While I was away, I had the opportunity to put my ‘nose’ into the specialised book on my recent purchased camera. The benefit of this type of book over the basic manual is that it does explain why it is better to do certain things with various recommendations to menu settings and general operation. I can now get the camera to do certain actions which I was not aware of before, therefore if you do not have such a publication for you camera, I would recommend that you have a look on Amazon and see what they have.

Following the meeting of three weeks ago regarding the PAGB awards, Rod Wheelans spoke about presentation and types of paper. He is sponsored by Perma Jet and showed the different types of photo paper they supply.

I looked into this and found that you can purchase ‘Test Packs’  and decided to buy their test pack for ‘DigitalPhoto 1′, consisting of five sheets each of five types of paper(there are others for different papers) – the best price was from Amazon at £13.10 (free delivery).

From their web site you can download an image which you can print on each type of paper and send it to them and they will run a test and come up with a dedicated ICC Profile based on the output of your printer, which they e mail and can easily be loaded onto your printer file.

I did this and got the profile by return and the print I now get gives me the image on the monitor, certainly improving upon my usual ‘hit or miss’.

I plan to get other test packs in order to experiment with different types of paper so that it will be easier to decide which paper type suites which images.

Have a look at their web site –

Many members have their own ideas on papers, but if any members are interested we could have an informal group where we could ‘swop notes’ and purchase photo papers (boxes of 25, or cheaper 50) and split them up. Let me know if there is any interest and we can then take it further.

Tonight we had the benefit of hearing from Liz Sowler and Joe Fowler who gave us an insight into their interest in photography and things to look for. The two entries which Joe had accepted for the very high standard of the Dingwall Photo comp. was ‘Flat Out’(cyclist), which was highly commended and the cows at the Targ Mahal.

If you go to     www. you will be able to see the award winning images.

Jim Todd swopped his contribution with Liz, so we can see his at the meeting on 7th Feb.

Next week we will be able to see the entries for the Colour Print Comp. with Doughie Allan, from Beeslack Penicuik Camera Club, to give us his thoughts on the images.


Club Meeting 11.10.12

What an evening I missed – David Howie was so impressed that last might he sent me the following which really sums it up:-

“I’m just in from the Camera Club. You missed an amazing presentation from Mike. He gave us some of his own background, the type of equipment he uses, and an overview of where to dive in Scotland and the types of wreckage and marine life one is likely to encounter. His images were outstanding and quite literally out of this world. It just shows what talent we have within our own members. He even brought along the camera he uses though he did comment that he was a bit concerned about taking it out on such a wet   night !!”

Many thanks to Mike, I will have to get him to give me a private viewing.

We apparently also collected in the colour prints, which was less than I had hoped for, but we all will be able to see them on the 25th October, when they will be commented on by Doughie Allan.

I hope that might inspire more of you to enter the ‘Human Portrait Comp.’ where we need to have entries in by Thursday 1st November meeting. The images can be of anyone, family, friend or foe. Even crop a person from one of your images, experiment and have a go.

Next week we are to see and hear about some of the photographic work of Joe Fowler and Jim Todd, so come along and see what your fellow members have been up to.

Hope to see you all then.


Club Meeting 04.10.12

Liz has kindly informed me that there was ‘a good turn out’ for the judging of the Digital Print Competition, fortunately I had a preview of the 68 entries and they were all of a good standard and quite variant in the type of images.

I hope you all got some benefit from his remarks, as I did not feature in the top six I can’t  mage what he thought of my two! (perhaps I can!!)

Liz did say he suggested  “Why not get up high or low down for a different and original viewpoint to stand out from the crowd ? Worth thinking about.

I have posted the top 6 winners on the MCC web site under ‘competitions’.

With respect to the web site I have just registered all current members onto the site – those that have not been on before should receive an e mail asking you to agree/confirm (not sure of the phraseology), but please reply and then I can dispense with ‘the chairman’s report’ via normal e mail and thus cut out the duplication.

With any matters that fall outside the web site environment I will continue with normal

e mails

Next week members will see how photos can be taken even if it is pouring with rain! Mike Clark will introduce us to ‘Under water photography’, with vision and sound, only sorry that I will miss it, so make sure that you don’t miss out.

Also please remember to bring two mounted prints (with a CD if possible),with title and club number on the back. It would be nice to have everyone participating, so lets have a good increase in entries.



Club Meeting 27.09.12

I hope that everyone who has joined the club this year are getting my e mails – we aim to get better use of the web site and those members who have ‘signed up’ to the web site also get an e mail  notification of the ‘chairman’s report’ which is a duplicate of the e mail I send out.

So our plan, over the next few weeks,  is to enter all members names on the web site so as to cut out this duplication. A further benefit will be to receive additional posts and notices automatically sent to your ‘in box’. If any member does not want for this to be done then let me know and we will take you off, lets give it a try and the benefits will be apparent.

Last week Mark Davy spoke about ‘flash photography’, instead of spending out £6 grand, I use a useful piece of kit which is a soft box by Lastolite ‘Ezybox, which cost £50 on Amazon. This fits onto a flash gun and is excellent for ‘fill in light’ and a softer light for general use, also no red eye. There was not time last night to show you this, so I will bring it along to a future meeting.

We had 34 members enter the Digital Image Competition which will be screened and judged next Thursday.  the next one is the ‘Colour Print Competition’ – I would like to see a higher entry so will everyone have a go. Last week I sent an e mail giving details, but if anyone has any queries  or requires help, please ask.

I shall be away for the next two weeks, so Joe will ‘front’ next week and on Thursday 11th October David Howie ‘will be in charge’.  On the 11th there is a change in the programme, the Portrait Photography will be replace by something very different,  Mike Clark will give us an illustrated talk, with sound, on ‘underwater photography’. So now you can add a wet suite to your Christmas list!

Last night Rod Wheelans, supported by his wife Ann  enlightened us on the PAGB awards and what to look for and how we could further develop our skills. He described how the judging takes place and what they look for in respect of the quality of the photo and the presentation. There are three grades of qualification, ‘Credit’, which based on the example that Rod showed us I am sure that many of our members could achieve. With a little more development and help many more of our members could also have a go for it.

The second award is ‘Distinction’ which has much higher expectations and the top one is Master, not only Rod and Ann have achieved this, when living in Southampton Del Stonehill achieved this and obtained the highest marks ever awarded.

Full details of the PAGB can be seen on the web site:-   www.

Be reassured that you do not have to aim to get such qualifications, just enjoy your hobby and you only need to get involved if you want to, the club will support you and your development based on what you want not what we want.

Next week we will see the 68 Digital Images and get the reaction of the Judge, take on board what he says, if you do not agree with any comment or mark (you will be in good company);  what matters is if you like it  ’it is OK’.

Two garments were left last night, they are in the Fisherrow Office.