Cafe Art & RPS Mentoring Group


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Week 29 - Autumn

As we move from autumn to winter we need to get on with an Autumn challenge fairly quickly. So the challenge is "Autumn".

We are looking for a reasonably shallow depth of field for this shot, so you will be required to set your camera up appropriately. All images taken by mentors and participants must be taken on your digital camera. The images must be taken in aperture mode, with a focal distance of between 35mm and 50mm (No need to alter focal length for different size sensors on cameras) and an aperture setting between F4 and F5.6. To allow for zoom lenses with variable aperture settings). More tips on setting up the camera below.

You can send in up to 8 images and provided they meet the requirements above will be posted on the website. Entries must be in by Midday Monday 2nd November. After which the voting will start. Images must have been taken this Autumn.

Original size JPEG Images will need to be sent to me by e-mail or we transfer,  wetransfer.com,  as winning images will hopefully be used in exhibitions, when we can get back to normality on the covid front. Unfortunately I can no longer accept images sent on Whats App as the resolution and size is such that they will not make good prints. If you are using Lightroom or similar software, please export your images with all metadata so everyone can benefit from the settings they were taken at.  Any questions let me know.

How the voting works and the voting form will change, to, hopefully, a more helpful and constructive method. More on this will be sent out in the next few days.

Tips on setting up for the shot:

Set the ISO in the menu or by pressing Q (quick menu)  to Auto  (menu > ISO > Auto)

Set the top dial to A or AV  (aperture mode) 

Set the F number by moving the wheel on the back (front on some cameras)  to F4 or F5.6 (on some zoom lenses the aperture may automatically change to F5.6 at some focal lengths, do not worry about this, its the way the lens works). You can read the F number on your screen.

With your focal length on the lens set between 35mm and 50mm, move in and focus on your object using the focusing square on your screen 


When you have selected your focus point in the square press the shutter button half way down till the square lights up. keep you finger half way down compose your shot, bearing in mind the background as well as the shot must be autumnal. Then when ready push the shutter button fully down.

To understand more about depth of field and aperture settings please click here

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To view the images on a desktop, laptop or mobile scroll down and  click on the thumbnail from the gallery for a full size version.

Shenan - Shenan has taken some great Autumn shots, all clearly show its Autumn. Shot1 Is a wide angled shot (16mm) of a tree and branches. A well thought and composed shot, taken with an aperture of F4.5. The exposure has been set on the branches therefore blowing the sky out, which for this shot is the right way round. Shot 2 is a well captured shot of the squirrel good composition and well exposed on the squirrel &  branch. This also fits all the aspects of the brief including the focal length (between 35 & 50 mm), So this, for me is the best of Shenan' s images for this challenge. Image 3 is a great composition, but is slightly overexposed, easily corrected on the computer as shown in image 4, making it a lovely image. Unfortunately, this image is not direct from camera and  along with the final image have been altered/renamed in a computer program, which is fine, apart from the fact that it  has also removed the information (metadata), which means I am unable to give possible reasons regarding the slight over exposure. As always, click on the images for full size & camera settings

Julian - 8 photos from my daily dog walks, all represent Autumn colours. All taken with a 40mm, manual focus lens set at either F4.5 or F5.6.

Damian - (click on the images for full size & camera settings) Damian has produced a very interesting and slightly unusual set of Autumn images. They do show how a wide aperture produces a shallow depth of field, which was what we were hoping to see. He has used his F1.8 lens to do this. Whilst this will help with the learning experience it has to be noted that it wasn't quite what the brief asked for which was an F stop of between 4 & 5.6. Photo 6 is the one I like lost find most due to its composition, softness throughout the image, and closeness to the brief with an F stop of 3.5. I feel these images could be improved with a little more thought on focusing on a particular point in the image. If you look at some of the mentors photographs you can see by focusing on the right object or area it can enhance the photo so much.

Pat - (click on the images for full size & camera settings)  Pat has produced a set of Autumn images, all within the brief, check out how she has chosen what to focus on with care.

Dee - Dee has produced a lovely set of Autumn pictures. Firstly it looks like the Fuji cameras do not get the exposure right in Aperture mode. Both Shenan's set and this one has produced over exposed images, when it could easily have increased the shutter speed to compensate. Images 2 & 3  I have adjusted the exposure by 2 stops to show the difference. In images 6 & 7 Dee has also shown how focusing on an object with a fairly wide aperture can produce a sharp object with a soft background. I have chosen image 6 as my favourite as it shows this depth of field and is fully on brief. (image 7 was shot in portrait mode rather than aperture mode, but at the right F stop and focal length is still a great shot) As always, click on the images for full size & camera settings.

John - (click on the images for full size & camera settings)  John has produced a set of Autumn images, all within the brief, check out images 5 & 6  and see how carefully changing what you focus on can produce 2 very different, but well composed images.