Mashonaland Photographic Society

MPS holds competitions on the third Tuesday of every month except December. Beginners through to advanced photographers are most welcome.

Members may enter a total of three images a month, split into Open Category and/or Set Subjects which range from Still Life to Action, Portraits, Macro, Abstract and Landscapes.

For more information SMS 0783 138 150 with the words ‘MPS’, include your name and email address and
we’ll get back to you.

Winners of March 2020 Competition
Set Subject ‘Water Droplets’ & ‘Open’ Category

Winner of Set Subject ‘Water Droplets’ 
  Michael Malahias with ‘Liquid Copper’

How I got the shot…

I have been wanting to try take photos of water droplets for a long time, seeing it as a Set Subject I was happy that I would finally get around to trying it.

After watching some videos online, getting ideas and giving some thought to the task at hand I started setting up.

At first, I had a dish of water and an eye dropper to take some practice shots with a white backdrop, a piece on correx board and an off-camera flash aimed at the backdrop. I played with coloured cellophane paper to get some different colour effects.

Once I had an idea of what I wanted to achieve with the practice shots, I made a make-shift stand out of a piece of wood, scrap PVC piping and a bulldog clip. I attached a plastic bag filled with water which had a pin prick to get the steady drip above the dish of water. This helped keep the focal point steady.

I used my Sigma Macro Lens with a remote trigger. Having my camera on a tripod made it easier to keep the frame in focus. After taking a couple hundred photos I had a break.

Coming back to it I got everything ready and started again, but I forgot to turn on my flash! This photo was nearly deleted immediately as it was almost a completely black image but fortunately, I left it and carried on shooting.

When I came to review the photos on my computer, again seeing this dark image, I almost deleted it once again, but a hunch made me decide to open it and have a go at brightening up the image.

I increased the temperature, upped the exposure and highlights, Increased whites and decreased blacks, cranked up the clarity and increased the vibrance. I also played with the Tone Curve.

I then cropped the image and rotated it to get the drop on the thirds rather than in the middle of the picture. I was happy with how it turned out in the end; the sharpness of the drop, the ripples underneath it and the little faint streaks showing a bit of motion.

Camera settings:

F-stop 3.5 / Shutter 1/60

ISO 100 / Focal Length 105

Winner of ‘Open’ Category 
Chris Sheppard with ‘Stand Tall’

How I got the shot…

As I go around seeing my customers who I visit up to twice a month I am always looking for something different to showcase them at work, as a record.

A good friendship has developed with many, allowing me to be a bit more creative with my portraits.

This image captures one of my Lady Farmers who thought it very appealing that I would want to take her picture in front of her operation that she had literally built up from scratch.

The tobacco barns are typical of many farms and lend themselves to this landscape format leading the eye into frame.

It had been a good few hours inspecting the lands and discussing many agriculturally pertinent issues and as I was about to leave I noticed the dark sky behind the loaded tractor.

Rushing back to my vehicle I asked the lady to wait while I fetched my camera.

I grabbed my Canon EOS 7Dii with a 16—35mm lens attached and went back to join my “model” who was grinning with a certain intrepid curiosity.

I took a couple shots standing up, then wanted to make use of the background clouds and to enhance the person in the image I held the camera at ground level, aiming up and snapped away.

Image details

• Canon EOS 7D mkii

• 16—35 mm lens at 16 mm

• f/8 in Aperture Priority

• 1/320 sec

• ISO 100

Photographs provided by Mashonaland Photographic Society

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