Welcome to the Pennant Hills Photographic Club

We welcome all photographers to join and participate in its events and by sharing knowledge to improve and enhance photographic skills. Our club aims to mentor, support, and educate its members, and to foster skills and passion for photography in a collegiate and enjoyable atmosphere.

Meeting Address only: Uniting Church Hall – Corner of Boundary Road and Bellamy Street. Parking is on a grassed block of land opposite the church in Bellamy St., and the entrance we use is facing Bellamy St.

For information on the club please view this link.

To join please download and complete the Membership Form (PDF fillable): Download Membership form

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About Us

PHPC is a medium-sized club of around 40-50 members. Our members range in skill from enthusiastic novices to experienced photographers. The club has a few members who are judges.

We have a number of members who run the mentoring program for our newer members to learn the capabilities of their camera(s). We are large enough to support the growth of members but small enough to be a community, where all members can know each other. The club is here to challenge us to get the best from ourselves and our cameras

Join our Club Upcoming Events - mouse over for details
7:30 pm Presentation: by Chris Kenyon @ Uniting Church Hall
Presentation: by Chris Kenyon @ Uniting Church Hall
Aug 5 @ 7:30 pm – 9:30 pm
Presentation by Chris Kenyon on Mounting Photographs.
7:30 pm Presentation: Chris Kenyon – Mou... @ Uniting Church Hall
Presentation: Chris Kenyon – Mou... @ Uniting Church Hall
Aug 5 @ 7:30 pm – 9:45 pm
Presentation by Chris Kenyon on Mounting Photographs
7:30 pm Comp 07: Open and Set – Machinery @ Uniting Church Hall
Comp 07: Open and Set – Machinery @ Uniting Church Hall
Aug 19 @ 7:30 pm – 9:45 pm
Comp 08: Open and Set – Machinery. An image of the whole or part of a machine that shows the beauty, functionality, history or value of the machine.
Recent Posts Archives

Picture Gorrect Abstract Photography

Photography Exercises

Posted: 07/19/2024

If part of your photographic self-awareness includes a little voice that wants to play without rules or retribution, well then, abstract is the photo genre for you!

In the world of abstract photography the sky is limit. Your creativity isn’t bound by conventions in any way.

introduction to abstract photography

Photo by Jr Korpa

That being said, there are three types of abstract photography, and it’s worth your time to understand the differences.

The above photograph is what’s known as ‘Abstract Expressionism.’ Here’s a definition.

Key Thought: Photographic, abstract expressionism is a form of abstract art that doesn’t necessarily abandon all realistic and representational elements. In other words, it’s mostly unrecognizable, but not entirely unrecognizable. There are realistic elements within the photo that the photographer uses to manipulate a viewer’s mood or feelings.

Here’s the definition of abstract art (photography).

Key Thought: Photographic, abstract art makes no attempt to represent external reality. It sends a message to a viewer through the use of shape, form, line, color, and texture.

example of abstract photographic art

Photo by Rene Böhmer

The above photograph is an example of abstract photographic art.

Here’s the definition of semi-abstract art (photography).

Key Thought: Semi-abstract photographic art remains recognizable to a viewer. But the form, color, shape, and lines are represented in a highly stylized manner that derives its composition from the idea of abstract photographic art. In other words, you depict reality in an unusual way.

example of semi abstract photography

Photo by Max Ostrozhinskiy

The above image of the stairwell is an excellent example of semi-abstract photographic art.

Getting Started

This is the exciting part! To get started in abstract photography, all you need is a camera, some light, and your imagination. Post-processing software can add additional tools to your creativity, but it isn’t absolutely necessary.

For this article, let’s focus on some abstract ideas to get your creativity bubbling!

Focus Blur

Focus blur is an easy and fun way to explore abstract photography.

When you rack your lens out of focus- shapes, colors, and lines blend together like dripping paint. The more out of focus the lens is, the more abstract your resulting picture becomes.

example of focus blur

Top left photo by Mark Kamalov, Top right photo by Dmitry Bayer, Bottom photo by Kelly Sikkema

IDEA: Begin your focus blur abstract adventure with some lights. String lights, such as holiday lighting or patio lighting, work really well. Once you have your lights, follow this camera setup.

• Put your camera on a tripod or place it on a solid surface such as a tabletop.
• Use a cable release or the camera shutter release timer.
• Use any lens you wish. Set it to manual focus.
• Set the camera to manual mode.
• Set the ISO to 400.
• Set the aperture to the widest opening.
• Use the matrix/evaluative metering mode.
• Find the correct exposure (shutter speed) as indicated by your camera and reduce the exposure by one stop. (For example, if the meter says the right shutter speed is 1 second with your lens set at its widest opening, reduce the exposure one stop by changing the shutter speed to ½ second.)

Key Thought: The above settings are suggestions to get you started. Remember, with abstract photography, there are no rules. Change everything as your heart desires!

Pick an area where you want to photograph your lights. A darker area works better to showcase the brightness of the lights. A lighter area will reduce the visual weight of the lights while bringing in background elements.

Finally, place your lights and begin having fun. You could set your lights over a person, an object, or simply hang them in the middle of an empty air space.

Change the focus of your lens to many different settings as the effect will vary with each position.

Camera Blur – often referred to as ICM (intentional camera movement)

Camera blur (ICM) is a lot of fun because it’s completely random. With a focus blur, the process tends to be slower and more calculated. With ICM, you’re throwing caution to the wind, having fun, and doing everything the experts have told you not to do.

example of abstract photo camera blur

Photo by Taylor Leopold

IDEA: Many examples of ICM photography are taken outdoors. We’ve all seen the ‘stand of trees’ ICM photo. Here’s how to make ICM work for you indoors. Look for areas of light, shadow, and color contrast. Don’t fixate on trying to capture something recognizable such as the example photo above. Concentrate on a complete abstract photograph. Remember to communicate something that you feel through shape, form, line, color, and texture.

Key Thought: The outcome of an ICM photograph is primarily governed by the shutter speed and how you move the camera while completing the exposure. However, you can also alter the effect by your choice of lens, aperture, focus placement, color balance, and exposure.

Start with these camera settings:

• Camera in shutter priority mode.
• Shutter speed at ¼ of a second. Use this range of shutter speeds to begin with: 1/30th, 1/15th, 1/8th, ¼, ½, 1 second, and 2 seconds. The longer the shutter is left open, and the more you move the camera, the more abstract your picture will become.
• Auto ISO set to a maximum of ISO 1000 (If your camera doesn’t allow this function, then set it to ISO 800 and adjust as necessary.)

Take the Shot: Once you have your camera settings and a chosen subject, release the shutter while moving the camera. Experiment with different types of camera movement – up and a down, side to side, zig-zag, and etc.

Combining a Viscous Fluid with Water

This abstract photo activity is exquisitely different because it requires some setup, but also provides unpredictable results.

examples of combining viscous fluid in water

Left photo by Bilal O., Right photo by Sharon Pittaway

In the left example photo above, a water-based paint was poured into water. In the right example photo above, cooking oil was dripped into water.

Here’s What You Need:

• A light source. Any light source can work. However, this is one style of abstract photography where the quick burst of an electronic flash can be helpful.
• You will need a clear glass container. Keep in mind that the container itself can add to the abstract effect if it’s textured.
• Some type of colored paper or gels is helpful to add color to a background, but it isn’t required.

Use the following set up:

• Use a tripod. This isn’t required, but it will make things more predictable.
• Use the appropriate lens. This will be dictated by how close you need to focus. Set the lens to manual focusing.
• Use aperture priority.
• Set the aperture to f/2.8 – f/8 depending on the power of your light source.
• Place your clear glass container, that is filled with water, on a stool or table with some working room and no background distractions (as done in the left example photo).
• Set up your light source to provide side lighting or backlighting if your point of view is from the side (such as the left example photo above).
Alternately, place your glass container or a piece of glass on supports that allow you to look down upon your set (example photo on the right). Use backlighting or position the light source to hit the background (in the example photo, the light is illuminating the background and not the subject), which was orange art paper.
• Set your ISO to 800. (Adjust as needed depending on your light source. Check your shutter speed. A faster shutter speed freezes the action, and a slower one blurs it.)
• Use a center-weighted metering pattern.
• Set the Drive mode to single shot
• Place an object into the center of the glass container and manually focus on it. (I use the handle of a kitchen spoon.)

NOTE: Get your exposure set before you begin dropping in your viscous fluid. Paint and oil are the easiest fluids to find and work with when starting out.

You’re all set!

Start dropping some viscous fluids into your water and let the magic happen.

Close Up and the Unusual Camera POV

This type of abstract photography turns you into a creativity detective. You will crawl around your house looking for everyday items that you can capture from a unique camera point of view (POV) that makes the object unrecognizable or nearly so.

examples of close up and point of view abstract photography

Left photo by Alvaro Pinot

IDEA: Having the ability to close focus, either using filters or a macro (close focusing) lens, is a valuable option. But it’s not absolutely necessary. This exercise can even be accomplished with your smartphone camera.

Shooting Though Translucent Materials

This idea is super easy. Go around the house and gather translucent materials, such as glass, plastic, or cloth. If the translucent material has a texture to it, that’s even better. You can also create variations in the surface of the material on your own. Smear it with Vaseline, or a thin coat of paint, or some leftover cosmetics.

shoot through translucent material

Photo by Rene Bohmer

IDEA: You’ll photograph your subject through your translucent material. Put the translucent material between you and something else of interest, such as the window above. Your lighting will play a significant role in how your image turns out. Start with backlighting and side lighting.

Post-Processing Abstract Fun

Post-processing can be used to create abstraction on its own, or you can combine it with some of the other ideas presented in this article.

try out different lighting shooting through translucent material

Photo by Jr Korpa

A layering program provides you with infinite possibilities.

This is the time to try presets and actions. Go for the gusto and make your images completely unrealistic.

Let’s close with a gallery of inspiration.

inspiration for abstract photography

Photo by Mike Ko

abstract photography inspiration
example of abstract photography art

About the Author:
Kent DuFault is an author and photographer with over 35 years of experience. He’s currently the director of content at the online photography school,

by Chris Kenyon, 21 July 2024

APS Australia Cup Results

Friday 26th July, 7.30pm Zoom Meeting

Hi Everyone

Please find below a copy of the email sent for the announcement of the results for the APS Australia Cup. It’s good to see how we went against other clubs, but more importantly to see what other clubs are doing to get some inspiration.

I’ll be approaching Sydney on the XPT train during that time and will hopefully be able to log into the meeting. The results will be sent to me after the event so I can share them with everyone.

Hi All
You are receiving this email as the nominated representative of your club submission for the 2024 APS Australia Cup.
For those who have not yet registered, here is a reminder of the presentation details.
Shortly after the presentation, results will be sent to individual clubs and promoted on the APS members Facebook page.  Our August APS e-News will also feature the club winner images and individual award winners.
You can share the link below with your club members, in particular those who submitted entries for your club.
Please note: 
: individuals need to register to attend via the link below.: only those who have ‘registered’ will be able to join the presentation: registration requires a real name – pseudonyms are not permitted

Kind regards
Greg McMillan MAPS AFIAP
APS PresidentAustralia Cup Chair
Mobile: 0408078258
Website: https://www.a-p-s.org.au

Hi There, 
You are invited to a Zoom meeting. 
When: Jul 26, 2024 07:30 PM Canberra, Melbourne, Sydney 
Register in advance for this meeting:https://us02web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZMsc-mqqDIoHNV6M4k0NhtC6DLjiqDFdXDC
After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting.

by Janne Ramsay, 20 July 2024

Picture Correct

Monochromatic Color Photography Tips

Posted: 07/05/2024

This article is based on concepts from The Advanced Photography Action Cards which are currently 71% off if you want to check them out.

If you conduct a search on websites like Flickr, 500px, or Instagram using the search phrase, monochromatic color, you’ll see a confusing array of pictures that have been tagged with this art terminology.

Let’s begin this Quick Tip with some definitions and examples.

monochromatic color photo

Photo by Jen Theodore

Monochromatic Color

Monochromatic colors are all the colors of a single hue. Monochromatic color schemes are derived from a single base hue and extended using its shades, tones, and tints.

The above photo is a perfect example of monochromatic color found in nature.

monochromatic color explained with color wheel

Photo by Kent DuFault

Quick Tip: When you create a monochromatic color photo, it’s said to have a Monochromatic Color Scheme. The term Monochrome is interchangeable with Monochromatic when referring to color photography. However, Monochrome is also used to describe a black and white photograph. This can be confusing because we don’t think of a black and white image as having color. However, when using the term Monochrome to describe a black and white photo, the color is gray. A black and white photo is comprised of varying tones of gray from black to white.

not a monochromatic color scheme but a three point tricolor scheme

Photo by Vincent Giersch

The photograph of the window, with the window box and flowers, was tagged on a popular stock photography website as having monochromatic color.

Does it have a monochromatic color scheme?

One might be tempted to say, “yes,” because of the disproportionate amount of blue within the scene.

color wheel showing the tricolor scheme of photo

Photo by Vincent Giersch with edits by Kent DuFault

However, we can plainly see that there are three distinct color hues in this shot. This photo was mislabeled as a monochromatic color image. Instead, it relies on the composition tool known as Color Contrast. It’s actually displaying what’s known as a Three-Point, Tricolor, Color Scheme.

Why should you consider using monochromatic color in your photos?

Quick Tip: Monochromatic color creates a mood. It influences the mind to perceive certain values and situations. It also evokes a sense of unity.

Have you ever noticed that in the movies, when a scene is shot in a hot location, such as a desert, the film director will have a yellow-orange monochromatic color scheme over the entire frame? This creates the feeling of heat. How about a scene set in Alaska? Chances are it will have a monochromatic color scheme set in blue. Blue monochromatic color evokes a feeling of cold.

According to Gestalt Theory, (an advanced study on art composition and perception), our brain relies heavily upon pattern recognition to give context to the content of a photograph. The more patterns we find – for example, repeated monochromatic colors in a single scheme – the easier it is to process the image. That, in turn, makes us more likely to find the photograph pleasing.

sunset photo with monochromatic color scheme

Photo by Kent DuFault

Have you ever wondered why sunset photography is always liked and admired?

The answer is easy. These photos generally display a monochromatic color scheme!

monochromatic color scheme ruined by contrasting metal bracket

Photo by Matese Fields

Quick Tip: When creating a monochromatic photo, make sure that there are no opposing colors within the shot!

When you look at the example photo (above), where do the eyes immediately travel? They probably go straight to the metal bracket on the wall to the left. They do this because of the color contrast. The metal bracket is an opposing color (on the color wheel) to the rest of the scene, and it ruins the impact of an attempted monochromatic color scheme for this picture.

true monochromatic color scheme with metal bracket adjusted to match

Photo by Matese Fields with edit by Kent DuFault

Look what happens when the metal bracket is brought back into the monochromatic color scheme? The image now has unity, as it was initially intended.

Is monochromatic color right for every scene and situation?

Certainly not. But, when the time is right, using this knowledge will help you create a dazzling photo that will knock your viewers’ socks off!

by Chris Kenyon, 19 July 2024

Link to Top Shot Photos

FCC F/Stop TopShot 2024 Edition

View this on our website at https://fccnsw.myphotoclub.com.au/fcc-f-stop-topshot-2024-edition/

The TopShot issue of F/Stop is now available for download by clicking on the link below. Please share with your Club Members.  You can also find a copy under the F/Stop Newsletter Tab and download it from there.

FCC F/Stop TopShot 2024 Edition

by Chris Kenyon, 19 July 2024

Next Presentation 5th of August

Change to the calendar for the presentation on the 5th of August.

Luckily you wont have to sit through me telling you how to mount photo’s, instead we have a presentation by Nilmini, our last judge, on “Preparing Competition Images”. This will be a zoom presentation the details of which I will supply closer to the date.

Additionally our webmaster, Nancy, will give a brief run down on web operations after Nil has completed her presentation.

Documentary Photographer
Nilmini De Silva is a national and international award winning
photographer and an active member of the Hornsby Heights
Camera Club where she serves on the committee. She discovered
her passion for photography in 2010 when she spent a month
volunteering in South Africa on a Conservation & Photography
project during a gap year.
Since then, Nil has launched a number of solo & collaborative
photographic exhibitions including an exhibition at the HeadOn
2015 Photo Festival in conjunction with Hornsby Shire Council. She
has also completed an artist residency on FLOAT, in East Gippsland.
She is also the author of ‘Fate or Destiny’, a collection of stories and
photographs that aims to inspire people to live life with passion. She
has obtained her Grand Master with Australian Photographic Society
(APS) and other honours from both Federation of International
Federation of Photographic Art (FIAP) and the Photographic Society
of America (PSA).
Nil is inspired by the natural world around her and her desire to
share stories of the extraordinary people she has met while
travelling. She shoots a variety of genres with both her drone and
her Canon R6. Her passions range from landscape, aerial, nature and
portrait to photojournalism and street photography

by Chris Kenyon, 19 July 2024

Weekend Away


As mentioned last night to those attending the creative comp, I intend to organise a weekend away for the club. The main attraction being the Zig Zag railway at Clarence near Lithgow, either late August 30th or 31st, September 13th – 15th, October 11th – 13th or 25th – 27th (these are the dates the railway is open and with bookings still available)

In order to make the event available to the largest number of club members would you please respond to me via email ,chrisk710@bigpond.com, your preferred date for this event and the number of attendees.

Thanks Chris

by Chris Kenyon, 16 July 2024

Results for competitions in Comp 6 Open and Set – Creative

There were 16 entries that were rated the highest by our judge(s).

Members can view all images and comment on them by following this link
View / Comment entries in Comp 6 Open and Set – Creative

click here to see a pdf catalog of all competition results

Tulips in decay
Elaine Holliday – Set – Top Shot
Set Subject Colour Large Print

Road to nowhere
Graeme James – Set – Top Shot
Set Subject Mono Large Print

Ink blotches
Jonathan Holliday – Set – Top Shot
Set Subject Small Print

Splatter Building
Michael Frost – Set – Top Shot
Set Subject Digital

Giraffe House
Graeme James – Set – Merit
Set Subject Colour Large Print

Reena Cheng – Set – Merit
Set Subject Colour Large Print

City Lights
Larry Armstrong – Set – Merit
Set Subject Colour Large Print

The Swing
Reena Cheng – Set – Merit
Set Subject Mono Large Print

Don Dickins – Set – Merit
Set Subject Mono Large Print

I’m in
Reena Cheng – Set – Merit
Set Subject Mono Large Print

Shades of Grey and a hint of White
Elaine Holliday – Set – Merit
Set Subject Mono Large Print

The hustle and bustle
Elaine Holliday – Set – Merit
Set Subject Mono Large Print

Nancy Morley – Set – Merit
Set Subject Digital

Mutant Emu
Don Dickins – Set – Merit
Set Subject Digital

On Fire
Ruth Penman – Set – Merit
Set Subject Digital

Covid Bubbles
Larry Armstrong – Set – Merit
Set Subject Digital

by Don Dickins, 15 July 2024

Picture correct post

Developing Your Confidence in Photography

Posted: 07/06/2024

Some photographers are born oozing with confidence and self-belief, while others hide their pictures away from friends and family and spend hours with editing software tweaking and adapting their shots. The more they tweak, the less happy they are with the results they get. If you are one of those photographers, don’t give up and put the camera up for sale; there are ways to build up your confidence and self esteem.

photographer confidence

Photo by Diego PH; ISO 100, f/4.0, 1/4000s.

The first thing to remember is that you are learning, and we learn best by making mistakes.

Then, you must never forget that mastering any art is a lifetime’s work. I doubt that even the most highly regarded photographers working today think that they have all the answers. Part of the pleasure of photography is the fact that you are on a long path of learning and creativity and that you will develop your skills as you move along that path.

Finally, remember that photography is an art in which tastes and opinions vary, and so there will always be a subjective element when any photograph is being assessed. Some people will be rapturous over a picture that others merely find competent.

Constructive Criticism

To develop your confidence, develop the ability to be constructively critical of your own work and that of others. Look for what has worked well, as well as things that could be done differently and perhaps better. Most people find it easier to identify their mistakes than their achievements, so look at the photograph as though someone else has taken it.

photo feedback

Photo by David Marcu.

Technical Skills

Learn about your camera’s features. Find out what it can do in each of its settings, rather than relying on automatic to sort everything out for you. You’ll need to learn by practicing, by reading, and by learning from others, through looking at photographs in the media and in exhibitions, and through either through joining a club or taking a course.

Photography Clubs

Many people find that joining a club is ideal. It provides the opportunity to pick up tips and hints from club members who may have years of experience, to see the work produced by other photographers (some of whom will also be new to photography and therefore less confident than you), and the incentive to learn and develop by entering competitions. There is nothing like having a photograph commended in a competition to boost your self-belief!

photography club

Photo by Ben Collins; ISO 400, f/1.8, 1/400s.

The precise mix of the above will depend on your preferred way of learning and the opportunities available near you, but you can rest assured that something suitable will be near at hand. Choose wisely and you will have an hobby for life.

About the Author:
Margaret Cranford is a photographer based in Clevedon, North Somerset in the UK (redbubble.com/people/magsart). She creates and sources watercolour paintings, photographs and prints.

by Chris Kenyon, 9 July 2024

Sutherland National open for entries


by Chris Kenyon, 9 July 2024

Link to Mieke’s presentation last night.

The link below will be active for the next two weeks for those who missed the presentation last night or anyone who would like to see it again.


by Chris Kenyon, 9 July 2024