Girvan Camera Club


Girvan Camera Club News – July 2012


Looking back on June….


Thursday 14 June: Ailsa Wood Products

The eleven club members who participated were given a very informative and thorough tour of the premises by Bob Kelman the owner. Bob had arranged for David Martin to demonstrate how they make flower tubs and water features with plenty of chances for good photos. As they were leaving, each member was given a rustic oak tub to take home.  The Club would like to thank Bob and his staff for being so generous with their time and being so welcoming.


Saturday 23 June : Visit to Arran

Unfortunately this outing had to be cancelled cause of the appalling weather.  This event will be rescheduled.


Looking forward………….


Thursday 12 July

Please note there will be no practical night on this date


Saturday 14 July: Visit to Titanic Museum, Belfast

Event coordinator: Rory McAdam

Contact details: or 01465 714645

We plan to use Dodds of Troon for this outing.  They run a day trip, for the all-inclusive cost (return tickets for bus and ferry plus Titanic Experience exhibition entry) of £35.  Pick up points will be Maybole at the Cassillis at 09.50hrs, Girvan Hamilton Arms Hotel at 10.10hrs and Ballantrae bus stop in the Main St at 10.30hrs.  We will sail from Cairnryan with Stena Line at 11.30hrs. The bus will take us to the exhibition for the 15.00 entry (pre booked) returning to Belfast with an hour’s free time before the 19.30hrs sailing home. 

If you plan to attend:

·         Book your place(s) direct with Dodds of Troon or 01292 288100 (mentioning Girvan Camera Club) and

·         Please let Rory know you plan to attend


Thursday 19 July: Plans are being made for an outing on this evening but once the details have been finalised, you will receive an email.


Sunday 29 July: Grass Track Rallying: Pinwherry

Plenty of action shots of the cars in the competition.  Look for the signs in the village.  Racing starts at 11am.  No co-ordinator for this event.  If you plan to attend, just turn up!


The rest of the Summer Programme

Donald is in discussion with someone to allow us to photograph birds of prey (including birds in flight).  This is being scheduled for August although no firm date has been agreed.  The cost is likely to be £10 per head (in advance).  If you would be interested in this outing please drop an email to Andy McAlpine by 9 July at


Other Issues


Ballantrae Gala Week

Karen Stewart, Jim Fleming, John Dunn and Yvonne Morrison have all offered to help Andy photograph events during Ballantrae Gala week


Diamond Jubilee Celebrations and Olympic Torch Relay

Andy is still looking for digital colour images from members (max one per member) of either the Jubilee Celebrations or the torch relay – preferably taken in the South Carrick area - for inclusion in the September edition of the Stinchar Valley Magazine. Please email images to Andy by 14 July please.  Those included will, of course, be credited.


GCC involvement in Girvan Civic Week

We needed somewhere secure to exhibit our pictures.  We will not be involved this year as the McKechnie isn’t available to us that week.


Extra Club Competition for 2012-13

Following an approach to Jim Cuthbertson by the Straiton Cooperative shop we have decided to include an additional competition in the Club’s 2012-13 programme.  The Straiton shop would like us to take pictures in and around Straiton which could then be turned into postcards, each of which would carry the author’s name and Girvan Camera Club.  We are telling you about this now in case you plan to be in and around Straiton during the coming months.  


Some Basics of SLR Photography

The fourth in the series by Bill Arnott is attached (see pages 3-6).  Thanks Bill for the work you have done to produce this series.


And finally:


30 June 2012


Basic DSLR Photography – Contrast adjustment using Photoshop


In the last three lessons we looked at photographic creativity with the three elements of the exposure triangle – ISO, Shutter speed and Aperture. So we should now have some photographs, hopefully with the creativity we planned. Sometimes however, when we transfer the images to our computer we can be a little disappointed with the results, and feel the images need a little boost.


Let’s look at giving the contrast of an image a little tweak using one of Photoshop’s most useful tools – Levels.


Here is an image I took of a steam train entering Girvan station.



As you can see it is a bit flat as it was a cold and overcast day. We will increase the contrast a little to hopefully improve it.


Start Photoshop (I am using version CS3), and open the image Steam Train which should be available as an attachment to the newsletter. If your Layers palette is not open, open it by pressing the F7 key. You should have the following screen -



As is normal good practice, make a copy of the base layer by pressing (Ctrl + J) and rename it by double clicking on the word Layer 1 and typing Levels adjustment. You should have the following screen.



This gives us a copy of the original image to preserve it and give us something to compare against.

Next bring up the Levels adjustment box by pressing (Ctrl + L) to give the following screen.



Now adjust the Black, Grey and White sliders as follows to make the contrast adjustment. Black to 30, Grey to 1.20 and White to 225, to give the following screen.



If you are happy with the result, press OK to save the changes. Now compare the adjusted image with the original by clicking the eye icon to the left side of the Levels adjustment layer on and off. To save the adjusted image, we must flatten the image by clicking the word Layer in the menu bar and Flatten image near the bottom of the drop down menu (see following screen).




This will collapse the layers and you can then save the picture as a Jpeg image either under its original name, use File, Save (only if you don’t want to keep the original) or under a new name (if you do want to keep the original), use File, Save As and under File name: type your new name for the image. Click Save and before saying OK make sure the quality slider is at its highest value (normally 12).  I am not saying this is the perfect adjustment for this picture but it does demonstrate how an image can be improved with a simple levels adjustment in Photoshop. A word of caution, never overdo a levels adjustment as the image can start to break down if it is pushed too far.  Next month we will look at look at cropping and straightening an image, again using Photoshop.    







Bill Arnott 23rd June 2012