Monthly Archives: November 2014

Meeting Report: November meeting

This month three of our members gave short talks and a demo. We also had three raffle winners!

Magic Lantern – John Twycross
John demonstrated the various facilities that can be enabled on a Canon camera by downloading the open source application Magic Lantern.

mlMagic Lantern can be downloaded from, it is a free software add-on that runs from the SD/CF card and adds a host of new features to Canon EOS cameras that weren’t included from the factory by Canon.

Most popularly known for its video features Magic Lantern also adds an array of features for stills photography. John showed amongst other features the so called ‘Intervalometer’ which allows you to take pictures or movies at fixed interval times. He also showed how Magic Lantern can enable fine control for ISO, shutter, Kelvin white balance and other image settings.

Magic Lantern’s features range from audio through video control to image overlays and display tweaks that adjust the live view on screen. The application is downloaded onto the SD/CF card which also records the cameras exposures and therefore is a temporary installation whilst the card is in place. Removing the card restores the camera back to its factory settings. Thank you to John who also pointed out that Magic Lantern mentions that similar functions are available for Nikon users at

Low light photography – Roger Gilboy
Photographer Roger Gilboy talked about his approach to photography under low light conditions telling us that he is “no fan of flash”, preferring to “shoot in natural light”.

Roger discussed the factors affecting exposure, shutter speed, aperture and ISO rating commenting that no one factor could be considered on its own as the three work together. He showed excellent examples of how high shutter speeds can freeze movement whereas slow shutter speeds can be employed to create mood and motion.

Antique-sellerFurther examples (like this on the right) showed how low f-stops open the aperture to its fullest, causing low depth of field which can be used to isolate a subject on a shallow plane. High f-stops closing down the aperture result in deeper field of focus where much more of the image is sharp.

Finally Roger discussed the benefits and drawbacks of high ISO speeds which enable pictures to be captured in low light conditions but can introduce¬† noise if the highest settings are used. Originally used to signify film speed the ISO setting on a digital camera amplifies the the sensitivity of the camera’s sensor. Thank you Roger and congratulations on your two awards this year

tubeGetting the best out of YouTube – Dave Perry
Dave Perry made a welcome return to update us on the new features available at YouTube.

“Google change and update YouTube regularly” he said. A host of new capabilities have been added since Dave’s previous talk in April last year. In particular YouTube has been focusing on becoming very mobile friendly and adopting the wide screen format. Music is the most popular subject followed in popularity by entertainment with a very high volume of gaming. Electronics are the most significant subject in the marketing arena.

YouTube is the world’s largest video sharing service with over 100 hours of video being uploaded every minute and 6 billion hours of video watched every month. the default maximum duration for YouTube videos is 15 minutes and the average is 4.4 minutes. Dave pointed out that statistics show that long and very short videos are most unpopular.

Dave advised all who want to upload their own videos to YouTube should verify their account as this unlocks a lot of additional capabilities. Creating titles, tags and key words are vital to users finding your videos; Dave talked about ‘video-friendly keywords’ which help to drive views and engagement. Thanks Dave, another great update!

Dave’s slides are available to download from this link.

Raffle winners

UG-NovemberThis month we held our twice yearly free raffle. The first prize of one-year’s subscription to Adobe Creative Cloud was won by Laurence Wright congratulations Laurence, enjoy Creative Cloud. Runners up were Melville George and Daniel Gill.

In the picture here are (left to right) John Twycross, Dave Perry, Laurence Wright, Daniel Gill, Melville George and Roger Gilboy.