From the Chair



‘Exposure 8’ is the 8th annual photographic exhibition organised by Carlow Photographic Society  in conjunction with the 2011 Éigse Arts Festival.  We welcome you to come and view this exhibition at Carlow Central Library. This year, as in former years, we invited each member of Carlow Photographic Society to submit images of their own choice to this exhibition and I hope you enjoy viewing the huge range and variety of images submitted. We wish to thank Carlow County Library for the use of the George Bernard Shaw room in the library for the duration of the exhibition.

The membership of Carlow Photographic Society continues to increase each year.  Should you be interested in photography and would like to join our club you will be very welcome. The club meets every Wednesday night in the Seven Oaks Hotel from September to the end of May. Check out our website for more information at:

 There are lots of events and activities during the year for our members, such as lectures and workshops on photography, organised by CPS members and guest lecturers. We also participate in tasks, challenges and competitions designed to help improve the photographic skills of our members. We organise photographic outings both in Ireland and abroad. One of the features of our club is participation in photographic projects. This year we are nearing the completion of our latest project on the river Barrow, entitled ‘Barrow Life’, which will be exhibited at VISUAL  – Centre for Contemporary Art & The George Bernard Shaw Theatre during the Éigse Festival, so why not pay a visit. Last year our members completed a project on the first year in the life of VISUAL with a photographic exhibition. Because of the success and interest in this exhibition, we are extending the project for another year. 

A special word of thanks to the committee of CPS for their dedication and hard work and thanks also to the members who submitted images for this our annual Éigse exhibition. I hope you enjoy the result and that it may stimulate you to take up photography and join our club.

Paul Redmond     

Chairman, Carlow Photographic Society.

May 2011

Studio Setup – CPS 23 March 2011

This is a short description of the studio setup at our weekly CPS session recently. A white backdrop roll was spread onto the floor space. Four lights were used – two on the backdrop and two in front in a square formation with soft box/umbrella on lights in front of subject – all lights were wired to fire simultaneously – jack plug into camera or remote/slave control. The subject/model and photographer were positioned on white backdrop floor space with photographer hand-holding camera allowing subject to relax. Image stabiliser ON and AF focus used on lens.

Suggested Camera Settings

Manual Mode;   1/125 shutter speed;   F10 /F11/ F13 aperture;   ISO  100/200;  4760 Custom White Balance for better skin tones against white backdrop.

The suggested settings will vary depending on the lighting set-up and camera used.

Light Settings

Two lights facing the back drop with no light modifier to achieve high key white background effect. Two lights on model.

Main light one  – metered to give your chosen aperture  e.g. F 10

Fill light two  –  approx half the power of the main light.

Every lighting situation / set-up will be different so you need to meter the light using either the meter in your camera or the hand held light meter.

MOST IMPORTANT THING…………Don’t take it too seriously…….have fun……..experiment!!


The Chairman invited those who provided workshops to submit an account

Box for Still Life

Still Life Photography

From the Chair: The Still Life workshops were just amazing and have added in my opinion a whole new dimension to Carlow Photographic Society. The members really appreciate all the effort, time and dedication given in erecting props, lights, backgrounds etc and allowing members to take shots and learn settings etc. Some of the members have already added some shots on Facebook and they are only stunning. I need another favour from you all. I would like to post a piece about the Still Life workshops you organised. For that I would like a short account of the studio setup, lights and camera settings to get the desired effect. If you could give me one shot also for the Blog it would set the piece off, as they say a picture is better than a thousand words.

Liam Beattie - Still LifeLiam Beattie wrote: Here’s how I took this photo. I used a homemade wooden box on Wednesday night last. I find it better to use it in low light as you have more control of the light in the box. Set up the still life as you want, move the light on the top of the box to get the desired effect. Camera must be on a tripod. Set up the camera (ISO, shutter speed & aperture setting). Compose your shot and shoot. Setting for my image were: ISO 500 (more grain); f11; 1/3s. More work was completed post capture in Photoshop using blur & watercolor filter. Liam Beattie

Ian Pelly wrote: I agree that it was great. This is the photo that is closest to the result I was looking for. The original plan was to use two flash mounted on light stands shooting through umbrellas and to use another light using homemade snout and also show people how to make homemade barn doors to control the light falling onto their picture. The settings used last night were: ISO 50, F 8.0 at 1/100 second hand held.  The two off camera flash units were set at different levels for every shot, but I would estimate that they were flash on left hand side was about zoom factor of 70 about 2.5 feet from subject and the right light was zoom 70 about 3.5 feet and about 2 feet above the subject.  The aim was to avoid as much glare off the glass as possible and yet light the glass and its contents and also the surrounding sea shells to an acceptable level.  
CPS Still Life Workshop
I would say that the left light should have been back about one foot more as there is quite a bright spot at the top left hand side.  I explaining to members that by using off camera flash set up, the light would fall on the subject consistently, regardless of how close the camera was to the subject, assuming that you don’t block the light.  Hence you can achieve lots of different shots and the lighting quality will not change.  I was also explaining to people that the flashes are manual, hence I had to work out the balance of the lights without Ettl.  I also explained the way that light works and how to make some of the attachments.  I used an old dishwasher salt tool as a snoot. You can also use funnels of different sizes that cost about €1.50 to buy as snouts. You can also use colour funnels, but you need to be careful of colour casts.  I explained how to make barn doors and how they can control the light.  I also explained how to make honeycombs the homemade way.  CPS members were very interested in Still Life and many stated that they love camera in hand nights and that much more of these nights would be welcome, to help bring the members to a higher level in photography. It helped that small numbers were at each setup at any one time to allow time to explain and help with camera set ups etc.  You just need to unleash the talent that exists within the club. Ian Pelly.

Tony Hunt - Still Life Workshop

Tony Hunt - Still Life

Tony Hunt - Still Life

Tony Hunt - Still Life Workshop

Tony Hunt wrote: What I brought was harmless enough, grabbed a glass jar of marbles on the way out the door, but I think it was a great idea and would love to do more of it in in small organised groups maybe? Tony Hunt

Seamus Cunningham wrote: Camera was Cannon 50D with 24-105 lens; ISO  400; Aperture  F9.0 and time value or speed 1/25. Flash used was a Cannon 580EX ii; Power set at 1/8.

From the Chair: ‘Photo Argus’ website is a resource for photographers, novice to advanced with information, inspiration, technique and a showcase for photographers and more and has lots more ideas and tips for still life photography. Click on the link below and be inspired. 

View from Ballinasillogue Dolmen

Photo: Roger Jones LIPF


Some CPS members will meet with tour guide Roger Jones LIPF, at Keenan’s Factory Borris on Sunday 6th February 2011 at 7.30 am, with the aim of taking sunrise photos at Ballinsillogue, weather permitting. According to Roger, ‘Sunday will not be a good day but all will see how to make the journey to the site and by next November all should be clear’.

Ballinasillogue is an ancient solar observatory at Borris, County Carlow; also a portal tomb marked ‘banshee stone’ on the 1839 OS 6’’ map – displaced capstone originally resting on two portal stones and door stone. Partly collapsed chamber faces East. [Journal of the Royal Society of Archaeology Ireland, 1983, 91].

Ballinasillogue means the place of the spittle i.e. roasting spits, indicating it was once a place of celebration. Research conducted by amateur geologists, Joe Feeley and Roger Jones seems to indicate that the monument was erected as a marker from which to monitor the sunrise through the Scullogue Gap in the Mount Leinster range. The gap is in the east by south-easterly direction about five miles distant. On two important solar occasions each year i.e. the cross-quarter dates of Imbolg (February 4) and at Samhain (November 8), the sun rises in the mountain gap. Imbolg marks the coming of spring, a new awakening, new growth and hope. The feast of Samhain marked the end of the old Celtic year and the beginning of winter. Although the sun rises twice yearly in the Scullogue Gap, it is often marred by mist or thick cloud over the Irish Sea. To witness the event is a magical experience never to be forgotten. The golden light of dawn is concentrated by the valley walls to form a tight beam several hundred yards wide, which illuminated the monument and immediate surroundings, while the fields on either side are still in darkness. The duration is only a few seconds, the phenomenon can be witnessed at 8:45 am on the dates given above or for a few days on either side, weather permitting of course.

The Great American Circus setting up today (Monday 31 January) at St. Laurence O’Toole Athletic Grounds beside Askea Church. This could be a great photo opportunity for low light and night photography. Ralph Garbaciak took some interesting shots (like the one above) at a carnival in Carlow, which he uploaded to the members gallery. He used a fish eye lens, but I daresay with or without a fish eye lens, some nice shots could be taken. Circus opens on Wednesday 2nd and Thursday 4th at 7.30 pm., Friday 4.30pm & 7.30 pm, Saturday 5th at 2.30 pm & 5pm and Sunday 6th at 3.30 pm. Mad Max Riders, Camels, Horses, Snakeman, Circus Zoo after each show. Over to you!!