ED Cloutman travelled to us from South Wales for this evening’s presentation.

Ed is a member of the committee of the Welsh Photographic Federation and is in a good position to give an insight into what photographic judges are looking for and how to make simple changes (usually using Photoshop) to make improvements.

He discussed cropping of images and colour casts. He discussed presentation of prints – don’t use coloured mounts and don’t use mounts with pre-cut windows.

On this latter point, the issue is to make the mount support the image rather than make the image fit an unnatural shape.

He went on to demonstrate how verticals can be straightened to stop buildings falling over, and how backgrounds can be simplified. This may all seem obvious but well worth saying nonetheless.

In the second part of the evening, Ed moved on to a completely different topic and what is clearly a favourite subject – Astrophotography.

He stared with an audiovisual presentation of what he does and of the images he has created.

It was noted that the music used in Ed’s AV was the same music, by Sibelius, which the BBC use as the introduction to the long running astronomy TV programme “The Sky at Night”.

Ed went on to describe his several telescopes and the observatory he has built in his garden. He finished with images of Nebulae and Galaxies including “The Pleiades” in the constellation of Taurus, the “Andromeda” galaxy and the “Horsehead” nebula in Orion.

An exceptional evening which I shall remember for a long time – it’s a pity my garden is not big enough for an observatory!