OffShoot Photography Society We believe that the image is everything!

21th June 2020



Clarifications (Re 'Letter From The Chairperson').

Virtual Meetings Platform (ie currently Zoom).

Issue. I have been asked several times why we have selected Zoom as our platform. A good and reasonable question.

Answer. We are only using Zoom for the moment to gain experience and become familiar working with these modern virtual platforms.  We have subscribed for a Pro account at approx 13€ plus vat per month, so we can host up to 100 members with unlimited time, but only on a month to month basis. When things steady down, we have accumulated experience of the pros and cons of Zoom and can form a qualified team to evaluate the options, we can  select our long term solution.

Use Of Email

Issue. I have been criticized for using my own personal  email for communicating with members. I have also been criticized for send emails to all members using the Bcc (Blind Copy).

Answer. Our web site is the engine for all of our communications.  We can create email addresses (such as and behind the scenes re-direct this email to one or more of our members, to respond to these incoming mails. For outgoing emails to our members we use the Newsletter module, effectively creating Html (ie Web pages) which can be packaged into a document and then sent using very smart technology to a list of our members.  We do not have an email server (either in house or hosted somewhere) where we could enjoy the full range of email services as we are not a business and are not in a position to manage such IT facilities.

Further, it is relatively hard work to create these Newsletter documents. If messages need to be sent out quickly, email is the only option. As the email is going to all of our members, each single outgoing email generates individual emails to each member (ie 120 approx).  If one of our members use the "ReplyAll" feature (and most people do instinctively) and this happens a few times, we are generating 100's and 100's of emails.  This risks the strong possibility of these messages being flagged as Spam and the source of these Spam messages being cut off from the internet. This can be difficult to undue and risks extended outages of traffic in and out of Offshoot or my personal email account.

Matt O'Brien (Chairperson).


New Digital Competition launched. Deadline looming.  See details further down this newsletter.

Virtual Meeting (29th June, 2020). 

Our next Offshoot Zoom event is on the 29th June, 8pm.

The presenter will be the Pulitzer Prizewinning photographer,  Cathal McNaughton ( ).   

Invites to members will be circulated approx 24 hours before the event (so they do not get lost in your mail box).

Weekly Theme 

The weekly Offshoot Flickr Theme is 'Nature'.  This could be as simple as a flower or as panoramic as a landscape. Subjects could include gardens, flower boxes, animal shots such as pets, etc., or just your interpretation of Nature.

The more creative the better. It can be indoors, outdoors, studio style, tabletop or from the great outdoors. No limit on subject / style, colour or mono.

Deadline for submission is 9pm next Friday night. We often receive  entries after this deadline, which are not considered for our Picture Of The Week, as time is required to select the image and incorporate into the newsletter.

NB. 1. Just to clarify, our preference for the weekly theme is a shot taken after the date the theme is announced. However, we do not really mind if you have to go back into your archives to find an image, but if you do then you need to reprocess it.  The basic idea is to have an image to work on and present via our Flickr page.

NB 2.  Images used in the weekly Offshoot Flickr themes can be used in club competitions also.

NB 3. The following theme will be 'Geometry' , just to give advance notice and get the creative energies engaged.  Our world is full of circles and squares and rectangles and triangles and ellipses and other geometric forms. Capture the most original combination of geometry from the world around us (inside or outside).

Images  can be posted to our Flickr group from now until next Friday night at 9 pm.  Remember to put  ''Nature''  at the beginning of the Flickr title field.


This is not a competition but an opportunity to have fun with your camera or post-processing skills or both. These exercises are good for getting us to use our cameras and our minds,  and to look for unusual compositions or situations related to the theme.  Remember there are no judges, no-one checking for over-sharpening, for eyes out of focus or rules of thirds.  We are looking for variety and expression.  Normal Flickr rules apply.

Members do not have to enter every week.  The only condition is that you enter the Theme title   ''Nature'' at the very beginning of the Title Description field when uploading to Flickr, so we can recognise 'Themed' images. People can continue to post non-themed images to Flickr.

[Note. To join the Offshoot Flickr group, you must first be a Flickr member. Then send the email address used to join Flickr to You will get an email when you have been added to the group. Please be patient as this is a manual process.]


We wish to emphasize that all of the activities are all optional. The basic idea is to have a few things to focus on to maintain your hobby, continue to develop your skills, familiarity with your equipment. It is an opportunity to experiment and share with others the fruits of your labours. 


NB. SWM and Exhibition notices removed just to simplify the newsletter. We will add back when these events progress.

Member's Photos of the Week

We are getting super images on our Flickr page, both for themed and more general subjects.  Keep up the good work.

Conjunction of the Moon, Saturn and Jupiter over Shankill  by John Coveney


"Something Pink"  by Peter Williams

Just a note for new members – if you want any of your pictures considered for the photo of the week, you just have to post them to the OffShoot Flickr group at:

There’s also the latest images published on Flickr that are displayed on the OffShoot home page.

[Note. To join the Offshoot Flickr group, you must first be a Flickr member. Then send the email address used to join Flickr to You will get an email when you have been added to the group. Please be patient as this is a manual process.]

Interesting Videos

PiXimperfect: Magically Remove Glare from Glasses in Photoshop!

Greg Benz: Automatically reduce noise on any image the NEW Lightroom v9.3

If you come across one you want to share let us know at

What's On


Club Competitions

Printed Competitions are on temporary hold. The currently suspended print competition will be the first competition held when normal competitions resume, so all work in progress or prints can be used for this competition.

New Digital Competition

Theme Section.

The first section, which will be judged by Levels, is to the theme of 'Within 5km of my Kitchen Table' - to include people, places and things, indoors or outdoors, wild and whimsical or realistic and gritty......preferably images created recently, but definitely not any entered into previous competitions.

Open Section

The Open section has a new twist - please enter a set of images. This could be to a theme of your own choosing, or a subject matter or a technique......for example, minimalist architecture, garden birds, monochrome still life, family portraits, intentional camera movements....the options are endless and the choice is yours. You will get invaluable constructive feedback on individual images, and also on the set as a whole, and this feedback should prove useful in developing your photography in a purposeful direction.

For this competition, a set can number between two and six individual images.

You may enter up to three images in the themed section, and a maximum of six images overall - so, for example, you could enter one image in the themed section and a set of five images in the open section.

The closing date for submissions will be Midnight on Sunday 28th June - that's three weeks away, so you have plenty of time to prepare your excuses for late submissions!

The Dropbox link for you to upload your images is

Please name your entries in one of the following manners as appropriate -


Level-Member Number-Image Title.jpg  (for example L1-999-Coronation.jpg)


Open-Member Number-Set Title- Image Title.jpg (for example Open-999-Mono Portraits-John.jpg)

JPG quality is good enough for this competition (just make sure they are sharp and have enough resolution, no need for TIFs.

IPF Links & Events

Quote from the IPF Web Site

"Please be advised, In light of COVID-19 and the National Guidelines on the gathering of large crowds and most importantly in the interest of the Health & Safety of all our affiliated clubs and their members the Irish Photographic Federation have postponed the upcoming National Club Championships, Annual General Meeting and May Distinction Sitting that were all scheduled to take place on the weekend of May 16th & 17th 2020.  We will be hopefully re-scheduling these events later in the year and will keep you all informed through the IPF Website and Social Media Platforms."


Irish Photographic Federation Web Site:

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Distinction Sittings and Availability:

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