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Print Knock-Out                                                                               16 December 2014

Father Christmas (aka Frank Collins) was as always a superb master of ceremonies, Santa was aided by two reindeer helpers (aka Caroline Wright and Chrissy Miller) for the annual Print Knock-out.   A cruel and unjust,  but fun competition, where excellent prints come up against excellent prints and the audience has to vote for the left or right print, in four rounds, each round getting harder and harder as the best prints remain! checking-the-netsAll levels of members entered prints 74 plus in all and they were of an exceptionally high standard on a wide variety of subjects.

The well-deserved winners were:- Martin Horton in 1st Place with 'Checking the Nets' (left) Chris Wilkes-Cuidad ARPS in 2nd place
with 'Lilies' (below right) and
Robert Harvey ARPS AFIAP in 3rd place with
'Avebury in Winter' (below left)

lilies

After the competition members, enjoyed a varied and plentiful buffet, with some really tasty Christmas grinches!  

To our surprise we had a power cut which made a more atmospheric and fun evening -  luckily some members had torches about their person so we could all still enjoy the buffet!  avebury-in-winterMembers had plenty of time to catch up and chat, enjoy nice food and exchange Christmas wishes with friends old and new.

Thanks to Frank and all who took part for making this another good club evening.

Happy Christmas and we look forward to seeing you next year on the 6 January 2015, at the Crown Centre. HE

 
Landscape Group Astrophotography at Stonehenge                             Saturday 13 December

The Landscape Group's latest foray into Astrophotography saw five lucky members allowed into the Stonehenge stone circle to photograph the night stars and Geminid meteor shower.  Not surprisingly, the visit was over-subscribed, but numbers had been meteor-showerlimited by English Heritage, so apologies to those who were disappointed.

The evening was clear, and when the group arrived at 7.00 pm, there was already a frost on the ground.  Over the next four hours, hoar frost built up on tripods, and even the cameras were not immune.  Lenses were kept clear (mainly) by use of hand-warmer pads taped around the barrel, to keep the front element a shade warmer than the dewpoint.

The first set piece shot was to create a star-trail shot, with the stones lit by torchlight and star-trails above rotating around the Pole star.  This required shooting consecutive exposures over the course of an hour, which, when combined in Photoshop, create the star trail effect.  Suffice to say that while the images were being captured, everyone stood around and tried to keep warm.

Rather harder was to record a meteor travelling across the sky, since these were appearing at random intervals and across all points of the compass, despite supposedly originating around the Gemini constellation.  This proved very elusive until, with about 20 minutes to go until our English Heritage pass expired, one fell in exactly the right area of sky, and while the camera shutters were open. 

All in all, this was a truly memorable night, and thanks go to Robert Harvey for his persistence in obtaining access from English Heritage.  His image containing the meteor (above) is set for publication in a future edition of Wiltshire Life. DG

 
Monochrome and Creative Competitions 2014                                           9 December 2014 
It was a busy evening for judge Jim Marsden FRPS AGAGB EFIAP as there were 3 competitions to judge with a total of 80 entries. First are-youto be judged were the 46 Monochrome Prints with Jim giving concise and helpful comments to each entry.
First place went to 'Are You Looking at Me?'  left - a character portrait by Ray Grace ARPS DPAGB.
Ray also gained 2nd place and a Highly Commended. Chris Wilkes-Ciudad ARPS was in third place.

Ray was presented with the 'Pencil of Nature' Trophy by the judge.
The Creative Prints were judged next with some very interesting interpretations of 'Creative' The judge said he particularly enjoyed the more unusual and humorous images that members had dreampt up!
aquilegia-danceRay Grace was awarded 1st place with with 'Enchanted Forest' was in 3rd place with Richard Atkinson in 2nd place with 'Mechanical Hell'
To complete his hat trick Ray Grace was also placed first in the Creative Projected Image Competition with 'Eden Project in Space' and also was awarded 2nd and 3rd places with his creative images.
The 'Demiurgic Trophy' for the best creative image of the evening went to the print 'Aquilegia Dance' by Ray Grace. right  

butterfliesThanks to Jim Marsden for taking the time to judge such a diverse selection of images and for keeping his comments brief and to the point so the evening finished on time. The wide range of monochrome entries and creative ideas made a very interesting evening for all those members attending. PM

Full Results
Award winning Images can be seen in the Galleries
Left: 'Butterflies' by Richard Atkinson,

 
 misty











'Sunset' by Chris Wilkes-Ciudad ARPS
 ride











'Ride on the Wild Side' by Robert Harvey ARPS AFIAP
 
'A Passion for Wildlife'                                                                                                              2 December 2014

Shaun Boycott-Taylor ARPS presented tonight at DCC to show his excellent images of wildlife.  Shaun is a member of the Zoological Camera Club which was established in 1899.  He also belongs to Bristol Photographic Society.

merganserShaun is a wildlife and landscape photographer but his great passion is for British Birds.  Shaun is an amateur photographer who takes a professional view on his photography.  He spends  days and weeks getting to know his subjects intimately often in freezing conditions, following their everyday lives, monitoring flight paths, feeding patterns, setting up hides and spending many an hour in them in order to get the best shots he can.  He delighted the club by giving his secrets on his backgrounds, feeders , bathing pools and  aesthetics.bad-hair 

Members enjoyed viewing a wide range of wonderful British Birds shot in a copse in the South of England and on Farne and Bass Rock, apart from birds; we saw photos of wide variety of bugs, butterflies, foxes, squirrels and badgers.  Shaun’s showed some wonderful rare birds shot on his travels to Scotland and some interesting shots from his trip to Florida. 

black-grouseDuring the break members were lucky enough to enjoy viewing a variety of Shaun’s prints.

Members enjoyed a question and answer session and now DCC budding wildlife photographers are inspired to go forth with tips and ideas to develop and take forward their wildlife and bird photography.

Thank you very much Shaun for a most enjoyable and interesting evening.  HE

 
Fantastic News
Gill Cardy has just been awarded her Fellowship of the Royal Photographic Society! It is well known that Gill is passionate about wildlife and nature photography. She has travelled across the UK and to many other countries as well, often in freezing and difficult conditions, to capture some wonderful images. Gill submitted a panel of prints in the Natural History section and we are delighted that all her hard work and dedication has been recognised and rewarded with this highly regarded distinction. Congratulations from us all, Gill!   JRR
 
Open Print Competition 2                                                                         23 November 2014
The second Open Print Competition of the season was judged by Matt Revell who is fairly new to judging and has not visited the club before. Members commented that it was a refreshing change to have someone young and not grey-haired - yet!
vintageMatt gave an excellent critique on each image and helpfully pointing out where he thought improvements could have been made by cropping or removing distractions etc.
 

Starting with the Beginners section - Liz Richardson gained first place with a simple image entitled 'Vintage Red' (left) and also was awarded third place with 'Curious Lemur' and Highly Commended for 'Carrick Fishing Boat'
Andy Vick is doing well with his sports photography and came second with 'Eye on the Ball'


golden-sunsetIn the Intermediate section Lynda Rugg gained first place with a stunning landscape 'Golden Sunset' (right) and third place with 'Pink Bouquet'
Hilary Eagles was in second place with a very colourful print titled 'Moroccan Pots' and Highly Commended for 'Lovers Tiff'


moonlitThe judge found it very difficult to select the final places in the General section as there were so many outstanding prints - finally he chose 'Moonlit Lighthouse' (left) by
Robert Harvey ARPS AFIAP for first place remarking that it was an image of a subject that he frequently photographed himself. Robert also gaining a Highly Commended. for 'Southern Marsh Orchid' 
Both second and third places were awarded to Ray Grace ARPS DPAGB for 'A Quiet Corner' and 'Arum Lilies'.
Thanks Matt for taking the time and trouble to judge the prints and the club hopes you will come and visit us again in the future. PM

Full results

All the award winning images can be seen in the Galleries
Members can log in to see the points tables
 
Calne Multi Club Battle                                                                                 24 November 2014
Nine local camera clubs entered the 2014 Calne Multi Club Projected Image Battle and Pete McCloskey APAGB FRPS took on the onerous task of judging the 90 entries with a diverse range of photographic subjects. Pete commented on each image and awarded points out of a maximum of 20 - only one image managed to gain the top mark and only 2 images gained 19 points.

african-queenFor the Devizes CC entry, Dave Gray was awarded 18 points for 'African  Queen' and Clive Rathband FRPS FPSSA DPAGB EFIAP was also awarded 18 points for his 'Yellow Golden Orb Spider Female with Male'. The judge awarded 17 points to  'Great Egret in Sunset Flight' by Gill Cardy ARPS DPAGB AFIAP with Leila Searight's 'Catching up' scoring 17 points and 'First Ball' by Andy Vick 16 points.

orb-spiderThe final total score for Devizes was 159 points placing us equal 3rd with Warminster CC. In first place were Non Pareil with a total of 164 points and very close second were Frome Wessex CC with 163 points.

Congratulations to Adrian Herring FRPS DPAGB from Bath PS for gaining 20 points for the best image.

Thanks to Calne Camera Club for organising and hosting the event
Thanks also to DCC Battle Secretary - Jean Ingram who organised our entry and thanks to all club members who submitted images for the selection.
Members are reminded to send in their best images to Jean for the GB Cup, DPIC and Warminster Battles for which selections will take place soon. PM
See full results and images
Above: African Queen by Dave Gray                             Right: Yellow Golden Orb Web Spider Female with Male by Clive Rathband
 
'Jaguars & Giant Tortoises'                                                                                18 November 2014
Once again DCC were delighted to welcome another presentation by club member Robert Harvey ARPS AFIAP. This time Robert showed some of his stunning wildlife images taken during his recent visits to South America.

The vast tropical wetland of the Pantanal gave Robert superb opportunities to photograph a variety of Toucans, Hummingbirds and some of the many other brightly coloured birds found in the region. Guides were invaluable in locating interesting species allowing Robert to get views of a Giant Anteater with her baby on her back and a glimpse of a rare Brazilian Tapir. jaguarsExcellent views of Jaguars were obtained from a boat as they rested on the river banks. Giant Otters, Capybara and a variety of water birds were seen along the swampy wetlands and the cliffs where the Red and Green Macaws nested in large numbers gave fantastic photographic opportunities.

Robert gave helpful advice to members about taking wildlife images in situations that are far from ideal such as poor light, bright overhead sun or with fast moving subjects. Photography in cloud forest poses problems as the birds are high in the forest canopy and any mammals usually hidden in dense undergrowth. giant-tortoiseOften flash is not allowed making photography in the low light difficult - great skill and patience is needed to get unobtrusive backgrounds in the tangled foliage and to avoid annoying patches of bright sky appearing amongst the swaying leaves. Robert recommends getting down to eye level and even laying on the ground to get shots that emphasize the size of some creatures and also to use the sky for an uncluttered background.
 

Robert photographed many of the interesting birds and reptiles unique to the Galapagos Archipelago - images showed the courtship of the Blue-footed Booby, many seabirds in flight, unique finches, several species of Giant Tortoise, various marine Iguanas and even used an underwater camera to photograph the Galapagos Sea Lions in their environment!

Thanks Robert for sharing your enthusiasm for wildlife photography and giving such helpful tips. PM
Photographs by Robert Harvey ARPS AFIAP     Above: Jaguars in the Pantanel and right: Giant Tortoise in the Galapagos
See more photographs of the Cloud Forest and Galapagos on Robert's Website
 
Nature Group Field Trip to the New Forest

new-forestSunday 9 November dawned a fine day amongst a run of otherwise stormy, wet weather.  Seven members of the Nature Group met photographer Colin Varndell to photograph autumn colour and fungi in the New Forest.
Starting at 8am, we were rewarded by landscape shots of early morning mist over Picket Plain.  Colin then took us to South Oakley Inclosure, where ancient oaks and beech trees create pleasing compositions, especially back-lit by low sun. Some trees blown down in the Great Storm of 1987 are still there as slowly rotting hulks. 
log-patternsEven after 27 years, close-up images of oak’s dense wood made interesting abstract patterns.   After a month of heavy rain, we found many logs colonised by the fungi such as clustered bonnet (Mycena inclinata) as well as the attractive sulphur tuft (Hypholoma fasciculare).

members
The group moved on to Blackwater, where we photographed trees reflected in the still, dark waters of the Blackwater stream, and Barrow Moor.  Our final stop was Mark Ash Wood, home to the most majestic old beech trees in the Forest.  Although many trees had yet to turn into golden autumn colours, Colin drew our attention to some good compositions.  The wood proved productive for fungi, notably a fine stand of shaggy pholiota (Pholiota squarrosa) at the base of a beech tree and a mucilaginous velvet shank (Flammulina velutipes) glistening on a rotting log.  As dusk fell, we illuminated our last subject with soft lights to bring the composition to life.

Thanks to Colin Varndell for guiding and Richard Watson for organising the trip. RH
Above: Log Patterns by Robert Harvey ARPS AFIAP      Above right: New Forest by Chrissie Miller  Above: Nature Group members by Richard Watson LRPS

 
Photoshop Clinic  by Ray Grace ARPS DPAGB                                           11 November 2014
By popular demand tonight; club members enjoyed Ray Grace’s expertise in demonstrating various aspects of Photoshop, to help all members improve their images and encourage those not familiar with Photoshop to try new things. 
This was a relaxed, fun and interactive evening with plenty of questions and banter between the audience and Ray. 
Ray having asked members to request what they would like demonstrated prior  to this evening, started the evening explaining colour popping, layers, adjustment layers and layer masks.  
Ray showed members how to create infra red effects without the expense of having an infra red camera.  We also learned applying a white layer, luminosity, a little on colour profiling and much more.  The members left understanding a great deal more about Photoshop and ready to try out the new techniques learnt tonight.

Thank you Ray for a most interesting, educational and entertaining evening.  HE
colourpopping-beforecolourpopping-after



A demonstration of colour-popping - before and after
 
Landscape Group Weekend to the Lake District                    31October - 3 November 2014

derwentThis season's Landscape Group weekend trip saw 27 members and partners head up to Keswick to see and photograph autumn colour in the English Lake District.  The area is well known as being the wettest place in England, both from the skies and underfoot, and it didn't disappoint, although the group also enjoyed some sunshine to add drama to the stormy skies. The autumn leaves and bracken did not disappoint either.
Saturday dawned fine and with a brief prospect of early sunshine, so organised trips visited parts of the Derwentwater lake shore, while others decided to try their luck at Latrigg viewpoint or Castlerigg stone circle. storm

After breakfast, separate groups headed for the Buttermere valley, some to photograph the lakeside including the famous Buttermere Pines, while others donned walking gear to climb Fleetwith Pike or Haystacks. The fell walkers encountered frequent showers of rain and hail, interspersed with glimpses of sunshine lighting up selective portions of the landscape in a quite magical way.

The forecast for Sunday was worse, so paradoxically, the actual weather was much better, with more sunny breaks and very little in the way of rain during most of daylight hours. Organised groups headed to White Moss Woods and Loughrigg Tarn for the broad-leaved woodland, and to Little Loughrigg for views towards the Langdale Pikes. 

landscape-groupOn both days, some elected to plan their own itinerary, such as exploring Derwentwater by the lake ferry, visiting Ashness Bridge and the Surprise view, Aira Force, or simply driving around and taking in the sights.

With darkness falling around 5pm, people had some long evenings to enjoy group activities, including a presentation on the local area from Dave Gray and a quiz arranged jointly by Robert Harvey and Richard Watson.  Equally enjoyable was simply having the opportunity to socialise over a drink, sometimes to compare notes about photography but more generally just having time to find out more about each other.

A big vote of thanks is owed to Robert Harvey and his wife Sarah for planning the weekend, finding a suitable hotel, and administering the booking and payment.  This was the fifth weekend trip that Robert has organised, and it is a testament to his reputation that it was the best attended yet. Thanks also go to Dave Gray, Richard Watson, Nick Smith and Ray Grace for sharing their local knowledge with the group and for leading some of the organised excursions. DG
Top right: Derwent Isle & Catbells by Robert Harvey ARPS AFIAP                   Left: Storm Light over the Langdale Pikes by Dave Gray

More images by members can be seen in the LAKE DISTRICT WEEKEND Album

   
'Love Lacock' Photographic Competition
lacock-abbey-cloisters2014 is a special year for Lacock as it marks 175 years since the announcement of the world’s first photographic negative, which was produced by William Henry Fox Talbot from a window in the abbey.
To celebrate this special anniversary photographers were invited to enter a 'Love Lacock' competition for a chance to be included in an outdoor exhibition and to win an exclusive Lacock VIP experience.


Congratulations to Robert Harvey ARPS AFIAP for winning the digital section and being the overall winner of the competition with his photograph 'Lacock Abbey Cloisters'.

See the winning photographs

See Roberts website for technical details 
 
Open Projected Image Competition 2                                                        4 November 2014

The Club was pleased to welcome Lee Duke who travelled from Weston Super Mare to judge the Open PI Competition 2. 
Lee was very positive and enjoyed the clubs images, the high standard entered made his job very difficult when choosing the winning images.

The results of tonight's competition are as follows:-

Beginners Section
owl1st place was awarded to Barry Andrews for his Owl in Flight (shown left)
2nd place to Julia Stainer for her Anemone Centre and 3rd place to Caroline Wright for her Common Blue Damsels.

Highly Commended’s were also awarded to Caroline Wright, Michael Barnes,  and three to Adam Keeble .

frogIntermediate Section

1st place was awarded for Tropical Frog by David Fraser (right)
 2nd place for Day Lily by Lynda Rugg and 3rd place for The Lie of the Land by Gill Ford-Pier

Highly Commended’s were awarded to Gill Ford-Pier, Chrissie Miller and Stuart Barnes was awarded two.

General Section

violet1st place to Robert Harvey ARPS AFIAP for his Green Violet-ear.(left)
2nd place went to Gill Cardy ARPS DPAGB AFIAP for her Great Egret at Sunset and Dave Gray’s Goldfinch was placed 3rd.
Highly Commended’s were awarded to Richard Atkinson, Robert Harvey, Ray Grace and two to Chris Wilkes-Ciudad.

Thank you to all members who entered images for making this such an enjoyable evening.  The club wants to give their sincere thanks to Lee Duke for his constructive judging and positive comments.

Well done to all images that were placed.  HE


Full Results
                Award winning images can be seen in the Galleries

 
Open Print Competition 1                                                                                           28 October 2014

Devizes Camera Club welcomed Mil Chimley LRPS as the judge, Mil has been a member of camera clubs for over 30 years and this is her third season of judging.  There were 76 entries all together and Mil gave useful feedback especially around cropping out areas that don’t add anything to the picture.  Although, she did not judge the mounting she did say how careful members should be with their mounts and ensure they are cut properly as uneven mounts can be very distracting and recommended putting a backing on prints to protect them.pumped-up

There were 17 entries in the Beginners section, congratulations to:-
Julia Stainer for a well-deserved 1st with her ‘All Pumped Out’ (right)
David Wilksinon gained 2nd place for his ‘I'm Coming’ and 3rd place for
‘Disturbed ‘and also Highly Commended for his ‘Seen You' image.
Michael Barnes gained Highly Commended for ‘Swan Lake Sunset’ and
‘Flight of the Swans’.lightning
The Intermediate section had 20 really enjoyable images, congratulations to:-
Derek Mason who gained a 1st place with his ‘Lightning Guard Dog’ (left)

Tim Pier did exceptionally well tonight with 2nd place for his ‘Shapes’ 3rd place for ‘Colourful Cobh’ and Highly Commended for ‘After the Storm’.
Stuart Barnes was awarded a Highly Commended for his interesting ‘Jelly Fish’

quaking-grassAfter the break the club settled down to be delighted with 27 images from the General group, congratulations to: -
Gill Cardy ARPS DPAGB AFIAP with1st place for ‘Quaking Grass’ (right) and Highly Commended for ‘Reddish Egret Fishing’
Dave Gray was awarded a 2nd place for ‘Making Ataya’ and Nick Smith 3rd place for ‘Fishing Boat’
Robert Harvey ARPS AFIAP gained Highly Commended for ‘Breaking Wave, Clevedon Pier' and 'Beech Clump and Star Trails'
Ray Grace ARPS DPAGB was awarded a Highly Commended for ‘Faded Glory’

Thank you to Mil for her helpful judging and to all members for entering images to make this an enjoyable and interesting evening.  HE

Full results here

Award winning images can be seen in the Galleries

 
'Keep on Running'                                                                                    21 October 2014

aspenDevizes Camera club welcomed Anne Sutcliffe FRPS EFIAP PPSA who delighted the club with her ‘Keep on Running Presentation’ which was sponsored by Fotospeed. Anne is an enthusiastic photographer who fell in love with her first Minolta SLR camera as a young woman, which kick started her love of photography. Anne enjoyed spending time with her father learning and sharing photography and for a period of time they were the only father and daughter fellows of the Royal Photographic Society.

Anne shared her journey from the early days of taking transparencies and a firm favorite is a photograph taken at the Venice Carnival which became her first printed photo in 2012. With Anne’s good humor and lively presentation we were taken on the long journey she had to gain her fellowship of the Royal Photographic Society, describing how and why she didn’t pass two and a half panels and what inspired her final and successful panel submission. porcelain-throneHer first panel was transparencies which didn’t make the grade and she soon realized she would have to learn to print her photographs. Anne admitted she hated her time in the dark room and welcomed with open arms the digital era. 

Anne talked about saturation, sharpening and how she liked to keep her photos light and subtle. The club thoroughly enjoyed her photographic journey and was inspired with her fellowship panel ‘All our Yesterdays Today’ which included interesting and thought provoking photographs from Italy, Nova Scotia, Ireland, Wales to name but a few countries. Anne explained the importance of choosing the right paper to print on; and demonstrated how the wrong mount can make a photo dull and uninteresting and the right mount can bring a picture alive, a good lesson for us all.

Devizes Camera Club would like to thank Anne for a truly enjoyable, educational and inspiring evening. HE   
Above: Aspen Wood      Right: Porcelain Throne       Copyright:  Anne Sutcliffe FRPS EFIAP PPSA 

 
Member to Member evening                                                                             14 October 2014

Unfortunately the programme tonight had to be changed at short notice as Mil Chimley LRPS was too unwell to attend and judge the open print competition.  All at DCC wish Mil a speedy recovery and look forward to welcoming her on 28 October 2014.

uplandDavid Gray and Richard Watson LRPS our Chair bravely stepped in at short notice.
Dave’s presentation was focused on upland photography which proved to be thought provoking and highly enjoyable. The first part of the presentation featured wonderful photographs from Scotland a favourite haunt of Dave's, the Lakes and Brecon Beacons. Dave talked about composition, upland photography had the same rules as any landscape photography and he explained some composition dilemmas one could encounter. He also pointed out that taking an upwards picture of mountains can produce converging verticals, and produce an odd perspective. The higher you go the better the photo. However for those that cannot climb there are excellent photos to be had at lower levels.

The second part of the presentation demonstrated how light can lift an average composition and make a good photo.  Differential light can give a 3d effect to your photos and lift them from the ordinary to the good. Finally he showed some fine examples of stitching and panorama photography.
A sincere thank you to Dave for a demonstration of some excellent upland photography and some good tips we can all take home with us.
boatRichard Watson has enjoyed photography for 20 years but only joined the club last year, in 2006 he went digital and chose to let us enjoy his journey through photography since 2006. Richard likes the great outdoors, and his first photo was lovely Langford Lakes with a most beautiful sky, we went to enjoy some wonderful macro brambles leaves, enchanting beach trees and photos from Shetland and the Lakes, and finishing with a great photo from a motor race in Belgium. It was most enjoyable to share Richards's journey in photography, his simplistic style, his love of patterns, texture and colour in his interesting images.

The evening concluded with a short presentation from last years projected image league, to encourage and get members to prepare for this year's competition, each member need to submit 3 sets of 5 photos - each on a theme of choice. The presentation showed how wide, varied and fun the entries can be. Thank you Pam for putting this together a good end to a most enjoyable evening. HE

 
'Every Picture Tells a Story'                                                                                          7 October 2014
icelandDevizes Camera Club was delighted to welcome Andy Beel FRPS, presenting his ‘Every Picture Tells a Story’ monochrome presentation.  Andy is an established Fotospeed photographer and Lecturer who is well known to the club for his thought provoking monochrome work.
He delighted the club with his witty stories and variety of prints from his recent travels to the Den Haag, Iceland, Canada, Spain and the home country.
The wide range of prints included  the graceful movement of ballet dancers, interesting cityscapes, dynamic Industrial landscapes and lovely landscapes.  
Andy  talked about the importance of getting the exposure right in camera with monochrome photography as highlights cannot always be brought back in editing software. He explained black and white photography is about contrast, and the importance of back and side lighting, thinking about your picture and the aperture’s and shutter speeds he used to get the effects he wanted.

The evening was thought provoking, educational and most of all enjoyable, leaving members keen to explore the world of monochrome photography further.
Thank you very much Andy for a very entertaining evening. HE
 N.Yorkshiredigital-lith
 
Projected Image Competition 1                                                                           30 Sept 2014
Thanks to judge Penny Piddock DPAGB AFIAP from Dorchester camera club for judging our first competition of the year. Penny did a talk on Creative Photography to the club last year and it was a pleasure to welcome her back.

The number of entries in each category was as follows: 21 in Beginners, 24 in Intermediate and 27 in General. Penny gave detailed feedback in the Beginners category and overall likes to see the photographer coming through in the0016 image she is judging.

Well done to Andy Vick who won first place in the Beginners category, followed by Adam Keeble in second and third place, also with a highly commended entry. Caroline Wright was highly commended for all her three entries.  

In the Intermediate category, Tim Pier was awarded first place, followed by Lynda Rugg and Hilary Eagles. 

Finally, the General category winner was Ray Grace with Early Bumblebee on Semperohio, pictured right. Second and third place went to Richard Atkinson. Robert Harvey ARPS AFIAP was highly commended for two of his entries.Well done to all who entered. LS

See all the results here.
Award winning images can be seen in Galleries
cobh
Cobh, Ireland by Tim Pier, winner Intermediate category
first-ball
First Ball by Andy Vick, winner Beginners category
 
Landscape Group 'Astrophotography' Field Trip
Not many members of the Landscape Group had previously tried their hand at Astrophotography, and so trips were organised to the Devil's Den dolmen near Marlborough.  devils-den
The intention was to illuminate the dolmen by torchlight as part of a long time exposure, which would also record the starlit night sky behind.  When successive exposures are combined, a star trail picture can be produced with the stars recorded as arcs of light because of the earth's rotation.

Group size had to be limited so that all the cameras could be positioned for a similar composition, which meant that two trips were necessary, both led by Robert Harvey who is very experienced it all facets of the technique. 
The first group, on 21st September, had completely clear sky conditions and produced both static star images and star trails, some seen clearly rotating around the Pole Star.  star-trails

The second group on 24th September had to contend with some patchy cloud, and were able to produce some very interesting skies with static stars and colourful cloud reflecting the lights of distant towns.  Star trails were not possible however for this group, as the moving cloud interfered with the continuity of each stars progress through the sky.  

Both groups produced images which were very pleasing to the eye and all the more satisfying for the technical challenge involved. 
Everyone's thanks go to Robert for sharing his expertise
with the group. DG

Above: Devil's Den by Dave Gray
Right: Devil's Den at Night with Star Trails by Robert Harvey ARPS AFIAP
 
Members ' Speed Critique' Evening                                                                  23 September 2014

The evening started with an announcement saying that due to work commitments, the present DCC Chairman Stephen McGrath was to step down and Richard Watson LRPS - the club's vice Chairman would step up and take over the role. Stephen was thanked for his enthusiasm and dedication in leading the club during the last season.

Stephen had brought in some new ideas including 'Speed Critique' evenings which were a new concept for the club and after the trial held last season proved very popular, it was decided to include them in this year's programme. The idea is that a few members show digital images or prints of their work to small groups of members at a time, resulting in some lively discussion on each image shown and if needed advice given on any improvements that might be made. rayEach group had just 10 minutes to 'critique' a member's images and then moved on to the next set of images.

Members who volunteered to put their images up for comment ranged from beginners to the very experienced.

Ray Grace ARPS DPAGB is shown right having a discussion with members about some new print ideas. Ray used a camera converted to infra-red for some images which were much admired. Michael Barnes showed some of his latest digital images ranging from cyclists on the Round Britain Tour to an insect taken with a macro lens. Interesting close up's of insects on flowers were shown by Julia Stainer and new member Julian Burt showed a range of images including a very effective image taken at a WW2 re-enactment which was edited to give the impression the image was taken many years ago.

lyndaChairman Richard Watson showed members some of his 'image a week' ideas when he sought out interesting and unexpected subjects to to illustrate a set title.
New member Adam Keeble showed a selection of excellent digital landscape images with some very successfully converted to monochrome.
Stuart Barnes displayed a variety of prints and an image of a young kestrel on a lichen covered rock was particularly admired. Jean Ingram showed some sea bird images from a visit to Skomer and some interesting costumed characters taken when they were on a film set in Corsham. Last but not least some outstanding landscape prints by Lynda Rugg were greatly admired by the group deep in discussion shown left.

Many thanks to all those who submitted images for discussion and hopefully everyone gained something out of an enjoyable evening. PM

 
The Nature Group Presents....                                                                         16 September 2014
The evenings presentation was by one of the clubs specialist groups and showed the wide range of nature photographs taken on recent field trips by club Nature Group members. The evening showed the wide range of photographs taken on recent field trips by club Nature Group members.
Thanks were given to Gill Cardy ARPS DPAGB AFIAP who has organised the Nature Group very successfully since its introduction in September 2010. Richard Watson LRPS has volunteered to take over and lead the Group's activities. Outline plans were given for future field visits and also quarterly indoor meetings are proposed where members can discuss images and gain advice on nature photography.
puffinNature Group members showed a selection of photographs taken on recent group outings starting with Dave Gray showing images taken on the visit to Skomer. This field trip during the weekend of the summer solstice combined the Nature and Landscape Groups. Blessed with sunny weather the group were able to observe and photograph the behaviour of the many seabirds the island is famous for. The visit resulted in delightful photographs of puffins with beaks full of sand eels and some members even managed to capture images of Manx Shearwaters as the came out of their burrows during the night. Thanks were given to Robert Harvey who has organised many of the clubs weekend outings.
woodpeckerSome members visited the private reserve of Colin Varndell where hides are set up and birds encouraged to come within camera range. Jean Ingram explained that suitable natural backgrounds were set up enabling members to take interesting images of great spotted woodpeckers, tree creepers and many other small birds. Some squirrels came by and provided members with some entertainment as well as great photo opportunities.
After the break Robert Harvey ARPS AFIAP showed a selection of his superb images of British mammals and gave tips on the best season and some good places to try and capture mammal behaviour. Hares are lively in spring, deer rutting can be captured in the Autumn and late in the year Grey Seals mate on certain beaches and if you are lucky you might be able to creep up close to their very photogenic pups.
After her first visit to Gigrin Farm to photograph the red kites, Caroline Wright explained some of the difficulties. There are so many kites, buzzards and ravens it makes it difficult to pick out individual birds and it is helpful if there is an interesting sky as a background to birds in the air. Nevertheless Caroline managed to capture some good images but feels she will be better prepared on the next visit which the group has organised.
Members can contact Group leader Richard to find out about proposed field trips and meetings. PM
Above: Puffin with Sand Eels by Dave Gray       Above right: Great Spotted Woodpecker by Ray Grace ARPS DPAGB
 
'First Time for Everything'                                                                                                     9 Sept 2014 
bob-bishopIt was a pleasure to welcome Bob Bishop AFIAP LRPS BPE2* from Backwell camera club (south Bristol) for his first presentation to our club. Bob has judged our competitions in the past. The first half of his presentation focused on a selection of desert and winter scenes from around the world - Namibia, California, Yosemite and Yellowstone National Parks - and also places closer to home - Norfolk, the Somerset Levels, the Lake District and Scotland. In addition to his impressive landscapes, Bob's portfolio also included creative and infrared photography, vintage portraits, concert and street photography, Bristol being one of his favourite haunts. Bob likes to engage with his subjects and many of his images had a story to tell, which he was pleased to share with us.
What motivates Bob as a photographer became further apparent through his AVs in the second half of the evening. Scotland in Winter showed us the landscape he likes to return to over the years. His second AV, Lest We Forget, was a very moving tribute to the repatriation of fallen service personnel via Wootton Bassett. It won the gold medal at the Adelaide AV International in 2013. We finished the evening with This is Bristol, a raw and humorous AV full of motion and street art, capturing the people and music scene of Bristol. Thank you Bob for a very inspiring evening and we hope to see you again at the club. LS  
1bob-bishop 2bob-bishop
 
Salon Acceptances from England, Slovenia and the Ukraine
Congratulations to Clive Rathband, Robert Harvey, Gill Cardy and Joan Ryder Rathband for gaining acceptances in recent salons.  These successes bring the total of acceptances for Devizes Camera Club members (from 1st January to 6th September) to 292!  This is an incredible achievement.  Clive and Chris Wilkes-Ciudad also gained acceptances in the RPS Digital Imaging Group Exhibition.  These are not counted in the total acceptances because it is a salon restricted to RPS DIG members.  A super achievement nevertheless!  For Salon Results.  
For information about FIAP exhibitions and other photographic organisations.  
For information about the Ryder Rathband Trophy.
 
Start of the 2014 - 2015 Season

A warm welcome was extended to both new and old members by Richard Watson vice Chair on the first night of the exciting new season.

Tonight was an informal and informative evening setting out the full range of club activities. During the coffee break there was a wide range and interesting collection of prints to view whilst catching up with friends old and new. This was followed by a most enjoyable compilation of projected images from last season showcasing the wide and diverse talents of the clubs photographers from the Beginners, Intermediate and General groups.

Special Interest Groups:-

Dave Gray, the Landscape Group coordinator gave a short presentation detailing the varied and enjoyable activities the Landscape Group undertake out in the field, the great camaraderie amongst the members on these trips and in club meetings. The group also meet on the 1st Thursday of the month at the Devizes Sports Club, where we have either a presentation by one of the members, or learning session ie. technique/composition/editing; the second half of the evening is over to group members who show their own photos good or bad for friendly advice and constructive feedback.

Robert Harvey; organises and runs the weekend field trips, which are a lot of fun, a great way of learning from experienced members, see new place and to enjoy the great camaraderie. There are still places available on the trip to the Lake District 31st October to 3 November, see Robert for further details.

Richard Watson, Nature Group coordinator gave thanks to Gill Cardy for running the nature group over the past four years. Richard has taken over and will be planning some field trips and asking members if they would also like indoor meetings in future.  

Competitions

Caroline Wright; is the new Competition Secretary, she explained that the club will no longer be using the assessment system and will go back to competitions, with 1st, 2nd, 3rd and Highly commended. The points from last season’s assessments have been calculated to reflect the change. Caroline will email members a dedicated email address for submission of projected images. Full details of competitions and sizing photos can be found on the website and in the handbook. Caroline and committee members will always be happy to help new and inexperienced members with sizing and preparing photos for competitions.

Battles

Jean Ingram; The new Battle Secretary, explained battles are not as scary as they sound, no weapons are involved!, they are inter camera club competitions in the South of England. They are great fun and a good way to showcase DCC; members are invited to attend battles at other clubs to represent and cheer on DCC, who have a history of good outcomes in these battles.

It was a most enjoyable evening, a good chance to relax, catch up and prepare for the exciting new season and activities ahead. HE 

 
Landscape Group trip to Nash Point                                                                           Sunday 20 July
For some while, the weekend of Saturday 19th/Sunday 20th had been pencilled in for a field trip to Nash Point in South Wales, with the final arrangements being determined late on depending on the weather. sunsetdg In the event, Saturday was a day of heavy thunderstorms, although 2 hardy members had already booked family weekends and so braved the elements on the Welsh coastline.  Sunday was much better, and 9 Group Members met up at Dunraven Bay on a hot, sunny afternoon, along with seemingly much of the population of South Wales, though wide Landscapes and detailed rock pattern pictures were still possible.

After a pause for sustenance at Big Sam's Fish & Chip bar in Llantwit Major, the group moved onto the main event, to photograph Nash Point by evening light and sunset.  Nash Point is an impressive piece of natural rock architecture, and the dates had been chosen so that the low tide would give access to the rocky platforms which make up the foreshore. 

The sun duly obliged, giving everyone ample opportunity to photograph the cliffs as they gradually turned golden in the evening light, or simply to use the low angled sun to add texture to the foreshore rocks and cobbles.  nash-pointrhSunset came and went, with some very interesting patterns in the afterglow, showing shadowy rays some 15 minutes after the sun disappeared below the horizon.  Then it was back to the cars, and return to Devizes shortly before midnight.
 
Our thanks, as usual, go to Robert Harvey for sharing his previous knowledge of the area with the group, for researching tide times and sunset direction, and not least for recommending our fish & chip supper at Big Sam's.  DG 
Above: Sunset Afterglow by Dave Gray
Right: Nash Point Panorama by Robert Harvey ARPS AFIAP
 
152nd Edinburgh International Print Exhibition
This higly-regarded Exhibition (running for 152 years), only accepts two hundred prints for its print exhibition and Gill Cardy ARPS DPAGB AFIAP, got two of them!!  Fantastic, Gill!  Please click here for details.
 
Field Trip to Skomer                                                                    21st - 24th June 2014
The solstice weekend saw 14 club members and partners head for the island of Skomer, off the south west tip of Wales, for a mix of seabird and coastal landscape photography.  The group was favoured by the weather, with the sun shining out of a clear blue sky during virtually all the daylight hours.
The weekend started on the Saturday with a rendezvous at the Lobster Pot Inn in Marloes for lunch and a presentation by Robert Harvey on the photographic opportunities to be had on Skomer, together with tips on camera settings, lenses to use and much more.  A coastal walk above Marloes Sands followed, and then sunset from the mainland looking over to Skomer, before retiring to accommodation in Marloes.
puffinSunday was to be our first day on Skomer, but first we had to get there, along with all our photographic gear, personal bags, and food and drink to sustain the party over the next two days.  Chain-gang tactics were deployed to load everything onto the small ferry boat, and again on the Skomer side, climbing 89 steep steps up to a point where a tractor could take the bags to our accommodation on the centre of the island.
Once there, and given the excellent weather, round the clock photography meant sleep became a luxury.  Sunrise was around 5am, providing early morning light for photographing birds and landscapes, which then became the harsh light of a sunny midsummer day with many seabirds active, notably Puffins who were starting to fly in with bills full of sand eels. 

Evening light again softened the shadows a little and sunset came along at 9.30pm.  However, it was still not bed time, as around midnight, Manx curlewShearwaters started to fly in under cover of darkness, presenting challenges of photographing them by flash while not disturbing individual birds excessively.  The paths at night were also alive with Toads, providing more photographic subject matter.  And then it wasn't long until the next sunrise.......   Inevitably, it was not possible to sustain this schedule over the course of 48 hours, and group members had to choose which activity to sleep through.


We had been warned that the accommodation was basic, but all found it more than adequate.  There was also more than ample food and drink, and special thanks go to Sarah Harvey, HiIary Eagles and Caroline Wright for their fine efforts to cook for the whole group, with various others helping out with food preparation and washing up afterwards.


All too soon, it was Tuesday morning and time to re-form the chain gang for the return ferry trip, followed by our onward journeys.  The days around Marloes and on Skomer had been a wonderful experience under blue skies, and the whole group gave a big thank you to Robert Harvey who organised the whole trip in meticulous detail to ensure we were able to make the most of the opportunity.  A tally compiled by Len Ingram showed that we had seen 40 different species of bird, as well as Grey Seals, Rabbits, Toads and many invertebrates.   DG
Above left: 'Puffin with Sand eels' by Dave Gray    Above right 'Curlew mobbing Lesser Black-backed Gull' by Robert Harvey ARPS AFIAP
 group
Group photo of DCC members on Skomer      More photos are shown in the Skomer Gallery
 
AGM and Presentation of Awards                                                                     20 May 2014
The club held its AGM and awards ceremony to end the season. Our chairman, Stephen McGrath, commented on what a productive and sociable year we have had, with new active members and existing members keen to help others with their photography. This year the club held more in-house events in response to our members survey and our special interest groups continue to thrive thanks to Dave and Gill. A special thanks went to Robert for organising various highly successful outings throughout the year. And a big thanks went to Pam who has kept the club alive thanks to her enormous commitment over the years! 
Following brief reports from various committee members, we voted on six proposed resolutions, details of which will be posted on the website soon. It was then time to elect our new committee for 2014/15. Those holding the position of Chairman, Secretary, Treasurer and Programme Secretary were re-elected, ensuring continuity over the coming season. Gill Ford-Pier was elected Membership Secretary, Caroline Wright will be our new Competition Secretary and Jean Ingram our Battle Secretary. Members elected to the committee were Richard Watson, Hilary Eagles, Tim Pier, Mike Saunders and Liz Richardson. 
awards500Some of the 2013-2014 award winners
 We ended the evening with our awards ceremony which was photographed by no fewer than three people!
 Please note that details of the club's social event will follow soon. LP
See photographs of the presentations                                 List of 2013-2014 award winners
More AGM info - log into Members Information
 
RPS Projected Images Exhibition 2013                                                 13 May 2014
Our club held its annual showing of what is now called the RPS International Images for Screen Exhibition 2013 with the General category now split into two categories: In Camera, for images that have had very limited treatment, and Altered Reality, for images that have undergone various degrees of transformation using post-processing software. The Nature category remains unchanged. We had a very relaxing evening enjoying the projection of 445 images in total and were surprised to see similar entries in both the In Camera and Altered Reality categories! In each category RPS awards ribbons as well as a bronze, silver and gold medal, and there is also a PSA medal for the best overall exhibitor. Whilst the Nature category was dominated by British photographers, including entries from Pam and Eddy Lane,  the In Camera category had a majority of entries from the Far East. We were pleased to see two entries from our fellow member Joan Ryder Rathband FRPS FPSSA DPAGB AFIAP in the Altered Reality category. Thanks to all who attended and hope you were inspired to enter an international salon if you haven't already done so! LP
 
Landscape Group trip to the Bath Skyline and Prior Park
On Sunday 10th May, six members of the Landscape Group took advantage of a brief weather window to visit Prior Park and part of the Bath Skyline walk.  Taking heed of the Met Office forecasts proved well justified, as the group were greeted by sunshine after driving through rain showers en route to Bath.

false-bridgePrior Park is a small landscape garden, but contains one of only four Palladium bridges in the country, set very photogenically at the bottom of a deep fold in the hills immediately south of Bath.  The setting and dramatic lighting made for some very good images of the bridge, though finding a suitable foreground was quite a challenge.  Robert Harvey went so far as to prostrate himself in front of several, fortunately docile, cows, pleading with them to arrange themselves in a harmonious group for the cameras, but to no avail.

After tea and cake in the National Trust cafe, the group then headed steeply uphill to reach the Bath Skyline, which is a 6 mile circular walk around Bathampton Down immediately south-east of the city centre.  bathThe path was extremely hilly as the western arc was followed around to Sham Castle, offering several good vantage points overlooking the city, though the afternoon light scarcely did justice to the scene and the scene warrants a return at a better time of day and year.  Time was now pressing, and so the group elected to leave the Skyline Walk at Sham Castle and return directly over the numerous tracks which criss-cross the hill top to where cars had been parked near Prior Park.  All in all, it was a much better day than the showery weather pattern had led us to expect, and pleasing to explore countryside so close to Bath city centre.  DG
above: False Bridge            right: Mute Swans & Palladian Bridge
 
Print & Projected Image of the Year                                                              6 May 2014
This was the last competition of the 2013-2014 season with all the entries having already been awarded either a first , second or third place in club competitions since September.  Peter Weaver APAGB CPAGB LRPS who kindly judged the competition had a difficult task as entries were from the Nature, Landscape, Creative and owl-butterflyMonochrome competitions as well as all the Open competitions.
With a total of 76 entries to view from the Beginners, Intermediate and General sections it was an extremely interesting evening. The judge commented on the very high quality of the prints and projected images and his difficulty in selecting the winners whose images would be awarded the title of Print or Projectected Image of the Year in each of the sections. Many of the excellent nature images captured the judges eye with 5 of them gaining first places.

A well captured close up entitled 'Owl Butterfly' by Michael Barnes (shown left) was judged to be the best Beginners Print and 'Burnham Lighthouse' by Gill Ford Pier - a stunning coastal view  (below right) was awarded the Beginners PI Trophy.
burnham-lighthouseDavid Fraser had very successful evening in the Intermediate section by being awarded first place in both Prints and Projected Images.  The judge remarked that David's superb print entitled 'Swans attacking a Crane' (below left) captured a very dramatic moment and his PI 'Kingfisher Perch' was highly praised and on top of that David was also awarded 3rd place and an HC in the PI's. Derek Mason also had  a successful evening with a a 2nd place & 2 HC's in prints

swans-attackingSelecting the top images in the General section was very difficult for the judge and he said that it had to come down to his personal preference as the overall standard was so high that he could not find fault with the entries.
 
Finally Richard Atkinson was awarded first place in the General section with his print 'Swallow Feeding Fledgling' with the judge remarking that it must have been very difficult to capture that fleeting moment so well and another remarkable image that just caught a dramatic moment was 'Arctic Tern, Farne Islands' by Robert Harvey ARPS AFIAP which gained him first place in the General Projected Image category. Robert was also awarded 2nd place and an HC in General prints and an HC in PI's. Richard also was awarded HC's in both prints and PI's and Martin Horton gained 3 HC's.  See all the results here
kingfisherswallowarctic-tern
 above - 'Kingfisher Perch' by David Fraser,  'Swallow Feeding Fledging'  by Richard  Atkinson  & 'Arctic Tern, Farne Islands' by Robert Harvey ARPS AFIAP
Award winning images can be see in the Galleries
 Very well done to all those members whose images were entered in the Print and PI of the Year competition and also thanks to all those who have entered the many competitions held throughout the season. Hopefully you have all gained from the judges helpful comments which are always given with the aim of helping to improve your photography. During the summer break I hope that you will be able to capture some amazing images to enter in next seasons competitions.
All the Trophies will be presented at the AGM on Tuesday 20 May.  PM
 
Audio Visual Competition                                                                29 April 2014
Jenny  Byram EFIAP/b DPAGB BPE1 and Tony Byram ARPS DPAGB AWPF EFIAP kindly judged the competition and gave their expert views on the 11 entries. They commented that the music or sound track chosen should suit the subject, the images should be of good quality and any pans, zooms or fades should be complimentary rather than be a distraction.
Awarded first place was 'Pantanal' by Robert Harvey ARPS AFIAP which showed the amazing wildlife and landscapes of Brazils great wetlands.                                   
giant-otterRobert was also awarded second place with 'Jurassic Coast' which was a journey along the south coast from Orecombe Point to Old Harry Rocks. 

Placed third was 'Istanbul' by Richard Atkinson which showed the city architechture from dawn to dusk.
Other entries were 'Land of my Fathers' by Michael Barnes with a soundtrack sung in Welsh and 'World Heritage Sites' by Stuart Barnes which showed glimpses of several famous areas.
'Beech Trees' were featured in one and 'Birds' in another of the entries by Richard Watson LRPS. Entries by Pam Mullings were 'Steam' which showed various steam traction engines and  'Alhambra' the Moorish Palace in Spain. 'Descent to Calpe Beach' by John Totten featured skydivers as they floated down to land on the beach and 'Dawn Chorus' was another entry from Robert Harvey which used bird song recordings along with images of the birds.                                                                        Above: Giant Otter - one of the images from 'Pantanal'
Viewing such a variety of subjects made a very enjoyable evening for members.
Thanks to the judges for giving their comments and selecting the winner. PM
 
'Speed Critique' evening                                                                               23 April 2014
This was a new concept for the club and so members arrived not knowing quite what to expect - it was not the usual layout of seating in the hall!
The first 5 members that had offered to have a critique of their work brought a selection of prints or showed their images on a laptop and sat at one of the tables. The rest of the members divided into groups and each group sat around a table to give some thoughts and helpful suggestions on each of the prints and projected images shown.
Soon members started to enjoy the friendly chatter and the interaction with others. The groups were allocated a set amount of time at each table, moving on to the next table when the bell rang. Members worked their way around the room until all 5 tables had been visited.
The idea for the evening came from Chairman Stephen McGrath who had seen the format work successfully at another club. After the break 5 different members sat down to show their images - the timer was set and members moved around to each table once again.
At the end of the evening Stephen asked if members had enjoyed the evening and there was quite a resounding 'yes' Those that displayed their work gained ideas from the comments and the rest had enjoyed looking at the images and the general banter - many found themselves chatting to some fellow members for the first time.
As the evening was so successful it was decided to include an evening or two using the same format into next seasons programme.
Many thanks to Stephen for bringing a new very enjoyable idea to the club. PM
 
'New Frontiers' A Presentation by Peter Cairns at the Arc Theatre, Trowbridge   12 April 2014

Peter Cairns is a passionate conservationist, his passion fuelled by his Photography of the natural world and the beautiful Scottish landscape where he now lives.peter-cairns He always seems to be into some new project to bring to the public the plight of some of our disappearing species, and landscapes in a way that can help the natural world to survive and flourish.

At our annual presentation last week he gave an entertaining overview of how he started adult life as a lorry driver in the midlands, became enamoured of the camera as a tool to sow the seeds of his growing interest in the Natural world and eventually escaped with his wife to a beautiful part of the Scottish highlands where he now lives and works.

So many wildlife photographic projects have his stamp on them. One of the earliest was ‘Predators and Prey’ which involved a web site with a questionnaire on people’s view of predators, not just wolves and hen harriers but sparrowhawks and cats in the back garden ( there were some interesting and varied responses to those particularly) and which resulted in a superb book with Mark Hamblin of photographs and comments on the web-site’s responses. Soon came some studies of the Scottish wild cat, nearing extinction mainly because of interbreeding with the domestic tabby. This was lynxthe Scottish Tiger project. Next was ‘Wild Wonders of Europe’ which involved over 60 of Europe’s best wildlife photographers who were sent on over 125 different assignments to find and document the wildlife of 48 European countries. This huge project resulted in some tremendous street exhibitions that were so influential in bringing these stunning images to the general public and stimulating much interest in wild places and the creatures in them from turtles and seahorses to wolves, foxes, badgers and lynx, among many others. There was discussion of introduction measures, which often have a varied response, according to vested interests.

The latest project is 2020vision where 20 top wildlife photographers were sent on projects to photograph the treasures we have here in Britain, and this has resulted in yet another book of superb images, and exploration of some thought-provoking topics.

The overarching theme of course was to show how photography can provoke emotions to stir people into action to protect and conserve our own wildlife. We all as photographers can play a part in showcasing our own natural sites and species. It was a thought provoking and stimulating talk.   GC

 
What is Creative Photography?                                                       15 April 2014
Following the results of our Creative Photography competition last week, we were pleased to host Spike and Penny Piddock, both DPAGBs, who engaged us with an interactive debate on creative photography. Penny went through a few salon definitions of what constitutes creative photography in the context of a competition and we found that these definitions were quite varied. We spent the evening giving feedback on a series of projected images kindly provided by high profile creative photographers, such as Mark Mumford, Chris Widdell and Mary Cantrille, and by Dorchester Camera Club members. In the second half we looked at Victor Habbick's graphic art style of photography and Michael Bosanko's light painting. We also had the opportunity to show our club's winners from last week's creative competition and those who were present gave a brief explanation of their entry. The evening ended with some quite dark images from an Argentinian Creative Salon, giving us plenty of food for thought! Penny finished by circulating a creative print from the darkroom with part of the image printed on sail cloth. Thank you both for a very interesting evening. LS
 
Monochrome & Creative Competitions              8 April
good-fairyThe Monochrome Print competiton was popular with those members that perhaps preferred a more traditional approach to photography and the Creative Print and Projected Image competitions suited those that liked to experiment a bit with different ideas. In total there were 77 entries for Terry Walters AFIAP to comment on and give awards.
First place in the Monochrome prints went 'Memories of Lake Inle, Burma' by Martin Horton who was awarded the 'Pencil of Nature' Trophy for the 2nd consecutive year. Dave Gray was placed 2nd with a portrait 'Deep in Thought and Martin also was awarded 3rd place with 'Swirl'
A wide range of interesting images were entered in the Creative competitions. Terry Walters chose a print by  Robert Harvey ARPS AFIAP entitled 'The Good Fairy' as the winner in the print section (right) with Richard Atkinsons 'Rhythm in the Air' in 2nd place and Martin Hortons 'Gondolas on their Moorings' placed 3rd.
Leila Searights 'Catching up' gained 1st place in the Creative Projected Images and Stuart Barnes was awarded both 2nd and 3rd places with 'Strawberry Splash' and 'Fruit Vase'
The winner of the Demiurgic Trophy for  the best creative image went to Leila Searight. PM
Results can be seen here           Award winning images can be seen in the Galleries
Members can log in to see the points tables
 catching-up
'Catching Up' by Leila Searight
lake inle
'Memories of Lake Inle, Burma' by Martin Horton
 
'Improving your Digital Prints'
Mike Birbeck FRPS explained to members the various steps needed to turn a digital image into a print as near as possible to an image as it appears on the computer screen. Each link in the chain needs to be as high a quality as possible in order to achieve good results. The original image is preferably taken in RAW as all possible information is saved on the file for post processing. Using editing software Mike demonstrated how to get all the fine detail in the image correct and prepare the image for printing. Both the screen and printer should be callibrated according to the the printer and the paper used.
Sponsered by Fotospeed Mike showed examples of images printed on different types of Fotspeed paper and also some examples of prints that had gone wrong in the printing process and explained why. On display was a selection of Mike's excellent prints for members close examination.

Mike is President of the Disabled Photographers Society and although wheelchair bound himself it does not hold him back from his career as a photographer. The society helps others by adapting equipment for disabled photographers needs. Any unwanted equipment including film cameras can be given to the society for members use or to boost the societies funds.
Thanks to Mike for travelling from Taunton to share his expert knowledge. PM
 
'Lighting Fundamentals'                                                                   25 March 2014
Club Chairman - Stephen McGrath brought some of his extensive range of lighting equipment to the meeting and gave members a demonstration of how to set up artificial lighting using off camera flash.
A hot shoe adapter on the camera is used to transmit a radio wave from the camera to synchronise one or more flash lights set up around the subject. Attractive blonde model Mandy patiently sat while Stephen tried out various lighting positions and members were shown the results instantly using a laptop and projector.
 
Stephen explained how to set the white balance and then the ISO, shutter speed and aperture which are best set manually. Using live view, adjustments are made in order to obtain a correctly exposed image. The flash exposure can be fine-tuned by moving the flash closer to the subject to make it brighter, or further away to make it darker. Aperture can be adjusted to show the model correctly exposed against the background. Backlighting can also be used to give different effects.

Test shots were taken of Mandy with Tim Pier assisting by holding a reflector in different positions. It takes time and patience to get a flattering image and this was difficult to achieve in the time available.
After the break Stephen demonstrated some techniques useful for table top photography. Using a strawberry dropped into some fizzy water against a brightly lit white background many shots were taken using different camera and lighting settings. The resulting images were enhanced using 'Lightroom' to bring out some of the detail.
Some specialist lighting equipment can be expensive but Stephen reckoned that some basic studio kit could be bought for around £125-00. As a cheaper alternative to flash lights various LED lights can be obtained which give a bright white light and can be set up to give some interesting effects.

Thanks to Stephen for the demonstration and despite a few technical hitches members were able to get some basic ideas on how to set up studio lighting.  PM
 
2014 Salon Successes - January to Mid March 

Richard Atkinson has got off to a flying start in the 2014 Ryder Rathband Trophy!  He has done extremely well in Greece, Australia, India, England, Wales and Romania, picking up a PSA (Photographic Society of America) Bronze medal and a Diploma!!  Joan Ryder Rathband, Robert Harvey and Gill Cardy have also done extremely well, with Robert being awarded a FIAP Ribbon and Gill an Honorable Mention.  To date, the Devizes Camera Club members have gained 94 acceptances, 1 PSA Bronze medal, a FIAP Ribbon, an Honourable Mention and a Diploma!!  This is a fantastic achievement - in only two and a half months - and we look forward to seeing more international successes!!  Let us see if we can beat our previous record of 231 acceptances gained in 2013!  We encourage all our members in Intermediate and General to enter International Exhibitions as it is such an incredible achievement to get an acceptance!  These successes have led to some of our members gaining FIAP, RPS (Royal Photographic Society) as well as PAGB (Photographic Alliance of Great Britain) distinctions in the past three years!!!
For the full results, please click here
For information about the Ryder Rathband Trophy, please click here.

 
Open Assessment 3 - Prints                                                               18 March 2014 
ladyThis was the last of the Open Assessments this season and was judged by Peter McCloskey FRPS APAGB who is a member of Bristol Photographic Society.
There were 47 prints entered in total, divided into 3 sections - Beginners, Intermediate and the more advanced General section.
Peter gave detailed comments on each image and expressed his opinion on how the images might have been improved if needed and then scored each print out of 4.
In the Intermediate Section Derek Mason was awarded 4 points and first place for his print 'Lady Waiting for a Beau' (right) taken ot the Jane Austen Festival in Bath. Hilary Eagles was placed second with Derek also awarded third place.
In the Beginners Section, Michael Barnes gained first place with a monochrome print entitled 'Penarth Pier' (below left)
Chrissie Miller was placed second and in third place was Julia Stainer.
Martin Horton's 'Awaiting Departure' - photographed in an airport lounge (below right) -
also a monochrome print was placed first in the General Section. 
Second place in this section went to Gill Cardy  ARPS DPAGB AFIAP and third place to Robert Harvey ARPS AFIAP.
Very well done to all those members who took part in the competition. PM 
penarth-pier awaitingdeparture
Prints awarded 4 or 3 points here
Award winning and 4 point awarded images will be shown in the Galleries.
 
 
Home Grown Evening                                                                 11 March 2014
Our club invited a number of its members to showcase a selection of their favourite work, explaining why and how they captured their images. David Fraser joined us, his first camera club, two years ago and has seen his photography develop and improve considerably over this period. David is primarily a landscape photographer and enjoys walking in the Pewsey Vale. His dawn shots taken in the area are beautifully atmospheric as are his landscapes taken during his travels around Scotland. A regular participant in our Landscape Group field trips, David also photographs buildings, always looking for a slightly different angle to give his images added impact.
Pam Mullings, a long-standing member and committee member of the club, currently vice-Chairman and Competition Secretary, was keen to encourage members to experiment with photography and most of all, to have fun while doing it! Pam's talk entitled Creating with Flowers was much closer to home, using straight shots of flowers in the garden or indoors and manipulating them in Paint Shop Pro to achieve something rather different. Using filters, textured backgrounds and frames, Pam's flower photography is both creative and highly artistic.  
Ray Grace ARPS DPAGB has been a club member for a few months and a guest speaker in the past. My Photographic Journey So Far took us to Corsham Park in the winter months and to Ray's favourite tree in the early morning mist! His stunning dawn shots, close ups of hoar frost and Scottish landscapes in snow are almost without colour. A big fan of monochrome photography, he also enjoys doing infrared photography though he sometimes adds colour back into the infrared image. His panoramas are usually made up of hand-held camera shots stitched together. More recently Ray has been experimenting with flower photography, using focus stacking to achieve an amazing level of detail and sharpness in his close ups.  
Martin Horton, also a recent member, talked about The Way I see It: his set of artistic and technical parameters within which he works. His focus is on Travel, People and Photoshop, and in his approach to photography, he believes that composition is the most important factor. Through our club competitions, we have all become familiar with Martin's amazingly creative photographic style, which he illustrated briefly during his talk. He also took this opportunity to share other photographers' images from Flickr, which have been an inspiration to him. Martin himself has gained over 60,000 hits on Flickr and this platform has also helped him see his own work through other people's eyes.
Thank you to our speakers for a very interesting evening and a special thanks goes to Dave, our Programme Secretary, for organising it. LS
 
What's in my Camera Bag?                                                                     4 March 2014
In reponse to feedback from our members, our club held another home-grown evening focusing on photography equipment. Three of our members, Dave, Nick and Steve, plus Eddy who paid us a surprise visit from Calne, laid out the contents of their camera bags of varying sizes and explained why they use particular kit. Dave, who likes walking in the Scottish highlands, uses a Canon 5D MarkIII with full frame sensor, a good all purpose camera. For his landscape photography he uses a telephoto lens and his camera has depth of field preview as well as Live View zoom. He also demonstrated how versatile his Benbo tripod with ball & socket head can be, providing stability at pretty much any height. Dave's camera bag also contained extra kit such as filters, lenses, reflector, flash and protective gear, not to mention hiking essentials! 

Nick's camera bag was rather larger in size and included a one-man tent on the outside. Weight seems to have no limit! He uses Canon 40D and 5D bodies and swears by their L series zoom and prime lenses. Nick also likes to experiment with Canon's ultra wide angle fisheye lens and has a couple of photography projects in the pipeline. Moving on from the contents of his camera bag, he then introduced his 1000mm lens Sky-Watcher Newton telescope which actually uses mirrors and fits into a series of large cases. This impressive piece of kit (see photo) takes over an hour to set up and in conjuction with camera equipment, produces beautifully detailed astro photography which is mostly invisible to the human eye.
photo
Before the interval, Eddy produced his little camera bag containing something rather different: Canon's 40mm compact pancake lens which is ideal for street photography or for shooting in low light at concerts and events where a standard size camera bag would not be allowed. And out of the same small bag came Canon's 70-300mm white zoom lens. Amazing!


Steve finished off the evening with the contents of his two camera bags. The smaller one contained an Olympus Micro 4/3, a mirrorless interchangeable lens digital camera which is smaller and lighter than a DSLR and has an electronic viewfinder. His larger camera bag contained a Canon DSLR and in his lens case were his L 100-400mm f4.5-5.6 and 24-105mm f/4 L IS lenses. Steve also talked about his use of Canon's 80GB media storage device which he takes with him on holiday.

Thank you to all of you for putting together this presentation and especially to Dave for organising it. For those interested in camera bags, Lowepro seems to be the most popular brand. Nick uses their expedition camera backpack and Dave's is the Lowepro Fastpack 350. LS  
 
Results of Open Assessment 3: Projected Images                       25 Feb 2014
Judge Bob Bishop LRPS EFIAP from Backwell CC paid his first visit to the club to assess our projected image entries, which totalled 62 across our three categories. Congratulations to new member Michael Valentine for winning first place in the Beginners' category! He was followed by Gill Ford Pier, also a new member, in second and third place. In the Intermediate category Jean Ingram won first place followed by David Fraser and Derek Mason in second and third place respectively. Only two entries got the full four marks in the General category: Robert Harvey ARPS AFIAP in first place and Dave Gray in second place. Thank you to everyone who took part and we look forward to the open print assessment on 18th March. LS
Results can be seen here. Members can log in to see the points table.

mallard soaked
alta-fjord
Above: Alta Fjord by Robert Harvey

Far left: Mallard by Jean Ingram
Left: Soaked by Michael Valentine
 
Digital Projected Image Competition (DPIC)                            23 February 2014
The Western Counties Photographic Federation DPIC is held annualy in the Corn Exchange, Exeter. Camera clubs from the Western region can each enter 20 images. 
Club members that went to view the competition were able to see 1,100 outstanding digital images from the 55 clubs that entered. A long tiring day but well worth seeing so many interesting images!

The 3 judges could each award up to 5 points and the points then totaled to give each image points out of 15.
After all the images were scored and the totals calculated Devizes CC were very pleased to find that that they were placed = 9th in the competition.

Many congratulations to Martin Horton who gained maximum 15 points for his image 'In an Azure Mood' which also gained him a judge's ribbon.
Other notable Devizes entries were 'Bagan Temples' also by Martin Horton with 14 points.
'Little Bustard Displaying' by Gill Cardy ARPS DPAGB AFIAP was awarded 13 points and 2 images from Robert Harvey ARPS AFIAP were both awarded 13 points 'Stargazing, Glastonbury Tor' and 'Storm, Longships Lighthouse' Congratulations to all.

Thanks to Kevin Ferris LRPS who as Devizes CC Battle Secretary had a busy time filling in forms and sending in the entry for DPIC.
Devizes results
 
Warminster Annual Print Battle                                               22 February 2014
Seven local Camera clubs entered the Annual Print Competition organised by Warminster Camera Club.
The judge Peter Weaver APAGB CPAGB LRPS showed slides of his own images and after the break judged the prints. Peter gave comments and then awarded each print points out of 20. Two images scored the maximum 20 points but were not from Devizes.  The highest scoring images from Devizes were 'Winter Sunset' by Kevin Ferris LRPS, 'New Forest Pony' by Ray Grace ARPS ARPS DPAGB and 'In an Azure Mood' by Martin Horton each scoring 18 points. Very well done to those members and to all the other entrants
After the prints were all scored and the clubs points for each club added together - Salisbury PS were declared the winners. Many congratulations to Salisbury. Devizes CC came in 5th place just 1 point behind Calne CC.
Thanks to Warminster CC for their organisation and the very fine spread we were treated to in the interval.
Thanks also to Kevin Ferris LRPS for organising the Devizes CC entries.
Devizes CC results
 
'Basics of Software Editing'

For the first part of the evening Dave Gray very ably demonstrated the use of basic editing tools and filters using both Lightroom 5 and Photoshop Elements 11.
A range of adjustment techniques were applied to several RAW landscape images and corrections made to bring out the best in each image. Careful white balance, saturation and contrast adjustments were aimed at bringing the image back nearer to what the photographer saw when taking the photograph. Selective adjustments were made to specific areas to correct deep shadows etc.. Lens corrections were applied, any chromatic aberration and unwelcome dust spots removed. The image can be straightened when needed and perspective corrected particularly in images which include man made structures.  

With portraits skin could be softened, teeth whitened etc. to give a more pleasing image. Vignetting could be applied to give more emphasis to the centre of the image and any stray light spots darkened. When the before and after images were shown the improvements made were impressive. Advice was given on the best sequence for making adjustments finishing with sharpening and how to not over sharpen which can give unwanted noise or artefacts.  There are many tools and filters to choose from when using digital editing software which can give similar results and it is only with practice the best methods are found.

After the break Stephen McGrath demonstrated some more advanced techniques which could greatly enhance a landscape making it bolder and more impressive, skies could be darkened , colours enriched and areas emphasised to bring more life to the image.
Various techniques were demonstrated to enhance a portrait with particular emphasis given to the eyes. Care has to be taken not to overdo adjustments and create an unnatural and over saturated image - check later by taking a fresh look at the image and if necessary making further edits.

Thanks to Dave and Stephen for the very interesting demonstrations from which both beginners and more experienced members were able to learn a great deal. PM

Members can download  the comprehensive 'Software Basics' PDF   by Dave Gray

 
Devizes, Swindon & Highworth Battle                                              13 February 2014
By invitataion from Swindon Photographic Society this was a three way battle between Swindon PS, Highworth CC and Devizes CC.
Each club entered 25 digital images which were judged by Tony Byram DPAGB ARPS AWPF AFIAP.

Three members from Devizes braved the weather and travelled to Swindon to support the club.
Tony Byram commented on each image and then awarded points out of 20.
morningAt the end of the first half points were pretty evenly matched with Devizes just 1 point behind Swindon.
In the second half Gill Cardy ARPS DPAGB EFIAP gained top marks with 20 points for her 'Little Bustard displaying'  19 points were awarded to 'In an Azure Mood' by Martin Horton, 'Eagle Owl Hunting' by Charlotte Morris LRPS and 'Winter Morning by the Canal' by Richard Atkinson. shown left
By the end of the evening Devizes slipped behind slightly with the final scores being Swindon PS 415, Devizes CC 411 and Highworth CC 388 points. A bit disappointing as we have won the previous 2 battles but never mind it was pretty close! PM
See the Devizes results here. 
 
Les Loosemore                                                                                         11 Feb 2014
We welcomed back Les Loosemore ARPS AWPF DPAGB, who gave us his expert guidance in December on how to put together a panel of prints for a distinction. This time for something rather different - a slide show of raw, unadulterated photography set to music! In the first half, we saw cityscapes of Prague, a series of butterflies and birds followed by trees in a landscape from the Canary Islands, Africa and Australia.
The second half included wildlife and waterlife, indigenous street performers and the Daintree rainforest (bottom left) from Australia's Northern Territory, and ended with some amazing night photography of Sydney (bottom right). Les uses a Twin Rollei projector which allows him to control the timing of the fades between slides and gives a smoother, softer transition. He does not do digital projection as he finds the quality better with slides. Les is currently working on a literary angle to his photography and adding four lines of rhyme to his images. We look forward to seeing some of those in the future! LS
daintreeforest sydneyskyline
 
Great British Cup 2014 - Results
The Great British Cup is a national digital photographic competition organised by the Photographic Alliance of Great Britain (PAGB) The results have just been announced and DevizesCC has been placed in 38th position out of 109 clubs entered in the Open competition. As usual clubs such as Wigan 10 and Smethwick PS were front runners but for a smallish club Devizes did very well in this prestigeous competition.

auroraEach club could enter 15 images - Robert Harvey ARPS AFIAP was awarded 12 points for 'Aurora Borlealis'  shown left
Stephen McGrath and Martin Horton were each awarded 11 points for 2 images and Richard Atkinson was awarded 11 points.
 

In the Nature Competition Devizes CC was in 69th position out of 102 the clubs entered.
Notable entries were 'Little Bustard Displaying' by Gill Cardy ARPS DPAGB AFIAP with 12 pointslittle-bustard shown below 



Nature images by Kevin Ferris ARPS and Stephen McGrath were awarded 11 points each.
Very well done to all concerned.

Many thanks to Battle Secretary Kevin Ferris for organising and sending in the Devizes entries - quite a time consuming process checking that all the rules are complied with. PM

Full Devizes results can be seen here.
See the PAGB website for results from all clubs 
 
Results of Landscape Competitions                                                    4 Feb 2014
Thank you to our regular visitor, judge Adrian Herring ARPS DPAGB, for heading the evening.
The competition comprised 26 prints and 50 projected images, many from the Beginners' section and also from new members. There were 6 highly commended entries in the Print competition, shared between Dave Gray, Robert Harvey ARPS AFIAP and Lynda Rugg. Our chairman, Stephen McGrath, did very well and won first, second and third place, including the Silver Birches trophy for the best landscape print. Congratulations, Stephen!
In the Projected Image competition, no fewer than 13 highly commended awards went to a cross-section of members, who all deserved recognition. Third place went to new member, Richard Watson LRPS, preceded by ubiquitous Stephen McGrath in second place. The Derrick Turner Memorial trophy went to Dave Gray for his stunning waterfall shot, though nobody could pronounce the title! Thank you to all for taking part and we hope you enjoyed the evening. LS
The images which gained awards can be seen in the Galleries. 
waterfall
Sgwd Isaf Clun Gwyn by Dave Gray
first-light
First Light at Durdle Door by Stephen McGrath
Results can be seen here     Members can log in to see the points tables  
 
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