Devizes Lantern Parade
Members of Devizes Camera Club are invited to photograph the Devizes Lantern Parade and Christmas Festival.
This year's procession will happen on 24th November, and is already shaping up to be a lovely event with a number of local schools getting involved. Our traditional markets start from 12.30pm, and the event itself starts at 5pm, with Devizes Town Band performing in the Market Place and Fantasy FM broadcasting live throughout the day.
The Lantern Parade sets off from Maryport Street at 6.15pm and parades along Sheep Street and Long Street, finishing in the Market Place where Father Christmas will turn on the Devizes Christmas Lights. 
We would love to get some behind the scenes shots as well though - we will be parading the elephant and horse lanterns from Windsor Drive at an earlier point of the day, and will be setting up in preparation for the Lantern Parade in St John's Church and the Parish Rooms during the day.
If any members are interested, it would be lovely to hear from them - The parade itself, as you know, provides some fantastically beautiful chances for photos.
 If anyone is interested in photographing backstage, please could they email us beforehand on This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or call us on 07500 786541 so we can get them more information.
 
 
Landscape Photographer of the Year competition

RH Knowlton ChurchCongratulations to Robert Harvey ARPS EFIAP who has recieved the good news that his image 'Knowlton Church and earthworks, Dorset' is one of those commended in the Take a View Landscape Photographer of the Year Competition.
Robert entered his image in the Classic View Category which is one of the four categories. 
The competition is for images taken in the UK during the last 5 years and is sponsored by the Sunday Times magazine.
The winner of the category was Rachael Talibart who recently gave the club an excellent presentation so many congratulations to her. This is 11th year of this national competition run by Landscape photographer Charlie Waite who will be giving a presentation for the club on 11 November at the Music Centre, Bradford on Avon.
The awarded images are to be published in a book and the images will be shown in a digital display at Waterloo Station from 20 November until 4 February 2018.

Robert's image was his first one taken in 2017 and  below is his description of the image.
 'Deep in the Dorset countryside, ruined Knowlton Church is situated within a Neolithic henge. I chose to make this image a few minutes after sunrise on a heavily frosted January morning. I like the way the low sunlight embraces the earthworks, emphasising their subtle contours. Frosted grass brings the scene to life. My image conveys a sense of the many layers and millennia of history at this sacred site, from prehistoric pagans to medieval Christians'

 

Congratulations to Gill Cardy
GC OwlIn the recent competition run by the Royal Photographic Society an image by Gill Cardy FRPS DPAGB EFIAP  has been proclaimed the winner.

Gill has the honour of her image of a Great Grey Owl sitting in Snow appearing on the 2018 RPS Membership Card.
The image was one of the 21 images shortlisted from all the images entered and then gained the most votes from RPS members and the public.
Two other images entered in the competition will also be used for the membership cards but I am very pleased to see that Gill's image gained the most votes.

Congratulations Gill for winning this very prestigious competition.

Many thanks to DCC members who voted. The winning images can be seen on the RPS website
 
 
'Confessions of a Failed Five Second Flasher’ 10 October 2017   

BT beggarBT buddiesBob Train LRPS CPAGB was welcomed on his first visit to the club. He is a member of Gloucester Camera Club and is also a judge of photographic competitions.

Bob said that some time ago he found his interest in photography had somewhat waned after he found himself alwys looking for images that would impress a judge rather than images taken just to please himself.
After taking several RPS courses Bobs particular interests now are mainly Street, Urban and Documentary photography and he went on to explain the differences in his interesting presentation.

‘Every image should tell a story’ – in street photography Bob looks out for everyday people in sometimes amusing and sometimes incongruous situations. His advice was to be inconspicuous and quietly observe what is going on. ‘Shoot first – think later’ be quick or you miss the moment he advises. Sometimes he has an image in his mind and then waits patiently until suitable passers-by walk into the frame to complete the story. The best images are often captured when the subject is completely unaware that they are being photographed.

BT walkBob uses a Sony A7R compact system which is small enough to pack in a pocket and is unobtrusive. An advantage is the flip out screen and features like the face recognition system enabling perfect focus, the ability to capture images in mixed lighting conditions and the excellent low light ability. Intelligent auto and motor drive means you do not miss the crucial moment so Bob says ‘embrace the new technology’ even phones are handy nowadays to capture a moment in time.

The idea with Urban photography is to look out for thought provoking, interesting situations which are devoid of people but show evidence of past occupation. Bob showed his set of images taken in the now empty Gloucester Prison but with haunting evidence of what prison life was like in the past – messages on the wall – some socks tied to a bed.

Another topic of Bob’s is to find images where just a tiny part of the image has a big impact – maybe a tiny figure or a single tree. Simple creative images that concentrate on patterns and shapes – less is more says Bob.
Many images are converted to monochome to better convey the feeling of the image.
Bob showed us some excellent night shots without the use of flash but explained that the camera must be on a tripod because of the slow shutter speed required. Some panoramas created in camera were shown and Bob says he is always experimenting and trying new ideas to keep his interest in photography alive. PM

Images © Bob Train    Top left 'Good Buddies'      Right 'Begging Zone'      Left 'Walk to Freedom'

 

 

Latest Salon Successes
Congratulations to Robert Harvey ARPS EFIAP for his award from the Northern Counties International Salon. Robert was awarded an NCPF Ribbon for his PDI titled 'Snow Moon, Oks Fjord' The image was one of many taken by Robert in the arctic areas of Norway in February 2017.
RH sparrowhawkRobert also recently had 5 acceptances from his entries in the Narova Salon, Slovenia and 3 from the Welsh International Salon including 'Sparrowhawk with Prey' 
These impressive results put Robert well in the lead for the Ryder Rathband Trophy with 66 points.

Entering Salons gives members a chance to let a wider audience see their images and gives a comparison with not only other photographers in this country but those from across the world. Entering and seeing the work of other photographers will broaden your horizon and give you stimulating ideas of how to progress your photography.
If images are accepted in FIAP supported Salons then a photographer can gain an internationally recognised accreditation.
The first level of accreditation AFIAP is within the reach of many of our members and recognises you as a competent photographer.
More information regarding Salons can be found on our website. 

If members are interested in showing their images to a wider audience then please get in touch with Richard Atkinson AFIAP for advice and support.
 
         
 Results of the vote for the Favourite Print  
Our 2017 Biennial Print Exhibition closed yesterday, Sunday 8th October.  Feedback from the Museum was that it was an excellent exhibition which generated a lot of interest from members of the public.
RA landingAs part of the public’s experience, we asked them to nominate their favourite picture, which may or may not be in accordance with the choice of our official judge.  83 votes were cast, and I think the first notable fact is that no less than 35 out of 59 images in the exhibition was at least someone’s favourite.
 
The print gaining the most votes was 'Synchronsed Landing' by Richard Atkinson AFIAP.(shown left)
In second place was 'Bank Vole' by Kyra Wilson and tied in 3rd place were 'First Run Of The Day' by Caroline Wright and 'Woodborough Hill Frosty Morning' by David Fraser.

Other favourites were - 'New Day At Work' by Lynda Croft, 'Village Stream' and 'Moonrise Glencoe' by Craig Purvis, 'Scorpion Fly' by Richard Atkinson, 'Little Owl' by Kyra Wilson, 'Stannage Millstones' by Dave Gray, 'Three Galaxies' by Robert Harvey ARPS EFIAP and 'Who Let the Dog's Out? by Pam Mullings
Many other prints received one or two votes so it showed the wide range of subjects that were the favoutites with the public.
We  hope all those that visited the exhibition enjoyed looking at the very high standard members prints.

Thanks to all the club members who organised and set up the exhibition and mant thanks to the Wiltshire Heritage Museum staff for all their help.PM
 
 
 
A Professional’s Approach to Outdoor Photography 3 October 2017   
There was a great turn out to welcome Guy Edwards BA (Hons) Photography  to Devizes Camera Club to see his presentation - and what a presentation it was!
GE Outer HebridesGuy started by saying that most of his photography these days is done during his many workshops that he conducts around the world. Indeed his presentation contained images from Costa Rica to New Zealand, from Namibia to Iceland, from Scotland to Slovenia and many countries in between. He also gave us many insights to the techniques he uses when planning, setting up and making his images.
GE frogThe first half of his presentation was on wildlife and nature and we started in Costa Rica, where he explained that, because of the low light in the rain forest, he has to use ISO settings as high as 6400 with wide apertures to obtain good shots. The important thing, he said, was to ensure that the eyes of subjects were sharp. A series of exquisite shots of various frogs, hummingbirds, parrots, macaws and bats showed what he meant. He said that many of his hummingbird images had been set up with flower petals sprayed with sugar-water to attract the birds in front of artificial backdrops of blurred leaf-scapes. He also used shots of macaws coming in to land to show that getting down low to the ground and shooting up with dark trees in the background gives a much more dramatic image.
On to Canada and a series of stunning images of snowy owls. Guy showed us how the use of a long lens and misty conditions can help to reduce the impact of background trees and hedgerows to a suggestion of context. In Botswana, Guy explained that fewer tourist vehicles around enabled him to spend more time photographing individual animals. He showed us several images of a leopard with which he spent over an hour. There were also images of Pied Kingfisher, Bee-eaters, Squacco herons, African Fish Eagle and young baboons. He also explained his technique for adding movement and reducing background clutter by using a slower shutter speed (less than a second) and panning while an animal is running. He demonstrated this with shots of a Leopard, a Lion and an Impala. He said that the success rate for good images was much slower because of the difficulty of keeping the focus on the animals eyes. At this point he told us that, when editing the 25,000 shots he has taken on a weeks safari, he takes the view that if an image doesn’t look good as a thumbnail, it gets deleted!
GE Lake BledOther images included a sequence of Orca hunting moulting Eider ducks off Shetland and of Barn Owls flying over wild flower meadows at the Hawk Conservancy. Guy also showed images of Blue Tits taken on his new workshop in Slovenia where he has set up a camera trap with flash lights and infra-red beams to trigger the shutter as the bird flies round obstacles. He also showed Puffins, Gannets and Razorbills taken in County Wexford on the Irish coast.
Another highlight of this part of his presentation was a series of images of Dalmation Pelicans at Lake Kerkiri in Greece. Guy explained that, in one part of the lake, these large birds have got used to being fed by local fishermen. As a result they are tolerant of humans and will approach quite closely making photography a more satisfying experience. It is well worth checking out his blog of these workshops on his website.
Guy talked about how he spends time setting up shots of Flora and Fungi. Using a long lens, a wide aperture and a floor level angle, he selects his composition to provide soft focused foregrounds and diffused backgrounds. He then ensures that the background is as uncluttered as possible, spreading autumn leaves around to give a consistent of colour. Next he considers the use of LED bulbs, reflectors and mirrors to enhance the lighting on his subject. And then he will experiment with different lenses and angles to achieve different effects.
GE Dunstanburgh CastleAfter a mid-presentation break to assimilate the superb images we had already seen, Guy started the second half of his presentation, on Landscapes, in his native Dorset. He said he loves going back to places he likes, looking for different vantage points, using different lenses and making use of different light. He especially enjoys misty conditions and tends to use his 100-400 mm lens quite often.
He showed us images of Colmer’s Hill near Bridport at different times of day, in different seasons and light. There were also images of Corfe Castle, Wimbourne Chase and Kimmeridge Bay. An image of Durdle Door and the bay taken with a fish-eye lens particularly caught the eye.
Guy presented images of heather and mist in the New Forest, coastlines and lighthouses in Cornwall, castles in Northumberland and stars scapes and Northern Lights at Sycamore Gap at Hadrian’s Wall. He talked about getting down to ground level to maintain symmetry in reflection images, as illustrated in a shot of Alnwick Castle. He also explained how he had blended several 30 second shots taken with different filters to bring out the best dynamic range in an image of Dunstanburgh Castle.
Amongst his images of Scotland were the Old Man of Storr, the Fairy Pools at Glen Brittle and Talisker Bay on the Isle of Skye, the coastline on the Isle of Lewis and sand dunes on Harris. Guy used images of sea stacks in Shetland to show how to read the histogram in Live View for optimum exposures.
Then on to colder climes with images taken in Finland of rime ice on trees, and pancake ice on a lake. He explained that pancake ice is formed when running water from a river enters a colder bay and swirls to form circular, pancake-like blocks of ice. And eventually we came to what he said was his favourite landscape location - Slovenia. He had images of canyons and mountains with misty recessions, and lots of little churches on hilltops. And he finished with a superb image of Lake Bled.
From Iceland he showed us images of sea stacks and waterfalls, which he said were better taken with a longer lens. We also saw, ice patterns with northern light in the background, images in ice caves under a glacier, and icebergs on a beach of black sand.
Our Chairman led the applause in thanks for a fantastic evening of magnificent images, presented knowledgeably with plenty of hints and tips for us all to think about when next we are out with our cameras. DF
 Images © Guy Edwardes Top: Outer Hebrides  Left:  Lake Bled, Slovenia Top right: Red-eyed Tree Frog    Right: Dunstanburgh Castle                 Guy Edwardes website
 
 
Results of Projected Image Competition 1: Open 26 September 2017   

The judge for the first competition of the season was Peter Weaver LRPS CPAGB APAGB who has visited Devizes CC to judge club competitions on many previous occasions. Peter remarked how much he enjoyed looking at the clubs images with such awide range of subjects and the very high standard of the entries.
Starting with the Beginners the judge said most were of a very high standard and it should not be long before some were promoted to the Intermediate section. To gain promotion from Beginners members need to gain a total of 25 points with 6 points awarded for first place, 5 for second place, 4 for third place with 2 points for all images that are awarded Highly Commended (HC).
MS weirThe judge said it had been difficult to decide on the winner from the 30 images entered in the beginners section but decided that ‘Warleigh Weir' by Martin Stokes (left) deserved first place. Second was a very unusual image also by Martin titled ‘Sunflower Surprise’ which showed a well-lit close up of a sunflower with a sunset behind.
Peter Eley’s ‘Winter Thistle’ which very well portrayed a close up of a frosted seed head was in third place. Another simple frosty image by Peter gained an HC.
Well done to those newcomers who entered a competition for the first time.

JI new bornIn the Intermediate section there were 15 images RH kingfisherentered. The judge particularly enjoyed the image of a cow with its calf titled ‘New Born’ by Jean Ingram (right) and placed it first. Peter said that capturing a swallow as it flew in to feed its young was a difficult subject but was well caught by Kyra Wilson and placed ‘Barn Swallows’ second. In third place was a nostalgic image titled ‘Vintage Rally in the Highlands’ by David Wilkinson and David also gained an HC with his image ‘Red Leg Partridge’

After the break the 33 entries in the Advanced section were commented on by the judge.
There was no doubt about the winner as the Peter said that the image by Robert Harvey ARPS EFIAP was probably the best kingfisher image that he had judged. Captured as it emerged from the water with a small fish in its beak ‘Kingfisher with Catch’ (left) was a superb image and a very worthy winner. Robert also had HC’s with his other wildlife entries ‘’Two King Penguins’ and ‘Sparrowhawk with Prey’
A deceptively simple monochrome image of reeds reflected in still water ‘Encircled’ by Richard Watson LRPS was praised by the judge and placed second in the advanced section with another of Richard’s images ‘Time for a Cuddle’ awarded an HC. ‘The Three Pugaleers‘ by Kev Ferris LRPS was a very cute image of puppies posing for the camera and was given third place. Gill Cardy FRPS DPAGB EFIAP had HC’s for two of her images 'Storm Rider' and 'Lapwing'

Congratulations to all those gaining awards and also very well done to those for entering for the first time.
Many thanks to Peter Weaver for taking so much time and trouble to judge all the entries and to give such helpful comments.

Thanks also to Competition Secretary - Caroline Wright for all her work collecting in all the images, sorting them and sending them to the judge and entering them into the software used for competitions. PM
See the full results                     
All the awarded images can be seen in the Galleries

 

Practical Evening  - editing using Adobe 'Lightroom' 19 September 2017   

Often photographers can be rather disappointed when an image taken straight from the camera looks rather dull and soft on their monitor so as club secretary Dave Gray says ‘clicking the shutter is just the first step in the process’.
Using the extensive range of editing tools in Adobe Lightroom Dave very ably demonstrated to members how to transform a rather ordinary looking image into an outstanding one.
The original RAW image may have little detail in the shadows, a rather dull sky and lack impact but with some basic editing of the colour balance, exposure and contrast any image can be greatly improved.
Image1See this example – Image2just a few clicks later
and the image is transformed.

The clouds show up well against the blue sky, the foreground looks more interesting and the detail can be seen in the rocks.

Using a range of subjects Dave demonstrated how any image can be enhanced by using the sliders in Lightroom. 
Any of the hues within a RAW image can be edited separately – the sky made bluer, the grass greener or colours more vibrant but take care to not overdo the changes.

Digital images tend to be slightly soft but over sharpening can produce digital noise and unwanted artefacts so check the enlarged image very carefully.
Care must be taken with saturation and vibrancy adjustments as in some cases too much can make the colours look unnatural.

Further fine tuning can be done using the array of Lightroom tools – graduated filters can lighten or darken, specific areas can be changed and vignetting added to the final image. With practice it can only take a few minutes to edit an image and photographers usually get to know which of the array of tools available works best for them.
Sensor spots can be removed using the healing tool and Dave showed how he could make a temporary pre-set so that the same spots on other images can be quickly removed. After editing an image the changes made can be saved as a pre-set for use on similar images saving time.

Dave recommended that members should ‘soft proof’ their image before for printing to get a better idea of the final appearance as colours viewed on a screen can vary from the colours on a print.  Using colour management and obtaining a printing profile should result in a print close to the image shown on the monitor.

Concluding his presentation Dave showed members how they should prepare their images for club competitions. It wastes a lot of time for Competition Secretary Caroline Wright if she has to correct members image files before they can be entered into the software used.  Would all members please check that their images are correctly resized and titled before sending them in for competitions. Please read the Projected Image instructions.  PM

Members may like to recap on the extensive information given by Dave by reading his ‘Software Basics’ pdf   See other useful pdf's in 'Members Information'

 

'Tides and Tempests' by Rachael Talibart 12 September 2017   

A large audience, including several guests new to the club, gathered to hear our first speaker of the season.  Arriving at the club after an interview with BBC Radio Wiltshire, fine art photographer Rachael Talibart took us on a fascinating journey exploring her relationship with the coast and her distinctive approach to making photographs of the sea.

FiveSand TreeMost of Rachael’s images are not “representational landscapes” in the sense of showing recognisable places but rather seek to capture the atmosphere of the subject. Most have been made in the company of her classic VW Camper Van Lilly.  Rachael likes to return to the same locations many times to show their many moods.

A turning point in Rachael’s photography came when she created “Five” on a foggy day in Venice. Since then she has eschewed traditional views of well-known subjects in favour of innovative approaches. One of her favourite shutter speeds is ¼ of a second, sometimes hand-held, to show movement in water and even in the terrestrial elements of her seascapes.  An image in which nothing is sharp can create a painterly effect. 

Her favourite lens is a 70-200mm telephoto, often selecting details from a scene and showing only part of a subject such as the Seven Sisters in Sussex.  This leaves the viewer to extrapolate; sometimes what is left out can be more powerful than what is included. 

Lighthouses are a particular inspiration, sometimes shown in black and white to make them more graphic. Poseidon RisingShe also has a particular fondness for aerial photography from a helicopter, which she has used to make striking images of the Oregon coast and Isle of Wight’s Round the Island race.  Some striking images have been taken by pointing the camera straight down, avoiding any perspective and focusing on details such as drainage patterns in sand (“sand trees”), which can appear abstract when captured in this way.  Two favourite locations for this type of photography are The Isle of Harris and Iceland.

MaelstromRachael prefers to capture images as complete as possible in camera, rather than spending much time processing them on a computer.  To this end she uses a range of filters including polarisers, 6 and 10 stop neutral density filters and both hard and soft graduated filters.  She tends to leave her images on file for some time before processing them, to bring a fresh eye to the subject matter.

Rachael’s talk concluded with a sequence of her best known work, storm waves photographed at Newhaven in Sussex.  Using a fast shutter speed of 1/1000th of a second, she captures the character of her waves, to which she gives names drawn from classical mythology. Two of her favourites are “Poseidon Rising” and “Maelstrom”, which won the Sunday Times Award in the 2016 Landscape Photographer of the Year competition.

We are very grateful to Rachael for travelling all the way from Surrey on a stormy evening to give us an insight into her innovative photography and show us so many outstanding images. RH         Images © Rachael Talibart '  Five'  'Sand Trees' 'Poseidon Rising' and 'Maelstrom'

Members might like to view the images of photographers that have inspired Rachael.       Lyle Gomes,   Jonathan Chritchley  and Isabel Diez

Behance - website with interesting photo projects from Hans Findling, Claire Droppert  and others           The Togcast - contemporary Landscape photographers

 

2017 Biennial Print Exhibition  

The prints by club members are now all framed and hung on the walls of the Gallery in the Heritage Museum, Devizes resulting in an excellent exhibition that is a real credit to the club. Many members were present at the opening on the afternoon of Sunday 9 September as well as visitors who all very much admired the work on display.

CW First RunWho let the dogs outClub Chairman Richard Watson LRPS introduced Cllr. Nigel Carter the Mayor of Devizes  who opened the exhibition and in his speech remarked on the high standard of the prints on display.
The mayor had looked closely at the 59 prints and commented on the wide range of interesting subjects on display.
The Mayor expressed his own interest in photography and hoped he would find time to further develop his skills in the future.

The competitions were judged by Adrian Herring ARPS DPAGB who said he had greatly enjoyed looking through all of the entries.
He said that there were so many excellent prints that he had great difficulty choosing the final winners. He remarked that in some cases the prints could Cp villagehave been improved by choosing a different printing paper as that greatly affects the final look of the image but now they were all framed and under glass they looked very different.
Adrian said that even though some entries were from the Beginners section the standard of photography throughout the club was very high and he predicted that many entrants would soon be promoted to the Advanced section.

RH 3galaxiesStarting with the Derek Parker Trophy competition Adrian praised the quality of the Beginners and Intermediate section prints and said there was not much to distinguish between those and the Advanced group. The winners were announced with first place going to an early morning canal scene by Caroline Wright titled ‘First Run of the Day’(top left) in second place was ‘Village Stream’ (left) a very well taken night scene by Craig Purvis and placed third was the atmospheric ‘Red Deer in Misty Grass’ by Kyra Wilson. (below left)

All entries from the clubs 3 sections were considered for the Leaze Cottage Trophy competition. The judge said it was extremely difficult to pick out 3 for awards as there were so many outstanding entries with such differing subjects. After a very difficult decision the first place went to ‘Who Let the Dogs Out? (top right) by Pam Mullings saying it was something a bit different and although he was not particularly a dog lover he loved the variety of dogs all running at great speed.
Very close in second place was Robert Harvey ARPS EFIAP with a very clever astronomical image taken of the starry Namibian sky with the title ‘Three Galaxies’ (above)
KW stagRA landingIn third place was ‘Synchronised Landing’ featuring two geese cleverly photographed as the flew in side by side. (below right)

Adrian Herring presented the trophies to Caroline and Pam and praised all those members who entered their prints into the competition.

Richard Watson thanked Caroline for organising the competitions, Pam for her help and all those members that had come in the day before to frame and hang all the prints.
Thanks also to the Heritage Museum and staff for the use of the Gallery

The exhibition continues until Sunday 8 October so those that missed the opening can look in to the Gallery and see the excellent prints on display during Museum opening hours. If you say you are visiting the exhibition there is no charge. PM

 
gallery1gallery2  

 

 

 
RPS Digital Imaging Expo 2017

Joan Ryder Rathband FRPS FPSSA AFIAP DPAGB has sent details about the RPS Digital Imaging Group Expo 2017 which members might be interested in attending.
The event takes place in Birmingham on Saturday 23 September.

This is an invitation to anyone, whether they are RPS members or not.  They have a special offer for 4 people for £100, which is very attractive, as it is a whole day event with some interesting speakers, workshops and trade stalls.

There are also one to one advisory sessions for LRPS and ARPS distinctions. See details

'Chairman's Evening - a warm welcome to existing and new members 5 Sept 2017   

Club Chairman Richard Watson LRPS welcomed members back after the summer break. This was the first meeting of the 2017-2018 season so there was a great deal of chatter about trips to exiting places and photographic experiences. 
Members of the committee introduced themselves and explained to visitors their roles in the club and also something about their photography.
Dave Gray continues as Secretary and also runs the very successful Landscape Group together with Programme Secretary Robert Harvey ARPS EFIAP.
Lynda Croft has taken over as Treasurer and Caroline Wright continues as Competition Secretary. Battle Secretary Frank Collins who has been a member for about 34 years organises our competitions with other clubs.
Relative newcomers to the club found themselves elected to the committee in May - Steve Hardman has taken on the role of Vice Chairman and Craig Purvis has found himself in charge of Publicity. What could the club do without Michael Saunders who sets out the room ready for the meeting.
A full list of those that do the hard work running the club can be found on the ‘About Us’ page.

Robert then showed us the very interesting line up of top speakers we can look forward to during the season.
Presenting a wide range of subjects so there should be something to please everyone – including landscape, wildlife, creative, portraits and much, much more.
Robert gave a taster of each of the speakers and the subjects they are presenting.

Members had been asked to send in a few of their photos taken during the summer so it was interesting to see the exotic and not so exotic places that have inspired them.
From the committee members - Frank showed images taken in Bucharest and one of Dave's Bali images caused a laugh with its odd English translation and another was of a picturesque Hindu temple. Robert travelled to the states and showed some stunning images of the total eclipse. Craig had some colourful images of Bruges and Ghent and Richard showed images taken closer to home of British butterflies.
RW phoneOthers who sent in images were Robin Taylor who was inspired by a steam train and Corfe Castle,  Janet Rutter showed some monochrome images of machinery, Pam Mullings some character portraits and Peter Tasker images of Gill Cardy and her vintage Austin 7 taken at the club social event.
During the break members could catch up with each other and make the visitors welcome.

Following the old adage ‘What is the best camera? answer – the one you have with you’ Richard gave a presentation of his images taken on his phone.
RW2 phoneAs he explained – the quality of phone images is very good nowadays so it is very handy to use the phone to take images that inspire you.
Anytime, anywhere you will probably have your phone with you so you don't miss the chance of capturing an interesting image.
Richard has been experimenting with the apps that let you do interesting things to the images actually on the phone so no need to transfer to a computer. Two, three or more images can be overlaid and blended with a wide variety of effects. Some work well others not so but now and then a stunning image emerges right.
Richard is trying to capture the effect of wind blowing grasses and an image of orchids combined with an image of grasses gave an interesting, painterly and impressionistic effect. left

Preparations are being finalised for the Biennial Print Exhibition which opens in the Wiltshire Heritage Museum, Devizes at 2pm on Sunday 10 September so the club hopes you can all attend and bring along anyone else interested in in joining to see a wide range of members framed prints.

See the Programme for all the interesting speakers and just a reminder that next Tuesday is the sending in day for the first competition of the season.
Please see the Competitions page as there are a few changes to the procedure.

Looks like everyone is as enthusiastic as ever about their photography and very much looking forward to the coming season. PM

The competition results and points tables will be shown in the members section during the season. If you have lost your password please contact me. 
Also any members wishing to add to the Members Albums - please let me know. Pam Mullings - Website Support

 

Latest Salon Acceptances

penguin chickCongratulations to Robert Harvey for being awarded a PSA Gold (Best in Category) for his image
'King Penguin Chick' (right) at the Port Talbot International Salon .
Robert also passed another personal landmark when his total number of different images accepted in international/FIAP salons exceeded 200.
He has added many new images to the total in the last five international salon.
These impressive results put Robert in the lead for the Ryder Rathband Trophy with 56 points. 

Richard Atkinson has added a few acceptances to his total to gain a total of 27 points but there have been no new entries from other members.

Entering Salons gives members a chance to let a wider audience see their images and gives a comparison with not only other photographers in this country but those from across the world. Entering and seeing the work of other photographers will broaden your horizon and give you stimulating ideas of how to progress your photography.
If images are accepted in FIAP supported Salons then a photographer can gain an internationally recognised accreditation.
The first level of accreditation AFIAP is within the reach of many of our members and recognises you as a competent photographer.
More information regarding Salons can be found on our website and a good read is 'A Beginners Guide to Photography Salons'.

If members are interested in showing their images to a wider audience then please get in touch with Richard for advice and support.

See PDF for latest DCC Salon results.            See Salons for information about entering Salon

Social Event 2017 15 July 2017  
Club members and guests met in the large secluded garden of Gill and Ian Cardy. 1The weather was kinder this year as there was only some light rain late in the afternoon and not the deluge we had last year!

2A very enjoyable buffet was organised by Gill and the club committee.  Frank Collins provided and cooked the excellent barbeque with meat obtained from a farm butchery. 

Everyone enjoyed an excellent meal in the delightful surroundings and it was a great occasion for members to meet up during the summer break and chat about their photography and holidays as they enjoyed the food and drink.

There was a chance to look around the large interesting garden and towards the end of the evening Gill brought out her immaculate 1925 Austin 7 which was greatly admired by all.
4a
There was a lot of peering under the bonnet and discussion about the
technicalities of such a vintage car. The car is Gill's pride and joy so she was only too pleased to take some members out for a spin!

Many thanks to Gill and Ian and their family for ther kind hospitality and to those who made it such an enjoyable afternoon,

The 2017 -2 018 season starts on 5 September with a wide range of interesting speakers to enjoy - competitions to enter and photographic topics to discuss.

The many interesting presentations include Portraits, Movement, Altered Reality, Bugs, America and Fine Art.
See the Programme for details.



Wiltshire Art Project  
Would any members like to help with a Public Art Project which aims to locate, record and photograph public art, namely artwork made by an artist, arts practitioner or craftsperson and located in publicly accessible spaces and places in Wiltshire. At present very little is known about the whereabouts and extent of these artworks which are vulnerable to change through environmental damage or vandalism, or through redevelopment of an area in or around them.
Data collected as part of the project will be made available in the Local Studies Library at the Wiltshire & Swindon History Centre with images deposited in the Historic Photograph and Print Collection. The images will then be pinned to the Know Your Place site http://www.kypwest.org.uk to map their location geographically.
More details can be found at the link https://creativewiltshire.com/get-involved/
The data collected will be used to aid the ArtUK’s sculpture project and will be made available to Wiltshire Council’s Planning team.
Julie Davis    County Local Studies Librarian   Wiltshire & Swindon History Centre


Club Members Successes  

GC OwlMany congratulations to two of our club members on their recent successes.

Gill Cardy FRPS AFIAP DPAGB has recently been awarded the distinction of EFIAP (Excellence in the Fédération Internationale de l'Art Photographique)
To gain the award Gill needed to have a minimum of 250 acceptances from at least 30 International Salons using at least 50 different images. Twelve of the images had to have acceptaces in the Print Category and at least 5 inages must have gained 3 acceptances and of those 2 had gained awards from 2 different countries. Gill found that the rules kept changing so quite a challenge to work out what was required!

Very well done Gill for persevering through all the rule changes and gaining the award. 
One of Gill's accepted images 'Great Grey Owl sitting in Snow' right

Many congratulations also to Joan Ryder Rathband FRPS FPSSA AFIAP DPAGB who had one of her images selected by the PAGB to represent England in the PDI Biennial Competition
JRR rose

The competition was organised by FIAP with 20 countries taking part.

Twenty images were selected for the theme 'Females in Imagined Places'   Joan's selected image was titled 'The Single Red Rose' (left) and was awarded 10 points.
All of the images which gained over 7 points will be on display in Norway.

The results have been recently announced and England were delighted to be placed second and awarded a Gold Medal.
(Russia came first and were awarded the 'World Cup')

Very well done to Joan and also to England as the standard of photography was very high from all the countries that entered.

 

AGM and Presentation of Awards   16 May 2017  
The Club Chairman Richard Watson LRPS welcomed members to the AGM which was the last meeting of the 2016 - 2017 season. About 30 members attended and the evening began with some apologies followed by the approval of the 2016 minutes.
Reports from officers of the Committee had previously been circulated to members but Richard asked if a brief resume could be given to the members present.
RobertRichard said he had been very encouraged by the enthusiasm members have shown for club life and the high standard of photography, which has led to some keen competition in the Beginners and Intermediates. 
Richard thanked all those who had worked so hard in their various roles. Committee members spoke briefly about the events and activities that had taken place during the season.
Pam
There was a resolution proposed for a number of minor changes and clarifications to the present competitions rules. There was some debate on some of the changes but finally they were all voted in on a show of hands. In future more information will be required when sending in competition entries so members must follow the instructions very carefully. The new rules will be published on the website when the final wording is agreed.

The committee was elected with Richard Watson continuing as Chairman and Dave Gray as Secretary.  Mike Valentine takes over as Treasurer from Richard Atkinson as each post has to be changed after 4 years. Robert Harvey ARPS EFIAP continues as Programme Secretary. Caroline Wright is in her 4th Year as Competition secretary and Hilary Eagles has volunteered to shadow her with a view to taking over the role in 2018-2019.
Frank Collins continues as Battle Secretary. Three new committee members were welcomed - Lynda Croft, Steve Hardman & Craig Purvis and last but not least as the club could not do without Mike Saunders the 'chairman' who always puts himself out to arrive early and set out the hall!

CarolineAs this club year draws to a close, we can already look forward to two major events next year.  In September, we will hold our Biennial Exhibition at the Wiltshire Heritage Museum in Long Street, with the opening ceremony and judging being held on the afternoon of Sunday 10th September.  This will be closely followed by a resumption of our high profile speaker evening, which we hope will be supported by photographers from across the Western region as well as from the general public.  On Saturday, 11th November, we look forward to an ‘Evening with Charlie Waite’ at the Wiltshire Music Centre in Bradford on Avon.  Charlie is a world renowned Landscape Photographer and founder of the Light and Land photographic group, and by reputation an excellent communicator, so I am sure we are in for a great evening.

The evening concluded with the presentation of the 20 Annual Competition Trophies by Richard Watson.
The awards were not spread out very far amongst the members as there were only 7 recipients.
Robert Harvey ARPS EFIAP had the lions share with 7 of them, Pam Mullings 4, Caroline Wright 3, Kyra Wilson 3 (1 tied) Tim Pier 2, David Wilkinson 1 and Steve Hardman 1 tied with Kyra.
The full list of Awards can be seen in Club Awards.
Make a note that the theme for a competition next season is 'Portraits' and there is also a competition for images taken on a phone - further details will be sent out to members. Keep in mind that images will be needed for Landscape, Nature and Monochrome competitions and why not get inspiration for some Creative images either in camera or by manipulation!

Finally have a great summer, take lots of photos and come back ready for a new season which starts on 5th September.

Thanks to Tim Pier and Derek Mason for the photographs. Top left: Robert Harvey, above right: Pam Mullings and above left: Caroline Wright
Below: Kyra Wilson, Tim Pier and David Wilkinson.  Many Congratulations to all

 Kyra   Tim   David

 

  
Ladies v Gents Battle 2017 - a win for the Ladies!  9 May 2017  

Adrian Herring ARPS DPAGB and Vanessa Herring LRPS are both very experienced judges and did an excellent job of jointly judging what Adrian described as 'a fantastic set of images - especially the wildlife'. This 'friendly' battle between the sexes of the club is always closely fought and both sides do all they can to win!
Having a husband and wife to judge jointly avoided any feeling there might have been of bias even though they were only given the titles of the images with no photographer's names shown. The judges had viewed the images separately and had not revealed their scores to each other in advance but in most cases found that they agreed with each other giving similar comments on each image and very nearly always the same points. Each judge scored out of 10 giving the total points out of 20. The rules stated no more than 3 images from any one entrant and a minimum of 6 images from each section (Beginners, Intermediate & Advanced)GC Osprey 

Out of the 60 images projected 5 scored the maximum 20 points with Gill Cardy FRPS AFIAP DPAGB bumping up the Ladies total considerably with perfect scores on all 3 of her images. Both judges were in agreement and each gave top marks to the 3 stunning wildlife images 'Black Grouse at Lek', Great Grey Owl sitting in Snow' and 'Osprey Bringing Nesting Material' (right)
Pam Mullings also scored a 20 for the Ladies with a group of fleeing impalas titled 'On the Run'
Close behind was Caroline Wright who only lost 1 point with 19 for her 'First Lock of the Flight' and 'Little Owl Hopping' by Kyra Wilson scored well with 18 points.

RG TwilightFor the Gents - Ray Grace ARPS DPAGB scored the only 20 with his simple monochrome image titled 'Twilight' (left) and Ray also scored 18 for a Lake District landscape titled 'Derwent Isle'
There were 4 other images that scored 18 points for the Gents -
'Desert Eagle Owl' by Mike Valentine, 'Albatross Courtship' by Robert Harvey ARPS EFIAP, 'Elephant Mock Charge' by Clive Rathband FRPS FPSSA EFIAP DPAGB and last but by no means least 'Puffin' by Steve Hardman.

The total scores for the rest of the entries went from 12 to up to 17 points but members should not feel disappointed if they did not get top marks because, as Adrian said, the judges had to be 'picky' with such a high standard of entries so even any very minor flaws lost a point or two.

Many congratulations to all the Ladies who have only about half the number of 'photographically active' members but still managed to score 480 points against the Gents 465. Last year the Gents did manage to win but overall the Ladies have won most of the 'Battles of the Sexes'!
Thanks to the team captains who were both fairly new members and who came forward to organise the entries - Craig Purvis captained for the men and Lynda Croft for the ladies.
Thanks to Battle Secretary Frank Collins who set out the rules, organised the competition and saw fair play.
Thanks to all the members who sent in images for the selection - sorry not all could be used but the rules had to followed.

Very special thanks to the two judges for taking the time and trouble to look so carefully at all the entries and give such helpful comments when it was felt the image could have been improved. PM

 

Landscape Group visit to South Devon Sunday 23 April  
A small group led by Robert Harvey visited several locations on the South Devon coast.SH Burgh Island sunset
Our first stop was at Ringmore where we walked for a mile or so past Anstey Cove to Westcombe Beach
just west of Bigbury on Sea. As is often the case with coastal paths it was quite a steep and undulating path, but fortunately dry. RG Bantham BeachDescribed by Adam Burton as having “all the ingredients necessary for atmospheric and dramatic seascapes”, after our visit we felt that Westcombe would be better photographed at low tide in the winter with a little more cloud and atmosphere!

Our next stop was a brief viewing of the sea tractor which carries visitors to and from Burgh Island and its rg Westombe bayexclusive hotel before our supper in Challaborough
(not in the exclusive Burgh Island Hotel!).

From here we drove round the very narrow country lanes to Bantham Beach – for reference note that the main gate to the car park is locked at 8pm, something to be considered for summer sunset shots. Here time was spent exploring the location which has many rock “spines” leading seawards and different coloured boulders of various sizes. We stayed for the sunset – amazingly the disc of the sun set exactly over the cupola of the Hotel, probably on only this day of the summer.
Care must be taken at this location as it is possible to be cut off by the high tide, but at neap tides high water access should be OK.
A long journey home, many thanks to Ray for driving and to Robert for organising. SH
 
Images: Top - Burgh Island Sunset by Steve Hardman  Above left - Bantham Beach and right - Westconbe Bay - both by Ray Grace ARPS DPAGB
Below:  Bantham Beach, Sea Tractor and Westcombe Beach - all by Robert Harvey ARPS EFIAP
    rh Bantham Beach          rh Sea tractor            RH Westcombe beach

 

Print & Projected Image of the Year 2016-2017 2 May 2017  

DW stagEntered ino this final competition of the season were all the images that have gained either a first, second or third place in this year's competitions.As well as the Open competition winners were prints and pprojected images from the Nature, Landscape, Creative and Monochrome competitions making it very difficult to choose the winners. The judge who took on this very difficult task was Eddy Lane ARPS DPAGB AFIAP. 
Eddy made the comment that judging the 'best of the best’ competition is always a very difficult task. He was particularly impressed by the high standard of the Beginners images and felt that some of the 'beginners' would be quickly promoted.

CW mistStarting with the Beginners prints Eddy selected a wildlife image titled 'Red Stag' (right) by David Wilkinson for the Trophy with another of David's wildlife prints in third place. In second place was a seascape by Steve Hardman.

In the Intermediate section a subtly coloured print by Caroline Wright titled springbok'Early Mist, Caen Hill Locks' (left) gained first place with a monchome image by Tim Pier second & Jean Ingram's bird in flight print in third place.

Robert Harvey ARPS EFIAP had 3 of his prints selected for the final awards in the Advanced Print section - in first place was a close up titled 'Springbok Browsing Acacia' (right) with 2 more of Robert's wildlife prints gaining equal second places. 
Tied equal in third place were also wildlife subjects by Gill Cardy FRPS AFIAP DPAGB and Dave Gray.

K kingfisherAfter a break the award winning projected images were shown starting with the Beginners section.
Kyra Wilson's 'Kingfisher' (left) was awarded the trophy with 2 landscapes by Sue Wadman in second and third places.

Next to be judged was the Intermediate section with 'Beautiful Demoiselle' (below right)
by Caroline Wright in first place. A print by Mike Valentine was placed second and two prints by Caroline were equal third.

CW Beautiful DemoiselleLastly in the the Advanced Projected Images 'Choir Practice' (below left) by Pam Mullings was awarded the trophy.

Tied in second place were images by Robert Harvey and Kevin Ferris LRPS and another image by ChoirRobert was judged equal third together with another wildlife image by Gill Cardy.

With so many equal placings one can see the difficulties the judge had in separating out so many excellent images so many thanks to Eddy for taking on the task.

Many congratulations to all the winners. PM

A full list of results can be seen here

All the awarded images can be seen in the Gallery

  

Landscape Group Trip to the Isle of Skye 24-30 March 2017  

The last week in March saw the Landscape Group’s most ambitious trip yet, travelling nearly 600 miles from Devizes to the Isle of Skye in the Inner Hebrides, and spread over a whole week to make the extended journey worthwhile.  In total, ten members judged the trip worth taking time off from work and family duties, in addition to Tim and Gill Ford Pier who were not able to secure the right week off work and who instead had their own trip the previous week.  Most of the group flew to Inverness, and thence drove to Skye in hire cars, while others drove the whole way with the intention of extending their time in Scotland.DG first rays

The location was ambitious, and so too was the weather.  Skye lies on the western seaboard of Scotland, and with mountains rising to nearly 1000m within a couple of miles of the ocean; it is noted for its fickle weather, often being called ‘The Misty Isle’.  However, the photographic gods were on our side, and for all but the final day, the sun shone from virtually cloudless skies, giving glorious sunrises and sunsets, and even the opportunity for astrophotography once darkness fell.  Additionally, a brief spell of snow during the previous week had painted the mountains white, adding to the alpine atmosphere.

DG sgurrWith such good weather, we were able to plan our location shoots with some certainty.  The Quirang and Old Man of Storr produced excellent subjects for a dawn shoot, though the latter entailed a steep climb of 400m in the dark, in order to be in place as the first rays of sunshine lit up the Old Man pinnacles.  Another early morning location was to photograph Blaven over Loch Slapin, followed by Beinn na Caillich from Loch Cill Chriosd.  At the other end of the day, Elgol, Talisker Bay and Neist Point lighthouse provided sunset spectaculars, the last with the Outer Hebrides prominent on the horizon.  The really hardy then returned to photograph the Old Man of Storr by starlight, though it has to be said they then spent a wonderfully sunny day in bed catching up on sleep. DG sunset Meanwhile, there was much else to visit and photograph during the day, both on Skye and the nearby mainland, albeit with less then optimal lighting for photography.  One shot which hardly needed any planning was the view to Sgurr nan Gillean and the northern Cuillin ridge virtually from the doorstep of the hotel.  All in all, it was something of a relief when the clouds finally obscured the sun sufficiently for us to photograph the Fairy Pools in Glen Brittle in subdued light.

This might have been a Landscape Group trip, but when Steve Hardman came back one evening with information about a boat trip to see White Tailed Sea Eagles, the group were unanimous in wanting to take up the offer.  Our sighting of the Eagles was brief, but very worthwhile to see such a rare bird, and afterwards we were able to photograph seals hauled out on rocks in exceptionally good light.  Many thanks to Steve for making this possible.

The week passed very quickly and with an early flight booked for the 31st March, most left Skye on the 30th to take in the area around Fort William and Glencoe before heading for Inverness.  Others started the long drive south.  Special thanks for the trip go to Sue Wadman for organising the flights, car hire and hotel, without which none of this would be possible. DG
Images by Dave Gray:  First Rays on the Old man of Storr,  Sgurr Nan Gillean from Sligachan Hotel and Sunset at Elgol

 

'The Night Sky' 25 May 2017  
An excellent evening of astrophotography presentations started as threatening dark grey clouds rolled over the club house and deposited unseen snow in the car park.
Dr Ed Cloutman EFIAP started the show with his talk on photographing distant astronomical objects, while our own Robert Harvey ARPS EFIAP followed with his presentation of astrophotography landscapes.
EC andromedaEd started by explaining that he works from his back garden in South Wales, surrounded by light and air pollution which provide significant challenges to photographing the night sky. A sturdy mount, telescope, filters and long (20-30 minute) exposures are essential. After giving us a glimpse of his camera, which bolts onto the telescope, takes images in black and white and comes with its own mini-refrigerator (to cool the chip and help cut down on image noise), he started his presentation with an AV. The Star Wars theme blared out as he took us on a journey out of our atmosphere, through the solar system, past nebula and galaxies, into deep space. The images and the music were amazing. EC orionAfter the last chord died away, Ed began to tell us how he takes his images. First, there is the tripod, or mount, which needs to be very stable and have the ability to track the subject of the image as it appears to move across the sky. He has 2 telescopes, a 1000mm f7.5 refractor and a 2000mm astrograph made of carbon fibre. He uses a dedicated CCD camera together with Broadband RGB filters (to add colour) and Narrow Band filters (which help reduce light pollution). He said it takes him about an hour to set the camera up, including aligning it with the pole star, connecting all the electronic equipment together (including his laptop), and taking relevant precautions against condensation. Ed showed us images of the small domed observatory he has built in his back garden. And he talked about the software that he uses, both to control the camera during shoots and to help with post-processing. He explained that he usually stacks a large number of images together before using Photoshop to ensure colour corrections. He finished his presentation with a series of images from his AV to illustrate some of the technical issues from earlier in his talk. These included spectacular images of Cassiopeia, the Cocoon Nebula, the Owl Nebula, the Pin Wheel Galaxy, Andromeda (top right), Triangullum constellation, and the Globular Cluster. There were also images from Orionshowing Betelgeuse, the Orion nebula (above), the Running Man nebula and the Horsehead nebula.

What a show! A cup of tea was definitely needed to take it all in before Robert’s presentation on Landscape Astrophotography. Called “Stumbling Around in the Dark”, Robert explained that he was going to concentrate on taking images of brighter celestial objects with a less technical Digital SLR, lens and tripod combination. First he talked about shooting the moon. He explained that it is best to take the full moon when it is close to the horizon and of a similar brightness to the surrounding landscape. Short exposures of around a second are needed to avoid blurring due to the earth’s rotation. He illustrated this with images taken on Lundy Island, Glastonbury Tor, and of an eclipse of the moon rising over Overton Hill.

RH devilRobert showed us a series of images taken of Solar eclipses round the world and said that he would be attending the next total eclipse taking place later this year in America. We were shown some beautiful moonlit images taken at Avebury; the first Severn Crossing; a bridge in Tromso, Norway; Portland Lighthouse; and the Old Faithful geyser in Yellowstone National Park. Taking landscape photos by the light of moon, he said, requires long exposures because the moon is considerably less bright than the sun. However, they can look remarkably similar to daylight shots using exposures of around 8 minutes at ISO100 and f11.However, if you want to include stars in your nighttime images, he explained, it is better to take them by the light of a gibbous moon rather than a full moon but that exposures need to be no more than 20-30 seconds to avoid blur as the earth rotates. Images from Avebury and Zion National Park in Utah were used to illustrate this. On moonless night, Robert suggested finding a dark place (e.g. Salisbury Plain, or the Namib Desert) to avoid light pollution from nearby habitation. Foregrounds can be light-painted with a torch to provide interest, as illustrated with images from Devil’s Den, near Marlborough (right) and Glastonbury Tor. Or the landscape can be used to provide a strong silhouette as shown in shots of Great Stable Tor on Dartmoor, the Old Man of Storr on Skye, and the North Window in the Arches National Park, Utah.

Robert also had images of star trails taken at Stonehenge, Wheal Coates engine house in Cornwall, and a quiver tree landscape in Namibia. He explained that to obtain star trails one needs to point the camera and tripod towards the north star and take a series of 30 sec exposures for about an hour. These exposures would then be blended in Photoshop to produce a single image. One of the 30 sec exposures can have the foreground light-painted which will then show clearly in the final image. Robert finished his presentation with a series of images of the Milky Way. He said that it is best photographed in late summer and, as the Milky Way is quite faint, he uses a fast lens and exposes at f2 for 20 secs at ISO3200. He showed images taken at West Kennet Long Barrow and Dunkery Beacon, followed by a couple of images taken with his fish-eye lens, one through Delicate Arch in Utah, and one with quiver trees in Namibia.
On a visit to Norway Robert captured some spectacular images of the Aurora Borealis as it lit the sky over the snow covered landscape.
RH milkyFinally, his piece de resistance was a 10 frame stitch panorama (left) taken in Namibia showing the arch of the Milky Way behind rocks and quiver trees which included 3 other galaxies. A magnificent canvas print was also on display for us to study.

What an excellent evening with so much for us to take in, consider and admire. And when we left the clubhouse, the sky had cleared to reveal an array of bright stars.

Overheard snatches of conversation as people left suggested that some were contemplating going and getting their cameras.   Many thanks to both presenters. DF
See more of Robert's Astrophotography images                                       See more of Ed Cloutman's images

 

“From Muck to Magic” 18 April 2017  

Spike (AFIAP DPAGB) and Penny (EFIAP DPAGB) Piddock made a welcome return to Devizes Camera Club to present their enigmatically titled “Muck to Magic” presentation. Penny explained that the images in their presentation were taken in Indonesia and the Philippines and, while Spike spent most of his time scuba diving with his photographic kit, she would only snorkel and spend time exploring the local people and customs. In Spike’s case, she said, the “Muck” related to the volcanic sand and murky conditions of his dives and the “Magic” related to the wonderful images he was able to make of the sea life. in Penny’s case the “Muck” related to the recycling tips she visited and the “Magic” to her wonderful Balinese cultural images.
PPPenny started by taking us on a photographic tour of the area where they stayed in the Philippines, showing images of children in the local school, market stalls in the town, and the transport options available (mainly bikes, motor bikes and tuktuks). She showed us the contrasts between the beautifully painted church with its clean lines and statuary, the shops with corrugated iron walls and roofs, the wooden houses on stilts linked with rickety wooden walkways, and the workers on the local recycling tip.

PP1Spike took over and presented a range of images taken when he was diving in the Marine Reserve. Several of the images were of extremely small animals including a sea slug that was millimeters in size and nicknamed Shaun the Sheep from the impression of its appearance. There were other fabulous images, including Juvenile Frog Fish; the fabulously camouflaged, but poisonous Scorpion Fish; Eels; Sea Horses; and different types of crab. He also explained how the Blue Ringed Octopus scares his attackers by expanding the blue poison rings on its body. There were also some enchanting images of Anemone Fish swimming amongst the poisonous tendrils of the anemones.

After the break, we were entertained with a couple of Audio Visual presentations. The first was called Bali Magic and took us on a tour of some of Bali’s temples and statues of Gods. The Gods came in all shapes and sizes, encompassing both the human and the animal kingdoms. There were images of innumerable masks, a number of musicians and their instruments, and a set of images of Balinese dancers. The second audio visual presentation was about Komodo Dragons, showing them being fed chickens from the back of a boat. Spike also showed some more amazing images taken in the waters where the Komodos had been swimming!

The evening was rounded off by Spike showing images he had taken when diving over wrecks in the Red Sea. Many images of fish and wreckage had been taken using available light, but he showed us how the use of flash can bring out the colours of a focal subject while leaving objects in the rest of the images dull and grey. Images of the wrecks cargoes were also of interest. The SS Thistlegorm was sunk on 6th April 1941 carrying a cargo of military supplies to Egypt including motor bikes, generators, railway engines and a large quantity of Wellington boots! The Yollanda struck a reef on 1st April 1980 and eventually rolled off the reef into deeper water, leaving much of its cargo of baths and toilets on the reef.

Throughout the evening the audience raised questions about the technicalities of underwater photography which Spike and Penny answered enthusiastically. Our Chairman’s thanks to Spike and Penny were seconded with a warm round of applause. DF                                                     Images © Spike & Penny Piddock

 

Set Subject Competition - The Kennet & Avon Canal  11 April 2017  

The judges for the set subject competition were husband and wife team Peter Brisley ARPS and Sue O'Connell ARPS EFIAP/b DPAGB BPE3*.
This year the subject was the Kennet & Avon Canal and entrants could document anything seen near or on the historic waterway including - people, places, landscapes, details and wildlife.
Peter explained that when judging a competition he and Sue look through the images separately and then compare notes - sometimes they agree but sometimes they have differing views. Judging is subjective and after looking at the technicalities of the images the final awards given come down to the judges personal choice.
CP Cosy PintSue said that the images entered showed many interesting ideas on the set subject and said that for competitions she always looked for some of the photographers own input and not just a straight 'record shot' (although she did not really like the term.) Helpful comments were given on each entry and some images might have been improved by cropping out dull areas so the eye can concentrate on the subject and members were advised not to over saturate their images.

Amongst the Beginners entries were some interesting and unusual images of the locks and the ornate bridges that span the canal in Bath. Many images were converted to monochrome which in most cases suited the subject.
In this section an image by Craig Purvis beautifully depicted the Barge Inn at Seend Cleeve at dusk and Sue awarded 'Cosy Pint Beckons' (left) first place. Sue said it was a delightful image with excellent colours and it was taken at a good angle to show the reflection in the water. Craig was also awarded an HC for the monochrome 'Canal in my Cellar' with its elegant Georgian buildings. Placed second was 'Penelope's Maiden Voyage' by Kyra Wilson which cleverly portrayed the view from on board a narrowboat as it travelled peacefully along complete with glasses of wine on hand!
Martin Stokes gained third place with one of his colourful images taken near the historic Crofton Pumping Station and Sue Wadman was awarded 2 Highly Commendeds.

CW First LockIn the Intermediate section Sue began commenting on the images with Peter continuing after the break.
The monochrome atmospheric misty scene 'First Lock of the Flight' by Caroline Wright (right) depicting a narrowboat about to ascend the Caen Hill flight of locks was awarded first place. Second place was awarded to the view through one of the canal's many bridges by David Fraser titled 'Ladies Bridge'.  Another tranquil scene 'Coming Through' by Andy Vick was third and an HC went to the image with the title 'Glorious Autumn Colour' which perfectly described this image by Caroline.
RH Wootton Rivers
Peter commented on the Advanced section entries which again showed a great variety of interpretations of the subject.
A colourful sunlit scene showing cluttered barges reflected in the water titled ' Winter Sunlight at Wootton Rivers' (left)
by Robert Harvey ARPS EFIAP gained first place and another image by Robert showing moored narrowboats on a tranquil frosty morning was placed second. 
'Sorting the Line' an image of a fisherman and a lad by Richard Atkinson showed a different canal activity. Richard was also awarded an HC and images by Richard Watson and Pam Mullings also gained HC's.
 
Interested to see more of the canal after viewing the member's images Peter and Sue stopped in Devizes on their way to the club to view the Caen Hill flight and the lock workings.

Richard Watson thanked Peter and Sue for judging the competition and for giving members a very informative evening.PM

Full results                       The awarded images can be seen in the Galleries

 

WCPF Members Exhibition & Salon Acceptances

The first quarterly update of salon acceptances has now been published.
RA VillageSo far this year club members have achieved 34 acceptances half of which were in the WCPF Members' Exhibition.
Particular congratulations must go Hilary Eagles on gaining two acceptances - her first everHE Parasols - and to Robert Harvey ARPS EFIAP on achieving a highly commended and a selectors ribbon. Well done to both of them and to the other club members who also gained an acceptances.
The next update will be at the end of June. MB
In the meantime please keep a careful record of your acceptances .

DCC members were awarded 18 acceptances in the WCPF Members' Exhibition
Robert Harvey ARPS EFIAP - 9 acceptances with an HC and a Selector's Ribbon
Richard Atkinson  AFIAP - 3 acceptances
Gill Cardy FRPS AFIAP DPAGB - 2 acceptances
Hilary Eagles - 2 acceptances
Kevin Ferris LRPS - 2 acceptances                      Congratulations to all

WCPF Accepted Images                   2017 Salon Acceptances PDF           
Images:- Morrocan Village by Richard Atkinson AFIAP & Parosols by Hilary Eagles

 

'From V to A – The Creation of a Visual Arts ARPS Panel' 4 April 2017  

Members warmly welcomed back Tony Byram EFIAP ARPS AWPF DPAGB who has visited the club on several previous occasions both as a speaker and a judge. On this visit Tony presented his prints and AV's showing his journey to gain his AWPF and ARPS distinctions with his panels of Venetian Carnival images.
A frequent visitor to the annual Venice Carnival Tony set the scene by first showing an AV of the magnificent architecture, canals, bridges, picturesque corners and of course the gondolas that make Venice such an attraction for photographers. Tony is the chairman of WAVES - group who meet locally to study and practice the making of Audio Visual sequences.
TB MilanRedLeading groups of photographers around the crowded streets during carnival time in Venice Tony finds the best places to get images of the elaborately dressed, masked revellers as they pose against historic backgrounds. Tony recounted some of the many interesting experiences he had when photographing the costumed people from many countries who come especially for the carnival.
Every year there are different costumes and now as well as the traditional venetian costumes there are is also a variety of rather surreal outfits from oriental to punk, comic to bizarre to be photographed!
After the break Tony presented his prints as panels and explained his thoughts on how to go about setting out a successful panel. Tony was awarded his LRPS distinction 'rather a long time ago' when the requirements were to show that you were a competent photographer and could take a variety of different images. Using film in those days Tony's panel of 10 prints portrayed a selection of straightforward wildlife, landscape and close up images.
More recently when setting about gaining his ARPS Tony was advised to present his Venice portraits in a more creative way.
TB Three FrenchTony demonstrated how he changes the images by first showing the original and then the final creative effect he achieved after experimenting using Paintshop Pro software. Using filters to change the appearance of the background and some parts of the costumes Tony left the face, hands and accessories as taken. Various layers of the images were faded in and out until the desired effect was achieved. Tony said that all of the images in his panel were 'fiddled with' in one way or another. When satisfied with the image, a border was added to give a painterly effect.
A panel of 12 prints of his creative Venetian prints was put forward for the Associate of the Welsh Photographic Federation distinction (AWPF). Presentation of the panel is very important so time must be given to choosing the best images and getting a good balance of subject and colour.
After successfully gaining his AWPF Tony set about putting together a panel of 15 prints for his Associate of the Royal Photographic Society (ARPS) distinction but found this was not quite so straightforward. Some images used for the AWPF panel needed to be changed and others added to make up the panel of 15 prints. Next the section entered had to chosen as the panel could be rejected if the judges felt that it should have been in a different category. Then a 'statement of intent' had to be written explaining the photographer's theory behind the images. Tony decided to enter his panel in the visual arts section and after an anxious wait the judges awarded him his visual art ARPS Portrait Panel.
Club members were invited to closely examine the excellent prints in the same way the distinction panel judges do.
Club Chairman Richard Watson LRPS thanked Tony for displaying his prints & AV's and for his insight into aquiring a photographic distinction. PM
Images © Tony Byram EFIAP ARPS AWPF DPAGB

 

'Speed Critique' 28 March 2017  

The evening was expertly led by club members Clive Rathband FRPS FPSSA EFIAP DPAGB and Joan Ryder Rathband FRPS FPSSA AFIAP DPAGB.
The idea of a 'speed critique' is to give members feedback on their images and sometimes suggest ways that could transform a good image into a superb image!

Some members were invited to show a selection of their new images to small groups of members for discussion and comment - the groups are moved around to view all the images.

Most of the members who bravely showed their images had only very recently joined the club and all of them presented an excellent selection of their digital photographs. The members present gave very favourable comments about the images which with just a few tweaks could all be award winning images in club competitions. A wide range of interesting subjects was presented from speeding motor bikes to misty landscapes and from cityscapes to birds in flight.

Both Clive and Joan have had a lot of experience judging both club competitions and salons and so are very well qualified to give helpful tips on how images can be digitally improved.

In most cases the focus and depth of field of the images presented was very good but some suggestions were made about improving the composition. It was suggested that some areas which added nothing to the image would be better cropped to draw more attention to the main subject.

A few images had unwanted distractions such as highlights or unnecessary objects which the viewer's eye kept going back to. When pointed out some of the members remarked that they had not themselves noticed the distractions before but when pointed out agreed that removing them would improve the image.
Joan's tip was when taking photographs, if possible move around to find the best angle and in some cases try to not include any sky in the image to reduce the chance of distracting light areas in the background.

Members were encouraged to try reversing some images to see if it gave a better flow as often images 'read' best from left to right but it's easy to go back again if that is preferred. Avoid reversing though if the image contains text or a well known area or landmark.

It was pointed out that all digital images can be  very much improved in post processing - adjusting the histogram carefully can bring light to the dark areas or reduce down the over exposed areas. There are many tools in 'Photoshop' that can greatly improve the image and add impact but Joan warned against going too far and over sharpening images - often it's just small changes needed to make a big difference.

Some of the discussion between members was about whether the image would be better in colour or monochrome - try both but the final decision is up to the photographer.
At the end of the evening there was time to sum up the thoughts and ideas on some of the images presented and to give some general hints and tips to help everyone present their photographs at their very best.

Thanks to those who brought along images for discussion, the members who gave suggestions which might further enhance the images and thanks especially to Clive and Joan for sharing their expertise. PM

 

Competition 3 - Open Prints   21 March 2017  

The judge for the last Print competition of the 2016 - 2017 season was Derek Gale who is a professional photographer and trainer based near Shrivenham. Derek is a very accomplished speaker and said he very much enjoyed looking through the club members entries. With a lot of humour thrown in Derek gave detailed comments on all the prints and emphasised that members should note that as well as producing an excellent image, the presentation is very important.

Members in the Beginners section may not necessarily be new to photography but might not have much experience of entering competitions so Derek gave helpful advice about improvements that could have been made to present each image at its best. To enhance an otherwise well taken image Derek advised cropping areas that detract from the overall appearance so that the eye can concentrate on the main subject. Some landscape prints had large areas of uninteresting foreground or sky which would be better removed. It is not necessary to print large as some prints would have been better printed smaller to improve the look and avoid pixelation
First place in the Beginners section went to Steve Hardman for a snowy landscape titled 'Cold Winter Afternoon' Derek remarked that it is very difficult to keep detail in both the very light areas as well as the dark areas and that Steve had done very well controlling the exposure of a very difficult subject. Steve also gained second place with another stunning landscape 'Stickle Tarn in Winter' 
Derek said that from the title 'Amethyst Sunbirds' he expected bright colours but in this case the birds were either juvenile or female but it was a well caught moment and third place went to Peter Eley.

SpanishIn the Intermediate section Derek expected that the entrants would be more experienced and should be able to present their prints well. There was an entry of 32 prints with a wide variety of subjects - from wildlife and townscapes to still life and even a tattooed lady.
First place was awarded to 'Spanish Streets' (left) by Tim Pier with the judge remarking on the clever use of night lighting and the superb finish given to the print. Tim had an excellent evening with two other night scenes 'Salvador Dali's Home Town' was awarded second place and 'On the Thames' in third place. Tim's awards continued with an HC for a monochrome print entitled 'My First Love' which portrayed a musician - very well done Tim!
A monochrome print by Hilary Eagles and another mono with just a touch of red by Andy Vick were also awarded HC's with an HC for a raptor portrait by David Wilkinson completing the Intermediate awards.

In the Advanced section entrants should have gained a lot of experience as they had made their way up through the club sections and were expected to present their work well. 
The almost monochrome print featuring a group of impalas as they fled in a cloud of dust by Pam Mullings titled 'On the Run' (below) caught the judges eye and was awarded first Runplace with 'Martial Eagle Portrait' also by Pam placed second. 
A very appealing image taken in the Falkland Islands by Robert Harvey ARPS EFIAP titled 'King Penguin Chick' was awarded third place.
The judge remarked that he particularly enjoyed the simplicity and low key effect of several prints entered by Richard Watson LRPS and gave HC's to 'Grasses' 'Encircled' and the townscape of 'The Circus' taken in Bath.

Derek was thanked by Richard Watson for taking such time and trouble to give his comments and said what an enlightening and informative evening it had been. PM

Members might note that Derek gives excellent photographic workshops and tutorials on several subjects so those who would like to learn new skills might like to look at his website Gale Photography  for some 'serious fun'

Full results                The awarded images can be seen in the Galleries

 

‘Inspiration and Perspiration’  14 March 2017  

JT Cooling OffJT Lone treeHusband and wife team John Tilsley ARPS DPAGB APAGB and Di CPAGB whose presentations have been very much enjoyed by the club on previous visits brought along a selection of their latest prints and DPI's taken on their travels.
John explained the meaning of the title - the inspiration is when you get a gem of an idea in your mind but the perspiration comes when trying to achieve the final image as things rarely go exactly to plan!
Deciding whether colour or monochrome suits the image best or even which printing paper gives the desired effect all play a part in the final result.
John started off the evening by showing a selection of his excellent prints with simplicity and subtle lighting a constant theme. John displayed his prints of snow covered trees and icy landscapes taken while cross country skiing in Finland and told members of some of their experiences in such a cold climate. 
The stormy skies, misty coastal scenes and a wonderful sunset encountered on a visit to the west coast Scotland all made impressive prints although the bad weather hampered their intention of canoeing! 
Monochrome portraits of characters found at a steam railway and others taken at gypsy pony sales were another interest of John's. Observation and waiting for the right moment were key to an outstanding photograph.
The gothic architecture of Strawberry Hill House and wintry conditions on Dartmoor were other locations that had been visited and John explained how he set out to photograph them at their best.
Spain was another area recently explored with images of the empty roads, the wide open landscapes and the abundant wildlife.
DT DartmoorWalking the streets of Paris both David and Di find a wide range of subjects on their frequent visits - art galleries, stations, cemeteries and even graffiti can make interesting images. Enjoying the pavement cafe's also gave some good photographic opportunities.

 DT storkFor the second half of the evening Di gave a presentation of her projected images and explained that she now very much enjoyed digital photography as she felt she could experiment with different techniques and subjects with no worries about wasting film.
In the past using film, Di had mainly concentrated on taking landscapes but now she sets herself challenges to take a wide range of different subjects such as birds in flight and street photography. Di enjoys looking around for interesting details to photograph.

In Spain Di managed to get very good shots of a Griffon Vulture in flight, some obliging White Storks on a nest and even a rare Black Stork while it did a flypast. There were as everyone finds lots of failed wildlife shots to delete but that's not a problem using a digital camera.
John and Di try to avoid taking similar images even when they are both in the same area but often find afterwards that the same tree or statue appealed to them both but in most cases they take a different viewpoint. 
Members were given some helpful tips on how best to photograph snow and how to get the right white balance.
Despite feeling that bad weather always follows them on their travels John and Di both still manage to capture stunning images whether it is raining, snowing or even a white-out blizzard! 
Robert Harvey thanked John and Di very much for sharing their latest photographic experiences and the way they approach their photographic journeys. PM
Images: 'Cooling Off' and 'Lone Tree' © John Tilsley - 'Stork Scratching' and 'Dartmoor Stream' © Di Tilsley

How to Take Better Wildlife Pictures 7 March 2017  
It was with great pleasure that we welcomed Sandie Cox ARPS DPAGB back to Devizes Camera Club to present her talk on “How to Take Better Wildlife Pictures”.  Having previously judged our images in competition, and knowing that she liked to “feel” the texture of the fur and feathers on the subjects in wildlife photographs, we knew we would be in for a treat.
Sandra is an intrepid and frequent traveler to many of the best wildlife photography sites around the world. Her images took us on a tour of some of the places she has been to on several occasions, including to Kenya where she helps with a conservation project. Along the way she gave us hints and guidance on how to get rewarding images and how to make the best of them for presentation.
She started with images taken while walking her dog, emphasizing the need to keep practicing. Learning about how an animal behaves can help you be ready when the dog starts to shake water off its coat. Shots of birds landing, even on a television aerial, are easier than when they are taking off as they stall with their wings out before touchdown.
Among the images that Sandie showed us were birds in conservancies; seabirds around the UK and around the world; polar bears and walruses in the Arctic; penguins and albatross in the Antarctic; boobies, crabs and iguanas in the Galapagos; tigers and sloth bears in India; grizzly bears  in Canada; and a host of wildlife in Kenya.
Each sequence was accompanied by a piece of advice or a story of a difficulty she tried to overcome. Her advice included:
  • Be patient - illustrated by her quest to photograph an albatross against a wave in rough seas off Antarctica. She told us she spent 8 hours on deck getting images of birds in the wrong place, but eventually got her shot, although it wasn’t an albatross. At other times, in other parts of the world, she merely had to wait in uncomfortable positions in safari trucks until a tiger moved into a better position.
  • Understand animal behavior - if you know what the animal or bird is likely to do, you can be ready with the right exposure and focus. Sandra showed some images of grizzly bears catching salmon where she had captured unusual stances and movement. She also showed images of bee-eaters which, she said, will keep coming back to the same perch.
  • Shoot from low down - Sandie castigated herself for a “lazy” shot of a blue-footed booby which she took in the Galapagos from a standing position. A much stronger image would have been possible by kneeling in front of the bird as it wasn’t bothered by her presence.
  • Isolate animals and avoid distractions - this was particularly illustrated in a series of images of tigers in the undergrowth. Grass is always a problem, she said, but if you can get a clear shot of their eyes, it can make a good image of the animal in its habitat. She also described the problem of gulls getting in the way of pictures of grizzly bears as they go for scraps of salmon.

Sandie said she liked images of animals walking towards her, but advised that judges prefer to see them moving across the frame with the furthest leg from the camera in a forward position. She conceded that there would usually be less of a problem with depth of field when taken this way.
Her biggest piece of advice for post-processing was to look for a crop that would enhance an image. She illustrated this on many occasions when she made a fairly ordinary shot come alive by cropping in to detail. She had transformed an image of chaotic wildebeest at a river crossing with a lion in the distance by cropping in so that it became obvious that the lion had intent and the wildebeest were in a panic.
As our Chairman, Richard, said in his summing up, not only were we treated to some excellent images and told how to shoot them, we also saw how near misses happen and how they can sometimes be transformed with judicious cropping. I’m sure everyone attending will have learned a lot and been inspired, not only to go out with the camera, but to take another look at previous images to see whether cropping can improve them. Sandie received a generous round of applause for a very enjoyable and informative evening.  DF

Competition 3 2017 - Open Projected Images 28 February 2017  

SW BreconThis was the club's last Open Projected Image Competition for the 2016-2017 season and the judge for the evening was Terry Hewlett ARPS. Terry runs photography workshops and courses on several subjects including wedding photography and the use of flash lighting.
Starting with the Beginners section an image by Sue Wadman of a picturesque waterfall in the Brecon Becons (right)
was awarded first place. Sue was also awarded and HC for her Italian landscape titled 'Barga, Evening Light'
A close up of a caterpillar by Kate Aston was awarded second place  and Peter Eley's 'Crystal Balls' was awarded third place out of the 30 images entered.
HE ParasolsTwo images by Heather Collins and others by Mair Bull, Martin Stokes, Kyra Wilson and David Wilkinson were all awarded HC's.

From the 21 entries in the Intermediate section a colourful image title 'Parasols' (left) by Hilary Eagles caught the judge's eye and gained first place with 'Daydreaming' another image by Hilary gaining an HC.
Silhouetted figures against a sunset reflected in the sea titled 'Another Place'
was Caroline Wright's entry which was RW Play timeplaced second with 'Sunrise on Derwent Water' also by Caroline gaining an HC.
A local landscape in monochrome by David Fraser 'Wansdyke' was in third place. An HC was awarded to Tim Pier for his Venice night scene.

Club Chairman Richard Watson LRPS entered an image of a small red clad child reflected in a shiny water feature titled 'Play Time' which the judge placed first out of the 24 images entered in the Advanced section.
'Portrait of a Bald Eagle' and an assortment of lively dogs in an image titled 'Who let the Dogs Out' both by Pam Mullings gained second and third places.
Two HC's went to Kevin Ferris LRPS one for a smoke image 'Along Came a Spider' and another for 'Small White Butterfly'
Gill Cardy FRPS DPAGB AFIAP was awarded an HC for 'Azure Winged Magpie' another bird - this time a kingfisher by Michael Barnes AWPS also gained an HC. Another HC went to Richard Atkinson AFIAP for his image 'Moroccan Village'

Thanks to the judge Terry Hewlett for giving his interesting comments and awarding the places, to Caroline for organising the competition and to those members who entered a such wide variety of images.
Full Results                                                                 The awarded images can be seen in the Galleries

 

The Landscape Group presents..... 21 February 2017  

SH GodafossSteve Hardman began the evening by showing images taken on his travels around Iceland. Back in 1972 Steve went on an expedition to do some conservation work and was able to explore the island taking slides as he went. Roads were very rough or non-existent and travelling was very difficult but in his more recent visits Steve found the roads had been made up so travelling is easier although a 4 x 4 vehicle is needed in more  remote areas. Steve showed some digitised early slides and compared them to images taken in recent years. There are many photographic opportunities in this scenic land of volcanic activity, lava flows, rugged coastlines, waterfalls and glaciers. Having learnt more about composition etc. since joining the club about a year ago, Steve now looks carefully for leading lines and foreground interest in his landscapes and continues to learn more about photography. Members very much enjoyed hearing tales of Steve's Icelandic travels and seeing his superb landscape and bird photographs.                  'Godafoss' by Steve Hardman right

MB ripplesMichael Barnes AWPS displayed his panel of landscape prints and gave a detailed account of his photographic journey.
Looking for ways of improving his standard of photography Michael aimed to always shoot in manual, get to know his camera better and practice as much as possible. After being awarded acceptances in Salons, Michael decided that gaining a photographic distinction would give him a target to aim for. After attending an Advisory Day his objective was to get together a panel of prints with the theme 'landscapes with water'. Needing 12 prints for submission he already had about 6 images he was really pleased with but with little time and a mishap with his camera he had to submit some images he was not sure were quite up to the required standard. Much to Michael's relief the judges approved his panel and he was awarded Associate of the Welsh Photographic Society. Many congratulations to Michael for his achievement. 'Ripples' by Michael left

Richard Watson LRPS showed some of the images taken by members of the Landscape Group on a variety of field trips during the last year. Led by Dave Gray and Robert Harvey ARPS EFIAP the club has a flourishing landscape group who get together to visit scenic areas both local and further away.
A visit was made in May 2016 to photograph the beech avenue at Kingston Lacey and ancient Knowlton Church. In June a group headed off to the Isle of Wight to capture images of the Needles and the cliffs at Alum Bay. There were lots of photographic opportunities when visiting the Porlock area in August - the salt marsh with its decaying groynes, the hill with its heather and gorse and rounding off the day a stunning sunset over the Weir. Later in August a visit was made to Avebury to practice taking photographs by moonlight. Interesting photographs of waterfalls and autumn colour were taken by members on a visit to South Wales.
A very enjoyable October weekend was spent in the Peak District photographing the stunning autumn colours - discarded millstones, waterfalls, a mossy brook and misty landscapes. All this lovely scenery made excellent subjects for the group to try out various techniques. Members went onto Salisbury Plain in November to photograph the 'super moon' as it rose above the skyline.  Images by members of the Landscape Group can be seen on the Group page.
There were so many interesting visits with more locations planned for this year so thanks to Dave and Robert for the organisation which makes these outings so successful.

RH churchLast but not least Robert gave a short presentation titled 'Light on the Landscape' or 'The Point of Return' explaining that on the first visit to a location the conditions may not have been ideal to capture the image aspired to. Sometimes a different time of day or a different season would have made a more appealing scene. Would the light pre-dawn, sunrise or sunset or even moonlight complement the scene better? Frost or snow can enhance the contours; autumn colours can complement the scene or a stormy sky can add interest. Examples were shown of images taken on a first visit and then after a lot of thought about what could improve the image, the location would be revisited hoping the conditions would be ideal. It may take several attempts before finally everything comes together and the scene is captured perfectly. An example shows Knowlton Church taken on a group visit and later revisited in winter to show the contours of the Neolithic Circle.
Great dedication is needed by Robert to capture such stunning images so thanks for sharing your enthusiasm.
Thanks for all the members who gave their presentations making a very varied and interesting landscape evening. PM

 

'The Opportunistic Photographer' 14 February 2017  

cw pigeonThis was the first visit to the club by Colin Walls CPAGB who had travelled from Malvern to give his presentation. Remarking that he does not usually travel so far to visit clubs but Devizes held some special memories for him as he very much enjoyed the locally brewed Wadworths draught beer - and there were several more references to beer later in the evening!
Colin has had an interest in photography for about 40 years and has enjoyed being a member of several clubs as he has moved about the south of the country. Some judges came in for some criticism as they often made rather ill-informed remarks about the images - take photographs for your own pleasure - not to impress a judge was his advice. 
A very varied selection of images that have been taken over the years since Colin first had a  digital camera - 2 megapixels in the early days but even that gave surprisingly acceptable images for projection.

CW towerPreferring to capture what he sees directly with his camera Colin is not a fan of Photoshop mostly only using it to remove unwanted artefacts.
Travelling widely for his work Colin always carries a camera and often nowadays it is a phone at hand to take the opportunity to capture random subjects that catch his eye - a coil of rope, a shop front, a boat on the beach, an electricity pylon or even a pigeon framed by a broken window! above right
You do not have to show the whole image - a part makes a more interesting image such as the sunflower. below
CW sunflowersClub competition subjects such as 'Steps and 'Old & New'  left are useful as they encourage experimentation to find something different to portray or finding an interesting viewpoint resulting in images you may otherwise not have taken. 
Several interesting examples of silhouettes and contre-joir photographs were shown. Colin showed colour and then a monochrome version of some images with varied opinions on which was the preferable image.
Reflections are another theme that Colin returns to again and again - sometimes cropped to give an abstract looking image.
Another theme is 'infinity pictures' where you cannot see the full extent of the subject as the image fills the frame and beyond.
Colin likes to look for textures and shapes in his mostly very minimalistic images. A metal table and chairs with deep shadows made an interesting monochrome image as did silhouetted figures on a spiral staircase
A selection of interesting nature and portraits were also shown with candid photographs of people engrossed in their activity and unaware they were being photographed.
Some you win and some you lose Colin stated, but it's always worth having a go - memory cards are very cheap these days!
Colin was thanked by Chairman Richard Watson for his very thought provoking presentation.    PM
 Website 'Drawing with Light'        Images © Colin Walls CPAGB

 

Warminster CC Multi Club Print Battle 2017 11 February 2017  

The annual Multi Club Print Battle took place on Saturday afternoon at the Warminster CC club room with a good attendance from members of the 7 clubs taking part.
The afternoon began with judge Penny Piddock DPAGB together with her husband Spike showing a range of their prints taken over the years.
Both Penny and Spike are keen underwater photographers - Penny prefers to snorkel so her images are taken nearer the surface usually using the natural light filtering down from the surface. Several of Penny's images cleverly captured both under and above water views in the same image. Spike prefers to dive deeper and so has to use flash to show up the brilliant GC Owlcolours of the undersea world. Travelling to popular diving sights around the world they manage to photograph a variety of colourful and sometimes bizarre sea creatures. Some rather colourful creatures can be found around the British coast but the water tends to be rather colder and murkier than the clear tropical seas. Many of the images presented have gained awards in International Salons and other photographic competitions.

After the break Penny remarked that she was very pleased to be asked to judge the battle and that she found that the prints were of a very high standard. Those present very much enjoyed seeing the wide variety of subjects entered by the clubs - beautiful landscapes, stunning wildlife, charming portraits and much more.
Penny went on to comment on each one and give her scores out of  a maximum of 20. 
Out of the 70 prints Penny held back about 8 of the for final consideration.
The scores were very close between Devizes and Frome Wessex and both clubs had 3 prints held back so it was a case of waiting to see the scores given. Devizes finally had 3 prints awarded scores of 20 and Frome Wessex had 2 so we finished up in top place with Frome Wessex CC second and Calne CC in third place. Warminster CC & Trowbridge CC tied in 4th place, Norton Radstock were 6th and Wincanton were in 7th place.

Many congratulations to Gill Cardy FRPS AFIAP DPAGB as her print 'Great Grey Owl Sitting in Snow' left was judged by Penny as best in show. Gill was presented with an engraved glass. Prints also scoring 20 points towards the club total were 'Three Galaxies' by Robert Harvey ARPS EFIAP and 'First Venture Out' by Pam Mullings.
Very well done to Devizes CC who have now won the Trophy for 4 out of the last 5 years.

Thanks very much to Warminster CC for their hospitality and the excellent buffet provided in the break. Thanks also to Frank Collins for organising our entry and to the members who travelled to Warminster to support the club.   Full results

 

Landscape Print and Projected Image Competitions 7 February 2017  

Making his first visit to the club the competition judge Johnnie Rogers ARPS AWPF DPAGB AFIAP was welcomed by Chairman Richard Watson.
Experienced at judging at club level and soon to judge a salon and also a presenter, Johnnie gave an insight into how he goes about judging a selection of images - first looking through all the images to get a feel for the standard and then getting in really close to each image to see all the finer details. While checking for sharpness Johnnie commented many times on sensor dust spots and chromatic aberration and other flaws that even the most experienced of our photographers had not noticed! Members please note - get your sensor cleaned professionally, learn how to do it safely yourself or check your images very carefully and remove unwanted dust spots in post-production.
KynanceJohnnie made very fair comments on how an image could have been improved by cropping, dodging or burning or removing 'transient' elements of human origin from the scene . Opinions differ on how milky or sharp moving water appears according to the shutter speed used - but often it is a matter of personal taste.

There was a rather small entry for the landscape prints this year but nevertheless Johnnie commented on the generally high standard. Each print was expertly commented on in great detail - any flaws noted and relevent advice given on how the image might have been improved.
kilchurn castle
Many congratulations to Robert Harvey ARPS EFIAP who had an extremely good evening with his print 'Kynance Cove' left gaining first place and 'Kilchurn Castle' (green tents and all!) in second place and also his 'Salt Cellar' was awarded an HC.
Dave Gray came third with a stunning Peak District image titled 'Stanage Millstones' in the evening light.

Robert was presented with the Landscape Print Trophy and later was awarded the Landscape Projected Image Trophy to complete his triumphant evening!

Johnnie had 47 projected images to comment on after the break and so had to reduce the time spent on each one but he still succeeded in giving each image a full appraisal and gave the photographers a lot of helpful advice on how their images could be improved.
Again Robert was awarded first and second places with the judge actually managing to find no faults at all with the winning image 'Buachaille Etive Mor' and congratulated him on such an excellent image.
Special mention should also be made of Steve Hardman who is a fairly new club member but who was awarded 3rd place and also an HC. Club chairman Richard Watson LRPS did well and was awarded an HC for each of his 3 entries. Dave Gray and David Fraser were awarded 2 HC's each so well done to everyone. 
All in all a very interesting evening with a wide range of landscape images for members to enjoy.

Many thanks to Johnnie for travelling from South Wales and for giving such close scrutiny to all the landscape images, we very much look forward to further visits from him in the future.
Members should have learnt a lot from the judges comments - not least to look much more closely at their images before printing or entering projected images and eliminate all those blemishes! PM
Full results                                       All the awarded images can be seen in the Galleries