| Group Visit to the Isle of Wight
|Six members from the Nature and Landscape Groups ventured over the waters to the Isle of Wight in search of some rare butterflies and inspiring landscapes.
A dry, bright, but overcast day promised some good conditions for our challenges
Our initial quarry was a rare butterfly, usually only found in small colonies on the south coast of the Isle of Wight. “The Glanville Fritillary is named after Lady Eleanor Glanville, a 17th century Lepidopterist. After her death, one of her sons contested her will on the grounds of lunacy, as eloquently described by Moses Harris in "The Aurelian" in 1766: "This Fly took its Name from the ingenious Lady Glanvil, whose Memory had like to have suffered for her Curiosity. Some Relations that was disappointed by her Will, attempted to let it aside by Acts of Lunacy, for they suggested that none but those who were deprived of their Senses, would go in Pursuit of Butterflies".” (www.ukbutterflies.co.uk).
Far from being senseless we soon found a few specimens at our first site, Compton Chine, resulting in some excellent images.
Some members also took the opportunity to photograph looking west over Freshwater Bay towards Tennyson Down which was to be our second stop. Species found included – Glanville Fritillary, Large Skipper, Small Heath, Painted Lady, Meadow Brown, Common Blue.
After a less than memorable supper in Totland we took the long stroll up to the Needles Old Battery for views down over the Needles pinnacles towards Purbeck.
With the sun in a less favourable position we then moved on to Alum Bay, noted for its different coloured sandy cliffs.
Sediments of sands, lignites and clays laid down were pushed vertically some 10 million years later to form the multi-coloured cliffs we see today.
Three minerals, mica, quartz and feldspar make up the sands. In their pure state these are white but become coloured by contamination by other minerals.
Unfortunately, we had to leave before sunset to catch the last ferry back to Lymington.
Our thanks again go to Robert Harvey for organising the trip and researching the sites, as well as to Steve and Michael for driving.
Certainly a day trip to the Island was easy, and with many photographic opportunities it would be well worth repeating in the future.
|Salon Acceptances - DCC Month Ending 31st May 2016
May has been a very good month for Salon Acceptances with 33 images accepted in salons worldwide. To date the club has amassed a total of 142 acceptance in five months compared with last years total (130) for the whole year.
Gill, Richard and Stuart have already exceeded their tally for last year. This month four club members have also had new images accepted for the first time; Richard (5), and Robert (3), Kevin, (1) and Michael (1) which is always pleasing to see.
Congratulations to Gill for gaining two Judges Awards and to Richard Atkinson for gaining a FIAP Ribbon this month both achieved on the GB Small Print Circuit. You can view a list of the total acceptances achieved by club members here
Well done to everyone. If you would like to try your luck at entering a salon and need some advice please contact any of those listed on the monthly return and I am sure they would very pleased to help you through the process. MB
|Nature Group trip to Cotley Hill Sunday May 29th
Some members of the Nature Group have signed up to a spring and summer of Butterfly photography, inspired in part by Cate Barrow's presentation to the club last season. The first of these trips took place last Sunday, 29th May, to Cotley Hill near Warminster.
Cotley Hill comprises a very steep chalk slope, mainly south facing, which is an SSSI especially on account of its butterfly populations.
The weather was sunny although quite breezy, suitable for active butterflies though the light was sometimes unforgiving for the camera. The subjects took some finding, at least initially, but became easier to spot once the tell tales signs had been assimilated.
We soon started seeing many Marsh Fritillaries, including some paired for mating, and also Adonis Blue with their irridescent blue sheen. A sheltered spot near the bottom of the hill then revealed Green Hairstreak, Small Blue, Grizzled, Dingy and Large Skippers, and a total of 6 other more common species. By midday, the site was becoming very warm, and butterfly activity had dwindled, so after 3 hours on the hill, it was time to head back and check the results on the computer.
Our thanks go to Robert Harvey for researching the location and the butterflies to be found there at this time of year. DG
Images: top left 'Mating Marsh Fritillaries' above 'Adonis Blue' both by Dave Gray
Left: 'Green Hairstreak' by Robert Harvey ARPS EFIAP
|Annual General Meeting and Presentation of Awards 17 May 2016
Club Chairman Richard Watson LRPS welcomed members to the last meeting of the season and was pleased to see that the AGM was so well attended and he thanked members for their continued support during the season. Richard said he was proud seeing the member's prints on display at the Biennial Print Exhibition held in August 2016 and thanked all those who made it possible.
The 2015-2016 programme had been very varied and successful thanks to the work by Dave Gray and Robert Harvey ARPS EFIAP.
Dave and Robert also led the thriving Landscape and Nature Groups and organised many very enjoyable weekend and day outings during the year.Visits had been made to the Dorst Coast,West Sussex and waterfalls in Wales and many other photogenic areas.
Caroline Wright was praised for successfully organising the many competitions held during the season.
Stuart Barnes was thanked for his role as Membership Secretary as well as arranging the refreshments each week. Monthly Newsletters produced by Stuart and Michael Barnes are a great benefit to the club.
The club was pleased to welcome many new members during the season and attendance at meetings had been good.
Richard Atkinson has as usual been a very efficient Treasurer. A new projector which received much praise and sound equipment had been purchased from the club funds. Mike Saunders and Mike Valentine have kindly acted as links to the Sports Club.
Pam Mullings was thanked for running the website and taking on the role of Battle Secretary part way through the season.
Our thoughts and best wishes go to Jean Ingram for her loss and Derek Mason for his recovery after ill health.
Committee members read out their reports covering the years activities and answered any queries from the members.
There were 7 resolutions put before members and after much discussion on some points, all were eventually carried.
The membership fee will rise to £35 mostly to cover the increase in the amount paid to the Sports Club for the use of the facilities.
The new committee was duly elected with most posts staying the same. Changes are - Frank Collins to take on the role as Battle Secretary and Peter Tasker to be the Publicity Officer. Mike Valentine is to understudy the Treasurers role and Hilary Eagles is welcomed back onto the committee
(for full committee list see Committee and Contacts)
Richard Watson was thanked by members for his role as Club Chairman.
After the break the Trophies were presented by Richard Watson to the very worthy winners. Robert Harvey received 6 out of 20 awards - the rest spread were spread over 10 of the club members. Some award winners were unfortunately away and not present for the group photo.
List of 2015-2016 awards
During the summer break members might like to bear in mind the Set Subject for 2016/17 is 'The Kennet and Avon Canal' which luckily is nearby for most members so look out for some interesting images.
It was announced that 'Streetlife' is to be a competition theme so look out for suitable interpretations while you are travelling around.
Enjoy your photography and hopefully get lots of interesting images to show members and enter in the competitions.
The Programme and details of the competitions for next season will be on the website soon.
Members are invited to the Social Event on the afternoon of Saturday 25th June.
Look out for Landscape and Nature Group visits during the break and look forward to all meeting up once more in September.
More Presentation Photographs Photographs by Tim Pier
|Audio-Visual Spectacular 10 May 2016
|Members enjoyed seeing a variety of the award winning sequences from the WCPF Audio Visual competition 2015.
Guiding us through the evening and explaining the good and bad points of each sequence were Devizes CC members Clive Rathband FRPS FPSSA DPAGB EFIAP and Joan Ryder Rathband FRPS FPSSA DPAGB AFIAP who had been the judges for the competition.
There were 33 entries divided into 3 categories with a wide variety of subjects - some showed stunning landscapes and wildlife while others set out to tell a story in images, words and music.
A sequence in the Photo Harmony category titled 'Jurassic Coast' by club member Robert Harvey ARPS EFIAP showed stunning images of the Dorset heritage coast from Orcombe Point to Old Harry Rocks (left) and gained 2nd place.
'In the Footsteps of Darwin' was another excellent sequence by Robert and was placed 3rd in the long AV category (up to 12 minute). Images taken in the Galapogos Islands were cleverly timed to fit in with the spoken words written by Darwin about his observations of the unique species such as the Giant Tortoise (below) which he found on these islands. Well done Robert.
An Innovation award was given to 'Dreaming' and Joan commented that although the sequence had some faults it deserved an award for its creativity.
Joan explained what judges look for in a good AV - the images must all be of the very best quality, the music and any recorded voices must be appropriate for the subject and dissolves should be timed to fit in exactly with the audio.
'Forgotten Industry' showed the history of an area on Dartmoor where granite sets were quarried and showed the hardships endured by the workers. Another sequence featured the story of the love between Edward and Wallis Simpson.
In first place in the long AV's was 'Svalborg Sojourn' with stunning images of arctic scenery and wildlife with wonderful polar bears and other wildlife. In third place was 'First Light-Last Light' with amazing sunrise and sunset photographs set to stirring music.
Sequences in the short category are limited to just 3 minutes 21 seconds. We enjoyed the very moving 'Lest we Forget' which opened with the poppies that surrounded the Tower of London and went on to show war graves and some of the inscriptions. In the same category was 'Legacy' which told some of the history of Brunel & Fox Talbot and 'Venetian Reflections' showed some very colourful images.
'Semana Santa' was 2nd in the long AV category and followed the colourful religeous processions of Holy Week and the various brotherhoods in their rather sinster costumes.
The evening finished with the best long sequence of 2015 which had an extremely moving and thought provoking commentary and harrowing images telling the story of the Auschwitz concentration camp.
Joan explained what judges look for in a good AV - all the images must be of the best quality, the music and any recorded voices must be appropriate for the subject. Many thanks to Clive & Joan for sharing their expertise.
Any members interested in making AV's can join WAVES which is based in Trowbridge and can offer help and advice.PM
|Landscape Group goes to Dorset Saturday 7th May
|The latest Landscape Group trip saw seven members photographing at various sites in Dorset, each one not meriting a full visit in its own right, but still producing memorable images. Our thanks for organising the logistics as usual go to Robert Harvey, who strung the locations together to take best advantage of the light through the day.
First stop was the beech avenue at Kingston Lacy, clad in the first flush of fresh green leaves, where we had to be careful to avoid traffic speeding along the A3082. From there, we continued to Swanage aiming to photograph the rotting supports of the old pier. Unfortunately on this occasion a diving school pontoon surrounding the pier somewhat spoiled the composition. Nevertheless, the group will know where to come sometime in the off season when the pontoon will have been removed.
Landscape then became Nature, as we headed for the Alners Gorse Butterfly reserve. This had been highly recommended by Cate Barrow, one of the club's speakers in 2015-16, and the site did look highly promising though it was a little too early in the season for the sites noted rarities.
We did however find Orange Tip, Brimstone, Speckled Wood and Red Admiral Butterflies, as well as a Common Lizard and a Grass Snake.
Back to the Landscape theme, the group headed to Sixpenny Handley to photograph an old Dutch Barn surrounded by the yellow flowers of oilseed rape.
Robert had anticipated that as part of a four year crop cycle, this would be the year that the field would be planted with oilseed rape, and indeed it was.
From there, it was just a short drive to Knowlton Church, our final venue for the day. Knowlton Church is a curious blend of pagan and Christian, with the ruins of a medieval church sited within the banks of a Bronze Age henge. The church provided our sunset shots for the day, with the sun performing well before eventually sinking into a thick bank of cloud. DG
Images: Beech Trees, Kingston Lacy & Orange Tip, Alners Gorse by Robert Harvey ARPS EFIAP
Barn & Rape Seed, Sixpenny Handley & Knowlton Church are by Dave Gray
|Salon Entries - Quarterly Report month ending 30th April 2016
|In all seven club members have entered 12 Salons worldwide amassing a total of 94 Acceptances. Amongst the 94 were 3 Highly Commended, 3 Honourable Mentions, 1 Selectors Certificate, 1 Selectors Ribbon, 3 Certificates and a first place.
The most popular Salons have been the Western Counties Exhibition (26 acceptances), Port Talbot Salon (20), and Bristol International (15).
Top of the league so far is Robert Harvey ARPS, EFIAP, with 36 points from 28 entries. Kevin Ferris LRPS, is giving him a run for his money with 28 Acceptance from just 22 entries, followed by Gill Cardy FRPS DPAGB AFIAP with 19 points from 16 acceptances, and Richard Atkinson AFIAP, with 10 points. Stuart Barnes has 5 points, Chris Wilkes Cuidad ARPS CPAGB, 4 points and Michael Barnes 2 points.
Robert Harvey, Richard Atkinson and Kevin Ferris have also racked up an Honourable Mention and a Highly Commended each. Certificates have also been won by Robert Harvey (twice) and Kevin Ferris (twice). Robert Harvey also recently achieved a First and with it the Photo Harmony Trophy in the Western Counties PF Audio-Visual Awards, Photo Harmony Section. We congratulate Robert and all those who have gained an acceptance so far this season.
Several other Salons are taking entries during the next few weeks including the following ...
Best Foto Art (Ukraine) closing date 10th May 2016. (Sections: Open Mono and Colour)
2nd Double Half Photo Festival 2016 (India), closing date 17th May 2016. (Sections: Open Mono and Colour, Nature and PhotoTravel).
Swiss International Photo Contest, closing date 17th May 2016. (Sections: Open Mono and Colour, Nature, Portrait and PhotoTravel).
Startphoto Sofia 2016, closing date 19th May 2016. (Sections: Open Mono and Colour, Nature, Sports, People, Streets and Wrestling).
Good Light (Serbia, closing date 20th May 2016. (Sections: Open Mono and Colour, Nature, Good Light, Decisive Moment and Child).
Euro (Hungary), closing date 20th May 2016. (Sections: Open Mono and Colour, PhotoTravel).
Click it International Digital Salon (India), closing date 22nd May 2016. (Sections: Open Mono and Colour, Nature, PhotoTravel).
154th Edinburgh International Exhibition of Photography, closing date 15th June 2016. (Sections: Open Mono and Colour) PRINTS ONLY.
67th Midland Salon (Eng), closing date 27th June 2106, (Sections: Open Mono and Colour, Creative, Nature) PRINTS and PI’s.
This is not an exhaustive list. The Salons above have been listed because they represent good value for money, ease of entry and a wide subject range. Apart from the usual open categories there are also categories for People, Streets, Good Light, Decisive Moment, Portraiture inc Child and Photo Travel. Something for everyone.
A full list can be found on the FIAP website http://patronages.fiap.net/2016-by-months.html
Why not have a go yourself. I know from my own experience and from viewing many of your images this season that we have members in all competition categories capable of gaining an acceptance. Its not difficult to enter, nor too expensive to submit digital images. Most of those listed above have an entry fee of 15-20 Euros which generally allows four entries. If you enter more than one category there is a small extra charge. Acceptance rates are always in excess of 25% so what have you to lose. Reward yourself this summer with international acclaim for your photography!
If you need some advice about how to enter please let me - Michael Barnes, or any of those listed above and I am sure they will help you.
The latest Salon acceptances pdf can be seen on the Salons page
|Print & Projected Image of the Year 3 May 2016
|Our Image of the Year competitions, in both Prints and Projected Images, are always keenly fought so it proved to be this year.
Our judge for the evening was Margaret Collis ARPS, DPAGB, APAGB and Hon EFIAP. Margaret was full of praise for the high standard of entries especially in the beginner’s section. She was particularly pleased to note that entrants in this group had been "imaginative, creative and technically very sound”
She also suggested that the club standard in all sections was high particularly in respect of nature entries. It was clear she had enjoyed judging all the entries and that in the final analysis the difference between placed images and the rest was marginal.
Prints: In third place was Andy Vick with ‘On Middle and Off' depicting a cricket scene, in second place Michael Valentine with a portrait of a Red Kite. The winner however was Mair Bull, with a lovely soft image titled 'A Variety of Nigella' (top left) This was not only a very popular choice amongst members but also, as the judge remarked, richly deserved. Well done Mair.
Projected Images: In the PI section the judge chose three very contrasting images. In third place was Michael Valentine with a strong image of the interior of St Giles Church, Cheadle which not only captured the light beautifully but also exposed the churches architecture with absolute clarity. In second place was Kyra Wilson with 'Seat with a View'. In first place was an extremely well taken picture by David Wilkinson of a Stonechat eating seed (top right). The judge remarked how well it had been placed in the frame and how well the background complimented the bird’s plumage. I think it was evident from her remarks that this image would have down very well even at the next level. Well done David
Prints: There were less entries in the intermediate print section this year in which Michael Barnes enjoyed a clean sweep. In third place was 'Heron with a Catch' which the judge appreciated for its simplicity. In second place was a very different picture of a sunrise titled 'Misty Morn’, and in first place a candid mono shot of publican enjoying a cigarette titled 'Smoking Joe' (left)
Projected images: Fourteen very contrasting images were keenly fought in this section. Indeed the judge found it impossible to choose an image for third place so awarded two with equal ranking one to Caroline Wright with 'East Dart Falls’, and one to Jill Ford Pier with ''Coming into Land'. In second place was 'Seat with a View' by David Fraser. This was also a very strong image in that it somehow willed you to take of advantage of it, sit down, have a rest, and enjoy a stunning view. Michael Barnes secured first place with 'Bee Gathering Nectar'(right) which came as a great surprise because in her critique the Judge remarked that the image might have been improved if there was a little more colour in it.
Advanced: Prints: Competition in the advanced section was also very keenly fought. Although several strong landscape images were considered on this occasion all of those finally placed by the judge, bar one - and even that was in a natural setting - were nature/wildlife images. Again the judge scored two images in equal third place, an image of a fly titled ‘ Empid' by Richard Atkinson, and an image of a very English scene by Chris Wilkes Ciudad ARPS, showing Wells Cathedral in the distance. In second places was a rather humorous image 'Room for One More’ by Robert Harvey ARPS EFIAP of a zebra trying to force its way between three others, in order access a water hole. Robert also obtained first place with a stunning winter image of an upright Mountain Hare bearing it teeth in an aggressive pose. (left)
In the PI section there was a rich variety of images to choose from. In third place was a picture of a lone, alert, waterbuck by Pam Mullings, beautifully reflected in water in which he was standing. In second place was a rather haunting image of Dead Vlei (a salt marsh) taken at the Namib-Naukluft Park in Namibia by Robert Harvey. In first place was an often photographed image 'Autumn in Stourhead' (right) taken by Chris Wilkes Ciudad.
Congratulations to everyone whose images were eligible for this competition. It not only showcased your talent but also the strength, depth and quality that exists within the club, and in particular the progress members have made in getting to the next level. Well done everyone.
We are also very grateful to Margaret for judging what, to many in the club, is considered as the 'competition to win’ and for her appreciative remarks, helpful comments and useful tips, including to think ‘square’! Next year it will be interesting to see who has taken her advice and just how many square formats are considered. MB
The award winning images can be seen in the Gallery
|'Wildlife Images from my Travels' 26 April 2016
|Ralph Snook ARPS EFIAP DPAGB has visited the club several times as a judge but on this occasion members were able to see some of his many wildlife photographs taken over the last few years.
The evening began with Ralph's recollections of his visits to the Pantanel region of South America. This large wetland is home to a large variety of interesting birds and mammals. Caymen alligators frequent the lagoons along with numerous wading birds, beautiful Hyacinth Macaws, Toucans and many other colourful birds can be found in the area.
Capybaras are common and can even be seen sunning themselves along the tracks. Waiting patiently in a boat on the main river, Ralph was rewarded with several views of the elusive Jaguar including a mother with 2 cubs and sightings of the Giant River Otters.
Ralph recalled some of his memorable moments -the Cheetah with six clubs playing in a tree, the Kiskadee trying to snatch a fish from an Anhinga and the rare Lesser Anteater that brushed right past him (left).
As any wildlife photographer will know, these encounters do not always result in perfect images but the memories stay with you forever.
Ralph often uses a slow shutter speed to give a sense of movement in his photographs; the image of the wildebeest on migration portrays well the sense of turmoil as they panic when crossing the river (right)
Having travelled to Kenya many times Ralph knows the best areas and the best time of year to find the many photogenic wildlife subjects.
Ralph pointed out some of the many difficulties encountered when taking wildlife photographs, nothing stays still for long, the light is often poor, the grass is too long and the forests are dense. However with patience and a bit of luck some wonderful moments are captured as members saw in this excellent presentation.
Thanks Ralph for sharing your images and some of your wildlife encounters with us. PM
All images © Ralph Snook
|'A Few Of Our Favourite Things' 19 April 2016
|A very warm welcome was given to club members Clive Rathband FRPS FPSSA DPAGB EFIAP and Joan Ryder Rathband FRPS FPSSA DPAGB AFIAP who gave a presentation of the images that they are particularly fond of - and the stories behind them.
To set the scene they started the evening with an audio-visual sequence titled 'Call of the Kalahari' which showed images taken in the vast, very dry Kalahari National Park. Members enjoyed seeing the superb images of the birds and mammals found in the area together with a commentary and excellent sound effects.
Clive and Joan spend much of their time in South Africa and have a great deal of experience photographing the wildlife. Often with baking hot days and freezing cold nights they travel around observing the behaviour of the wildlife and capturing some very special moments. The excellent photographs showed the great variety of wildlife to be found in the SA National parks.
Clive and Joan spend many hours patiently watching the wildlife and endeavour to capture the birds and mammals in action. We were treated to superb images of birds in flight and catching insects, baboons leaping about in a pool, lions with cubs, hippos fighting and many other special moments. Having so much experience Clive and Joan know the best time of day to get the best light on the subjects and achieve some wonderful results.
When back in Britain Clive and Joan enjoy photographing the Wiltshire countryside and make frequent visits to the coast with the Lyme Regis area being a favourite. A series of images taken on Brownsea Island showed the dramatic fight between two Common Terns as they locked together and tried to drown each other.
Joan showed some of her artistic, creative images where she has used techniques such as adding Gaussian blur and various textures to create some very interesting images.
Members were given some useful tips and were able to handle some of the photographic equipment that Clive and Joan have found useful - some of which is improvised.
The importance of always having your camera on a secure stable tripod, monopod or base in order to get really sharp images was emphasised.
Many thanks to Clive and Joan for sharing their special moments and the interesting encounters behind them and for giving members a very informative evening. PM
Images: Left- 'Cheetah on a Tump' and Frosty Morning, River Avon' by Clive Rathband
Right: 'Hippos Fighting' 'Common Terns Agression' and 'At the Harbour Wall' by Joan Ryder Rathband
|Nature Group Excursion to Clattinger Farm Sunday 17 April
|A small but enthusiastic group of club members met at 5.45am at Clattinger Farm to photograph one of Wiltshire’s wildflower spectacles, the snake’s head fritillary (Fritillaria meleagris). These charming flowers are nationally rare and most of the British population is found in the Thames flood plain of north Wiltshire. Flowering in mid-April, fritillaries have to survive spring frosts. The excursion was scheduled to coincide with clear skies and the likelihood of a ground frost. We found a good number of fritillaries in flower at Bridge Field, one of the ancient wildflower meadows at Clattinger Farm managed by the Wiltshire Wildlife Trust. Each flower was encased in tiny ice crystals, making its survival through the night seem almost miraculous.
The even light reflected from the sky before sunrise enabled some good pictures using a telephoto lens to separate the flower from its surroundings and give a pleasingly diffuse background. As the sun cleared the horizon and began to illuminate the fritillaries, we experimented with front lit, back lit and side lit shots. Backlighting was particularly effective on the small proportion of plants that have white flowers, which are translucent to light. The frost quickly melted and when we left Bridge Field at 8.15am we were confident we had enjoyed the best conditions of the day for photography. One further wildlife treat remained at a wildlife hide on the reserve – watching a pair of foxes frolicking on the narrow bank between Cottage Lake and Swallow Pool. RH
Images: Top left - Snake's Head Fritillary Frosted before Dawn by Robert Harvey ARPS EFIAP Right: Back lit Snake's Head Fritillary by Kevin Ferris LRPS
|'A Short History of Photography' 12 April 2016
The club welcomed Sid Jones, a member of Dorchester Camera club who gave members an interesting illustrated talk on the history of photography from the early attempts up to some 20th century icons who were pioneers of the photography we enjoy today.
Joseph Nicephore Niepce made the first photographic image with a camera obscura. Heliographs or sun prints as they were called were the prototype for the modern photograph, by letting light draw the picture.
In the mid 19th century Louis Daguerre, a French artist and photographer was recognized for his invention of the daguerreotype process of photography. He became known as one of the fathers of photography.
The metal-based daguerreotype process soon had some competition from Henry Fox Talbot who created permanent (negative) images using paper soaked in silver chloride and fixed with a salt solution. Talbot created positive images by contact printing onto another sheet of paper which meant he could duplicate the images and he patented his process under the name "calotype".
At first long exposures were needed but by 1845 exposures were down to 2 minutes allowing studio portraits to be created as long as the sitter did not move. Painters and artists thought they would be put out of business by the invention.
Although early photographers had to transport heavy cameras and tripods over often difficult terrain images of faraway places were seen and the public could see images of otherwise unknown parts of the world.
Queen Victoria became interested in this new process and even had a go herself. Soon photography became popular with the gentry and in the late 19th century the invention of the Box Brownie brought photography to the masses. Faster shutter speeds meant photographers could capture action for the first time.
After the break Sid showed images taken by his favourite 20th century photographers including Ansel Adams who in 1981 said 'I believe the electronic image will be the next major advance' and that turned out to be so right. Adams images had a superb quality of light and he experimented with early colour which very quickly improved to give stunning landscape images.
Members enjoyed seeing images by Henri Cartier-bresson, Edward Weston, Eliot Erwill and Denis Thorne and several others. Many images have become famous classics and still very much admired today.
Thank you Sid for giving such an informative talk. PM
|Set Subject 'In Isolation' Projected Image Competition 5 April 2016
|Our final open competition of the season on the theme of ‘In Isolation' proved to be a well-supported and fascinating competition on many different levels. Firstly, having narrowly being beaten by the gents in last week's Battles the ladies shone through and took most of the leading places in each competition category (Beginners, Intermediates and Advanced). Secondly, it was fascinating to observe how the advanced photographers interpreted isolation compared with the less experienced photographers. In the main the advanced photographers tended to view isolation in terms of photographing an object separated from its environment. On the other hand the less experienced photographers (with some exceptions) tended to interpret isolation as something 'within the person’.
As a result we saw a lot of lone trees contrasting with images of people or situations where there was a conscious attempt to convey feelings of abandonment and separation. The choice it seemed was whether to photograph something alone or something that was lonely. Both approaches in their own way exemplified emotion and storytelling, and resulted in some excellent well thought images.
The competition was ably judged by Les Loosemore ARPS, AWPF, DPAGB, who travelled from South Wales to be with us. Although he was clearly impressed with the standard of imagery where necessary he offered suggestions for improvement in a helpful way. In particular he was impressed with the clever use of vertical letterbox type images, and the way some chose to use silhouettes to emphasis separation. He did suggest however that some other images did not look their best because they were, perhaps unavoidably, photographed at the wrong time of the day when the light was harsh and unflattering. A consistent theme of the evening was the need to avoid distracting highlights particularly at the edges of the image, and not to be shy of cropping.
In the Beginners section there was a rich variety of very well taken pictures which augers well for next season. In third place was 'Stonechat' by David Wilkinson. In second place was 'Pattens' by Kyra Wilson, and in first place a striking but simple image titled 'Seat with a View’ left also by Kyra taken on a white ship down a passage way with contrasting blue sea and sky providing the perfect frame.
In the Intermediate section third place went to Gill Ford Pier with an image of a lone tree in sunnier climes. Second place also went to Gill with an image of lone boat 'Long Way from Home’.
In first place was ' Despair' right a mono image by Caroline Wright of a man drinking alone with head in his hands. All of us present I think could identify with his despair even though very little of his face was shown.
In the Advanced section 12 images were selected for commendation.
First place was awarded to Pam Mullings with a rather sad picture of a dishevelled young boy
‘Left All Alone'. left
Second place was awarded to Gill Cardy FRPS DPAGB AFIAP for 'Lone Tree in Snow' which perfectly captured the different textures in the snow. Third place went to Pam with picture of a lone Waterbuck standing in reflected water and looking straight at the camera.
Congratulations to all those who took part.
We are grateful to Les for his considered approach, his constructive comments and consistent judging. Diolch yn fawr! MB (Our Welsh corrospondant)
Full Results All the awarded images can be seen in the Gallery
|2015 Final Report for the Ryder Rathband Trophy and the Salon Results for the year
2015 saw some significant changes in the FIAP International Salon rules. There was a huge backlash, with many people boycotting International exhibitions and salon entries dropped world-wide. As a result, FIAP revised their decision and reversed some of the new requirements.
Although the DCC acceptances were down on previous years, our members still did extremely well and gained some wonderful awards. Acceptances were gained in Vietnam, Canada, India, Saudi Arabia, England, Scotland, Wales, Greece, Serbia, Switzerland, Spain, Australia, Bosnia Hercegovina. Not bad for a small club in Wiltshire!
Robert Harvey, in particular, had great success and, along with his many acceptances and other awards, also won three Gold Medals. In doing so, he gained the required number of International FIAP acceptances and awards and was awarded his EFIAP distinction. Congratulations, Robert!
In addition, our heartiest congratulations go to Richard Atkinson who was awarded his AFIAP! This is fantastic news for both members! You deserve your success.
Equally gratifying was that Michael Barnes (including a Highly Commended), Stuart Barnes and Derek Mason gained their first salon acceptances! Welcome to the International Salon and Exhibition scene! We look forward to seeing more DCC members’ names appearing on the log this year.
All in all, DCC members gained 133 acceptances in 2015, including:
3 Gold Medals - Robert Harvey, 1 FIAP Ribbon - Robert Harvey, 1 Ribbon - Gill Cardy,
1 Highly Commended - Michael Barnes, 1 Certificate - Gill Cardy.
In addition, a Second and Third Placing in the Western County Audio-Visual Salon - Robert Harvey
The final Ryder Rathband Trophy log placings for 2015 are as follows:
1st. Robert Harvey ARPS EFIAP 63 points
2nd. Gill Cardy FRPS DPAGB AFIAP 30 points
3rd. Chris Wilkes-Ciudad ARPS CPAGB 22 points
4th. Richard Atkinson AFIAP 12 points
5th. Michael Barnes 5 points
6th Stuart Barnes 2 points
7th Derek Mason 1 point JRR
|Ladies V Gents Battle - a win for the Gents 29 March 2016
|It’s been sometime since the club held a Ladies v Gents competition but when Battle Secretary Jean Ingram challenged the men to a battle few of us could resist. Jean unfortunately had to resign from the position but Pam Mullings took over and organised the 'Battle'
To avoid any risk of gender bias the competition was ably judged by Eddy and Pam Lane (both ARPS DPAGB EFIAP) each of whom could award up to 10 marks which were combined to give marks out of 20.
It was a condition of the competition that at least 50% images had to be selected from the Beginners and Intermediate competition groups.
The ladies team captained by Pam had chosen a wide range of images including 3 architectural, 8 landscapes, 9 nature and 5 portraits. Amongst their 30 images there were also 5 monos. Included were images from 6 ladies from the Beginners section who only joined the club this season - 2 of whom had never entered a competition before.
The Gents team captained by Michael Barnes chose 2 creative, 12 landscapes, 7 nature including 5 flowers/fungi, and 2 portraits.
They also included 2 monos.
It was not clear whether this difference in approach was down to strategy or to gender bias. What was apparent however that was if you viewed each image on its own merits it would have been extremely difficult to determine whether it had been taken by a lady or by a gent.
The competition itself proved to be very close with the lead changing hands at different times.
During the evening several images were awarded the maximum 10 points by one or other of the judges.
Five participants were awarded 10 points by both judges including Gill Cardy FRPS DPAGB AFIAP whose image of a red fox in snow (top left) was chosen a by Pam Lane as ‘image of the evening’, Ripples Everywhere (top right) by Michael Barnes
which Eddy Lane selected as his 'image of the evening'.
Also awarded 20 marks were Lynda Rugg (Golden Light) above right,
Richard Watson LRPS (Squirrels Leap) above left
Robert Harvey ARPS EFIAP (Three Galaxies) right
Ultimately the Gents came out on top securing 509 points to the Ladies 496
We are grateful to our joint judges Pam and Eddy and for ensuring that, above all else, the evening was fun. We are grateful to the team captains for collating their team’s images, and to all those who took part. We are also especially grateful to Jean for suggesting the idea and wish her a speedy and full recovery.
All in all a very good club night. We must do it again sometime soon! MB Images awarded over 16 points
|Ryder Rathband Trophy 2016
|2016 Salon Acceptances and Ryder Rathband Trophy Points Table (Jan to March)
Members can now access the 2016 Salon Results (to date) and Ryder Rathband Trophy Points Table here
As you will see it is in a new format which we hope will make it easier to keep track of you Acceptances and their eligibility for the Ryder Rathband Trophy competition.
Please let the Salon Results Co-ordinator know If you would like copy in the old style or if there are any omissions, errors, or if the number of acceptances attributed to any image is incorrect.
In future, updates will be issued on a monthly basis to all members who enter Salons and published on the web-site as and when necessary, and at least every quarter.
|'Uganda - What an Experience!' 22 March 2016
|Club members very much enjoyed seeing the presentation by Adrian Herring DPAGB ARPS and his wife Vanessa LRPS who in 2013 spent a month touring Uganda and experiencing the wildlife and the everyday lives of the people in the rural areas.
Led by their guide Peter, Adrian and Vanessa travelled along rough dirt tracks to visit many interesting parts of the country where they were able to photograph the wildlife and to get close encounters with a variety of animals including the shy forest hogs, tree climbing lions, elephants, giraffes and even a leopard. They were able to photograph many interesting birds including some stunning eagles and kingfishers, also some reptiles such as a large monitor lizard.
After a long trek through Bwindi NP they were lucky to get really close to the highland gorillas and could observe their almost human like mannerisms and see the expressions in their brown eyes as they went about their business in the forest.
The large male gorillas could be heard, rather alarmingly, loudly drumming their chests.
Photography was often challenging due to the poor light and the dense undergrowth of the forests but in the more open areas of countryside many images beautifully captured the animals in the early morning mist and the soft sunlight enhanced the images.
An enjoyable visit was made to the Nganba Island to photograph the antics of the orphaned chimpanzees from a boat and a visit was made to a pygmy village at Binyoni but they were saddened to see the very harsh conditions that they had to endure.
Adrian and Vanessa were also very keen to take photographs of the Ugandan people that they encountered as they passed through the villages.
They were able to see the extremely poor conditions and observed that it was mainly the women and children that that did all the extremely hard manual work!
The photographs showed women in brightly coloured clothes carrying bananas, fetching water and growing the crops with the many children helping with the chores or playing with makeshift toys.
Included in the tour was a visit to see the work carried out by Soft Power Education - a charity that Vanessa's cousin founded. They were able to see the excellent work done in several schools and Adrian was even asked to take over a classroom lesson and Vanessa got roped in to help to paint a wall!
The photograph 'Hoping for a Better Life' right seems to sum up their feelings for the people of the country.
After the break Adrian and Vanessa showed a large number of excellent prints depicting some of the very special moments they captured with their cameras.
Members were given a wonderful insight into the varied interesting wildlife encountered, the beautiful countryside and the lives and living conditions of the people of Uganda.
Richard Watson thanked Adrian and Vanessa for coming to the club and sharing their amazing experiences travelling through Uganda.
Images: Top left -'Tree climbing Lions on Grass' and Bottom left -'I Love my Orange Bucket' are by Vanessa Herring
Top right:'Gorilla Chewing a Twig' and Bottom right 'Hoping for a Better Life' are by Adrian Herring
|Competition 3 Prints - Macro/Close Up 15 March 2016
|This evening the club welcomed Huw Alban to judge our final print competition of the year. This particular competition was restricted to close up and macro images which members had voted for earlier in the season so it was a little surprising than entries were down on previous competitions. Unfortunately this limited the number of placings that could be awarded in both the Beginners and Intermediate sections.
Never the less there were some excellent images on show. Before giving the results Huw explained that he was not only looking for images that were technically competent but also images that conveyed strong emotions and told a story.
By the end of the evening we all became aware of new genre - dreamscapes through which the image portrayed awakened our imaginations as though we were involved in a journey to the unknown. Whilst this subjective approach might seem a little unusual the judge went to considerable efforts to balance his approach with a detailed evidence based critique of each image in which he looked out for sharp focus, good use of depth of field, correct exposure, good framing choices, complimentary backgrounds and competent printing.
In the Beginners section all but one of the images were of flora.
The exception was a cleverly composed image titled “Collect 200' which featured a close-up of a monopoly game in action. The eventual winner was Kyra Wilson with an image titled ‘Papiliopedlium’ left followed in second place by 'Eucomis' also by Kyra Wilson.
As in the beginners section only six prints were entered. Derek Mason secured first and second place with prints of a Crocus right and of an Orchid.
Congratulations to Derek who also secured promotion to the Advanced section and took the leading place in Intermediate photographer of the year contest.
In the advanced section 19 images were entered again mostly fauna. A picture of a heifer was also included which had some of those present scratching their heads as how it was considered a close up.
The winning picture was of a leaf vein by Richard Watson LRPS left.
In second place was a Beautiful Demoiselle by Robert Harvey ARPS EFIAP, and in third place a picture of Dog Violet by Dave Gray. Robert also got two Highly Commendeds along with Gill Cardy FRPS DPAGB AFIAP .
We are grateful to Huw for judging the competition and especially for his detailed critique of every image.
After the interval the judge gave a short talk on his approach to taking photographs. While recognising photography is very individual he said that the photographer has a dialogue with scene and at the same time as the scene has a dialogue with the photographer. His approach to photography was to emotionally explore the area being photographed and to 'get the feeling right' before pressing the camera button. His aim always was to produce personal interpretation of the subject rather than a pictorial accurate presentation.
He then showed us some of his images which conveyed different emotions, moods and reflective thinking. He argued that the only person who can be satisfied with the image is the photographer because the photographer knows what story they want the image to convey and represent. In sharing his passion for more emotional story telling in the final photographic image we gained a new insight to seeing photography as a story telling art. MB
Full results Images can be seen in the Galleries.
|Speed Critique Evening 8 March 2016
|One of the ways to judge a healthy camera club is to test out how confident new members, or those new to a particular camera or piece of software, are in seeking from club members ways to improve their photography. So it proved to be the case on Tuesday when 8 relatively new members (4 men and 4 women) shared several of their images with us regarding their progress to date. Each gave us 15 minutes of their time in rotation in order that we could critique images they had chosen to share with us.
For some it was important to get feedback on composition - how could the image be improved whether it be by cropping, taking the shot from a different position, reproducing it in mono rather than in colour, or by just waiting a spilt second or two to get a more balanced scene. For others it was more about technique - how best to use the camera, when to use a tripod, and when to abandon the auto settings for something a bit more challenging and rewarding. For others it was about next levels, how to create mood and tell a story and how to use software more effectively and try new things.
The fact that several of the images shared with us were taken when the photographer was holiday and had to make do with less time and, perhaps, took their images on a point and shoot and/or without a tripod made us marvel at the potential of small cameras and some of the end results.
It was not only pleasing to see some very good images amongst a very small number which did not quite work as well (from which we all learnt something), but also very pleasing to some emerging styles of photography. This bodes well for the future. There was quite a bit of creativity on show as well as individual preferences such as finding stronger images locked into the bigger picture, new ways to photograph memorials, being bold, and, in one case, a strong preference for taking perpendicular shots in portrait mode. In addition we all benefitted from discovering several locations which previously we had not known about.
We are grateful to Sue, Kyra, Lynda, Pascale, Mike, Derek, and both Peter’s for sharing their images and allowing us to critique them with such generosity, and wish them every success on their photography journey. MB
Images: Above left: Amaryllis by Derek Mason Above right: Swanage Old Pier by Sue Wadman
|'Looking Outside the Frame' How not to win competitions! 1 March 2016
|Members from Warminster CC joined Devizes members for this well attended presentation by Martin Addison FRPS who travelled from Worcester.
Taking a very different approach to photography Martin showed his very creative skills with his large selection of excellent prints on a wide variety of techniques and subjects.
Subjects included a simple feather, misty woodlands right, blurry moving figures, rusty metal to soap bubbles and multi coloured lights, each print showing off the artistic skill and experise of the photographer
The alternative title to this talk is 'what not to put in a competition' and the very creative images with often nothing in focus, no lead in lines and almost abstract ideas would probably make it difficult for most judges to decide if this was photography or an art form of its own.
Preferring not to simply photograph the scene before him, Martin experiments to see what interesting images he can produce.
Using his imagination and different ways of seeing he makes each image unique - mostly in camera but sometimes by using editing software. Using a fish-eye lens, panning moving subjects, long exposures or making multiple exposures all sorts of possibilities emerge and even the most unpromising subject can produce an exciting image.
Using intentional camera motion (ICM) while taking photographs of the coloured lights in the Sony Centre, Berlin (right) Martin created a set of almost abstract images.
From a rather ordinary photograph Martin demonstrated how by using 'curves' in Photoshop he produces some amazing colourful images.With some very clever manipulation a rusty oven produced this unique image (above left)
Martin likes to make a panels of similar images, many are deceptively simple such as the grasses taken on a board-walk left
After the break we were treated to a selection of Martins audio-visual sequences.
Brilliantly put together they cleverly combined images with music each one conveying a mood suitable for the subject. Slow and dreamy were 'Shift' a blend of wild flower images, 'Zitherbell' studies of a feather and 'Early Morning Pipers Wood' depicting misty woodland scenes.
'Glassworks' showed beautiful close up images of artistic glass 'Gay Pride' featured colourful characters, 'Radio Active Shopping' showing blurry images with the feeling of a frenzied shopping street and 'Electric' used a selection of creative images based on trees - all expertly timed to suit the appropriate music.
Martin's philosophy - is play around, have fun and just see what happens, try out new techniques and go out and see what you can find. Images © Martin Addison FRPS
Many thanks to Martin for this very inspiring presentation. Website
|Landscape Group Trip to Worbarrow Bay 28th February 2016
The first Landscape Group trip of 2016 saw 10 members wrap up warmly and head for the Dorset Coast at Worbarrow Bay, within the Lulworth Army Ranges but open to the public at weekends.
The Bay provides a mix of geological forms, including white chalk, slightly less white Portland limestone, both of which sandwich the colourful yellows and oranges of Wealdon sandstones.
A stiff north-east wind was blowing, but the actual beach at Worbarrow and the adjacent Pondsfield Cove provided reasonable shelter.
Of more concern photographically was the extensive cloud covering the area when we arrived, prompting quite a lot of what a well-known Landscape photographer describes as 'waiting for the light'.
However, sunny periods had been forecast and so it proved, with the low angled sun's rays providing excellent modelling on the colourful rock, which it turn contrasted well against a deep blue sky. By sunset, the sky was virtually clear save for some low banks of cloud out in the Channel for the sun to sink into, adding extra colour to the setting sun.
It was then time for a swift exit from the Tyneham valley before the gates at the top of the road were locked for the night.
It was particularly satisfying to welcome Claire and Steve to their first Landscape Group outing, in addition to many of the usual suspects. We look forward to seeing everyone's pictures at our monthly Landscape Group meetings. DG
Images of Warbarrow Bay by Robert Harvey ARPS EFIAP (above left ) and Dave Gray (above right)
|'An Image Seen - The Art of Creative Landscape Photography' 16 February 2016
|One of the reasons for joining a camera club is that as the season progresses you pick up tips of how to take better pictures and generally improve your photography. Sometimes however it helps to completely review your technique and to reconsider all the different elements that go into producing a pleasing picture so we were particularly pleased to welcome Sarah Howard to the club to give a talk on ‘The Image Seen’ in the context of taking better landscape images.
Sarah began her talk by posing the question of what is the most important bit of equipment needed to take better images. Whilst we all visualised what equipment we actually took on a shoot and the importance of our ‘kit’ the obvious answer ‘our eyes’ took a while to emerge. Ultimately it is our eyes that enables us to perceive the image we are trying to capture - whether it be in reality or in our imagination. Sarah then took out through the various stages necessary to make a good image including ...
Preparation: Sarah stressed the importance of preparation by making sure your kit was up to the job - batteries charged, correct lenses packed and cleaned etc, and the importance of researching maps and apps to check terrain, the direction of natural light, the position of the sun and moon, tidal patterns (for aesthetic and safety reasons), as well doing necessary prior leg work in order to reconnoitre the location in mind.
Light: Managing the available light is probably the most important element in any image as it shapes the landscape and gives mood to a picture. By comparing and contrasting various images Sarah demonstrated how to create stronger mood and richer atmosphere by using bands of light and shade, poor light to emphasis drama and back lit light to reveal shape and texture.
Colour: Sarah devoted a significant part of the evening to the use of colour particularly in respect of waiting for the right moment to photograph skies, when to use complimentary or contrasting colour for best effect, and how to get the best out of natural colour as well as man-made colours.
Composition: Sarah suggested that placement of the image in the frame often proved very challenging especially to the beginner and suggested that perhaps it was better to use the cameras rear view viewer rather than the camera’s rear monitor because it enabled the eye to get better sense of framing.
We were then shown several images of the same location (sometimes taken at different times) where, perhaps, insufficient attention had been given to the use of leading lines, framing the picture with clever use of gateways and the natural environment, and creating a sense of movement in the landscape. Sarah put considerable emphasis on decision making in terms of what to include and what to leave out of the image (including by cropping), and how to achieve balance and symmetry when needed. We are very grateful to Sarah for reminding us of how these key elements combine to make the scene you are presented with a better image, and for demonstrating that, as Ansell Adams once said “.. you don’t take photos you make them.” MB
Website Images © Sarah Howard Top: Broadway Tower Right: Chapel in the Dolomites
|GB Cup 2016 Nature & Open Competitions
|The 'Great British Cup' Digital Projected Image competitions are organised by the Photographic Alliance of Great Britain.
Devizes Camera Club entered this National competition in which clubs from all over Britain took part.
In the Nature competition 18 images were entered with the top 10 scores counting towards the final position.
Out of the 96 clubs that entered Devizes was placed a very commendable 26th.
Notably Robert Harvey ARPS EFIAP was awarded 14 points out of 15 for 'Mountain Hare' shown below in the Swindon results and also 12 points for 'Meerkat'.
Gill Cardy FRPS DPAGB AFIAP was awarded 13 points for 'Red Squirrel on a Stump' see image in DPIC results and 12 points for 'Goshawk in a Snowstorm'
Richard Atkinson AFIAP had a very good result with 3 images of insects each gaining 12 points 'Common Hawker in Flight' shown left
Stuart Barnes was awarded 12 points for 'Female Kestrel on a Cliff Top' right and Richard Watson LRPS was also awarded 12 points for 'Squirrel Leaping' below
This has been a very busy week for DCC Battles with mostly very succesful results.
The results of the GB Cup - Open
have just been published and are not such good news after all the successes of the last week.Well sadly I suppose you can't win them all but the judges did not rate most of our entries very highly. It's interesting to note how differently another set of judges can rate the same image!
That's judging for you - all a matter of subjective evaluation!
However there were three well rated images in our selection - 'October Storm' by Tim Pier below very deservedly scored 13 out of 15 points from the combined total of the 3 judges.
'Day Dreaming' by Pam Mullings was awarded 12 points (image shown in DPIC below)
and also Robert Harvey's 'Quiver Trees and Tree Galaxies' above was also highly rated in this National competition gaining12 points.
Thanks to those who helped with the selection and those who sent in images their images. Sorry not all images could be used in our entries as a balance has to be made and the most suitable images used for each particular battle. Please continue to send in your images for future Battles to help keep up our generally high reputation.
Coming soon is the Ladies V Gents Battle on 29th March. Although this is a 'friendly' battle I am sure you will still want your side to win so please look out your very best images and send them in when requested.
Pam Mullings (acting Battle secretary)
GB Cup Open & Nature results
|Warminster Multi Club Print Battle A win for Devizes 13 February 2016
|The annual print battle is organised by Warminster Camera Club was held on Saturday with 7 local clubs each entering 10 prints.
The judge for the competition was John Tilsley APAGB DPAGB ARPS and the afternoon started off by John showing a selection of his latest prints. John and his wife Di are very familiar with areas of Paris and find many interesting subjects to photograph and he likes to group his images as a series - often revisiting places many times. John told the audience how he goes about finding subjects for his 'people' pictures - looking either in the street or at events where interesting characters might be found. Amongst the excellent selection of prints were shown some interesting images taken at a horse fair and a historic railway with many of them in monochome and also some very atmospheric misty landscapes and a spectacular waterfall taken in Iceland.
After the break John gave his expert opinion on each of the prints entered and awarded the points. A great deal of attention had been given to each print beforehand and any flaws pointed out.
The judge left his favourite images to be marked at the end with Devizes appearing to be doing well with 4 images gaining 18 points. Two images by Gill Cardy FRPS DPAGB AFIAP were among the thirteen prints left to be marked and John said he had great difficulty deciding on his final placings. Finally 'Red Squirrel in Snow' was given 19 points and 'Red Fox in Snow' above was among the 5 prints to be awarded 20 points.
After all the points were added up Devizes were delighted to find they were in first place for the second year running! The trophy was handed to Gill as her 2 prints had gained such high scores.
Thanks to Warminster CC for the organisation of the event and for the excellent buffet in the break. Thanks to Devizes CC members who entered prints for selection and very well done.
|'UK Butterflies and Wildlife of Finland' 9 February 2016
For many of those present this weeks talk by Cate Barrow, a dedicated photographer from South Wales, may well turn out to be the best of the season.
Cate shared a little of her background but did not tell us that her involvement in photography has been a mere 8 years during which time she has honed her talent to perfection.
In the first half Cate took us through her recent trip to Finland where she photographed ospreys, great owls, woodpeckers, wolverines, waxwings, and of course the Northern lights.
Whilst her images were extraordinary the lengths that she went to get her shots amazed us all. Enduring temperatures as low as minus 20 degrees and literally camping out in photographic hides for days at time seemed par for the course. Learning to ski, mastering snow shoes and learning to drive snow mobiles added to the adventure.
Cate took us on an extraordinary journey and along the way shared details of some of the equipment she used and the challenges she faced including lugging a portable loo across the frozen snow scape! Apart from the risk of frostbite and the problems of condensation on her lenses and in her camera Cate was often faced with just a few hours of daylight in which to capture her shots.
In the second session Cate shared many of her images of indigenous butterflies as well as some interlopers from overseas. Cate had previously set herself the target of photographing every known species in the uk - a project which she just recently completed. We were privileged to see top and bottom shots of male and female butterflies - some newly hatched - as well with wings folded including several pairs mating.
Cate gave us numerous tips for locating the different species and for photographing them in flight as well as when still. Most of her shots were taken on a Nikon camera using a 60mm or 200mm lens sometimes with a ring flash adapter without which it is very difficult to capture their shimmering wings. She explained that the best time to capture butterflies is during cooler period before, or after, it becomes hot as they are much more docile and will settle for extended periods. Apart from flash Cate also uses a mini step ladder so she has better chance of photographing them from above, and a plamp which she uses to temporarily hold plants in place which helps keep the butterflies still.
What emerged from two very contrasting talks was the importance of preparation, knowing your species and their habitats, and of the need for effective networking with nature specialists and other photographers in order to maximise the use of available time. With butterflies it also important to have a good knowledge of their food sources as this often the only cue to where you might find them.
During the evening Cate also teased us with references to her underwater photography in which she specialises and which hopefully we will get to see another time. Judging from the numerous questions before, during, and after her presentation it was clear that members not only appreciated her wonderful photography but her willingness to share tips about how to get the best out of your equipment and how to capture that perfect shot.
We are very grateful to Cate for sharing her passion for the natural world and her pursuit of often extremely rare species, and look forward to her next visit. MB
Website Images © Cate Barrow - Top right: Great Gray Owl Left: Swallowtail Right: Black Hairstreak
|WCPF Digital Projected Image Competition 7 February 2016
|Fifty six camera clubs entered the Western Counties Photographic Federation DPIC competition held in the Corn Exchange, Exeter. Five club members from Devizes braved the wet and windy journey and had an extremely interesting day seeing over 1,000 of the best images entered by clubs from all over the region. As we entered the foyer of the large venue DCC members were delighted to see Gill Cardy's FRPS panel of wildlife prints on display.
After a slight technical hitch with the new software the competition got underway and each image was projected giving the 3 experienced judges only a few seconds to give their scores before the next image was shown. Each judge scored out of 5 and the 3 totals were added. Out of all the images only 2 images gained the top score of 15 and only a few gained 14 points.
The large audience enjoyed viewing a huge variety of photographs including many well captured wildlife images, stunning landscapes of all kinds, a variety of interesting portraits, many imaginative images and even some well caught subjects that made the audience laugh.
Starting at 10-30 am and with a couple of breaks all the images were shown by 3pm. The judges made their final decisions on the awards, the club totals were calculated and the final scores were anounced at 3-30. The audience waited to hear how their club had fared and to see the presentations of the trophies and medals.
The winners were the F8 Photo Group but Devizes CC were not many points behind and were placed equal 7th out of the 56 clubs in the competition.
Devizes CC members had enjoyed a great day were delighted to have been awarded a total of 208 points.
A delightful wildlife image titled 'Red Squirrel on a Stump' by Gill Cardy FRPS DPAGB AFIAP was deservedly awarded 13 points top left.
Also gaining 13 points were 'Day Dreaming' - a soft focus portrait bye Pam Mullings right and an image of flying geese titled 'Synchronised Landing' by Richard Atkinson AFIAP left. To gain13 points means that 1 judge out of the 3 must have given a 5 score.
Images by Stuart Barnes, Richard Watson LRPS, Tim Pier, Caroline Wright, Robert Harvey ARPS EFIAP and Michael Valentine all scored 12 points and the rest of the entries all scored well. Thanks to all who submitted images for the selection.
The winning image was a stunning photograph of a dragonfly and together with other winners can be seen on the WCPF website.
Full DCC results
|Landscape Print and Projected Image Competitions 2016 2 February 2016
|This week we were treated to a feast of landscape photography. Our judge for the evening was John Tilsley ARPS DPAGB APAGB who challenged us to think carefully about the definition of landscape and in particular the extent to which man-made structures might or might not be part of the image.
We were not to be disappointed though. There was abundance of downland pastures, woodlands, rugged hills, waterfalls, coastal scenes and mountain ranges - the vast majority of which portrayed the diversity of the UK landscape and seasonal differences at its best. This must have made it very hard for the judge the competition as there were several similar images competing with each other.
It was also striking that those images preferred by the judge were not only technical very sound and compositionally good but also captured a mood. Indeed many of the images entered were of places well known to the judge and sparked in him, and the wider audience, a feeling of ‘I just wish I could have been there at that time and captured such an evocative scene'. They also opened up new vistas of opportunity for us to consider next time we take a similar image to those being judged.
In the print section Chris Wilkes proved a popular winner with beautiful mono rendition of Silbury Hill (above left) when it was so waterlogged it appeared to have a moat. The light, contrast and reflection portrayed in the image set it apart the others. Second and third place was awarded to Dave Gray for images taken in the Lake District, Langdale Pike (above right) was 2nd and Westmorland Cairn 3rd. There were 4 highly commendeds, two of the Dorset coast, one of Boscastle, and one of the Pyrenees.
In the projected image section there was also a diverse range of images. Congratulations to Robert Harvey ARPS AFIAP for being awarded 1st, 2nd and 3rd places. The winning image was a winter scene titled Langdale Pikes (left), Wasdale a tranquil misty Lake district image was placed second (right) and Avebury in Winter - a picture taken closer to home was in third place. Eleven people were awarded a highly commended.
We are grateful to our judge for his incisive and constructive remarks and for enthusing us with a love of the outdoors and landscape imagery. MB
Full Results Award winning images can be seen in the Galleries
|Nature Print and Projected Image Competitions 2016 26 January 2016
|Unfortunately Michael Curtis ARPS our judge for the evening was unwell and unable to attend. We wish him a speedy recovery. In his absence the competition was judged by Ray Grace ARPS, DPAGB, a club member who is also an approved judge.
The competition was essentially one of two halves. The first half was confined to print images almost all of which were submitted by advanced members. In all 21 prints were judged. The second half involved judging 43 projected images where there was a much broader representation including some very strong entries from some beginners and intermediate club members.
We are grateful to Ray Grace for stepping in last minute to judge the competition. He coped admirably taking time to view each entry and provide a helpful analysis of the strengths of each image. His approach was also a little different in that he adopted a 3 tier strategy to choosing a winner. First he selected out those that on this occasion were 'just short of the mark'. This left him with a pile of ‘contenders' from which he then had to select the winners, runners up, and highly commendeds.
In the print section he awarded Richard Atkinson AFIAP first place with his picture of an Empid Fly above, second place went to Robert Harvey ARPS EFIAP (Mountain Hare) right and third place to Gill Cardy FRPS DPAGB AFIAP(Red Squirrel on Bracket Fungus) - all stunning pictures. Four others were highly commended.
In the projected image section the same approach was adopted. This left quite a large number of ‘contenders' which had to be whittled down to the required number. After studiously examining all of the images the judge rejected 3 images from the cut including a close up of a fly which would have brought high praise from any entomologist.
No criticism could be made of the judge for his decision but we all shared Heather Collin's disappointment that she just missed out especially as she is a new member of the club and a beginner. Well done Heather.
The judge also agonised over who should come first or second but eventually went for Gill Ford Pier's picture ‘Coming Into Land’ left which thoroughly deserved its placing. Second was Michael Barnes with 'Bee Gathering Nectar' right and third Gill Cardy with 'Fox Pounce’. Ten other images were highly commended.
Looking back on the evening we were treated to some excellent and diverse images of nature at its best. It was also pleasing to see two intermediates leading the way in the projected image section and some very strong images from the women. This augers well for our Ladies versus Gents competition next month as the men are clearly not going to have it all their own way!
We are grateful to Ray for stepping in at the last moment and for his balanced judgement and comprehensive appraisal of each image. MB
Full Results Award winning images can be seen in the Galleries
|'The Landscape Group presents...' 19 January 2016
|The evening began with a presentation by Robert Harvey ARRPS EFIAP titled 'Coastal Landscape Photography' which showed some images of his favourite places on the photogenic long and varied British coastline.
Robert explained that to get the best photographs a lot of pre-planning is required. The light, time of year and the tide are all variable and the optimum conditions may only last for a few days in a year. During those days the weather may not co-operate so you may have to wait another year and try again!
Ideally at dawn or dusk the sun should be viewed over the sea and also when photographing the cliffs behind as the sun throws light and colour onto the cliffs and rocks. Depending on the location the photographer may prefer the tide to be receding to give reflective wet surfaces to any rocks or maybe a high tide is required for other effects and at other times a low tide exposes wave cut platforms and pebble beaches.
Robert illustrated the problems by showing his attempts to get his optimum image of St Michael's Mount and its causeway. The rising sun only lights the island for a short time and this needs to coincide with the tide revealing at least some of the causeway. During a visit to the area when conditions should be ideal Robert found that at sunrise the tide was too high and covered the causeway, another try the next morning and some floating seaweed rather spoiled the image. Returning a year later the conditions were perfect and Robert managed to capture the image he wanted. (Shown above)
Robert showed how he stitched panoramas and used HDR to make the most of the geological rock formations, rock stacks and natural arches and gave helpful tips to members on how to achieve the best results when photographing the sea in all its forms.
Robert and Dave Gray lead several day and weekend trips for the Landscape Group each season and after the break Dave showed images from the most recent visits.
Last May a weekend visit was made to the Suffolk Coast and staying for the night at Orfordness the group photographed the landscapes the derelict wartime buildings.
'Sunset' by Dave Gray left 'Black Tower' by Chrissie Miller above
In July a group visited an area of Sussex to photograph the lavender field and the ancient yew trees in Kingley Woods.
Visits have been made to more local areas including Avebury, Iford Manor and the Pewsey Vale. A night shoot to Devils Den to photograph a meteor shower in the starry sky was very much enjoyed and resulted in some interesting images.
The Dartmoor area was chosen for a weekend in October where the group took some excellent images of the ancient clapper bridges and the sunset at Great Staple Tor, an ancient church on the moor and other interesting scenic areas.
In November after heavy rainfall a few intrepid members went on a visit to the Ystadfellte waterfalls. The flow was heavier than anyone had seen it before and the wet rocks and spray made photography rather difficult. 'Waterfall' by Caroline Wright
The landscape group are planning for the 2016 weekend and day visits and if members would interested in joining then contact Dave or Robert. PM
|'Subject of the Week'
So who is up for the 'Subject of the Week' challenge in 2016?
This is just for fun, with entries posted on the Devizes Camera Club Facebook site by members.
Images will then be copied to the 'Subject of the Week' Gallery (see left hand menu) for all to see.
Its 'Week 3' but members can still join in now and continue for the rest of the year.
A list of subjects can be found on the 'Subject of the Week 'Gallery. PDF
Members can add images and comment at any time on the Devizes Camera Club facebook page.
It's not too serious and everyone interested aims to take a new image for each week's theme, but can use old stuff if needs be.
The idea is to think about how each subject might be portayed and perhaps come up with some original ideas about how it can be interpreted. It might encourage members to get their camera out at least once a week come rain or shine!
Aim to get entries posted by Sunday evening each week. Post your images in the Album that is already titled on the Facebook page.
See if you can find an image for every week of 2016 - that's the challenge!!
To join go to www.facebook.com and then enter Devizes Camera Club and request membership.
|'Colour Management' 12 January 2016
|Whether you view photography as a science or as an art - or indeed both - good colour management is essential for the reproduction of images.
This evening we welcomed Vince Cater and his colleague John Herlinger, Technical Manager and Print Director resepctively from Fotospeed, a Corsham based firm who have a deserved international reputation for the quality of their products and service.
In the first part of the evening Vince took us through the essentials of colour management and in the second part John explained how to get the best from your printer.
Vince explained that good colour management was essential for a number of reasons and that the aim should always be to ensure that the colour as it appears on your device (computer, monitor, tablet etc) is faithfully and accurately reproduced by your printer. This is important not just for aesthetic reasons but because photographic colour reproduction is affected by the monitors' capabilities, the type of printing paper used, and the printer itself. Inevitably there are subtle differences within and between manufacturing processes which often cause monitors, printers and papers to print colour inconsistently. Manufacturers inevitably have to produce equipment for generic use where assumptions are made about the best fit for customers in general rather individuals in particular. Read more
|'Projected Image League Happy New Year to you all January 2016
Members were welcomed back on a wet and windy night to our first meeting of 2016 by our Chairman - Richard Watson.
The programme took the form of a competition where members present were asked to judge and score panels of 5 themed entries previously submitted by members.
In all there were 54 panels to judge each displayed on screen for a set period of time in order to ensure fairness.
There was a very pleasing range of images on show the majority of which were nature/wildlife.
Surprisingly perhaps, there were fewer landscape entries this year but this was more than made up by a good number of travel images on show and some excellent creative images.
Overall there was a great deal of consistency within and between panels making judging very difficult.
The final scores and top ten winning panels will be announced at out next meeting when we welcome Vince Cater from Fotospeed who is to give a talk on 'Colour Management’.
Our thanks to Richard and Caroline for making the evening successful and to all members who entered sets of images and to those who attended and scored all the sets. MB
Single Images from just some of the wide variety of sets:
Above: 'Red' left 'Not Just a Stick' and above right 'London by Night'
|Christmas Knock-out 15 December 2015
|Our Christmas knockout competition in which the audience is the final arbiter of success is firmly rooted in club tradition and always produces a fun filled and entertaining evening. This years competition certainly lived up to its billing. In all some 84 images were submitted by 21 entrants.
A wide range of genres were entered with a strong showing of landscape and nature images, and a good mixture of architecture, travel, some mono, and some candid shots. Right from the start it was clear that entrants had thought long and hard about which four images to enter. Most it seemed entered strong images intermixed with others than ordinarily might not a get a showing on a Club night but which brought more than a smile on the faces of the audience. It was after all a fun competition and there was a lot of humour to enjoy.
Our Master of the Ceremonies, Frank Collins, warned us all that making choices was no easy task, and that sometimes some cruel decisions would need to be made. The competition was so tough that Frank was sometimes faced with the difficult task of exercising a casting vote. On other occasions there were gasps of horror when the audience were presented with images of a similar genre and standard competing against each other.
We, the audience were faced with dilemma of how should we decide an image progress in the completion. Should we base our decision on technical or artistic merit, or simply because of its ‘wow’ factor or its originality. By the end of the evening we certainly had an appreciation of how difficult it must be for judges when they have to compare and contrast images and rank them in order.
The decision this year to run the competition on screen rather than confine it to prints was well vindicated because we were all able to see the images in their full glory before deciding its fate.
To round things off there was a short quiz naturally on photography, and an excellent spread of festive goodies.
The evening once again demonstrated the club’s hidden strength that when everyone works together it always leads to a good ‘show’.
Clearly a lot of effort by a lot of people (too many to mention) went into making the evening a very pleasant and successful occasion. Thanks to all you, to Frank for being Master of Ceremonies, and to you for your support. MB
Images which got through the 6th round were -
1st place went to Martin Horton with 'Wherever I Go' (top left)
Tribal Dance by Kevin Ferris LRPS was in 2nd place (top right)
Misty Morning on Wryness Pass by Chris Wilkes ARPS was in 3rd place (left above)
and ‘Perspective’ by Richard Watson LRPS was in 4th place (right)
|Creative & Monochrome Competitions 8 December 2015
|We held our annual Monochrome Print and Creative Projected Image competitions with Peter Weaver APAGB CPAGB LRPS as our judge for the evening. Peter, from Hanham Photographic Society, braved car troubles and a cold to be with us on the night, for which we are very grateful.
Club members entered a total of 26 monochrome prints and the awards went to a variety of people: Richard Watson, Richard Atkinson, Gill Ford-Pier, Chris Wilkes-Ciudad ARPS CPAGB and Caroline Wright gained a highly commended award. Caroline also won third place with her atmospheric print Misty Trees on Roundway.
Second place went to Dave Gray with an emotive print of an African child entitled Baba Ding-Dong and the winner of the Pencil of Nature Camera was Robert Harvey ARPS EFIAP with a classic nature shot full of humour called Room for One More? rightWe moved on to projected images in the second half of the evening and Peter Weaver was pleasantly surprised by the level of creative input in this competition.
He awarded HCs to Tim Pier, Michael Barnes, Pam Mullings, Leila Searight and Robert Harvey, who won two HCs as well as third place with Swan Lake.
Second place went to Chris Wilkes-Ciudad with The Man in the Hat and the winner of the Demiurgic Trophy was none other than Kate Aston with Light Painted Portrait. left
Kate joined our club this season and although she isn't new to photography, she joined our Beginner's section to gain experience in club competitions. So well done Kate on this excellent result! LP
Results Award winng images can be seen in the Gallery
|Club Battle with Royal Wootton Bassett Camera Club 1 December 2015
|A change of venue for the meeting as Devizes CC were invited to an away battle with Royal Wootton Bassett CC.
The judge for the evening was Eddy Lane ARPS DPAGB who had a rather difficult task as he had not seen the entries before the evening and judged 'cold'
At the start of the evening Eddy had a quick run through of the images to assess the general standard and then without knowing the club or author went through the images giving his usual very helpful critique on each of the 30 digital entries from each club.
Feeling very generous Eddy awarded the maximum 20 points to no less than 15 of the images (Devizes had 8 & RWB had 7) and 20 of the images were awarded 19 points (10 from each club) with no image getting below 16 points.
The clubs were pretty evenly matched with Devizes just 4 points ahead at the halftime break.
After the refreshments RWB were awarded several 20's and drew even - but finally Devizes won by just 6 points.
Eddy pointed out that some images featuring a white bird or white flowers in particular were slightly overexposed and advised stopping down when taking the image so as to capture all the detail in the lightest areas. Some images could have been improved by some cropping of dead areas and removing distractions but on the whole Eddy said they were mostly all excellent images hence the high marks awarded.
The 8 images from Devizes that got maximum scores were 'Female Kestrel on Cliff Top' by Stuart Barnes top right,
and 'Lakeland Ram' by Stephen Mcgrath top left
Also a night time scene 'St. Pauls' above left by Richard Watson LRPS and a close up study 'Tawny Eagle' right by Michael Valentine were also awarded 20 points.
The tiger image 'Close Encounter' left and the portrait 'Daydreaming' (shown in Calne Battle report ) by Pam Mullings both scored 20.
A monochrome image by Martin Horton titled 'Puff' left and an image of the Red Arrows and the Vulcan titled 'Flypast' right by Barry Andrews also scored maximum points.
Congratulations to all the above and also to those who just missed out with with scores of 19 points. Thanks to all the members whose images were used and to those who sent in images for the selection.
Many thanks to Eddy Lane for the taking on the onerous task of judging and to Royal Wootton Bassett CC for the organisation of the battle and their hospitality on the night.
Thanks to Jean Ingram for organising the Devizes entry and to the dozen members from Devizes CC who attended the battle and supported the club and had a very enjoyable evening.PM
See all the results
Please note: the WCPF organised DPIC and the National GB Battles take place soon so would members please let the Battle Secretary have copies of your very best images to select from as soon as requested.
|Open Print Competition 2 24 November 2015
|Adrian Herring ARPS DPAGB was the judge for the second Open Print Competition of the season. Adrian has judged the club competitions many times before and his critiques on each image are always very helpful and hopefully members can learn from his extensive photographic experience and improve their images.
Adrian enjoyed looking at the 54 prints entered from the 3 sections and said that particularly in the Advanced section it was tricky for him to decide on the order of the awards as there were many worthy winners. Adrian looks for images that convey a mood or tell a story and lead the viewer around the image with a good composition and no unwanted background distractions.
Adrian made several comments about the presentation of the prints saying that coloured mounts are usually best avoided as they can detract from the subject of the image and also some of the mount cutting could be improved. He also remarked that some prints would have presented better in a portrait format and others conversely as landscape and some images might have been improved with some cropping.
In the Beginners Section the judge enjoyed the sharp focusing in a study titled 'Red Kite' (right)
by Michael Valentine and awarded it first place and Michael also gained a Highly Commended with a similar study of a Bald Eagle. The action in cricketing scene was well captured and gained Andy Vick second place with a delicate flower study by Mair Bull awarded third place.
In the Intermediate section Michael Barnes was awarded both first and second places. The judge commented that Michael's 'Grey Heron with Catch' (left)
was placed superbly in the frame and 'Waterfall on the Lower Blean' was an excellent landscape.
The print of the rather foreboding 'Gates of Dartmoor' by Derek Mason was in third place.
Adrian commented that he had seen many images of the starry night sky taken in Namibia where there is little light pollution but 'Quiver Trees and Star Trails' right
by Robert Harvey ARPS EFIAP was one of the best he had seen and gave it first place in the Advanced section.
Dave Gray was placed second with a very unusual image of a man in weird make up having a rather merry time. An atmospheric mountain view by Chris Wilkes-Ciudad ARPS was awarded third place in the Advanced section.
Congratulations to all those receiving awards.
Members were able to take a close look and admire the quality of the prints when they were displayed after the judging.
Thanks to Adrian Herring for once again taking the trouble to look through and comment on all the prints entered. Thanks also to Competition Secretary Caroline Wright for organising the competition and to those who entered and made such an enjoyable evening. PM
Full Results Prints with awards can be seen in the Gallery
|Calne Multi-Club Annual Digital Battle 23 November 2015
Calne Camera Club organised and hosted the annual battle in which 8 local clubs took part. The large audience very much enjoyed the seeing the wide range of interesting images entered from the participating clubs.
The judge for the evening was Tony Byram ARPS DPAGB AWPF EFIAP who had the difficult task of awarding points to the wide variety of subjects and styles entered. Tony pointed out that some images could be improved by some cropping but mostly they were an excellent set of interesting images that he had very much enjoyed looking through. Each club entered 10 images selected from the best images submitted by their members. Tony did not have too much to criticize in the way of focus, exposure or composition although he did point out that some images could have been a little sharper in places, especially always check that the eyes are really sharp as they are usually the focal point in both animal images and human portraits.
As each image was projected Tony gave his comments and then awarded points ranging from11 and up to 20.
Six of the images impressed Tony enough to receive the top mark of 20 - each very different in subject and style.
The points awarded to each club were totalled to give the final result with Non Pareil being placed first and Devizes CC coming in 9 points behind in 5th place.
In the Devizes entry a soft focus portrait by Pam Mullings titled 'Daydreaming' (right) was awarded 20 points and was placed second out of all the 80 images entered in the battle.
A stunning image titled 'Female Kestrel on Cliff Top' (left) by Stuart Barnes gained 19 points. Congratulations to both.
The rest of the images from the Devizes selection were awarded points ranging from17 to 13.
Tony is a very experienced judge but as in all competitions of this type the final awards very much come down to personal choice.
Thanks to Tony Byram for judging and his excellent critique of each image and Eddy and Pam Lane and Calne CC for the organisation and hosting.
Many thanks to DCC Battle Secretary Jean Ingram for organising our entry and also thanks to members who submitted entries for the selection.
Devizes CC results and final placings.
More high scoring images from the battle can be seen on the Calne CC website
|The Nature Group Presents .... 17 November 2015
|Club chairman Richard Watson LRPS leads the Nature Group whose members visited a variety of wildlife sites during the year and tonight showed a selection of the interesting images taken during field trips to locations both local and further afield.
Last spring the group spent a weekend in Suffolk first staying at Orfordness - an old military site on a shingle ridge. Many rare plants can be found in the shingle and also a variety of sea birds such as herring gulls and common terns can be photographed .
The group then moved on to the RSPB reserve at Minsmere where members were delighted to be able to photograph the shy bittern (left). Many birds were seen in the lagoons and marshes including avocets, little egrets, herons and a variety of small birds amongst the reeds and even a fox was spotted nearby.
Arrangements were made to visit the garden of Wildlife Photographer Colin Vardell where feeding stations have been set up to attract the wildlife. Hides are used and photographers can hopefully get good photographs as birds come in to feed. Woodpeckers, goldfinches, a pheasant, a nuthatch and many other birds came within the range of a 300mm or larger lense. Colin also persuaded a grass snake and slow worm to stay in range long enough to be photographed. Members also had the chance to get close ups of some harvest mice (right) and butterflies.
Visits were made to the Dorset heathland to hopefully find reptiles, insects and birds and to the New Forest to photograph the Autumn colours.
Professional wildlife photographer David Kjaer gave members helpfull advice on photographing fungi in Savernake Forest and the use of reflectors to help get light into the undersides of the fungi and the dark areas near the forest floor.
Experienced nature photographer Gill Cardy FRPS DPAGB AFIAP brought along the kit she carries with her on her trips both in Britain and abroad. Reflectors both bought and homemade, a camouflage cape and wires to tie back vegetation and much more, all packs into her large backpack. Club member Gill recently gained her FRPS distinction with her superb wildlife images and shared some tips to help members get better images of the natural world.
Richard gave some ideas of places members could visit at different times of the year; Langford Lakes, Slimbridge and Conigre Mead amongst others give lots of wildlife photographic opportunities. Oakfrith Wood was recommended for bluebells in the spring with Clattinger Farm having a succession of wild flowers starting with the Snakeshead Fritillaries and then goes on to a stunning display of orchids later in the season.
Planning group nature visits in advance can be difficult as you can be too early or too late to see what was planned as it is all dependent on the weather conditions so sometimes last minute trips are arranged when a member sees something interesting such as the field of poppies (left)
Plans are being made for members to revisit Brownsea Island to photograph the red squirrels in winter when they look their best, other visits to be arranged throughout the year.
Thanks to members who showed their images and to Richard for putting together a very informative evening. PM
|'Creative Speedlite Workshop' 10 November 2015
On Tuesday we welcomed Terry Hewlett ARPS for what turned out to be a rather different club evening in which the emphasis was on understanding and developing flash light skills particularly in respect of portraiture and event photography including weddings
In the first part of a well-attended evening Terry described the equipment needed and briefly covered the main theoretical concepts relating to flash. He explained that flash photography was essentially a way of scribing with light and shadow in order to produce a desired effect. The secret of good flash photography he said was an ability to control the intensity, quality, colour and direction of speed lights (flash units) in relation to the surrounding ambient (background) light. Once you had an understanding of how they interacted together and how each element could be manipulated it was much easier to control how the final image looked. Terry explained that the flash unit basically determined the intensity of the image, its quality, the amount of colour (or contrast) and therefore detail exposed, and the direction of the available light.
Without being over technical Terry explained that there are essentially four ways in which to control flash.
Firstly, you can control your aperture (on camera or through the flash unit) as this will also affect the amount of ambient light it can have unintended consequences and it might be necessary to reduce the shutter speed to achieve the right balance.
Secondly, you can adjust your distance and angle of shot from the subject and thereby the relative size of the subject in frame
Thirdly, you can use diffusers to modify the effect of the light on the subject
Fourthly, you can adjust the character and duration of the flash by adjusting the flash compensation +/- function.
Terry ably demonstrated how it was possible to take sharp images using very low shutter speeds. He expertly, and patiently, took us through the various stages and demonstrated how each of the elements, in turn, could be controlled using speed lights sometimes with and sometimes, without, additional supplementary lighting mounted on stands to which various modifiers have been attached such as cans, honeycomb lamps, snoots and even homemade deflectors including card, net curtains and umbrellas!
The second part of the evening was much more hands on with Terry demonstrating the cause and effect of different adjustments in camera and through the speedlights. Members were encouraged to take pictures of each other and notice how even small adjustments could bring about significant change. At the same time we were encouraged to think about whether an image could be improved by adding more than one catch light in the eye, how best to add some separation of the subject from the background using light, how to photograph people who wear spectacles, or who even have bald heads, without flare!
In concluding his talk he also provided some useful tips to improve an image. These included using shadows to give context and atmosphere including by tilting the camera up or down, and never cropping a photo of a person through a joint (i.e. above an elbow rather than through it).
It was very evident from the members' response that Terry’s talk struck a chord with more than half of those present indicating that they sometimes use dedicated flash units but did not necessarily understand how to get the best effect.
The evening undoubtedly had something for everyone regardless of their experience. We are very grateful that Terry was able to explain the theory concisely and take us through the practical steps with patience and humour. MB
For more information see Terry’s website
| Landscape Group Field Trip to Ystradfellte Waterfalls
On Saturday 7 November a small but dedicated contingent from the Landscape Group headed west to the Brecon Beacons to photograph the Ystradfellte Waterfalls. It had been raining heavily for the previous two days but as forecast, the rain stopped just as we arrived at the car park. This left us with overcast skies and low contrast lighting, well suited to waterfall photography.
There are four main waterfalls at Ystradfellte and visiting them all involves a hike of some five miles. We were expertly guided by Dave Gray who is very familiar with the south Wales waterfall country and the best viewing points. Two days of heavy rain had led to huge torrents of water flowing over all the falls, making several of the usual viewing points inaccessible. We were, however, able to reach all four falls, providing a spectacular visual (and auditory) experience.
The four waterfalls visited (and their English translations) are:
Sgwd yr Eira - ‘Fall of the Snow’ above by Dave Gray
Sgwd Isaf Clun-gwyn - ‘Fall of the Lower White Meadow’ - right by Robert Harvey ARPS EFIAP
Sgwd Clun-gwyn - ‘Fall of the White Meadow’ and Sgwd y Pannwr - ‘Fall of the Fuller'
Our photographs capture something of the might of the waterfalls in full flow, with shutter speeds of around a second rendering them as soft curtains of moving water. Thanks to Dave Gray for organising and guiding the field trip. RH
|Club Publicity Display
|With so much competition from the internet and social media the Club has taken an opportunity to raise awareness locally of what club membership has to offer.
A display stall was set up at the Shambles Market in Devizes on 29th October where a wide range of club members images were shown on a repeating slideshow alongside a small sample of prints.
We had a steady stream of visitors throughout the day. Most were happy just to talk and find out what we do. Others admired the photos on show or provided feed back on the images being shown.
It was a little surprising to discover just how many people there are in Devizes going about their daily tasks who have a keen interest in photography. Some even admitted to once being professional photographers but never having thought of joining a camera club.
It was interesting to see which images captured the public's imagination. Gill Ford's 'Back in Time' photo seemed to strike a chord with many onlookers including a 'professional photographer' who described it as 'technically very competent'. Another remarked that it was so good it looked like a painting. A third person suggested it would make a fantastic jigsaw puzzle. Now that would make an interesting competition!
Overall the event was considered a success and lays the foundation for similar initiatives in the future.
Thanks to Stuart, Michael, Pam, Gill and Richard for manning the stall and to those who allowed us to show their work, or popped over to see us. Thanks also to Wiltshire Council for their co-operation and support. Photograph by Richard Atkinson AFIAP
|Competition 2 - Projected Images - Architecture 3 November 2015
|At the beginning of the year we were promised some new and more interesting competitions. Our second open competition on the theme of architecture certainly lived up to its promise. Not only did it get us thinking about what exactly architecture is but it also provided an opportunity for some imaginative photography. Amongst several 'ancient and modern' scenes there were images of lego models, a model train set up, and a composite image of a printed circuit board morphed with a picture of the Shard and the London Mayoral Office. Images of religious buildings and historical dwellings were pitched against ever taller and mostly glass fronted modern buildings. By the end of the evening we were, I think, all better able to appreciate how architecture helps create land and town scapes which all too often we take for granted.
This competition was not however just an indulgence in abstract or practically based architecture but an opportunity to consider what, compositionally works best when photographing space, form, shape, design and function. In this we were helped considerably by the Judge's constructive analysis of each image and insightful knowledge of architecture. Among the many tips he offered us was the need to frame the image properly, to use use lines which lead into or out the image, and look for pictorial balance either by using contrasting patterns, texture, or colour. We were also taught the difference between succession, procession and recession!
On a more practical level we were reminded of the need to ensure that horizons were straight, perpendiculars were upright (unless the intention was to emphasise a structure by using a tilt shot), and that where leading lines from the corners were used to emphasise distance they were symmetrical. We were also urged to pay particular attention to post processing particularly shadows and highlights and removing distracting elements.
Over 70 Images were entered into the competition. In the Beginners Section Michael Valentine gained first, second and third place with three very strong images.
(Top: St.Mary the Virgin, Bishops Cannings by Michael Valentine)
In the Intermediate Section third place went to Tim Pier with Gill Ford-Pier taking a well deserved second and first place. (Above: 'Prior Park' by Gill Ford Pier)
In the Advanced Section Leila Peerun proved to be a popular winner with her image ‘Reflections’.
Congratulations to all our winners and those highly commended, and especially to Michael on his clean sweep, and to Leila on gaining a first in her first season as an Advanced. (left: 'Reflection' by Leila Searight)
Thanks to all of you who took part.
We are grateful to Mat Revel for judging our competition and for his helpful remarks throughout the evening. Thankyou. MB
Full Results Images with awards can be seen in the Galleries
|'An Evening of Contrasts' 20 October 2015
|The Club were both honoured and privileged to welcome Rosemary Wilman Hon FRPS AFIAP BPE5* and ex-President of the RPS to our weekly meeting
Rosemary began her talk with a series of photographs taken in Santorini, Amritsar, Yellowstone National Park, the Isle of Harris, and in Falkirk of the 100ft tall horse head sculptures called The Kelpies. But this was no travelogue instead we were treated to an evening of stunning and often uncomplicated unusual images where the emphasis was on originality, colour (sometimes complimentary, sometimes contrasting, sometimes vibrant and sometimes muted), form and composition. Given the wide range of images presented it would be difficult to attribute a particular style to her photography. Indeed that is Rosemary’s strength. What we witnessed was more a kaleidoscope of different genre’s in which there was perhaps an overlying theme of keeping it compositionally simple, experimenting with shape and form, and seeing (as opposed to just looking for) the unusual.
Rosemary shared numerous tips for creating better images including the need to engage with her subjects in a culturally sensitive way, something which she agreed might be easier for a woman than a man.
In terms of technique she suggested some things we could all do like examining the borders of the intended image 'in camera' so that unwanted distractions could be removed, or better viewpoints achieved. Her strongest message however was to get 'in close' and always look for 'pictures within pictures'. Sometimes by looking closer at the image presented it is possible to notice something unexpected or unusual which gives added context to the image or occasion - whether it be an abstract shape or an object. Looking for often missed detail or colour, as well as beyond and behind the subject will often present richer images. Sometimes just looking at where your feet are (or have been) can produce the most unexpected results. Look out for abstract shapes, fine detail, contrasting textures, strong colours and allusions of movement.
Many of the images Rosemary presented on screen and in print had a minimalistic feel to them and were well suited to the square format which Rosemary has mastered to very good effect. Her advice was always to keep it simple and to try, if you can, to get you image framed as you want it on camera and avoid excessive cropping.
Whilst striking colour and light are important to Rosemary she also demonstrated how better pictures can be achieved by looking for colour changes in similar tones. Her images of white buildings demonstrated this to perfection. She also suggested that when there it too much sun you can use yourself to create shade in order to emphasise texture. Her advice is to explore the image presented and to play around with different camera angles and not to be afraid to take several shots.
We are very grateful to Rosemary not only for travelling some distance to be with us but also for sharing her tips and enthusiasm for photography with us. Her overall message of properly exploring what you see all around you, being patient and challenging yourself to be creative and have fun is a message we can all take on board.
Thank you Rosemary for a very pleasant evening and for sharing you talent in such a generous way. MB See more images in Rosemary Wilman's website
|Landscape Group weekend trip to Dartmoor 9th -11th October 2015
|The latest annual Landscape Group weekend trip saw 18 members and partners travel to Dartmoor, based in the small village of Postbridge on the East Dart river with its pretty Clapper Bridge. The party was too large to be completely accommodated in the East Dart Hotel, so a few members were placed in the nearby Cherrybrook farmhouse. We hope these were not too inconvenienced, as all main meals and social activities were held at the East Dart Hotel.
The group met up on Friday lunchtime, with good spells of sunshine, and after lunch, went variously to photograph Brentor, with its iconic church, or the woods around Bellever Tor. Later in the day, the sun was becoming increasingly hazy as the combined group climbed Great Staple Tor in the hope of a sunset shoot. In the event, the cloud prevailed, although everyone was treated to some of the finest of Dartmoor’s weather-scoured granite tors.
Saturday dawned misty, which slowly lifted during the day though the skies remained overcast. However, there are landscape locations which actually benefit from flat, low-contrast lighting, and so the group visited Dartmeet for its partially collapsed Clapper Bridge, Horse Shoe Falls on the Dart river, and the mysterious and difficult to photograph Wistman’s Wood.
Astrophotography had also been on the wish list, but with the skies remaining cloudy, the next best option was to photograph the Postbridge Clapper Bridge after dark, lighting the bridge with a torch in a technique known as ‘light-painting’.
Sandwiched between all the photographic activity was the usual evening entertainment, superbly orchestrated by Robert and Sarah Harvey. On the Friday evening, Robert treated us to some his Dartmoor pictures, taken in better light conditions on previous occasions, and also a presentation to show what is possible in a range of astrophotography scenarios. Saturday evening was undoubtedly the highlight, featuring the now infamous quiz, which this year had as its centrepiece an extended round of ‘Just a Minute’. Richard Watson, Frank Collins, Barry Andrews and Mike Saunders were invited to speak on a range of photographic topics for one minute, without hesitation, repetition or deviation.
Suffice to say the whole room was in fits of laughter throughout. Sunday was time to say goodbye and head home, but not before a visit to Venford Falls, not even named on the OS Maps but arguably more spectacular than the Horseshoe Falls seen the previous day. The downside was a steep descent into the narrow valley holding the falls, followed by the same steep ascent back to the cars. People then headed off in different directions, some to go directly back to Wiltshire, others to take in places they had missed earlier in the weekend before heading home.
Our thanks once again go to Robert and Sarah Harvey for arranging the itinery, booking the hotels, leading the evening entertainment, and generally organising the group to enable everyone to make best use of the time available. Thanks also go to Richard Watson for leading various groups, which enabled the group to be split rather than travelling mob-handed around the moor. DG
Top: Wistman's Wood by Dave Gray Right: Venford Falls and above - Group photo both by Robert Harvey ARPS EFIAP
See more photographs in the Dartmoor Weekend Gallery
|Competition 1 - Open Prints 9 October 2015
|Members were very pleased to welcome back the judge for the evening Terry Walters who has visited the club on several previous occasions. It's always a pleasure to have Terry as he keeps the evening very light-hearted and he started off by saying 'enjoy yourselves and don't take it too seriously!' With a bit of banter and quips about not knowing anything about some of the subjects portrayed on the prints he praised the best points of each image but then gave helpful advice on how those images could have been improved by some cropping to avoid large dull areas or some editing to bring out more of the detail. Wanting the main subject to be 'razor sharp' many images were rather on the soft side for his taste. Terry quite rightly looked for good use of the correct depth of field, good composition and lighting and pointed out some tiny details missed by the photographers that should have been removed to make a better image.
Starting with the Beginners prints Terry said that he knew the area featured on Kate Aston's monochrome 'Tamar Morning Mist' (shown left) and that she had managed to capture a very atmospheric scene awarding Kate first place. Second place went to Kyra Wilson - another new member this season with her macro image 'Comma on Sedum'
Andy Vick was placed third with a cricketing scene titled 'Throw to Space'
Terry judged the 21 interesting prints entered in the Intermediate section and chose 'Reflections of Stephanie' (shown right) by Hilary Eagles as the winner saying it was a very unusual image -something he always likes to look out for. Both second and third places went to Michael Barnes with 'Smokin Joe' a monochrome portrait and 'Misty Morn' a warm tranquil landscape.
The Advanced section caused Terry a problem as there were so many superb images but he could only give 7 awards. Terry gave first place to 'When the Gambian Boat came in' by Dave Gray (shown below) because it told a story - it portrayed a colourful crowd of people in the sea eager to collect the catch of fish from the boat. Dave was also awarded 2 HC's.
Second place went to club chairman Richard Watson LRPS with 'Coal Store' - no coal actually in sight but a tranquil waterside scene with a superb sky and a coal store building away in the distance. A print by Chris Wilkes-Ciudad ARPS titled 'Well's Cathedral' caught the judges eye because it had been edited to look rather like an oil painting and gained third place.
Many thanks to Terry for taking the time and trouble to look so carefully at all the prints entered and to give his opinion on how the images might have been improved. Members could learn and gain some helpful tips that will be helpful before they enter their images in the next competition. Thanks also to busy Competition Secretary, Caroline Wright for organising the prints and getting them to the judge. PM
Full Results Images that gained awards can be seen in the Galleries soon.
|Biennial Print Exhibition 2015
The Biennial Print Exhibition which has been on display at the Wiltshire Museum, Devizes closed on Sunday, 11 October.
Over 90 members framed prints have been exhibited in the Gallery since the opening on the 13 September.
Visitors have looked around the exhibition from as far away as the USA as well as Europe and many people had visited from all corners of Wiltshire.
'Absolutely wonderful' 'Very inspiring' 'Amazing photography' and many other appreciative comments were written in the visitor's book. The museum staff said they had received many favourable comments as well.
Well done to all the members who entered the competitions and displayed such a variety of superb prints.
Visitors were asked to choose their favourite image and when the voting slips were counted 'Red Squirrel on Bracket Fungus' by Gill Cardy FRPS DPAGB AFIAP
(shown left) was declared the winner.
Other prints that had many of the visitors votes were 'Fishing in the Mekong' by Martin Horton, 'Are you Looking at me' by Ray Grace ARPS DPAGB,
'Stonehenge Startrails' by Dave Gray and 'Hadrian's Wall' and 'Porthcawl Lighthouse' by Robert Harvey ARPS EFIAP.
Also on display were very interesting vintage cameras loaned by club members so a big thankyou to all of them.
Many thanks go to Stuart Barnes who did much of the work arranging the exhibition, Caroline Wright for organising the collection of prints and taking them to the judge, to all those members who were involved in setting up and hanging the prints, all those who framed and exhibited their prints and to the Wiltshire Museum and staff who were so helpful throughout. PM