Monochrome Print and Creative PI Competitions  
PM RandolfThe judge for the two competitions was Tony Byram EFIAP ARPS AWPF DPAGB who travelled to Devizes from Bristol on a very cold evening.
It was an evening of contrasting images with the monochrome prints tending to be more traditional and the creative digital images more imaginative.
Commenting generally on the monochrome prints Tony said that he looks for a wide range of tones with a good contrast but some of the prints entered appeared rather all over grey.
EndangeredThere should be detail in the darkest areas and a good balance of light and shade. A few prints looked rather dark and lacked ‘sparkle’ Tony commented but however other prints were praised for their sharpness and good range of tones.

There was a good entry of monochrome prints from members for the judge to give his comments on. Subjects ranged from moody landscapes and interesting architecture to sport, portraits, street scenes and many more interesting ideas that worked particularly well in monochrome.
A sepia toned portrait of a bearded man (left) by Pam Mullings particularly appealed to the judge who commented on the detail and the presentation awarding ‘Randolf’ first place. Another print by Pam – this time in black and white of a white rhino titled ‘Endangered’ (right) was in second place.
‘Talisker Bay’ - a seascape by Robert Harvey ARPS EFIAP was in third place.

Eight prints were awarded Highly Commended including 2 from Kyra Wilson – see the full list PM Sinkingbelow.

Altogether different were the imaginative projected images in the Creative Competition. The club would have liked a few more entries but many of the club’s newer members seemed reluctant to try their hand at something a bit different.

RH gentlemenCreative can be an image taken in camera or an image altered or combined with others using editing software. Again a range of interpretations were entered – some double exposures taken in camera, some images altered using software effects and others combined images to give sometimes amusing and improbable results.
An image by Pam titled ‘That Sinking Feeling’ (left) was an altered reality image of a red-headed lady sinking into a muddy hole and coming face to face with a frog! The judge liked the odd combination and awarded the image first place.
Close behind was an amusing image by Robert titled ‘To Business, Gentlemen’ (right) with penguins made to look like city gents and was awarded second place. In third place was another brilliant idea by Kyra Wilson ‘Pop up Little Owl’ with the bird appearing to pop out of a print.
Hopefully those that entered had fun thinking up new ideas and more might enter next year.

The Syd Holley ‘Pencil of Nature’ Trophy for a monochrome print and the ‘Demiurgic Trophy’ for a creative projected image were both presented to Pam Mullings by the judge Tony Byram.

Congratulations to all who gained awards and especially to the new members who entered.
Thanks to Tony for judging two such contrasting competitions and for giving such helpful comments on each one.

Full results                                         The awarded images can be seen in the Galleries soon
'A Bug's Life' 5 December 2017   
On Tuesday evening, we welcomed back Johnnie Rogers ARPS DPAGB AWPF AFIAP to Devizes Camera Club for his presentation showcasing macro photographs of insects taken, mostly, in South Wales.
JR 3Johnnie started by showing us some of the equipment he has used in pursuit of his macro images. Firstly, he had a Nikon APS-C camera fitted with a 400mm F4 lens and extender, mounted on a monopod with a gimbal head. While this is an excellent combination, he explained that he finds it too heavy and cumbersome to carry around all day. So, he started using cameras with smaller sensors and sang the praises of one with a 13x9 mm sensor to which he can attach a 200-800mm equivalent lens, extension tube and a flash and which is small enough and light enough to carry in a shoulder bag without discomfort. Not only is this a much lighter combination, he claimed, but can provide better results. “Mirrorless cameras are the future” he announced.

Johnnie explained that he doesn’t travel too far for his macro photography, preferring to spend time in his local Gwent Levels or in the gardens of National Trust properties with their large array of insect attracting flowers. He tends to go to the same patch most days, walking his dog, Benson, who he credited with much of his success. The dog has become an expert at flushing out insects onto grass stems and leaf litter for the ever watchful Johnnie to photograph.
JR whiteHe then showed us a large array of fabulous close-up images of insects, including an Alder Fly guarding its eggs, St Mark’s Flies mating and a Bee Fly. He marvelled at the green fluorescence on the body of a Green Sawfly and described a Scorpion Fly as the clown of the insect world.(right)
He showed us a Hover Fly impaled on marsh grass and a Yellow Dung Fly suffering from a form of fungus.
Johnnie spent a moment describing a number of good Macro Focusing Rings that could be bought quite cheaply before showing us images of insects that he taken with such equipment. A Speckled Bush Cricket taken with a 90mm Tamron lens and extension tube, fitted with a Ring Flash; a Snip Fly so close that it showed golden flecks on its abdomen that are not visible to the naked eye. We also saw Early Bumble bees mating and a 10mm White Crab Spider spread across the screen in close-up and a tiny Mint Moth with its beautifully coloured 18mm wingspan.
He showed us night time shots of a red False Widow Spider and a Tube Web Spider, the two most venomous spiders in the UK. Having regaled us with horror stories of how people have suffered from their bites, he gaily stated that they were both very common in everyone’s gardens, sheds and garages!
JR 2In the second half of his presentation, Johnnie started with images of butterflies and moths. He explained that he never uses traps or nets or bait to obtain his shots, preferring to find the insects in their natural habitat. He said he usually sets ISO to automatic although he doesn’t want to go above 800 on his DSLR and on smaller sensor cameras his limit would be 400.
Among the memorable images we were treated to in this section were a Green-Veined White on a dandelion seed head,(above left) a Ringlet enjoying sunlight after rain, a Common Blue on buttercups, and a White Ermine Moth with its fluffy crown.

JR 4Johnnie talked about the need to keep all of the insect in focus and sharp from wingtip to wingtip and with the background out of focus. Although he did admit that, for personal consumption, he had several images with cluttered backgrounds that he liked but judges wouldn’t. An example of this was an image of a Migrant Hawker Moth on blackberries. However, the majority of his images did have beautifully diffuse and uncluttered backgrounds.
His final section covered Damsels and Dragons and showed excellent images including Broad-Bodied Chasers, Blue-Tailed Damselflies with water lice attached, newly emerged damsel flies with shimmering wings, and darters in mating rings.
He told us that the Red Damselfly (right) is always the first to appear and that he has found Hairy Dragonflies in the same clump of reeds every year. He also had a wonderful of image of Pond Skaters showing the depressions in the water made by their feet. (left)

He rounded off an extremely entertaining evening by saying that, in order to obtain good images of insects, you need to get to know your location well and keep going back time and again. Get to know what insects will be around at what time of year and in what weather conditions. And he acknowledged the help he gets from his dog, Benson.
Following a number of questions from the audience, the chairman thanked Johnnie for a great presentation and led a warm round of applause. I would add that it is well worth visiting Johnnie’s website at to view his wonderful images. DF

Terry Walters from Swindon Photographic society was the judge for the club's first Open Print competition of the season. Terry who has visited the club on many previous occasions began the evening by saying he might be considered to be a tough judge but he always tries to give members advice about their entries rather than just saying ‘a nice image’ and passing on.

Cp villageTerry commented that some otherwise excellent landscapes were slightly let down by the depth of field used. He prefers images to have really sharp foregrounds so that he can ‘feel’ the sharpness but the focus can get softer towards the background to give a sense of depth. Skies in some instances he considered rather bland and there were the usual comments about cropping, light areas on the edges and distractions in the image. .
The first print out of the box gave Terry a shock as he found it to be of a very high standard and that was in the Beginners section! He felt that if that’s the Beginners standard how are the Advanced section going to compete!
The number of print entries has gone down in recent years - probably due to the extra work and cost compared to entering a projected image competition, however to see an image actually as a print gives a degree of satisfaction. Hopefully more members will consider entering  prints next time.

BC Final FurlongIn the Beginners section the image that really stood out for the judge was ‘The Village Stream’ by Craig Purvis (left). The late evening shot using aslow shutter speed showed the stream of car lights as they wound their way along the road with lights from the houses and a church in the distance.
Prints by Bruce Chappell were placed second and third – ‘Final Furlong’ (right) depicted galloping horses and the monochrome ‘Peeping Tom’ was a well caught moment.

A monochrome was placed first in the Intermediate section with David Lock’s ‘We ain’t Talking no More’ - Terry commented on the positions of the two figures and the interesting background. David also had an HC with another monochrome ‘Houses of Parliament’
A classic image ‘Central Jetty’ Coniston’ by Steve Hardman was in second place and a well seen simple subject ‘Feather and Grass’ by Kyra Wilson was third. 
SB OutlookAn image of a lone boy titled ‘Outlook’ (left) by Steve Burgess and ‘Sea Otter’ by David Wilkinson were each awarded HCs.

The Advanced section had 26 entries with many excellent landscape and nature prints also some portraits and monochrome architecture images.
A portrait by Dave Gray titled ‘Gambian Girl with her Toy’ was placed first – the toy was a rubber tyre but the young girl had a beaming smile on her face. Another print by Dave was in second place this time a stunning Scottish landscape titled ‘’Liatach from Loch Clair’
In third place in the Advanced section was ‘Young Red Deer Stag’ by Caroline Wright. Tim Pier was awarded HC’s for 2 of his prints as did Richard Atkinson with Pam Mullings and Robert Harvey ARPS EFIAP an HC each. See the full list below.

A big thank-you to Terry Walters for judging the competition, for giving his very well informed comments and for taking so much time and trouble looking at all the prints. The club does appreciate the time the judges give – without them there would be no competitions!
Thanks also to Caroline for all the time she gives sorting, listing and getting the entries to the judge. Richard Watson ran tonights competion as Caroline  was unable to attend. PM

Full results                                               Some of the awarded images can be seen in the Galleries.


'Dance, Portraiture and Urban Exploration’ 21 November 2017   
Derwood  Pamphilon ARPS DPAGB EFIAP visited the club for the first time with subjects that were new to most of our members. The dance images were striking photographs of ballet dancers cleverly caught in mid-leap or in beautiful graceful poses. Some of the dancers were professionals from top ballet companies such as the Bolshoi and British dance companies and others were talented ballet school students.
DP dust2Derwood explained how he has developed his techniques for studio photography after being given some equipment just before he retired. He set up a small studio in his home but now rents studio space and locations.
Getting the lighting right is essential – flash is used to freeze the moment and set up to best show the muscular definition of the models. With each leap there is only one chance to get just the effect required so timing is crucial. Manual focus is used and the camera set on a low tripod for best effect. Experimenting with shutter speed can give a deliberate blur to give the impression of movement, intermittent flash or continuous lighting can also result in interesting images.
DP jumpDancers can be creative and set up interesting poses, use props or even throw up dust to create interesting images.
The dancers are usually photographed against a white or black background and Derwood then likes on occasions to experiment with Photoshop textures and filters to give the final images a more painterly look and create something a bit different. The figures can sometimes be cut out and cleverly placed against other backgrounds.
Permission is sometimes given to photograph the dancers on stage as they rehearse or pose for publicity images but then the stage lighting set up has to be used which often causes difficulties.
We were often shown both a colour and  monochrome versions of the same image to see which worked best.
Some very interesting shots were shown of the flaking paint and decay taken in some interesting old derelict buildings. Corners of an old mill, a chapel and even a swimming pool were all on occasions also used as locations for art nude photographs. Care must be taken as often the buildings are in a very poor state prior to demolition. Models used in such locations must be prepared to pose on dirty floors in draughty dangerous buildings so warn any models and take great care if you attempt anything similar!!
Models were shown posing in public outdoor locations – the shots have to be taken very early in the morning so passers-by do not get an unexpected shock!
Some models were photographed posing against rocks and jumping on top of cliffs on the Isle of Skye which - by the way was recently visited by club members but there were no nude models to be seen then!
Derwood is a members of Bristol Photographic Society and has achieved a great deal of success with his images in competitions and international salons.
Thanks to Derwood for a very interesting presentation of his stunning images and his hints and tips about studio and location photography. PM

Calne Multi-Club Annual Digital Battle 20 November 2017   

Ten local camera clubs were invited to take part in the Calne Digital battle. The judge for the evening was Ralph Snook ARPS DPAGB EFIAPwho very ably commented and gave his judgement on the 70 images.
Ralph’s specialised subject is nature as he is a very accomplished wildlife photographer himself but he gave his very well thought out comments on the diverse range of subjects entered in this Open competition. We saw motor bikes going through flames, steam trains, street photography, portraits, ships and of course many landscapes.
RH kingfisherThe standard was very high as usual so those that attended had a very interesting evening seeing the wide range of entries from all the clubs and hearing the judge’s comments.
During the evening there were 5 images awarded the top score of 20 including ‘Kingfisher with Catch’ (right) an amazing image by our club’s Robert Harvey ARPS EFIAP.
The judge said it was one of the best kingfisher images he had seen with the tiny fish in a circle matching the circle caused by the spray.
Close behind Gill Cardy FRPS DPAGB EFIAP had 19 points for ‘Hawfinch’ an image which the judge said was very well focussed and with an uncluttered muted background.
Caroline Wright had 18 points for ‘First Lock of the Day’ with the judge remarking on the excellent atmospheric early morning monochrome image. Something rather different was a composite image ‘Choir Practice’ by Pam Mullings scoring 18 points.
A stunning sky in an image titled ‘Sunset, Eilean Donan’ by Sue Wadman also scored 18.
Not far behind was Robert’s ‘Knowlton Church and Earthworks’ and Dave Gray’s ‘Brothers' which both scored 17 points.
At half time we were tied in second place and when the final points were totalled Devizes CC finished in a very creditable second place with a final total of 127 points.
First were Nonpareil with 132 but we finished ahead of  the other 8 clubs including Bath, Warminster and Swindon.
Before the meeting closed the judge announced his favourite image from the competition which was Robert’s kingfisher.
The very nice crystal trophy was presented to Robert at the club on Tuesday.
Very well done to all.
Thanks to Calne camera Club for hosting the event, our club Battle Secretary Frank Collins or organising our entry and those who selected the images. PM 


Throw Away the Tripod' 14 November 2017   

“Throw Away the Tripod” was the title of Tuesday evenings presentation by Bob Ryan ARPS FRSA and Alison Price ARPS FRSA. Bob apologised for the fact that his wife, Alison, was unable to attend as work and home commitments had prevented her from coming.  In preamble to his talk he said that on their many travels around the world they found that their tripods were often lugged around without ever getting used.
“Forget the Camera, Let’s talk about the Brain” might have been the sub-text for this fascinating lecture covering the conscious and non-conscious skills and decision making that take place during the photographic process from planning the shot to viewing the finished image.

RR 1Bob is an Emeritus Professor who specialises in Analysis which he used during his career as an accountant. He has now transferred those skills to photography where he has developed his thoughts on how non-conscious skills can improve a photographers ability.
Learning to drive, he said, is an example of how non-conscious skills can be developed. When you learn to drive, there are a lot of conscious decisions to be made - when to change gear, how to change gear, when to turn, where the controls are, etc. As you practice and become more experienced you do these things without thinking. He asked how many people had driven to the club and who could remember exactly how they got there. Once skills become non-conscious, the brain is freed to carry out other conscious decision making and the non-conscious processes happen more quickly. Bob said that this non-conscious learning process is accelerated when people are under stress.
We were introduced to what he called the “Structure of Expertise” and its 10 photographic constructs - Technical details; Focus; Exposure; Use of Colour and Tonality; Composition; Use of Light; Depth of Field; Creativity; Narrative; and Impact. Bob postulated that being able to make non-conscious decisions at the moment of opening the shutter will give you a better chance of getting the shot you want.
RR 2He credited Alison with an enviable and uncanny ability to make decisions at a non-conscious level on most of these constructs at the point of taking a photograph. These skills were burnt into her brain during her years as a Police Photographer taking images in traumatic situations such as car-crashes. Despite many years away from photography, when she came back to it she found that she still had that ability to make photographic decisions at an intuitive level.
Bob then talked about ways that these intuitive skills can be developed. He suggested the EPF method covering Emotional activation, deep Practice and Feedback. He advised using music to achieve emotional involvement in what you are doing.
Practice detailed techniques (e.g. shooting in different light) over and over again until you do it intuitively. And get someone to honestly tell you what they think of the results.
And then he invited us to take his IMP test to assess how we measure up against others in our intuitive, non-conscious decision making in relation to our photography. This entails assessing a series of images on-line against his 10 constructs and receiving an assessment report.
Bob finished each half of his talk with a couple of audio-visual presentations from his and Alisons travels. At the end of the first half he showed the Great Migration on the Masai Mara and an AV called Struggle for Life following a herd of Zebra crossing the river. One zebra escaped the clutches of a crocodile with an injury leg, only to be caught by a lion. The images included to make this story were fantastic.
At the end of the second half there was an AV from the Living Rainforest of Borneo. As well as some great shots of Proboscis Monkeys, there was a series of emotional images of the maternal responses of a mother Orang Utan to her dying baby which Bob credited to Alison.
This was a fascinating evening taking a different slant on the photographic process. It will have provoked a lot of thought and discussion.

We would like to thank both Rob and Alison for their insights and images.DF


'An Evening with Charlie Waite'  11 November 2017   

CW portrait Around 250 people converged on the Wiltshire Music Centre in Bradford on Avon to see world renowned Landscape photographer Charlie Waite speak about his photographic passion.  They were not disappointed, as Charlie explained his philosophy, and how this had been inspired by some of the greats of photography such as Ansel Adams and Henri Cartier-Bresson.
Pre-visualisation is one of the keys to successful photography.  Ansel Adams was happy if he made 12 successful images in a year, by which he meant photographs that fulfilled his ‘pre-visualisation’ of how the scene should look.  He had extremely high standards, and very few of his images reached the perfection he sought.
Although planning and pre-visualisation are very important, sometimes serendipity gives you an unplanned image which nevertheless works.  Charlie illustrated this with one of his own pictures, in which a line of cows took up exactly the right position along a shoreline, to create a perfect foil to the stormy sea and sky beyond.

CW treesAnother theme was the connection between the photographer and viewer, and how interesting it is to observe an audience’s reaction to different photographs.  Psychologically, a viewer will typically decide whether they like an image within the first second of seeing it.  Charlie also showed how sometimes, viewers can interpret the image in unexpected ways.  An avenue through a line of tall trees, framing a view of open countryside beyond, suddenly became a bottle of white wine, and shadows on sunlit cloisters became a stairway.

Charlie’s tour company is called ‘Light and Land’, and Charlie emphasised how important light is on creating a successful landscape.  Pre-visualising a scene involves deciding on the interplay between sunlit and shaded areas of the landscape to suit the composition, and waiting for the sky to deliver sunlight and cloud shadow to match. CW lavenderThe clouds not in the picture, casting shadows on the right portions of the landscape, are often more important than the clouds within it.

In the digital age, many effects can be added in post-processing, which raises the question of how much of this is valid.  If the photograph is the photographer’s way of sharing the passion of his experience with the viewer, the essential integrity of the truth of the image has to be maintained.  Once this is lost, the relationship between photographer and viewer is compromised.

On a more practical level, Charlie used many images to illustrate some of the finer points of composition which he believed make for successful images.  Repeating shapes such as curves, triangles, diagonal lines etc within an image make for a pleasing whole.  A slightly raised viewpoint often provides all important separation between the different elements making up the composition, and to achieve this, Charlie often uses a small set of steps to gain sufficient elevation.

The evening was Devizes Camera Club’s most ambitious undertaking.  It was hugely rewarding to see so many people from the wider photographic community and the general public coming to see and hear such and accomplished photographer and speaker.  Special thanks go to Robert Harvey, who as Programme Secretary conceived and managed the whole event, undertook publicity to 100 other clubs and co-ordinated tickets sales, which was hugely time consuming. 
Our thanks also go to Richard Watson, Craig Purvis, Frank Collins, Lynda Croft and all the others who helped publicise the event and manage ticket sales at club level. DG

Charlie Waite's website

CW 2CW 1CW 3

Images taken at the event by Sue Wadman of Charlie Waite and club Chairman Richard Watson


Competition 2 Open Projected Images - results 7 November 2017   

There were 84 entries for Peter McCloskey FRPS AFIAP to judge and comment upon in this second Open Projected Image competition of the season.
BC mannequinsIt was pleasing to see that many of the new members had entered a competition for the first time.
Peter is an experienced judge and was looking for subjects that were a bit different and that appealed to him. Many of the images in all of the sections were in his opinion over sharpened – some showed unwanted artefacts and in others the give away is often a pale line around dark edges. Members should look very closely at their images for over sharpening before entering them in competition and Peter gave some helpful tips on how to avoid or remedy the problem.
In the Beginners section newcomer Bruce Chappell made an excellent start in his first competition as his monochrome entry ‘Mannequins’ (right) was awarded first place. The judge commented on the unusual subject and the good choice of depth of field.
Bruce was also awarded third place with another monochrome titled ‘The Herb Seller’
Another new member with an excellent start was Mark Somerville with his monochrome ‘Contemplation’ awarded second place and another of his entries gaining a Highly Commended.

DW stonechatThe judge commented that although some monochrome entries gained awards others appeared rather all over grey and would have been better left in colour as he looks for good contrast in monochrome images.
A nature image gained David Wilkinson first place in the Intermediate section - the judge praised the sharpness and the muted background of ‘Stonechat with Insect’ (left) and David also had an HC with another nature subject.
JR GalleryThe stunning scenery of Sue Wadman’s image ‘Norwegian Winter’ gained her second place and another landscape ‘Swirling Pool’ by Steve Hardman was placed third.

There was a wide range of subjects in the Advanced section for the judge to give his comments and opinions on.
‘Gallery Viewing’ (right) -  a monochrome by Janet Rutter LRPS particularly caught his eye and was awarded first place out of the 36 entries. The subject really suited the monochrome presentation.
Dave Gray had 3 awards for his entries – a portrait ‘Coy Teenager’ was in second place, and ‘Talisker Bay Sunset’ a landscape with an amazing sky was awarded third place with ‘Early Morning Ablutions gaining a Highly Commended. Richard Atkinson AFIAP and Robert Harvey ARPS EFIAP each had Highly Commended for two of their entries.
A full list of awarded images can be seen below.

Well done to all those that entered the competition and especially to those that entered for the first time. Hopefully the judges’ comments were helpful - often it was just a bit more attention to the presentation that was needed. As usual the judge commented that many images could have been improved with some cropping of unnecessary areas so that attention is drawn more to the main subject.
Thanks to the judge for giving his opinion on the entries and selecting those images for the awards. PM

List of award winners        All the awarded entries can be seen in the Galleries.

Members log in can to see the points tables in Members Information. If any member has forgotten their password or has any other difficulty please contact Pam Mullings website support.


Members’ Speed Critique 31 October 2017   
Critique evenings give members the chance to get feedback on their images from fellow members. critique1
Members can voluteer to bring along a selection of their images for comment before possibly entering them for competitions. By looking carefully at the images either as prints or projected images members can discuss whether some minor changes might improve the image or give some other suggestions if needed. Sometimes some cropping or increased contrast can make a lot of difference. Competition judges tend to notice any distracting areas that mar an otherwise award winning image so by removing light spots, straightening horizons or other slight tweaks gives the image a better chance of an award. Whether to present an image in colour or covert to monochrome was a topic often discussed.
Getting together to discuss images is a great way to learn more about your fellow members and new members can get to know the more experienced photographers and vice versa.
Photographers usually have their own personal favourite subjects so it is interesting to see what others enjoy. Amongst the images shown tonight there were many very well photographed landscapes and seascapes with amazing skies and colourful autumn scenes. Nature was another popular subject as well as motor sport, portraits together with  some interesting cityscapes and nightscenes. 
critique2One of the clubs newest members Steve Burgess brought along a range of his prints with some remarkable macro images of insects, well photographed New York skyscrapers and some interesting portraits.
David Eagle who is also a new member showed a delightful range of subjects including some impressive monochrome landscapes, seascapes taken at Meadfoot Bay, Torquay and some stunning autumn scenes. 
A monochrome image of an abandoned old tractor by Mark Somerville should do well in competitions as well as several of his interesting images of motorbikes and cars.
Brian Appleby showed members his colourful landscapes taken in New Zealand as well as some close ups of insects and other subjects. Members were impressed by Roly Barth’s stunning kingfisher images as well as some glorious sunset scenes and photos of dogs as well.
A visit to South Africa gave Lynda Croft the chance to take photos of the interesting wildlife as well as some of the people she encountered. Peter Tasker had been to a safari park to take photos of a range of mammals including an impressive tiger and he showed members some of his images of raptors and owls taken on a photographic day.
Craig Purvis had braved the recent storm to photograph the huge waves at Porthcawl, took some attractive images on a recent visit to Scotland and also a portrait which should do well in the forthcoming portrait competition.
Thanks to all those who shared their images - the high standard of photography bodes well for the future of the club. A very interesting and enjoyable evening for all. PM
Photos of the members discussing the images taken by Club Chairman - Richard Watson LRPS

 ‘Visions of America' 24 October 2017   
TG horseshoeMembers enjoyed a very entertaining evening given by Tony Gervis FRPS in which he showed 450 of his images taken in the US over the last 25 years. Tony has visited all of the National Parks at least twice and very much enjoys photographing the stunning scenery and meeting the friendly people. He says America is a photographers a dream with so much variation in subject matter, the cowboys, their life style and their rodeos, as well as a climate which is predictable.
Tony travels in a campervan so that he can park up wherever he wants and explore the less well known areas. He explained how it is best to be up before dawn and wait for just the right moment when the sun to lights up the rocks giving him his ideal photo.
TG goblinTony often revisits sites where he took his first photos using a Hasselblad film camera and showed some of those early images compared to the digital camera used today.
Hanging over a 1,000 ft. drop Tony showed us his spectacular images of Horseshoe Bend. (right)
Photographs of Bryce Canyon and Yellowstone Park in snow, rock formations in Monument Valley and Arches National Park and the stunning colours of the Wave on the Colorado Plateau and Antelope Canyon.
We saw images of the unbelievable rock formations in Goblin Valley (left) as well as many other locations.
Tony takes dramatic photographs at the rodeos as the tough cowboys try to stay on their bucking horses often taking spectacular tumbles or they wrestle with steers with often painful consequences. To get his action images Tony says he has learnt to anticipate just when to click the shutter to capture the action and prefers not to use the camera’s motor drive.
TG horseThere were some atmospheric images taken on a Wyoming ranch as the cowboys rounded up the horses throwing up dust in the early morning light.(right)
Often experimenting with different in camera techniques such as infra-red, panoramas and images taken with a fish eye lens. Tony compared his image of flowing water taken with a slow shutter speed giving a milky effect to the image showing every detail of the water droplets using a fast speed and combining multiple images. Several images were of long exposures showing silhouetted rock formations and star trails. Another subject he explored was desert cacti taken with dramatic storm lightning.
Tony told us many amusing tales of his adventures while travelling across the states. A less amusing tale at the time he recalled that whilst visiting Alaska to photograph the bears as they feasted on the spawning salmon, Tony’s motorhome slipped underwater in the river leaving him stranded with just the clothes he stood up in!
Tony passed on some advice given to him from another photographer ‘If there is nothing to take then take a photograph anyway’ Using this adage Tony showed several successful images he had taken of subjects that nobody else would usually think worth taking.  Perhaps give this a try sometime!
Thanks Tony for your very professional and amusing presentation and for showing us a glimpse of the spectacular scenery to be found in the US National Parks. PM
Nature Print and Projected Image results 17 October 2017   

The competition for Nature prints and projected images was judged by Penny Pinnock DPAGB AFIAP who is herself a renowned nature photographer specialising mostly in underwater images. Penny said that she had very much enjoyed looking at the clubs entries and that she felt that all the images were of a high standard so it was very difficult to choose which ones to give the awards.
RH kingfisher2Penny said that apart from the main subject being sharp and the colours true she looks for the aesthetics and the creative vision shown by the photographer. Preferably the subject should be shown with some action but said that as usually you can’t get wild birds or animals to pose just where you want so you have to do your best with whatever lighting conditions, vegetation or backgrounds are present.

There was a large entry of both prints and projected images from the club members.
Penny gave her opinions on each of the prints and was impressed by the good presentation.
Finally, after some difficult decisions the awards for the nature prints were announced with an outstanding image by Robert Harvey ARPS EFIAP being awarded first place for
‘Kingfisher Surfacing’ (left)
Robert spent many patient hours which resulted in a series of remarkable images of kingfishers diving in and emerging from the water often having caught a fish. The judge particularly liked the way the spray had been captured and the reflections shown in the image.
RA DragonflyPenny liked the simplicity but appreciated the difficulties presented by photographing insects in flight and awarded ‘Flying Emperor’ (right) by Richard Atkinson AFIAP second place.
RH albatrossThe subject was rather more static in third placed ‘Ladies Slipper Orchid’ by Gill Cardy FRPS EFIAP DPAGB with the judge remarking on the excellent lighting.

After the break the 42 projected images were shown depicting many species of birds, mammals from many continents, insects, amphibians and flowers.

Robert Harvey’s ‘Black-browed Albatross Courtship’ (left) was awarded first place with the judge remarking on the excellent composition.

In second place was Richard Atkinson’s colourful back-lit image ‘Brimstone Butterfly’ (below)
and Richard was also awarded third place for another difficult subject to photograph with the remarkable ‘Swallow in Flight’

RA BrimstoneTwentyone of the nature images were awarded a Highly Commended and altogether thirteen members gained awards for their prints and projected images - the full list can be seen below.

Robert Harvey was once again presented with the two Nature trophies – the John Sowman Memorial Trophy for prints and the Bowker-Praed Challenge trophy for the projected images - so very well done yet again to Robert.

Thanks to Penny for travelling from Dorset on a damp evening and giving her helpful comments on how some images might have been slightly improved and for taking the time to look so carefully at the entries and choosing the winning images.

Thanks to Caroline Wright who had the time consuming job of organising and running the competition.
Finally, thanks to all the members of the club who entered the competition - especially the new members.

Full results     The awarded images can be seen in the Galleries 


Landscape Photographer of the Year competition

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

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


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

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

Congratulations Gill for winning this very prestigious competition.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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



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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Members may like to recap on the extensive information given by Dave by reading his 'Editing in Adobe Lightroom' See other useful pdf's in 'Members Information'


'Tides and Tempests' by Rachael Talibart 12 September 2017   

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


2017 Biennial Print Exhibition  

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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




RPS Digital Imaging Expo 2017

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Latest Salon Acceptances

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Club Members Successes  

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

 Kyra   Tim   David


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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Many congratulations to all the winners. PM

A full list of results can be seen here

All the awarded images can be seen in the Gallery


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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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


“From Muck to Magic” 18 April 2017  

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

Full results                       The awarded images can be seen in the Galleries


WCPF Members Exhibition & Salon Acceptances

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

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

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