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Free the Spirit                                                                                           19 Nov 2013
Professional outdoor photographer since 2002, Nick Jenkins ARPS AWPF shared his passion for the wilderness and nature during our annual joint meeting with Warminster Camera Club. With a good dose of humour throughout, Nick took us on an alphabetical journey from the Brecon Beacons to the Yorkshire Dales. His stunning collection of landscape images started with a sunrise, returning time and again to his favourite themes of rainbows and waterfalls, and finished off with a series of sunsets with amazing reflections in water. In the second half, Nick also presented some nature photography where he likes to get creative with a macro lens. A great lover of the outdoors, he enjoys the challenge of chasing after light and describes his photography as capturing a slice of landscape out of a bigger picture. Our thanks go to Nick who was on a busy schedule, leaving early next morning for Prague where is running a workshop in urban photography. And thank you to our Warminster colleagues for joining us on this very enjoyble evening. LS      
Henrhyd Waterfall and Tree
© Free Spirit Images 
Upper Neuadd, Brecon Beacons
© Free Spirit Images 
Pen y Fan from Neuadd Reservoir
© Free Spirit Images 
Results Open Assessment 2 - Projected Images                                   12 Nov 2013
Brian Swinyard MA(Photo) ARPS EFIAP/b DPAGB BPE3* PPSA, paid his third visit to the club, this time as the judge for our second Open Assessment of the season. A total of 83 entries were submitted, which Brian assessed in detail. The winning entry in the Beginners' category was Michael Barnes with Lift Off (bottom left), followed by Sara Nelson in second place and Stuart Barnes in third place. Brian Ruddock won first place in the Intermediate category with Lunch (centre). New member Lynda Rugg came second and Leila Searight third. In the General category, Richard Atkinson's Jessica Entertains (bottom right) was the judge's favourite, followed by Stephen McGrath's and Robert Harvey's entries in second and third place. LS 

Entries which scored 3 or 4 points
Images which scored 4 points can be seen in Galleries
Lift Off by Michael Barnes
Lunch by Brian Ruddock
Jessica Entertains by Richard Atkinson
Calne Camera Club Annual Multi- Club Digital Battle
Many congratulations to Calne CC for winning the Trophy - Devizes CC came second and Bath PS were 3rd in this annual battle between 9 local clubs.  The meeting was held in the very spacious new venue of Calne CC so many thanks go to them for  organising the competition and thanks also to the very experienced judge - Graham Hodgkiss ARPS MPAGB APAGB AFIAP for his interesting comments.
Devizes CC congratulates Martin Horton for his entries being awarded 19 & 17 points, Gill Cardy was awarded 18 points, Dave Gray and Hilary Eagles were each awarded 17 points. All the images and results can be seen on the link below.
The judge said he had enjoyed looking through the wide variety of subjects depicted.  The top score of 20 points was awarded to 6  images - each a winner in their own very different way. Finally Graham had the difficult job of choosing the overal winner who received a glass trophy. The final choice was 'All in the Air' by Patrick Emery of Frome CC which captured the rough action of a women's rugby team so congratulations to him.
Devizes CC members who travelled to Calne had an interesting and enjoyable evening seeing the 90 images and thanks go to Calne CC for their hospitality.Thanks also to Kev Ferris who organised the Devizes entries.

Devizes CC results 
The Nature Group Presents...                                                             5 Nov 2013
We were treated to a rich and varied presentation by our very own Nature Group who showed prints, projected images and AVs from their various trips. Gill Cardy ARPS DPAGB AFIAP started off with a selection of images taken at the Devon Wildlife Centre for Photography where members found very obliging subjects to photograph, such as the Harvest Mouse and a family of Wildcat.
Jean Ingram followed with a photographic tour of Slimbridge, where she first started doing photography and where an amazing 130 different bird species can be found. 

Mediterranean Gull by Jean Ingram
We then went on a Fungus Foray with Pam Mullings' selection of detailed close-ups of fungi taken by the group at Savernake Forest and Oakfrith Wood, some of which proved tricky to identify!
After the break, during which minor teething problems with the club's new laptop were sorted out, Steve Morris did a presentation on WWT's Langford Lakes where 150 different species can be seen from a number of hides, including the elusive Kingfisher! Steve finished with a lovely sequence of bird shots on ice.  
Amethyst Deceiver by JR Rathband
Charlotte Morris LRPS gave us some technical info and tips on how to photograph wild flowers, including the use of a colour chart. We saw some beautiful shots of bluebells, fritillaries and other wild flowers which thrive on our chalk downlands and grasslands such as Clattinger Farm, Wiltshire's Coronation Meadow which is a site of Special Scientific Interest. Charlotte also showed us a few of her own images of birds and a family of fox.
Richard Atkinson followed with an AV on butterflies from Studley Grange near Swindon and Pam did a short presentation on insects up close taken by various members of the group. 
Scorpion Fly Web by Gill Cardy 
buttercupscmThe evening came to a close with images from the Nature Group's trip to Brownsea Island, organised by fellow member Robert Harvey ARPS AFIAP in June this year. A total of 11 members split into two groups over a period of a week and had the island to themselves outside visiting hours. The selection of images shown by Gill certainly reflected what an idyllic setting this was for viewing such a variety of wildlife.
Many thanks to Gill and the other group members who helped put together this wonderful visual celebration of our native flora and fauna. LS  
(Left) Buttercups by Charlotte Morris 
Red Squirrel by Clive Rathband

How Did You Do That?                                             29 Oct 2013
Our club welcomed Barry Senior FRPS APAGB, past president of RPS, accompanied by his wife Fiona who is also an accomplished photographer. Barry had an interest in photograpy from his school days and he shared with us some early black & white prints which he digitised then worked on using various Photoshop techniques, adding gradients and tinting. Explaining how to make enhancements in post processing, he showed us how to use Puppet Warp and Silver Effect on a landscape image and also how to add a relection. He explained the use of Big Stopper, an almost opaque filter that gives a good effect on moving water. Barry often adds or removes figures from images and does a lot of manipulation but likes the results to be believable.
Barry produces small prints as he feels it compliments the subject and he prefers to show his work in print format as the subtlety is often lost when an image is projected. Some superb prints in both colour and monochrome were on display and the evening ended with a presentation of his FRPS panel. PM

Landscape Group Trip to Cornwall                                                  25-28 Oct 2013

groupminacktheatreThis season's Landscape Group weekend away was based in Penzance, Cornwall, and was enjoyed by twenty group members and partners. The weather was at times particularly stormy, providing plenty of excitement and not a few challenges to do justice to the scenes photographically. The overall trip was organised again by Robert Harvey ARPS AFIAP, and the group was able to benefit from his expert knowledge of locations around the Cornish coast, as well as his presentations and quizzes which provided lively entertainment in the evenings.

Saturday proved to be the calm before the storm, with a dawn visit to the Minack theatre, thanks to Robert managing to obtain special permission for us to go there out of hours (see pic top left by Robert). After breakfast, group members then visited Lanyon Quoit, Botallack Mine buildings and Porth Narvern, before the rain set in in the late afternoon. Porth Narvern proved particularly challenging to find a compelling composition amongst the ancient rounded boulders to be found on the beach.

Sunday began with a dawn shoot of St Michael's Mount, and it was soon obvious that the waves crashing onto Marazion beach created a dramatic component to the standard shots. Most of the group then went on to Mullion Cove on the Lizard peninsula, where truly awesome waves were crashing high over the harbour breakwaters. Capturing the scene while keeping equipment dry, and especially keeping the lens free of water droplets, was however a major problem, with many a perfect shot spoiled by spray on the lens. We then continued on to the cliffs above Kynance Cove, where stupendous waves filled the bay, and gale force winds proved more than a match for even the sturdiest of tripods. It will be interesting to see how many of the group managed to capture the majesty of the scene below.

If the day wasn't already full enough photographically, the evenings were enlivened by Robert's imaginative quizzes to keep the group on their toes. Saturday evening was a photographic version of Would I Lie To You, as team captains tried to convince the audience that they were the true author of images presented on screen. It was interesting that some of what seemed obvious lies actually turned out to be true. On Sunday evening, battle was resumed with a coastal landscape 'pin the tail on the donkey' and a missing words round. Well done to Leila and team for an aggregate victory over the two nights.

Monday was time to head home, but with sunshine illuminating stormy waves, there was still time for an early visit to Land’s End, and some visited Godrevy Lighthouse and Bedruthran Steps on their way back to Wiltshire. Our thanks again go to Robert for organising the hotel booking, for guiding the group to photogenic locations during daylight hours, and for compiling the quizzes in the evenings. DG

Longships Lighthouse by Robert Harvey
Waves at Mullion Cove by Dave Gray
Group panoramic shot at Lanyon Quoit by Stephen McGrath
See more images from the weekend in the LANDSCAPE GROUP - CORNWALL Gallery 
Results Open Assessment 1 - Prints                                              22 Oct 2013
Judge John Hoskins presided over our print entries in the second part of our first Open Assessment, paying close attention to the criteria set for the Beginners, Intermediate and General categories. He commented that the criteria for the General section was set to a very high standard and that overall, the important thing was that this new scoring system worked for our members. In the Beginners section, an amazing total of seven entries out of 18 received the highest score and the winner selected by the judge was Caroline Wright with Fading Light at Eilean Donan, followed by Julia Stainer in 2nd place and Liz Bates in 3rd place. First place in the Intermediate section went to Leila Searight with Wiltshire Lines, followed by Brian Ruddock and Sheelagh Hiscock. In the General section, Gill Cardy ARPS DPAGB AFIAP won first place with Siskin in Snow and Martin Horton took 2nd and 3rd place. Well done to all who participated! LP
Entries which scored 3 or 4 points 
Images which scored 4 points or were placed can be seen in the Galleries
Fading Light at Eilean Donan by Caroline Wright
Wiltshire Lines by Leila Searight
The Landscape Group presents...                                                      15 Oct 2013
The club's Landscape special interest group took the floor this evening with presentations to showcase their activities and pictures, as well as to provide some guidance to all club members on how to photograph landscape subjects. Robert Harvey ARPS gave a talk on The Autumn Landscape, giving timely amilkywaydvice on what makes autumn a very special time of year for Landscape photographers. For Keats' season of mist and mellow fruitfulness, he explained how to use the quality and angle of sunlight, dawn mist,and the obvious colour changes in trees and vegetation, as well as suggesting subjects such as waterfalls, waves and the setting crescent moon which are at their best during autumn. After the interval, Dave Gray presented pictures taken on group outings to the Ystradfellte waterfalls, and the group's weekend trips to the Gower peninsular and Sidmouth, showing how different people photograph the same scene in very different ways, as well as illustrating how dependent landscape photography is on the weather. Last, but not least, Nick Smith showed how he pushes his camera to the limit with some quite astonishing pictures of the moon and of far away stars and nebulas, some achieved with a combination of 1200mm telescope and geo-stationary software, and others with  an  8mm fisheye lens. DG                                                                                                                                              Milky Way by Nick Smith
Church of the Assumption and Bled Castle by Robert Harvey
Astro Landscape by Nick Smith
In the Footsteps of Shackleton                                                         8 Oct 2013
Having done the Arctic, this time Eddy and Pam Lane, both ARPS DPAGB EFIAP, headed south in the
footsteps of Shackleton, their journey taking them from the Falkland Islands to South Georgia, the Antarctic Peninsula and back via Ushuaia. Eddy gave us a brief history of Shackleton's expedition in 1914, a fascinating story of survivalpameddysouth georgia and rescue against the odds. Eddy and Pam's trip took place in rather less perilous circumstances though the harshness of the environment and its remoteness were evident in their photography. We enjoyed a bit of history and natural history in the Falklands then moved on to South Georgia's striking mountain landscapes, where Eddy retraced part of Shackleton's route. In St Andrews Bay (a haven for our penguin lovers! - see pic left) they photographed a rookery of King Penguins in various stages of transformation from chick to adulthood. Heading into the colder temperatures of the Antarctic Peninsula, via Elephant Island where Shackleton's crew found land, Pam and Eddy came across more penguin varieties and Antarctic birds in a spectacular scenery of icebergs, rock and dark seas, stormy one day and dead calm the next. Thank you both for a very inspiring evening and for helping us recognise our seven Antarctic penguin species! LS
kingpenguinrookerystandrewsbay south georgiaicebergwaveantarctica
                King Penguin Rookery, South Georgia                                                           Iceberg Wave, Antarctic Peninsula
Biennial Print Exhibition
wild-catThe 2013 Biennial Print Exhibition closed on Saturday 5 October. The exhibition is a excellent showcase for the club and allows the public to see the variety and quality of prints produced by members.

Many visitors signed the visitors book with many pleasing comments such as 'Strong exhibition from a talented camera club' and 'Stunned by the high quality all round'

Visitors to the Exhibition could cast a vote for their favourite image.
As might be expected opinions were divided with 48 of the prints in the exhibition chosen as someones favourite.
The most popular was Dave Gray's 'Scottish Wild Cat' (right)
In second place was 'Morning Glory' by Stephen McGrath 
and in third place was 'Curiosity' by Pam Mullings (above left)
The photographer with the most overall votes was DCC Chairman - Stephen McGrath with 3 of his stunning landscape prints in the top 6!
Results Open Assessment 1 - Projected Images                                1 Oct 2013
Eddy Lane ARPS DPAGB AFIAP, President of Calne Camera Club, did the honours of judging our first Open Assessment for Projected Images. This new assessment system scores each entry with points 1 to 4 and allows the judge to award 1st, 2nd and 3rd place (with no extra points) in each category. These winning entries become eligible for the Projected Image of the Year competition in May 2014.
Eddy did a fantastic job as the first judge to trial our new system, giving very comprehensive feedback on the Beginners' entries in particular.
We had an amazing total of 75 entries and Eddy ended up awarding four entries in each category! Congratulations to Caroline Wright who won 1st place in the Beginners' category with Light at the end of the Pier (below right), followed by Andy Vick in 2nd place and Sara Nelson & Liz Bates in joint 3rd place.
The Intermediate category saw David Fraser with Quirang at Dawn (below left) and Nick Smith with Le Mans Pit Crew Candid (right) in joint 1st place, with David also winning 3rd place.
The winner of the General category was Robert Harvey ARPS AFIAP with African Elephant Trio (top right), who also won 2nd place. LS 
Entries which scored 3 or 4 points can be seen here.

Images which scored 4 points can be seen in the Galleries
African Elephant Trio by Robert Harvey
Le Mans Pit Crew Candid by Nick Smith
     Quirang at Dawn by David Fraser
Light at the end of the Pier by Caroline Wright

Wildlife Photography: My Approach and Techniques            24 Sept  2013
Our club welcomed Philip Mugridge ARPS, a professional wildlife photographer based in the Forest of Dean, who also travels the world with his photographer wife. In the first half, Philip focused on birds in his back garden, in the Forest of Dean and in Slimbridge, showing what techniques he uses to attract wildlife and proving that there is no need to travel far for wildlife photography.
Philip has a strong interest in animal behaviour (he received his Biology degree from none other than Peter Scott) and a love of the outdoors, as long as other photographers and birdwatchers don't get in the way! There was a display of prints of superb quality and cards for sale during the interval. 
During the second half, Philip took us further afield to the Outer Hebrides, New Mexico and Finland, giving us tips on how to get close to otters and pine martens, and also sharing some stunning landscape photography with us. In Finland he managed to capture bears, wolves and wolverines on camera, though came under attack from a Capercaillie! We all enjoyed an evening of natural history and spectacular photography. LS  
Grey Wolf © Philip Mugridge
Siberian Jay © Philip Mugridge
Snow Geese © Philip Mugridge
Introduction to Club Life and how to Enter Competitions                  17 Sept 2013
For those new to the club and for those returning members still baffled by the terms and abbreviations we use, this was the night when all was revealed! Long-time members Clive and Joan did an introduction on Devizes Camera Club and its place in the photographic fraternity. They went through our club's internal and external competition structure, showing recent entries from interclub and regional battles and also emphasising the opportunities for growth with RPS and international approved exhibitions. The Ryder Rathband trophy awards points gained for acceptances in salons which are open to all our members. Clive and Joan gave us recommendations on which salons to focus on and finished off with an impressive selection of acceptances gained by members of the club.   
Jean then took us through mount sizes required for internal and external competitions and during the break gave us a practical demo on how to cut our own mounts with bevel cutters. In the second half, Pam gave details of our internal competitions and how they will be assessed, taking us through the rule changes and what criteria a judge will use for the Beginners, Intermediate and General sections. She finished off with instructions on how to submit a Projected Image entry and showed some samples. Thank you to our more experienced members for sharing their expertise and knowledge with us. LS 
Jane Austen Promenade 2013                                                                         14 September 2013

promenadeThis year's Jane Austen Festival in Bath kicked off this year with a Costumed Promenade through the centre of Bath, and for the second year running, Devizes Camera Club were invited as the 'Official Photographers' of the event.  This benefits both organisations, as Devizes members have a great opportunity to photograph the hundreds of Promenaders dressed in period costume, and against the backdrop of Bath's contemporary architecture, while the Jane Austen participants have their sartorial elegance captured with high quality cameras and hopefully high quality pictures.jane-austen-lady

The weather forecast was 'unsettled', but the event took place in a window of fine, even at times sunny, weather.  An estimated 600 people in Regency costume from all walks of life assembled on the lawn in front of the Royal Crescent mid-morning, to watch soldiers go through their drills with gun, bayonet and pike, or simply to stroll in the sunshine in front of one of Bath's premier pieces of architecture.  The soldiers then led the Promenaders through the city centre, past the Pump Rooms and Abbey,  to the Parade Gardens.  Here, a number of the younger members of the Jane Austen society performed period dances to music (and instruments) of the time, while others chatted and generally relaxed in very peaceful surroundings.

All in all, it was a thoroughly enjoyable day for all concerned, and Devizes Camera Club are very pleased to have been invited to observe and photograph the occasion.  The best of the pictures taken on the day can be found on the 2013 Jane Austen Gallery. These pictures will also be sent on to the Jane Austen society, for use on their website and to forward to the Promenaders should they ask for a personal copy. DG

Jane Austen Gallery                                      Photographs above by Dave Gray

Landscape Group to Caen Hill Locks                                            15 Sept 2013
The landscape group was treated to one of life's beautiful moments this Sunday morning when the sun rose above the locks at Caen Hill to illuminate the autumn mists and cast shadows off the lock gates. We onlocksly had a window of 3-4 minutes as the sun appeared through the trees on the left into the gap at the top then disappeared behind the trees on the right. It was also quite high in above the locks so the contact between the sky and the locks was quite high. Stephen McGrath organised the outing and with an early start, was well attended. A trip closer to the 20th might be in order to get better light. This Thursday (19th Sept) the moon rises above the lock in the evening so please contact Stephen or Dave if you are interested in attending. SM
locks1 sunriselocks1
Life of a Regimental Army Photographer                                             10 Sept 2013
Our club welcomed Pete Williams, who after taking up photography three years ago and being spotted with a camera, holds the position of Regimental Photographer with the Royal Artillery. His work involves coming up with decent photographs, sometimes under difficult conditions, for forces publications where all the information must be correct. He covers a variety of subjects including sporting and social events, parades, military weddings, fundraisers, group photos and, last but not least, a 7-month tour of Afghanistan (see pics below). He shared real stories and images of military life with us, including very disturbing images of casualties with severed limbs, which turned out to be simulated wounds on a training exercise! He also showed us what photographic equipment he uses and how difficult it is to operate in a dusty environment. Pete's passion as a soldier photographer allows him to capture and record an unseen side of life and it was a real privilege to have him share his experience with us. LS   
© Pete Williams
© Pete Williams
Members' Biennial Print Exhibition 8 Sept 2013
This Sunday afternoon, Mayor and councillor Pete Smith officially opened our club's Biennial Print Exhibition at the Wiltshire Heritage Museum in Devizes. We were pleased to also welcome Eddy Lane ARPS DPAGB AFIAP, President of WCPF, and Martin Fry FRPS APAGB, who judged the 95 prints entered ahead of the opening and gave us the results on the day. He said he was "amazed by the treatment of the subject, the composition and quality of presentation in the exhibition" at all levels of photographic ability. 
There were two trophies to be awarded. The Derek Parker Challenge Plaque for the best home-printed image in the Beginner/Intermediate category went to Jean Ingram for her entry entitled Running on Water. The Leaze Cottage Trophy (donated by Gill Cardy ARPS DPAGB AFIAP) for all categories was awarded to Martin Horton for In an Azure Mood, which coincidentally is the image used on our publicity flier! The title of Martin's print was inspired by a Duke Ellington song. Congratulations to you both on your brilliant success! 
Thank you to all the club members who entered their work in this exhibition and to all those who worked hard to put the exhibition together. It is always an amazing experience to see the best of our club's photography on display. The exhibition continues until 5th October. LS
See full results here 
Above: Winners receive their trophy with judge Martin Fry (left) and Mayor Pete Smith (right)
Below: visitors at the exhibition opening
Start of the 2013/2014 Season                                                   3 September 2013
It seems no time at all since we had our AGM in May and went into our summer break. It was good to meet up again with so many of our regular members. Some potential new members came to see what we are all about and seemed to be very enthusiastic about the chance to learn and improve their photographic skills.
There have been changes to the committee due to both the Chairman and Vice Chairman unable to continue for personal reasons after leading the club for over 30 years. Stephen McGrath who has been a committee member for several years was voted in at the AGM as Chairman and has taken up the reins. Pam Mullings has taken on the role of Vice Chaiman until someone else comes forward. Stuart Barnes is new to the job as club secretary so it is a steep learning curve for all to continue running such a successful club in the manner it has previously been managed by Frank Collins and Clive Rathband FRPS FPSSA EFIAP for so many years.
The evening began with Stephen introducing the rest of the committee - Dave Gray continues to very able take charge of the programme
, Richard Atkinson has taken over as Treasurer from Phil Raistrick who is now Membership Secretary. Kevin Ferris LRPS takes over 'Battles' and other roles taken by Jean Ingram, David Fraser, Caroline Wright, Hilary Eagles and last but not least the indispensible Mike Saunders who arrives early each meeting to set out the room.
Some of the trophies and certificates left from the AGM were then presented to members by Stephen.
Eddy Lane ARPS DPAGB AFIAP President of the WCPF presented a Highly Commended certificate from the WCPF Print Exhibition to member Robert Harvey ARPS AFIAP.
Dave Gray and Gill Cardy ARPS DPAGB AFIAP gave presentations about the club Landscape and Nature Groups.
Details were given of the Biennial Print Exhibition which opens at the Devizes Heritage Museum on Sunday 8 September (see news item) and the  Jane Austen festival on the 14th when members will have the opportunity to take photographs of people in regency costumes.
Members were updated about changes to competition rules and the evening concluded with a short slideshow of members Digital images.
Unfortunatly the club found out at the start of the evening that the Sports Club amplfier system was not working so apologies to those that had difficulty hearing at times - this will be rectified as soon as the club can aquire suitable audio equipment. PM
Landscape Group to Somerset Lavender                                           9 July 2013
A small group from Devizes Camera Club's Landscape group headed to Faulkland on a warm summer's evening to photograph lavender in bloom at Somerset Lavender Farm. Our previous attempts at visiting this site last year failed due to bad weather so what a relief it was to be in the midst of a heatwave! The lavender bushes were in full bloom though we were surprised to find only one large lavender field suitlavendergroupable for photography. As the sun set, the colours turned deeper and a few of us ventured into the field, unsure if we were breaking the rules! We enjoyed some home-made apple juice and delicious lavender cake then drove home, suitably relaxed from all the scent of lavender in the air. Thanks to Robert Harvey ARPS who organised the trip, though sadly wasn't able to make it. LS  
DCC Visit to Brownsea Island     31st May to 7th June 2013
     A small party of lucky photographers enjoyed a visit to Brownsea in early June.  Robert Harvey organized a week’s stay on this enchanting island and we had glorious weather.
      Although our rented cottage sleeps only six, we split the group into two, each having half a week on the island, to enable more members to come and photograph the wildlife spectacle.
red-squirrel      The first three days saw Robert and Sarah Harvey, Stephen McGrath, Kevin Ferris, Dave Gray and Ron Sims in residence.  Sunrise was at 5am and sunset not until after 9pm, which made catching sleep quite challenging in order to catch the best light of the day, as well as the times of day when the birds and animals were most active.  Right next door to the cottage was a peanut feeder, particularly frequented by red squirrels just after sunrise, producing a very photogenic subject illuminated by the warm sunlight of the early morning.
       A short walk away were bird hides overlooking the island's lagoon, and in particular overlooking small man-made islands being used for nesting by sandwich terns, common terns and black headed gulls.  Some of the group rattled off many thousand frames seeking the perfect image of terns heading back to their mates with sand eels and other morsels hanging out of their mouths.  The far side of the island was the preserve of oystercatchers, each pair keen to defend their territory and to try and entice eager photographers away from their nests, thus presenting excellent photographic opportunities.
       We also had a few brief glimpses of a nightjar, whose nest was close to one of the inland hides, and emphatically no, we did not use the well publicised mobile apps to encourage the birds into the open. Altogether the first group saw four species of mammals, including water voles, and 43 species of birds.
      All too soon, it was the halfway point, and the first group were welcoming Clive and Joan Rathband, Jean and Len Ingram and Gill Cardy to take over occupancy of the cottage.  After a splendid picnic and exchange of ideas and information, it was time to head back to the Sandbanks ferry.
brownseaThe second group also made good use of the Dorset Wildlife Trust’s reserve hides, which gave close views of nesting Common and Sandwich terns.  The noise these birds produced was a constant background and much time and memory card space was taken up with recording their activities.  Some of us have gigabytes of diving terns and occasionally a shot of a tern going into the water offshore and occasionally one with a captive fish.  It was an interesting challenge and it was lovely to have time just to sit outside our waterside house and attempt a shot or two.
      As well as birds we were treated to several sighting of the delightful red squirrels; one of which came into our garden, and a bold pheasant that even came into the house. We had glimpses of Sika deer, which are resident on the island and are often joined by others that swim over from the mainland.
     The second group counted a total of 63 species of birds – but we did have Len’s expertise to help.  We also counted five species of mammals.  Insects were scarce, owing to the cold spring, but several damselflies and dragonflies were seen.
        Heavy rain appeared as we were leaving, but was of no consequence as it was time to go.  It was a memorable few days and many thanks are due to Robert for planning this event, which I, for one, will look forward to repeating.
Dave Gray and Gill Cardy                                                             Photographs by Robert Harvey ARPS AFIAP
More photographs can be seen in the Brownsea Island Gallery.
Summer Social 2013 15 June 2013

A group of us (28 in total, including partners) gathered in Urchfont for our end of season summer social. Our thanks go to Nick Smith and chairman, Stephen McGrath, for organising the day, which started off with a couple of suggested walks around Urchfont village and Oakfrith Wood, including a series of photographic challenges to be completed and a quiz relating to landmarks around the village. This was followed by lunch at the Lamb Inn in Urchfont and a ladies v gents battle of skittles which was enjoyed by all! LS

The results of the photographic competition are as follows, with the winner taking home a bottle of wine:

An Unusual Face - Chris Beard, Totem Pole in pub garden
A Picture within a Picture - Joan Ryder Rathband, stained glass window 
As many different Wild Animals as possible - Len Ingram with astonishing (real) birds and a butterfly
A Reflection in a Reflection - Richard Atkinson, reflection from a mirror within a door
The Source of a River - Kerry Lewis with a picturesque scene of the river source 
The Bones of James William Pierce - Vivienne Lewis clearly showing cross bones sculpture on the tomb of JWP
A Fallen Angel - Sarah Harvey with a good portrait shot that clearly defined the sculpture from its busy surrounding
dcc chairman
Wild Animal entry submitted by Chris Bearddsc_3330
Members taking shots of local wildlife
dsc_3352After finally working out how to use the self-timer, we got our group shot!
Members exploring St Michael's and All Angels
parish church in Urchfont

jryderrathband_20130615 ascension stained glass window urchfont_img_7174
Ascension Stained Glass Window by winner Joan Ryder Rathband 

reflection in a reflection
Reflection in a Reflection by winner Richard Atkinson

dcc face comp winner
Totem Pole by winner Chris Beard
Maybe this explained some of the fowl weather we experienced!
FIAP Distinctions
Heartiest congratulations to Robert Harvey ARPS AFIAP and Joan Ryder Rathband FRPS FPSSA AFIAP on being awarded the Artiste distinction of the Federation Internationale de L'Art Photographique.  They are now entitled to use the distinction AFIAP after their names.  This award is for International Salon acceptances.
AGM & Presentations                                                                  14 May 2013
This season drew to a close with our AGM and presentation of awards for the year. Our AGM highlights were that our club membership grew by an amazing 25% in 2012-2013 and we held a total of 13 competitions, including the new Landscape Print competition which was very popular; we performed extremely well in interclub battles this season and the Ryder Rathband Trophy introduced in 2011 has meant that salon acceptances and awards gained by our members have soared exponentially!
There were a number of resolutions for consideration relating to the club's competition rules. Members will receive full details of the changes in due course. Resolution 1, which proposes that the club adopt the assessment scoring system in place of the current awards system of 1st, 2nd, 3rd place and HC for the three open competitions, was carried by a majority together with an amendment by Robert Harvey ARPS that the awards be retained but without any promotion points.
Chairman, Frank Collins, was granted Honorary Life Membership in grateful appreciation of all the work he has undertaken for the club for over nearly 30 years. Frank was four times Chairman and spent 26 years on the committee but is unable to continue for personal reasons. Former Vice Chairman Clive Rathband FRPS FPSSA EFIAP and committee member Joan Ryder Rathband FRPS FPSSA intend to spend more time travelling and are unable to take on a committee role. Thanks to both of them for their invaluable contribution to the club over the years. Frank and Clive, who is already an Honorary Life Member, have taken on the roles of Chairman and Vice Chairman almost continually for over 20 years so their departure leaves a big double act to follow. Hilary Eagles is also unable to continue as Secretary because of increased work commitments. 
Stephen McGrath was voted in as the new club Chairman by members present at the AGM. A list of all members of the 2013-2014 committee can be seen on the website in 'About Us'- Contacts - full contact details will be added later. Be assured that the new committee will do their very best to ensure the good reputation of the club and the excellent achievements of its members will continue.
Many of our members were absent for the presentation of the awards. Below are those members who were present. The eight members who were not able to collect their trophies will be presented with them at the start of the new season.  LS  
rharvey dmason pmullings
Frank Collins presents Trophies to Robert Harvey ARPS - General Print Photographer of the Year,
Derek Mason - Beginners Print Photographer of the Year and Pam Mullings - winner of the Projected Image League.
2012-2013 Competition Trophy Winners 
Impressions of Morocco and Cuba                                                          7 May 2013
We finally got to enjoy the long-awaited pictures taken by our Chairman and cycling enthusiast, Frank Collins, on his trip to Morocco and more recently to Cuba. Giving us the full flavour of Morocco, Frank started off in the mountains where a 10-mile ride along rugged landscapes and the odd Moorish fort can easily involve a 3,000 ft climb! Luckily there were support vehicles to hand for those who preferred to cycle downhill! Then on to the fortified port of Essaouira (bottom far left) full of picturesque blue boats and stormy waves crashing against honey-coloured battlements, before ending up in the bustling walled city of Marrakesh. Here Frank focused on the intricate abstract patterns in the city's architecture (bottom left) and took us on a tour of the Yves Saint Laurent garden, a popular destination for tourists.
In Cuba, the Anglo-Canadian group that Frank cycles with did a 2,000 km round trip from Havana to Santiago de Cuba, mainly along flat deserted roads. The cities, monuments and towns he visited, including Trinidad de Cuba which is a UNESCO World Heritage site, gave us a sense of Cuba's history and strong national pride, and also of the daily struggles of modern life in a country that is highly educated yet still very isolated after more than 50 years of communism (bottom right & far right). Thank you Frank for a very insightful evening. LS 
morocco impressions-109 morocco impressions-108 cuba impressions-68 cuba impressions-137
© Frank Collins
Print and Projected Image of the Year competition                                 30 April 2013
Thank you to Peter McCloskey FRPS from the Bristol Photographic Society for judging the best of our 2012-2013 season. A number of members dominated their category, as shown in the results. In the Beginners' Print section, winter-woodlandJohn Totten won first place, followed by Derek Mason in second and third place, also with a highly commended! In the Intermediate Print section, Richard Atkinson won first, second and third place! First place went to Gill Cardy ARPS DPAGB AFIAP in the General Print category, followed by Martin Horton in second place and Robert Harvey ARPS in third place, also with two highly commended awards. In the Projected Image category David Fraser won first and second place in Beginners, Richard Atkinson won first place in Intermediates and Chris Beard came in first place with a highly commended in the General section. It was great seeing all the winning entries this season competing against each other! The awards will be given at our AGM in two weeks time. LS 
Left: Winter Woodland by David Fraser - Beginners Projected Image of the Year. 
Full Results
Nature Group visit to Clattinger Farm                                  27 April 2013
The visit was led by Gill Cardy who wrote -fritillaries

"We received some depressing news about the state of the Fritillary field but the wardens were much more encouraging so a party eight of us decided to give it a go. There was a surprising number of flowers in good condition at Clattinger Meadow and even some still in bud. There was a profusion of cowslips to provide even more getting-downcolour, but fewer than usual of the white fritillaries - they are not really so photogenic as the rosy ones anyway. Several techniques were tried for a bit of variety from a straight portrait. but the chill wind prevented a protracted visit, and most were glad to give it best by lunch time."

Some photographs of the Fritillaries can be seen in the Nature Group Gallery.
RPS International Projected Images Exhibition 2012                                    23 April 2013
Once again we sat back and enjoyed the quality and variety of images from this prestigious exhibition. The General category had 235 acceptances comprising portraits, landscapes, architecture, wildlife, sports and the performing arts. There was a predominance of creative images in this category, showing just how skilled photographers have become in the art of post processing. During the second half of the evening, many of us were in raptures over the Nature acceptances which totalled 191 and took us to exotic and remote locations from around the world. Well done to our club members who gained acceptances in this exhibition, notably Gill Cardy ARPS DPAGB AFIAP, Joan Ryder Rathband FRPS FPSSA, Robert Harvey ARPS and Rod Stowell ARPS. LS
Personal Identity - from Camera Club to Master of Arts Photographer       16 April 2013

Brian Swinyard MA ARPS EFIAP/b DPAGB describes himself as an 'aspirational photographer with special interest in Contemporary, Creative, Travel and Portrait photography. His talk to the club illustrated his personal development from being a Camera Club member to becoming a Master of Arts Photographer. This proved to be a very personal account of the changes in his photographic style after retiring from the civil service. Brian embarked on the demanding challenge of a Master of Arts in Photography. He began by displaying work from earlier periods including Monochrome, Reflections, Still life, Portraits and how Photoshop opened up a new world of techniques  such as 'Lith Masks', glass screen, negative filters, extruded filters, pseudo Infra Red and many more. Each picture had his own personal unique style, breaking new ground in presentation of images beyond the norms. His advice was to 'never produce pictures to please judges but to please yourself'. 

Brian's MA work involved studying some of the leading war photographers to show how great photographs are achieved with simplicity, no distractions and getting close to the action. The theme for his MA portfolio 'Personal Identity' involved searching aspects of his personality illustrating both internal thoughts and external body image, distilling ideas and techniques from leading photographers. In his work emotions and feelings were of greater importance than photographic technique.

Having achieved his MA and ARPS Brian moved on photographically away from highly edited images to a 'back to basics' approach, getting the picture right in camera so that little further editing needs to be done. Further experiments with Photoshop filters followed in different periods as he continues to explore new techniques. We look forward to seeing the results of his next development which is to research for a PhD. RA

Creative Competition                       Judge: David Bathard FRPS                                       9 April 2013
pamThis competition encourages members to try out some creative ideas and have some fun!  Images can be created in camera or by using editing software. David Bathard said he very much enjoyed judging such a variety of unusual images. Although the number of print entries was low there was a good range of very interesting images. 
portmerion First place in the print section went to Martin Horton's stunningly simple coastal scene 'From Portmerion' (left) 
A print showing multiple shots of a diving kingfisher by Robert Harvey ARPS was placed second and an intriguing scene showing a submerged lighthouse complete with divers by Stephen McGrath was placed third.

illusionIn the projected image section, an image of a man emerging from a marble slab titled 'Painted Illusion' (right) by Pam Mullings was placed first and also won the Demiurgic Trophy. Second was a 'Wildephant' with the rear of a wildebeest and the head of an elephant cleverly put together by Robert Harvey. In third place was an imaginative creation by Robin Gregory entitled 'She Sleeps upon the Dreams'
David showed members some of his own creative prints and gave members some useful Photoshop tips such as using a saved 'script' to save time when reproducing a similar effect on a range of images.
Many photographers find the thought of being 'creative' a bit daunting but hopefully seeing this imaginative selection of images will inspire more members to just have a go and enter some prints or projested images next year.
Thanks to all the members who were inspired and entered the competition. PM
Top right: Pam Mullings receives the Demiurgic Trophy from David Bathard FRPS

Results                                 All the images that gained awards can be seen in the Galleries.
Western Counties Photographic Federation Members' Exhibition 2013
29 Acceptances, with 1 Bronze Medal, 4 Highly Commended Awards and 1 Ribbon!  Heartiest congratulations to Robin Gregory, who won the Bronze Medal for his image, Broken. Martin Horton (6 Acceptances), Robert Harvey ARPS (5 Acceptances), Kevin Ferris LRPS, Rod Stowell ARPS AFIAP were awarded Highly Commended awards and Martin also achieved a Ribbon.  Joan Ryder Rathband FRPS FPSSA (6 Acceptances), Richard Atkinson, Charlotte Morris LRPS, Clive Rathband FRPS FPSSA EFIAP, Hilary Kay and Gill Cardy ARPS DPAGB AFIAP gained acceptances.  Well done to you all! JRR     See all the results
Fordingbridge Challenge                                                                                          3 April 2013
reflectionsGreat news!  Devizes Camera Club managed to retain the trophy in the 2013 Fordingbridge Challenge!  Four members travelled to Fordingbridge on Wednesday, 3rd April, where we we had a most enjoyable evening and were treated to some excellent images from the 10 Clubs in the competition.  
Thank you to all the members who submitted images for consideration.  We could only enter 8 images in the Challenge so it was very difficult to narrow down the selection to just eight.  
snowbirdThe judge was Leo Rich ARPS EFIAP DPAGB APAGB.  Leo is also Vice President of the PAGB.  Congratulations to Charlotte Morris LRPS (Snowbird) and Chris Beard (Font Reflections) who achieved full marks for their images!

Our thanks also go to the organisers and members of Fordingbridge for making us feel so welcome.
Full results and Images 
New Proposal for Assessments                                         2 April 2013
Our club held a special meeting during which our Vice Chairman, Clive Rathband FRPS FPSSA EFIAP, and committee member Joan Ryder Rathband FRPS FPSSA, put forward a new method for assessing entries for DCC's open monthly competitions. 

Familiar with this system which is standard among clubs in South Africa and motivated by feedback from our club's recent survey, Clive and Joan emphasised that this new system would encompass all club members as every open competition entry would receive a score. The current system of awarding 1st, 2nd, 3rd place and HCs would be replaced with a scoring system of 1 to 4, with 4 being the highest score. This new scoring system would be based on a clear set of criteria for each category of photographer (Beginner, Intermediate, General and possibly a new Advanced category) and to illustrate how the criteria would be applied, Joan and Clive went through a selection of entries from our club members, explaining how each entry was scored. 

The present 1st, 2nd 3rd and HC's will remain for all the other competitions.   

Judges and camera club members from the Western counties were invited to this presentation and gave their views during a Q&A session at the end. This new proposal in various forms will be voted on by Devizes club members at their AGM in May. LS
Members' AV Competition                                                            26 March 2013
Club members competed for the Croall Plaque in the presence of our guest judge, Robert Albright FRPS, winner of the UK National and European AV championships. Our AV entries covered a breadth of subjects from Morris dancing, hats, wildlife and winter landscapes, to more creative pieces about instruments turning into birds and a mysterious dawn apparition. The audience enjoyed music and sound effects as well as Robert's tips about creating a sense of movement, how to use audio in the AV structure and how sound recordings in situ can be essential. Our congratulations go to winner Robert Harvey ARPS for his entry Ice and Fire, depicting winter in Yellowstone National Park. Second place went to Clive Rathband FRPS FPSSA EFIAP followed by Robin Gregory in third place. We finished the evening with a selection of AVs from the judge himself, notably the very personal sequence on Lawrence of Arabia, Betrayal, and the championship winner Legacy, which illustrates the conflict among loyalists in Northern Ireland. Much food for thought! LS   av-compRobert Harvey receives the Croall Plaque from judge Robert Albright.
Leigh Preston FRPS EFIAP MPAGB                                               19 March 2013
painterClub members knew they were in for an entertaining evening as professional photographer Leigh Preston has visited the club on several previous occasions. With a lot of humour thrown in Leigh explained how he uses his powers of observation to catch that special moment, always looking for atmosphere, lighting and composition - then patiently waiting until exactly the right moment to press the shutter.
Starting off with photographs taken at the 2012 Olympics Leigh showed how he managed to get himself in a good position, set up his camera and then wait for his chance to get the image he wanted.
Leigh likes to work on various 'themes' and the first theme he showed us was 'Musicians' pointing out the difficulties of working with stage lighting. 
The next theme was 'Characters' showing a series of images of real people in real situations - people and situations that most of us would just pass by such as the paint-splattered man merging with the wall (left)flats
Another of Leigh's ongoing themes is 'Urban Landscapes' mostly sombre and bleak showing decay and abandonment - always looking for patterns and lines that give a good composition and lead the viewer around the image. An example is the derelict block of flats (right)  Leigh's  comment - "were the past residents just left in that skip?"
Next we were taken on a visit to Georgia to experience the rather sinister and foreboding atmosphere of that very poor country. Finally we were treated to images taken at the Edinburgh Fringe - images of whacky people doing whacky things, expertly captured by the photographer.
A very interesting and thought provoking evening. PM
Results of 4th Competition with set subject: Reflections               12 March 2013
stephen-mikeWe welcomed judge Michael Curtis ARPS, a familiar face at our club and very much in demand at prestigious photographic competitions around the country. This is our only competition with a set subject and we always enjoy seeing how our members interpret it!
In the Beginner's category, first place went to John Totten in Prints and to Gill Ford in Projected Images. The Intermediate category was dominated by Nick Smith, who won first place in Prints and third place with a HC in Projected Images, and by Richard Atkinson who won first & second place in Projected Images as well as third place in Prints. The General category winner in Prints was Stephen McGrath, also with a HC in Projected Images. Robert Harvey ARPS won first & second place in Projected Images, as well as third place with a HC in Prints.
valenciaThe trophy for the overall winner went to 
Stephen McGrath for his print Burnham on Sea, apparently taken at 2.30 in the morning! Well done to all the winners for their stunning entries! LS 

Above: Stephen McGrath receives the trophy for overall winner from judge Michael Curtis for his print Burnham on Sea.  Left: L'Hemisferic by Richard Atkinson.
Below: Lighthouse Reflections by Gill Ford, Bodium Castle by Robert Harvey ARPS and Burnham on Sea by Stephen McGrath
 Full results                          Images can be seen in the Galleries
National Geographic Magazine Prizewinner
red-roofed-cottageCongratulations to club member Chris Beard who has won the top prize in a National Geographic Traveller Magazine competition on the theme of 'Home'
The winning photograph is of a cottage taken near the village of Inverbain, Wester Ross, Scotland.
Chris is delighted with his prize of an Antler Geolite hard suitcase which will be very useful for transporting his camera gear when travelling.
The photograph will feature on page 17 of the April edition of the magazine which is in the shops now. PM             Right: 'Red Roofed Cottage'
Nature Competition 2013 - Results                                           5 March 2013
golden-eagleAfter the postponement of the Nature Competition in January due to bad weather the competition has been re-arranged and judge John Tilsley ARPS DPAGB APAGB was able to come at last and give members the results and his comments on the 57 entries.
John said that as the standard was generally very high which made it very difficult for him to finally decide which images should get the awards. After choosing his top 9 prints and projected images John went on to explain in detail the reasons for his final choices for the 6 places in each category. The club is very grateful to experienced judges such as John who take so much time and trouble to look at the entries and give such informed comments.
puffinThe Nature Print Trophy was awarded to Gill Cardy ARPS DPAGB AFIAP for her stunning image 'Golden Eagle with Prey' (Above) 
Robert Harvey ARPS was awarded the Nature Projected Image Trophy for 'Puffin Landing with Catch'. (Left) 
Robert was especially delighted with the award as having been awarded most of the club trophies at some time or the other, the Nature Trophy had always just alluded him!
Chris Beard was awarded 2nd place in both categories with his macro images of insects.
Members entries covered a very wide variety of wildlife subjects from the very large to the extremely small, to the cute to the somewhat bizarre and from just about all continents of the world.
Kev Ferris LRPS and Nick Smith also gained awards in the competition. Very well done to all and many thanks to all those members who entered and made it such an interesting competition.
nature-gillnature-robertDevizes CC is pleased to have as members, so many good Natural History photographers whose images have done very well for the club in both WCPF and PAGB competitions.
Many thanks to John Tilsley for judging the competition and presenting the awards. PM
John Tilsley presenting the Trophies to -
Gill Cardy (left) and Robert Harvey (right)
 Full results here                          Images can be seen in the Galleries
The Prints and the Paper      Chris Palmer ARPS DPAGB APAGB AFIAP      26 February 2013
It was with very great pleasure that members welcomed Chris on his first visit to Devizes CC.
rocksStarting with a selection of inspiring monochrome prints and then moving on to colour Chris showed a wide range of images taken in many parts of the world. Misty views of Tuscany, dramatic ice and snow scenes in Iceland, canyons and aspen trees in N America, rocks and coastal areas of Britain among his favourite haunts.
Members were extremely impressed by the extremely fine quality of  the many prints that were displayed.
Chris explained the lengths he goes to get the photograph as perfect as possible in camera - composing the image with great care and waiting until the light is just right for the subject.

horsesInstead of including the whole scene in the photograph Chris prefers to look around for a small section that that personally interests him. Very often it is the structure and detail in rocks and trees that others would pass by that catches his discerning eye. Many of the images appeared very simple with subtle colours and textures but every detail of each image has been carefully considered.
Sponsored by Fotospeed great care is taken in choosing the best paper to use for each image that re-creates the feeling experienced when the photograph was taken.
Small test prints are made until the effect he wants is achieved - this was one of the many useful tips given to members - as Chris said 'he has no secrets' and hopefully he will visit us again to share some more of his expertise.
Many thanks for a very enjoyable and instructive evening. PM

Above: Rock Textures & Stone      Right: Icelandic ponies, Stokksnes ©  Chris Palmer ARPS DPAGB APAGB AFIAP

The Travelling Wildlife Photographer                                          19 February 2013
Club member Robert Harvey ARPS showed members a wide selection of his excellent wildlife images taken in many different parts of the world.
storkRobert began the evening with a selection of bird portraits - pointing out to members that the best images have an uncluttered background that compliments the subject. Examples were shown of birds fishing with tips on how best to catch the fast action and then came a selection of birds in flight with useful information on selecting the best exposure and focus for this difficult subject.
After the break we were treated to a selection of mammal photographs. Robert has been to photograph bears in Finland, tigers in India and a wide variety of African and North American species. brown-bear

Helpful advice was given on how best to get close to the action which sometimes means using a boat or vehicle or at other times using a hide or trekking on foot. Getting in very close or just selecting part of the animal can often make an attractive image.

Conditions are not always ideal for wildlife photography - the sun can be too bright, forests can be dense and create deep shade and snow often makes correct exposure tricky but with experience a photographer can usually find ways to overcome such problems.
Robert ended the evening with images of various primates including a family of gorillas taken on his recent visit to Rwanda.
Many thanks to Robert for such an informative evening.
Also on display were a selection of Robert's colour and monochrome prints together with the recent successful LRPS panel by Kevin Ferris LRPS   PM

Above: Painted Stork Catching Fish   Above right:Female Brown Bear, Finland © Robert Harvey ARPS

Visit to Studley Grange Butterfly World                                                16 February 2013
Mid February the Nature group decided that a trip to Butterfly World  would give us an opportunity to photograph 'wildlife' in a controlled environment, much more convenient than the uncontrolled environment morphooutside in February.
 Doubts of the numbers of butterflies flying so early in the year were soon dispelled when entering the hot humid jungle atmosphere as a large vivid blue 'Morpho peleides' butterfly floated around the party. This proved to be a challenge for some because the butterfly closed its wings when it settled. In the air it was so close to us but so elusive when trying to capture its vivid display. More co-operative butterflies soon presented themselves and the party dispersed round the enclosure to find some really colourful specimens as well as curious larvae which were practically invisible to the untrained eye.meerkat
Different creatures were to be found in the vivarium with its collection of reptiles and insects and a large green iguana, which is free to wander around the tropical house, posed sedately.
Mid morning gave us a change of subject as the otters were fed outside, luckily the morning mist had transformed into a mild spring day and the otters delighted the audience. This was followed by feeding of the meerkats which never fails to delight the audience. It proved easier to photograph these delightful creatures when the feed had run out and they carried on with their normal foraging and lookout behaviour.
Lunch time saw us eating in the attached cafe before the group dispersed. All thought the visit worthwhile and would pay a return visit. If you are thinking of taking photographs it is advisable to go early before family groups arrive, or go in mid week during term time. RA
Above: Morpho peleides by Pam Mullings                            Right: Meerkat by Richard Atkinson
'Battle' with Swindon & Highworth                                        14 February 2013
We had six supporters at Swindon last Thursday for the three-way DPI Battle with Swindon Photographic Society and Highworth Camera Club.  
With 25 images per Club the Judge, Peter Weaver ARPS CPAGB had a busy evening judging the 75 images.
The final scores showed a win for Devizes with 451 points, with Swindon second with 433 points and Highworth third with 398 points.  Three of our images - Mountain Gorilla by Robert Harvey ARPS; Snowbird by Charlotte Morris LRPS and Golden Eagle with Willow Grouse by Gill Cardy ARPS DPAGB AFIAP achieved a maximum mark of 20.  
Thank you to all the members who let us have DPI's for selection.  The best thing about this result is that we had 17 club members representing Devizes Camera Club in this battle! JRR
Full Devizes CC results
Results of 3rd Open Competition                                                                     12 February 2013
Judge Vanessa Herring LRPS was present to judge our last open competition of the year. Her feedback was precise and thoughtful, giving club members valuable advice to take home. Having to select a clear winner in some of the categories was not always an easy task!
John Totten won the Beginners' Print category, Nick Smith the Intermediate P
rinmoody-beecht category (he also won a HC Projected Image) and Martin Horton the General Print category.
In the Beginners' Projected Image category, 1st and 2nd place went to David Fraser. In the Intermediate PI c
in-and-outategory, 1st place went to Ri
chard Atkinson, who also won 2nd place with a HC in Intermediate Prints, and in the General PI category, first place went to Robin Gregory.
Other notable results were
Caroline Wright winning 3rd place in Beginners' Prints and two HCs in the Beginners' PI category, and Chri
s Beard winning 2nd place in General Prints as well as 3rd place with a HC in the General PI category.

Well done to all of you!
winter-woodlandbeechwoodA few of the winning images:

Top left: In and Now Out by Robin Gregory 

Top right: Moody Dorset Beach by Nick Smith

Far left: Winter Woodland by David Fraser

Left: Beech Wood in March by Martin Horton 
 Full results here                                 See more images in the Galleries
A Great Weekend for Devizes!
Last weekend was a busy weekend - with great some results for Devizes CC.
We had a Print Battle in Warminster with 7 other camera clubs; a digital competition in Exeter with 48 other clubs from across the whole of the Western region and also The Great British Cup - a National digital competition for Open DIgital Images and a separate competition for Nature Digital Images against photographic clubs across the entire British Isles.  All these in the space on one weekend!!
Thank you and congratulations go to all the members who submitted images for these battles.  You kept the Devizes Camera Club flag flying proudly! JRR
Warminster Annual Inter-Club Print Battle 
warminsterEight members travelled to Warminster on Saturday afternoon, to see the Warminster Print Battle, which was judged "live" by Dr Barry Senior Hon FRPS APAGB.  Before the judging session, we were treated to an exhibition of some of Barry's own prints and some very amusing comments on how he produced the images with some excellent "fiddling and diddling".  The striking feature of this presentation was that Barry showed that prints DO NOT HAVE TO BE LARGE!  As he said, time and again, large prints show problems.  Bigger is not always better.  Barry had some superb small prints, which were mounted in full-sized 500x400mm cardboard mounts.  They were beautiful.   Members are advised to follow suit!
The competition judging followed after tea and a delicious and plentiful array of eats.  The Warminster Club did us all proud.  Thank you!
Each club was permitted to enter 10 prints and at the end, Clive proudly accepted the trophy on behalf of the print workers of Devizes Camera Club.  Congratulations, in particular, to Martin Horton and Robert Harvey for their maximum score of 20 Points for Solo and Cheetah and Cub respectively. JRR
DCC Vice Chairman Clive Rathband FRPS FPSSA EFIAP receives the trophy from Dr. Barry Senior Hon.FRPS APAGB
Warminster Print Battle results  

WCPF - Digital Projected Image Competition (DPIC)
On the Sunday, nine members travelled to the lovely venue in the Exeter Corn Exchange.  Here the Western Counties Photographic Federation (WCPF) hosted the DPIC Competition (see above) with 49 clubs from right across the Western Counties.  Each club was permitted to enter 20 Digital images, making a total of 980 images to be judged "live" by three judges (spread over three sessions) on the day.  The standard was high and the judges, Peter Gennard MFIAP EFIAP/p, Ken Scott ARPS and Clive Tanner FRPS, had the task of scoring each of the 980 images out of a total of 15 points (5 for each judge).  The scores were close and the competition tight.  At the end, the judges selected the individual winners as well as awarding Ribbons and Certificates to successful, individual photographers.  Heartiest congratulations to Pam Mullings and Chris Beard who were awarded Ribbons for Crossing the Mara and Font Reflections respectively  and to Joan Ryder Rathband FRPS FPSSA on being awarded a Certificate of Merit for Against the Wind.  The great news is that Devizes Camera Club came a very creditable 3rd place and we were all thrilled.  Congratulations to Bristol Photographic Society (1st place) and Zen Photographic Club (2nd place) who go on to represent the Western Counties later in the year at the PAGB Interclub Championships in Warwick. JRR
Devizes Camera Club membersDPIC 2013 results
Please click for Full DPIC Club Results 

PAGB - The Great British Cup Open and The Great British Cup Nature
On a MUCH LARGER stage, Devizes competed in the GB Cup for both Nature and Open Digital images.  This competition is hosted by the Photographic Alliance of Great Britain and each club is permitted to enter 15 images in the Open Section and between 10 and 20 images in the Nature Section with the top 10 scores from each club being taken into account for the final scores.

In the Nature Section, there were 88 Clubs and Devizes did really well, being placed joint 19th with 114 points.  Joint winners, Dorchester Camera Club and Wigan 10, scored 125 points so we really did extremely well!  Congratulations to Gill Cardy ARPS DPAGB AFIAP who scored 13 points for DCC with Golden Eagle.

In the Open Section, there were 106 clubs and Devizes scored 154 points and was placed joint 54th.  The winning club, Wigan 10 scored 200 points. Congratulations to Robert Harvey ARPS who scored 13 points for Hoar Frost.  Special mention must go to Jean Ingram from the Intermediate Section who gained 12 points for Goose Girl. JRR
GB Cup Open & Nature results                              
Photography Magazine Prizewinner
glastonbury-tor-at-nightCongratulations to Robert Harvey ARPS!  

Robert has won the Night Photography Competition in the Outdoor Photography Magazine! 

The  winning image is on Page 116 of the March 2013 edition.  Please pop along to your nearest store to purchase your copy to read all the details on how Robert took this beautiful image.  

Very Well Done, Robert!  We are proud of you!
                                                                  Winning image 'Glastonbury Tor by Night'
Before and After using Photoshop     Ray Grace ARPS DPAGB                      5 February 2013
Ray Grace gave us a very instructional presentation on how to use Photoshop in post-processing, which he sees as a necessary stage in digital photography, not too dissimilar from adjustments that used to be made in the dark room. During the first half of the evening, Ray showed us a seriholy-island-beforeesof Before and After projected images of landscapes, still life and portraits (also displayed as prints), taking us through each stage of post-processing to the final polished result. We found out what plug-ins he uses for sharpening an image or converting it to monochrome. He talked about making adjustments in camera raw, use of HDR and creating a photographic kaleidoscope. In Ray's view digital imaging is just a matter of practice, so he dedicated the second half of the eveninholy-island-afterg to practical demos in Photoshop, making it seem very accessible to those present.

as we all know, practice makes perfect! LS

Holy Island before (top left) and after (bottom left) © Ray Grace

                       Gill Cardy ARPS DPAGB AFIAP received the
                       Derrick Turner Memorial Trophy for the
                       annual Landscape Projected Image competition.

                       Well done Gill!

Aquilegia before (above)
and after (below) © Ray Grace


Annual Competition - part 2                                                                       29 Jan 2013
We welcomed Barrie Bluer APAGB LRPS, who regularly judges our competitions and gives invaluable feedback to our club members. We missed part 1 of our Annual Competition last week due to bad weather - this will be rescheduled.

This week entries for the Pencil of Nature competition for monochrome prints, the Landscape Projected Image competition and the new Landscape Print competition were judged. Congratulations to Robert Harvey ARPS, who won 1st and 2nd place in Landscape Prints, taking home the Silver Birches Trophy, donated by none other than himself! In the Landscape PI category, Gill Cardy ARPS DPAGB, won the Derrick Turner Memorial Trophy, followed by Richard Atkinson in 2nd place, also with a highly commended entry. Martin Horton won 1st place with a highly commended in Monochrome Prints, taking home the unique Pencil of Nature hand-made camera donated by Syd Holley. Robert Harvey also won 2nd place in this category as well as a highly commended Landscape PI.

The standard of entries was exceptional and Barrie ended up awarding an extra commendation in the Landscape PI category. Well done to everyone who entered! LS

Judge Barrie Bluer presents the Silver Birches Trophy to Robert Harvey (left) and the Pencil of Nature Trophy to Martin Horton (right).

See the full results here
               See the images in the Galleries
Bedruthen Steps by Gill Cardy
Infinity by Martin Horton
Lake Bled Reflections by Robert Harvey
 Flash Lighting Workshop   (Change to programme)                          22 January
Due to the snow and ice, John Tilsley ARPS APAGB DPAGB was not able to get to Devizes to present his judging for the Nature Competition, the re-arranged date for this will be published as soon as an available slot has been found.At short notice, Stephen McGrath attended the club with 6 other brave souls and used the time to run a basic introduction to flash photography. Subjects covered ranged from Bouncing flash, the benefit of getting the flash off the camera and various ways of utilising relatively cheap equipment to use flash guns as portable studio lights. We talked about sync speeds, fill-in flash, balancing ambient lighting with flash, Rim Lighting and the use of reflectors. We also explored some simple ways to use a single flash for creative lighting.flash Hopefully those who attended will now be inspired to go home and try out some of the techniques with flash or even utilise the ordinary lighting they have around the home to create interesting and alternative images from household objects. SM
Above:Balanced Flash with Ambient Light

rim-lightRobin Gregory commented -
After all the weather warnings of snow and ice, seven 'die hard ' club members managed to get to the club meeting last night (22nd January)
Walking through the sports club car park gave me some idea to how many members would turn out, only two car's... one was Stephen's the other car had been there for days and was well snowed in.
Stephen began using just the one flash mounted on his camera explaining how to use the zoom on the flash and how to manage the strength of the light (flash), we moved on to having flash's mounted on stands (tripods) two or three going off at once - creating soft shadows or hard shadows on our model..... me. A more creative theme was demonstrated combining the flash and camera to give movement to an image, John was volunteered to be the model for this part of the evening. Stephen showed how he used flash to create some of his own images -  portraits, on a beach, in a church yard, action pictures and landscapes.
At the end of the evening, the table Stephen had set him self up on was full of leads, flash guns, gizmos for this, gadgets for that, a laptop,IPad, IPhone, beer glasses, a wine for the ladies.....
A big thanks to Stephen McGrath for showing the six of us where to Flash and where not to!
Competition 3 entries willl be collected on 29 January. Above: Rim Lighting

Landscape Group Field Trip to Sidmouth                                    11-13 January 2013

landscape group at burton bradstock - robertNineteen members and partners converged on Sidmouth, Devon for the Landscape Group's annual weekendby the sea, superbly organised once again by Robert Harvey (whose group shot is shown right).  As we arrived on Friday night, a storm was already brewing, and first thing on Saturday, a few hardy souls drove over to Lyme Regis to see massive waves crashing over The Cobb habour wall. 

Conditions didn't appear promising for photography, though the driving rain did relent from time to time, so after a few shots of a very red sea off Sidmouth beach, the group moved on to Beer, to see the beach based fishing fleet.  Here at least was a prospect of getting some graphic images of boats on the shingle - if only the rain would stop splashing the front of the lens.  Eventually, most opted to thaw out by the fire of the local pub, along with hot drinks and soup.

Excellent evening entertainment on both Friday and Saturday was provided by Robert Harvey, on Friday to show what pictures could be taken locally if only the sun would shine, and on Saturday with one of his inimitable quizzes.  Highlight of the quiz was surely the round in which the four team leaders were challanged to speak for 'Just A Minute' on aspects of their photographic lives.  We never did find out what happened to pictures of Hilary in compromising positions!  Well done to Chris Beard's 'Pixel Peepers' for winning the quiz.

Sunday proved to be a completely different day weatherwise, and we finally got some of the images we had been looking for.  A good sized party met up at 7am to drive through the dark to Ladram Bay and wait for the rising sun to illuminate sandstone cliffs and rock stacks, before getting back to the hotel just in time for breakfast.  We then headed to Lyme Regis, now under clear blue skies and unrecognisable from Saturday's storm.  Finally, Robert led the group to Burton Bradstock and a wave-cut platform only exposed at unusually low tides, which provides a very photogenic foil to the sandstone cliffs behind.  About half an hour before scheduled sunset, the sun disappeared into a bank of thick cloud, at which point all remaining members of the group decided it was time to head for home.

pre-dawn light at ladram bay - dave

All in all, the group had a superb weekend, for which we have to thank Robert Harvey for organising the hotel bookings, for sharing his knowledge of this coastline with the rest of the group, and for entertaining us on the long dark January evenings. DG

 Pre-dawn Light at Ladram Bay by Dave Gray

'A Landscape for all Seasons'                                                          15 January 2013

passing-storm-over-steamboat-rock2A warm welcome was given to Tony Worobiec FRPS who gave an excellent presentation demonstrating how photographs can be taken in all weathers at any time of day or night.
You just need to learn how to make the best of the ever changing light - rain, mist, full sun or dull light should not stop you finding something to photograph in any season of the year.
Tony showed a wide range of his superb images which illustrated how changing conditions could be used to advantage and how the light at dawn and dusk can completely change the appearance of a landscape. mist-wareham-forest2

Seascapes, mountains, forests and fields of flowers all showed the photographers skill in choosing the best way to portray the mood that the light and conditions gave.

Advice was given to members on how to take photographs in difficult conditions including after darkness had fallen - when often the long exposures needed gave the images a still, magical quality.
Tony is the author of many books on photography techniques and is sponsored by Fotospeed. A range of his superb prints using PF lustre photo paper were on display.PM

Above: Passing Storm over Steamboat Rock   Above right: Misty Wareham Forest © Tony Worobiec

Learning to Photograph Landscapes & Nature          Chris Beard              8 Jan 2013
Welcome back to existing club members and a warm welcome to our new members! We had the pleasure of hosting ex-committee and fellow member, Chris Beard, who in the short space of three years has found his talent and passion in life: "writing with light." He bought his first digital camera in order to photograph the wedding of his friend's daughter in Thailand and it seems that he never looked back! His photographic journey started with an artistic eye, progressing to experimentation with night scenes, back lighting on glass and capturing the light along the K&A canal. The result of this journey is an eclectic portfolio of landscape, nature, architectural, nighttime and portrait photography, and last but not least, his insect and fungi macro-photography, where his technical skill and attention to detail come alive. We ended the evening with a series of atmospheric monochrome images from Venice in the mist. Proof that Chris can work any scene into a masterpiece! LS  

beautiful demoisellesea of gold 
Beautiful Demoiselle (above) and Sea of Gold (right) © Chris Beard 
Nature Group visit to Langford Lakes                                         5 January 2013
12 keen photographers spent a day at this usually rewarding Wiltshire Wildlife Reserve in a still, cloudy and not too cold day.  The light was not marvelous but quite adequate for today’s digital cameras and certainly prevented high kingfishercontrast which can be a problem with a watery habitat.
The new lakes were explored but were dominated by a large flock of Canada Geese, which at least provided an exercise in trying to capture the ’decisive moment’, when some more interesting activity than sleep was a possibility.  We watched birds preening for some time and a brief wing stretch usually followed.  Some of us were successful in capturing the action.
However the rest of the day was spent in Robin’s hide where one - or was it two - Kingfishers perched in front of the hide, watching and diving for tiny fish.  Sometimes they perched very close - as if trying to see what we were up to - and provided superb close-up views of these beautiful birds.  I think everybody must have got a shot or two, and some of us even thought they got the best images of this species we had ever photographed in UK!
canada-gooseCatching the second or two when the bird was in clear view with a fish was extremely tricky, but the was well worth the visit - for me anyway.
The feeders had been reduced in number owing to the problem with rats which have increased in numbers recently as the Trust has only 3 feeders with plates to catch the spillage.  However some of the group spent some time with the small birds, and even a Great Spotted Woodpecker appeared from time to time.
Sadly the Bittern or the Smew, which had been seen a day or two previously, didn’t appear,but that's how it goes! GC  
Above: The very obliging Kingfisher posing for Hilary Eagles   Above right: Canada Goose Flapping by Gill Cardy ARPS DPAGB AFIAP

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