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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Special Interest Groups:-

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

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

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


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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

mallard soaked
Above: Alta Fjord by Robert Harvey

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Full Devizes results can be seen here.
See the PAGB website for results from all clubs 
Results of Landscape Competitions                                                    4 Feb 2014
Thank you to our regular visitor, judge Adrian Herring ARPS DPAGB, for heading the evening.
The competition comprised 26 prints and 50 projected images, many from the Beginners' section and also from new members. There were 6 highly commended entries in the Print competition, shared between Dave Gray, Robert Harvey ARPS AFIAP and Lynda Rugg. Our chairman, Stephen McGrath, did very well and won first, second and third place, including the Silver Birches trophy for the best landscape print. Congratulations, Stephen!
In the Projected Image competition, no fewer than 13 highly commended awards went to a cross-section of members, who all deserved recognition. Third place went to new member, Richard Watson LRPS, preceded by ubiquitous Stephen McGrath in second place. The Derrick Turner Memorial trophy went to Dave Gray for his stunning waterfall shot, though nobody could pronounce the title! Thank you to all for taking part and we hope you enjoyed the evening. LS
The images which gained awards can be seen in the Galleries. 
Sgwd Isaf Clun Gwyn by Dave Gray
First Light at Durdle Door by Stephen McGrath
Results can be seen here     Members can log in to see the points tables  
Results of Nature competitions                                                        28 Jan 2014
giant-otterThe evening was presided over by judge Ralph Snook ARPS AFIAP, who is passionate about nature photography.
Members entered a total of 32 prints and 58 projected images, quite a task for Ralph for which we are very grateful! He found the entries of a technically high standard especially in the print section, resulting in six highly commended awards shared between Gill Cardy ARPS DPAGB AFIAP, Dave Gray and Charlotte Morris LRPS. Richard Atkinson won 3rd and 2nd place.
The John Sowman Memorial trophy went to David Fraser, who unfortunately was absent. Well done, David! The projected images also gained a number of highly commended and commended awards, with 3rd place going to Robert Harvey ARPS AFIAP for Giant Otter Catching Fish (right) and 2nd place to Gill Cardy for Mountain Hare (bottom right).
The winner of the Bowker-Praed Challenge trophy went to none other than Richard Atkinson who did very well on the night.
Congratulations Richard! His winning image was Common Blue Damselflies (bottom left).
The images which gained awards can be seen in Galleries. LS 
See the results here
damselflies mountain-hare
2013 Ryder Rathband Trophy Results

The 2013 Ryder Rathband log was the most exciting since its inception.
Rod Stowell got off to a roaring start at the beginning of the year and we all thought that the trophy had been won by May.  Not to be outdone, the rest of the members kept entering salons and it was the case of perseverance and gaining one acceptance at a time.  Rod was eventually caught and then overtaken by Robert Harvey, who steadily increased his lead.  Not to be outdone, Gill Cardy continued to enter salons all over the world and she kept within touching distance of Robert.  It was down to the last salons of the year - Cork, Slovenia and Argentina.  Gill did not enter Cork and Robert gained three acceptances. Gill then gained five acceptances in Slovenia and Argentina and the end result is that the trophy has changed hands!
Heartiest congratulations to Gill Cardy who is a very worthy winner of the trophy in 2013!
Devizes Camera Club members gained a total of 231 acceptances in 2013!  Well done to everyone who entered salons!
Final Log Results    (Please see the scores marked in red for the final points gained by each member).

The Art of Audiovisual                                                                                21 Jan 2014
Our very own club member, Robert Harvey ARPS AFIAP, gave an accomplished presentation called The Art of the Audiovisual to inspire prospective entrants to the club's AV competition in April. Delving into his rich stock of photographic and audiovisual material, Robert's presentation took the form of slides interspersed with AVs at appropriate intervals. After a brief introduction on the concept of the AV we took a look at what happens behind the screen with PicturesToExe, the software used to merge image and sound. Using each AV as a tutorial, he talked through the key points, such as how the story is structured, how to add movement and dynamism to the visuals, how the soundtrack works with the images, reflecting the theme or mood, all in order to capture the viewer's attention. Robert certainly had us mesmerised with his AVs of the Jurrassic coastal landscape, the deserts of SW America, Yellowstone's winter ice and fire, and the wild animals of Africa. Using settings much closer to home, including his own garden, he also demonstrated how the change in seasons makes for great audiovisual viewing. Thank you Robert for a very inspiring evening! LS lion portrait
Lion Portrait © R Harvey
Nature Group visit to Dorset
woodpeckerTwo groups of keen nature Photographers signed up for visit to Colin Varndell's hides in his grounds in the heart of Wild West Dorset. The first group was planned for the 4th January but when after a long drive in the early morning they approached Netherbury they encountered flooded roads, which were quite impassable, so had to turn back. However we hope they can make it on their second attempt in March.
blue-titThe following week the second group found the sun had reappeared - and it was too bright sometimes, which made woodland photography difficult with contrasty condition and messy bright backgrounds. However some excellent images were obtained and most people felt their day was well spent. As it happened there were plenty of birds, and some action shots were attempted as they squabbled over the feeders. There was a somewhat limited range of species, enlivened by a grey squirrel, some rabbits and some gorgeous pheasants. Some of us stayed overnight to visit Radipole Lake but the weather was not kind, and that too was rather quiet.

The hides could have been a bit more comfortable, but they provided reasonable views. It was good to spend a chunk of time simply watching the birds and taking photographs. GC
Above - Blue Tit by Chrissie Miller           Great Spotted Woodpecker (right) by Robert Harvey ARPS AFIAP
Photographs taken by members can be see in the Nature Group Gallery
My Monochrome Prints                                                                                               14 Jan 2014
David Bathard FRPS, Chairman of the west country's Crown Monochrome group, presented some of his monochrome work to the club, taking many of us back to the days of the darkroom and stained hands! His monochrome prints from film included material from his 1998 Fellowship on classic cars, portraits, scenes of elephants in India and a musician at work. Using different techniques and types of paper, his prints showed a variety of tonal range, reminding us of the skill and experience required to achieve these results in the darkroom. From there to the lightroom, where David is equally at home, using Photoshop to recreate similar results from digital prints, such as Lith-type photos. He enjoys taking panoramas and presenting his work as a series of photos of a particular place or scene.
In the second half of the evening, David gave us a practical demonstration of how to get the darkroom effect in Photoshop, taking us through each stage of the process and focusing on the use of filtering, applying the same principles as camera lens filters from the old days. For those who could not attend, there is a disk available with screenshots of his instructions in Photoshop. David concluded that was he was happy to embrace the digital age as he could achieve similar results to those from the days of film. LS   
Projected Image League                                                                 7 Jan 2014
Welcome back to all our club members and hope you had a good end of year in spite of the weather! We started off the New Year with our annual competition for the Hewitt Cup, for which members entered three sets of five projected images on a theme. Those present on the night became the judge and scored each set of images out of 10 (except for their own sets, which they did not score). This week committee member, Phil Raistrick, added up all the scores in order to come up with an average score per set. Congratulations to the winner, Ray Grace, who obtained the highest score across all three sets! Points will be awarded to the top six entrants. Thank you to all who entered this competition. The results can be viewed following the link below. LS
Click here to see list of final places and top 30 sets.
The top 15 sets can be seen in the PI LEAGUE GALLERY (left menu)
feederFeeder from Brian Ruddock's Musical Feathers set  flowersFlowers from Ray Grace's Flowers in Monochrome set
Print Knock - out                                                                              17 December 2013
santaFor many years the clubs former Chairman Frank Collins has presided over this event but it looked as if Santa would have to take over running this traditionally fun print competition this year.
For the last meeting before Christmas and not to be taken too seriously - prints are displayed 2 at a time in random order and the members present then vote on which print they prefer. It can be totally unfair as it depends which prints are paired together and many worthy prints sadly do not survive the first round. The preferred prints go into the next round until finally the winning print is chosen.
However it was soon revealed that Santa was indeed Frank in disguise as he is the only one who can possibly bend the rules so well when needed!
Finally we got down to the final 4 surviving prints and members voted Caroline Wright's 'Clevedon Pier' the very worthy winner shown right
Close 2nd place went to 'Bagan Temples' by Martin Horton.  3rd & 4th places went to  'Stormlight' & 'Left to Nature' - both prints by club Chairman -
Stephen McGrath.

Thanks to all members who entered prints and commiserations to those who were so unfairly knocked out in the early rounds!
Last but not least - many thanks to Frank for being Master of Ceremonies once again and to Caroline & Dave for sorting & displaying the prints.

After the competition members could finally attack the fine array of festive food kindly brought by members.
Many thanks to Jean Ingram and helpers for organising the refreshments and to those who helped clear up afterwards. PM
'Distinction Panels - Success and Failure'               10 December 2013
Les Loosemoore ARPS DPAGB AWPF travelled from Wales to give members some expert guidance on 'how to' or 'how not to' select your images when putting forward a panel to gain a PAGB or RPS distinction.
Les displayed several of his own impressive themed panels - each of superb quality with immaculate presentation.One panel examined how nature, man and corrosion were transforming an abandoned lime works; another showed the interesting effects of age and decay on foliage.
The standard for gaining an FRPS is extremely high and Les explained that the judges are looking for themes and images different to anything anyone else that has been seen before - a very difficult task!
The presentation of the prints is extremely important when putting forward a panel for selection; each image for an ARPS or FRPS must follow the chosen theme and convey the story, the format and layout must be carefully considered and every image of the same high standard.
Les explained that his interest in photography started with sports photography. Taking his photography more seriously he gained his LRPS in 2001 with a selection of sporting prints . Since then his range of subjects has varied widely - landscapes, portraits, nature and architecture to mention a few. Great attention is paid to composition and lighting with many extreme macro images showing amazing detail. Les chooses the paper used for his prints with great care - usually Fotospeed matte art paper. Many of his wide range of print shave won awards but now Les prefers not to enter competitions - although he is a judge himself.
Les gave this advice - "if after all your hard work your panel fails to please the selection judges don't be despondent - gaining a distinction does not make you a better photographer but just go on enjoying your photography! "
Thanks Les for such an inspiring evening delivered with such gentle Wesh humour.  PM
Results Open Assessment 2 - Prints                                                      3 Dec 2013
Terry Walters was the judge for our second Open Assessment of members' prints in the Beginners, Intermediate and General categories. We had a total of 68 prints, with entries by Julia Stainer, Caroline Wright, Michael and Stuart Barnes in the Beginner category gaining the full four points. Stuart Barnes' Standing Proud print was selected by the judge as the winner in the Beginner's category. Entries by David Lock, Nick Smith, Derek Mason and Leila Searight gained the full four points in the Intermediate category, with Nick Smith winning first place with Winter Tree. Ray Grace and Martin Horton both won full points for two of their prints in the General category and Martin Horton's Novice Monk was selected as the judge's favourite. Thank you to all who entered and our thanks go to Terry for his detailed assessment of all the entries. LS   
Entries which scored 3 or 4 points
Images which scored 4 points are shown in the Galleries. 
Novice Monk by Martin Horton
Winter Tree by Nick Smith
Three of our club members are to be very much congratulated on achieving Distinction level (DPAGB) at the Photographic Alliance of Great Britain Adjudication weekend held recently at Weymouth. This twice yearly event was hosted this time by the Western Counties Photographic Federation.
Rod Stowell ARPS AFIAP gained his distinction in Prints, Joan Ryder Rathband FRPS FPSSA AFIAP and Clive Rathband FRPS FPSSA EFIAP gained their distinctions in Projected Images and can all now add DPAGB to their names.
Congratulations also to Hilary Kay who recently gained her LRPS.
'The Image Revealed'                                                                       26 November 2013
Club member Martin Horton describes himself as an artist rather than a photographer and his images very much showed his own very personal, artistic interpretation. Although both his parents were keen photographers he says he did not take too much interest until about 2000 and found that Photoshop could change his life forever as now he could use the many tools, combined with his artistic skills to create whatever image he wanted. Many of soloMartin's images have gone on to gain high aclaim and awards in competitions and salons.

Martin explained that monochrome images should not be just de-saturated colour images but should be an art form in their own right. He very much enjoys experimenting and trying out various techniques - not stopping until he is entirely pleased with the result. His sensitive and usually minimalist images have drama and impact, using lighting to great effect.
Often gaining inspiration from other artists and photographers Martin then gives his very own unique twist to his images - now often adding 'noise' after years of trying to get rid of it!

Martin demonstrated to members how he often starts with a rather unremarkable image taken on his travels round the world and then completely transforms it into an image often more like a painting than a photograph. Using layers the images are built up - distracting background details removed and the eye cleverly led directly to the subject.
Thank you Martin for giving us an inspirational evening and an insight into your techniques. We will look forward to seeing more of your superb images in the future.  PM
 © Images by Martin Horton                                  Above 'Solo'                                   Above right 'The Goatherd'
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 

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