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'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 
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 

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