|'Night Sky Wonders' Landscape Astrophotography||19 February 2019|
In a change to our programme, Alyn Wallace travelled over from South Wales to deliver his presentation entitled Night Sky Wonder - Landscape Astrophotography. He introduced himself by telling us that he had studied Astronomy and Physics at University and had always had an interest in photographing the night sky, even before he could afford to buy a camera. Among his first astrophotography images was an excellent beach scene taken at a frequently visited, but under-commercialised holiday destination in Turkey.
Living near the Brecon Beacons, he would often spend nights taking images around Pen-y-Fan and share them with friends and family. Eventually, he acquired some sponsorship which has enabled him to turn his hobby into a full-time job.
Alyn proceeded to show us a range of images from various international destinations, always explaining how, and why, he had taken them, usually including an amusing anecdote, or a time-lapse or vlog to illustrate the process. From Northern Lights in Iceland, through star trails in the Dolomites, a moonrise in the arc of the Milky Way on Las Palmas, to strange night-time landscapes in Cappadocia, Turkey, each image had something different and captivating.
The remainder of his presentation was illustrated with images taken in the UK, predominantly taken in his native Wales or around Durdle Door in Dorset.
He started this section by talking about the equipment needed for successful night time photography. Cameras, lenses, tripods and head torch were obvious elements, but he showed us how different lenses can be used to provide different images. He stressed the need for warm clothing, advising that merino base layers and down jacket insulating layers are the best way to go. Hand warmers and hot drinks were also on his top tips list. He also discussed camera settings, post-production tips and light pollution.
Alyn moved on to cover what can be photographed at night, a list that was much longer than one might expect. It included Stars, Constellations, Planets, the Milky Way, the Moon, the Northern Lights, International Space Station, Meteor Showers, Star Trails, Solar and Lunar Eclipses and Bioluminescent Plankton. He had advice, stunning images and interesting stories to illustrate each of these, together with a number of Apps that can be used to help with planning and research.
Alyn’s website and his YouTube channel are worth a visit to see some of his fantastic images, videos and time-lapses. His Blog is the place to find some of his stories, including the trials and tribulation of photographing his Yoga Teacher friend against the rising moon on Pen-y-Fan.
Alyn’s attention to detail and extensive planning have enabled him to take some breathtaking images and made this one of the best presentations we have had at Devizes Camera Club. Our Chairman commented on the obvious passion that Alyn has for his photography and thanked him for a very entertaining evening. DF
Images © Alyn Wallace Top left: Milky Way from the Gower Coast Right: Startrails Left: Northern Lights from the Brecon Beacons
|Warminster Annual Multi-club Print Battle|
On Saturday 16th. February the Club entered the Warminster Print Day, competing against six other local clubs. As ever, the organisation by the host club was superb with a good venue and an even better buffet afternoon tea!
The competition was judged by Syd Jones from Dorchester Camera Club who began the afternoon by demonstrating his own experiences behind the lens, when giving a short talk entitled ‘Monolands’. Sid amused everyone when displaying some of his stunning landscape black and white images; almost every image had a story attached. He made a very good point about the light and your own eyes (and head) being the most important factors. His judging was most informative, and he clearly explained his reasons for scores.
It was a really exciting afternoon and we were in the lead from the start right up to the final print when Frome Wessex pulled the rabbit out of the hat with their final image which scored 20 and also was judged the best print of the day.
Many thanks to all members who provided images for the competition and to Frank Collins and the selection committee for their hard work.
Congratulations to Tim Tapley who was awarded 20 for his image of a Marbled White and Small Skipper Butterflies left and to Pam Mullings who was also awarded 20 for her image of Claire Austen Roses right. SH
|‘RAW Nature: Images Uncovered'||12 February 2019|
|Oliver Smart’s excitingly titled presentation attracted a large audience on Tuesday evening. Oliver, who studied ornithology at Birmingham University, took us through his approach to Wildlife photography, providing many, and sometimes surprising, tips along the way. His presentation was accompanied by an array of wonderful images, many of which have appeared on the covers and in articles of magazines and books.
He started by going through the equipment that he regards as essential for photographing wildlife. He prefers full-frame cameras and has a vast array of lenses, from 600mm coupled with 2X converter, through mid-range and wide angle to fish-eye and macro lenses. He uses low-tripods, angle finders, extension tubes and bean bags (filled with rice, sand, earth or similar on arrival at his destination).
Oliver advised taking binoculars to find wildlife and he also uses waist belts on location so that he doesn’t have to keep taking off is back pack when tired.
And who knew that a kitchen tray with a tripod head screwed to it was ideal for getting down low and protecting your camera from wet grass! And for keeping other accessories to hand! Another tip for keeping all your camera equipment with you on flights was to take a large coat with lots of pockets and remove lenses and other equipment from your camera bag to reduce its weight! You don’t even need to wear the coat as it won’t be included in the bag weight!
Moving on to planning your photography, Oliver advised that the key question should be “What is your end goal?” What wildlife do you want to photograph and where will you find them? Think about where the animals can be found, how scarce they are and the difficulty of getting to them and being able to photograph them.
Oliver made a distinction between captive and controlled subjects. He showed us a Merlin on a post set up for one of his workshops at the Hawk Conservancy as an example of a captive subject. He talked about how butterflies can be moved from one position to a better composition location before they have warmed up sufficiently to fly, and how birds can be controlled by the judicious positioning of feed.
Research is also important, Oliver said, and, as well as knowing sunrise and sunset times, includes checking the weather forecast, location access and the behaviour of the subject. Depending on how close you want to get to the subject, the availability of cover, be it hides, topography or greenery, should be investigated.
Oliver also talked about the techniques he uses to maximise his chances of getting commercially useable images. The most important issue is to focus on the eye of the subject using an aperture of between f5.6 - f8. If the eye isn’t sharp, the image won’t work. He also advocated using AV mode to control depth of field and to use lighter exposures (load the histogram to the right) to maximise the flexibility of image processing.
He showed us a series of images of a stone curlew where he had adjusted the depth of field to illustrate the camouflage effect of the bird. He told us not to be afraid to play with depth of field or to increase the ISO in low light to ensure a higher shutter speed as it is important to get a sharp image even if there is some noise.
He told us how props, such as plant clamps, are useful to help prevent movement or to keep plants out of the way of the main subject. and the use of sets to generate a stage to lure animals in with food is also a good way of bringing subjects closer to the camera.
He also talked about more advanced techniques, such as shooting birds in flight, capturing the interaction of different animals and showing animals in their habitat. He said that he tries to tell a story through his images. He showed us a series of photos that illustrated these techniques including birds carrying nesting material, surfing Gentian penguins and feeding Striated Caracara on the Falkland Islands.
Oliver ended his presentation by telling us about his workshops and the availability of a hide he runs near Avebury where we could photograph Kites, Buzzards, Ravens and Jackdaws. Details are on his website
Our chairman closed the evening with heartfelt thanks for a very informative session which demonstrated Oliver’s passion for his subject. DF
Images © Oliver Smart
|Results of DPIC and GB Cup Battles|
|The Digital Projected Image Competition (DPIC) is organised annualy by the Western Counties Photographic Federation (WCPF) and all affiliated clubs from the area which stretches from Cornwall to Wiltshire can enter.
The competiton was held in Exeter on Sunday, 10 February - with 57 clubs entered.
Battle secretary Frank Collins and other members attended what was a very busy day with over 1,000 images projected.
The 3 judges can award up to 5 points each so the top mark is 15.
Two images from Devizes were awarded 13 points and seven images were awarded 12 points and the club was in 18th place.
The results have also been announced for the GB Cup Open and Nature projected image competitions which are organised by the Photographic Federation of Great Britain (PAGB) which covers the whole of the UK..
Points are awarded by 3 judges with a maximum 15 points as with DPIC.
2 club images gained 12 points in the Open competition and the club top mark was 11 in the Nature competition.
Thanks to Frank Collins for organising the club entries and to those who chose the images to be entered.
Full results and the top placed images can be seen here
|The Landscape Group presents...||5 February 2019|
|Dave Gray has been the leader of the DCC Landscape Group since its inception in 2010 and gave us an update on its history and the latest activities.
Members had in 2010 requested more feedback on their images and also a chance to learn more about using their camera and software so a special interest group was formed for those with a particular interest in landscape photography. More experienced members arranged visits to suitable locations and later weekend visits were organised which allowed members to get to know each other better and give a more social side to the club. The group has monthly indoor meetings where members can discuss their images informally with others and learn new techniques.
Dave together with Robert Harvey ARPS EFIAP have organised very many trips in the last 9 years which members have found very enjoyable. Dave and Robert have had years of experience and can lead the field trips showing others how to find the most scenic areas.
Dave showed images taken on these visits during the last year. Starting with the very successful weekend visit to the Snowdonia area in February 2018. Stunning photographs of snow-capped mountains, lakes, valleys and a disused quarry as well as the Menai Bridge were shown.
Images taken during that weekend have since won many of the club competitions and Dave showed a selection. A full report on the Snowdon trip, reports on other visits and more information on the Landscape Group can be seen on the Groups page of this website.
Dave went on to show images from field trip combined with the Nature group to Skomer.
A group met at the Caen Hill locks early on 15 September to capture the sunrise as for a short time on that date the sun is aligned directly down the flight.
Many times before the group has visited Stourhead to capture the autumn colours but in 2018 the visit was earlier than usual as the hot dry summer made the colour change early and were not quite as spectacular as in previous visits but members still managed to capture some beautiful scenes.
The latest field trip was to Dorset this February where members captured images of dawn over Corfe Castle and then went on to the spectacular Jurassic coastline. Members photographed stunning Lulworth Cove and Kimmeridge Bay as well as other scenic places in the area. The group finished the busy day trying to capture some sunset shots over the rock pools and the limestone pavements.
Thanks to Dave and Robert as well as Sue Wadman, Roly Barth, David Fraser, Martin Stokes, Frank Collins, Craig Purvis and Dave Evans for sharing some of their many landscape images Taken when out with the group.
The next Landscape Group trip is a weekend visit to North Cornwall and other visits will be organised during the year.
After the break Dave Gray gave a presentation titled ‘Walking with my Camera’
Dave is a very dedicated hill walker and explained that photography and long distance walking do not always go well together. For walking dry weather and nice blue skies are preferable but for good atmospheric photographs it is better to have cloudy skies and even storms to give good light and shade. Dave showed us images taken on his walks in the Lake District with high peaks, deep valleys and spectacular views over the lakes. Next Dave showed images of another of his favourite areas and that was the coastal paths of the spectacular Purbeck coast taking in the many spectacular bays and rocky coastline. Interesting images of the unusual rock strata to be found in the area were shown.
Another area Dave often visits is Scotland with its mountains and lochs. Dave has captured images of dramatic skies, unusual rock formations, waterfall and deep valleys many of which require walks of many miles over difficult terrain to reach. Dave finished with an amazing image of a complete rainbow which he managed to photograph on a sudden break in the weather on a very stormy day.
Frank Collins thanked Dave for his presentation and for showing a selection of stunning images not seen by the club before. PM
Images: top - Lulworth Cove by Sue Wadman, top right- group members by Craig Purvis, left- Corfe Castle by Roly Barth
below right- Westmoreland Cairn by Dave Gray.
|Landscape Print and Projected Image Competitions||29 January 2019|
The Landscape competitions were judged this season by Adrian Herringwho has judged the club competitions many times before. Adrian praised the generally high standard of the entries and gave helpful comments on those images where some improvement would be needed. Some images Adrian felt were unbalanced and many of the ‘reflection’ subjects cut the image in half.
The judge remarked on the high number of images featuring sunrises and sunsets. Many entries were taken in the Snowdon region which a group of members visited last year and Skye was another popular destination, rocky coastlines and lakes were featured in many images and also local hills, fields and woods.
Some images the judge felt did not fit the criteria of ‘an extensive area of natural scenery' and man-made structures were rather too prominent in others.
In the projected image competition images must be taken within the British Isles and the judge said he very much enjoyed looking through the large number of entries.
‘Langdale Valley’ right by Robert Harvey ARPS EFIAP was the judge’s favourite and Robert was again presented with the annual Derrick Turner Memorial Trophy for the 5th time in a row.
A ridge in Snowdonia was the subject of Dave Gray’s ‘Early Light on Crib Goch’ left which was in second place and in third place was another image from the same area ‘Mount Snowdon’ was by Martin Stokes.
Eleven entries were awarded Highly commended with many of those images taken in the Snowdon and Cumbria areas but a misty Pewsey Vale and Knapp Hill also featured in the awards as well.
In the print section the landscapes could be taken anywhere in the world but all except one of the 14 entries again featured either local or British scenery. Again the most popular areas were the Isle of Skye and Snowdonia with a few more local landscapes as well.
Once again Robert Harvey was awarded first place with ‘Frosty Morning, Old Man of Storr’ right
Robert was presented with the the Silver Birches Trophy for the third time in a row and 5 times in total
Another Skye image was in second place with ‘Storr Reflections’ left by Chris Wilkes Ciudad.
In third place was another print by Robert this time taken in the Snowdonia area titled ‘Ogwen Valley & Cwm Idwal’
Adrian was thanked for judging the entries and for travelling a long way on such a cold snowy evening.
Thanks to Competition Secretary Roly Barth for compiling the entries and running the competitions and to all those who entered such beautiful landscapes for all to enjoy. PM
See all the awards All the awarded images can be seen in the Galleries
|‘Extraordinary Ordinary' Look differently at your photography!||22 January 2019|
On a frosty evening Simon Caplan LRPS was welcomed to the club for a presentation which he described as looking for 'the beauty hidden in the environment'.
Simon has a creative eye for finding subjects that most people would not even notice – patterns on a floor, textures, peeling paint, rusty iron as well as shiny metal objects – even air conditioner fans can make a good subject for him!!
Interesting images can be found anywhere if you look hard enough – look beyond the obvious he said.
Simon has had many exhibitions of his prints some of which now hang in public places and he brought along a selection to show the club.
Giving his humorous presentation Simon described some of the problems he finds when taking photographs of rather unusual subjects – often in odd situations.
Setting up a tripod can cause problems sometimes as industrial areas, churches and shopping centres have ‘health and safety’ rules about such things.
When you have found a suitable subject the background is very important – try and find a complimentary colour by moving around or even take something with you that can be used for an out of focus colour.
Decide exactly where your point of focus is going to be as Simon believes that every image should have a really sharp area however small. Learn how to use depth of field to have just the amount of the image sharp that compliments the subject.
In his travels Simon looks around for interesting buildings and often contrasts old with modern and looks for unusual views and suggests sometimes using the camera at an angle to get something a bit different.
Laying on the floor looking up or looking down can give a completely different image – move around and take the subject from lots of different angles.
He looks out for geometric shapes, symmetry, interesting colours and often focuses on just a tiny area that is just a few centimetres in size.
Look out for subjects in scrapyards, fairgrounds, dockyards, railways and museums – even in the home a cheese grater or sieve can be used.
Sometimes Simon combines photographs making a montage of images that work well together.
When post processing - make sure that straight lines and angles are perfectly lined up to give a clean looking image. Sometimes making a monochrome image high key can give very clean blacks and whites to enhance the image.
Simon went on to show that he also takes landscapes, sets up still life’s and even people photos as well and encourages photographers to have fun and try out different things.
Steve Hardman thanked Simon for travelling from Bristol to give such an inspiring presentation and he says will now look at everyday objects in a different way. PM
Images© Simon Caplan LRPS Top right: air conditioner fan, top left: detail in a church, left: old an modern buildings, right; rusty metal
|PI League results 2019|
|Members handed in their scoresheets at the end of last weeks PI League Competition and the results have been calculated by Competition Secretary Roly Barth. The scores were averaged and the scores of the 3 sets entered added together to give the winner.
Many congratulations to the winner Robert Harvey ARPS EFIAP who was presented with the Hewitt Cup by club chairman Steve Hardman.
In 2nd place was Kyra Wilson, Chris Wilkes-Ciudad was in 3rd place and
Dave Gray was in 5th place,
|'Projected Image League'||15 January 2019|
There were 48 sets of images entered in the Annual Projected Image League and members present were each given a scoresheet and requested to score each set out of 10.
Members were asked to score the sets on their opinion of the quality of the 5 images, how well the images fitted the chosen title and above all how well the images looked together as a set.
Club members had been asked beforehand to send in their 3 sets of 5 images - each set to be on a theme of their choice. The images were then put together by Pam Mullings as a slideshow which showed the individual images and how the images looked together as a set.
Half of the sets were projected and then members took a break before the rest were shown.
Predictably for a club with a very high standard of natural history and landscape photography most of the sets featured these subjects but there were some other subjects to give variety.
We had sets featuring architecture, telephone boxes, people, flowers and even pigs!
Images shown are from some of the more unusual sets - 'Prayer Wheels' top 'Blown Away' right and 'Little Planets' below. The winning sets will be shown next week.
Landscapes depicted Snowdonia, Lake District and Bhutan, coastal and autumn scenes were popular subjects as well.
Four of the sets featured damsel and dragonflies as well as many sets of other tiny creatures. Birds were a popular subject with sets of robins, kingfishers, swans, pelicans and ‘pretty birds on sticks’.
Members had a great many superb images to view and score during the evening – we could have done with a few more entries but hopefully now members will have some ideas on making up their own sets so more will enter next time.
Thanks to all who entered and gave us an interesting evening.
Competition secretary Roly Bath collected the scoresheets at the end of the evening and has the difficult job of calculating the results. Scores for each set are averaged and then then scores from each entrants 3 sets are added together to give the final results and the winner of the Hewitt Cup. The results will be announced next Tuesday. PM
|'Timelapse Photography'||8 January 2019|
The first meeting of 2019 was well attended with many visitors keen to see the presentation by Ben Maliphant on the subject of timelapse photography. Ben was fairly new to photography in 2013 with an entry level DSLR when he was intrigued by a time-lapse sequence which
Anything that moves can be used for a timelapse sequence – hundreds of images are taken at set intervals and then processed to give the appearance of everything speeded up. A scene might take hours to record but can be seen in seconds showing the changing light as the sun rises or sets, clouds racing across the sky or waves crashing on a shore. Starry skies are another way that time-lapse is used as rather than taking one image with the camera set up for a very long exposure you could take hundreds of images at set intervals and then combine them into one image.
Ben began the evening by showing his impressive video taken around Portishead Quay – many sequences are edited and expertly put together with added music to make a 3-minute promotional video. Ben explained how a sequence can take thousands of separate images which are condensed down to just a few seconds.
After Ben was given a tripod he decided to try out time-lapse – first the tripod must be absolutely stable as any slight movement will prevent a seamless looking result. Careful thought must be given to the view to be photographed and the camera settings then a test shot or two taken.
Correct focus, exposure and depth of field need to be established. Difficulties arise because the light will change over the hours so Ben recommends setting the camera up manually. Most camera now have a timelapse setting and can be set at intervals of a few to many seconds and for a set length of time. Use a cable release to start up the camera and then the photographer just sits back until the camera stops – hoping everything goes well and the resulting images as expected.
For fast moving scenes use about 1 sec intervals and 5 or longer for slow moving scenes. Once the basics are mastered you could make things even more interesting (or difficult) for yourself by introducing rotation or panning in the sequences – this requires specialist equipment to keep the camera absolutely steady.
One of Ben’s first sequences was posted on Youtube and out of the blue he had a phone call from the BBC asking if he would help by setting up a timelapse sequence showing the 6-hour rise and fall of the tide in the Severn Estuary. Keen to fulfil the commission he found that the bridge moved with the wind and traffic so it would be difficult to keep a tripod steady but gained permission to use one of the concrete towers for support and managed to get the required 20 second sequence.
After the hundreds of images are taken for each sequence the computer is used to complete the process. See ‘LR Timelapse’ for information and downloads to find out how the whole process works. Finally, all the sequences have to be skillfully put together to tell a story and give an interesting high quality video. The added music can dramatically effect the mood of the final video – gentle sound gives a calm effect but loud, fast music can give a racy dramatic effect. Ben demonstrated this by showing some time-lapse videos taken by others.
Photographers can specialise in different ways of using their images and timelapse is way that images can be used to create interesting videos. There are lots of tutorials on line to give ideas. Even smart phones can take time-lapse but if you want super quality then you will need to get the specialist equipment and software.
To see the full effect of his timelapse videos you will need to visit Ben’s website and many more sequences by others can be seen on line.
Club chairman Steve Hardman thanked Ben for his informative, entertaining and inspirational presentation and for showing the club something rather different that can be done with photography. PM
Images © Ben Maliphant. Still images taken from timelapse sequences.
|Challenge 18 - December|
|The subject for the very last DCC facebook Challenge 2018 was the colour 'Red'.
The month started with some photos - as might be expected at this time of year with some Christmassy ideas – a bauble, Santa Claus and colourful shop windows and inevitably a robin. Other subjects photographed included a Winter Solstice sunset, a lighthouse and an old Morgan sports car
As the month went on evidently members were much too busy to look out for something red to photograph so the challenge has rather fizzled out.
The image that received the most ‘likes’ was a rather late in the season, fading red rose by Richard Blackbourne.
Thanks to those who took part who maybe have thought up a few new ideas and taken a few photos that they may not otherwise have taken. Only one completed the challenge which was to take at least one photo every month on each of the monthly chosen subjects.
You could always set yourself a personal challenge of finding something interesting to photograph - evey day, every week or every month!
Now is the start of a new year so go on looking for interesting new subjects to photograph wherever you might be..
Wishing everyone a Happy and Healthy 2019
|Christmas Knockout Competition||18 December 2018|
The last meeting before the Christmas break is a light-hearted competition where one by one entries are knocked out until after several rounds we have a winning image.
The master of ceremonies for the evening was Frank Collins dressed as Santa. Twenty-Six club members entered up to 6 images each and Frank worked out that the optimum number of entries to show would be 128. With a little bit of adjustment this figure was achieved.
At the start of the evening no one has any idea which image would escape elimination and win. The images were shown randomly in pairs and a show of hands vote taken on the preferred image to stay in the competition. There is a lot of rough justice along the way as often 2 images - each of which would be a worthy winner came up together but one has to be eliminated.
As one would expect from the club there were many wildlife and landscape images but also many new creative ideas. The range of subjects was extremely diverse with many members trying out new ideas perhaps to see how popular they would be with fellow members.
Frank did all the hand counting and on a couple of occasions choosing the image to go forward when there was a tie.
Gradually members who entered saw most of their images knocked out round by round.
A spread of festive food had been set out by Caroline and Sue Wadman so members were able to take a short break and partake of a drink from the bar and the Christmas goodies before the final few rounds.
It came down to the last 32 images left in - then 16 then 8 and finally the remaining 4. These last 4 images were pitted against each other until we had a final winner and the runners up.
The winning image was ‘The Music Room’ top left by Steve McCarthy so very well done to him.
In second place was an effective monochrome image of wine glasses titled ‘All in a Row’ above by Caroline Wright.
A nature image ‘Frogs’ left by Gill Cardy FRPS EFIAP DPAGB was placed third and in fourth place was a Venice waterfront scene titled ‘Dawn Commute’ right by Caroline.
Club Chairman Steve Hardman thanked Frank Collins for his work collecting the entries and presiding over the evening. As a late replacement Roly Barth had the difficult job of operating the computer to get 2 images to be shown side by side – with a couple of hitches Roly managed to get through the competition so many thanks to him. Steve thanked all the members who entered and made it a long but enjoyable evening. Caroline and Sue were thanked for organising the festive food.
Steve gave out a carrot for Santa’s reindeer, a mince pie for Roly and for Frank and Roly a bottle of something to enjoy over Christmas and wished everyone all the best for Christmas and the New Year.
Members can look forward to the next meeting on Tuesday 8 January 2019 and anyone thinking of coming along and joining the club will be made very welcome. PM
|Monochrome Print and Projected Image Competitions||11 December 2018|
|For the first time the club has two monochrome competitions – one for prints and another for projected images. The large entry was judged by Clive Rathband FRPS FPSSA EFIAP DPAGB together with Joan Ryder Rathband FRPS FPSSA AFIAP DPAGB both being very experienced judges of National and International photographic competitions.
Clive said that he and Joan had scrutinised each image very carefully and they had both agreed on the final placings.
Clive said that the print entries were well presented but that ‘big is not always better’ as a large print shows up any imperfections and an A4 print can look very effective with a standard size mount. Clive said that as a judge he looks for images that have a ‘sparkle’ to give them lift and that makes them stand out. With monochrome images there should be a full tonal range - from black through to white with a range of tones in between.
There were 34 entries in the print section with a wide range of subjects. Clive commented on the good points in each print and gave his comments on how the image could have been improved. He said that members should carefully check over their images before printing and either crop, clone out or darken any light areas that take attention from the main subject. Many images had a bland sky giving a large area of white while some others lost detail in the darker areas. Clive and Joan felt that some of the images were ‘too busy’ with too many elements in the image taking attention away from the main subject.
Members from all sections of the club entered the competition and were judged together and it was pleasing to see that those awarded came from all three sections.
The winner of the monochrome print trophy was Chris Wilkes Ciudad ARPS with a stunning image of a church titled ‘St. Marys’. Architecture is a subject that converts well to monochrome and the detail on the stonework was outstanding. Chris was also awarded second place with 'British Museum' another architectural image.
‘Harry the Hat and his Uke’ left was an interesting, well executed image by Kyra Wilson LRPS and was in third place.
Highly Commended's were awarded to six more of the prints - see the details below.
Clive presented the William Fox Talbot Trophy for Monochrome prints to Chris – the first recipient of the new trophy. As there are now two monochrome competitions the club decided to purchase 2 new trophies. The ‘William Fox Talbot Trophy’ for prints and the ‘Constance Mundy Trophy’ for Projected Images – Constance was the wife of William and is credited as the first woman to take a photograph. The attractive new trophies were much admired as they each depicted the experimental image of a fern taken by Fox Talbot – one has the negative image engraved on it and one the positive.
After the break Clive set about giving his comments on the 59 projected images.
First place went to ‘Trees in the Mist’ right a woodland scene photographed by Gill Cardy FRPS EFIAP DPAGB. Clive said the tones were good and the trees well-spaced and it was a well-deserved winner.
'Arum Lilies' left by Pam Mullings was awarded second place – the judge commented that the focus was good throughout and the white areas well captured.
In third place was ‘Temple of the Night’ below right by Chris Wilkes- Ciudad with its temple building set among huge rocks set against a stormy night sky.
Twelve of the projected images were awarded Highly Commended.
Clive presented Gill with the Constance Mundy Trophy which was very appropriate as it went to a long standing lady member of the club.
The club is very grateful to Clive and Joan for taking on the difficult job of looking through all 93 monochrome images, giving helpful comments on each one and selecting those that gained awards in the two competitions.
Thanks to Roly Barth for organising the entries, Caroline Wright for selecting the new trophies and to all those members who entered giving us a very interesting evening.
Club Chairman Steve Hardman thanked Clive and Joan very much for their efforts judging such a marathon! PM
Full results All the awarded images will be shown in the Galleries soon
|‘Architecture and Landscape’||4 December 2018|
Ian Thompson ARPS EFIAP/g was welcomed to Devizes Camera Club to present a talk on Architecture and Landscape. Ian explained that he had been an architect all his working life and when he retired, he wanted to do something different. He went walking in the Scottish Highlands and English Lakes, often getting up before dawn and taking photographs around the rising sun.
However, there came a time when he wanted to move from “technicolour sunrises”, and a series of images of the Infinity Bridge in Stockton-on-Tees marked, he said, the start of a transition back to architectural photography. He said he always wants to get some dynamism into his shots to create additional interest. His bridge photography progressed to taking ever more detail, creating abstracts of shapes, including bridge pylons and supporting wires.
He moved on to buildings, creating interest through his choice of angles and shapes, including squares, triangles, diamonds and curves, within the structure of a building. Ian likes to work handheld, usually with a 16-35mm or a tilt-shift lens, so that he can easily adjust his position to get the best composition and maintain vertical verticals. He tries to fill the frame with shapes and sometimes will endeavour to include people in the images to add some context. He also demonstrated the use of long exposures on external images which can help with cleaning up unwanted cloud reflections on glass. During his post-processing, he will often replace uninteresting skies and remove distracting elements surrounding the building.
Ian demonstrated all these techniques with many wonderful images of dramatic perspectives and sweeping curves from buildings and staircases in different countries across Europe. Always concentrating on shapes and angles, he showed us how a different position, or a different lens, can alter the perception of the same structure. He also showed us how much more dynamic night-time shots can be in places like railway stations.
Ian gave us an insight as to how he finds buildings to photograph. He scours the architectural press and e-architect.com to find lists of new buildings and buildings of different styles. He marks the location of structures in which he is interested on Google Earth and uses 3-D view and Street-view to take a closer look. Using apps such as Maps.Me he can get step-by-step offline travel instructions.
In the second half of his presentation, Ian went back to his love of landscape photography. Although he said he likes bright colours, several of the images he showed us were great in monochrome. He likes to get up in the dark to capture the full range of the sunrise and he often goes back to the same location on different days or times of the year. He illustrated this with several images of Bamburgh Castle all taken from the same place (roughly) about 20 minutes before the sun rose. Some were of dazzling sunrises while others (with no sunrise) were more muted using wave movement to create a different atmosphere.
His research of locations and planning of shoots was as detailed as it was with his architectural photography. Using software such as Theodolyte he finds the co-ordinates and bearing of suitable place and drops them into Google Earth, where he can add photos and notes. Setting “animation” in Google Earth he can scroll through time to see how the sunrise will affect the location he has chosen.
And so he took us to some of his favourite locations with wonderful images taken in various places across the UK. There was a sequence of shots taken over 20 minutes as the sun rose through the mist at Chew Valley Lake; there were misty woodland shots in places like Savernake Forest and West Woods; and there were waterfalls in the Yorkshire dales. There were also some great images taken at Derwent Water and Ullswater in the Lake District and shots taken in changing weather conditions on Harris in the Outer Hebrides where he wanted to capture the structure of the sand.
After taking some questions our Chairman concluded the evening by thanking Ian for a very entertaining talk which not only presented some “refreshingly different” architectural images, but showcased Ian’s continuing passion for landscape photography, and expressing his respect for Ian’s meticulous approach to research and planning. The audience showed their appreciation with a warm round of applause. DF
Images © Ian Thomson ARPS EFIAP/s Top: Infinity, Top right: Painted Staircase, Left: Wooden Spiral, Bottom: Last Leaves of Autumn
|Challenge 2018 - November|
|A different subject has been set for each month during 2018 to encourage members to get out their cameras and photograph something new that is perhaps outside their usual comfort zone.
Some subjects have had more uptake than others and sadly the November subject 'Black and White' did not seem to inspire that many members. However there was a limited range of subjects - a black& white half timbered building & a still life of old black and white photos - however mostly were monochromed flowers and woodlands. The most 'liked' image was a close up of the stylus on a gramophone by Tim Pier right
For the last Challenge we can get back to colour with the subject 'Red' - this can be anything you like so long as there is something red somewhere in the image.
For example for nature lovers might look out for a few birds with red on them or maybe some fungi, landscapes or townscapes can have something in them that stands out in red or maybe someone might come across a bearded gentleman in a red suit at this time of year! Anyway use your imagination and have fun trying something a bit different.
Your images can be uploaded to the Album on our DCC facebook - if you are not yet a member then apply to join as you can then keep up with members photos, comments and information. PM
|Competition 1 - Open Prints||27 November 2018|
|For the first Open Print competition of the season the judge was John Randall from Andover Photographic Club. John has been a photographer and judge for many years and has a wide range of photographic interests. He prefers to judge ‘cold’ and so only has a brief look through the prints before they are commented on individually and awards decided.
Just 45 prints entered as sadly there is a trend towards less members printing images nowadays which is a shame as they miss out on the thrill of seeing a print emerging from a printer or even opening the package of a commercially printed image! The judge said the standard of prints entered was very high and many were judged to be technically spot on which made it difficult to finally choose the awards – he commented that if he was marking with points many of the images would have been awarded a 10 out of 10!
There were some of the usual comments about distracting light spots so members please check over your images carefully as this mars the image. John said images were all about the lighting and he also liked images with good composition that drew the viewer through the image from front to back.
In the Beginners section John had only 13 images to look through so could spend time pointing out the good and poor points of each print. Six prints were held back to be looked at again and finally John chose his four prints for awards.
As a motor sports enthusiast himself John pointed out the difficulties of photographing fast moving machines and said that ‘Lap of Honour’ left by Mark Somerville was an excellent example. The correct shutter speed blurred the background and wheel spokes to give a sense of speed while showing the bike and rider in sharp focus and awarded the monochrome print first place.
Second place went to a silhouetted image of a deer against an evening sky titled ‘Deer Hunt’ by Helena Chambers.
The judge said that the photographer had done well by getting down low showing the colourful fungus up well against background trees and awarded third place to ‘Forest Fungi’ by Richard Blackbourne.
‘Bird on a Stick’ by Mark Somerville was a tongue in cheek title because judges often dismiss images of a bird sitting doing nothing and want some action but in this case the kingfisher was very well captured and gained a highly commended.
Only 12 entries in the Intermediate section with a range of colourful landscapes and wildlife subjects. Two very different images of kestrels caught the judges eye both by David Wilkinson – finally ‘Winter Arrival’ right was awarded first place. This image showed the bird almost hidden in a snowstorm which the judge found very effective as only parts of the kestrel were visible – David’s other image was awarded an HC.
In second place was a monochrome image by David Lock titled ‘Corridor’ which effectively showed interest right through the image with the interesting light on the pillars and a lamp in the far distance. Third was a letterbox shaped misty seascape by Steve McCarthy which the judge said showed good lighting and texture.
After the break the twenty Advanced prints were shown being mostly landscape and wildlife prints. Other subjects included monochrome townscapes, aerobatics, flowers and a Victorian street scene.
After picking out his favourite 10 prints John had to deliberate for some time over which 6 of them would gain an award. Finally, an image titled ‘Claire Austin Roses’ left by Pam Mullings was awarded first place. This was a very simple image of a cluster of white roses with the judge commenting on the good focus and composition.
John took some time to decide which of the two red squirrel images was second – ‘Red Squirrel on a Pine Tree’ by Robert Harvey ARPS EFIAP gained the award. The judge liked the rendering of the snow on the tree and the flakes of fresh snow on the squirrel. The other print was ‘Red Squirrel in Winter’ by Gill Cardy FRPS EFIAP DPAGP was awarded third place - the judge saying that it showed every hair.
Robert had 2 HC's and Gill 1 HC for their other prints.
Many thanks to John for giving his judgement and opinions on all the prints and for pointing out in some cases how they might have been improved. Thanks also to Competition Secretary Roly Barth for organising the competition and to all those members who entered. PM
See full results The awarded images can be seen in the Galleries
|Sad loss of club stalwart|
|It is with great sadness that the club were informed of the passing of Eddie Marsh who had been a member for over 20 years.
Condolances to Eddies wife Joyce and his family.
Eddie was always the first to volunteer when anything needed doing - he arrived early to set out the chairs and the equipment. Eddie made the tea and coffee for many years while we met at the Crown Centre. He and always helped setting up the exhibitions in the Museum and the displays in the Market Place.
For many years Eddie sent weekly reports to the local newspaper and kept an archive of press cuttings and photographs of the clubs activities
With his camera handy he was always around to take group photos and presentations. Even after several major operations Eddie was soon back helping where he could.
He very much enjoyed photographing the local countryside and wildlife with his slides and prints doing well in club competitions.
Finally after a stroke Eddie was unable to attend club meetings but many members remember him with great affection.
Sadly missed the funeral will be at Devizes Cemetery on 3 December at 2pm.
|‘Rewilding the UK’ and ‘Wiltshire's Wildlife Riches’||20 November 2018|
We were privileged this week to have the multi-award winning film maker and photographer, Nick Upton, visit the camera club to tell us about Rewilding the UK and Wiltshire’s Wildlife Treasures.
He introduced himself by saying that he has always been a naturalist and began his interest in photography in his teens. He likes to tell a story with his work and for many years concentrated on film making. He spent 20 years with the BBC on Wildlife projects, working alongside Sir David Attenborough on Trials for Life, and contributing to Springwatch, among other wildlife programmes.
He has also contributed many articles to organisations such as BBC Wildlife Magazine, Wiltshire Wildlife magazine and National Geographic, and picked up awards along the way, including British Wildlife Photographer of the Year and International Garden Photographer of the Year.
Nick said that he had been lucky enough to have privileged access to several important projects involved with the re-introduction of wild animals in various parts of the UK, including Cranes in Wiltshire, Water Voles and Harvest Mice in Cornwall, Beaver in Devon, and Pine Martins in Wales.
He started by talking about the Great Crane Project, which is a Europe-wide programme for cranes across Europe. He showed us images of 20,000 strong flocks of cranes over the Pyrenees and told us of his involvement with the breeding project at Slimbridge and the Somerset Levels. He explained that he likes to show human interaction with the wildlife, so there were images of volunteers (including himself) dressed as cranes guiding and feeding chicks.
Water Voles, decimated by American Mink, are being re-introduced through a captive breeding programme in North Cornwall. Nick showed us a series of images illustrating the process of re-introduction of voles and an associated project for Harvest Mice. He also told us that when capturing images of the released animals in the wild, he uses either a macro lens to capture close-ups or a wider angle lens using a close focus technique to show some context in the background. He often sets his camera up close to where he expects an animal to visit and uses a wireless remote shutter release to trigger the shot from distance. He used this technique to capture a shot of a Water Vole on a rock used as a latrine, although it took about 10 hours of waiting before the vole came and sat on the rock!
Nick has been extensively involved in a Beaver re-introduction at a secret location in South Devon. This project started naturally and it is still a mystery as to where the Beaver came from. Local residents were instrumental in ensuring that the project became official so that the animals could be monitored and in 2015 DEFRA trapped a number of beaver to give them health checks. Since then the project has gone from strength to strength and has shown how much beaver can benefit the environment, in particular through improving water management. Nick has been involved in providing a photographic record of the project from which he showed us a good sample of images. He has used a variety of approaches including using a camera converted to infra-red for night-time shots and the use of camera trap videos to view the beaver at night when gnawing trees and building dams. Sequences from these efforts have been shown on Springwatch.
The Pine Martin re-introduction started in Scotland where B&B accommodation is available specifically to show off the martins visiting feeding stations in the garden. In 2016, 60 pine martins were captured for eventual release in Wales. Nick showed us images of the process using infra-red cameras so that the animals did not get stressed. He also had some great images caught through his camera traps. Pine Martins have been shown not to harm the environment and have become popular as they hunt grey squirrels.
Clearly enthusiastic about these re-introduction projects, Nick was keen to stress how successful they had been and intimated that several further releases of these animals are planned in the coming years.
continue to 'Wiltshires Wildlife Riches' Images © Nick Upton From top - Common Cranes - Water Vole - Harvest Mouse.
|'New Digital Adventure - Be Creative'|
This week we welcomed the return of Colin Harrison FRPS FBPE FIPF MPSA MPAGB MFIAP APAGB EFIAP/d1 to Devizes to present his talk entitled New Digital Adventure - Be Creative.
He started with an Audiovisual presentation showcasing some of his award winning images, before clarifying the meaning of the impressive array of letters after his name. He also gave us an insight into the process of qualifying for various distinctions by entering images into International Salons.
As a start to his Digital Adventure presentation, Colin listed a range of ways that we, as photographers, can be creative. Beginning with creating a mood when taking an image; through simple processing such as removing elements in the frame, converting to monochrome, and boosting colours; to creating montages and incorporating aspects of other images. As an example of combining pictures, he showed us an image of the front of a car and another of people looking at a large billboard. The combined image showed the car crashing through the billboard and causing damage to the pavement.
He ran through a range of images at a fairly fast pace, showing us the full range of his work. Many were fantasy images, many of which, he said, didn’t have much of plan but he just tried things out and filled spaces. These included petrol pumps in a shoot-out in a cityscape, skeletons playing billiards, a monorail going through a ruined abbey and aliens walking through a crop circle.
There were also many images of people in altered situations. Some portraits were given impact with a grungy look. Others provided a mood, such as a miner at a pit-head. Other were imbued with a sinister edge, such as an image of a pretty little girl in a cornfield, but with a ruined car and a ghostly house in the background - and crows flying around the house. He pointed out that the ghostly house was an image of an ornament for a fish tank! The crows were a repetitive theme in several of his images.
He also had some photo-journalistic images which had little creative processing but presented the mood of the moment. These particularly included images taken at repatriation ceremonies in Royal Wootton Bassett and at Remembrance Day parades.
Colin talked about the techniques that he uses, saying that almost all his images are taken hand-held and in JPG format. He uses Photoshop layers to combine images, and brushes to add effects such as spatter and grunge and to create the effect of snow.
He directed us to his website where he has some Hints and Tips for providing creative effects. He also uses Redfield Fractilius to provide high fractal effects, especially with flowers and fur. He said it is brilliant with beards!
Colin also told us that most of his base images are taken at events such as Steam Fairs and War Enactments. He was particularly enthusiastic about Comic-Con and the Ragged Victorians. Most of these events involve people in themed costumes which he can then use with elements from other images to create his own artistic pictures. He told us that he always tries to arrive at these events so that he can photograph the “performers” as they are arriving and before the crowds gather.
Colin showed us some of his new work which he has sent to this year’s Cork salon and for which he is awaiting the results. And to finish his presentation, Colin showed us another Audiovisual presentation of images taken in the canyons in USA to the music of Colours of the Wind from Pocahontas.
On behalf of the whole camera club, our chairman thanked Colin for a wonderful evening of creative imagery which is sure to have inspired us with new ideas for our own photography. DF
Images © Colin Harrison top left: 'Clock Watcher' Top right: Mystique Left; Alternative Transport Right: Portrait of Holly
|Competition 2 - Open Projected Images||6 November 2018|
|For the second Open Projected Image competition of the season the judge was Julie Kaye from Bristol. Julie took on the very onerous task of judging a competition in three sections which was a mix of landscape, nature, portrait, and creative images. After eliminating any photographs which had some kind of obvious technical fault such as lack of focus, poor colour or composition the judge then has to use personal preferences to decide which images get awards and even more difficult – which images to award the 1st, 2nd and 3rd placings in each section.
Julie gave her helpful opinion on each image and in some cases how it might be improved – often by cropping out parts of the image such as over large areas of sky or distracting features which do not contribute to the image. Depth of field was also an issue with many images.
Starting with the Beginners section Julie commented on each image. She particularly liked an action packed image by new member Helena Chambers of motorbike scrambling with mud flying around colourful bikes and riders and awarded first place to ‘Tight Corner’ left. Another of Helena’s images was placed second in the section – this time an interesting image of an old US pioneer surrounded by his everyday paraphernalia.
Third place went to ‘Black and White’ a well taken simple image of two dice by Avril McCarthy.
Paul Wells and Hilary Tapley were each awarded a Highly Commended.
Next Julie commented on the entries in the Intermediate section with its wide variety of subjects. Another motorbike – this time ‘Tiny Racer’ right by Martin Stokes caught the judges eye and was awarded first place. Martin managed to perfectly capture the sense of speed as the colourful bike and its rider sped around a track.
‘Living Dangerously’ by Craig Purvis was well titled as it portrayed a giant wave threatening to engulf the posse of coastal photographers on a jetty. Julie remarked on the good composition and the bravery or foolhardiness of being out taking photographs in such a storm placing it second in the section.
A delightful landscape by Sue Wadman titled ‘Fields of Gold’ was in third place – with the judge commenting on the gorgeous colours and the way the crop lines were placed to lead the viewer into the image.
Craig and Sue also received a Highly Commended’s as did David Wilkinson and Roly Barth.
After the break the Advanced images were judged.
Due to the large number of entries Advanced members only had two of their three entries shown in this competition – this happens occasionally when the total number of entries exceeds 80.
Julie carefully commented on each image pointing out any flaws she felt spoiled the images. Finally, she picked out eight of the entries for the awards and explaining how difficult it had been for her to choose the final top places. Julie said she kept changing the order but finally had to come to a decision.
In first place was a poignant image of a poor mother and her children as they were alone in a dark alleyway – titled ‘Despair’ left the creative image was by Pam Mullings. The judge commented on the well captured expressions on the children’s faces.
In third place was a well-researched astronomical image by Robert Harvey ARPS EFIAP which superbly captured the night sky over Durdle Door. ‘Milky Way, Mars and Meteor’ cleverly managed to include all those elements which meant being at just the right place at the right time and to have the luck of perfectly clear sky as well!
Another image by Chris was awarded a highly commended as were images by Caroline Wright, David Fraser, Dave Gray and Tim Tapley LRPS.
Thanks to Julia for her judging, Caroline for organising the competition and to Competition Secretary Roly for running the competition on the night and also to all those who entered images to give such an interesting evening.
And just a thought - without photographers volunteering to give their time to take on the task of looking carefully through the entries, giving their comments and judgement there would not be any competitions! PM
Full results All the awarded images can be seen in the Galleries.
|Challenge 18 - October|
It's the end of another month for the Challenge 18. Each month during 2018 a subject is set and members can add their photos taken during the month on DCC facebook.
|Studio Evening. Pirates are coming!||30 October 2018|
|Well blow me down the pirates did indeed invade the Devizes landlubbers – with their fantastic costumes and an array of suitable props.
With lighting and backgrounds set up the pirates took up their poses and faced the posse of cameras.
Before everyone set to - some instructions were given regarding suitable camera settings to wirelessly set off the electronic flashes. Many members had not had access to studio lighting equipment before so it was a bit of a learning curve but before long everyone was managing to capture something of the swashbuckling atmosphere.
Everyone had a chance to move between the three lighting set ups picking their moment to capture the various scenes. There was a lot of creativity taking place as some photographers lay on the floor and others stood on chairs to try to portray rather unusual views.
It was ‘Ahoy me hearties’ as the lights flashed and the camera shutters clicked away as the pirates cleverly acted out scenes using props such as swords and pistols. Anyway with great gusto members enjoyed photographing the snarly faces and menacing looks as a variety of situations were acted out.
Many thanks to the ‘Heart of the South West Pirate Crew’ - Wayne, Becki, Rick, Avril and Kirsty for giving up their time and patiently posing so expertly for club members.
Vice Chairman Roly Barth thanked the group on behalf of the club and members showed their appreciation by a rousing round of applause.
Thanks to Kyra Wilson and Steve Burgess who brought along and set up their own studio lighting equipment and Kyra for arranging for the pirates to come and give such an entertaining evening.
Everyone seemed to very much enjoy the evening and hoped that something similar could be arranged in the future. PM
Members can see many of the fantastic pirate photos and also upload their own on the DCC facebook site. Not a member! Then just join facebook (no need to give personal details) and then request to join Devizes group
Images: Top: by Dave Gray Top right: by Craig Purvis Left: by Steve Burgess Right: by Sue Wadman
Click to see more photos taken at the Pirates Studio evening
|'Wonderful World of Macro'||23 October 2018|
Somerset based nature photographer Victoria Hillman BSc MSc has degrees in wildlife, conservation & zoology and so has a very deep knowledge and understanding of the flora and fauna depicted in her images.
As a self-taught photographer she has developed her own unique way of portraying the natural world and continues to experiment with new ideas and techniques which combine nature and visual art. All her images are taken in the wild and she takes great care not to disturb her subjects and nothing is ever moved. With a great deal of patience Victoria can spend hours laying on the ground or inside a bush waiting for just the right lighting on her subject.
Victoria stated that to get the best results with nature photography you need to understand your subject – research the best time and location and re-visit time after time. Learn field craft skills to find the flora or fauna and know their habits. Insects are best photographed early in the morning or evening as they are still roosting and less prone to flight. Always get down level or below your subject and it is less likely to be aware of your presence.
Victoria presented her close up images starting with snowdrops - one of her favourites and then progressing through the seasons to the fungi and lichens of autumn. Taken with natural light with just the occasional use of a small LED light to get light into shadows when needed. The technical details of each image were shown and Victoria explained the use of Macro lenses. Using a wide aperture of f2.8 gives a very shallow depth of field with often just a small part of the subject in sharp focus - the head of a damselfly, the eye of a frog or just a single flower.
Experimenting with the settings until she has just the right amount of diffused detail in the background to give a suggestion of the habitat. Delightful soft and dreamy colours and shapes that complement the subject which is often set very much to the side leaving space to move into.
Using the early morning mist and dew beautiful images are created with the light hitting the water droplets and giving tiny rainbows. Another technique can give a black background using the dark shadows behind the subject with just a shaft of light on the subject. She suggested trying unusual angles to bring out the character in the subject.
With a love of frogs and toads and other small creatures Victoria says look at them in a different way when you next go out photograph them! Take images that tell a story and make people think more about the diverse world we live in.
Victoria prefers to spend as much time as possible outdoors taking her photographs and does very little post processing – just a little cropping and slight contrast adjustments are all that’s needed as everything is done in camera
After five years of research and photography Victoria has published her first book titled ‘Forgotten Little Creatures’ with enchanting illustrations showing the range of incredible species to be found within 40 miles of her hometown of Frome.
Club Chairman Steve Hardman said that he never realised that little critters had such personalities and thanked Victoria very much for her entertaining, informative and humorous presentation and for showing us her very different style of nature photography.PM
Images © Victoria Hillman Top right: Winter Sunrise Snowdrops, Top left:Autumn Mushroom, Bottom right: Leaves of Fire, Bottom left: Peek a Boo:
|Nature Print & Projected Image Competitions||16 October 2018|
|The Annual Nature competitions were judged this year by Eddy Lane ARPS DPAGB EFIAP who is a past President of the WCPF and a national PAGB judge.
Eddy is a very well-travelled and experienced wildlife himself so is an ideal judge to give his opinions on the club’s nature entries. He commented on our clubs ‘strict’ rules which do not allow captive animals and the image cannot have anything removed or added. Eddy said he feels there is nothing wrong with a ‘record shot’ of a ‘bird on a stick’ but nowadays rather more is expected and he prefers to see the creature in its environment and showing its natural behaviour.
Eddy made several comments about subjects appearing too tight in the frame and conversely in some instances the subject had too much unnecessary space around it. Blown out highlights on white feathers was another recurring problem with many images and Eddy suggested stopping down a few stops to avoid the problem. The limited depth of field when using macro lenses was something else to be considered. Also monochrome rarely works with nature subjects as it is their colours that make the picture – some images Eddy thought a little too saturated although this can be a matter of opinion. The projector can sometimes make images appear brighter than the photographer has seen on their own computer screen causing the image to appear too light.
It was very pleasing to see so many new members entering a competition for the first time and many gaining awards.
Starting with the prints Eddy remarked on the high standard and gave very helpful comments on how improvements may have helped the image. He said there were some very amazing entries making decisions on the final awards a very difficult task for him. Finally, ‘Cold Mountain Hare’ above left by Robert Harvey ARRPS EFIAP was awarded first place. Eddy remarked on he could see every hair and the snow was perfectly captured. In close second place was ‘Tree creeper’ right by Tim Tapley LRPS – a new member entering a club competition for the first time. Eddy remarked how difficult it is to photograph tree creepers as they always seem to quickly hide round the back of a tree.
In third place was a striking image of a ‘Hummingbird Hawkmoth’ by Gill Cardy FRPS DPAGB EFIAP.
Highly Commended awards were given to Robert, Tim, Gill and also Kyra Wilson and Richard Atkinson.
After the break Eddy gave his comments on the 59 Projected Image entries.
The very striking image’ Heron feeding on the Thames’ left by Martin Stokes caught the judges eye and was awarded first place. The heron standing in the swirling water was well placed in the frame and even had a newly caught fish in its bill!
Dave Gray had an excellent evening with awards of 2nd, 3rd places and also an HC. The judge remarked on the intelligent looking face looking straight at the camera in ‘Alpha male Chimpanzee’ right which was placed second. The extraordinary behaviour shown in ‘Ants carrying Earthworm’ was something Eddy had not witnessed before and wondered how Dave had even noticed it and awarded it third place.
No less than 17 Highly Commended’s were awarded - a full list is shown below.
Club Chairman thanked Eddy for undertaking the difficult task of judging the fantastic Nature images. The excellent images entered by new members bodes well for the future of the club who has always been known for the very high standard of the nature images.
Thanks to all those who entered the competition and made it such an interesting and inspiring evening. PM
Full results Awarded images can be seen in the Gallery
|‘Urban Exploration to Fine Art: a Photographic Journey’||9 October 2018|
With a very different approach to photography Viveca Koh FRPS travelled from Surrey bringing club members an excellent presentation of thought provoking images. Self-taught Viveca is an artistic and creative photographer always looking new ways to create her images without getting stagnant or complacent.
Together with a group of other photographers interested in urban exploration or UrbEx she gains access to long abandoned asylums, derelict houses and even mortuaries with all the detritus left behind over the years. Taking care not to fall through floors she investigates long dank corridors, mouldy rooms and crumbling staircases looking for interesting subjects. Deep shadows and shafts of light convey the feeling of despair that former inhabitants might have felt.
Viveca concentrates on small details and the history and personal belongings left behind by former inhabitants. Often an insight into a long forgotten era with clothing and personal belongings showing a past era with a special fascination for details that give an insight into life at the time..
Often now using a smart phone to capture interesting details Viveca showed a series of monochrome square format images taken as she explored a house that been left complete with its contents after the deaths of its owners.
Old abandoned industrial buildings with their insight into the work that once took place there provide a lot of inspiration. Reflections in wet floors, old documents, broken windows, dilapidated bathrooms all inspired her.
After the break Viveca showed the set of rather poignant and slightly chilling images that she submitted to the RPS on the subject ‘Birth to Death in an Asylum’
She gained her LRPS in 2010 and then looked for different ways that she could express herself and present her work.
Staying with her interest in graffiti, street art and urban subjects she introduced textures such as peeling paint and rusty metal as overlays to enhance the images.
Giving a painterly feel to her photographs Viveca developed various techniques to make totally unique images. Using blend modes and scanned documents as new layers the image is built up. Colours are de-saturated to give the mood, a distressed border added and other elements introduced to convey the mood of the image.
Two or more exposures can be blended together with subtle shading added often giving completely unexpected results.
Viveca displayed the 15 prints using a variety of techniques that she submitted for her ARPS and explained how members could go about gaining RPS distinctions
(see RPS website for details)
Developing her use of multiple layers and textures Viveca submitted 20 of her very surreal – often abstract images and was awarded the prestigious distinction of FRPS in Visual Arts in 2014
Viveca went on to show some of the 'selfies' that the UrbEx fraternity like to take showing the various buildings that they have photographed - also some cleverly put together multiple image photographs of herself and others.
Chairman Steve Hardman summed up the evening with ' Wow!! '
Poignant, sometimes chilling, inspirational images which opened his eyes to a lot of things.
Thanks Viveca for your very interesting and thought provoking evening enjoyed by all. PM
Images © Viveca Koh FRPS Top: Escape, Centre: Lady of the Bath, Bottom: Tread Softly
|'A Passion for Landscapes'||2 October 2018|
On Tuesday 2nd October, we welcomed Ed Collacott back to Devizes Camera Club to hear his presentation entirled 'A Passion for Landscapes'
Ed started by explaining that he had always been fascinated with landscapes. As a young boy he enjoyed the countryside and would seek out books with landscape pictures. His favoured subjects at school were always Art and Geography. Later, as a young man he taught these subjects at a school where he was able to set up a darkroom as an adjunct to his Art curriculum.
His interest in photography developed to the point when, having left teaching to travel, he decided to try and make a living from his hobby. In his early years he travelled all over the world taking photographs, but over the last 20 or so years his images have been taken while travelling around the UK in his camper van.
The first half of Ed’s presentation concentrated on trees and woodland landscapes taken in all seasons, at different times of day and in varying weather conditions. Most of his images were shown in panoramic format or in a square crop. He explained that these had been taken either with his large format panoramic camera (6x17 cms) or with his medium format camera (6x6 cms). He told us that he does not use either polarising or grad filters, preferring to wait for the right light.
In his early days, he said he concentrated on black & white images and showed us a series of winter woodland images. One, called “Winter Woods”, was his most successful image, while another “Woodland in Mist” was one of his favourites. And there was a series of Winter Oaks taken in his native Suffolk.
He showed us several images of what he called the Salisbury Oak. However, having taken many images over many years from a distance, he eventually met the farmer and was able to walk across the fields to the tree to discover that it was actually a Sweet Chestnut! One of his images was a quadriptych showing the “Salisbury Oak” in each of the four seasons. Another quadriptych was of beechwoods during the four seasons.
There were several images from the New Forest, where he said he loves the variety and structural quality of the trees. There were atmospheric autumnal shots showing moody shafts of light through trees in the mist at dawn. He explained that he often has to wait patiently for the light and the composition to come together. He said the longer you stand in one place in the woods, the more you see in the scene and the more wildlife you will encounter.
Ed also like to photograph autumnal landscapes in places like Ashridge Estate in Herts, Stourhead, and Exmoor. He said that good images can be taken in these places a week or two before the peak of the colours, because fewer leaves will have fallen from the trees and there will be fewer gaps in the composition.
In the second half of the evening, Ed presented images of landscapes from around the UK. He started with some stunning images taken in Bath showing the Royal Crescent, the Circus and the weir at Pultney Bridge.
A wonderful panoramic view of Durdle Door was followed by the cliffs at Burton Bradstock in a storm, before moving on to Rhossili Beach on the Gower, Freshwater West beach in Pembrokeshire and a few shots on the Brecon Beacons. Then we saw a few great images in Snowdonia and the Lake District.
He described a day spent in heavy showers waiting for the promised sunshine before being rewarded with differential lighting and a rainbow over the Langdale Pikes. He also explained that he had avoided taking images of the over photographed Buttermere Pines until one morning he captured them disappearing into the mist, with early morning sunlight catching the mountain top, all reflected in the waters of the lake.
He showed two images of blood-red dawn skies reflected in the seas off Northumberland. One showed Dunstanburgh Castle as a small silhouette on the right and the other a slightly larger silhouette of Bamburgh Castle. Both very dramatic but ultimately fairly simple compositions.
On into Scotland with images taken in Glenco and Rannoch Moor. Ed said that, when he first took photos of Buachaille about 20 years ago, very few people went there and the vegetation was more plentiful. Now, however, thousands of people want to take the photograph and the ground has been trampled and worn.
On Skye, Ed often stays at the Sligachan campsite and he showed a number of dawn and early morning images taken in the vicinity, showing the Red Cullins and Marscoe. He drives up past Ullapool, where he took an amazing shot of a sunlit snowscape while it was snowing. In Sutherland he showed us a rugged landscape, shaped by ancient glaciers with no human habitation to be seen. At Cape Wrath he hiked the five miles to the wild and remote, but beautiful, beaches and dunes of Sandwood Bay.
And finally, he took us to the Outer Hebrides and to Harris in particular. Beaches to rival those in the Caribbean beautifully portrayed by Ed’s camera, a memorable image of a rainbow arch after a hailstorm and lovely sunset over North Uist rounded off a fabulous evening of wonderful landscape images.
In thanking Ed for a great evening’s entertainment, Steve, our Chairman, alluding to the title of the presentation said there was little doubt that Ed certainly has a Passion for Landscapes. A sentiment clearly emphasised by a warm round of applause from the audience. DF
Images © Ed Collacott Top: Magical Dawn, Right: Four Seasons, Centre: Winter Wood Bottom: Forces of Nature,Glencoe
|Challenge 18 - September|
The subject set for photos taken during the month of September was 'Reflections' a chance to look out for anything reflected in water or anything else shiny! Most photos were taken of reflections in water but some tried somrthing a bit different.
Post your photos on our Devizes Camera Club facebook.
|Sixty Years of Club Photography in Devizes!|
|It was recently pointed out that the club has its 60th Anniversary on 30 September.
The club was founded in 1958 and one of the founder members Richard (Dick) Larden and his wife Mary who joined soon afterwards and was Chairman for some years still regularly come to club meetings.
The venue has changed several times – the last being in 2009 with a move to Devizes Sports Club because of a growing membership.
Photography has changed several times during the 60 years from black & white film printed in a darkroom, through colour film and projected colour slides to the present digital age.
The club continues very much to thrive with a present membership of around 60 and with a reputation for a very high standard of photography.
We celebrated our 50th anniversary in style with an event in the Town Hall but 10 years on we had quite forgotten that we had been going for so long.
May the club continue to thrive and welcomes anyone with an interest in photography to join.
|Competition 1 - Open Projected Images||25 September 2018|
The first competition of the 2018-19 season was judged by Clive Greenland LRPS – a member of Corsham Photographic Society.
On his first visit to the club Clive commented that judging an Open competition is always extremely difficult as the entries consist of such a diverse range of subjects and styles.
Giving his critique on each image Clive said after initially looking for correct focus, exposure and good composition - choosing the award winners finally comes down to the impact and the feeling of the image that makes it ‘extra special’.
The judge started by pointing out the best features in each image and then in some cases gave subjective criticism on how the image might have been improved. He would have liked to see a wider view in some of the landscapes and perhaps using a panoramic format would have shown more of the dramatic terrain.
Members might remember a recent club presentation in which it was advised ‘always take at least 3 views of a scene’ which could then have given a choice of formats.
There were many interesting images in the Beginners section with a wide range of subjects.
New club members usually start in this section some being novices - but others have been taking photographs for many years but have yet to gain experience of club competitions.
The judge said that when he first saw the image of an Elan Valley Dam by Craig Purvis (above) he was struck by the impact and knew it was one of best in the section. The lighting and viewpoint were excellent and he awarded it first place.
Clive said it was the expressions on the faces of the four men sitting around in a south American Square that particularly appealed to him in Dan Morrell’s image ‘Laid Back’ which was placed second.
The striking landscape by Roly Barth titled ‘Majestic Patagonia’ was awarded third place with an image of a Barn owl in flight also by Roly gaining a Highly Commended. The Motocross action image ‘Fast and Furious’ by Richard Blackbourne also gained an HC.
Of the many superb images in the Intermediate section the judge found the most impressive ‘Menai Suspension Bridge’ (right) by Martin Stokes. He remarked on the excellent lighting on the bridge structure and the good composition awarding it first place.
Photographing the stars as they moved in the night sky is very tricky but it was captured well in ‘North Star at Knowlton’ by Steve Hardman which was placed second.
The seascape ‘Storm’ was another of Martin Stokes images that the judge picked out it came third in the section. Highly Commended’s were awarded to Steve Hardman and Andy Vick and two landscapes by Sue Wadman both gained awards.
Last but not least came the Advanced section with its diverse range of subjects – landscapes, wildlife, people, architecture and more.
The very cleverly captured image ‘Space Station over Severn Bridge’ by Robert Harvey ARPS EFIAP (left) was awarded first place.
Second place went to Kyra Wilson LRPS with her close up image of the colourful ‘Lackey Moth Caterpillar’. Another of Robert’s images gained third place – this time a superb wildlife image ‘Great-spotted Woodpecker in the Snow’ An image of the Little Sable lighthouse in Michigan by Tim Pier and two Creative images by Pam Mullings were awarded HC’s
In his summing up Clive said sorry but unfortunately according to the club rules he could not give awards to all the excellent images in the competition but for those that missed out this time he advised ‘don’t give up’ just try again another time.
Craig Purvis who was standing in for the club chairman thanked Clive very much for taking time to judge the competition and giving his very helpful comments on each of the images.
Congratulations to all award winners and very well done to all who entered - some for the first time, PM
See the full list of awards All the award winning images can be seen in the Galleries Members can log in to see the points table
|‘Essential Photoshop’||18 September 2018|
Tuesday evening saw the club welcome Allen Lloyd ARPS AWPF for a talk on image processing using Adobe’s Photoshop programme. Allen had travelled over from Caldicot in Monmouthshire, via the Severn Bridge, causing the Chairman to remark that Allen would have to pay to get home!
|Landscape Group Field Trip|
|'Photographing Nature More Creatively’||11 Sepember 2018|
|Professional Wildlife photographer David Boag made a very welcome return to the club to give his presentation on how to be more creative with photography.
With his keen interest in nature David’s first foray into photography was about 40 years when he endeavoured to capture the flight of a kingfisher as it dived into a pool. At that time film cameras were unable to capture such fast speed so David pioneered the use of synchronised flashes and obtained many superb images of kingfisher behaviour.
This resulted in David’s first book and since then he has published many books on a variety of subjects.
David leads safaris to Africa, lectures on cruise ships, broadcasts on radio and television and travels all over the world on photographic assignments.
With his enthusiastic approach David inspired members to look at images in a new way and challenge themselves to come up with new ideas.
Creativity is not about your photographic equipment but using your imagination and capturing interesting images. An image can have all the criteria such as perfect focus and exposure but can still frankly be rather boring.
By understanding the behaviour of wildlife you can get something dramatic rather than a straight dull shot. An example shown was a Kea - which can appear a rather dull looking New Zealand parrot but which when encouraged to leap showed the bright colour under its wings and makes a striking image.
Be persistent and wait for just the right moment to press the shutter. This image of an Osprey was caught just as it was about to take off instead of just an image of 'a bird on a stick'!.
When something interesting catches your eye then don’t just take one photo – take at least 3 using different lenses or finding different angles was David's advice.
The choice of lens is vitally important and David demonstrated the differences using a wide angle or a close up can give subjects taken from exactly the same spot.
A close up can look dramatic on some occasions but including the habitat can show behaviour and give a sense of space.
Look out for foreground interest to lead the eye through the image – diagonals can add drama and complimentary colours and shapes add interest.
Don’t be put off by wet weather or poor light – there is always an image to be had and today’s digital technology can capture sharp images in any conditions. Image stabilisation allows a 300mm lens to be handheld and still get a sharp image.
Get down low and look up as that makes the subject look more important and stand out from the background.
As shown by his exuberant presentation David is an excellent tutor and has expertly made interactive tutorials which can be obtained from his website. His helpful advice on capturing interesting, creative images can be applied to any subject not just wildlife.
See Natural Focus for more information.
Summing up club chairman Steve Hardman said he had learned a great deal from the evening and thanked David very much for his very inspiring presentation.
During the evening Steve welcomed Richard Watson LRPS who had been the clubs chairman for the previous 4 years. Richard was thanked for the contribution he had made to the club and was made a life member and also a bottle of very special whisky that reminded him of the club field trip to Skye. PM
Images © David Boag
|Entering International Salons|
|Devizes Camera Club encourages members to enter their work in external competitions.
The simplest way to do this is by entering digital projected images (DPIs) in international salons (exhibitions) recognised by the Fédération Internationale de l'Art Photographique (FIAP).
There are three English salons between now and the end of 2018 which would be particularly suitable to enter, especially for members who are new to external competitions. They are:
Northern Counties International Salon DPI Classes: Open Colour, Open Monochrome, Nature Travel. Image Resolution: 1400px wide x 1050px high. Closing Date: 8 October 2018.
Smethwick International Salon DPI Classes: Open Colour, Open Monochrome, Nature. Image Resolution: 1600px wide x 1400px high. Closing Date: 4 November 2018.
Yorkshire International Salon DPI classes: Open, Nature, Travel. Image Resolution: 1400px wide x 1050px high. Closing Date: 3 December 2018.
You can enter up to four images in each class by uploading them online. It is often easier to get images accepted in international salons than to win Devizes Camera Club competitions, so why not give it a go? You could enter images that did well in club competitions last season, or images you are thinking of entering this season.
In addition to the kudos of having your entries accepted against international competition, the most successful salon entrant in each calendar year from the club
will be awarded the Ryder Rathband Trophy
|Chairman's Evening - an introduction to the club||4 September 2018|
Club Chairman Steve Hardman welcomed both returning club members and the large number of potential new members who had come along to the first meeting of the 2018-2019 season.
Steve was interested in the reasons why people became interested in photography as a hobby and suggested that to him it had meant seeing the world in a different way and noticing more details. He felt he now very much appreciated the efforts of others and strived to take up the challenge of creating better images.
Whatever the reason it should be fun and enjoyable.
Devizes is one of the leading clubs in the area and is always open to new ideas and suggestions are always welcome.
Steve introduced the committee members – some of which were new to their posts.
Gill Cardy FRPS DPAGB EFIAP was congratulated on her images 'Japanese Crane Dance' right being selected to represent Great Britain in the FIAP International Biennial Projected Nature competition held recently in Oman.
The club has organised landscape and nature group visits to many areas around the UK over the years. Recently day visits had been organised with renowned Nature photographer Nick Upton to photograph Swifts at Lacock, Beavers at a secret location and macro images of insects at Wadswick Common and Green Lane Woods.
Roly Barth gave a presentation about the clubs’ latest weekend visit in May to the island of Skomer off the Pembrokeshire coast.
Arrangements had been made for an overnight stay on the island so as to have the island to themselves after the day visitors departed and to observe the birds and mammals after dark.
The main attraction was the huge colony of Puffins which allow photographers to get up very close to the activities around their underground nests. Images by several members were shown depicting not only puffins but a variety of other seabirds that were abundant on the cliffs. Members were lucky enough to be able to photograph Manx Shearwaters as they flew in to their nest sites complete darkness. Another highlight was to manage to photograph a short eared owl as it flew over. Above: Puffin by Richard Atkinson AFIAP & right: Skomer Sunset by Roly Barth
Club member Kyra Wilson showed 10 of her prints with which she recently gained her LRPS. Kyra explained the process that she followed and the rather daunting judging process in which some of her images were turned down for minor imperfections but which a few months later she was able to correct and on re-submission were passed by the judges. To gain an LRPS the images had to show photographic competence and show a range of subjects and techniques. The next step is an ARPS which Kyra said she might consider in the future.
Left: Little Owl by Kyra Wilson LRPS
Next - some of the members showed some of their images taken during the summer break.
Martin Stokes said he had taken time to plan his images to get the best light with resulting in some excellent images.
Sue Wadman showed some delightful landscapes and Liz Bates a variety of interesting subjects that had caught her eye.
Dan Morrel had taken a 4-month tour of South America and showed just 3 of his well taken images but no doubt we will see more during the season.
After the break where everyone had a chance to chat and catch up a short sequence of images taken at Stourhead by Robert Harvey ARPS EFIAP was shown to demonstrate how a selection of landscape images and some music could be put together into an Audio-Video (A-V) presentation.
Later in the season there is an A-Vcompetition so members are encouraged learn the techniques and have a go and enter their A-V’s.
Club Battle secretary Frank Collins recently went on a photographic tour of Bhutan and brought a small selection of his many images to show. A wide range of photographs from colourfully dressed locals to amazing temples and monasteries, dramatic landscapes and nightscapes together with many red costumed monks. Frank said that until recently there were no internet stations in Bhutan but since their introduction almost everyone including the monks had mobile phones. The terrain was difficult at times and the high altitudes made climbing and moving about rather more difficult than usual. A very rewarding country to visit and enjoy taking images of the amazing scenery. 21st Century Monk by Frank Collins right
After rushing back from giving a presentation at another club - Programme Secretary Robert Harvey just had time to show what an interesting line up of speakers he had arranged for the coming season. See the Programme for full details.
Steve just had time to thank everyone for their contributions for the entertaining evening.
The feedback from newcomers was that they very much enjoyed the evening and were looking forward to future meetings. PM
|Challenge 2018 - August|
|There was a wide range of subjects entered on the subject of 'Movement'
The idea was to encourage members of our facebook group to try out various ways of giving an impression of something moving that could be shown in a still photograph. Nine people had a go with subjects ranging from wind-blown barley to splashing water - birds to flags - star trails to the international space station as it moved across the sky.
A lot of inspiration came from the Devizes Street festival with dancers, fireworks, street performers and the fairground being popular subjects.
Techniques used included double exposure, long shutter speeds and super-imposed images all managing to show movement in one way or another.
The images that got the most 'likes' was by Martin Stokes which showed cloud movement over Shearwater lake at sunset. - right
Thanks to all those who had a go at portraying 'Movement' in one way or another and hopefully had some fun with different ideas.
The subject chosen for the month of September is 'Reflections'
Reflections in water are a popular subject but interesting images can be taken using mirrors, windows or any shiny surface. A chance to try out different ideas and perhaps come up with something a bit out of the ordinary.
To take part join the DCC facebook group (join facebook if not already a member and then apply to join the DCC group)
|Challenge 2018 - July|
|The subject set for the July Photo Challenge was 'A Sign of the Times'
With so much happening in the world and our fondness to say that it wasn't like that in our day this was an interesting - if somewhat challenging subject for the month. What do you think that will be remembered of 2018 or the decade?
Members found this rather difficult to sum up in a photo. Mobile phones constantly in use, dead flowers, a sewage farm and homeless people were some of the rather depressing subjects portrayed.
The heat of the summer was another topic with this rather overcooked chap photographed by Pam Mullings gaining the most 'likes'.
The subject set for the month of August is 'Movement' A chance perhaps to try out different techniques to either capture moving subjects or to try ICM (intentional camera movement)
We had a couple of speakers last season who showed us some of their images - or there are a lot of examples on line. To join in the Challenge go to DCC facebook.
If you are not already a member then first join facebook and apply to join the DCC facebook closed group.
You will also be able to see what fellow members have been up to 'photographically' during the summer break. PM