The Landscape Group Presents ... 20 February 2018   
Dave Gray began the evening with a look back over the last eight years of the DCC Landscape Group. It all began in 2010 when the committee decided that the club would benefit from a special interest group for members with a particular interest in landscape photography.
DG stannageWith his interest and knowledge, Dave was ‘volunteered’ to lead the group and eight years later he is still doing a great job organising visits to scenic places. Robert Harvey ARPS EFIAP is very much involved with the group and is a tremendous asset with his great knowledge of exactly the best place and time of day to get the best light and superb sunrise and sunset views.
SH ashnessMany local field trips have been organised and in recent years, longer, more ambitious visits further afield have been a great success. When on a trip newer members can always ask for advice from the more experienced, thus building up their own skills.
The Group also have indoor meetings once a month where they can see presentations and demonstrations and also get advice on post processing. Everyone is welcome to show their latest landscape images for comment and advice from fellow members.
Dave went on to show some of his photographs taken on group trips which brought back happy memories to many. As landscape photography is always weather dependant it is difficult to plan visits in advance so sometimes photographers have to make the best of what they get on the day. The day was dull and foggy on a visit to Salisbury but nevertheless Dave got an atmospheric image of Salisbury Cathedral in the mist but on other trips the light has been perfect for capturing the scene.
SW breconEarly morning visits have been made to Stourhead to photograph the autumn colour and many local historic sites such as Avebury, Devil’s Den and Silbury Hill have visited at different times of the year resulting in some amazing images. Robert arranged for an after-hours visit to Stonehenge and some members tried astrophotography.
Robert’s knowledge of the coastal tides has resulted in members being in the best places at the best time of day to get superb images. The Brecon Beacons area has been visited several times resulting in brilliant images of the waterfalls including one visit after heavy rainfall when the rivers turned into a torrent. Corfe Castle was another popular visit with members scrambling in darkness up the hill to capture a sunrise and a visit to Dartmoor resulted in dramatic photographs of the Tors.
RH elgolThe first longer stay trip was to the Gower peninsular followed by a trip to Sidmouth; both areas having very photogenic views. During a visit to Cornwall a raging storm resulted in some dramatic images of the crashing waves.  The most popular Group trip was to the Lake District, attended by 29 club members and partners.  That was followed in subsequent years by Dartmoor and the Peak District.
Getting more adventurous a group of 10 stayed on Skye for a week, and were really lucky to have wonderful weather with clear skies. The latest trip was a few weeks ago when 19 members visited the Snowdonia area for a long weekend.
After the break Steve Hardman showed some images taken on the groups visit to Skye in March 2017. Steve knows the area well and so the shared knowledge took members to many classic viewpoints around the region which is a very popular venue for photographers. Sometimes early starts and steep climbs were involved to capture some of the amazing classic views but there were also more easily accessible scenes to photograph. Robert searched for the actual rounded boulder on Elgol Beach that is featured in photographs by Joe Cornish so members could take photographs in exactly the same spot. A detailed account of the visit to Skye and many of the more recent visits can be seen on the Landscape Group website page.

Thanks to Dave for his review of the many interesting Landscape Group trips and to Steve for showing some of the members’ images taken on the memorable visit to Skye. PM
Images: top left - Ashness Bridge by Steve Hardman, top right- Stannage Stones by Dave Gray, bottom right - Brecon Waterfall by Sue Wadman, bottom left - Elgol Beach by Robert Harvey


WCPF Members Exhibition 2018
Club members are invited to enter prints and/or Projected Images for the 2018 Members Exhibition to be held later in the year.
Devizes CC is affiliated to the Western Counties Photographic Federation (WCPF) and any Devizes CC member can enter the competition.
Prints and Projected Images which are accepted for the exhibition will be awarded points in the club's Ryder Rathband Salon Trophy competition.
If you have not entered a Salon before then this is a convenient way to gain experience.
See details below for details of the 3 Print classes and the 4 Projected Image classes and the awards.

Last date for entries is 3 March - Projected Images can be emailed directly and arrangements will be made for prints to be collected from the club nearer the date.
See PDF for more details or visit the WCPF website

'Is Photography Art?' 13 February 2018   
Colin Tracy ARPS came to Devizes Camera Club to ask “Is Photography Art? - or is it imply technique.
Introducing himself, he said he envisaged his presentation as being participatory and started by asking the audience a series of questions: What is Art? Can photography be artistic? What makes it artistic? Does image manipulation make it more or less artistic?

CT reflectionContributions from the audience suggested that, to be artistic, an exhibit should provoke a reaction, should tug at ones’ emotions and should be moving in some way. However, it was pointed out that some “art”, while provoking reaction, did not otherwise affect people emotionally. Examples included Damien Hurst’s work and an exhibit of carpet offcuts at the Guggenheim in Spain. Although, judging by these outburst, there did seem to have been some emotion was involved.
CT abstractColin explained that he has been a Buddhist for about 30 years and that the disciplines imposed through meditation and contemplation have influenced his photography. He tries to be clear-minded in what he sees, looking beyond the object of focus to see things as they really are, in terms of colour, texture, movement and light.

Colin follows a contemplative path to his photography, often capturing spontaneous images as a result of a “flash of inspiration”. Many of these are abstract images that confuse the viewer’s eye as they struggle to see what they are. Colin is often reluctant to tell the story behind the image to the point of refusing to give them titles. He prefers people to react to what they see rather than the mundane explanation of the objects involved.
He showed a number of images to illustrate this issue and asked the audience “How does this image make you feel?”. Reaction to this question showed a certain amount of confusion as different perspectives were expressed from different people. This was particularly true of a monochrome image of swan’s feathers floating on water.
Other images, which Colin did expand on, included close-ups of a gnat on the surface of water in a glass tumbler and a willow leaf embedded in a frozen compost bin (right). A reflection of a tree in a stream in the New Forest (above) was intriguing for the levels of nature it presented. There was light on the orange bed of the stream, objects floating on the surface, the tree in reflection, and beyond that, the blue of the sky.

CT leafTo illustrate that good art, whatever the medium, should show some profundity, he had images of a Koi Carp feeding frenzy, raindrops on a pond with an orange streak (fish?), and a reflection of a tree with a floating leaf appearing to cling to a reflected branch (left).
Colin told us about his Art Exchange project in which he and some artist friends work together and swap ideas and inspiration. They paint from his photographic images and he takes images of their work, juxtaposing them with everyday objects. He, himself, had painted from images he had taken of ponies in a snowstorm (one of his best sellers) and of Carrick Castle.
He showed some creative images, asking if creative photography is more artistic. These included an image of the Earth juxtaposed against a dandelion seed-head, half a dandelion seed-head against a bright red background and close-ups of magnolia leaves presented in a triptych.
When asked about his favorite genre, he said “Whatever catches the eye”. And he certainly showed us a wide range of different subjects, from wonderful moody landscapes and monochrome seascapes through flowers and plants to insects and pictorial images. All of these images had a quality beyond mere technical excellence and illustrated that composition and light help the presentation of an artistic image.
A further series of abstract images leading to his final photo, that of a seated Buddha, brought this fascinating presentation to a close.

The Chairman thanked Colin for sharing his insights with us and suggested that many of the audience will have been inspired to think a little differently about their photography. DF
 
 
Warminster Camera Club Annual Print Day  

Warminster Camera Club invited 5 clubs to join them in the Annual Print Battle held on the afternoon of Saturday 10 February.
The Judge for the competition was Malcolm McNaughton who is a member of Dorchester CC who started off the afternoon by showing the audience a range of his excellent monochrome prints. Malcolm explained that he prefers to produce all his images using a large format camera and unusually for 2018 he uses film and develops and prints his photographs in his own darkroom.
Malcolm said that, rather than saying he ‘shoots, captures or takes’ images he prefers to say that he ‘makes photographs’ taking time to very carefully compose the image before exposing the film. He says - enjoy your hobby and make prints for yourself – prints will probably endure for centuries whereas changes in technology might mean that digital images become obsolete in time.
However when it was time to judge the competition, he went on to say that he has no problem at all judging a competition where all of the images had been taken digitally.  Digital cameras now made it possible for anyone to take photographs and enjoy photography.

Malcolm gave very helpful comments on each of the 60 prints – pointing out where a crop might have improved the image or any distractions removed. He said he had spent a lot of time looking closely at all the entries from the six clubs and that he had changed his mind several times over the winning prints.
Two prints from the Devizes entry were awarded the maximum 20 points ‘Kingfisher Surfacing’ by Robert Harvey ARPS EFIAP and ‘Golden Eagle in Winter’ by Gill Cardy FRPS EFIAP DPAGB - many congratulations to both.
Caddisfly by Peter Ely did well gaining 19 points and ‘Randolf’ by Pam Mullings was awarded 18 points - see the full Devizes CC results below.
Malcolm awarded 20 points to 9 of the prints entered in the competition and then finally chose his favourite which was a print from the Frome Wessex CC entry.
After winning the Trophy four times over the last five years, this year we had to settle for 4th place
Salisbury CC won the Battle this year with Frome Wessex CC second and Calne CC third.

Many thanks to Warminster CC for organising the battle and for their hospitality – not forgetting the large spread of excellent food laid out for the visitors to enjoy. Thanks to Battle Secretary Frank Collins and those who selected our entry and also those members who travelled to Warminster to support the club. PM
Full results

 

Landscape Group trip to Snowdonia 3 - 5 February 2018     
The latest Landscape Group weekend away saw 19 members and partners head for the mountains of Snowdonia, dressed in their winter finery, based at the Royal Victoria Hotel in Llanberis.  Mountain weather is always fickle, but the group found sufficient sunshine over the weekend to bring some sparkle to the photography, even if we sometimes had to go to Anglesey to find it.
DG snowdonMany choose various detours on the drive up from Wiltshire, some going via the Elan Valley dams, others the Mawddach Estuary near Barmouth, while some of the early arrivals headed for the ‘lonely tree’ on Llyn Padarn near Llanberis.  The weather was at this stage dry and cloudy, though with just occasional shafts of sunlight to add some drama to the scene.
DG quarrySaturday was forecast to rain all day, but true to the saying that mountains make their own weather, it turned out sunny on Anglesey and there was just an occasional shower on the mainland.  Those heading for Anglesey visited the Twr Mawr lighthouse on the tidal island of Llanddwyn, or alternatively the South Stack lighthouse near Holyhead.  On the mainland, the dull conditions suited the party who walked around the disused slate quarry at Dinorwic, and marvelled at the ‘barracks’ where quarrymen from outside the area were quartered.

Sunday was altogether different.  The forecast suggested clear skies, and so a large group walked up Snowdon’s Miner’s Track before daybreak as far as Llyn Llydaw.  Clouds initially covering the summits began to clear as the first cold light of day appeared.  There was then a magical 10 minutes or so of quite amazing light, as the first rays of sunshine illuminated first the summit of Snowdon, and then Crib Goch, turning the snow into a kaleidoscope of orange and pink, reflecting in Llyn Llydaw. 

DG lightThe rest of the day was good, with visits made to Llyn Llynnau Mymbyr for the classic view to Snowdon, Llyn Ogwen and Llyn Idwal for views of Tryfan and the Glyders, the Idwal Pinnacles, and then onto Anglesey for shots of Telford’s suspension bridge at sunset, with a backdrop of snow-capped mountains.  Some even found time to go to Conwy Castle for a crossover light shot of the castle over the estuary.

Monday morning couldn’t possibly be as good, although a large group made the steep climb to Llyn Cwmffynnon for reflections of Crib Goch and the Glyders in the still water of the lake.  It was then time to head back to the hotel for breakfast before driving home.
This being February, we also had a full itinerary for the long evenings. 

Friday saw presentations from Robert Harvey and Richard Watson on the local area, and also from Josh Cooper who lives on the southern edge of the National Park. 
Then on Saturday, we had another of Robert’s inimitable quizzes, including the feared but hilarious Just-A-Minute round.

All in all, this was another very successful trip which was enjoyed by all.  Our thanks go especially to Robert and Richard for organising the whole trip, booking the hotel, managing payments and offering their guiding services for photographic vantage points. DG

Images © Dave Gray Top: Snowdon Group from Llyn Llynnau Mymbyr,   Right: Dinorwic Quarry,       Bottom: Golden Light on Snowdon and Crib Goch
 
 
Competition 3 Projected Images - Portraits 6 February 2018   

Club Chairman Richard Watson welcomed Beryl Heaton ARPS EFIAP CPAGB who judged the competition and was visiting Devizes CC for the first time. This was the first time the club had a competition for portraits for many years so it was interesting to see what images members would enter.  Although not a huge number of members entered - each competition section MS Madelinemanaged to have some excellent images.

Starting with the Beginners section Martin Stokes captured an image of an attractive singer dressed in 40’s style titled ‘Boogie Woogie Madeline’(left). The judge said that the photographer caught the moment well with an uncluttered background. Another 40’s style image by Martin of a singer in a trilby hat was awarded an HC with the judge commenting on the sepia toning and the good presentation.
A rather glum looking model inspired the amusing title ‘Did you eat my last Rolo?’ by David Eagle and it was placed second in the section.
The judge liked the pose and the lighting.
Another retro image – this time a monochrome of a pretty young lady titled ‘Flawless 40’s’ gained Craig Purvis third place.

Moving on to the Intermediate section, an image of a beautiful young model by Sue Wadman was awarded first place.
Titled ‘Holly’ (right) the judge liked the relaxed pose and the studio lighting.
SW HollyA photograph of ‘Charlotte’ - another interesting young lady by Sue was awarded third place.
The characters found in the Caribbean inspired the portrait titled ‘A Lifetime in Cuba’ by Stephen Burgess – the judge remarked that the subtle colours of the background and the man’s clothing complimented each other and awarded the image second place. An HC went to ‘A Twenty will do Nicely’ - another Cuban image by Stephen depicting a typical cigar smoking character from the region.
PM hatVery different was Andy Vick’s ‘Lords Trip’ with the profile of a young lad enjoying a cricket match which also was awarded an HC.

A monochrome image ‘Man in a Fur Hat’ (left) by Pam Mullings was placed first in the Advanced section with the judge remarking on the detail shown in the fur and the uncluttered background.
In second place was another characterful portrait ‘Turkistan Gentleman’ by Pam – this time a coloured image with the judge liking the complimentary colours of the background and the man’s clothing.
Another portrait by Pam – this time of ‘Esme’ - an attractive young lady was awarded an HC.
The colourful costume and the character shown in the face gained ‘The Story teller’ by Richard Atkinson AFIAP third place. Four more images in the Advanced section were awarded HC's - see the full list below.

Congratulations to all the award winner and thanks to all who entered
There were some very interesting images entered in all of the sections but in many cases the judge felt that some would have been better cropped tighter as the emphasis should be on the face in a portrait competition. The lesson to be learned when taking portraits is to try to avoid distracting backgrounds by perhaps moving to a better position or removing them in post editing.
Also check that the colours of the background and clothing all compliment each other to give a harmonious overall effect.

Thanks to Beryl for giving such positive and helpful feedback on all the entries and for travelling from Bristol on such a cold and snowy evening. PM

                                                       Full results                                             All the awarded images can be seen in the Galleries

 

Challenge 2018

CW feather
The subject set for January was 'Detail' and many club members posted their images on Devizes CC facebook.
The 'Challenge' is for members pick up their cameras or phones and take a photo during the month that fits the chosen subject.
It's always surprising what members come up with - this month we had a wide range from boiling mud to sweet wrappers, a blue car door handle to a dozing duck and a computer hard drive to teasels.
Members sometimes find that they need a bit of inspiration especially during the winter months so having a 'Challenge' often results in some interesting images.
The favourite January image was Caroline's raindrops on a feather shown left which was taken with a phone. An excellent image which probably would not have been taken if Caroline hadn't been looking around for something to fit the subject 'Detail'

The subject chosen by Caroline for the month of February is 'New Beginnings' so members - please get thinking and post your photos in the facebook Album.

If you are not yet a member then apply to join Devizes CC facebook as it is a good way for members to share photos and communicate with each other on photographic topics. PM

 

Light on the Wiltshire Landscape 30 January 2018   
This week we welcomed Stephen Davis to the Devizes Camera Club to hear his talk entitled Light on the Wiltshire Landscape. Stephen had travelled right across Devizes to share his photographic love affair with the Wiltshire countryside, especially that within easy reach of a curtain twitch on a day with enticing light.
SD aveburyHe told us that he moved to this area about 20 years ago and joined Wiltshire Wildlife Trust about 6 years ago. He has always been a naturalist and enjoys exploring meadows and woodland in search of landscapes, wild flowers, trees and butterflies. He said he likes making prints and tries to envisage the finished output at the time of planning and taking his images. Stephen explained that his presentation would follow the year from January to December and that the majority of the images were taken in the Pewsey and Marlborough Downs area.
True to his word, his first images were of Avebury Stone Circle in the January frost with dramatic skies. (left)
He followed this up with some snow scenes taken in Savernake Forest in 2013. He stated that we don’t often get a good amount of snow these days and advised us to get out quickly when snow does settle as it is likely to have melted by lunchtime!
Martinsell is one of his favourite spots when there is mist in the Vale. He showed us several excellent images and explained that he often likes to take this sort of landscape image with his 70-300 lens because different zoom lengths can provide a completely different feel to the same scene. Other images from February and March included Starling murmurations at Lavington vedette and Silbury Hill with a fabulous dawn sky.
SD locksIn April, Stephen was in the Pewsey Vale with an image of Woodborough Hill. He confided that the field around the clump of trees was a haven for Green Winged Orchids in the first two weeks of May. He showed us several images of Fritillaries taken at Clattinger Farm, explaining that he liked to have just one flower in sharp focus with the rest, in front and behind in soft focus. He also had images of Marsh Marigolds, taken at Drew’s Pond, Bluebells at Gophers Wood and West Wood, and Wild Garlic taken near Castle Coombe.
For June and July he had several images of wild flower meadows, especially extolling the virtues of Clattinger Farm meadows as some of the best in the country. In August, a time that he  regards as the worst of the year for photography, he had a lovely image of stooks of corn (left)  and returned to Martinsell to take some more misty images at 300mm. In September, he headed for Caen Locks shortly before the equinox, to capture golden light in the mist at the bottom of the flight.(right)
SD stooksFor October, he had a wonderful sunrise image taken through some trees across the road from Silbury Hill. Then there were a series of lovely compositions with autumn colours taken in Savernake Forest. He showed us a wonderful sunrise image taken at Langford Lakes and by December we were back in the Pewsey Vale with some original shots taken from the Pewsey Downs between Oare and Walkers Hill. Stephen ended his talk back where he started with some more stunning images with dramatic skies taken at Avebury.
During the break we had an opportunity to take a closer look at many of the images he had presented displayed as prints.
After the break, Stephen showed us samples from Wiltshire Wildlife Trust’s book, entitled Wild Wiltshire, on which he and 12 other photographers had collaborated. Some of the memorable shots, amongst a range of stunning images, included a Sparrowhawk, taken from the photographer’s kitchen window; Pewsey Vale in the snow, taken from Walker’s Hill; a fiery Firecrest; Waxwings taken in a car park in Wroughton; and swans, deer and otters taken at Lower Moor Farm.
A lively ‘question and answer’ session followed Stephen’s presentation during which it was clear that the audience had been inspired by Stephen’s images. When asked where is favourite location was, Stephen tactfully said that different places gave him different pleasures. His  list of favourites WWT reserves included Clattinger and Lower Mill Farms, Jones Mill, Morgan’s Hill, Coombe Bisset Down, Ham Hill and Conigre Mead.
The Chairman thanked Stephen for an inspiring evening and the audience backed that up with a warm round of applause.DF
 
 
GB Cup Results 2018   

RH kingfisher Devizes CC entered the 2018 GB Cup Open and Nature Projected Image competitions. These competitions are held annually by the Photographic Alliance of Great Britain who organise photographic events for photographic Clubs in England, Scotland, Wales & Northern Ireland.

RW Fairy GlenThe competition is judged during January by 3 judges who can each award up to 5 points for each image.
In the Open competition we scored a total of 154 points for our 15 images and finished 50th out of the 75 clubs who entered which was slightly higher than last year. Our top placed image was ‘Fairy Glen’ (left) by Richard Watson LRPS with a score of 13.
Sue Wadman and Robert Harvey ARPS EFIAP both did well with scores of 12.

In the Nature competition we entered 19 images and were placed 35th out of the 88 clubs who entered.
Highest scoring image was ‘Kingfisher with Catch’(right) by Robert Harvey with Dave Gray, Gill Cardy, Richard Atkinson all having images scoring 12 points.
The club scored a total of 116 points from the top 10 images which counted towards the result which was higher than the 109 scored last year.

Thanks to Battle Secretary Frank Collins for organising the club's entry and for to those members who chose the images to be entered.

See the results

 

 
Landscape Print & Projected Image Competitions 2018 23 January 2018   

The judge for the 2018 Annual Landscape Competitions was John Tilsley ARPS DPAGB APAGB who travelled from Dorchester. John is a very experienced judge and is himself a very competent landscape photographer and when he saw the glorious sunrises and sunsets depicted in many of the entries he quipped that it usually rains whenever he goes to photograph landscapes! RH wembury
It was no surprise that many entries showed classic scenes taken in the Isle of Skye as the club had a group visit to the area last year and were lucky to experience wonderful weather. John knew first hand many of the locations so knew how difficult it can be to wait to get the best light to show the landscape at its best. John remarked on the magnificent skies members had managed to portray in many of the images.
There were seventeen print entries and John remarked on the high standard. Most of the images depicted the glorious scenery found in Scotland but there were a few from other parts of the world as well. It is always difficult for a judge to choose the final winners and John joked that he would only delight those entrants whose images were awarded first place!  John had looked through the entries in great detail and gave very helpful comments on each image but he preferred to wait until he saw the prints under the print stand lights to decide on his order of awards.
SH sunriseFinally, a dramatic Devon seascape titled ‘Wembury Point’ (right) by Robert Harvey ARPS EFIAP was chosen as the judge’s favourite print. John commented on the dynamism shown in the image and the way the light enhanced the dramatic foreground rocks and the slow shutter speed used to give a sense of drama to the waves.
In second place was ‘Sunset over Sgurr Nan Gillean’ (left) by Steve Hardman with the judge stating that the glorious colours in the sky gave a remarkable effect. Third was another Skye image – this time ‘Early Light, Old man of Storr’ by Dave Gray. Two prints by Robert was also awarded Highly Commended and Gill Ford Pier the third HC.
RH buttermereThere was a good entry for the Landscape Projected Image Competition in which images had to be taken in the British Isles. Again many of the 35 images entered were from the group visit to Skye
with some of the images taken from very similar viewpoints so John waited to see how the images appeared when projected to make his final judgement.
Again Robert gained first place with ‘Buttermere at Dawn’ (right)  – this time a tranquil scene taken in the Lake District which the judge described as having a beautiful subdued lighting.
TP cloudsSecond place went to ‘Passing Clouds at the Quirang’ (left) by Tim Pier with the judge remarking on the superb lighting on the interesting rock strata.
Third place went to Robert with ‘Durdle Door at Sunset’ which perfectly captured the setting sun through the rock arch with the whole shoreline of Swyre Head.
Nine images were Highly Commended with one each going to Robert and Tim, two going to Dave Gray, two to Sue Wadman and one to Caroline Wright.
Special mention goes to Roly Barth for his HC for a delightful local scene of winter trees. Roly is in the Beginners section having only fairly recently joined the club. Very well done to all.

Robert was presented with both the Silver Birches Print Trophy and the Derrick Turner Memorial Trophy for Projected Images by John Tilsley. Many congratulations to Robert who retained both of the landscape trophies he was awarded in 2017.
Thanks to John for taking such time and trouble looking through all the landscape entries and giving his comments and judgement.
Thanks to Caroline for sorting the entries and running the competition and also thanks to all the entrants who showed us such a range of stunning landscapes. PM

   Full results                                                     All the awarded Landscape images can be seen in the Galleries

 

Photographic Competition that members might be interested in  
Oxford Brookes University 'Think Human'  Photography Competition.
Photographers of all ages, backgrounds and experience levels are invited to enter their best images for a chance to win, and entry to the competition is free.
The competition is now open for entries and runs until 31st March 2018.
The four themes are: IdentityEmpowermentProvocation or Empathy. 
There are three competition categories, with prizes of £50 each. The overall competition winner will receive a prize of £100.   details




 
'The Secret Forest' 16 January 2018   
There was a very good turnout at the Camera Club to welcome Betty and Tony Rackham (both FRPS) for their presentation entitled The Secret Forest. During the club’s introduction it was mentioned that both Tony and Betty had been photographers most of their lives, starting out on a Box Brownie.
Betty started by saying that both she and Tony had been brought up in the New Forest, had been to school there and ended up lecturing at Brockenhurst College, where Tony became Head of Technology and Betty Head of Photography.
Tony RackhamShe gave us a potted history of the Forest’s existence, explaining the various influences that had made it what it is today. From Saxon times, when it was just common land; through William the Conqueror, who enclosed it as a hunting forest; its use as a resource for timber in the middle ages; and the re-establishment of common rights in the 19th century.
Betty explained that she and Tony would take it in turns to show various habitats in the New Forest and give us a close-up view of flora and fauna that most people would miss. She started with Ponds and said that, while you can see some unusual plants in these habitats, some are wild and others have been introduced and cultivated. We saw images of Royal Fern, which has clearly been planted on the edge of some ponds as ornamental features, but has also managed to establish itself in other areas as a wild plant. She said that white water-lilies are usually wild, but pink ones will have been introduced. She showed us close-up images of unusual and, in some cases, rare plants, including Burr Reed, Water Horsetail, Lesser Spearwort, Frog-bit, Bog Pimpernel and Pillwort.
Tony took over to talk about Streams and Rivers and Boggy Areas. He started with an image of baby Pond Skaters, followed by one of a forest of red Damsel Flies mating above a section of water weed. He then went on to say that many plants in these wet areas are insect eating because of the poor quality of the soil. He illustrated this with a series of images of various Sundews, including the English Sundew, which is larger than other sundews and, other than the New Forest, is more normally found in Scotland. Also Bladderwort, which catches organisms under water and Common Butterwort, which normally grows on mountains and whose leaves fold over insects that land on them.
There was a series of images of Gentians which, he said, flower in profusion some years and do not appear in others. Studies have suggested that the plants are there each year but do not always flower. Tony then presented an image showing that Brown Moth Caterpillars like to eat the buds and wondered whether this might be an explanation.
As the first half drew to a close, it had become clear that some plants that grow in the New Forest are not found anywhere else in England. This was again illustrated by Tony with an image of Club Moss which is rare and normally grows in mountains such as the Alps.
Betty began the second half talking about Plantations and Ancient Ornamental Woodland. She explained that, over many years conifers had been planted in stands amongst the ancient deciduous trees, but that this practice is being scaled back. She showed us some lovely images of woodland in autumn, together with pictures of coppiced Alder, Chestnuts, Crab Apples, ferns in the frost and flowering gorse covered in snow.
She also had shots of lichen in the autumn and a whole series of different fungi. Betty lamented the fact that many people come into the Forest and pick large numbers of fungi, perhaps to be used in the restaurant trade. She expressed her concern that this could prevent plants from reproducing and lead to a serious reduction in numbers and even extinction of some species.
Tony took over to talk about Heath and Lawns. He explains that some of the heathland had been cleared of undergrowth to provide Lawns of grass for the ponies and donkeys to graze on. In some areas the heather is beginning to re-establish itself. In these habitats we saw images, not only of pony and donkeys, but also various species of deer and reptiles. He was keen to tell us that 10% of adders in the New Forest are black adders.
 
Tony likes to take images of the Forest floor in close-up - what he calls “Fragments of Nature”. He shared some of these, including Nail Fungus, Heather florets and a lichen that presents tiny red fruiting bodies in winter.
During questions at the end, they were asked whether they have seen evidence of widely publicised plant diseases such as Ash dieback. Tony answered that, while some evidence can be seen from time to time, the plants usually recover well and the problem is not wide-spread anyway. Betty suggested that the biggest danger to the well-being of the Forest is the number of people that visit and their behaviour.
During the evening, it was clear that both Tony and Betty have a passion for the New Forest and their enthusiasm and knowledge made this a very entertaining evening. The audience showed their appreciation with a warm round of applause and, as they were leaving, could be heard discussing the excellent prints that had been displayed. DF
 
 
'Oh Yeah!' 9 January 2018   
 
Club members who have seen Robin Gregory’s presentations before knew that they were in for a very entertaining evening. RG eveLike no other photographer both Robin’s images and his chat are really something different. Robin has an imagination like no other – he changes an ordinary image into something special – he calls it ‘doodling’.  Using layers, textures, blend modes and brushes he plays around in Photoshop until an extraordinary image emerges.
Robin uses miniature figures to great effect – posing them in various situations, taking photos from many angles often using a tilt lens effect and then adding backgrounds and effects. Another prop Robin often uses is a doll that he bought second-hand for £10 – she has ragged red hair and is RG Inposed clothed and sometimes unclothed in improbable situations – her face often altered using warping techniques to give odd expressions but the results are amazing.

Robin photographs all sorts of rather strange subjects with a view that they may be useful one day to include in an image. ‘The present Mrs. Gregory’ has a lot to put up with as she is often asked to pose in rather odd situations and to make her scream Robin deliberately put a Lego brick for her to tread on resulting in the agonised facial shot he wanted!
A photo of a models face or body can be digitally manipulated, objects and backgrounds added until he is happy with the result. Extreme digital noise is often added to give portraits a dreamy quality. Robin said always check the direction of the light and the colour tones when using multiple images together – the result should look seamless.
Robin demonstrated some of his tips and tricks and in some cases AV’s showed step by step the processes he went through to create some of his images.
Music is a great influence and whisky also helps a bit with the creative process! We were treated to music of various genres when Robin’s showed some of his clever AV’s – often a very simple idea such as his matchsticks but with amusing results.
Street photography is another interest and Robin has the knack of finding interesting subjects both human and architectural in all sorts of odd places that others would miss. Often building would appear in completely different surroundings such as the telephone box on top of a hill, a church taking off like a rocket and a rhino grazing in a Bath street
Robin has won many acceptances and awards in Salons for his unusual images. He says judges often do not understand or miss the point in his images but he just laughs to himself as he creates the images for his own pleasure so what others feel does not really matter.
Thanks once again Robin for giving us a thoroughly hilarious and thought provoking evening in your very own inimitable style. PM
Images © Robin Gregory  Left: 'In and then Out' right: 'Eve'


Projected Image League-results   9 January2018     

RH Arctic lightCompetition Secretary Caroline Wright has done all the calculations for last weeks Projected Image League Competition and Richard Watson LRPS read out the results at the meeting.
(See last weeks write up about the competition below)
Robert Harvey ARPS EFIAP was declared the winner of the Hewitt Cup Trophy and Robert's set 'Arctic Light' was the set with the most points - an image from the set of 5 shown right.
Robert's other two landscape sets  'Through the Arch' and 'Lake District in Autumn' were placed among the top seven sets.
Tim Pier was in second place and Dave Gray in third place.  
Special mention of Craig Purvis in 4th place, Heather Collins in 8th and Bruce Chappell in 10th place who are all from our Beginners section so very well done to those. 
Sixteen members entered 3 sets each so there were 48 sets awarded points out of 10 by fellow members.

Top 10 results & top 28 sets            Images of the top placed sets from the top 10 photographers.

 
Projected Image League 2 January 2018   

Club Chairman Richard Watson LRPS welcomed members back after the Christmas break. It was a shame less members than usual were present but maybe the wet and windy weather was to blame or some may still have been getting over the New Year or maybe just forgot it was a Tuesday but anyway they missed seeing some excellent images.
There were 48 sets of members images entered with a wide range of subjects. A well as the more usual stunning landscapes from Britain and around the world there were many sets of  nature images including birds and insects. There were also some rather more unusual subjects including horse racing, a car on fire, big boys toys and even telephone boxes!
Wells Cathedral, Oslo Opera House, London and night shots of beautiful Ghent and Bruges were some of the architectural subjects. 
Altogether there were 240 individual images for those present to see. After each set of 5 images were projected members were asked to score the set out of ten taking into account the quality and presentation of the images, the appearance as a set and how well the images fitted the title. The results of the competition will be announced next week as the calculations have to be worked out. Scores for each set have to be averaged and each entrants 3 sets have to be added together to finally give the winner of the Hewitt Cup.
Thanks to all the members who put their sets of images together and entered the competition.

During the evening members were able to see the club’s entries chosen for the forthcoming Battles. Robert Harvey ARPS EFIAP explained the merits of each image and how the battle entries are selected. Images for the Battles came from members of all 3 sections of the club with about club 18 members represented.  Battles entered are the Western Counties Digital Projected Image Competition (DPIC), the GB Cup Open and Nature Competitions which is a National Photographic competition for clubs from throughout Britain and Warminster Camera Club annual print competition. Hopefully the judges like the images  that the club has selected and we do well in the Battles which take place during February.  PM

 

Salon Results for 2017
RH orchidCongratulations to Robert Harvey ARPS EFIAP for retaining the Ryder Rathband trophy for the forth year in a row.
The Trophy is presented annually to the club member who gains the most acceptances in Salons.

RH snow moonSince the last Salon update Robert has been awarded a PSA Ribbon for his image 'Monkey Orchid' (right) in the Nature section of the Smethwick International Salon. The Monkey Orchid is a very rare in the UK and is unusual in that the flowering spike opens from the top.
Robert was awarded an NCPF ribbon for 'Snow Moon, Oks Fjord' (left) in the Northern Counties International Salon Photo Travel section.
Robert has recently gained 23 acceptances in the Greek Olympic Circuit and 4 acceptances in the Yorkshire International. During the year Robert has been awarded a total of 94 acceptances in Nature, Travel and Open categories.

During 2017 Richard Atkinson AFIAP has 27 acceptances and Kevin Ferris LRPS, Hilary Eagles and Gill Cardy FRPS EFIAP DPAGB have all gained acceptances during the year. Very well done to all.
Thanks to Richard for compiling all the results. There is more information about how to enter Salons on the website see Salons

Full results for 2017 pdf.
 
 
New Year 

Look out for Challenge 2018 - a different subject each month to inspire you to go out and find something new to photograph during the month.
Subject for January is 'Detail'  Members can post their  images on the DCC facebook. If you have not viewed the club facebook then have a look now and request to join.

In 2016 the club ran a weekly ‘challenge’ which many members enjoyed and produced many interesting images that they might otherwise not have taken.
For 2018 members suggested that a monthly challenge would give more time to explore each topic. The idea is to take new photos during the month and post your best 5 in the monthly Album. Join in and you may be inspired to go out of your 'comfort zone' and try something a bit different! You may not have taken many photographs lately so you may be inspired to dust off your camera (or phone), find new subjects indoors or out, experiment with new ideas and above all have fun!!

We invite constructive criticism and you can ‘like’ your favourites. The top 3 most ‘liked’ mages by members will be shown on the club website and the winner might like to choose the next subject. 


New on the website is a 'What's On' Calendar on the Programme page - this shows local events that photographers might be interested in and locations where interesting subjects might be found. Please send in any information you might have on local photographic events and venues of interest to others to add to the page.

 

Christmas Knock-out Competition                                                                                                                                                            19 December 2017   
SB CaterpillarCP thinkerThe last meeting of 2017 was the Christmas knock-out – a light hearted competition where the images entered are knocked out one by one until just the winner is left.
Master of ceremonies was as ever Frank Collins who donned his Santa suit once again for this annual event. Frank explained to new members that they would have a good work out during the evening as they needed to raise their arms time and time again to choose either the left or righthand  image as they were randomly projected.

Twenty-five of the club members entered five images each which were projected in pairs – members present had to choose which of the two images they preferred and the one with the most hands up went through to the next round and the losing image disappeared never to be seen again.

With 125 images to look at there was a wide variety of subjects with many interesting images which had not been seen in competitions before. It was an excellent competition for members to try out new ideas and see how well they are received by fellow members.

Often two very good images came up together but one had to go - so sadly many of the best images never made past the first round. JR lightOn a few occasions the hands counted were exactly the same for each of the two images so then Frank stepped in and had the final say.
Those that had the biggest show of hands went on to the subsequent rounds until it was down to sixteen then eight and then the last four.

SW sunsetFinally, the favourite image was chosen and it was a monochrome portrait of a pensive looking orang-utang titled ‘The Thinker’ by Craig Purvis. (top left)
In second place was a striking close up of a Buff Tip Moth Caterpillar(right) by Steve Burgess. Third was another monochrome – this time of a silhouetted figure titled ‘Into the Light’ (left) by Janet Rutter and forth was a glorious sunset over Eilean Donan Castle (right) by Sue Wadman.

Well done to all who entered and to those whose images proved to be the most popular.
Gifts were handed to the two top winners by club Chairman Richard Watson shown below with Frank and Craig.

The evening finished with members enjoying the fine spread of festive food.

Thanks to Frank for hosting the evening and to Dave Gray who vey ably used Lightroom to randomise the images and display them in pairs on the screen. PM
knockout  Next meeting is on Tuesday 2 January 2018 when we have the members Projected Image League
- another competition where members can vote for their favourite sets of images.

New members always welcome - just come along and see what the club has on offer for those interested in photography. See Programme for forthcoming topics and About-us for information about joining the club.

  Wishing all our members all the very best

   for Christmas and the New Year

 

Monochrome Print and Creative PI Competitions

12 December 2017 
PM RandolfThe judge for the two competitions was Tony Byram EFIAP ARPS AWPF DPAGB who travelled to Devizes from Bristol on a very cold evening.
It was an evening of contrasting images with the monochrome prints tending to be more traditional and the creative digital images more imaginative.
Commenting generally on the monochrome prints Tony said that he looks for a wide range of tones with a good contrast but some of the prints entered appeared rather all over grey.
EndangeredThere should be detail in the darkest areas and a good balance of light and shade. A few prints looked rather dark and lacked ‘sparkle’ Tony commented but however other prints were praised for their sharpness and good range of tones.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

He rounded off an extremely entertaining evening by saying that, in order to obtain good images of insects, you need to get to know your location well and keep going back time and again. Get to know what insects will be around at what time of year and in what weather conditions. And he acknowledged the help he gets from his dog, Benson.
Following a number of questions from the audience, the chairman thanked Johnnie for a great presentation and led a warm round of applause. I would add that it is well worth visiting Johnnie’s website at johnnierogerbsphotography.com to view his wonderful images. DF
 
Open Print Competition 1   28 November 2017   

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

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

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

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

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

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

Full results                                               The awarded images can be seen in the Galleries.

 

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

 
 
Calne Multi-Club Annual Digital Battle 20 November 2017   

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

 

Throw Away the Tripod' 14 November 2017   

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

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

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

 

'An Evening with Charlie Waite'  11 November 2017   

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

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

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

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

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

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

Charlie Waite's website

CW 2CW 1CW 3

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

 

Competition 2 Open Projected Images - results 7 November 2017   

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

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

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

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

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

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


 

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Full results     The awarded images can be seen in the Galleries 

 

Landscape Photographer of the Year competition

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

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

 

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

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

Congratulations Gill for winning this very prestigious competition.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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