Our Members Present  ... 17 April 2018   
Members of the club were asked to give a short presentation of their work, their thoughts and the way they approach their photography.
There are many different ways that photographers prefer to work – some are very methodical and pre-plan every detail before taking a photograph while others just get inspired by something they just happen to come across.
DF elephantsStarting off the evening David Fraser presented a selection of his excellent photographs taken on a four-day safari to a private reserve on the edge of the Kruger National Park in South Africa. Travelling in an open topped vehicle with a driver and a tracker David and his wife were delighted to see a pride of fifteen lions on their foray into the bush. 
DF leopardUsing a 100 – 400 mm and at times a 28 – 125 mm lens David found that the image stabilisation worked very well and gave excellent results. At times when using the larger lens elephants came so close to the vehicle that he had difficulty fitting them into the frame! Close up mother and baby elephant right.
David and his wife manages to see all of the ‘big five’ during their visit including superb views of a stunning leopard left as it rested on a turmite mound.
They were able to follow a pack of the elusive wild dogs as they hunted, saw spotted hyenas and their cubs and once when rushing through the bush a group of rhinos were startled and looked for a moment as if they might charge.
On one of the days the guide was asked to look out for birds and David managed to photograph many of them including colourful Bee Eaters, Lilac Breasted Rollers and a Crested Barbet.
On safari often you have to be prepared to take your photographs very quickly or you may miss the action.
Thanks to David for giving an insight into his interesting safari and his animal encounters.

PM silenced
Next on a very different topic Pam Mullings spoke about her interest in photographing interesting characters that she came across in the street or at events. No image is pre – planned but taken just when the opportunity arises and someone or something interesting is seen. it is most often a ‘grab shot’ so there is usually no chance to get the subject in a better position or against an uncluttered background so  images usually need quite a lot of editing to give a pleasing result. Using a bridge camera with a 25-400 zoom lens subjects are usually unaware they are being photographed and so behave naturally rather than posing for the camera.
Showing the ‘before’ and then ‘after’ images Pam showed how she removes unwanted background distractions and then using editing software manipulates the images. With an idea in mind images are altered to give the desired effect and often combined with other photographs to give a composite image. Using layers and a lot of trial and error, new techniques are always being tried out. Textures and layer blends are often used to give interesting effects. An example of an image as taken and then the final edited image is shown right. 
Always wanting to create something new - her finished images are usually something rather different and unique.

 
RW magnoliaClub chairman Richard Watson LRPS rounded off the evening by showing images taken by photographers that inspire him.
The deceptively simple flower photographs by Sue Bishop are some of Richard’s favourites, usually with a shallow depth of field, subtle combinations of colour and a delightful creative style.
The atmospheric landscapes of Mark Littlejohn use various techniques such as split toning, radial filters and gradients to enhance the mood. The results make the landscapes look almost like paintings and yet still retain all the detail of the photograph. 
Another landscape photographer is Finn Hopson whose images of the South Downs inspire Richard to take more photographs of the Wiltshire hills and downland with their interesting contours.
The almost abstract images by Valda Bailey often use double exposures – another technique that Richard would like to explore further.
See images by these photographers on their websites.

Richard explained that he has not had much time for photography recently but still manages to take anything that inspires him during his working day. He then went on to show a few of his own photographs – mostly taken and edited using his phone which gives excellent results.
An old overgrown farm trailer made an interesting subject and Richard said he would like to make a series of similar monochrome images in the future.
Close up of a magnolia flower by Richard shown left.
 
 
Innovation Projected Image Competition: Smartphone images 10 April 2018   
On her first visit to Devizes CC the judge Linda Meaton remarked that she had never judged a competition for phone images before – well we have never had one before!
Linda has many years’ experience in computer aided design and visualisation and gave very good advice on how some of the entries might have been improved. Enjoying architectural and street photography herself she explained how strong leading lines help the viewer into the image. Sometimes an image would have been improved if the photograph had been taken from a slightly different angle so as to avoid background clutter or avoided cutting off elements of the image.
RB dandelionMembers were asked to send in images taken on a smartphone on which the technology has improved immensely but there are still limitations on the settings that can be changed on a phone. Usually the ISO and F stop is set and the focus is automatic and they cannot shoot in RAW - but never the less many have built in software to crop or add contrast etc. The images for this competition could be downloaded and Photoshop used to do enhance the images.

When Linda took her first look at the Beginners entries she was astonished at the high quality and said that it bodes well for the future of the club. There were some very interesting subjects in the 9 entries – street scenes, telephone boxes and a colourful sunset. Linda chose ‘Dandelion’ left by Roly Barth for first place. A very well taken and unusual close up image which showed great detail. Roly also was awarded an HC for his image ‘Poppies’
DL Holte EndSecond and Third places both went to Heather Collins – the judge commented that ‘Going Underground’ which was an image taken of an escalator showed good leading lines and ‘Cranes’ had many interesting angles and a good range of colours.

In the Intermediate section David Lock was awarded both first and third places –
‘The Holte End’ right was a monochrome image of the roof of a stadium with many interesting angles and ‘Balloon Fest’ captured the colour and atmosphere of the event.
In second place was Sue Wadman’s well seen close up image titled ‘Knot so Much Detail’

RW rainThe Advanced section had a wide range of interesting images from beautiful highland landscapes to well caught street scenes. A monochrome by Richard Watson LRPS was placed first depicting raindrops on hosta leaves titled ‘After the Rain’ left. Linda said it was a perfect subject for monochrome and the angles of the leaves were well placed. Richard also was awarded an HC for ’Running Away’ another monochrome with a small child heading off on his own along a path.
‘Light and Shade in Edmondsbury’ by Frank Collins depicted a corner of a church interior with interesting patterns of light falling on the stonework and was awarded second place. In third place was another monochrome – this time of woodland trees in snow titled ‘Mist and Snow on Roundway’ by Caroline Wright. Caroline was also awarded an HC for a colourful image of an old boat.

Club chairman Richard Watson thanked the judge for coming from Portishead to judge our phone competition and giving her helpful comments on all the images.

After the break some of the winning entries from the WCPF 2017 Audio – Visual competition were shown including one from club member Robert Harvey ARPS EFIAP titled ‘Canyon Country’ A range of stunning landscape images taken in Arizona and Utah were accompanied by  appropriate music to make an enjoyable AV. Members also very much enjoyed viewing the winning long AV titled ‘The Fallen’ with its very moving images and the short AV about a rather unusual but interesting subject - the ‘Holsworthy Livestock Market’
Congratulations to all those who gained awards, to all those who submitted their phone images and to Competition Secretary Caroline wrright for organising the competition. PM
Full results                                                           All the awarded images can be seen in the Galleries


'Creating Audio-Visuals’ 3 April 2018   

Tony Byram EFIAP ARPS AWPF DPAGB and his wife Jenny EFIAP/b DPAGB BPE1 made a welcome return visit to demonstrate how to make audio-visual sequences using Pictures to exe software.
Audio – Visuals or A-V’s combine still photographs and audio to create interesting sequences that can be viewed on a computer, TV or website.
Pictures to Exe is an easy to use but comprehensive software that combines still images, music, sound effects or voice overs and can add a variety effects and text. Most things are self-explanatory but there is a very good user guide.
Tony demonstrated by showing how easy it is to start a new project and add selected images. He advised starting a new folder for each project on your PC to keep all the picture and audio files together in one place and also remember to ‘Save’ frequently.By selecting ‘project options’ you can select the aspect ratio, how you want to control your AV and what transitions you would like to use. Each timing on each slide can be set together with a range of other options.
The finished A-V should ‘tell a story’ with a beginning and end, the images should be all the same aspect and flow well from one scene to the other. If you need to change from ‘landscape’ to ‘portrait’ shape, then there are ways to overlay and not jump from one aspect to the other.
Pictures to Exe has a number of transitions to choose from but beware of getting carried away and using too many, keep to simple fades with just an occasional change for effect.
The choice of music is very important as it needs to reflect the mood of the images. A licence is needed to use copyright music but there are royalty free music websites. The latest versions of the software allow you to set the length, timing and fades on the audio track. Also more audio tracks can be added for sound effects and voice overs when required.
Tony demonstrated the whole process using images he had taken of windmills, adding suitable music and previewing the sequence. Many hours can be spent perfecting a sequence but when you are satisfied that everything is how you wish it to be then you can ‘Publish’ your AV. You have many choices – publish as a file for PC or Mac, as an HD video, a DVD disc or for a website such as You Tube or Facebook.
Tony and Jenny rounded up the evening by showing two of their completed sequences – both using images taken at the Venice Festival. Members enjoyed seeing the colourful costumes and characters set against backgrounds of stunning Venetian architecture and set to suitable Italian music.
If you want to find out more about making AV’s then Waves is a local group meeting in Trowbridge where you can show your sequences, get advice and meet up with fellow AV enthusiasts.
Some sequences made by members can be viewed on their website.
Pictures to Exe software is an interesting way to create and show your images and can be downloaded from their website. A trial version is available.
Many thanks to Tony and Jenny for passing on their A-V knowledge and enthusiasm to club members. PM

Challenge 2018   

The Challenge is for members to take photographs that fit the chosen subject each month and add them to the Album on Devizes Camera Club Facebook.
No points or prizes but just something that might inspire members to get out their cameras and look out for something a bit different to photograph.
The subject for March was 'Three' so it was just a case of photographing three of anything. We had photos of boats, birds, dogs, deer, flowers and even iguanas! 
The images that got the most 'likes' were 3 apples and 3 number 3's by Pam Mullings and 3 canal boats in the snow by Sue Wadman.

The subject chosen by Caroline for April is 'On the Wing' which you can interpret in any way you like. 
Try you hand at capturing images of birds in flight or anything else with wings and have fun trying something you have not tried before,
Club members can take part in the Challenge by going to Devizes Camera Club Facebook   (not a member? then first join Facebook and then apply to join)

 

Inter - Club Battle    
Tuesday 27th March saw Devizes Camera Club welcome Swindon, Stratton and Royal Wootton Bassett Camera Clubs to Devizes Sports Club to compete in a 4-way Battle. Each Club had provided 15 projected images; the subject was ‘Open’ and the only restriction on selection was that there could be no more than two images from any one photographer. Judge for the evening was Eddy Lane ARPS DPAGB EFIAP, recently promoted to the PAGB judges list, and well known to all four clubs taking part.
 
The standard of images submitted by all four Clubs was very high; of the first 5 images shown, three scored the maximum of 20 points and the other two, 19 each, and after three rounds of images, Swindon were leading with 59 points (out of a possible 60) with Stratton just one point behind. It remained a tough and very tight context throughout; at the half time interval, Swindon and Devizes were tied for the lead with 144 points each, and were still tied with just two rounds to go. By the end, just the tiniest margin separated the top two places, and only 12 points separated the four clubs in all, the final scores being;-
 
·         Devizes                                  – 268
·         Swindon                                – 266
·         Stratton                                – 258
·         Royal Wootton Bassett      - 256
 
Judge Eddy Lane gave an excellent, constructive and helpful commentary, delivered with his usual good humour, whilst highlighting areas for potential improvement in his difficult quest to distinguish the images from one another. By the close of the evening, 8 out of the 60 images had been awarded the maximum of 20 points, with at least one of those going to each Club; those images can be viewed here.
 
Our grateful thanks go to Eddy Lane for his time and excellent judging, and to our friends at Swindon, Stratton and Royal Wootton Bassett Clubs for taking part in such a wonderful spirit and making such a great contest out of the evening. FC
Devizes CC results


 
Competition 2 - Open Prints 20 March 2018   
RB boatersNot only was this the first visit to Devizes CC by Mike Hendon LRPS but his first time as a judge. He explained that he became a judge by accident after going on a WCPF Seminar as a competition secretary.  The same seminar was for also new judges and Mike was astonished when he was congratulated for being on the list of approved judges! Anyway it was quite a gentle introduction for a judge as there were fewer than usual entries for the last open print competition of the season. Mike had looked through all the entries very carefully and gave his comments very professionally. Mike sometimes felt that some skies were over saturated for his taste and also some distracting white areas could have been toned down.

PM SeedheadsOnly one member of the Beginners section entered this competition so it was no surprise that Richard Blackbourne had the winning print. ‘Boater’s Market’ top left portrayed a canal side scene with people selling a variety of wares alongside their colourful barges
There were a few more entries in the Intermediate section which gave Mike some deliberation as to which prints to give awards.  Finally, he chose an excellent landscape by Steve Hardman for first place SH Quirangwith a monochrome by David Lock in second place. The subtlety coloured image taken on the Isle of Skye titled ‘Quirang’ left appealed to the judge who remarked that the winding road led the eye through the landscape to the distant misty mountains.

There were seventeen entries for Mike to judge in the Advanced section and he remarked that he found it difficult to select just five images for awards as the standard was so high.
He remarked that there were many wonderful landscapes entered but finally gave first place to creative image by Pam Mullings. The print titled ‘Cardoon Seed Heads’ right was an unusual composite image using several images and blend modes resulting in a harmonious coloured combination.
Pam was also awarded third place with another composite image titled ‘Contemplation’ The judge thought the image was in the style of the Pre- Raphaelites and liked the way the foliage swept around the body of the model and the painterly background.
A landscape by Tim Pier titled ‘Sunset at Land’s End’ was awarded third place with the judge commenting on the way the setting sun highlighted the cliffs, and the amazing colours in the sea. Another sunset image by Tim was awarded a highly commended this time featuring the Cornish coastline and Godrevy Light House.
An HC was also awarded to Robert Harvey ARPS EFIAP for an excellent floral image of the rare Monkey Orchid.
Hopefully his visit to the club did not put Mike off judging in the future!
Full results               All the awarded images can be seen in the Galleries

'Water Splash Photography'  
MH splashAs the competition did not take up the whole evening Mike gamely agreed to put together a presentation of his own images showing his expertise in capturing splashing liquid in a variety of ways. His interest in the subject began with an image of a swimmer throwing back her wet hair with an arc of spray – this led to other creative images taken in swimming pools often with lots of spray.
Mh bubbleHis interest in the way the camera could capture amazing water splash images led to him buying the special equipment needed to control the size and speed of the drops and to trigger the flash or flashes at precisely the right time. The camera is pre-focussed on the exact spot where the liquid will fall then in complete darkness the camera is set on a very slow shutter speed giving time to start the liqid drop and for the flash or flashes to fire at extremely high speed to give a sharp image. Colours can be added to the liquid and coloured gels used to give an infinite variety of effects. It takes a lot of patience and trial and error (and sometimes mess) to get just the right amount of splash but as Mike says it puts ‘fun’ into photography so why not have some fun. No two splashes are alike so seeing just what you have captured is the interesting part. There are numerous splash images on the internet and Mike recommended those by Corrie White if members would like to try their hand at something a bit different.
Many thanks to Mike for so ably judging the print completion and also for his very interesting introduction to Liquid Drop Art. PM
Water splash images © Mike Hendon LRPS


 ‘Movement in Photography’ 13 March 2018   

Derek Gale was welcomed back to Devizes Camera Club to deliver his presentation entitled Movement in Photography. He jokingly hoped his comments as a judge last season had been forgiven and forgotten!
DG reedsDerek introduced himself as a professional photographer and trainer based in a remote village in Oxfordshire that Shrivenham is near! He explained that this presentation started out as a 20 minute talk to his local camera club which has since developed into a workshop that he presents to RPS (he also presents Introduction to the Creative Eye). And it has now become the basis for a 4-day photography holiday with HF Holidays, for whom he has become a photography leader.
Firstly, Derek stated that there are 2 types of movement - Camera movement and Subject movement - and sometimes you can do both together.
Starting with Camera movement, Derek explained that you can either deliberately use camera shake creatively, or you can use long exposures and move the camera during the exposure. Either way, the effect is to make the image more abstract as is the case when taking an image of woodland and panning vertically. He showed how the details in the opposite plain (i.e. horizontal) became blurred. Contrast will also be lost and may need to be tweaked in post-processing.
DG paperHe also showed examples of long exposure images in which he had “clicked, held, then moved” to provide an area in the image that was in focus, as with the OXO Tower apparently moving across the night sky. There was an image of a decorated Christmas tree for which he had opened the shutter and walked towards the tree, creating wobbly light trails.
Derek also talked about Rolling Shutter Effect which can happen with cameras that have a relatively slow sensor reading time. The result will show bent lines in reasonable focus instead of being blurred. An image of a brick wall demonstrated this effect.
Further images showed the use of other techniques, including combining flash with a long exposure to provide some sharpness amongst the blur. This technique can also be used to provide a sense of movement, as in an image of the statue of Cabot in Bristol which looked as though Cabot was walking through a storm on the dockside.
Derek then moved on to talk about Subject movement and spent some time considering how to freeze this movement with short shutter speeds. But what constitutes a short shutter speed? He demonstrated that 1/2000th of a second was not enough to prevent blur of the primary feathers of a pigeon as it took off, but 1/640th was plenty to freeze waves crashing on rocks in Hermanus, South Africa. As he said, it depends on the distance to the subject, the speed the subject is moving - and the “photographic intent”.
Derek GaleFlash can also be used to freeze movement. Turning the power down to 1/128th on a Speedlight will provide a flash duration of just 1/41600th - but not much light. With the right setup and supplementary lights, this can be used to freeze water droplets. Derek also showed us a number of images of a white glove which he dropped towards a white table top.
After the interval, Derek talked about showing the movement in subjects. Generally, a longer shutter speed is needed for this, but, again, the duration depends on distance, speed of movement and photographic intent. To illustrate this he showed comparative images of the same waterfall taken at 1/6th and 3.2 seconds. The longer the exposure, the more blurry the water appears, giving an impression of movement. The photographer needs to decide how much blur best reflects the feel of the image.
In sunshine, filters will be needed to slow the shutter speed. Derek had a fascinating image of sparky light trails which had been taken of a small area of moving water with a polarising filter and several ND filters which slowed the shutter speed to 1/10th at f32. He had also had some fun spinning a blue mixing bowl on a kitchen surface taking an image at 1sec. And he demonstrated how people can disappear in long exposures at tourism attractions.
Derek uses Olympus Micro 4/3 cameras which have a feature called Live Composite. This enables the photographer to build up and image over time in live mode. He showed how he had used this feature to build interesting images using Pixel Sticks and Light Blades to light-paint shapes over some of his garden furniture. He also talked about Harris Shutter which uses different colour filters to record movement in different colours. Multiple exposures using different colours superimposed on each other provides a surreal effect.
He also showed how camera movement and subject movement can be used together to provide more excitement. Panning at a different speed to the subject provides blur to both the subject and the background, as in his exciting shot of a racing car.
Derek brought his talk to a conclusion by saying that “Movement brings fun to your photography”. You can present images with a fun content and have enormous fun trying different approaches. In thanking Derek for a fascinating presentation, our Chairman endorsed this view, suggesting that many of us will have been inspired to try something different in our photography. DF                            Images © Derek Gale - Top: Reeds, right: Wrapping Paper, bottom: Crown of Water

 

‘Now You See It, Now You Don’t’ 6 March 2018   

Martin Cooper LRPS was welcomed on his first visit to the club by club chairman Richard Watson LRPS. Martin explained the intriguing title of his presentation – in the first half the images shown will be more traditional and in the second half rather more experimental – that is images that have been altered in the camera using a variety of techniques.
MC Breaking Through the MistA range of subjects’ interest Martin including modern cityscapes and we were shown unusual views of such iconic buildings as the Gherkin and its surrounding glass sided skyscrapers. Some monochrome images taken in derelict buildings including the now closed Gloucester Prison and even an image taken in a run down toilet which had gained many Salon acceptances!.
Trees and woodlands are subjects often photographed and Martin explained that he tries when possible to take his photographs when it is misty as it gives a nice soft background such as 'Breaking Through the Mist' left.
MC Molten LeadSeveral colour images were shown together with a monochrome version and members were asked their opinion.  The colour versions were very pleasing but in the mono versions the textures and shapes were greatly enhanced but it is a matter of opinion which is the better image. Martin uses curves and other techniques on his images to increase the contrast which brings out the texture and adds drama to stormy skies.
Members were shown some interesting land and seascapes, often with stunning lighting and cloud formations. There were several stunning scenes of snowy Scottish mountains.
Martin has given some imaginative titles to his images such as the beach scene aptly named  ‘Molten Lead' right
A visit to Auschwitz produced some very moving monochrome images of both the interior MC Severn Bridgeand exterior and Martin spoke of some of the atrocities that took place there.
Martin had on display a selection of his excellent prints including those from his LRPS panel and remarked that ‘he feels that images need to be printed in order to complete the process’.
Many of Martin’s images have gained acceptances and medals in International Salons and also awards had been gained in National Landscape competitions

For the second part of his presentation Martin showed how he uses his camera as a tool and projected a selection of his images taken using ICM (Intentional Camera Movement) which often produces very impressionistic results. The camera is moved horizontally, vertically or even shaken during a 1 or 2 second exposure. Another method often used is taking multiple layers of varying opacity in camera of a variety of subjects giving almost abstract results such as that seen in Martin's image ‘Second Severn Crossing’ left
The results of images produced using these various techniques in camera cannot be predicted and no two images are ever the same so it is always interesting to experiment and see the results.

An interesting evening, which members greatly enjoyed so thanks Martin for travelling from Gloucester to show your fine selection of digital images and prints. PM

 

Challenge 2018
CW februaryIn case you have not looked recently at the club Facebook there is a challenge to take a photo (or several) that fit the subject set at the beginning of every month.
Last month the subject was 'New Beginnings' so members posted images of newly emerging plants, a new puppy, a new morning, eggs and even a newly ploughed field!

The image with the most 'likes' was Caroline Wright's image of raindrops on snowdrops showing that spring might be on the way - not that its looking like this today!
A stunning close-up image taken by Caroline using her phone.

Caroline is away so cannot choose the new subject so I have started the ball rolling by choosing 'THREE' as the March subject.
So get going and think of anything that fits that title. That should give a wide range covering landscapes, nature, street photography, architecture etc. or perhaps get out of your comfort zone and try something really different - anything goes so maybe 3 snowmen with todays snow!
No prizes or points given but a good way to share ideas and to get out and take photos of something a bit different on your camera or phone.

If you have not already joined our facebook then click and apply to join.  Then you to, can take up the challenge . PM



Competition 4 Open Projected Images  27 February 2018    
The evening turned out to be extremely cold and the roads icy so unfortunately fewer members than usual attended to hear Judge Sandie Cox give her comments and the results of the competition.
PE eiderSandie travelled all the way from Gloucestershire but did not encounter much snow until she neared Devizes. Sandie is well known for her stunning wildlife photography but is happy to give her opinion on any image - whatever the subject. She had looked very closely at all the entries and gave advice where needed on how some images might have been improved. Often there were dull areas which if cropped would have given more emphasis to the more interesting parts of the image 
In the Beginners section there were 27 entries portraying a wide variety of subjects – from motor-sports to birds and from fireworks to landscapes. Peter Eley’s ‘Eider, Slimbridge’ right was the judge’s favourite image in this section. The judge liked the way the photographer had caught the moment as the duck splashed up the water shaking its wings. 
In second place was ‘Adriatic at Dusk’ by Roly Barth with the judge commenting on the way the late evening light caught the edge of the jetty.DW otter Another striking image by Roly gained third place – this time of a group of Chelsea pensioners in their red coats and black tricorn hats titled ‘Farewell to Arms’. Martin Stokes was awarded two HC’s and Craig Purvis, Brian Appleby, Richard Blackbourne, Peter Eley and new member Jck Willis one HC each.
There were just 18 entries in the Intermediate section with a nature image titled ‘Otter Feeding on Crab’ left by David Wilkinson gaining first place. The judge liked the way the otter was portrayed as it sat amid the waves eating  its meal. David was also awarded third place for ‘Misty Morning an atmospheric image of a cow as it drank.
In second place was’ Evening Light at Portland’ by Steve Burgess with the lighthouse set against a blue sky with the waves braking on the rocks below. 'Winter Walk' by Steve was a monochrome image of a local canal side pub and gained an HC.
Jean Ingram was awarded HC’s for two of her images.
RH snowmoonThe Advanced section had a larger entry with 39 images for Sandie to judge. She said that she had a difficult job deciding which images gained awards and so some excellent images had to be left out.
The delightful delicate colours and the pink tinged mountain tops of ‘Snow Moon, Oks Fjord’right made Robert Harvey ARPS EFIAP the worthy winner of the Advanced section. Robert was also awarded an HC for his delightful floral image ‘Frosted Snakeshead Fritillary’
‘Raindrops’ by Pam Mullings with its rain splattered roses appealed to the judge and was in second place.
The stormy sky of Caroline Wright’s ‘Stormlight on Llanddwn Beach’ was remarked on by the judge and was given third place.
David Fraser did well with all three of his entries gaining an HC and Frank Collins and Richard Watson LRPS were each awarded two HC’s. Images by Tim Pier and Kyra Wilson LRPS were also awarded an HC.
Congratulations to all those whose images gained awards,
Many thanks to Sandie for giving her helpful comments on each image and giving her judgement, also to Caroline for organising the entries, members who sent in entries and also thanks to those members who braved the bad weather. PM
Full list of results                                                              All the awarded images can be seen in the Gallery                 Members can log in to see the points table.
 
WCPF Digital Projected Image Competition 18 February 2018   

5 members from Devizes Camera Club attended what, as always, was an intense if very enjoyable day at the Corn Exchange, Exeter. 57 Clubs from the Western Counties took part this year include 5 who had not entered previously, so in total we saw 1026 images.
HE curlewThe event uses Salon style judging, with three visiting judges each scoring each image between 2 and 5 points which are then aggregated to give the image its final score out of 15. The entire judging process took just about 3 hours – which means that from the image appearing on screen, title being read, judges scoring, score being called and the next image appearing, averaged just over 10 seconds per image. Impact therefore is vital.
 
As always, this is a highly competitive event, and the standard was particularly good this year. Congratulations go to Hilary Eagles with her sublime ‘Curlew Sandpiper’ (left) which with 13 points top scored for the Club. However, this proved to be a day when a number of our other images which have done well elsewhere did not impress the judges to the extent we had hoped.
While our final score of 195 points was 4 points higher than last years, our finishing position of 18th equal was slightly down on last year, and we were 6 points short of the top -10 finish we had hoped for.
Deserved winners were Bristol, with Dorchester an excellent second, with 223 and 219 points respectively, well clear of the rest of the field, and it is these two Clubs who will go forward to represent the WCPF at the National competition in Warwick in July.FC
Full results

 

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


'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