|'Audiovisual Spectacular'||14 January 2020|
|This evening’s presentation showcased the winning entries from the Western Counties Photographic Federation AV competition that was held on the 6th April 2019.
The WCPF competition was judged by Colin Harrison (FRPS: FIPF: FBPE: MFIAP: MPAGB: EFIAP/d1: MPSA: AWPF: APAGB) and hosted 37 entries from 13 different WCPF clubs from across the south west (Cornwall, Devon, Somerset, Dorset, Gloucester, Wiltshire).
The competition comprised of four sections :-
• The President’s Salver for the Best ‘Long’ Sequence (over four minutes)
• The Coote Challenge Cup for the Best ‘Short’ Sequence (less than four minutes)
• The Photo Harmony Trophy for the best ’Photo Harmony’ sequence.
• The Innovation Award for the most innovative entry
Our evening featured the Commended, Highly Commended, 3rd, 2nd and 1st place AVs for each section of the WCPF competition, with the President’s Salver section viewed first.
The opening AV ‘Why I gave up Slide Shows’, was a spoof of a Slide Show presentation where all the things that can go wrong with slides, did go wrong. This varied from slides with dust-spots, through slide jams, and popping slides. Judging from the laughter from the audience this brought back memories for some.
The longer AVs tended to have more of a story to them, and possibly as a consequence more voice-over narration, certainly the 1st placed ‘Fortescue Cup’ was of that ilk, with fewer pictures, but a very entertaining story.
After a break for teas and coffees we watched the remaining AVs. Possibly being shorter, these tended to be a little more dynamic, although still with a strong story element.
From the Coote Challenge Cup, the 1st placed ‘Shoes on the Danube’ although fairly simple from a photographic point of view, had a very poignant story line, and a well-deserved first place.
The next section ‘Photo Harmony’ concentrated less on the story element, and more on the blending of images in sequence, the Commended ‘Landscape Odyssey’ featured some very strong landscape images, that flowed very well through the sequence.
The winning entry in the ‘Photo Harmony’ section, ‘Yellowstone Winter’ blended so well, it was difficult to tell where the blends started and finished, and which was the actual image, very well done.
Finally, the ‘Innovation Award’ featured a very short AV, with some fairly odd images, prompting the comment from the judge “What the hell is going on here? “, it was a great AV to finish on, and certainly provided food for thought.
The Club’s AV competition is on the 25th February, with a cut-off date of the 11th February, so it will be interesting to see what the WCPF Audio-visuals have inspired.
If you feel sufficiently inspired to enter the WCPF AV competition for this year, it is to be held on Saturday 4th April 2020, 10:00 am, at Woodbury Village Hall, Flower Street, Woodbury, Devon Entry details The Judges will be:- Clive Rathband FRPS FPSSA EFIAP and Joan Ryder Rathband FRPS FPSSA AFIAP. DE
|'Beyond the Summit'||7 January 2020|
|While welcoming members back after the Christmas break Steve Hardman was interrupted by the untimely ringing of the fire alarm which delayed the start of the presentation, however finally when it was silenced the guest speaker could be introduced.
Chris Palmer FRPS EFIAP DPAGB APAGB has been interested in photography since the age of 7 and over the years has gained many prestigious awards culminating in the highly esteemed Fellow of the Royal Photographic Society. After reaching what is considered to be one of the highest accolades in photography and with a busy life lecturing and judging, Chris felt he must also continue to enjoy his own very high standard of photography.
Always trying to set his own style and not copy other photographers, his images are deceptively simple. Each image is carefully considered and a lot time is taken looking around the location and finding the best viewpoint before carefully setting up the camera and pressing the shutter at just the right moment.
Chris presented a large selection of his excellent prints on a wide range of subjects descibing why he had taken the photograph. Trees were among the subjects he gets drawn back to and has photographed them many times both in UK and abroad with the images often converted to monochrome – very simple but effective.
Stormy skies and tranquil beech scenes, misty landscapes, close-ups of eroded rocks and pebbles showing subtle colours and interesting shapes are among his favourites.
The sea breaking over a sea bathing pool at Bude was photographed from many different angles. Small details that others would miss catch his eye in urban settings as well as in the countryside and make very effective images.
Chris showed a delightful series of superb prints showing children in Istanbul and just for fun he let us see some of his more ‘whacky’ prints!
Very close up images of peeling paint from the hulls of boats which can look like interesting landscapes – an example left looks like an aerial view flock of sheep on a beach.
In landscape photography the lighting is very important to show the form of the terrain and to make the image look 3 dimensional when printed. He says what is left out is as important as what is left in an image. Nature has many shapes, forms and textures that make interesting photographs if you look hard enough – even marks in the sand or a few blades of grass can make an award winning image.
Before printing Chris takes great care to bring out the tones in his images and says that the paper used is important as it can change the appearance of the print. Colours are sometimes de-saturated to give overall harmony to the image.
He enjoys the whole process of photography - the search to find the image that satisfies his creativity then enhancing the image to its best and finally the printing.
Chairman Steve Hardman thanked Chris for his excellent presentation and summed up the evening as both fasinating and inspiring. PM
Images © Chris Palmer More images can be seen on his website
|2019 Christmas Knock-out & Party||17 December 2019|
|Time once again for the club’s Christmas Knock Out – surely it’s not a year since the last one!
Suitably attired and with a ho ho ho Santa arrived to preside over the annual event and make sure all was fair and square – no cheating or bribing allowed.
There was a very good entry – so large this year that the numbers had to be reduced or we might have still been exercising our arms ‘til the next day. Instead of 6 entries from each member the number needed to be reduced to a more manageable 4, making 120 images altogether.
The process of elimination was explained to the new members present and Dave Gray was set up ready to project the images in random pairs. Those present had to choose which of the 2 images shown that they preferred – the left or right or occasionally just to confuse - the top or the bottom. Santa had the job of counting the raised hands or if there was a tie, he had the final say and no one could argue with Santa!
The first 60 pairs were shown with in some cases difficult decisions to be made if they liked both images equally. Subjects were varied but being Christmas there were several robins and snow scenes, also Silbury Hill and Caen Hill Locks were popular local subjects. Sometimes the pairings caused a laugh with similar or converse subjects against each other, but finally 30 images were sadly rejected and 30 went on to the next round.
After some clever shuffling using the computer software the random pairings were projected but this time you could have 2 images by the same photographer against each other (but then at least you knew one would get through the round! )
Then we were down to 15 and with a little bit of juggling down to 8 for the next round.
Then final four images that had avoided the knock-out were declared.
The winner was the delightful ‘Beech woods’ by Caroline Wright. In second place was ‘Japanese Macaque Bathing’ by Gill Cardy which had caused a laugh with its laid- back expression as it got through each round.
Third was ‘Silbury Hill’ by Robert Harvey and in fourth place an insect whose odd pose caused some amusement - ‘Water Boatman’ by Tim Tapley.
The four winners each received a gift from Santa.
Thanks to all who entered.
Club Chairman, Steve Hardman thanked Santa - alias Frank Collins for organising the entries and Dave Gray for operating the computer.
The 3 Competition Secretaries were thanked for their work organising all this season's competitions.
Thanks went to Caroline Wright for organising the spread of Christmas goodies that members were about to enjoy and thanks also to the members who contributed some extras.
Thanks were also given to Mike Saunders for setting out the hall every week and Bridget Codrington for organising the weekly refreshments.
Finally, Steve wished everyone a Happy Christmas and all the best for the next decade, the bar was opened and the feasting began. PM
See you all again in 2020!
|Monochrome Print & Projected Image Competitions||10 December 2019|
|'Every Step I Take'||3rd December 2019|
Our latest guest speaker at Devizes Camera Club was Heidi Stewart AWPF who travelled up from South Wales to give us her presentation entitled “Every Step I Take”. After an introduction from our chairman Steve, which established that Heidi is a member of Gwynfa Camera Club, she explained that she would be presenting images taken on her travels around the UK and Iceland.
Now that their children have grown up, she and her husband, a predominantly wildlife photographer and fellow camera club member, treat their holidays and days out as photography workshops. These, and camera club outings, formed the basis of her presentation.
She started with some pictures of Pont-y-Pandy slate mill where she and her husband stopped on the way to Anglesey. They travelled around Anglesey and she shared some lovely images including shots taken around Newborough Beach, Llanddwyn Island and Ty Mawr lighthouse.They travelled to the north and east of the island, where she took photographs of the copper mines at Parris Mountain, Penmon Point and Puffin Island and Beaumaris Pier, before ending up at Aberffraw Bay and St Cwfan’s Church and sunset images of Menai Bridge.
The next section of Heidi’s talk centred on a camera club visit to Iceland. Accompanied by several amusing anecdotes of the trip, she showed us some wonderful images of waterfalls, mountains and volcanic beaches. Stand out images were a series of shots of a red farmhouse in the landscape with a full rainbow, and monochrome shots taken at Vik beach and Diamond beach of black sand and lumps of ice. Heidi also shared a wonderful series of images of the Northern Lights.
In the second half, Heidi took us to Northumberland where we saw images of Dunstanburgh Castle, Craster and Lindisfarne. She was particularly fascinated with the upturned herring boats which have been turned into sheds. A very high tide covering the causeway to Holy Island gave her the opportunity to take some interesting images of cloud reflections in the water over the roadway.
Her journey continued back to Wales and images of the Elan Valley, Tintern Abbey, the Brecon Beacons and Nash Point. In Cornwall, she went to St Michael’s Mount, Porthleven and Mevagissey and on to various tin mines on the coast, including Crown Mines at Bottalack. And finally she showed us images of her trip to Scotland, taking in Ullapool, Sligachan and Elgol on Skye, Ardrech Castle, Glen Torridon and Wester Ross.
Heidi’s amusing stories to accompany her wonderful photography made for a highly entertaining evening for which our chairman thanked her enthusiastically to a round of applause from the members. DF
images © Heidi Stewart
|Open Print Competition 1||26 November 2019|
The judge for the first Open Print Competition of the season was Tony Byram EFIAP, ARPS, AWPF, DPAGB who was welcomed by Steve Hardman.
Tony has visited the club many times before both as a judge and a speaker and said that the standard of prints entered was generally very high and particularly mentioned the very good work in the Beginners section.
When commenting on the entries Tony advised keeping images simple so the subject stands out even when viewed from a distance as sometimes just concentrating on a part of the original image would have made a better print. Nowadays digital makes it easy to try out new ideas as you can experiment as much as you like with no extra cost involved. In some cases, reversing an image can improve it - so try it out and see if it works for some images.
There was a good entry in the Beginners section and Tony took time to comment on each print and pointing out the good points as well as in some cases how it could have been improved. By taking note of the judges’ comments should help members improve their images. There was wide range of subjects from speeding motorbikes to close up insects with lots of impressive landscapes in between. Tony commented that some images were rather small in the frame so members might like to think about cropping off unnecessary areas before printing.
First place in the Beginners section went to David Eagle with a striking image ‘Deep in the Forest’ left
The judge liked the contrast between the straight trees in the background making the only curved branch stand out in the foreground.
In second place was another woodland scene titled ‘Bluebells at Westwood’, This time the photographer Mark Somerville used the technique of deliberately using camera movement to blur the image. ‘Broad-bodied Chaser’ was a superb close up by David Evans and was placed 3rd. Four other prints were awarded Highly Commended.
After the break the Intermediate Prints were shown with only 12 entries. The print that most impressed the judge was ‘Venetian Sunfire’ left by Craig Purvis. The judge knows Venice well but he said that was not why he chose it but it was becaus of the incredible sky and its reflection.
Second place went to a very different subject with ‘Fox Portrait’ by Steve Hardman. The image was sharp, the colour good and the subject well placed. Another landscape was in third place, this time impressive image of Avebury titled ‘Stones and Stars’. The image by Craig Purvis cleverly showing the well-lit stones, a starry sky and clouds radiating from the centre. Other images gaining HC’s showed a flying barn owl, squabbling gannets and a poppy field at dawn.
Last but not least were the 20 Advanced prints with another large range of subjects. In first place was a portrait by Pam Mullings titled ‘Fantasia’ right The judge liked the pose and the creative treatment which picked up the colours around the subject’s eyes.
An image by Robert Harvey ARPS EFIAP taken on a visit to Jordan was titled ‘Overlooking Petra’. The judge said the colours and composition were excellent and the man sitting on the rocks gave a good impression of the scale of the building below which was carved from the solid rock of the mountain and awarded it second place. In third place was a delightful image of a dog running towards the camera by Tim Pier titled ‘Bertie and his Ball’
Four other prints entered in the Advanced section were awarded Highly Commended.
Thanks to Tony for looking at the print entries so closely and giving his helpful comments. Thanks to David Wilkinson who ran the competition and to all those who entered their prints – especially the Beginners as it takes courage to enter your work for the first time for judging. Hopefully more members will have a go and print and mount their images for Open Print Competition 2 in February. PM
|Calne Multi-Club Annual Digital Battle|
|Calne Camera Club held their annual multi club Battle on the evening of 21 November at the Beversbrook Centre, Calne.
Nine local camera clubs were invited to enter – each submitting 10 digital images.
The judge for the evening was local commercial photographer Darren Luschover.
Darren began by saying how difficult he found it to judge 90 images with such a diverse array of subjects and styles. He said that when he judges he looks for impact in an image and how he feels about an image, the technical details are to him less important. Giving his personal views on each image he talked about the subject of the image and what he found appealing in the image and then gave a score out of 20. He said he felt no image was perfect so he gave 2 images top marks of 19 with the other scores ranging between 9 and 18 points.
Devizes began the evening well with ‘Sandstorm, Namid Desert’ right by Robert Harvey ARPS EFIAP scoring 18. Later Sue Wadman also scored 18 points for ‘Fungi in the Rain’ left so very well done to both of them.
At half time Devizes was just one point behind first placed Calne CC so hopes were high! However, that all changed after the second half when the final scores were announced and Devizes had slipped to seventh place with a total of 151 points. Warminster CC, Swindon PS and Corsham PC all tied on 152 points, Calne CC were third with 158, in second place were Highworth CC with161 and in first position were Frome Wessex CC with 164 - so many congratulations to Frome.
Alan Denison from Frome Wessex CC was awarded best image for his monochrome image ‘Window Dancer’
As the judge said - judging is a personal choice and if the results are compared to our results in the Battle with Frome Wessex held a few weeks ago that judge had a completely different opinion. Hopefully we have better luck in our next competition!
DCC Battle Secretary Dave Gray was unfortunately unable to attend but about nine members went to Calne on a very cold evening to represent the club.
Thanks to Calne CC for their hospitality and for organising the event, thanks to Dave Gray for sending in our entry and thanks also to members whose images were selected – well done. PM
|'Shooting People and Other Stuff"||19 November 2019|
|Mike Martin is an award winning photographer who a few years ago started his passion for portrait photography after a group studio session. He says he is a hobbyist photographer and keen member of Bristol and Kingswood Photographic Societies. He photographs a wide range of subjects including urban photos, architecture, plants, beasts and bugs but always likes to ‘think outside the box’
The evening began with Mike showing a great number of his excellent prints in quick succession. Starting with some taken at the start of his photographic journey in about 1996 using film and darkroom techniques. He says later on a group workshops gave him an interest in portraiture and he gained a lot of experience by working with other photographers as they could bounce ideas off one another. A fellow photographer introduced him to the world of models and make-up artists and so together they arranged photo shoots in a variety of interesting locations. Sometimes using natural light and other times setting up artificial light both outdoors and in the indoor setting or studio. The location often gives ideas for interesting poses and models often have to be prepared for anything that is requested!
Props of various sorts are used – backgrounds and costumes convey all sorts of scenarios and anything else can be used to make an interesting image. Mike carries around various items which might come in useful for adding the right colour or effect such as pieces of fabric and says he finds ‘gaffer’ tape often comes in useful to hold things in place. He even arranges for snakes and other reptiles, tarantulas and even scorpions to be used to great effect and models may even have paint dripped on them if Mike feels it creates an interesting effect.
Many of the prints shown were monochrome and with his colour prints he takes great care to make sure the overall tones were harmonious. Often the colours are de-saturated in post-production and great care taken to edit the whole image to his taste. Mike showed several examples of panels of 3 images where the subject and the colours must work well together as a set.
Mike is always experimenting and looking for new ideas and said he likes to learn something new every day! As well as working with studio set ups he always carries a compact camera to record anything that might make an interesting image or background. Photographs are sometimes taken using infra-red to give interesting effects.
After the break Mike let us into the secrets of how many of his images we had just seen were created. Using projected images he showed the ‘before and after’ which appeared very different. The advice is to simplify and show only the parts of the image that appeal, think why you took the image and eliminate or disguise everything else. This is sometimes done by cropping, blurring or darkening unwanted areas. Using masks, blend modes, textures and many other techniques the original image can be transformed into something completely different.
Combinations of several images were imaginatively used to create something unique. Mike likes to feel the images have his signature on them and are not similar to any other photographers. Even working alongside others on a group shoot with the same model he can edit his images to look completely different.
Mike was thanked by club chairman Steve Hardman for giving members such an inspiring insight into the creative side of portrait photography and said he expected he might possibly see more creative work from club members in future. PM
Images © Mike Martin
|Light Painting||12 November 2019|
In a change to the scheduled programme, we welcomed Michelle Essenson to Devizes Camera Club for a presentation and practical session on Light Painting. Introduced as an enthusiastic speaker and regular presenter at the Royal Photographic Society, we had all been advised to bring our cameras (with Manual mode and Bulb function), sturdy tripod and plenty of batteries.
First of all, Michelle explained what Light Painting is, referring us to a definition on Wikipedia. She said it might involve lighting a scene, creating a scene by recording light movement, or producing results by moving the camera and using a static light source. The history of Light Painting, she said, goes back to the 1880’s when the first photographs to trace human movement were produced. Later, in 1914, the technique was used in a Time & Motion study by strapping lights to workers and recording their movement on a camera with an open shutter. Today it is used mostly as an art form and in commercial photography. She referred us to lightpaintingphotograhy.com for further information.
Michelle told us a bit about her own photography journey, saying that she does some nature photography as well as shooting landscapes, astrophotography and likes to work with water, although she said she did not do much people photography. She started using Light Painting in January 2014 using just a torch and became hooked straight away. She now spends a lot of her time doing light painting photography with a vast array of tools, including light sabres, bicycle wheels and one, her favourite, that she described as a “rave whip”!
Many of her tools are homemade, using acrylic rods with torches attached using adapters made from plumbing accessories. Michelle recommended Hindleys Ltd for the inexpensive purchase of acrylic rods, tubes and sheets. She advocated using strings of LED lights, like Christmas decorations, attached to old bicycle wheels, curtain rails and skipping ropes. Specialist tools can also be bought from lightpaintingbrushes.com and elwirecraft.co.uk. Torches are essential and she recommended those with a memory mode and an on/off switch at the end. Variable intensity, multi-coloured features and strobe effects are also desirable.
Michelle then gave us a list of issues to consider for our own Light Painting activities. These included:
• use a tripod
• work out the width of your work area, mark it out; move your tripod or zoom as need while the lights are on
• use Manual Mode and Bulb mode
• F8 and ISO 200 is a good starting point - vary according to the strength of the light source
• use autofocus initially and switch to Manual focus to fine tune
• take account of the usual long exposure considerations
• use Mirror lock-up or a mirrorless camera
• use a cloth to cover the lens while changing tools or during idle periods of exposure
• use a cable release or remote shutter trigger
• and then remove all other light sources (switch out the lights)
- and always be aware of SAFETY while working in the dark.
To emphasize the importance of safety, Michelle told us how she had been badly hurt when she tripped and fell near the canal on one of her many Light Painting forays.
After a quick cup of tea, Michelle led a fast-paced workshop, giving those who had brought their cameras a chance to capture images using a variety of her tools. Her enthusiasm was infectious and everyone really enjoyed the process. Both photographers and watchers were impressed with the results and inspired to do more.
Our Chairman was profuse in his thanks to Michelle for standing in at such short notice and providing us with a very memorable evening. DF
Images by David Fraser
|Competition 2 - Open Projected Images - results||5 November 2019|
Penny Piddock DPAGB EFIAP was welcomed back to the club to judge the Competition 2 Open PI competition.
|'From Here to Eternity'||29 October 2019|
|Members enjoyed an evening of Audio Visuals created by Paul Keene FRPS MPAGB EFIAP/p MFIAP showing a wide range of photography set to popular music.
Paul has been an enthusiastic photographer for many years and gained his FRPS in 1991. Pauls interests began at an early age with birds and wildlife but his selection of AV’s showed something of the wide range of photographic interests he now has.
AV’s consist of a number of still images, arranged and set to music. Paul began with an AV titled ‘Art or Junk’ which effectively demonstrated how a simple idea could be made into an interesting sequence’ Paul took just 10 minutes to take the photographs which he later edited to look like abstract paintings. The sequence gradually revealed that all the images were close ups of the interesting patterns of rust and old paint on an old derelict car.
The next AV was ‘Belén’ featuring an attractive Spanish girl posing with a horse. There were well taken close ups of both the girl and the horse blended together to great effect.
Paul enters many photographic competitions and said that bluebell images were rather scorned by judges in Britain as they are so commonplace but in other parts of the world they gain high praise. His next AV featuring a bluebell wood titled was ‘Midnight Blue’ and was set to music with the same title by the Electric Light Orchestra. The images were taken at all times of the day over 2 weeks.
It took Paul several years to get all the images he needed for ‘The Life of Swans’ and by taking his time and watching the swans closely he photographed the swans lifestyle with some delightful images of the cygnets. The images were put together with music from Enya.
The last sequence before the break was ‘Wish You Were Here’ The stunning images were taken on the coast of Queensland, Australia – a place Paul calls paradise. Lovely shots of the sunrise over the waves, deserted beaches, crystal clear water and even some underwater shots.
An invitation to visit Tibet to photograph the people and their way of life resulted in 2 colourful AV’s. First shown was ‘Portrait of Tibet’ showing the interesting faces of both young and old in their colourful costumes. Next was ‘Tales from Tibet’ which showed the lifestyle in the high mountainous area, elaborate temples with their robed monks, religious festivals, prayer flags and coracle making.
‘Ascension’ was the final AV of the evening with very creative images exploring how life on Earth might have started. Inspired by the music 'Songs of the Distant Earth’ by Mike Oldfield images of snow crystals, water droplets, spacemen all cleverly mixed together to give a sequence out of this world!.
A reminder to members – the club has an Audio-Video competition later in the season so hopefully you have drawn some inspiration from tonight’s selection and can make some AV’s of you own.
Maybe some photos you have already or ideas of where you might take some or maybe some music you love inspires you.
Paul uses Pictures to Exe software which is an excellent programme – visit the wnsoft.com website for information or see helpful information for mac users in this websites members’ area. If you are new to making AV's then experienced club members will give you some help to get started.
David Wilkinson thanked Paul for the wonderful evening of AV’s in a wide variety of styles. PM
Images © Paul Keene
|Frome-Wessex CC v Devizes CC Battle - a win for Devizes!||25 October 2019|
Our return Battle with Frome-Wessex Camera Club was an away fixture held at the Beckington Memorial Hall Frome. The judge on the night was Eddy Lane ARPS DPAGB EFIAP, who had decided to judge the entire set ‘cold’, or as he put it, ‘both judge and audience are seeing each image for the first time and through fresh eyes’.
The Battle consisted of 30 Projected Image photographs from each club, with rules specifying that no more than 2 images could come from any one photographer, that at least 5 images must come from less experienced photographers, and there should be no more than 6 Nature images.
Each image was scored out of 20, although Eddy Lane decided only to use a restricted range of marks, so overall on the night, the lowest score was 16 and the highest was 20.
The evening began cautiously, with few very strong or very weak images, and in the whole of the first half, only one image received the full 20 marks, that being our own Robert Harvey’s ‘A Rabbit Before Me’ snow landscape of rabbit tracks leading to a tree on Martinsell Hill.
At half time, Devizes had just about edged ahead, leading by 267 points against 262.
Someone remarked that something had been added to Eddy’s coffee at half time, because the second half brought an avalanche of no less than 12 images receiving 20 points, of which 7 came from Devizes. These included images from Gina Gordon, Sue Wadman, Dave Gray, Martin Stokes, Tim Tapley, Pam Mullings and another from Robert Harvey. Our other entries also reaped a rich harvest of points, so that by the end, Devizes had scored 558 points against 540 for Frome-Wessex.
Although disappointingly few of our members were able to attend on the night, we were very warmly welcomed by our guests. Our thanks go to Frome-Wessex for organising the evening, and to Eddy Lane for his thoughtful and constructive comments on each of the images shown on the night. DG
Well done to Devizes CC See the Devizes scores
|'Pushing the Boundaries, Artistic Intent & Technology in Wildlife Photography'||22 October 2019|
|The club was delighted to welcome photographer, conservationist and author Paul Colley CB OBE ARPS. Paul uses his photographs to help publicise a number of conservation issues that he is involved with and strives to create unique images showing animal behaviour.
The presentation began by showing the undersea images that Paul has taken in many parts of the world. He showed how fragile ecosystems can be ruined by man but also how they can spring back to life when nature is allowed to take over. Using video and still photos images of colourful corals and the creatures that inhabit them. By knowing how to hold his nerve and behave correctly underwater, Paul can get really close to large and dangerous marine life allowing him to take incredible close up images of manta rays, sharks and sea snakes. Paul writes articles for many marine and conservation publications pointing out how vital it is to protect the seabed and all the creatures that depend on it.
As a successful photographer, Paul says you need to stand out from the crowd and images need to have impact. He experiments with many different techniques and showed some interesting shots of life above and below the water at the same time and unusual views such as ‘Mallard Photo Bomb’ right
By being extremely patient Paul was able to show the abundance of life in a freshwater chalk stream. He needed to use different techniques as the water is shallow and the silt easily disturbed so he has worked out ways of setting up his equipment and using live view he can remotely control the camera from the bank.
Paul taken many award winning images and has spent many months working out how to take unique images of bats as they go about catching insects in the dark. This presents many challenges as the bats fly very fast and are tiny so even seeing them is difficult. Infra-red light is not visible to bats so Paul can use a specially adapted camera to see in the very low light. Technology helps as bat detectors can pick up the sonar sounds and even pick out the species.
To take successful wildlife images the photographer needs to study the behaviour of the creature. With bats he needed to work out where and when the prey insects would be likely to appear and then the likely flight paths of the bats. Standing waist deep in water he experimented setting up laser camera traps, flash guns and getting the camera set up ready. Great care must be taken as the bats must not be disturbed in any way.
Paul has created bat images that show behaviour that has not been seen before and he went into a great deal of detail about how managed to get such superb images. He showed Incredible close up images of bats reflected in the water such as the ‘Bat Mirror Image’ above and others were taken using a strobe light showed the bats flight path. His image ‘Contrails at Dawn’ right won him the 2018 British Wildlife Photographer of the Year award. In some bat images he experiments using double exposures to show some background interest or the moon and stitched panoramas give a different view.
Paul is an extremely dedicated photographer and is working towards gaining his fellowship of the Royal Photographic Society.
Dave Gray thanked Paul and said it was one of the most interesting presentations the club had seen. PM
Images © Paul Colley
|Nature Competitions - Results||15 October 2019|
|The judge for the club’s annual Nature competition was Victoria Hillman BSc MSc who with her extensive knowledge of flora and fauna and degrees in wildlife, conservation & zoology was very well qualified to take on the task. Victoria has travelled extensively and has a deep knowledge of all wildlife.
Victoria is a self-taught photographer herself and has visited the club previously to present her own excellent wildlife images.
Before showing the Nature print entries Victoria commented that flaws will show up especially with prints on images that are cropped too heavily and recommended that at least 70% of the original should be kept. Victoria had taken a really close look at all the images, wrong depth of field and over sharpening were other issues with some images. The point of focus was also not always where it should have been and the eyes of a bird, mammal or bug should always be pin sharp.
However, despite the faults Victoria said the standard of entries was high and that she had enjoyed looking at the entries which were from all club sections – Beginners, Intermediate and Advanced.
There were 24 prints entered and Victoria gave her comments as each one was displayed.
First place was awarded to ‘Parson’s Chameleon’ right by Robert Harvey ARPS EFIAP with the judge saying it was an excellent image – good composition and the colours of the creature were well printed.
Another image by Robert was second ‘White-tailed Sea Eagle Hunting’ above left caught the action as the bird swooped over the water.
In third place was ‘Mountain Hare’ by David Wilkinson which was well composed and exposed. Four other prints were awarded Highly Commended.
After the break the 56 projected images were shown and again Victoria pointed out areas which were not quite sharp where they should be. There were also some examples of distracting backgrounds where if the photographer had moved slightly one way or the other the image would have been improved.
Victoria understood from her own wildlife photography experiences that you have to be quick to catch the moment so there is often no time to check that the camera is all set up correctly.
Again first place went to Robert Harvey – this time with an image titled ‘Southern Hawker in Flight’.
In second place was a very different image showing the varying flight patterns in a flock of starlings titled ‘Moving Murmuration’ taken by Kyra Wilson.
‘Red Squirrel, Brownsea’ was a charming image by David Eagle which the judge said was well composed and the colour correct and she awarded it 3rd place.
Seven other images were awarded HC’s.
Very well done to Robert who won both the print and projected image nature competitions but was away on a professional photographic assignment and so was not there to collect the trophies which he has won on many previous occasions.
Very well done to all those who entered such an interesting variety of wildlife images and many thanks to David Eagles as Competition Secretary for organising the competition.
Special thanks to Victoria for looking so carefully at the images and giving her helpful comments.
See list of awarded Nature images All the awarded images can be seen in the Galleries
|‘Post Processing Images’||8 October 2019|
|This week we welcomed Dave Gray, our very own Lightroom guru to enlighten us about the mysteries of processing images.
Using a PowerPoint presentation linked to live Lightroom, Dave very effectively showed us how to use the more basic functions of Lightroom, how to manage and catalogue images and what has changed since his last presentation in 2017.
In the first half Dave concentrated on the Lightroom catalogue and then how we can change the appearance of an image looking at the major adjustments which can be grouped into colour balance, exposure, contrast and saturation.
Colour Balance can eliminate colour casts and render whites and greys as neutral colours. RAW files are needed and its is important that your monitor is correctly colour calibrated.
Exposure – Dave talked about using the histogram and also that the exposure slider may be rather heavy handed so use the Highlights and Shadows sliders.
Contrast depends on the author’s intent – again the contrast slider can be heavy handed so Dave talked us through the use of the clarity, dehaze and texture sliders.
Saturation makes the image more or less colourful and again that slider can be quite forceful so the use of the Vibrance slider should be considered.
Having processed images he then went on to explain the importance of saving and disaster backup. Recommendations include a mirror copy of all images and the Lightroom catalogue held on another drive with a possible third cloud-based copy.
After the break Dave introduced Range masks - Luminance and Colour – and how to use them, new profiles and changes to presets.
Another very recent update includes batch processing which is very useful for dealing with the multiple images associated with HDR’s and Panoramas.
Dave then demonstrated how to create virtual copies, rename and organise images using Folders and Collections including a dire warning about only doing the moving within Lightroom itself.
To finish the evening we were then reminded how to prepare images for club competitions, resize them and export in the correct format.
Plenty of questions and answers made this a most informative evening and we heartily thank Dave for the huge amount of work that had obviously gone into producing such an excellent presentation. SH
For more information see Dave's 2019 'Editing in Lightroom'and 'Photo Mangement' and if you missed the presentation here are the images
|2019 Print Exhibition - People's Vote|
|The Members' Biennial Print Exhibition held in the Devizes Heritage Museum during the month ofSeptember has now closed. We hope that you all went along to see the wide variety of framed images.
Thanks to all those who made it happen and made it look so impressive. The judge gave his opinion on the images he liked best but during the exhibition visitors could pick the image that they thought appealed to them most.
The voting slips have been collected and the image with the most votes is titled 'Fisherman's Cottage on Hoy' and the photographer of this delightful image is club Chairman Steve Hardman so very well done to him. Out of the 96 votes cast, Steve's print gained 8.
Robert Harvey's ‘Rainbow Over Salisbury Plain’ scored 5 votes and Sue Wadman’s ‘Emergence’ and Steve Burgess’ ‘Landing Lights On’ were joint 3rd with 4 points.
Of equal significance is that 47 different prints had at least one person who thought they were the best which just goes to show that opinions vary widely.
Well done to everyone and now we can look forward to 2021 when we will have another chance to display the club's talents in the town!
|'Creating Stunning Star Trails" and "Astrophotography Highlights'||1 October 2019|
|An interest in astronomy started when Mary McIntyre was very young and she was captivated with the moon and said she wanted to be an astronomer when she grew up. The interest never waned and she showed her enthusiasm in her presentation. Mary has a shed in her garden that she shares with her husband which is equipped with an array of telescopes and other instruments as they both have the same passion for exploring the heavens but go about it in different ways
Mary began by saying that photographing star trails was easy and could be done with any camera or even a smartphone! However, to get the best results you need to experiment to get the settings right and you need a sturdy tripod as any movement will spoil the sequence. A cable release is also necessary to avoid camera shake when pressing the shutter.
Mary then talked in great detail through the techniques she uses. These can be seen on the PDF which you can study.
She advises finding somewhere with as dark a night sky as possible to avoid too much light pollution. Be prepared to spend many hours on often cold nights while the camera is set up to automatically takes an image every few seconds.
After taking the many individual images they then have to be processed to make up the final star trail photograph. Star trail images are composed of hundreds or even thousands of images ‘stacked’ together to give a final image but luckily these days there is software that makes the job fairly quick and easy. You can either finish up with a single stacked image or software can be used to make a time-lapse video of the changing star trails. The many hours it takes to photograph the night sky can be reduced to a few seconds on a video!
Mary illustrated her presentation by showing examples of her own work. Star trails can have a foreground subject which can either be in silhouette or lit to show some colour and she experiments with different ways of showing the trails – they can be central by lining up on the pole star or by looking East or West when just part of the trail is shown. The image can also be cropped to give different effects.
Mary then went on to show how extremely knowledgeable she is about anything related to space. She showed us images of solar eclipses, phases of the moon, comets and deep space galaxies and nebula. Using a camera attached to a telescope she is able to photograph extreme close ups of the moon and even the solar flares. Mary experiments to get ‘earthshine’ on the dark areas of a new moon. The milky way can be photographed with a landscape in the foreground to make a stunning image.
Mary is interested in photographing any phenomena seen in the night sky such as the aurora borealis which can be sometimes be seen from as far south as Oxfordshire. Lightning strikes are another interest and Mary showed many amazing single shots or stacked images. Unusual cloud formations, rainbows and crepuscular rays featured in other images.
Mary ended the evening by showing that her photographic knowledge is not only in the sky but she takes an interest in the natural world. She takes extreme close ups of snow flakes and uses a microscope to see tiny creatures that can’t be seen by eye.
Chairman Steve Hardman thanked Mary for her very interesting presentation and summed up the evening by saying it was lovely to hear someone conveying so well, the passion she has for her subjects. PM
Images© Mary McIntyre Top left :Star-trails, Top right: Earth-shine 0n Moon, Left: Rolling Clouds, Right: Lightning stacked image
|Open Projected Image Competition 1||24 September 2019|
|The judge for the first competition of the 2019-2020 season was Sandie Cox ARPS DPAGB who was welcomed back to the club by Chairman Steve Hardman. Sandie has kindly judged club competitions several times previously giving her expert advice on how images could be improved and selecting the winning entries.
As usual in Open competitions the entries are divided into 3 sections – Beginners, Intermediate and Advanced and Sandie remarked on the very high standard overall.
The evening began by projecting the Beginners section with a good entry of 27 images. Sandie spent some time giving her comments on how some images could have been improved by some cropping of unnecessary areas and the positioning of the subject in the frame. There was a wide range of subjects with some outstanding landscapes, wildlife subjects and some interesting ethnic portraits.
A member fairly new to club competitions did really well with Sandie awarding Paul Wells first and third places. A mono image by Paul titled ‘Days End’ right of a nostalgic harvesting scene with old machinery appealed to the judge and was placed first with a striking panoramic image also by Paul awarded third place. In second place was a well captured image of blackbird feeding her hungry offspring by Mark Somerville. Mark also gained a Highly Commended for an extreme close up titled ‘Longhorn Beetle’ Well done to all the Beginners who entered – some for the first time.
Next came the images entered in the Intermediate section. Again the standard was very high with some excellent wildlife photographs.
First place was given to David Wilkinson with a stunning image ‘Skylark with Bugs’ left and second was also given to David with ‘Green Woodpecker’ with both images having the subjects well positioned. Third was another nature image titled ‘Leopard Lacewings’ by Steve Hardman with judge commenting on the good depth of field keeping the whole image sharp. Steve also gained an HC with a very well taken landscape.
Sandie said that several more wildlife images in the section were worthy of awards but she had to limit the number given.
After the break came the turn of the Advanced images to be judged.
After picking out 8 of the images for awards Sandie gave a creative image ‘Great Tit with a Bee’ right by Tim Pier first place. The image showed a Great Tit on a fence but a texture had been added which really made the subject stand out and Sandie said she would have liked the image on her wall!
In second and third places were images by Robert Harvey ARPS EFIAP. The colours in the well taken image titled ‘Sandstorm, Namid Desert’ appealed to the judge and in ‘A Rabbit before me’ Sandie remarked on the foot prints in the snow and the beautiful lighting. Five Highly Commended's were awarded.
The judge was thanked for taking the time to look so carefully at all our entries and for giving her very helpful comments.
Thanks to all those members who entered the competition and especially to those entering for the first time. Thanks also to our new Competiton Secretary David Eagle who collected all the entries and ran the competition.A very good start to the competition season so we very much look forward to seeing many more top class images from members. PM
See the full list of awards All the Awarded Images can be seen in the Galleries Members can log in to see the 2019-2020 points table
|'Visions of Silence: Chernobyl 32 years on'||17 September 2019|
|Welsh Photographer Graham Harries was welcomed to the club by Chairman Steve Hardman. Graham has a wide interest in photography including nature, landscape, portrait and wedding photography and he began the evening by showing some of his images.
Tonight Graham was giving a presentation on his 4 day trip to Chernobyl where tourists are now allowed into parts of the site where the Soviet nuclear reactor exploded in 1986. Residents of the city nearest to the explosion had only 3 hours to leave their homes never to return. Surprisingly only 32 people died directly from the blast but thousands have since died from ill health caused by the radiation.
The excellently presented evening started with a countdown and then the sound of a warning siren. Video, still images, news broadcasts of the time, archive images were all expertly combined with sound effects and appropriate music to make the rather grim topic very watchable.
Places visited on the tour were the abandoned top secret areas with the grim looking corridors and the radar jamming structures, the now derelict hospital and a school where pupils had to leave everything behind. Even a whole city with its rows of identical tower blocks of flats was left to decay.
The actual reactor is now entombed in concrete to help keep in the radiation and it is estimated that the area around will be unsafe for at least 300 years.
The total area affected was 1,000 square miles with all cities, towns and villages within the area all abandoned. It is now considered reasonably safe to visit areas over 20 kms from the reactor site but precautions still have to be taken – no touching anything and avoid getting any mud on you and checks to make sure you are not contaminated.
A notice scrawled on a wall as you enter the area ‘Welcome to Hell’ gives a good idea of what you are about to see. Many poignant images showing what the residents at the time had to leave behind, clothes, books and even pianos now covered in debris in the litter strewn rooms.
Little touches sometimes show that the area was not as grim as the Soviet Union is often conceived to be, some elegant sculptures and painted walls in places and surprisingly a fairground although that had not yet been used before the area was inhabitable.
At the time of Grahams visit there was a covering of snow on the ground which enhanced the outdoor images, the many derelict vehicles, trains and even boats in the docks with its towering cranes made interesting photographic subjects.
Graham had put together a remarkable presentation with excellent images so thanks for giving the club such an interesting insight into such a grim tragedy. PM
Images © Graham Harries. Top left Abandoned Bus, top right: Radar Jamming & Danger Zone.
Bottom left: Mural of a Cosmanaut, bottom right: Abandoned Fairground Ride.
|The Landscape Group Presents......||10 September 2019|
In the second week of our new season, and much earlier in the year’s programme than usual, we had our “Landscape Group Presents…” evening.
Robert Harvey ARPS EFIAP got the session under way with a presentation entitled Landscape Photography in Autumn. He started by saying that it it is many photographers’ favourite time of the year for photography as the light is softer and the emerging colour in trees make for more interesting compositions. Splitting his talk into four parts, he started with images taken in Mist. The Vale of Pewsey is often shrouded in mist on early mornings in Autumn which can provide an extra dimension to the landscape. He illustrated this with a sunrise photograph taken from Milk Hill, where the subtle pink dawn light suffused the mist.
Caen Locks (left) in Devizes is, said Robert, one of the most popular photography sights in Wiltshire, especially when there is mist, and he urged us to consider heading there to take sunrise shots one week before the autumn equinox. This is when the sun rises directly in line with the top of the locks as seen from the bottom of the flight. The best time this autumn, he said, would be at 07:01 on Monday 16th September.
He also recommended using a longer lens to foreshorten perspective, as demonstrated in misty images taken at Martinsell and Corfe Castle.
Waterfalls constituted Robert’s second section saying that they looked their best on bright overcast days in autumn when colours become well saturated. Fallen leaves on rocks or swirling in the water added extra dimensions to the images. He pointed out that there is constant debate about the best shutter speed for waterfall photography. Using a series of images taken at Tavy Cleave on the River Tavy in Devon, Robert took a straw poll of the audience preferences. Photos taken at 1/80th (crisp water) and 1/2 a second (Milky water) received a reasonable number of votes, but that taken at 10 second (very blurred) was not popular. The favourite for this group, however, was the image taken at 1/6th second in which there was some blurring that showed the movement of the water.
A top tip from Robert was to collect loads of fallen leaves in a bag. These can then be used to tip into swirling water before shooting at a slow shutter speed to capture the swirl in the stream. They can also be placed artistically on convenient foreground rocks to add interest and colour. These techniques were demonstrated in further waterfall images taken at Venford Falls on Dartmoor and a series of waterfalls at Ystradfellte (right) in the Brecon Beacons.
Robert’s third section turned to the pastel colours that become evident in the early morning in Autumn, particularly on frosty days. Showing images of millstone grit rocks in the Peak District and granite stones on Dartmoor, he showed how the early morning glow can infuse the rocks with pastel tones along with the muted shades of bracken brown and grass green. He said that the best light often occurs before dawn, as shown in images taken in the Lake District of Derwent Water and Buttermere, where he was able to capture the pastel tones of the sky reflected in the waters of the lakes. He also showed shots of the muted colours on a cloudy day at Castlerigg Stone Circle and the gleaming wood of a jetty on a rainy afternoon at Ullswater.
For his fourth section, Robert talked about the golden leaves that are characteristic of Autumn. Several further photographs taken in the Lake District showed the splendour of trees in the landscape as the leaves change colour. He also showed how the use of a 10-stop neutral density filter can smooth out the waters in a lake to obtain crisp reflections. Images taken on Exmoor at Robber’s Bridge and Tar Steps (left) also showed the beauty of yellow and orange-leaved trees at the river’s edge.
|'What Makes a Good Photograph?'||3 September 2019|
|Standing in for the club Chairman, David Wilkinson welcomed everyone to the first meeting of the 2019-2020 season and said it was good to see so many potential new members.
David said the season had already started with a bang as the members print exhibition had been opened a few days previously. The exhibition showed the high standard of photography by club members and he urged any that had not seen the exhibition to go along to the Devizes Museum. Due to Caroline Wright organising workshops and encouraging members who had never seen their images printed. David said that 25% of the print entries were from those in the club’s Beginners Group and some had also been awarded Highly Commended’s.
David then introduced tonight’s speaker Andrew Mills ARPS. Andrew has been a professional photographer for all his working life with a wide range of experience in advertising and commercial photography as well as studio work. He has travelled widely and held many exhibitions of his photographs and now lectures in photography at degree level so is well qualified to give his opinion on what makes a good photograph.
Andrew explained that he was going to take us on a journey through some famous photographer’s work. Although the photographs he is about to show he regards as good or interesting they would probably not be marked highly in camera club competitions.
Many of the images were experimental in their time and were taken with the limited equipment available.
Early photography was regarded as an art and was mainly the prerogative of the wealthy aristocrats. The photographer had to have a good knowledge of chemistry, how a camera works and how to take an image with the equipment of the time which was bulky and heavy. Setting up a plate camera took a long time and exposure could take several hours but nevertheless superb images were produced which have stood the test of time and are highly regarded today.
Great care was taken over posing and lighting studio images and photographers of the day managed to set up their equipment outdoors to record events and street scenes of the time.
Images showing the fashions, living conditions and events of the time are of great historic value. War scenes, industrial landscapes and street scenes were among the many images shown in the presentation also beautifully posed portraits that rival any taken today.
Lighting is very important as well as good composition but equally photographs need to catch a moment in time that can never be repeated.
Most images shown were in monochrome but coming more up to date there were some superb colour shots, many taken before the convenience of digital photography and modern equipment. Faster speeds now allow more scope to catch the action but the old photographers were very inventive and managed to photograph some amazing events.
Shown above is a stunning image 'Glass Tears' by Man-Ray taken in 1932 and above right is an early image of 'Marilyn Monroe by Richard Avedon.
Images were also shown by many living photographers such as Tim Flach & Richard Cook but images are still under copyright.
Andrew himself takes many candid shots portaying life and events in many countries and also superb wildlife images.
Shown left is a poignant moment taken in Tienenman Square, Beijing and shown right is one of Andrews many images of Romanian peasant folk going about their daily lives.
See Andrews website for many more images.
Many thanks to Andrew for sharing his knowledge and giving such an interesting and inspiring presentation. PM
|Biennial Print Exhibition is now Open|
|On Sunday 1st September in the Gallery of the Wiltshire Heritage Museum Craig Purvis welcomed the Mayor of Devizes Cllr Judy Rose and thanked her for giving up her Sunday to open the event, Craig introduced the Judge Ralph Snook ARPS, EFIAP/b, DPAGB and welcomed members and visitors to the opening of the 2019 Members Print Exhibition.
Craig thanked the museum for their hospitality and the help during the set-up, Caroline Wright for all the work organizing the entries and all those who helped set up this exhibition. The judge was thanked for judging the very large number of prints entered and for coming along to today to award the photographers with the winning images, finally thanking the Mayor councilor Judy Rose for giving up her Sunday to open this event.
The Mayor said that she enjoys photography herself and thought the images were ‘absolutely amazing’. Craig handed over to the judge who said, he thought the images looked very impressive on the walls of the gallery and commented on the impressive layout due to the fact all the frames were of a similar size and colour. Ralph made point the standard was very high, which made his job very difficult and on several occasions had moved HC’s into 1,2, or 3rd placings and visa versa and then moved back again. He thought the idea of one part of the competition being photographs taken in Wiltshire was very good and the club may benefit from a greater interest from local photographers because of it. He made use of as many HCs as he could because the standard was so high.
With everyone waiting to see who had won the Trophies and gained awards the judge read out the titles of the prints and the photographers who had gained awards.
Altogether there were 105 prints from 30 members entered in the competition of which 29 were entered in the ‘Photographed in Wiltshire’ section. Space was limited in the museum but 85 prints were framed and on show in the Gallery. Some new members were showing their prints for the first time and were very pleased when they saw how impressive their prints looked when framed and hung on a gallery wall!
In the best overall print competition, the judge Ralph Snook placed ‘Golden Eagle in the Snow by Gill Cardy FRPS DPAGB EFIAP (right) in first place and presented Gill with the Leaze Cottage Trophy. This Trophy was donated by Gill in 2009 so it was very appropriate that she won the competition and the trophy! Eighteen of the prints were also awarded Highly Commended
In second place was a creative image by Tim Pier titled ‘The Princess’ and in third place was ‘Male Kingfisher and Two Fish by Kyra Wilson.
In the competition for images taken in Wiltshire first place went to ‘Rainbow over Salisbury Plain’ by Robert Harvey ARPS EFIAP (left) and he was presented with the Derek Parker Plaque. ‘Golden Sunset, Cherhill Down’ by Dave Gray was placed second and David Wilkinson’s ‘Barn Owl Feeding’ was in third place. In addition, Highly Commended’s were awarded to six more of the prints.
Many congratulations to all those with awards and thanks to all those who entered and helped make this such an interesting and inspiring exhibition.
Particular thanks to Caroline for all her hard work and all those who had the difficult task of hanging all the prints and making the gallery look so special. Many thanks to all those who helped with the difficult job of hanging all the framed prints on the walls of the gallery and those that helped in many different ways.
The exhibition is open during Museum opening times until 28 September so if you haven’t seen it yet then go along and see the wide range of subjects shown and the very high standard of prints by club members. Also would members tell friends and neighbours that the exhibition is well worth a visit. The judge has given his opinion and picked his favourites but anyone can go along and vote for the print that they would have put first by posting a voting slip in the box. Also please leave your comments in the visitors book as its interesting to read how the general public feel about the club’s efforts. PM Images by Caroline Wright & David Wilkinson
See the full list of awarded images Top placed Prints
|Summer Social Event 2019|
|Members of the club gathered together on a hot June afternoon in the Melksham garden of Ian & Gill Cardy.
Members brought along some salads, sweets and cakes for all to enjoy and Frank Collins was in charge of the BBQ.
Many thanks to Gill and Ian for hosting the event. Thanks to Joan Ryder Rathband for the photos.
|Landscape Group trip to Cornwall|
May 2019 saw the Devizes Landscape Group venture down to Tintagel on Cornwall’s sunny North Coast for a spring photoshoot weekend.
The weather forecast was set fair and the group had been booked in to stay at the Camelot Castle hotel, with its commanding views over the coastline including views toward Tintagel Island and Tintagel Haven.
The Camelot Castle hotel dates back to 1894 and was originally constructed under the auspices of a Victorian entrepreneur, by the name of Sir Robert Harvey (no relation?). It is now owned by John Mappin (of Mappin and Webb fame) and is run jointly as a family home and hotel welcoming visitors to Tintagel on the Cornish North coast.
Tintagel Island is famous for its connection with the legends surrounding Merlin, King Arthur and Camelot. However, the ruined castle on the island dates from Norman times, much later than the time of the Arthurian legends, however the island does hold signs of much earlier settlements. Sadly, we were unable to explore the castle as the island was closed off in preparation for the installation of a ‘no steps’ foot bridge to allow access to the island without the need to climb the existing steep cliff path.
Probably feeling somewhat cheated, Dave Gray seemed to take this as a bit of a challenge and established an interesting photographic itinerary for the group that made absolutely sure that we didn’t miss out on our fair share of steep cliff paths.
On the Saturday, the first day’s excursions started with an early a trip out to the cliffs near Trevelga between Tintagel and Boscastle to see the rock arch known as the Ladies Window. With the sun in the right direction the window casts its shadow on the cliffs opposite, which we duly photographed, ably assisted by some willing models to add some human interest and a sense of scale.
Although only a half mile walk, this introductory walk was sufficient impetus to split the group into ‘Walkers’ and ‘Non-Walkers’. The Non-Walkers took the eminently sensible option of letting the car take the strain, while the ‘Walkers’ were to be subjected treated to yet more cliff path challenges.
Boscastle was next on the agenda, back in 2004 the town of Boscastle was devasted by floods, but 15 years later the buildings around the harbor have now been rebuilt and refurbished such that you would never know that the flood had taken place.
The classic view of Boscastle harbor is from Penally Hill looking toward Willapark and its small castellated coastguard lookout perched on the opposite headland. The climb up Penally Hill is yet another steep walk, which although a well-worn path with steps, is still a bit of a challenge to the fully laden photographer.
From Penally hill we walked out to the headland and back into Boscastle Harbour, ready for our next destination, the ominously named Strangles beach.
Strangles beach is located on a stretch of the Cornish coastline well known for its high cliffs (there’s a surprise), with one of the nearby cliffs being ‘High Cliff’ which stands at some 700 feet above sea level. The beach itself is reached by negotiating an undulating section of the South West Coast path followed by descending several hundred feet down a very steep cliff to the beach, the last stage of this descent being facilitated by a length of ships hawser to allow the steps to be safely negotiated.
Once on the beach, the focus of our photographic efforts was to be the rock stack and arch known as Northern Door. The Northern door marks the division of the Strangles into two beaches here which join up at low tide.Images by David Eagle
The smaller beach to the north of the rock stack is known as Little Strand and although Little Strand is said to be popular with naturists, we confined our photography to the stack and the arch (honest!)
Having survived the descent to the Strangles and subsequent ascent and return to the cars, we set off for Crackington Haven ready for the sunset and high tide, but not before an excellent early supper at the Coombe Barton Inn.
The beach at Crackington is surrounded by cliffs of some 400ft, the cliffs feature some dramatic sedimentary rock folds, while the beach itself hosts some spectacular quartz veined ledges and ridges which made for great photographic subjects as the tide advances. The tide at this beach, in common it seems with a number of beaches in North Cornwall, has great potential for cutting off the unwary photographer, so care had to be taken to work out both the chosen composition and also an escape route from the rising tide.
continue reading Day 2,
|Annual General Meeting and Presentation of Awards||14 May 2019|
|Chairman Steve Hardman opened the proceedings for the clubs 2019 AGM by saying how surprised he had been to find he had been made chairman in his absence at the previous AGM!
One of the things Steve particularly noticed when he first joined the club was that there was a huge wealth of experience and photographic knowledge amongst members which they only too ready to share if asked.
Steve said that there is a very hardworking, dedicated and enthusiastic committee who beaver away in the background trying to make things happen and deserve massive thanks.
In his Annual report Steve went on to thank the committee members starting with Roly Barth who found himself as Competition Secretary after Stephen Burgess could not take on the role because of work commitments. Roly also took on the role of Vice Chairman and has stood in for Steve when he has not been able to attend meetings.
Dave Gray was thanked for his dedicated work as Club Secretary and also for leading the Landscape Group.
Robert Harvey ARPS EFIAP has been a member of the Club for many years but over the last 4
years as Programme Secretary he has excelled in producing an ever-improving speaker programme which must be the envy of other clubs far and wide. The quality and range of speakers he has organised has attracted many visitors to come along to club presentation evenings. Robert has organised and led many of the clubs Landscape Group day and weekend visits to many parts of the UK. As a thank-you for all the work he has done for the Club Robert was made a Life Member.
Battle Secretary Frank Collins was thanked for his role in organising the outside competitions and battles with other clubs and will be standing down for next season as the club has a rule that and roles have to be changed after 4 years.
Richard Atkinson AFIAP was thanked for stepping in early in the season when work prevented Lynda Croft from continuing as Treasurer. Richard has been ably assisted by Peter Tasker taking attendance fees on the desk. Caroline Wright as Membership Secretary had done a great job and Craig Purvis has hugely raised the profile of the club, and kept it up to date, on social media in his role as Publicity Officer.
A big thanks went to Mike (Mr Fixit) Saunders who arrives early and sets out the chairs and equipment and attends Sports Club meetings on behalf of the club. Mike stepped in to sort out the trophies and has even built the secure cupboard for the club equipment.
Jean Ingram stepped down from organising the break-time refreshments for many years and the Role has been taken over by Pam Mullings. Although no longer on the committee, Steve thanked Pam for her work in many different roles for the club since joining in 2007 and was made a Life Member.
|Ladies V Gents - a win for the Ladies||7 May 2019|
|Members have been looking forward to the Battle between the Ladies & Gents of the club which is a bit of friendly rivalry between the sexes. So that there is not a cry of bias we invite a male and a female judge to come and award points to each image without knowing who has taken the images. This year we welcomed experienced judges John Tilsely ARPS and his wife Di CPAGP to take on the task of judging the 60 entries.
The judges had both viewed all the entries separately and told us had not conferred at all so they had no idea what scores each had given. John and Di both gave their comments on each image and then each gave a score out of 10. In most cases they completely agreed and in only a few cases did they slightly disagree but as they said a lot of judging comes down in the end to personal preference. Both had looked very closely at all the images and picked up on things like buildings and objects that stood out and detracted from a scene and could have been removed as his was an Open competition. Unnecessary
areas on some landscape images could have been cropped and a few distracting light areas toned down.
To encourage entries from the Beginners and Intermediate sections a bonus of 2 points was added to the scores of those in these categories. The Gents had 30 bonus points and the Ladies who managed to persuade some new members who had never entered a competition before to show their images had 38 bonus points added.
At the end of the first half the Ladies were ahead and that lead continued with the final scores being Ladies 553 and the Gents 536. It was pleasing that the ladies won by 17 points so it was not just the 8 extra bonus points that made the difference.
Four of the images were highly regarded by both judges and scored a 10 from each – these were an interesting forest scene titled ‘Alive in the Forest’ by David Eagle who also had 2 bonus points as he is a fairly new member and in the Beginners Group so very well done to him. Robert Harvey ARPS EFIAP also scored a total of 20 for the Gents with his image ‘A Rabbit Before Me’ with its footprints in the snow.
The Ladies with the top scores were Gill Cardy FRPS DPAGB EFIAP with an impressive ‘Golden Eagle’ and Kyra Wilson with ‘Kingfisher with Catch’
Close behind were 2 Ladies from the Beginners Group with 19.5 points plus bonus for Helena Chambers with a dirt biking image ‘Tight Corner’.Entering a competition for the first time, Gina Gordon with a monochrome portrait titled ‘The Matriarch’ was awarded 19 points plus bonus and also scored 18.5 for ‘Chapatti Baker, Amritsar’.
Kyra Wilson’s ‘Llyn Padern’ scored 19 as did Clive Rathband’s ‘Malachite Kingfisher’
Another new member entering for the first time was Bridget Codrington who scored 18.5 for ‘Blue Hour at Silbury Hill’.
Also doing well with 19 points were Tim Pier with a colourful creative image of a pheasant ‘Loud and Proud’ and Steve McCartney with monochrome ‘Lovers Moon’
Well done to all the other entrants who hopefully learnt something from the judges’ comments.
Many thanks to the team captains - Sue Wadman for the Ladies and Martin Stokes for the Gents who collected the entries and organised the selections. Thanks to Battle Secretary Frank Collins who listed and put the competition together and Roly Barth and Dave Gray who ran the competition and Steve Hardman who kept the scores.
A special thanks to John and Di who had taken such a lot of time and trouble to look so carefully at the entries and give their comments and scores.
This was a very pleasurable light-hearted event to end on as this is the last competition for the season. It all starts again in September when we hope for good competition entries from all who took part in the Battle. PM
Just some of the images not seen in competitions before are shown.
|Print and Projected Image of the Year competitions||30 April 2019|
Entered in this final competition of the season were the ‘best of the best’ and the judge Peter Orr ARPS had the onerous job of selecting the award winners. All the images had been placed either 1st, 2nd or 3rd in Print and Projected Image competitions held since September.
Entries covered wide variety of subjects and styles as the club has competitions for nature, landscape, creative and monochrome as well as the images in Open competitions which can be of any subject. In this case the judge said his particular interests were nature and landscape but he likes to see the trends and fashions that come and go in photography but he felt that usually nothing beats a good classic image.
Peter had not visited the club before and was surprised that he had the luxury of studying all the images closely beforehand rather than judging cold on the night. He usually judges for the Southern Photography Federation clubs where it seems judging on the night is the norm.
Peter certainly did a thorough job of looking closely at the entries and noticed the tiniest of blemishes - dust spots that had been missed and the eye was drawn to tiny light areas once they had been pointed out. Peter was very knowledgeable and gave very comprehensive comments on every image.
Members whose image was placed first in each section were awarded the Print or Projected Image Trophy for their section.
As usual the prints were shown first starting with the Beginners section. In first place was a simple image titled ‘Thistle Do’ right by Richard Blackbourne. The judge commented that the seed head was well focussed and stood out well against the dark background. Richard was also awarded second place with a colourful image titled ‘Forest Funghi’ ‘Deer Hunt’ by Helena Chambers was in third place.
Next to be judged was the Intermediate section where Peter placed ‘Moonscape’left - a very atmospheric seascape by Steve McCarthy first. The judge commented that the exposure was just right and he liked the panoramic format. In second place was an image of a kestrel titled ‘Winter Arrival’ by David Wilkinson and third in the section was ‘Log of ages’ by Craig Purvis.
The last print section was the Advanced with fifteen entries with a range of stunning wildlife, landscape and architectural images to be judged.
Not surprisingly Robert Harvey ARPS EFIAP was awarded the trophy for at least the fourth time!
In first place was a stunning close up image titled ‘Cold mountain Hare’right which the judge said the detail in the fur was incredible. Second was another nature study by Robert ‘Striated Caracaras, Falklands’ in which the two birds were perfectly photographed as they perched on a seaweed covered rock.
Tim Pier’s tranquil seascape ‘Morning Light at Whitby’ was in third place and images by Chris Wilkes-Ciudad and Pam Mullings were awarded HC’s.
Trophies were presented to Print competition winners present by chairman Steve Hardman.
After the break came the three projected Image sections starting with the Beginners.
An action shot of three dirt track riders caught the judges eye – ‘Tight Corner’left by Helena Chambers.
The well caught image showed the flying mud as the riders negotiated the racing track.
In second place was ‘Dam Built with Elan’ by Craig Purvis and in third place was ‘Crash’ an expressive monochrome image of a dog by Avril McCarthy. Roly Barth, Helena Chambers and Hilary Tapley were all awarded HC’s. (Craig & Roly have since been promoted to Intermediate’s)
Martin Stokes had a great evening with his PI’s gaining 1st, 2nd & 3rd in the Intermediate section.
Winning him the Trophy was a stunning early morning image ‘Mount Snowdon’ right with a very colourful sunrise over the mountain reflected in the lake below. Second was ‘Tiny Racer’ - a well captured image with a great sense of speed and third was a seascape ‘Storm’ which showed excellent lighting on the shore and a rainbow over a pier.
Last but not least came the Advanced group with tough competition from all of the 19 excellent entries. Unfortunately,
Robert just missed out on his haul of all the Advanced Trophies this year as Pam Mullings was declared the winner of the Projected Image trophy.
The image that caught the judges eye was ‘Despair’ left with a Victorian mother and children in a dark alleyway.
Robert came in 2nd & 3rd and with 3 HC’s as well! In second place was ‘Rainbow and Beech Clump’ – the judge commented that the photographer was lucky to be in just the right place to get that shot but no doubt Robert knew exactly where the rainbow would appear! Third was Robert’s Milky Way, Mars and Meteor’.
Steve Hardman presented the PI Trophies to those present – those winners not there for the competition will be presented with their trophies at the AGM on 14 May.
See - Club Competition Awards 2018 - 2019
Steve then thanked Peter for judging the competition and giving his comments.
Congratulations to all and thanks to all who have entered competitions this year. Get prepared and look out during the summer break for interesting ideas ready for the busy 2019-2000 season! PM
|'Wild South West’||23 April 2019|
|The club welcomed Nigel Hicks who described himself as a professional photographer covering many types of photography including travel, wildlife and architecture. Trained as a biologist Nigel’s images appear in books and magazines and he also runs his own workshops and tours. As a professional photographer he takes on commissions to photograph hotels, people and cityscapes often used to illustrate travel brochures and guide books.
In the first half of the presentation Nigel explained about the projects he has been working on and showed us some of his images taken in Iceland with its mountains, waterfalls, glaciers and geysers. Nigel says he looks for something different and tries to photograph the landscape from unusual angles and likes simple uncluttered compositions with a limited colour palette. He seeks out hidden gems that others might not notice.
Another project that Nigel has worked on for many years is the wildlife of the Philippines where he wrote and illustrated a book 20 years ago when little was known about the diverse wildlife unique to the area.
The country with its many islands has many volcanos and rain forests with a vast variety of flora and fauna and Nigel even went underwater to photograph the life found on the coral reefs. He has recently returned and stayed for a few months photographing the country for a new updated version of his book recording the scenery, wildlife and the people.
In the second half of the presentation Nigel came much nearer to home and showed a few images from his project to photograph his home county of Devon as well as Dorset and Cornwall.
About to be published is his book titled ‘Wild Southwest’ which is a guide to the finest landscapes in the area which visitors might like to explore.
From the heather moorland through the deep valleys down to the rugged coastline Nigel photographs the diverse landscapes. Also in the book will be images of some of the wild flowers, insects and birds found in those counties as well as some spontaneous images of the people who live and work there.
Club vice chairman Roly Barth thanked Nigel for giving us an insight into the commercial aspects of his photography and the images of the southwest. PM
Images from 'Wild Southwest' © Nigel Hicks Left: Dipper Right: Cornish Tinmine
|Inter-Club Battle with Frome Wessex CC - a win for Devizes||16 April 2019|
|The club were delighted to welcome members of Frome Wessex Camera Club for a projected image ‘Battle’ The judge for the evening was Peter McCloskey FRPS APAGB who had previously had a close look at all the entries but had no idea which images came from which club.
Each club had entered 30 images and no author could have more than 2 images in the selection. Devizes entries came from the Beginners section as well as Intermediate and Advanced so very well done to all of them for having their images selected to represent the club.
The judge gave his comments on each image and then according to his opinion of the image he gave it a score out of 20. Only one image out of the 60 in the competition was rated highly enough to score the maximum points – this was ‘A Beautiful Trio’ by Alan Denison from Frome Wessex CC. The image was well photographed with excellent lighting and portrayed 3 attractive models in a studio pose. Alan also gained 19 points for his image ‘Flour Power’ with models throwing white powder to create interesting shapes against a black background. Another Frome Wessex image also gained 19 points – this time a delightful portrait of a young girl holding a rose titled ‘Poppy’ by Loveday Powell so many congratulations to those 2 photographers.
Hilary Tapley was one of 2 Devizes entries that was awarded the highest score for the club of 18 points. The image was a macro shot of a pair of common blue butterflies left. The judge said that the image was well captured and the focus and the positioning in the frame were excellent.
Robert Harvey ARPS EFIAP was also awarded 18 points for his astro-photography image titled ‘Milky Way, Mars and Saturn over Durdle Door’ right. The judge commented that the lighting on Durdle Door was well potrayed and that the milky way and planets were well photographed.
Devizes had 6 of its entries gaining 17 points and the rest of the entries ranged between 13 and 16 points.
At the halftime break the scores from the 2 clubs were equal and that continued until the last few images were shown – then Devizes managed to just creep ahead with the final scores Devizes 467 and Frome Wessex 464.
Club Chairman thanked the judge and remarked that the standard of entries was extremely high.
Battle Secretary Frank Collins was unable to get to the meeting so Roly Barth operated the computer and Steve did the scoring so many thanks to both for stepping in.
Many thanks for the members of Frome Wessex for travelling over for the evening. We will look forward to a return ‘Battle’ between the two clubs at Frome next season. PM
|Competition 3 - Open Projected Images||9 April 2019|
This was a return visit to the club by Simon Caplan LRPS who recently gave a presentation but this time he came to judge the last Open Projected Competition of the season.
|'Photographing Landscape Whatever the Weather’||2 April 2019|
Tony Worobiec made a welcome return to Devizes Camera Club on Tuesday to present his talk and was quick to say, however, that he would prefer to think of it as a workshop, rather than a lecture, and that he would welcome and encourage questions.
He told us that the idea for this talk originated during a workshop he attended some years ago somewhere in America when the delegates were restricted to their motel for 2 days because of poor weather. He felt that was a terrible waste and wanted to show photographers what could be done whatever the weather conditions.
He explained that he tends to expand his definition of “Landscape” from merely images of the countryside to include Coastal Landscapes, Industrial Landscapes and Urban Landscapes. Then he tries to match the feel of his chosen landscape to the weather. And if it isn’t working, he will change location. Tony illustrated these ideas with images of derelict farm buildings in Montana with dramatic, threatening skies, and shots of piers glistening in the rain.
Tony proceeded to work his way through various weather situations, giving hints and tips as to how good images can be achieved in any conditions. He showed us how dramatic cloudy skies can enhance an otherwise lifeless, flat scene. How breaks in the cloud can provide fantastic illumination on dull days. He enthused on the beauty of clouds, presenting images of Super Cells, Mammatus clouds and the approach of a dust storm. And he illustrated how breaking clouds can be illuminated from beneath after the sun has set, transforming a landscape with its glow, as a sequence of images taken at the Grand Canyon showed perfectly.
Many people avoid going out with their cameras when its is raining, but Tony implored us to rethink. Dressed properly, armed with a waterproof camera cover (maybe a shower cap from the hotel bathroom!), a lens hood and a microfibre cloth to wipe your lens, many subjects are transformed by the extra luminosity of light on wet surfaces. His wonderful images taken on various piers round the UK bore witness to the truth of this. He also pointed out that the pathos and abandonment of derelict buildings can be enhanced in the rain.
After the rain, Tony said, the light can be magical as the rain clouds recede. Rainbows add drama to images and can infuse the sky with its colour. Puddles can provide beautiful reflections and foreground interest.
Wind can be an interesting challenge as it can’t be seen - you can only capture the effect of the wind. Tony showed how this can be done in images of the shapes of trees swaying, the spume on waves, moving clouds and fields of barley with poppies. The steam billowing from cooling towers was another effective image of wind.
And the lack of wind can be shown in images of still water and smoke/steam ascending vertically. Tony talked about the phenomenon of Atmospheric Decoupling - the stillness that occurs about 40 minutes before sunrise and 35 minutes after sunset as the temperature of the air and the land equalise. An image of a line of trees on the banks of a canal perfectly reflected in the still waters illustrated what he meant.
Tony expressed his love of foggy and misty conditions. He suggested using a telephoto lens to compress the composition of a woodland scene so that clutter disappears in the fog and simplifies the image. He talked about rising mist that forms about 40 minutes before dawn after a cold night which can provide an extra dimension to a landscape.
He showed us how frost, ice and snow can provide their own kinds of magic. He illustrated the minimalism achieved in snow with high key images of landscape, the structure and texture that emerges in images of fields with a thin layer of snow, and the fascination of ice patterns formed on his car windscreen and in puddles with low early morning light.
While photographing landscapes when there is a blue sky, Tony told us to remember that blue is a primary colour and to select a landscape with complimentary colours, such as desert sand dunes or orange cliffs like those found at West Bay in Dorset. With bland skies, he suggested thinking of them as a sheet of white paper on which lines can be drawn such as the tracery of trees or structures such posts and telegraph poles. On bland cloudy days, try to make images where the sun is a mysterious presence glowing threateningly through onto the composition.
Tony finished his presentation by imploring us not to let the weather stop us from going out with our cameras, reminding us to dress appropriately and try to select locations that complement the weather conditions.
Our Deputy Chairman thanked Tony for a fascinating evening with some wonderful images which he felt would inspire our members to try to emulate. DF
Images © Tony Worobiec
|Inter-Club Battle at Stratton CC||27 March 2019|
|The latest in the long running series of Annual Battles between Devizes CC and photographic clubs in the Swindon area took place on 27th March. This year the other participants were Swindon, Stratton and Royal Wootton Bassett and the event was hosted by Stratton Camera Club at their premises in north Swindon
Each Club was represented by 15 images, with no more than two being allowed from the same photographer. Images from 10 different members represented Devizes, with images coming from members in each of our three competition sections.
Judge for the evening was Sandy Watson, a new judge so far as Devizes are concerned, judging on the evening without having seen the images prior to the night. He gave commentary on each image before giving it a score out of 20, with his marks being in the range of 15-20. Ten of the 60 images were awarded the full 20, including 4 from the Devizes entry, and from the Judge’s comments it was clear that Kyra Wilson’s ‘Kingfisher with Catch’ was the ‘Judges Choice’ image of the evening – congratulations Kyra.
As always, judging brings into play the judges preferences and personal opinions and, quite rightly, two different judges will not necessarily see the same image in the same way.
This evening therefore was one in which the “creative” images did not find the judge’s favour, and he also expressed a preference for images to be more tightly cropped to the main subject matter.
Nevertheless, in addition to 4 images scoring 20, a further 4 each received 19 points, and in a contest which in its early stages looked very tight, these contributed to Devizes final winning score of 273 points, 9 points clear of Royal Wootton Bassett in second place.
Our thanks go to the Sandy Watson for his judging, and to Stratton Camera Club for organising the event and hosting it, including providing a very splendid buffet at half time. FC
Images gaining the maximum 20 points from Devizes CC Top: Kingfisher with Catch by Kyra Wilson
Top right: Living Dangerously by Craig Purvis
Left: Common Blues by Hilary Tapley
Right: Is that me? by Frank Collins
|‘Street Photography My Way’||26 March 2019|
|Peter Crane ARPS began his presentation by describing Street Photography as ‘fishing for people’ and catching a moment in time. Peter said that you need to always be alert and have your camera ready because you never know when something might happen that will make an interesting photograph.
Described the kit he takes out with him Peter gave some tips on how to blend in so that people do not even notice that you are taking photographs. Once people spot a camera pointing their way they might get annoyed or alternatively stand and smile which is not what you want. The idea is to watch people going about their everyday lives and capturing the interaction or something that stands out to make an interesting image.
Peter displayed his ARPS panel of prints – all in colour as it is colour that often attracts him. He likes to find someone’s clothes or hair that harmonises with the scene such as the shoes against the painted pavement right or the coloured hair with the painted wall below.
Images are occasionally changed to monochrome when the background colour takes attention away from the situation that caught his eye.
Use a smallish zoom lens for flexibility as you have no idea how far away your subject might be and Peter also suggests setting the camera manually, pre focussing if you can and then using the camera back button to set the focus. Using a wrist strap you can then ‘shoot from the hip’ without anyone noticing by reaching for the back button and pressing the shutter. A spirit level on the hot shoe can make sure the camera is level. Use a fast shutter speed and continuous shooting to catch the moment. Or conversely use a slow shutter speed to blur the movement of people as they hurry by. Find a quiet viewpoint to observe what is going on without being noticed – look up or look down and you get a different aspect.
Wear inconspicuous clothing and comfortable shoes as you may be standing around for a long time – street photography takes a lot of patience. Peter often sees a poster or shop sign and just waits until someone passes that conveys what he has in mind and he showed many examples. Some situations were quite odd, others humorous and nowadays the subject is often so engrossed looking at their phone that they have no idea what’s going on around them.
Good places to look for subjects are café’s, markets and train stations where people are busy just getting on with their lives.
Reflections can be found in wet pavements and shop windows giving interesting effects. Look out for dogs or other animals behaving oddly or looking cute. Images can be found with or without people or pets by looking for interestingly worded signs or graffiti or strange vehicles. Use your imagination and see what you can find.
Keep your eyes open, keep alert, keep your camera ready and hopefully catch that decisive moment!
Dave Gray thanked Peter for showing his interesting images and giving such an inspiring presentation. PM
|Club Member's Successes||21 March 2019|
|The results of the selection for the 2019 WCPF Members' Exhibition have just been announced and Robert Harvey ARPS EFIAP has had 8 of his entries accepted for this prestigious event.
Members from any of the clubs affiliated to the Wester Counties Photographic Federation which includes the counties from Wiltshire to Cornwall could send in print and digital entries.
The entries have now been judged and all those with a score of 12 or over will be displayed in an exhibition which takes place at Bovey Tracey Golf Club TQ13 9NG from Sunday 5th May to Sunday 19th May
Congratulations to Robert for his acceptances. All the accepted images can be seen on the WCPF website.
Image © Robert Harvey - 'Langdale Valley' accepted in the Open Digital Class
|Competition 2 - Open Prints||19 March 2019|
Derek Gale was welcomed back for his second visit to the club to judge an Open print competition.
Unfortunately, there were not many entries in the Beginners and Intermediate sections but quite a good number in the Advanced section. Maybe newer members think that printing and mounting their images is going to be difficult and expensive but it need not be as commercial prints are allowed and they can cost very little.
Derek gave some comments on how to best present prints and said that the right mount can make a big difference as it can complement the image. Select ta colour that enhances the image as the wrong colour can make the image appear rather too dark or too light. Leave space around the image so that it does not appear cramped.
Starting with the Beginners entries Derek said these members were probably new to the club and by entering a competition it was a good opportunity for them to learn more about the presentation of their prints. Small details are important and Derek said that distracting light areas should have been toned down.
‘Thistle Do’ left - a close-up image of a seed head by Richard Blackmore gained first place. The judge liked the simplicity and the dark complimentary background.
Second place went to Helena Chambers with ‘Hello, I’m up Here’ a monochrome which portrayed a man playing a violin on a tightrope. Although some of the bystanders shown were rather distracting the image was well caught.
Members who had progressed to the Intermediate section should achieve a higher standard and show more imagination said the judge.
An image of a lone deer titled ‘Surprised’ right by David Wilkinson was well presented with the subject in focus and the background blurred. The colour was good and it was awarded first place in the Intermediate section.
‘Log of Ages’ by Craig Purvis was an image of a log lying on a beach – the judge liked the simplicity and the composition and placed it second.
Next came the Advanced section with 21 entries to judge. Derek said that those who had reached the club’s advanced level should have images with no faults such as poor focus or composition so he expected great things! He really did not have too much to criticise – just some tiny details that might have been better removed. He had some comments about painted mounts and in one case the mount would have been better another colour.
Finally Derek made his selection with a creative image titled ‘Bald Eagle‘ left by Tim Pier in first place saying that the eagle stood out well against the dark background.
Derek liked the interaction between the two birds in ‘Striated Caracaras, Falklands’ by Robert Harvey ARPS EFIAP and awarded the print second place.
Tim Pier gained third place with a landscape ‘ Morning Light at Whitby’ an area that the judge knew well.
Congratulations to all.
After the break Derek showed us some of his macro images and gave some tips on macro photography. He showed several ways of taking close up images that could be tried out before deciding to buy a special macro lens – he even improvised using the cardboard tube from a toilet roll!
He suggested trying to get as close as you can with a standard lens set to wide angle or if you have them try adding extension rings. With a compact camera good results can be had by using the close up setting. It is essential to use a tripod to keep the camera absolutely steady and use a timer or cable release to avoid any shake when pressing the shutter.
If you want to get more extreme macro images then you will have to get a specialist macro lens.
Derek said that you see the world in a different way when you see the tiny details on an insect or a flower that you would not even know were there.
Thanks to Derek for giving his helpful comments on the prints, Roly Barth for organising the competition and to all those who entered. PM
Full results All the awarded images can be seen in the Galleries.
|‘Four Seasons in One Day’||12 March 2019|
|Four Seasons in One Day, or as Stephen Spraggon suggested, “Four Seasons in One Evening”. That was how Stephen introduced his presentation on his welcome return to Devizes Camera Club. He explained that he had got into photography when he bought a Nikon D70 with his student loan while studying for a degree in Packaging Design, and that most of his early landscape work was done in Somerset, centred on his home town of Glastonbury, and on Exmoor. Since then he has explored other parts of the UK, particularly the south coast and several of our National Parks.
Stephen doesn’t think of the seasons as just the differences in flowers and foliage, or sunshine and snow. He thinks also about the differences in temperature and light, and the effect they can have on the landscape - and on photography. He illustrated this by showing us 4 images of Glastonbury Tor taken at the same time of day, from the same position, but during the different seasons.
In winter, he said, in Southern England we get about 8 hours of daylight, whereas in summer we get about 16.5 hours. Using screenshots from The Photographer’s Ephemeris (TPE), Stephen showed just how much the angle of sunrise and sunset differs between the seasons, and explained how this can mean that some locations will only work photographically at certain times of the year. He suggested that TPE is a valuable tool that he uses extensively, together with weather forecasts, to plan his photography. He illustrated how he had found the best viewpoint for an image of Colmer’s Hill, near Symondsbury by using TPE.
Using short audiovisual (AV) introductions, Stephen talked to us about the sort of images that can be taken in each of the seasons. He interspersed some wonderful images with hints and tips to think about when photographing landscapes.
Starting with Spring, which he feels starts around March as flowers add colour to the landscape and foliage starts to emerge on trees, he showed us images of fields of Oil Seed Rape, where he had managed to find leading lines left by tractors. Misty sunrises and woodland compositions are other subjects, especially with new leaves on beech trees. At Badbury Clump in Oxfordshire, there is a small wooded area where bluebells grow. Using a long lens to compress perspective, Stephen used the woodland path to provide a leading line through a composition of tree trunks and bluebells. Coastal landscapes can also be special in the spring with thrift and sea campion as foreground interest on clifftops, as shown in Stephens image from Hurlstone Point above Porlock Marshes.
There are some locations that work better during the summer months. North facing coastlines and hills have better light because the sun rises and sets further north. The bays around Weston-Super-Mare and the north Devon coast are examples. Poppies and heather are good subjects while in flower, but once the colour is fading at the peak of summer, Stephen suggested heading into town for images of people and architecture, as shown in a great picture of a car park spiral. Stephen also suggested getting out and shooting the moon or the Milky Way.
Once Autumn hits its peak the warm oranges and golds of the foliage can be spectacular. And even fallen leaves can enhance the forest floor. Stephen said he likes to use a slow shutter speed, even in windy conditions, to convey a sense of movement in the branches. He said overcast days are good for images of trees and water as the shadows will be softer. He also recommended using a polarising filter to reduce glare and enhance colours. Autumn is also a time for mist which can be used creatively to produce more abstract images, especially when cropping in to a scene. An image of Wastwater bathed in the pink light of the setting sun was especially captivating.
In Winter, with the sun rising and setting further south, Stephen suggested that the south coast becomes a particularly attractive prospect. Also snow can transform a landscape by hiding distracting elements, like clumps of grass, under a blanket of whiteness. An image of a circular shaped tree in a hedgerow, with tractor patterns in the snow in the field behind, and blank white in the field in front reminded Stephen of a flag of an unknown country.
To round off his excellent presentation, Stephen showed us an image taken at Draycott Sleights in Somerset. Earlier he had shown us an image of a stand of trees in the fog in spring with a branch of new leaves providing a highlight. This last image was of the same stand of trees, but taken after a heavy snowstorm. Both images were great in their own right and served to show us how different seasons can produce different photographic results. These and many other excellent images can be seen on Stephens website at www.spraggonphotography.co.uk
Our Chairman thanked Stephen profusely for an entertaining presentation with lots of hints and tips for us to consider. DF
Images © Stephen Spraggon