‘Architecture and Landscape’ 4 December 2018   
Ian Thompson ARPS EFIAP/g was welcomed to Devizes Camera Club to present a talk on Architecture and Landscape. Ian explained that he had been an architect all his working life and when he retired, he wanted to do something different. He went walking in the Scottish Highlands and English Lakes, often getting up before dawn and taking photographs around the rising sun.
IT bridgeHowever, there came a time when he wanted to move from “technicolour sunrises”, and a series of images of the Infinity Bridge in Stockton-on-Tees marked, he said, the start of a transition back to architectural photography. He said he always wants to get some dynamism into his shots to create additional interest. His bridge photography progressed to taking ever more detail, creating abstracts of shapes, including bridge pylons and supporting wires.
IT stairsHe moved on to buildings, creating interest through his choice of angles and shapes, including squares, triangles, diamonds and curves, within the structure of a building. Ian likes to work handheld, usually with a 16-35mm or a tilt-shift lens, so that he can easily adjust his position to get the best composition and maintain vertical verticals. He tries to fill the frame with shapes and sometimes will endeavour to include people in the images to add some context. He also demonstrated the use of long exposures on external images which can help with cleaning up unwanted cloud reflections on glass. During his post-processing, he will often replace uninteresting skies and remove distracting elements surrounding the building.
Ian demonstrated all these techniques with many wonderful images of dramatic perspectives and sweeping curves from buildings and staircases in different countries across Europe. Always concentrating on shapes and angles, he showed us how a different position, or a different lens, can alter the perception of the same structure. He also showed us how much more dynamic night-time shots can be in places like railway stations.
IT timber spiralIan gave us an insight as to how he finds buildings to photograph. He scours the architectural press and e-architect.com to find lists of new buildings and buildings of different styles. He marks the location of structures in which he is interested on Google Earth and uses 3-D view and Street-view to take a closer look. Using apps such as Maps.Me he can get step-by-step offline travel instructions.
In the second half of his presentation, Ian went back to his love of landscape photography. Although he said he likes bright colours, several of the images he showed us were great in monochrome. He likes to get up in the dark to capture the full range of the sunrise and he often goes back to the same location on different days or times of the year. He illustrated this with several images of Bamburgh Castle all taken from the same place (roughly) about 20 minutes before the sun rose. Some were of dazzling sunrises while others (with no sunrise) were more muted using wave movement to create a different atmosphere.
IT last leavesHis research of locations and planning of shoots was as detailed as it was with his architectural photography. Using software such as Theodolyte he finds the co-ordinates and bearing of suitable place and drops them into Google Earth, where he can add photos and notes. Setting “animation” in Google Earth he can scroll through time to see how the sunrise will affect the location he has chosen.
And so he took us to some of his favourite locations with wonderful images taken in various places across the UK. There was a sequence of shots taken over 20 minutes as the sun rose through the mist at Chew Valley Lake; there were misty woodland shots in places like Savernake Forest and West Woods; and there were waterfalls in the Yorkshire dales. There were also some great images taken at Derwent Water and Ullswater in the Lake District and shots taken in changing weather conditions on Harris in the Outer Hebrides where he wanted to capture the structure of the sand.
After taking some questions our Chairman concluded the evening by thanking Ian for a very entertaining talk which not only presented some “refreshingly different” architectural images, but showcased Ian’s continuing passion for landscape photography, and expressing his respect for Ian’s meticulous approach to research and planning. The audience showed their appreciation with a warm round of applause. DF
Images © Ian Thomson ARPS EFIAP/s Top: Infinity, Top right: Painted Staircase, Left: Wooden Spiral,   Bottom: Last Leaves of Autumn


Challenge 2018 - November
TimA different subject has been set for each month during 2018 to encourage members to get out their cameras and photograph something new that is perhaps outside their usual comfort zone.
Some subjects have had more uptake than others and sadly the November subject 'Black and White' did not seem to inspire that many members. However there was a limited range of subjects - a black& white half timbered building & a still life of old black and white photos - however mostly were monochromed flowers and woodlands. The most 'liked' image was a close up of the stylus on a gramophone by Tim Pier right
For the last Challenge we can get back to colour with the subject 'Red' - this can be anything you like so long as there is something red somewhere in the image.
For example for nature lovers might look out for a few birds with red on them or maybe some fungi, landscapes or townscapes can have something in them that stands out in red or maybe someone might come across a bearded gentleman in a red suit at this time of year! Anyway use your imagination and have fun trying something a bit different.
Your images can be uploaded to the Album on our DCC facebook - if you are not yet a member then apply to join as you can then keep up with members photos, comments and information. PM


Competition 1 - Open Prints 27 November 2018   
For the first Open Print competition of the season the judge was John Randall from Andover Photographic Club. John has been a photographer and judge for many years and has a wide range of photographic interests. He prefers to judge ‘cold’ and so only has a brief look through the prints before they are commented on individually and awards decided.
Just 45 prints entered as sadly there is a trend towards less members printing images nowadays which is a shame as they miss out on the thrill of seeing a print emerging from a printer or even opening the package of a commercially printed image! The judge said the standard of prints entered was very high and many were judged to be technically spot on which made it difficult to finally choose the awards – he commented that if he was marking with points many of the images would have been awarded a 10 out of 10!
There were some of the usual comments about distracting light spots so members please check over your images carefully as this mars the image. John said images were all about the lighting and he also liked images with good composition that drew the viewer through the image from front to back.

MS bikeIn the Beginners section John had only 13 images to look through so could spend time pointing out the good and poor points of each print. Six prints were held back to be looked at again and finally John chose his four prints for awards.
DW winterAs a motor sports enthusiast himself John pointed out the difficulties of photographing fast moving machines and said that ‘Lap of Honour’ left by Mark Somerville was an excellent example. The correct shutter speed blurred the background and wheel spokes to give a sense of speed while showing the bike and rider in sharp focus and awarded the monochrome print first place.
Second place went to a silhouetted image of a deer against an evening sky titled ‘Deer Hunt’ by Helena Chambers.
The judge said that the photographer had done well by getting down low showing the colourful fungus up well against background trees and awarded third place to ‘Forest Fungi’ by Richard Blackbourne.
‘Bird on a Stick’ by Mark Somerville was a tongue in cheek title because judges often dismiss images of a bird sitting doing nothing and want some action but in this case the kingfisher was very well captured and gained a highly commended.

Only 12 entries in the Intermediate section with a range of colourful landscapes and wildlife subjects. Two very different images of kestrels caught the judges eye both by David Wilkinson – finally ‘Winter Arrival’ right was awarded first place. This image showed the bird almost hidden in a snowstorm which the judge found very effective as only parts of the kestrel were visible – David’s other image was awarded an HC.
In second place was a monochrome image by David Lock titled ‘Corridor’ which effectively showed interest right through the image with the interesting light on the pillars and a lamp in the far distance. PM rosesThird was a letterbox shaped misty seascape by Steve McCarthy which the judge said showed good lighting and texture.

After the break the twenty Advanced prints were shown being mostly landscape and wildlife prints. Other subjects included monochrome townscapes, aerobatics, flowers and a Victorian street scene.
After picking out his favourite 10 prints John had to deliberate for some time over which 6 of them would gain an award. Finally, an image titled ‘Claire Austin Roses’ left by Pam Mullings was awarded first place. This was a very simple image of a cluster of white roses with the judge commenting on the good focus and composition.
John took some time to decide which of the two red squirrel images was second – ‘Red Squirrel on a Pine Tree’ by Robert Harvey ARPS EFIAP gained the award. The judge liked the rendering of the snow on the tree and the flakes of fresh snow on the squirrel. The other print was ‘Red Squirrel in Winter’ by Gill Cardy FRPS EFIAP DPAGP was awarded third place - the judge saying that it showed every hair.
Robert had 2 HC's and Gill 1 HC for their other prints.
Many thanks to John for giving his judgement and opinions on all the prints and for pointing out in some cases how they might have been improved. Thanks also to Competition Secretary Roly Barth for organising the competition and to all those members who entered. PM

See full results                           The awarded images can be seen in the Galleries



Sad loss of club stalwart
It is with great sadness that the club were informed of the passing of Eddie Marsh who had been a member for over 20 years.
Condolances to Eddies wife Joyce and his family.
Eddie was always the first to volunteer when anything needed doing - he arrived early to set out the chairs and the equipment. Eddie made the tea and coffee for many years while we met at the Crown Centre. He had served on the committee for many years and always helped setting up the exhibitions in the Museum and the displays in the Market Place.
For many years Eddie sent weekly reports to the local newspaper and kept an archive of press cuttings and photographs of the clubs activities
With his camera handy he was always around to take group photos and presentations. Even after several major operations Eddie was soon back helping where he could.
He very much enjoyed photographing the local countryside and wildlife with his slides and prints doing well in club competitions.
Finally after a stroke Eddie was unable to attend club meetings but many members remember him with great affection.
Sadly missed the funeral will be at Devizes Cemetery on 3 December at 2pm.


‘Rewilding the UK’ and ‘Wiltshire's Wildlife Riches’ 20 November 2018   
We were privileged this week to have the multi-award winning film maker and photographer, Nick Upton, visit the camera club to tell us about Rewilding the UK and Wiltshire’s Wildlife Treasures.
NU cranesHe introduced himself by saying that he has always been a naturalist and began his interest in photography in his teens. He likes to tell a story with his work and for many years concentrated on film making. He spent 20 years with the BBC on Wildlife projects, working alongside Sir David Attenborough on Trials for Life, and contributing to Springwatch, among other wildlife programmes.
He has also contributed many articles to organisations such as BBC Wildlife Magazine, Wiltshire Wildlife magazine and National Geographic, and picked up awards along the way, including British Wildlife Photographer of the Year and International Garden Photographer of the Year.
Nick said that he had been lucky enough to have privileged access to several important projects involved with the re-introduction of wild animals in various parts of the UK, including Cranes in Wiltshire, Water Voles and Harvest Mice in Cornwall, Beaver in Devon, and Pine Martins in Wales.
He started by talking about the Great Crane Project, which is a Europe-wide programme for cranes across Europe. He showed us images of 20,000 strong flocks of cranes over the Pyrenees and told us of his involvement with the breeding project at Slimbridge and the Somerset Levels. He explained that he likes to show human interaction with the wildlife, so there were images of volunteers (including himself) dressed as cranes guiding and feeding chicks.
NU voleWater Voles, decimated by American Mink, are being re-introduced through a captive breeding programme in North Cornwall. Nick showed us a series of images illustrating the process of re-introduction of voles and an associated project for Harvest Mice. He also told us that when capturing images of the released animals in the wild, he uses either a macro lens to capture close-ups or a wider angle lens using a close focus technique to show some context in the background. He often sets his camera up close to where he expects an animal to visit and uses a wireless remote shutter release to trigger the shot from distance. He used this technique to capture a shot of a Water Vole on a rock used as a latrine, although it took about 10 hours of waiting before the vole came and sat on the rock!
NU mouseNick has been extensively involved in a Beaver re-introduction at a secret location in South Devon. This project started naturally and it is still a mystery as to where the Beaver came from. Local residents were instrumental in ensuring that the project became official so that the animals could be monitored and in 2015 DEFRA trapped a number of beaver to give them health checks. Since then the project has gone from strength to strength and has shown how much beaver can benefit the environment, in particular through improving water management. Nick has been involved in providing a photographic record of the project from which he showed us a good sample of images. He has used a variety of approaches including using a camera converted to infra-red for night-time shots and the use of camera trap videos to view the beaver at night when gnawing trees and building dams. Sequences from these efforts have been shown on Springwatch.
The Pine Martin re-introduction started in Scotland where B&B accommodation is available specifically to show off the martins visiting feeding stations in the garden. In 2016, 60 pine martins were captured for eventual release in Wales. Nick showed us images of the process using infra-red cameras so that the animals did not get stressed. He also had some great images caught through his camera traps. Pine Martins have been shown not to harm the environment and have become popular as they hunt grey squirrels.
Clearly enthusiastic about these re-introduction projects, Nick was keen to stress how successful they had been and intimated that several further releases of these animals are planned in the coming years.  
  continue to 'Wiltshires Wildlife Riches'                                               Images © Nick Upton    From top - Common Cranes - Water Vole - Harvest Mouse.


'New Digital Adventure - Be Creative' 13 November 2018
This week we welcomed the return of Colin Harrison FRPS FBPE FIPF MPSA MPAGB MFIAP APAGB EFIAP/d1 to Devizes to present his talk entitled New Digital Adventure - Be Creative.
CH clock watcherHe started with an Audiovisual presentation showcasing some of his award winning images, before clarifying the meaning of the impressive array of letters after his name. He also gave us an insight into the process of qualifying for various distinctions by entering images into International Salons.
As a start to his Digital Adventure presentation, Colin listed a range of ways that we, as photographers, can be creative. Beginning with creating a mood when taking an image; through simple processing such as removing elements in the frame, converting to monochrome, and boosting colours; to creating montages and incorporating aspects of other images. CH redAs an example of combining pictures, he showed us an image of the front of a car and another of people looking at a large billboard. The combined image showed the car crashing through the billboard and causing damage to the pavement.
He ran through a range of images at a fairly fast pace, showing us the full range of his work. Many were fantasy images, many of which, he said, didn’t have much of plan but he just tried things out and filled spaces. These included petrol pumps in a shoot-out in a cityscape, skeletons playing billiards, a monorail going through a ruined abbey and aliens walking through a crop circle. Other images showed his humorous side, including a squirrel skiing past a line of cars and a penguin surfing on the Severn bore.

CH alternative transportThere were also many images of people in altered situations. Some portraits were given impact with a grungy look. Others provided a mood, such as a miner at a pit-head. Other were imbued with a sinister edge, such as an image of a pretty little girl in a cornfield, but with a ruined car and a ghostly house in the background - and crows flying around the house. He pointed out that the ghostly house was an image of an ornament for a fish tank! The crows were a repetitive theme in several of his images.
He also had some photo-journalistic images which had little creative processing but presented the mood of the moment. These particularly included images taken at repatriation ceremonies in Royal Wootton Bassett and at Remembrance Day parades.
Colin talked about the techniques that he uses, saying that almost all his images are taken hand-held and in JPG format. CH HollyHe uses Photoshop layers to combine images, and brushes to add effects such as spatter and grunge and to create the effect of snow.
He directed us to his website where he has some Hints and Tips for providing creative effects. He also uses Redfield Fractilius to provide high fractal effects, especially with flowers and fur. He said it is brilliant with beards!

Colin also told us that most of his base images are taken at events such as Steam Fairs and War Enactments. He was particularly enthusiastic about Comic-Con and the Ragged Victorians. Most of these events involve people in themed costumes which he can then use with elements from other images to create his own artistic pictures. He told us that he always tries to arrive at these events so that he can photograph the “performers” as they are arriving and before the crowds gather.
Colin showed us some of his new work which he has sent to this year’s Cork salon and for which he is awaiting the results. And to finish his presentation, Colin showed us another Audiovisual presentation of images taken in the canyons in USA to the music of Colours of the Wind from Pocahontas.
On behalf of the whole camera club, our chairman thanked Colin for a wonderful evening of creative imagery which is sure to have inspired us with new ideas for our own photography. DF
Images © Colin Harrison top left: 'Clock Watcher' Top right: Mystique   Left; Alternative Transport  Right: Portrait of Holly



Competition 2 - Open Projected Images  6 November 2018   
For the second Open Projected Image competition of the season the judge was Julie Kaye from Bristol. Julie took on the very onerous task of judging a competition in three sections which was a mix of landscape, nature, portrait, and creative images. After eliminating any photographs which had some kind of obvious technical fault such as lack of focus, poor colour or composition the judge then has to use personal preferences to decide which images get awards and even more difficult – which images to award the 1st, 2nd and 3rd placings in each section. HC tight
Julie gave her helpful opinion on each image and in some cases how it might be improved – often by cropping out parts of the image such as over large areas of sky or distracting features which do not contribute to the image. Depth of field was also an issue with many images.
Starting with the Beginners section Julie commented on each image. She particularly liked an action packed image by new member Helena Chambers of motorbike scrambling with mud flying around colourful bikes and riders and awarded first place to ‘Tight Corner’ left. Another of Helena’s images was placed second in the section – this time an interesting image of an old US pioneer surrounded by his everyday paraphernalia.
Third place went to ‘Black and White’ a well taken simple image of two dice by Avril McCarthy.
Paul Wells and Hilary Tapley were each awarded a Highly Commended.
Next Julie commented on the entries in the Intermediate section with its wide variety of subjects.MS racer Another motorbike – this time ‘Tiny Racer’ right by Martin Stokes caught the judges eye and was awarded first place. Martin managed to perfectly capture the sense of speed as the colourful bike and its rider sped around a track.
‘Living Dangerously’ by Craig Purvis was well titled as it portrayed a giant wave threatening to engulf the posse of coastal photographers on a jetty. Julie remarked on the good composition and the bravery or foolhardiness of being out taking photographs in such a  storm placing it second in the section.
A delightful landscape by Sue Wadman titled ‘Fields of Gold’ was in third place – with the judge commenting on the gorgeous colours and the way the crop lines were placed to lead the viewer into the image.
Craig and Sue also received a Highly Commended’s as did David Wilkinson and Roly Barth.
PM despairAfter the break the Advanced images were judged.
Due to the large number of entries Advanced members only had two of their three entries shown in this competition – this happens occasionally when the total number of entries exceeds 80.
Julie carefully commented on each image pointing out any flaws she felt spoiled the images. Finally, she picked out eight of the entries for the awards and explaining how difficult it had been for her to choose the final top places. Julie said she kept changing the order but finally had to come to a decision.
In first place was a poignant image of a poor mother and her children as they were alone in a dark alleyway – titled ‘Despair’ left  the creative image was by Pam Mullings. The judge commented on the well captured expressions on the children’s faces.
In close second place was ‘The Red Boat’ by Chris Wilkes Ciudad ARPS with its portrayal of a beached boat against green grass and a very blue sky. The image had been given a filter which gave it the impression of a very colourful oil painting.
In third place was a well-researched astronomical image by Robert Harvey ARPS EFIAP which superbly captured the night sky over Durdle Door. ‘Milky Way, Mars and Meteor’ cleverly managed to include all those elements which meant being at just the right place at the right time and to have the luck of perfectly clear sky as well! 
Another image by Chris was awarded a highly commended as were images by Caroline Wright, David Fraser, Dave Gray and Tim Tapley LRPS.
Thanks to Julia for her judging, Caroline for organising the competition and to Competition Secretary Roly for running the competition on the night and also to all those who entered images to give such an interesting evening.
And just a thought - without photographers volunteering to give their time to take on the task of looking carefully through the entries, giving their comments and judgement there would not be any competitions! PM
Full results        All the awarded images can be seen in the Galleries.


Challenge 18 - October

MS octoberHC autumnIt's the end of another month for the Challenge 18. Each month during 2018 a subject is set and members can add their photos taken during the month on DCC facebook.
For October the subject was 'Moving towards Autumn' and members posted 32 images with a variety of interesting ideas - changing colours on the trees, fungi, autumn mists, berries and autumn fruits and some abstract ideas. 
The image that gained the most 'likes' was a delightful image of trees by Martin Stokes left inspired by a recent club presentation by Ed Collacott. Martin liked the simplicity of the three trees and he gave it a painterly look which worked well.
Another popular image was by Heather Collins with red autumn acer leaves against a background of highlights on the water.right
Martin has chosen 'Black and White' as the subject for the November. Members can add up to 5 of their images taken during November 2018 to the Album any time during the month.
Please go to our Devizes Camera Club facebook (if you are not yet a member then join facebook and apply) Lots of other photos by members to see including those taken at the recent 'Pirates' studio evening. PM

 

Studio Evening. Pirates are coming! 30 October 2018   
DG pirates6craigWell blow me down the pirates did indeed invade the Devizes landlubbers – with their fantastic costumes and an array of suitable props.
With lighting and backgrounds set up the pirates took up their poses and faced the posse of cameras.

Before everyone set to - some instructions were given regarding suitable camera settings to wirelessly set off the electronic flashes. Many members had not had access to studio lighting equipment before so it was a bit of a learning curve but before long everyone was managing to capture something of the swashbuckling atmosphere.
Everyone had a chance to move between the three lighting set ups picking their moment to capture the various scenes. There was a lot of creativity taking place as some photographers lay on the floor and others stood on chairs to try to portray rather unusual views.

SW pirate groupIt was ‘Ahoy me hearties’ as the lights flashed and the camera shutters clicked away as the pirates cleverly acted out scenes using props such as swords and pistols. Anyway with great gusto members enjoyed photographing the snarly faces and menacing looks as a variety of situations were acted out.
Many thanks to the ‘Heart of the South West Pirate Crew’ -  Wayne, Becki, Rick, Avril and Kirsty for giving up their time and patiently posing so expertly for club members.

Vice Chairman Roly Barth thanked the group on behalf of the club and members showed their appreciation SB piratesby a rousing round of applause.

Thanks to Kyra Wilson and Steve Burgess who brought along and set up their own studio lighting equipment and Kyra for arranging for the pirates to come and give such an entertaining evening.
Everyone seemed to very much enjoy the evening and hoped that something similar could be arranged in the future. PM

Members can see many of the fantastic pirate photos and also upload their own on the DCC facebook site. Not a member! Then just join facebook (no need to give personal details) and then request to join Devizes group
Images: Top: by Dave Gray Top right: by Craig Purvis Left: by Steve Burgess Right: by Sue Wadman

Click to see more photos taken at the Pirates Studio evening



'Wonderful World of Macro' 23 October 2018   
Somerset based nature photographer Victoria Hillman BSc MSc has degrees in wildlife, conservation & zoology and so has a very deep knowledge and understanding of the flora and fauna depicted in her images.
VH snowdropsAs a self-taught photographer she has developed her own unique way of portraying the natural world and continues to experiment with new ideas and techniques which combine nature and visual art. All her images are taken in the wild and she takes great care not to disturb her subjects and nothing is ever moved. With a great deal of patience Victoria can spend hours laying on the ground or inside a bush waiting for just the right lighting on her subject.
VH Autumn MushroomVictoria stated that to get the best results with nature photography you need to understand your subject – research the best time and location and re-visit time after time. Learn field craft skills to find the flora or fauna and know their habits. Insects are best photographed early in the morning or evening as they are still roosting and less prone to flight. Always get down level or below your subject and it is less likely to be aware of your presence.
Victoria presented her close up images starting with snowdrops - one of her favourites and then progressing through the seasons to the fungi and lichens of autumn. Taken with natural light with just the occasional use of a small LED light to get light into shadows when needed. The technical details of each image were shown and Victoria explained the use of Macro lenses. Using a wide aperture of f2.8 gives a very shallow depth of field with often just a small part of the subject in sharp focus - the head of a damselfly, the eye of a frog or just a single flower.
VH leavesoffireExperimenting with the settings until she has just the right amount of diffused detail in the background to give a suggestion of the habitat. Delightful soft and dreamy colours and shapes that complement the subject which is often set very much to the side leaving space to move into.
Using the early morning mist and dew beautiful images are created with the light hitting the water droplets and giving tiny rainbows. Another technique can give a black background using the dark shadows behind the subject with just a shaft of light on the subject. She suggested trying unusual angles to bring out the character in the subject.
VH Peekaboo With a love of frogs and toads and other small creatures Victoria says look at them in a different way when you next go out photograph them! Take images that tell a story and make people think more about the diverse world we live in.
Victoria prefers to spend as much time as possible outdoors taking her photographs and does very little post processing – just a little cropping and slight contrast adjustments are all that’s needed as everything is done in camera
After five years of research and photography Victoria has published her first book titled ‘Forgotten Little Creatures’ with enchanting illustrations showing the range of incredible species to be found within 40 miles of her hometown of Frome.

Club Chairman Steve Hardman said that he never realised that little critters had such personalities and thanked Victoria very much for her entertaining, informative and humorous presentation and for showing us her very different style of nature photography.PM
Images © Victoria Hillman Top right: Winter Sunrise Snowdrops, Top left:Autumn Mushroom, Bottom right: Leaves of Fire, Bottom left: Peek a Boo:


Nature Print & Projected Image Competitions 16 October 2018   
The Annual Nature competitions were judged this year by Eddy Lane ARPS DPAGB EFIAP who is a past President of the WCPF and a national PAGB judge.
Eddy is a very well-travelled and experienced wildlife himself so is an ideal judge to give his opinions on the club’s nature entries. He commented on our clubs ‘strict’ rules which do not allow captive animals and the image cannot have anything removed or added. Eddy said he feels there is nothing wrong with a ‘record shot’ of a ‘bird on a stick’ but nowadays rather more is expected and he prefers to see the creature in its environment and showing its natural behaviour.

TT TreecreeperRH hareEddy made several comments about subjects appearing too tight in the frame and conversely in some instances the subject had too much unnecessary space around it.  Blown out highlights on white feathers was another recurring problem with many images and Eddy suggested stopping down a few stops to avoid the problem. The limited depth of field when using macro lenses was something else to be considered. Also monochrome rarely works with nature subjects as it is their colours that make the picture – some images Eddy thought a little too saturated although this can be a matter of opinion. The projector can sometimes make images appear brighter than the photographer has seen on their own computer screen causing the image to appear too light.
It was very pleasing to see so many new members entering a competition for the first time and many gaining awards.

Starting with the prints Eddy remarked on the high standard and gave very helpful comments on how improvements may have helped the image. He said there were some very amazing entries making decisions on the final awards a very difficult task for him. Finally, ‘Cold Mountain Hare’ above left  by Robert Harvey ARRPS EFIAP was awarded first place. Eddy remarked on he could see every hair and the snow was perfectly captured. In close second place was ‘Tree creeper’ right by Tim Tapley LRPS – a new member entering a club competition for the first time. Eddy remarked how difficult it is to photograph tree creepers as they always seem to quickly hide round the back of a tree.
In third place was a striking image of a ‘Hummingbird Hawkmoth’ by Gill Cardy FRPS DPAGB EFIAP.
Highly Commended awards were given to Robert, Tim, Gill and also Kyra Wilson and Richard Atkinson.

MS heronAfter the break Eddy gave his comments on the 59 Projected Image entries.
The very striking image’ Heron feeding on the Thames’ left by Martin Stokes caught the judges eye and was awarded first place. The heron standing in the swirling water was well placed in the frame and even had a newly caught fish in its bill!
DG chimpDave Gray had an excellent evening with awards of 2nd, 3rd  places and also an HC. The judge remarked on the intelligent looking face looking straight at the camera in ‘Alpha male Chimpanzee’ right which was placed second. The extraordinary behaviour shown in ‘Ants carrying Earthworm’ was something Eddy had not witnessed before and wondered how Dave had even noticed it and awarded it third place.
No less than 17 Highly Commended’s were awarded - a full list is shown below.
Club Chairman thanked Eddy for undertaking the difficult task of judging the fantastic Nature images. The excellent images entered by new members bodes well for the future of the club who has always been known for the very high standard of the nature images.
Thanks to all those who entered the competition and made it such an interesting and inspiring evening. PM
Full results                             Awarded images can be seen in the Gallery


‘Urban Exploration to Fine Art: a Photographic Journey’ 9 October 2018   

With a very different approach to photography Viveca Koh FRPS travelled from Surrey bringing club members an excellent presentation of thought provoking images. Self-taught Viveca is an artistic and creative photographer always looking new ways to create her images without getting stagnant or complacent.
VK EscapeTogether with a group of other photographers interested in urban exploration or UrbEx she gains access to long abandoned asylums, derelict houses and even mortuaries with all the detritus left behind over the years. Taking care not to fall through floors she investigates long dank corridors, mouldy rooms and crumbling staircases looking for interesting subjects. Deep shadows and shafts of light convey the feeling of despair that former inhabitants might have felt.
Viveca concentrates on small details and the history and personal belongings left behind by former inhabitants. Often an insight into a long forgotten era with clothing and personal belongings showing a past era with a special fascination for details that give an insight into life at the time..
Often now using a smart phone to capture interesting details Viveca showed a series of monochrome square format images taken as she explored a house that been left complete with its contents after the deaths of its owners.
Old abandoned industrial buildings with their insight into the work that once took place there provide a lot of inspiration. Reflections in wet floors, old documents, broken windows, dilapidated bathrooms all inspired her.
VK Lady of the BathAfter the break Viveca showed the set of rather poignant and slightly chilling images that she submitted to the RPS on the subject ‘Birth to Death in an Asylum’
She gained her LRPS in 2010 and then looked for different ways that she could express herself and present her work.
Staying with her interest in graffiti, street art and urban subjects she introduced textures such as peeling paint and rusty metal as overlays to enhance the images.
Giving a painterly feel to her photographs Viveca developed various techniques to make totally unique images. Using blend modes and scanned documents as new layers the image is built up. Colours are de-saturated to give the mood, a distressed border added and other elements introduced to convey the mood of the image.
VK Tread SoftlyTwo or more exposures can be blended together with subtle shading added often giving completely unexpected results.
Viveca displayed the 15 prints using a variety of techniques that she submitted for her ARPS and explained how members could go about gaining RPS distinctions
(see RPS website for details)
Developing her use of multiple layers and textures Viveca submitted 20 of her very surreal – often abstract images and was awarded the prestigious distinction of FRPS in Visual Arts in 2014
Viveca went on to show some of the 'selfies' that the UrbEx fraternity like to take showing the various buildings that they have photographed - also some cleverly put together multiple image photographs of herself and others.

Chairman Steve Hardman summed up the evening with ' Wow!! '
Poignant, sometimes chilling, inspirational images which opened his eyes to a lot of things.
Thanks Viveca for your very interesting and thought provoking evening enjoyed by all. PM
Images © Viveca Koh FRPS Top: Escape, Centre: Lady of the Bath, Bottom: Tread Softly
 
 
'A Passion for Landscapes' 2 October 2018   
On Tuesday 2nd October, we welcomed Ed Collacott back to Devizes Camera Club to hear his presentation entirled 'A Passion for Landscapes'
Ed started by explaining that he had always been fascinated with landscapes. As a young boy he enjoyed the countryside and would seek out books with landscape pictures. His favoured subjects at school were always Art and Geography. Later, as a young man he taught these subjects at a school where he was able to set up a darkroom as an adjunct to his Art curriculum.
Ed dawnHis interest in photography developed to the point when, having left teaching to travel, he decided to try and make a living from his hobby. In his early years he travelled all over the world taking photographs, but over the last 20 or so years his images have been taken while travelling around the UK in his camper van.
Ed 4seasonsThe first half of Ed’s presentation concentrated on trees and woodland landscapes taken in all seasons, at different times of day and in varying weather conditions. Most of his images were shown in panoramic format or in a square crop. He explained that these had been taken either with his large format panoramic camera (6x17 cms) or with his medium format camera (6x6 cms). He told us that he does not use either polarising or grad filters, preferring to wait for the right light.
In his early days, he said he concentrated on black & white images and showed us a series of winter woodland images. One, called “Winter Woods”, was his most successful image, while another “Woodland in Mist” was one of his favourites. And there was a series of Winter Oaks taken in his native Suffolk.
He showed us several images of what he called the Salisbury Oak. However, having taken many images over many years from a distance, he eventually met the farmer and was able to walk across the fields to the tree to discover that it was actually a Sweet Chestnut! One of his images was a quadriptych showing the “Salisbury Oak” in each of the four seasons. Another quadriptych was of beechwoods during the four seasons.
Ed Winter woodThere were several images from the New Forest, where he said he loves the variety and structural quality of the trees. There were atmospheric autumnal shots showing moody shafts of light through trees in the mist at dawn. He explained that he often has to wait patiently for the light and the composition to come together. He said the longer you stand in one place in the woods, the more you see in the scene and the more wildlife you will encounter.
Ed also like to photograph autumnal landscapes in places like Ashridge Estate in Herts, Stourhead, and Exmoor. He said that good images can be taken in these places a week or two before the peak of the colours, because fewer leaves will have fallen from the trees and there will be fewer gaps in the composition.
In the second half of the evening, Ed presented images of landscapes from around the UK. He started with some stunning images taken in Bath showing the Royal Crescent, the Circus and the weir at Pultney Bridge.
A wonderful panoramic view of Durdle Door was followed by the cliffs at Burton Bradstock in a storm, before moving on to Rhossili Beach on the Gower, Freshwater West beach in Pembrokeshire and a few shots on the Brecon Beacons. Then we saw a few great images in Snowdonia and the Lake District.
Ed GlencoeHe described a day spent in heavy showers waiting for the promised sunshine before being rewarded with differential lighting and a rainbow over the Langdale Pikes. He also explained that he had avoided taking images of the over photographed Buttermere Pines until one morning he captured them disappearing into the mist, with early morning sunlight catching the mountain top, all reflected in the waters of the lake.
He showed two images of blood-red dawn skies reflected in the seas off Northumberland. One showed Dunstanburgh Castle as a small silhouette on the right and the other a slightly larger silhouette of Bamburgh Castle. Both very dramatic but ultimately fairly simple compositions.
On into Scotland with images taken in Glenco and Rannoch Moor. Ed said that, when he first took photos of Buachaille about 20 years ago, very few people went there and the vegetation was more plentiful. Now, however, thousands of people want to take the photograph and the ground has been trampled and worn.
On Skye, Ed often stays at the Sligachan campsite and he showed a number of dawn and early morning images taken in the vicinity, showing the Red Cullins and Marscoe. He drives up past Ullapool, where he took an amazing shot of a sunlit snowscape while it was snowing. In Sutherland he showed us a rugged landscape, shaped by ancient glaciers with no human habitation to be seen. At Cape Wrath he hiked the five miles to the wild and remote, but beautiful, beaches and dunes of Sandwood Bay.
And finally, he took us to the Outer Hebrides and to Harris in particular. Beaches to rival those in the Caribbean beautifully portrayed by Ed’s camera, a memorable image of a rainbow arch after a hailstorm and lovely sunset over North Uist rounded off a fabulous evening of wonderful landscape images.
In thanking Ed for a great evening’s entertainment, Steve, our Chairman, alluding to the title of the presentation said there was little doubt that Ed certainly has a Passion for Landscapes. A sentiment clearly emphasised by a warm round of applause from the audience. DF
Images © Ed Collacott  Top: Magical Dawn,  Right: Four Seasons,   Centre: Winter Wood     Bottom: Forces of Nature,Glencoe


Challenge 18 - September  

PaulineThe subject set for photos taken during the month of September was 'Reflections' a chance to look out for anything reflected in water or anything else shiny! Most photos were taken of reflections in water but some tried somrthing a bit different.
JanetThe image with the most 'likes' was an excellent image by Pauline Godwin of a great tit reflected in water (right)
The very unusual
reflection image (left) came from Janet Rutter. Other ideas were reflections in a mirror, a wet pavement, Salisbury Cathedral font and even in a chandelier chrystal drop!

Janet has chosen 'Moving towards Autumn' as the subject for October so look out for changing colours, autumn mists or anything else that portrays the changing season.

Post your photos on our Devizes Camera Club facebook.
If you have not yet joined our facebook group then join facebook and then apply to join. Not only can you have fun taking photos for the monthly Challenge but you can see what other members are up to and take part in discussions! 

 

Sixty Years of Club Photography in Devizes!
It was recently pointed out that the club has its 60th Anniversary on 30 September.
The club was founded in 1958 and one of the founder members Richard (Dick) Larden and his wife Mary who joined soon afterwards and was Chairman for some years still regularly come to club meetings.
The venue has changed several times – the last being in 2009 with a move to Devizes Sports Club because of a growing membership.
Photography has changed several times during the 60 years from black & white film printed in a darkroom, through colour film and projected colour slides to the present digital age.
The club continues very much to thrive with a present membership of around 60 and with a reputation for a very high standard of photography.
We celebrated our 50th anniversary in style with an event in the Town Hall but 10 years on we had quite forgotten that we had been going for so long.
May the club continue to thrive and welcomes anyone with an interest in photography to join.
Happy Anniversary!


Competition 1 - Open Projected Images 25 September 2018   
The first competition of the 2018-19 season was judged by Clive Greenland LRPS – a member of Corsham Photographic Society.
On his first visit to the club Clive commented that judging an Open competition is always extremely difficult as the entries consist of such a diverse range of subjects and styles.
Giving his critique on each image Clive said after initially looking for correct focus, exposure and good composition - choosing the award winners finally comes down to the impact and the feeling of the image that makes it ‘extra special’.

CP ElanThe judge started by pointing out the best features in each image and then in some cases gave subjective criticism on how the image might have been improved. He would have liked to see a wider view in some of the landscapes and perhaps using a panoramic format would have shown more of the dramatic terrain.
Members might remember a recent club presentation in which it was advised ‘always take at least 3 views of a scene’ which could then have given a choice of formats.

There were many interesting images in the Beginners section with a wide range of subjects.
New club members usually start in this section some being novices - but others have been taking photographs for many years but have yet to gain experience of club competitions.
The judge said that when he first saw the image of an Elan Valley Dam by Craig Purvis (above) he was struck by the impact and knew it was one of best in the section. The lighting and viewpoint were excellent and he awarded it first place.
Clive said it was the expressions on the faces of the four men sitting around in a south American Square that particularly appealed to him in Dan Morrell’s image ‘Laid Back’ which was placed second.
MS MenaiThe striking landscape by Roly Barth titled ‘Majestic Patagonia’ was awarded third place with an image of a Barn owl in flight also by Roly gaining a Highly Commended. The Motocross action image ‘Fast and Furious’ by Richard Blackbourne also gained an HC.

Of the many superb images in the Intermediate section the judge found the most impressive ‘Menai Suspension Bridge’ (right) by Martin Stokes. He remarked on the excellent lighting on the bridge structure and the good composition awarding it first place.
Photographing the stars as they moved in the night sky is very tricky but it was captured well in ‘North Star at Knowlton’ by Steve Hardman which was placed second.
The seascape ‘Storm’ was another of Martin Stokes images that the judge picked out it came third in the section. Highly Commended’s were awarded to Steve Hardman and Andy Vick and two landscapes by Sue Wadman both gained awards.

RH Severn BridgeLast but not least came the Advanced section with its diverse range of subjects – landscapes, wildlife, people, architecture and more.
The very cleverly captured image ‘Space Station over Severn Bridge’ by Robert Harvey ARPS EFIAP (left) was awarded first place.
Second place went to Kyra Wilson LRPS with her close up image of the colourful ‘Lackey Moth Caterpillar’. Another of Robert’s images gained third place – this time a superb wildlife image ‘Great-spotted Woodpecker in the Snow’ An image of the Little Sable lighthouse in Michigan by Tim Pier and two Creative images by Pam Mullings were awarded HC’s

In his summing up Clive said sorry but unfortunately according to the club rules he could not give awards to all the excellent images in the competition but for those that missed out this time he advised ‘don’t give up’ just try again another time.

Craig Purvis who was standing in for the club chairman thanked Clive very much for taking time to judge the competition and giving his very helpful comments on each of the images.
Congratulations to all award winners and very well done to all who entered - some for the first time, PM
See the full list of awards                          All the  award winning images can be seen in the Galleries                      Members can log in to see the points table



‘Essential Photoshop’ 18 September 2018   

AL squirrelTuesday evening saw the club welcome Allen Lloyd ARPS AWPF for a talk on image processing using Adobe’s Photoshop programme.  Allen had travelled over from Caldicot in Monmouthshire, via the Severn Bridge, causing the Chairman to remark that Allen would have to pay to get home!
Allen has had an interest in photography from a very early age, inspired by his father producing prints in his kitchen.  By the age of 12 he was helping his father in his makeshift darkroom in a section of their garage.   Over the years he went on to produce images in his own darkroom, his speciality being Landscape and Steam Railway.  With the transition to digital systems he also branched out into wildlife photography with a penchant for birds.   He took early retirement from a long career in teaching to focus his energies in photography, which includes the provision of one-to-one courses, either in indoors with Photoshop, or outdoors in Wales’ glorious scenery.

Allen is self-taught in Photoshop and Capture One Pro, but it was in Photoshop that he came to share his considerable skills.  As many of us will know, Photoshop is an enormously powerful and complex programme, sitting alongside its sister processing programmes of Adobe Camera Raw and Lightroom, and would take many weeks to cover it in its entirety.  So, Allen focused on just 6 key tools/adjustments; Noise, Levels, Shadows/Highlights, Healing, Cropping and Transform.

AL cloneWhat Allen was able to clearly convey (no doubt a result of his teaching background) was his particular ‘workflow’ and the reasoning behind it.  For example, he will always tackle ‘noise’ first as this detrimental product of shooting images, particularly at higher ISOs, increases with each step in processing, therefore it makes sense to start with the lowest noise possible.  Next he demonstrated the superior flexibility and subtle control afforded by adjusting an image’s tonality range, highlights and shadows by using ‘Levels’.  This method produces a much more nuanced result rather than the broad-brush approach achieved with the more basic ‘Highlights’ and ‘Shadows’ sliders.

Next he tackled that area associated with getting rid of our mistakes!  Namely the ‘Healing’ tools.  Here we learnt the utility of the ‘Lasso’ tool in conjunction with the ‘Content Aware’ fill.  This was expanded upon with the use of ‘Layers’ to deal with issues in more complicated regions of an image.  Despite Allen’s recommendation to deal with ‘Noise’ first, he went on to say that if an image required work to correct mistakes, he would tackle this first in case he wasn’t able to achieve the desired corrections, thereby wasting time carrying out all the other work to reach this stage.  Yet another advert to us photographers to get the image correct in-camera first!
What followed was a shorter piece on ‘Cropping’, but again Allen was able to demonstrate the wider utility of this tool, including ADDING space to an image (utilising ‘Content aware’); this was a bit of a revelation to the audience.  This blended well with the final stage of his presentation which revealed the power of the ‘Transform’ tool.  Using the ‘Transform-Distort’, in conjunction with the ‘Transform-Scale’ tools, he was able to correct what many of us suffer from when shooting architecture with a wide-angle lens - namely converging verticals! 

Overall Allen gave us an excellent presentation on the power of Photoshop and his techniques for fine tuning his images, although he was at pains to point out that
Photoshop has several differing menu routes to achieve the same ends, so we barely scratched the surface of this powerful tool. Nonetheless, we should all be better equipped now in getting our images to a higher processed standard.  And Allen is certainly able to walk-the-walk as well as talk-the-talk as his gallery will testify.
It’s highly likely that many of us will be re-visiting images for a bit of re-processing! CP                                                                               
Images © Allen LLoyd ARPS AWPF         

        

Landscape Group Field Trip

RH caen hill
On Saturday 15 September, a group of nine members from the club's Landscape Group gathered at the bottom of Caen Hill flight of locks for sunrise.

On this day each year, the sun shines down the length of the locks for a couple of minutes shortly after rising. 

The image shown right is a high dynamic range capture of four RAW files at different exposures to record detail in the shadows as well as the highlights. RH
Image by Robert Harvey ARPS EFIAP

More images taken at Caen Hill locks can be seen on the DCC facebook page
(If not already a member please apply to join.)


'Photographing Nature More Creatively’ 11 Sepember 2018   
DB kingfisherProfessional Wildlife photographer David Boag made a very welcome return to the club to give his presentation on how to be more creative with photography.
With his keen interest in nature David’s first foray into photography was about 40 years when he endeavoured to capture the flight of a kingfisher as it dived into a pool. At that time film cameras were unable to capture such fast speed so David pioneered the use of synchronised flashes and obtained many superb images of kingfisher behaviour.
This resulted in David’s first book and since then he has published many books on a variety of subjects.
David leads safaris to Africa, lectures on cruise ships, broadcasts on radio and television and travels all over the world on photographic assignments.
With his enthusiastic approach David inspired members to look at images in a new way and challenge themselves to come up with new ideas.
DB birdCreativity is not about your photographic equipment but using your imagination and capturing interesting images. An image can have all the criteria such as perfect focus and exposure but can still frankly be rather boring. DB osprey

By understanding the behaviour of wildlife you can get something dramatic rather than a straight dull shot. An example shown was a Kea - which can appear a rather dull looking New Zealand parrot but which when encouraged to leap showed the bright colour under its wings and makes a striking image.
Be persistent and wait for just the right moment to press the shutter. This image of an Osprey was caught just as it was about to take off instead of just an image of 'a bird on a stick'!.
When something interesting catches your eye then don’t just take one photo – take at least 3 using different lenses or finding different angles was David's advice. 

The choice of lens is vitally DB coyoteimportant and David demonstrated the differences using a wide angle or a close up can give subjects taken from exactly the same spot.
A close up can look dramatic on some occasions but including the habitat can show behaviour and give a sense of space.
Look out for foreground interest to lead the eye through the image – diagonals can add drama and complimentary colours and shapes add interest.
Don’t be put off by wet weather or poor light – there is always an image to be had and today’s digital technology can capture sharp images in any conditions. Image stabilisation allows a 300mm lens to be handheld and still get a sharp image.
Get down low and look up as that makes the subject look more important and stand out from the background. 

As shown by his exuberant presentation David is an excellent tutor and has expertly made interactive tutorials which can be obtained from his website. His helpful advice on capturing interesting, creative images can be applied to any subject not just wildlife.
See Natural Focus for more information.
Summing up club chairman Steve Hardman said he had learned a great deal from the evening and thanked David very much for his very inspiring presentation.

During the evening Steve welcomed Richard Watson LRPS who had been the clubs chairman for the previous 4 years. Richard was thanked for the contribution he had made to the club and was made a life member and also a bottle of very special whisky that reminded him of the club field trip to Skye. PM
Images © David Boag


Entering International Salons  
Devizes Camera Club encourages members to enter their work in external competitions. 
The simplest way to do this is by entering digital projected images (DPIs) in international salons (exhibitions) recognised by the Fédération Internationale de l'Art Photographique (FIAP). 
There are three English salons between now and the end of 2018 which would be particularly suitable to enter, especially for members who are new to external competitions.  They are:
Northern Counties International Salon  DPI Classes: Open Colour, Open Monochrome, Nature Travel. Image Resolution: 1400px wide x 1050px high. Closing Date: 8 October 2018.
Smethwick International Salon  DPI Classes: Open Colour, Open Monochrome, Nature. Image Resolution: 1600px wide x 1400px high. Closing Date: 4 November 2018.
Yorkshire International Salon DPI classes: Open, Nature, Travel.  Image Resolution: 1400px wide x 1050px high.  Closing Date: 3 December 2018.
You can enter up to four images in each class by uploading them online.  It is often easier to get images accepted in international salons than to win Devizes Camera Club competitions, so why not give it a go?  You could enter images that did well in club competitions last season, or images you are thinking of entering this season.
In addition to the kudos of having your entries accepted against international competition, the most successful salon entrant in each calendar year from the club
will be awarded the Ryder Rathband Trophy

 Chairman's Evening - an introduction to the club 4 September 2018   
Club Chairman Steve Hardman welcomed both returning club members and the large number of potential new members who had come along to the first meeting of the 2018-2019 season.
Steve was interested in the reasons why people became interested in photography as a hobby and suggested that to him it had meant seeing the world in a different way and noticing more details. He felt he now  very much appreciated the efforts of others and strived to take up the challenge of creating better images.
GC Crane danceWhatever the reason it should be fun and enjoyable. 
Devizes is one of the leading clubs in the area and is always open to new ideas and suggestions are always welcome.
Steve introduced the committee members – some of which were new to their posts.

Gill Cardy FRPS DPAGB EFIAP was congratulated on her images 'Japanese Crane Dance' right  being selected to represent Great Britain in the FIAP International Biennial Projected Nature competition held recently in Oman.

The club has organised landscape and nature group visits to many areas around the UK over the years. Recently day visits had been organised with renowned Nature photographer Nick Upton to photograph Swifts at Lacock, Beavers at a secret location and macro images of insects at Wadswick Common and Green Lane Woods.

RA Puffin with Nest MaterialRoly Barth gave a presentation about the clubs’ latest weekend visit in May to the island of Skomer off the Pembrokeshire coast.
Arrangements had been made for an overnight stay on the island so as to have the island to themselves after the day visitors departed and to observe the birds and mammals after dark.
RB Sunset over Wooltack PointThe main attraction was the huge colony of Puffins which allow photographers to get up very close to the activities around their underground nests. Images by several members were shown depicting not only puffins but a variety of other seabirds that were abundant on the cliffs. Members were lucky enough to be able to photograph Manx Shearwaters as they flew in to their nest sites complete darkness. Another highlight was to manage to photograph a short eared owl as it flew over. Above: Puffin by Richard Atkinson AFIAP & right: Skomer  Sunset by Roly Barth 

KW owlClub member Kyra Wilson showed 10 of her prints with which she recently gained her LRPS. Kyra explained the process that she followed and the rather daunting judging process in which some of her images were turned down for minor imperfections but which a few months later she was able to correct and on re-submission were passed by the judges. To gain an LRPS the images had to show photographic competence and show a range of subjects and techniques. The next step is an ARPS which Kyra said she might consider in the future.
Left: Little Owl by Kyra Wilson LRPS

Next - some of the members showed some of their images taken during the summer break.
Martin Stokes said he had taken time to plan his images to get the best light with resulting in some excellent images.
Sue Wadman showed some delightful landscapes and Liz Bates a variety of interesting subjects that had caught her eye.
Dan Morrel had taken a 4-month tour of South America and showed just 3 of his well taken images but no doubt we will see more during the season.

FC MonkAfter the break where everyone had a chance to chat and catch up a short sequence of images taken at Stourhead by Robert Harvey ARPS EFIAP was shown to demonstrate how a selection of landscape images and some music could be put together into an Audio-Video (A-V) presentation.
Later in the season there is an A-Vcompetition so members are encouraged learn the techniques and have a go and enter their A-V’s.

Club Battle secretary Frank Collins recently went on a photographic tour of Bhutan and brought a small selection of his many images to show. A wide range of photographs from colourfully dressed locals to amazing temples and monasteries, dramatic landscapes and nightscapes together with many red costumed monks. Frank said that until recently there were no internet stations in Bhutan but since their introduction almost everyone including the monks had mobile phones. The terrain was difficult at times and the high altitudes made climbing and moving about rather more difficult than usual. A very rewarding country to visit and enjoy taking images of the amazing scenery. 21st Century Monk by Frank Collins right

After rushing back from giving a presentation at another club - Programme Secretary Robert Harvey just had time to show what an interesting line up  of speakers he had arranged for the coming season. See the Programme for full details.

Steve just had time to thank everyone for their contributions for the entertaining evening.
The feedback from newcomers was that they very much enjoyed the evening and were looking forward to future meetings. PM
 
 
Challenge 2018 - August
MartinSThere was a wide range of subjects entered on the subject of 'Movement' 
The idea was to encourage members of our facebook group to try out various ways of giving an impression of something moving that could be shown in a still photograph. Nine people had a go with subjects ranging from wind-blown barley to splashing water - birds to flags - star trails to the international space station as it moved across the sky.
A lot of inspiration came from the Devizes Street festival with dancers, fireworks, street performers and the fairground being popular subjects.
Techniques used included double exposure, long shutter speeds and super-imposed images all managing to show movement in one way or another.
The images that got the most 'likes' was by Martin Stokes which showed cloud movement over Shearwater lake at sunset. - right
Thanks to all those who had a go at portraying 'Movement' in one way or another and hopefully had some fun with different ideas.

The subject chosen for the month of September is 'Reflections' 
Reflections in water are a popular subject but interesting images can be taken using mirrors, windows or any shiny surface. A chance to try out different ideas and perhaps come up with something a bit out of the ordinary.
To take part join the DCC facebook group (join facebook if not already a member and then apply to join the DCC group)


Challenge 2018 - July  
timeThe subject set for the July Photo Challenge was 'A Sign of the Times' 
With so much happening in the world and our fondness to say that it wasn't like that in our day this was an interesting - if somewhat challenging subject for the month. What do you think that will be remembered of 2018 or the decade?
Members found this rather difficult to sum up in a photo. Mobile phones constantly in use, dead flowers, a sewage farm and homeless people were some of the rather depressing subjects portrayed.
The heat of the summer was another topic with this rather overcooked chap photographed by Pam Mullings gaining the most 'likes'.
The subject set for the month of August is 'Movement' A chance perhaps to try out different techniques to either capture moving subjects or to try ICM (intentional camera movement)
We had a couple of speakers last season who showed us some of their images - or there are a lot of examples on line. To join in the Challenge go to DCC facebook. 
If you are not already a member then first join facebook and apply to join the DCC facebook closed group.
You will also be able to see what fellow members have been up to 'photographically' during the summer break. PM

Nature Group Trips to Skomer
This summer two trips were organised to the island of Skomer, just off the Pembrokeshire coast. 

SH Puffin nestingSH Manx ShearwaterIn early May a group of eight, and in late June a group of three, each spent two nights in the self-catering accommodation belonging to the Wildlife Trust of South and West Wales, enjoying some excellent wildlife sightings. Short eared Owls were seen hunting in the area just next to the farmhouse and Choughs on the cliffs near the Garland Stone. Skomer is famed for its colonies of Puffins, Manx Shearwaters and huge numbers of rabbits and we were not disappointed.

The whole island is honeycombed with burrows and the wildlife trust do a good job in marshalling all the visitors on to paths whilst still allowing access to the birds.

On the earlier visit, the Puffins were busying themselves nesting and were quite comical in their attempts to get nesting material into their burrows. By late June, in blistering hot weather, the Pufflings had hatched and the adults were busy bringing sand eels allowing the classic shots of beaks full of fish and the clash with the waiting gulls, all too ready to rob them.
UK18 313 RH Green heronjpgAt night, the Manx Shearwaters come back to their burrows on the island and it really is an amazing spectacle. Tens of thousands of birds in the pitch black all trying to find their own home – the sound really is one of nature’s wonders and one that just has to be experienced – even if does mean getting up at 3am!

The cliffs are thronged with Guillemots, Razorbills, Fulmars and Kittiwakes with Choughs and various species of Gull as well. Wheatears, Pipits, Reed Buntings, Warblers, Whitethroats, Swallows, Martins and Seals etc etc. gave plenty of opportunity to practise different skills.

Trying to photograph swallows flying directly towards the camera down the paths between the bracken was particularly challenging!

Prior our return journey after the first trip, we had been tipped off that an extremely rare visitor to Britain, the Green Heron, had been spotted in a local MP’s garden in Narberth in Pembrokeshire, only a very brief diversion from our route. We all “twitched`’ our way to the garden to be rewarded with a grandstand view of the bird sitting on a branch over the lake. Perfect finish to a great trip.

Many thanks to Robert and Kyra for organisation and to Sarah for her hard work on the catering side. It was agreed by all participants that the logistics of getting to the island were worthwhile and well worth repeating. SH

Images: Top left - Puffin Nesting & Manx Shearwater top right by Steve Hardman  Green Heron - Right by Robert Harvey ARPS EFIAP
See more images taken on Skomer


Nature Photography with Nick Upton
RH swiftSH spiderThree groups of club members enjoyed interesting and unusual nature photography field trips this summer with professional wildlife film maker and photographer  Nick Upton.  The first, on 21 June, was to photograph swifts in flight at Lacock.  The most aerial of birds, flying at up to 69 miles per hour in level flight, these are very difficult subjects. 
With guidance on the right settings, optimum location and plenty of practice, we were able to get a number of sharp images with the underwings illuminated by low evening sun.   Swift by Robert Harvey - right    
 
On Sunday 8 July, we tried our hand at macro photography.  Visits to Wadswick Common and Green Lane Wood, both in Wiltshire, produced an array of spiders, shield bugs, butterflies, moths, bush crickets and other invertebrates.  Nick’s enthusiasm for these creatures was infectious.  It turned out to be the hottest day of the year (so far), which slightly curtailed both invertebrate and human activity!
Four-spotted Orb Web Spider on Ragwort by Steve Hardman - left
 
RH Beaver DamA memorable photographic highlight was our trip to photograph wild beavers at a west country location on Wednesday 11 July. 
After an absence of 400 years, these native mammals are now becoming re-established in our countryside. 
RH BeaverWe spent the evening watching a pair feeding in a lovely tranquil setting.  Nick also showed us the impressive dams they have built.  These shy animals are nature's engineers and delightful to watch.
Beaver Dam - left and Beaver - right  by Robert Harvey


Nick was generous in sharing his knowledge of beavers, swift and invertebrates, enabling us to learn much more about their lives as well as photograph them.
We are very grateful for the opportunity to benefit from his expertise.
RH

Images © Robert Harvey ARPS EFIAP and Steve Hardman


Challenge 2018 - June
RB poppiesThe subject chosen by Lynda Croft for the month of June was 'Sunlight' 
A wide range of subjects were posted in the Album including sunlit buildings, mountains, poppy fields and flowers.
Also sunlight through a window, sunlight on a starlings feathers and sunlight on the paper doves in Salisbury Cathedral.
The favourite image was the delightful photograph by Roly Barth of sunlit poppies.

Roly has chosen the subject for the month of July which is 'A Sign of the Times'
Roly says that he feels that with so much happening in the world and our fondness to say that 'it wasn't like that in our day!'  it makes an interesting topic.

The subject can be interpreted in any way so it will be interesting to see what ideas members come up with.
 
Give it some thought and when you are out and about - take some interesting photos and post them in the Album on DCC facebook.
To join in just request membership (you will need to be a member of facebook first)


Social Event 2018
frankgardenFor a number of years the club has arranged a get together of members and partners which gives a chance to meet up and chat during the summer break.

This year a BBQ was arranged for Sunday 17 June to be held by kind invitation of Robert and Sarah Harvey in their large interesting garden with its ponds, croquet lawn and beautiful borders.

Hoping for a warm sunny mid summer afternoon we were rather dissappointed when it was rather chilly with a grey overcast sky but non the less we still very much enjoyed looking around the very large garden. There was an array of wild flowers to admire with a few insects flying around the pond area and we could also take a look at Robert's hide  and reflective pool set up where he can take photos of the visiting garden birds.

Soon the delicious smell of meat cooking wafted around with Frank Collins ably assisted by Club groupChairman Steve Hardman in charge of the barbeque. Despite the chill members were able to sit outside and very much enjoy the excellent spread of food provided.
Eventually everyone drifted into the warmth of the large conservatory and enjoyed the pavlova and other tempting sweets brought in by members.


Sarah and Robert were thanked for providing such a delightful venue and being such excellent hosts by Steve. 
Some  of the men were still playing a competitive game of croquet as  the drizzle set in but all agreed it had been very enjoyable event.

Present and new members can look forward to Tuesday 4 September which is the start of the DCC 2018-2019 season. There will be a range of interesting speakers on a range of topics as well as practical evenings and competitions.
Don't forget you can keep in touch with others through the DCC facebook page.
In the meantime enjoy your travels and have fun taking taking lots of photographs. See you all in September.  PM



Challenge 2018 - May  

Pam LyndaThe subject set by Heather for the month of May was 'Leading Lines.
Leading Lines or Lead In Lines are used to lead the viewers eye from the edge of an image towards the main subject. 
Judges often remark when the line of a path, riverbank or other 'line' leads into the image.
Members found many ways to interpret this in the monthly challenge and 10 members entered 28 images - we had railway lines, pylons, tractor tram lines and many other ideas.
The most 'likes' was tied amongst 3 images - a diagonal stem leading to a 4 spot chaser by Pam Mullings left, field lines leading to a tree by Caroline Wright below and the view along a hotel corridor by Lynda Croft right

The June 2018 Photo Challenge is 'Sunlight'.
Lynda chose the subject in a spirit of hope and optimism, that we will see some sunlight during the month with the longest hours of daylight in the year!

CarolinePlease have a look at our DCC facebook and get your camera out and have a go.
Sunlight can be interpreted in any way you like - the more unusual the better.
Sunlight through trees, sunlight on water and of course the popular time for photographers at sunrise and sunset.
No points or prizes but just something that might inspire members to get out their cameras and look out for something a bit different to photograph. Have fun trying something that perhaps you have not tried before.
       
You can enter the challenge but much more than that you will be able to see the photos that are posted. ask questions, share information and keep in touch with fellow members during the summer break.

Club members can take part in the Challenge by going to Devizes Camera Club facebook  (not a member?  then first join Facebook and then apply to join)

 

Annual General Meeting and Presentation of Awards 15 May 2018   
Club Chairman Richard Watson LRPS gave a warm welcome to about 26 members and guests to the AGM and Secretary Dave Gray read the list of apologies
Members were asked to approve the 2017 AGM minutes which had been circulated to members beforehand and there were no matters arrising.
Chairman's report
Richard began with a huge thank you to the committee for their hard work over the year. "We would not have a club without their dedication and enthusiasm." he said. 
The highlight of the year for Richard was the Charlie Waite talk. "To meet and hear from one of my photographic heroes was a real thrill."
Huge thanks to Robert in particular who put so much work in to making the evening happen. Our biennial exhibition is always a great showcase for the club and this season was no exception.

Richard said he felt that the programme has been stronger than ever this year, with a range of interesting speakers to cater for all tastes. The year on year increase in the speaker budget pays dividends and helps attract outside visitors to the higher profile evenings. Thanks to Robert for his unstinting efforts in pulling the programme together.
I would like to thank Pam for continuing to act as Webmaster and for the website which is an important shop window for the club and it reflects very well on us.
Thanks also to Jean for providing the tea and biscuits all season.

As she comes to the end of her term as Competition Secretary, Richard wanted to pay particular thanks to Caroline for the huge amount of work she has done on our behalf in the last four years and we are looking to replace her with three people!
It is great to see the high standards being set by the Beginners — we will all need to be on our toes next season. 

Thanks are due to the other committee members. Craig has done a great job as Publicity Secretary and our profile on social media has never been higher.
Lynda has been a very accurate and conscientious Treasurer - special mention to Peter Tasker who has stepped in to collect the money on the door in the last few weeks.
Frank continues to steer our competitions with other clubs through his role as Battle Secretary, with much success again this season.
Steve has been a supportive Vice-Chair this season, chairing meetings when asked and offering some good challenge as a new committee member.
Lastly to two of the less visible roles. Dave is a great Secretary, sending out regular emails to members and making sense of our committee meetings through his accurate minute taking.
He and Robert do a brilliant job of running the Landscape Group, that adds so much to club life.
Mike Saunders has worked hard for the club in a variety of ways from setting up the room, to making the tea and building a new storage cupboard to keep our equipment secure — thank you Mike.
Richard said he hoped he was leaving the club in a good place with a healthy bank balance, a strong membership base, a friendly atmosphere and a high standard of photography.
He would like to see the Nature Group re-started, more local trips to encourage everyone out with their camera and perhaps Club Instagram page next year.
He wished Steve Hardman well in taking on the Chair’s role and knows that he will do a great job.
read more

  
Ladies v Gents Battle 2018 8 May 2018  
The final full Club meeting of the season was marked by the now-customary battle between the Lady members and the Gents of the Club.
The contest is intended to be fun – but inevitably brings with it some light-hearted rivalry between the two teams! Jean Ingram and Richard Atkinson acted as Captains of the respective teams.
DW otterThe rules are designed to make the Battle as inclusive as possible – whilst also encouraging the teams to think a bit, and not just choose images which have been successful in the year’s competitions. So while each team had to select 30 Projected Images as its entry, the Gents were limited to a maximum of two images per photographer; the Ladies being allowed up to four per head to allow for an imbalance in the membership this year. Each team was required to include at least 10 images that had not previously been entered in Club competitions; and whilst the team Captains were otherwise free to choose entries from  members in any competition Section of the Club, entries from the Beginners or Intermediates attracted 2 bonus marks. Selection therefore had to take care to meet the rules – and then tactical to try to maximise the points!
KF pugsThe final selection say the Ladies represented by 10 different photographers, with half of their work being previously unseen, and 11 images coming from Beginners or Intermediates. The Gents utilised images from 19 members, with 10 new images and half of the selection coming from Beginners and Intermediates.
 That therefore gave the Gents a head-start of 8 points – however, our Judges were of course not only unaware of which image was representing each team, but also of the bonus points, so were judging every image purely on merit against all of the others. The gamble from the captains therefore was whether the judges marks, when combined with the bonus points, would give them the winning selection!
As in previous years, we had two judges – one lady, one gent, this time being Sue and Richard Winkworth from Bristol, who had previously visited the Club as speakers. Richard and Sue had each scored the images independently ahead of the evening – and to add to the drama, had not conferred with one another, or revealed their scores to each other ahead of the evening. Each gave their personal thoughts about each image, and as they explained, they each tend to look at images in very different ways from one another – which was reflected in the very different marks which they each gave to some of the images. Each scored each images out of 10 – so a basic maximum of 20, with the possibility of a maximum of 22 for those eligible for bonus points
Two images gained the top score from both judges - 'Otter with Crab' by David Wilkinson left and 'The Three Pug-a Leers' by Kev Ferris right, which meant that David’s image was the top scoring one of the evening since it was also eligible for bonus points. It was very much a night for the Beginners and Intermediates; with the addition of the bonus points  a further five images scored 20 or more;-
Cold Canal Night – Craig Purvis – 21
Common Darter – Heather Collins – 21
Morning Glory – Sue Wadman – 20
Old Man of Storr at Sunrise – Sue Wadman – 20
The Old Man in Loch Fada – Steve Hardman – 20
The contest was very tight throughout and the final scoring also split the Judges, with Richard giving victory to the Ladies, and Sue to the Gents. But when the final scores were tallied, the Gents had 487 points and Ladies were just 14 points behind with a score of 473 – resulting in the first victory for the Gents for quite a few years!
Our thanks go to our Judges, Richard and Sue Winkworth, for their time, trouble and input, to the two Team Captains, Jean Ingram and Richard Atkinson, for organising the selections, but above all, to all of the Club members for supporting the event.   Frank Collins – Battle Secretary
Print and Projected Image of the Year competitions   1 May 2018   
Cp villageThe final competition of the season included all the images that had gained a 1st 2nd or 3rd place in a club competition since September.
The judge Ralph Snook ARPS EFIAP/b DPAGB was welcomed back to the club by Chairman Richard Watson. Ralph had the very onerous task of choosing which, in his opinion, were the best of the best! The prints and PI’s were from a diverse range of competitions – nature, landscape, creative, monochrome, portraits, open KW feathercompetitions where anything goes and even images taken on a phone.

Prints and PI's were divided up into sections – Beginners, Intermediate and Advanced so there were 6 trophies to be awarded to the winners of each section.

Starting the evening with the Beginners Prints only 2 members entered their prints so Ralph jested that one of them was bound to be disappointed! After giving his comments on both prints Ralph gave first place to ‘Village Stream’ right by
Craig Purvis remarking on the clever capture of the stream of coloured light from the traffic as it wended its way through the village at dusk.
'Boaters Market' was a canal side scene by Richard Blackbourne and was placed second. 

Next came the Intermediate prints with a deceptively simple image by Kyra Wilson titled ‘Feather and Grass’ left being the judges favourite. Close behind were two landscapes taken on Skye ‘Quiraing’ and ‘Sunset over Sgurr nan Gilean’ by Steve Hardman which were placed 2nd and 3rd.

RH kingfisher2There were 14 prints in the Advanced section for Ralph to ponder over with Robert Harvey ARPS EFIAP gaining first and second places. ‘Kingfisher Surfacing’ right was the winner with the judge commenting on the way the bird had been perfectly photographed as it emerged from its dive with a fish in its beak surrounded by water droplets. CP flaeless 
Robert’s stunning seascape ‘Wembury Point’ was in second place with a creative image titled ‘Cardoon Seed Heads’ by Pam Mullings in third place.

After a break Ralph continued with the Beginners Projected Images – this time rather more to choose from than the prints. A monochrome portrait by Craig Purvis was in first place – titled ‘Flawless 40’s’ left
Ralph commented that it perfectly captured the mood of the period.
A close up study of hoar frost on a teasel by Peter Eley titled ‘Winter Thistle’ was in second place and ‘Boogie Woogie Madeleine’ a coloured portrait by Martin Stokes placed third.

SW HollyIn the Intermediate section another portrait caught the judges eye - 'Holly' right by Sue Wadman gained first place. Ralph commented it was good to see a pretty girl posing for her photograph with her clothes on!
A nature image by David Wilkinson titled 'Stonechat with Insect' was in second place and in third place was another bird image but this time a creative image 'Pop up Little Owl by Kyra Wilson.

With 23 entries in the Advanced section Ralph said it had been very difficult for him to choose his three favourites as all were of a very high standard and many of them could have been worthy winners.
RH buttermere
Finally, it was down to the judges personal preferences and a landscape by Robert was declared the winner. ‘Buttermere at Dawn’ left was an atmospheric misty image capturing the early morning reflection in the water. Second place went to another Kingfisher image by Robert this time titled ‘Kingfisher with Catch’ Third in the Advanced section was ‘Raindrops’ a creative image by Pam Mullings.

Ralph congratulated those that he awarded 1st place and presented each of the worthy winners with a trophy.
Many thanks to Ralph for his helpful comments and for his careful deliberations choosing his favourites from each of the six competitons.
Thanks to Caroline who as Competition Secretary has had the time consuming task of sorting all the entries for the 25 competitions held during the season. Also thanks to all the members who entered the competitions making it a very interesting and competitive year.  PM

Full results                                                                 All of the winning images can be seen in the Galleries


Challenge 2018 - May
HC on the wingThe challenge set for the month of April was 'On the Wing'
Members found this quite a difficult challenge but nine club members managed to take photos during the month that would fit the title. We had many flying birds, aircraft and insects as well as some rather more unexpected ideas.
The image that gained the most 'likes' was by Heather Collins who very cleverly, and with a great deal of patience, managed to capture an image of a tiny hoverfly 'on the wing' (shown left)
The Challenge is for members to take photographs that fit the chosen subject each month and add them to the Album on Devizes Camera Club facebook. See all the 'On the Wing' images in the facebook Album.

The photographer whose image has the most likes chooses the next subject so Heather has chosen 'Leading Lines' as the challenge for the month of May. Judges frequently comment on 'lead- in lines' which draw the eye into the image - so go out and look for some new subjects and get some practice!
No points or prizes but just something that might inspire members to get out their cameras and look out for something a bit different to photograph. Have fun trying something that perhaps you have not tried before. 


Club members can take part in the Challenge by going to Devizes Camera Club facebook  (not a member?  then first join Facebook and then apply to join)


'How to Move from Good to Great Photography' 24 April 2018   

There was a very good turnout at Devizes Camera Club to welcome back Andy Beel and to hear his latest presentation. Andy brought several boxes of, predominantly, monochrome prints and announced that we should not expect a smoothly scripted talk as he had no fixed plan for his presentation. However he said he would include prints made from slides that he took in the 1980’s when he started his photographic journey, and come up to date with some of his latest work using a range of digital cameras.
Andy BeelHis first print, taken in 1985, showed a street of wet cobbles taken on a 400 ASA (ISO) film which provided a pleasing level of grain. He said, that he is still having difficulty getting the same level of graininess from digital images. Along with this image came his first tip for moving to great photography - recognise and develop a personal style.
AB chainHe said that his own style tended to be dark and moody monochrome photography. He demonstrated this with many images during the evening, including one of Stonehenge with a stormy evening sky to which he had added contrast, clarity and curves in post-processing.
Improving one’s photography is a series of stages, Andy suggested. Firstly you need to learn how the camera works and what different settings can achieve. He said it is worth practicing a range of different individual skills, such as focusing; exposure; depth of field; and so on, so that setting the camera for a shot becomes second nature and can be done quickly. Then, he said, it is worth trying different effects, such as including movement in a shot or even intentionally having everything out-of-focus.
Andy also showed how post-processing can greatly enhance the impact and atmosphere of an image. He recommended starting with global adjustment to effect the overall exposure and contrast, followed by local adjustments to bring out specific details. He suggested lightening what you want people to look at and darkening the rest. And he showed how a sense of depth can be enhanced by increasing the clarity and contrast of the foreground and decreasing it in the background.
AB EtheopiaAnother way to develop your photography, Andy pointed out, is to think about taking sets of photos and developing panels that tell a story. To illustrate this, Andy showed us several sets of images that he had created.
Of particular note were a series of images taken from the auditorium at the Ballet. These demonstrated how movement in images can be effective as they were taken hand-held at 1/20th second, so the dancers were blurs of movement. A split-tone effect in post-processing enhanced the whole effect.
He also showed us several sets of images taken in Ethiopia. There was a set on Worship showing the movement of women clapping, taken in dull lighting, hand-held at 1/20th with a f1.4 lens to create depth of field. There were two sets on Work in Ethiopia. The first showed images of artisans in a print shop, a barbers booth at the market and a sickle maker engulfed in steam and smoke. The other set captured the dusty atmosphere at a stone crushing plant in the Symian mountains.

In conclusion, Andy pointed out that the journey from good to great photography will not be a straight line. As one tries different techniques and effects, some things will work and others won’t, but they will all add to your experience.
Andy pointed out that camera clubs tend to encourage people to take images that will do well in competitions. But he said that you should try to move beyond a purely competition style and start to develop your own. Look at other photographers’ work, accept influences from them and work out how to develop them in your own images. Have confidence in your own vision, but accept advice and criticism from others. Above all, keep taking photographs, even when you think you are in a rut and don’t feel much inspiration.

Our Chairman thanked Andy for sharing some inspirational images and for giving us all some very useful insights into developing our photography. DF
Images © Andy Beel FRPS

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


'Creating Audio-Visuals’ 3 April 2018   

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