|Landscape Group visit - Avebury by Moonlight||Monday 15 August 2016|
Six hardy Landscape Group members gathered at Avebury after dark to try photographing the stones by moonlight.
|Landscape Group Field Trip to Porlock||Saturday 13 August 2016|
To the south-east, the heather gave way to wooded combes and beyond that to Dunkery Hill, enveloped in another purple haze.
|Welcome to the new DCC Website|
During the last few months the club website has been re-built using new updated free software. The previous website was built 6 years ago and in that time many things have changed. Smart phones and tablets are in common use and many people view websites on them so websites now need to scale down and display well on anything from a large widescreen monitor to small phone screen.
|Nature Group Butterfly Trip||Saturday 17 July|
|The Nature Group's latest outing saw of small party travel to the Wiltshire/Hampshire border to photograph some of the butterflies on the wing in July. First stop was Bentley Woods, with many tall oak trees favoured by the elusive Purple Emperor, as well as our largest Fritillary, the Silver Washed Fritillary, and various more common species such as Ringlet, Gatekeeper and Skippers Large and Small. Despite various extremely smelly potions laid out as bait, only one Emperor was seen, and that nowhere near the bait. However, all the other butterflies were often seen on the wing, though finding them at rest for photography was very elusive. One pair of mating Ringlets did however provide a good static subject to photograph.
The group then took the short drive to West Dean Hill, to photograph chalk downland species, notably the Dark Green Fritillary and Marbled White. Again, the butterflies were very active on the wing, but difficult to find at rest, though all the group eventually managed images of the two target species.
From West Dean Hill, we took another short drive to Blackmoor Copse, hoping to catch sight of a White Admiral butterfly. The weather was becoming increasing humid and overcast, so very few butterflies of any species we seen, although a White Admiral was glimpsed but not photographed before flying up into the trees.
All told, the list of species seen by at least some of the party during the day was :
Large skipper, Small skipper, Green veined white, Brimstone, Red admiral, White admiral, Purple Emperor, Comma, Dark green fritillary, Silver washed fritillary, Meadow brown, Gatekeeper, Ringlet, Marbled white and Speckled wood.
Our thanks go to Robert Harvey for researching the sites and for coordinating the trip for those who went.
|Summer Social Event||25 June 2016|
This year Gill and Ian Cardy kindly invited the club to their large garden, hidden away in the heart of Melksham.
The sunshine of the morning unfortunately turned to heavy rain with claps of thunder and flashes of lightening by the afternoon - not exactly the sort of weather expected in June!.
Club members, partners, friends and a dog frequently had to take cover but despite the weather enjoyed meeting up, having a chat and looking around the interesting wildlife garden.
There was a welcome slightly dryer spell towards the end of the evening when some managed to have a game of boules but sadly the grass was too wet for croquet.
Gill challenged those present to name 14 of the wild flowers she had marked scattered around the garden - a few more common ones were easy to identify but most required some good botanical knowledge.
A fine spread was laid on by committee members with special thanks to Hilary Eagles, Frank Collins, Richards Watson, Richard Atkinson, Mike Valentine, Peter Tasker and Michael Saunders.
Frank managed to get the BBQ going under the shelter of a large garden umbrella and Richard did a heroic job carrying the hot food across the lawn to those sheltering from the rain.
Robert Harvey celebrated his wife Sarah's birthday and brought along a delicious chocolate cake to share. It also happened to be the birthday of Clive Rathband so we wish both of them all the very best.
Club members are hoping that we get some better weather soon and can get out and about to take some photos ready for the 2016 -2017 season which starts on 6 September when we all meet up again.
Many thanks to Gill and Ian for the use of their garden and to all those who helped make the evening so enjoyable despite the weather. PM
|Group Visit to the Isle of Wight||11 June 2016|
Six members from the Nature and Landscape Groups ventured over the waters to the Isle of Wight in search of some rare butterflies and inspiring landscapes.
|Nature Group trip to Cotley Hill||Sunday May 29th|
Some members of the Nature Group have signed up to a spring and summer of Butterfly photography, inspired in part by Cate Barrow's presentation to the club last season.
|AGM & Presentation of Awards
||17 May 2016|
The 2015-2016 programme had been very varied and successful thanks to the work by Dave Gray and Robert Harvey ARPS EFIAP.
Dave and Robert also led the thriving Landscape and Nature Groups and organised many very enjoyable weekend and day outings during the year.Visits had been made to the Dorst Coast,West Sussex and waterfalls in Wales and many other photogenic areas.
Caroline Wright was praised for successfully organising the many competitions held during the season.
Stuart Barnes was thanked for his role as Membership Secretary as well as arranging the refreshments each week and the monthly Newsletters produced by Stuart and Michael Barnes are regarded as a great benefit to the club.
The club was pleased to welcome many new members during the season and attendance at meetings had been good.
Richard Atkinson has as usual been a very efficient Treasurer. A new projector which received much praise and sound equipment had been purchased from the club funds. Mike Saunders and Mike Valentine have kindly acted as links to the Sports Club.
Pam Mullings was thanked for running the website and taking on the role of Battle Secretary part way through the season.
Our thoughts and best wishes go to Jean Ingram for her loss and Derek Mason for his recovery after ill health.
Committee members read out their reports covering the years activities and answered any queries from the members.
There were 7 resolutions put before members and after much discussion on some points, all were eventually carried.
The membership fee will rise to £35 mostly to cover the increase in the amount paid to the Sports Club for the use of the facilities.
The new committee was duly elected with most posts staying the same. Changes are - Frank Collins to take on the role as Battle Secretary and Peter Tasker to be the Publicity Officer. Mike Valentine is to understudy the Treasurers role and Hilary Eagles is welcomed back onto the committee
(for full committee list see About Us)
Richard Watson was thanked by members for his role as Club Chairman.
After the break the Trophies were presented by Richard Watson to the very worthy winners. Robert Harvey received 6 out of 20 awards - the rest spread were spread amongst 10 of the club members. Some award winners were unfortunately away and not present for the group photo.
During the summer break members might like to bear in mind the Set Subject for 2016/17 is 'The Kennet and Avon Canal' which luckily is nearby for most members so look out for some interesting images.
It was announced that 'Streetlife' is to be a competition theme so look out for suitable interpretations while you are travelling around.
More Presentation Photographs Above: some of the 2015-2016 award winners. Photographs by Tim Pier
|Audio Visual Spectacular
||10 May 2016|
Members enjoyed seeing a variety of the award winning sequences from the WCPF Audio Visual competition 2015.
Guiding us through the evening and explaining the good and bad points of each sequence were Devizes CC members Clive Rathband FRPS FPSSA DPAGB EFIAP and Joan Ryder Rathband FRPS FPSSA DPAGB AFIAP who had been the judges for the competition.
There were 33 entries divided into 3 categories with a wide variety of subjects - some showed stunning landscapes and wildlife while others set out to tell a story in images, words and music. A sequence in the Photo Harmony category titled 'Jurassic Coast' by club member Robert Harvey ARPS EFIAP showed stunning images of the Dorset heritage coast from Orcombe Point to Old Harry Rocks (left) and gained 2nd place. 'In the Footsteps of Darwin' was another excellent sequence by Robert and was placed 3rd in the long AV category (up to 12 minute). Images taken in the Galapogos Islands were cleverly timed to fit in with the spoken words written by Darwin about his observations of the unique species such as the Giant Tortoise (below) which he found on these islands. Well done Robert.
An Innovation award was given to 'Dreaming' and Joan commented that although the sequence had some faults it deserved an award for its creativity.
Joan explained what judges look for in a good AV - the images must all be of the very best quality, the music and any recorded voices must be appropriate for the subject and dissolves should be timed to fit in exactly with the audio.
'Forgotten Industry' showed the history of an area on Dartmoor where granite sets were quarried and showed the hardships endured by the workers.
Another sequence featured the story of the love between Edward and Wallis Simpson.
In first place in the long AV's was 'Svalborg Sojourn' with stunning images of arctic scenery and wildlife with wonderful polar bears and other wildlife. In third place was 'First Light-Last Light' with amazing sunrise and sunset photographs set to stirring music.
Sequences in the short category are limited to just 3 minutes 21 seconds. We enjoyed the very moving 'Lest we Forget' which opened with the poppies that surrounded the Tower of London and went on to show war graves and some of the inscriptions. In the same category was 'Legacy' which told some of the history of Brunel & Fox Talbot and 'Venetian Reflections' showed some very colourful images. 'Semana Santa' was 2nd in the long AV category and followed the colourful religeous processions of Holy Week and the various brotherhoods in their rather sinster costumes.
The evening finished with the best long sequence of 2015 which had an extremely moving and thought provoking commentary and harrowing images telling the story of the Auschwitz concentration camp. Joan explained what judges look for in a good AV - all the images must be of the best quality, the music and any recorded voices must be appropriate for the subject.
Many thanks to Clive & Joan for sharing their expertise. Any members interested in making AV's can join WAVES which is based in Trowbridge and can offer help and advice.PM
|Landscape Group visit to Dorset
||Saturday 7 May 2016|
The latest Landscape Group trip saw seven members photographing at various sites in Dorset, each one not meriting a full visit in its own right, but still producing memorable images. Our thanks for organising the logistics as usual go to Robert Harvey, who strung the locations together to take best advantage of the light through the day.
First stop was the beech avenue at Kingston Lacy, clad in the first flush of fresh green leaves, where we had to be careful to avoid traffic speeding along the A3082. From there, we continued to Swanage aiming to photograph the rotting supports of the old pier. Unfortunately on this occasion a diving school pontoon surrounding the pier somewhat spoiled the composition. Nevertheless, the group will know where to come sometime in the off season when the pontoon will have been removed.
Back to the Landscape theme, the group headed to Sixpenny Handley to photograph an old Dutch Barn surrounded by the yellow flowers of oilseed rape. Robert had anticipated that as part of a four year crop cycle, this would be the year that the field would be planted with oilseed rape, and indeed it was. From there, it was just a short drive to Knowlton Church, our final venue for the day. Knowlton Church is a curious blend of pagan and Christian, with the ruins of a medieval church sited within the banks of a Bronze Age henge. The church provided our sunset shots for the day, with the sun performing well before eventually sinking into a thick bank of cloud. DG
|Print & Projected Image of the Year||3 May 2016|
Our Image of the Year competitions, in both Prints and Projected Images, are always keenly fought so it proved to be this year.
Our judge for the evening was Margaret Collis ARPS, DPAGB, APAGB and Hon EFIAP. Margaret was full of praise for the high standard of entries especially in the beginner’s section. She was particularly pleased to note that entrants in this group had been "imaginative, creative and technically very sound”
She also suggested that the club standard in all sections was high particularly in respect of nature entries. It was clear she had enjoyed judging all the entries and that in the final analysis the difference between placed images and the rest was marginal.
Prints: In third place was Andy Vick with ‘On Middle and Off' depicting a cricket scene, in second place Michael Valentine with a portrait of a Red Kite. The winner however was Mair Bull, with a lovely soft image titled 'A Variety of Nigella' (top left) This was not only a very popular choice amongst members but also, as the judge remarked, richly deserved. Well done Mair.
Projected Images: In the PI section the judge chose three very contrasting images. In third place was Michael Valentine with a strong image of the interior of St Giles Church, Cheadle which not only captured the light beautifully but also exposed the churches architecture with absolute clarity. In second place was Kyra Wilson with 'Seat with a View'. In first place was an extremely well taken picture by David Wilkinson of a Stonechat eating seed (top right). The judge remarked how well it had been placed in the frame and how well the background complimented the bird’s plumage. I think it was evident from her remarks that this image would have down very well even at the next level. Well done David
Prints: There were less entries in the intermediate print section this year in which Michael Barnes enjoyed a clean sweep. In third place was 'Heron with a Catch' which the judge appreciated for its simplicity. In second place was a very different picture of a sunrise titled 'Misty Morn’, and in first place a candid mono shot of publican enjoying a cigarette titled 'Smoking Joe' (left)
Projected images: Fourteen very contrasting images were keenly fought in this section. Indeed the judge found it impossible to choose an image for third place so awarded two with equal ranking one to Caroline Wright with 'East Dart Falls’, and one to Jill Ford Pier with ''Coming into Land'. In second place was 'Seat with a View' by David Fraser. This was also a very strong image in that it somehow willed you to take of advantage of it, sit down, have a rest, and enjoy a stunning view. Michael Barnes secured first place with 'Bee Gathering Nectar'(right) which came as a great surprise because in her critique the Judge remarked that the image might have been improved if there was a little more colour in it.
Advanced: Prints: Competition in the advanced section was also very keenly fought. Although several strong landscape images were considered on this occasion all of those finally placed by the judge, bar one - and even that was in a natural setting - were nature/wildlife images. Again the judge scored two images in equal third place, an image of a fly titled ‘ Empid' by Richard Atkinson, and an image of a very English scene by Chris Wilkes Ciudad ARPS, showing Wells Cathedral in the distance. In second places was a rather humorous image 'Room for One More’ by Robert Harvey ARPS EFIAP of a zebra trying to force its way between three others, in order access a water hole. Robert also obtained first place with a stunning winter image of an upright Mountain Hare bearing it teeth in an aggressive pose. (left)
In the PI section there was a rich variety of images to choose from. In third place was a picture of a lone, alert, waterbuck by Pam Mullings, beautifully reflected in water in which he was standing. In second place was a rather haunting image of Dead Vlei (a salt marsh) taken at the Namib-Naukluft Park in Namibia by Robert Harvey. In first place was an often photographed image 'Autumn in Stourhead' (right) taken by Chris Wilkes Ciudad.
Congratulations to everyone whose images were eligible for this competition. It not only showcased your talent but also the strength, depth and quality that exists within the club, and in particular the progress members have made in getting to the next level. Well done everyone.
We are also very grateful to Margaret for judging what, to many in the club, is considered as the 'competition to win’ and for her appreciative remarks, helpful comments and useful tips, including to think ‘square’!
|'Wildlife Images from my Travels'||26 April 2016|
Ralph Snook ARPS EFIAP DPAGB has visited the club as a judge but on this occasion members were able to see some of his many wildlife photographs and hear the many interesting stories behind them.
Capybaras are common and can even be seen sunning themselves along the tracks. Waiting patiently in a boat on the main river, Ralph was rewarded with several views of the elusive Jaguar including a mother with 2 cubs and sightings of the Giant River Otters.
Ralph recalled some of his memorable moments - the Cheetah with six clubs playing in a tree, the Kiskadee trying to snatch a fish from an Anhinga and the rare Lesser Anteater (left) that brushed right past him.
Ralph often uses a slow shutter speed to give a sense of movement in his photographs; the image of the wildebeest on migration (right) portays well the panic and turmoil as they cross the river.
Having travelled to Kenya many times Ralph knows the best areas and the best time of year to find the many photogenic wildlife subjects.
Ralph pointed out some of the many difficulties encountered when taking wildlife photographs, nothing stays still for long, the light is often poor, the grass is too long and the forests are dense.
Thanks Ralph for sharing your images and some of your wildlife encounters with us. PM
|'A Few Of Our Favourite Things'
||19 April 2016|
A very warm welcome was given to club members Clive Rathband FRPS FPSSA DPAGB EFIAP and Joan Ryder Rathband FRPS FPSSA DPAGB AFIAP who gave a presentation of the images that they are particularly fond of - and the stories behind them.
To set the scene they started the evening with an audio-visual sequence titled 'Call of the Kalahari' which showed images taken in the vast, very dry Kalahari National Park. Members enjoyed seeing the superb images of the birds and mammals found in the area together with a commentary and excellent sound effects.
Clive and Joan spend much of their time in South Africa and have a great deal of experience photographing the wildlife. Often with baking hot days and freezing cold nights they travel around observing the behaviour of the wildlife and capturing some very special moments. The excellent photographs showed the great variety of wildlife to be found in the SA National parks.
Clive and Joan spend many hours patiently watching the wildlife and endeavour to capture the birds and mammals in action.
When back in Britain Clive and Joan enjoy photographing the Wiltshire countryside and make frequent visits to the coast with the Lyme Regis area being a favourite. A series of images taken on Brownsea Island showed the dramatic fight between two Common Terns as they locked together and tried to drown each other.
Joan showed some of her artistic, creative images where she has used techniques such as adding Gaussian blur and various textures to create some very interesting images.
Members were given some useful tips and were able to handle some of the photographic equipment that Clive and Joan have found useful - some of which is improvised.
Many thanks to Clive and Joan for sharing their special moments and the interesting encounters behind them and for giving members a very informative evening. PM
|Nature Group Excursion to Clattinger Farm
||Sunday 17 April 2016 |
A small but enthusiastic group of club members met at 5.45am at Clattinger Farm to photograph one of Wiltshire’s wildflower spectacles, the snake’s head fritillary (Fritillaria meleagris). These charming flowers are nationally rare and most of the British population is found in the Thames flood plain of north Wiltshire. Flowering in mid-April, fritillaries have to survive spring frosts. The excursion was scheduled to coincide with clear skies and the likelihood of a ground frost. We found a good number of fritillaries in flower at Bridge Field, one of the ancient wildflower meadows at Clattinger Farm managed by the Wiltshire Wildlife Trust.
|'A Short History of Photography'
||12 April 2016|
The club welcomed Sid Jones, a member of Dorchester Camera club who gave members an interesting illustrated talk on the history of photography from the early attempts up to some 20th century icons who were pioneers of the photography we enjoy today.
|'In Isolation' Set Subject Competition
||5 April 2016|
Our final open competition of the season on the theme of ‘In Isolation' proved to be a well-supported and fascinating competition on many different levels. Firstly, having narrowly being beaten by the gents in last week's Battles the ladies shone through and took most of the leading places in each competition category (Beginners, Intermediates and Advanced). Secondly, it was fascinating to observe how the advanced photographers interpreted isolation compared with the less experienced photographers. In the main the advanced photographers tended to view isolation in terms of photographing an object separated from its environment. On the other hand the less experienced photographers (with some exceptions) tended to interpret isolation as something 'within the person’.
As a result we saw a lot of lone trees contrasting with images of people or situations where there was a conscious attempt to convey feelings of abandonment and separation. The choice it seemed was whether to photograph something alone or something that was lonely. Both approaches in their own way exemplified emotion and storytelling, and resulted in some excellent well thought images.
The competition was ably judged by Les Loosemore ARPS, AWPF, DPAGB, who travelled from South Wales to be with us.
In the Beginners section there was a rich variety of very well taken pictures which augers well for next season. In third place was 'Stonechat' by David Wilkinson. In second place was 'Pattens' by Kyra Wilson, and in first place a striking but simple image titled 'Seat with a View’ above left also by Kyra taken on a white ship down a passage way with contrasting blue sea and sky providing the perfect frame.
In the Intermediate section third place went to Gill Ford Pier with an image of a lone tree in sunnier climes. Second place also went to Gill with an image of lone boat 'Long Way from Home’. In first place was ' Despair' right a mono image by Caroline Wright of a man drinking alone with head in his hands. All of us present I think could identify with his despair even though very little of his face was shown.
In the Advanced section 12 images were selected for commendation. First place was awarded to Pam Mullings with a rather sad picture of a dishevelled young boy ‘Left All Alone'. left Second place was awarded to Gill Cardy FRPS DPAGB AFIAP for 'Lone Tree in Snow' which perfectly captured the different textures in the snow. Third place went to Pam with picture of a lone Waterbuck standing in reflected water and looking straight at the camera.
Congratulations to all those who took part.
Ladies V Gents - a win for the Gents
|29 March 2016|
It’s been sometime since the club held a Ladies v Gents competition but when Battle Secretary Jean Ingram challenged the men to a battle few of us could resist. Jean unfortunately had to resign from the position but Pam Mullings took over and organised the 'Battle'
During the evening several images were awarded the maximum 10 points by one or other of the judges.
|Club News articles from 2014 to March 2016
|September 2015 - March 2016 pdf.||September 2014 - May 2015 pdf.||September 2013 - September 2014 to follow|
|September2012 - September 2013 - to follow||
The DCC website has been upgraded. Club News Articles from the previous website are saved as PDF's.
You can look back on club news & events from previous years.