|Nature Competition 2020||20 October 2020|
Ralph Snook ARPS DPAGB EFIAP/b was welcomed back to the club where he has judged competitions many times before. Ralph said he always looked forward to seeing all the nature entries as the standard was always very high. This makes it difficult for him to judge as he has to make tough decisions and leave many excellent images out of the awards.
|Photographing Wiltshire||13 October 2020|
Club members and visitors were enthralled by the presentation by fellow member Robert Harvey BA ARPS EFIAP MCIWEM CSci CEnv. which was based on his latest book ‘Photographing Wiltshire.’
|Following the Herds||7 October 2020|
The club was delighted to welcome Sue Morris who is a professional photographer from Hampshire. Sue explained to members using Zoom, that to pay the bills she photographs weddings and portraits but her real passion is wildlife – especially big cats.
|Competition 1 Open Projected Images||29 September 2020|
The first competition of the season was judged by John Hudson ARPS SPSA DPAGB ASPS who is a freelance photographer from Bristol and has won many photographic awards. He was introduced by David Wilkinson who said it was a great privilege to welcome him to the club.
|Sports Photography||22 September 2020|
Nicki Douglas-Lee is a professional photographer based in Devizes and gave the club a Zoom presentation showing the various sports events that she photographs both locally and further afield.
|Southern Iceland||15 September 2020|
The club was pleased to welcome Leigh Woolford AWPF EFIAP DPAGB BPE3 HonFWPF to give a presentation using Zoom of his photographs taken on his many visits to this land of ice and fire. The journey he showed was from the town of Keflavik in the West on the coast road to Hofn towards the West. Using photos’ videos and maps Leigh gave facts in great detail about this amazing country. Iceland is the most sparsely populated country in Europe, the roads are almost empty so driving is a joy and many of the most scenic areas can be viewed from the roadside.
|Working with Textures||8 September 2020|
Using Zoom, Jane Lazenby BA(hons) fine art, CPAGB, LRPS, LMPA, BPE3*, EFIAP, ASEA, QTFE(2)was able to give the club a detailed insight from her home in Yorkshire, into how she transforms her images. Jane started her career as a painter but found that she became more and more interested in photography and the techniques that allowed her to be creative.
|Seeing the Light – 25 Years of Landscape and Nature Photography Techniques||1 September 2020|
Our 2020/21 season started with a bang on Tuesday 1st September with the welcome return of Guy Edwardes with his latest presentation entitled Seeing the Light. Despite still having to conduct our meeting's over Zoom!,
|Summer Social Event||29 August 2020|
Following days of inclement weather, on the 29th August a good day was forecast which allowed 12 of us to meet at St Mary’s Church at Calstone for the Annual Summer Social. Having only seen each other over zoom since lockdown it was particularly lovely to meet everyone in person again. After a brief catch up in the car park where we were able to obtain a copy of his new book (Photographing Wiltshire), Robert Harvey our organizer for the day, led the group to Calstone Combes.
|Nature and Macro - 'Show and Tell'||25 August 2020|
This was the 7th and final Zoom session of the club’s summer season.
"This is my favorite image from the Lockdown months, not because it is photographically brilliant, but for it's therapeutic value at the time of taking it. One month into Lockdown, and I heard we could drive a short distance to go for a local walk, so I went to a local wood to catch the end of the bluebell season. I re-live the overwhelming sense of freedom tranquility and peace I experienced when I look at this photo, after 4 weeks of solitary living, and walking the streets for exercise. Everything was wrong about it! I had the macro lens on, 45mm, on F5.6, so depth of field was too narrow, the composition was tricky as there was so much going on, and hard to pinpoint a subject, and the light was poor as it was overcast and dull. I spent 2 glorious hours there before returning to my confinement, but happy in the knowledge I could return here every day if I so wished. "
Flowers were an interest for Gina Gordon and she showed some really well beautiful images including an Agapanthus just as it emerged from its bud -left
|The Southampton International Exhibition 2020||11 August 2020|
The club was given the special opportunity to see the accepted and awarded images from the 107th Southampton International Exhibition of Photography which is organised by Southampton Camera Club. Entries were open to any photographer, amateur or professional, who lives anywhere in the world. The competition was judged in earlier in the year and usually there are a number of roadshows organised to show the awarded images, the exhibition and the award ceremony but due to the pandemic these had to be cancelled. Luckily they were able to hold the judging in February and get the catalogue printed before the lockdown.
|The Art of Travel Photography by Chris Upton||28 July 2020|
Through the use of technology, travel photographer Chris Upton was able to give his presentation from his home in Nottinghamshire. The lockdown has resulted in the use of Zoom for virtual meetings so that we can enjoy presentations from those speakers normally too far away to visit us for a normal club evening.
|'The Power of Personal Projects'||14 July 2020|
On 14th July, Glyn Dewis joined us on Zoom! to give his presentation on The Power of Personal Projects.
|Polina Plotnikova FRPS EFIAP – 'Starting from a Blank Canvas'||30 June 2020|
The club was delighted to have a Zoom presentation by multi award winning photographer Polina Plotnikova. Steve Hardman introduced her by saying she was a picture maker rather than a picture taker in that she starts with a blank canvas with an idea in her mind and then finds and arranges the subjects to create the image.
|Mark Pain - Award Winning Sports Photography at the Olympics and Beyond||16 June 2020|
In the second of our Zoom! Summer Programme, Devizes Camera Club welcomed Mark Pain to deliver a presentation on Sports Photography. A Nikon Ambassador, Mark is a multi-award winning sports photographer, having won the Sports Photographer of the Year Awards in 2005 and 2011. He covers a wide range of sports including football and rugby World Cups, golf Ryder Cups and athletics World Championships. He has also been involved in 4 Olympic Games, winning the Olympic Photographer of the Year award from British Airways in 2012.
|An evening of Photoshop Tuition with Clive and Joan Ryder Rathband||2 June 2020|
Members were welcomed to the first of the DCC Summer bonus meetings and this one was to be a special masterclass by Clive and Joan Ryder Rathband on the use of Photoshop. Clive and Joan are both Fellows of the Royal Photographic Society and give frequent tutorials and lectures.
Members thanked Clive and Joan for showing them how their images could be brought to life using the tools in Photoshop 2000.
|Annual General Meeting||19 May 2020|
The club AGM was rather different this year as members could not actually meet face to face as usual but had to meet up in a rather different 'virtual' world.
|A win for the Ladies - again!||12 May 2020|
Almost the end of the 2019-2020 season and the last competition was a ‘battle’ between the ladies and the gents of the club. Billed as a ‘fun’ event, nonetheless members do take it very seriously and both genders are all out to win!
|Print & Projected Image of the Year 2019-2020||5 May 2020|
All the images that have been awarded a 1st, 2nd or 3rd in the 2019-20 season are entered in this last competition for the judge to choose the best of the best. This is a particularly difficult task as the images have come from a range of different genres – nature, landscape, monochrome, creative as well as all those entered in the Open competitions. Ralph Snook ARPS DPAGB EFIAO/b has judged many times for Devizes and said that it was good that the club was still able to run competitions although in a rather different way.
|'What Aperture for Antarctica'||28 April 2020|
On Tuesday 28th April, the camera club’s Zoom meeting was attended by over 40 people to listen to Josh Cooper’s talk - What f-Stop for Antarctica?
|‘The Sea and Me’||21 April 2020|
In a first for Devizes Camera Club, on Tuesday 21st April we used the Cloud Meetings App, Zoom!, to host Roger Crocombe ARPS and his presentation entitled 'The Sea and Me' as the Coronavirus lockdown prevents us all from travelling.
|AV Competition & Outdoor Photography under Lockdown||14 April|
Again the club was able to have a ‘virtual meeting’ to show the sequences entered in the club Audio-Visual competition. Postponed from earlier members were able to view and hear the comments of the judge Tony Byram ARPS DPAGB APAGB. There were just 4 entries and the judge said they all came under the category of ‘Photo Harmony’ meaning that they had no storyline but the still images linked to sound must flow in a pleasing progression.
|Open PI Competition 3 - results||7 April 2020|
The Open PI Completion 3 turned out to be a new experience as because of the lockdown it had to be judged remotely but due to the wizardry of the internet members could view the images and hear the judges comments from their own homes.
|Quad Battle Results||17th March 2020|
In recent years, one of the fixtures in our calendar has been a Four-Way, or Quad, Battle between ourselves, Swindon, Royal Wootton Bassett and Stratton (formerly Highworth) Camera Clubs. This year, it fell to RWB to organise and host.
|Creative Competition 2020|
|The Creative competition seems to have been fated this year as first of all the judge had to be replaced at short notice then the second judge appointed had to self-isolate after returning from Italy so the meeting was cancelled. The images were then sent together with the Competition 2 prints to a third judge and that meeting was cancelled as were all the other meetings.
Kindly the judge Beryl Heaton ARPS, EFIAP, CPAGB has sent her comments and given the awards.
Sadly there were only 9 entries so where was everyone? Images taken after the popular demonstration of ‘Light Painting’ could have been entered. Members have had a go at creative camera movement and other techniques so these could have been entered. A lot of images taken in camera at our portrait evenings would have met the criteria for ‘Creative’.
The trophy was presented to the club in 2011 to encourage more creative images which are so popular with many clubs and are often the winners in the National & International competitions. Maybe next year members might find a bit more creativity!!
The 9 creative images and the judges comments will be shown below.
Anyway we have the results – in first place was ‘Bolt from the Blue’ by Pam Mullings. The judge liked the scared look on the models face, the hair standing on end and the way the lightning streamed down.
In second place was ‘Nesting Time’ by Pam Mullings – described by the judge as a fun image. She said that she enjoyed the model’s expression with the eyes looking up in the direction of the ‘hat’ and the pigeon. The hat has been expertly constructed to resemble a nest.
The judge commented that she didn’t normally pick out images in the same genre for awards like this but felt that these two portraits were first class.
In third place was ‘Knock Knock’ by David Eagle. The judge said it was a nice idea with well-chosen elements showing all types of doors from modern to old fashioned with different colours. The woodpecker using the knocker is fantastic.
Other entries featured an amusing lemur an ‘ebulb’ and Avebury in Wonderland!
Well done everyone who entered and at least had a go!
A very special thanks to the judge for sending her comments.
Thanks to the competition secretaries who have had so much to do sorting out these cancelled meetings and changes of judges.
The results of the Audio Visual competition which was also changed should be with us after the next competition.
Keep smiling and maybe try a bit of creativity if you have some spare time on your hands! PM
All the entries and the judges comments Awarded Image Gallery
|Open Print Competition 2 - results|
At this unprecedented time the competition print entries were with the judge but unfortunately our meetings are cancelled. Very kindly the judge Beryl Heaton ARPS, EFIAP, CPAGB agreed to judge the competition and send us notes on each image and give us the awards.
In the Beginners section first place went to ‘Dawn Breaking, Winter Solstice’ right by Bridget Codrington. The judge enjoyed the dramatic with very clear silhouettes of all the dramatic with very clear silhouettes of all the observers and the symmetry. She said it was a ‘wow’ sort of sky with colours ranging from pale yellow to navy blue.
In the Intermediate section ‘Steeple in the Mist’ left by Craig Purvis was awarded first place. The judge said that the mist gives the lower part an air of mystery and at the top we have reality with a lovely coloured sky and trees silhouetted on the hill. The composition works well as we have interest from top to bottom and across the width of the image.
In the Advanced section there were just 11 entries.
First place went to ‘Camelias’ by Pam Mullings. The judge liked the composition with flowers on the diagonal. She wrote - they are lovely and sharp and the grainy background adds to the effect as does the unusual way the photographer has framed the image. She said that she always has a border around hers but this is something a bit different and it really works
Very well done everyone and a special thank you to the judge for sending us the useful notes as we were unable to have the usual meeting. Thanks to the Competition Secretaries who sorted the entries and arranged for the club to get the results.
|No meetings for the rest of the Season|
The Committee has been following developments on the Coronavirus outbreak, and has now reluctantly concluded that we must cancel our meetings for the rest of the season with immediate effect.
Our competition secretary team are looking at possible ways we can continue with the remaining competitions using remote judging. We will keep you informed about progress on these, but please submit your entries for the Open Projected Image 3 competition by Tuesday 24th March as currently scheduled.
|'iPhone Photography'||10 March 2020|
On Tuesday this week Bob Holman travelled over from Marlborough Photography to present a talk on iPhone Photography. A committed Apple user, Bob said he rarely goes out on photo shoots, preferring to take photos as they arise and sticks to the principle that “the best camera is the one that’s with you!” Saying that he aimed to change our perception of iPhone photography, Bob started by showing a series of well composed images taken using the Apple camera on his phone.
Bob gave us a few tips on using the camera, such as how to access the camera quickly, that the volume button will act as a shutter button, and that keeping your finger pressed on the button will take images in burst mode for as long as you hold it there. He also pointed out that bluetooth gadgets such as a key ring or the volume button on ear buds, will also act as a shutter button for more discrete shooting. He emphasised the importance of touching the subject on your screen to ensure that it is in focus, and that a long hold will lock the focus and exposure for you.
Bob ran through the app’s icons on the screen, giving a detailed account of the various facilities available, but not necessarily well known. For example, when taking images in Portrait mode, the camera will detect faces, allow you to change the lighting and the aperture for the shot. Furthermore, all these settings can be changed after the shot using Edit! He also demonstrated how to use Panorama mode both horizontally and vertically.
After the break, Bob showed us some of his images of animals, relating how he had taped his camera to a window and used his bluetooth key ring as a remote shutter release to take a load of images of a blue tit which kept landing in his hedge!
Another technique he uses is to walk towards the subject with his finger on the shutter, thus using burst mode, until the animal moves away.
Finally, Bob introduced us to the Lightroom mobile app through which images can be shot in RAW. Again, he ran through the various options and icons to show us what can be achieved. He concentrated on Professional mode to show just how much control one can have over the images taken with his phone.
It was a fascinating talk during which many of the audience had their phones out trying everything he demonstrated.
Our Chairman thanked Bob for an enlightening evening, adding that he felt he was now going to have to buy a new phone to access all the facilities! DF
Images © Bob Holman
|'That's Not a Landscape Photograph!'||3 March 2020|
|The club was treated to an excellent presentation by Shaftsbury photographer Huw Alban. Huw was used to photographing Formula 1 events capturing high speed racing cars but has now turned his photographic interests to capturing landscapes in a variety of forms. Some images are what most photographers regard as a typical landscapes but in others Huw sets out to capture the atmosphere that he felt at the time – perhaps it was very wet and windy or very still and calm.
Sometimes Huw uses Creative Camera Movement to create an image he feels captures the feeling he had when taking the image. He suggests looking back at your images and recalling why you took the image and what was the feeling that you tried to capture.
In order to get an image that conveys feeling of a damp still day Huw even uses a pinhole camera to give that soft, dreamy impressionistic image. Simplify the composition to only include what interests you. Be patient and wait for the right moment.
‘Rules’ of composition help when you start out in photography but if everyone follows the ‘rules’ there is no self-expression. In time a personal style is develops and a photographer’s images become instantly recognisable. Look for something different rather than the flock to well-known photogenic scenes – look for a different view.
If you break the ‘rules’ then know how or why. Take photographs to please yourself and don’t allow the opinions of other to stifle your interpretation.
Looking through his favourite images Huw found that he was drawn to straight lines and they continue to feature in many of his images.
Huw showed club members some views of Minnis Bay, Kent and no one present thought it looked an inspiring place to photograph but then he went on to show why after taking time to explore it has become one of his favourite destinations. He showed imaginative images of the breakwaters, jetties, decaying wood groynes and even making a striking image of the rusty sea defences!
Another favourite destination visited time and time again is Cumbria with its lakes and Castlerigg stone circle.
Huw advises - plan in advance by researching the area using maps, check on the expected weather conditions and the position of the sun but also be prepared to keep an open mind and be responsive to the situation that you find. Plans can go awry, so take any opportunity that arises and be open to new ideas. Images can be taken at any time of day or in any conditions.
Huw advocates keeping photographic equipment simple – the latest expensive camera and gismo’s do not give necessarily get you better images! He finds that an Olympus mirrorless four thirds camera with top quality zoom lenses (12-100 and 40-150) cover all his photographic situations. The camera is lightweight and the 20 megapixels adequate for up to A2 printing and the zoom lenses allow precise framing. Although Huw almost always uses a tripod so that he can set up his image precisely but, when the occasion calls for it, the cameras good image stabilisation allows it to be handheld.
Huw holds group and 1 to 1 workshops for those who would like to learn more about landscape photography.
Steve Hardman thanked Huw for his very entertaining, informative, thought and action provoking presentation. PM
Images © Huw Alban. Images of Minnis Bay, Kent See website for more information on Photographic workshops, equipment etc.
|'It Rained in Namibia’||18 February 2020|
In this weeks club meeting we were treated to a wonderful presentation by Simon Palmer entitled ' It rained in Namibia' when he showed us his images of the dramatic landscape of the country and its wildlife.
Simon is a highly regarded and award winning photographer who has developed a passion for conservation and works closely with a number of charities in Namibia, in particular The Africat Foundation which is committed to the long-term conservation and survival of Namibia's large carnivores in their natural habitat.
Simon's interesting, heart-felt and often amusing talk about the conservation work was illustrated by his wonderful photographs. We saw dramatic images of the landscape where the animals live including the brightly coloured sand dunes in the south of the country which provide such a contrasting back drop to the fascinating natural architecture of the jet black and dried out Acacia trees, which are between 8 and 900 years old. Abandoned vintage cars in the sun baked landscape, wonderful sunsets with silhouettes of Quiver trees and portraits of the indigenous people all feature in his photographs, many of which have been enhanced by his creative skills with colour popping, smoky filters, monochrome and image enhancing borders.
But it is the wildlife which really ignites his passion and we saw beautiful images of Cheetahs and Lions basking in the golden African light, a charming baby Zebra in monochrome with a hint of sepia and some fascinating images of a lion under sedation receiving treatment for an ingrowing toe nail! Simon explained at length about the work the charity does and how they work tirelessly to resolve human/wildlife conflict which when successful allows both to live in harmony in such a challenging environment, where it often only rains once ever 3-4 years.
All in all, a most informative, thought provoking and enjoyable evening and we wish Simon and all his colleagues at the charity continued success in helping to save such wonderful animals whose numbers are becoming alarmingly low. Raising money through the sale of this photographs and him donating his time is a remarkably selfless way too support such great work. KS
Images © Simon Palmer
|DPIC, Warminster & GB Cup Battles|
February is the month of interclub battles, though 2020 has not been particularly fruitful for Devizes Camera Club.
DPIC (Digital Projected Image Competition) saw entries from 56 clubs across the Western Counties Federation, in which Devizes came a reasonable 14th=, though we have done better. Results of the competition had to be recalculated after it emerged that the initial winner, Bristol Camera Club, had included 2 ineligible images in their entry. Further scrutiny showed that no less than 11 images had been entered into previous DPIC competitions, and points which had been awarded were annulled. Congratulations go to joint winners Dorchester and Frome Wessex.
More locally, the Warminster Multi-Club Print Battle consisted of entries from 7 clubs, with Devizes coming a disappointing 6th with 176 points, although only 3 more points would have lifted us to 2nd=. Congratulations again go to winners on the day Frome Wessex.
Finally, we have the GB Cup, which is judged behind closed doors as the entries are drawn from the whole of the UK. In this, Devizes finished a disappointing 65th out of 71 in the Open Section, and 61st= out of 86 in the Nature Section, although in the latter, Tim Tapley’s image ‘Water Boatman’ was accepted for inclusion in the slideshow of ‘best images’ of the competition. Congratulations to Tim on this achievement.
It looks like it’s back to the drawing board for our selection committee, to try to fathom out what judges are looking for in multi-club competitions such as these. Many of the successful images were post-processed to a greater degree than we are used to, although not many were ‘Creative’ montages made up of several images, and clearly we have ground to make up in the traditional GB Cup Nature competition.
Thanks to all of our members whose work made up our entry for these competitions. Dave Gray- DCC Battle Secretary
Some of the images that did well in the Battles were 'Getting to the Point' by David Eagles, 'Water Boatman' by Tim Tapley, 'Close Knit Band of Brothers' by Dave Gray & 'Osprey Bringing Nest Material' by Gill Cardy.
|Members' Speed Critique||11-February 2020|
This weeks club meeting saw the annual Speed Critique evening where 8 fairly new members to the club were 'invited' to present 10 or 12 images to small groups of other club members who would provide a useful critique. As a true novice and beginner this was really quite a daunting prospect but the invitation was made so politely it was almost impossible to decline! Besides, I thought he said Speed Dating which would have been a very different evening altogether!
Having searched through many photographs and said 'right that is the final list' about 10 times, I finally decided on a dozen, representing a range of topics including landscapes and wildlife and took my place at one of the 4 tables set up for the evening. In the first half, with 10 minutes allowed at each table, my fellow victims, sorry, participants were Bridget Codrington, Mark Somerville and Gerald Clarke.
Bridget presented a range of images including wildlife, landscapes, interesting skies and even an award winning photo showing the effect of deliberate camera movement. Mark's images included motorbikes and aircraft, mainly in monochrome and cleverly capturing movement. Gerald presented some wonderful shots of African Wildlife which were very interesting indeed.
The second half saw Dave Dowding present a range of photos from a steam fair featuring engines and various characters at the event and Megan Boardman showing her lovely photos of wildlife and others from a day in London watching the trooping of the colour.
Jennifer Skjoldbro again gave us a varied range of subjects including monochrome shots of buildings, wildlife and my personal favourite, a rabbit, mid leap, with a leaf in its mouth!.
Finally, Peter Tasker showed us a selection of shots of mist over a valley and cunningly decided to use the time to ask Dave Gray how he might improve them in Lightroom. Dave very helpfully obliged and Peter was proud of his success at the art of delegation!. I thought, darn, why didn't I think of that!
Having survived the ordeal my fellow participants agreed that over all it had been a very useful process, from which we can all learn something. It was interesting to see such a range of subjects presented and we were relieved that the critics had been gentle and constructive, for which we were all very grateful - thank you! Kate Stephens
Images: Kate, Peter and Jennifer discussing their images with members
|Landscape Print & PI Competitions||4 February 2020|
The Annual Landscape Competitions attracted a large entry and John Tilsley ARPS APAGB DPAGB said that he had great difficulty judging them.
John is a very experienced photographer himself and explained that judging was subjective and each judge has to make decisions on which images are given the awards. Everyone responds to images in different ways and he personally wants to feel the emotion in the image. After looking at the images John felt he had been on a fabulous tour of the British Isles and with so many splendid images entered he found it very difficult to choose the winners.
There were many entries taken on the Landscape Groups visits to various areas – Northumberland cropped up many times with Dunstanburgh Castle featured in many entries. Other popular locations were Snowdonia, the Lakes and the north Cornish coast.
Starting with the 26 print entries John gave helpful comments on each image pointing out the good points and also where he felt the photographer might have improved the image – sometimes by choosing a better viewpoint when taking the image or by cropping in post-production.
Many prints were held back for further consideration and then John finally chose the winners.
A print titled ‘Snowden Sunset’ top right by Chris Wilkes-Ciudad ARPS appealed to the judge for its simplicity – the mountains were silhouettes with just a glimpse of the sun’s golden rays. John said ‘wow, a magic moment’ and awarded the print first place.
In second place was ‘Cherhill Down’ top left another print by Chris.
A more local subject this time in monochrome which John said had a wonderful light on the cloud and mist.
John described ‘Broken’ by David Eagle right as an intimate landscape with a moody atmosphere and gave it third place. Six other prints were awarded Highly Commended. All the prints were displayed for members to be able to get a close look.
After the break the judge commented on each of the large number of projected images entered. John said again that there were so many wonderful images that he found it difficult to choose a winner.
By chance a monochrome image also by Chris Wilkes-Ciudad was chosen as his favourite to win the second trophy of the evening.
John said he must be on the same wavelength as Chris as he liked the same simple but dramatic style. The title of the image was ‘Sligachan, Skye’ left with its well-toned landscape and moody sky.
The Landscape Competitions include entries from all 3 sections of the club and in the Beginners section and a newcomer to the club Jennifer Skjoldbro was awarded both the second and third places. Very well done to Jennifer who was entering her very first club competition.
A subtly simple image titled ‘Beauty and the Beach' right was praised by the judge who particularly liked the wonderful reflections on the wet sand.
‘Mist in the Vale’ left was the image by Jennifer which gained her third place and was a scene which the judge said perfectly captured the Wiltshire landscape. Thirteen projected images were awarded HC’s out of the large entry.
Many congratulations to Chris Wilkes-Ciudad who was presented with both the Silver Birches Trophy for the best landscape print and the Derrick Turner Memorial Trophy for the best Projected Image.
The judge was thanked warmly for his helpful comments and for choosing the winning images by chairman Steve Hardman.
Thanks to the 3 competition secretaries who between them organised the entries.
|Landscape Group Trip to the Purbeck Coast||1 February 2020|
|The Landscape Group’s latest trip saw 11 members and friends go to Purbeck for some winter coastal landscapes. The Dorset coast benefits from being photographed in the winter, for that is the time of year when the sun both rises and sets over the sea, giving low angled light illuminating the many interesting coastal features.
The forecast for dawn was for cloud and possibly rain, so a leisurely start was made from Studland at 10am. The sun was now shining strongly as the group headed up the South West Coast Path to photograph the chalk stacks of Old Harry Rocks and adjacent cliffs of Handfast Point. Brilliant white chalk gleaming in the sunshine is not the easiest subject to expose correctly, but careful bracketing and merging as an HDR (High Dynamic Range) image on the computer greatly ease the task nowadays. The group spent well over an hour at this location, probably enjoying the winter sunshine as much as the photography, but eventually hunger called and we returned to Studland.
Those who had brought packed lunches then headed over the Purbeck hills to Worbarrow Bay, a dramatic bay contained within the Lulworth Army ranges and so untouched by hotels, restaurants and other typical seaside facilities. The others, perhaps with hunger calling more strongly, sought out Fish and Chips in Swanage.
At Worbarrow Bay, the main target involved a 200m trudge over the pebble beach, to reach an area of red, orange and yellow rocks, their colours enhanced by the low angled sunlight. These are Wealdan Sandstone formations which are perhaps more usually associated with Alum Bay on the Isle of Wight. The sea was also putting on a good show of spray in the stiff South Westerly breeze, challenging our photographers to ‘catch the moment’. Meanwhile, some of the Swanage Fish and Chips group had decided to go to Kimmeridge Bay instead, to photograph the angular ledges leading out to sea in a falling tide.
Both groups had hoped for a good sunset, but persistent haze out to sea meant that the sun was obscured long before it actually set. It had however been a wonderful day to photograph interesting features, and to banish the memory of so many dull and wet winter days. DG
Images: Old Harry Rocks & Sandstone Formations at Worbarrow Bay by Dave Gray
|Studio Portrait Evening||28 January 2020|
|There was a very good turn-out of enthusiastic club members for the portrait session organised by Kyra Wilson.
Three sets of lights and backgrounds were expertly set out in the hall and Kyra and two other re-enactors came with their colourful costumes and patiently posed as club members photographed them from all angles.
Members could take photographs of the three models and ask them to take up a variety of poses
The models brought along various props – Kyra set herself up making lace (right) and the two men brought along guns, swords and a drum to help set the scenes for the photographers.
There was much discussion amongst members as they took their photos about which camera settings worked best and whether to use flash or not.
Members very much enjoyed the evening and for many it was a new experience and a chance to try something different.
There were some very good images as a result and many of those can be seen on the club facebook for members to compare.
Many thanks to Kyra for arranging the practical session, David Eagles who brought along his equipment and to all those who helped set up and take it all down again.
Many thanks to the models who posed so patiently during the evening. PM
Some photos of club members taking their photos and discussing the results.
|Landscape Group visit to Northumberland|
|This year’s Landscape Group weekend trip saw 12 members and partners travel to Northumberland to photograph iconic coastal and moorland locations. We are very pleased to say that the ladies outnumbered the gents on this occasion, and also that three of the party have only joined the club in the last 12 months. The story of the trip is best told through the eyes of Kate Stephens, one of our new members to both Landscape Group and Devizes Camera Club:
“I joined the club in September 2019 as an inquisitive but amateur photographer and was delighted to learn after just a couple of weeks that the club was organising a trip to Northumberland to visit and photograph some of its most beautiful places. As it is a county I have long yearned to see i eagerly signed up and on the 10th January 2020 a number of us set off in the early hours with a rendezvous time of 6.00pm at the hotel in Alnwick. Some had travelled the previous day as the weather was set fair and indeed proved to be just right for almost every day.
After a very clear run accompanied in the first part by the setting beautiful full Wolf moon. we arrived in Northumberland at approximately 12.30 and keen to get started went to Druridge Bay for our first Northumberland photographic experience. Here we found an interesting snaking estuary making its way to the sea amongst gentle sand dunes with soft tones of blues and yellows. I for one felt like we had definitely arrived!. From here we went to Amble and found the wonderful photogenic features of a pier, a castle across the estuary, pastel coloured beach huts and a lighthouse! As the light started to fade we continued to Alnwick and met our fellow travelers as arranged.
Day two was an early start in order to go to the magical and mystical Holy Island and Lindisfarne. A dry, cold and very windy day brought opportunities to photograph the castle as the sun rose although not on this occasion, with any particular colour. There was much to explore on the island and we all went our separate ways in order to discover all it had to offer. With water starting to be blown onto the causeway we shot back across with great haste at 12.30 and our little group of four continued to Whitely Bay to photograph the lighthouse on St Mary's Island. Here the conditions were just perfect with sunshine, lovely clouds, choppy seas and of course the wonderful lighthouse. We even managed to see a seal which really made an already fantastic day, almost perfect. Not content to rest on our laurels we then made the trip to Newcastle for sundown in order to photograph the illuminated Gateshead Millenium bridge. Although we had a little light drizzle it was definitely worth the trip.
Day 3 saw the group up early again to photograph Bamburgh Castle at sunrise. Although a beautiful location the bright colours of dawn did not appear but everyone certainly saw the potential of this hugely photogenic location. I joined the group at 10.30am to make the trip to Housesteads in order to walk approximately 2.5 miles along Hadrians Wall to Steel Rigg, taking in Housesteads Crags and the Sycamore Gap, both very beautiful locations. The walk was challenging as it was very cold but the scenery was outstanding and it was so pleasurable taking turns to walk with different members of the group and chat about all manner of things and sometimes pause to take photographs together. Arriving at Sycamore gap just before sunset the idea was for the group to carry out some astro photography; the hope being that the stars and Milky Way might just make an appearance and provide an even more stunning backdrop to the famous tree. The cold beat about half the group and we made our way back but those who stayed and endured the plunging temperatures, were, eventually, treated to a starry sky which broke through the cloud cover. I very much look forward to seeing their photographs.
Day 4 and another early start in order to photograph Dunstanburgh Castle at sunrise. It was very cold and the intrepid amongst the group ventured out across very slippery boulders in the half light to reach an advantageous position. Those of us who didn't feel up to that found our own angles and greatly enjoyed the spectacular location. We then enjoyed the castle from the southern side as the sun came up and we walked along the coastal path to Craster. Craster was 'closed' so we returned to Alnwick and the wonderfully cosy location of Barter Books where we all enjoyed brunch next to the open fires. The afternoon was our own and we took the opportunity to photograph Alnwick Castle and then have a relaxing afternoon in our hotel rooms.
The final day saw us up early to return to either Bamburgh or Dunstanburgh Castles for the promised colourful sunrise and it did not let us down. The group of us that went to Bamburgh were treated to one of the most beautiful sunrises I have ever seen in the most stunning location. We all stood poised with our cameras and took repeated photographs until the 'show' was finished. I don't think it was possible to take a poor photo of this amazing occasion. Making tracks for home we stopped once more at Whitely Bay to cross the causeway to St Mary's and I was so pleased we did because we got the chance to photograph a colony of Atlantic seals which were languishing on the rocks behind the lighthouse. This brought to an end a hugely enjoyable, interesting, instructive and fascinating trip to Northumberland. Thank you to all who planned it for us and guided us to so many beautiful locations and to the experienced members who were very amenable to sharing photography tips and I'm quite amazed and proud to say that 90% of my photographs were taken on manual!!” KS Images by Kate Stephens