Competition 2 - Open Projected Images - results 5 November 2019   

HT LionPenny Piddock DPAGB EFIAP was welcomed back to the club to judge the Competition 2 Open PI competition.
There were many interesting entries from members and Penny remarked how difficult it was to judge and that there were excellent images in all categories. She said that she looked for impact and storytelling in the images and judging was subjective with probably only 3 members happy with the results as they were winners of the clubs 3 categories!.
The members in the Beginners were not necessarily new to photography but start in that section when they join the club and work their way up with a points system.
There were 23 images entered in the Beginners and after giving her comments Penny carefully looked through the images she had held back before giving the awards. In first place was ‘Lion with a Kill’ right  by Hilary Tapley which Penny said ‘caught the moment’ as the lion licked its lips as it tucked in to its catch.
Hilary also gained 3rd place with another wildlife image – this time a close up of a hummingbird titled ‘Green Violet Ear’ with the judge remarking on the sharpness of the image. ‘Boat on Mull’ - another of Hilary’s images was awarded an HC so very well done.
MS BrokenPenny often commented that in some images the subject could have been photographed from a different angle or a close up would have been better but conversely some images needed more space around the subject.
In second place was a monochrome image by Mark Sommerville of a racing motorbike rider titled ‘Guy Martin’ who gained aclaim for TT racing in the Isle of Man for many years.
Next came the 18 entries in Intermediate section. Again a variety of subjects by for Penny to look through.
A well taken, subtly coloured landscape by Martin Stokes took her eye and ‘Broken’ left was awarded first place. The image featured a tree with a fallen branch set against distant hazy woodland. In second place was by contrast a highly coloured landscape ‘Lavender Field at Sunrise’ by Sue Wadman with the rows of lavender set against a fiery sky. 
Third place went to a delightful image by David Wilkinson ‘Male Woodpecker Feeding Juvenile’.

RA Hover FlyAfter the break Penny commented on the 30 images entered by members of the Advanced group.
After commenting on all the entries and holding back 12 of them Penny took a while deliberating on the awards. Seven were given HC’s and then the 3 top places were announced.
First place went to Richard Atkinson AFIAP for ‘Hover Fly’ right on which the judge commented on the excellent way the detail was captured on the flying insect. The image was extremely sharp and well presented.
In second place was ‘Milky way over Grandidier’s Baobab’ by Robert Harvey ARPS EFIAP. The image cleverly showed the baobab tree set against the starry night sky.
In third place was a very different image in which Penny liked the cheeky smile as a young lad played on a wheelbarrow titled ‘Who Says I Can’t’ by Dave Gray.

Chairman Steve Hardman thanked Penny for travelling all the way from Weymouth and giving her opinions and helpful comments on all the images.

Full results          All the awarded images can be seen in the GALLERIES

'From Here to Eternity' 29 October 2019   
Members enjoyed an evening of Audio Visuals created by Paul Keene FRPS MPAGB EFIAP/p MFIAP showing a wide range of photography set to popular music. 
PK BelenPaul has been an enthusiastic photographer for many years and gained his FRPS in 1991. Pauls interests began at an early age with birds and wildlife but his selection of AV’s showed something of the wide range of photographic interests he now has.
AV’s consist of a number of still images, arranged and set to music. Paul began with an AV titled ‘Art or Junk’ which effectively demonstrated how a simple idea could be made into an interesting sequence’ Paul took just 10 minutes to take the photographs which he later edited to look like abstract paintings. The sequence gradually revealed that all the images were close ups of the interesting patterns of rust and old paint on an old derelict car.
PK cygnetsThe next AV was ‘Belén’ featuring an attractive Spanish girl posing with a horse. There were well taken close ups of both the girl and the horse blended together to great effect.
Paul enters many photographic competitions and said that bluebell images were rather scorned by judges in Britain as they are so commonplace but in other parts of the world they gain high praise. His next AV featuring a bluebell wood titled was ‘Midnight Blue’ and was set to music with the same title by the Electric Light Orchestra.  The images were taken at all times of the day over 2 weeks.

It took Paul several years to get all the images he needed for ‘The Life of Swans’ and by taking his time and watching the swans closely he photographed the swans lifestyle with some delightful images of the cygnets. The images were put together with music from Enya.

PK monkThe last sequence before the break was ‘Wish You Were Here’ The stunning images were taken on the coast of Queensland, Australia – a place Paul calls paradise. Lovely shots of the sunrise over the waves, deserted beaches, crystal clear water and even some underwater shots.

An invitation to visit Tibet to photograph the people and their way of life resulted in 2 colourful AV’s. First shown was ‘Portrait of Tibet’ showing the interesting faces of both young and old in their colourful costumes. Next was ‘Tales from Tibet’ which showed the lifestyle in the high mountainous area, elaborate temples with their robed monks, religious festivals, prayer flags and coracle making.
PK asension‘Ascension’ was the final AV of the evening with very creative images exploring how life on Earth might have started. Inspired by the music 'Songs of the Distant Earth’ by Mike Oldfield images of snow crystals, water droplets, spacemen all cleverly mixed together to give a sequence out of this world!.

A reminder to members – the club has an Audio-Video competition later in the season so hopefully you have drawn some inspiration from tonight’s selection and can make some AV’s of you own.
Maybe some photos you have already or ideas of where you might take some or maybe some music you love inspires you.
Paul uses Pictures to Exe software which is an excellent programme – visit the wnsoft.com website for information or see helpful information for mac users in this websites members’ area. If you are new to making AV's then experienced club members will give you some help to get started.
David Wilkinson thanked Paul for the wonderful evening of AV’s in a wide variety of styles. PM
Images © Paul Keene

Frome-Wessex CC v Devizes CC Battle - a win for Devizes! 25 October 2019   
Our return Battle with Frome-Wessex Camera Club was an away fixture held at the Beckington Memorial Hall Frome.  The judge on the night was Eddy Lane ARPS DPAGB EFIAP, who had decided to judge the entire set ‘cold’, or as he put it, ‘both judge and audience are seeing each image for the first time and through fresh eyes’.

The Battle consisted of 30 Projected Image photographs from each club, with rules specifying that no more than 2 images could come from any one photographer, that at least 5 images must come from less experienced photographers, and there should be no more than 6 Nature images.
Each image was scored out of 20, although Eddy Lane decided only to use a restricted range of marks, so overall on the night, the lowest score was 16 and the highest was 20. 
The evening began cautiously, with few very strong or very weak images, and in the whole of the first half, only one image received the full 20 marks, that being our own Robert Harvey’s ‘A Rabbit Before Me’ snow landscape of rabbit tracks leading to a tree on Martinsell Hill. 

At half time, Devizes had just about edged ahead, leading by 267 points against 262.
Someone remarked that something had been added to Eddy’s coffee at half time, because the second half brought an avalanche of no less than 12 images receiving 20 points, of which 7 came from Devizes.  These included images from Gina Gordon, Sue Wadman, Dave Gray, Martin Stokes, Tim Tapley, Pam Mullings and another from Robert Harvey.  Our other entries also reaped a rich harvest of points, so that by the end, Devizes had scored 558 points against 540 for Frome-Wessex.

Although disappointingly few of our members were able to attend on the night, we were very warmly welcomed by our guests.  Our thanks go to Frome-Wessex for organising the evening, and to Eddy Lane for his thoughtful and constructive comments on each of the images shown on the night. DG
Well done to Devizes CC     See the Devizes scores


'Pushing the Boundaries, Artistic Intent & Technology in Wildlife Photography' 22 October 2019   
The club was delighted to welcome photographer, conservationist and author Paul Colley CB OBE ARPS. Paul uses his photographs to help publicise a number of conservation issues that he is involved with and strives to create unique images showing animal behaviour.
PC mallardThe presentation began by showing the undersea images that Paul has taken in many parts of the world.  He showed how fragile ecosystems can be ruined by man but also how they can spring back to life when nature is allowed to take over. Using video and still photos images of colourful corals and the creatures that inhabit them. By knowing how to hold his nerve and behave correctly underwater, Paul can get really close to large and dangerous marine life allowing him to take incredible close up images of manta rays, sharks and sea snakes. Paul writes articles for many marine and conservation publications pointing out how vital it is to protect the seabed and all the creatures that depend on it.
As a successful photographer, Paul says you need to stand out from the crowd and images need to have impact. He experiments with many different techniques and showed some interesting shots of life above and below the water at the same time and unusual views such as ‘Mallard Photo Bomb’ right
PC batBy being extremely patient Paul was able to show the abundance of life in a freshwater chalk stream.  He needed to use different techniques as the water is shallow and the silt easily disturbed so he has worked out ways of setting up his equipment and using live view he can remotely control the camera from the bank.
Paul taken many award winning images and has spent many months working out how to take unique images of bats as they go about catching insects in the dark. This presents many challenges as the bats fly very fast and are tiny so even seeing them is difficult. Infra-red light is not visible to bats so Paul can use a specially adapted camera to see in the very low light. Technology helps as bat detectors can pick up the sonar sounds and even pick out the species.
PC contrailsTo take successful wildlife images the photographer needs to study the behaviour of the creature. With bats he needed to work out where and when the prey insects would be likely to appear and then the likely flight paths of the bats. Standing waist deep in water he experimented setting up laser camera traps, flash guns and getting the camera set up ready. Great care must be taken as the bats must not be disturbed in any way.
Paul has created bat images that show behaviour that has not been seen before and he went into a great deal of detail about how managed to get such superb images. He showed Incredible close up images of bats reflected in the water such as the ‘Bat Mirror Image’ above and others were taken using a strobe light showed the bats flight path. His image ‘Contrails at Dawn’ right won him the 2018 British Wildlife Photographer of the Year award. In some bat images he experiments using  double exposures to show some background interest or the moon and stitched panoramas give a different view.
Paul is an extremely dedicated photographer and is working towards gaining his fellowship of the Royal Photographic Society.
Dave Gray thanked Paul and said it was one of the most interesting presentations the club had seen. PM
Images © Paul Colley

Nature Competitions - Results 15 October 2019   
RH chameleonThe judge for the club’s annual Nature competition was Victoria Hillman BSc MSc who with her extensive knowledge of flora and fauna and degrees in wildlife, conservation & zoology was very well qualified to take on the task. Victoria has travelled extensively and has a deep knowledge of all wildlife. 
RH sea eagleVictoria is a self-taught photographer herself and has visited the club previously to present her own excellent wildlife images.

Before showing the Nature print entries Victoria commented that flaws will show up especially with prints on images that are cropped too heavily and recommended that at least 70% of the original should be kept. Victoria had taken a really close look at all the images, wrong depth of field and over sharpening were other issues with some images. The point of focus was also not always where it should have been and the eyes of a bird, mammal or bug should always be pin sharp.

However, despite the faults Victoria said the standard of entries was high and that she had enjoyed looking at the entries which were from all club sections – Beginners, Intermediate and Advanced.

There were 24 prints entered and Victoria gave her comments as each one was displayed.
First place was awarded to ‘Parson’s Chameleon’ right by Robert Harvey ARPS EFIAP with the judge saying it was an excellent image – good composition and the colours of the creature were well printed.

RH HawkerDW Mountain HareAnother image by Robert was second ‘White-tailed Sea Eagle Hunting’ above left caught the action as the bird swooped over the water.
In third place was ‘Mountain Hare’ by David Wilkinson which was well composed and exposed. Four other prints were awarded Highly Commended.

After the break the 56 projected images were shown and again Victoria pointed out areas which were not quite sharp where they should be. There were also some examples of distracting backgrounds where if the photographer had moved slightly one way or the other the image would have been improved.
Victoria understood from her own wildlife photography experiences that you have to be quick to catch the moment so there is often no time to check that the camera is all set up correctly.

Again first place went to Robert Harvey – this time with an image titled ‘Southern Hawker in Flight’.
In second place was a very different image showing the varying flight patterns in a flock of starlings titled ‘Moving Murmuration’ taken by Kyra Wilson.
‘Red Squirrel, Brownsea’ was a charming image by David Eagle which the judge said was well composed and the colour correct and she awarded it 3rd place.
Seven other images were awarded HC’s.

DE SquirrelVery well done to Robert who won both the print and projected image nature competitions but was away on a professional photographic assignment and so was not there to collect the trophies which he has won on many previous occasions.
Very well done to all those who entered such an interesting variety of wildlife images and many thanks to David Eagles as Competition Secretary for organising the competition.

KW starlingsSpecial thanks to Victoria for looking so carefully at the images and giving her helpful comments.

See list of awarded Nature images                 All the awarded images can be seen in the Galleries


‘Post Processing Images’ 8 October 2019   
This week we welcomed Dave Gray, our very own Lightroom guru to enlighten us about the mysteries of processing images.
presentationUsing a PowerPoint presentation linked to live Lightroom, Dave very effectively showed us how to use the more basic functions of Lightroom, how to manage and catalogue images and what has changed since his last presentation in 2017.
In the first half Dave concentrated on the Lightroom catalogue and then how we can change the appearance of an image looking at the major adjustments which can be grouped into colour balance, exposure, contrast and saturation.
Colour Balance can eliminate colour casts and render whites and greys as neutral colours. RAW files are needed and its is important that your monitor is correctly colour calibrated.
Exposure – Dave talked about using the histogram and also that the exposure slider may be rather heavy handed so use the Highlights and Shadows sliders.
Contrast depends on the author’s intent – again the contrast slider can be heavy handed so  Dave talked us through the use of the clarity, dehaze and texture sliders.
Saturation makes the image more or less colourful and again that slider can be quite forceful so the use of the Vibrance slider should be considered.
Having processed images he then went on to explain the importance of saving and disaster backup. Recommendations include a mirror copy of all images and the Lightroom catalogue held on another drive with a possible third cloud-based copy.
After the break Dave introduced Range masks - Luminance and Colour – and how to use them, new profiles and changes to presets.
Another very recent update includes batch processing which is very useful for dealing with the multiple images associated with HDR’s and Panoramas.
Dave then demonstrated how to create virtual copies, rename and organise images using Folders and Collections including a dire warning about only doing the moving within Lightroom itself.
To finish the evening we were then reminded how to prepare images for club competitions, resize them and export in the correct format.
Plenty of questions and answers made this a most informative evening and we heartily thank Dave for the huge amount of work that had obviously gone into producing such an excellent presentation. SH

For more information see Dave's 2019 'Editing in Lightroom'and 'Photo Mangement' and if you missed the presentation here are the images


2019 Print Exhibition - People's Vote
The Members' Biennial Print Exhibition held in the Devizes Heritage Museum during the month ofSeptember has now closed. We hope that you all went along to see the wide variety of framed images.
Thanks to all those who made it happen and made it look so impressive. The judge gave his opinion on the images he liked best but during the exhibition visitors could pick the image that they thought appealed to them most.
The voting slips have been collected and the image with the most votes is titled 'Fisherman's Cottage on Hoy' and the photographer of this delightful image is club Chairman Steve Hardman so very well done to him. Out of the 96 votes cast, Steve's print gained 8.
Robert Harvey's ‘Rainbow Over Salisbury Plain’ scored 5 votes and Sue Wadman’s ‘Emergence’ and Steve Burgess’ ‘Landing Lights On’ were joint 3rd with 4 points.  
Of equal significance is that 47 different prints had at least one person who thought they were the best which just goes to show that opinions vary widely.
Well done to everyone and now we can look forward to 2021 when we will have another chance to display the club's talents in the town!

 
'Creating Stunning Star Trails" and "Astrophotography Highlights' 1 October 2019   
An interest in astronomy started when Mary McIntyre was very young and she was captivated with the moon and said she wanted to be an astronomer when she grew up. The interest never waned and she showed her enthusiasm in her presentation.MM star trails Mary has a shed in her garden that she shares with her husband which is equipped with an array of telescopes and other instruments as they both have the same passion for exploring the heavens but go about it in different ways
MM earthshineMary began by saying that photographing star trails was easy and could be done with any camera or even a smartphone! However, to get the best results you need to experiment to get the settings right and you need a sturdy tripod as any movement will spoil the sequence. A cable release is also necessary to avoid camera shake when pressing the shutter.
Mary then talked in great detail through the techniques she uses. These can be seen on the PDF which you can study.
She advises finding somewhere with as dark a night sky as possible to avoid too much light pollution. Be prepared to spend many hours on often cold nights while the camera is set up to automatically takes an image every few seconds. 
After taking the many individual images they then have to be processed to make up the final star trail photograph. Star trail images are composed of hundreds or even thousands of images ‘stacked’ together to give a final image but luckily these days there is software that makes the job fairly quick and easy. You can either finish up with a single stacked image or software can be used to make a time-lapse video of the changing star trails. The many hours it takes to photograph the night sky can be reduced to a few seconds on a video!
Mary illustrated her presentation by showing examples of her own work. Star trails can have a foreground subject which can either be in silhouette or lit to show some colour and she experiments with different ways of showing the trails – they can be central by lining up on the pole star or by looking East or West when just part of the trail is shown. The image can also be cropped to give different effects.
MM cloudsMary then went on to show how extremely knowledgeable she is about anything related to space. She showed us images of solar eclipses, phases of the moon, comets and deep space galaxies and nebula. MM lightningUsing a camera attached to a telescope she is able to photograph extreme close ups of the moon and even the solar flares. Mary experiments to get ‘earthshine’ on the dark areas of a new moon. The milky way can be photographed with a landscape in the foreground to make a stunning image.
Mary is interested in photographing any phenomena seen in the night sky such as the aurora borealis which can be sometimes be seen from as far south as Oxfordshire. Lightning strikes are another interest and Mary showed many amazing single shots or stacked images. Unusual cloud formations, rainbows and crepuscular rays featured in other images.
Mary ended the evening by showing that her photographic knowledge is not only in the sky but she takes an interest in the natural world. She takes extreme close ups of snow flakes and uses a microscope to see tiny creatures that can’t be seen by eye.
Chairman Steve Hardman thanked Mary for her very interesting presentation and summed up the evening by saying it was lovely to hear someone conveying so well, the passion she has for her subjects. PM
Images© Mary McIntyre  Top left :Star-trails, Top right: Earth-shine 0n Moon, Left: Rolling Clouds, Right: Lightning stacked image


Open Projected Image Competition 1 24 September 2019   
The judge for the first competition of the 2019-2020 season was Sandie Cox ARPS DPAGB who was welcomed back to the club by Chairman Steve Hardman. Sandie has kindly judged club competitions several times previously giving her expert advice on how images could be improved and selecting the winning entries.
PW Days EndAs usual in Open competitions the entries are divided into 3 sections – Beginners, Intermediate and Advanced and Sandie remarked on the very high standard overall.
The evening began by projecting the Beginners section with a good entry of 27 images. Sandie spent some time giving her comments on how some images could have been improved by some cropping of unnecessary areas and the positioning of the subject in the frame.  There was a wide range of subjects with some outstanding landscapes, wildlife subjects and some interesting ethnic portraits.
DW SkylarkA member fairly new to club competitions did really well with Sandie awarding Paul Wells first and third places. A mono image by Paul titled ‘Days End’ right of a nostalgic harvesting scene with old machinery appealed to the judge and was placed first with a striking panoramic image also by Paul awarded third place. In second place was a well captured image of blackbird feeding her hungry offspring by Mark Somerville. Mark also gained a Highly Commended for an extreme close up titled ‘Longhorn Beetle’ Well done to all the Beginners who entered – some for the first time.

Next came the images entered in the Intermediate section. Again the standard was very high with some excellent wildlife photographs.
First place was given to David Wilkinson with a stunning image ‘Skylark with Bugs’ left and second was also given to David with ‘Green Woodpecker’ with both images having the subjects well positioned. TP Great TitThird was another nature image titled ‘Leopard Lacewings’ by Steve Hardman with judge commenting on the good depth of field keeping the whole image sharp. Steve also gained an HC with a very well taken landscape.
Sandie said that several more wildlife images in the section were worthy of awards but she had to limit the number given.

After the break came the turn of the Advanced images to be judged.
After picking out 8 of the images for awards Sandie gave a creative image ‘Great Tit with a Bee’ right  by Tim Pier first place. The image showed a Great Tit on a fence but a texture had been added which really made the subject stand out and Sandie said she would have liked the image on her wall!
In second and third places were images by Robert Harvey ARPS EFIAP. The colours in the well taken image titled ‘Sandstorm, Namid Desert’ appealed to the judge and in ‘A Rabbit before me’ Sandie remarked on the foot prints in the snow and the beautiful lighting. Five Highly Commended's were awarded.
The judge was thanked for taking the time to look so carefully at all our entries and for giving her very helpful comments.
Thanks to all those members who entered the competition and especially to those entering for the first time. Thanks also to our new Competiton Secretary David Eagle who collected all the entries and ran the competition.A very good start to the competition season so we very much look forward to seeing many more top class images from members. PM

See the full list of awards           All the Awarded Images can be seen in the Galleries               Members can log in to see the 2019-2020 points table



'Visions of Silence: Chernobyl 32 years on' 17 September 2019   
Welsh Photographer Graham Harries was welcomed to the club by Chairman Steve Hardman. Graham has a wide interest in photography including nature, landscape, portrait and wedding photography and he began the evening by showing some of his images.
GH1GH3Tonight Graham was giving a presentation on his 4 day trip to Chernobyl where tourists are now allowed into parts of the site where the Soviet nuclear reactor exploded in 1986. Residents of the city nearest to the explosion had only 3 hours to leave their homes never to return. Surprisingly only 32 people died directly from the blast but thousands have since died from ill health caused by the radiation.
The excellently presented evening started with a countdown and then the sound of a warning siren. Video, still images, news broadcasts of the time, archive images were all expertly combined with sound effects and appropriate music to make the rather grim topic very watchable.
Places visited on the tour were the abandoned top secret areas with the grim looking corridors and the radar jamming structures, the now derelict hospital and a school where pupils had to leave everything behind. Even a whole city with its rows of identical tower blocks of flats was left to decay.
The actual reactor is now entombed in concrete to help keep in the radiation and it is estimated that the area around will be unsafe for at least 300 years.

The total area affected was 1,000 square miles with all cities, towns and villages within the area all abandoned. It is now considered reasonably safe to visit areas over 20 kms from the reactor GH2site but precautions still have to be taken – no touching anything and avoid getting any mud on you and checks to make sure you are not contaminated.
A notice scrawled on a wall as you enter the area ‘Welcome to Hell’ gives a good idea of what you are about to see. Many poignant images showing what the residents at the time had to leave behind, clothes, books and even pianos now covered in debris in the litter strewn rooms.
HD4
Little touches sometimes show that the area was not as grim as the Soviet Union is often conceived to be, some elegant sculptures and painted walls in places and surprisingly a fairground although that had not yet been used before the area was inhabitable.

At the time of Grahams visit there was a covering of snow on the ground which enhanced the outdoor images, the many derelict vehicles, trains and even boats in the docks with its towering cranes made interesting photographic subjects.
Graham had put together a remarkable presentation with excellent images so thanks for giving the club such an interesting insight into such a grim tragedy. PM

Images © Graham Harries. Top left Abandoned Bus, top right: Radar Jamming & Danger Zone. 
Bottom left: Mural of a Cosmanaut, bottom right: Abandoned Fairground Ride.


The Landscape Group Presents...... 10 September 2019   
In the second week of our new season, and much earlier in the year’s programme than usual, we had our “Landscape Group Presents…” evening.
Robert Harvey ARPS EFIAP got the session under way with a presentation entitled Landscape Photography in Autumn. He started by saying that it it is many photographers’ favourite time of the year for photography as the light is softer and the emerging colour in trees make for more interesting compositions. Splitting his talk into four parts, he started with images taken in Mist. The Vale of Pewsey is often shrouded in mist on early mornings in Autumn which can provide an extra dimension to the landscape. He illustrated this with a sunrise photograph taken from Milk Hill, where the subtle pink dawn light suffused the mist.
RH Caen HillCaen Locks (left) in Devizes is, said Robert, one of the most popular photography sights in Wiltshire, especially when there is mist, and he urged us to consider heading there to take sunrise shots one week before the autumn equinox. This is when the sun rises directly in line with the top of the locks as seen from the bottom of the flight. The best time this autumn, he said, would be at 07:01 on Monday 16th September.
He also recommended using a longer lens to foreshorten perspective, as demonstrated in misty images taken at Martinsell and Corfe Castle.
RH YstradfellteWaterfalls constituted Robert’s second section saying that they looked their best on bright overcast days in autumn when colours become well saturated. Fallen leaves on rocks or swirling in the water added extra dimensions to the images. He pointed out that there is constant debate about the best shutter speed for waterfall photography. Using a series of images taken at Tavy Cleave on the River Tavy in Devon, Robert took a straw poll of the audience preferences. Photos taken at 1/80th (crisp water) and 1/2 a second (Milky water) received a reasonable number of votes, but that taken at 10 second (very blurred) was not popular. The favourite for this group, however, was the image taken at 1/6th second in which there was some blurring that showed the movement of the water.
A top tip from Robert was to collect loads of fallen leaves in a bag. These can then be used to tip into swirling water before shooting at a slow shutter speed to capture the swirl in the stream. They can also be placed artistically on convenient foreground rocks to add interest and colour. These techniques were demonstrated in further waterfall images taken at Venford Falls on Dartmoor and a series of waterfalls at Ystradfellte (right) in the Brecon Beacons.
RH Tarr StepsRobert’s third section turned to the pastel colours that become evident in the early morning in Autumn, particularly on frosty days. Showing images of millstone grit rocks in the Peak District and granite stones on Dartmoor, he showed how the early morning glow can infuse the rocks with pastel tones along with the muted shades of bracken brown and grass green. He said that the best light often occurs before dawn, as shown in images taken in the Lake District of Derwent Water and Buttermere, where he was able to capture the pastel tones of the sky reflected in the waters of the lakes. He also showed shots of the muted colours on a cloudy day at Castlerigg Stone Circle and the gleaming wood of a jetty on a rainy afternoon at Ullswater.
For his fourth section, Robert talked about the golden leaves that are characteristic of Autumn. Several further photographs taken in the Lake District showed the splendour of trees in the landscape as the leaves change colour. He also showed how the use of a 10-stop neutral density filter can smooth out the waters in a lake to obtain crisp reflections. Images taken on Exmoor at Robber’s Bridge and Tar Steps (left) also showed the beauty of yellow and orange-leaved trees at the river’s edge.
'What Makes a Good Photograph?' 3 September 2019   
Standing in for the club Chairman, David Wilkinson welcomed everyone to the first meeting of the 2019-2020 season and said it was good to see so many potential new members.
AM RichardAvedonDavid said the season had already started with a bang as the members print exhibition had been opened a few days previously. The exhibition showed the high standard of photography by club members and he urged any that had not seen the exhibition to go along to the Devizes Museum. Due to Caroline Wright organising workshops and encouraging members who had never seen their images printed. David said that 25% of the print entries were from those in the club’s Beginners Group and some had also been awarded Highly Commended’s.

David then introduced tonight’s speaker Andrew Mills ARPS. Andrew has been a professional photographer for all his working life with a wide range of experience in advertising and commercial photography as well as studio work. AM ManRayHe has travelled widely and held many exhibitions of his photographs and now lectures in photography at degree level so is well qualified to give his opinion on what makes a good photograph.

Andrew explained that he was going to take us on a journey through some famous photographer’s work. Although the photographs he is about to show he regards as good or interesting they would probably not be marked highly in camera club competitions.
Many of the images were experimental in their time and were taken with the limited equipment available.
Early photography was regarded as an art and was mainly the prerogative of the wealthy aristocrats. The photographer had to have a good knowledge of chemistry, how a camera works  and how to take an image with the equipment of the time which was bulky and heavy. Setting up a plate camera took a long time and exposure could take several hours but nevertheless superb images were produced which have stood the test of time and are highly regarded today.
Great care was taken over posing and lighting studio images and photographers of the day managed to set up their equipment outdoors to record events and street scenes of the time.
Images showing the fashions, living conditions and events of the time are of great historic value. War scenes, industrial landscapes and street scenes were among the many images shown in the presentation also beautifully posed portraits that rival any taken today.
Romania
AM TianenmenLighting is very important as well as good composition but equally photographs need to catch a moment in time that can never be repeated.
Most images shown were in monochrome but coming more up to date there were some superb colour shots, many taken before the convenience of digital photography and modern equipment. Faster speeds now allow more scope to catch the action but the old photographers were very inventive and managed to photograph some amazing events.
Shown above is a stunning image 'Glass Tears' by Man-Ray taken in 1932 and above right is an early image of 'Marilyn Monroe by Richard Avedon.
Images were also shown by many living photographers such as Tim Flach & Richard Cook but images are still under copyright.

Andrew himself takes many candid shots portaying life and events in many countries and also superb wildlife images.
Shown left is a poignant moment taken in Tienenman Square, Beijing and shown right is one of Andrews many images of Romanian peasant folk going about their daily lives.
See Andrews website for many more images.

Many thanks to Andrew for sharing his knowledge and giving such an interesting and inspiring presentation. PM


Landscape Group trip to Cornwall
May 2019 saw the Devizes Landscape Group venture down to Tintagel on Cornwall’s sunny North Coast for a spring photoshoot weekend.
1 TintagelThe weather forecast was set fair and the group had been booked in to stay at the Camelot Castle hotel, with its commanding views over the coastline including views toward Tintagel Island and Tintagel Haven.
2 Ladies WindowThe Camelot Castle hotel dates back to 1894 and was originally constructed under the auspices of a Victorian entrepreneur, by the name of Sir Robert Harvey (no relation?). It is now owned by John Mappin (of Mappin and Webb fame) and is run jointly as a family home and hotel welcoming visitors to Tintagel on the Cornish North coast.

Tintagel Island is famous for its connection with the legends surrounding Merlin, King Arthur and Camelot. However, the ruined castle on the island dates from Norman times, much later than the time of the Arthurian legends, however the island does hold signs of much earlier settlements. Sadly, we were unable to explore the castle as the island was closed off in preparation for the installation of a ‘no steps’ foot bridge to allow access to the island without the need to climb the existing steep cliff path.
Probably feeling somewhat cheated, Dave Gray seemed to take this as a bit of a challenge and established an interesting photographic itinerary for the group that made absolutely sure that we didn’t miss out on our fair share of steep cliff paths.
3 BoscastleOn the Saturday, the first day’s excursions started with an early a trip out to the cliffs near Trevelga between Tintagel and Boscastle to see the rock arch known as the Ladies Window. With the sun in the right direction the window casts its shadow on the cliffs opposite, which we duly photographed, ably assisted by some willing models to add some human interest and a sense of scale.
4 Strangles North Although only a half mile walk, this introductory walk was sufficient impetus to split the group into ‘Walkers’ and ‘Non-Walkers’. The Non-Walkers took the eminently sensible option of letting the car take the strain, while the ‘Walkers’ were to be subjected treated to yet more cliff path challenges.

Boscastle was next on the agenda, back in 2004 the town of Boscastle was devasted by floods, but 15 years later the buildings around the harbor have now been rebuilt and refurbished such that you would never know that the flood had taken place.
The classic view of Boscastle harbor is from Penally Hill looking toward Willapark and its small castellated coastguard lookout perched on the opposite headland. The climb up Penally Hill is yet another steep walk, which although a well-worn path with steps, is still a bit of a challenge to the fully laden photographer.
From Penally hill we walked out to the headland and back into Boscastle Harbour, ready for our next destination, the ominously named Strangles beach.
Strangles beach is located on a stretch of the Cornish coastline well known for its high cliffs (there’s a surprise), with one of the nearby cliffs being ‘High Cliff’ which stands at some 700 feet above sea level. The beach itself is reached by negotiating an undulating section of the South West Coast path followed by descending several hundred feet down a very steep cliff to the beach, the last stage of this descent being facilitated by a length of ships hawser to allow the steps to be safely negotiated.
4 Strangles North Once on the beach, the focus of our photographic efforts was to be the rock stack and arch known as Northern Door. The Northern door marks the division of the Strangles into two beaches here which join up at low tide.
5 CrackingtonThe smaller beach to the north of the rock stack is known as Little Strand and although Little Strand is said to be popular with naturists, we confined our photography to the stack and the arch (honest!)
Having survived the descent to the Strangles and subsequent ascent and return to the cars, we set off for Crackington Haven ready for the sunset and high tide, but not before an excellent early supper at the Coombe Barton Inn.
The beach at Crackington is surrounded by cliffs of some 400ft, the cliffs feature some dramatic sedimentary rock folds, while the beach itself hosts some spectacular quartz veined ledges and ridges which made for great photographic subjects as the tide advances. The tide at this beach, in common it seems with a number of beaches in North Cornwall, has great potential for cutting off the unwary photographer, so care had to be taken to work out both the chosen composition and also an escape route from the rising tide.
continue reading    Day 2,

Images by David Eagle

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




Landscape Group trip to Snowdonia 3 - 5 February 2018     
The latest Landscape Group weekend away saw 19 members and partners head for the mountains of Snowdonia, dressed in their winter finery, based at the Royal Victoria Hotel in Llanberis.  Mountain weather is always fickle, but the group found sufficient sunshine over the weekend to bring some sparkle to the photography, even if we sometimes had to go to Anglesey to find it.
DG snowdonMany choose various detours on the drive up from Wiltshire, some going via the Elan Valley dams, others the Mawddach Estuary near Barmouth, while some of the early arrivals headed for the ‘lonely tree’ on Llyn Padarn near Llanberis.  The weather was at this stage dry and cloudy, though with just occasional shafts of sunlight to add some drama to the scene.
DG quarrySaturday was forecast to rain all day, but true to the saying that mountains make their own weather, it turned out sunny on Anglesey and there was just an occasional shower on the mainland.  Those heading for Anglesey visited the Twr Mawr lighthouse on the tidal island of Llanddwyn, or alternatively the South Stack lighthouse near Holyhead.  On the mainland, the dull conditions suited the party who walked around the disused slate quarry at Dinorwic, and marvelled at the ‘barracks’ where quarrymen from outside the area were quartered.

Sunday was altogether different.  The forecast suggested clear skies, and so a large group walked up Snowdon’s Miner’s Track before daybreak as far as Llyn Llydaw.  Clouds initially covering the summits began to clear as the first cold light of day appeared.  There was then a magical 10 minutes or so of quite amazing light, as the first rays of sunshine illuminated first the summit of Snowdon, and then Crib Goch, turning the snow into a kaleidoscope of orange and pink, reflecting in Llyn Llydaw. 

DG lightThe rest of the day was good, with visits made to Llyn Llynnau Mymbyr for the classic view to Snowdon, Llyn Ogwen and Llyn Idwal for views of Tryfan and the Glyders, the Idwal Pinnacles, and then onto Anglesey for shots of Telford’s suspension bridge at sunset, with a backdrop of snow-capped mountains.  Some even found time to go to Conwy Castle for a crossover light shot of the castle over the estuary.

Monday morning couldn’t possibly be as good, although a large group made the steep climb to Llyn Cwmffynnon for reflections of Crib Goch and the Glyders in the still water of the lake.  It was then time to head back to the hotel for breakfast before driving home.
This being February, we also had a full itinerary for the long evenings. 

Friday saw presentations from Robert Harvey and Richard Watson on the local area, and also from Josh Cooper who lives on the southern edge of the National Park. 
Then on Saturday, we had another of Robert’s inimitable quizzes, including the feared but hilarious Just-A-Minute round.

All in all, this was another very successful trip which was enjoyed by all.  Our thanks go especially to Robert and Richard for organising the whole trip, booking the hotel, managing payments and offering their guiding services for photographic vantage points. DG

Images © Dave Gray Top: Snowdon Group from Llyn Llynnau Mymbyr,   Right: Dinorwic Quarry,       Bottom: Golden Light on Snowdon and Crib Goch
 
 
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