Autumn Newsletter 2017

NEWSLETTER Autumn 2017
We meet at the Masonic Hall, Union Road, Crediton, on Friday evenings at 7.30pm
See our website for details and full programme.
Your Input……Your Say……Your Club
October saw an exhibition in the library by U3A, many of our Club members belong and had images on display. In this Newsletter there are contributions from Lyn, Anne, Mick, Dave, Jeanne. Richard, and John S, our thanks to them. Thanks also to those who sent images for inclusion, and to Christine for supplying many images (comp entries etc).
Your views, comments and suggestions for articles that would interest other members would be gratefully received. Please contact “Ed” John Andrews
The Chair’s Bit
I didn’t know I had to do this bit, came as bit of a shock when “Ed” collared me one cold, dark and stormy night to ask if I had done my “end of term” bit! So here it is, but don’t blame me if I’ve missed out anything or anyone I should include.
As you know, I was particularly pleased with the enthusiasm shown for my “Onion” challenge, this enthusiasm was present again at our practical workshop, which took a lot of effort by everyone, but was well worth it! And we’ve had some fabulous speakers - don’t forget the offer made by Phil Mingo, contact him if you fancy some “real” sport photography – I think I’ll “Brave” it myself!!
I’ve got a great team behind me, most whom were new to the tasks set for them, but all have worked hard to meet the aims of the club (to meet, compete, teach and learn), keep us up to date with “social media”, and to provide well-earned refreshment (very important). My thanks to all of them.
I’m looking forward to another session next year starting on 12th January.
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to you all,
Club Promotion – Tesco & Library Exhibition SpaceLast Autumn Newsletter we gave a big “well done” to John Stedman who had loads of good ideas, and has put in a great deal of effort and worked hard to bring them to fruition. September saw us in the Tesco foyer with our exhibition of “Coast” and “manned” by Cyril, Christine, David, Richard, Anne, Jeanne, Peter and John A & John S. Our thanks to Tesco and to David Nation for the stands. Quite a bit of interest in our photos and hopefully some visits to the Club!
Library Exhibition John S was able to secure “The Wall” for the whole of September and with David Kirk managed to find time not just to put up the display, but to change it during September. Cyril supplied them with images donated for an earlier display. The photo is the 2nd half (as holidays got in the way). An excellent selection, thanks to those who allowed their images to go on display. I would mention two in particular that I enjoyed and made me think, “Cookie” John Jones’ dog in the middle, and Mick’s “Revenons À Nos Moutons”.
Notes from the programme 2017-2018
15th September 2017 –Programme Intro/Summer Challenge
Richard welcomed us all back after the summer break and thanked the committee for their not inconsiderable help with the programme and explained some of the entries, especially those that have been switched already! First though he gave us an intro to “Scouting” – we must remember when he raises his hand we must be quiet!
“Countryside” Summer Challenge – there were a few entries for this, and, yes, again there was an AV from John A (courtesy of Mick) but, how unusual, I had kept to the brief and actually gone out and taken photos of the countryside! Mike displayed images of North Cornwall mines, very evocative, it made me look up on web.
22nd September 2017- Animation with Michael Elliott, Macro with David Kirk
I really enjoy these evenings when our own members give a talk on their favourite subject or where they have specialist knowledge (or even both).
“Beach Wedding” (models), “Elf Preservation” (photos) and “Happy Families” (drawings done in Photoshop) gave us an insight to how much time, creativity and effort Michael spends making even the shortest of Animations. Lego, drawings, photos, models (the non-human type) nothing was sacred, and everything could be drawn, cut, photographed etc to provide an image that may only be seen for a split second. Go to Mike’s notes on animation at
David, quite frankly, amazed us all with not only his enthusiasm but his depth of knowledge on macro photography. His stunning macro images, his tips on Macro Reversing Rings, Tubes, camera settings, it’s worth chatting to David for more help and advice (e.g. don’t use cheap screw on filters, you can end up with aberrations, nasty blue edging etc).
David showed an AV of - goodness knows how many, I lost count- well focused, clear images of the wildlife we can find in our own gardens – just how many different insects there are (be quick to photo if you freeze them!) was enlightening!
29th September 2017 – Members Extolling the Love of the Craft
Mike Elliott spoke about his experience from early days to now – he thought his best work was when using his first digital camera, a Canon 10D - around 2003. (I find his images when he is working with shadows to be extremely creative. Ed)
Richard talked about his photographic life from underwater when scuba diving, children on the 120 “rubbish” camera (his words not mine), to his first digi Canon 300D ending up with wildlife. He has promised to talk more about the latter in January (“An Evening With The Chairman”).
David showed a number of digital images covering the Fairford Airshow, the summer’s eclipse, a GoPro time-lapse at bird feeder, macro, the speedway trip and his U3a visits. Macro still life and full on action, you can’t get more different subjects!
Christine warned about being too hasty on printing the first photo for a competition – better to make sure everything is correct before wasting ink and paper and making a real 'pigs ear' of the first printing of the season! (yeah, thanks, wish you’d said this a couple of weeks ago! Ed) She also extolled the virtues of why she liked to have the challenge of thinking about a 'panel' and deciding how to take and choose the photos and linking up them together.
Mick Wells gave a presentation on what he is now doing - after decades of landscape photography he’s now trying fine art portraits - in the studio - like painting, start with nothing and create something – Mick does seem to like to trawl the Internet for ideas and inspiration and then to emulate them.....he’s been looking at “Old Masters” for pictures of inspiration, and follows these by his copies of such - chain mail head gear, whatever is he going to get up to next! Anne & Ed, et al (Who is this “Al”?)
19th October 2017 – Outing - Powderham Deer Safari
Six intrepid hunters (John A, Ian, Mike, Jeannie, Dave and Richard) went forth with cameras at the ready to shoot deer, and anything else that moved! Despite the weather, (and the car door window that was left open in all the rain) we all quite enjoyed the experience! OK, there was a nice cream tea afterwards but that was just the icing on the cake!! Well worth doing, except that I now have over 250 images of deer to wade through. Thanks to Richard for organising. Highly recommended.
20th October 2017 – Print Panel
These are terrific evenings and I use the modern meaning here for 8 of the panels, where we see some stunning ideas and photographs. And the “archaic” meaning for 1*. Ken showed a Mono panel of flowers (no wonder these do well in comps) and a panel of Welsh vegetation using different lighting. Peter has been staying in Cornish lighthouses and displayed a panel of these and then a panel of, yep, trains at Crewkerne Heathfield station, using slight desaturation. Christine, just back from a Tanzanian Safari, and yes we expected animals, but, Noah eat your heart out, she had photo’d in “threes” of warthog, ostrich, zebra, giraffe and elephant, a fabulous panel, then a panel based on a pride of 17 lions.
Boss Richard displayed “Windows” taken in Riva Del Garda. A select group after the meeting were asked to critique his images, the most hurtful suggestion was that he go back to Riva and try again! (Actually they were very good.)
*Things then took a turn for the worst when John A presented a panel of “My most disappointing competition entries” - a couple having scored 0 - destroying the panel display unit in the process. Fortunately, Mick restored order and sense back to the evening with his fine art portraits, baroque “Old Masters” style. Ian had quickly printed a few of his Powderham Deer Shoot images and finally new member Michael presented “Frost”, printed from images taken on his mobile, of the different effects of frost on a plough, mesh, chain, a lily and coppice willow.
27th October 2017 – Speaker – Richard Lappas – Press Photography and more!
You only have to mention Hasselblad, and developing roll film in a sink and some members well up with tears of remembrance of the “good old days”! Ah, those were the days! Richard brought them down to earth.
Daily Mail’s Exeter based photographer had some very sad stories (visiting the N. Devon farmer who had just had to destroy his flock of Swaledale sheep during “foot & mouth”). But not all sad, some were humorous, but all were interesting. “Every picture told a story” but equally every picture was part of a larger story, newspapers wanted a picture that made people want to know more. And so did we. We bombarded him with questions in the second half, his first digital, 1999 Nikon, first colour 1986. If you missed this evening go online and search his name, well worth it!
3rd November 2017 – Practical Workshops
A chance to play around with numerous objects indoors to development close up/still life photography. Lots of items including a light tent, coins, screws, insects, mushrooms, oranges and of course onions!!!, a collection of beautiful perfume bottles and a set up for water drops. The other room was set up for smoke trails and creating colourful patterns using oil on water. Lovely to see members interacting to help each other work out how to get the shots and all seem to be having fun in the process. Not sure what Terry was doing on his knees......... praying for a good image possibly! Lyn
10th November 2017 – The Pro Show Gold Way – Christine Marshall
She makes it look easy, and we know she produces beautiful AV’s of her holidays using this programme.
After running through an explanation of the set up, she showed two more (“The Masai in Tanzania” and “Ansel Adams”). If you are tempted to have a go, don’t be afraid to seek advice and help.
17th November 2017 – Speaker – Vicki Boulter – Creative Images
Vicki entertained us with a slide show of her work, mostly portraits, but there was another part to it. When Vicki takes a photograph, she likes to have a chat with the model/subject first to find out a bit about them what they like, what they do etc. She uses this information to create her finished image. as she believes there should be a story behind each image that she creates. This is not just a portrait, but a piece of art, using the information she gathered. Vicki uses mostly one light when taking the original image so that there is light on one side of the subject, creating shadows on the other. She makes a few sketches with ideas of what she thinks the finished “portrait” should look like, agrees this with her subject. And then the artist in her bounds to the surface, creating a work of art in Photoshop using layers, brushes, vector masks (?) etc. Vicki showed us the original image of the model then the finished creation after it has been worked on in Photoshop. She proceeded to demonstrate a “creation” and amazed us all! Fortunately, she has a tutorial on You-tube! Vicki was very entertaining and her work, for which she has won many competitions, was well worth turning up on the night to see.
A fabulous speaker who we could recommend to any Photography club. Jeanne
1st December 2017 - Speaker – Phil Mingo –Sports Photography
Phil, a member of our club in days of yore, could beat any team on “Question of Sport”! By himself! They wouldn’t get a word in edgeways for a start! Rapid fire of images and commentary, famous faces and names, top football and rugby league clubs, our own Exeter Chiefs and the Grecians, cricket (including England v India), I could go on! He did! Phil spoke for an hour and a half without taking a breath, before we made him stop for a break and a cuppa, then it was back again for another hour and half! Not only images but some good pointers on how to get worthwhile and interesting sports images. Like last week’s speaker Vicki, he believed he could get the best shots by people management and by creating a rapport. He knows what he wants and how to get it, and how to get his subject to “perform” where he can capture the “moment”! He also suggested we try choosing better camera angles (e.g. get a prime position, crouch down for football, for cricket get the bowler and batsman (and any potential ball management!) in the frame. Phil has been successful not just because of his photographic ability, but he puts in a lot of groundwork which pays off year on year. He must know his subject as his agency, Pinnacle, provides all major papers with sports photos! Cyril & Ed
7th December 2017 – Critique Night Practical Session
I enjoy this opportunity to look at so many of our members’ photographs, to perhaps suggest what could be considered improvement, and make a “faux pas”- I accidently said concerning one photo “I could hang that on my wall!”, little knowing that the photographer was sitting on my table and who promptly handed me his on-line studio card!
Handled sensibly, this type of evening is very instructive of how others view images. At the end of the evening each table then presented the image they enjoyed the most. Ed
15th December 2017 – Christmas Dinner – Three Pigs, Crediton
13th October 2017 – 3rd Trophy Competition
On his last visit to the Club I recorded “A fair, very experienced and generous judge.” even though none of my images came anyway near getting decent points. Nothing new there then!
As we had extolled his virtues, Backwell Club had asked Ian if they could send a small delegation to watch him “perform” and we were pleased to welcome them. They were impressed too and we all enjoyed another critique by Ian (even I did quite well!)
And Mick was momentarily knocked off his perch by a golden eagle!
24th Nov 2017 – 2nd Trophy Competition – Judge: Nigel West
Nigel is Secretary of Dawlish & Teignmouth Camera Club. Having just recently taken on the mantle of “Judge” he proceeded to give an overall well thought out critique. He says he enjoys the interplay of images and ideas, but personally specialises in travel, landscape and macro. He was at the (SDPL) Print Image Competition on 22nd Nov (see below) and congratulated Mick on his overall win – as a club we are extremely proud that Mick is a member.
The dates for the internal competitions next year are
16th February 2018, open - Judge Ginny Campbell,
23rd March 2018 - Theme “Patterns” - Judge Neil Stangham
External Competitions
22nd November 2017 South Devon Photographic League (SDPL) Print Image Competition – Judge Peter Fry – Hosted by Exmouth Photography Club
This interclub competition is between us, Exmouth, Newton Abbot, Dawlish & Teignmouth Camera Clubs. Two rounds, first is the print competition, the second round in the spring is digital images. Each Club submits 15 fifteen images no more than two from any one photographer. Last year we managed to hold on to our 4th place position. Peter Fry (who had already judged some of the images at Exmouth in a Club competition!!!) gave a good lesson in how to judge and is a regular at this “Event”. One excellent comment was about mounting – when not mounting centrally have the larger part of the mount at the bottom and then ensure the other three sides are equal. “Superb evening’s entertainment” was a comment made, and you can’t disagree with the quality not just of the images shown, but the wonderful hospitality of Exmouth club.
And what a remarkable achievement by Mick Wells, “The Artiste” first place! Ken’s “Kafir Lilly” and Cyril’s “Windswept” gained us a few points but, well, take your pick; “pleasant, I’m looking for something extra, handled well, could have been mounted differently, for a competition I want something extra, I really enjoyed that, I want that competition thing, a work in progress, printed well and presented well, works well, doesn’t quite work for me, it grew on me” and then add “But …”!
I could tell you the points each of our entries gained but I would be embarrassed.
Newton Abbot: 1st 213. Exmouth: 2nd 186. Dawlish & Teignmouth:3rd 186. Crediton: 4th 177 points.
There’s always the next round. Ed
Happy Christmas