Night at the Races by Adrian Lowe Wheeler
Night at the races: The club returned for the second year to the Chelmsford City racecourse. Last year the bulk of us came away with a good understanding of how not to do it, so were determined to have a better go this time around.
It is quite difficult to negotiate the speed of the horses, the quickly fading light at this time of year and the course railings. The general public also need to be taken into account; those taking 25:1 bets excitedly waving their arms and banging the fence on which you have carefully propped and prepared yourself for the golden moment of shutter click.
Unfortunately the bulk of us came away with a vastly improved understanding of how not to do it again, together with an improved esteem for the talents of those who specialise in sports photography. But this gave lots to talk about in the bar and there is always third time lucky next year….
Our third digital projection competition night and the first after summer recess saw the excellent judging by Upminster’s Dave Wilcox of “All things Essex” in the themed category together with an “Open” category.
Image of the night was awarded to “Braintree Gants” by Natasha Spalding. Judge Wilcox described it as a “tense, dramatic image full of dynamism”.
Braintree Gant by Natasha Spalding
Kieron Adams received a double 10 for her “Hyde Hall car show” image and for “Geoff” in her 100 strangers series. We had “Hatfield Peverel Devils” from Dot Riches, a heraldry character from Trudie Stirland and the “Sizewell B nuclear power station” from Shaun Spalding also with 10’s.
Tail-gunner flower by Kieran Adams
Sunday 21 August saw a super last Out & About of the Summer. Members met at 11am and set out to explore the classic car show, the gardens in their glory and to take pictures of strangers (with their permission of course). The club’s programme secretary Tom Lewington was also in residence with an exhibition of his and other photographer’s works.
The day was of course interspersed with lunch at the Cafe and for some the BBQ. Discussion topics were the city of Florence (can it ever be bad?), the Masters of Photography programme on Sky Arts and rapid fire techniques for capturing flowers in macro. Two members were heckled for arriving late and going straight for brunch but they had the last laugh as they were still there to see the classic cars leaving at the end of the day.
Ghost of Sizewell B by Shaun Spalding
The first weekend club Out and About of Summer 16 on Sunday 24 July to the Suffolk Coast was met by glorious weather.
Members gathered at the RSPB Minsmere nature reserve. The morning was spent there shooting dragonflies, butterflies and the nuclear power station. Photography was broken up by a fish and chips lunch at the Flora beach cafe in Dunwich. The weather and outside location felt like it required lashings of ginger beer, but we made do with cola and tea.
The afternoon’s shooting was at the beach and estuary area of Walberswick. Big stoppers on the beach, climbing over groynes and sitting amongst decaying boats. Bliss.
Dave G Head Chef
Sunday saw the Club’s annual Summer BBQ. A purely social event where members and their partners come together at the King William IV Pub (where members socialise after club nights during the year) to enjoy food, beer and good gossip.
Dave G has received his 3rd Michelin star in Man-BQ and dressed appropriately. As always he puts in a lot of work to make the event a success, for which the club is always grateful.
There was no flashing to give Penny, Sue and Dennis such consternation 🙂 Just good food, conversation and weather.
Macro / Close-up night – a chance for members to get their cameras out of the bag and use them, even try a genre that they may not like or have never tried before.
Members demonstrated the art of setting up a tabletop for photography (for those days when the weather may be a little miserable) and we had a variety of props including various macro lenses and attachments including focus stacking rings, minature toys, flowers etc etc.
Tom Lewington demonstrated a light box, gels and a grip for small flowers, including an excellent handmade stand to hold the lightbox.
Lisa Potter showed a flower press that you put in a microwave! this reduces the amount of time taken to dry the flowers from about 6 weeks to 10 seconds. Great for creating texture layers to use on fine art style images.
Dave Greenwood set up a product photography area with black perspex and Joby lighting.
John Buckley is on a quest to buy “back” all of “his” cameras that he has owned and sold over the years. He found on eBay his first ever camera the Olympus OM10 launched in 1979. Here is Dave G’s re-imagination of how the advert may have looked at the time.
Olympus OM10 by David Greenwood
Sunset at Heybridge Basin by Adrian Lowe Wheeler
Sunset Basin by David Greenwood
Heybridge! It was the landscape photographers’ turn this week for a balmy summer’s evening at the popular Heybridge Basin, where the Chelmer Blackwater Canal meets the River Blackwater.
There had been warnings about the allergy-causing hairs of the brown-tail moth caterpillars, which were infesting the area. But our intrepid members persevered regardless in the name of their art. No ill effects were reported even though a couple of macro shots of the offending beasts were taken.
The Old Ship was also on hand for fish and chip suppers for those of us that visited straight from work. Conversation topics included what are the best photo locations at the different cities that members are visiting this Summer; Air BnB; tax penalties (!); and of course Brexit.
This month’s digital projector image competition night consisted of the usual “Open” category and the theme was “Colour”.
Image of the night was “Regret” by Lisa Potter LRPS, which scored 10 within the Open category.
Regret by Lisa Potter LRPS
‘A’ Panel judge Harold Mousley commented that “the photographer has had to spend some time in creating and setting up this scene. Arranging the elements in a way that is both compositionally pleasing and as a result the viewer spends some time in building up the story. The subject matter is not one that we usually like to acknowledge”.
Congratulations on the night also went to Wendy Rogers for her double-10 in the Division 2 “Open” and “Colour Theme” categories (and these were also her first 10’s). Therefore double congratulations.
Santa Maria Assunta by Wendy Rogers (Open Category)
Burano by Wendy Rogers (Colour Theme)
Other top marks (10 out of 10) that were awarded on the night went to:
The Ancient Church of St Nicholas by Maureen Turner (Division 1 – Open Category)
Stepping Out by Kieron Adams (Division 1 – Open Category)
Inside the Machine Arrival by David Greenwood (Division 1 – Open Category)
Changing colour already by Trudie Stirland (Division 1 – Colour Theme)
Golden buttercup testing! Yes he loves butter by Mary Claydon (Division 1 – Colour Theme)
An Artists Impression by Dot Riches (Division 1 – Colour Theme)
Where are the Daisies Leading Me by Colin Coleman (Division 2 – Colour Theme)
This month on our usual end of month speaker night we had a talk provided by Roy Essery MPAGB in which he gave an entertaining Tour de Force of some of his best images over the years.
Kevin of Castle Park – Roy Essery MPAGB
Roy started with his earlier “red light” composites and amusing stories of family and friends being asked to “model”. Whilst many of us only relate to the latest photoshop CC it is easy to forget that photoshop has been around for a long time. Many of his first images that were undertaken over 10 years ago were composites and Roy got to grips with photoshops then capabilities very well. His creations of story telling type images definitely made you want to know more.
He then moved through his landscape and portrait work in the second half showing his excellent panel that gave him his recent Masters award at the Photographic Alliance of Great Britain (PAGB). An award that he had definitely worked hard and deserved to achieve.
Roy is a master and perfectionist also at the art of printing, sometimes printing an image eight different times with various tweaks until he is happy. You really have to see Roy’s works in print to appreciate their fullness and complexity. For this reason Roy is our own “go-to” judge for the GNPC end of season print competition.
Below is “Nutter” by Roy Essery MPAGB. To see more of his work go toshuttershot.co.uk
Nutter by Roy Essery MPAGB
Speaker night on Thursday 28 April. Club member, Lisa Potter, gave an interesting presentation on salon competitions, what they are and her own experiences in entering. How in particular she believes that this has enabled her to develop her photography skills over and beyond that of just existing within a local club (although possibly a strong natural competitive streak also focuses in part). It also reiterated that judging at whatever level club, national or international still has an element of subjectivity about it, having now had images both accepted and rejected, sometimes with the same image falling in both camps.
A video was streamed of the 2015 London Salon Exhibition – http://www.londonsalon.org/… – where one of the judges talked about the attributes of each selected image and why it was selected. There was a vast range of genres of photography and this was good to see.
Ashamed by Lisa Potter
Since the talk Lisa has managed to successfully obtain an acceptance into her first London Salon with the Image shown called “Ashamed”.
Every 10 minutes the video was paused for club members to discuss the images and whether they agreed with the comments. Mostly they did! It was felt by the group that salon judges selected based on the story and emotion of the image, whereas in our experience East Anglian Federation judges often focus on the technical attributes and cropping and whats feels like a prescribed format. Whilst it was agreed that most of the images within the London Salon were technically competent we did find ourselves comparing the comments to those that we felt would have likely been made by our own judges.
Images in particular that were memorable for the Group were:
Ladies that Lounge by Andreas Hargreaves
Take me with you by Clare Acford
A Fine Pear by Ross McKelvey
A Fine Pear by Ross McKelvey (refer to website on link above)
The Snake Charmer by Julie Donovan