Monthly Archives: February 2012

Point To Point (And Shoot)

Yesterday saw the first SIG Sports/Action outing to see the Point to Point horse racing at Marks Tey. The course is very accessible for photographers; providing you are sensible and keep out of the horses’ way, you are pretty much allowed to go anywhere.

This gave us some great vantage points for pictures. Here is a selection of members’ work:

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Street Life

As the Club has grown in size, we have recently introduced some Special Interest Groups (SIGs) to try and cater for specific genres of photography in more depth. We currently have SIGs for Macro, Digital Processing, Studio Lighting, Strobist, Sports & Action, Landscape and Street Photography.

A member of the club has volunteered to lead each group (in a very informal way) to get discussion going or organise relevent photoshoots, workshops and outings. Yesterday the Street Photography group (ably lead by keen street photographer Pete Tachauer) went to London to visit Columbia Road Flower Market, Old Spitalfields and Brick Lane.

The weather was very cold but largely sunny, and there were plenty of characters out and about for us to photograph. Street photography is a genre some people aren’t very comfortable with at times (myself included) so it was good to see everyone having a go. It’s only by going out of our comfort zones that we learn and improve our skills. Those who did so were rewarded with some great shots of the people we saw. Here is a selection of images by club members taken during our walkabout:

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2012-2013 Competition Calendar

The proposed GNPC monthly competition calendar for the forthcoming season (April 2012 – March 2013) is as follows:

Competition Themes 2012-2013

Competition Themes 2012-2013

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A Photographer’s Salutary Tale.

For any club member, the Colin’s tale below will ring true to a certain degree.  Take heart, you are not alone:

Tonight I have been doing a little soul searching or is it a belated new year’s resolution?
I realised that I have taken only one image with my camera since Christmas Eve when I saw my daughter, and took some “snaps” of our new grandson including a couple of images of 4 generations from my wife’s family’s perspective. My mother-in-law was more than pleased with the prints but to me they were just “snaps”.  As Mr Turnbull said, however, that if the client likes the image that is what is important.

Looking For Inspiration

Since Christmas to coin Austin Powers I seem to have lost my mojo.

I’m even struggling to achieve at least one idea for this month’s competition.   So yesterday I decided I had better finish watching the episodes of the BBC DVD ‘The Genius of Photography’ that I hadn’t already watched which I had borrowed before Christmas (sorry if anyone has been waiting to borrow it).
There are some stunning images shown, there are very thought provoking and extremely disturbing images to be viewed. And then again there are those that look just downright insignificant and ordinary that make you wonder why the heck the photographer bothered.  Then there were the explanations and views about the philosophies of individual photographers, artists and critics being explained. What their motivation was, what drove them, what drives them still, even to start using old outdated techniques from the 1850’s instead of the modern digital age.

Timing Is Everything

Watching the entire series has, in part, made me feel somewhat inadequate especially when I look at the images of the masters. However, it has also illustrated the tremendous power of the camera and that everyone who picks it up sees a different image and that most, if not all, genres have now gained more than a degree of acceptance. Therefore there appears to be no right or wrong.

On the other hand it has made me feel that I need to re-evaluate my own reason for using a camera. What is it that I’m trying achieve, what type of image do I want to take? What is or should my style be. Questions I’m not sure I can or even know how to answer at this moment even after so many years of “playing” with the camera.

I know I feel that I need to push myself out of a rut of safeness and start to set myself challenges. Only in that way will I begin to see beyond what I have always understood, that the camera does so very well, which is to record whatever is within the range of the lens, the lighting and the sensitivity of either the film or the sensor when the shutter is activated, regardless of whether it was wanted or intended. It is a fantastic tool for recording any given moment in time, inanimate object, animal or mineral placed in front of it.

The Devil Is In The Detail

Where do I go from here, well to bed firstly otherwise the proper job will suffer in the morning, but I’ll take pen and paper just in case sleep won’t come but inspiration does. However if you’ve managed to survive with me to the end of this (can I thank you for your patience and stamina) maybe you might have the odd suggestion to aid my journey through the coming year of exploration.

Epilogue:  Now on the positive side Colin feels his mojo returning and the 365 project less daunting than he did.  It is a serious undertaking and I have nothing but respect to those that can find inspiration on a daily basis, where mine only works weekly, or less.  All the images in this article are Colin’s – check out his Photostream.

Contribution by Colin Coleman

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GNPC On The Podium Again

GNPC Place Second Overall in UK Camera Club Challenge

The Advanced Photographer Club Competition awards ceremony was another where GNPC was one of the front runners for the title.  There were nine rounds clubs could enter throughout  the year with GNPC winning the first round and going straight into the final.  As Clacton won two rounds there were only eight clubs present at the ceremony held at Epson’s HQ in Hemel Hempstead.

The GNPC sent a delegation of the not-so-great-or-good and the day started with a buffet (that I was first in line for!), then an interesting talk on Black and White processing that had Mark Edwards scribbling notes for his talk next week.  Afterwards there was a presentation on printing and colour representation that was very technical with a few handy hints for us but in the main aimed at clubs that print rather than project.

Finally it came down to the judging and it has to be said the panel of three judges (all FRPSs) worked very well.  The decision to print out the images onto A4 for judging was curious as the audience struggled to see (except us, we were at the front, and Robbo had a better view than the judges) and the interpretation of some of the categories was open to question.  As usual Mark Edward’s did very well and my own Heron in Flight pic held it’s own in tough company.

GNPC's Top Three Images The final standings were:

1 DAPA Group 277 pts
2 Great Notley PC 260pts
3 Conwy CC 258pts
4 POTN SE UK 254pts
5 = Newton Abbot PC 248pts
5 = Parkwood CC 248pts
7 Halstead & District PS 246pts
8 Clacton CC 234pts

DAPA won with images that have been tested in competition many times before.  I think it behoves us to strive to produce better images for next year, with more members contributing and the results from the GNPC themed and open competitions so far would suggest we are on target to do that.  Every club went home with Epson paper, Epson mug and a free copy of Advanced Photographer!!  Many thanks go to Epson for hosting and Advanced Photographer for organising.


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