At a specially convened Club Committee meeting on Monday 16th March to discuss the issues arising from the Coronavirus pandemic, the Committee decided to cancel, postpone, or revise all the remaining events in the current season. The Club calendar on the website has been updated accordingly. The annual Club competitions will, if possible, be run 'remotely' and the Club Competition Secretary will provide an update via Vignettes and on the Club website when a revised format has been arranged.
The meeting scheduled for Monday 16th will go ahead as planned.
Also, the Club Committee has scheduled a special meeting to discuss how the ever increasing restrictions resulting from Covid-19 are likely to affect the Club activities. The meeting will take place at 6.45pm on Monday just before the scheduled Club event. The meeting will consider what we are going to do about: • Monday Meetings – do we continue; how many members will come? • External speakers and judges – will they still come? • Annual competition – we could still get it judged (maybe make it all DPIs) but not hold the meeting, results shown on internet? • AGM – do we want to postpone? Not sure how we do this. Could make the AGM the first meeting of next season? • Awards Evening – booking at Greyhound • Exhibition – scheduled for May. Do we cancel?
Well, Monday night was a pleasant way to get us back into the mood for 2020 with a look at last year’s DPIC leading contenders. As Mike commented, the Club’s decision to form a DPIC (and Battle) committee to help put its best foot (or more importantly, photos) forward, elevated our standing in the South West Federation from third last out of 57 clubs in 2018 to 15th last year. Just another point or two would have put us into the top ten. The competition is getting hotter but let’s hope we improve again this year and don’t forget that you can attend the judging day in Exeter. It’s on the 9th Feb at Exeter Corn Exchange, Market Street, Exeter, EX1 1BW.
And what a good new venue we have in the Watermoor Church Hall, with heating and parking! Just remember to not arrive until around 7.15 next week to give the previous club time to vacate the parking spaces, unless you want to park in Watermoor road by the church.
Monday 13th Jan – Stu McKenzie – NOT. Plan B
Well, it had to happen and Stu contacted me yesterday to say that he is unwell, having picked up a bug in Namibia (sounds nasty) so he’s reluctantly had to cancel his talk on Monday. We will reschedule him when he’s fit again but I’m delighted and extremely grateful that Shaun has offered to bring forward Part 2 of the talk he gave last year. This time it’s Cornwall as the destination for his landscape photo location talk which I’m sure will be as entertaining as Part 1. A big thanks to Shaun.
Exhibitions and competitions
There’s always so much photo stuff going on, it’s hard to keep up and it’s amazing how quickly annual exhibitions come around (well, annually actually!). One of the best exhibitions is the Wildlife Photographer of the Year which is popping up again at Nature In Art, Twigworth, Gloucester. It runs from the 4th Feb – 29th March and well worth a visit. Now in its fifty-fifth Year the competition provides a showcase for the world’s very best nature photography selected from 48000 entries from 100 countries. The competition is owned and operated by the Natural History Museum. For more details see:
Alun and Val brought to my attention LPOTY. No, it’s not some new contraption to help your grandkids relieve themselves but the “Landscape Photographer of The Year” competition. Submission entries run 15th Jan – 5th April. LPOTY was founded in 2006 by Charlie Waite, one of today’s most respected landscape photographers.
With a total prize fund worth £20,000, a full colour book of best entries and a popular annual exhibition in Central London, the competition celebrates all that is great about the British landscape and showcases the work of many talented photographers, inspiring visitors to experience the joys of British landscapes at first hand. Britain’s heritage is celebrated by people around the world and entries are welcome from everyone, whether resident in Britain or simply visiting. For details of the categories, prizes etc see:
Our friends, the Cheltenham Camera Club, have launched this year’s CISP, “Cheltenham International Salon of Photography” and entry submission run 1st Jan – 1st April. As we know from their showcase display which we see every year, it’s a very professionally run Salon. The enthusiastic Club Chair, Martin Fry, is very keen for everyone to have a go as a way of improving their photography. For more details see:
BBC Week in pictures
Here are the usual BBC links. Always interesting.
Brian Dinnage – the Churn Project
Brian is going to have a few words before we start next Monday’s talk, about a very worthy local charity that is “The Churn Project”. However, just to give you an insight, Brian is involved in several ways in the charity as a member of the “Churn Champions” Committee, who create new initiatives to raise funds to help a wide range of people with many and varying needs. A full outline of the charity’s work and list of nearly 30 local funding trusts can be found at
Brian wanted, in particular, to bring to your attention a forthcoming `Race Night` to be held on the evening of Friday 6th March at The Corinium Stadium in Kingshill Lane, Cirencester. Details are in the winter newsletter:
If you’ve ever been to one of these events before, you will know that this is a great funding opportunity designed as a fun evening – (eight Horse Races in all and a Bar is available) and tickets are £10.00 each which includes a Fish and Chip Supper (vegetarian option available). The intention is to raise funds for the Project and Brian has made; on behalf of `Churn`; an application to NatWest for MatchFunding. If that is successful it would be another ‘first` for `Churn`. The `Race Night` will include circular tables; each accommodating eight or nine persons, so if any CCC Members, their spouses or partners would like to get a table together, Brian would be delighted to see them. The event is limited to a maximum number of one hundred for the evening and it’s sure to be popular.
I should add that, by “advertising” the Churn Project in Vignettes, Brian has kindly offered to make a contribution to our club funds as it’s not strictly a photographic topic. It’s a very kind offer but, personally, as it’s for a local charity and as it’s unlikely to set a precedent, I don’t feel it necessary. Of course, if Brian wants to make the tea at half-time on Monday nights for the next five years, I’m sure everyone would be delighted!! Only joking. I’m sure some biscuits wouldn’t go amiss.
That’s it for this week. See you on Monday.
First of all, well done to all those who picked up an award on Monday’s club competition night. Here’s the list of winners. An excellent entry and good to see a range of interpretations and ideas plus some new member winners:
First – Ben Jarvis2
Second – Martyn Smith
Third – Katrina Ellor
Highly Commended – Mike Cheeseman, John Spreadbury
Commended – John Hankin
First – John Hankin
Second – Mike Cheeseman
Third – Jill Bewley
Highly Commended – David Wallis, Patrick Barker
Commended – John Smith, Martyn Smith
First – Shaun Little
Second – John Spreadbury
Third – Katrina Ellor
Highly Commended – David Wallis
Commended – John Smith
First – Patrick Barker
Second – Ben Jarvis2
Third – John Smith
Highly Commended – Alun Thomas, Jill Bewley, John Spreadbury
Commended – Shaun Little, Mike Cheeseman
One issue the competition exposed, and it’s not new, is the need for both the competitor and the judge to understand what the brief in the Set Subject is intended to cover. The matter was discussed in committee on Tuesday this week who agreed to produce a clarification note in future to avoid any confusion.
Next Monday – 9th Dec. Talk by Chris Fairweather
Chris’s talk takes us on a journey through the last few years working as a professional photographer and the stories of how the stories happened and how the pictures were made. Chris is a full-time professional photographer based in Cardiff, covering all aspects of PR, press, sport and commercial photography. If you to see more about Chris have a look at his website https://www.cfairweatherphoto.com/contact
BBC pictures on the theme of bridges and British Ecological Society competition
Catch up on some great pictures on the BBC’s website here. https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/in-pictures-50585618 and https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/in-pictures-50602795
Westonbirt – Enchanted Christmas – from 29th November
It’s Christmas time again at Westonbirt from the 29th November and a great opportunity for some photography particularly as we have a club “show and tell” event next year which will give you the opportunity to show what photo escapades you’ve been up to over the winter. Here’s an abridged version of the publicity from the Westonbirt website:
Enchanted Christmas returns to Westonbirt Arboretum with a new trail for 2019!
Put the sparkle in your family Christmas, and set out on the all new Enchanted Woodland illuminated trail at Westonbirt Arboretum….
The fairies have been up to mischief at Westonbirt Arboretum this winter, casting spells over the trees to transform it into an Enchanted wood. Wind your way through the trees to discover an enchanted wonderland of light and magic, meeting woodland characters along the way. Our popular Christmas village is back ready for you to soak up the seasonal cheer by creating some Christmas arts and crafts with the family, exploring the Christmas market stalls and warming up with a cup of hot chocolate or mulled wine…, this is Enchanted Christmas as you’ve never seen it before…
Catch up on all the details from the website https://www.forestryengland.uk/westonbirt/enchanted-christmas
Sudeley Castle – Spectacle of light – from 30th November
Not to be outdone by Westonbirt, Sudeley Castle is having its own illuminated trail called Spectacle of light. We are spoilt for choice! Here’s some details from the website:
Explore the beautiful new illuminated trail around Sudeley Castle’s stunning grounds. Enjoy the wonderful music as you discover each new secret of this magical environment. See the majestic castle, the glorious gardens and romantic ruins all lit under the stars. Experience the dazzling new illuminations as you stroll around these beautiful grounds. New and Magical for 2019! Follow Peter Pan and Wendy and discover some of the amazing characters from J. M. Barrie’s timeless classic. Make a wish and support the brave children at Great Ormond Street Hospital. Each evening the spectacle is a continuous experience with six entry time slots from 4.45pm onwards. This is designed to ensure that everyone is able to enjoy the Spectacle in the best possible light. When you book you can decide your time of entry subject to availability. It should be stressed that you must be at the entrance at the chosen time as tickets are only valid for that time and are not transferable. A typical walk will take approximately 60 -75 minutes, although if you wish to stay longer you are very welcome.
It’s a ticketed, timed event on selected days so don’t miss out. As with Westonbirt, you can find all the details on the Sudeley Castle website https://sudeleycastle.co.uk/events/spectacle-of-light
Club Christmas Lunch and quiz
As I mentioned on Monday, we’ve decided to hold the annual Christmas bash at the Golden Farm pub, Cirencester on Monday 16th Dec. They did an excellent job with the buffet last time (after last Christmas) and it’s a friendly venue. Thanks for everyone who got back to us regarding their attendance and for any stragglers, it’s not too late to let us know. I had a chat with the pub on Tuesday this week and we are going to run with a buffet chilli, rice and chips for £5 per head, payable on the night, which I think is great value. Any vegetarians, allergies, vegans please let me know so I can let the pub know. I will assume that all those who contacted Mike or I confirming their attendance will be eating. I’ll be finalising numbers next week so let’s use next Monday’s club meeting as the deadline. So far 20 club members have signed up. As for the quiz, all will be revealed on the night.
For those who borrowed this month’s excellent Photography News, don’t forget to bring it back next week for others to borrow.
Next Monday is our last club meeting at the Parish Rooms venue as the week following will be at the Golden Farm pub which will be the last club meeting of the year. David Wallis will send out details of the new venue in Watermoor which, by all accounts will serve us very well (hopefully the heating will work!!).
As we are now planning next year’s programme, I’ll be sending a Christmas Vignettes out after the club Christmas bash to ask you about the sort of things you want to be included in next year’s club programme and any comments about this years. Watch this space.
That’s it for this week, see you Monday
Mike Dales thoughtful and skilful presentation last Monday led with his principle view that you should take photos first for yourself and if anyone else likes it, including competition judges, that’s a bonus. If you end up selling the photo as well, that’s a special bonus. That poignant view was admirably illustrated in the superb “Magnum Manifesto” exhibition, at Compton Verney which Mike, John H and I visited on Wednesday. The Exhibition takes you on a thought-provoking trip through the 70 year history of the cutting edge Magnum photo journalist agency, universally recognised as the best agency in the world. Photographers are selected to join the agency, on the basis that photography has been the “lens” through which (often gritty) social and cultural events have been exposed and explored in a constantly changing world. The use of accompanying supporting contextual prose to set the scene for each of selected photo “group” made such a difference to one’s understanding of the photographer’s intended message. We are not talking here of photos of the sort which might secure a club competition award(!). Quite the reverse. Very thought provoking and one which we may revisit for a club discussion in the future.
So, if you fancy getting away from the traditional way club photos are judged and examine how top-drawer photographers have been influential in reporting 70 years of global change, it’s a trip well worth making. You really won’t be disappointed.
The exhibition runs until 15th December. Check out the Compton Verney website https://www.comptonverney.org.uk/thing-to-do/magnum-manifesto-2/
The BBC’s “Week in pictures” news feed
Here’s last week’s link to the BBC’s “Week in pictures”. Always an entertaining and inspirational part of its comprehensive website https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/in-pictures-50515596. A further one can be found on https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/in-pictures-50486844
Steve Russell. Mountains of the Moon. Tetbury Goods Shed. 6th Nov – 8th Dec
As Mike mentioned at last Monday’s meeting, there is a photographic exhibition in the Tetbury Goods Shed called Mountains of the Moon by Steve Russell. It is also accompanied by talks given by Steve. Here’s an abridged extract of the publicity about the event:
Russell has built an enviable reputation over the years as the photographer of choice for many celebrated contemporary artists, both in the UK and internationally. His remarkable images of African subjects taken during his trips to the continent over the past six years show another facet of his creativity, revealing him to be an image-maker of great vision and sensitivity.
One of the highest mountain ranges on the African continent and supporting an amazingly diverse, endemic flora and fauna, the Rwenzori Mountains on the border between Uganda and Congo take their lunar reference from a description by early astronomer, mathematician and geographer Claudius Ptolemy. Five thousand metres up, the Rwenzori Mountains, with their glaciers, rocky outcrops and unique variety of plants and animals are like nowhere else on Earth.
The Rwenzori range was first professionally photographed in 1906, when Italian photographer Vittorio Sella accompanied Luigi Amedeo, Duke of Abruzzi, on an expedition to document and record the mountains and surrounding areas. Sella was particularly interested in the glaciers and the resulting images later prompted Ansel Adams to describe them as ‘inspiring a definitely religious awe’. Russell’s images of the remains of these glaciers reveal to us the gravity of the effects of climate change, exposing as they do the alarming extent to which the ice has retreated.
Steve’s work features in both private and public collections including ‘Nature In Art’ Gallery and Museum in Gloucestershire, the Royal Geographical Society Collection and the British Council in Kampala, Uganda. Steve’s images have been recognised in various competitions including Hasselblad Masters 2016, Travel Photographer of the Year 2015 and the British Book Design and Production awards 2013, where his book ‘Katonda Wenge’ was shortlisted for Best Book in the ‘Photographic, Arts, Architecture and Monographs’ category.
“Mountains of the Moon” runs from Wednesday 6th November to Sunday 8th December. The Goods Shed is closed Mondays and Tuesdays and occasionally at other times for private functions, so if you are coming from a distance, we suggest you might want to check with us before setting off.
For more details see https://shed-arts.co.uk/event/mountains-of-the-moon/2019-11-28/
Next Monday is competition night judging so best wishes to all entrants – did you get any inspiration from Damien Demolder’s “street” talk?
That’s it, see you Monday
Well, what a cracking night we had with Damien Demolder and Adrian Vince last Monday. Hugely informative in demonstrating a different way of approaching street photography interspersed with a “light touch” not to mention good humour. Tuesday’s workshop proved equally engaging as we put theory into practice and dispelled our trepidation about photographing people close to. I think we all felt that, by the end of the (not exactly warm!) day, we had the confidence to take our street photography to the next level. If we could distil down some of Damien’s central messages it would be to:
1. Observe how light affects the subject and surroundings and how your positioning is important to capture the moment.
2. Regularly consider reducing stop values (surprisingly as much as 4 stops) to highlight the subject and counteract the camera’s tendency to “average” the light it receives which can “flatten” an image.
3. Observe your surroundings/context/backdrop to influence the type of shot you want to grab and type of person to help project the image’s message.
4. Don’t be afraid to go in close to people (nobody died!) to bring your picture alive.
5. Use a shallow depth of field to highlight the subject.
6. Look at leading lines, angles, squares and elements in the scene which help to paint the structure of the image.
I think the general feeling was that cameras with flick out screens made it easier for us to capture the moment unobtrusively whereas using a viewfinder tended to make the taker more obtrusive which affected people’s natural reaction which, in turn, was to avoid the camera. On that note I was (despite being a Canon man) very impressed with the speed and functionality of the Lumix GX9 mirrorless on loan. That we didn’t get the Lumix “hard sell” on either of the two days made the event that much more enjoyable. However, it would be churlish not to mention that we were given discount vouchers for anyone wishing to buy a Lumix Camera so get in touch if you need more info.
Gloucester Cathedral- Museum of the Moon – Wednesday 16 October – Monday 4 November
This is from the Cathedral’s website:
As part of the Strike A Light season, Museum of the Moon takes up residence at Gloucester Cathedral. In the year that marks the 50th anniversary of the moon landing, wonder at Luke Jerram’s internally lit replica of the moon as it floats in the Nave. Experience the exquisite detail of the lunar surface and accompanying atmospheric soundscapes. With a full programme of special events, late night openings and quiet times, this is an opportunity you don’t want to miss.
It looks like an interesting photo opportunity. For more information, have a look at the website. https://www.gloucestercathedral.org.uk/events/museum-of-the-moon/
Jamie Stenson has been in touch regarding an alternative to Photoshop. He says:
“Hi Mike and Martyn. Here’s a link to the Affinity Photo deal that I mentioned. It’s a cheaper alternative to Photoshop I.e. a pixel editor, not like Lightroom. Currently available for £23.99.”
The Club Website
Avid visitors to the Club website may have noticed some erratic goings on recently such as a missing home page. This is mainly down to an inexperienced administrator (Mike!) trying to get to grips with WordPress and its ‘widgets’. Progress is slow but is generally going in the right direction. Also, we have had some feedback recently that the website is looking dated and could do with an update. If anyone has any specific suggestions or can point to some exemplar club sites, please let us know.
Next Monday is judging night so do come along to see how your Fauna and Flora Set subject pictures fared not to mention your Open comp ones. Good luck all those who entered.
See you Monday,
Martyn (email@example.com); Mike (firstname.lastname@example.org)