Several members took this opportunity to show and discuss some of their work. Adam got the ball rolling by sharing his collection of “photo-a-day” images which he started at the beginning of the year. Unfortunately some health issues intervened during the summer so he was disappointingly not able to maintain the project. Thereafter Dave G highlighted the usefulness of a couple of Topaz software programmes – deNoise and Mask which he found particularly useful to speedily edit his bird images without the need to spend long periods at the computer.
After a break Tony gave a presentation on his lockdown walks around the Wootton Bassett countryside area and the images he had been able to capture in the process. This was followed by some images from a recent visit to Salisbury cathedral by Peter. Jim rounded off the evening with three sets of images featuring some humorous cutlery shots, carefully captured images of an agility dog traversing a see-saw and a creative composition, courtesy of Photoshop. All contributers were thanked and it proved to be a full and informative evening.
Our first Open competition of the new season was conducted on Zoom Meetings and judged by Ian Hosker from the Sidmouth Photographic Club.
Ian primarily looked for both technical execution and impact of the images and the balance and interaction between the two. He gave a detailed critique of each image which was accompanied by some suggestions on what effect and contribution might have been achieved by adopting a different viewpoint, framing and cropping to further enhance the image. He had a sharp eye for detail and his comments were positive and insightful, giving authors plenty of ideas to ponder and try out.
Congratulations to Jim Bullock for his inventive and well executed winning entry entitled “Shadow hatching”
Despite rather sparse attendance, a number of inventive and imaginative self portraits were shared by the attendees on the Zoom call.
Several techniques had been used to create images including the use of props, costumes and a range of processing methods. These ranged from basic image enhancement through to more extensive image manipulation using PhotoShop.
The exercise provided a good opportunity to dust down the tripod, find the remote cable release, reacquaint with our selfie sticks and explore different lighting conditions both indoors and outdoors.
After viewing the images, Jim Bullock showed some animal portraits that he had recently taken at a local wildlife park and the evening finished with a couple of examples of a series of images that had a connecting theme. This could be a good exercise for later on in the season when members have had sufficient time to obtain 6 – 8 images with a common narrative.
We joined with Warrington Camera Club to hear Rod Sloane present his unique and engaging ideas and images of cycle racing for which he has an enduring passion. Although Rod only became fully engaged with his cycling photographic activities a couple of years ago, he had progressed a long way in a short space of time. He outlined various approaches to pursue and emphasised the importance of accreditation to gain inside access to events for enhanced image taking opportunites.
Categorising himself as an enthusiastic photographer, wherever possible Rod tries to tell a story through his images, capturing not only the action but the emotion of the occasion and the spirt of human endeavour. He is a very active participant and advocate of Instagram as an important way to share images, engage with a wider audience and selling some images.
He started his talk by outlining that his objectives were to educate; inspire and entertain and he ticked all the boxes
Professor Paul Welham-Clarke shared details of a number of photographic projects that he had embarked upon throughout his career of over 30 years. He combines teaching photography as well as being a practicing professional photographer and had been active in many different areas ranging from Industrial, Commercial, Portrait and Photo-documentaries. His most recent work had focused on major documentary projects with strong social and environmental themes and current UK issues and are often produced in partnership with a charity.
His work has been widely publicised through various exhibitions and he has received numerous awards. Paul has a strong desire to communicate with the public on subjects that he feels passionate about including homelessness, deaths on our highways and most recently the impact of genetic conditions upon sibling relationships.
His imaginative and thought provoking images were a pleasure to experience.
We continued our adoption of Zoom Meetings to view a medley of highly impressive monochrome and colour images that had been submitted from across the globe. The genres covered included Nature, Open and Travel and the task of identifying award winners must have been a tremendous challenge to the judging committees.
Many images prompted exchanges of views on the composition and processing techniques which had been utilised to achieve the end result. The levels of creativity and interpretation of subject matter will no doubt have stimulated many areas to explore.
As a precursor to the start of the new season, a Zoom familiarisation evening was held which gave members the opportunity to practice and experiment with some newly acquired software and its capabilities.
A competition was run with members submitting three images of Open subject matter and attendees used the voting facility to select a winner. Congratulations to Adam Kowalczyk for his winning image of a startled robin.
As might have been forecast, some technical issues arose but hopefully these have been ironed out and everyone is now more confident and capable in using Zoom Meetings. Thanks to Jim Bullock for managing the session and sharing his expertise.
We were invited by Cricklade Camera Club to join them and Lambourn Camera Club in the audience for a presentation by Ken Scott. Ken has embarked upon a special journey since 2008 when he started making a picture a day, which he has continued for 12 years and amassed over 4600 images in the process. Initially freeing himself from a number of preconceptions, he shared how the observations and insights that he acquired along the journey had changed the way he viewed the world. An absorbing, thought provoking and reflective presentation.
For our visit to Mouldon Hill Country Park, the weather gods were relatively kind to us – the rain held off and the sun appeared at the start of the evening. Members congregated in the car park and then walked around the lake and explored the River Ray. No one found the North Wilts canal that flows through the park. Also the 100 metre gill over the River Ray proved elusive but we weren’t entirely sure what we were looking for and perhaps we just didn’t walk far enough to find it!
Mouldon Hill Park Lake
After an initial burst of sunshine, the light rapidly deteriorated and resulted in a premature end to the visit. However by this time the attendees had enjoyed some fresh air, exercise and the opportunity to capture some peaceful images of the lake and its surroundings. The foragers amongst us noted the numerous blackberry and sloe bushes, which will require a separate visit.
With weather warnings in place for thunderstorms, the photoshoot planned for Tuesday 11th August has been postponed for a week to August 18th 2020.