Our Annual Competition was judged by Ralph Snook from Bristol PS and featured prints after a two year absence due to covid restrictions, as well as projected images. Entries were received in three subject categories namely Action, Portrait and Open with each member limited to three entries for each category.
Print entries were judged first and attracted a good input with the Open category being the most populated. Once again some creative interpretation was used in the Portrait section which was well handled by the judge. After a short interval, the projected images were viewed and not surprisingly attracted a very healthy number of entries which added to the challenge for the judge. The evening concluded with selection of the best overall print which was “Shake those feathers ” by Nigel Walkley and the best overall projected image was “Splashdown” by Robert Slade with both winners featuring bird images.
Presentation of trophies for all the winning entries will take place at an Awards Ceremony on June 14th at the Angel Hotel by Councillor Pat Farrow, the Mayor of Royal Wootton Bassett.
Join local professional photographer Jon Ratcliffe as he shares some of his unseen pictures of Swindon’s recently demolished buildings and new developments. From hidden cellars to lost tunnels and rarely-seen rooftop views, see familiar parts of the town in a new light.
This additional meeting had been arranged specifically to share knowledge and experiences in printing images and their subsequent mounting in readiness for competition submissions. Firstly some potential print suppliers were explored to compare offerings and ease of online ordering. Prices ranged enormously between local print shops to the large online print houses which typically charge around 80p for an A4 print and £1.20 for A3 size.
We then turned our attention to methods of mounting prints for display purposes. Surface mounting the print to a backing board using a spray adhesive is one process that can be used which does require some dexterity in placing the print in exactly the correct position but using a repositional adhesive enables some adjustments to be made. The most popular route in camera clubs tends to be attaching the print to a window mat and securing it with tape. Additionally a backing board can also be used to provide additional rigidity and robustness. Window mats are cut from mat board materials and can be either bought ready made or made yourself using a mat cutter and a great deal of care. Paddy demonstrated how to cut a window mat, attach the print on one edge and then finish by adding a backing board. He also showed various images printed on different photographic papers to demonstrate the effects which can be achieved and also different coloured window mat and backing board materials.
Hopefully the information exchanged and the practical demonstrations will have given people more confidence in producing their own prints and either doing their own mounting or outsourcing. The deadline for print entries for the Annual Competition is May 24th with up to 3 prints allowed in each category of Action; Open and Portrait.
Members were treated to a full evening of audio-visual presentations which had been entered into last year’s Western Counties Photographic Federation Competition. In total 38 AVs had been entered across 3 main categories: Short; Long and Photoharmony. Short related to presentations that were less than 4 minutes in length; Long included presentations exceeding 4 minutes and a Photoharmony section enabled participants to demonstrate their skills in marrying images through appropriate transitions and strong harmonisation with the sound track. We started viewing some of the unplaced entries before moving to each category and watching the presentations in reverse order. Being able to see the judge’s comments gave further insight into the main characteristics of each presentation and how they were interpreted.
As always the subject matter was diverse ranging from social documentaries covering the covid lockdown experience to vibrant street photography, still life images, unusual connections and exploration of places both in the south west and far further afield. One can only marvel at the skill, patience and creativity that had been used to achieve the final results.
A small group assembled at The Angel for our first tuition evening which focused on increasing familiarity and use of different camera settings to produce more creative images. Having looked at the Exposure Triangle and the limitations that operating on auto-mode, where the camera makes all the decisions on what settings will be used, we then dived deeper into the impact of ISO; Shutter Speed and Aperture to explore when they should be used and what effect they had on the resulting image.
A wide array of cameras had been brought along with all the major brands represented and including a couple of mirrorless models. Despite the difference in nomenclatures between different manufacturers, we were able to navigate through the various programme modes and their impact. Discussions moved onto lenses and how and when different focal length lenses are used depending upon the subject matter chosen. I think it’s fair to say that we all learned a little more about the functionality of our cameras and hopefully have gone away with some areas and concepts to explore further.
We have our first informal tuition evening tonight at The Angel where you will be able to learn more about the functions of your camera and how to use its features to improve your images.
Non-members and guests especially welcomed and the evening starts at 7.30 pm in the ballroom (1st floor) at The Angel Hotel, 47 High Street, Royal Wootton Bassett. There is free parking on the High Street and in the Sainsburys car park behind the hotel.
Come along with your camera
Our fourth and final competition round for the Mayor’s Cup for digital projected images was judged by John Taylor from the North West Bristol Camera Club using Zoom Meeting. A healthy attendance gathered at the meeting venue with those unable to attend joining the meeting by Zoom
The Open competition was judged first and the winning entry was from Nigel Walkley and entitled “Oh dear 1″ which was a captivating portrait type shot of a deer.
The Power competition proved more challenging to meet the brief with multiple interpretations existing in the dictionary but many not transferring easily into a powerful image. The winning entry was submitted by Rob Slade entiltled “Geothermal power station” which was taken in Iceland.
The only remaining competition of the 2021/22 season is the Annual Competition in June which will feature both prints and digital projected images.
Our next meeting is the fourth and final competition round for the Mayor’s Cup and features both an “Open” and a themed competition entitled “Power”.
Entries will be judged by John Taylor who is a member of the North West Bristol Camera Club using Zoom but members and visitors are encouraged to meet at The Angel Hotel Ballroom, 47 High Street, RWB from 7.15 pm onwards for a 7.30 pm start.
After several failed attempts, we finally managed to get Chris Pocock to our club to present to us. Chris is a local person who was born and bred in Wiltshire and has a great love for his home county. The ‘Wiltshire Project’ idea came about whilst chatting with a colleague over a drink and developed into a challenge between Chris and his colleague – Eva to see who could take the best hundred pictures of Wiltshire. Unfortunately Eva wasn’t able to co-present with Chris as she had returned to her home in Slovakia so we never got her insights into the challenges presented.
After detailed research, and the purchase of many Ordnance Survey maps, Chris and Eva selected a number of locations to visit and take photographs capturing local life and scenery. Each location was visited only once and often the whole day and into the evening was spent exploring the nooks and crannies of the location, trying to optimise subjects and conditions for photography.
The project was completed prior to the first lockdown which provided the opportunity to spend time selecting the images and compiling the presentation which also included interesting facts about the county itself as well as the locations visited.
Throughout the presentation, the locations selected and their images, some of which were taken from a light aircraft, both Chris and Eva revealed a personal insight into the parts of the county that are special to them.
Our tabletop photography evening had a definite water theme across all its activities and no-one got wet in the process. Jon organised a simple but effective set to photograph water droplets, which was the most challenging task of the evening. But it proved to be both enjoyable and rewarding with several participants trying their skills at firing the flash at the optimum time to freeze the action at the critical moment.
Martin dusted down some of his lighting equipment and set up a profesional display to photograph soap bubbles. Apart from mixing a soap solution that allowed the bubbles to remain stable for sufficient time to capture their ever changing patterns and colours, getting a highly diffused lighting source was the key to success. A speedlight, reflector umbrell and large white reflector proved key to success.
Water droplet refraction images were attempted with a simple set up using empty beer cans to support a pane of glass, positioned above a computer tablet to generate the master image. The key skill here was to produce discreet spherical droplets that would act like a miniature lens and retain their shape. Eventually we resorted to using pure glycerin which did the trick
It was pleasing to see some fresh faces attend the meeting and join in with the activities.