Summer Photoshoot #2 – July 16th 2024

A group visited St Mary’s Church Rodbourne Cheney, which has existed since the 13th Century with Saxon and Norman connections prior to this. It is the only mediaeval church in Swindon. Rodbourne Cheney was once a separate village but was absorbed into the growing town of Swindon following the arrival of the Great Western Railway and following designation as an “overspill” town (taking excess population from London)

The Church has an impressive location and most of the church dates from the Perpendicular era, albeit much restored by the Victorians. The building has been enlarged over the years and a few traces exist of an earlier building. The entrance to the southern porch and also the chancel are 13th century and early English in style.

Our visit included the opportunity to climb the torturous spiral staircase, with more than 40 steps, into the tower and observe the ringing chamber, bells and clock. Taking great care not to disturb the ringing ropes, we were also able to get some further exercise by winding the 8 day clock and climbing a ladder to view the bells.

Many thanks to Rob Slade for organising the visit which proved very enjoyable with lots to photograph both inside and outside the church.

Summer Photoshoot #1 – July 2nd 2024

Our first photoshoot during the summer recess was at the Atwell-Wilson Motor Museum in Calne, where we enjoyed a private viewing of their car, motorcycle and motoring memorabilia collection.

The majority of their 100+ exhibits were cars from the 1920’s onwards including Rolls Royces, a Daimler and many more models that were familar to us from our teenage years, and early motoring experiences. In addition to the cars there was a collection of motorcycles, mopeds and bicycles along with a very impressive display of hand made model lorries and an extensive model car display. A separate, smaller hall housed some commercial vehicles and a few American cars with their distinctive styling.

A Williams FW10 Formula 1 car was also on display and there was a reconstructed 1930’s style garage complete with vehicles.

The Museum is described as a “hidden gem” and is certainly worth a visit.

Summer Photoshoot 1 – July 2nd 2024

Our first summer activity is at the Atwell Motor Museum, Stockley Lane, Calne, SN11 0NF where we have been able to arrange a private evening viewing from 6.30 pm of the 100+ exhibits of mainly cars from the 1920’s onwards. There is also a collection of motorcycles, mopeds and bicycles along with interesting motoring memorabilia, a Jack Spittle Model Lorry Collection and a reconstructed 1930’s style garage complete with vehicles.

An admission fee of £10 per adult is payable on the evening but it promises to be an interesting and enjoyable evening with lots of photo-opportunities. Non club members are welcomed to join us and take advantage of this private viewing of the motor vehicle collection.

Awards Presentation – June 18th 2024

The final meeting of the season was our Awards Presentation evening and we were delighted to have been joined by Councillor Pat Farrow, the Mayor of Royal Wootton Bassett, who presented the awards to the winning photographers.

After a brief welcome and recap of the highlights of the past season’s activities, it was then the turn of the Mayor to present certificates and trophies to the winning photographers. One club member had the responsibility to photograph the presentations and put his recently acquired top of the range smartphone through its paces….which fortunately it passed with flying colours.

Whilst the formal programme for the 2023/24 season has ended, we have a series of photo-shoots during the summer months

Annual Competition – June 11th 2024

The penultimate activity of the season is our Annual Competition for prints and projected images and features three subject areas; Action; Open and Portrait. Eddy Lane from Calne had the judging task to pick the winning entries from a modest quantity of prints and a healthy submission of projected images.

The print winners were:

Action: Blue tits in flight by Dave Garmont

Open; Stanton Park Lake by Dave Garmont (which was also selected as the best overall print)

Portrait: Face time by Alan Pryor

The projected image winners were:

Action: Eyes on the prize by Nigel Walkley

Open: Four spot chaser by Nigel Walkley

Portrait: Brothers and sisters by Robert Slade (which was selected as the best overall projected image)

The awards will be presented at the next meeting on June 18th

Photographing the Alphabet – March 29th 2024

Earlier in the season, members had randomly picked three letters of the alphabet and were challenged to find and photograph three images representing each letter, whilst obeying the general rules associated with alphabet photography.

The fruits of their labours were assembled into a slideshow and played back on the evening..Not surprisingly, some letters proved easier to represent than others and a range of both straightforward interpretations and also far more creative compositions were evident. A logical extension of the project is for each person to now photograph the remaining alphabet letters and make collages. Several examples were shown which could themselves have a common theme. A short alphabet rap audio-visual from a past WCPF av competition brought the exercise to a close.

After the break some general sources of photography information were explored, with many providing free downloadable information covering a diverse range of topics. The evening concluded with a look at how to measure shutter count and a short video demonstrating some AI software which could greatly simplify the task of organising images and making searches much easier.

Presentation Evening – May 14th 2024

With our scheduled presenter unfortunately feeling unwell and unable to give his talk, we had to rapidly improvise our plans for the evening. After some general discussion of club matters, we then explored some YouTube materials on photography basics; how to use histograms and ‘exposing to the right’ in order to obtain as much detail in the shadows as possible, without any of the highlights losing information along the way.

We followed this with materials on portrait photography tips and portrait composition ideas, which provide plenty of food for thought. To conclude the evening, we watched some WCPF audio visuals from previous years submissions.

We will try to reschedule the planned talk at a later date which will be in our 2024/25 programme as the current season is drawing to a close.

Audio- Visual Evening – April 30th 2024

A large selection of the audio-visuals submitted to the WCPF annual AV competition were viewed and once again included a diverse range of subjects and special effects, including girl band animations and avatars.

The AVs were classed into three categories i) Short – around 2-3 minutes ii) Long – up to 10 minutes and iii) Photo-harmony which emphasised the transitions between images and the sound accompaniment.

Having viewed many of the contenders in each category, we concluded what proved to be a long but enjoyable evening by watching some of the winning entries and we were generally in agreement with the judges decisions. We will keep any unwatched AVs in the locker for a rainy day or until some available time exists during a members evening.

Competition #4 – April 16th 2024

Our final competition round that contributed to the award of the Mayor’s Cups at the end of the season featured “Open” and “Portrait/Self Portrait” subjects for prints and digital projected images. With several contenders still able to top the points table, the competition was keenly contested and Steve Field from Bristol Photographic Society had the challenging task of selecting the winning entries.

“In an alley” by Dave Garmont won the “Portrait/Self Portrait” print category and a delightful flower print ” Daf, Hellibore and May Blossom” by Jim Bullock won the “Open” category.

Both the projcted image categories were won by Peter Hodgson with a “Moroccan jewellery salesman” portrait and a candid shot “No damn wifi here” winning the Open category.

Trophies to the overall winners will be presented at our Awards Evening on June 18th along with trophies for the forthcomong Annual Competition which features three categories.

Zoom Presentation – April 2nd 2024

Colin Harrison stimulated our imagination as we enjoyed his presentation on Creative Flower Photography. With a simple “studio” set up in his garden and a variety of flowers nearby to select from, Colin showed us how he prepared, photographed and processed his flower images.

Simplicity was the key to many of the approaches and techniques used by Colin who fashioned his own flashgun arrangment, lighting options and a camera support which avoided using a tripod. He had also experimented with a wide range of software programmes for processing his images and thereby gained the relevant experience to comment on the pros and cons of each.

The end results were truly magical as he took us into the world of fine art using a plethora of creative techniques and his boundless imagination. Having provided comprehensive support documentation on many of the techniques he uses, it’s fair to say that Colin has encouraged us all to be more adventurous in our flower photography.