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A busy week for the Club

January 23rd brought Alan Barrett to us with lots of landscape images from his travels and some useful tips about the effect of different angles from which to shoot scenes. This was perhaps best demonstrated by his use of images from Iceland’s black sands where the glacial ice can appear either dramatic or insignificant depending on your angle of view.

Iceland 1

Iceland 2

He also made it clear that he was not afraid of blacken his images if he felt it more effective than bringing out the detail in shadows. His Antelope Canyon images demonstrate this.

Antelope Canyon 1

Antelope Canyon 2

And, finally, if you go out looking for BIG landscapes but the weather isn’t with you or something hinders you in achieving your aim, look down – your image might  be in the detail:

Dry river bed detail


Alan’s website with many more images can be found here.


Thursday 24th saw about twenty Club members at the Surrey Heath Museum for the Private Viewing of our Exhibition ‘Spring is Sprung’. 

The Club had been invited by Gillian Barnes-Riding, the Senior Heritage Officer at SHBC to provide twenty images on the theme ‘Spring’ and to be the first local organisation to mount an exhibition in the new location. That was quite a challenge! As one Club member said ‘ Seems we don’t do Spring!’. In fact, we DID manage to find twenty three images that gave different interpretations of the theme with an inevitable focus on flowers and blossom. 

Roger, Niall and I found the selection process a difficult one – there were not as many images as we had had for the earlier Hospital project and finding cohesion is more difficult than finding one shot. However, it has been done and is much appreciated by Gill as well as receiving many positive comments from those who were at the Private Viewing on Thursday.

I know many members support the Heritage Gallery and attend Thursday lunchtime talks, so do, please stop and have a look at the exhibition while you’re there.

Spring is Sprung

Opening the Exhibition

Thanking the Museum

The assembled gathering

Thanks are due to the photographers for allowing us to show their work, to those who worked in the background to mount, frame and hang the images and to everyone who takes the time to stop and visit when they are able.

POY 3 January 16th 2019

Critique for Gordon Brown is here

In a note of thanks to Peter this morning Gordon has specifically asked for feedback so if you were at the meeting and feel able to comment please follow the link and do so.

Sadiq writes:

‘It was quieter than normal evening, seems like some members had decided to watch the watch the vote of no confidence in the house of commons than brave the cold evening. However, it  soon warmed up inside the meeting room, as members tucked into the chocolate treats that were provided by the anonymous member.

We spared the “Right Honourable” jokes as Gordon Brown kicked off the evening. It was clear early on that Gordon has some specific areas of interest, and that became very apparent as he critiqued his way through the evening.  Indeed some members will  likely have wished they’d selected different images for this night as some beautiful images didn’t fare as well they would normally have done if they were deemed ‘still life’ or ‘record’ shots.
However, members did take home some valuable observations, though as we finished 15m early there was plenty of time left on the table to explore each image in more depth.. 
I felt all the images held back were great and well deserved, and it’s great to see some of the newer members doing so well too.  
There were some grumblings from members about how often Gordon referred to the projected image, and this was discussed. He did make it very clear at the start that his judging would based solely on the print, but that he would point to the projected image to draw the audience’s attention to his observations for the benefit of the audience, particularly those towards the back of the room. We can potentially debate whether he may have been unduly influenced as a consequence. 
Gordon had brought along his wife Louise for moral support, and both were clearly very passionate about photography. They told me they very much enjoyed the hospitality offered by the club, the discourse from members in the break and also at the end, and the whole evening.
Many thanks to Peter, Larry, Jean and Kevin for running an impeccable comp night, and to the “Teas Team” whom I nearly forgot to nominate !!’

The high scoring images in Div. 2 were:

A Fish Stall in JJ Colony New Delhi
Rohit Madan

Looking Out the Window
David Hacker

while in Div.1 the high scorers were:

Late Clearing Mist . Dolomites
Gerald Hollingworth

Talkling Tactics
Tony Milman

Roger Hoyle

Members’ Evening 09.01.19

Moving away from the ordinary, I asked some members who were not involved in the planning of the evening to write this week’s blog.

First word goes to Mike Morley:

Kath has asked me (and others) to write a “couple of paragraphs for the blog”. Not sure that this is an honour or a penalty in revenge for some transgression that I do not know I have committed, but here goes!  (Note from Chairman: neither, Mike, just the Chairman’s whim!)

The first meeting of 2019 was scheduled to be a talk by George McCarthy on The Art of Bird Photography but he has not been well and was unable to come. Our resourceful chairman arranged a “replacement” evening from local talent instead.  The first item on the list was “Going for Gold at the Culinary Olympics, Luxembourg” by Kevin Byrne. My guess is that not a lot of people knew that Kevin was a Chef by trade and probably even fewer people knew that there was anything called the Culinary Olympics. By the end of his session we knew a lot more about the kind of cookery done for the event. (There ought to be a fancier than mere cookery, Culinary Arts would be a better term). We also knew a lot more of Kevin’s skill as a photographer, both of the food and  the people involved. Unfortunately he did not provide any edible samples but you cannot have everything. Well done Kevin for a fascinating presentation!

Second up was Daan with “The Long Walk to F….” which, outside the photographic world might have been taken as something pretty rude. Daan charted his progress as a photographer within the RPS starting pretty smoothly with his LRPS and ARPS distinctions. Some will remember his series of “Landscapes”  derived from macro photograpy of slices of mother of pearl. Things got a bit tougher after that with two attempts for his FRPS which did not succeed, leading up to successful panel “ Dreams and Nightmares of Robben Island”. This has been exhibited before but Wednesday’s presentation brought home again the amount of work going into the panel both in terms of taking the base pictures and the skill of the composites generated from them. Also coming across was the emotional content of the resultant depiction of one of mankind’s darker parts of history.

Few others among us would have seen these three become one!

The second part of the evening was a lighter affair with several of our members presenting images with a history or memories of why they were taken and the impact that they had on the photographers. Each one short but to the point rounding off an interesting “home built evening”.

Then Larry wrote:

Last night was a bit of an eye-opener if I am completely honest. Sometimes I find members evenings hard work but last night was an exception. Apart from a few PC glitches the evening was very informative from start to finish. We opened with Kevin’s mouth watering sessions on foodie competitions at world class standards followed by Daan’s trials and tribulations towards his FRPS award. These two sessions taught me more about members of club than I would have learned in many other club nights. I think we do have a vast pool of untapped talent within our club membership. 

Kevin Byrne

Vegetable carving – Asian style
Kevin Byrne

In the style of an album cover
Kevin Byrne

After the break we had several smaller or should I say more succinct presentations  from members not noted for public speaking at the Club. Each explained why a small selection of their images were important to them. It was very often not their best picture but it was important to them. I thought the selfie 😜 from Shona  perfectly illustrated the importance of always having the right kit at the right time. Images move us sometimes for unknown reasons and it is only though studying our image and questioning what is it that ‘gets us’ can we begin to understand why an image stands out to us. Terry’s St James’s Park was an example where the image actually represented his London life in a nutshell. Maureen also showed us the steps from a simple flower shot to an image that gets a 10 all day long.

Under the Dress
Shona Griffiths

Maybe we should all be prepared to do a minor presentation to the club. We exist for our own benefit so the more we share with club members what our perhaps hidden strengths are, the more we can benefit each other.

While the birthday girl, Pauline, who also provided the cakes for the evening ( for which, many thanks, Pauline!), offered:

‘Just wanted to say how much I enjoyed yesterday’s meeting. As you can imagine, I was a bit torn about coming as it was my birthday, but I’m so pleased I did.

The first half of the evening was fascinating, such different presentations, but each really interesting in its own way. I had no idea that there was such a thing as a food “Olympics” and staggered to see how much hard work and preparation went into competing. The pictures   really gave us an excellent insight into the proceedings.

I had recently read an article in the RPS magazine about Daan’s “F” panel, which was very interesting, though I was a bit disappointed that the images were so small in the article. It was so good to hear the whole story yesterday and how much time and effort had gone into his entry. I particularly enjoyed the AV which was very impressive (and sobering) and it was great to be able not only to see the images but, (on a lighter note) see how some of them were achieved.

What came after the break was just fun. What a great idea to ask members to select one or two of their images and tell us why they had chosen them. very enjoyable.

Finally. how good to see Carol’s image in situ in FPH. Well done, Carol, it looks amazing, and what good publicity for the club.

Carol with the Frimley Park Hospital staff most involved in the use of this mental health emergency waiting room

Cutting the tape

My thanks to all the participants last night for a very interesting and enjoyable evening.’

And MY thanks to our guest bloggers as well as to all the contributors to the evening and to Dave for dealing with projected images in files he’d never seen before!


The Social Event of the Year

I had every intention of getting other members to write this, but then ran out of time to ask them – so please add your own comment to the photos below provided by Alan. I hope a good time was had by all and that everyone has continued to enjoy Christmas in their preferred way. Here’s to a Guid New Year in 2019 – both personally and for the Club.

St. Christopher Trophy 2018

Just over forty prints were assessed and commented on in a very measured and even leisurely way by Caroline  Colgate. Please click here for the judge critique.

Congratulations to Daan, Carol and Pauline on their placed images and to those whose images were commended and highly commended. Full details will follow.

Here are the top three images:

Daan Olivier

Woodland Mist Rising
Carol Drew

Woodland waltz
Pauline Dobler

After the awards had been announced there was time to have each of the photographers say a little about their image.

Daan explained that his was a compilation of a number of different images taken in Flanders a few weeks ago. The sand dunes had become an island lake and the tree which was in a cornfield had seemed to be on a promontory. And we all thought it was a straight high key shot!! We should have known…..!

Carol’s image was taken nearer home. She had spent a couple of hours early one morning attempting to recreate an image from a couple of years ago while Pauline described googling ways of using Intentional Camera Movement and then trudging across the Maultway to capture her shot.

The Highly Commended images below were produced by  Daan and Marilyn Taylor


Tree Triptych
Daan Olivier

Farnham Pines
Marilyn Taylor

while Tony Milman and Dave Beaumont took the Commended places, and each showed a different way of photographing trees. Both Dave and Tony also had their second image held back.


An Alternate Autumn
Dave Beaumont

Reaching for the Sky
Tony Milman

And it was good to see a new name having work held back. Savitri’s  ‘Can’t see the wood for the trees’ was especially commended for its format.

Can’t See the Wood for the Trees
Savitri Kegge

The other revisited images came from Maureen Kennedy, Niall and myself.

The new easel lights and support worked well and the image on the screen now seems much closer to the impression we have on the easel. Thanks to our Birthday Boy, Alan, Mike (Morley) and Mark and Craig for the work that has gone into that refurbishment.

Thanks to the Birthday Boy also for these images of the presentations:

Daan with Caroline Colgate

Alan is much happier behind the lens than being sung to!!

Thanks to everyone who made the evening such a success.



Last Wednesday Ian Brash and Pat Couder, both members of other Surrey Photographic Association Clubs – and Ian already known to us both as a judge and a speaker – provided a fun evening with a fair few technique ideas built in to their presentation.

They had set themselves challenges which moved them out of their usual comfort zones and tried some different genres  as they met the challenges head-on. One of the very first images they showed was in response to their Ice challenge. It’s one of Ian’s. He called it Ice Planet

Ice Planet
Ian Brash

I didn’t get an impression of how long the challenges lasted but they DID say they were all indoor photographs. That was one of the criteria.

Ian and Pat also took the opportunity to play with different techniques and some of those had some interesting results – from just moving the ‘Saturation’ slider in Photobox to freezing flowers in ice and taking a slightly different angle on everyday objects.

Ian Brash

The ‘Cutlery’ challenge had Pat revealing the contents of her breakfast:


Spoonful of Blueberries
Pat Couder

creating three images – the one above combined with a spoonful of oats and another to present a very effective triptych while Ian combined four images in Photoshop to come up with:

Knife and Apple
Ian Brash

And one challenge which those of us who had attended the SPA Photofest last November could identify with was ‘In the Style of Steven le Provost’ where Pat produced:

Lonely Boat
Pat Couder

which really seemed to fit the bill -the colours and textures are just right for Steven’s style.

A number of members commented that it was refreshing to have some different ideas and, following the meeting, when Larry indicated that he would be up for a monthly challenge, we have decided to try to do it. We will aim to show you the results maybe at a Members’ Evening  or some other appropriate occasion next year if you are interested. Let me know if any other groups form – I guess probably three is maximum, so perhaps one other person would like to join us.

Also, our Set Subject Ideas page is here. So why not click away and add your ideas for 2019-2020 now while they’re fresh in your mind?

Max Adelman

If ever anyone is looking for a relaxed, conversational speaker, who started life as a drummer and then became a photographer specialising in monochrome – well, strictly speaking black and white – images, I would not hesitate to recommend Max Adelman.

From his portraits of the rich and famous to his character studies of the monks in Europe’s most northerly Benedictine monastery, Max has hundreds of stories to tell with humour and empathy. He told us how his photo of Ronnie Scott which now hangs in the National Portrait Gallery was taken at an hour of the morning generally unknown to jazz musicians at a time when there was a crisis to be dealt with before the opening of the jazz club later in the day.

Ronnie Scott by Max Adelman


The image of Adam Faith which he showed us led to questions about posing subjects and lighting and it was this genuinely responsive style which made the evening so enjoyable -questions were answered as they were raised and tips were passed on  – not that most of us are likely to end up with portraits hanging in the National Portrait Gallery, are we?

Adam Faith by Max Adelman

A number of members were intrigued by the shift from photographer of the rich and famous to the studies of monastics and there were comments about the ways in which photography has changed as we enjoyed images of children and a Romany family in the ’70’s that none of us would feel able to take with the safety concerns that are so prevalent now.

Some of our members have been out shooting stars over the past couple of weekends at the turning on of the Christmas lights in Windlesham and Lightwater and at the Camberley Christmas Parade. Mike Hillman chose his spot well to get this close up of Brian May among the crowds in Windlesham before switching on the lights.

Brian May by Mike Hillman