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.
‘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 !!’
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 andthe 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.
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.
After the break we had several smaller or should I say more succinct presentationsfrom 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 Shonaperfectly 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.
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.
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!
This year we entered the GB Cup for Small Clubs (Projected) Competition again, not having entered last year. There are three sections to the GB Cup – a Nature Competition, the Small Clubs Competition, and an Open Competition.
The Division between Small Clubs and Open is arbitrary, as any club can enter the Small Clubs section, the difference being that only 10 images from no less than four photographers are entered in the Small Clubs, whereas the Open requires 15 images from at least six photographers. Three judges award up to five marks each per image, making a maximum possible score of 150 marks for the Small Clubs section.
In 2017 we scored 96 points, which placed us equal 46th out of 72 clubs: this year we scored 102 points, which placed us equal 29th out of 56 participating clubs. Mold Camera Club won with 120 points and, of local clubs that entered, Guildford was equal 8th with 107 points and Yateley came equal 36th with 100 points.
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.
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:
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
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.
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.
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:
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
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.
The ‘Cutlery’ challenge had Pat revealing the contents of her breakfast:
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:
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:
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?
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.
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?
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.
More amazing images from members tonight with Andrew Kemp scoring 21 in Div 2., John Hill returning to High-scoring competition images this season and Jim Thomas achieving his first high score. No wonder Div 2 was so highly praised! And it’s not often we hear a judge comment on how strong our Nature images are – despite some beautiful macro shots. This one made a point of it.
Andrew’s ‘Walking Dead’ scored 11.
In Div 1 there were only 2 images deemed worthy of the highest marks – one for its innate beauty, sharpness and colour and one for its simplicity and effectiveness.
I’m wondering whether some of the scenes from the Dolomites that Gerald has captured this Summer might become a feature of the Club holiday next June.
Thank you to everyone who enters and to all those involved in the efficient running of the competition.