Our programme covers various aspects of picture taking, presentations of high quality images, competitions and workshops. Our members are interested in making prints and projected images using digitial technology and film.
Arriving early after
a couple of photo-a-day opportunities in the clear frosty dawn, I was
glad I had picked up a free coffee at Waitrose, as the tea and coffee
volunteers weren't ready to start selling, although to be fair it was
before “doors open time”. I stayed out of the way chatting to a
365 friend. Proceedings got under way fairly promptly with an
introduction from Ken Scott of what is the first exhibition style
inter-club competition in Sussex with the entries grouped into two
divisions, the Development and Open categories (probably the first in
the UK). It was apparently inspired by Ken's experience of judging
something similar in Ireland. The Development class was designed to
allow the entry of images from club members not normally in the
running for selection. The first running of the new format had caused
quite a bit of consternation in the SCC committee. Would we be able
to compete against the much larger clubs, such as Chichester? I
certainly feel we held our own, but more of that later.
We welcomed Tony Baverstock LRPS
last Thursday. His background is in landscape, still life and
infrared B&W photography. Having spent 25 years on the Surrey
judging circuit, this was his first in Sussex. He reminded us that
there was only one person we had to please, and that was not him, it
was ourself. Overall, he commented that we had so many gorgeous
prints, and he was impressed with the way they were mounted, saying
that this was the window through which you look at the images. He
often suggested a slight crop of parts of the image that weren't
adding to the overall effect.
The scores ranged from 15 to 20,
with 14 images being held back, and ultimately 25 gaining an 18 or
over, so I have a task and a half to write this one up! Tony was
aware that we have only one league of photographers, and was perhaps
being less harsh on us all as a result.
Peter Picthall scored an 18 for a
portrait of 'Blondie', which was beautifully sharp, and the model
seemed happy to pose for him as he was definitely looking at the
photographer from Portsmouth, Barry Day started out working in colour
slides, becoming an ARPS in 1987. Establishing a darkroom over 15
years ago, he began making monochrome prints for club competitions
and exhibitions, gaining a Credit distinction with the PAGB in 2001.
At this time he switched to digital monochrome, and adding colour in
2009. His main interest is “Faces and Places”. We were privileged
to see many of those faces, he knew the name of every one of them,
and each image came with a story.
The first part of
the evening covered how to find a model. We started with his fellow
magistrates, and progressed to the daughter of one of them. At 18,
she was just about to go off to university, and her parents wanted a
more formal portrait of her. We then heard the stories of several
other young adult women, from daughters of friends, to the daughter
of a photoshoot organiser, who Barry preferred to the models.
We then looked at a
monochrome image of Barry's granddaughter dressed as Alice, looking
at a doorway into a large tree-trunk, with her dress colour-popped.
When she saw the final print she was mystified as to where the door
had come from! (Old Portsmouth).
So it was at Midhurst on Wednesday when Storrington did battle with 9 other Sussex Clubs for the prestigious Regnum Print Shield. Midhurst were the hosts and had their priorities right, the home made cakes were excellent, the technology less so.
Our friend David Eastley LRPS was the judge so we were in safe hands. Things started well with a perfect 20 for Paul's Horse Love-in picture followed by another for Liz's Rudbeckia. Wow - we were in a clear lead after 2 rounds. But then a downer - David didn't like Daisy's Vietnam beach picture - all of the selection committee had loved it - and it was just a 12. We needed those cakes at half-time after that.
David was obviously fortified by his lemon drizzle cake and came back with 20 for Ian's picture of a fox drinking from a birdbath. We were on a swiss-roll by then and Di was awarded 20 for her flower picture, Cosmos.
was very interesting to have a different viewpoint on our images from
Lisa Beaney. She is a professional photographer who was invited to
judge for us after a chance meeting with Martin Tomes in a Steyning
pub! She specialises in wedding, portraiture, commercial and boudoir
photography. All in all though, it was an evening of post-processing,
whether it was something that added to the image, or was lacking!
had a wide spread of marks from 13 to 19, with no-one getting an
elusive 20. Her style of judging was different, but very helpful to
me, as she gave the mark first after a few moments quiet
deliberation, followed by her comments. This meant that I didn't have
to scribble so much on each image, so a big “thank-you” to Lisa
She held 12 images back, with these
scoring 17 to 19 points, with two others also scoring 17, so I will
work around these images for this report, starting with those two
Paul O'Toole joined us on 16th
October for our first print competition of the year. Coming from
Worthing Camera Club, he described himself as one of the “baby
judges” who have graduated from the Ken Scott judging academy. He
asked us to expect a wider range of marks (14-20 in practice), where
the message counts for 50-60%, the content 30-35% and technical
aspects just 15%. When asked how important the title was, he admitted
that it should be secondary to the image, but could be useful. Here
are some of his comments.
Foxlee managed a hat-trick of 18s over the evening. Up first was
'Amazing Space', an interior image of Lancing College Chapel. Paul
commented that this type of shot is technically very difficult to do,
and said this was beautifully taken (Ray tells me that a tripod is
essential, must remember mine for the photoshoot in five weeks). Next
came 'Fading Light', which looked like (and was) Bosham, with a nice
choice of foreground and people to give scale all in a sepia
monochrome. Finally Ray gave us 'Table for two', with a softness
giving a sense of elegance and lovely dappled light.
This evening, we had a new idea for a club evening from our Chairman Chris. We were asked to select five PIs that we would like some help with deciding whether they were good enough to enter a competition, because we all have difficulty making our selections, don’t we?
To begin the meeting however we had the Parish notices, with Janet telling us about two events which are coming up, the first being on October 11th when anyone interested will be going to Lewes to photograph ‘Morris Dancers’; but there is plenty more to photograph in the Town if that does not appeal. And then we hope to go to Lancing College on 20th of November to take pictures of their famous and very beautiful Chapel. More details about that nearer the time.
'Two Fellows’, which originally referred to Betty Rackman, who had achieved her Fellowship, and Tony her Husband, a ‘fella’. But when Tony also achieved his Fellowship of course the name was even more relevant
Betty and Tony have been giving slide shows (and having exhibitions) for many years. This evenings show was one of many different ones that they give, this one though had been brought up to date with recent work.
The evening was not very well attended which was a great pity, as those who missed it could have learned some lessons about composition, as well as seeing a huge variety of amazing subjects, all photographed impeccably. What a team they make, both being passionate experts at photography and encouraging and criticizing each other’s work, and therefore producing the very best results.
In the first half, Tony gave the commentary whilst Betty manned the computer, adding a few comments where she felt appropriate.
We started by seeing some shots taken in their garden (near Romsey) of flowers and other wildlife. As Tony pointed out, their pictures were often taken to give a pleasing pictorial result, rather than setting out to take the normal wildlife protocol. We also saw some wonderful Infra-red shots of landscapes (shot on 35mm film) with some of the river Tess, which runs near their home.
Our first night of the new season was very well attended with over 30 bodies including four new faces who we hope will join us permanently. They will be most welcome.
Chris West, our new Chairman, confessed immediately that he had never been to a first night before as he had always been on holiday. So, not knowing really what had gone before he took matters into his own hands and told us all about himself and his family, finishing with his latest Photographic Experiences.
After telling us about his career and that he had previously been Chairman of the local Lions Club, Chris went on to take us through some of the highlights of the new season, which as programme secretary he had of course arranged. He also introduced the members of the committee. Worth mentioning here perhaps is that the two set subjects for this year are ''Black and White’ for prints and ‘Sussex’ for the PIs.
Would you like to know more? Take a look at our current programme to see what we get up to then either fill in our contact form, call our chairman Chris West on 01903 744571 or come along to our next camera club meeting.