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.
Two car loads of members visited Hayling Island today leaving at about 2.30pm with the weather looking slightly unreliable.
However when we reached our first stop by the bridge to the Island near Langstone Mill, the weather was set fair. The mill is nearly unique (when working, now a pivate residence) in that it was both a windmill and a watermill, but according to John Goodfellow there is another in Norfolk. Anyway, it made a good subject for some very nice landscape pictures.
Behind it was a waterway with a swan family and ducks 'a plenty’. They were being fed large amounts of bread by a young girl; but I read in some nature publication that it really does not do them much good, in fact the contrary, (probably gives them wind? which would assist take off if they thought about it). There were also Egrets, but they were a little too far away.
We stayed there for about an hour before moving over the bridge and taking a right turn to an area with a lagoon and more birds and boats and a fountain, but not a lot else.
By then we were ready for tea, so we drove onwards to the Southern coast where we found a tearoom with the necessary.
On Saturday August 2nd, we held our first summer event. For the last few years now we have had a Barbecue, usually held in the Chairman’s garden.
Our new Chairman Chris decided that for a change it might be nice to have a cream tea this year instead.
And so the call went out to members asking those attending to bring sandwiches, cakes, scones, strawberries, blue berries, raspberries and of course chairs.
At 3pm of the clock I found myself helping to unload tables and chairs and finding the West household in a mild panic, with a very laid back Carol saying to Chris “this is your event” and Chris saying “but you always arrange any events at home” and looking slightly lost.
Everything went very well indeed of course, as these events always do. The members attending brought food of every description in abundance.
The day had started in Pulborough with a shower and there was also a very slight one as I drove to Storrington just before kick off; but the sun shone and we enjoyed a very nice afternoon.
I was amused to see Chris charging towards the tea serving site with teapots of varying sizes starting with one which probably held about two cupfuls max. However, as the afternoon progressed, Chris appeared with larger and larger pots and there was an ample supply of tea as there was of everything else.
After a couple of statutory items, Anne Nagle gave a very comprehensive report of this seasons events and achievements, adding that she felt we were improving as a club with our results. She then mentioned especially how much hard work Glenn Donnelly had put in on our behalf as our first Publicity Manager, and how successful she had been at the job. Well done Glenn. She will be missed and we do need someone to carry on the good work. Anne herself will carry on in the meantime as she is to stay on our Committee.
We then had the Treasurer’s report which was all good news as we made a profit. Last year we had to buy a new projector which resulted in us making a loss. Our thanks go to Norman Kirby who kindly audited our accounts, who found Janet’s hard works all in order.
Then followed the Competition Secretaries reports which prompted some discussion about labelling and preparation of entries generally.
We were joined by our old friend Walter Benzie ARPS on 15th
May for our Best of Year competition. He started by shaking several peoples’
hands, then telling a story about a photographer in Bombay, who just happened
to be Henri Cartier-Bresson. I have since discovered a Cartier-Bresson quote,
“Your first 10,000 photographs are your worst.” Perhaps there is something
in my 365 obsession!
Walter had a short discussion as to whether he would mark first
then talk, or talk and give a mark after he had listened to himself. Deciding
on the latter, he did say at one point that he had talked himself up to a
There were eight 18s and six held prints, of these, two
went on to get 19s and four the coveted 20/20. I guess this reflects the fact
that this is a best-of competition, although I certainly feel that the standard
within our friendly little club has improved enormously over the past couple of
years. The main theme running through the prints was about the mounting of the
images, with some adding to the overall impression, and others unfortunately failing
to do the image justice.
Ex member Mike Eddowes was going to instruct us on' out of doors’ portraiture this evening for as long as the light lasted; but the day dawned very wet with not much prospect of improvement.
So the powers that be decided to ask Martin Tomes to introduce us to our new lighting set (INTERFIT EX 150) which was kindly donated to the club by someone who had purchased it but had never used it. It will be available for club members to borrow and use.
Martin unpacked the kit which includes two lights with stands, a soft box, an umbrella, a snoot and coloured gels explaining the use of each piece of the kit and how all the components fixed together to provide different set ups for doing portrait photography. He was ably assisted by our Vice Chairman in waiting Ray Foxlee.
He then got a volunteer, Paul Setford, to be his model, and then he proceeded to show us the different positions for a single light and the effect that had on the finished image. He also showed us what other effects could be obtained using a second light, and the use of reflectors, (both white and gold), and the snoot to get different resulting images.
We then all had a go at using the lights on volunteer models.
Our sharpest member at 'spotting things', (Jean MacWhirter), rang me at the end of last week with the very sad news that our oldest member Denis Mace had passed away.
Denis had been one of our Honorary Members for a number of years along with Eric Keevy (now sadly also no longer with us) and Wing Commander Hal Randell (who moved South from Storrington some time ago). These three gentlemen were very much at the forefront of keeping SCC going at a time when camera clubs were not very popular, something that changed with the advent of digital photography. Martin Tomes, Diana Newnes and John Goodfellow all remember him well from the old days at the club, and some other members knew him from his career as a local Dentist. His Son still practices dentistry locally.
Denis was Secretary when I joined SCC, a post he had held for some time before, and continued to hold for some years after. He was a real Gentleman who everyone loved, He used to welcome us to his house for committee meetings, even after his Wife had passed away. As he got older (he was in his 98th year when he died) we saw less of him, especially after Eric died.
Denis leaves a Son, two Daughters and eight Grandchildren, together with fourteen Great Grandchildren! They will all miss him dearly and our thoughts and condolences go to them all.
Our final print competition was judged by Lindsey Green from
Littlehampton Camera Club. She described herself as coming to photography from
an art background, and certainly enjoyed the artistic endeavours she was shown.
Starting with a 17 for Norman Kirby’s warm vibrant ‘Slow
grey morning at Southsea’ then a held back image ‘Osprey – Just up’ from Derek
Grieve, we might have been lulled into a false sense of security. However, her
marking was from 14 to 20, with only twelve images (25%) getting 18 or more.
For someone who I understand is fairly new to judging,
Lindsey did not fall into the trap of only making the standard comments about
sharpness etc. Instead she responded to the images in a very natural, emotional
way. Some were described as “exciting”, while others were perhaps lacking some
atmosphere, but she did say that she had seen “so many lovely pictures here
tonight”. I think she wondered if we had a thing about horses at Storrington,
because there were no fewer than five equine images on offer. Typically, there
were some lovely wildlife pictures in the mix as well.
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.