Railway Photography – Trains in their Environment

Meeting Report

We were treated to some wonderful railway photography from Nick Gilliam - who had previously been a guest at the club as he lives just up the road in Ashington. Nick has had many of his photographs published in the national magazines devoted to steam railways – and this is no mean feat as Railway Photography is such a popular genre.

Nick uses a Mamiya rangefinder camera with an image size 6 by 7 centimetres – into this he loads rolls of Fujichrome Velvia 50 film a brand noted for its saturated colours. So large slides, vivid colours, and a powerful projector – wow! – what fantastic images that combination produces. Food for thought – these are the first film slides I’ve seen projected at the club although we’ve seen plenty of files which have been scanned from film images. The only comparable evening I remember was the “50 Years of the Monaco Grand Prix” but that relied on prints.

A good evening and a good result

Meeting Report

South Downs Trophy

We were recently invited to join in this 4 way competition with the camera clubs of Rottingdean ( our hosts) Southwick and Steyning and 4 of our members attended. Each club submitted 10 images which were shown and marked in random order – which made it difficult to work out where we stood as the evening progressed – rather like a 400 metre race where the leader is not revealed until the bend has unwound.

Trever Gellard FRPS was the judge – our best of year judge this season - and he is very hot on technical matters but much appreciates unusual, out of the ordinary images – and he does like a witty and apt title!

Southwick, Steyning and ourselves used the same set of photographs as were used in the Crouch Shield the previous Friday with a couple of extras to make up the set of 10 – Rottingdean are not in the Crouch competitions. 

Not so good this time

Meeting Report

Crouch Shield

The Crouch Projected Image competition was hosted by Steyning and held at The Henfield Hall, Henfield. Ten members of SCC attended.

The Judge was David Eastley and he started by pointing out that all the images that he was judging were the best from our respective clubs and therefore he was going to be very harsh in his marking to spread the marks: which he did from 13 to 20. The overall average mark was 17. He also pointed out that the authors worked of their images on their computers; David judged the images on his computer and now they are being shown on Steyning’s computer and projector and therefore there were going to be differences in rendering of the images. And so it proved to be with, David saying time and time again (mainly with B & W images) that this image was much darker on his computer. Sometimes this meant that this turned out better, but mainly not so well.

Eight clubs took part with each club submitting eight images, so 64 in total. We won the competition last year with a lot of very high marks but sadly we could not repeat that performance this year. Steyning and Chichester produced the most high marks both with three 20s (last year we got three 20s as well).

During the evening there were some outstanding natural history images with our Anne Nagle producing two of them.

The Old Order Changeth

Meeting Report

Swans Taking OffWe were pleased to welcome Mike Davison ARPS, an ex-member of our club, to judge the final round of this season’s competitions. We had open subject PIs preceded by prints with the set subject “Abstract”.

This is a surprisingly difficult set subject to pin down – Mike’s approach was to deduct marks if he could recognise the original subject of the photograph. He was helped in this by the titles some had given to the entries.  If the title is “Anemone” then that’s what the subject is and it’s a floral picture, not an abstract. Likewise “Abstract Landscape” is a landscape, not an abstract, whichever order the words appear in the title. The trick is to make the title as abstract as the photograph – a cryptic approach with a bit of lateral thought may be in order. But there again is the title important in awarding marks in a photography competition? Told you it is a surprisingly difficult set subject!

Varied Interpretations

Meeting Report

This members’ evening was the brainchild of David Seddon and it was he who supplied the 3 photographs which provided the sow’s ear to silk purse challenges of the evening. So thank you for all that David – pity you couldn’t be there to witness the mayhem which ensued.

First up was a Dungeness shot taken though a hole in a typically dilapidated shed, revealing an equally distressed piece of machinery but with another opening in the far wall with a rather wishy-washy sky in view.  Most of us took this up as an artistic challenge, some using colour to bring out strong rust colours in the machinery, others using monochrome to bring out textures in the grain of the weathered shed boarding. All of these were successful to some degree but it was Audrey who really put the photograph in its place by introducing the face of a donkey peering through the far window – a most effective way of dealing with lack of detail in the sky and providing a good laugh too.

Ripples and a Tulip

Meeting Report

Tulip by Liz BarberChairman for the evening Paul Hayward, welcomed Paul O’Toole from Worthing on a return visit as our judge for the evening. Paul presented as a judge with an easy going manner, humour and discernment with comments from which we could all learn and enjoy our photography. He was appreciative of those photographers who had gone out on a limb to try new ideas and techniques. Paul commented that the marks that he gave would reward such efforts. He was very free with his tips on digital improvements.

Twenty four prints were entered from 12 members and the marks reflected the high standard of work and print that was on offer, notably 14 of the 24 entries obtained 18-20, well done.

Two prints obtained top marks of twenty, “Worm’s head sunset” by Martin Tomes received much praise, given the subject was so often exhibited and seen as easy, but this print was outstanding with its technical quality and wonderful palette of colours, well done Martin.

Odyssey in Los Alpujarras

Meeting Report

Finding Your Ground

Tonight, we had another return visit from Ken Scott ARPS who has visited us about once a season for a great number of years either as a first class judge or to give us one of his inspirational lectures.

Once again he did not disappoint telling us about his favourite region in Southern Spain called Los Alpujarras. It lies South East of Granada and North East of Montril. It has a mountain range along its North edge and is a very fertile valley where Olive trees grow very well and some are several hundred years old and yield a very profitable crop. Vegetables are also grown and there are many citrus trees, particularly Orange, producing masses of fruit. A number of the houses have bags of fresh oranges outside which people can help themselves to, putting a Euro in a box.

Ken is a very keen walker and mountaineer, amongst several other things, and so he has found that this region really suits him from many diverse points of view, not least of which is his passion for photography. He has established a base from which he runs photographic holidays which both Janet and Liz from SCC have enjoyed.

Landscapes and Flowers – an Expert speaks

Meeting Report

It was good to see so many people at Sue Bishop’s presentation although the home supporters were almost outnumbered by visitors. We welcomed some new faces and friends from Steyning and Bognor Camera Clubs – and even Mrs Co-Chairman was there. Storrington members are clearly keen to miss the worst of the winter – I know of members in Costa Rica, South Africa and Florida at the moment and there may be more elsewhere – this is why we were a bit thin on the ground.

Anyway we were treated to a superb evening of photographs and photographic wisdom from this very experienced and widely travelled lecturer. The first half was devoted to landscape photography and Sue explained very clearly all those principles which should be second nature but which tend to drift away when the camera is raised to the eye. In fact Sue thinks even this is bad practice – she is an enthusiast for tripods even if they are deemed unnecessary by shutter speed.  Sue’s theory is that having gone to the trouble of carrying a tripod, erecting it and attaching the camera more care will then be taken with composition and exposure considerations. The proof of this was the quality of images shown – some really super shots.

We was robbed by Rob

Meeting Report

Rob de Ruiter returned yet again (he has been appearing so often recently that I am wondering if he wants to join SCC. However, after the marks he gave me in the last PI competition he has got no chance-only joking), to judge our round of the Southern Photographic Federation PI competition.

And very welcome he was as usual as he is one of the better judges that visit us.

There were some really good images for us to enjoy. Eight from seven clubs; so 56 in total, and in amongst quite a number of landscapes which varied from really good to over HDR’d. One really good portrait of an elderly lady which really stood out entitled ‘Proud’ and a variety of brilliant wildlife pictures; One of a Mouse in the beak of a Tawny Owl; a Heron fishing with a brilliant reflection of the bird in the water; a Snowy Owl hunting looking straight at the camera with its bright orange eyes, magnificent, and finally an Artic tern with a fish in its beak. Excuse me for going on about the wildlife pictures but they really were outstanding, including Anne Nagle’s Bee-eaters.

The marking was out of 10 points, which I have always preferred to out of 20 as we have in Sussex. 6 1/2 feels less brutal than 13 out of 20 don’t you agree?

Last meeting in 2016

Meeting Report

Last night was the last meeting in 2016 and time for a 'knees up', or so Diana Newnes thought when I offered to bring her.

Instead, she was quizzed, but well fed thanks to Daisy who came loaded with food and drink. Anne helped her put the food out and start heating the punch, whilst our Quiz Masters Liz and Janet set out tables, chairs and Quiz sheets and generally prepared us for our entertainment.

We started with Martin running through the entries for the last PI competition which had to be abandoned thanks to our old enemy Microsoft deciding that Windows 10 on the club laptop needed to be updated. (Our resident brilliant 'Tech-no Crat' Martin has told us how to stop this embarrassing event happening again at an unwanted time). (Martin is a very anti Apple, who make very reliable programmes which would never behave in such a manner [Ed: Martin doesn't dispute that but has issues with Apple's business practices].)

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