First catch your hare

Meeting Report

Derek Grieve“First catch your hare” – the famous recipe instruction applies equally well to Nature Photography – be the quarry animal, vegetable or mineral. Our nature photographers travel the world in search of great shots of elusive prey – some even venturing to Norfolk. Last night’s meeting showcased the club’s nature photography with the first half dedicated to the work of Derek Grieve LRPS with the second half of shorter presentations from four others.

Derek’s presentation was unlikely to appeal to arachnophobes, entomophobes or ornithophobes as creepy crawly followed creepy crawly interspersed with birds of every feather. And no aspect of their lives is hidden from Derek’s lens. I found myself humming along - “Birds do it, Bees do it, even educated flees do it” – can’t think why!

Choice of paper works for me

Meeting Report

Agapanthus in Blue BottleSo we met again for the start of a new season, and a new format for competitions.

Paul Dunmall DPAGB joined us for the first time as our judge. Hailing from Bexhill-on-Sea, he and his wife Sonia, who came along as well, are very involved in the working of the Sussex Photographic Federation. His photographic interests include music, fast cars, glamour and sport! It was lovely to see some more new faces, and everyone seemed to enjoy a fun evening, with humour in the photography and Paul's comments. His style of judging was new to us, with a comments session, then scoring of all the images at the end of each half. At the end of the evening, he was keen to point out that he enjoys judging because he loves to see other peoples pictures, and that he also learns from the experience.

Starting with the PI's in the first half (two from each member), there were 8 images scoring well. My image 'The Bluebell Wood' scored an opening 18, commended for the crop and framing with trees.

An amazing programme

Meeting Report

Ray, our vice-chairman, was in charge this evening as Chris is away with his family for a while.

He introduced our guest speaker, Lisa Beaney, who came to judge one of our competitions last season. Lisa hails from Steyning, and is a Wedding Photographer, together with her Husband Phil, and is an award winner in Wedding photography, Fashion and Glamour, and Portrait photography, together with an ARPS with the Royal Photographic Society. According to Ray she is ‘certified’ to instruct in Adobe Lightroom!

Ray had requested some images from our members for Lisa to illustrate how Lightroom could be used to enhance and improve them. She also used some of her own stunning wedding images to show us various aspects of the amazing way you can batch process a series of images, all taken in the same lighting conditions; storing your images; changing the perspective of buildings which appear to be falling over backwards, and do so many other things with your photographs. We were also shown how to use the many menus for all the many different things one can do.

Lisa trains photographers in the use of Lightroom, details of which you can find on her website.

Chris starts us off on the right foot

Meeting Report

Start of the Season

Well here we are again, after what can only be described as a very mixed summer. The first meeting was very well attended and we welcomed six new faces, who we hope will join as members. I would ask them to come to some more meetings before they make their minds up, as the first meeting of the season is hardly typical. New folk are sometimes put off by the sight of big mounted prints. We are a bunch of friendly people who enjoy their photography, but who do not take things too seriously. Photography is to be enjoyed.

Our Chairman Chris kicked off with a very comprehensive run throughout the make up of the new season’s content. He told us of the new arrangements for our internal competitions and also a bit about our external comps. The subjects for the set subject competitions will be: ‘The Ordinary made Extraordinary’ for the PIs and ‘Minimalism’ for the prints, so that will make us all put our thinking caps on! Chris then introduced all the members of the Committee that were present, and included me as the Club Sage! I have always thought they were wise, not this one.

The last meeting of the season

Meeting Report

The meeting was not very well attended, but we welcomed a new member, David Richardson, who had been a member of the club in the 1990s. I arrived a little sad as I has heard that at least three members were leaving us, but left much happier.

Chairman Chris decided to kick off with the presentation of the cups.They were awarded as follows:

Daisy and Martin are Singled Out

Meeting Report

Big SkyGlyn Edmunds APSA, EPSA, EFIAP/s, ABIPP, ARPS, APAGB joined us to judge our Best of Year. A very highly qualified photographer, he explained that his favourite set of letters was receiving recognition from the USA. He remarked on how many good strong images the club was fielding for our best of year competitions, with a lot of monochrome. There was a good selection, and a relatively narrow band of marks. At the end of the evening Glyn showed us a real variety of his work, which was a real treat.

We started with the prints, with six being held back, and eight other 18s. Single 18 honours went to Anne Nagle for 'Harvest Mouse' a fun critter in a typical pose with minimal depth of field, and Robert Mitchell's 'The Storm Waits on Windmill Hill' a beautiful quality sizeable print with the path leading in from one corner.

Double 18s went to two photographers:

Learning from other members

Meeting Report

We had three and a half presentations from club members Ray, David, Martin and Chris.

First up was Ray Foxlee talking to us about different methods for producing Black and White images.

His prefered method, bless him, is using film which he uses in his very high class camera to very good effect. Us more up to date digital guys, need software on our computers to produce decent B&W pictures and Ray showed us how to do this. Firstly he showed us in Lightroom, which, with a show of hands, many of us use, and afterwards using a different software package called Silver Efex Pro.

Ray showed us a pretty flat and uninteresting image in colour which he then converted to B&W and it suddenly came alive. Since Ray joined us and we have seen his excellent B&W work, several of us have started to try producing B&W images, some quite successfully. So after Ray’s demonstration, perhaps a few more will try. One does need the right kind of image. Most wildlife pictures are better in colour of course.

Dead Dafs, but glorious Tulips

Meeting Report

Today turned out to be another beautiful sunny day after a chilly start.

A dozen of us assembled at about 11.30am and set off into the gardens at Highdown. We were met almost immediately by some very colourful tulips in all their glory, and the few of us with tripods!, set them up and the shoot began.

It always takes me a while to get into photographic swing, and I found myself trying to capture images of some lovely blossom against a suitable background, which took forever, particularly as the wind was blowing. So, I had not really achieved a great deal by 12.30 when we had agreed to meet for lunch.

This took place in the hotel restaurant in the adjoining hotel where Chairman Chris had booked a table. We had met our friends Cliff Carter and his wife Virginia (of Henfield CC) in the gardens and as we could not all fit round the table booked, they joined us on an adjacent table. The Carvery Lunch was excellent and very reasonably priced and enjoyed by all.

I want to be there

Meeting Report

Cwmorthyn ChapelOur final print competition of the season was judged by Roger Bathard LRPS. He held back a dozen images, and several scored 18 or 19 straight away as well. With just five of the held backs left to score, Roger decided he wanted to go home, but did manage to make his final deliberations. He did say he preferred to just choose the top three, but managed to give us a good spread of marks from 14 to 20. Common themes were the size of the subject in the frame, and subjects placed centrally, but there was nothing really bad!

Derek Grieve was the unlucky one with an image held back which ultimately only scored 17, but he redeemed himself with an 18 for his 'Male Bearded Tit' straddled between two reed stems, with the judge commenting that it was very nice indeed. Liz Barber also gained an 18 for her well presented, well printed 'Starlight Harbour' which was taken at Shoreham on a dark, cold night for the Night View topic on the Flickr 52 Challenge. Ray Foxlee also scored an 18 for 'The Unhappy Bandmaster', a very well done monochrome with the blacks, greys and white all there.

Confused and shocked

Meeting Report

We were shell shocked by the huge number of images and prints that we had seen, and confused because we had no idea what scores we had been given or what place we were in the two categories. This was still the case three days later as we had been told that the results would be published on Saturday evening. The scores had not obviously arrived three days later as I write this. The suspense is killing!!? Update: I now find that they had been revealed to other members of the club, but they have kept them from me, and then they expect me to write a report!!? [Ed. I did send them to you]

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