Our new Chairman reveals all!

Meeting Report

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.

A bonding opportunity.

Meeting Report

WindmillTwo 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.

A fine afternoon

Meeting Report

Afternoon Tea

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.

The last meeting, the AGM and Auction

Meeting Report

Ray and Anne

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.

Attention to Detail

Meeting Report

TulipWe 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 higher mark!

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.

A lot of fun

Meeting Report

Paul SetfordEx 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.

Denis Mace

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.

Something Different

Meeting Report

Unicorn - winning imageOur 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.

Natural History Images to remember

Meeting Report

OwlRobert Canis gave us a truly memorable presentation of some of his work at our show of the year held at Washington Community Centre once again. When we host an event like this, it is impossible to know ahead of the evening how many folk are going to attend. So the worry is firstly will we cover our costs and secondly make a profit. This year the attendance was a little disappointing, possibly because the subject matter did not attract the public?; or maybe because it was held on a Friday instead of Saturday. We shall never know.

However, all those who did attend were treated to an amazing show of Robert’s work and given in a very relaxed way with not a note in sight!, and we more than covered our costs, and thanks to the raffle, very ably run by Glenn and Paul, we have ended up with good money in the bank.

What was also quite amazing, was Robert’s memory of what Aperture or ISO used, with what lens and exposure time. At the same time, he was telling us what to do to improve our own nature photography. Things like using 'Auto ISO', focussing in Manual using ‘Live View’ and when to use these, and how to cut down ‘Noise’. Quite a lot to take in frankly.

Cutting layers to help us

Meeting Report

Our great friend Leslie Cutting visited us again tonight to give us some more Adobe Photoshop tuition. Leslie uses Elements 12 which is usually considered the best editing programme for photographers. Photoshop CC is a more comprehensive alternative. but it now requires a monthly subscription of nearly £9, and is not available unless you have had CS 6 or maybe some earlier versions of CS. I do not believe that it gives photographers very much more than Elements anyway.

Enough of my drivel. Leslie spent the evening explaining Layers, starting off with a very simple set up to show everyone how they worked. Peter P sat about a metre away from Leslie and showered her with questions the whole evening, and as I reminded him, I first met Peter at Rydon School about 20 years ago where Leslie was teaching us both photoshop. Never mind Peter, I suffer from the same  problem remembering stuff due to extreme old age!!

Having shown us the basics, Leslie moved on to show us adjustment layers, layer masking, blending, blurring images, all using layers, and some of the new tools such as "refine edges". I am not going to repeat all she said, even if I could, because if you were interested, you would have been there!

Finally, Leslie showed us Picasa, which she rates highly as a place to store your images and get to them quickly.

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