Portland 2nd July

Richard, his wife Maureen, Anjalkia, Carole and Mil went to Portland on a bright and sunny Sunday.
After a coffee stop at the Portland heights hotel, we couldn’t wait to get our cameras out and were treated to a display by some hang gliders. Contrary to her reputation I think on this occasion Carole may have had the right lens on. We all spent a little time trying to grab an action shot.
We then moved on to Portland Bill which, being a really sunny day, already had plenty of people about so our intrepid band had to inch closer to the edge of the cliffs to keep intruders out of our images. Anjalika and Richard proved to be the bravest, without compromising on safety, but we were less sure of the lads jumping off the rocks into the sea. Carole and Anjalika captured images that show just how close one lad’s head was to the rocks when he jumped; I wonder what his mother would say if she saw them. (Now we know what his friend’s mother has said Carole and Anjalika’s images have been removed from our web site at her request.  There was nothing wrong with taking the images but we prefer not to upset anybody.  Methinks the lady protests too much!)
The light was rather on the bright side and polarising filters and neutral density filters were needed to tone things down a bit. Richard even employed his “big stopper” so at least one club member has images to put in the set subject competition next season (No. 3 Comp – 30th January 2018 – theme “Movement”).
We’re not sure if Mil dropped her camera on the rocks in an effort to find an excuse for her poor pictures or whether it was simply an accident. Either way her camera and lens is now at the Olympus camera hospital.
We enjoyed lunch and ice creams from the café near the lighthouse and headed home about 4 o’clock. Our thanks go to Richard for organising us; club members should keep an eye on their e-mails to see if there are any more impromptu trips being planned.
Update: Olympus performed surgery on the lens and checked and cleaned the camera body and Mil has now been reunited with both.  The really great thing about this is that Olympus did this for FREE, so many thanks to Olympus for making Mil a happy bunny again.

Images: Anjalika, Carole, Maureen, Mil & Richard
Report: Mil Chimley LRPS

Two and Huw Went to Mottisfont

Mil & Marny had arranged a 2-to-1 workshop with former club member (and still friend) Huw Alban for Saturday with Mottisfont National Trust property as the location.
Both ladies have been looking to move their photography on from being rather average to being something more thoughtful and creative.
They were blessed with good weather and Mottisfont presented plenty of subject matter for them to get stuck into, but only after sitting down with Huw to discuss what they hoped to get out of the day.
Huw was a pleasure to be with and helped them concentrate on selecting subject matter that said something to them, e.g. why one flower and not another, considering the best angle and technique to use, and considering the light conditions and how they might change in a short space of time. The day wasn’t without its lighter side and many a laugh was had by all.
Huw is a very thoughtful photographer and how an image makes him feel is at the heart of his image taking. Getting it as right as possible in camera is still important as radical cropping in the computer will diminish the usable pixels. Huw also made good use of some of those bits of card that print makers end up with when cutting a mount aperture, and gave Mil & Marny small pieces of card with different shaped apertures e.g. rectangular, square, letterbox, so the end result can be imagined without even looking at the camera.
Not being sure what they expected from the day both ladies felt they actually gained a lot from the workshop.
Mil thought she had been given more confidence to use her tripod despite the attention it attracts from non-photographers, to wait for the light to be right for the shot, to consider how she might influence the light with the help of reflectors or a big white umbrella like the one Huw had taken along, and very importantly to question what an image is trying to say, because if she didn’t know she can’t expect anybody else to either.
Marny summarised her thoughts “I learnt a lot – I don’t really know what I was expecting, I just wanted to learn – and I certainly did. I’ll need to keep reminding myself to use what I learnt – Use my TRIPOD, and before taking and image STOP and THINK”.
Huw takes the delivery of his workshops seriously and believes it should never be used to help him build his own image stock, so he kept all but his little point-and-shoot camera in its case. He concentrates 100% of fulfilling the expectations of his pupils and is constantly on hand to give guidance without being overbearing. The choice of what to take was very much left in Mil & Marny’s hands while Huw asked gently probing questions to make them think about what, why and how they were taking images. It was a conversation not a lecture.
I think both ladies will agree they can recommend Huw’s workshops to anybody who feels they want to take their photography to a new level. http://www.huwalban.com/

Images: Huw Alban, Mil Chimley & Marny Thompson
Report: Mil Chimley LRPS


One Went To Kimmeridge

Just one club member, Billy Nomates aka Competition Secretary, went to Kimmeridge Thursday afternoon.  Still, she wasn’t lonely because there were lots of other old fossils on the beach.
Those unable to join her missed a very scrummy cream tea at Clavell’s followed by a trip down to the beach, or should I say rocks?
With the tide almost out the rocks were dry and safe making all areas of the bay accessible. The weather was fair and by early evening the light was mellowing and the shadows lengthening. Being half term week there were perhaps more children there than was ideal and the much-photographed ledge had children of all sizes standing on it, some with their fishing nets and others with buckets of water to keep their catch of small crabs or tiddlers alive.
Not sure if any prize winners were taken but a good exercise in “keeping your hand in” and able to set up quickly when that one masterpiece presents itself.

Report & Images: Mil Chimley LRPS

Three went to Bradford-on-Avon

On Thursday afternoon Anjalika, Brian and Mil went to Bradford-on-Avon for a walk along the canal towpath as far as Avoncliff. It was a very warm and sunny day and the light was still very bright by mid-afternoon but they felt that it was a useful exercise in maintaining camera familiarity and practicing composition. Even if the resulting images don’t get into next season’s competitions it’s always worth exposing a few pixels to keep one’s hand in.
As expressed by Brookes Jensen in his book, “Letting Go Of the Camera”, a violinist or athlete train and practice for a performance or event not just turn up on the day, so why should a photographer expect to take out his/her camera only once a month and take a masterpiece?
Anyway, upon reaching Avoncliff our merry band sought refreshments in the guise of tea and ice-cream; Brian had tea, Anjalika had ice-cream and Mil couldn’t make up her mind so had both (oink, oink).
The weeks between now and the start of next season present good opportunities for club members to team up and visit a location to see what differing images they each make despite being in the same place. Club members looking for company on a trip out should pop it on an e-mail to one of the committee and it will be passed out to fellow members, and look out for e-mails of where others are going as you may want to go too.
Good info on Tide Times can be found at https://www.tidetimes.org.uk/ for example as this can be all important to a trip to the coast.
Whatever you do, do it safely and make sure you go out suitably prepared.

Images & Report: Mil Chimley LRPS