Petapixel/Dogwood 52-week Photo Challenge

It was Paul’s idea – so we blame him. But it was a great challenge that four members participated in during 2018 – Paul, Anjalika, Denise and Marny.
We had a list of the images that were to be produced each week during the year. That was the first challenge, producing something every week – sometimes during cold and snow, other times when people were busy. So there were some weeks that weren’t done exactly at the time – but in general, we all tried to create the required image at the right time.
We showed some of our images to the club on Tuesday. Probably few good images, but it was agreed that we had all learnt a lot during the year, even if it was learning that some things needed more time to learn about and more determination to keep trying. There are definite plans for the future to try these new techniques again, perhaps with more time to learn. Suspect a lot of ‘youtube’ videos were watched during the year – and more to come.
Some of the weekly descriptions were a bit difficult to understand; all agreed the worst was Week 49 – category ‘Vision’ and challenge ‘Looking Back’. The description given was ‘If you were Captain Ahab, which skill would be your whale?’ I’ll leave you to ponder on that one.
But we enjoyed taking part. Paul plans to do again next year, Denise and Marny are considering repeating this year.

Report: Marny Thompson LRPS
Images: Anjalika, Denise, Marny & Paul

2019-01-08 The Dark Room: Christine Grosart

The New Year got off to a good start with a good turnout at club last night, but if you weren’t in the audience, you missed a real treat.
Christine is a most engaging speaker, and an interesting photographer, even if what she does terrifies you (it does me!). She has the British record for the deepest solo cave dive by a woman, which turned out to be in 2009 at Wookey Hole (Chamber 24 – a long way from the tourist areas).
She is certainly a busy lady, who works as a paramedic, runs a business she started in 2012 (WetWellies – cave days, training and family outings) and more recently a maker of cave diving videos; the latter about a Croatian Project which she has been involved in over the last 4 years. A trailer is available on youtube; www.reelhouse.org – The Master Cave.
Christine talked us through her journey both in learning about caving, diving, abseiling; 25 years in learning her trade. She says she not a photographer as she’s had no training. We didn’t agree with her.
Her first trip underground was at 14 when she was working with horses and it was a weekend hobby. If you are interested in caving, there’s a good website called ‘New to Caving’ – all the information you need. She started taking photographs using film; imagine a trip underground, through mud, water, slime, tiny passages, cold and wet and steamy – taking your 24 or 36 images and getting them back a week later – useless. That must have been hard. She met a person in 2004, Clive Westlake, who took her under his wing and taught her many things about photography in caves; Christine acted as the model and told some funny stories about situations where the expectations of the model (to show scale etc) can be rather high. We saw many of Clive’s own images during the presentation for which Christine was grateful.
But then a change: Christine met Mark Burkey, who was not really a diver but a cave photographer. He took great and unusual images. So she taught him diving in 3 months and started working with him on photographs, gradually developing her own style. We had a practical session; a good demonstration of what not to do with a new radio controller for 3 flashguns – it hadn’t been tested. But we got the idea and had fun.
So a really good evening, thank you Christine, but I won’t be joining you on your training/event days.

Images: Geoff Sims
Report: Marny Thompson LRPS

2018-19 Comp 2

We welcomed back Tony Oliver (ARPS, CPAGB,BPE3) as our Judge for the second open competition of the year. Tony, a retired Fireman, says that his main photographic passion is landscapes and in particular images of Wiltshire and his home town of Salisbury. Also favours monochrome. Oh dear some of us (well me anyway) thought! We needn’t have worried as a look at Tony’s web site (www.aropics.com) would show that his interests are pretty varied. Well worth taking a look at his Salisbury images.
Tony had a decent entry of 18 DPI’s and 28 Prints covering a wide variety of subjects to judge. From the outset he gave a thoughtful review of each image providing us with feedback on what he enjoyed, what he thought could be improved and where the artist had not made the most of their image. After the meeting it was felt that he had got it just about right.
Scores in the DPI section ranged from 13 to 20. Tony liked the Exmoor Stag (Angus) and awarded 18 points but the stand out images were Richards Nash Point, a monochrome which had that Ansel Adams look about it. This gained 19 points. Carole found another surfer which Tony really enjoyed and duly rewarded with 20 points. Overall it was felt that the standard of images in this competition showed an improvement.
Turning to the large entry of Prints, Tony did remark that he thought that the standard was good and this was reflected in the number (nine) of prints earning 18 and above . Tony liked Gary’s well captured “Beak Cleaning” (19) and Anjalika’s stunning monochrome of “James” which also earned 19 points. Gary’s amusing and very well presented “Taking a drink” was rewarded with 18 as was Anjalika’s “Beauty of the Beast from the East” (top award for longest title!) again a very effective monochrome. Brian’s “On the move” gained praise for it’s detail and atmospheric feel and resulted in 18 Points. Peter’s “The Meeting” scored likewise. Tony awarded three 20 points to Gary’s stunning Macro a highly detailed head of a “Greenbottle”. It’s still in his fridge if anyone wants to have a go! Peter’s “Green Violetear” and “Keel-billed Toucan” also gained 20’s but I’ll leave the readers to make their own judgement.
Overall a good standard of images. Well done to everyone and thank you Tony.

Images: Geoff Sims & Members
Report: Peter Clarke

Members’ Evening 20th November 2018

Tuesday was an interesting evening where we reviewed the images taken at a variety of recent club meetings, so included both indoor and outdoor photography from a range of members.
As images were displayed the author was invited to talk about their work if they wished to. Peter explained how he had used the HDR (High Dynamic Range) technique on a night shot in the town. This involves taking at least 3 images, one exposed for the shadows (so largely over exposed), one exposed for the highlights (so largely under exposed) and one taken for the mid-tones (average metering). The images are then combined to create a result that has detail both in the highlight and shadow areas.
Mil talked about her images that used the Focus Stacking technique whereby a series of images are taken moving the point of focus each time, then combining the images in Photoshop© to create a result with sharp focus across all the desired subject but keeping the background out of focus.
We saw a variety of close up images taken indoors with lighting from above or underneath from a light box. Autumnal detritus of leaves and fungi had been popular subjects along with a glass filled with coloured water and using s stripy background.
Emma’s selfie (a request from our chairman/woman to all members, to be taken on one of our practical evenings) was original and interesting too, taken outdoors by streetlight. She also showed us her “only images with a light trail” which was great to see that, even though she has only been a member for a matter of weeks, she is stretching her photographic boundaries and accepting the advice so readily available by more experienced photographers.
We saw images taken when Warminster Camera Club were invited to be the official photographers at Sutton Veny Flower Show in the summer. There were some beautiful candid images of children, the hawks flown during the afternoon, and other characters dressed up for the event.
Finally we saw a few images taken by club members who had attended the London Camera Exchange event promoting the ability of Panasonic cameras to take images in black and white.
All in all it proved to be a very interesting evening viewing the images club members had taken when challenged to try a particular genre or technique, and our thanks go to all those who submitted images and talked about their work.

Iamges: Club members
Report: Mil Chimley LRPS