2nd October – What Is Creative Photography?

This week’s meeting saw the return of Penny Piddock helped and supported by her equally talented husband Spike.
This time Penny’s presentation was entitled “What Is Creative Photography”.
Penny took us through some of the official competition and salon rules on the subject from around the world, all different but generally with the same basis. In Penny’s own view there should be no rules and her maxim is “anything goes”.
It was an interactive presentation as we engaged with Penny to explore what our thoughts were on “creative photography” and many and varied adjectives were extracted from us. Photoshopped, altered reality, imagined images, unreal and different were all valid descriptions. Apparently Penny’s presentation evolves and develops as a result of her visits to various clubs, and with some examples of her own, and of other club photographers, she demonstrated the hugely varied images that can be called creative.
Whether or not you like any given creative image is, as with any other genre, a matter of individual taste and we viewed examples from the bizarre to the ethereal, and everything in between.
Having looked at a considerable number of images by Penny and many other contributing photographers, we took a look at the images Warminster members had submitted as our own contribution. Some were great, some not so great, but all were interesting, and the authors gave a little information about their starting point and final image.
Throughout the proceedings Spike remained the (almost) silent partner deftly operating the laptop and projector to get the right image onto the screen.
A very enjoyable evening seemed to come to an end far too quickly, albeit on time, and we all went home with much food for thought. In an era when even club competitions seem to demand more than just a well composed, well exposed image of an interesting subject, which used to be the holly grail when this aging shutterbug first joined a camera club, I’m sure Penny has better equipped us to push ourselves that little bit more to make the best of an image.
It’s a safe bet that we’ll invite Penny and Spike to return to Warminster as we understand a new talk is available and an evening with this popular pair is always a welcome sight on the programme.
Thanks to all those photographers who contributed images shown in the presentation, and to club members who helped setting up at the start and packing up at the end of the evening.

Images: Geoff Sims, Penny Piddock and others
Report: Mil Chimley LRPS

WCPF Travelling Portfolio

Understanding why we don’t always (ever?) agree with the judge!
For our entertainment on Tuesday evening, we welcomed the delivery of the WCPF Travelling Portfolio (thank you Brian for collection). This portfolio visits most if not all of the clubs in the west of England, as it does every year – it must take a lot of organising!
In the absence of our Programme Secretary (away in warmer climes), the evening was very well structured by our new Chair, Carole Zimmerman, who started the evening by organising us into teams of 3 or 4, telling us where to sit – in the middle of howls of protest.
So, we were arranged into 5 teams; the prints were arranged into ‘batches’ so that we could assess and mark the prints, according to our own views and feelings. We also had the option to choose our own personal favourites, giving reasons for the choices. Carole even provided suitable forms for completion, after consideration and critique of the printed images; we also chose 1st, 2nd and 3rd choice per batch.
It was an interesting exercise which is very enlightening to discuss choices and opinions with fellow members; it really makes you realise how subjective judging can be. Even the 5 teams couldn’t agree on which print should have the most points in each batch; when we checked the awards and scores given by the WCPF judges – well, we were miles away, including giving 7 points to an image that had been given a Bronze Medal!
It was very interesting and a good learning experience.

Images: Geoff Sims
Report: Marny Thompson LRPS

Search & Shoot 18-09-2018

This week we had a fun evening gaining some practical experience of subjects that were intended to challenge us. One of the biggest challenges chairman Carole had devised was that we were each to take a “selfie” on our cameras, not our phones.
Some members ventured out to look for images in the fading light including illuminations around the lake, and the light trails made by cars. Others stayed indoors to tackle tabletop subjects such as flowers, and of course the mandatory selfie. The latter caused much hilarity as most people opted for some sort of disguise by way of the hats Carole had brought in as props.
Do you recognise Pater Clarke from any of the selfies? Certainly his post processing has put a different twist on things!
Coffee or tea, and of course biscuits, were taken “on the hoof” as everybody was concentrating on their image taking and emerging only when a satisfactory result had been obtained.
It was good to see our new members joining in and gave us a good chance to get to know them better. A good time was had by all, with many a laugh, but also some interesting images produced.

Images: Geoff, Paul, Mil & Peter
Report: Mil Chimley LRPS


Peter Crane ARPS

Tuesday evening saw the first visit to Warminster of Peter Crane ARPS (www.petercrane.co.uk) to give his presentation on Street Photography.
This is a fascinating genre as it portrays slices of life that we often don’t see. Peter included images taking in some less than desirable parts of London, including the underground, Bristol and even San Francisco. He gained his ARPS in October 2017 with a panel of 15 Street Photography images, some of which were included in his presentation.
Peter started his presentation by explaining the camera equipment he uses and the techniques he employs to avoid alerting his subject to the fact they are being photographed. Sometimes it does happen but is more difficult then to get a good natural image. Occasionally he will engage with a homeless person who is happy to be photographed all day for the price of a coffee as they have nowhere else they need to be. The main message was to be unobtrusive and don’t attract attention to yourself.
Some of Peter’s images were straight forward photos of interesting characters, but some used graffiti to interact with his subject to bring out a specific, usually comical, arrangement. Peter explained that it’s true the images of graffiti are often dismissed as being somebody else’s art, but it’s acceptable to add a carefully placed live figure to create something different, and the whole becomes something greater than the sum of its parts. The figures are only “placed” in as much as Peter waits until the right subject walks past and he tried to photograph them in a carefully chosen spot.
After the refreshment break we moved on to some very slightly more risqué images, but nothing that could offend the audience. Who knew that there is a “no trousers on the underground” day in London where participants meet at a chosen station and, at a given signal, will all remove their trousers, boys and girls alike. Peter got some great shots aided by the fact they assumed he was from a newspaper like the dozen or so other photographers there. Apparently, the authorities are very tolerant of this event on the condition that there is nothing suggestive about the way they move.
Sometimes Peter’s wife would say “you can’t take that” to which he’d usually reply “too late” but other times she would aid and abet him by acting as a screen such that she would move out of shot at the critical moment to allow Peter a clear shot of his prey.
All in all it was an entertaining evening with a fascinating peek into another world.

Images: Paul Duckworth
Report: Mil Chimley LRPS