9th March 2020
Amongst the possible themes for a competition, “Trees” seems a little out of the ordinary. However, that was the challenge set by Thornbury Camera Club for our latest internal competition. The judge had issues over whether some of the entries fulfilled the brief. Is a leaf by itself enough of a tree? Is a building with a tree outside actually a picture of a tree or of a building?
Despite these issues, 18 prints and 58 projected images were judged by Sandie Cox (ARPSA, DPAGB) who had travelled down from Tetbury to be with us.
In the print section, Robert England came first with “The Ringing Singing Tree”. Dean Packer came second with “Drunken Joshua Tree” while, in third place with “Hoar Frost”, was George Collett. Commended and Highly Commended images came from Dean Packer, George Collett. Mike Ashfield and Robert England.
In the projected image section, “The Lonesome Pine” gave first place to Gary Wood with second place going to Martin Nimmo with “Mind the Trees”. Third was “Tall Tree” by Alicia Thomas. Highly Commended and Commended images came from Dean Packer, Eirwyn Thomas, George Collett, Mike Ashfield, Rachel Taylor, Rodney Crabb, Rose Kemp, Vincent Mann, Martin Nimmo, Simon Meeds and Steve Nichols.
The results, winning images and points are under the Competitions tab
The final competition of the 2019/20 season, to be judged on May 18th, will have no set theme.
2nd March 2020
Every year the North and East Midlands Photographic Federation (NEMPF) holds a competition for projected images. NEMPF is made up of 53 photographic clubs and societies primarily in Derbyshire, Nottinghamshire and Lincolnshire. Each year the Federation produces a CD to showcase the entries and the winning images.
The 2019 exhibition displayed, as usual, a very high standard, and, as usual, the Rolls Royce club came top!
The subject matter was similar to previous years. We had the normal contingent of ragged Victorians in both sepia and monochrome form. In has become normal in these types of images for more effort and time to be spent creating the set and costumes than in actually taking the photographs. Perhaps there should be a separate award for costume design.
Wildlife was in evidence. Birds, particularly eagles, were popular this year, with insect studies in decline. A whole group of photographs showed deer. I did wonder whether there had been an outing to a deer park resulting in the large number of stags at bay.
Portraits were, as usual, common. There seemed to be more simple images filling the frame with the face, and fewer showing the context of the person. This is something which goes in cycles. Perhaps next year there will be more images showing the places where people live and work. Nude photography seems to be alive and well, though it was noticeable that they all were female nudes. The male nude does not seem so popular.
The other class where the human body is shown being stretched to extremes is sport. We had a larger than expected number of shots of contorted faces stretching towards the win.
Finally, a common feature among many photographs was water – sea and river; coasts and boats and bridges of all kinds from many places round the world.
24th February 2020
At this meeting of Thornbury Camera Club we, once again, handed the meeting over to two of our members to share their photography. Steve Wells and Mike Ashfield were the members prevailed upon on this occasion.
Recalling that a few weeks ago we held a nostalgia meeting at which everything was more than ten years old, Steve decided to go back into the archive again. He came up with a travelogue describing a trip across Argentina in 2008. Buenos Aires is a modern cosmopolitan city which despite the fame and quality of Argentine beef still, inexplicably, finds space for burger bars! West from Buenos Aires across the Pampas the landscape is flat for mile after mile with straight roads stretching to the horizon. At last the ground rises as the Andes Mountains are reached. In the first part of the twentieth century the route across the mountains was possible by rail; not any more. Remains of the old one-metre gauge track is still visible but trains have not operated for several decades. The trip ended with the old road climbing to the heights of Las Cuevas at nearly 12,000 feet.
Mike, meanwhile chose more recent images. He has taken several thousand photographs since retiring 17 months ago and chose to show a selection of them. Several themes came out of his selection: his love of travel, his love of dogs and his love of bicycles. Travel took him to Thailand and Norway as well as closer to home with trips to the lake Distract and Glen Coe.
He has two rescue dogs which love the beaches and the sea in Devon.
It was, however, the bicycles which became a recurring theme; in particular rough and muddy rides on mountain bikes photographed on wide-angle lenses while crouching close to the track and the mud.
17th February 2020
Digital manipulation of mages has become the normal practice in modern photography. So, for this meeting, Thornbury Camera Club invited members to show not just final images, but the digital processing which led to those images.
Eleven members rose to the challenge. At one end of the scale they offered very basic reframing and adjustments of brightness. At the other we were shown the creation of fantasies which derived as much from the photographer’s imagination as from the camera. There were woodland scenes where seeing an elf peer from behind a mist shrouded tree would not have been a surprise.
Some of the manipulation was the rescue of images which might have been corrected at the taking stage. For example, in one image the result of flash not firing resulted in a seriously underexposed photograph. In this case, the photographer had taken an uncompressd “RAW” image. This was used to show the difference between an image recovered using all the depth of uncompressed RAW data compared with what could be achieved from compressed JPG data. The difference was impressive.
While everyone learned something, it was apparent that members are using many different software editors; not only Photoshop and Lightroom, but also Affinity, Dark Table and Luminar. The lessons from one piece of software were not always applicable to others.
An illuminating and enjoyable evening, but I am still waiting for that elf to put her head round the misty tree.