Chichester hosted the latest round of the SCPF Print League last night. Some 64 prints were submitted, 8 each from the 8 clubs in the first division. The standard was uniformly high as it featured the best work from the top clubs in the league and the task of assessing and grading the images was carried out with great skill by Caroline Colegate. After a very closely run contest New Forest were declared the winners of the round with 70.5 marks, Chichester were second with 69 and Southampton third with 68.5 – a very stimulating and informative evening.
The Club’s Christmas Bash will be hosted this year by our Vice Chair, Mike Hancock, on Thursday 14th December and will bring the first part of this year’s season to a rousing end.
It is the one event in the year that is purely social, do bring along a plate of food and, if you like, a bottle to share (your own glasses are a good idea too!). The wearing of Festive attire is not obligatory but loud jumpers, over sized earrings and outrageous headgear are all very welcome!
As traditional, the evening will build on our Christmas Quiz and this year’s picture round will entice the curious but you’ll have to be there to find out why.
Spouses and Partners are also very welcome and we look forward to seeing you all then.
And now for something entirely different! We were entertained last night by Geoffrey Lee, who with over 30 years in the profession, is a world renown aerospace and defence photographer. He began his career as a photographic apprentice with British Aerospace and the story he told of his development from then was quite fascinating. It really was a plane spotters dream (who knew so many of our members could tell one jet from another?) but the arrangements necessary to undertake one of Geoffrey’s sorties to secure air to air photographs knocked any landscape photographers ideas about planning into the very deep shade.
We might worry about windy conditions creating camera shake on our tripods but Geoffrey has to think about how flight speeds generating forces more than 4G will mean he can’t even lift his camera. The next time the Red Arrows go over (and being close to Goodwood that is a regular occurrence) we will now understand the formations and the manoeuvres – and be even more amazed at simply how close they fly to each other!
His planning is absolutely meticulous, covering which planes, the formations, the manoeuvres, background, position of the sun, right down to carefully prepared maps of the routes. A real eye opener with some simply outstanding images and a illuminating video. A quite extraordinary way to earn a living.
A reminder of our alternative Christmas Card on behalf of the Snowdrop Trust where instead of sending each other cards we sign one card and make a donation for the charity instead. The collection box was beginning to feel a little heavier last night and it will be at the Club for both the two remaining sessions before we break for Christmas.
And don’t forget – the deadline for the next Advance Print Competition is Thursday 4th January the day we reconvene.
The print competitions for Club and Intermediate got of to a great start last night, with some first rate images and with Sue Sibley as our excellent judge. Sue is an enthusiastic photographer, holding her ARPS, DPAGB, EFIAP and BPE2* and is a member of both Southampton Camera Club (where she was President for two years) and New Forest Camera Club, as well as now chairing the Southampton International Exhibition. She’s a very encouraging judge, responding positively to the strengths in images as well as pointing out how they might be improved. Sue has the sharpest of eyes too, spotting the elephant’s bottom just in the bottom right of an image for instance! There were quite a few instances of poor cropping where critical parts of images had been missed – feet chopped off, a wave clipped or boat masts cut short, and while judges disregard the projected images, the audience could see that those important elements were in the original pictures. Perhaps these were due to putting prints into slightly mismatched mounts, but the need to check the edges of images was was quite theme last night, not just for cropping but also for bright spots.
Sue said she was feeling rather generous and with five prints scoring 10 in Club and seven in Intermediate the top scoring gallery below is rather larger than usual! Special mention to Sarah Nichol for her three 10s, which included the very lovely elephant study Sue had spotted that tail in!
We’ll be seeing Sue again in February when she will be presenting her Journey so Far.
Each year we all spend a lot of money on Christmas cards. In a club like ours we send cards to all our friends and then expect to receive a card in return.
Stop and think – is that really necessary, would it not be so much better to have just one big card for everybody and use the money we all save to support a small local charity?
For the last few years we have supported the Snowdrop Trust, a small Sussex charity that “supports nursing care at home for local children with life-threatening or terminal illness and support for their family”. Snowdrop receives no government funding and relies solely on the generosity of the local community.
For the next few meetings before our Christmas break there will be the usual large Christmas card for you to sign and a box for your donations. As our past chairman Jan Davis used to say: use the loose change for your tea or coffee and put the notes into the box.
Last year we raised over £200 – can we beat that this year? If every member in the club gave only £2 each (or more realistically every other member in the club gave £3 or £4) we could reach that target. Shall we try?
In advance, a big thank-you from the Snowdrop Trust.
If you want to learn more about the Snowdrop Trust, their web address is www.thesussexsnowdroptrust.com
Another great last night – this time courtesy of our sponsors, Sony, who are supporting Terry Donnelly, our guest for the evening. Terry is an extraordinarily talented photographer, who contrary to the common call to ‘specialise’ works across many disciplines – as David Harris put, Terry is a real polymath of photography, working across architecture, sports, fine art, creative and military aircraft – plus any spot in between. He holds a remarkable number of awards and distinctions, being a Fellow of the Royal Photographic Society, the Societies of Photographers and the British Photographic Exhibitions, as well as holding a Master of the Photographic Alliance of Great Britain. He is very successful commercial photographer, as well as a prolific participant in national and international salons – his photograph of all his awards and ribbons was simply astounding with over 200 international awards and several ‘Photographer of the Year’ awards!
A really lively and engaging speaker, the fist half focused on the virtues of Sony’s mirror-less full frame developments with plenty of tips and guidance on getting the best from your camera whatever its spec. We very much enjoyed seeing some of Terry’s work as well, his FRPS panel on the London Underground, the Victoria Baths and a derelict convent. It was fascinating to note that despite Terry unbound enthusiasm and tenacity in getting the shot he wants how sensitive he was as well when it came to respecting the past lives and inhabitants of now unused, empty places. A real treat of an evening.
We were pleased to have Sony representatives with us last night and our local sponsor, the London Camera Exchange, so it was a very packed evening. Thanks to them all – and of course to Peter Rocchiccioli who secures our sponsorship, including the support we have from them for our Annual Exhibition catalogue.
I was sorry to hear that Frank Adams had a fall while visiting his son in RSA, and that he had cracked two ribs. I’m not sure if Frank had to stay on to recover or if he’s now back in the UK, but if you’re reading this Frank, all good wishes for a speedy recovery and we look forward to seeing you again soon!
Terry Donnelly – our speaker last night
It’s always a pleasure to have Chris Palmer with us, whether as a speaker or, as last night, as a judge for the first of the print competition rounds with the Advanced prints. That’s not least because he’s always so very complimentary about the Club! He told us that a visit to Chichester was akin to a trip to a Michelin starred restaurant as he always knew the menu would be interesting and of a high standard. And as Stephen Marsh said in his vote of thanks, we were pleased we had presented him with plenty to tickle his palate.
That said, Chris is a very thorough judge and his comments and analysis of our work were highly informative. Chris is a very highly experienced judge, both at club level and on the PAGB circuit, where he holds both a DPAGB and an APAGB for services to photography, right up to international level. With his Fellowship of the RPS and an EFIAP he’s also a very successful and enthusiastic photographer whose pleasure in photography shines thorough into his enjoyment of seeing the work of others.
Chris recognises the element of subjectivity in judging, but as you can see from his top scoring images (below) had a wide range of genres that met his high technical and aesthetic standards. I was of course delighted with his positive response to my Rain Clearing Luskentyre but the evening has to go to Phil Shaw. Phil’s a new member and a superlative natural history photographer who took three perfect tens for his wonderful images. Well done Phil!
With good reports back from the external competitions, both the first round of the Southern Counties Photographic Federation league and the Sussex Photographic Federation (reported fully on separate posts) and Guy Partington’s good showing in the Small Print Competition (also reported separately) it was a very competition-orientated evening!
Phil Shaw’s Pied KingfisherPhil Shaw’s Little Bustard Display FlightPhil Shaw’s Walking with IntentSheila Tester’s Mycena with SpiderGeorge Atkin’s Back Street PoacherLorna Brown’s Rain Clearing Luskentyre
We had a superb double act last night with Mike Hancock and Ann McDonald with ‘An Indian Extravaganza’. Two very different approaches, both fascinating. Mike, our Vice Chair, took a documentary style to his trip around India, which he had made alone. The story he told of his trip was full of Mike’s enthusiasm, humour and self deprecation and full of interesting – and useful – detail on how he arranged his trip, his attempts to stay clear of ‘guides’ and the tourist hotspots. Mike’s enjoyment of India and respect for the people shone through, especially his tale about the young student he was eventually persuaded to take on as a guide who had proved so informative and hospitable and with whom Mike remains in touch. He assured us he hadn’t asked for the palace hotels, although we might have been less than convinced! His images wonderfully brought his tale to life, illustrating particularly his ability to attract lovely smiling people who he told us seemed to find him a constant source of amusement!
It was timely that just before Ann started her talk, to Ann’s great surprise, Peter Rocchiccioli presented her with a Silver Medal gained at the PAGB Inter Club Print Championships at Blackburn last weekend. (You can see more about how the Club did on a separate post.) Ann has of course held most of what John Bradshaw in his vote of thanks called the ‘offices of state’ for the Club and most recently was made a Vice President, and it was a joy to see such a first rate collection of her work. Her presentation showed us an absolute wealth of stunning images, mostly the wonderful people pictures we know as Ann’s style, but just so many that were new to us. As well as the simple pleasure in seeing such a variety of images Ann supplemented her talk with photograph tips, both at the camera stage and in post processing, and concluded with a lovely AV. It is a real strength of the Club that we have such talent among our members and always a particular pleasure when we spend an evening entertained by ‘our own’.
We have Chris Palmer with us next week us our judge for the first of the Advanced Print Competitions of the season. You might like to catch Chris earlier in the week too as he will also be at Havant Camera Club on Tuesday 7th to give a talk, ‘Beyond the Summit’, which is his image making post his Fellowship. All are very welcome.
Next week, Thursday 9th November, is also the deadline for submitting prints for the first Club and Intermediate Print Competitions – don’t forget!
Images from Mike Hancock’s Indian Extravaganza
The competition cycle continued last night with the first of the Club and Intermediate PDI competitions and it was good to see new members taking part in both classes, and to welcome Michelle Duffy back to the Club. Not that our evening was without incident as the troublesome sound system, once again declared operative, collapsed completely before we even started and the the laptop went on a go slow and wouldn’t load the images! Our judge for the competitions, Tony Oliver, was very understanding and despite our rather delayed start we had a thoroughly enjoyable evening. Tony, who is based in Salisbury where he is an active member of Salisbury Camera Club, is a popular judge and a frequent visitor to us. He is an Associate of the Royal Photographic Society (ARPS), holds his Credit award with the Photographic Alliance of Great Britain (CPAGB) and a BPE3* – that’s an award from the British Photographic Exhibitions. Tony always shows a real appreciation of the images he sees and his comments are constructive and informative. The results and the current league standings were posted – as always – before midnight last night by Jeff Owen, for which many thanks Jeff. Those images scoring 10 point are shown below.
Last night was the deadline for the first Advanced print competition, which will be held on 9th November, which is also the deadline for the first Club and Intermediate print round.