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Talk by Tony Othen

Report by Marjorie Burge.

On Friday 5th October our guest speaker was Tony Othen from Greenwich, with ‘Looking back is no bad thing’. Tony was looking back fifty years to the very beginning of his career, when photography was film and dark room. So much has changed since then. His beautiful mono prints and projected images showed the social history of what it was like in the late 60’s and early 70’s. Taken in the industrial cities – ‘Get Carter’ country – with real people as the stars, Tony’s aim was to show the social history of how people lived, with a view to encouraging improvement for people who were, knowing no different, content with what they had. Straight rows of terraced houses, doors opening straight onto the narrow pavements, housewives in curlers and aprons, small children playing in the empty streets; tall smoking chimneys in the background where the fathers and sons were working.

Inside the houses, granddads sat in the kitchen, by the cooking range, smoking their pipes…
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1st PDI

Report by Marjorie Burge.

On Friday 28th September we held our first PDI competition with Andy Smith LRPS CPAGB of Crayford Camera Club judging. With 78 entries over three divisions, Andy had a full evening, but carefully talked us through each individual image with a gentle approach towards the photographer’s intentions. There was a lot that he liked about almost everything. He liked bold images, going in close, balance with colour, and looked for a way to move into and through the images. He was often, even with good images, able to see how cropping would greatly improve the composition and give more impact, separation within an image was important to him, sense of movement, and, as always, removing distractions and taking down bright areas.  Sometimes these small points become obvious only when our images are projected onto the big screen, and our new projector does change what we have seen when viewing our images at home. Our Chairman praised the quality of all images entered, say…

Talks by Zuzana Valla and Phil Drury

Report by Marjorie Burge.

Friday 21st   September was our first Club Night and we were delighted to welcome Zuzana Valla and Phil Drury, both making their mark at APS and gaining recognition for their work in the wider world of photography, Zuzana in portraiture, Phil for his natural history. Zuzana explained that her models were almost all found among her family and friends, and just occasionally by making a direct approach when out with her camera. We were shown beautiful images from the Victorian Parlour at Willesborough Windmill, Godinton House, even in rivers and flower-filled baths, and different rooms in houses.

Her unique approach to portraits  - neutral expressions, natural light, strong colour, perfect models - produces some memorable, thought provoking portraits, hinting at a hidden story.  No Photoshop, no studio, no special camera settings – the models, the venue and Zuzana’s imagination together produce these lovely images.  Phil gave us the title ‘Where my camera takes …

Polina Plotnikova ARPS EFIAP

Report by Philip Hinton.

On Friday 14th September, our first speaker of the new season was Polina Plotnikova ARPS EFIAP - a member of Beckenham Photographic Society. Polina, a multi-award winner who studied fine art at Moscow University, was also an archivist for the Tate and now lives and teaches in the UK. Her knowledge and love of fine art has influenced her photographic style. Using old masters as a starting point she produces in her home studio exquisite studies of flowers and classic still life. Even in her more modern and contemporary work you can still see the fine art influences.

The club’s new projector allowed us to view in fine detail the delicate shades of white in the flowers in her white-on-white project, and we could appreciate her meticulous attention to composition as she showed us photographic notes to let us see how she achieved her impressive photographs. This was a wonderful start to our new season.

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Opening night

Report by Marjorie Burge.

A happy gathering of photographers on Friday 7th September to start our new season, with lots to catch up on, subs to be paid, new members to be welcomed and everyone settling back into ‘normal’ life for an APS Friday. Our Chairman gave special thanks to Karen Saunders for the excellent handbook, and Chris Shore, President and Competition Secretary, was able to present awards to members who had missed the May Awards Evening.

For the second half of the evening three of our own photographers treated us to a presentation of their work. Karen Saunders had some excellent wildlife prints, taken in South Africa, a deep knowledge of the animals, and some wonderful background stories, and, by contrast, some ballet dancers in Oxford Street. Chris Shore, showed us mono darkroom prints of the sea, breaking into colour for a sunset and still life, and then some beautiful loitering manikins. His photography is full of memories and stories, and he reminded us that enterin…

Second portrait and flash workshop - Sat 30th June

Our second flash and was held on June 30th. It was another baking hot day but with more breeze than the previous week, which made handling reflectors and lighting equipment quite a challenge. Luckily though, there were enough extra pairs of hand to hold things tight.

Unlike the previous week, we had three models, with photographers rotating round. I have to admit, this made the logistics more complex and I think we will keep it simple, with just two, in the future.

The gods were not on our side, with a number of technical flash issues that slowed us down somewhat. Despite this we managed to swap things around enough to get through the session with a fair degree of success.

Here are a few members' photographs.



After the shoot, a number of us retired to a local pub for some much needed refreshments and to reflect on the day.

Portrait and flash workshop - Sat 23rd June

The first of our portrait and flash workshops was held on Saturday 23rd June. In previous years we have run separate (indoor) portrait and flash sessions, but this year we decided to combine the two together. Philip helped members on working with the models and Anthony and Martin provided guidance on lighting.

Our two models were Karen and Scott, pictured below with the rest of the group.

On a hot and sunny day, the rural setting offered us the choice of shooting in full sunlight or in the cool shade of the trees. The latter was welcomed by both models and photographers alike.

We ran the session split into Canon and Nikon groups. Not because we are partisan but for the simple fact being that we could harness the power and felxibility of miltiple off-camera flash setups from compatible speedlites.

During the workshop we explored different techniques:

'hard' lighting, using direct output from the flash guns'soft' lighting, using diffusers, softboxes and umbrellas to give …