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Talk by Roger Hance

Report by Marjorie Burge.

On Friday 14th December, we were delighted to welcome Roger Hance BPE5* FRPS AFIAP, a member of Ipswich and District Photographic Society, showing his photography under the title ‘The More I Practice the Luckier I get’. Roger is an enthusiastic speaker, eager to share his knowledge and pass on everything he has learned during his many years in photography. Natural history seems to be his first love with sport a close second, and his secret is to ‘know your subject’. Catching birds, snakes, insects, hedgehogs and anything in the wild means learning when they are at their best, so you need to be an early riser – he even knows how to talk to red grouse on the Scottish Moors! We saw some beautiful images taken in nature parks where the animals have adjusted to people and don’t take fright. Roger applied the same rule to sport ‘you must learn the rules of the game’ to get the best images, and where to stand to make sure they are coming towards you – lots of strong…

PDI theme

Report by Marjorie Burge

On Friday 7th December, Paul Parkinson LRPS CPAGB of Aperture Woolwich Camera Club, on his first visit to APS, was judge for our PDI Theme Trophy Competition. There was a good entry and all our photographers had taken great care in putting their images together, some with a story, all with a connection, covering wildlife, wild water, walking with dinosaurs, groynes, hairspray, and many imaginative images captured from walks and holidays. Our judge was quite severe when eliminating some of the entries, and although this has to be done to hold back the best, it must have been quite disheartening to be so summarily dismissed. He wanted more power and diversity, more contrast and energy, and although he expected use of Photoshop, especially to tidy up blemishes, he didn’t want to know that it had been used – quite hot on halos. Some sets fell down on just one image which he felt upset the balance of the others – quality above quantity - and some were simply overta…

3rd PDI report

Report by Marjorie Burge.

On Friday 30th November, Ray Bridges LRPS CPAGB ADPS BPE3* of Maidstone and Tenterden Camera Clubs, was our judge for the 3rd PDI competition of the season. Ray is a good friend of APS and a fair and honest judge. There were 76 images to comment upon, spread across three divisions, and Ray was careful to give each image equal attention. He was generous in his praise and obviously delighted with many of the images, giving lots of hints along the way – time of day gives different light, vignetting needs to be unobtrusive, found some images on the soft side, and some landscapes a little flat, and, as always, found many areas he felt would benefit from cropping. He encouraged the use of Photoshop, saying ‘it’s a digital world’, and although conscious that this wasn’t allowed in the many natural history images entered would still have liked to tidy some of them up. The quality of all entries was high, and some really good images fell down on just one small point w…

Talk by Chris Bell

Report by Marjorie Burge.

On Friday 23rd November, our invited speaker was Chris Bell, telling the story of his life in photography. Chris, graduated from the Royal College of Art with a Masters Degree in Photography in 1978 and spent his early years in teaching before turning to photography as a full time career. Showing his early images taken in the late seventies, he explained how he approached his reportage photography – ‘making images’ he called it - always be ready for something to happen, don’t wait or you will miss it, and, if possible, get in close. These were images that cannot be repeated. The streets then, in the seventies, were vastly different to the ones we have now – children walking around, playing, teenagers sitting on walls, people living their lives openly, the roads clear of cars and all the clutter that goes with road safety now. And Chris was there with his camera recording it all in black and white. This photography was all before digital and the ease of Photosh…

Portrait competition

Report by Marjorie Burge.

Friday 16th November, Jack Taylor DPAGB EFIAP of Seaford & Hailsham Clubs, and a former member of Eastbourne Camera Club, took on the considerable task of judging our Portrait Competition. With 36 PDIs and 28 prints, all of high quality, it was inevitable that many first class images had to be passed over when choosing just three from each section. Our judge was diligent in his approach, giving each individual image his full attention, taking in all aspects - he was concerned with hands, saying how difficult they were in portraits, liked images that showed imagination, and described images as honest, brave and strong. A self-confessed Photoshop addict, Jack wanted everything bright toned down, everything dark lightened, spaces cropped, sometimes models moved; occasionally, I felt, mis-understanding the photographer’s composition and presentation. He admitted he himself was a risk-taker, and wanted our photographers to be the same. A good honest judge, he …

Talk by George Pearson

Report by Marjorie Burge.

Friday 9th November, an APS Club Night, George Pearson ARPS DPAGB took us through his recent camera shoot in Romania where he was part of a small group of photographers, under the wing of Intrepid Exposures, driving and walking through the remoter parts of Romania. We were shown beautiful images documenting the way of life where people were self-sufficient, keeping their own animals, growing their own food, spinning, harvesting, and living happily together in an aging community, the younger generation having moved to the cities to lead a more modern way of life.



George is a very discerning photographer, getting to know the people he was photographing, careful not to intrude but making the most of every moment presented for the camera - ‘the story is the important thing’ – and his pictures told their story. Although part of the day was supervised photography, by rising early, George was able to capture some breathtaking images of misty forests, church spires …

1st print competition

Report by Marjorie Burge

At our meeting on Wednesday 31st October, we were delighted to welcome Glyn Bareham LRPS CPAGB, a member of Invicta Camera Club and of Seaford Camera Club, and a KCPA Premier Judge, to judge our first League Print Competition of the season. Glyn has been a good friend for many years and is always welcome at APS. Even with just over eighty entries, Glyn gave time and attention to each individual image, commenting generously on the skills of the photographers. He was happy to judge ‘the image placed before him’, and not overly bothered with dark and light areas, but commented that ‘all good photographs need good lighting’.  The quality in all divisions was extremely high. Our photographers had given a lot of thought and time when choosing their entries, and their titles, and this was an amazing start to the season. Glyn said it was extremely difficult to have to choose between such varied and excellent images.

Division 1:

1st George Pearson with Snow Tree and G…

Talk by Janine Ball

Report by Marjorie Burge

On Friday 26th October our invited speaker was Janine Ball LRPS BPE1*, from Deal & District Camera Club, with Tips and Tricks on Compositing – or, as Janine put it, ‘having fun with photography’. Janine’s images are created, hand-made almost, using every tool and trick available in Photoshop, coupled with a very enquiring, constantly active imaginative mind. We saw some impressive true landscapes, portraits and street-photography, but her real love lies with making the improbable look possible.


Her computer contains vast files of images which Janine has taken just in case - ‘you never know when it might be useful’ - all captured quietly and unnoticed on her iPhone on her travels through life – violins, books, lamps, pictures, wooden buckets, animals of all shapes and sizes, buildings, skyscapes, landscapes, horizons – you name it, it is there in one of her files, and eventually it will appear in one of her pictures.


We saw a zebradised giraffe, tight-rope …

Record competition

Report by Marjorie Burge

On Friday 19th October, Robin Harmsworth of Uckfield Camera Club judged our Record Competition. Robin is an accredited KCPA judge, and a self-taught photographer with many years experience behind the camera. With 44 PDIs and 14 prints to judge, Robin gave each image his full undivided attention, explaining what he was looking for, and where there were areas for improvement. He worked carefully within the rules for record photography, especially the accuracy required to recreate an object from the information given. Detail, and a sense of scale and depth were important (some titles included measurements), some images were too creative, and cropping was occasionally an unavoidable problem where an isolated image was required. Robin acknowledged that record pictures were often difficult to take, and extremely difficult to judge, saying that he would have chosen more if the rules allowed. He held back ten images in the PDI section, and was reluctant to lose any of…

2nd PDI

Report by Marjorie Burge

On Friday 12th October Paul Adams ARPS DPAGB FDPS from Bexley Heath Camera Club, judged our 2nd PDI competition. Paul is a KCPA Premier Judge, General Secretary of the Disabled Photographers Society, and a regular visitor to APS, so we knew what to expect from his judging. Every image was given critical consideration, nothing was missed - composition, exposure, tones, cropping (take out those empty spaces), lighting, and an obsession with bright distractions.  He just occasionally, looked for computer enhancement where none had taken place, a difficulty that confronts all judges now. Lots of good advice and wise words in there – 'attention to detail' and 'think before you send'.  There was a high quality entry of almost 80 images, and in all divisions our photographers had entered some stunning images, some staying close to home, some travelling far and wide with their cameras, which made the mix of images difficult to judge side by side.

Resul…

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…

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.




Find out more at: http://www.polinaplotnikova.com/ 

Next Frid…

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.
Rachel




Scott


Karen



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 …

Club outing to Wingham Wildlife Park

Report courtesy of Marjorie Burge.

While the club has its summer break, we still keep up with our photography by meeting for outings, and on Saturday 16th June a group of APS members met at Wingham Wildlife Park, making the most of the fine weather and looking for photo opportunities.

There was plenty to choose from at Wingham, with the ever-popular meerkats, as well as monkeys, penguins, reptiles, lions, tigers and many more. With caged animals it is always a challenge to get good shots through the fencing but at Wingham there are several enclosures where you can walk through and take photographs without the barriers.







The Flamingo section was popular with the group, and the tropical butterfly house, although a little on the warm side, presented lots of chances for close up shots. But by far the most fun for all of us was the ring-tailed lemur enclosure, where the animals really did interact with the photographers, climbing all over us, the inquisitive babies’ playful behaviour maki…