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Showing posts from 2018

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 …

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…

Photographing the Givaudan Tour de Fragrance Challenge, 2018

A team of Givaudan employees set themselves a challenge of cycling the 900 miles between their San Celoni site in Barcelona back to Ashford, arriving on the 5th June. Each of the ten cyclists had pledges to raise £500 each towards the company's chosen charities: Kent Association for the Blind and Pilgrims Hospices.

As part of Ashford Photographic Society's partnership with Givaudan, we were asked if we could photograph the homecoming. Adrian Aslett and Martin Till responded to the request and attended on the day to capture the event.

The cycling team being: Mike Cullen, Gary Nicholson, Tracey Dray, Simon Jones, Martin Blades, Andre Stiffell, Kevin Beardwell, Tony Britton and newbies Martin Murphy and Damir Hess, ably supported by Simon Clifton and Roy Fulcher as the Support Crew.

The team started training early in the year but can anything really prepare you for 900 miles in 9 days – 2 days cycling over the Pyrennes - then the full  length of France, back via the tunnel to co…

End of season awards night

Ashford Photographic Society

On Friday 25th May, APS members, friends and family celebrated a wonderful year of photography, lectures, outings and competitions by gathering together at Givaudan to wine and dine together. Our special guests for the evening were Annie and Clive Tanner FRPS MPAGB APAGB. Clive, who has a passion for church interiors, had brought along some of his outdoor panels, and talked of the pleasure he found in putting them together, reminding us that pleasing ourselves was occasionally more important than pleasing the judges. Awards for those achieving top places in our League and Trophy competitions were handed out at the end of the evening by Clive and Chris Shore, our Competition Secretary, and will be on our website soon.

It was a lovely evening of celebration and friendship, bringing our season to an end. A sigh of relief that the pressure is off for a while, but APS members will be out with their cameras during the summer break trying to find that special im…

Tom Way

Report courtesy of Marjorie Burge.

On Friday 18th May, Tom Way, European Wildlife Photographer 2016, explained his approach to wildlife photography. Tom favours a fine art approach to photography, has exhibited world wide, and shares his knowledge by giving lectures, talks and workshops. Having discovered the beauty of wildlife – elephants, lions, leopards, gorillas - in Africa, Tom set up his business to fund his travels so that he could see these amazing animals wandering free. In this country his photography covers local wildlife - kingfishers, badgers, little owls, red foxes, puffins - and provides many of his images sold as framed prints. Abroad, in Africa – Zambia, Kenya, Uganda – he is looking for competition wildlife shots. Shooting mainly with aperture priority, settings are crucial. His images must have light, character, emotion and simplicity, and no tension. Single images with out-of-focus backgrounds are his ideal – if you haven’t got the ideal lens, shoot with the subje…

Annual exhibition competition

Report courtesy of Marjorie Burge.

On Friday 11th May, we were delighted to welcome Ian Stone DPAGB BPE3* and Marie-Laure Stone DPAGB BPE5* EFIAP Platinum and EFIAP Diamond 1, from Folkestone Camera Club, to judge our Annual Exhibition Print Competition. As our Chairman said, this competition is the climax of our season, and as the prints were put up it was clear that our photographers had entered some of their best work - mono, colour, digital and dark room. Ian and Marie-Laure are experienced photographers in all fields, leaning towards nature, leaning away from creative, but ready to give every image their whole attention. Each image carefully assessed. As well as camera skills, titles and mounts were important, Marie-Laure liked our use of textured papers, sharpness of course, particularly with eyes, cropping, print quality, distracting backgrounds, and effort involved in composition, all taken into account. There was such quality in all images that it was inevitable that many were…

Paul Sanders - Landscape and fine art photography

Report courtesy of Marjorie Burge.

On Friday 4th May our speaker was Paul Sanders SWPP Gold, a professional photographer, specialising in landscape and fine art photography, running workshops, writing for magazines, and, happily for us, talking about his photography to clubs. Photography started early for Paul, secretly 'borrowing' his father's camera, and never looking back. His career in news photography started with four years covering Europe, and then becoming Picture Editor of The Times, looking after photographers in war situations and studying 20,000 pictures each day. After eight stress-filled years, Paul moved away from newspapers and began his journey into landscape photography. Joe Cornish influenced his initial approach, but true enjoyment only came after his realisation that he should take his own path, do whatever he wanted, and please himself. Photography for Paul is therapeutic - an emotional and spiritual experience. No Photoshop (spend time with your came…

Print panel competition

Report courtesy of Marjorie Burge.

An evening to celebrate and remember this Friday at APS when David Silk judged the Driftwood Trophy Print Panel Competition. David is a member of Isle of Thanet Camera Club, AG Mono and, recently, the Verve Group, and his photography background covers everything photographic, literally from beginning to end.  Before coming to Ashford, David had researched the art of putting together and judging panels, so was well prepared, he thought, for anything. Anything except the  excellence and quality of every single panel. Apart from feeling that one or two panels could be improved with, maybe, a different centre image, although aware that this was the photographer’s choice, David could find little he would alter on any of them. The photographers had obviously approached this competition with a panel in mind, not just putting pictures together, but spending serious thought and time on achieving perfection, and they had succeeded. Some had come right out of t…