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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.

In the bath - Natalia by Zuzana Valla

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 me’ – Poland, Richmond Park, Killarney, Leeds Castle, Finland, Norfolk, Hamstreet woods – all over the place. He showed us amazing storm clouds, waterfalls, buzzards, brown bears, barn owls, kingfishers, sun rises and sunsets. None of this comes to him, he goes out and finds it, rising early to catch the best light, staying late for sunsets and evening shadows. Photographing from a hide means whole days, and sometimes nights, in cramped conditions waiting for the wildlife to appear, and putting yourself at risk from inquisitive brown bears; outdoor photography means frozen water bottles and fingers too cold to use the camera; early morning gives you dew-laden butterflies. Phil is a dedicated and inspirational photographer.

Brown bear with cubs in cotton grass, Finland by Phil Drury

Next Friday, 28th September, Andy Smith will be judging our first PDI competition. Visitors always welcome. 

We meet every Friday at Givaudan Sports and Social Club, Kennington Road, Ashford TN24 0LT starting at 7.30, with coffee and bar facilities. We are a very friendly club with photographers of all levels; tuition is given at workshops for members and on club outings members can team up to gain experience. You are welcome to come along as a visitor, talk things through and make some friends, before making that final decision. Find out all about us at or telephone our secretary Katrina Devenport on 01303 814842 if you have any questions.