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Wednesday 6th December 2017
Interclub Competition Sandbach v Nantwich
Judge:- Brian Law ARPS, CPAGB

To read a full report about this competition, please see the "Competitions" pages


30th November 2017
The Five Towns Monochrome Print Competition 2017
for the Alan Challinor Trophy

Hosted by Crewe PS
Judge: Jane Lines MPAGB LRPS BPE5*

To read a full report about this competition, please see the "Competitions" pages


Tuesday 21st November  2017
Then and Now, Patrick Hickey

Patrick revealed that his photographic interest was nurtured from the age of twelve, through a family business connection.  Marriage and the resultant impact on disposable income caused a break, corrected by the purchase of a Rolleicord in the early sixties. Work transplanted him from his origins in Oldham and Morecombe to a permanent home in Walsall in the West Midlands., which prompted joining Brownhills Photo Society and the purchase of a Pentax SLR.
His prime photographic interest at that time was portraiture, girls rather than fellows and he moved on to join Aston and Erdington and the mighty Smethwick club, where with their own premises, a one time primary school bought in trust, he was able to enjoy portrait evenings every other Tuesdays.
Equipment acquired followed a familiar pattern including medium format, leading to digital, initially scanning slides and negatives en-route to full digital with an Olympus Camedia with a sensor of 2 megapixels in 1998.
Photographic interest had now diversified into all areas, including landscape, panels, figure studies and floral coverage to complement his wife's interest.
Participation in countless competitions brought much success and many awards.  The quest for photographic material prompted much travel to locations in Oxford, Glasgow, Derbyshire, Leek, Staffordshire, The Wirral, Lancashire coast, Llandudno and Anglesey.  A disused barracks area near to Whitchurch (presumably Prees Heath) was used as a setting for incongruous figure study work.  Birmingham's new City Library was recommended for sweeping lines in modern architecture.  The Black Country Museum at Dudley was a rich location source, together with the industrial museums clustered around Coalbrookdale.
Time was found to pursue studies leading to City and guild qualifications in photography, which morphed into a pseudo photo club experience.
The ceaseless trajectory of camera development ultimately lead to high end Canon equipment with large aperture lenses.  However the corresponding weight demands conflicted with advancing years and reversion to Panasonic Lumix four thirds format is currently the favoured choice,.  This is supported rather astoundingly by an Iphone with supplementary lens attachments to vary the focal length.
Patrick now prepares most of his prints using Adobe Lightroom rather than Photoshop.  He has recently hired  a studio and models, but also has fitted out his home garage as a small studio..  Blessed with a friend who has a carpet retail business, other options are presented by its use out of hours as a further studio option.
Frequent quotes revealed a bitter-sweet relationship with judges which we have all experienced at times, but he insisted that the emphasis must always be to satisfy your own likings regardless.
Seldom do we have a photographic lifetime in photography potted into a couple of hours, but that is exactly what Patrick did, drawing from four large print boxes to signal the way leading to an impeccable closure at 21.50.


Tuesday 7 November 2017
2nd Club Competition, Judge:- Darell Oakden DPAGB BPE3*

To read a full report about this competition, please see the "Competitions" pages


Tuesday 31 October 2017
Inter-Club Competition Nantwich v Whitchurch
Judge:- Terry Hewitt

To read a full report about this competition, please see the "Competitions" pages


Tuesday 31st October 2017
Chester Photographic Society Inter Club Competition

To read a full report about this competition, please see the "Competitions" pages


Tuesday 24th October  2017
Digital AV for Beginners John Smith APAGB, CPAGB.

To prove the system operational, John opened with a short AV sequence, "Sheer Luxury" featuring a small number of images of multi coloured sheep.  He went on to explain that most British exponents of audio visual presentations utilise the program Pictures to Exe (P to E),
which has been developed over the last few decades by a Russian named Igor and the latest version is version 9.  Unlike many software houses Igor remains accessible to his clients and the evolution of versions have generally been in response to requests for additional capabilities.  Currently it only operates on a Windows platform, but it is believed that code is being written for eventual Mac platform use.
John demonstrated many features, starting with a few random images, showing how the timeline may be manipulated to increase and reduce the time that a each image is displayed, how to overlay text onto an image and then show how the text may have animated movement, quite simply.  The animation used for text may also be used to achieve the same effect with single or multiple image objects which may be 'floated' across the background image.  A sequence produced for the Wilmslow Guild AV Group demonstrated this technique to perfection inspired by the scrabble game.
Within P to E there are many built in features for manipulating the images without recourse to Photoshop, such as blur, sharpen and rotations about the X and Y axes.  Similarly transitions between images may be achieved by many built-in animated fade techniques, like turning pages or dissolve from the middle or from the perimeter.
The addition of a sound track was also shown, together with how the digital representation track may be cut, copied and volume controlled.
For more complex soundtracks recourse to a free download program called 'Audacity' was advised and demonstrated.  John mentioned that it is possible to obtain copyright free music and sound effects under the Creative Commons license, free to the public - search on Google. An assembly of sound tracks including thunder, rain, motor car noises, footsteps and spooky screams was created and similar  to what had previously been featured in an AV "Justin Thyme" using masks to portray a ghostly figure in ghoulish terrain.
The final AV "Once upon a Time" was a humorous rendition of Handel's Messiah featuring local veteran Yorkies, exercising many of the techniques illustrated by the lecture.
Whilst P to E as mentioned does not run on the MAC platform, the executable file created can be saved as MAC compatible, as well of course as Windows with options to burn directly to a CD. The executable file runs on any compatible computer without the need for P to E installation, so may be passed freely to friends and family.
Pictures to Exe is available as a download from wnsoft.com, with a free thirty day trial option with limited capabilities.  The full feature deluxe version currently costs about £105. Audacity may be downloaded for free from the audacityteam.org website.
John laboured manfully for the first session, suffering from laptop computer gremlins sufficient for a lesser soul to give up and go home.  The rescue path for the second session was achieved by using the clubs laptop running a backup P to E resource on a flash drive.
John revealed himself to be a master of the AV genre and delivered an evening with content to both satisfy the experienced, but yet still provide the encouragement for the beginner - not easy.  We look forward to the next visit!


10th October 2017
Inter-Club Competition Nantwich v Long Eaton
Judge:- John Royle

To read a full report about this competition, please see the "Competitions" pages


3rd October 2017
1st Club Competition, Judge:- Daryl Giles CPAGB

To read a full report about this competition, please see the "Competitions" pages


Tuesday 27th September  2017
The Bolivian Andes   Boyd Harris.

The flight to La Paz was staged via Florida. Using graphics to illustrate the journey Bolivia was revealed to be truly the other side of the world to Britain and although covering an area six times larger than the UK has a population of only six million people. The country is dominated by the high Andes and arid conditions with sparse vegetation. Following a dispute over mineral rights with Chile, it lost its access to the sea when national boundaries were re-defined after a bitter confrontation. Depletion of mining deposits resulted in the railway system, once used to take minerals to Chilean ports, being abandoned.  Wildlife recorded was restricted to Andean condors, wild Llamas and small wild pigs-like creatures called peccaries, which steal the natives sun-dried food stores.  The minimal vegetation included bromeliads and a cactus with spines capable of inflicting painful wounds.
The intended trek through the Andes was preceded by a visit to a sight of antiquity which had been crudely explored and even restored at Pumapunka on the Altiplano, close to Lake Titicaca.  Archaeologists have identified the intricate stone works, enormous arches and engraving to a race which pre-dated the Inca.  The local villagers are generally reluctant to pose for photos so portrait opportunities were sparse, though the children are more obliging.  Street markets provided a large range of fruit and vegetables.  A boat crossing of lake Titicaca further preceded the start to the trek through the Andes with a visit to Sun Island en-route, where the inhabitants produced beautiful woven products with illustrative and geometric patterns.  Road vehicles were then joined to reach a small hotel at the actual start of the trek, which involved a following dirt tracks leading to a col on the Andes ridge, which then allowed a crossing of the ridge and descent on the other side.  The party was supported by a team of porter guides, using llamas as pack animals.  The porters only operated within designated territory and at certain points a new team was engaged.  Three separate teams were involve in all and each had to be rewarded with gratuities on departure. The prelude over rising altitude allowed gradual acclimatisation to mitigate against the inherent dangers of altitude sickness, prior to eventually reaching an altitude in excess of five thousand metres. During the trek the porters arranged camps and prepared meals.  Overnight temperatures dropped as low as minus fourteen, causing drinking water to freeze solid if not invited to share ones sleeping bag.  Daytime temperatures however soon rose to allow pleasant walking conditions, which normally covered six to eight hours of the day.  Mountains, glaciers and lakes provided stunning landscape photographic opportunities, with morning and evening light the preferred choice.  Boyd always carries a tripod, often using time exposures for evening light and difficult light conditions encountered in a cave visit, totally shunning the use of flash.  A 210mm lens was used for portraits of the locals always focussing on the eyes, usually at an aperture of f5.6 in order to render distracting background features out of focus.
After the final strenuous summit climb, involving roping up for a near vertical face, excellent views of the surrounding landscape were captured amongst the many six thousand metre peaks.  An arduous descent lead to a dust road, from which 4x4 transport provided the return to La Paz, culminating in the flight back to Heath Row.
Boyd has more travel sequences from remote parts of the planet which I am sure will be enjoyed on a future programme.


NANTWICH CAMERA CLUB ANNUAL EXHIBITION OPENS

The camera club’s annual exhibition at Nantwich Museum opened on Wednesday 13th September, with over 70 large prints on display in the Museum’s Millennium Gallery; a selection of projected images from the club’s 2016-17 competitions are also being shown on a wall mounted monitor.

We were very pleased to welcome the Mayor of Nantwich Town Council, Penny Butterill, and her husband Doug, to the official opening event; which was attended by many members and friends of the camera club.

A number of the prints will be available for sale and visitors will be invited to choose their favourite photograph. Nantwich Museum is open Tuesday to Saturday 10.30 am to 4.30 pm and the exhibition continues until Saturday 11th November

 
Poster
 

Tuesday 13h September  2017
An Introduction to Creative Photography Tony Winfield

Tony opened with some definitions of art and photography and concluded that photography is definitely a modern visual art form, with numerous quoted references in justification   Confessing to an enduring love of infra-red, nurtured through the days of Kodak film and now in digital, Tony revealed that he had just produced his first book , "A Guide to Infra-red" and indicated that infra-red images would feature strongly in what was to follow.
Creative photography was defined as a record of reality with added artistic expression or impression.  In the art world the later works of Turner were shown to illustrate from where some inspiration had evolved.  A short AV was shown using only seven images, six of which were on the faces of a rotating cube against a background of stars, slowly receding to infinity, to show that creativity translates into AV as well as to still work.
Creativity images may be produced in camera or by computer after-work and both options were discussed and illustrated.
The  camera was shown to provide various tools for creativity, including slow shutter speeds, lens filters often from the vast Cokin range, vaseline smears on a clear filter, cheap fish-eye lenses, panorama images from compact cameras, zooming during exposure, deliberate distortion by camera movement ,subject movement or both, traditional panning techniques, minimalism, patterns  reflections and just seeking the unusual   Infra-red was shown to have profound effects, some predictable some not, but surprisingly capable of enhancing detail.. The simple act of breathing on the lens can provide misty soft focus images.
A willingness to break the rules was also shown to have creative possibilities; instead of the rule of thirds put subject matter at the edge of the frame or even bisected if it works. Heavily diffused images moving towards a dream world were illustrated by a short "Dream Wood" AV sequence.
The computer was shown to provide a vast tool box for creative image after-work. Photoshop has a great array of filters, some of which were shown. Toning and duo-toning effects were shown, together with impressive, but laborious, hand painting in Photoshop.
Multi-exposure combinations were an in camera technique in the days of film, but now more easily produced and controlled in computer.
Numerous filters from alternative manufacturers to the Adobe provision, most operating as Photoshop plug-ins, were shown together with their effects. Included were, Professor Franklins, Topaz Simplify and HDR filters, NIK Collection (free from Google), Corel Painter software, Redfield Fractalius (makes things 'pointy') and Flaming Pear Flood filters to provide a water based foreground.
A very comprehensive presentation was closed by a final AV entitled "Dare to be Different".
A masterly creativity treatise was delivered in style by Tony, who indicated that he has numerous other talks for a future visit to Nantwich.  A great prospect!


Tuesday 13h September  2017
My Journey with Digital Tony Thomas, EFIAP

Tony, a dedicated print worker from Telford opened our new season of talks.  He told us that he had graduated late to digital from prior darkroom work.  A link with Pinnacle papers was revealed and examples of their surface offerings and mount board was provided, together with a testament that their products were his exclusive choice and the price lists confirmed the products to be financially competitive.
Four boxes of prints provided the subject matter for the evening and it quickly became evident that Tony was a passionate, industrious and perceptive worker. He confessed that he was not built for mountains and so conspired to use his car to reach remote places and was frequently on the road in search of pictures, often with a mission, but keenly attentive to that which might be presented along the way.  His work was largely portrait, landscape and, architectural, predominately captured in colour and then converted to black and white often using Nik filters or shot as infra-red.  His aim was to capture the picture in the camera and though he is not averse to cloning out unwanted elements, he insisted that he would never add anything to an image.  For infra-red he had had a camera suitably converted.  The fleeting nature of lighting conditions in the landscape requires that images be captured quickly, which requires one to be pre-prepared and often precluded the use of a tripod.  The inclusion of in-lens stabilisation was acknowledged to be of immense value.  He confessed to not using camera back information or histograms during his shooting, preferring to operate from a position of experience,  Successful images were still being produced using a six mega-pixel DSLR  proving that using the latest and greatest is not necessary for this type of work.
Much use was made of his home Shropshire county, with forays into portrait work using the co-operative members of Blists Hill heritage Museum, who willingly pose in period costume.  A love of the production of panels was amply illustrated.
The Long Mynd, Stiperstones, Wenlock Edge and the Wrekin are all in close home proximity and much used.  Further afield  adventures included the Barmouth coast for gale force conditions, Yorkshire Dales, Trawsfynydd, Colwyn Bay Pier, New Brighton shelters and lighthouse, Lake Vyrnwy, Bedgelert, Crosby for the Gormley figures and locally for us, the Roaches.
A love of the people and olive trees of Crete have provided an irresistible draw over the years requiring many photographic visits.
Tony's work provided an excellent example of the beauty of keeping things simple and the blessing of a perceptive eye, backed up by shear dedication and effort.  As he said, you have to get out if you want photographs.  An outing was measured as a great success if it resulted in a couple of prints.
Tony has a wealth of experience which was readily shared with new workers at his Telford club, a superb mentor!
I hope that we are able to welcome Tony back in the future.


Swift Gallery Exhibition

The Swift Gallery in Fenton, Stoke on Trent (http://www.swiftgallery.co.uk/) is home to hundreds of photos and painting of motorsport pictures. Last year they decided to hold an Open Competition from which they would select images to be displayed in a section of their gallery.
Club member Wendy Williams was delighted to hear that one of her images had been included in this selection.

wendy

The Exhibition opened on 25th May 2017 and runs until the end of October. The gallery is open on Thursday afternoons from 2pm until 6pm, and some weekends (Check the website for details.) It is well worth a visit by anyone who likes motorsport.


6th & 7th May 2017
L & CPU Annual Individuals Competition

To read a full report about this competition, please see the "Competitions" pages


Tuesday 25th April  2017
Bulkeley Hill Walk, Hotpot , Beer and Skittles

In committee, it was found difficult to suggest an alternative to the arrangement of recent years and so the Bickerton Poacher experience was repeated.  Four intrepid walkers braved a hale storm journeying to Bickerton to start the evening with a short walk over Bulkeley Hill from the copper mine road.   The start of which prompted an improvement in weather conditions to leave just threatening skies threaded by the odd shaft  of sunlight.
Twenty-one members and guests assembled to enjoy the hotpot supper, which proved to be well worth the wait.
Paul Topham and David Hoyle organised three rounds on the old English skittle alley and recorded the cumulative individual scores.  Some of the bowls probably dated to medieval times, judging by the shape, but it is possible that they may have started life as round objects, but none of this detracted from the fun factor.
Once more David Luker proved to be the invincible Cristiano Ronaldo of the skittle alley, with Nick Howes in a distant second place.  Alma Sankey's special brand of bouncing delivery proved very effective to gain third place and leave our chairman languishing in fourth.
I think the evening was enjoyed by all.


Tuesday 18th April  2017
The Bebington Salon Portfolio Bob Dennis , APAGB, CPAGB, AFIAP, BPE4,

Unfortunately our speaker was not able to deliver the booked lecture because a throat infection left him virtually speechless. Never-the-less, beyond that which could be expected, Bob insisted that he wished to make the journey to Nantwich from the Wirral  with a substitute programme of projected images from Bebington Salon Exhibitions of recent years, which Bob has played a major role in organising for many years.  The exhibitions entries come from far and wide and for each year from 2008 to 2016 a selection of images from the categories of landscape, people and nature have been assembled in to audio/visual presentations with musical background  The evening's presentation were all loaded on a memory stick and following a written introduction read by our chairman, Bob sat at the laptop and proceeded to astound us with some fifteen sequences of astonishingly good photography, supported by inspirational music.  No-one was seen to be sleeping, it was riveting!  The quantity and quality of images surpassed anything which many could recollect seeing at Nantwich, particularly in the natural history, where workers are clearly spending a lot of time and money to capture their images.  Whilst  it is always disappointing when we are not able to deliver the published programme item to members, the substitution was truly inspirational, sufficient for some of us from The Old Grey Whistle Test generation to consider consigning our photo gear to the recycle bin!
An excellent photographic evening was facilitated to advantage by David Hoyle providing and setting up the sound system in response to a last minute request.
We will be sure to invite Bob back on a future programme 


Tuesday 11th April  2017
L&CPU Mixed Folio "B"

The L&CPU Folios are selected by a panel of three judges from prints submitted by members of all of the clubs within the federation. Each judge award marks out of five for each print and the highest scoring are included in the folio, which was contained within two large print boxes.   Accompanying the prints was a listing revealing author, club and points awarded, but no further information like identifying the judges.
On previous recent occasions, we have shown projected images of the prints, which allows an easier viewing size but loses the subtle detail only visible in the actual prints. This time the actual prints were displayed, acknowledging that a lower attendance level made it a more practical proposition.
In the recent past folios were dedicated as natural history or record etc. but the practice now is to include all genres of photography, which makes comparisons more difficult.  The folio therefore contained a mix of creative, landscape, natural history, portrait, figure studies, travel, sport and some not readily categorised.  The lowest score awarded was eleven, with the majority populating the twelve/thirteen area and Terry Donnelly, who it be recalled entertained us in October last year, recorded top marks of fifteen for two of his prints.
Following the tea break, print entries from the previous week's competition were arranged for members to enjoy a close-up view, with informal comment.


Tuesday 4th April 2017
6th  Club Competition Judge:- Rob Hockney ( CPAGB, BPE3*)

To read a full report about this competition, please see the "Competitions" pages


Tuesday 28th March  2017
The Created Image "Special Lecture" Andrew Brooks

Andrew explained that as a commercial photographer, the demands of making a living requires that many areas of photography of necessity are pursued. Example images were shown of bridge demolition, development projects, cricket club publicity,  an Iceland cement works and an Aberdeen festival of light.  For all of his works he seeks to bring a level of artistry derived from combining images to create that which is beyond the reach of single mages.  Collaboration within projects with artists provides new challenges and stretches his ingenuity still further to create artificial situations typified by installing large numbers of light emitting diodes within Loggerheads Country Park near Mold, for a spectacular nocturnal display for exhibition photographs and multi-exposures for combination of an illuminated ball moved around the parkland at night.
His heart however lies in landscape photography and inspiration is drawn from many sources, with Mam Tor providing a compelling draw throughout the seasons.  Kinder downfall, High Cup Nick, the colourful mineral deposits of Parys Mountain on Anglesey, Bolton Abbey all provided further motivation.
Originally from Essex, photographic studies followed in Stockport, where Photoshop studio skills were learnt, he produced his multi image creations initially as jpegs, describing his work as akin to a manual form of HDR.  Nowadays all work is formatted as RAW to allow total control and manipulation.  His creations outside of contract work have now progressed to the point where he uses multiple images almost as we use pixels, to build landscapes which are a pure figment of his imagination.  Assembly and blending can extend over several days and the growing image size makes it necessary to perform incremental image flattening to allow the processor to continue functioning and remain operational.  The end products can combine images from around the globe, plucked from his vast archive of images, which fill some forty odd hard drives.
Contracts with the BBC Philharmonic provided full opportunity to exercise his creativity in producing publicity images for Wagner and Elgar concerts.  The Wagner image was plucked from a mystical Snowdonia mountain with an armoured horse rider of minimal proportions in the frame included for scaling purposes, with subtle light nuances  inspired by a painting in the Manchester art gallery. This single element was painstakingly pieced together from miniscule sections of items photographed in a museum, but the horse was for real.
Iceland was advocated for its amazing landscape qualities and the northern lights.  Images were taken in profusion such that sequential  playing resembled video to show the pulsing of the northern lights, the thermo dynamic activity and highway travel.
Great care was taken to ensure combined images enjoyed a constant light direction.
Andrew is fascinated by the secret underworld of our cities, seeking permission to photograph disused tunnels and labyrinths. On the odd occasion he has joined with the Urban Explorer movement for more clandestine sessions.
Deconstruction exercises were performed on some of his images to demonstrate how layers and masks were used in the creation.
Andrew, when not engaged in conventional contract photography is able to inhabit a world where imagination and creativity are supreme.  He confessed to finding inspiration from the cinematic industry and sci-fi.  An aspiration to produce more video works was indicated. Even that which appears conventional may not be, if a view under the bonnet is allowed   A visit to the Eden Centre was transformed into a scene from Jurassic Park!
This "special " lecture was very special indeed, taking our members and visitors to places where most have not previously ventured   Our thanks are extended to Andrew for a very interesting evening and for the support of our visitors.
David Foster once more found words to assemble a polished vote of thanks to close the evening.


Tuesday 21st March 2017
Inter Club Competition Nantwich v Crewe
Judge:- Colin Douglas (ARPS, AFIAP, DPAGB, BPE4*)

To read a full report about this competition, please see the "Competitions" pages


Thursday 16th March 2017
Inter-Club Competition Alsager v Nantwich
Judge:- Roger Evans (FBPE, EFIPA, MPAGB)

To read a full report about this competition, please see the "Competitions" pages


Tuesday 14th March  2017
Table-top Photography.

The evening was thrown open to the combined initiative of our members, who were simply asked to bring lighting sets and items to photograph of their choice.  It was rather difficult to anticipate how well such a loose format would be supported and maybe one or two of us were a little worried that it might result in disappointment.  John had done a little arm twisting prior to the event however and to our relief, what transpired was a well supported evening.  The impression was gained that including a programme opportunity for collective improvisation with the camera was welcome and worthy of repeating in the future.
A number of reliable stalwarts fully committed as follows.
Paul Topham provided a set with a range of crystals, figurines and other glassware with varied illumination sources including under-lighting through a piece of glass supported on high-tec plastic coffee cups, against a black velvet backdrop.
David Luker provided a photo-stacking set-up in which the camera and macro lens were mounted on a slide rail, which in turn was mounted on a tripod to allow incremental exposures at multi points of focus through the object.   The multi images were then down-loaded into a laptop computer and software was used to stitch the sharpest parts of each image into one image with a depth of field not attainable with conventional macro photography.
Malcolm Prophett provided a studio lighting set-up with a supported table back-drop, which was used by members to photograph elegant vintage film cameras and a Weston meter.  The flashes were fired by a radio transmitter fitted to the standard flash gun camera socket.
David Foster provided a set which featured attractive spirit bottles and glasses, though I'm sure that they only contained cold tea.  A highly reflective foil back cloth was also made available.
Jo Humphreys provided a very professional looking tent structure which allowed various external diffuse lighting arrangements, including LED and coiled fluorescent tube lamps.
She also had mini-men climbing logs and cup-cakes.  A floral display also found its way into the tent.
Many thanks to all for making a successful evening out of nothing.


Nantwich Camera Club Special Event

Continuing our initiatives of recent years, we are once more  hosting a 'special' photographic lecture on Tuesday the 28th March, 19.30 hrs at our usual Regents Park, London Road, Nantwich, meeting room.
This year, Andrew Brooks, an artist, photographer and film maker from Manchester  will present his talk entitled the "The Constructed Image", which occupies a space within the currently popular 'Street Photography' genre.
To quote Andrew "Through the act of building images, I aim to capture the forms and rhythms of nature and the city. Often as imagined or re-imagined scenes, I aim to create a heightened sense of place and the audience's interaction with it. In my practice I use photography, film and digital technology as a prism for seeing and experiencing the world, particularly the natural and urban landscape. I then process and build on what I’ve recorded, presenting this to an audience through immersive experiences.".  More information and examples of his work may be obtained from his web site andrewbrooksphotography.com or from his Twitter and Instagram accounts @Andrewbrooks for both.
Members of the public in general and other local societies with photographic interests are very welcome to attend, for which there is an entrance fee of £5, pay at the door.  It would be helpful, though not essential, for those wishing to attend to pre-advise using the club email address, nantwichcameraclub@hotmail.co.uk

 
A Brooks Poster

 

Tuesday 7th March  2017
2016 PAGB Inter-Federation Print Competitions and Exhibition

The CD contains PIs of the print and PI competition entries, each available  for manual progression, which allows interaction from members or as an automated showing with background music.  The former option was selected and a complete showing of the print           entries was projected and a portion of the PIs until the end of allocated time was reached.
The presentations for both covered the complete range of photography including some stunning natural history, big game safari, studio and outdoor figure studies, landscapes, seascapes, exotic travel and natives, extreme weather conditions some with human elements, even desert dust storms, team sport, motor sport, ocean racing, athletics, re-enactments, iron men and women, macro and creative.  All in all the range was so wide that one wonders how the judges make comparisons to reach a conclusion for the awards, but then trying to understand judges is futile!
After the tea break the prints entries for the previous week's competition were set up for members to take the opportunity of an up-close inspection.
Our thanks to David for performing the projection duties and to all who contribute to our meetings.


Tuesday 28th February 2017
5th Club Competition (Mono) Judge:- Roger Evans  FBPE, EFIAP, MPAGB

To read a full report about this competition, please see the "Competitions" pages


Tuesday 21st February  2017
" Another Time Another Place" by Wayne Brittle.

Wayne explained that planning played important part in his landscape photography, but acknowledged that luck can make a welcome major contribution also. A recommended useful planning tool is the Photographers Ephemeris, available as a Google or Apple download app at a small cost, which provides information of sunrise and sunset times for any location, together with the direction of the light  and a selection of map views.  Tide times are available from another app "My Tide Times" as a free download.
Also mentioned was the Photographers Sun Compass, which is an adaptation of a normal compass and consequently does not rely on battery power.  Once aligned with North, the sunset and sunrise directions may be read, related to month of the year information printed on the base plate.  An included table relates to the highest angle reached by the sun at noon for each month.
Wayne advised that during the image projections, various aspects of photography would be addressed, including location, equipment, technique, composition, filters, panoramas, HDR and black and white conversions, but questions at any time are welcome to make things more interactive. Many camera systems are capable of producing excellent quality, but it is the photographer, not the equipment,  that is the key element for success. An example of a magasine cover taken with an early 2.1 mega-pixel camera illustrated a case in point.
Extensive depth of field was an important consideration for landscape, which can be maximised by short to mid-range lenses used at small apertures, normally with an ISO setting of 100 to minimise noise and enhance quality.  Striving to get it right in the camera, rather than after-work in Photoshop is the aim.  The camera is often used initially in aperture priority mode, for which the allocated shutter speed is noted and then switched to full manual mode to tweak settings with reference to the histogram.  In-camera metering is so very capable that he considered separate meters to be virtually redundant.  Specialising in sunrise and sunset shots necessitated long exposures, making the use of a tripod and cable release essential.  The explained frequent use of hard and graduated neutral density filters, often to enhance sky detail, multiplied exposure times, thus further demanding tripod use.  Polarising filters were also often present to reduce reflective highlights.
A very high level of commitment, enthusiasm and high energy approach was evident in order to be in place at remote locations, so as to be set up ready to greet the dawn, generated a feeling that the images were hard earned and a suitable reward.  Persistence in returning on another day, when conditions did not develop as required, was evidenced, matched with alternative objectives to salvage the day.
There followed a whole series of beautiful images, sourced from locations near and far, for which the story and technicalities behind the picture were revealed. Locations randomly included, Iceland, the Peak District, the Lake District, Northumberland, hadrian's Wall, Harris and Lewis, Skye, Anglesey, Dartmoor, Yorkshire peaks and dales, Co Antrim. Pienza Tuscany, Santorini Isle Greece, New Orleans, San Francisco, Venice, Glen Coe, Gormley's Crosby, Fort Augustus and Sterling.
Examples of stitching images into panoramas were shown, together with the pitfalls requiring to be avoided.  Moderate high dynamic range imagery (HDR) was illustrated, in which exposures at different camera settings are combined using software to provide increased definition.  Excess use was disparagingly considered to be "heavily doctored reality".  Shown were examples in which black and white conversion follow up work surprised in superiority to the original colour image
Members were highly impressed with both the extent and sheer quality of the landscapes shown and some told me that it was the best lecture ever.  At present Wayne is not currently planning to develop any further lectures, but who knows in another five years?


Tuesday 14th February  2017
Photo Tapas with David Foster.

Once more David organised an evening to a now established formula, in which several club members provided short photographic related talks of their choice.

The first speaker was Ruth Holden, well supported by Howard, who illustrated her path to achieving a CPAGB distinction in 2008.  She explained the process in which it is necessary to submit ten images for assessment by six judges, each who provide a spontaneous score out of five, with the potential for each print to receive thirty points.  The judging session is undertaken simultaneously on behalf of multiple applicants with images presented in random order from all applicants, rather than as each individual's panel.  To secure the distinction, it is necessary to average twenty points average across the ten print entry.  At the time home was in Cumbria and the Northern Counties Photo Federation of the PAGB provided the judging panel. Prior to entry it is a requirement that the work is approved by a senior Federation figure and a degree of mentoring is provided.  Being a keen gardener, Ruth majored on images of flowers from her garden, some of which were relatively straight prints and others received heavy Photoshop exposure.  Into the mix were thrown a Tour of Britain bike race shot and one of a pack of trail hounds  Each print was displayed and Ruth commented on technical details and how she had produced the image.  Howard supported by providing the score awarded for each print.  Ruth was very aware of the tension experienced and elated to score 211 in total, thus easily achieving the requisite average mark, though others were not successful.

Next came Andrew Charlesworth with projected images from his Yellowstone Winter 2015 trip.  In the interest of protecting the wildlife during the harsh winter conditions, out of season access to Yellowstone is strictly controlled.  It is only possible if accompanied by an approved leader, so only by joining an approved tour do things become possible.  Not wishing to spend inordinate lengths of time staking out wildlife in the hope that they show, an operator called Joseph Van Os, Photo Safaris was selected because they promised available time within the six days would be allocated as seventy percent landscape photography and thirty per cent wildlife.  The company provided hotel accommodation, including meals and transport from  West Yellowstone, a small town close to an entrance to the park, which covers 3,500 square miles, located in mainly in Wyoming state, minimally crossing over the border into Idaho and Montana.  To cope with the deep snow, two specially modified mini-buses or mini-vans as the Americans would have it, were provided for the extensive travel involved within the park.  Thoughtfully plenty of room in the vehicles allowed window access to all and more than adequate stowage capacity and typically of America the whole experience was of a high order, being lead by a local experienced photographer, Jeff Vanuga.
Pristine snow scenes were prevalent in Andrews projected images, together with the weird influence of the geothermal output providing multi-colour algae, crowned by freezing mist and emissions.  Yes there was wildlife too lead by the big boy bison who set the tone for Yellowstone, together with bald eagle coyote, bobcat, big horn sheep and hints of wolves.
Temperatures endured were -15 to 20° and one day at -25°.  At these temperatures camera battery charge had a short life and it was necessary to always have a spare one in a warm pocket.  Surprisingly batteries from the after market performed better than those branded by the camera manufacturer (and they are far cheaper).

The third spot was provided by Wray Douglas, who's subject was Stoppers!  Stoppers of course are the extreme end of the neutral density filter accessory, often sourced from Lee Filters which require anything up to ten times normal exposure or more, hence labelled 10 stop or know as "big stoppers". They have given vogue to the current cult of rendering stormy seas as a flat milky medium.  Prior to expanding on ND filters however, reference was made to the need to make a polarising filter an essential item of available kit for reducing highlights and increasing detail on water, foliage and skies.  Comparative images were shown to illustrate the benefits of using a polarising filter.
Neutral density filters were now similarly tackled with before and after shots of river scenes to show how the detail, contrast and colour of the water is affected by various strengths of filter.  When using the big stoppers, the extended exposure makes it necessary to use a robust tripod and cable release.  Prior to fitting the filter, composing and focussing the image is carried out at the required aperture and ISO setting.  A note is made of the normal exposure time without the filter.  Changing to manual mode a ten times greater exposure time is calculated and set on the camera.  A useful app for a mobile phone is available for down loading to perform this calculation  Experience taught that fitting the filter to the lens created the potential hazard of inadvertently moving the point of focus on the lens, but application of a piece of sticky tape to lock the focus ring avoids this problem.
It is necessary to be wary of changing light conditions during the extended exposure and to make judicious exposure adjustments.  Stray light entering through the view finder can erode the correct exposure, so fitting a blanking plate to the viewfinder is a good option.

A presentation of "Portuguese Pairs" from Graham Dodd now followed.  Images captured using a Panasonic Lumix compact camera during a Portuguese holiday with an AV sequence in mind were projected.  A pairing of elements was sought for each image which ranged widely from oranges and corks, suspension bridges, typical Portuguese mosaic wavy paving, graceful colonial buildings, stained glass windows, nautical legacy, tenement and university staircases, pollarded trees, vineyard dynasties of the Douro valley and unlikely acrobat ladies in hula hoops. A feast of images of residual images.

The fifth contribution came from David Luker entitled "Auto Focus Micro Adjustment" (AFMA).   One of David's lens was discovered to focus at a point other than where intended and this prompted seeking corrective measures.  For most general purpose photography the focussing error would be largely insignificant, but in situations where depth of field is critical, such as macro photography and close focus with a telescopic lens used at a large aperture setting, then the problem becomes highly relevant.  In these circumstances depth of field, that is the extent of the image acceptably sharp in front of and behind the point of focus may only amount to 2 or 3 millimetres, so if the auto focus does not perform as intended, it results in an consistent un-sharp image capture.
It was explained that there are two types of auto-focus systems used in cameras. For mirror-less cameras the focussing works by contrast detection and for DSLR with mirrors a portion of the light is diverted from the viewfinder to a phase detection module which activates the focussing.  Phase detection is considered to be faster in operation and thus better able to track and focus on moving objects.  The problem occurs where a particular camera body / lens combination results in an out of tolerance situation.  A different lens camera combination may work perfectly to specification, so adjustment to the camera body alone is not an option.  Many of the latest cameras have a menu item which allows a lens correction to be stored and actuated whenever the particular lens is connected to the camera body.  It is believed that even two identical lenses can be identified by the serial number for each and different settings brought into play.  Detecting the required degree of correction may be performed in a number of different ways and there are full explanations on the internet, all of which involve taking a series of exposures of some form of target, invoking a process of trial and error until an optimum condition can be identified.  Some are no cost do-it-yourself target methods, some involve photographing an on screen Moire fringe pattern on a monitor and others involve the purchase of a target.  David received a Datacolour SpyderLensCal target system as a birthday present, which was available for viewing.  Whichever method used there are precise set-up procedures which must be followed with the camera lens combination tripod mounted and some form of cable release.

The sixth and final presentation came from Peter Barnard, which related to the first photos he took as a 15 year old using a borrowed Box Brownie.  He had two sporting heroes, one was Joe Davis who won an unsurpassed fifteen World Champion Snooker titles and the other was England cricket captain Len Hutton and he determined by hook or by crook to get a photo of both.  Now searching his archives drew a blank for Joe, but not so for Len.  Cucumber sandwiches packed by mother, he and friend Percy left home by early morning train from hometown Goole for Leeds in 1948, with tickets for the test match in the ashes series at Headingly.  England was captained by Len Hutton against an Australian team lead by the formidable run machine, Don Bradman.  On the day there were crowds converging on Headingly and inside the ground was packed to overflowing, such that photographic opportunities were nil and the box brownie didn't come out of his bag.
Soon after a similar excursion was repeated for an MCC eleven against the Aussies, with England again captained by hero Len.  At the beginning of play Len took to the field and an opportunist Peter neatly evaded the stewards and sprinted to the centre of the pitch with stewards in pursuit.  Len graciously posed for the photo and even signed his autograph book, before Peter was unceremoniously bundled off the pitch by the stewards, no doubt with a clip round the ear, to the cheers of the crowd.   Proof was in the pudding with a Len Hutton image projected.

Thanks once more to David who orchestrated a diverse, full and entertaining evening and also to all of the members who combined so successfully in the delivery.  The event is included in the next programme in anticipation that there is still far more to come from our excellent membership.  Please give some thought to making the possible happen.


Tuesday 7th February 2017
Some More Monosaurusm by Tony Broom CPAGB.

Tony is becoming an enigma, preferring to stick to medium format 21/4 square and 6 x7 cm film cameras for the bulk of his photography, although he did confess that he now owns a digital camera, which he regards as the equivalent to his erstwhile use of slide film. For his predominant black and white print work however he still procures a range of roll film material from traditional sources like Ilford, Rollei, Adox and others in both conventional and infra-red breeds. In the darkroom Tony generally uses resin coated paper, mostly glossy, but also on occasions, fibre based, with a variety of surfaces, including warm toned for effect.  A hand held spot meter was used to determine exposure values, though for the extended time required for infra-red exposures, experience enabled judgment to be exercised dependent upon lighting conditions.  Medium format cameras are not conducive to hand held work, so a tripod is generally the order of the day, the use of which usefully on occasions provides a sense of gravitas, generating a more  considerate interaction with the general public. In fact extended exposure times for infra-red work makes a tripod essential.  Responding to David Fosters introductory question, Tony insisted that a good Black and white image should have detail in the shadow and highlight content and a good range mid-tones throughout.  Keep it simple, avoid clutter was advised.
Limited to eight or fifteen of frames per film enforces a more considerate approach to pressing the shutter button, than for the virtually unlimited expense free provision allowed by digital.
He proceeded to display a large folio of his prints and for each provided full details of location, exposure and particular considerations applied.  Landscape work is his favourite area of work and many locations were identified as being capable of rewarding the journey.
Places illustrated included Newborough Warren Anglesey, Devils Kitchen on the Glyders Snowdonia, Morten Corbet Castle ruin Shropshire, Tewkesbury Abbey, St. Albans Cathedral Chapel, Banburgh Castle and Dunstanburgh Castle ruin in Northumberland, Lindisfarne Causeway, Newbiggin by the Sea,  Cressage on Severn for The Wrekin,  Clee Hills radio beacon, Ennerdale in the Lake District, Woodseaves for the Shropshire Union Canal, Symonds Yat, Skipton Castle, Wylfa Power Station and Puffin Island Anglesey.
Outside of landscape occasional sojourns were made to include portraiture, still life, re-enactment scenes, point to point events, classic cars, industrial archeology and candid street scenes.
Tony emphasised that your photography should be aimed at your own pleasure rather than futile attempts to please judges.
A number of questions were fielded by members, prior to David providing the vote of thanks.
My apologies for the malfunction of the radio microphones, which necessitated replacing the batteries at the tea break.


Tuesday 31st January 2017
A Panel of Prints
 (Inspired by the late Nick Edwards)

The annual “Panel of Prints” evening is held in memory of the late Nick Edwards. Nick, as a Committee Member, suggested the Panel of Prints evening as he was passionate about printing. He saw this as a way of encouraging more members to print, especially those who do not enter the Competitions. It is also a way of enabling members to display their work which may not otherwise be seen and encourages members to socialise more as on many Club nights there is not much spare time.
There was a very good entry and attendance. The 40 panels were set out on the chairs (pity the lighting is not very good for this but we cannot think of any other way!) and members spent the first half of the evening browsing and choosing their favourite. Whilst the members enjoyed tea and biscuits, the votes were collated and announced in reverse order!
In joint 3rd place were “The English Civil War” by Alan Chapman and “Odonata” by Rex Kingsley. 2nd place went to “Icelandic Churches” by Ray Duckworth and in 1st place was “Reflections of Yosemite” by Alison Wood.
Alison was presented with a bottle of wine by Chairman John Kay.

 
 

After the break the prints from last week’s Competition were put out to enable members to have a closer look and discuss them with fellow members, and the authors of the 4 top scoring images were invited to give a brief talk about their prints.


Tuesday 24th January 2017
4th Club Competition.
Judge :- Geoff Reader DPAGB, BPE 2*

To read a full report about this competition, please see the "Competitions" pages


Tuesday 17th January  2017
"The Lighting Behind the Image" Justin Garner.

Once more high attendance numbers escaped the gloom of a typical January grey drizzly evening to seek enlightenment and be rewarded by what it is no exaggeration to say, was a highly authentic presentation from Justin.  Justin is a member of Sale Photographic Society and has wide photographic interests, including portraiture, wildlife, and landscape and probably everything in between, though his interest originated from being a bird watcher.  He is an excellent example of personal development, with no formal training, his philosophy is essentially get hold of equipment, then play with it to explore its capabilities in providing a pre-conceived result   His talk centred on studio type portrait work, initially using a single photoflood light source augmented by a silver reflector to bounce light to soften the shadows. Eventually this was replaced by a single Elinchrome soft-box flash unit, with modelling light, borrowed from his society. Using his flat as his studio, he found that setting up his camera aperture to f8, shutter at 1/160 synch speed and ISO 100 allowed the degree of exposure control he required to produce low key mono images using friends as models.  A non zoom 50mm lens was mainly used, with occasional recourse to a 70-200mm zoom.  The camera was always on a tripod and light source and stand-supported reflector,  were constantly moved until the image in the back-of-camera screen view looked right:, no external metering was used. Using the camera on a mono setting aided judgement of the lighting set-up.  He confessed that his images were produced 50% in camera and 50% in Photoshop, with layers freely applied to change background colour and texture. At the taking stage he visualised the Photoshop treatment, which was to be applied.
Initial success lead to acquiring other studio flash units, for which the effects were illustrated.  These included a beauty dish, in which the flash unit discharges onto a central reflector element, which is then bounced into a large concave dish to provide non-directional, soft diffused lighting and was often fitted with a honeycomb grid front screen.
The square soft box was supplemented with an elongated, rectangular slot box for a wider or taller light source.  Further development lead to the introduction of a background light concealed behind the subject.  The use of a background from a smoke machine with vertical illumination was shown.  Various inexpensive LED units also came into play in the quest for variety and experiment.  The power of daylight from a window, coupled with the reflector application was not omitted.  The message was keep it simple, just suck it and see.
Image examples were selected to illustrate the application of the various set-ups were projected and explained by reference to an endless supply of images.  Evidence of profound endless imagination, boundless energy and creativity punctuated the evening, with a willingness to go where others don't.  A two headed, four armed torso, joined at the hip, self portrait must be as original as it gets!
His model work extended to children and dogs, for whom the owner and frequent treats were essential attributes, but found cats to be in a different league of difficulty.  Children were encouraged to pull faces and have fun, though the faces could not match those of Justin's self portraits.  A hairdresser girl friend provided salon opportunities for events. Back lit smoke from a hot dog street vendor was used by the owner for publicity.
Fascinated by acquisitions, they all were made into a photo opportunity, binoculars, watches, toy cars, film cameras, whatever., all featured.
For macro work a camera base-rail on a tripod was used, which allows multiple images to be taken at a fixed focus, whilst incrementing the camera position through the subject. The images are then loaded into stacking software, in Justin's case from  Zerene Systems, which combines the areas of sharp image from each exposure into one image. The  results provide an overall depth of field, which is not physically possible from any single exposure from any lens.
Using this technique Justin had just received news that he had won a major award for an image of an anemone.
It is rather special for someone, so young, to evolve purely through self motivation over a period of six or seven years to achieve his current confidence and status.  A complete breath of fresh air and the good news is that he has a landscape talk and a natural history talk on offer for the future.
Finally David Foster provided one of his characteristic votes of thanks to round off an evening of education and enjoyment.  Our thanks to Graham Currey for providing the recommendation and contact details.


Tuesday 10th January  2017
"Return to Hong Kong" Tony Redford.

An excellent level of support from our membership welcomed Tony back to provide an evening of polished audio visual entertainment, based predominantly on multiple Hong Kong photographic visits.  Tony fully captured the overwhelmingly vibrant scene which is presented to a photographer at the end of the gruelling twelve hour flight.  Captured was a feel for the intense population of the high rise city including the colour and almost the smells.  Travelling far and wide among the surrounding islands and countryside, we were transported by ferries, railways, metros, taxis and trams to share views of the south China seas, markets supplying all worldly wants, fish, fruit, vegetables, caged birds, terrapins, goldfish, rabbit and electronics in profusion.  Al-fresco dining ability and bars abound.
Hordes of people had mobiles pressed to ear or camera to eye.  Photography is obsessive, with the locals happy to pose and wedding parties fair game.  Horse racing was seen to be a serious business, supported by at-site statistical support as an aid to losing ones money more scientifically.  Macao served by a two hour jet ferry from Hong Kong, once a Portuguese colony, with a legacy evident in the architecture, was now presented as the Chinese version of Las Vegas, boasting an array of opulent casinos, with big stakes, supported by loan sharks and heavies as persuasion for those in default.  Commercial boating large and small brought the obligatory boatyard maintenance support facilities in the harbour areas, again all well captured.  Escape from the general turmoil was shown still to be a possibility, in that tranquillity can be sought in well maintained parks like Kowloon City Park.
Strident music tracks reflected the essential vitality of these bustling islands, reproduced superbly well by the audio equipment which Tony brought along as a part of the package.
After the tea break we were presented with a complete contrast.  Firstly a wry look at railways, which initially took in the intricacy of the model railway scene and moved swiftly to the preservation movement, including the North Yorkshire Moors Railway Pickering to Whiby, The National Railway Museum at York, The East Lancs Railway from Bury and The Tanfield Railway at Gateshead.  A glimpse of the Jacobite Fort William to Mallaig steam working over Network Rail metals crept in also.  The Tanfield Railway, reputed to be the world's oldest railway, provided many examples of dereliction rather than preservation, much loved by photographers, though recent tidy up work has now reduced the possibility.
Music track  "I'm a Train" by Albert Hammond (I think)
The next sequence was captured during a North Cheshire Photographic Society annual week-end club outing; to Paris on this occasion. Carefully selected music tracks readily identifiable with the French capital, featuring Edith Piaf in the mix, accompanied a careful trawl through the sights of Paris, all beautifully composed in harmony.  (Perhaps NCC aught to push the boat out and do something similar?)
The sequences were all assembled using the still, very affordable Pictures to Exe software, which now provides endless capability and subtlety for the AV worker.  Tony insists that he only uses a small percentage of that capability, which is rather difficult to believe, judging by the sheer professionalism of his delivery.  Tony has a seemingly effortless charm and presentation ability, which never fails to impress those who are fortunate enough to share the experience and his presence always the enhances the NCC program with a relaxed entertainment dimension.  Long may it continue!


Tuesday 3rd January  2017
Member's AV Evening hosted by David Hoyle.

Once more our first meeting of the New Year was very well supported  both in terms of attendance and the number of members who entertained with their AV presentations.  Thirteen AV sequences, as below, were projected ensuring a very full evening's content, which with impeccable timing took us right to the ten pm finish.
A humorous animated elf season's greetings opened for which I think I detected that the faces of two of our senior states folk had been "Photoshopped" in!

  1. David Foster opened with his "Fourteen Years in the Making", which traced a family member from cradle to early adulthood accompanied by John Lennon's Happy Christmas.

  2. Bryan Averill based  an "Autumn in Scotland" sequence on a Killin holiday, taking in the the Loch Tay surroundings, the Falls of Dochart, before venturing into Glen Coe with the  support of "Braveheart" music.

  3. David Hoyle then included a short sequence of his own featuring seals and plunge diving pelicans captured in Australia.

  4. Paul Compton provided "From out of the Darkness" an annotated sequence of people plucked from his computer providing one line guidance and photographic advice, underwritten with have fun. Music and sound effects very varied.

  5. Nick Hutt followed with "Llandudno - In Camera", which explored the area within walking distance of the town, including the Great Orme and Conway, topped out by the seascape sunsets. Backing support came from The Byrds, Enya and Fleetwood Mac.

  6. Brian Sankey, saddened by the tourist despoilment of the Cornwall of his youth, found Pembrokeshire had largely avoided such a fate and a recent holiday in the St. Brides Bay area provided the base material for his sequence starring puffins on Skomer. Musical support was from the Gaelic hymn "Bunessan" now more readily recognised as "Morning has Broken".

  7. Paul Topham chipped in with a graphic representation of Chris de Burgh's "Lady in Red", in which he exercised the latitudes of his fertile mind to the full!

  8. Paul Compton returned with "My Monochrome Moments", featuring a wide variety of images from his hard disk, illustrating characteristic versatility and creativity without bounds.  Once more sound effects and music exceeded my descriptive abilities, but I'm sure no-one nodded off!

  9. David Foster contributed further with a sequence based on a visit to the Black Country Museum at Dudley, accompanied by Wray and Rex.  The backing track was a folksy rendition of "When You and I were Young Maggie".

  10. In her absence, Brian introduced Alma Sankey's "Caernarvon Castle-Poppies" which traced a day trip through Snowdonia to photograph the Caernarvon verson of the Tower of London display.

  11. Graham Dodd presented "The Beacons", which detailed an exhausting walk to top out the Brecon Beacons with friends and a Lumix camera with familiar classic music accompaniment.

  12. David Hoyle with his second set turned on the pan pipes for "101 Images of Peru", taking in the colour of the natives, the markets and Machu Piccu.

  13. Bryan Averill brought the evening to a close with "Tough Mudders at Cholmondeley Castle", backed by Billy Ocean's "When the Going gets Tough".  Whilst being mad is not generally an asset, this sequence proved that in some situation it helps.

Thanks are extended to all who contributed to what has now become a traditional new year opener and in particular to David for providing the audio equipment and orchestrating the entire event.


Tuesday 13th December 2016
3rd Club Competition (Set Subject :- "Working Life")
Judge :- Brian Dunseath, ARPS

To read a full report about this competition, please see the "Competitions" pages


Tuesday 8th December  2016
"Pure Landscape" by Noel Bennett

In his pre-amble, Noel revealed that he had begun his photography in 2005 and joined a photographic club in Stafford.  He acknowledged that this provided impetus to a career move which eventually lead to being able to make a living from his photographic work, though he emphasised that he likes to do his own thing, following an emotional path, ruled more by the heart rather than the 'rules' and what the judges say.  He generally aims to limit computer manipulation of images to no more than was the case in the days of the dark room, burning in, holding back and vignetting etc.  Images are initially prepared in Lightroom and final tweaking is done in Photoshop.  The Nik Collection software plug-in filters are used for colour to mono conversions.  A technique in which a monochrome overlay layer, applied to a colour image, using a mask to selectively allow colour to deftly bleed through as required, was also shown to great effect.
Canon is the equipment brand of choice and whilst a selection of lenses are in the camera bag, the one normally on the camera is a 17-40mm wide-angle zoom, invariably tripod mounted.  An essential item of equipment was a pair of wellingtons, permanently in the car for deployment.
Printing and print mounting he normally does himself, though for professional sales he uses ProAm Imaging, who provide an excellent quality, inexpensive, consistent on-line service.  Prints were often left in a prominent position in his studio for a day or two for contemplation, which often promps the need to re-crop or re-work in some aspect.  A second opinion was advocated, in his case his wife provided valuable insight.
Early mornings and sunsets were the favoured times for landscape work, with mid-day generally avoided, but there were exceptions.  Rarely does he allow the sun to intrude into the picture, seeking rather to capture the sun's interplay upon the terrain.
Refreshingly, many of the images were captured right on our doorstep, dog-walking from home in Stone on the Trent and Mersey canal was featured, together with Dimmingsdale in autumn, the Roaches in snow, Trentham Park and a local golf course.  Venturing further afield, Stanage Edge rewarded with the abandoned grit-stone wheels, which crop up in numerous locations. The Lake District was also a favourite with stunning examples of Buttermere, Castlerigg stone circle and Derwentwater as evidence.
A photographic course present from his wife introduced Noel to Northumberland, where he was motivated to emulate book images produced by the much admired Joe Cornish, taking in the familiar Alnmouth, Dunstanburgh Castle and Lindisfarne in all their glory.  The leader decided foul weather on one day was too severe for photography, but undeterred Noel came back with images of the raging sea.  Interestingly he recommended always shooting on an out going tide rather than incoming.  This period in 2009 proved pivotal in making the decision for a career move to one as a professional photographer.
More images flowed from Llandudno, St. Ives, Jersey and Pembroke, all dripping with style and atmosphere.
Were I to be asked to identify a speaker more able to provide inspiration for both new and old workers alike, I would seriously struggle.  Delivery was effortless and laced with humour, detail and helpful advice. To quote Noel "Always enjoy it - the picture is the best souvenir that you can take home".
Whilst we exhausted Noel's current landscape folio, other possibilities exist for a future return and Noel will always be a welcome visitor.


29th November 2016
Inter-Club Competition Nantwich v Sandbach
Judge :- Diana Magor, EFIAPb, MPSA, CPAGB, LRPS

To read a full report about this competition, please see the "Competitions" pages


Tuesday 22nd November  2016
L&CPU Folio "A"

For the last couple of years, the complex circulation path for folios has not been published until November / December, rather than August /September as was previously the normal arrangement.  The consequence is that it is necessary to make assumptions of the likely date for our club, based on the previous year, so that the booking of speakers around the folio dates can start, which normally happens in September.  Unfortunately due to clubs leaving and new clubs joining, the assumption can prove to be incorrect.  Such was the case on this occasion , with the folio prints received for the previous Nantwich meeting, which then had to be passed immediately to Crewe and one week later, now with the Chester club.  Fortunately our secretary had received a CD with all of the seasons folios, which enabled us to show the PI version of the folio to rescue the evening.  In fact two folio selections are now produced, one for a northern club circulation and one for the southern clubs  So as a bonus we were able to see both, which would not have been the case had we been in possession of the prints.  David projected at such a speed as to allow members to absorb and comment on the content.  As usual there was a diverse mix of images included, some of which were instantly recognisable as from recent visiting club lecturers and two members of Nantwich, Paul and Andrew had inclusions.
Contact with the folio secretary has revealed that he is standing down from the position, so we will attempt to prevail upon the new secretary to revert to the more helpful publication date of the past.

After the tea break, prints from the previous week's competition were set up to allow closer appreciation of the entries.


Tuesday 15th November 2016
2nd Club Competition (Open) Judge:- Doug Benison LRPS, CPAGB

To read a full report about this competition, please see the "Competitions" pages


Tuesday 8th November  2016
" Shetland" by David Tolliday

Explaining that Shetland has been an annual family pilgrimage for many years, which originally included his late father-in-law, who wished to re-connect with the islanders,  following a period as a radio operator based on Unst, the most northerly island, for the military towards the end of the second world war.  During the war the ladies had been deserted by their-men folk on war duties and provided great hospitality to those posted on Unst, which had left an enduring mark.
Travel to Shetland presents two choices, either flights in small twin prop aircraft taking about an hour or twelve hour over-night sailings from Aberdeen.  Flying imposes great restrictions on baggage weight and forces the hire of a car upon arrival at Sumburgh Airport. The car ferry allows unlimited options for taking photographic gear, so probably is the most practical and arrives at Lerwick, on the main island, the capital.   All in the cost is roughly the same for either travel mode.  Many of the larger outlying islands are accessible by bridge or small roll-on roll-off ferries. An exception described was the journey to the Fair Isle observatory, which lies south of Shetland and is only accessible by use of the infamous Good Shepherd IV, a small flat bottomed boat built to bob around like a cork on the notorious seas. The prevailing rough seas often induces nauseous results and so it proved for David.  Matters were not helped by the cuisine at the bird observatory, where the cauliflower-cheese main course resembled that which had previously gone over the side of the Good Shepherd!
On the mainland Sumburgh Head, managed by the RSPB, provides endless opportunity for easily accessible sea-bird photography, with the puffins being particularly confiding.  The islands in general are sparsely populated and it is very practical to park a car in quiet roadside locations and use it as a hide, with a bean bag support from an open window.  Many excellent examples were shown of birds using fence posts as perches, providing ideal poses for photos completely oblivious to the car's intrusion.  Amongst the species captured in this way were snipe, redshank, oystercatcher, whimbrel, starling, wren and house sparrow.  Throughout the talk, bird images were supported by recordings of their characteristic calls to great effect.
A night time diversion to the famous broch on Mousa was aimed at photographing storm petrels which spend their lives on the oceans. They only come ashore at night in the breeding season to avoid predation by skuas and normally nest in holes in the ground.  However the broch, built in the time of the Picts, provides adapted nest sites in the crevices between the rock structure.  Finding the bird in the dark, manually focussing because auto-focus was too slow in the dark and judging when to shoot proved almost impossible.  Eventually a scatter gun approach provided a result.
Landscape opportunities are many and typified by the sand causeway to St. Ninians  Island.
Lerwick harbour provided surprising opportunities, with black guillemots, razorbills, fulmars and arctic terns easy targets.  To keep detail in the feathers, black guillemots with their contrasting white patches presented photographic problems, which required masked layering exposuure adjustment in Photoshop to reveal details in the white of what was otherwise an exposure for the black.   Otters came into view following the departure of boats from the harbour.  It was believed that the ships propellers disturbed fish, which prompted otters to capitalise and bring their catch ashore for a good munch.. 
A plunge diving sequence by gannets was captured, as they fold into an arrow shape to enter the water without scarcely a ripple, in their quest for fish. They have a colony on the nearby uninhabited island of Noss, where they nest and roost on the high sea cliff faces.  Visits are allowed but it was warned that over enthusiastic photography when shooting from above the colony can lead to feelings of disorientation and raises fears of falling.
On the southern outskirts of Lerwick, there is a large supermarket located on the edge of a sea bay.   From there, just crossing the road to the bay common grey seals haul out onto the rocks and after topping up with groceries, an easy photo session is possible with a medium to long telephoto lens.
The island of Yell offered redshanks, oystercatchers, more otters and superb great northern diver shots.  Fetlar provided whimbrel and the elusive red-necked phalarope.  Moving to Unst ferry terminal, where a free wifi hotspot has been provided, allowed a totally unexpected photo session with an otter.   A crawl down the beach down wind to the otter permitted superb shots in close proximity.
Examples of the many rare and unique flora were portrayed and a one off encounter with killer whales included as a bonus.
The famous bus shelter on Unst was visited and shown, where locals have endowed it with all modern conveniences, including PC, TV and microwave and is now a part of the tourist trail.
It was recommended that the last two weeks of June and the first two in July is the best time to visit for photography.  Generally the islands are free of the Scottish midge curse, probably due to the prevalence of off-sea winds providing them with an alien environment.
The Norse connection is still present with ceremonial Viking attire and long boat burning, but rape and pillaging is thankfully out of fashion.  The pubs give succour to the instrumental and folk music talents of the locals and a recording produced by one of the prominent lady folk singers provided the background to a short audio visual sequence, which caught the enchanting essence of Shetland, to bring the evening to an end.
David has an easy presentational style, which was very much enjoyed.
Our David Foster presided over a formal vote of thanks with his usual perceptive aplomb to bring an excellent evening to an end, before we made our exit into torrential rain, quite up to Shetland standards.


Tuesday 1st November  2016
“Going Solo” Jane Lines,MPAGB, LRPS, BPE5*

Jane, explaining that she was sponsored by Fotospeed photographic inkjet papers, opened with a short audio visual located in the Camargue, featuring the famous grey horses of the swamplands bread and managed to herd the black bulls endemic to the region.
She explained that she had come late to photography, had never used film and was promoted from being husband Adrian's photographic accompanist, by him thrusting a camera in her hands in 2009 and exhorting her to have a go, rather than just hanging around during his photographic ventures.
From there she traced her meteoric path to achieve the list accreditations which she now holds, with the first being achieved in 2011.
PI versions of the prints which she used to gain her various accreditations were shown with explanations of the techniques used within Adobe Photoshop.  Now using a full frame camera, with a 70-200mm lens occasionally supplemented by a hand-me-down Sigma 10-15mm wide angle, she extensively produced composites to achieve the desired effects, using cut-outs pasted into more suitable back ground locations together with over-lay filters and black and white layers. As well as Photoshop filters she also used those from the Nik Collection plug-in suite still available as a free download from Google.
She and Adrian travelled far and wide in the search for images, finding the Camargue rich in other aspects apart fro herding horses and bulls, including a near by annual gypsy festival at St. Mary de la Mer, with religious significance and the Aigues-Mortes festival, where young men's rite of passage is measured by touching an enraged bull which has been chased through the streets to a stadium and living to tell the tail.
Within the UK however, many of the traditional image hunting grounds were frequented, including, steam punk at Lincoln, Farne Islands artic terns, Crich Tramway Museum, Blists Hill Iron Bridge Gorge Museum, Tutbury Castle Photo-day, Mull for the sea eagle cruise and Whitby for the goths.  A club event at a disused Warrington warehouse provided nude model studies, one of which was transplanted to an ornate church in Prague and the girl turned angelic, growing arctic tern wings!
A trip to China also contributed material for her accreditation panels.
After the tea break the actual prints were circulated so that the members could appreciate the subtlety evident in prints which is not captured in PIs.
Jane made an excellent contribution to our programme and I'm sure provided an inspiration to all of our members, particularly those comparatively new to the game, in terms of what can be achieved photographically in just a few years, given the necessary environment, application and aspiration. She emphasised that she never spent more than one evening on a creation and if it threatened to take longer it was dumped.
Jane will I'm sure, be welcomed back to Nantwich both as a speaker and judge in the near future.  She is already booked to provide judging duties for the 2017 Five Towns Competition to be held at Crewe.


Tuesday 25th October 2016
Whitchurch v Nantwich Inter-Club Competition
Judge:- Tillman Kleinhans ARPS EFIAP/b DPAGB BPE2*

There was a good turn-out from Members of both Clubs at the Annual Interclub Competition hosted this year by Whitchurch. Starting with the Prints, Tillman gave his usual detailed and positive critique of each of the 30 images. He explained that he expected there to be a lot of images scoring 16 as they were all good, and that his selection of top scorers would ultimately be down to personal choice. He held back 10 prints, 2 from Whitchurch and 8 from Nantwich. After due consideration he awarded 2 of the 10 remaining images 16 points leaving 6 from Nantwich and 2 from Whitchurch to be awarded higher scores. He opted for “Bison in a Blizzard” by Andrew Charlesworth CPAGB as his winner with 20 points, “Frozen Remains” again by Andrew Charlesworth CPAGB in second place with 19 points, and “In Mint Condition” by Bryan Averill in 3rd place with 18 points. This, together with the remaining scores meant that after the print section Nantwich were leading with a score of 250 to 233.
After the tea break the judging of the projected images commenced. After the same positive critique Tillman held back 10 images for further consideration, 4 from Whitchurch and 6 from Nantwich, but after a 2nd look awarded 2 of the Nantwich images 16 points, leaving 4 from each club! He eventually, after much deliberation awarded 20 points to “Brown Eyed Girl” by Paul Compton CPAGB. 2nd place went to “White Tailed Eagle” by Whitchurch member Chris Goody, and 3rd place to White Ibis by Wray Douglas.
The final result was a win for Nantwich with a final score of 495 and Whitchurch scoring 468.


Tuesday 18th October  2016
" High Speed Flash" , George Franks

Showing great energy George initially set up four table top exercises around the room, having promised that the majority of the evening was to be hands-on for members.
A short presentation followed showing images, which through a process of trial and error, he had produced at home using the set-ups to be made available to members.  All of the exercises came under the heading of freezing time, in that using the technique described, the captured image is entirely created by high speed flash, with ambient light making no contribution.
Equipment requirements were recommended as follows:- camera with 24-105mm zoom lens or similar, tripod, cable or remote release, off camera flash unit or units, preferably with power output adjustment triggered by a camera mounted transmitter.
Camera settings manual focus, camera flash de-activated, camera synchronised flash (1/125) exposure,  ISO 100-400, aperture f8.
Flash setting about 1/32 power.
The trial and error aspect of capturing the images, in which the timing of making the exposure is critical, means that many shots and patience are required for success.
Recommended as an aid to accurate focussing was, to initially use the cameras auto focus, ideally in spot focus mode, to confirm sharp focus for a target placed in the plane of action and then switch to manual mode.  This avoids the camera continually 'hunting' to focus on the action.
It was emphasised that the workshop exercises were more readily successful for ladies than for men, due to their greater powers of hand eye coordination.
The four table top setups were as follows

  1. A fish tank partially filled with water was provided into which a sweet pepper or four dice were dropped to create a splash.  The camera on tripod triggered an obliquely mounted flash gun and if the timing was right the splash patterns were frozen. A plain white background was preferred and eventually provided.

  2. A plastic back containing coloured water was suspended above the base of an inverted wine glass.  A pinhole was made in the bag to release a steady stream of water spots. A union jack was draped on the wall as a back drop. The object was to capture the frozen splatter of water patterns.

  3. A drinking glass of water containing fake ice cubes into which a slice of lemon was dropped to create a splash pattern was the set-up, which when successfully captured,  replicated the type of imagery used in commercial advertising to promote the sale of cocktail drinks.

  4. Against a black card background, a joss stick was burnt to create smoke patterns, aided by a bit of wafting.  Illumination was from a flash unit at 90 degrees to the camera, shielded by a black card 'tunnel' to avoid light spilling into the camera lens creating flare.

Members were encouraged to visit all four sets during the evening, with George circulating to provide advice and encouragement.  Participation was high and much fun was evident.  Clearly our members like playing in water, maybe proving that we don't have to grow up if we don't wish to.
George delivered a great evening for the troops for which heartfelt thanks were extended.
Before departing, he informed me that he has a similar second event which he can deliver around a theme of still-life, plus one in which he provides a model and studio set-up for member's participation.  I'm sure that we shall take advantage of these offers. It is pleasing that speakers offer to return to Nantwich, which is a tribute to our membership and its culture.


Tuesday 11th October  2016
"An Evening with Terry Donnelly"
Terry Donnelly FRPS, MPAGB, FSWPP, FBPE, EFIAP.

Communication problems threatened to jeopardise the talk's delivery, but thankfully literally last minute actions restored the equilibrium.  Consequentially the programmed event was a little late to start.  However Terry swiftly swung into action with a panel of twenty PIs of the prints which he used to gain his FSWPP distinction.  The theme was Conceptual Relationships, and the somewhat bizarre and slightly ghoulish projections to a raunchy version of Paul Simon's "Sound of Silence" immediately indicated that the evening was to be something rather special.  An individual explanation of each image followed to place things in context.
Moving on Terry revealed that in school days he loved photography and was able to scrounge black and white film from some of the Liverpool processing houses and did his own processing.  Leaving school at fifteen and starting work relegated photography to the wilderness and new interests like motor bikes became prime.  After a varied career, in 2006 he bought a business which provided photographic survey services to industrial site developers.  This featured a van with a mast which could be elevated to 25 feet, to which a remotely controlled camera was mounted to obtain a succession of high level panned images, from which artistic projections of the site's potential were created.  Though successful, increasing commitment enforced employing assistants and the inability to recruit  employees of the right calibre resulted in the sale of the business in 2008.
Taking a new direction in 2008, Terry enrolled for an Open University photographic course, eventually emerging with an LRPS qualification.  Acknowledging the value of belonging to a photographic society, entering competitions, mentoring and listening to outside comments, wives, contemporaries, judges and others, within a couple of years ARPS was swiftly followed by L&CPU 'Print of the Year' by 2014.
Terry valued the project aspect of the path to securing qualifications higher than that of the achievement, due to the experience gained.  To progress he believed that it was always essential to have one or preferably more projects ongoing at any given time.  Almost any circumstance provides the opportunity for a photographic project.  Assuming the willingness to invest the necessary work and to follow a path which eventually leads to an individual style, the view was expressed that everyone has the ability, in so doing suggesting that he was not one of the special ones, though some may well dispute this, but never-the-less his encouragement is inspirational.  The view was offered that three essential ingredients are required to produce a great image - technical ability, including a comprehensive instant knowledge of your camera controls, - creativity, every one is creative, keep looking and the more you will see - opportunity, go to great places at the right time of day.
From a selection of panels, a member asked for one produced on London Underground to feature next.  The images were captured whilst reluctant to join his wife on an Oxford Street shopping expedition.  An Olympus four thirds compact camera was used fitted with a Sangyong 7.5mm ultra wide angle lens.  ISO settings up to 3200 resulted in an appropriate gritty effect.  Courage and tact was required in the potentially unfriendly bubble-like atmosphere of our capital city, but the resulting images were highly impressive.
Similarly a rainy holiday in New York produced a project in which the puddles and stark images combined for the production of the "Manhatten Reflections"  panel served up with  a distorted rendition of Singing in the Rain background music, which probably caused Gene Kelly tot urn in his grave.
Indicating that he has other talks for future occasions, it is a given that we would wish to have Terry return on some future programme.  The original booking was made following a suggestion from committee member Jo, who contributes strongly to the running of NCC.  Anyone wishing to offer suggestions for the next programme, for which bookings are shortly to commence, will be well received.


Tuesday 4th October 2016
1st Club Competition
Judge :- Nick Berentzen CPAGB,BPE1*

To read a full report about this competition, please see the "Competitions" pages


Friday 30th September 2016
Five Towns Monochrome Print Competition
        Judge:- Tillman Kleinhans ARPS EFIAP/b DPAGB BPE2*

To read a full report about this competition, please see the "Competitions" pages


Tuesday 27th September  2016
An Explanation of Photoshop Filters by George Steele LRPS, CPAGB.

George reminded that Adobe Photoshop has its origins in commercial graphic art and as such some of the filter galleries are not particularly directed towards photographers, but never-the-less may have some way out uses. Many of those accessed from the Filter Gallery fall into this category, though in every case the effects may be reduced by judicial use of the included sliders.
A projection was displayed to illustrate many of the effects of the more useful filters and it was advocated that creating a background copy in PS on which to apply the filter readily allowed before and after effects to be switched.
Lens correction filters are provided to correct known aberrations and are specific to a large range of branded lenses and camera manufacturers.  Many, not already resident within PS may often be downloaded from the Adobe website.
Filters for photography are accessed from Image > Adjustments>Photofilters, which accesses a drop down selection of colour filters.
Colour filters were demonstrated to be particularly effective in bringing out detail selectively in monochrome conversions with red and yellow shown to dramatically effective for vegetation.
Beyond the standard filters present in Photoshop attention was drawn to the fact that bought The Nik software company and now offers free down load of the once quite expensive Nik Collection, which integrate into Photoshop under the Filters menu.  These provide an even more powerful range of filters for both colour and monochrome.  The monochrome portion is called Silver Efex and performs a conversion to monochrome from any colour image. The conversion offers a selection from thirty-odd standard pre-sets ranging from high-key, low-key, sepia, antique to all points in between.  Each pre-set is simply a starting point and the image may then be adjusted with sliders to vary the effect and variations may be saved as personal pre-sets.  A further option is to replicate the distinctive characteristics of film stock, which many of us grew up with from Ilford, Agfa, Kodak etc.  Again adjustment of colour sliders offered other options for each pre-set.
Developing experience with the colour options in the Collection confirmed that equally powerful tools exist within Nik to bring out structure, detail and enhance sharpness, which was fully corroborated by the interchange some of our members.
George provided a comprehensive and fully illustrated insight into the part which filters can play in enhancing our photos and for many of us it was a valuable evening in which once more George shone a light on another aspect of Photoshop to complement his previous visits. Not easy, but clearly well rehearsed with other clubs to our benefit, the presentations fill a niche which few other speakers address and George is well accomplished and engaging with his delivery technique.   


Tuesday 20th September  2016
Using a DSLR For Night Photography by Nigel A. Ball, FRAS

As a Fellow of the Royal Astronomy Society, it was predictable that Nigel would probably walk a different path to that trodden by most photo society members and so it transpired.  Starting with a modest Nikon D70 camera with a standard zoom kit lens he was sufficiently encouraged to move to a full frame Nikon D3S and D800 and a wide angle large aperture professional 14-24mm Nikon zoom to capture a variety of night time photographs for which the use of a tripod is essential.  Images are initially processed in Lightroom and then finalised in Photoshop. Examples of the highest quality were projected for a range of night time photography Including astrophotography, star trail, nightscape, aurora and panoramas.  For those who were not in attendance, it is strongly recommended that the nigelaball.com website be visited to appreciate the sheer grandeur and quality of his images.
Professionally Nigel is involved in computer software, but adds his love and qualifications in maths and science to his photographic hobby, seeking out places where light pollution of the night sky impacts least on his astrophotography, which often involves travel during the evening to be on location for the darkest middle of the night.  Typically this involves being exposed for the duration of the night to cold, hostile conditions on mountain tops, moorlands or sea cliffs.
He explained that some of his astrophotography images using a telescope took years to complete dependent on night sky conditions.  Consequently he been moved to producing nightscapes and star-trails in which the night sky is a backdrop to recognisable locations.  These included familiar locations Pontcysyllte Aqueduct at Trevor, Stiperstones in Shropshire, Castell Dinas Bran Llangollen and other less familiar locations nationally and internationally.
Most of us had never heard of noctilucent clouds, but stunning examples were shown of this phenomena.  They occasionally occur at twilight, as the sun sinks below the horizon in the north sky and ice crystals in the very highest atmosphere are illuminated by the suns rays providing a band of weird light patterns.
The Photographer's Ethemeris download app for Apple or Android was recommended as a planning tool for use prior to travel to site.  This allows key elements to be considered in advance to provide an optimal time opportunity in which the position of the object may be aligned with the stars and moon and tide conditions as appropriate to achieve the image objective.
To avoid star shots having a tail due to the earths rotation during long exposures a simple 400 rule was advocated.  This supplies a guideline time exposure not to be exceeded simply by dividing 400 by the lens focal length in millimetres  to give the maximum time in seconds e.g. for a 20mm lens the time max is 20 seconds.
A Photoshop plug-in called Advanced Stacker Plus available from StarCircleAcademy.com as a downloadwas recommended and demonstrated for combining multiple time lapse images into star trails allowing an array of artistic possibilities.
This synopsis scarcely scratches the surface of the abundant material enthusiastically delivered during Nigel's talk. For each shot full details of camera settings was readily provided and members were greatly encouraged to ask questions, experiment and to have a go for themselves.  Nigel is very much motivated by taking his photography to places where others have not been and creating solutions.
A safety warning concluded, emphasising the hazardous aspects related to being alone in hostile locations in black-out conditions.  The need to be equipped with adequate reserves of food, warm drink, warm clothing, waterproofs, mountain boots and maybe crampons, to combat wind and the onset of low temperatures plus, map, compass hand and head torches with back-up batteries.  Remember that ice may form during the night and the descent may of mountains can pose different problems to the ascent.  Reliance on mobile phones should be avoided because frequently there will be no signal and sat-navs are not always a great option, being dependent on batteries which rapidly fail in cold conditions.  A daylight reconnoitre is helpful, but it is still easy to become disorientated in the dark.
We enjoyed a superb evening for which the interest level generated extensive questions from members and the wish to have Nigel and Lorraine return on a future programme is compulsive.    


NEW HONORARY ASSOCIATE MEMBER FOR NANTWICH CAMERA CLUB

We are delighted to announce that Margaret Salisbury FRPS, MFIAP, FIPF, APAGB, AWPF has accepted our offer of an Honorary Associate Membership of Nantwich Camera Club.

Margaret has had a close connection to the Club for many years and has visited as either Speaker or Judge 14 times. She is always unstinting in her help and advice as a judge and the high standard of her lectures and accompanying images always draw a high attendance. ‘The Dragon’ never disappoints.

Margaret is associated as a photographer with Fotospeed and she is always to be found manning the stand at the annual Photography Exhibition (formerly Focus on Imaging) at the NEC, where we all seek her out for information on the latest products.

We look forward to our association and seeing her in the not-to-distant future.

 

Margaret Salisbury

Margaret Salisbury FRPS, MFIAP, FIPF, APAGB, AWPF

 


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