Chris Crane Cup
This evening (22nd March) was the 3rd outing for the Chris Crane Cup. Chris was a real 'gentleman' in the true sense of the word and since passing away some 3 years ago is still sadly missed by many members of Cramlington CC.
In photography, in which Chris was highly skilled his passions were for wildlife, nature & engineering, so these naturally became the topics that formed the basis of the Chris Crane Cup.
Making his first 'foray' into the world of judging was Phil Benton a professional photographer from Chopwell and a member of South Shields Camera Club who kindly agreed to judge this competition. Many members will know Phil from his attendance at many craft fairs and markets in and around the Newcastle area where he shows and sells his prints very successfully.
This evening Phil had a total of 30 images all based on those 3 themes of wildlife, nature & engineering. As a professional photographer Phil was easily able to slip into the role of 'critique' highlighting what was good and perhaps what not so, but all in a lighthearted, informative and constructive way.
In the Chris Crane Cup there can be only one winner and after his deliberations Phil announced that the image he had picked to receive the trophy was 'Winterland' by Lauren Clayton.
Lauren was presented with the Chris Crane Cup by Ann, Chris's partner of many years.
Many congratulations to Lauren and thanks to all who entered the competition.
Thanks to Phil for agreeing to judge for us at what was quite short notice and doing such a sterling job.
Bob Finlay (President)
Lauren's winning image 'Winterland'
Lauren being presented the 'Chris Crane Cup' by Ann
15-03-2018, Wildlife and Me, Kevin Murray.
As a young boy growing up in Northumberland Kevin has always been comfortable outdoors, his love of the outdoors and the skills he learnt from field craft set him on the road to achieving his ambition to master wildlife photography.
A member of Alnwick and District Camera Club, he has spent the last past ten years honing his skills of photography with his DSLR. Before showing images of birds and animals through the seasons. Beautiful shots of puffins and sand eels from very low viewpoints started his presentation. He has made many visits to the Farne islands. Usually early in the season is a favourite time as the bird population is low, and Kevin could photograph individuals with few background distractions. Guillemots, razorbills, shag, terns, & the gannets of Bass Rock also featured.
Kevin followed this with his seven-year project on red squirrels, explaining that although there had been a national decline in population, numbers were increasing.
He has built his own hide and over the years developed this with the addition of a pond for reflections with added props such as mossy branches and a bank of moss for foreground. A series of images of squirrels in the snow, feeding, perched on fungus and in flight between branches followed. He hopes to enlarge this pond next season. He explained his technique for sharp focus on these creatures to achieve the right depth of field. Often using pre-focus and waiting for the animal to "jump" through it. Coal tits, blue tits, jays and woodpeckers are also attracted to the pond.
Using his field craft skills, he can now call the Roe Deer to his location. Over the years he has developed his knowledge of the animals so he can with confidence know where they will approach from and even which field they will be in. Using hand movements to create a distraction they become so curious that they approach. This has given him some magical shots of sunrise silhouettes with back lit fawns, and red deer foraging.
Humorous anecdotes accompanied his images and entertained us all.
He has spent some time in Scotland photographing wild hare, preening, stretching and posing, but as yet not captured the classic boxing shot, although he has witnessed it many times. In the sub zero conditions of the Cairngorms, he photographed Capercaillie, a large woodland grouse, grey partridge (a breed in decline), hedgehogs, and sparrow hawks.
Kevin told the story of how he obtained his image of a slow worm, by unravelling a strand of wool from his sweater to form a fishing line. The slow worm, assuming it was dinner, reared up and Kevin got his shot.
Kevin took a question and answer session and explained his methods of calling the deer, Talked about conservation in Northumberland and how his lens choice has to be the most versatile for varying conditions. He then showed a variety of prints to the members who took the opportunity to see just how sharp his images are.
On behalf of the club Colin thanked him for taking the time to talk to us.
I used to teach as a PADI diving instructor for many years, as part of this I taught an underwater photography course Understanding how a camera works as part of the advanced / specialty programme.
This was designed to teach students with very little or no experience on how a camera works and what is needed to take pictures underwater.
This can easily be modified to run as a basic / refresher DSLR course to give an insight to how to set up, use and care for your camera, the course will cover all of the following to help you understand and learn the different programmes the camera uses and how to analyse what your camera is doing so you can optimise lighting, colour and sharpness.
At the end of the course ( approximately 5hrs) it will give you the knowledge and confidence you will need to explore other functions other than the AUTO setting and understand the camera better,
Items covered are by section:
camera care / set up.
Digital file formats.
ISO and Noise.
Different camera modes.
Different focus modes.
Different metering modes.
How to use a Histogram
Getting sharp pictures.
Downloading and saving images.
Basic Photoshop skills.
Saving edited images.
As said earlier this is designed for beginners and those who only use the Auto function and want to learn how to break free from it.
I hope to do some demos and if time allows some practical sessions. Bring your camera and its instruction book standard lens and tripod.
If you are interested please contact myself " Not Colin as he has enough to do" to book your place on the course before April 26th.
This will be Run over 2 Thursday nights running from May 3rd and ending on May 10th at our club venue starting at 7.30 till approximate 9.30pm
Phone 07702 106017 please leave a message if not answered.
Note.. you will need to do some work in reading your camera manual to fully understand how to alter settings in your own make of camera.
I Notice that this week is NCPF Portfolio week, As the latest issue has not been received yet and we have already had a couple of previews already. May I suggest we bring in our cameras and have an impromptu "still life" night??? Or any other suggestions.
Colin Livingstone (Secretary)
This evening (1st March) saw the results of the 3rd Open Print Competition revealed. This was the last print competition of the season and was judged by Bill Broadley. Bill is a member of Blyth Photographic Society and a keen supporter of, and photographer for Blyth Spartans.
First I must praise and thank Bill for turning out on a particularly cold, snowy and icy night when many Cramlington Camera Club members decided the conditions too severe to attend.
As is usual with competitions as we approach the season end, entries were a little ‘light’ in number but also as usual quality remained high.
Bill was very kind with his comments and suggested ways in which certain prints could have been improved upon whilst always expressing that this was just his opinion and agreement was always optional not a requirement.
As well as the top 5 placings in both mono & colour prints Bill was asked to pick 5 Highly Commended in each.
The winner in the Mono Section was Jim Meikle with his print ‘One o’clock Fairy’ and the Colour Section, Colin Livingstone with ‘Beer Garden’. Many congratulations to both.
Bill was thanked for judging the competition and for his comments and received thanks from the members in the usual way.
A list of all placings and those highly commended are shown below and to view the top 5 Mono & Colour images. Click......(HERE)
Bob Finlay (President)
1st 'One O’clock Fairy' Jim Meikle
2nd 'Buttermere' Colin Livingstone
3rd ' Tree on a Hill' Colin Livingstone
4th ' Tyne God' Colin Livingstone
5th 'Mo Farah' Paul Kidd
1st 'Beer Garden' Colin Livingstone
2nd 'Dawn at St Mary's' Jim Meikle
3rd 'Wacky Wabbitt' Paul Kidd
4th 'Light on Corrie Scamadal' Jamie Welsh
5th ' Amaryllis Flower' Peter Moody
'Student Going Home' (Col) Jim Meikle
'The Butt & Ben' (Col) Jamie Welsh
'Five Trees' (Col) Colin Livingstone
'Geranium' (Col) Peter Moody
'Looking Downstairs' (Col) Jim Meikle
'Boxcar' (Mono) Paul Dunn
'The Watch House' (Mono) Jim Meikle
'Beside the Pond' (Mono) Peter Moody
'Seal Noir' (Mono) Paul Kidd
'Storm Watch Sentinel on Sky' (Mono) Jamie Welsh