This evening (6th December) our guest was John Thompson ARPS, EFIAP, CPAGB of both Morpeth Camera Club and Alnwick and District Camera Club. In fact John is a past President of Alnwick CC.
John commenced by explaining his love of Blurb Photo Books which he readily uses to document his trips, both holidays & photo vacations.
Venice was the first location John’s prints took us to. He told how, when several large cruise ships arrived in port, because of the sheer number of people they disembarked daytime photography proved a challenge. On this trip John took only his Nikon D700 with one 24-70 lens & no tripod which also proved a challenge when attempting night photography (less tourists) hand held. This however didn’t stop John from capturing some beautiful images.
A return to the UK followed where John explained how here, his intention was to revisit local photographic locations. Locations he had visited and photographed on many occasions, but to try and do something different this time. He decided to turn his hand to infrared photography and to show 3 images of each location.
With this in mind John had one of his older DLSR’s converted for infrared. John explained how he experimented with infrared testing the limits with what could be achieved. His hope was to be able to produce prints with varying tones so as to be nearly indistinguishable from a straight mono conversion without the extremes of black & white so indicative of infrared photography. John showed us some beautiful infrared prints encompassing such locations as the Pennines, the Cheviots, Berwick, Bamburgh & Holy Island. Closer to home Belsay Hall, Blyth with it’s wind turbines and Seaton Sluice featured with images both beautifully composed and printed.
To end the evening John showed some mono prints taken at night, hand held on Morpeth High Street before moving on to Stannington, home for John, where he explained he had set himself a little project of photographing, at night, the brightly illuminated petrol filling station in Stannington that had caught his eye from the A1 for sometime. This also included night visits to the nearby East Coast main line level crossing to try and capture passing trains and the flat LED flood lights that bathed the crossing. A task which proved challenging with john using the ‘machine gun’ technique with the hope of capturing at least one usable image.
To end his presentation John took questions from some of the members before receiving a round of applause for a thoroughly entertaining evening with top quality prints and entertaining narrative.
Bob Finlay (President)
PDI Battle - “Heads”, 29th November 2018
This week we had a PDI Battle with the subject of “Heads” which was the choice of Lauren Ashleigh who was the winner of the last PDI Battle.
There were 46 entries with a choice of subject matter from urinals to sculptures via flowers.
The winner on the night was “There’s a bird on my head” by Pauline Wilson. Congratulations to her for a splendid shot. Alan Carr was runner-up with “Metal Man” and in joint third place were “Cheetah” from Paul Dunn and another placed entry from Alan Carr with “Bike Ride”.
There were several image choices which were clearly hard to make and the members were split equally in their choice and the casting vote of the President was required to break the deadlock.
Congratulations to the winning images and to all the members who submitted images for the evening.
Click on each image to view full size.
Iain Chambers (PDI Secretary)
1st 'There's a Bird on my Head' Pauline Wilson
2nd 'Metal Man' Alan Carr
3rd 'Cheetah' Paul Dunn
4th 'Bike Ride' Alan Carr
This evening (22nd Nov) we were delighted to welcome Jed Wee back to Cramlington CC. Jed has been our guest on at least two previous occasions, including acting as a judge for our ‘Chris Crane Cup’ Competition.
For his talk this evening Jed took us on a landscape photography journey through several countries visited by Jed and a companion in recent years.
Sicily was the subject of the first set of images. Jed, with his companion who luckily spoke several languages made their trip to Sicily a few years ago, around February time. Jed was eager to try and capture the beautiful landscape and see how the light changed the mood of an image when taken at different times of the day. Low evening light increasing the contrast and saturation of both the natural landscape and land turned over to agriculture. As weather conditions were not always favourable or conducive to landscape photography a ‘plan B’ was required, and so focus changed to close up images of the textures on weathered & rotting wood & rust covered metalwork adorning the buildings and machinery so indicative of the harsh Sicilian climate.
Whilst in Sicily Jed was lucky enough to witness a large and sustained eruption from its active volcano, Etna. The summit of Etna, so often obscured by cloud, was clear and so the full power and beauty of the eruption was captured by Jed at sunset in stunning colour and infra red images.
Jed’s second location was Morocco. The city of Marrakech, a vibrant city teaming with life much of it, apparently looking for hand outs, where visits to a tannery followed and a palace to photograph Storks nesting on the roof. An 8 hour drive and overnight stop then brought Jed south to the Sahara Desert, a most inhospitable place but a place that has photo opportunities in abundance, shown by the stunning images of massive sand dunes where the low evening light cast wonderful shadows across this baron landscape. Jed also had the opportunity here, taking advantage of no light pollution to photograph the Milky Way.
Milford Sound and Queenstown areas, in the south west of New Zealand’s South Island were our next destination. Queenstown sits on the shores of Lake Wakatipu, where Jed showed stunning images taken of The Remarkables and Coronet Peak, both in colour and again infra red. New Zealand gets its fair share of rainfall evident by the many beautiful waterfalls throughout the island. Recent heavy rainfall in the area around Milford Sound gave Jed the opportunity to capture images of no less than 7 waterfalls cascading down from the cliff tops, some with the their flow almost halted and turned to mist by the strong winds and up drafts.
A trip to Iceland followed. This again baron landscape is devoid of trees but bursting with hot springs and of course, photo opportunities. Images of hardy Icelandic ponies huddled together in snow storms alongside those of the icebergs on the probably most photographed ‘Iceberg Beach‘ show the harshness of this cold but stunning location.
The final set of images for the evening centred around a trip north of the Arctic Circle in Norway. Here we saw some stunning landscape images and some beautiful images of the Aurora Borealis
As always, to accompany his images Jed provided an excellent descriptive dialogue on the locations, the challenges they gave, and the photography they provided.
To finish his presentation Jed ran a ‘time lapse’ video to music showing the stunning flickering green, mauve and red ribbons of the Aurora Borealis.
At the end of the evening Jed answered questions from the members before receiving a round of applause for an excellent evenings entertainment.
Bob Finlay (President)
1st Knockout competition, 15th November 2018
This Thursday (15th Nov) we had the first “It’s a Knockout Competition” of the season. There were 35 entries with a wide range of subjects from portraits to landscapes.
Despite the best efforts of the technology to disrupt the evening, once it got going we managed to get through it without any further consternation.
Congratulations to the three winning images. There was a tie for first place between “Remembering the Commandos” by Pauline Wilson and “Sunset over Windermere” by Ray Thompson. In third place was “Flying Scotsman” by Alan Lockey.
Thanks to all the members who submitted images for the evening.
Click on each image to view full size.
Ian Chambers ( PDI Secretary)
'Sunset over Windermere'
'Remembering the Comandos'
Our guest tonight was Jeff Teasdale. Jeff is a member of Durham Photographic Society and is a keen landscape/seascape photographer. Jeff’s talk tonight was entitled ‘Seeing & Making Images From The Landscape’.
Jeff began by explaining how his love of photography started early when he moved with his parents to the Northumberland countryside when aged around seven. The rugged beauty of the landscape and watching films such as ‘ Whiskey Galore’ inspired Jeff to pick up a camera.
Jeff gave up his teaching position and became a full time landscape photographer.
Jeff believes there are three elements to a successful image. Pre-production, Production & Post Production. Pre-production, or in other words, planning for Jeff involves taking inspiration from past & present masters of photographic art from his not to insignificant library on the subject including Joe Cornish, Ansel Adams and many others. His library also includes books on Japanese art & artists, a passion of Jeff’s.
Production then follows in using the inspiration gathered to find a location suitable that would not always be grand vistas but often close up shots, such as trees showing the texture in the bark and the tangle & shapes formed by their roots. Jeff uses all the visual elements of a captured image to relate ‘what a photo says about me’
In Post Production although using both Lightroom & Photoshop and utilising multiple layers Jeff prefers to keep the time editing an image to minimum, usually less than 10 minutes. Using an image taken at Hodge Close, a disused slate quarry in the Lake District Jeff showed his post production workflow, using layers to alter both colour & saturation to achieve a subtle & pleasing final image.
Jeff is also a keen advocate of ‘pinhole’ camera photography and showed what pleasing results could be achieved from this simple technology. Jeff also showed images taken with a cheap wooden medium format camera & the results from a mirrorless camera converted to infrared.
Jeff has exhibited in Middlesbrough & is involved in a project showing the Resurgence of Teesside and has produced several ‘Blurb’ photo books,
At the end of the evening Jeff received the thanks of the members for an informative & enjoyable presentation before answering questions from the floor.
Bob Finlay (President)
This evening we were delighted to welcome 5 members of Gosforth CC to Cramlington. Gosforth President David Cottrell brought fellow members Lesley, John, Peter & Harry to delight us with their presentations, ably assisted by David Brown and Prog Sec Kenny Hannard.
David started the proceedings with his presentation of 'Photographic Firsts', describing the early days of photography from 1826 to the Daguerreotype images first taken in 1839. His presentation included images of the first colour photograph, the first digital image to the first photograph taken on the moon. a fascinating history lesson.
Lesley was next up with a stunning AV of beautiful flowers & butterflies that showed of her considerable skills in this field.
Ron Henry, who was unable to attend tonight, sent a 'vlog' showing how members of Gosforth CC acted as tour guides showing the sights of Northumberland to a married couple from the USA, themselves both keen photographers, who's cruise ship docked at Royal Quays for a matter of hours.
John followed with a presentation of 'Three's. A project showing how images of people, animals & transport often represented themselves in three's. Some with a spot of poetic license and Photoshop.
Peter's presentation featured macro photography and showed that this could also be represented as 'close up' photography and so long lenses could also be used to achieve excellent results.
Harry's safari trip to Namibia showed the beauty & diversity of both its wildlife and stunning desert vistas.
Lesley rounded of a thoroughly enjoyable evening with a 'Fun with Photoshop" AV, which included a humorous 'skit' on Star Wars, which all members found enthralling.
Many thanks to Gosforth CC for putting on an excellent & diverse set of presentations.
Bob Finlay (President)
Our guest tonight was Peter Downs LRPS, competition Secretary for Morpeth Camera Club. Peter titled his talk for the night ‘What If’. This referred to Peters rather unique style of post processing his images. More on that in a moment.
Peter commenced his presentation with some traditional landscape images taken in & around New Zealand, Scotland & Northumberland whilst admitting that he didn’t class himself as a landscape photographer.
Peter’s like for abstract, mono, minimalism & contrasty pictures encouraged him to seek more from his images, and so the title ‘What If’ derives from his decision to ’deconstruct’ images by saying “what if I tried this, or that”. Peter starts with an image and then proceeds to deconstruct it by various methods including the use of blur, vignettes and removing detail and colour. He then reconstructs the image using layers, presets & plugins so as to achieve a result unique and usually far removed from its initial look.
Peter admitted his delight in ‘challenging’ judges when entering his ‘unusual’ images in competition. He also reiterated his thoughts that we should not be driven by taking images purely for competition purposes but for ourselves and what appeals to us.
Peter answered questions from the floor and received the thanks of the members for his presentation.
Bob Finlay (President)
1st Open Print Competition
Tonight (18th Oct) was the results of the seasons 1st Open Print Competition.
The competition was judged by Catherine Ball
Catherine, a member of North Shields Photographic Society, holds a BA(Hons) in Photography and specialises in lifestyle portraits and fine art photography.
Catherine explained she judges a photograph on the way it makes her feel rather than just the technical aspects. Catherine discussed what she liked about each print and provided positive feedback on areas where improvements could be made.
Due to the limited number of entries for the competition the awards were limited to the top three places in the mono category and the top five plus three highly commended places in the colour category.
Congratulations go to Jim Meikle who won both the mono category with ‘The Roof Above’ and the colour category with ‘Busy Quayside’.
At the end of the evening Catherine was thanked for her judging skills and positive and informed comments and was rewarded with a round of applause from the members.
A full list of the prints 'placed' and' highly commended' are shown below and to view the images, both mono and colour click ...(HERE)
(Print Competition Secretary)
1) Busy Quayside Jim Meikle
2) Ballachulish Morning Peter Moody
3) Tall ships remembered Bill Leadbitter
4) Archie looking for Poppies Janet Leadbitter
5) Cactus Flower Peter Moody
1) The Roof Above Jim Meikle
2) Liberty Living Jim Meikle
3) Cascade @ Alnwick Colin Livingstone
Nearly There Colin Livingston
Friendly Robin Paul Dunn
Stairway to Light Peter Moody
This Thursday we will again have Lydia to model for us so we will be using backdrops and lights, so bring your cameras. We also hope to have some 'still life' setups so bring anything you think might be useful and photogenic.
Thursday (4th Oct) saw the results of the 1st Open PDI Competition results revealed.
Our judge for this competition was Stuart Skelsey. LRPS, CAPGB, BPE1. Stuart moved to the North East from Berkshire in 2015 where he was a member of Bracknell CC. He gained his LRPS in 2010 and was a judge at last year's Beamish Trophy.
Stuart had an entry of 45 images of various subjects and themes to judge, and as each was projected gave a comprehensive analysis on what he liked and enjoyed from each, whilst also managing to 'critique' the images without being too harsh with his comments.
Stuart was asked to pick his top 5 images along with 5 HC's (Highly Commended) and after his deliberations the results were as follows.
1st 'Number One' Bob Finlay
2nd 'Striker' Colin Livingstone
3rd 'Edlingham Castle in the Snow' Bob Finlay
4th 'Calming' Bill Leadbitter
5th 'Reflections' Jim Meikle
'Giggles' Lauren Ashleigh
'Yellow Liley' Julia Robson
'Bookmark' Julia Robson
'Falcon' Terry Cookson
'Cornett & Bag' Bob Finlay
Many thanks to Stuart for judging our competition.
Click (HERE) to view the top 5 images.