Posts Tagged ‘photographic society’

Club Photography

April 12, 2012 Leave a comment


2008 was important year for my photography. After a while of ’meaning to’, I finally took the plunge and decided to go along to a local camera club/photography Society and see what they were all about. I must admit I had no idea of what to expect although I had heard about club competitions from a friend, who is a member of a club in Winchester, and the idea of winning trophies appealed to me very much.


I tried a couple of clubs before I found the one for me. The first one i attended was the closest to my home. It was held in a small back room in a local library. A nice enough membership but not very big and i am sure i brought the average age of the people in the room down by about 40 years!


I did meet another prospective new member there though that had already done the research on some other local clubs and was planning on attending another the following night. We swapped deets and met at the next club.


Now this was more like it. Over 50 members, (not all members were over 50 either) and we were greeted with a warm and friendly welcome. Where do i sign?


I did! I signed up that day and the following season i became a member of the committee, and remain so to date.


Since joining a club i have viewed photography in a different way. Before, my aim with each shot was to get everything in sharp, all in focus, no noise etc etc.. Most of my concentration was on the technical side of the shot. Nothing wrong with this but it didn’t have any creativity.


I have seen a wide variety of work from club members as well as work from other club photographers in the region. I have been inspired by so many different people and made quite a few friends along the way, not to mention the skills i have developed too.


I now look more towards the compositional and story-telling side of my shot before clicking the shutter. This has given me a new direction. I think more about project work, trips out to shoot various vistas…just having fun with my camera. I certainly use my camera a lot more. Before joining my photography was about going out and finding something (normally an object) to shoot. Now it is about going out and using my camera, using the light (complaining about the light) and getting out with other photographers.


If i were to pick out my favourite element to being a member of a photographic society it would be the competitions. With this comes the excitement, anticipation of what the judge of the night is going to say (which I can guarantee only the winners on the night will totally agree with what the judge says), and the scores of course! There is always some friendly rivalry throughout the season.


Are you a member of a camera club? If not, i highly recommend you seek one out and attend one of their open evenings to find out all about club photography. I warn you now though… It is addictive!





Common Blue Butterflies

March 23, 2012 4 comments

Common Blue Butterflies

Another subject I absolutely love photographing is butterflies. Although not the most masculine of subjects to shoot, if you tried it you would realise how difficult it is and what a challenge it can be. I love a challenge!

The end of March is approaching and the weather here in the UK is starting to warm up. This means that more and more butterflies will be ‘on the wing’ in the coming months. It is true that some butterflies can be seen for most of the year but the summer months are the best for spotting a variety of species.

My favourite species that I have seen to date is still the common blue. These creatures are pretty small and don’t rest too much during the day so chances of capturing them in the middle of the day in bright sunshine is fairly slim. Early evening time is normally best for these, and their slightly sexier siblings, the Silver Studded Blue butterfly. They tend to roost up of an evening and will sit there proud on stems of plants such as heather in the softer sunlight. I find that this is the best time to photograph them because I spend more time pressing the shutter trying to get The Shot rather than running around chasing after them and waiting for them to keep still for five seconds!

Camera club competitions are fierce – especially in the ‘Nature’ category. If your photograph is composed well, technically brilliant, sharp all over, and has a suitable background (clear/diffused is normally best but environmental can be equally important), the judge may give you high marks. However your subject needs to be ‘doing something’ to get those illusive top marks. So, what do butterflies do? Basically you have three main options. They can be found mating, feeding or laying eggs. Or you may find interesting composites such as the one above.

The above image won the nature category in my camera club’s last Projected Digital Image competition.

Can you pick out the elements which you think were factors in bringing home a victory?



Path to the beyond

March 21, 2012 5 comments

Path to the beyond

You guessed it. This is the result of another successful trip to The Roaches. Roach End in particular. The sky is fairly cloudless and does little to enlighten this sunset picture….until the little cluster comes along and tickles the sun itself.

This shot is actually two separate exposures – one for the landscape and one for the sun. The difference in brightness is way too big for my 0.9 Lee Graduated Neutral Density filter to handle so it has to be done.

Like most other landscape photographers, I don’t consider this cheating – just using the tools I have to hand. Both images are captured by me and merged to recreate the scene before me.

Composing the scene is always the hardest part of any shot. I always like to include some form of foreground subject/interest. Whether it be a simple stone or a winding path such as the one above, I find it useful to have something for the viewer to begin their journey through the photograph and these features give depth to the image.

Having had some success, coming second in a league competition this image has been part of a local exhibition.


Competition success

January 29, 2012 Leave a comment

Having not attended my camera club for a few weeks due to personal circumstances I finally had the time to go this week. This week’s entertainment was the 3rd Projected Digital Image (PDI) competition. This is one of the best things for me about being in a camera club. Seeing what other photographers have been shooting and competing against them.
There were 57 images in the general section and about 27 images in the Nature section. The nature section always seems to be a lot more fierce that the general section and the quality is far superior. This sounds a bit mean but it is completely true.
The judge for the night was someone we have seen before in previous seasons. We only invite them back if they are any good so we knew we were in for an entertaining evening. It is not often the photographers agree with the judges comments but I think last night was one of those rare occasions where I felt he was spot on. I suppose I would say that because I won the Nature section! Yay!

Projected Digital Image Competition

November 20, 2011 Leave a comment

Last week at camera club saw the 2nd PDI league competition judging, in which i entered the maximum of 3 images. The 2 highest scoring images are taken into consideration for the league.

The 3 images were completely different. A colourful seascape, a mono scene from a civil war reenactment, and a nature shot of an Arctic Tern with a Sand Eel in it’s bill. I personally thought they would score highest in that order from high to low…. However, it just goes to show that judging is very subjective and everyone’s opinion is different. My Nature shot came in with 18/20 and the Colourful Seascape was awarded 17/20.

Although not a winner this time around I am very pleased with the scores.

As I have said before a camera club (or photographic society) is a great way to meet other photographers and exchange ideas as well as see what other people are photographing. Whilst social networking sites such as flickr are a great way of viewing other people’s images, there is nothing like mingling in person. I personally found that joining a club has helped improve my photography no end as I am sure i have helped others to develop their craft.

To view more on our camera club competitions or find information on our club in general, see Crewe Photographic Society.


12 months plus???

June 2, 2011 Leave a comment

I cannot believe it has been over 12 months since my last post. I didnt feel like i had much opportunity to get out with the camera last year and this just proves it! I started a new job which takes up a lot more of my time these days so photography has unfortunatley had to take a bit of a back seat. 😦

The last competition of the season was very fruitful for me. I managed to win the knockout competition with the following image: –

This was taken at Llandullas beach in North Wales using a 10-stop neutral density filter, which allowed me to expose the image for a good few minutes!

Camera club season is over for us at Crewe Photographic Society and the chance to go shooting instead of the weekly club meet has arisen. I have managed to get out a bit at weekends too.

I have so far been on a couple of excursions and I’m happy to report they have been quite successful. I’m really pleased with the direction my photography is going at present and I just hope i manage to capture enough material for the coming season.

You will see some new images on my website.

This Dandelion Clock was basking in the dappled sunlight underneath a tree amongst these Bluebells. I love the colours!


LCPU Knockout Competition Winner!!!

November 30, 2009 Leave a comment


The LCPU – Lancashire and cheshire Photographic Union consists of many camera clubs throughout the region. The annual knockout competition was held on 28th November 2009 with some 37 clubs entering 5 images each. By my calculations that’s 185 entries.

My image, “Urban Directions” managed to battle through 9 rounds to fight off the other 184 images to win the competition. This photograph won me a nice shiny gold medal to keep and a trophy to take pride of place on my mantle piece for the next 12 months.

I am over the moon!