To round off the month we were treated to a fascinating talk by Edward Parker who is a renowned prize winning photographer and writer who specialises in environmental issues across the globe. Although his travels have taken him to many foreign countries such as Brazil, the Congo and Vietnam etc. he lives in Dorset where he is also manager for the Springhead Trust, and has been photographing trees for over 25 years in more than 30 books. He delights in capturing images of trees, young and ancient, and both his talk and book titled 'Photographing Trees' explored what makes a good and successful photograph. He willingly shared his knowledge on the composition of his images and how by the careful use of light, using the rule of thirds and viewpoint he produced an array of stunning images, which can be seen at various exhibitions across the country.
'What Makes a Good Photograph' was the title of a presentation from our final guest speaker Andrew Mills and took an alternative view to the accepted norm of club photography. Andrew, a qualified lecturer in higher education, looked at a range of historic and contemporary photography to help us to not only identify aspects of photographs but to stimulate some concepts and ideas for our own photography projects. We were shown a selection of his own work together with examples of famous photographers both historic and current.
'Photography in Cold Places' was the presentation by speakers John And Diana Tilsley who stressed that they enjoy nothing more than going on holiday and getting really cold! The talk showed how they combine their passion for photography with cross-country skiing in the Scandinavian wilderness of Finland and Iceland, and as John has recently been appointed a Fotospeed ambassador he used their paper and inks exclusively to produce this beautiful presentation - thus we were treated to an array of spectacular images of their travels across these cold climes including fjords and infinite coastlines.
Chris Weston, listed by Outdoor Photography as one of the world's 40 most influential wildlife photographers, gave us a fascinating talk titled 'Animals on the Edge: Reporting from the Front Line of Extinction ', taken from his book of the same name. It described his work, both in highlighting the plight of some of the 60 most rare and endangered mammals which feature on the International Union for Conservation of Nature's 'Red List' of threatened species, and his innovative efforts in working with others to make a positive difference - the ICUN being the global authority on the status of animal and plant species worldwide. Chris gave 2 examples of how his work had an impact on him. One, working with gorillas in Rwanda which was very positive and then working with Orangutan that was killed left him distraught. A very moving talk indeed.
Chris highlighted how the interaction between poverty stricken countries and the wildlife around them are fighting a war all of their own - one of survival. His credits include the BBC, the Sunday Times and National Geographic and he finished with an impassioned message; '' we all have a choice to stand up and be heard and make a difference ''
Steven le Provost FRPS, who is based in Guernsey, gave us an enthusiastic talk titled 'A Feeling of Impressionism'. Steven is a creative photographer and digital artist and this was a presentation of his work both in print and digital format. The genres he covers are still life, character and nautical studies all influenced by impressionism. Compositional rule breaking is something he enjoys, so he tries to incorporate this in the creative process as often as he feels is appropriate - 'Without imagination the camera has no film'. Steven also serves on the Royal Photographic Societies Fine Art Distinction Panel and holds 3 Fellowships.
Our first speaker of the season was Roger Crocombe ARPS with a superb presentation titled 'The Sea and Me'. Roger is a landscape photographer with a special affinity for the sea and the shoreline and in 2012 was awarded his Associateship of the Royal Photographic Society with a panel of images based on the shoreline. He is also an assessor for the PAGB in both the Chilterns and Southern Counties and regularly lectures in this region.
Vanda Ralevska was our last speaker of the season with her presentation 'The Experience of Creating Images'. Vanda is a London based photographer who is passionate about connecting with the surrounding world we live in and capturing images of the extraordinary beauty that exists within everyday things and looking beyond the obvious. Our natural world can be an evocative place that can truly inspire very special moments that we can all savour - leaving us with wonderful lasting impressions. As she quoted 'embrace the challenge and turn difficulties into opportunities - life is a journey, enjoy the ride'.
For our April presentation we enjoyed an evening of spectacular astro-photography with Liverpool-born Stephen Banks - the Dorset Scouser. In 2010 Stephen moved to Bridport in Dorset and this is where he is now based as he reported that the clarity of the night skies in this area is far superior for his type of photography. Also there is an amazing supply of outstanding landscapes here which can be so effectively developed into 'night-scapes'. Stephen's short film titled 'Bridport by Night' was the first film shown to us as he explained how he initially became addicted to time-lapse photography and this in turn developed into landscape astro- photography. 'Dorset by Night' was another of his short films which was created for the 2018 'Spirit of Bridport Festival of Culture'. Stephen has an obsession with the Milky Way and in 2013 he submitted 2 'Durdle Door' images to the 'Astronomy Photographer of the Year' and these were used as poster boys for the competition and subsequent promotional material. His image 'Archway to Heaven' was selected as the cover image of the 2013' Years collection book and the 2015 calendar.
Our second guest speaker in March was Janey Devine FRPS with a talk titled 'Celebrating British Life Today'. There are many interpretations of what documentary photography actually is -- it can be Travel; Street; Conceptual; Photo Journalism or Documentary and the only difference is that the documentary is 'of ' something instead of 'about' something. The first part of the evening was involved with looking at some classic documentary images covering War; Poverty; Famine; Vietnam etc. and then we were shown a selection of Janey's work, looking at various aspects of British life. This was a loosely related collection of images of normal people doing normal everyday things -- each person had their own story to tell. We had the opportunity to browse through classic books on documentary photography and also a variety of magazines which Janey has produced.
Barry Mead FRPS, EFIAP/d1, MPAGB, APAGB was our first speaker of the month with his presentation 'The Windmills of your Mind'. Barry first became involved with photography while studying Fine Art and during his early years as an art teacher it became a consuming passion. He became a Fellow of the RPS in 1990 and was awarded the Fenton Medal along with RPS Honorary Membership, but this is only a small part of his impressive list of photographic awards and qualifications that he has amassed. Not only does he cover a wide range of subjects from wildlife, sports, and landscapes he is a great believer in experimenting and exploring new techniques in the creative side of photography and so the artistic element features strongly in his work. We had a thoroughly entertaining evening and were treated to an array of Barry's award winning images -- as a 'windmill' keeps on turning so does Barry's creative imagination!
Our presenter was Colin Harrison FRPS, FIPF, MFIAP, MPAGB, EFAIP\d1, MPSA, APAGB, a world renowned photographer from Cheltenham Camera Club, with a talk titled 'Digital Adventure 2018'. As a young lad Colin was interested in capturing images of numerous steam locomotives from around the world, but the people he has met on his travels are his favourite subjects. Gradually his style of photography changed to producing more creative and pictorial images and he showed us numerous images, including a selection of his latest work. These were montages, some quirky some humorous, cleverly created using layers, textures, HDR, mono and other techniques and resulting in award winning images. Since joining the RPS he has gained many qualifications and letters after his name and these have helped stimulate him to develop his particular style of photography. Apart from sitting on the Licentiate, Associate and Fellowship (Fine Art) Panels for the Royal Photographic Society he is an approved PAGB National and International judge and enjoys helping others to develop their photographic skills. The latest addition to his qualifications is EFIAP/d1 Excellence of International Federation of Photographic Art - Diamond1, a truly talented gentleman.
To round off the month we had a talk from one of our club members, Ian Francis ARPS, DPAGB. This was his new presentation called 'My African Adventure Continues' and was a superb follow-up to his initial talk that we had previously enjoyed. Mozambique was Ian's starting point - most of the wildlife in this area is unique to Mozambique and cannot be found anywhere else in the world. There was an intriguing section of the talk featuring an elephant orphanage in Zambia - heart-breaking images of young elephants with horrific wounds to their legs and trunks caused by poachers' snares. Ian showed us one particular calf with a deep gash in its trunk, so severe that it could not draw up water. The final set of images were from the Lower Zambezi National Park - this was a truly beautiful array of wildlife images from Ian and his love of wildlife is so obvious that it comes through in his excellent photography.
Our next speaker was Robert Harvey ARPS from Avebury in Wiltshire with his presentation 'A Landscape for all Seasons'. A show of hands from the audience revealed that everyone chose a different season as their personal favourite and so it was perfect when we were treated to a marvellous collection of images captured throughout the four seasons of the year. The images illustrated the fantastic use of the various light conditions that were available during these seasons and the composition of these landscapes revealed that a terrific amount of preparation and planning by Robert had gone into their creation.
Our final speaker of 2017 was Tony Nutley, a seasoned professional photographer who specialises in film and TV dramas. His presentation titled 'Tales from the Stars' was an amusing collection of tales of the great and good - and the not so good - of stage and screen. He has worked with stars such as Sean Bean in the 'Sharpe' series, Ewan McGregor in 'Kavanagh QC', John Thaw in 'Morse' and numerous other celebrities. We also enjoyed the story of his early change from film to digital and the problems encountered whilst working as a freelance.
We welcomed back a popular speaker, Pete Whieldon, with a talk titled 'My Back Yard'. Pete is an award winning wildlife photographer with a great passion and enthusiasm for conservation. He specialises in bird, macro and marine photography so we were treated to an evening of first-class wildlife images
Our speaker was Viveca Koh FRPS with her presentation 'Urban Exploration to Fine Art': A Photographic Journey'. This was a fascinating insight into old abandoned buildings; whether they were asylums, mortuaries or industrial complexes they all had a sad story to tell. Viveca was totally absorbed in this subject as she related her visits to these secret and often dangerous places and accompanied her talk with vivid digital images
October opened with a speaker, Iain Mcgowan FRPS, with his talk 'Straight from the Garden Shed'. Iain is one of the talented founder members of the Focus Group of photographers from Chichester and has covered every aspect of photography - landscape, reportage, environment, travel and illustrated books etc. His exhibition work is marked by imaginative methods of presentation - he has the ability to plan out a series of images to illustrate a theme or tell a story - as he told us ''a set of photos describe the subject so much better than a single image''. His approach is a simple one - he only shoots in JPEG format, uses small compact cameras without inter changeable lenses and prints directly from memory card to his printer. He believes that there is a danger that we may all become far too obsessed with the continuous technical progress of photography and relevant computer software and therefore lose sight of what our images are trying to portray.
'Event Photography' was the subject for John Wright our first speaker of the season. John is one of our club members and extremely enthusiastic about this particular field of photography. He explained how he was first encouraged to join the club's portrait group and this fuelled his interest in people and their eventing activities. The Bournemouth and Boscombe Light Opera Group provided an ideal platform for John to launch his interest in event photography. He was able to create his own personal impressions and interpret the feelings of not only the artists involved in the productions but the mood of the occasion. Dress rehearsals gave him an adrenaline rush as he realised he only had one chance to capture certain aspects of the performance - this made him feel as though he was actually part of the production team. He has produced press - rehearsal photos for the programme centre - fold of 'Grease' and has worked on 'Priscilla Queen of the Desert' and 'Legally Blonde'. He said that theatre work would always present a challenge to him as the lighting effects continually change throughout the duration of any production.