20th June

In this last meeting of the '23-'24 year, we held the AGM, which took up most of the meeting.  We then followed with a review of entries for the letter "K".

K is for Knight © Amanda Gregory
Kipping © Craig Purvis

Keeping a Lookout © Danny Wootton
Kipper © David Eagle

Kimono in Kanazawa © Sue Power

Started with a Kiss © Derek Liversidge

Knot © Amanda Gregory

Kettle © Ann Horne

Knight © David Sage

K is for Kelpies © Philip Male

K is for Knife © Roger Parry

King Arthur © Rose Porfirio

Kaleidoscope © Julia Lloyd-Parks

We were set three challenges for the summer:

  • Take a new photo for the blog header and facebook page
  • Take a photo representing English summer
  • Take images of the same subject at 3 very different shutter speeds

Members are reminded to please complete the club questionaire and send it to Lesley.

The next meeting will be on 5th September, when we will continue with the letters theme, with the letter "L" coming next.

6th June

This evening started with a visit to the Lacock village D-day 80th anniversary celebrations, amidst concerns as the local gazette had reported closure of the main road to and from the village from 7pm onwards for repairs.

With everyone having arrived early, we started with Danny Wooton giving a brief talk entitled "9+5 from Norway" where he showed images of his trip from Bergen to Kirkenes by ship back in February of this year.

The journey started in Bergen, where there was surprisingly little snow and extreme clothing was not required:

Bergen © Danny Wooton

Bergen © Danny Wooton

No snow at Ålesund:

Ålesund © Danny Wooton

At Trondheim, however, snow, grey skies and lower temperatures had arrived:

Trondheim © Danny Wooton

Tromsø © Danny Wooton

Once above the Arctic Circle, full survival gear was required at all times when outside, and signs of human habitation became more scant:

Towards Norway's Northern Frontier © Danny Wooton

Danny also saw the Northern Lights, and spoke about the challenge of photographing them from a moving ship:

Northern Lights © Danny Wooton

He then reached Honningsvåg, Europe's most northern city, where little schoolchildren are always encouraged outside for breaks, no matter what the weather

Honnigsvåg © Danny Wooton

Then followed a talk by Brendan Whyte entitled "Medieval Graffiti".  Brendan has spent the last few years photographing church interiors as well as the interiors of other medieval buildings, looking for evidence of graffiti.  Far from being the scourge it is in modern times, graffiti in medieval times was seen as a good thing.

The simplest, and earliest form was a circle. It was believed that evil spirits, wandering through the air, on finding a line, would follow it to its end.  Thus one finding a circle, would be trapped forever.

Although these circles are difficult to find now - and not helped by the uniform colour of church walls - before the Reformation, church walls were highly coloured and decorated and this graffiti would have been easier to see.

An elaborate circle, carved with a compass, or similar device © Brendan Whyte

The fact that the majority of medieval people couldn't read or write cut down the "Kilroy was here" messages which plague our own age. 

Crosses, VV and RR were also discussed, along with Mason Marks.

Mason Mark © Brendan Whyte

"V V" © Brendan Whyte

"V V" © Brendan Whyte

Brendan mentioned that the church porch - something we hardly consider now - had more significance in medieval times.  For instance, only Lords were married at the altar, only Knights married in church, everyone else was married in the porch.

As the ages wore on, more people learned to write and so more names with dates appeared.

Churches will often have a small door on the north (darkest) side. This was left open during Baptisms to allow any demons expelled by the baptism to escape.

"Mason" Marks © Brendan Whyte

A date inscribed © Brendan Whyte

We then finished with a review of photos taken in May:

Greenhouse under aurora © Danny Wooton

Aquilegia © Amanda Gregory

Arctic Ice © Ros Vickers

Open Garden © Caroline Howe

Aurora over forest © Craig Purvis

Bluebells at Erlestoke © David Eagle
Callanish © Graham d'Aucourt

Clouds © Derek Liversidge

Dandelion Clock © Helen Day

The Bride Arrives © Howard Morland

Happy Landings © Philip Male

Damselflies at the Open Garden © Rob Macklin

Sunshine © Sue Power

The next meeting, on Thursday 20th June, will be the last of the year.

Members are reminded to fill in and email a copy of the annual club questionaire to help organise future events.  This can be found on the Google Drive.  Please remember to make a copy of it before altering it.

9th May

This evening started with a review of the exhibition and a few of the comments visitors wrote on their voting forms. We discussed how wide our audience was, having visitors from places as varied as Australia and Iceland.

Many visitors asked how much Photoshop manipulation had been done on some of the images - there was actually surprisingly little. We wondered how best to communicate this in future years.

Then we moved on to a review of images taken in April:

Callenish Stones © Amanda Gregory

Towering Bluebells © Craig Purvis

Avebury morning © Derek Liversidge

Bluebells © Graham d’Aucourt

Puerto Banus © Helen Day

White Tailed Eagle © Julia Lloyd-Parkes

We then continued with a talk given by Tony Bamford, of our own parish, on Macro Photography.  This was a prelude to an upcoming photo challenge, photographing plants and flowers in Amanda's garden on Saturday 11th.

He discussed:

  • Close up filters
  • Extension tubes
  • Fully connected bellows
  • Lens reversal
  • Macro lenses
  • Lensbaby offerings
  • Exotic probe lenses

Moving on to lighting options he then discussed the various merits of using LED lights vs flash and the different systems offered by different manufacturers.

The talk then moved on to the most challenging aspect of macro photography, the lack of depth of field.  Diffraction was mentioned (a good reason to never use f/32) finally ending with the merits of focus stacking and a shout-out for Helicon Focus, which somewhat leaves Photoshop in the dust when blending those focus stacked images.

Our next meeting will be on 24th May.

3rd and 4th May


The Bank Holiday weekend saw the annual club exhibition, held at Lacock Village Hall, where over the course of two days we had roughly 750 visitors:


It also saw the one "competitive" thing the club does for the whole year, which is to ask visitors to vote for their favourite three images as they walk around.  There are no prizes, except for bragging rights for the next 12 months.

The winners, in reverse order were (drum roll please)...

In tenth place:

Enchanted Wood © Phil Selby

In ninth place:

Taking a bow © Pam Bamford

In eighth place:

The Furry Forager © Philip Male

In seventh place:

Fighting Starlings © Tony Bamford

In sixth place:

Flash of Blue © Rose Porfirio

In fifth place:

Icelandic Horses © Tony Bamford

In fourth place:

Wings of Gold © Phil Selby

In third place:

Fish Supper © Pam Bamford

In second place:

Milky Way © Caroline Howe

And in first place, showing us all how it's done:

Mr and Mrs © Philip Male

Congratulations to the winners.  Our next meeting will be on Thursday 9th May.