Monday, 14 January 2019


While many of us are probably spending more time indoors at the moment, two of our members showed what wildlife we can find in our very own gardens if we only make time to look and find ways of photographing what we find.

David showed images from his hedgehog project based in his Chippenham garden.  He has been helped by wildlife photographer Nick Upton (see to set up means of photographing hedgehogs at night.  David gave technical explanations and also what it takes to feed and encourage hedgehogs to stay and clear the garden of slugs and other pests!

Setting up © David Sage 2019

Capturing hedgehog behaviour © David Sage 2019

Bob followed with a DVD of badgers raiding his greenhouse in his garden in Trowbridge and amazed all by showing how high badgers can reach.  He followed this with images of birds making the most of his birdbath and its surroundings.  

Demanding bird behaviour! © Bob Bray 2019

Anyone got a towel?  © Bob Bray 2019

We resolved to follow David and Bob's lead and find more time and patience to both watch and attempt to capture what we have right outside our doors!

Next meeting: 
Reviews of members images for Club Challenges: (1) Door(s);  (2) Nighttime; (3) Extraordinary Ordinary
Plus members presentations on Wild Horses and What makes a Good Portrait

Friday, 14 December 2018


Our 'tradition' for the last meeting of the Autumn/Winter term is for our Head of Catering, aka Jean, to put on a splendid spread of cheese and associated delights for the second half of the evening.  We all obliged by eating it and give our many thanks to Jean!

But to start the evening, after David's review of competitions in Bovey Tracey and Calne, we caught up with club members' images from earlier events this year - Lacock at War and the filming of Downton Abbey - plus what we had made of five editing challenges set by Danny.

Lacock at War saw many of us not taking the War part too seriously ....

 Falling into Line .... © David Sage 2018 

 Shopping in Lacock! © Bob Bray 2018 

Making Portraits not War (in Australia?) © Sue Power 2018  

Later, some members risked the wrath of film makers by ducking and diving around Lacock to watch the goings on in Downton ....

Leading the Parade © Amanda Gregory 2018  

Extras give a Little Extra © Bob Bray 2018

Creating the Atmosphere © Philip Male 2018

To finish we compared our editing takes on images supplied by Danny - it was an interesting exercise to show it is not just what you take, it is also what you make of it!  

2019 starts with a Wildlife in the Garden night from David and Bob B.  

Saturday, 1 December 2018


Bristol-based speaker, Simon Caplan, gave us a great illustrated talk with a display of his photographic take on small and  interesting features of buildings, street furniture and the like - the Extraordinary Ordinary.

Often graphic and colourful, many of the images invite us to look closer and also make us resolve to look harder at details when next visiting towns, harbours, industry, funfairs etc! Simon showed both digital images on screen and prints.  He also illustrated other subjects in his portfolio, including landscapes and still lifes.  Simon happily shared his technical knowledge and shot location details.  A full evening of interest to all.

Simon encouraged us to try the following -

  • To get out of our comfort zone - try something new
  • Take a second look - use our imagination
  • Walk around the subject.  Try it from different heights and angles
  • Change our lens, change our perspective
  • Try a day with just a prime lens.  The discipline is good
  • Not forget the rules of thirds, it usually works
  • Focus on the focus point.  Where it will be and why
  • Background matters.  Take our with us to improvise
Check out Simon's website:

Images from five of our members were recently displayed as a panel at the WCPF Kingswood Salver Interclub Print Panel Competition.  Our panel was well-reviewed but not placed.  Unbeknown to at least one of those members, Sue Power, individual images on panels are also judged.  To her great surprise Sue's image, The Bones of Winter, was placed second in the Vivian Croucher Memorial Plate competition!

David presents Sue with her certificate
© John Haines 2018

Next meeting:
To include a review of members' images from Lacock at War, filming in Lacock and Danny's Editing challenge.  Christmas Challenges to be set and yes, an end-of term social!

Sunday, 18 November 2018


We had a busy meeting reviewing images from two shoots and one challenge to begin with followed by a terrific presentation by Philip Male.

So first up was images from a group who went to Avebury to shoot on a warm and sunny day.  Most images were taken outside but Rose took advantage of the light to shoot some internal shots of Avebury Manor.

© Rose Porfirio 2018

Next, images from a group who went to Savernake on a day that had a bitterly cold and breezy start followed by a high sun that came and went frequently making life a little challenging!  Danny managed to create an image with a cool, tranquil mood.

© Danny Wootton 2018

The second club challenge of the year was to shoot images for the title 'Contre Jour'.  There were a lot of different approaches.  Ruth showed a splendid silhouette, while Bob very effectively used a wall to gain reflected light for a documentary shot of his wife gardening.  Derek, the expert on all things underground, took a very well-managed selfie!

© Ruth Baldwin 2018

© Bob Bray 2018

© Derek Hawkins 2018

Philip Male gave a presentation about his study of Barn Owls using the nest boxes he has positioned within walking distance of his house.  After taking many stills, Philip realised that video clips from an adjacent high pole gave him a much better understanding of barn owl behaviour.  We are all in awe of the hours he has spent trawling through many, many video clips to find good examples of e.g. flight, hunting, feeding, wing positioning, owl voices etc.  Pictures of owl chicks during ringing got us all saying Aaaah!

© Philip Male 2018

Next meeting on November 29 will be with speaker Simon Caplan, talking about 'Extraordinary Ordinary'.

Friday, 9 November 2018


Congratulations to members Philip Male and Phil Selby who have both been Highly Commended in the British Wildlife Photography competition!!!  Philip for his image 'A Chocolate Fountain Moment' taken at Donna Nook in Lincolnshire and Phil for his image 'Collision Course' of a mute swan.

The list of winners and awards can be seen at

The BWP images can be seen at Nature in Art, Twigworth, Glos, from now until 6 January 2019