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

Monday, 5 November 2018


David Sage gave an overview of his course on Judging, or as he preferred to call it, Appraising.  This led to quite a few discussions, including subjectivity versus objectivity, and advised the guideline of keeping criticism to a minimum and analysis to a maximum.

Perhaps the best advice was to use appraisals of our images to help us learn and improve and be inspired by others.  Looking at what a photographer has brought to an image includes analysing their subject interpretation, composition, use of light, technical ability and overall quality.

We set up small group tables to review the images we had brought in.  It turned into quite a noisy evening!!

Next meeting: 
Nov 15: Images from two club shoots and a club challenge, plus a presentation on Owls

Sunday, 21 October 2018


Club night began by welcoming visitors followed by a slide presentation from Pete clearly explaining the Exposure Triangle, i.e. the relationship of Aperture, Speed and ISO, plus some tips on how we might use Auto ISO.

Julia then whisked us off to Cape Cod, the hook of land on the eastern seaboard of USA with many lighthouses, shipwrecks, picturesque harbours and clapboard houses.  

Sand patterns © Julia Lloyd Parks 2018

Amanda and Bob compared their different experiences of taking a cruise to Norway.  You take your pick as to whether to take a large or small ship but the weather is still a matter of luck, so Amanda had to contend with violent storms while Bob enjoyed Captain's table and the cabaret in relative calm.

Who knew that Marilyn Monroe was part Norwegian? © Amanda Gregory 2018

Forward into the fjords © Bob Bray 2018

Philip then took us back into a seemingly 'romantic' era via a nighttime shoot in Swindon's STEAM, the Museum of the Great Western Railway, with actors employed to pose as passengers, drivers and guards.

Here's looking at you.... © Philip Male 2018

Next meetings:
Oct 22 : Avebury shoot
Oct 28: Savernake shoot
Nov 1: Talk and practical on judging and critiquing