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.  


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!


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'.


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


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


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


Last meeting's Speaker was Alan Cowley, Fine Art Photographer, who began the evening with an amusing demonstration and striking images related to his previous working life as an academic cardiologist.  There was a short debate about whether photography was an art and the value that it is given compared with other art forms.  Images from Scotland's North Coast 500 followed, a collection illustrating amazing land, sea, sky combinations in both colour and monochrome, his preferred choice.  Alan emphasised the importance of getting the printing, mounting and hanging right when exhibiting images for display or sale.  Alan's images can be seen at

Images from five members have been chosen to be displayed as a panel at a WCPF event in November under the proposed title Tree-mendous Images!

Oaks in Breaking Winter Gloom © Howard Morland 2018

Keeping a Grip on the Earth © Amanda Gregory 2018

The Bones of Winter © Sue Power 2018

Snowy Morning © David Sage 2018

Light Exercise © Philip Male 2018

Next meeting: 
Two members compare their trips to Norway while another goes west to Cape Cod.


Our second meeting in September featured a Club challenge - Side lighting - and a presentation by member Rose on 'Men at Work'.  Maybe in recognition of equality one of our male colleagues should do one called 'Women at Work'!  

A selection of the Side lighting images shown:

© Philip Male 2018

© Ros Vickers 2018

© Danny Wootton 2018

And one of Roses's images from her 'Men at Work' series

© Rose Porfirio 2018

Next meeting: A presentation by Fine Art photographer Alan Cowley

SUMMER - it's over! So the new 'term' starts .....

Our first meeting of our Autumn session included review sessions of some of our Summer shoots but also a look at some of the images posted for a Club Challenge i.e. an image that meant Summer 2018 to the photographer.  A variety were presented though the majority featured the beach in one form or another - some people have all the luck! - or a reflection of the hot, dry weather we all experienced.  We also welcomed a number of visitors and talked about the Club's future programme and the associated rules and regs.

© Derek Hawkins 2018

© Ruth Baldwin 2018

Next meeting will include a review of the rest of the Summer shoots and a Member's presentation.

SUMMER SHOOT NO 5 - Coate Water

After a changeable weather day, eight of us travelled to Swindon in hope rather than certainty, with some of us who were unfamiliar with the chosen site saying that we would just use the occasion as a preview for another, more favourably lit, occasion.  In the event, after a damp and grey start to the walk-a-round, we were treated to an amazing strongly-painted sunset over the lake.  The unpredictability of the British weather is to be celebrated!

© Bob Bray 2018

© Philip Male 2018

Our Club meetings recommence on September 6, 7pm in the Manor Room, Lacock.  

SUMMER SHOOT NO 4 - Second Severn Bridge

After a mixed bag of weather during the working day, the sky cleared and the wind blew, warm to begin with!, across the Severn estuary.  A group of six followed the path adjacent to the river, stopping here and there to find different angles on the bridge, the sky and mud as the tide fell.  A good evening in a place we were not familiar with.

© David Sage 2018

© Danny Wootton 2018

© Sue Power 2018

Next shoot - Coate Water, Swindon

SUMMER SHOOT No 3 - Savernake Forest

After days of sweltering heat, it was quite a relief to walk gently through the woods in the cool of an early evening.  Seven of us met up and we soon scattered among the trees to find something that appealed to our photographic eyes.  We met up - of course - for a swift cool drink afterwards on the way home!

The motley crew seek their revenge!
© Jane Buckle 2018

© Ros Vickers 2018

© Pete Shaw 2018

Next shoot - Severn Bridge
SUMMER SHOOT No 2 - Tetbury

Just 3 of us managed to get to Tetbury on the allotted day due to holidays and the like.  The light was rather bright and the traffic in the centre somewhat busy but we managed to find spots of quirky interest none the less.

© Rose Porfirio 2018

© Sue Power 2018

© Amanda Gregory 2018

Next shoot: Savernake

SUMMER SHOOT No 1 - Amanda's garden!

The weather was just right for a nine of us to populate Amanda's well-tended garden in the hope of improving our macro photography skills and/or finding new angles on flower photography.  There were also a few who came to watch and just enjoy the setting!  A good start to our summer outings.

© Amanda Gregory 2018

© Julia Lloyd-Parks 2018

© Philip Male 2018

Next shoot: Tetbury
RAIN DID NOT DAMPEN OUR SPIRITS or even our mobiles...!

After days of welcome sunshine, the rain decided to pour on the night chosen for a shoot using mobile phones around Lacock.  A short break in the clouds gave members a chance to get out there for an hour before finishing off the meeting in a warm, dry space called the Red Lion!
Four challenges were set - to take images of Red, Lacock, Reflections and a Flower - see a selection below:

Red © Rose Porfirio 2018

Reflections © David Sage 2018

Flower © Derek Hawkins 2018

Lacock © Pete Shaw 2018

Our last meeting of the current season included our AGM with David Sage appointed as Chair for 2018-19. 
Member Howard Morland gave a talk about the work of Neil Hulme (see ) who specialises in monochrome long exposures of land and seascapes resulting in quietly compelling images.  
And our stalwart Jean Drewett did us proud with strawberries and cream to round off the 'end-of-term' social!

Five shoot locations have been arranged for members to continue meeting over the summer break - the first in Amanda's garden.

Three members presented a mixture of documentary DPIs and AVs at our last meeting.  

Dorothy took us on a visit to the Carnevale, with many vibrant images taken over a number of years while visiting or living in Italy.  She cleverly integrated a voiceover too, using iMovie, to give us an understanding of the history of Carnevale and of some of the floats making satirical political statements.

© Dorothy D'Addio 2018

Amanda, in contrast, took us to the British Virgin Islands with images of how the islands looked pre- and post- the 2017 storms.  From a Caribbean ideal to a devastated landscape, with images of destroyed communities, houses, cars and boats, it gave us an understanding of the enormous challenge now facing BVI if it is to successfully rebuild.

© Amanda Gregory 2018

Alan meanwhile stayed closer to home with his study of North Wiltshire Wildlife, with many of the images shown being taken during his frequent visits to his allotment and the river around Lacock.  Birds, butterflies, damselflies, dragonflies and small mammals were all featured.

Next meeting: watch out as we pretend to be tourists with our mobile phones around Lacock!

The weather couldn't have been lovelier for the Spring Bank Holiday and it certainly helped with visitor numbers to Lacock Positive's Annual Print Exhibition.  

We encourage visitors to choose their favourite three images, a task that many found very difficult as there were many comments about the excellence of all the images on show, which was very encouraging!

The following were voted the top ten favourites by visitors:

1st: Phil Selby: Forever Autumn

© Phil Selby 2018

2nd: Phil Selby: Shadows & Light

© Phil Selby 2018

3rd: Phil Selby: Family Tree

© Phil Selby 2018

4th: Danny Wootton: In Full Flow

© Danny Wootton 2018

5th: Phil Selby: Collision Course

© Phil Selby 2018

6th: Danny Wootton: Time for a Nap

© Danny Wootton 2018

7th: Danny Wootton: Sunrise

© Danny Wootton 2018

8th: Bob Bray: Landscape in a Bubble

© Bob Bray 2018

9th: Sue Power: Remembering Icarus

© Sue Power 2018

10th: Ros Vickers: The Dark Hedges

© Ros Vickers 2018