Summary of 2020-21 club activitiesDue to Covid-19 restrictions all club meetings were held via the Zoom conferencing system.
3 June - The AGM followed by the announcement of the 2020-21 club awards. It is hoped that the trophies can be presented by the Chairman when we next meet at the church hall in September.
|Colour prints||Mike Hall|
|Monochrome prints||Chris Flood|
|Reg Mullard trophy||Chris Flood|
|Chairman's challenge||Ann Smith|
|Best print and PDI||Mike Hall|
|Annual achievement shield||Swales Parry|
20 May - An excellent presentation by Polina Plotnikova Starting from a blank canvas - creative flower portraiture and still life.
She describes her approach to flower portraiture as being similar to portrait photography. For every flower and plant she photographs she always try to find a unique look, study its mood and character and unlock its hidden beauty. In doing so, she neither aims at creating an accurate natural/botanical image nor tries to shoot a flower in its natural habitat. What matters to her is the creative interpretation of a flower image.
During the still life session she discussed composition, light, textures and colours when creating still life setups and how she always starts by creating an image in her mind's eye before proceeding to take photographs only after all details have been thought through. With the aid of a few schematic illustrations she demonstrated the various stages of putting together a still life setup together with the studio hardware used.
The following images, copyright of Polina Plotnikova and reproduced with permission, is a sample of her photography.
20 May - The Best print and PDI competition was judged by Tony Baverstock. Unfortunately, due to the pandemic restrictions, we had no prints this year only PDIs. After holding seventeen images back for a second showing Tony selected Mike Hall's image as the eventual competition winner. The full table of awards is shown in the table below.
|1||Mike Hall||Dripping tap|
|3||Angela Karney||Caught in fast flowing waters|
|HC||Ed Hull||Fork and spoon|
|HC||Chris Flood||Brown Pelican meets River Cooter, South Carolina|
|HC||Mike Hall||Giraffe at waterhole|
|HC||Swales Parry||Go fetch|
|C||John Warbrick||Lioness with juvenile & cub - Maasai Mara|
|C||Swales Parry||Colonnade - Bexhill-on-Sea|
|C||Norman Price4||Looking up - Becontree Brass Band|
|C||John Warbrick||Red Devil parachutists in tandem|
|C||Pete Baldrey||Double dance|
|C||Ann Smith||Hebridean colours|
|C||Swales Parry||Gannets - mating pair|
|C||Miles Thompson||St Pauls from the Tate|
|C||Chris Flood||Street portrait of an elderly man|
HC=Highly Commended C=Commended
Mike Hall's winning image:
13 May - Members ably demonstrated their creative skills in interpreting the 3-of-a-kind challenge. Some photographed a single subject in three ways, for example by changing lighting for each image, using built-in camera filter functions or changing camera settings such as aperture/ISO to alter the visual dynamics of the photo. Others produced a triptych based on a single theme such as a public event, wall art, a flower taken at different times of day, or a subject viewed from various angles. Others used software packages to produce three interesting visual effects.
6 May - Due to Covid-19 travel and meeting restrictions we had to cancel the annual outside events competition. In its place members were asked to present up to four images taken during the past year. The judge, Dave Brooker, joined us to discuss the images and went on to show some photos he had taken during this time. He then demonstrated how he uses Affinity software by post processing a few of his own pictures.
An enjoyable evening where we learned how interesting subjects can still be found close to home - in your garden, on a local walk or in your house.
28 April - Chairman's challenge - Minimalism. Before the competition started and to set the scene, the evening commenced with an excellent video by Judy Hancock Holland, a photographer based in Canada (Link to JHH YouTube webinar). The chairman, Ed Hull, had a tough job determining the winners from an amazing selection of 50 minimilistic images. The list of final awards is shown below and the photos can be seen in the scrolling image window at the top of this page:
|1st||Ann Smith||Hebridean colours|
|2nd||Bev Pegram||Petrol cap|
|3rd||Mike Hall||Dripping tap|
|HC||Elizabeth Bulley||The beach|
|HC||Chris Flood||Tidal pool at sunset|
|HC||Mike Hall||Broken reed|
|C||Norman Price||Minimal lovers of Seville|
|C||Miles Thompson||Yacht and jetty|
HC = Highly Commended C = Commended
22 April - Our 5th and final round of the monochrome open competition was judged by David Carine ARPS. After holding eight images back for a second showing he awarded 10 to two images and 9.5 to one other. The winners on the night were:
15 April - An entertaining meeting for members to reveal their creative abilities when photographing the simple subject - paper. We saw a number of interesting and artistic takes using: books, magazines, crumpled paper, origami, playing cards, paper montages forming backdrops for portraits, writing with pen and paper and street photography of torn paper on dilapidated billboards. See some examples below:
8 April - Dr Niall Ferguson ARPS CPAGB EFIAP judged the 28 entries in our 5th PDI open colour competition. He gave a comprehensive critique of the images and at the same time explained his reasons for the marking, awarding a maximum score of 10 to two images and 9.5 to three others. The two winning images were:
25 March - A very interesting and informative evening where a number of members showed a 'Before' and 'After' image - the first as taken in camera and the second as processed afterwards in the software of the member's choice. We were told something of their method for achieving the final result and, by using the 'share screen' facility on Zoom, some members were able also to demonstrate the entire image manipulation process in the software used such as Photoshop.
18 March - The subject for this meeting was water in any of its many forms. Members brought along up to four images and spoke a little about them, eg where they were taken, their reasons for taking them and how they were produced. We saw pictures of water in traditional landscapes and seascapes with some clearly capturing its power and motion. Also puddles, rivers, waterfalls, water droplets, ice, steam, abstract forms using reflections and refraction, and depictions of water in minimalist form, all of which generated much discussion among members.
11 March - A presentation: Landscape Photography is Simple by freelance photographer Slawek Staszczuk. He demonstrated why landscape photography is essentially quite simple if you understand all about TLC - Timing, Light and its different qualities, Composition. He emphasised the use of early morning/late evening time to provide low angle light which, when combined with aerial perspective, ie mist, fog, smoke and blue distant haze, creates an illusion of depth by depicting distant objects as paler, less detailed, and usually more blue than near objects thereby giving depth to what is essentially a 2D image in the frame. He also explained how complementary colour harmony adds interest in architectural photography during the 'blue hour' period especially when the blue light is juxtaposed with artificial lighting from street lamps, windows, etc, which are predominantly at the red end of the spectrum. In general he favoured using longer focal length lenses to provide more abstract framings as well as showcasing the landscape better, but switches to wide angles when a chosen composition would better suit a shorter focal length.
The following images, copyright of Slawek Staszczuk and reproduced with permission, is a sample of the photography from his presentation.
4 March - Paul Graber LRPS judged the 35 entries in our 4th PDI mono competition which included open as well as set subject Looking up sections. He gave a comprehensive critique of the images and explained the reasons for his marking, awarding a maximum score of 10 to two images in the set subject section and two images in the open section as follows:
The judge also awarded a score of 9.5 to one image in the open section of the competition.
25 February - We had a very good turnout of members and guests for Celia Henderson's presentation: Photography and Photoshop with Flowers. An evening of two parts: during the first, she talked us through her workflow for creating an image - the “see/take/make” process - and discussed what makes the best subjects, why backgrounds are so important, and other considerations for capturing an image. We saw an array of wonderful artistic interpretations of fine art flower photography - blending with textures, painting with digital watercolour or oil brushes and using layers to emulate multi-exposure effects - all the product of her creative use of Photoshop.
In the second part, she took us in more detail through some of the processes involved. Using a step-by-step guide (previously circulated to attendees), she demonstrated how an image of an alstroemeria could be processed for creative effect.
See below a sample of images from her presentation (copyright Celia Henderson and reproduced with her permission).
11 February - The fjords of Patagonia. A very informative presentation by Julian Elliott, who took us on a professional photographic assignment to ‘the end of the world’. We saw the challenges a professional photographer faces often in inclement weather with no opportunity to wait for better lighting and frequently resorting to hand-holding his camera to get shots quickly in prevailing adverse conditions. His philosophy is to get as much right in-camera as quickly as possible thereby minimising post production in Lightroom/Photoshop. Despite such difficulties he produced some stunning imagery for his client, a cruise line company, and took us on his working journey from Ushuaia to Punta Arenas through the Fjords of Tierra del Fuego and Cape Horn. We saw wonderful pictures of the Pía and Águila glaciers and the massive ice fields along Glacier Alley. Also snow-capped mountains, lush sub-polar forests, the historic Wulaia Bay, secluded island beaches and Magellanic penguin colonies. He interspersed his presentation with many useful technical tips, including using luminosity masks and the RGB colour curves in Photoshop to restore natural colour by reducing any unwanted blue haze from landscape imagery.
The following images, copyright of Julian Elliott and reproduced with permission, is a sample of the type of photography we saw during his presentation.
4 February - David Smith LRPS judged our annual flora and fauna competiton. Congratulations to Chris Flood, the overall winner of the Reg Mullard trophy. with his wonderful image Camouflaged Desert Hare, Texas. Congratulations also to Mike Hall for his image in second place Francolin at waterhole and third place Chris Flood with Brown pelican meets river turtle. The table of results can be found in the "members area" using this link Reg Mullard Awards table 2020-21.
28 January - Keith Newton LRPS judged the 33 entries in our 3rd PDI open mono competition giving a comprehensive explaination for his marking. He awarded a maximum score of 10 to Pete Baldrey for his two images
Who jumps highest, and Ed Hull for his image Quads.
The judge also awarded 3 other images a score of 9.5.
21 January - Pete Baldrey gave a master class in using Nik collection software to process images in Adobe Photoshop and Photoshop Elements. Sharing his screen on Zoom, Pete showed in real time how he uses the various Nik “filters” for post processing his images. He took us through various techniques for each of the filters in the suite. Using the presets he went on to demonstrate the Nik controls available for further refining each individual image.
Whilst the Nik suite can be used as a stand alone programme, Pete used it as a Photoshop plug-in and showed how to call Nik from the Filters menu in Photoshop and seamlessly save the adjusted image back into Photoshop for later output.
During the second half of the meeting, several members volunteered to share their screens and with Pete’s help processed one of their own images. We watched as Elizabeth converted a colour image of a flower into an artistic black and white photo using Silver Efex Pro, Angela adjusted a colour landscape image in Colour Efex Pro and used the local controls to make selective adjustments, Phil used dFine2 and Sharpener pro on a macro image and Ed processed a colour image in Analog Efex pro to emulate a vintage style photo.
A good evening and I am sure it was one where everybody learned a little more in this amazing age of digital photography!
Above is an example of a before and after image for emulating a vintage look in Nik:
14 January - Our 3rd PDI open colour competition was judged by Steve Kingswell ARPS, AFIAP who gave an excellent critique of the 33 entries and fully explained his reasons for the marking. He awarded a maximum score to 3 images, namely: Swales Parry Doc Martin's surgery - Portwenn, Mike Hall Francolin at waterhole and Norman Price Pepper spray against a mugger.
7 January - The new year began with a workshop for members who brought along a wide selection of images for critique. We followed this with an informative demonstration by Norman Price on how to use the high-pass filter technique for sharpening images in Photoshop and Photoshop Elements. Using two of his photos he took us step by step through the process including adding a mask to selectively reduce any resultant noise in the image. The evening concluded with members giving their views on other Photoshop sharpening techniques.
10 December - This year, owing to Covid-19 restrictions, we held our 2020 Christmas party using Zoom. Sitting in the comfort of our armchairs with our party hats on, we began with a slide show of members' Christmas images. This was followed by our quiz master John Warbrick's annual quiz and he was obviously intent on testing our brain cells somewhat. Mike Harrison scored the highest thereby demonstrating he is not only a good photographer but a walking encyclopaedia as well!
In keeping with tradition, the Chairman announced the subject for the Chairman’s Challenge: Minimilism. Up to 3 images to be reviewed at our 29 April 2021 meeting.
For those unsure of this genre of photography there is a very good article on the web by Sarah Wilkerson - 9 tips for beautifully minimalist photos.
Photographer Michael Kenna's minimalist photographs are also well worth a look - Michael Kenna.
See below a selection of images from the Christmas party slideshow
3 December - There were 32 entries for our second PDI Mono competition with 16 images in the open and 16 for the set subject Culinary. The SPA judge David Eastley LRPS gave an excellent critique. In the set subject he awarded a maximum score of 10 to the image from Miles Thompson (Fruit on a plate) and a 10 in the open to the image from Chris Flood (Street portrait of a man with an interesting face). He also awarded 9.5 points to two further images, one from each section.
After the competition we held an EGM to formally elect the new Chairman - Ed Hull and Vice chairman - Chris Flood.
26 November - A workshop for members who brought along their PDIs for critique and improvement suggestions by other club members. A total of 54 images were discussed in a non-competitive environment and no doubt some of these images, maybe with some further revision, will be submitted in future club competitions.
19 November - Presentation: Around the world in 66 days. Dave Brooker, ex-CCC chairman and honorary club member, gave a photographic insight of his 2019 trip. While he originally planned an AV presentation, broadband speed issues while using Zoom meant he had to revert to a slideshow. This late change did not distract from the quality of the fine photography on show and the very interesting subjects and places visited. His tour started in Dubai before moving on to Singapore, New Zealand (North and South islands), Australia (Melbourne and Sydney), Hawaii, and finally the USA (San Francisco and New York). We were entertained with a wonderful selection of spectacular landscapes interspersed with indigenous flora and fauna and interesting architecture and iconic landmarks, which no doubt will have whet many members' appetites for putting some of the places he visited on their own photography bucket list.
The following images, copyright of Dave Brooker and reproduced with permission, is a small sample from his presentation. From left to right: Bay Sands Singapore; Coromandel Peninsula NZ; Cape Farewell NZ; Franz Josef NZ; Porters Pass NZ; Sydney Harbour Bridge.
12 November - David Smith, SPA Chairman, returned to the club this season to judge our 2nd PDI Colour open and set subject (Culinary) competitions. He gave an excellent critique of the 34 entries, equally split between the open and set subject sections, and awarded a maximum score of 10 to two images in each competition. In addition two images in the open and one in the set subject were awarded 9.5. Congratulations to Pete Baldrey and Chris Flood for their winning entries in the open and to Angela Karney and Ann Smith in the set subject competitions.
5 November - Photographer Paul Graber gave an excellent presentation Why do we still shoot monochrome? In the old days one had to choose black and white or colour film and you were then stuck with the result. Despite expectations that monochrome might die out in the digital era it still remains hugely popular. He investigated the reasons for this by discussing some iconic images from the twentieth century before moving on to a selection of his own images and discussing how best to process pictures to obtain good monochrome capturing the mood the photographer wishes to convey. He uses Adobe Lightroom and Photoshop to do this with the help of additional software including Nik and Topaz AI. After the interval Paul gave a live demonstration of his monochrome conversion techniques using some pictures sent to him earlier by Cranleigh camera club members.
The following images, copyright of Paul Graber and reproduced with permission, is a sample of Paul’s own photography seen during his presentation.
29 October - An enjoyable and informal evening reviewing images for the club challenge Some like it hot. As may be expected, members treated the subject in various ways although one or two images could have been deemed as tenuous interpretations of the challenge to say the least! The most common themes were: naked flames; steam; volcanic activity; smoke; and various locations in hot climates.
22 October - There were 32 entries for our first PDI mono open competition. The SPA judge Peter Merry was making his first appearance at the club and gave a good critique of the competition entries together with his reasoning for the marking. He awarded 3 images from Swales Parry, Bev Pegram and Mike Hall a maximum score of 10 and a further 2 images 9.5 points.
15 October - Working ideas - images of new ideas that you have tried recently. Members submitted in excess of 30 images covering a variety of subjects and image genres which included topics such as: macro photography, unconventional UV lighting, digital art, nature, minimalism, landscapes, motion capture, street photography and interior design. Each photographer spoke briefly explaining why and how the images were shot and any reservations they had about them which in turn generated a lot of discussion from other members.
8 October - Roy Williamson critiqued our first PDI colour open competition. There were 34 entries and he fully explained the reasons for his marking. He awarded 4 images from Swales Parry, John Warbrick and Miles Thompson a maximum score of 10 and a further 3 images 9.5 points.
1 October - A workshop for members to bring along their PDIs for critique and improvement suggestions by other club members. It was a useful opportunity to test images and approaches to image-making in a non-competitive atmosphere before entering them in club competitions.
24 September - We commenced the new season with the AGM and the presentation of the 2019-20 annual club awards using the Zoom virtual conferencing system. The acting Chairman presented the annual CCC trophies as follows:
|Colour prints||Miles Thompson|
|Monochrome prints||Chris Flood|
|Chairman's challenge||Swales Parry|
|Best image in Exhibition*||Norman Price|
|Annual achievement shield||Phil Copestick|
* The summary of all 2019-20 annual exhibition awards can be found using this link
Summary of awards
Following the AGM the programme secretary gave a resumé of the proposed programme for the new season and then gave details of the 1 month challenge - Some like it hot which will be critiqued at the club meeting on 29 October.