October 2017

Club Nights in Focus – October 2017 

27th October 2017: An evening at the Vale Photographic Club
This evening some members of the club attended the Vale Camera Club where we were warmly welcomed by the President and their club members. The idea of the evening was that 4 of our club members were invited do a presentation of 15 minutes on a subject of their choice.  Our programme consisted of Michael doing a AV presentation based on the Welsh National Anthem, and another on birds in which he tried to demonstrate that it was possible to take 20 images and produce an AV of them in 30 minutes.
His presentation was followed by Jenny Cox who shared her latest project of photographing trees in mono and displaying them in print. This proved to be very popular especially as Jenny was able to provide some helpful tips on printing. After the break Gavin gave a very informative talk on his experience of doing a BA in ‘Photographic Practice’. In it he spoke of the contribution made by eminent photographers from the past, and of how photographic techniques (inc printing) of the past can influence photographic style. The evening finished with 4 short AVs produced by Anne including a very humoress one about Christmas starring Pinky and Perky, and a stunning one of landscapes in North Wales.
I think all present from both clubs found this to be a very successful evening. We are grateful to the Vale Photographic Club for hosting this event and look forward to them coming to us in late November for a reciprocal visit.  

26th October 2017: An Evening with Allan Squires FDPS, AWPF
In many camera clubs you may some times hear a moan that they want something different – but not at Cardiff. We strive hard to provide a varied programme that appeals to, and meet the needs of, all club members. This week was no exception when we were giving a presentation by Allen Squires FDPS, AWFP who specialises in sports photography and also macro photography. This evening Allen had his sporting clothes on. In the first session were were shown images mostly, but not entirely, of motor sports – sometimes on two wheels, sometimes on four, and sometimes – well, on no wheels at all.  The vehicles ranged from the micro to the massive, all equipped with high octane engines. They were so good you even smell it!
Throughout the evening Allen shared various tips for getting better images including how to pan effectively so that movement was shown in a vehicle’s moving wheels whilst leaving the rest of the image pin shop. The secret was to use low shutter speeds and pan effectively. Another tip shared with us was how to take reflections is vizors without the photographer also appearing in them.
In addition to motor sports Allen also shared images from the golf course, white water rafting (which  is particularly difficult because the constants invariable looking downwards and not into the camera), cycling and fencing which is particularly difficult because it takes place at lightening speeds.  Allen emphasised the importance of getting low down to take his shots in order to ‘look into the competitors face)
In the second half we were shown images mostly taken of disabled athletes competing at national and international events – some at prestigious locations. These were all handled sensitively whilst at the time portraying the challenges and effort that goes into competing at such events.  What was impressive was the way Allen was able to capture the right moment;  for example, just as a discuss was leaving the athletes hand, or as a blind jumper was about to take off without stepping over the board.  More importantly, perhaps, Allen’s images portrayed the sporting side (in victory and in defeat) in such a way that highlighted achievement and effort rather than disability.  It was not therefore surprising to hear that Allen had recently been awarded a Fellowship of the Disabled Photographers Society (FDPS) an honour of which he is most proud. We are grateful that Allen was able to spend time with us, share his passion for photography and commitment toward disability sports, and his tips for taking better images. 

20th October 2017: Battle with Barry Camera Club.
Tonight we held our annual Battle with Barry Camera Club. The warm welcome by our hosts and an excellent break time buffet helped make up for our disappointment at ending up as runners up. That said Barry thoroughly deserved their victory. In the Print section the bar was set by two images from Barry titled Heritage Waterfall and Love in a Mist both of which scored 20 points. Three of Cardiffs images, Demoiselle Arigon, Penarth Pier, and a Chaffinch scored 19 points but not quite enough to bridge the gap. 
In the DPI section things were more closely fought with Cardiff getting the only 20 in this section with a well executed creative image titled the Painted Orb. We did however manage two 19’s one with a Kingfisher portrait and the other being a detailed closeup of a very colourful Crab on a large pebble. 
We congratulate Barry on their victory and look forward to meeting them next year.
In thanking Cardiff our hosts commented on the excellent turnout by the club and the high standards shown throughout the competition. The judge was Mr Trevor James to whom we are all grateful.

Club Night 17th October 2017: Presentation by Johnnie RogersARPS, AFIAP, AWPF, DPAG
The Magic of Monochrome:
Tonight we welcomed back Johnnie Rogers to the club for a very interesting and informative talk on the Magic of Mono. The tone of the evening was very much set by Johnnie’s opening reminder that ….
“No man has the right to dictate what other men should perceive, create or produce, but all should be encouraged to reveal themselves, their perceptions and emotions, and to build confidence in the creative spirit.”
Johnnie emphasised that generally it was much more important for a photographer to take images which appeal to them rather than to someone else’s perceived idea of what an image should be.
Johnnie took us through a nostalgic journey of the many different cameras he has used over the years as well some recent ones including budget cameras which, with a bit practice, can produce remarkably good results.
Many of the images shown to us were often taken in contrasting environments and in many unusual settings. These included landscapes, nature,  sport  environments, as well as the more usually preferred architectural shots and portraits favoured by mono enthusiasts. Many of Johnnie’s images were taken using infra red techniques which reveal detail with such clarity that you see elements which otherwise would not be noticeable to the natural eye. This is particularly true in photographs of tree canopies and leaf structure but also in nature and wild life in feather formations and even the scales of fish.
Some of Johhnie’s images were composed by using software to ‘stitch’ together overlapping images to make wide landscapes or detailed architectural structure. 
Monochrome is particularly good at highlighting outline, shape and form – more so when when infra red is used.  Johnnie often (but not always) uses software (especially Silver Efex) to add texture or to apply a vignette to his images, and takes great care to ensure that they are printed to a high stand and exactly as he wants them to be. In part this is because Johnnie creates an image in his mind before he takes it and then tries replicates what he has imagined rather that take a random image and modify it later – an approach he said was inspired by Ansell Adam’s assertion that “You don’t take a photograph, you make it”.
Judging by the quality of the work on show this approach has served Johnnie extremely well.  We are grateful to Johnnie for another absolving and informative talk and look forward to his next visit.

Club Night 12 th October 2017. Welcome to Megan’s Multi Media World 
This week we welcomed Megan A’Herne, President of Caerphilly Camera Club, who introduced us to her world of multi media photography.  Multi media photography normally involves of taking a series of images (mostly stills but occasionally with some video), adding sound effects and, possibly, a commentary and some text.
Megan has always been interested in audio visuals (A.V.’s) and sees them as an excellent way of preserving, or reawakening memories – and making good of photos which we might otherwise forget about. Most, but not all of those shown by Megan, were taken as travelogues whilst on holiday. 
Megan explained that whilst they can take a little while to finish – anything from 2 days to 2 weeks – they are richly rewarding. She shoots in Raw, and mostly uses 14 t0 140mm lens. However she uses an iPhone for recording sound as she finds it offers superb audio quality.
Once she has taken a range of images she normally develops a script but sometimes she does it the other way around. She will start of with a script and then find (or take) images to suit. Once she has sufficient material she will lock herself away in a quiet area of her house and record ‘voice-overs’ using a microphone fixed on a tripod for consistent volume and clarity. She also uses Audacity, a free open source digital audio editor and software recording application and ProShow (cost approx £50) – a combination much favoured by AV enthusiasts.  (There are also other ways of producing AVs using Picture to EXE (Windows only) and iMovie (Mac only). It’s also possible to do AV’s using Lightroom. Some of Megans AV’s are set to music including a delightful film of ‘Tulips from Amsterdam’. Other films included several from Italy, and an absorbing trip down off-beat Venice.  
Megan is undoubtedly a very experienced AV enthusiast and the way in which used both oral and aural transitions rather than relying on computer generated manipulations (although they have their place) was very impressive. Her films were not just a record of special occasions but rather a series of stories linked by imagery and explanations.
Judging by members’ response this was a very popular evening – and we must have another one again some time soon!
For those wanting to find out more about AV there is a South Wales AV Group which Megan is heavily involved that meets in Cardiff six time a year. They be very pleased to see you there. 

Club Night 5th October 2017. AGM
Tonight we held our AGM. The secretary opened the meeting and explained the process.

The first item on the Agenda were the minutes of the AGM held in 2016. These were approved without amendment.

The next item was a report by the President outlining the challenges the club faced and its achievements during the past year. The President started off by thanking the Committee for all their hard work during the past year, and also those members who help in other ways to make the club what it is.

In his address he was pleased to report that following transfer to its new premises in Rumney membership levels had remained broadly similar to  previous years. Some members who had left the area had been lost but this was more than made up by new members joining including a good number very local to the club. The Committee had worked very had to develop a programme to meet members needs and to include more workshops and photo shoots during the season including some off site. Competitions had generally gone well although entrants to the print sections had dropped a little. The Club had also taken part in some external competitions with other clubs with mixed results. A plea was made for more members to attend these occasions partly to support our own entrants and partly  because it provided a very good opportunity for members to sample images from different clubs. 

The President announced that several of the existing committee were retiring or transferring to different positions but that sufficient members had volunteered to take their place on a new committee however the club still needed more females to take an active part in the running of the club.  There was also a useful discussion on what form the club exhibition might take next year. The general consensus was that we should try and do something different and possible more on the creative side. 

The Treasuer’s Report. The Treasurer’s reports (circulated) indicated that the club finances were in a healthy position and expenditure broadly matched income however one invoice for a significant amount (£500+) remained outstanding.  On this basis it was unanimously agreed by all those present that their should be no increase in the membership fee. 

Auditors Report: The Auditor reported that she had examined the accounts and found them in good order. Apart the outstanding invoice all debts had been paid and she was satisfied that the income and expenditure gave a true reflection of the club’s business activities and financial position. 

Elections: A new Committee was elected (unanimously) in accordance with the requirements of the Constitution. Members can find full details here 

Resoloutions: The Secretary reported that although no resolutions had been submitted to the club members were welcome to raises any issues of concern. None were forthcoming. 

Awards: Details of the end of season awards were announced in both the beginners and the advanced sections in both the digital and print  media.

Gold Section: Winner Rhodri, Runner Up, Trevor
Silver: Section: Winner: Dean Pine, Runner Up, Dave Brown

Gold Section: Winner Jen, Runner Up, Michael
Silver: Section: Winner: Dave Brown, Runner Up, Atul

Overall Winners:
Gold: Michael 
Silver: Dave

Congratulations to all concerned

Vote of Thanks: A vote of thanks was proposed from the floor for the President and the the Committee. These were passed unanimously. 

Close: There being no further business the meeting closed at 9:20

Please note:
The above is a brief summary of the AGM. Draft minutes of the meeting giving more detail will be available in due course and will appear in the members only area.