August 2017

Focus on Club Nights – August 2017

30th August 2017: A different evening

Tonight’s meeting was very different in that it consisted solely of preparing images for our forthcoming exhibition at the Pierhead. You would be forgiven for thinking that the evening would turn out to be a little boring and a bit repetitive. But actually it was nothing of the sort. It was good to see people interacting with each other and enjoying themselves.  Perhaps more importantly it provided an opportunity for those present to comment on the images seen in a relaxed, unthreatening way and get honest feedback from each other about what they liked, and disliked.  
A big thankyou to everyone who took part and lessened the burden on the exhibition organisers.
Do come along to the exhibition and see for yourself the range of work on display.

23rd August 2017: What makes an image iconic ?

There can be little doubt that club nights are always diverse, interesting and stimulating. Tonight was no exception. It was led by Imants Grindulis an elite club photographer and a WPF approved judge who posed the question what makes an image iconic?
We were shown numerous photographs taken over the years by distinguished photographers; many of real events etched into our psyche, and some, of events imagined or manipulated by the photographer  to promote celebrity, fashion and even propaganda. 
We were asked to consider these images from three key components of good photography – the scientific (technical), the craft of photography (the doing) and finally, from the artistic point of view. Imant’s carefully steered us through ‘what made a good image’ recognising that visual taste was, in part, a subjective matter, and might even change over time. We then spent some considerable time looking at compositional elements – when to keep to keep within ‘the rules’ and when to push the boundaries.
All in all it was a very instructive evening which raised many questions as well providing answers.
We are grateful to Imants for taking us through some quite complex areas in a structured and orderly way, and for challenging us to make images rather than just take them.  The over riding message of the evening was always to be prepared for that key moment, and to plan and practice getting the shot exactly right. A vote of thanks was proposed by Junior Gibson who remarked how Imant’s forensic style could help all of us take better pictures and how useful the evening had been for us all. 

17th August 2017: Members Make an Exhibition of Themselves
Tonight’s meeting was a prelude to our annual exhibition which opens on Tuesday 5th September at the Pierhead Building in Cardiff Bay. Members were asked to submit up to 3 prints each for possible inclusion in the exhibition subject to approval by Pierhead staff.  All in all over 50 prints were on display in the clubroom showing a variety of photographic interest and skills. Members were asked to vote for their favourite mono and favourite colour image. In what turned out to be a close competition members voted two images by André as the best of the night. It was fitting that both of his images were taken not too far from the Pierhead Building itself. The first was a beautiful sunset across the bay and the second a mono of Penarth Pier. In third place was image of Steam Train taken by our President. Unusually it was taken in portrait format showing a pristine steam engine enveloped in smoke and steam. Congratulations to them both.

We are grateful to Dean and Trevor for supervising the evening and to the Welsh Assembly for allowing us to use the Pierhead Building.

Why not come along to the exhibition (when it opens) and choose your favourite. 

10th August 2017: ‘Show and Tell’ Evening
Tonight we were treated to a fun filled feast of photography. Club members were invited to share and critique (not an easy task) images they had taken this summer as a direct result of club initiatives.  

We started of with the ‘What’s in the Bag’ project when members were challenged to produce a panel of images on a descriptive theme. The evening got off to a good start when Dave showcased a set of mono print images depicting the story of mined coal from the winding wheel to some far off place transported by train or by boat.

This was followed by Ann whose subject was architecture. She chose some striking images of locations near to Cardiff Bay and also one of Wells Cathedral and Birmingham New Street Station. Some of her images were detailed close ups whilst others were taken to emphasise perspective and recession. Anne also gave a presentation on images she had taken on our bird of prey studio evening.

Taken by Chris Chinnick

Dave’s subject was ‘Nature’s Flora’ and resulted in a panel of wayside flowers – some which others might have considered weeds!  What it proved, however, is that you don’t need to venture far to get images which are both interesting and visually pleasing. Trevor, another experienced club photographer, gave us his take on ‘Travel’ and produced a panel where travel was interpreted both as a means of direction and as a visual journey. Pete also juxtaposed two complimentary approaches in his panel on ‘Perspective’ showing similar scenes from the left and then the right, and then, in an humorous touch, merged them all into one image. 

After the break Tony treated us to to some very different images including his first panorama, a triptych and waterscape all taken on an iPhone. Nial treated us to some excellent images taken on our ‘Birds of Prey’ night which he used to experiment with using off camera flash.  Jen followed this with a sequence of images taken close to the City Hall, Roath Park and at Southerndown. Jeff took quite a different approach showcasing some macro images including a very detailed image of a dead wasp.

Taken by Stephen Wilcox

The evening finished with Stephen sharing a slideshow which might have been called ‘mid-day madness’ of photo’s taken on his midday dinner break throughout the year.

All in all close to a hundred photos were showcased and critiqued by the photographers who took them. Above all else the evening demonstrated the benefit of challenging members to do something different and to experiment with different camera techniques. It was also very pleasing to see some recent members embracing the evening and sharing their photography with us all.  We are grateful to all those who took part and to those whose organised the numerous club activities from which so many excellent photographs were taken.  We hope to upload some of these to the website in the near future. 

3rd August 2017: Photoshoot at Southerndown
Last week’s club night was intended to be an opportunity to photograph the sun setting over Southerndown but the weather was against us. It was not only a little cold but cloudy and damp. However a few hardy souls did manage the trip and, as all good photographers do, improvise.  Instead of sunsets we had photos of coastal birds, receding cliffs, and of the sand sculpturing unique patterns on the tidal path. Far from being a disappointing night it turned to very rewarding and good fun. Thanks to everyone who braved the weather. We are grateful to Steve for organising the event. Thankyou.