16/11/2017 Critique Evening with Penryn Camera Club

We were invited to Penryn Camera Club for a friendly evening of critique, with 33 members of both clubs passing comments on 60 projected prints, equally divided between colour and monochrome, and between the two clubs. It was interesting to hear how others viewed our efforts, and there was much to be learned about technique and presentation, in addition to gaining practice in the art of being a critical friend, aided by the facilitation of Derek Godridge, assisted by Victor Tullin.

We were very grateful to Penryn CC for hosting the evening, and for the splendid refreshments, and although it was not a competitive event, we look forward to welcoming them to St Agnes for a return “match”.

 

Words by Martin Morse.

15/10/2017 Field Trip to Screech Owl Sanctuary

A group of members went on Sunday morning to the Screech Owl Sanctuary where we had one of their staff bring out owls one at a time for us to be able to photograph while being flown and handled. Paula, who was our handler for the morning, was extremely helpful and suggested certain owls that may be more accommodating than others to photograph, which proved a lot more difficult than we imagined trying to photograph them in flight.

Following this we all went to the Plume of Feathers in Mitchell for a great lunch, together with pudding for some of us!

Words by Ian Williams.

10/10/17 Speaker John P Davey

This evening we had a talk by Launceston fine art photographer John P Davey who started out in 1982 when he went on holiday.

He then joined Launceston Camera Club and after seeing a well-known photographers work in 1994 he decided to work in black and white. He took a City & Guilds course to gain his Licentiate of the Royal Photographic Society gaining 6 distinctions.

During the evening he started by showing us his only colour image, of Delphi, where he’d had to wait many hours for the right light and the visitors to leave. The rest of the images were hand printed black and white’s by John himself. These were mainly portraits or muses, with a few images of places around the world he had visited, such as Greece, Yugoslavia, Venice, Turkey and India.

In 1998 he put in two panels to the RPS to gain his Associate (in both Visual Arts and Portraiture) and then in 2000 he achieved his Fellowship in Portraiture.

John works with film (both 35mm and a Mamiya 645) where he sometimes photographs in colour and then re-photographs the slide in black & white which he then prints himself.

He has a range of props for his muses and normally brings a mirror so they can see themselves and get comfortable with their pose. John tends to use non-professional models, some of whom he’s worked regularly with over the years.

By using our display stands John put up a number of his prints, so during the tea break we could come and view them.

After the break John continued to show us his images together with fascinating anecdotes about his years spent taking them, finally finishing just after 10pm to a round of applause.

Words by Ian Williams.

11/10/16 Speaker Robin Lenman

This evening’s speaker, Robin Lenman, gave us a fascinating talk entitled “The Photographer Next Door: Taking Pictures in a Community”.

Robin Lenman is Senior Lecturer (retired) at the Department of History, University of Warwick. He’s always been interested in history and how photography can help illustrate life and events, so throughout the evening he showed us various social history images from the 1840s to 1990s.

Robin started with David Octavius Hill who together with Robert Adamson experimented with the calotype photography technique in the 1840s. He then showed many of their social history photographs of the slums and poor living conditions in Edinburgh during the 1800s, together with the relatively prosperous working class fishing community of Newhaven.

Robin then compared these with the other photographers of the time, Frank Meadow Sutcliffe and the Cornish photographer Frank Gibson, who produced many of the early images of life on the Isles of Scilly.

He then showed examples of the famous photographers, Henri Cartier Bresson and Robert Capa, who were celebrities in their day. Other photographers shown were Grace Robertson who worked for the Picture Post covering post war Britain and Eugene Smith, an American photo essayist who covered the Minamata tragedy in Japan.

After the tea break Robin then selected two contrasting locations:-

Southern Italy – where after the unification of Italy, the Southern tip and Sicily were always considered the ‘problem child’ and the ‘wild west’. This was illustrated by the various photojournalists who covered the conflicts with both the mafia and the earthquakes that caused destruction to the region.

North Devon – we were shown the photos of James Ravilious, the son of well-known artists, who spent 25 years taking photos of the locals going about their everyday lives at work and play around Torrington.

Words by Ian Williams.

04/09/16 Field Trip to Marazion and Tremenheere Gardens

It has to be said that it was a ‘grey day’ when 15 intrepid members and friends of St Agnes Photographic Club headed down towards Marazion for the first stage of the day’s field trip. The greyness of the day refused to budge and photographic inspiration was not easy to find. However, members made what they could of it and most came away with some worthwhile images. Some resorted to street photography in an attempt to make up for the shortcomings of what the sea and St Michael’s Mount had to offer.

Lunch was booked at the Godolphin Arms and it proved to be an excellent meal, thoroughly enjoyed by all. Those who went on to Tremenheere for the afternoon session felt well fortified by their energy intake.

On arrival at Tremenheere, we were greeted by our guide for the afternoon, Dr Neil Armstrong, who, after some discussion, admitted to being the owner and founder of the sculpture gardens. We headed off up the hill with the knowledge that 2 hours would be barely long enough to get around and see it all.

Our guide provided a very entertaining tour of the gardens, relaying a wealth of information about all the different plants, trees and ferns which he and earlier owners had planted on the site. Plant Latin names flowed freely and we all marvelled at Dr Armstrongs’ depth of knowledge. It was very interesting to hear the thoughts and origins behind the various sculptures and structures which he had been instrumental in installing in the gardens.

The whole visit was absolutely fascinating and everyone left with the intent of returning again at some point in the future to spend time taking more photographs.

St Agnes Photoclub's trip to Tremenheere

Words and image by Geoff Osborne.

09-08-16 Speaker Mark Walker

On the 9th August 2016 members met at the Miners and Mechanics Insititue looking forward to the guest speaker of the evening, Portrait photographer Mark Walker.  As mentioned in the diary he had hoped to bring a model with him to help demonstrate how he uses the all important feature of light.

 

He explained the Fibonacci Spiral. The more commonly known way of composing a photograph is the rule of thirds. Most photographers will often use this – often you are encouraged to without realising it with most cameras offering the option on live view. However there is another way of positioning your model or camera to get an equally impressive shot and that is the Fibonacci Spiral. It was made famous by Leonardo Fibonacci in around 1200AD. Since then it has been used by artists including painters (Leonardo Da Vinci – with the Mona Lisa and Johannes Vermeer with his ‘Girl with a Pear Earring) to name but a few. Naturally photographers would also latch on to it.

 

Mark also went on to explain the Light Inverse Square Law and how it can be used in lighting up a subject. At this point he bought in his model for the evening Georgina. He set up a ‘Studio’  with a selection of studio lamps and soft boxes and reflectors and a couple other tools and computer software that he often uses. He recommended angles to use when shooting both female and male subjects if using a soft box. Not to mention camera settings he most often uses including F5.6 which allows for model movement and which shutter speeds to use with flashes on high speed sync.

 

Subjects also covered were tips on positioning your model for the most effective and flattering shots and how to include your model, by showing her the shots, using hand signals and also showing them how you want them to stand so that they can imitate to ensure the correct pose.

All members thoroughly enjoyed the evening with those who particularly enjoy topics such as street and other forms on portrait photography managing to get several helpful tips.

By Amanda Weatherley

05/06/2016 Field Trip to Truro Cathedral

Truro CathedralOn the evening Tuesday 5th June, members and friends of St Agnes Photographic Club were set free to range around Truro Cathedral for two hours taking photos as we wished. The cathedral was closed to the public and there were no restrictions on using flash. The gallery gave a great perspective of the cathedral, but also highlighted the wonky construction of it.

In one corner of the cathedral was the recent temporary installation by Imran Qureshi. The work was huge in scale and was constructed from 30,000 A2 crumpled, printed sheets carrying images devised by Qureshi. It was installed by the artist and a team of 14 volunteers working over 4 days, all in the public gaze. There was a brilliant stop mo video of the construction which showed just how much work had gone into it. Reaction to the installation was polarised: some loved it, some disliked it.

Truro cathedral installationIt was a fantastic opportunity to wander unhindered around the cathedral ‘after hours’, although the problem with shooting with other photographers is that they often feature in your photos!

Note to self – don’t leave it to the morning of a field trip to assemble your kit. You’ll then discover that you have no idea where the bit that connects your camera to your tripod is (and that you don’t know what that bit is called) and you have no time to find it, rendering your lovely tripod useless. My shots posted here were handheld and are straight out of camera (no time to edit them!).

Truro Cathedral

Words and images by Nicola Bathe.

12/07/16 Speaker Peter Hodges

Following the excellent field trip to Trebarwith Strand, Peter came back to review the images club members had taken during the day.

Before he did so he gave us a very useful tutorial on Lightroom, which is his main photo editing program, unless he needs to do something specific in Photoshop.

Some of the areas he covered were:-

* Using the library to review images and tag them for ease of finding later

* Using the Develop Module to adjust images and specifically the Graduated Tool to enhance skies – remembering to use feather at about 50% to smooth the effect

* Using split toning – highlights to make more “cool”, shadows to make “warmer”

He also suggested double clicking the slider bar as this takes you back to the default (rather than trying to remember the number) and to try the ‘black’ & ‘white’ sliders while clicking on the Alt key to show the effect.

Following questions about filters Paul suggested people buy a minimum of 3 graduated filters (-1, -2 & -3 stops) and explained how to measure the difference in light levels between the land and the sky. He also recommended people look after them very carefully by wrapping them, as any scratches can cause light diffraction.

Following the tea break Paul gave his comments on the photos members took at Trebarwith Strand.

 

by Ian Williams

Annual competition 14/06/16

Our judge, Victor Tullin, is a member of Penryn Camera Club and well known to many of our members. He has been into photography since the age of eight, when he got his first camera. He has ran community photographic projects in Northern Ireland through the late 70’s to mid 80’s. He also worked for the BBC in Northern Ireland as a computer graphic artist, manipulating images for many departments such as news, sport, current affairs, schools, and religion.

The three classes were:

  1. Open, any subject
  2. Abstract Nature
  3. Monochrome, any subject

Victor delivered his constructive comments on all of the entries, as well as naming the prize winners, at our meeting.The results were as follows:

Abstract Nature
HC - Reflection - Sue Thomas
HC - Blue Fish Ripples - Ben Church
3rd - Eye Eye - Geoff Osborne
2nd - Crocodile Eyes - Ben Church
1st - Leaf - Alan Barker
 
Mono
HC - Going to be a nice day - Geoff Osborne
HC - Spooks - Simon Walford
3rd - Elephant Mouth - Ben Church
2nd - Somerset Mouth - Simon Walford
1st - Gwithian November - Claudia Crewes
 
Open
HC - Ink Wells - Elizabeth Barker
HC - Tide Pull - Alan Barker
3rd - Splash - Simon Walford
2nd - Broad Bodied Chaser - Ian Williams
1st - Wheal Coates - Alan Barker

 

 

10/05/16 Speaker Peter Hodges

Our speaker, Peter, was very apprehensive talking to the club as he
had only given a WI talk before, but he needn’t have worried – he was
brilliant.  Peter was very easy going, and made extensive use of a white board to discuss ideas and concepts.  His presentation concentrated on the demands of Landscape photography. Peter gave us a number of technical pointers, discussion of the equipment needed, and tips on using composition techniques to best advantage. His approach invited a good deal of two way conversation, which was appreciated by members.

After a break, Peter concentrated on encouraging member to “embrace” the concept and techniques of editing, with particular emphasis on the advantages of taking images in RAW, rather than jpeg.

Peter is due to lead on a field trip on Sunday 22 May.  At the moment, the plan is to go to Trebarwith, but it could change at shortnotice if there is an issue with weather or sea conditions in that area.

By Geoff Osborne