08/10/19 Jezz Sugars Olympus Product Specialist

Jez Sugars, a Product Support Specialist for Olympus Cameras and optics, took time out to visit a very well attended SAPC meeting on the 8th October to introduce and explain the virtues of this relatively compact, competent and versatile range of equipment.

Well suited for lightweight travel requirements and high speed shooting the whole range of equipment is manufactured to a high standard. A full compliment of lenses from macro to telephoto which can be used with these technically advanced mirrorless cameras was also available to view. A visit to the Olympus website gives a great insight into the whole range and explains in detail the features to which Jez introduced us to.

Jez is probably in a privileged position in as much he is also able to exercise his photographic talent using the Olympus equipment in his daily routines. A selection of his work in mono and colour together with an explanation regarding some of his shooting techniques certainly did not disappoint.

For those who were tempted or suitably inclined, the discount vouchers on offer would certainly ease the financial burden and maybe assist your justification in making a purchase !!!

Martin Morse, our new Chairman, thanked Jez for a first-class presentation.

By Philip Gott

10/09/19 Margaret Hocking: “Travels Down Under”

Our guest speaker for the evening was Margaret Hocking ARPS, who at extremely short notice, shared with us her two trips through the Australian outback. The hard and uncompromising landscape was recorded to gloriously in temperatures which at times touched 40C. We were treated to images road trains hauling their fright on unfrequented roads, and of largely deserted settlements with corrugated iron roofing, where often only a pub survived to serve the few remaining locals and the occasional passing tourists. These images of the red and almost barren Australian interior, made us appreciate the often-damp Cornish climate.

At Birdsville, we saw images of the famous race track. The population of the town swells from around 100 to 7000 during the two days of the races, with many visitors arriving by air to avoid the long and arduous road journey.

In New South Wales, our journey took us to the Darling River, where animal and birdlife reappeared in abundance and civilisation returned in the shape of a vineyard.

Following the break, Margaret shared a miscellany of her more recent work, ranging from images of the people at the school she helps sponsor in The Gambia, a beautiful collection of images of African animals and as a complete contrast, images taken on her trips locally in Cornwall with the Cornish Wildlife Photography group.

I thanked Margret for sharing her work with us. The image that will stay in my mind for some time was of a sheep drive she came across in New South Wales, where the sheep were contained in the curve of the shallow valley and a dog was perfectly placed urging them forward. The image clearly conveyed the rising dust, oppressive heat and noise to perfection.

By Alan Barker

13/08/19 Brian Guttridge and Samba Photograhy

Brian has been the Official Photographer of the London Samba Group for around fifteen years. Starting with the most basic of compact camera, he quickly developed the skills necessary to be successful in this line of work. Over time he gradually upgraded his photographic equipment so that he now uses only professional standard event equipment.

Brian’s talk took us on his development journey, showing both the equipment he used and the images obtained at various stages. He discussed the importance of preparatory work, including the need to attend rehearsals in order to identify the dance moves that would produce the best images, pre-walking the route of the procession to determine the best vantage point and background, and also the need to fully understand the photography equipment used in order to make best use of its functionality.

He explained that the skills require were a combination of the interpersonal skills of a wedding, photographer, the speed and decision-making ability of sports photographer along with the awareness of a theatre photographer to capture the colour and drama of the moment. Despite all the preplanning, decisions during the event still have to be made quickly in order to gain the best images.

Working closely with the Samba group, Brian has also taken superb ‘off duty’ images, not just of the dancers, but also of the support team. Brian showed us his images taken of the group at some of the biggest carnivals in the UK, including Notting Hill, and also of many taken on the groups overseas trips. Brian finished his talk by showing his more recent work at the Brighton Pride Festival. Spectacularly colourful images of amazing people having lots of fun. Brian’s work fully captures the atmosphere and razzmatazz of these events.

By Alan Barker

09/07/19 Claire Braithwaite of Falmouth University Institute for Photography

Our guest speaker for the evening was Claire Braithwaite from the Falmouth University Institute for Photography. During the first half of the evening Claire shared with us her photographic journey, where she gradually dovetailed her photographic expertise with her growing love and knowledge of horticulture; developing a fine art technique which has led to numerous commissions from Magazines and Gardens across the UK and in New Zealand, where she lived for a period of time. Within her body of work, her images of plants and their environment are artistically composed with care to ensure both line and form bring the image to life, rather than relying on the modern trend of over saturation.

Of particular interest to members was her commissioned work at Enys Gardens and the garden on St Michael’s Mount. For the latter, Claire developed a photographic bank of work for the Trust, showing the changes in the garden throughout the course of a year.

Following the break, the focus was on Claire’s work at the Falmouth University Institute for Photography. Here she is working with her students to enable them to explore the natural environment through photography and, to experiment with new techniques which underpin their Fine Art work. The images of the third-year students were exceptional and demonstrated the wealth of talent both Claire and the University are helping to develop.

In her spare time, Claire has recently engaged with the ‘Back from the Brink’ team and is working on the ‘Cornish Path Moss’ project, helping to raise awareness and help save this rare Moss from extinction through the use of Photomicroscopy.

The Club thanked Claire for taking time out to share her evening with us, and to help inspire our members to explore the wealth of photographic opportunities which reside in their own gardens.

By Alan Barker

St Agnes Photoclub Annual Competition June 11th 2019

Derek Godridge of Penryn Camera Club was the judge of this annual event in the SAPC calendar and from his preparation work in viewing the 90 or so images prior to the evening he was able to offer up not only a comprehensive commentary on each and every one but also provide the authors with some useful and constructive advise on how images could perhaps be improved.

The catalogue of images covered a wide range of subject matter with the “Abstract” section bringing out some very imaginative pieces of work.

The results of the evening as judged by Derek were as follows:

1. Bruce Hobbs – Reflections
2. Alan Barker – Laid up for winter
3. Bruce Hobbs – Distressed City
HC. John Hartley – Hotel lobby Atlanta
HC. Liz Barker – Shadowland
HC. Paul Hughes – Bubbles and Flower

1. Paul Hughes – Smoking Sailor
2. Philip Gott – Take a seat
3. Bruce Hobbs – Staged Dominos
HC. Paul Hughes – Woodlouse
HC. Ian Williams – Trevaunance
HC. Alan Barker – Trees by the henge

1. Philip Gott – Fine balance
2. Philip Gott – Stranger on the Shore
3. Bruce Hobbs – Bell Girl
HC. Alan Barker – Towards Newdowns Head
HC. Paul Hughes – Fly
HC. Bruce Hobbs – Useless Trio

Congratulations to those who claimed a place and commiserations to those who missed out this time around. There will always be next year.

Most importantly a big thank you to all the members who entered images and made the evening a success. Without this commitment we would have had nothing……….

Chairman Alan Barker thanked Derek for his valued input to the evening.

Philip Gott: 12.06.2019

21/05/19 Hetty and Tom of Kuro Kayaking

Our guest speakers for the evening were Hetty and Tom of Kuro Kayaking (based at Trevaunance Cove).

We were taken on an amazing journey by kayak close to the north cliffs, either side of Trevaunance Cove. Here the mineral rich rock provides a kaleidoscope of colour which is enhanced by the reflections in the sea and low evening sun. Paddling near Wheal Prudence, into Lunar Cavern and the Prison where just some of the wonders we experienced.

To contrast the awesome north cliffs, Hetty and Tom also took us on a tranquil paddle on the Helford and Frenchman’s creek. The water is much calmer here and the clarity can be stunning.

Their journeys were embellished with tales of the wildlife they had experienced around the coast, including orca, basking sharks, seals and a sea going badger, which Tom rescued and transported safely back to shore.

At the end of the talk, there were many questions from the audience and a great deal of enthusiasm to experience one their guided tours.  

09/04/19 Vivian and Martin Howse

Our guest speakers for the evening were Vivian and Martin Howse, both associate members of the Royal Photographic Society and whose work is renowned throughout Cornwall. The Club was treated to a display of eight diverse portfolios of high-quality prints, three from Martin and five from Vivian. Members we given time to pursue each portfolio in turn, while our guests answered our many questions.

Martin’s work is routed in the traditional darkroom, where he spends many hours producing the finest quality black and white prints from film. Vivian, by contrast, has embraced the digital world and produces equally stunning print work, usually in colour.

Their portfolio’s included images of Cornish artists, trees and an insight to a pottery workshop by Martin and; abstracts from artists studio’s and boatyards by Vivian. Perhaps the portfolio that most captured members imagination and generated the most questions was the final portfolio from Vivian. This was the results from her improvised pin hole cameras (sweet tins) and out of date photographic paper, which were placed under bushes in her garden for a month or two. The resulting images were a range of stunning prints resembling planets from some a distant universe.

It was an amazing collection of work, that we were very fortunate to have had shared with us, by two very talented individuals.

By Alan Barker

Robert Wiltshire. “HDR Photography”

A presentation by Robert Wiltshire about HDR (High Dynamic Range) photography was introduced and well received by members of St. Agnes Photo Club at the March monthly meeting.

The basic concept of HDR photography, using the bracketing feature of your camera and suitable HDR software to create your workflow were demonstrated to good effect on the night.

We learned that dynamic range is the difference between the lightest light and darkest dark you can capture in a photo. Once your subject exceeds the camera’s dynamic range, the highlights tend to wash out to white, or the dark’s simply become big black blobs.

Basically, an HDR creation is two, three or more photos taken at different exposure levels and processed with software to create a better picture; some newer cameras can even shoot HDR in-camera, but usually in lesser-quality JPEG than RAW. Ideally, the photographer takes a range of bracketed photos — that is, photos of the same subject taken with varying shutter speed combinations in order to produce a set of images with varying luminosity.

HDR photography works best with the camera on a tripod and with landscapes void of moving objects. Then, with the help of advanced post-processing software, the photographer is able to blend the photos together and create a single image comprised of the most focused, well-lit, and colourful parts of the scene.

These types of images, depending on how they’re processed, can be anything from accurate reproductions of what your eyes see, to creative art forms.

Quarterly Theme: “Bridges”.
Members images for the “Bridge” theme threw up a wide and interesting range of images taken from far and wide ranging from a footbridge in Porthtowan to the famous arch bridge in Sydney Harbour. It was interesting to note the trouble taken to record some of the close up detail of these structures and how materials and designs have changed over the years.

The next Quarterly Theme will be “Textures”

It was also announced by Alan Barker that SAPC fared very well in the recent Charles Hoskens competition at Carnon Down with Andrew Cox receiving a “Commendation” for his work depicting the night sky.
Several other members achieved some very respectable high scores.

A preview of the images selected to represent SAPC at the CPA exhibition were also shown to the audience on the evening.

Chairman Alan Barker thanked Robert Wiltshire for his informative presentation.

By Philip Gott

Andy Hughes. “The Politics of Waste”

From the awaking of his artistic talent in Yorkshire to Arthur C Clark’s ‘2001 a space odyssey’, Andy Hughes lecture on the ‘Politics of Waste’ was so much more than a photography talk.  Every image had its own story and every story held the audience captive. A discarded golf ball, sea worn and forgotten, collecting particles of sand and detritus, led us on a journey of corporate greed and pollution on an industrial scale; while a discarded lighter on a beach standing tall as a megalithic portal representing both origin and enlightenment. Andy shared the inner thoughts of an artist and his own philosophy of life.

It was a lecture that sort to challenge our acceptance of what we consider to be the norm, and through his collection images he demonstrated a different way to view the littoral zone, the wider marine environment and perhaps even a way to own the politics of waste.

By Alan Barker

Mr. John Strike. “The Lantern Man”

Storms and tempest hit the St. Agnes Photographic Club on the 8th January 2019 by way of a unique projected image presentation by Mr. John Strike that showcased shipwrecks and the heroic actions of lifeboat crews around the South Cornish Coast in the late 1800’s and early 1900’s.
The amazing stories were brought to life with images taken at the time and preserved in a format of double sided glass slides for use on John’s period projector that had been handed down to him by his father. John’s family line was steeped in life at sea and this showed through in his free flowing and well informed commentary of the subject matter.
Given that the photographic images were taken using the heavy camera equipment of the day, sometimes in very extreme conditions, the composition, clarity and overall quality was superb.

The perilous sea conditions around Porthleven, The Lizard and Mount Bay proved to be the downfall of many a good sailing ship navigating the coasts of Cornwall, some of the events sadly resulting in high casualty rates which in itself initiated new ways of improving the rescue services of the day. Getting a line on board was a hit and miss affair and John was able to talk us through the developments that had taken place with both “on shore” and “on board” launching devices as well as improving the launching of man powered open life boats.

The presentation is unique and of the highest order that leaves you feeling rather humble at the way our forefathers responded to those in peril on the sea.

It was a pleasure to have listened to your presentation John.

By Philip Gott