UPDATE – August 2020

Hello everyone, and hope that you and yours are well.

I am sorry that I have not been in touch recently to update you on what is happening in relation to the club, but this has largely been because both restrictions related to social distancing in general, and to meetings outside households in particular, have been a barrier to many of our normal activities. With the relaxation of some lock-down measures, the committee felt it appropriate to bring you up to date with our recent discussions, whilst at the same time making it clear that, as events during the last week have shown only too clearly, many of the plans I will be talking about must remain provisional because of the uncertain progress of the pandemic.

As you may remember, our original intention was to work toward a restarting of monthly meetings in October this year. We have taken the decision that this timescale is no longer workable, and will plan to restart in April next year with internal speakers, moving to invited external speakers in July. We will of course be very much governed by the availability of the MMI; their timescale and restrictions regarding reopening will be led by the same factors that we are experiencing.

We have decided that all 2019-2020 paid up members will not be asked for the £12 annual subscription for the 2020-2021 club year, although the £1.50 fee for any meeting attended will remain. If any of you are uncertain as to your status, please contact Dave Bourne (dave8712@hotmail.co.uk) for confirmation.

The Facebook Lock Down group has been very successful, but we feel it appropriate to refresh it somewhat, possibly by having monthly themes and/or informal competitions. Members will be asked for their thoughts on this via the Lock Down group page.

The annual exhibition has, as you know, been cancelled, but we are keen to replace it with a form of on-line exhibition, hosted from within the SAPC website, where members can post a limited number of images, together with a short description. The intent is that this will probably be advertised within the local community, both geographic and photographic. Details will be sent out once the format and technical methodology has been finalised.

We have had some thought about restarting field trips, but come to the conclusion that the understandably varying restrictions on travel and on open air meetings make it very difficult to do this in the way we are used to. We do however recognise that small groups may, whilst still abiding by the official advice in place, wish to get out together, and are happy to encourage use of the SAPC Facebook page for individuals to suggest places and times where this could happen. We must, however, make it absolutely clear that this is not at this stage a formal club activity, and therefore all risks must be born by individuals taking part, and no club insurance cover will be in force. Apologies for having to make this plain, but it is simply a consequence of the situation we all find ourselves in.

The AGM clearly cannot take place in its normal format, and we have agreed that the most sensible way forward will be to email all members with a short chairman’s, secretary’s, and treasurer’s report, together with an invitation for members to stand for the committee, and an opportunity for any questions to be answered. Those present at last year’s AGM may remember that I mentioned that the majority of the committee felt that that they would wish to step down at the end of the 2019-2020 club year, but in the present circumstances all have agreed to make themselves available for re-election. This does not of course preclude any member from putting themselves forward should they so wish.

My apologies for the length of this letter, and I recognise that some may be disappointed by the possibly rather cautious timings mentioned within it. We do feel, however, that in these uncertain times it is best to tread carefully, not only because our meetings are for pleasure rather than necessity, but also particularly given that many of us are theoretically at risk of Covid-related complications by virtue of age, pre-existing medical conditions, or both. Notwithstanding that, I do very much look forward to the time when we can all again physically meet up to chew the photographic cud, and with a bit of luck, it may even be possible in advance of the dates mentioned!

Please feel free to contact me at m.h.morse@btinternet.com if you have questions.

Best wishes to all

Martin

Cancellation of meetings. A message from your Chairman

To all SAPC Members

Can I firstly apologise to all members for the sudden cancellation of last week’s meeting, particularly to those who were not able to access their emails in time and therefore had to be turned away at the door. As you may have realised, this was because of a sudden increase in the medically assessed local risk.

The committee has come to the following conclusions as to the best way forward.

1. All planned SAPC meetings for the spring and summer will be cancelled. Provisionally we will reconvene for the AGM in October, but that will of course be under review.

2. All internal competitions, including our annual one in June, will be cancelled, as will all quarterly themes and any related issues. Similarly, SAPC will no longer offer its usual logistical support for any Cornwall Photographic Alliance (CPA) or Western Counties Photographic Federation (WCPF) competitions that may continue, although this does not, of course have any bearing on members who might wish to enter any external competition as an individual.

3. It seems almost certain that it will be necessary to cancel the September annual exhibition, but we will leave a final decision on this a little longer.

4. The committee will continue to keep all related issues under review, including any CPA or WCPF matters.

5. If there are any issues of concern, please contact me at m.h.morse@btinternet.com

For those of you who are of an age to remember Hill Street Blues, the famous catchphrase “Let’s be careful out there” would seem appropriate.

Stay safe, and best wishes to all.

Martin

Martin Morse
Chairman, St Agnes Photographic Club

10/12/19 Ten in Ten

On 10th December we met for a Christmas special meeting, with a number of members tasked with taking ten minutes each to talk about ten of their favourite personal images. There was an interesting medley of pictures incorporating everything from phone camera landscape images to stage photography, via low mega-pixel digital images and long exposures. After the break we reviewed members’ quarterly theme images on the theme of “dereliction”.

12/11/19 David Chapman – A year in Review

We were delighted to welcome back David Chapman, the well known writer and photographer, to talk to us about what has been happening in his past year. David is the author of several books, and a regular contributor to a number of magazine publications on the subjects of wildlife and of photography, both landscape and nature.

David started his talk by giving a series of examples as to how the fauna and flora of his adopted county had changed since he first started seriously studying it over a decade ago, particularly talking about rapid changes in the geographic distribution of birds, mammals and plants, ably illustrated by excellent images. He then moved on to a whistle stop tour of major wildlife sites in Cornwall, pointing out where and when the species for which they were best known could be seen.

After the break, we were treated to a section demonstrating his landscape photography technique, with both coastal and inland examples, the latter being particularly notable for a series taken during the Beast from the East. David finished off by showing progress with a number of personal projects, including fascinating insight into the life of beavers, water voles, butterflies, coots and others, concluding with exceptional video and time-lapse photographs of moths emerging from their pupal stage. The whole talk was garnered with hints and tips as to how best to take photographic advantage of the rich natural world in Cornwall.

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:

Abstract
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

Mono
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

Open
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