A group of hardy members met for an excellent lunch at The King’s Arms, Marazion, followed by an opportunity for a photographic walk around the town, the beach at low tide, and across to St Michael’s mount. The weather was kind, with the exception of a cold wind and resultant fumbling fingers!
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”.
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.
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
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
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
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
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
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.
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