A round up of the last few meetings

13/03/2018 – Members Evening

This evening we held our first new members evening following some local advertising and were delighted to see 12 new people come along to find out about the club.

We started with an overview of the forthcoming programme by Martin Morse, our Programme Manager followed by Dave Bourne, our Membership Secretary talking about joining the club.

A few of us then ran through the cameras we use, showing the types of the equipment we use from compacts to full-frame DSLRs, along with their advantages and disadvantages.

After the tea break, where everyone had a chance to chat and find out more, we showed members images from the last quarterly theme. Following this we held an interactive critique of various images from the internet, seeing what was good and not so good.

10/04/2018 – Speaker David Haughton

This evening we had an inspirational talk by local landscape photographer David Haughton, who’s been shortlisted for Outdoor Photographer of the Year 2016 and Fine Art Photographer of the Year, Landscape in 2016 and 2017.

David started off by explaining that he’s a graphic designer and website developer by day and showing us some of his beautiful fine art inspired landscape images from around Cornwall. After the tea break he went on to show us images from further afield, including Wales & Scotland.

29/04/2018 – Field Trip to Kennall Vale

A group of us met for Sunday lunch at the Olive Grove Bistro before joining with some more members at the entrance to the Wildlife Trusts beautiful nature reserve at Kennall Vale.

Here we spent several hours exploring the reserve and taking photos of the old gunpowder factory, buildings and water courses. Fortunately we had good weather with plenty of sunny intervals and everyone agreed it was a great place to visit.

12/06/2018 – Annual Competition

Tonight was our annual competition, where we had over 100 entries across 3 categories – Open, Monochrome and this years Themed one of Macro.

This year we were fortunate to have the excellent local judge, Margaret Hocking, who kindly critiqued all our entries with constructive feedback, which made it a very enjoyable evening. The category winners were:-

Open – Andrew Cox
Monochrome – Paul Johnson
Macro – Ian Williams

Words by Ian Williams.

13/02/18 Speaker Andrew Hocking

This evening we had a talk by local landscape photographer Andrew Hocking who started his career in graphic design.

He purchased his first “proper camera” in 2012 to photograph his freelance design work but got hooked on photography when he went with a photography friend to photograph Mevagissey.

From then he’s been regularly travelling around Cornwall to take pictures of the coast, woods and moors. Andrew then started showing us his images and talking through what he was looking to achieve and how he took them.

Andrew is very fortunate that his sister lives in Wales so he’s able to visit her and take pictures of places such as the Brecon Beacons.

To maximise his photography time Andrew has created a list of all the places he likes or wants to photograph and annotates them with when is likely to be the best time to photograph them. He also suggested using the Photographer’s Ephemeris as a very useful tool to help plan sun rise & set times.

After showing us a number of his images from Cornwall & Wales Andrew finished to a round of applause.

Further details are on Andrew’s website: hocking-photography.co.uk and you can follow him on Facebook too.

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.

14/04/15 – Monthly Speaker – Aaron Polhill – Action Sports Photography

This month we had an inspiring talk by Aaron Polhill, who is an action sports photography specialist. See his website.

Aaron works full-time as an engineer and spends his spare time taking part in action sports such as sky diving, climbing and snowboarding. Whilst skating he started taking pictures of his friends and was always looking for different angles to give his photos more impact.

Using a PowerPoint presentation Aaron showed us examples of different photography techniques:-

  • Freezing the action
  • Allowing some blur, for example the wheels
  • Motion blur and panning
  • Multiple images, for example stacking jumping off cliffs into the sea

He only uses manual settings and tries to make sure each photo tells a story. He also thinks about the intended audience by looking at:-

  • Lighting
  • Composition
  • Important features
  • Leaving enough space for magazines to insert titles

He went through the important features of the equipment needed for action photography, such as minimal shutter lag, discussed the types of focus modes he uses and explained about second curtain flash uses.

He had kindly brought along his equipment, which comprises of a Canon 5DIII, 70-300 and fisheye lenses. He also uses several Canon flashguns with Elincrhom triggers. At the break he allowed us all to see up close the equipment he uses.

By Ian Williams.

20/05/14 Field trip to Godrevy with David Chapman


Photographers prowling the cliff tops – Eddie McGann

With an excellent member turn out and great lighting for landscape photography we all met up with professional photographer David Chapman at Godrevy car park, where he proceeded to lead the group to the beach along with a faint chant of ‘Hi Ho Hi Ho’ in the background. The sea air was clear and the lighting crisp, providing nice contrast at the start of the shoot, later the setting sun would create richer colours and subtle tones allowing club members to employ different photo techniques.


Godrevy Flare – Eddie McGann

Whilst David shared advice and tips with club members others explored the coastline for photo opportunities, employing a variety of photographic techniques from ND filters and long exposures to HDR. David and a club member braved the waves down on the rocks in pursuit of long exposures of Godrevy Lighthouse providing a one to one photography session in which she found the whole experience exciting and informative. Club members along with David showed plenty of enthusiasm staying right to the very end well after sunset in pursuit of that special photo. No screams or splashes were heard in the darkness so we still have full club membership.


Godrevy Snapper – Eddie McGann

The evening turned out to be a great experience due to mixing with like minded photographers, having expert guidance and knowledge provided by David Chapman, lovely weather and beautiful views of the Godrevy coastline.

In September the photographs of the evening will be viewed by club members and also David himself. This will be something to look forward to, as having expert feedback and tips on how to improve our photography will benefit members and the club.

Words by Eddie McGann.

13/05/14 David Chapman Presentation

Keep an eye on the foreground

David Chapman gave an excellent presentation on landscape photography this evening. David is a well-known local photographer. He talked in detail about various landscape techniques. We learnt how to ensure depth of field is appropriate to the subject, i.e. which parts of the shot can be in focus: foreground; mid-ground; background or everything. David emphasised the importance of having some interest in the foreground and using natural lines in the landscape to draw the eye into the picture. He demonstrated how to use the framing grid in the viewfinder to place key parts of the picture. We learnt about graduated filters both as on-camera add on filters and as digital filters in Photoshop or Lightroom.

Our next meeting was to be the field trip to Godrevy with David. He therefore kindly set some homework as preparation! We were asked to download depth of field charts appropriate to our cameras and lenses. David wisely acknowledged that memorising the charts would be a challenge! (Some of our members are over 45!) He suggested we learnt the depths of field for a few different apertures.

Towanroath Sunset by N Bathe.

Towanroath Sunset by N Bathe.

The evening was closed with a short viewing of members’ pictures taken at the Outsid’er Festival Sunset Photography session at Wheal Coates earlier in the month. It became clear that the members who had been able to withstand the cold for longer than the others were treated to a vivid final few minutes of the sunset.

Words by Brian Guttridge.

09/04/13 Speaker: Wedding Photographer, Peter Puddiphatt

Unfortunately due to an emergency our planned speaker had to postpone his visit until later this year, so we were fortunate that Peter Puddiphatt agreed to bring his ‘Wedding Photography’ talk and presentation forward.

Most people who have black and white photographs of their wedding taken by a professional will have them stored away in an album, possibly in the loft. It is hard to appreciate that the wedding photographer was probably more on edge than the happy couple. After taking the photos there was a rush to get away to have them developed and return with the proofs, desperately hoping that many would order copies.

The arrival of digital cameras opened up a new world, particularly for the professionals. Surely the taking of wedding photos would now be a piece of cake, wedding or otherwise but as George Gershwin wrote ‘It ain’t necessarily so’. Peter reminded us that success for a photographer is still built on the planning before any photograph is taken. Plan your work and then work your plan. This includes having a second camera readily available. Good rapport with the bride, bridesmaids and possibly the mothers-in-law will help relieve some of their tension and nerves and certainly your own. Making yourself known to any children who are to be photographed may help them later to do what you ask, rather than for a stranger.

Some wedding photos are expected to be of a formal nature, but always be on the lookout for a pre-arranged, less formal opportunity and, of course, one taken when the subject is unaware. This became clear as we looked at a number of Peter’s photographs accompanied by his helpful commentary. One particular photo that had been requested by the bride was somewhat unusual!! You should have been present to see this! We had some first time visitors who we hope will become regulars.

By Ron Meloy.

‘Sunset Photography’ evening for The Outsid’er’s One More Hour

Circle OrangeSo someone, who shall remain nameless, thought it would be an excellent idea for St Agnes Photographic Club to run a Sunset Photography session as part of St Agnes’ Outsid’er Festival, for the Sunday One More Hour slot.

After two beautifully sunny, if chilly, glorious days of the festival, the weather turned entirely on Sunday. The wind increased to a hooley and the skies to the West became dark and menacing. There would be no stunning sunset to photograph this evening. The Management decided to soldier on anyway, allowing only for the event to be postponed if rain arrived.

Amazingly enough, 15 intrepid photographers (see photo above), including local photographer Andy Davies who came to lead our ‘Sunset Photography’ session, and a lovely couple from Birmingham who were here on holiday, turned up at the appointed hour.

After coffees from the cafe and a short talk from Andy as to how we would have been taking Sunset Photographs, had there been a sunset, we were blown down the car park and onto the beach by the offshore wind.

As suggested by Andy, we ignored the poor, flat light and made the most of being outdoors by taking large depth of field photos to get interest into the foreground of landscape shots. We looked for patterns in sand and rocks and seaweed and shot those. We attempted to not drop our kit in puddles or slip over on slimy boulders. We had a good laugh about how terrible the weather was. And then it started to rain.

Eventually we called it a day (not a name I can record here) and lugged our gear back to the warmth of our cars.

One More Hour - 'Sunset Photography' at Chapel Porth

Our intrepid photographers ready for some, er, Sunset Photography.

Thanks to everyone who came along for the evening and made it a lot of fun, despite the poor conditions. We hope to see at least some of you again soon.

PS: News from The Outsid’er HQ – We’ve decided to extend the Photo Comp by 24 hours to give you all a little longer to upload your photos from the weekend – so that’s Monday 8th April at 10pm. We’re looking for anything that could fall into the 3 categories of BLUE, FACES or TREASURE. Some great entries so far – check out the main www.facebook.com/outsiderstagnes page to see them. Good luck!

12/02/13 Malcolm & Barbara Jenkin

It was a good start as, all the repairs having been completed, we were back to our usual meeting place – the St Agnes WI Hall.

Our speaker had been booked well in advance, but like the Titanic, at very short notice we struck an iceberg, when due to illness he had to cancel his visit. Where do you get someone at even shorter notice to take his place? Well, following some frantic phone calls by Geoff, we ended up with two for the price of one in welcoming Malcolm and Barbara Jenkin.

If we did not know already, we were in very capable hands as they are both very well-travelled and competent photographers and have entered numerous competitions. Their favourite cameras are Nikons – convenient for sharing lenses on expeditions!

We were treated to a very interesting and varied programme – in particular relating to their cruise to Antarctica. This included Buenos Aries and the Falkland Islands – the latter being apparently more British than Britain. Their photos were excellent and showed to good effect the numerous penguins and colourful tin roofs of the houses in the Falklands.

Malcolm was perhaps more conventional than his wife, who admitted to a love of cranes [not birds], containers and clouds. She illustrated her talk by starting with a photo of some straw hats, then showed how it could be manipulated in Photoshop in about 10 different ways and stages to produce a very interesting, award-winning creation. Barbara said that with all the facilities now available to us on the computer we should start all experimenting and be creative.

We were also shown some examples of their prize-winning photographs and left with some ideas of what is out there beyond club photography.

One of the highlights was the ad. lib. commentary by our two guests, interrupted by the banter between a loving husband and wife.

It was a good evening and we look forward to their next visit when hopefully, they have will have been given just a little more notice!

By Ron Meloy.

Don’t forget: Mark Whittaker – wildlife photography – 8th May

7.30pm, Tuesday 8th May, WI Hall, St Agnes

A quick reminder that we have Mark Whittaker, a keen wildlife photographer and keeper at Screech Owl Sanctuary, coming to talk to us about his photography and his career at this month’s Tuesday meeting. Mark’s talk will tie in nicely with our fieldtrip in June to the Screech Owl Sanctuary.

As always – all members and guests welcome!