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.

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.

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.

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.

05/05/15 – Speaker Adrian Langdon

Adrian used his PowerPoint talk with examples as a reminder of the things to think about when taking pictures and started with the basics – Apertures, Shutter Speed, ISO and Depth of Field based around the 4 main variables when we are taking photographs:-

  1. Aperture settings
  2. Shutter Speed
  3. ISO
  4. Focus point

The biggest aperture is the smallest f number ie f2.8 allows in far more light than f22.

Shutter speed usually varies (depending on the camera) from bulb, where the user can hold the shutter open for as long as they keep the shutter pressed, to 1/8000 of a second.

ISO – try to keep this as low as possible to keep the ‘noise’ down, as often above 800 will show a ‘grain’ like appearance in images and possibly coloured speckles/tinges.

Focus – many cameras/lenses now have image stabilisation, which help with slower shutter speeds. Focus is linked to Depth of Field ie the amount of the picture that is in focus. The larger the f number the more of the picture that will be in focus. Adrian showed images at different f stop aperture settings to demonstrate the difference. A picture taken at f22 was in focus from the beginning of the image all the way to the horizon but the same picture taken at f2.8 only had the first fence post in focus.

Adrian then explained the direct correlation between aperture and shutter speed:-

Shutter Speed Aperture Result
1/1000 F2.8 All these combinations allow the same amount of light through to the sensor
1/500 F4
1/250 F5.6
1/125 F8
1/60 F11
1/30 F16
1/15 F22


He then went onto explain hyperfocal distance where there is more in focus behind the focal point than in front and showed us the engravings on an older lens that had these markings on. Unfortunately very few modern lenses have these markings, so it often a question of experimenting with your own camera and lenses to check the results.

Adrian then stressed the importance of checking the histogram on the back of our cameras when we have taken a photo to make sure we have exposed it correctly. With software it’s better to slightly under expose, as dark areas can often be lightened but over exposed areas are often burnt out and unrecoverable. Adrian then showed us examples of exposure issues.

When taking photos Adrian reminded us to think of composition and showed us examples of the following:-

  • Rule of thirds
  • Using diagonals
  • Foreground interest
  • Movement (using shutter speed to show or freeze it)

He had brought in some of his equipment to let us see and handle the equipment he uses.

After a round of applause he said he would be leading our trip to Golitha Falls on Sunday 17th May and will happy to help anyone during the day.

Golitha Falls Trip – Sunday 17th May

Following our talk by Adrian Langdon on the 5th May, he kindly agreed to lead us on our day out to Golitha Falls and the Cheesewring.

We all met at the Golitha Falls car park at 11am and fortunately the weather was dull but dry. We started by walking through the woods down to the falls where Adrian showed us some of the best places to capture images and was on hand to help members with their questions on composition and camera craft. He said that the water level was lower and quieter now and that in the winter they make an impressive run.

After taking many picture we all drove to the nearby hamlet of Minions for an excellent lunch at the Cheesewring Hotel.

Following lunch we walked from the car park to the Cheeswring and onto the Hurlers, with Adrian once again providing us with excellent tips and ideas.

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.

07/01/15 to 08/02/15 – St Agnes Photographic Club’s Exhibition at Trebah Garden

Liz making sure her photos are in the exhibition.

Liz making sure her photos are in the exhibition.

Amidst the scaffold towers and ladders, painters and electricians at Trebah Garden, a brave few from the Club today set up the St Agnes Photographic Club Trebah Exhibition.

The exhibition formally opens tomorrow, January 7th, and will run until February 8th. It consists of 49 mounted images taken by 11 Club members during our June visit to Trebah Garden. To view the exhibition look no further than the foyer area between the Shop and the Planters Cafe.

Paid-up members of the Club will have free access to the garden for themselves and their partners during the period of the exhibition. To obtain your free entry, simply inform the person at reception that you are a member of St Agnes Photographic Club, show them proof of your identity and they will then check your name against the list of paid-up club members.

Opening times are detailed on the Trebah Garden website.

Please do visit the exhibition and enjoy the wonders of the garden in winter.

Words and image by Alan.

07/12/14 – Christmas Field Trip to St Ives

St Agnes Photographic Club

St Agnes Photographic Club braving the St Ives chill

On a fairly bright but cold and windy day, around 20 members of the club met outside the lifeboat station in St Ives at 11.00 for our Christmas Outing.

We were fortunate as the lifeboat crew were test launching their lifeboat, The Princess Royal and being low tide they had to use their caterpillar tractor to take her out to the shoreline. This made for some excellent photographs for those with stout footwear to get across the wet beach.

Following this we wandered around past Portgwidden Beach on up to the top of the Island. Here there were fantastic views from the old chapel, if you could hold your camera steady enough!

By now it was time to eat and we all found our way back across town to the Harbour Fish & Chip Shop for an excellent lunch, sat inside out of the wind.

After lunch we split up and some of us carried on taking pictures around town.

As a follow up at our next meeting on the 9th December, many members showed the results of the day’s photography. This was interesting to see both the similarity yet the unique viewpoints and ideas everyone came up with.

Words by Ian Williams, image by Geoff Osborne.