WDPS EGM 13 June 2022.
At the EGM on 13 June, an outline temporary arrangement to maintain the existence of the Club was arrived at after much discussion.
Unfortunately, due to no-one wishing to take up the normal officer roles of the club, the club as it has operated for many years will have to change.
Peter Emerson took notes for circulation by email to members but for now, here are the summary points of the meeting:-
• The club will meet officially every 2 weeks from September.
o Meetings will be at the Railway club, Wrexham, Mondays.
o Ad hoc get-togethers in between these dates can be arranged.
• The club will continue to be accredited to NWPA.
• The club will pay for its outgoings by charging an Annual membership fee only, with room fees partly paid for by a raffle on meeting nights.
o A Budget will be set in the coming weeks to establish the membership fee before season start.
• Les Flower has volunteered to cover the reduced roles of the Sec/Treasurer vacated by Peter Emerson’s retirement.
• A Competition Secretary is still needed.
• A Program Committee has been formed - their tasks are :-
o Schedule approx 20 events for next season.
o Arrange presenters, judges and anything else which will promote increasing membership
• The club will continue to be accredited to NWPA.
• The Facebook group will remain as a Private , hidden group to allow for discussion of the clubs changes and the usual activities we already use it for.
• The Facebook Page will remain as our Public front to promote the club and its activities to encourage new membership.
With such radical changes, Wrexham Photographic Society should continue for now, but we need ALL members to play a part in keeping it going, particularly by
• attending the meetings,
• coming forward (on here and at club) with motivational ideas / activities and
• encouraging new members to join.
The club has a long proud history but now needs everyone to put in their contribution to keep it afloat in these difficult times.
Barbie Lindsay, MPAGB, FBPE, EFIAP/s, AWPF
On Monday 4 April we had an excellent and entertaining talk by Zoom, from Barbie Lindsay. Barbie has won many awards, but her principal attribute is that she is expert and interested in all genres. In her talk she covered street photography, nature, travel, portrait, sports, nudes – men as well as women – , humour, macro and everything else she could point a camera at. A very vivid imagination helps and detailed knowledge of image manipulation and precise planning of her many projects has been a fundamental foundation.
She showed many images, starting with ones from colour dark-room days and continuing to mobile phone images. This note does not do justice to her scope, for which we would recommend a visit to her web-site. http://www.barbielindsay.co.uk
The image below represents her sense of fun, her technical brilliance amd the planning and cooperation with her models that are an essential part of her art.
”Millennium Celebration” by Barbie Lindsay
On Monday, 28 March the Wrexham and District Photographic society held a “Critique” evening when members showed there own images and asked for constructive criticism. There was a detailed discussion, among other subjects, of the best techniques for long exposure photography and on the correct balance between empty space and picture content. We were reminded that the prostective audience for any image controlled the process, since an emage destined for an exhibition would not be treated the same as an image for social media. The mebers enjoyed the session and most learnt something. Similar evenings will be held in future since it seems the members like instruction and information rather than a simple slide show.
Martin Patton, LEPS, DPAGB, BPE4*
On Monday, 28 February Martin Patton gave the WDPS a talk on “Critique your own Images” Although he talk was via Zoom we met in the Rail Club toenjoy social reaction.
He emphasozed that there were many aspect to a “good” image, and these included Composition, Impact, Atmosphere, Viewpoint, Colours and Technical. The balance depended on the audience, for example, a print in an exhibition has to have immediate impact of the viewer will walk by, but a print for a competition, where the judge might consider it for a long time has to have atmosphere and a story-line. In any viewing category the genre of the image also alters the interrelation of the attributes.
So, whenever taking an image or .post-processing it, the objective and the intended audience has to be considered. Further, Martin advised to always return to an image after the production is thought to be complete. Artefacts can be missed at the initial bout of processing, but might be observed when returning. Better to notice imperfections before images are submitted to the exhibition or competition.
Martin touched on all the usual subjects discussed by judges, colour balance, highlights and shadows, cropping, a story-line and so on, but emphasized that several visits to the image would be required, maybe a revisit ro the site where the omage was taken. Because this latter suggestion cannot always be possible it is essential to take many images on the initial visit including different viewpoints and different technical settings.
This talk was simultaneously taken by the Copeland Photographic Society
On Monday, 21 February the WDPS held a practical evening at the Wrexham Raiol Club on portrait photography. Two models, Cat Stace-Jones and Mel Devine moved between two sets so a variety of images could be obtained. The seta had been arranged by John Hallard, who also gave advice on the photographic techniques required for the most satisfying results. The turn-out of members was a little disappointing, but those who did attend came away with enhanced skills.
WDPS Portrait Evening.
On Monday, 7 February the WDPS held the second round of the Internal competition, judges by Sue Clark. There were many entries and the final lists for both Colour and Monochrome had to be limited by the priorities given by the entrants to enable the judging to be done within a sensible time scale yet allow the judge to make constructive comments.
Sue Clark spoke to the WDPS on “Composition” in the early days of the lock-down and in her judging showed how this is important – also important is the ability to ignore the rules. But judging an image also depends on impact, and for there to be a discernable story-line. With these basic tenets as well as the established photographic requirements of sharpness and exposure she gave a comprehensive review of each image in the colour and Monochrome sections, suggesting improvements
In each section approximately a third of the images were “held-back” for further classification, which indicates the quality of the entries. Eventually the leaders in the colour section were “Musical”, by Reg. Whittam, followed by “What light through yonder window shines?” and “Battersea Blue Hour”, both by Gwilym Jones
When judging the monochrome section Sue remarked that the advantage of monochrome was that distracting colour was avoided. Her first choice was “Ladder Stile” by Adrian Wright, a minimalist image showing just a ladder stile with a dry stone wall disappearing into the distance on a snowy day. This is Adrian’s’ first competition win, so congratulations to him. Second place was “Fighter by John Hallard and third was Eddie Naish with an image of silver birch trees with intentional Camera movement.
”Musical” by Reg Whittam
”Ladder Stile” by Adrian Wright.
On Monday, 31 January 17 members came to the Rail Club for a practical evening on “Table Top Photography” Four members of the WDPS, Paul Shone, Adam Crump. Eddie Naish and John Hallard set up table top arrangements for the rest of the members to photograph. The set-up by Eddie was designed for “Light Painting”, in which torch light is used to illuminate parts of the display selectively, not to be confused with “Painting by Light” in which the movement of light source is recorded.
The members were enthusiastic and were able to experiment with camera settings under controlled conditions. This type of meeting will be repeated
Peter Benson, Photography on the Dark Side
On Monday, 23 January we had a fascinating talk by Peter Benson ARPS, CPAGB, BPE3* titled “Photography on the Dark Side” However, the first part of the talk was actually about early photography by his ancestors, whcich he could trace back to work with wet plates in the 1860 – very early. His ancestors had photographic studios in Europe and were photographers to the German monarchs.
Peter then showed many of his night-time images, starting with a series on the City of London skyline, and images of the Thames. Peter commented that he knew the area well and had been photgraphing there on many occasions, especially when there were light festivals – and at slack tide to gwt the best reflections
He also showed images from Paris, New York Dresden and Seville.
He advised not to be put-off by the weather. Misty or foggy days can give an image atmosphere, and rain adds reflections from pavements and puddles.
He said that scenes that are mundane by day, become special at night.
Images of the highest quality and an interesting commentary, revealing encyclopaedic knowledge of the cities..
Image by Peter Benson
On Monday, 17 January the WDPS held its annual “Eyescape” competition by Zoom In this there are three sections, landscape, seascape and “urbanscape”, and the competitors enter 2 images in each. Taking the best of the scores in each section, the competitor with the highest aggregate wins.
This competition was designed a decade or so ago to encourage the members to diversify.
The judge was Graham Curry, well known to the WDPS, and because there were only 54 images in total he was able to take time to judge and comment on each. As ever, the comments were helpful, and also reflected on whether the image met the “scape” requirements.
There were a surprising number of monochrome images, but it was felt that these were often better able to reflect the mood of the place.
The overall winner was Gwilym Jones, with his three images, “Morning has Broken”, “Drama at Fort Perch Rock” and “Canal Side, Chester”.
Images by Gwilym Jones.
On Monday 10 January we were due to have a practical evening with Graham Curry on Still Life and Modelling Photography, but with the current regulation about Covid we could not meet at the Rail Club. As no replacement could be found at short notice we had a general meeting where the WDPS members could express their views on the current state of the society, and on its programme.
There was a good attendance and a free flowing debate. We all acknowledged that membership had decreased over the last few years and this was not all because of Covid restrictions. There is much more photography than there was a decade ago, and much of it on mobile phones. Maybe these users do not need a camera club to exchange ideas and practice. However, the current membership comprises a core of enthusiastic photographers, anxious to improve their skills and seek the elusive “perfect” image even though the definition of this is, itself, elusive. There was general satisfaction with the current speakers and the breadth of experience they accommodate, but more practical evenings or outings would be welcome.
The evening finished with some of Eddie Naish's still life photography. We all acnowledge his skill in this genre.
Monday, 3 January. Richard O’Brien, Recolouring History.
Richard O’Brien gave a comprehensive talk on recolouring old photographs, starting from the initial scanning and correction of blemishes and scratches to the final selection of colours and their application. He illustrated his talk with real-time operation using Photoshop. He explained his choice of tools from the Photoshop menu and gave time saving hints on the best approach. The selection of colours can be helped by consulting old records through Goggle to find examples of uniforms and clothing appropriate to the time of the image. He appreciated that adding colour can destroy the authenticity of historic photographs, but makes merely “old” photographs more pleasing to the current eye.
He has distributed a document outlining the principlrd of his talk – there was certainly too much to remember, and WDPS members have shown an interest in continuing with their own old prints.
Before and After, by Richard O’Brien.
6 December 2021
Jane Lazenby LRPS, BPE4 ,DPAGB ,EFIAP, AMPA gave a fascinating and instructive talk on the use of Textures in Photography. Jane, from Barnsley has a degree in Fine Are and is a qualified FE teacher. Her interest ion art combines with her enthusiasm for photography and this led to the use of textures – and image manipulation - to produce photographs with an “Art” feeling.
Jane reminded us that the use of textures to modify an existing image is effectively using a blend of two images, and hence in any competitive environment both – or all- images have to be taken by the same photographer. Hence the first part of her talk was on finding and capturing “texture” images. She showed us a wide range of textures all taken around her house – concrete slabs, distressed paintwork, fabric, clouds, worn floors and so on in both colour and monochrome.
She then showed how these textures could be applied, using the “layers” facility in various image manipulation software, often to studio portraits and frequently of horses, to obtain the fine art appearance she seeks. Jane stated that she did not have a final image in mind when she starts work on an image, but always kept the image manipulation to a short time, probably about 30 minutes. She reminded us of the long list of blending modes, and the importance on layer masks. We should not worry about making mistakes since the software always allowed recovery, and one learns from one’s mistakes.
Jane has an impressive web-site at ejlazenbyphotography.co.uk and three instructural “lockdown” videos on YouTube which demonstrate the techniques.
A very interesting evening, courtesy of Zoom with which Jane spoke from her home, but WDPS members congregated at the Rail Club. I am sure we will meet Jane Lazenby again.
The next competition is The Eyescape competition on the 17 January.. This requires that you enter 2 landscape images,2 seascape images, and 2 urban scape images. This is a PDI only comp. The winner is decided by the aggregate score of the highest score by the members images in each section. The hand in dates commence on Mon 3rd Jan and will close on Wed 12 Jan at 18:00 hrs
On Monday, 15 November, longstanding WDPS member Bill Buck gave a talk on “ A Look Back at Wrexham. For this he had visited local sources of old photographs of the town, mainly the Wrexham Library and the Wrexham Museum to collect copies of photographs of the old streets and industry of Wrexham, mainly about 11900 to 1950. These were all shown with the copyright holders permission. He then visited the same, or as near as possible, location tto obtain images of the current scene. Thus made a very interesting story, with newcomers to the town educated on its history, and for those who were long time resident, it stimulated the memory and enabled comments of “ I remember that”
Altogether an enjoyable evening,.
On Thursday, 11 November the WDPS had a competition with the Hawarden Photographic Society by Zoom. 11 Members of the WDPS logged in. Each club entered 25 images and these were judged by David Gibbins ARPS, APAGB, EFIAP/b, BPE5, CPAGB from the North and East Midlands Federation. Not an easy task as the standard was high, and he held back 14 images for further consideration. Eventually The Wrexham society were declared winner by a small margin. A very interesting evening which indicated how the experience of Zoom has widened the scope of meetings.
On Monday, 8 November the Society held its first internal competition of the season. This was judged by Terry Donnelly FRPS FSWPP MPAGB FBPE from Lancashire. Terry is a very experienced photographer, but even so, judging an open competition where images of different genres have to be compared, one to another, is never easy.
There were over 50 entries in the colour PDI section in the competition representing the work of 14 members. Terry considered each in turn, commented on likes and dislikes, and suggested improvements. Perhaps his most potent suggestion was to look at a processed image again after a delay of a day or two, when the author would probably be able to see weaknesses. He commented that nowadays many competition entries are clearly over processed, especially in colour balance and sharpness, which might be the result of even easier to use powerful photo editing software. He also frequently commented on lack of shadow detail – and, once,on creased clothes in a portrait. How many judges notice this detail?
His results showed that 13 images in the colour section had been held back for further consideration (and an equal number were awarded the minimum mark). Eventually he placed “I can see for miles” by Barry Prole first ( a landscape ) Crested Dogstail Grass, by Mike Mason second (a study of a flower) and “ Little Owl” by George Griffiths third ( a study of a bird),
In the monochrome section, where there were over 40 entries, Again it was a difficult task since the comparison was not like with like. Flowers. portrait and interiors had to be judged against landscapes, street scenes and creative images. Again Terry criticized constructively, holding back eight for further inspection. The winner was “Wizard” by John Hallard with Engineer’s Workshop and Apple Blossom, both by Eddie Naish, second and third.
Congratulations to all.
First Internal winners.
Left, “I can see for miles” by Barry Prole,
Right, “Wizard” by John Hallard
On 25 October the WDPS had an international meeting by Zoom with the Palmerstown Cluub from Dublin. Each club provided 20 mages and these were judged by Geoff Reader, DPAGB, BPE3.. his task was made more difficult by the wide range of genres of the images entered, ranging from Street to Portraits, Nature to Action, landscapes and townscapes, but he gave interesting and constructive comments on each – and a mark. At the end of the evening it was determined that both Palmerstown and Wrexham had the same score, how often does that happen? There was no tiebreak mechanism defined so both clubs agreed to share the honour and agreed that an enjoyable evening had resulted.
The individual winner was Simon Robert’s “ Down the Barrel” with Gwilym Jones’ “Ebb and Flow” second and “Dreaming” (reproduced below) by Philip Devereaux third.
”Dreaming” by Philip Devereaux
On Monday 18 October the WDPS held a“Speaker” meeting by Zoom, when Tal Chohan gave a talk on “The Art of Zoo Photography.”
For most photographers zoos are the only opportunity to record exotic animals, and even though they are not in their natural habitat Tal was able to demonstrate that remarkable images could be obtained. The challenges come from the fences and glass of the enclosures, the presence of other people and often the lethargy of the animals themselves. Tal’s response is to get to know the animals and their habits – and even more important, to allow the animals to get to know the photographer. He avoids holiday periods when there are many distractions, and has the patience to wait for the animals to respond- particularly important when there are more than one in the frame. He also advised going to the zoos in bad weather – there are smaller crowds and the more gentle light avoids high contrast.
Tal showed us many remarkable images, especially of tigers, some of which seem to pose for him. He is a very entertaining speaker giving both technical details and a feel for the atmosphere of the shot. A very rewarding talk.
Many more images, and details of his talks, safaris and exhibitions on his web-site, www.tcwildlifephotography.com
Copyright, T. Chohan.
On Monday 4 October the WDPS held its first Themed Competition with the subject “Street Photography”.
This is a popular competition which the WDPS holds every year. As usual there was a wide range of subjects in the images, whish must have made it hard for the judge, Phil Chadwick, to compare one with another to find a winner. Ine difficulty was the definition of “Street Photography”. Does it include shots in supermarkets, festivals or fetes or even in fields? Phil took the view that if the general population could “walk by”, the image would qualify. Some images were marked down, others accepted. One other difficulty recently has been that streets have been largely deserted – nothing going on to photograph. So the WDPS members had been digging through the back-catalogues.
Street photography also has problems because the photographer is not in control and the best shots are often “grab” shots. This leaves little control over distracting features such as street lights near the edge of the frame. Clever cropping is often needed, as too much image manipulation is not allowed.
However, Phil came to a conclusion, generally agreed, that the best shot was “Mad Hatter” by Barry Prole. Although not revealed at the time, this was taken with a mobile phone. Congratulations to all who entered.
Mad Hatter, by Barry Prole.
Zoom session, Kieran Metcalfe, Chasing the Light.
The first tals of the 21-22 Season was given by Zoom by Kieran Metcalfe Keiren is active in many genres, but this talk shows his expertise in producing attractive images of landscapes.
Keiren started by giving us some technical details of his camera (Canon 80D) and his preferred lenses. He takes many exposures for each individual image, especially in high contrast situations, working in RAW and using variable filters to extend exposure times by as much as 10 stops. The resulting HDR images cover subtle texture and lighting, but leave composition to the eye of the photographer
He also knows his locations, so when the weather and lighting conditions are favorable, can get to suitable locations. For this talk many of his images were from the Peak district showing the contrasting texture of rocks and heather with equal effect. He also presented long exposure images where the movement of water or clouds was smoothed to add drama.
He extolled the virtue of sunrise and sunset images – the “golden hour”, even though these required careful consideration of sun angles and cloud conditions, for which he consulted various web-sites, for example, skyfireapp.com, clearoutside.com and photoephemeris.com.
He believed that often “less is more” but also acknowledged that the successful photographer requires, planning, preparation, knowledge and luck.
Many thanks Kieran for a most interesting evening.
.The Dragon and the Flame, Copyright, K. Metcalfe.
First Meeting, 13 September 2021
The inaugural meeting of the WDPS held on Monday, 13 September was a social and “chat” evening at the Rail Club. There were 15 attendees, but we know of several more who could not attend for individual reasons. The fear that membership would be significantly reduced was therefore allayed. The evening was enlivened by showing some “lockdown” images from Paul Shone, Les Flower, John Hallard and Eddie Naish