Imagine being asked to photograph a wedding...
Most photographers would agree that would be a fairly high-pressure role.
Imagine being asked to photograph the wedding of Harry and Meghan... take a minute and think about the pressure that comes with THAT job...crikey!
But for Press Association photographer Owen Humphrey it was just another job, albeit a very high profile one, in the professional career of one of the country's best news photographers.
But even Owen did admit he felt the pressure of that booking, when he told members of Alnwick and District Camera Club the stories behind the pictures at a zoom presentation on February 24th.
Perched high in St George's Chapel at Windsor, with a Sony camera chosen because of its ability to shoot silently, handing memory cards to a colleague so the images could be transmitted to the office and then immediately around the world. Having to keep quiet about the assignment for a month beforehand - not saying a word to anyone. And then the relief of a job well done. And as we saw in the photos he showed us, it really was a job very well done - beautiful shots of the bride with the veil framing her face, the happy couple caught in candid moments throughout the ceremony...
But Owen had much more to show club members.
One of his passions is astro photography and he showed a selection of stunning images of the night sky with milky ways and auroras in all their beauty. But as he explained, to appeal to the media the photograph has to also demonstrate context, be it a figure in the foreground or one of the northeast's iconic landmarks.
He also has an amazing collection of weather pictures - which can literally mean taking photos at any time of day or night. When you view a weather picture in your newspaper, spare a thought for the photographer who braved the elements to capture it!
We also saw some of his outstanding sports photographs, with Owen always on the lookout for a picture that has that something extra to raise it to the next level.
There was no doubting Owen's ability as a photographer at the top of his profession but it was also a pleasure to see his enthusiasm for a career that has given him so much enjoyment and the anticipation of never knowing what tomorrow will bring...
Thanks Owen for a thoroughly enjoyable evening and we hope to persuade you to give us a repeat visit as we know we only saw a fraction of your amazing photographic library.
Report by Jane Coltman
Ice Cold in Alnwick
Some memories don't last - it seems a long time ago that we were all talking about the freezing weather - and we all know that discussing the weather is a national pastime...
But members of Alnwick Camera Club were also set the challenge of taking photos that depicted the seasonal chill - and they didn't disappoint as they came up with a wonderful variety of images that they shared with members during the virtual February 17th meeting.
The images were collated and shown by Dawn Robertson who had asked members to take up the challenge the previous week, and in particular suggested that members might like to try freezing objects in ice and then photographing them - just one of many photo projects that is known to amuse photographers!
Members felt that this produced a variety of shots that had varying degrees of success but it was fun looking at the abstract images and learning how to and how not to do it from other members.
We also saw scenic shots, animals and birds and close-ups.
In the three images shown here we see a flower trapped in ice by Gerry Simpson. Members mostly agreed that the bubbles in the ice added to the abstract nature of the image.
Margaret Whittaker produced a charming photo of a little bird feeding on a fat ball - the ball and the bird having an uncanny similarity in shape!.
Sheep's wool on barbed wire imprisoned in ice was one of the photographs taken by Chris Goddard around Rothbury which was even more beautiful than usual with a covering of snow.
Thanks all...that was our last chance to take snow and ice pictures in 2021 - wasn't it?
Report by Jane Coltman
Good Shot, Well Seen
That was the title of a presentation of photographs by club member Carol McKay.
As Carol explained, that is a phrase often used by camera club judges, but it was also a very apt phrase for the pictures she showed to members who attended the virtual February 10th meeting.
She showed images that many people would have failed to see and with the majority a sense of irony or humour was evident, either because of the subject matter, juxtaposition or because she went 'click' at just the right moment.
A budgie on a door handle, an unusual road sign and a shoe 10ft up a wire fence...illustrated here are just three of the curious little moments that had caught Carol's attention.
This was a very enjoyable way to round off the evening where we had previously discussed the clubs' entry into the annual NCPF annual competition where we, disappointingly, ended in 12th position.
Thanks Carol for ensuring we finished the evening with a smile on our face!
Report by Jane Coltman
Lockdown. There's no getting away from it.
TV, radio, conversations with family and friends - and now it has even infiltrated Alnwick and District Camera Club. It was the theme of the Set Subject digital competition which was judged by Alan Porrett from Whitley Bay.
Alan is a familiar face to the membership and we appreciated the obvious time he had given when considering the images. He explained that there were some images that would fare better in an open competition but as the subject was Lockdown his criteria when judging had to take into account how well the pictures fitted that brief.
All the images had to be taken in Northumberland and the photos were of an excellent standard with some quality images just missing out on the awards.
The first commended award went to Jane Coltman with 'Daily Run, Wait For Me', an atmospheric monochrome of an old dog watching a runner speed past.
A sense of humour was evident in Margaret Whittaker's Commended 'Covid Safe Air Mail Delivery' which showed her local newsagent in his PPE handing a newspaper to a client with some litter pickers and a bucket.
The third commended award went to 'Window Pain' by Dawn Robertson. An emotional image of an older woman seen through the leaded panes of a window, reflecting the pain of separation felt by many.
The three Highly Commended awards were then announced.
Firstly to Dave Dixon for 'Survival In Isolation'. A clever image of three stark looking trees that hadn't come into leaf and then standing at a distance from them a lone tree that was leafy and thriving.
Next Valerie Atkinson for 'Dreaming of Freedom'. Alan described this as almost sinister as this stark monochrome showed a grasping hand reaching up - an abstract and intriguing photograph.
Thirdly, Gerry Simpson's 'Social Distancing' showed a line of people enjoying a walk and very obviously they were obeying the distancing rules and the spacing was the same between each person.
Fourth place went to Carol McKay's 'My State Of Mind'. It is one of those pictures that draws you in as you explore the gnarled and twisted structure of the tree trunks and branches - very effective.
Third place went to 'Rainbow Wave' by Jane Coltman. A smiling young girl leaning out of a window which had a rainbow decorating it. Nice to see the human element with the now very familiar rainbows.
It was Jane's lucky night as she was also awarded second place. This was with 'A Walk In The Woods' which showed a man strolling through trees that framed him and increased the sense of isolation.
"Ingenious" - that was the verdict of the judge for the image that took top spot.
And the membership wholeheartedly agreed. Richard Stent's cleverly composed 'Passing The Time' was indicative of the past few months in so many ways. Puzzles, a TV guide, biscuits, a cuppa and predominantly a game of scrabble. The letters on the racks spelt out the now well-known motto 'Stay Home and Save Lives' but then the penny dropped that every word on the scrabble board had a connection to the pandemic - zoom, test, fat, jab and more...clever stuff and a worthy winner.
Report by Jane Coltman
A wild journey with Alan Hewitt.
Renowned wildlife photographer Alan showed members of Alnwick and District Camera Club that he really is a master of his craft when he gave a virtual presentation on January 20th.
We saw a series of stunning animal portraits taken in a variety of locations ranging from his Northumberland doorstep to sub-saharan Africa, but as well as showing the images Alan explained the context in which the portraits were taken.
And it is this understanding of the animals, their environment and his fieldcraft skills that make Alan a photographer to be admired.
In 2017 he looked to replace his digital SLR with a mirrorless camera and opted for the Fuji X range of cameras. A pairing that has resulted in Alan now being a brand ambassador for the camera manufacturer.
And the clarity of the images we saw is undoubtedly a great endorsement of cameras and lenses he now uses.
Alan was more than willing to share the technical aspects of his photography and explained the challenges to overcome with the different creatures and locations.
His knowledge of nature means he can predict much of the behaviour of the animals he is focussing on and this is a key factor in capturing his images.
For example knowing from which direction a puffin on the Farnes is likely to fly when returning to it's young with a beak full of sandeels, knowing how close you can safely get to a Black Mamba snake or the mating behaviour of lions in the Masai Mara - this fieldcraft is key to his photographic success.
Composure and context were also discussed. Yes often the photographer needs to get in close, but it is also important to take wider shots too to show the environs of the animal and also to aid the composition - sometimes the space in a photograph is just as important as the subject.
All-in-all an evening of impressive images and enjoyable discussion - many thanks Alan.
Report by Jane Coltman
Another evening of home-grown talent entertained the membership of Alnwick and District Camera Club on January 13th.
Andy Kewin was the first to show an audio visual presentation, and this was based on a day out in Durham which had been taken just before the first lockdown. An image of a rowing boat on the river reminded us how much things have changed over the past year - no way would four people be allowed to exercise so closely together these days! Shots of the quaint streets and the impressive cathedral were shown with music of just the right tempo and together it was a very pleasant viewing experience.
A journey from Pickering to Whitby on the North Yorkshire Moors Railway was the subject for John Strong's presentation. Lovely images of the spring scenery were mixed with shots of the trains and platforms and detailed shots from the stations. All very evocative of a bygone era - one almost expected to see the Railway Children and Bernard Cribbens on the platform. It was obvious John had enjoyed taking the images and we enjoyed viewing them.
Next was the rather more exotic destination of the Azores thanks to an AV from Chris Goddard. It was an eyeopener for the majority of members who had never been there before. Most people were surprised by the colourful architecture and street art that was shown alongside verdant greenery and dramatic landscape scenes. These volcanic islands, even with their unpredictable weather, came across as a great place for any avid photographer to visit - put it on the list!
All the fun of the fair was next: Brian Rogers gave a very informative presentation titled Night Photography at The Fun Fair. To get the abstract images of swirling shapes and colours from the fairground rides isn't as easy as one might assume and Brian generously passed on the lessons he had learnt from many evening trips to different fairs. A wide angle lens, a hand-held shutter release, manual exposure and an abundance of patience are a must. Brian produced some fabulous colourful images full of impact and therefore it was all the more surprising when we saw these images after he had converted them to black and white. Somehow they seemed to be even more dramatic and impressive even though all the vibrant colour had gone. Great pics - and hopefully the membership will be inspired to have an evening trip to the Hoppings - when we are allowed!
Report by Jane Coltman
Three of the best...
It was home-grown entertainment on December 9th for members of Alnwick and District Camera Club when three presentations were on the agenda.
A load of balls!
That was the topic from Gerry Simpson and Richard Stent who had both been experimenting with lens balls.
Gerry's presentation was first and he started with photos taken at the Calvert Trust where he had been for part of lockdown. It was interesting to see the different effects that were created with varying focus points. Sometimes the point of focus was the image within the ball and the background was blurred. At other times, with a different f stop, the inverted image in the ball and its surroundings were sharp all the way through.
He continued his project at home using interior and exterior locations. Personally, one that I thought worked very well, showed converging lines from a fence railing by his front door.
Richard had decided to take a more scientific approach, maybe to be expected from a former physics teacher!
He had set up his own rather Heath-Robinson arrangement of lights, tripods and lasers. From the images it was clear that Richard had enjoyed these experimental sessions and developing the project. When he decided to add some vapour to highlight the laser beams the difference was amazing - colourful beams of light could now be seen entering and leaving the lens balls - very clever.
Richard continued his experimentation when he came across an old dolls head and the different lighting methods he used were interesting to see. We all enjoyed this presentation by our own (in the nicest possible way) nutty professor!
Next it was something completely different...
Laine Baker showed the images taken on a recent trip to Edinburgh zoo.
Her pictures were a reminder of the beauty of the natural world - shots of colourful and detailed flamingo feathers, geometric patterns of zebras, the texture of rhinoceros skin and the like.
It was impossible not to put human emotion interpretations on her images showing a group of monkeys and their family interactions - from the leader of the pack bearing his teeth to babies wanting a cuddle - it was all there to see.
We then finished with a few pictures from a birthday treat - afternoon tea at The Dome - where the Corinthian columns and marble pillars made a luxurious setting in what was formerly a bank. A tasty delight!
Report by Jane Coltman
Back to normal...almost...
Club members welcomed Dave Phillips from Hartlepool to give his judgement on our Set Of Three digital entries, and seeing and hearing from such a familiar visitor the evening felt almost like a club night.
There was the same welcome reception, the images were seen as they would be if we were in the club room and there was friendly chat at the end.
Missing elements were the raffle, coffee and biscuits but for now that is the new norm.
Seventeen sets were entered and standards were as good as ever - it was interesting to see such a wide range of subject matter and it gave Dave plenty to talk about.
He did so in his usual considerate, constructive and chatty way - it was obvious he had taken considerable time studying the images before deciding on the placings - thank you Dave, we appreciate it.
Dave awarded Commended to Margaret Whittaker for Up Hill And Down Dale, to Ian Atkinson for 75th, and Karen Broom for Freestyle Jet Skiers
Highly Commended went to Gerry Simpson with Wood Knot Abstract - as the title suggests Gerry focussed closely on something many of us wouldn't even notice - the swirls and patterns of knotted wood.
Richard Stent gained a Highly Commended with Illuminated Globes - the science teacher genes must still be active as Richard had experimented with lens balls, coloured lasers and refracting light to produce his set of three.
Urban grunge came next and we all knew these images would be by Dave Dixon. This well-seen and gritty set, Urban Steps, saw Dave awarded a Highly Commended too.
Fourth place went to Jane Coltman with Impressions Of Thrunton Wood, a mixture of reality and creativity.
Tony Broom was awarded third place Wild Water - three pictures of some determined and hardy canoeists - a set of great action shots.
Armour-Plated Rhinoceros by Laine Baker was awarded second place. Yet again Laine's aptitude for monochrome showed in this well-observed set which included a headshot and two close-ups of the animal's skin.
Top spot went to Chris Goddard with Gardens By The Bay. The set showed the man-made 'Supertrees', as tall as skyscrapers that light up the night sky over Singapore. Adorned with hanging gardens, the trees as photographed by Chris, were a beautiful sight - well done!
All the placed images can be seen on the Camera Club website.
Report by Jane Coltman
The Northern Counties Photographic Federation is the umbrella organisation for camera clubs in the north east of England and this evening members of Alnwick and District Camera Club saw a selection of the best images that had been entered into the federation's annual competitions.
Once the main competition awards had been decided a separate panel of judges chose the 'Alliance Selection' - these are images that will go forward to Inter-Federation competitions, known generally as the Alliance Competitions.
After the Alliance entry had been chosen a further panel of NCPF Judges looked at the remainder and selected a portfolio of prints and images designed to reflect the work of individual members.
As always there were some superb images shown - which is as it should be as these images are meant to be the best from across the federation area.
It must be said that there were a good number of nature images yet again but maybe not as many 'creative' images as in some other years.
Members were delighted to see that one of our own had a photograph that made it through to the selection - lots of clapping hands could be seen on the zoom thumbnails as Richard Stent's name was announced and we saw his image Millenium Bridge.
This was definitely a 'creative' photo and Richard explained he had been experimenting with multiple exposures through a window that looked over the famous bridge on the Tyne to create this abstract image.
Well done Richard!
Report by Jane Coltman
'infrared', definition, adjective: (of electromagnetic radiation) having a wavelength just greater than that of the red end of the visible light spectrum but less than that of microwaves. Infrared radiation has a wavelength from about 800 nm to 1 mm, and is emitted particularly by heated objects.
That all sounds a bit technical and indeed the beginning of our presentation from Gerald Chamberlain contained a lot of technical information.
For those members with a scientific aptitude I'm sure this was very enjoyable and understandable. And we do have a lot of members who have a science-based background.
However for some members (me for one) it was a bit high-brow and I began to wonder if the whole evening would pass me by in a scientific mist.
But as Gerald progressed to showing us his images it became apparent that this was not the case and we were treated to an evening of excellent photography.
Of course the sciency bit was the basis for Gerald's work but not understanding wavelength and spectrums did not mean we couldn't appreciate the beauty of the images and the unusual appearance that infrared creates.
Gerald had converted a digital camera body to infrared use and the images we saw were a revelation.
Wintry looking scenes created in high summer and white surfaces glowing with an ethereal brightness - that's just two of the effects infrared photography can create. Most photographers turn their IR images into black and white but Gerald experimented with different tones of blue, yellow and magenta too - the end results a matter of personal taste but all very striking.
He also made good use of his 8mm lens - the very wide-angle adding drama and impact when combined with his skill.
Members noted the locations Gerald had been to - thinking ahead to possible camera club trips the Jupiter Sculpture Park, Threlkeld Mining Museum and Lowther Castle are now on 'the list'.
We saw some very 'different' images from Gerald and for that we thank him - perhaps we will now look at infrared in a new light?
Report by Jane Coltman
Less grass, more concrete.
That was a phrase used by Dave Dixon during the November 4th presentation at Alnwick and District Camera Club and it pretty much summed up the evening too!
The talk given by club member Dave was titled 'Photographing The Urban Landscape ' and reflected his passion for Newcastle but the images we saw were not just record shots of the city's wonderful architecture. They were his interpretation of the city's underbelly of gritty, often brutal and certainly less-observed sights.
As well as being seen from his unique viewpoint, by the time Dave added his HDR 'treatment ' the photographs were in a style very much his own.
To quote Dave further, this 'split-level city' with it's 'uninterrupted Tarmac' was 'photographic gold'.
Landmarks such as Swan House, Manors, the Civic Centre and Northumberland Street intermingled with shots of multistorey car parks, the central motorway and many back alleys and underpasses that were never far from the more presentable face of the city.
Some shots were monochrome, usually to reduce colourful distractions or to focus the viewer on shape and form. His colour images often had a dark and grungy look with highlights of colour such as a blue railing or yellow lines that really popped.
Having the right connections helped Dave get photographic access to places most other people would struggle to gain permission for and among these was the Civic Centre. A love or hate building and in Dave's case definitely the former.
We also learnt about the development of the city and giving credit where it's due we were told about Newcastle politician T. Dan Smith, now notorious for criminal wrongdoing but who aimed to improve the housing, art, architecture and education on offer to local residents.
Dave went through the proper channels to get permission to take pictures in Central Station and the city centre Metro Stations, the form filling definitely being worth it if the superb images were anything to go by.
And then the graffiti....while Dave doesn't condone it he wasn't going to let opportunity pass him by and he used the street art very effectively in his urban portfolio.
A hugely enjoyable and very impressive evening of photography.
When circumstances allow us to be together again Dave will be persuaded to give members a tour of 'his' Newcastle. After this presentation of striking photographs he will be like the Pied Piper with all of us following eagerly behind. Can't wait!
Report by Jane Coltman
Here, there and everywhere...
Members provided another great night of home-made material this week and choice of topics must surely have provided something that appealed to every member.
We were shown six audio-visual presentations - we will be looking at the technology to see if there are ways of improving the smoothness of the image display and the sound quality - but minor issues didn't dampen members enjoyment of the evening.
Chris Goddard started us off with photographs from a 2016 trip to Newfoundland - this appeared to be an island with a great deal to tempt photographers - bright wooden buildings, stunning scenery, wonderful light and beautiful icebergs and set to Newfoundland folk music we gained a great impression of the place. Somewhere that has now gone on the 'Places To Go' list...
Lockdown through the lens of Val Atkinson was next - her images reminding us of how much has happened in the last few months. Val told her story from March to June - Joe Wicks, cake, NHS clap, cake, garden projects, cake, socially distanced shopping, cake.... I think you get the flavour of the presentation! Bittersweet memories indeed.
The animal life of Florida was the theme with John Thompson who transported us to the Okefenokee Swamp - a shallow wetland straddling the Georgia–Florida line in the United States and then to Merit National Park where a wonderful selection of wildlife was seen. Surprisingly a lot of the animals are seen in the UK too but of course there were more exotic species too such as the Great White Heron and the Brown Pelican - and last time I checked we don't have any alligators in Northumberland. John saw a few of these beasts and thankfully managed to evade their snapping jaws.
Our globetrotting continued when Carol Mackay took us to Morocco. Firstly to ANIMA Garden, a fantasy landscape of exotic plants and quirky installations framed by the Atlas Mountains, which was the brainchild of Austrian multimedia artist André Heller. The bright sculptures contrasted with the verdant green plants and deep blue of the sky - wonderful! (Note to self - somewhere else for the Places To Go To list...). As Carol is a plantswoman of course she also had to visit the Marjorelle Garden which was made in the 1920s by the French painter Jacques Majorelle. After years of neglect, the stunning garden was then taken over and restored by the fashion designer Yves Saint Laurent and his partner Pierre Berge. She then showed images from Marrakech which at times she found challenging - but doesn't make it all the more satisfying to get good images if they aren't that easy to take?
Barney The Bear has a very adventurous life - he must be as well-travelled as that more famous bear Paddington - and Ian Atkinson helped the pupils of a local first school give him a trip to remember as he and Mary took Barney with them on a trip to Bali. Barney looked to have a fascinating holiday - and I think Ian and Mary enjoyed their period of foster care too!. The trip gave Barney lots to tell the children about when he returned home - thanks Ian for sharing his adventure with us too!
A couple of weeks ago members were asked to submit some of their animal pictures and the AV made with these images gave us a fun way to finish the evening. The AV was compiled by Dawn Groves who very aptly used music based on the film Beauty and The Beast and once we had viewed all the images members had time for a little chat, the consensus being a jolly good evening had been had by all.
Thanks to all the contributors who made it a such a fun evening.
Report by Jane Coltman
A tropical treat...
Tony Broom, a new member of the club, transported members to sunnier climes this week which gave us the opportunity to enjoy his photographs and also to get to know him a little bit better since no members have been able to meet up with him, or his wife Karen, face-to-face yet.
They now live in north Northumberland after many years in South Stafford.
Tony is an honorary life member of Tettenhall Wood Photographic Club and is one of that endangered breed - a photographer who dabbles in the mysterious arts of darkroom work!
There was nothing monochrome about tonight though as we were shown a colourful selection of images during a virtual tour of Hawaii.
Tony's pictures and narration revealed what a land of contrasts it is.
From cloud covered hills to blue skies and beaches, from verdant green tropical mountains and exquisite blooms in the brightest possible colours to the harsh and stark landscape formed from the larva flows of dormant and active volcanoes.
Tony's record of this huge variety of terrain, flora and fauna was delivered to us by a series of musical audio visual presentations interspersed with nuggets of information gleaned during his holiday there.
Thank you Tony for giving us a brief taste of a life far more exotic and it was good to get to know you and Karen a little bit better - we hope you enjoy being members of the club.
Report by Jane Coltman
A change of seasons...
This week rounded up the activities of last season, which was coming to an end as we went into lockdown, and also looked ahead to the new season.
The final print competition results were never presented at a meeting so our print secretary Val Atkinson showed the placed images from the colour and mono open competitions and read out the comments of the judges.
The colour competition was judged by Stephen Fowler .
Commended went to Carol McKay for Super Stairwell, Ready To Face The Room by Gerry Simpson and A Little Bird by Stanley Trafford.
Two Highy Commendeds were awarded - one to Dawn Groves for The Paint Shed and one to Jane Coltman for Iceland Blue.
Fourth place went to Val Atkinson for Window Light - a simple but beautifully lit image where the light had been sympathetically handled.
The Moon and The Milky Way gained Richard Stent third place - the judge said it worked well from a pictorial point of view and the composition was excellent.
It was impossible not to say ahh as we viewed Margaret Whittaker's second placed image Harvest Mouse - an appealing composition and technically very well photographed.
Sometimes less is more and this was certainly the case in Laine Baker's first placed photo, Evening Light at Amble. A beautifully serene and calming image thanks to the limited colour palette of greys and blues with little bursts of colour from the buoys in the water.
Next on to the monochrome prints that were commented on by a new judge to Alnwick, Keith Archer.
Commended awards went to Laine Baker for Parlour With Straw Hat, Carol McKay for Lindisfarne and again to Carol with Field Shadows.
Then the Highly Commended awards went to Dave Dixon for Two Boats Boulmer Haven, Christine Grey for Hang On A Minute and again to Christine for I'm All Ears.
An atmospheric image by Margaret Whittaker, Trees On The Pond, was awarded 4th place. Who knew dead trees could look so good!
The judge acknowledged the clever composition of Bespoke by Laine Baker which was awarded third place - it was a clever title too for the picture which was a close-up study of bicycle spokes. This was proving to be an excellent evening for Laine as she was then awarded second place too - with Spanish Doll, the judge commented that it was well composed, exposed and very sharp and the black and white handling certainly produced an eye-catching image.
On The Prowl was the winner - Jane Coltman's close-up of a cat that was clearly focused on searching for something to pounce on!
The results of these competitions were included with all the others in an AV that was to have been shown on presentation evening. Dave Dixon had expertly put together the video which served as a reminder of the superb images that had been shown by club members during last season and included the announcement of the league results.
It was an evening for girl power as the Projected League and the RE Thomas Challenge Cup was won by Dawn Groves who pipped Laine Baker to the top spot by one point.
However Laine can't have been too disheartened as she won the Print League and the Arthur Spence Rose Bowl - the clear margin of six points rounding off a very successful season for her.
The Presidents Cup is one of the oldest trophies the club has and each year it is presented at the discretion of the president.
Unfortunately Gerry Simpson couldn't join the meeting in person but as his announcement was made we saw a very 'presidential' image of Gerry who suspiciously looked like a certain Mr Trump with a cut-out head of Gerry stuck on. Even if our president wasn't there in reality he was certainly there in spirit!
As he made his announcement it was apparent that his award was going to Jane Coltman - someone he felt contributed a lot to the club. Jane gratefully received the accolade but knows she is just one of a group of people who work together for the benefit of the club.
We were then transported to Tasmania and Sydney by Karen Broom - a new club member who showed us images of the creatures she encountered down under including a Tasmanian Devil which she had longed to see and a very cute looking wombat.
The evening finished with a quick look at the winning images from the Wildlife Photographer Of The Year competition - amazing images and maybe inspirational too?
A long report but it was a busy meeting!
Report by Jane Coltman
More than twenty members of the club logged in on Wednesday October 7 for our first competition judging of the season.
This was a digital open competition and Stuart Skelsey from Whitley Bay was the person whose opinions mattered.
It proved to be a mammoth task given the number of entries and the in-depth analysis of the images that Stuart gave.
It was apparent how carefully he had considered each photograph and as well as reflecting on technical aspects he commented about his reaction to the story that the picture told.
As we listened to Stuart's comments the pictures were displayed thanks to the technical ability of Dave Dixon.
Seeing the pictures full screen gave the viewer an excellent opportunity to study the images in great detail themselves.
Stuart didn't award any Commended's but saw fit to issue three Highly Commendeds.
One went to Carol McKay for her striking monochrome photograph titled 'Razed' which showed the remaining infrastructure of a collapsed building.
'Scotch Mist' by Dave Dixon was the apt title for his atmospheric picture of mist rolling over the top of a hillside - taken in what could be said to be typical Scottish weather!
David Burn's 'Bridge To Nowhere' wasn't familiar to the judge but some club members will know it is at Belhaven near Dunbar. The bridge crosses a tidal stream and when the tide is high both ends of the bridge are submerged in water.
Fourth place went to Laine Baker for Rock Patterns - a wonderfully colourful abstract image which reminds us that it's worth taking a close look at our natural surroundings.
We went back to Scotland for third place with David Burn's image 'Buachaille At Dawn'. Buachaille Etive Mòr is a mountain at the head of Glen Etive in the Highlands of Scotland and David captured the rugged landscape beautifully with the cloud curling over the mountain and the long exposure enhancing the water.
Chris Goddard's second placed 'Johnny's Shed' was a feast for the eyes - Johnny certainly had a lot of stuff - a potty, old trophies, a horseshoe and well...lots and lots of 'stuff'! Chris handled the lighting, both inside and outside, expertly.
An image taken during one of the club's Wednesday Wanders took the top spot.
Jane Coltman's 'Window Seat' portrayed a happy chap enjoying a ciggy while perched on a window above The Sand Bar in Amble.
A picture to make the viewer smile? Maybe that's just what the doctor ordered in the present circumstances!
Report by Jane Coltman
Hello...Is anybody there?
Well thankfully the answer was yes as Alnwck and District Camera Club held their first ever virtual meeting on Wednesday September 30.
Eighteen members logged on and thanks to skillful handling by the man at the helm Malcom Biles, everything went smoothly.
Malcolm ensured everyone could speak and hear and then Dave Dixon gave us a very useful set of guidelines for participating in a zoom meeting.
Programme secretary Richard Stent showed us the outline for the next few weeks and members were encouraged to participate in future evenings with a 'This is what I did'... style presentation. We already have a few presentations and judgings lined up. Please don't be shy to show us some images - with normal contact being restricted it's lovely to catch-up with people and see how they have found the last few months.
Chairman Jane Coltman welcomed everyone and then showed a few images of what has been keeping her busy lately - lockdown rescue dog Bonnie!
David Burn then showed us some of his fantastic landscape images. He modestly announced that a couple had got through to the second round of the Landscape Photographer Of The Year competition - no mean feat! j
It was interesting to note how well the screen sharing facility worked and the quality of the images we saw was excellent.
So here's to the rest of the season - it's a brave new world out there!
Report by Jane Coltman
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