It is some time since the club included a workshop in the programme so there was much anticipation for last night's meeting.
Led by club chairman Malcolm Balmer, assisted by committee member Mike Herrmann, members were not disappointed.
The first half of the evening was devoted to breaking down the complicated issue of correct exposure and demonstrating simple lighting effects. With the use of a tethered camera and a still life "set" , Malcolm and Mike experimented with settings to illustrate the effect of different exposures. A reflector was used to show how a simple (and cheap) accessory can make a huge difference to lighting. Malcolm explained how a white balance card can be used to obtain accurate colour and different lenses revealed the role of the macro in close up photography.
The second half of the evening was questions and answers with members having been asked to submit any queries they had. This proved a stimulating session as Malcolm and Mike clarified terminology, explained the difference between Jpegs v Raw, discussed file storage methods, soft proofing, ICC profiles and more. Members deeply appreciated the effort which had gone into to providing such an enjoyable meeting and the relaxed atmosphere ensured easy and regular audience participation.
Many thanks Malcolm and Mike!!
On Tuesday 25th February, despite yet more atrocious weather, members enjoyed viewing a superb collection of "hacked" shots and listening to how various effects had been achieved. This was not a competition, but a way of introducing people to different aspects of software and hopefully enthusing those who are wary of entering into the minefield of manipulation, to try their hand.
This is an annual event and over time the standard has risen considerably. Thanks to those with advanced technical abilities, more reticent members can see how an image can be greatly improved or changed, either for general presentation or for fun. Rather like standing on the edge of the sea: it's much better once you have gone in and started swimming!!
At the end of the meeting there was discussion as to whether this programme item continued in its present format, is removed altogether, or changed better to reflect members' personal preferences. Watch this space!!!!
On Tuesday 11th February a packed hall listened in awe to a talk by the internationally renowned photographer, Gered Mankowitz.
His easy delivery and relaxed style made for an intimate atmosphere, with everyone captivated by one after another of his iconic images. Gered spoke of his childhood and how he was introduced to photography, recounting his progress through work as an apprentice through to having his own studio.
His tales of life on the road following groups on tour were accompanied by celebrated portraits of the musicians involved such as The Rolling Stones, Slade, The Jam, Oasis and many others.
Gered's work in the industry, going back to the 60's is reflected in the many album covers featuring his photographs, which launched such stars as Kate Bush, Annie Lennox and Suzi Quatro. It was fascinating to hear the story behind each image, and to learn how and why they had been devised.
For many, however, the pinnacle of Gered's talk was the time devoted to Jimi Hendrix, and the session that resulted in one of the most iconic images of the time - a shot that has been reproduced around the world and is instantly recognised.
SBACC was delighted to open the meeting up to visitors who supported the event with enthusiasm, and a lively question and answer session at the end of the talk perfectly illustrated how much everyone had enjoyed it.
You can see a great selection of Gereds work on his official website.
PHOTOGRAPHS BY GERED MANKOWITZ ©BOWSTIR Ltd. 2020/mankowitz.com
The first meeting of the new year took place on Tuesday 14th January with a critique evening.
Despite appalling weather there was an excellent turnout and a total of 34 digital images and prints were reviewed.
In the last few years there has been a noticeable rise in the standard of technical ability and it was encouraging how members were not backward in being forward with their comments! No more silences with our Chairman vainly trying to elicit contributions from the floor!!! This feedback is instructive for both photographer and viewer and made for a very relaxed and enjoyable evening.
There was a wide variety of subjects, both mono and colour, digital and print so many thanks to all those who submitted their work for critique.
Zaid Meherali - Aviation & Defence Photography (Lessons in shooting Tin Birds!)
Zaid gave an entertaining presentation of his work in Aviation & Defence Photography. His energetic style of presentation certainly gave us a good insight into this specialised area of photography. Zaid explained how he become interested in aviation photography living close to Farnborough Aerodrome.
WCPF Print Portfolio
On Tuesday 8th October there was a nearly full house to review the WCPF travelling print portfolio. Having split into four groups (yes: we now have so many regular members that we take up the whole hall!!) and divided the portfolio accordingly, each print was critiqued for composition, technical expertise, presentation and whether or not it was actually liked.
The aim was for each group to select its preferred top four prints and then exchange their set for another and repeat the exercise. At the end of the evening each group presented their selected eight prints giving their reasons for inclusion. It was extremely interesting to see how many prints were selected by more than one group and how on some occasions, a print was held up in esteem only to be met with shouts of derision by other members!! Such is the difficulty in "judging" where objective criticism meets with subjective viewpoints.
At the end of the evening a vote was taken on whether the meeting had been worthwhile. There had been agreement that, having had the portfolio in the club's programme for several years, it was time for a change. However, such was the success of the evening, that a show of hands indicated a U-turn was required, so let's hope we can reinstate ourselves in next year's schedule.
Bradford Abbas Shield images
On Tuesday evening we had a packed hall for the viewing of our potential Bradford Abbas Shield images.
We welcomed some new members and it was especially great to see Brian Clarke back after such a long while, also Graham Swanson and Tony Cook.
The committee will have their work cut out choosing which images will represent the club in the competition.
See our Competitions page for the results!
Annual General Meeting
The committee was delighted at such a high turn-out for the AGM and to be able to welcome four potential new members.
AGM business was conducted swiftly and smoothly so the coffee break could take place in good time. This gave members an opportunity to study the panel of prints which was entered into the recent WCPF competition and to view the winning images in digital format. As Malcolm pointed out: whilst SBACC did not feature amongst the top performers it did achieve a very respectable score and everyone could be proud of the standard of photography achieved by the club.
The second half of the meeting was used to view a selection of digital images taken by members during the summer break.
About thirty were shown which clearly demonstrated the high level of camera work achieved by a wide number of photographers.
There were some superb wildlife shots as well a good range of landscape and mono compositions.
Conversation flowed, with plenty of banter which reflected one of the main strengths of the club which is its strong social side. It was a very enjoyable evening and bodes well for the new season.
Bradford Abbas photoshoot
Last Tuesday saw the final meeting of the season (where did that 8 months go?), a photoshoot around Bradford Abbas.
After an hour, we met back at the hall and chose 3 of our 'straight out of the camera' and unedited shots to view.
Patiently, Tony loaded them onto the projector and we had a very enjoyable time viewing and commenting on the images.
We will look forward to the new season, welcoming members old and new, in September.
Joint Meeting with Dorchester and Shaftesbury CCs
Once again we welcomed members of other clubs to the annual 3-way meet where the theme is "The Story Behind the Image". Each club submitted ten digital images with fifteen being viewed in each half of the evening. In between was an extremely agreeable coffee break which allowed everyone to either renew acquaintance, as this event has been going for some years with regular attendees, or have time to chat to first time guests. The occasion was enhanced with delicious cakes which certainly helped with interaction.
The evening was particularly enjoyable this year with some excellent images and some truly interesting stories. A few images were highly technical with fascinating explanations as to how they were achieved; others were more straightforward but accompanied a narrative which provided a wonderful insight into different cultures, aspects of wildlife or the different seasons. Yet more had prompted the photographer to research the area which had been photographed, providing members with a free history lesson.
We hugely enjoyed hosting members of both clubs for a relaxed and entertaining evening and very much appreciated that so many people travelled to be with us.
Hack a Shot
On Tuesday 26 February the annual hack a shot meeting took place. This is where members are given several images to manipulate in any way they like with the object of learning new techniques and/or getting to grips with different software.
Over the years, imagination, expertise and enthusiasm have risen sharply and there were some excellent examples of different methods used to produce a completely altered image. Photographers explained the steps they had taken to achieve the changes including the use of brushes, Analog Efex pro, Color Efex pro, perspective warp, filters.............a never-ending list of tools which produced some exciting results.
At the end of the meeting there was a general discussion on the camera club and whether it is responding to the needs of its members. It was an extremely informative exercise and rewarding for the committee to get so much positive feedback. With several innovative suggestions put forward, tweaks to the programme will ensure the club provides an even higher standard of support and enjoyment to members.
Andy Beel FRPS
On Tuesday 12 February it was nearly a full house for the talk by Andy Beel entitled: "Me and My Eye". Andy is a highly acclaimed black and white photographer with a distinct style which he well illustrated with a varied range of his prints. He spoke about depth of field and through using panels of three images, demonstrated how changing the aperture can radically alter the focus of a photograph.
In another illustration, he used three identical images in different colours of mount to show the importance of choosing the correct frame for an image. Members were given numerous examples of how good composition improves impact, but particularly impressive were the post-editing software skills Andy has in his armoury which make his images so memorable. It was a pity there was insufficient time to learn in more detail how he achieved his outstanding results.
Andy's website gives a taster of his high standard of photography - click here to visit it.
On Tuesday 9th April the club was extremely fortunate to welcome the well-known wild life photographer George Reekie.
His talk about the Great Migration in Tanzania was fascinating and his superb images amply illustrated the magnitude of this tremendous annual wildlife trek.
In the second half of the evening, George spoke about his background in photography and how he has developed his expertise over the years.
He projected numerous digital images illustrating the wide range of his interests: motorsport, birds, steam locomotives and of course wild life. His amusing reflections on some of the more pretentious aspects of photography were well received and the two hours in his company sped by far too quickly.
Shoot a Theme - Graffiti
On Tuesday 21 January we had the much anticipated annual Shoot a Theme competition. This years theme was "Graffiti", chosen by last years winner, Brian Clarke. To see who won and to view the winning images with a full write up of the event, please go to the Competitions page.
On Tuesday 8 January we had an excellent turn out for the first meeting of the New Year. Members submitted images in either digital or print for review, and an extremely enjoyable and constructive evening was had by all.
These occasions are a good opportunity for feedback, to obtain answers to difficulties that may have been met with the weather conditions and to seek advice on how better to present an image. Skies, which are frequently problematic, can often be improved through the use of graduated filters; white balance, contrast and exposure were subjects of discussion, as was making good use of the crop tool. There were some excellent images illustrating the use of layers and blending, and food for thought was provided by several seascapes taken with a slow shutter speed.
As always an enjoyable and friendly evening - and stimulating to see how an image may be improved after being assessed by a number of different eyes!!!
Most Unusual Image Competition
On Tuesday 11th December the club was delighted to welcome Norman Crabb, a longstanding member of SBACC, to judge the Most Unusual Image Competition. All entries were digital images which Norman appraised with his usual humour and constructive analysis. There was much laughter, but Norman's final decision was to award first place to Malcolm Balmer's superb image; " A Mountain of Washing", second place to Ali Morton with; "Spanning the Years" (an excellent composite of Ali as a teenager and in later life) and third place to Chris Edgecombe's poignant image; "Dodgems in the Amusement Park". Congratulations to the winners and many thanks to Norman whom it was good to see again.
The second half of the evening was devoted to a near-impossible quiz set by Malcolm Balmer. It was hugely enjoyed but did demonstrate how little knowledge the majority of members has on the history and background of photography! The winner was Brian Haigh with a magnificent score of 17 (out of 25) so well done Brian!
Being the last meeting of the calendar year, the coffee break was extended in order to enjoy Elizabeth's mince pies and for everyone to socialise. We look forward to seeing everyone again in 2019.
A thoroughly stimulating evening was provided by Leo Rich on 13 November when he made a return visit to the club to talk about the Photographic Alliance of Great Britain (PAGB). As well as being a judge for the PAGB, Leo has also been the Selector for their Awards for Photographic Merit scheme as well as for National and International Exhibitions.
Leo began by outlining the different categories of merit (Credit, Distinction and Master) and the methodology for judging. He explained how details matter, for example in the quality of a print mount; the size of the print in the mount (not too small); that each print is only viewed for 10-20 seconds so things should be kept simple (kiss!); any borders should be no more than 2-3 pixels and finally that the photographer's head should rule the heart. Leo went on to caution care when choosing a subject to photograph and that judges are wary of "set up" situations, such as are found in some wildlife scenarios.
Entrants must have belonged to a camera club for at least two years in the case of a Credit and the club itself must be a member of the Alliance. There are advisory days which can be attended by observers, but there is a long lead time for adjudications (currently a year). For a Credit award, ten submissions are required (digital or print) and they are submitted to the judges in a random order.
Members were then shown a selection of successful Credit submissions including scores, which well illustrated the standard the Alliance seeks from applicants to its Merit scheme. This was followed by Leo critiquing a selection of club members' images, both digital and print, which provided invaluable tips and advice. The club is extremely grateful to Leo for providing such an in-depth insight into this challenging Award scheme.
Bradford Abbas Shield
Tuesday 23 October saw the annual competition for the Bradford Abbas Shield. This year SBACC welcomed Shaftesbury, South Petherton, Wincanton and Yeovil camera clubs. Each club submitted five prints and five digital images, making a total of 50 entries. The theme was "Shadows" and we were delighted to have John Tisley as our judge. As always, his in-depth critiques were fair and consistent: he explained that with competitions, photographers should try to take images specifically for it rather than find something in their archives to suit the occasion; images should tell a story, demonstrate some originality, be relevant to the title of the competition and show attention to detail. It was particularly interesting to note how many times John's comments related to this latter point.
The results were:
|1. SBACC||178 points|
|2. Shaftesbury Camera Club||171 points|
|3. South Petherton Photographic Society||170 points|
|4. Wincanton Camera Club||162 points|
|4. Yeovil Camera Club||162 points|
SBACC scored strongly in both sections with Malcolm Balmer, Fo Bugler and Jay Warnes all achieving the top mark for one of their entries.
Meanwhile, congratulations to all the photographers for providing such a high standard of entry, and thanks to our visitors who contributed to a very enjoyable evening.
WCPF Print Portfolio
At last Tuesday’s meeting, members spent the evening viewing the WCPF’s travelling print portfolio.
Much discussion took place over which images were preferred.
These evenings are always enjoyable and informative.
Thanks Roger for picking up and returning the portfolio.
BA Shield Images
At our last meeting we viewed and discussed the ‘Shadows’ images that members put forward for selection for the Bradford Abbas Shield Competition.
AGM and Summer Images
The new season got off to a cracking start, with a very well attended AGM followed by a presentation of summer images. We were delighted to see some old faces returning to the club and to have a new member, David Mitchell.
After five years on the committee, Roger Gibson decided to stand down. Roger has made a major contribution to the club and was presented with a small token of the committee's appreciation for all his hard work. The remaining members of the committee were re-elected en bloc, with Malcolm Balmer remaining as Chairman. In addition, the club voted unanimously to elect Sarah Simpson to the team. Sarah is already well known to members for her help with the website and the refreshments, so it is great to have her on board in an official capacity.
Reports were presented to the members, showing the club to be in a good financial position. Thanks were extended to Barbara for keeping us in the black!
This seasons Events Programme is displayed on the website, and is full of interesting and stimulating talks, competitions and social activities.
Photo-shoots will continue to be organised throughout the season - as soon as details of the next one is finalised it will be posted on the website, so watch this space!
Following the coffee break we viewed members' summer images. There was a superb collection of shots which reflected the very high standards of the current membership, and with most of the photographers present, it was an added bonus to learn the technical details employed to create them.
Our progress bodes well for this seasons competitions - we look forward to an exciting year ahead.
The last meeting of the current season provided us with a challenging talk by club member Brian Clarke, entitled; "The Colourful World of Black and White". Brian, a highly respected photographer specialising in mono images and winner of many competitions, illustrated his theme with a selection of his superb prints. These wonderfully demonstrated the art of toning with shades of pink, copper, blue and selenium.
In the second part of his talk, Brian went through the various stages of the process in Photoshop, showing us, through the use of colour balance adjustment and hue/saturation, how colour can be introduced to a black and white image. It was timely to have such an inspiring talk at the close of the current programme, as members can now practice the technique through the summer break!
Outdoor Shoot to Yetminster
The end of season outdoor shoot took place this year in Yetminster. Although to passers-by it was a glorious sunny evening, for photographers, dealing with the variant light posed quite a challenge!
Please go to our Photoshoots page to see the full article and images!
The Club was delighted to welcome back Mike Birbeck FRPS, FBPA, FDPS who gave an enthralling print presentation entitled: "The North of England". Beginning with York and covering Lindisfarne, Appleby Fair, Whitby, Cumbria and the Yorkshire Dales, Mike's superb images illustrated his expertise not only with the camera, but also with editing and professional presentation.
A worthy Ambassador for Fotospeed, Mike's images displayed his eye for composition, the use of light, all further enhanced by his correct choice of photo paper. We were privileged to be able to view so much of his work and left the meeting enthused to try some of the various techniques he employed.
Hack a Shot
The Annual Hack a Shot meeting provided entertainment, admiration and education in equal measure. Members had been provided with four images which they were invited to "hack" with no restriction on software or method.
The results showed the imagination which exists within the club as well as expertise. Photographers described not only how they had achieved their result and how long it took, but also those effects they were unable to accomplish. The use of filters and stretching an image in addition to such changes as adding, changing and/or moving objects ensured that all the alterations resulted in a completely new composition. Those who did not feel confident enough to submit an entry were left full of envy and admiration!
Joint Meeting with Dorchester and Shaftesbury Clubs
The hall was full for a most convivial evening when we welcomed members of Dorchester and Shaftesbury camera clubs to the 3-way annual meet. Each club presented ten digital images with the photographers recounting "The Story Behind the Image".
This was not a competition and it was refreshing to see so many excellent photographs which had not been taken with a judge in mind! They provided the accompaniment to a range of fascinating stories: some poignant, some funny, some educational but all extremely interesting with members paying rapt attention.
During the interval the hall buzzed with conversation and a splendid range of cakes quickly disappeared into people's stomachs!
Our thanks to all those who contributed to such a worthwhile and enjoyable evening and we look forward to next year's fixture.
At a very well attended meeting members heard a superb talk by the renowned landscape photographer, Stephen Spraggon. Stephen's excellent images were further enhanced by the inauguration of the club's new projector which has vastly improved the visual experience and provides the club with a professional standard of presentation.
Stephen's talk, entitled Four Seasons in One Day was divided into four sections: spring, summer, autumn and winter. Each section was prefaced by a selection of seasonal images before Stephen expanded on what to look for, where to go, when to go and how to learn about seasonal light. In this latter context, he gave some excellent examples of the use of The Photographer's Ephemeris, a map-centric sun and moon calculator which shows how light will fall, day or night, for any location.
This was Stephen's second visit to the club and he didn't disappoint. His easy manner coupled with a well-constructed delivery ensured his talk was hugely enjoyed by all.
See more of Stephens inspiring work at www.spraggonphotography.co.uk
Landscape Critique Evening
The New Year got off to a brilliant start with a landscape critique evening designed to tie in with the talk to be given by Stephen Spraggon in February.
Both digital images and prints were enthusiastically viewed and the photographers explained why they had taken the image, what they liked or disliked about it and answered queries about exposure, shutter speed, paper, mounts etc.
A wide range of excellent images fired up enthusiasm (and envy!!) and through friendly and constructive dialogue much was learnt about the art of landscape photography.
The evening was further enhanced by Pam's excellent mincemeat cakes which threw any new year resolutions about calories out of the window.
Many thanks Pam!
On Tuesday 12th December, a light-hearted quiz evening provided plenty of entertainment and ensured that everyone got into the swing of the festive season. "Guess the Photographer" required members to match images on the screen against a list of participating photographers. This was considerably harder than thought and a top score of 6 out of 25 won Sarah Simpson first prize.
After a longer than usual coffee break where mince pies replaced the usual biscuits and conversation buzzed, members faced an excellent set of twenty questions on photography put together by Mike Herrmann. It was a salutary reminder to everyone how little is known on the subject generally!!!!
The result was a tie on 13 points between Malcolm Balmer, Jay Warnes and Tony Hilton forcing a tie-break, which was won by Jay.
Nightime and Low Light Photography - Tony Worobiec FRPS
Those who attended this meeting on 14th November, and it was a very good turn out indeed, had an absolute treat.
Tony, who is a font of knowledge, showed us his fabulous photographs taken in the golden hour, the blue hour and beyond and into virtual darkness. These were accompanied with explanations of how the pictures were taken, the techniques employed and all this with a very large dose of good humour!
Many of us were so enthused by Tony’s excellent presentation, that an evening shoot at Weymouth's old town is being planned. Malcolm will circulate more about that in due course.
Please feel free to visit Tonys' website to see his fantastic work!
Bradford Abbas Shield
Tuesday 24th October saw five clubs, namely South Petherton, Wincanton, Shaftesbury, SBACC and Yeovil, compete for the coveted Bradford Abbas Shield.
The theme was "Agriculture" and with members attending from all the participating clubs, this was a very busy and excellent night for the club.
The quality of entries was high, and this was reflected by the small difference between the highest and lowest scores which were as follows:
1. South Petherton Photographic Society 174 points
2. Shaftesbury Camera Club 169 points
3. Wincanton Camera Club 168 points
4. Sherborne and Bradford Abbas Camera Club 160 points
5. Yeovil Camera Club 159 points
Each club entered five digital images and five prints and some of the highest scoring images are shown on the right.
Tractor Driver - Steve chick
Suckling Pigs - James Mcinnes
Precision Drilling - Roger Gibson (SBACC)
Smoke on Water - Fo bugler (SBACC)
Farming Country - Rob Cochran (Wincanton)
Below is the trophy being presented by our chairman, Malcolm Balmer, to very worthy winners South Petherton.
We look forward to seeing you all again next year!
Bradford Abbas Shield Image Selection
At last Tuesday's meeting, we selected our entries for the Bradford Abbas Shield competition, where this year the theme is 'Agriculture'.
Those present saw 49 excellent images and for the first time, the selection was made by the members themselves rather than the committee.
The scores have now been collated and the selected images are as follows:
Smoke on Water - Fo Bugler
Making Silage - Mike Herrman
Ploughing near Colmers Hill - Fo Bugler
After the Harvest - Malcolm Balmer
Bullock Licking Nostril - Fo Bugler
Black Barn, Yellow Field - Fo Bugler
Precision Drilling - Roger Gibson
You Looking At Me - Malcolm Balmer
Mum & Son - Fo Bugler
Electric Storm over Crop - Brian Clarke
First meeting of the season!
Welcome to our new season; we started with a bang on Tuesday, warmly welcoming two new members, Chris Edgecombe and Anders Mattson. We hope you enjoyed the experience and look forward to seeing you both again at the next meeting! We are also incredibly pleased to welcome back Fo Bugler - we look forward to seeing more of your creativity this season!
To see some of Fo's outstanding work, please visit our Members Galleries page, as Fo is featured there!
This meeting included our AGM, where Norman Crabb presented the club’s accounts for the last time, as he has stepped down as treasurer after many years of service, returning to the back benches where he will continue to play an active part in our club. Barbara Herbert was elected as our new treasurer, and although Normans are big shoes to fill we are confident Barbara is equal to the challenge! We are also pleased to announce we have a new chairman, Malcolm Balmer, who accepted his election to the position with an enthusiastic address to the members. The remaining committee members were re-elected on bloc.
Following our coffee break, we looked at and appraised portfolios of prints from the WCPF Travelling Print Portfolio. Small groups each took a box of photos and appraised them, finally selecting a print deemed to be the best of the set. A member of each group then displayed the print and explained the merits for which they had selected it. The process was great fun and it was intriguing to hear other members opinions on composition, technique and artistic style - do we have a few budding judges in our midst?
The Isle of Portland Heritage Trust photo competition takes place in October, their website is at http://www.stgeorgesreforne.co.uk/ from where you can click on the competition rules and entry form. Entries need to be in by 9th October but collections are available from certain branches of Wessex Photographic. It is a fairly prestigious competition with numerous clubs contributing entries.
End of season meeting
With the prospect of a long summer ahead there was an upbeat, end-of-term feeling about last Tuesday evening’s Camera Club meeting. Swallows, house martins, and now swifts have returned, signalling a clear change of season.
Huw Alban (‘artist using photography’) was our guest speaker. You may remember how well-prepared and carefully presented his talk on ‘The Emotional Landscape’ was, back in 2015. Last Tuesday’s presentation: ‘My Photography – My Way’, was similarly detailed, but this time concentrating on techniques to capture the very best image in camera.
Underpinning Huw’s photography is a real sense of wanting to capture the mood of a scene, and to think carefully about how to convey this. The histogram is critical, and we were shown also how neutral density and graduated filters can enhance what the camera records. This was illustrated by some of his very fine photographs.
My projects for the summer obviously involve tripod, filters, histograms . . . and a small notebook!