Our next club meeting will be our AGM on 13th September where we will not only discuss club matters but we will also be reviewing your submitted summer photos.
Tony Worobiec - 'The Water's Edge'
Well, what an amazing evening.
Not only were we treated to the most interesting and informative talk, but the hall was full of members again! Those who couldn't make it in were able to watch via zoom so didn't miss out.
Tony encouraged us to seek out our own way of expressing ourselves through photography, backed up by his own stunning images shown mostly as 'projects' which was very inspiring.
It was a very interactive evening with many questions being asked and ably answered by Tony.
Thank you so much Tony, for coming and entertaining us for the evening and also for sending some of your images to illustrate this write up.
David Sellick and Bernard Daggar
Having had to change the format for the evening, we were very lucky to secure a talk by David and Bernard.
We were entertained by them with their talk entitled “A Photographic Exploration of the Somerset Coast”
What a fun and very interesting evening they presented! As well as some stunning images of the area, we were treated to a bit of history and some very funny anecdotes.
Everyone that attended had an exteremely good evening, and were also treated to cakes provided by Elizabeth, Pam and Sarah.
Thank you so much David and Bernard for stepping in at quite short notice and we hope to see you back again sometime.
Macro and Close Up Competition
For the first time in a long while, we had prints at the hall! Only 3 admittedly but nonetheless, there were physical photos in the room!
A high standard of images were entered into the competition as usual and thanks to our judge Tony Oliver for coming to the hall, another first for a long time, and doing a great job of judging them.
1st Pam - 'Cage of Decay'
2nd Elizabeth - 'Look Left'
3rd Sarah - 'Over the Daffo Hill'
1st Chas - 'Agelena Labyrinthica Spider'
2nd Sarah - 'Daisy'
3rd Chas - 'Hoverfly'
Wendy - 'To Crack a Walnut'
Malcolm - 'Bubble Geometry'
Pam - 'Sea Holly'
Thanks to all concerned for making the evening run so smoothly.
Jay very kindly came to the hall and ran another fun filled portrait workshop for us - and what a fabulous evening we had.
It was great to see the hall nearly full again, with many members attending.
We were treated to yet another wonderful workshop from Jay, with portraiture as the theme. We had a professional model, Tess, who was very experienced and a great help to us all (she even had a go at fixing a laptop glitch!).
Thanks Jay for your very entertaining presentation, we all went home having learned a great deal.
Post Production Challenge
Our post production challenge included some very interesting and unusual images.
Members gave a short explanation as to the editing techniques used (whether tried and tested or happy findings whilst 'playing'!) and answered questions from other members.
Mike has sent out an email with the techniques used to edit the images.
3rd Annual Keith Lane Talk, Andy Skillen
Because of Covid and his hectic work schedule, we had to wait a long time for Andy to be able give this talk entitled 'Walking with Bears' but it was very much worth the wait!
Andy's enthusiastic and entertaining presentation had us all mesmerised. His stunning wildlife images accompanied by the stories of how they came about, were gasp inducing.
Andy's passion for the wildlife he photographs is very apparent, reflected in the fact that a large proportion of his fees and income are given to various animal charities.
Thank you so much Andy, for travelling such a distance to visit us and for such an amazing evening.
Update - thank you for sending these amazing images to put up on our website Andy, and for sending them over in between your hectic travel programme. We much appreciate it.
Our first meeting of the new year was scheduled to be held in the hall but as the current guidelines had changed slightly, sadly it was decided it would be best to have it on Zoom.
However, as is the norm, it was a great meeting with lots of interaction.
Mark and Chris headed the critique and there was no doubt they had put a lot of thought and time into it.
It is always the way with these evenings that a lot can be learnt from listening to comments on others images as well as your own.
Thanks to the members who submitted images but a special thank you to Mark and Chris for doing such a great job.
How wonderful to be able to meet in the hall once again! It was great to chat to members new and old face to face.
The evening also included our 'Most Unusual' competition, the results of which were as follows:
Beauty In Tree Rings Malcolm Balmer
More Of The Same Elizabeth Jubb
The Swizz Are Clever Peter Paniccia
Why Is She Smiling Wendy Jackson
There were some excellent images but well done to Malcolm, Elizabeth, Peter and Wendy.
We watched a presentation of various images from the SBACC Shield competition and also the Overton Cup Competition on a loop, whilst enjoying tea, coffee, Elizabeth's mince pies and cake and Peter's nibbles ..... yum!
Thanks to all concerned who contributed to make this a thoroughly enjoyable evening.
Will Goodlet - A Journey Through Africa and Astro Photography
Last Tuesday we were fortunate to once again welcome Will Goodlet to give us a talk, all the way from South Africa!
He showed us a vast array of landscapes, flora and wildlife and also included some great astro photography images.
Will gave an insight into how his images were taken, including some anecdotes on his adventures and narrow escapes! He showed us what equipment he mainly uses and why, which was very interesting.
Thank you Will, for giving us another entertaining and interesting evening.
Colin Harrison - Creative Flower Photography
Colin presented his talk to us with great enthusiasm and it was indeed an inspiring and compelling evening.
We can't all have the latest all singing and dancing gear so instead of spending pounds on expensive equipment, why not have a go at making or adapting something? Brilliant tips Colin and you provided the evidence that your ideas work!
Colin shared lots of info on how he created his images and was kind enough to give us access to the handbook that accompanied his talk.
Colin has many accomplishments including being a FRPS and has only been 'into' creative flower photography in the last few years.
Thanks for a great evening, Colin!
Paul Harris - 'Brief Encounters'
Paul joined us to give a very interesting and engaging talk about his journey into photography and beyond.
He showed us many of his iconic images, a few of which were definitely ahead of their time.
If you missed the talk or would like to know more about him and his photography, this is the link to his website www.paulharrisphotography.com
AGM and Summer Images
After our summer break it was all systems go again, starting with our AGM and viewing of members summer images.
Once the business part of the evening was out of the way, we were treated to a fantastic array of summer images.
The usual good natured banter and chat had definately not suffered from the break, thank goodness, and a thoroughly enjoyable evening was had by all.
Montacute Evening Shoot
On the 25th May, some members met up in the lovely village of Montacute for our last meeting of the season. The weather was not brilliant but cleared up enough to enable us to continue and take some shots.
It was great to finally get out and about together again after such a long time.
The idea of the evening has traditionally been an hours shoot and then back to the hall, where our JPG images were uploaded as they are ie, straight out of camera. Of course, in these odd times we couldn't do that so we sent our images in and viewed and chatted about them a couple of days later.
It was a fab evening, with the usual banter and good humour, mixed with interesting tips and quite a lot of 'I didnt see that there"!
So, apart from some eagerly awaited photoshoots during the summer, that's our season finished.
We will keep our fingers crossed that we are able to get back to something like normal at some stage, when we meet again next season.
Talk by Mark Tatchell
We were treated to a fabulous talk by one of our club members, Mark Tatchell. He spoke about an area of India he and his wife have visited many times, the Kanha National Park in the Central Highlands in the state of Madya Pradesh.
Mark's images covered the wildlife and people of the area, illustrating very well the simple life that's led there.
His portraits of the locals were stunning and it was obvious they were very happy with Mark being behind the lens, which showed through in the their faces.
Mark accompanied his wonderful images with a great narrative, giving us an in depth idea of life in this particular part of India.
Some of Mark's images were taken with ICM whilst travelling along in a Jeep - no mean feat! As you can see from the attached images, these are very different but also technically great. He explained how he wanted to capture the changing seasons as this happens very quickly in the forest and also the spirituality and energy the local people gain from some of the trees.
Thank you for an intriguing and thought provoking presentation Mark.
Live LR Editing with Joe Houghton
What a thoroughly interesting evening this was.
Joe took a few of our Raw images and edited them in LR. His excellent step by step delivery helped with our understanding of the edit.
Many tips were picked up for sure and maybe even those of us who don't use this editing software, be enthused to have go!
That you very much Joe, for a fantastic evening.
Three Way 'Pic with a Story' Meet
This was a great evening as usual, with some very interesting and some also humourous images being shown and talked about.
Dorchester, Shaftesbury and SBA all submitted 10 images and each member chatted about their photo.
As you will gather from the pics, there were some very informative and interesting explanations that accompanied each image.
Thank you Dorchester and Shaftesbury for joining us, albeit via Zoom and with no cake......hopefully next year!
Rob Harvey - Stumbling Around in the Dark
On Tuesday 10th March, we joined Wincanton Camera Club for an evening with Rob Harvey.
Rob is a professional Landscape, Wildlife and Night Sky Photographer and holds the Excellence award of The Federation Internationale de l’Art Photographique.
We were treated to some fabulous images with explanations of how Rob went about created them and were all taken with a relatively simple kit, which was very refreshing to hear!
Rob's website link is
We were treated to another fab workshop from Malcolm and Mike this week.
Members sent in questions and queries about an assortment of photography related subjects, and all were ably explained or answered by Malcolm and Mike.
Amongst the subjects covered were Focus stacking, Lens converters, Macro lenses, Bulb mode, Extension tubes, Reversing rings, Low light photography, Basic camera settings and Moving layers and images in Photoshop. It was a very busy evening!
Plenty of questions were asked on each subject and we all came away having learnt something and, as usual, the atmosphere was lighthearted and friendly.
Thank you very much Malcolm and Mike for all the hard work you undoubtedly put in to present this workshop.
Meeting with Whittlesea Camera Club, Australia
This was our second trip to Australia to visit our friends in Whittlesea and was just as successful as the first one.
Whittlesea had the lead for this meeting and the theme was Out of my Window and What I saw on My Daily Walk, to take in the restrictions in England at the moment.
There were some very interesting images, some taking the theme to the extreme but brilliant and a mix of funny and very different!
As before, it was noted that some of the more rural images could have been taken in either country.
These meetings are so interesting as we always learn so much about each others areas, countries and wildlife.
Much lighthearted banter was to be had which always adds to the mood and we surely came away with a smile on our faces!
Thanks Whittlesea and we will very much look forward to our next get together.
Post Production Challenge
Last Tuesday, in place of the usual Hack a Shot evening, we held a Post Production Challenge.
Members sent in before and after Raw versions of images, the editing of which was explained and then discussed.
The idea was to produce them in the style of a famous artist or photographer and members put their own slant on this.
There were some very interesting images in all sorts of styles which helped to make it a very interesting and informative evening as usual.
A lot of work went in to collating the large raw files and putting them into a presentation, thank you Malcolm.
At the end, Mike and Malcolm gave tutorials as to how they had edited their images, which was very interesting indeed. Thanks to you both for doing this.
In collaboration with Wincanton CC, we were treated to a fabulous presentation by Polina Plotnikova.
Polina talked about her background in art history and her work for Christies and also the inspiration she has attained from various fine art artists and photographers.
We were then treated to an in depth look at her work which included fine art flower and still life photography. This included many hints and tips including how to light a subject.
A truly inspirational talk, thank you Polina.
KLL - Valda Bailey and Doug Chinnery
This week we were very fortunate to welcome Valda Bailey and Doug ChInnery for our annual Keith Lane Lecture.
Their different approach to photography was very refreshing and illustrated brilliantly with some of their images.
Most of their work is done in camera using multiple exposure techniques and blend modes with some ICM too.
The evening is bound to have inspired some members to try this genre, so lets look forward to seeing the results!
Thank you Valda and Doug for a very interesting evening.
Mark Pain: Sports Photographer
We were extremely lucky to have Mark Pain come and give us a talk about his sports photography.
His many iconic photos were instantly recognisable, and the stories behind them very interesting and sometimes amusing too.
Mark welcomed questions, and there were quite a few, which he answered in great detail.
Thanks Mark for a compelling evening.
Our Critique Evening was run slightly differently this year, on Zoom and with 2 of our members Chris Edgecombe and Mark Tatchell giving their views on the images.
Clearly a lot of work had been put in beforehand by Chris and Mark who gave very detailed and encouraging critiques on all the images, so thanks very much to you both.
It was a very interactive evening with many interesting tips picked up for sure.
It was a format that worked well with some positive feedback from club members at the end of the evening.
Tuesday saw us having our Christmas social on Zoom, and a very successful meeting it was too.
Festive headgear, tipples and mince pies were in abundance and voting for the most unusual image and answering the quiz questions were accompanied with lots of laughter and banter. The winner of the most unusual image after a tie break was Fo, well done indeed and the runner up was Roger
We had time to discuss all the images with the photographers which was both interesting and enlightening.
Well done to Brian Haigh for eventually being crowned the quiz winner after Mike was discounted as he had supplied 4 of the questions....all good fun!
It was good to see members old and new joining in with the fun.
Merry Christmas to all our members and let’s hope 2021 will be a better year for everyone and we will be able to meet up at the hall once again.
Will Goodlet from South Africa
There had been much pre-publicity for Will Goodlet's talk and he didn't disappoint. The advantages of Zoom truly came into their own as Will delivered a slick and professional presentation, show-casing not only his outstanding images but also his ability to deliver an entertaining and informative commentary. It was reassuring to find such an excellent photographer used comparatively modest equipment and that high on his list of advices was just having fun! He stressed the pay-off from studying animal behaviour when concentrating on wildlife; the importance of position; using manual exposure in panorama images; the relevance of the environment; introducing flare; being prepared for those surprise shots and the opportunities afforded by luck and patience.
Will has travelled extensively and with the aid of a map took us on journeys around South Africa and into Namibia and Zambia, all the while providing tips on where to stay and how to make the best use of camera equipment.
He well illustrated the effect of striving for action in wildlife images by contrasting static animals with those actually doing something, be it fighting, fleeing or feeding.
It was an inspirational evening and examples of Will's work can be seen on his website at https://willgoodlet.com/
Huw Alban: "That is Not a Landscape"
It was a pleasure to welcome back Huw who has addressed the club on previous occasions as well as joining us on outdoor photo shoots. This time he spoke about the different aspects of landscape photography. Early on, he showed two lacklustre images of a boring location in Kent which would clearly not encourage a return visit. However, he went on to demonstrate what could be done with a little effort and determination, the point being to learn to embrace being outside one's comfort zone. He spoke about pinhole cameras and the different type of photography they offer; the necessity of a tripod; whether foregrounds are too short or two wide; the advantages of props; the use of zoom lenses for landscape images and the challenge of making the best of a poor location. All the while Huw illustrated his words with examples of his own photography. Finally, he urged people to go out in groups to learn and share from each other - something SBACC has always been good at and will be again once Covid restrictions on social activities are lifted.
Examples of Huw's photography can be seen at http://www.huwalban.com/
Whittlesea Photography Club Australia
The morning of Saturday 7th November saw a first for SBACC when we teamed up with an overseas camera club.
Thanks to Zoom, we enjoyed a two hour exchange of images with Whittlesea Photography club which is based just outside Melbourne. Forty four members representing both clubs took part and thirty seven images were shown, alternating between the two clubs. The aim of the meeting was to have a social get-together and to learn more about each other's home country with images illustrating the immediate area in which we lived as well as further afield.
Each photographer spoke for two or three minutes and by the end of the meeting we had learnt a great deal about Australia as it is hoped our opposite numbers did about this country.
The standard of photography was impressive with some competition winners in the mix and it was hugely enjoyable to meet like-minded photographers from the other side of the world. We even had two images that were so alike, they could've come from the same country!
We greatly look forward to our next meeting early in 2021.
On Tuesday 11th February we were delighted to welcome back Tony North who gave such a stimulating talk earlier in the year on macro photography. This time his talk was entitled: "Scapes" and featured landscape photography.
A brief outline of the equipment he used led on to detail about location, timing and weather conditions. This was followed by an outline of what might impress judges in competitions before he went on to discuss composition and exposure.
A highlight of the talk was a live illustration of post processing using Lightroom which well illustrated how mastering such software can transform an image.
In the second half of his talk, Tony's genres included Astrophotography, Urban and Street photography before finally looking at multiple exposures both in camera and using Photoshop.
At the end of his presentation we were left in no doubt as to Tony's expertise as an all round superb photographer. His excellent delivery ensured everyone had a thoroughly enjoyable and stimulating evening. Below is a sample of Tony's work and more can be seen on his website at https://www.artofmacro.com/
On Tuesday 13th October SBACC was treated to an outstanding talk by Brenda Petrella, talking from her home in Vermont USA. This was an example of where Zoom offers the opportunity for the club to go international and it was well worth it. A molecular biologist by training, with a career as a cancer biologist, and now a superb photographer and creator of Outdoor Photography School, Brenda began her talk with practical background information about Vermont. The second least populated State in the US with a population of just 623,000 and subject to seven seasons: winter, mud, spring, bug, summer, fall and stick, the State is heavily dependent on forestation and tourism.
Brenda then went on to outline the equipment she uses and the gear she takes with her when out on a shoot amounting to a back pack approximately 12 kgs in weight! Vermont endures sudden weather changes and so it is vital that she is prepared for all eventualities when setting out on a trail.
This was followed by a fascinating section on landscape composition, starting off with the statement that rules are not necessarily helpful but should be viewed as tools to help with structure. When creating an image there are four aspects to consider: subject, elements, arrangement and technique. Several technical illustrations supported her explanations of proportion and scale, for example, the rule of thirds, the concept of rabatment and the golden spiral.
After a fascinating talk, Brenda treated us to some of her superb landscape images which demonstrated so many of the points she had outlined earlier. A truly memorable evening. Her work can be seen on her website at https://www.brendapetrella.com/ and her Outdoor Photography School can be found on YouTube.
Bradford Abbas Shield Viewing
It was very encouraging to see this Zoom meeting so well attended which demonstrates how members are becoming more comfortable with the technology and the easy exchange of views was testament to how everyone is far more relaxed with the process. It does not, however, make up for meeting in person!!
There were 61 images submitted for consideration. The standard was extremely high and members will now indicate which images in their opinion should go forward to represent the club. The committee will then refine this to arrive at the final ten.
Owing to Covid-19 and the need for the competition to be held via Zoom, there will be no prints this year.
Thank you to the large number of photographers who contributed to the process.
Annual General Meeting
This was the first time the club had had to conduct its AGM on Zoom but everything went smoothly and it was very rewarding that there was a record turnout, including two new members. A shared screen allowed everyone clearly to see the wide range of photographs, covering wildlife, landscape, mono..........just about everything!!
The photographers explained some of the background to their images and perhaps owing to everyone being more familiar with Zoom, there were some animated exchanges. It was an enjoyable evening and demonstrated how close-knit the club has become and how, despite the restrictions imposed by coronavirus, the club is well supported by its members.
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!