Entries for this trophy, which is in memory of a previous long-term club chairman, were judged by an old friend of the club, Alan Copeland, chairman of Whitchurch Hill Camera Club. The theme for the competition was " The World of Plants and Trees ", for prints only, and attracted an entry of 36 images. Flower images were particularly popular, with crocuses especially so. Alan observed the set subject closely, and only one image in his opinion did not truly follow the theme. He was unstinting in his praise for the best images, and gave clear and helpful advice for improving the less successful ones. It was a relaxed and informal evening, which is what Alan does best, and the eventual winner was David Sherwood with a highly detailed and colourful image entitled " Insects Beware " of a Sundew plant. Dorothy Wood took second and third places with two different images, and 3 images were highly commended. These were by David Sherwood, Richard Keating and Gill Bridget. Attendance was better than recently as we welcomed back some of the " invalids ".
Due to anticipated large numbers, this annual event took place at Pangbourne Village Hall, and was hosted by Whitchurch Hill club. This event has now been running for over 30 years, and is still going strong, despite the fact that some of the participating clubs have changed over the years. Battling it out this year were Whitchurch, Wallingford, Woodley, Wokingham and East Berks, Burghfield and Reading camera clubs. Each club submitted 5 prints an 5 digital images. The judge for the evening was Colin Harrison FRPS FIPF FBPE MPAGB EFIAP MPSA AWPF APAGB, who travelled from Cheltenham to give us his highly expert opinion on all the images. There was a huge range of subjects and styles portrayed, which served to make Colin's job quite a difficult one.
6 prints and 5 PDI's achieved the coveted maximum 20 marks. From these top marked images, an overall winner was selected in each category, these were :
Prints - " Shades of Blue " by David Brown of Wallingford club.
PDI's - " Quadrant " by John Massey of Wokingham and East Berkshire.
Overall winning club was Wokingham, followed by Wallingford in second place and Burghfield in third place.
Thanks are due to Whitchurch Hill for organising and hosting the event so successfully, especially from those clubs that would have had a longer trip to Pangbourne, but approximately 40 people attended.
Next year's battle will be hosted by Wallingford and will take place at their venue in Benson on 28th March, 2019.
Report submitted by Dorothy Wood
We settled down to enjoy ( with some trepidation ) our final PDI competition of the season. 16 of our 36 members entered images and our judge was Kevin Day, well known to the club and with an engaging and personable style of judging.
" Enjoying " seems to be a buzzword for judges, and Kevin confessed to enjoying many of our images, commenting that they were excellent Club quality. Kevin drew our attention to some of the images with white borders, helpfully warning that too thick a border could draw attention away from the central subject. He gave constructive comments on several pictures which he felt might benefit from slight adjustments to light and shade, told us how effective the application of a subtle vignette could be, and suggested cloning out artefacts which could detract from otherwise very pleasing scenes.
After commenting on and marking 48 images Kevin concluded by saying that his job hadn't been an easy one. Janet Marshall came 1st, we had three members in 2nd place - David Simpson, Jonathan Farmer, and new member Nigel Holmes - and Dave Sherwood took 3rd place. Marianne thanked Kevin for giving us an enjoyable and informative evening.
Report submitted by Janet Marshall
Tonight we were pleased to welcome for the first time Sue Totham, chairman of Burghfield Camera Club. The first half of the evening was devoted to a presentation about her recent safari to Kenya, which produced some superb images of all the big cats, mature and their young, elephants, hyenas etc., apparently present in large numbers judging by the number of images Sue showed. Sue got her shots from the vehicle using just a bean bag to steady her camera, and obtained some excellent closeups with only a medium telephoto lens. For a little variation, we also saw a colourful local market in progress.
For the second half, Sue told us more about the printed images she brought and displayed, by projecting these images and explaining the post processing techniques used, making use of the vast capabilities of the latest version of Photoshop. Sue clearly has lots of imagination,including using a lightbox to get some stunning flower images.#It was a very enjoyable and informative evening, hard to believe that Sue had not presented such an evening before. We shall no doubt be seeing her again.
It was a great shame that so many members had to miss this talk, this was partly down to the weather and the large amount of illness that has beset he club this season.
The third print competition of the season was designed to make members " think outside the box ", and this it certainly did. The evening was judged by Sandy Watson, a regular visitor.
Members' interpretation of the subject proved very interesting, and we saw a view through a radiator, milk bottles shot from above, strange reflections in glass, and of course, several looking up views, some at 45 degrees. We also saw a flying wine bottle and glass! In all, a challenging meeting, which was ably tackled by all participants.
Sandy made sure he looked for the " different angle " in each print, and was also keen to see creativity. Top of the bill for the evening was Janet Marshall, Followed by Marianne Chandler, with three members in joint 3rd position.
An interesting evening which certainly gave members something to think about!
A small party from the club were lucky to visit the headquarters and showroom of Porsche Cars UK, following a kind invitation from the company, part of Porsche's outreach to the area. For two hours our members had free reign of the showroom to pursue their combined interests of cars and photography, choosing, at the end of the evening, a new club vehicle ( but I'm not sure that our treasurer will agree to the purchase ! ).
As members of the Southern Counties Photographic Federation, we entered the annual exhibition held at Salisbury library, this year submitting only DPI images. Tonight the club was able, thanks to a " touring " version of the event, all digital entries, so that the members were able to see the successful ( and not so successful ) entries. Although we were not among the highest scoring clubs, it was inspiring to see the work of club photographers at the top of their game. It was interesting to note that the three leading clubs were near the coast - best club entry being from Southampton CC, second being Chichester ( fairly near the coast ! ) and the third being Fordingbridge - though our near neighbours at Bracknell CC did manage a Highly Commended.
All the images shown, which covered a huge range of subject, were of the highest quality, but in the club discussion which followed projection the most intriguing was " Time Flies " by Noel Hannan of Bracknell CC - members might like to check his website ( www.noelhannan.com ) for an insight into the image and his other work.
This was a member's evening, with no visiting judges or speakers, but an opportunity for members to demonstrate their original photographic ideas in the form of a panel of up to 7 smaller prints illustrating a story or theme, displayed on one board. 17 panels were entered, and the subject matter was amazingly varied, so that we saw th various courses of Christmas dinner, flowers and trees, a member's own comical Christmas card designs featuring the club mascot Bonzo, not to mention macro shots, a Sealed Knot display, wildlife and pet dogs.
One of the club's most experienced members, Alan Greeley, was invited to comment on all the panels, then the members themselves gave more information about their own entries.
A vote was then taken, each member voting for their own personal favourite, and topping the poll was a set of excellent close up shots of a robin, produced by Rowland Povey, followed by man's best friend Harvey, courtesy of Drew Malloch.
An interesting, informative and relaxed evening, although again attendance affected by health issues.
The first projected image competition of 2018, ( the third of our quarterly series ), was judged by Jeff Lawrence, who, travelling from Crowthorne despite horrendous traffic conditions, still managed to arrive only a few minutes late.He was asked to judge 48 images containing a very wide range of subjects as this was an " open " competition. Subjects covered everything from architecture, birds, closeups, landscapes and unusually, quite a large number of candid people shots. The evening's winner was Janet Marshall who scored two 20's, followed by Karen Roberts, with David Simpson and Dorothy Wood in joint 3rd place.
Once again, ill health affected attendance numbers, though we were pleased to welcome a visitor.
The evening began with a minute's silence as a tribute to a long-standing member, Peter Tucknott, who sadly passed away on 27th January.
** Reminder to members -next competition will be Print no. 3 ( 23rd February ) - " A different angle "
And now for something completely different! There was not a laptop or digital projector in sight for this evening, instead, Alan brought along his caluable 19th century slide projector, along with countless glass slides, to present a very entertaining evening.
Alan, who came attired as a Victorian, complete with top hat, has been collecting Victorian glass slides from every imaginable location, and has a vast collection. From this, he selected a wide range of images to show the club ( he calls himself an " image " man and is not interested in cameras except as a useful tool ).
The evening started with some amusing sequences consisting of drawn and painted images which told a short story e.g. the little boy who had a tantrum when being taken to the photographers and ended up crashing through the backdrop! This was followed by some beautiful Victorian portraiture with painted scenery etc., and many travel shots from all over the world. in particular Egypt, Japan and many locations in Europe. These were actual photographs, and were all hand coloured, some almost reproducing modern colour photography. This was obviously a highly skilled, intricate and time consuming process, and the results were unbelievably realistic.
As Alan had acquired these slides without knowing the origin of most of them, some of the locations were a mystery as were most of the photographers, this just adds to the interest to try and guess who took them, where, and with what equipment. Two well-known names were mentioned and some of their images shown, these were the famous Francis Frith, and the Whitby photographer Frank Meadow Sutcliffe.
This was a delightfully different evening, informally ptresented, and with lots of audience participation. It was just a shame that due to so many health issues at present with club members, attendance was disappointingly low.