Author Archives: Kendal Photography Club

Tutorial: Composition

Club member Jo Knight gave a Zoom tutorial on how to compose successful images at our meeting on 22nd September. Covering 8 basic rules of composition Jo demonstrated the importance of strong focal points, choosing where to place our main and secondary subjects, and how to achieve balance within our photos.

Weak composition
Strong composition

Alongside guidance on the rule of thirds and the importance of “KISS”, Jo also looked at when it’s OK to break the rules. There was a lot to take in, so a handout from the evening is available in the Members’ Section of our website. Our thanks go to Jo for her hard work in creating a very informative night.

Weak composition
Strong composition

Our next meeting is the first Members’ Evening competition of the season, which has an open subject. Competition nights are always a favourite, as they give us a chance to view each others images and to receive constructive critique on how to improve our photos. Guests and new members are always welcome, either via zoom or in person at Castle Street – see our membership page for details. See you next week!

Speaker: My Photography Challenge

It was a pleasure to welcome three new members and three guests to the first meeting of the new season on 15th September. Our experiment to enable participants to take part both at home via Zoom and in person at Castle Street community centre seemed to work well and there were thankfully no major technical hitches!

Club member Jeff Bagnall gave a short introduction and explanation of how the Club works, then went on to give a presentation on a year long photography challenge which involved taking 1 photograph each week for 52 weeks. It’s a big undertaking and it was interesting for club members to see the range of subjects Jeff managed to capture and the stories and locations behind each shot. Our thanks go to Jeff, as we recognize the time and effort it takes to put together a 2 hour long talk.

Our next meeting takes place on Wednesday 22nd September, when club member Jo Knight will be giving a tutorial on composition. Participants can again take part either from home via zoom, or in person at the Centre where the zoom meeting will be projected onto a screen. It’s not too late to join the club as a member, or book a place as a guest for the evening – see our Membership page for details. Looking forward to seeing everyone on Wednesday 😊.

New Season Begins

The new 2021-22 season begins on Wednesday 15th September at 7.30pm with a welcome and introduction by club member Jeff Bagnall, who will be hosting the evening and giving a talk on his 1/52 photography challenge.

Jeff will briefly preview the new programme and explain how things will be working this season as we try to gradually get back to a kind of normality at the club (see below for further information). After this he will give his talk and share images from his recent photography challenge, discussing the images, the locations and the techniques he has used. It is intended that the talk will be informative, hopefully good humoured and might encourage others to think about a photographic challenge.

After much discussion in respect to the current Covid situation, the committee have decided to hold all meetings via Zoom but with two ways to participate. Members and guests can either stay in the comfort of their own home and join in via Zoom – an email link to the Zoom meeting will be sent out to all members and registered guests each week. Or members and guests can meet up in person at Castle Street Community Centre, where a screen and speakers will project the Zoom meeting. This gives those members happy to mingle in person a chance to meet up, but also allows those members who are more cautious to safely join in.

Members and guests wishing to attend in person please note the following, which include terms and conditions imposed by the Community Centre:

  • Spaces are limited by the Centre to 12 in the room we use. Anyone wishing to attend in person MUST REGISTER beforehand. Spaces will be allocated on a first come, first serve basis – please see the email sent by Club Secretary Maureen for more information or contact us.
  • Attendees need to bring their own refreshments.
  • Attendees need to bring £1 with them to cover the cost of the room hire (note: no change will be available).
  • Sanitizer will be provided by the Centre.
  • The Centre NHS QR code will be available for scanning on a mobile phone.
  • Windows will be open for ventilation.
  • Members are asked to observe social distancing and to wear a mask when using toilets and corridors for the safety of others using the Centre.
  • Some cleaning of surfaces and equipment will need to be carried out before leaving and we ask all attendees help with this.
  • Please do not attend if you or anyone in your household has had COVID-19 symptoms in the last 48 hours.

Due to restrictions at the Centre meetings won’t be fully back to normal this season, not least in terms of having to restrict numbers, but we hope this compromise works for all club members – please bare with us while we navigate the constantly changing coronavirus situation.

Looking forward to seeing members old and new on Wednesday! 😊

Summer Shoots

Our new 2021/2022 season will start in just over a month on Wednesday 15th September. It is currently expected that meetings will resume in person at Castle Street community centre following any Covid guidelines at the time, but we are also looking into continuing with Zoom in addition to the physical meetings for those members who are still uneasy about congregating in large groups indoors. We will keep members informed and details will also be posted here on our website and via our Facebook page.

While some members have been enjoying a well earned break over the summer, others have been meeting informally for various fun and educational photo shoots. On 3rd June, a small group of members met at Morecambe and despite the less than summer temperatures had a great evening taking pictures of the iconic seaside landscape under stormy skies.

On 8th July, Club member Seamus and his family kindly hosted a very informative and enjoyable evening on outdoor portrait photography. Members who attended learned a lot and we are hopeful of seeing some of the resulting images in upcoming competitions!

On 4th August Bill organised a fabulous trip to Killington lake where members photographed sailboats, stunning scenery and were treated to a spectacular sunset.

It’s brilliant that after all the long months of isolation brought on by Covid members are finally able to meet up again to share our collective passion for photography. Hope to see members old and new when Club meetings resume next month!

AGM & Yearly Look Back

Our Annual General Meeting, and final club meeting for this season, took place on Wednesday 21st April via Zoom. The AGM gives members the chance to put forward suggestions on how they would like the club to proceed next year, volunteer for committee posts and also gives an insight into all the hard work which takes place behind the scenes in keeping the Club running which this year due to Covid has been complex and a huge learning curve for everyone involved.

Members all have differing priorities, needs and expectations which can lead to lively debate but as usual at our Club the meeting was conducted with grace and good humour, although our poor Secretary’s fingers must have been worn to a stump trying to type up all the points of order!

Due to Covid our previous season was cut short last March but the committee didn’t miss a bat, setting up Zoom meetings almost immediately and our thanks go to Chairman Gavin for getting to grips with the software which until then no-one had ever heard of! Feeling a need for connection during lockdown we didn’t have our usual summer break and carried on weekly Zoom meetings, meaning a hurried new summer programme had to be invented. Jeff, Dylan, Dave and Gavin worked quickly behind the scenes to come up with ideas for meetings which would work online and their hard work is to be commended. Both club and committee members generously offered to fill evenings with talks, tutorials and fun competitions and our thanks go to everyone who kept the club going at such an anxious and worrying time.

There were other issues to be dealt with due to the pandemic, including changes to our website and banking arrangements so that we could accept guests and new members online which were put in place by Jo and Ann. Dylan and Jo also created a brand new YouTube channel for those members who didn’t feel able to join in via Zoom, so that meetings and tutorials could be watched as videos. This has been technically demanding and hugely time consuming, so a big thanks to them both for all their efforts.

Just about everything to do with the running of Camera Clubs changed due to Covid. It has been an enormous learning curve for everyone and I am amazed at how well our Club, our Federation (the L&CPU) and our national organisation (the PAGB) have dealt with the crisis. For the most part all competitions have taken place, albeit without prints, and distinction awards have resumed using PDIs or AVs. I can’t emphasise enough the sheer hard work which has been involved, all carried out by volunteers purely because of their love of photography. We should be rightly proud.

Holding meetings and competitions online has opened up new opportunities. We have welcomed 6 new members to the Club this year, two of whom do not live locally, and have been able to make use of judges and speakers from all over the UK. L&CPU competitions have seemed more accessible and we have entered Annuals as a Club for the first time. Thanks go to Ann, Dylan and Maureen for all their work on choosing and entering our images which was a steep learning curve, and thanks also to the L&CPU for making the judging available on Zoom which has been great to watch.

This past year has held huge challenges for Camera Clubs but we have risen to the occasion with passion, dedication and humour and it has been a joy to be part of. Having said all that, it’s also been a lot of work and I for one am ready for a break and finally some time to do what I love best – take photographs 🙂. Our programme for next season is now available and we look forward to seeing you all again in September.

Members’ Achievements: FAPA

Our congratulations this week goes to Jo Knight who has been awarded in the Fine Art Photography Awards. FAPA is a global competition whose “mission is to celebrate fine art photography and to discover emerging talent from around the world”. They “seek to find artists and unique souls who breathe and live for creativity, providing a platform for promotion and support in their pursuit of self-realization and development” and this year’s competition attracted 4929 entries from 92 countries.

This was Jo’s first entry into such a large competition as FAPA and all the more special as she was awarded for her first ever Series. A Series is usually a collection of between 3 and 10 pictures with one title and a cohesive theme and feel which is accompanied by a descriptive contextual statement. Jo’s awarded Series was on the theme of Solitary Confinement, but not as one might expect due to Covid. Her images were, instead, a reflection on the solitary lives of many pets.

SOLITARY CONFINEMENT

“We keep pets in order to assuage our own loneliness, then keep them in sterile artificial environments, separated from their families and members of their own species, in solitary confinement and we call this “love”. I wonder if we ever think about life from their point of view?”

Jo wasn’t the overall winner so annoyingly didn’t walk away with the prize money or the first round of end-of-lockdown drinks could have been on her, but as the Series was 2 months in the making it was still a huge honour to be recognized in her chosen field of Fine Art photography.

Several members of Kendal PC have done well this year in terms of achievements, and the Club as a whole has also ventured out and taken part in new competitions. It’s a credit to us that we are all so genuinely encouraging and supportive of each other and definitely leads to a stronger and happier Club about which we should be rightly proud 🙂.

Members’ Achievements: LRPS

I am delighted to announce that, this week, two of our members achieved their first photographic distinction. Maureen Smith and Russell Millner have been working hard for some months and both have been awarded the Licentiate of the Royal Photographic Society (LRPS).

The LRPS is available to members of the RPS and involves producing a panel of 10 images as either prints, PDIs or a book. To be successful at LRPS, applicants must show variety in approach and technique, but not necessarily in subject matter, evidence of creative ability and a high technical standard, together with a comprehensive knowledge and ability in photography. A successful submission should show:

  • Good camera work and technical quality
  • Visual awareness
  • Clear communication through the image
  • A balanced and cohesive panel which has a strong overall impression
Maureen’s Panel

The RPS offers help and guidance with distinction applications in the form of Assessment and Advisory days, which photographers thinking of applying for a distinction can attend (currently being held online) to receive constructive critique and feedback regarding their proposed panel, and/or one to one advice via Zoom. There is a fee to apply for an RPS distinction and award holders must remain a member of the RPS in order to use RPS letters after their name.

Russell’s Panel

During the pandemic the distinction awards have been taking place online and neither Russell nor Maureen knew the other was applying for the LRPS until Russell spotted Maureen on his Zoom screen! Distinctions take a lot of work and effort, so well deserved congratulations to both Maureen and Russell from all at the Club!

Annual PDI Trophies

The Annual PDI was our final competition for this year, taking place on Wednesday 31st March via Zoom. Our judge for the evening was the excellent Richard Speirs DPAGB APAGB BPE2* of Morton Photographic Society, who is always entertaining and offered experienced, constructive critique of the images. There were 3 sections: Nature, People & Portraits, and Open with all club members competing equally.

The People & Portraits section contained some wonderfully diverse photographs, with three images receiving top marks: Seamus Bryans’ Summer Haze & Portrait of a Young Man, and Jo Knight’s The Enemy Outside. Congratulations to Seamus who was awarded the trophy for his beautifully lit studio portrait.

The Nature section was very strong, with two images receiving 20 points: Russell Millner’s Family of Bears on Baffin and Jo Knight’s Displaying Black Kites. Russell was this year’s deserved trophy winner with his stunning Polar Bear shot.

Our final section was Open, which contained both colour and monochrome images. Again, three pictures were awarded top marks: Jo Knight’s Beneath The Waves & Life Behind Bars, and Phil Drayton’s Castle Star Trails. Well done to Jo who was awarded the trophy for her detailed creative picture of life caged.

Not for the first time this year the judge commented on the quality of Kendal’s images and how diverse a subject matter we cover. There really were some excellent photographs and we should be rightly proud as a Club of our achievements this season.

Members’ Evening Trophies

Over the season our club has 6 Members’ Evening competitions and the scores from each of those are added together to give an overall winner for the year. The 2020-21 winners have just been announced and big congratulations go to the members outlined below 🏆

CLUB COLOUR – winner Ann Dallaway

Going South by Ann Dallaway

CLUB MONO – winner Kim Rigg

Walk to the Pier by Kim Rigg

ADVANCED COLOUR – winner Dylan Reynolds

Taking Time Out by Dylan Reynolds

ADVANCED MONO – winner Maureen Smith

Love A Coffee by Maureen Smith

This concludes our Members’ Evening competitions for this season and we would usually have a presentation of the various trophies, but of course Covid has put paid to that. In addition, this year we tried something different by splitting members into 2 leagues in the form of Club and Advanced so stay tuned for how the trophies will work!

L&CPU Club Annual Competition

The Photographic Alliance of Great Britain is divided up into area Federations and Kendal Photography Club is part of the Lancashire & Cheshire Photographic Union (L&CPU) Federation. Each year, the L&CPU hold an Annual Club PDI and print competition where Clubs from within the Federation submit individual images from their members, the scores from which are added together to give an overall score for each Club.

The PDI Club Championship took place on Saturday 20th March via Zoom (any Club member could log on to watch the judging) and contained 2 sections: Open and Nature.

The event began with the Open section, which had over 600 entries from 40 Clubs, a wide variety of genres and a mix of both colour and monochrome. Our judges for the day were Phil & Gwen Charnock of Wigan 10.

The overall winning Club in the Open Section was Oldham Photographic Society, but we were delighted to come joint 11th out of 40, sharing our place with Alsager Camera Club 😀. This is a superb achievement considering this was our very first entry into the Championship! Well done to Jo Knight whose image Ophelia was one of only 9 images in the competition to score the maximum 20 points.

We had a short lunch break and resumed judging at 1pm with the Nature Section. The standard in nature competitions is exceptionally high and unfortunately we didn’t score quite as well as we had in the Open, coming 25th out of 40 clubs. However, in my opinion it is the toughest of all photography genres and we have traditionally been more of a landscape orientated Club. Well done to both Dylan and Jo who achieved our highest points for their images with a very respectable 17.

I am thrilled to report that overall we came 18th out of 40 Clubs, which for our very first entry into the Championship is a brilliant achievement! Thanks to the organisers for their hard work in putting our submission together – all the individual image scores are in the Members’ Section of our website.