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.

Competition: Macro

Our final competition took place on Wednesday 17th March and had a set theme of Macro. For the Club League (beginners & intermediate) all aspects of close-up photography were allowed, whereas the rules were more strict for the Advanced League in that images should be as close to true macro 1:1 magnification as possible, whether achieved with a macro lens or by cropping in post production.

Our judge was long time friend of the club Paul King CPAGB from North Fylde Photographic Society, who gave some excellent tips and critique throughout the evening though was arguably lenient in allowing a photograph of the Moon to be classed as “macro” 😆.

We kicked off with Club colour, where four members were awarded 18 points: Cathy Cath with Butterfly on Buddleja; Kim Rigg with Pollen Laden Hellebore; Martin Rowe with A Busy Bee and Phil Drayton with Garden Bumble Bee. No second place was awarded, which left our 20 point winner Phil Drayton with his tack sharp image of a Fly – congratulations Phil!

Next was Advanced colour, with 3rd place and 18 points being shared by: Dylan Reynolds with Hugs; Jeff Bagnall with both HD TV Pixels & Cellar Spider with Egg Sack; Russell Milner with Helvellyn and Simon Raven with Zipped. Second place and 19 points was shared between Simon Raven with Only A Tenner and Dave Nelson with both Flamenco Dancer & Looking At A Peacock’s Eye. Congratulations to our well deserved 20 point winner Dylan Reynolds with his impressive 4th Instar Comatus Jumping Spider.

Following a short break, the competition continued with the Club Monochrome section where 3rd place and 18 points was awarded to Phil Drayton with Tree Bumble Bee. Second place and 19 points was shared between Cathy Cash with Woodlouse and Martin Rowe with Watch Detail. Big congratulations to Martin who also scooped the winning 20 points with Oak Leaf!

Last but not least was Advanced monochrome, with 3rd place and 18 points being shared between Maureen Smith with Veins and Simon Raven with Just A Drop. Second place and 19 points was awarded to Jeff Bagnall with Polymer £20 Note, and a huge well done to Jeff who was also our winner with 20 points for his beautifully detailed Fob Watch.

Next Wednesday we are treated to a Zoom evening with Roy Carr, whose talk is entitled ‘From very near, to not so far’. Club members are reminded that the deadline for entries into the Club’s Annual PDI competition is this Sunday, March 21st and to please submit your images on time and sized correctly.

Competition: Panel

Our annual Panel competition took place on Wednesday 10th March, judged by Gerald Chamberlain EFIAP DPAGB of Morton Photographic Society. Gerald is a very experienced judge and we’d like thank him for his helpful and thoughtful critique and feedback on a diverse mix of styles and genres. Although it’s been rubbish not to be able to meet in person this season due to Covid, Zoom was a positive bonus on this particular Club night as the wind raged and the rain lashed down. I think everyone was grateful they didn’t have to venture outside!

Our panels consisted of 3 images which may be quite ordinary when viewed individually, but when viewed together had strong visual impact.

Top tips for creating a winning panel include:

  • Being well balanced – no image dominates.
  • Of a consistent subject/theme, but not just 3 shots taken with the motor-drive!
  • Of close and matching mood, tonal range, colour saturation, sharpness or softness, contrast etc. Colours should be similar or match well in the overall panel.
  • Any objects with “direction” e.g. a flying bird or leaning post, should “point into” and not “out of” the panel.

Entries were divided into two sections, colour and monochrome, though we didn’t differentiate between Club and Advanced members.

We started with the colour section, where Maureen Smith was awarded third place with ‘Late Autumn At Buttermere’. Second place went to Jo Knight with ‘Turning The Tables’ and well done to our deserved winner Seamus Bryans with his stunning & beautifully lit ‘Super Hero’.

Third place in the mono section was awarded to Simon Raven with ‘Cobbles’. Second place went to Seamus Bryans with ‘A Nostalgic Day Out’ and big congratulations to our winner Gavin Lowe with his striking & unusual ‘Up And Down’.

Thanks and a round of applause to Jeff, who had the daunting task of running his very first Zoom club meeting which was no easy task due to the weather affecting wifi and a complicated competition! Next week is our last Club competition of this season on the theme of Macro – hope to see you all there.

Critique Night

It’s easy to become emotionally attached to the photographs we take and it can be difficult to view them objectively, so it’s always useful to have someone else look over them from a different perspective. On Wednesday 24th February we invited members to send in up to 2 images they were struggling with, which were critiqued by three of our more advanced members who offered suggestions on how the pictures might be improved.

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It’s often very simple things such as changing the angle from which the image was shot, cropping in post production, or edits like increasing contrast, cloning out distractions, or dodging & burning, which make a huge difference to photographs, although some pictures were suffering from less obvious issues like barrel distortion, converging verticals and dust on the sensor. Converting a picture to monochrome often brings a dramatic change. Our Chairman Gavin’s suggestion of adding a shark to Jeff’s fell tarn picture, it has to be said though, probably wasn’t that useful 😆.

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It can be difficult to have our images picked apart, so a big thank you to the brave members who offered up their pictures for critique. We hope the comments were helpful and that in offering suggestions on these particular photographs it helped other members to look more objectively at their own images and to learn and grow.

Next week our guest speaker for the night is Club member Dave Nelson, who is taking us ‘Around & About Scotland’s Western Isles’. As we’re all fed up to the back teeth of lockdown and being cooped up in the house, we are looking forward to going on a virtual trip to Scotland with Dave and his camera and dreaming about the day our confinement will end!

Members are reminded that next Friday (5th March) is the deadline for handing in images for the upcoming Panel competition to be held on 10th March, and also for handing in Macro images for the Club competition to be held on 17th March.

Competition: Food & Drink

Our penultimate Club competition of the season took place on Wednesday 17th February and was judged by Ken Ainscow of Lytham St Annes Photographic Society. Ken is a long standing friend of our Club and has judged for us many times over the years, with members all appreciating his skill and critique. Sadly for us this was to be his last judging as he is retiring from the circuit at the end of this season, however we do hope that he will visit us in other capacities in the future.

There were some cracking images and Ken stated more than once that he was impressed by the standard of the pictures on show. We began with the Club open colour section and our congratulations go to winner Kim Rigg with Fishy Encounter, while new member Cathy Cash was runner up with Pouring Pomegranates. Both Kim and Cathy are very new to photography, so it’s a joy to see their images doing so well.

Next to be judged was the Advanced open colour section, with several photographs scoring top marks. 19 points were awarded to Dylan Reynolds with Familiar Taste of Poison, Jeff Bagnall with Red Hot Chilli Pepper and Simon Raven with Fresh Apple. Once again Maureen Smith and Jo Knight battled it out for the top spot, with Maureen’s An Apple A Day and Jo’s two images Gravity and Repast all being awarded 20 points. Well done to Jo who’s light painted Gravity (not a composite she is at pains to add!) was announced as overall winner.

As there were so many images to get through we forewent our usual half time break, though I snuck off to raid the biscuit tin as all the pictures of delicious food had given me the raving munchies 😆.

The next section to be judged was Club monochrome where 19 points were awarded to Phil Drayton for Dissolving Skittles, while Kim Rigg’s Line Caught Mackeral was announced overall winner. Kim’s skills have come on in leaps and bounds this season and I’m sure all our members are delighted to see her hard work and dedication rewarded 🙂.

An administrative glitch meant that Ken hadn’t seen or pre-scored the Advanced mono images, so he was very much put on the spot to judge blind which is a big ask. However he did an admirable job and commented on the strength of all the images shown. 19 points were awarded to Dave Nelson for Eggs, Maureen Smith for Love a Coffee and Jo Knight for Coffee with Milk. The top spot was fought over by Dylan Reynolds with The Core Explosion, Gavin Lowe with What’s Cooking and Jeff Bagnall with Egg. Our congratulations to Dylan whose image The Core Explosion was announced as overall winner.

Next week is critique night, with club members sending in images they need help with which will be viewed by 3 of our more experienced photographers who will offer advice on how the image could potentially be improved. The aim is to help members who are struggling with particular pictures, but we also hope the evening will act as a learning experience for all club members.