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Competition: Leading Lines

Our third club competition of the season was held on Wednesday 2nd December and judged by John Wiliams EFIAP/b, MPSA, DPAGB of Penrith & District Camera Club. A very experienced PAGB judge who has seen hundreds of thousands of images over his photography career John was nevertheless impressed with the quality of our images and admitted choosing the outright winners was a difficult task!

Two pictures were awarded 20 points in the Club Colour section: Going South by Ann Dallaway and Going Straight to Mount Cook by Elaine Elrick. Both photographs were an excellent representation of the leading lines theme and would have held their own in the Advanced league, so big congratulations to Elaine who was declared overall winner.

The Club Mono section was equally hard fought, with three images scoring 20 points: View from Under the Bridge by Elaine Elrick, Walk to the Pier by Kim Rigg and Wintry Road by Phil Drayton. Well done to Kim whose atmospheric Pier shot was overall winner.

The quality of images carried through to the Advanced League, with two photographs again being awarded 20 points: Bir Hakeim Bridge by Jeff Bagnall and Runaway by Jo Knight. I wouldn’t have liked to be the one to choose between these two very different pictures, so congratulations to Jo whose creative image just scraped the top spot.

Three photographs battled it out for first place in the Advanced Mono section: Glasgow Walkway by Dave Nelson, Beetham Tower by Maureen Smith and Walk to the Lighthouse by Simon Raven. Well done to Simon who was overall winner with his strong and dynamic Lighthouse picture.

Next week club members have the challenging task via Zoom of judging images sent to us from North Fylde Photographic Society. It’s always a joy to look at images from photographers outside of our own club and I’m sure it will be a fun and interesting night. Guests are welcome for a small fee – see our membership page for details and to book a Zoom place.

Guest speaker: Permajet

On Wednesday 25th November Club members were invited to link up via Zoom with Colin Hulley of Permajet for help and guidance to ‘Print with Confidence’. The in-depth presentation covered all aspects of colour management workflow, from calibrating monitors, through colour workspaces in editing software, to paper profiling, with the aim of helping photographers make successful prints.

I wish I’d heard this talk 7 years ago when I was just starting out on my own photography journey because I struggled for a good year with dark, muddy prints whose colours looked nothing like my screen. When I finally learned about colour calibrators and used a Datacolor Spyder I discovered my laptop screen had been set to a very cool temperature by the manufacturer and when this was corrected by the Spyder device the difference was like night and day!

As Colin explained, we also can’t print on paper the backlit images we see on our overly bright PC screens, so with the addition of turning down the brightness on my monitor and making sure I used the correct settings and ICC paper profile for my printer I was finally able to start printing more or less what I was seeing on my computer.

Permajet make a wide range of papers and the paper you use for printing makes a big difference to how your image appears. Some papers have a cool tone, for example, while others are much warmer. The choice of paper, therefore, makes a huge difference when printing things like portraits as skin colours will look different on a cool blue toned paper to a warm yellow toned paper.

I’m glad Colin mentioned, though, that no matter what you do prints will only be a close, not an exact, match to your computer image and you might need to tweek a little in Photoshop or Lightroom for the photograph to print out exactly as you’d like! Having a consistent colour management workflow, however, makes what can be the tricky process of printing so much easier. Our thanks to Permajet, and to Dylan for all his hard work in arranging the evening.

Our next Zoom meeting is a club competition with the theme of ‘Leading Lines’, judged by John Williams EFIAP/b, MPSA, DPAGB. Why not join us as a guest for what promises to be an entertaining night! Details on our membership page.

Competition: L&CPU club knockout

Having had individual success in the Federation annual competition during the summer, our Club decided for the first time to enter the L&CPU Club Knockout competition which was held via Zoom on Saturday 21st November.

The rules requested we send in 8 images, although only the first 7 would be used in the competition, the 8th image being held back in the case of a tie break. We had to send the images in the order we wished them to be shown, and the first 4 pictures had to be from 4 different authors although up to two images per author were allowed.

At the start of the event, all images were shown on screen before judging began and we noticed that 3 of our entries were missing. Our External Competitions Secretary queried this and we were told that as 160 images had been received for the competition only 4 per club would be shown. Apparently, the rules state that “the number of images used in the competition will depend on the number of clubs entered”, although as a club we had no clue how many other clubs had entered or that there was a 160 image cap. So we had some very disappointed photographers who had gone to the effort of sending in their images only for them not to be used 🙁.

Of the four images used in the competition, three were thrown out in the first round. However, Jeff Bagnall’s ‘Broken Politics’ saved the day getting through to the final round of 11 images which is a fantastic achievement considering the high standard and number of entries. The judge, Mike Sharples of Smethwick PS, was clearly impressed with Jeff’s photograph and it was solely down to his image that Kendal ended up in joint 8th place overall out of 41 clubs.

Broken Politics by Jeff Bagnall

I think it’s fair to say that our first forage into the Federation Club knockout was a learning curve in terms of how the event is run, but we’ll know for next year. Big congratulations, however, to Jeff on his very well deserved success and for representing the club 🙂.

Competition: Knock-out

Wednesday 18th November saw our annual Knock-out competition, where pairs of anonymous images are voted on by club members and each photograph is either kept or knocked-out until one winning picture remains.

It’s usually a night of fun & banter, glow-sticks and shout-outs, but this year Covid put paid to the usual frivolity and we had to make do with quietly putting our hands up to choose our favourite image (although there were still blatant offers of bribery 😆).

As the night wore on it became more and more difficult to choose from the remaining excellent pictures, particularly when they were very different to each other, but we eventually whittled the contenders down to two final images: ‘Lakeland November’ by Jeff Bagnall and ‘Displaying Black Kites’ by Jo Knight. It was a close battle, but congratulations to Jo who was chosen as the over-all winner.

Lakeland November by Jeff Bagnall
Displaying Black Kites by Jo Knight

Our thanks to Jeff for all his hard work in putting together the competition.

Next week the club are virtual visiting with Permajet where we are very much looking forward to Colin Hulley’s talk on ‘Printing with confidence’. Printing well, including getting our images to match on paper what we see on our screen, is something many photographer’s struggle with and I’m sure we’ll pick up lots of tips on how to better our printed pictures. Guests are welcome for a small fee – visit our membership page for details and to book your Zoom slot.

Guest Speaker: Nature Far & Near

Another great club night on Wednesday 11th November with guest Speaker Trevor Davenport of Southport Photographic Society and his talk ‘Nature Far & Near’. Trevor’s talk took in his travels to Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Park and closer to home on the Sefton Coast.

Yellowstone was a destination his son always wanted to visit due to his love of volcanos and alongside Trevor’s love of nature, dramatic landscapes & plant life we were treated to some magical images of the Teton mountains and vast areas of the National Park including its powerful Geysers, most famously Old Faithful, with Trevor often following in the footsteps of Ansel Adams. There were also some great wildlife images of Black Vultures, Brown & Grizzly bears (and their poo!), Elke, Coyote, Bobcat, Buffalo, Wolves not forgetting the menacing Moose. Overall Trevor’s images and his passion for Yellowstone and the Teton mountains was inspirational to us all.

Closer to home Trevor focused on the Sefton Coast and an 18 mile stretch of wonderful beaches, which happens to be the largest Dune area in England, showcasing fantastic wildlife, plant life and scenery. Many parts of this area get battered by the weather and Trevor and his team have made it their mission to give back and volunteer to help eradicate invasive species of plant life and where possible help repair areas being battered by the weather.

A great talk by Trevor who’s passion for photography was abundantly clear during the evening.

This Wednesday we have a lively night in store with our annual in-house knock out competition. It’s a real shame we can’t meet in person for this particular event, where there is usually lots of laughter and banter, but it will still be fun and we look forward to seeing everyone’s diverse images. Guests are welcome for a small fee – please see our membership page and click on ‘attend as a guest’.

Guest Speaker: Photography over 50

Gold medal winning Club member Russell Millner was our Zoom speaker for the evening on Wednesday 4th November when we were in for a real treat, with Russell taking us along on a fascinating journey from the frozen Arctic to the scorching wilderness plains.

Family of Bears on Baffin by Russell Millner

The vistas and wildlife he saw on his travels were stunning and Russell was hugely knowledgeable about everything he’d captured in his superb images. The time flew by and I for one was enthralled from start to finish. Our thanks to Russell for an entertaining and informative presentation.

Next week our guest speaker is Trevor Davenport with his talk on ‘Nature far and near’, including Yellowstone and the Sefton coast. Guests are welcome for a small fee – please see our Membership page for details.

Competition: Old, Broken or Decayed

Our first set subject Club competition of the new season took place via Zoom on Wednesday 28th October and was judged by commercial photographer Joanne Withers. The evening was split into colour and monochrome sections with two leagues – Club for beginners & intermediate, and Advanced for more experienced photographers.

It was fascinating to see different club members’ interpretation of the brief, with virtually all genres of photography represented over the evening. It was also heartening to have such a high level of participation in the competition.

The Advanced Mono section scored well with the judge, with four images being awarded the top mark of 20 points:
Barbed Wire at Sachenhauzen Concentration Camp by Russell Millner
Forgotten Friend by Dylan Reynolds
Skull by Simon Raven &
Old Micrometer by Jeff Bagnall, with warm congratulations to Jeff who scooped the title of overall winner 🙂.

The Advanced colour section also had four images scoring 20 points:
Going to Seed by Dave Nelson
Morris Minor by Jeff Bagnall
Broken Pencil by Dylan Reynolds &
Sunflower also by Dylan Reynolds
Dylan scored a hat-trick of twenty pointers on the night and also bagged the title of overall winner of the advanced colour competition. Apparently, Joanne’s cheque is in the post 😆.

There was a clear winner in the Club mono competition. Big congratulations to Ann Dallaway with her image of ‘Shavings’.

Shavings By Ann Dallaway

The Club colour section, however, was hard fought with no less than five pictures scoring top marks:
Trashed TukTuk by Alvina Labsvirs
Old Lime Kiln by Phil Drayton
Ghost House by Elaine Elrick
All Coiled up also by Elaine Elrick &
The Old Farmhouse by Ann Dallaway
Well done again to Ann, who pipped everyone to the post with her award of overall Club colour winner 🙂.

Club member Russell Millner is our speaker for the next Zoom Club meeting on Wednesday 4th November with his talk on ‘Photography over 50’. Fifty what, though, is the question. Fifty quid? Fifty frames per second? Fifty shades of grey? Join us as a guest to find out! Details on our membership page.

Tutorial: Image Editing

In a change to the advertised event, our next Club Zoom meeting will be on the use of editing software to enhance our photographs.

The evening will start with Club member, and recent gold medal winner, Russell Millner demonstrating how he edits his images using Lightroom.

Next, Jeff Bagnall will talk us through how to make non destructive edits to our pictures using Adobe Camera RAW (ACR).

Then the evening will round off with Dylan Reynolds, who will show us how he achieves razor sharp images with the technique of focus stacking.

There is something for everyone in this informative evening! If you would like to join us for this Zoom tutorial please see our Membership page and click the ‘Attend as a guest’ button. It is also never too late to become a member, with access to our Club YouTube channel, helpful membership pages and competitions. We look forward to seeing you 😊.

Guest Speaker: Farming & Photography

Award winning Club member Amy Bateman shared her passion for farming & photography via Zoom on Wednesday 14th October when we were treated to some wonderfully evocative images of life on Amy’s upland farm near Kendal and the stunning surrounding landscape.

Amy’s love for her family, her animals and the area in which she lives were contained in every photograph and it was a delight to share in her journey from beginner photographer to nationwide acclaim. Our thanks go to Amy for a hugely enjoyable evening.

Next week there is a change from our advertised programme, with the subject for the evening to be confirmed at a later date.

We welcome new members or if you’d like to be a guest just for the evening you will find details on our membership page.

L&CPU Annual Novice Cup

Judging for the 2020 L&CPU Interim Annual Novice Cup took place via zoom on Sunday 11th October. It is difficult to define what is a novice photographer, but it is generally considered as somebody who hasn’t competed in a lot of national/international competitions, who doesn’t hold photographic distinctions, or who hasn’t been in a club very long. Many of our members qualify as a novice and I’m delighted to say that several took courage in both hands and entered this regional Federation competition.

There were two sections, open and nature, with each photographer allowed to enter up to 4 images in each section. The Novice Cup is traditionally a Club competition and usually 6-8 images per Club are allowed to be entered, however due to Covid the rules for this year were changed and individuals entered under their own steam although there was still a Club award for both sections.

The nature section was judged first from 10.30am-12.30am and the standard for a novice competition was exceptionally high. I am therefore absolutely thrilled that the Gold medal for best nature PDI went to club member Russell Millner for his image depicting a ‘Family of Bears on Baffin’ 😃. The accolades didn’t stop there, either, as Russell was also awarded a Commended for his image ‘Polar Bear Resting’. Big congratulations to Russell on his success!

Judging for the open section began at 1.30pm and finished at 3.30pm. To those of us watching, the scoring seemed a little lower than in the nature section despite some really strong images so we were thrilled when club member Maureen Smith was Commended for her photograph of the ‘Imperial War Museum, Salford’. This is Maureen’s second award in L&CPU annual competitions this year and a great achievement on her first entry into Federation events 😀.

Everyone who entered the competition should be receiving their scores directly from the L&CPU shortly.

As I mentioned earlier, this is traditionally a Club competition and Kendal PC came 5th overall which is brilliant! Well done to all the members who entered and helped the Club achieve such a great result 😊.

We are a talented Club and I hope members’ successes this year will inspire others to have a go at regional and national competitions and to dip their toe in the water of International Salons, such as those run by FIAP, the PSA and BPE. More details can be found on how to enter salons in the Members’ section of our website.