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!
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.
On Wednesday 7th October the Club spent a captivating Zoom evening with guest speaker Stewart Wood who shared his passion for macro photography, in particular Jumping spiders.
I admit I’d never heard of Jumping spiders and was expecting something enormous and scary like a Tarantula, but most were only a few millimetres in size and, as an arachnophobe I can’t believe I’m going to say this, they were really quite cute!
As well as being treated to Stewart’s amazing close up images, he also talked us through his macro technique covering everything from lenses, to lighting, to post processing and even discussed keeping Jumping spiders as pets. Our thanks to Stewart for a really informative night and we look forward to his talk on water droplet photography in the future.
Our next Zoom meeting is in the company of Club member Amy Bateman, who shares her life of ‘Farming & Photography’. Amy is a multi-award winning and exhibited photographer, British Life Photographer of the Year 2019 and is a current Sony Alpha Creator. I hope you can all join us via Zoom for what promises to be an intimate and evocative view of life on a Cumbrian upland farm.
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.
Club member Jo Knight treated us to a “brilliant”, “fun”, “inspiring” and “thoroughly enjoyable” evening via Zoom on Wednesday 23rd September. She kicked off with advice on how to use layers and masks in Photoshop, then went on to demonstrate two popular plug-ins, the results of which impressively took 30 years off her age – if only we could all do that in real life!
Our next club evening on Wednesday 30th September is our first competition of the new season, with an Open theme. Our images have already been assessed by North Fylde Photographic Society and representatives from North Fylde will give us their verdict and scores live via Zoom.
This is a great opportunity to see over 80 images in both colour and monochrome produced by club members with skills ranging from beginner, through intermediate to more advanced workers.
All are welcome to attend. It’s never too late to become a member of the club, or if you’d like to be a guest just for the evening you will find details on our membership page.
We look forward to seeing everyone next Wednesday for what promises to be an interesting and entertaining night!
Our 2020/21 season kicked off on 16th September with an inspiring Zoom talk from Laurie Campbell. Laurie is a fine art nature photographer based in Northern Ireland and a member of the successful Catchlight Camera Club.
Laurie turns ordinary images into stunning fine art pictures with her use of textures which she says “covers up a multitude of sins!”. Despite admitting to lacking confidence and being incredibly self effacing, Laurie presented a wonderful evening of creative images which left us eager to try her techniques on our own photographs.
Our thanks go to Laurie, and also to Keswick Photographic Society with whom we shared the night.
Our next Club event is via Zoom on Wednesday 23rd September, with member Jo Knight AFIAP DPAGB BPE1* QPSA discussing layers and masks in Photoshop and her favourite editing tips and tricks.
Responding to requests from our recent members’ questionnaire, she will also demonstrate two popular plug-ins and the ways in which they can be used to dramatically, but simply, enhance our images.
Non members are welcome to join us for the evening as a guest for a small fee. Please visit the Membership page of our website to register. We look forward to seeing everyone next week!