Category Archives: Guest Speakers

Speaker: Adrian Almond

After two years of restrictions, we gratefully welcomed back our first in-person speaker to the Community Centre on Wednesday 23rd February and had our first bash at doing a live Zoom of the meeting to those members still not comfortable meeting up in person and who were watching from home. Thankfully all went well and we had an evening of superb images from Adrian Almond in his talk ‘A Man For All Seasons’.

Starting with landscapes, Adrian showed us some exceptional photographs ranging from the northern lights in Iceland to the majestic Yellowstone National Park, and he was enthusiastic in guiding us through his camera settings and how each picture had been taken.

We were then treated to some fantastic wildlife photographs and I can only imagine the hours of patience it must have taken to capture each shot.

The second half of the evening included some brilliantly captured images of low flying jets, which were so detailed you could even see the expressions on the pilots faces! A thoroughly enjoyable evening of truly outstanding photography and our thanks go to Adrian for sharing his pictures with us.

Next week, we have club member Dave Nelson who is continuing to enthral us with his trip around the West Highlands and Islands. In the meantime, Club members are reminded that the deadline for hand-ins of panels is Friday 25th February.

Speaker: Roger Hance

Club members were treated to some gorgeous images of ‘Wildlife in Your Garden’ by multi award winning photographer Roger Hance FRPS DPAGB AFIAP BPE5* at our meeting on Wednesday 24th November 2021.

All of the pictures were taken in his own, or his friends’, gardens during the pandemic and Roger generously showed us how to attract and photograph the wildlife which visit our homes, sharing his camera settings alongside tips and tricks for a successful shot.

A Canon user for over two decades, Roger switched to the micro 4/3rds Olympus system in 2018 and says he’s never looked back. As an Olympus user myself, it was a refreshing change to hear about the lenses, equipment and special features offered by Olympus as most photographers still use Nikon or Canon and one can feel a bit left out of the discussions when you use other kit.

Roger has a YouTube channel which contains videos of his techniques for photographing nature and wildlife and it’s to his credit that he is not precious about his skills and freely shares his knowledge with other photographers. A thoroughly enjoyable night which left me wondering which part of my teeny garden I can dig up to create a pond!

Next week is competition night, with Gerald Chamberlain of Morton Photographic Society judging our images on the theme of ‘Perspective’ via Zoom. It’s always a joy to see the pictures being produced by fellow club members and I’m sure it will be interesting to see how we’ve all interpreted the brief. Guests and new members are welcome – please see our Membership page for details of how to join in.

Speaker: Phil Drayton

On Wednesday 10th November, club member Phil Drayton gave a fascinating presentation on his passion of Astrophotography.

Starting with the types of equipment needed and the apps he uses to plan a night shoot, through to camera settings and how to edit the resulting images, Phil gave us a detailed and very useful guide to different aspects of Astrophotography including star trails, light painting and how to successfully capture images of the Milky Way.

Castle Star Trails by Phil Drayton

The best time to do astrophotography is on a crisp, clear, winter’s night when the stars are visible in all their glory. I’m usually tucked up in bed by 9pm, but Phil’s fabulous pictures made me want to make a renewed effort to put on my thermals and get out after dark with my camera! Our thanks to Phil for a great first half to our evening and his presentation is kindly available as a handout in the Members’ Section of our website.

After a short break, the Club listened to feedback from Settle Photographic Group on a selection of our images. It’s always fascinating to hear how other Clubs view your photographs and the critique on the whole was positive and constructive, though a recurring theme appeared to be that we over-process our pictures!

This Wednesday we’re in for a lively evening in our annual Club PDI knockout competition. As last year, this will be held via Zoom with voting for each picture taking place through a show of hands, though members are also welcome to attend Castle Street Community Centre in person to watch and take part in proceedings via a large screen. Guests and new members are always welcome – see our Membership Information page for details.

Speaker: Dave Mason

We had a real treat on Wednesday 20th October with a Zoom visit from Dave Mason. Dave is known for his surreal street photography, much of which captures life in London and the south east of England, and he has an enviable talent for finding the extraordinary in the ordinary.

Dave was modest about his ability to see the absurd in mundane life but he has a way of capturing moments in camera, often humorous, that would pass the rest of us by and we saw numerous examples of his unique and finely honed skill. Alongside a fast paced narrative and some tall tales the time flew by and our thanks go to Dave for a fun and interesting evening.

Our next club night, on 27th October, is our first themed competition of the Season with a set subject of ‘Song Titles’, the hand-in deadline for which has now passed. Competition nights are always popular with members and it’s a great chance to see each other’s work and to receive constructive critique which helps us learn as photographers. Guests and new members are welcome – please see our membership page for details on how to join in.

Speaker: Caroline Preece

We were treated to a fascinating zoom talk on 6th October from London based photographer Caroline Preece, who encouraged us to look in a different way at photographic composition.

Entitled ‘Tools Not Rules’, Caroline explained that photography is a visual language in which we communicate our own personal take on the world through our images. She explained the psychology behind how people interpret the visual elements within photographs, which helped us understand how to make informed choices when composing our pictures, ensuring they convey feelings and emotions and have visual impact.

We’re often told about the rules of composition, but this was the first time I’d heard an explanation of why and how they work. A good image isn’t one that’s technically perfect but soul-less, it’s one which makes us feel something and Caroline empowered us to make different choices when composing our photographs to help convey our personal message during a very informative night.

This week Club member Seamus Bryans is holding a Portrait Workshop at Underbarrow Village Hall. Seamus is an accomplished portrait photographer who will be offering guidance and tuition on low key portraiture, with the opportunity to put skills learned into practice by photographing models at the event. Please note, this is an in-person workshop and not available on Zoom. Further information will be emailed to members.

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.

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.

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.