First Competition prints and PIs

Meeting Report

1st Competition

Tuscany - Martin TomesSo we launch into a new season after a long summer break filled with photo opportunities.

Our new vice chairman Janet Brown welcomed Malcolm Bull as judge, Derek Grieve newly appointed chairman for 2017 sorted the prints in the unavoidable absence of Anne Nagle print secretary, Alex Swyer presented them for judging and marking, then later Alex presented the projected images in his own inimitable way.

Malcolm Bull introduced the evening with some history of his experience at Steyning camera club and the fact that this was his second visit to Storrington. He apologised for the “Theresa May Syndrome” i.e., a heavy cold affecting his voice, that said, he did well and impressed us with his balanced comments, clarity of his own preferences and a general sense of we are in this together.

There were 26 prints from 14 members a pleasing increase in participants. Eight prints were held back and in total 12 prints gained between 18-20 marks and it was really pleasing to see new member Brian Simmons break into that grouping, well done.

European Wildlife Photographer of the Year

Meeting Report

I knew that we were going to see some stunning photographs as I had looked at Richard Peters website before our meeting, but I did not know what a complete treat we were all going to have with his talk.

First of all, we were delighted to welcome so many visitors. This was due in part to Kevin’s publicity and Daisy’s advising some other clubs (notably many of our friends from Steyning CC who came in force) about Richard’s visit. Twenty members of SCC attended (out of twenty eight paid up members so far this season) plus seventeen visitors which gave us a really nice room full of people.

Richard started by spelling out the ingredients he needs to produce an outstanding image, Light; Mood; Drama; Personality and Simplicity.

Of these, we could see that the right light was the most important, demonstrated by the most dramatic images which we were then shown. As the evening drew on we also realised that his personality, together wuth drama and simplicity also played a large part as well.

Throughout the evening we were shown images (which I for one would have been quite happy with) followed by Richard’s final treatment of the same subject, which often caused members of the audience to gasp because they were so spectacular.

Travels Far and Near

Meeting Report

The first meeting of the season went well, with plenty of banter, especially as it was David Seddon's 65th birthday the day before, and he had foolishly offered to buy everyone's teas and coffees. Daisy had come up trumps with a cake as well, so the break was even better.

The main part of the evening was billed as a series of Members' summer images. There were ten presentations in all, with a great deal of variety. I will apologise right now for not taking any notes at the time, so I am a little vague on some of the presentations.

Daisy kicked off with an AV of the club visit to the British Wildlife Centre. Some of the animals, notably a rather mangy fox, also starred in other peoples sets of images. We then went on safari in Africa with both Kevin and Derek, and saw exotic butterflies with Norman (from the National History Museum).

Chris and I did a double-act with our Photo24 exploits, and David mixed up some images from a visit to London with other destinations. Liz took us to her son's wedding, one of his motorbike races, then Nuffield House, the home of William Morris the motor manufacturer and philanthropist.

The last formal meeting

Meeting Report


The AGM followed the same routine as usual with one major change-I was in the Chair.

During my report for the year I mentioned how much we appreciated Jane Coward arranging the Coffee mornings and I also thanked John Gauvin for giving us a series of tutorials on Lightroom and I gave them each a small token of our thanks.

Reports from the Treasurer and the Competition Secretaries followed and then we had the Election of Officers. Paul Hayward and I as joint Chairmen, but, we now have a Vice Chairman in Janet Brown, a new Treasurer in Sarah Beard and a new Publicity man Kevin Harwood. Welcome to the new team who will look after the club next season.

Next was ‘Any Other Business’ and we had a 20 minute discussion with the rest of the club as to what they liked about his suggestions for new events. They were very interesting but they kept on coming and Committee members to the left of me started to get agitated about the time going on. And then Peter Picthall had several more questions about our governance and why we could not get more members, which is a topic that has been aired since Adam was a boy. We will continue our efforts to recruit aided by Kevin.

Anyway, we were able to move on to the presentation of the cups which was carried out by Paul Hayward as follows:

The last competition of the year

Meeting Report

I nearly did not come to this meeting as I had a nasty tooth extraction on Tuesday and felt rubbish up to midday on Thursday.

I was immediately asked to do the write up as Audrey was AWOL and Chris was busy ‘up front’; no problem, I enjoy doing the write ups.

Tonight we had one of our very favourite judges who is very skilled and has been a judge at the RPS for years. Trevor Gellard FRPS (Trev from now on) has visited us on many occasions in the past going right back.  He had a place in our history for giving the lowest mark ever, nine to some poor soul, and tonight he broke another record by giving the largest number of twenties ever. Trev started off by going through the things he  would be looking out for in our work, over sharpening for instance, together with other ‘post processing’ faults and bad printing.

Digital Monochrome Photography

Meeting Report

Andy Beel FRPS is an acknowledged virtuoso in monochrome photography – folklore has it that he holds the world record for going from zero to FRPS so it was a coup to have him talk to us. In fact not only did we all enjoy his talk on Thursday evening but we also had a workshop on the Friday. I’m going to find it tricky to sort out a write-up between the two events. If anyone who only came to Thursday is mystified by anything here that’s because I’ll have muddled the Thursday with the Friday and you should have been there on the Friday as well!

My attitude to monochrome is slightly odd. I readily accept monochrome because it is familiar from holiday and press photographs from an early age so I am comfortable with the concept.  But even a “straightforward” monochrome photograph is a world away from the colour reality. Andy’s technique is to stretch the monochrome image far beyond a simple colour desaturation - and that is his art.  

Disaster turns out well

Meeting Report

Jurrasic coastI arrived at the football clubhouse a little later than usual to find a small band of members huddled together in the car park. Anne rushed forward to say that she might have put the wrong code in the security keypad and now they could not get in (rest assured Anne that would not happen), So I tried a couple of times as well to no avail. I then tried to ring the caretaker’s number which I had from some years back, but being Storrington no signal.

So I went round to the Sports centre to see if they would let me phone from there and maybe suggest another number. The duty Manager eventually emerged and gave me a number for the football club, and let me use their phone. So, firstly I tried the number that I had for the caretaker but as I got through I was told in each ear simultaneously that he had arrived here on other business.

He tried with his input number and after a while pronounced the system ‘down’.

Prior, and in the middle of all this, a red faced David Seddon announced that it was all his fault as he had failed to book the hall. If he had kept ’shtum’ he would have got away with that!

Better than last time

Meeting Report

The competition was held as usual at the Kings Centre, Burgess Hill which unlike its surroundings is a really nice hall.

It was a beautiful sunny afternoon and frankly I would have been far happier elsewhere enjoying the wonderful weather.

However, we were shown some really great pictures, 210 if my maths are correct. The prints were all displayed nicely in an adjacent hall before the main event.

Southwick CC ran the event very well and we had three accessors: Alison Cawley ARPS DPAG EFIAP; Martin Fairs, and Caroline Colgate ARPS.

The competition has at last been modified and now there were six entries in each of the Open and the Development classes.

This year eighteen clubs took part and SCC had six members present, to watch proceedings, which is twice as many as last time.

Railway Photography – Trains in their Environment

Meeting Report

We were treated to some wonderful railway photography from Nick Gilliam - who had previously been a guest at the club as he lives just up the road in Ashington. Nick has had many of his photographs published in the national magazines devoted to steam railways – and this is no mean feat as Railway Photography is such a popular genre.

Nick uses a Mamiya rangefinder camera with an image size 6 by 7 centimetres – into this he loads rolls of Fujichrome Velvia 50 film a brand noted for its saturated colours. So large slides, vivid colours, and a powerful projector – wow! – what fantastic images that combination produces. Food for thought – these are the first film slides I’ve seen projected at the club although we’ve seen plenty of files which have been scanned from film images. The only comparable evening I remember was the “50 Years of the Monaco Grand Prix” but that relied on prints.

A good evening and a good result

Meeting Report

South Downs Trophy

We were recently invited to join in this 4 way competition with the camera clubs of Rottingdean ( our hosts) Southwick and Steyning and 4 of our members attended. Each club submitted 10 images which were shown and marked in random order – which made it difficult to work out where we stood as the evening progressed – rather like a 400 metre race where the leader is not revealed until the bend has unwound.

Trever Gellard FRPS was the judge – our best of year judge this season - and he is very hot on technical matters but much appreciates unusual, out of the ordinary images – and he does like a witty and apt title!

Southwick, Steyning and ourselves used the same set of photographs as were used in the Crouch Shield the previous Friday with a couple of extras to make up the set of 10 – Rottingdean are not in the Crouch competitions. 

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