Reviews

Throughout the club year we have guest speakers who share their photographic experiences, below are reviews of those evenings. Reviews from past guest speakers can be found on our archive page.


Another Evening with Allen Lloyd – 10 April 2018

Our last speaker for the 2017/18 season was Allen Lloyd who was returning after receiving a very warm reception in February last season when he talked to us about Landscape and Wildlife photography.  Allen covered the same subjects this year but showed us different images and in addition discussed his technique for capturing night time images which included the Milky Way.  

First, his local landscape images.  He enthralled members with his stunning photographs of the landscape around the Brecon Beacons and mid-Wales.  He said he now often goes out late at night returning home early morning, around 7am, to capture images in moonlight and different weather conditions.  We saw a number of these images which showed us how much the same scenery can vary in different light and just how effective and interesting images lit be moonlight can be.  Allen gave us a demonstration of how he processes night time images and is able to create clear night skies with bright stars.  But it must be said his daytime images are also vivid and the way he captures light in them brings them alive.

From Wales we moved to Yellowstone where Allen had visited in June, the month considered to be the start of their spring.  We had a tour round Greater Yellowstone and his images featured close-up, wild flowers and small mammals as well as grander, large scale landscapes of Geysers and the rolling countryside.  We also saw his photographs of larger wildlife and in particular were marvelled by his bird action photography, especially those feeding young at their nest.

It is always a joy for Club members to listen to someone who has such a love for his art and has a deep passion for wildlife and Allen has a special ability to share this with others by his enthusiasm and brilliant photography.


Roger Parry ARPS, MPAGB, HonPAGB, EFIAP & Judith Parry DPAGB, HonPAGB, AFIAP. Using the Light.

On 13th March we were entertained by Roger and Judith Parry, who travelled down from the Midlands to speak to us and show us some of their work.

Roger and Judith both share a passion for photography and as the evening wore on and they both spoke to us, it became clear that while they have different approaches to their craft, they both produce stunningly good quality prints, largely of a portraiture nature with some landscape and travel images.  They shared with us how they approached their task and developed their ideas as portrait photographers.   As they discussed their images they shared how they made best use of available natural light and used Photoshop and Topaz to enhance images, on occasions to sharpen and/or defuse parts of the images.  They are clearly masters at this!

A large number of their images were art nudes photographs and while this is not everyone’s choice of subject, they showed how they worked creatively with models and were able to achieve quite exceptional results.

As members of the London Salon Photographers whose aim is to exhibit images of artistic feeling and execution, it is clear that they both specialise in producing images of that nature and they have achieved considerable success in their field.  Both have been president of various photographic associations and are heavily involved in their local Camera Club, Smethwick Photographic Society, and in national clubs and international salons.


6th  March 2018 – Mike Birbeck, FRPS, FBPPA, FDPS – The Tyred (sic) Photographer

This was Mike’s first visit to Tetbury, and a packed room downstairs gathered to discover whether he would fulfil the expectations raised in advance by a member who had seen one of his presentations a few years ago.

We were not disappointed!! Mike’s lecture on the night concentrated on ‘people’ in a variety of different situations – studio, portraits, travel, ‘on-the-street’, candid – and the approaches and techniques he’d used to produce each image. There was a full, frequently fascinating and sometimes humorous, story behind every one of them (including a few details of various ‘vehicles’ he’d enjoyed using!), with numerous hints and tips for all of us to take on board. Overall on the evening, it was easy to understand why he has three Fellowship Distinctions.

There was more inspiration to be taken from the fact that all of his photography for more than 30 years has been from a wheelchair, during some or all of which time he has also been : –

  • lecturing and judging,
  • sitting on RPS and DPS Distinction panels,
  • working to help others who suffer with disabilities to expand their photographic horizons (particularly via the Disabled Photographer’s Society and teaching from his own small studio),
  • part of the Fotospeed lecturing team
  • earning commission from his own studio

Throughout the evening Mike was supported by his wife Gillian – herself an ARPS, and also an active DPS support worker – and it was clear that they are very much a team. Our thanks go to both of them for a very interesting and entertaining evening.

(As Mike has other photographic interests, and related talks, namely shapes and textures (particularly architectural), and travel photography, he is certainly on the back-burner for a future invitation!).


5th December 2017 – Graham Harries Greatest Hits!

The evening started with great expectations as looking at Graham’s web site it was clear he is a very successful professional photographer who has tremendous enthusiasm for his craft and that his interest are quite wide spread. It was quickly apparent that Graham’s talk was going to be different – it was fun, lively, entertaining, his images were quite wonderful and his anecdotes light and amusing. He is a gifted speaker who is well able to communicate his love of photography to just about anyone.

Graham’s images covered wedding photographs, portraits and documentary images with some street photography. What was clear early on in his talk was that he was extremely creative whether he was taking more serious, formal images or capturing live performers on stage or equally extroverted subjects. His pictures make the viewer ask questions about how the images were captured, what lighting was used or about the subject itself, in sum, they are compelling to look at with an enquiring mind.

We shall always remember Graham’s humour, whether it be linked to his Happy Eggs image or the photograph encouraging drinkers to consume lots of beer as there was a danger of it running out! Balance with this approach was his stunning wedding photographs where it was clear each wedding was special to him and unique.

His ideas about working with local groups struck a cord with our Club and this is perhaps some thing we could develop ourselves. We could also see how his amusing idea about passing an item (in his case Robert or perhaps Paddington Bear for us…?) around members to photograph and for them to show their best images at a Show and Tell Club evening might be fun for us to do. Lots of ideas for us to consider!

Graham drove 100 miles to talk to us such is his enthusiasm for photography

and his enthusiasm was infectious (we hope!) and he gave us so many ideas on how we might develop our own creative styles and how we might take a fresh perspective on composing our own images.  He left behind a bunch of very happy Camera Club members!

We always knew we could expect something special from Graham and he gave us that in bucket loads!  


28 November 2017 – Andrew Marker FRPS, Journey to FRPS and Beyond

What a special night we had!

We always knew we were in for a super evening as Andrew had visited us before but once again he delighted us with his creative style of his images and his stunning compositions and colours. Throughout the evening he showed us time and again what wonderful images he had taken and how he developed his approach and style. It was easy to sit and smile throughout his presentation at the stunning photographs we saw, the warmth they seem to project and Andrew’s modesty when talking with such enthusiasm about his work.

Andrew took us through his approach to achieving his Fellowship of the Royal Photographic Society. He started with displaying his successful submission for his ARPS which centered on images taken in Venice of reflections in the waters of the canals around the city. He then moved on to show his thinking on how he might approach the panel for his Fellowship and it was not until he travelled to Greek Island of Santorini which is famous for its whitewashed buildings, narrow alleyways and steep flights of steps that he realized he was captivated by the simplicity of the architecture and varying shades of white. From this visit he developed his minimalist approach for his panel with simple shapes and intimate details capturing the beauty, and the sense of peace and tranquility that he experienced while exploring photography opportunities on the small island.

His Fellowship panel is truly inspiring and the way he captured images of varying shades of white and was able to produce such a well balanced and totally complete panel was quite breathtaking.

After the break Andrew displayed some creative images he had taken using Paintshop Pro and told us how these had been developed from what might be called normal landscape images (as if anything Andrew does is normal!). This proved to be a true insight to a creative approach to produce something quite colourful and different. They showed technical brilliance and an artistic flair that thrilled us all.

Finally, Andrew showed other landscape images taken In Yellowstone, The Grand Tetons, in Tuscany, and various places in Scotland, including his journey to John O’Groats.

We felt very privileged to see Andrew’s work and it was no surprise that the Club had its biggest attendance of the season to share the evening.

Thank you Andrew.


7th November 2017: David Boag Photographing Nature More Creatively”

After 5 years, David made a very welcome return to Tetbury. His theme again was that as Photographers, it’s not what we know but what we do with all the knowledge!

With the cornerstones of aperture, shutter speed and image sensor sensitivity he invited members to look afresh at their images, in an effort to produce a more creative and interesting photograph.

He made it clear that choice of lens was the most important aspect to consider i.e. wide angle, standard (50mm for full frame) or telephoto.

David was a very passionate speaker, combining a life time of travel, photography and publishing with his great love of nature. He made particular reference to placing the subject (animals, insects, flowers etc.) in their natural environment.

All this advice was apparent with the very first digital image projected – a photo of a bird taken from three different perspectives. It was left to members to decide which was best, the important point being made was to simply try and be creative with your composition – taking a shot from multiple perspectives being a recurrent theme during the presentation.

The final part of the evening was devoted to his Interactive Photography Tutorial DVD – “Natural Focus”. This was an updated version of the DVD we saw previously but which now includes over 1,000 screens and 1,000 images. Several sales were made to members along with copies of his book, one of many published over the years.

Many thanks to David for a thoroughly enjoyable and entertaining evening.


17th October 2017: Les Loosemore ARPS, AWPF, DPAGB

A Print evening with Les Loosemore”

Our usual club-room seating arrangement was completely altered in order to accommodate the large and well-lit print display stands that Les had brought along, together with a central light box. This meant that up to 24 prints were on display at any one time.

Les took time to explain his journey into photography and welcomed questions throughout the evening. After each mini-presentation we were also encouraged to view all prints close up on the exhibition-style displays.

As a sponsored Fotospeed Photographer, Les explained his work flow from Camera to Print using Fotospeed papers. Prints (professionally mounted) came in all sizes from extreme portrait letterbox to square. Photo styles also varied greatly e.g. Landscapes (including Sea), Waterfalls, Winter scenes, Woodland, Welsh Coastal views, Sporting action – snooker, horse racing, international soccer etc. We also viewed his monochrome prints, macro work on butterflies and winter plus unusual close-ups taken in Church interiors. Each block of prints on display were themed and could therefore be viewed as panels.

Many snippets of advice were offered by Les e.g. use of tripod, catching the light, depth of field, cropping and careful planning for each shot. We learned about the equipment and editing software that he uses plus the speed at which his images can be turned into exhibition-ready mounted prints!

less is more” was the theme throughout the evening.

This was a highly enjoyable Presentation that offered something for everyone.


3rd October 2017: David Sage ARPS : Lacock – A Changing Village

In 1943 Harold White FRPS arrived in Lacock to take photographs depicting daily life in the village during the Second World War. It was part of a commission to illustrate a promotional pamphlet “English Villages”, published in 1945.

The pamphlet formed part of a series published by the British Council called The British People – How they Live and Work. The original silver gelatin prints show many aspects of everyday life in Lacock, but only by looking very carefully at the prints are traces of the war visible.

The purpose of the photographs was, undeniably, propagandist as they embody the notion of a ‘People’s War’ showing how daily life continued undeterred and how the Home Front was represented by all elements of the community, from school children to the local postman – all contributing to the war effort – an important reminder of British morale during the war.

Some 70 years later David Sage and Bob Bray were involved in a project to recreate Harold White’s visit and this formed the basis of their presentation. It was a memorable evening of narrative, hand-outs, AVs, prints, history of Lacock, filming of Downton Abbey, Harry Potter (Yes!) plus voices from the past and present. It was laced with amusing but also poignant anecdotes from many of the villagers that they interviewed. Great credit was given to Harold White for his original black & white photographs – many of them being shown alongside David & Bob’s contemporary (colour) prints, which they had endeavoured to recreate faithfully using similar camera angles etc.

It was fascinating to see some villagers in the recent photographs also appearing in the original 1943/44 images. This generational aspect of Lacock was a theme that David and Bob explored through their photographs and raised the question as to how much longer this would continue?

Credit was also given to the Fox Talbot family and the huge impact that William Fox Talbot has had on Photography. We saw many images of Matilda, his granddaughter, who passed across much of Lacock to The National Trust in 1944 and who died in 1956.

Funding for the project came from the Heritage Lottery Fund, with a limited edition book being published and given free to all those villagers that had participated.

Definitely an evening to remember, with the final question being posed:

Lacock – has it changed?”… the answer being left to the individual


19th September 2017: James Woodend : From Africa to the Arctic

James Boardman Woodend is an International Award Winning Photographer, with his work published in many magazines, newspapers & on TV. In 2014 he won the title of Astronomy Photographer of the Year. He has also had a Special Mention Award in International Travel Photographer of the Year & a winning image in International Garden Photographer of the Year. He has exhibited at the Royal Greenwich Observatory and the Royal Geographical Society. In addition, 2 of his images have appeared on the NASA-run Astronomy Picture of the Day (APOD).

TCC were therefore looking forward with anticipation to his visit – we were not to be disappointed!

The evening unfolded with many stunning digital photographs taken on James’s travels, with many images grouped into professional Audio Visual presentations.

Themes included the Aurora Borealis (Northern Lights), Glaciers of Iceland, Wildlife of Namibia, Polar Bears at Churchill (Manitoba), surprisingly approachable Black Bears (also Manitoba), the West of Scotland and the Moscow Metro.

James was a very engaging and entertaining speaker e.g. as a former Physics teacher he shared his deep knowledge of what goes on in the core of our Sun and how we can photograph the results (Aurora) some 800,000 years later!

We were also treated to the philosophies of Moscow taxi drivers and a chance meeting with Ewan McGregor and Charley Boorman in the Namibian desert.

A thoroughly entertaining evening. Well done James!


12 September 2017 – Ken Ingamells

Ken was our first speaker for the 2017/18 Season and he could not have got us off to a better start.  The title of Ken’s talk was Cold Places Photography and during the evening Ken took us from the Antarctica, through South Georgia and the Falklands up to Iceland, Norway and the Arctic.  He finished by dipping into Yellowstone, the Grand Tetons and Yosemite for good measure.

Ken started by showing us his first cameras which included a Leica III , a medium format camera and explained how he came by them and why he considered himself to be a lucky photographer.  He may well be lucky but it is clear from his pictures that they could only be captured through hard work and expertise rather than down to luck.

While Ken’s first love is to focus on ice and snow images, and the ones he showed us were truly inspiring, he also showed us many nature images capturing wildlife such as Penguins, seals, various birds and polar bears.   His professional expertise as a meteorologist meant he was able to give us a great insight into the environment in all the places he visited and his knowledge of the exploits of Captain Scott and Shackleton gave us a real feel for the hardships and challenges these early explorers faced in Antarctica.

We enjoyed an evening of seeing some breathtaking images backed by wonderful descriptions and stories that made the whole event extremely interesting and a great pleasure to attend.  Many thanks Ken!