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.

15th October 2019: Shaun Boycott-Taylor “A Walk on the Wildside”

This was a welcome return for Shaun, whose presentation featured many wildlife digital images of mainly birds, from various European travels e.g. Hungary, Catalonia, Scotland (Cairngorms), North Uist and the Danube Delta in Romania.

Shaun is an ARPS, gaining accreditation in 2010 with his 15 print-panel of birds.

It was soon apparent that Shaun has a passion for his photography, combined with an in-depth knowledge of each subject. The following extract from his website is a perfect summary of the evening:

I am an amateur Wildlife and Landscape photographer and always take a professional approach to my work.

I spend many hours researching my subjects whether they be Birds, Wildlife or Landscapes, my approach is always the same. With Wildlife and in particular Birds, I get to know my subject as intimately as I can.

I follow their everyday lives to understand their behaviour monitoring flight paths, usual trails, feeding patterns, bathing and drinking pools. When this is completed only then will I try to make the most aesthetically pleasing image I can.

Shaun explained the technical side of his photography e.g. his move away from heavy DSLR equipment and the use of extreme high shutter speeds/continuous bursts in order to capture that “decisive moment”

Apart from birds we also saw many hares, red squirrels, foxes and roe deer etc.

We learned how many of the birds in particular, were under threat from aggressive agriculture, loss of habitat and hunting etc. To help combat these threats we heard how Reserves have been established in the various areas visited and photographed.

Not just for the nature-lovers amongst our members, this was an evening not to be missed. Many thanks go to Shaun for an enjoyable and informative presentation.

8th October 2019: David Jenner “Night & Day Panoramas + Portfolio”

This was a first visit to Tetbury for David and the evening began with a fascinating and detailed digital demonstration of how his distinctive “Night & Day” panoramas are produced – these involve many hundreds of images taken over a period of hours i.e. from day through to night. In post editing, using compositing, blending and masking techniques, the images are then slowly transformed into a single final image that shows the landscaped panorama magically moving from day into night. The initial panorama from 2010 of Southwold seafront involved over 700 photographs, took over 72 hours to create and demanded all of David’s considerable Photoshop skills.

With the knowledge and experience gained from this first venture (including many mistakes!), the process became a little easier for David (helped by various camera equipment upgrades) and we were treated to further dramatic panoramic images of the Lake District, Durdle Door, Venice, London & Manhattan etc.

The final panoramic prints were also on display around the room for members to study close up. These were high quality images measuring 1m in width and mounted on aluminium and Perspex.

The second half of the evening was devoted to David’s passion for Landscape and nature, with members enjoying many award-winning images – photographs of Bedgebury Pinteum during the various seasons being particularly memorable.

We learned that amongst 55,000 pictures submitted to the BBC CountryFile Calender 2012, David was placed in the final four of the Landscape category with his image “Wrecked” (taken at Hoo Marina) – a photograph which subsequently went on to win the 2015 Ships and Shipwrecks category of the Shipwrecked Mariners Society.

This initial success with CountryFile led David onto an ultimately thwarted journey to go one better! We saw excellent entries that each year had made it onto the short-list but failed to get in the final calendar – the challenge continues! Not to be deterred, David has used many of these entries to produce his own 2020 calendar! The whole CountryFile process was presented in great detail and with much humour.

Our thanks go to David for a highly enjoyable evening, with his high quality images presented in a very enthusiastic and entertaining manner. A visit to his website is strongly recommended

24th September 2019: Tim Taphouse “From the Cotswolds around the World, via Mountains and Markets”

This was a first visit to Tetbury from Tim, whose opening image of a Public Footpath Sign pointing in 5 different directions gave a clue as to what lay ahead!

Starting gently with a tour of some of the Cotswold Hills, it soon became clear that Tim has developed his own style of photography i.e. trying to avoid the obvious by using different angles, close ups and differential focus techniques etc. Choosing one location as an example, we saw how differences in light, colour and mood as the seasons changed, completely altered the view.

We moved from hills to mountains, with the question being asked as to what point does a hill become a mountain? It was juxtaposed with Tim’s other passion of shooting street markets and how, although different throughout the world, they retain a basic similarity

The presentation was peppered with “Travel Quiz” questions as to where exactly each location was? These included the Brecon Beacons, Snowdonia, Lake District, Pyrenees, Alps, Carpathians (Romania), Canadian Rockies (Vancouver), Andes (Patagonia), Colombia, Sicily (Etna), Ethiopia, Oman, Argentina, Kashmir, India, Japan, Hong Kong, New Zealand, Iceland, Borneo and with apologies for forgetting any others!

The evening included an AV presentation of a week spent in the Pyrenees

Thanks go to Tim for an excellent start to our new season.

16th April 2019: Ray Grace ARPS, DPAGB “A Macro Workshop”

This was a welcome return to Tetbury from Ray Grace, who led us through our first practical evening for some years. He arrived with all the equipment needed such as lighting, reflectors and clamps etc. plus some cut flowers for us to photograph. TCC members brought along their cameras, (macro) lenses and also one or two small items to shoot close up.

By way of introduction, Ray projected some stunning examples of his own macro photography work to demonstrate what the evening would be all about. We learned about his control of natural light, working with extreme shallow depth of field and the importance of using a tripod.

A table was then set up for Ray to first demonstrate the principle of focus stacking – one of the skills necessary for dealing with depth of field issues. More tables acting as mini-studios were then set up for members to begin. Natural light was difficult so (daylight) LED was used.

Ray proved very helpful in guiding several members who were new to macro photography. One member had also brought a laptop along to enable tethering of the images (this is where an image captured in-camera can be instantly reviewed on a screen to facilitate any necessary adjustments to aperture, ISO etc.)

This was one of those rare opportunities where hands-on practical experience, together with asking questions can prove invaluable in learning new photography skills. It is hoped that the club sees more macro photography work from its members in the future.

Many thanks to Ray for an informative and highly enjoyable evening.