Our speaker on 13th January was Peter Weaver who comes from the Bristol area. He is an enthusiastic member of the Hanham Photographic Society and as well as being their Programme Secretary he also organises club outings. The title of Peter’s talk was “My Digital View” and during the evening he presented a sizeable collection of his images featuring a wide range of subjects.
Peter explained that he prefers to get his images right in the camera rather than spending a huge amount of time processing them on his computer. Unlike some photographers he is happy to go out in all weathers, suitably attired, and he showed a number of images, especially landscapes, that he had taken in the pouring rain. He said that he is a keen walker and he usually carries a camera and two lenses on these walks.
The majority of the images he presented were taken in the South West of England although he also showed some from elsewhere including Northumberland, Kent, Norfolk and Wales. Many were taken at county and agricultural shows and featured people together with their horses, livestock or pets.
He makes a point of arriving early when there are fewer people about. He also attends specialist events such as the Chippenham Folk Festival and he showed a number of images of musicians.
He also included a photograph from the more unusual Newent Onion Fayre which hosts the world onion eating championships and showed a humorous image of one contestant who, not surprisingly, did not seem to be enjoying the taste of the raw onion! Another source of photographs are the many re-enactments, such as 1940’s events, that he attends. He finds that such events provide many opportunities for photographing people.
Peter is also a wildlife enthusiast and he belongs to several nature groups including the Slimbridge Wildfowl Wetland Trust. He presented a number of photographs of birds and animals taken in zoos and wildlife sanctuaries. These included images from various locations including the Seal Sanctuary in Cornwall, the Big Cat Sanctuary in Kent and the Cotswold Falconry Centre.
With these he demonstrated that it is possible to take interesting nature images close to home rather than travelling hundreds of miles to more exotic locations.
Throughout the evening Peter’s enthusiasm for all genres of photography shone through.
The Society’s second Set Subject competition took place via Zoom on the evening of Wednesday 16th December. Members were invited to enter three digital images according to the themes ‘Something Old, Something New and Something Blue. The judge was Richard Jakobson, a society member. Eighteen members entered giving a total of fifty-four images. Even within the confines of the set subject there was still a wide range of photographic genres represented, including nature, creative, still life, landscape, travel, portraiture, architecture and sport. There were also some novel interpretations of the three themes, including two images from the ‘Something Blue’ section. One image featured Keswick’s Century theatre or as it was affectionately known, ‘the Blue Box’ and another featured a close-up of the head of a Bluefaced Leicester sheep.
Richard judged the images in order, starting with ‘Something Old’ and finishing with ‘Something Blue’. No marks were awarded in this competition but Richard gave a critique of each image, often pointing out ways of improving an image and in some cases using Photoshop Lightroom to illustrate his suggestions. At the end of the judging Richard chose his winning image within each of the three sections. Fred Bell was awarded first place in the ‘Something Old’ section with his black and white image, ‘Abandoned’. This moody image featured a derelict single-storey house in a bleak-looking landscape.
In the ‘Something New’ section, first place was awarded to Keith Snell for his appealing image entitled ‘First Steps’. This showed a pin-sharp moorhen chick taking its first vulnerable steps across the surface of a leafy pond, expertly caught with one foot poised ready to complete the step.
In the ‘Something Blue’ section ‘Blue Ripple’ by Sue Rugg took first place. This delicate minimalist image of a blue seascape was chosen by Richard as his ‘Best in Show’ and he remarked that he would be very happy to have a print of the image hanging on his wall.
Alan Walker thanked Richard for his hard work commentating on the images and for so excellently illustrating his suggested improvements. He also stressed what a good job Richard had done since he took over the role of judge at short notice owing to the illness of the Society’s chairman who was going to judge the competition. A change of judge meant that Richard was unable to show his own images, including his ‘outside the box’ interpretation of ‘Something New’ which was a night time cityscape of New York.
All the entered images can be viewed on our Gallery Page: