Meetings Blog for 2017 - 2018
This page is a log of the activities taking place on our Friday and Wednesday evening meetings in the main September to May season. We give credit to Edward McCavana, our Information Officer, for preparing these notes each week. Details of the proceedings and photographs are also submitted to the Bangor Spectator Newspaper for inclusion in their Club Section.
On Friday 12th January 2018, Bangor & North Down Camera Club hosted Alistair Hamill who gave a talk entitled ‘Six reasons not to become a Landscape Photographer’. Alistair is no stranger to the club having spoken here before on night and Aurora photography. It was no surprise to anyone that the title of Alistair’s talk was a play on words, and his talk focused on some of the challenges of producing great landscape photography.
Alistair’s talk was illustrated by many of his landscape and night photography images. He explained the challenges involved in taking such wonderful images. These challenges included suffering long nights, often in very cold conditions in order to take the elusive aurora or milky way photographs at iconic Northern Ireland locations such as The Giant’s Causeway or Dunluce Castle. Alistair also pointed out that being out on your own in these very dark locations requires that you are not afraid of things that go bump in the night !
Other requirements for obtaining great landscape images include a good level of physical fitness, especially to get photographic and camping equipment up to the top of the Mourne Mountains, often in difficult wintry conditions.
In the second part of the evening, Alistair showed us some newer images taken on a recent trip to the Faroe Islands. The Faroe Islands are a small group of islands, which are part of the Kingdom of Denmark. The landscape scenery can only be described as spectacular, and Alistair’s images brought the scale and beauty of this remote place to life. Alistair’s images and videos not only portrayed the beauty of the Faroe Islands, but once again showed the club the challenges of taking landscape photographs in such a location. These included dealing with difficult weather conditions, especially high winds, and also being able to traverse very difficult terrain with large photography backpacks, and a good head for heights is also a requirement here.
Our thanks to Alistair once again, and while he helped to educate us on the challenges of landscape photography, Alistair’s obvious passion for this genre of photography was very evident and more than a little infectious. I am sure many of us will feel inspired to redouble or efforts to get out into the landscape and find those elusive landscape masterpieces.
If you would like to take a look at Alistair’s images, then visit his web site at http://www.alistairhamillphotography.com/ . If anyone wants to learn more about night and aurora photography, Alistair has produced some eBooks to help, these are also available on his web site at http://www.alistairhamillphotography.com/ebooks/
Next week we have a member’s advice evening for Food photography, which is the theme for round five of this year’s club & NIPA competitions. Next week is also the deadline for entries for round four of this year’s completion, the theme for this round is Open.
On Friday last, Bangor and North Down Camera Club held round 3 of the annual club competition. The judge was Vittorio Silvestri the President of the Northern Ireland Photographic Association (NIPA), Vittorio is also a member of CPA Camera Club in Belfast.
Before the evening’s proceedings got under way, there was an announcement that an Audio Visual by club member Judith Kimber was awarded a gold medal at the recent Great Northern AV Festival in Manchester (for artists from the UK and Ireland). Judith’s AV was called ‘Matthew Loney’ and it also received a special award for storytelling. Many congratulations to Judith on winning such a prestigious award.
The subject for round 3 was Infrastructure. NIPA had provided a detailed description of the Infrastructure theme, it is ‘The structures, systems, and facilities serving the economy of a country, city, town, or area, including the services and facilities necessary for its economy to function’. They went on to list many examples including airports, bridges, canals, mass transit, lighthouses etc. The club entry included interesting images from all of these categories.
For round 3 the entry numbers were low at Foundation level and Vittorio took the time to consider every image in both the Foundation and the Advanced level.
In the monochrome section Vittorio commented that some images suffered from being too busy, many of the more successful images were more simplistic providing greater emphasis on the subject.
In the colour section there were some images, which the judge felt were really landscapes or cityscapes, while they did contain some elements of infrastructure, but were not strong enough on the theme.
In the projected digital images (PDI) section, the judge felt that some of the images entered in monochrome might have been stronger as colour images, he also felt that some needed to go beyond straight capture of a scene and show more interpretation by the photographer.
Vittorio handed down his verdict and announced the winners .
Congratulations to all winners and thanks to all who entered their work, and many thanks to Vittorio for his detailed comments on all the entries.
Next week we have a the annual quiz night which as always will be run by Mildred & Alastair Bell, the quiz night is traditionally held on the last evening before the Christmas break, and is always a fun evening.
On Friday last, Bangor and North Down Camera Club held round 2 of the annual club competition. The judge was Stephen McWilliams from CB Camera Club.
Before the evening’s proceedings got under way, the club’s results from round 1 ofthe Northern Ireland Photographic Association (NIPA) Interclub competition were announced. Bangor are lying fourth overall after round 1, with two members obtaining starred prints; Darren Brown for ‘Alien Girl’ in colour prints, and Hugh Rooney who was awarded top print for ‘Carrasqueira’ in the monochrome prints section.
For round 2 the entry numbers were low at Foundation level and Stephen took thetime to consider every image in both the Foundation and the Advanced groups.
The subject for round 2 was once again open, where every subject is allowed, and that was exactly what was on display. In colour prints the entries included flowers, sport, landscapes and travel. Stephen advised that when using filters to achieve long exposure photographs care should be taken with foliage to ensure that it remains sharp.
In the monochrome prints section the subjects were again varied, and included portrait character studies, long exposure landscapes and street photography. Stephen said that he would have liked to have seen some images have more detail in the darker shadow areas, he also discussed the successful use of brown and blues tones to give a warmer or colder feel to monochrome images.
In the projected digital image (PDI) section the subjects included wildlife, street photography and night photography. Stephen commented on the use of black & white for PDI entries, he showed some images where this had been successful, with the removal of colour leading to a less confusing image.
As always Stephen handed down his verdict and announced the winners.
Congratulations to all winners and thanks to all who entered their work, and many thanks to Stephen McWilliams for his detailed comments on all the entries.
Next week we have a member’s advice evening for Infrastructure, which is the theme for round three of this year’s competitions. Next week is also the deadline for submitting entries for the Roy Finlay Natural History and Panels competitions.
Members Advice - Panels
Last Friday two members of the club presented their panel of images and gave their reflections on the attainment
of photographic distinctions.
Judith Kimber LIPF Licentiate of the Irish Photographic Federation and
Edward McCavana LRPS Licentiate of The Royal Photographic Society
Gerry Coe the clubs President a Fellow of the Royal Photographic Society and a Licentiate judge for the Royal Photographic spoke about the role of a judge and explained that the panel of judges were all highly trained and experienced people.
Judith then presented her panel, a stunning and poetic group of fine art images,seven mono and Three in colour.
Tiny details ,such as a fern fond,a shoe of an antique doll,Belfast architecture,the hand of a jeweller. Three colour images of weathered and industrial natural textures completed her panel.
Judith a teacher by profession then spoke eloquently [you might say a class act] about the different levels of distinction by The Irish photographic Federation Licentiate, Associate and Fellowship the same as and mirrored by
The ROYAL photographic Society. Both Society's have a reciprocal recognition of each others Licentiate distinctions.
The salient matters considered were
How to apply for a distinction, the process of selecting images,the arrangement of images in a cohesive panel,the value of having expert help ,what can be gained from the assessment day,learning from other photographers work,and comments made by the assessors.
Judith explained that she enlisted the assistance of Gerry Coe and sought advice from Gerry in the production of her panel.
Gerry commenting on her panel said , it would not be long before she would apply for associate distinction.
In contrast Edward presented a colour panel consisting of two landscapes, two portrait shots,a still life ,an architectural interior and other town scape and habitation images.
Edward explained how he had taken a different route by attending advice days run by The Royal Photographic Society. Presentation,design and the choice of warm and complemtary opposite colours were matters influencing Edward .
Gerry Coe wound up the evening, adopting the role of a judge for The Royal photographic Society and giving a critique of Edwards panel .
It is hoped that other members can be inspired to seek a distinction from a photographic society.
Edward McCavana LRPS
Information Officer BNDCC.
ANIMAL PHOTOGRAPHIC COMPETITION
Last Friday Bangor and North Down Camera Club held its annual Audrey Argue animal photographic competition.
Audrey was a founding member of the club a keen photographer and the vice principal of Glenlola school. The competition is held in her memory.
Tonight the club hosted Brian McKenna a member of the recently formed West Court C
Work in colour, mono prints by foundation and advanced members were on display while following the tea break digital projected images were shown.
Almost every conceivable animal was photographed it seemed ,domestic pets of course but also wild beasts ,Lion,Tiger. Zebra,Sea Birds.
Garden Birds Birds in flight Bugs Insect Spider Sea Creatures,duck,ants,fish,Monkey Lizard and Caterpillar all came under the scrutiny of the camera lens.
Brian took time to consider every image and outlined what was important to good animal photography. Showing an animal or group of animals in their environment and being careful to have separation between each beast but also being careful not to cut off legs at the bottom of a photograph.
Going close with a tight crop or macro lens to revel detail Making good eye contact was another approach recommended by Brian.
Choice of angle ,good ballance and subjects doing something added to the story of an image.Reading a photograph from left to right and placement within the frame was also considered important,as was separation of the background so as not to detract from the principal subject .
The sharpness of an image where it is most important is essential as is timing and Brian commented that setting the camera to motor drive would yield good results where the subject was moving as in a bird in flight. Brian said that matching the colour of an animal to it's background was often a good ploy as in a photograph of Meercats.
Butterfly's said Brian are difficult to photograph as often even when they appear to be still their wings seem to shake making it difficult to acheive sharpness especially in a macro shot.
Members were treated to a most entertaining evening and some wonderful photography .So many thanks to Brian McKenna and to those who submited such astounding work . All the winners and the overall winner are listed below so many condradulations to all.
Information Officer BNDCC
On Friday 29th September two of the most illustrious members of BNDCC Hugh Rooney ARPS Associate of The Royal Photographic Society and John Miskelly FBIPP Fellow of The British Institute of Professional Photographers presented a talk on the photographers who they regard as the most influential to their appreciation of photography.
Hugh spoke of Hengki Koetjoro a fine art photographer from Indonesia who's photography sits in a special domain amidst the shades of black and white. Photography is a visual medium,so no words can replace what you see and I would urge you to discover this photographers work for yourself .I can only say that in it's simplicity and high key treatment Hengki Koetjoro provides us with a delicate,poetic and emotional vision in his landscape work.
John Blakemore a British photographer and master print maker explores themes in landscape and still life worked out as a series of images considered over time such as a project on tulips taking ten years to resolve. Detail,texture,and tonal richness
is explored in his elegant black and white imagery.
David Hurn another British photographer and associate member of Magnum ,an illustrious photo journalist agency
dealing with reportage and documentary themes. Hurn has photographed The Beatles ,Jane Fonda, the Hungarian Revolution, Sean Connery and much more. He has said and I quote. ''Life as it unfolds in front of the camera is full of so much complexity,wonder and surprise,that I find it unnecessary to create any other reality''.
John Miskelly gave us an insight to the work of David Yarrow, photographer conservationists and book publisher .His stunning work in Africa documenting the wild life ,today much under threat. Yarrow takes us close to his subjects such as elephants Not for him the long telephoto lens but rather a standard lens sometimes remotely triggered but at other times just moving close. Can you imagination photographing a polar bear and being so close that you see your own reflection in it's eye.Other social subjects come under the scrutiny of this photographer. You will recall this.The World Cup Final Mexico City and Maradona.
Finally we had the Brazilian photographer Sebastiao Salgado.Photo journalism and social documentary are his passion.
His aim is to present the unblemished faces of nature and humanity in their human communities that continue to live in accordance with their ancestral traditions and cultures As a young man he left Brazil and after studying economics took up photography. his work reveling death, destruction,decay,the forgotten people and places,human slavery in our modern world BRUTILITY AND MAN'S INHUMANITY TO MAN is where he brought his lens to bear witness.
We are very aware of some of his images The young girl running away after a napalm attack on her village.
A sixteen year old Afghan girl with eyes full of youth and hope . WHERE IS SHE NOW.
This dedication to his craft was to eventually make him ill and as a result he gave up and returned to Brazil and a ancestral farm ,which at that time was desolate and barren. He embarked on a project of planting ,by now millions of trees which have transformed the landscape. He has now returned to photography but not engaged in the often tragic events he once profoundly captured.
It would seem that all these photographers have something in common.It is their humanity and photography's ability to change attitudes and perspectives.
Many thanks to Hugh and John for revealing the work of these significant artists.
Edward McCavana LRPS
Information Officer BNDCC
Show of hands volunteering for tea and cleaning rotas!On Friday last Bangor and North Down Camera Club hosted Hugh Wilkinson of Catchlight Camera Club as judge for NIPA and club competition round one.
Before the evenings proceedings got under way it was announced that three of the club members Ray Magill former club Chairman BNDCC and former NIIPA President Noel Maitland Facilities Manager BNDCC and Alan McMorris NIPA Representive and Exhibition Secretary BNDCC received NIPA rewards for services to photography.
This being an open round where every subject is allowed and that was exectly what was on display , flowers landscapes,wild life, sport,macro portrait aircraft and abstract.
Entry numbers were low especially at Foundation level so Hugh had time to considered every image in both the Foundation and the Advanced groups. Hugh paid particular attention to sharpness ,composition lighting focal point and type of paper used in printing and commented that he was not fond of gloss prints ,Matt or luster paper being better.
Hugh pointed out where he thought the above matters were perhaps not up to standard for example eyes in a portrait must be sharp, also choice of shutter speed was important in moveing subjects. Tonal contrast was important in revealing detail
and control of white or light areas in an image is essential.
As always Hugh handed down his verdict and announced the winners as follows.
Foundation colour print
1st Geraldine Lay - Flowers
2nd Geraldine Lay - Nanny
3rd Geraldine Lay - Butterfly
1st Geraldine Lay - Early Morning Grazing
2nd Brian Larkin - Reed Flight
3rd Glen Service - Mourne Water
Advanced colour print
1st Darren Brown - Ashnes Blue Hour
2nd Alan McMorris - Lovin It
3rd Alan McMorris - Up and Over
HC Darren Brown - Jumping for Joy
C Alan Field - Solo
1st Mark Allen - Brotherly Love
2nd Robert Johnston - Fly'n the Twist
3rd Mark Allen - Mussenden Temple
C Alan Field - Life In a Bubble
1st Hugh Rooney - Carrasqueria
2nd Alan McMorris - TQ
3rd Darren Brown - Eva's Stare
C Mandy Milliken - Southwark Cathedral
1st Geraldine Lay - Deloreans
2nd Geraldine Lay - New Shoes
Congratulations to all winners and thanks to all who entered their work and many thanks to Hugh Wilkinson
Next week Members Influences and submit entries for Audrey Argue
Edward McCavana LRPS
Information Officer BNDCC
Street photography was the topic at Bangor at North Down Camera Club on Friday 15th September when Cliff Mckay a member of the club gave a talk and presentation of his work on this subject.
Clff began by talking about the love of street photography and how his imagination was captured be some exponents of the craft ,Sally Davies in New York and Martin Waltz in Berlin.
Belfast Bangor and Dublin are where Cliff seeks to photograph people of the street. This often reveals life in the raw , the homeless ,the drug scene and everyone on the street in daily dialogue sometimes in argument and dissent. Cliff tells the stories of such people but always with respect and compassion . Their life and times may be ignored or not revealed if photographers don't document all that happens on the street and the daily struggle some endure.
Cliff will often get to know some of those he encounters and will see them time and time again and will sometimes hear of the passing of some character he has photographed and known over many years..
The life of a street photographer is not always easy, as some may object to being photographed and Cliff will always respect this ,what he does is not voyeurism but is the depiction of lives as lived ., an exploration of people and often their hardship. The matter of legality is sometimes a problem especially by private security personell who are often not aware of the law and as most photographers know taking photographs in public spaces is not against the law ,,even photographing a child.
This however is a sensitive issue and needs to be considered by all photographers and reasonable decissions made. The police do not have an automatic right to stop and search unless they believe a crime has taken place ,or is about to take place.
Clff seeks to capture the emotion of those he encounters and says luck often plays an important part in what he acheives but it is also in the anticipation of events and being ready to capture the action. One method used is to crook the camera over his arm at a hight he knows will give the image he wishes and to use the back focus button.
[This can be done in many cameras by assigning a button to the back of the camera instead of the button on top of the camera which when half pressed will focus and when fully pressed takes the photograph.]
Black and white is for the most part the chosen medium and with this Cliff acheives detail and facial e_expression which makes impact, speaking directly to the viewer and it is in his subjects eyes that tells of their existence,though at times as in the image of a young man asleep on a pavement colour is important. The blue cape and the red in the dog's coat The other image is cliff himself during his talk last Friday.
Sometimes Cliff will witness an arrest on the streets even encounter a murder scene. Street photography is not of course for everyone but cliff records the humanity of those he encounters but with humility and understanding . The thoughts of Albert Einstein are often in his mind
''I LOVE HUMANITY BUT I HATE HUMANS''
Cliff gave all those present an insight into this genre of photography and I am sure ,all the members will wish Cliff every good fortune in his future endevours in an important branch of photography. Many thanks for an delightful evening.
Next week judging of NIPA round one takes place ,always entertaining ,don't miss this.
Edward McCavana LRPS
Information Officer BNDCC.
Many thanks to Bob Given for his fantastic talk on sports photography last night - a motivating blend of practical advice, entertaining anecdotes and inspiring examples of his own prize-winning images.
For many of us, this was an unfamiliar type of photography, and we left with a new appreciation of the skills involved - and plans to try it out for ourselves as soon as possible.
Last Friday Bangor and North Down Camera Club welcomed returning and new members at the commencement of the new season.
Chair lady Deborah Gardener thanked all who had kept the informal evenings going during the summer months and also the cleaning team for their work in preparation for the forthcoming programme of events.
The programme of dates for the events was outlined and promises to be a fascinating and diverse mixture of of topics which range from Sports Photography, Street Photography,Landscape Photography,Natural history Architecture, members influences , Members advice Panels , Car Photography, Quiz Night and Portraiture.
As always the NIPA Northern Ireland Photography Association competition rounds 1 to 5 with two themed rounds, Infrastructure and Food will occupy many minds during the year and in addition the in-house club only rounds of Natural History, Panels and Exhibition entries for 2018 will provide further challenges for members.
So if any of the above kindles your interest why not come along to our Ward Avenue premises on either a Wednesday or Friday evening at around 7-30 PM and see what is on offer.
Edward McCavana LRPS
Our pre-season artisanal clubhouse cleaning team (plus Noel behind the lens) takes a moment this morning.
Some of the many members who do vital and occasionally less than glamorous jobs (yes, I cleaned the bathroom) throughout the year to make sure that everything runs smoothly and well - you are all very much appreciated!
L-R: Helen Fettus, Judith Kimber, Glen Service, Liz Service, Mandy Milligan, Brian McMullan, Lesley Crawshaw and Noel Maitland (behind camera).
On Thursday Last 04 August members,family and friends gathered at Bangor Carnegie Library for opening night of their annual exhibition.
It was a well attended event and everyone was welcomed by the club's chair lady Deborah Gardener who thanked all who had submitted their work for the Exhibition
Two special guests were also welcomed Bob and anne Given from Catchlight Camera Club who earlier in the year were joint judges in the exhibition competiton.
Both spoke well of the Bangor club and how much they enjoy their visits to such a friendly club and made reference to the very high standard of photography on display.
The club's exhibition secretary Alan McMorris,his Deputy Harry Watson and their many helpers were thanked for their hard work in putting together the exhibition which it can be hoped has found a permanent residence in the delightful space of Bangor Libary.
The President, chair lady and members of BNDCC all extend their thanks to Pamela Macrory and Gemma Cassidy and their staff for their kindness and consideration in giving up their first floor space to the exhibition
Bangor and North Down Camera Club 2017 annual exhibition will be staged at Bangor Carnegie Library from 03 August until 31 August 2017
The exhibition highlights the work of the club members and is a showcase for the many talented local photographers.
The exhibition is part of the Bangor Open House Festival of Arts,Music Film, Literature ,Food and Drink events held during the month of August.
The work displayed is in colour and mono print and also in digital projected images.
This is an opportunity to view the excellent photographic work in many different styles and content and I would urge anyone with an interest in photography to come along and enjoy this exhibition and if you are interested you might consider becoming a member of the club which meets at their premises in Ward Avenue Bangor on both Friday and Wednesday evenings at around 8 PM. You will be made very welcome and will have the opportunity of developing your photographic interests.
The Carnegie Library is open Monday to Wednesday 9AM to 5PM Thursday 9AM to 8PM Friday 9AM to 5PM Saturday 10AM to 5PM Sunday closed .
Edward McCavana LRPS
Information Officer Bangor and North Down Camera Club