This is the latest in news and events happening within Accrington Camera Club
Auction Night 13 July 2018

Our annual auction of photographic and computer items - postponed from its usual slot in March - was well worth waiting for, as £120 was raised on what was the last night of this season's programme.
Some spirited bidding on a couple of items and some fantastic bargains snapped up by members made for an enjoyable evening. Auctioneer Harry was assisted by Stuart and Alan providing much-needed brews. We return on September 7th.

Close battle at Padiham 11 July 2018

Our return 'battle' with Padiham CC was a closely fought affair, with just half a point separating the two sides in the prints and 3.5 points in the DPIs.
John Fletcher was the judge for the friendly contest at Padiham's club rooms, with each side submitting 10 prints and the same number of digital images. Padiham pipped us with 88.5 points to 88 in the prints and we got our revenge in the DPIs, scoring 89.5 to their 86.
Thank you to all members who came to Padiham to hear John Fletcher's appraisal of the pictures and all those who contributed images for the competition.

Club Meeting 9 June 2018

Adrian Hendley CPAGB took us on a journey through his photographic life, starting with darkroom monochromes going back to the 1970s.
Shots of a steam engine and entries into Pendle Print Circle were followed by pictures relating to two of his passions - walking and cricket. The north face of the Eiger and the rocks, water and trees of the Lake District’s Honister Pass gave way to action shots at the crease - including Viv Richards playing for Rishton at home to Colne.
In the 1980s Colne-based Adrian also dabbled with Cibachrome - a process enabling colour prints direct from slide film - and we saw evidence of this in his picture of a pair of adonis blue butterflies. He also began to get his colour prints commercially processed from transparencies and was one of the last people to receive the national photographic award CPAGB by submitting slides.
Eventually he converted to digital photography and in the early days took photos of subjects specifically to test how sharp he could make the images without overdoing it (red campion) and to manipulate the verticals (Whitby Abbey).
Along with his enjoyment of taking landscapes, particularly in north Wales, Adrian also enjoys buildings and street artwork. He showed us some quite stunning examples taken in east London, where he says murals last roughly three months before they are painted over and so he returns there whenever he can.
He also showed a number of prints in pairs, where the only difference was that one was in colour and the other mono, and we were invited to say which we prefered. There was much discussion on this subject and it was fair to say that we did not all agree!

Club Meeting 2 June 2018

Long standing member Stephen Riley introduced the world of portraiture to members at our meeting.
He started with a short PowerPoint presentation showing possible costs and dispelling the myth that portraiture must be expensive. Stephen compared a visit to the Lake District with its cost of fuel, meals/snacks and the uncertainties of the weather that may make the journey fruitless. A professional model is a known cost. The lighting is under the control of the photographer and if the model's fees can be shared between a small number of photographers, the cost to each photographer is minimised and the session can get under way.
Stephen then introduced Cassandra to the club, a young model with whom he has worked previously. He used two lights each with a soft box fitted to reduce any tendency for harsh shadows. The position of the main light was explained and its effect could be "Rembrandt lighting" or "clamshell". Stephen then tethered his camera to the projector so that his shots were displayed on the screen for everyone to see clearly the effect that had been achieved.
The secondary light can relieve shadows or be aimed behind the model to produce a rim light around her hair or can alter the background tone. A grey backdrop can be flooded with light to give the appearance of being white, whilst removal of any light can render it black.
As with all successful photography. simplicity and standardisation are key. Stephen has used his lighting kit frequently, so its capability is known. Positioning of the main light and secondary light were quickly set. Cassandra's position was similarly quickly achieved and Stephen demonstrated the difference in shadows that accompany a minute change in the position of the head.
After a short break the lights were moved to illuminate a settee in the reception area and an informal portrait was taken.
Members had the opportunity to take photographs themselves and no doubt their efforts will feature in forthcoming competitions.

Visit our Exhibition

Our Annual Exhibition takes place from 26th May to 15th July at Haworth Art Gallery, Accrington, with more than 100 prints on show, plus a large selection of digital images. Please go along and enjoy our work. Free entrance and parking. More details Some of the images which form part of the exhibition were trophy winners in our Annual Competition and are shown here on our homepage, as well as the Annual Competition 2018 link above.

Club Meeting 11 May 2018

Two of the camera club's own members took centre stage at last week's meeting.
Annette Lord demonstrated her love of traditional darkroom techniques to produce stunning black and white prints.
She started her talk with examples of prints from a UPP (United Photographic Postfolios of Great Britain) circle of which she is a member. The circle consists of nine darkroom photographers who receive the folio in turn, comment on the photographs submitted by others and put in one of their own prior to posting on to the next recipient.
Annette then continued with showing a selection of her own prints - all black and white - featuring portraits taken over several holidays in Turkey, and scenes from visits to Las Vegas. Moving closer to home we accompanied Annette on journeys to the Isle of Man, Salford Quays, Magpie Mine in Derbyshire and Ripon Cathedral. Portraits were again in evidence when prints of the Whitby Goth Festival were viewed.
Throughout the portraits a common theme of “old men with beards” was evident and this theme will no doubt be reminded to Annette over the coming weeks and months.
The second presentation concentrated on digital photography and was given by Oliver Doree CPAGB. He explained the application, the technique, programs and terms associated with HDR- high dynamic range.
The human eye is capable of seeing a far greater range of tones and levels of brightness than the camera can capture. HDR is a technique by which the photographic image can more closely portray the scene as viewed by the photographer’s eye. The camera is set to capture the scene at the “correct" exposure, then the camera is reset to take additional photographs both over exposed and under exposed. The resulting images are then merged into a single photograph encapsulating the additional detail recorded in the highlights and shadows.
Various examples were shown by Oliver and included photographs made up of three, five and seven exposures.
He commented that a stable platform was essential to avoid camera movement during the different shots, so a sturdy tripod should be used. As the HDR technique has gained popularity many camera manufacturers now incorporate a multi exposure programme within their camera so that a series of exposures can be triggered by a single press of the shutter. Some cameras even have a basic HDR program to process the images.
Computer software packages to process the HDR component images were discussed and comparative examples of finished photographs were shown. Specific HDR software is available across a range of prices and there is also available freeware products. There was much discussion about these various products but the overall consensus of opinion was that the technique offers real benefits, so we anticipate further discussions and trials to take place over the coming weeks.

Club Meeting 20 April 2018

USED to the wilds of mountaineering in the UK, Dave Bibby EFIAP CPAGB BPE3 took himself to the unfamiliar but equally wild expanse of Iceland in winter in pursuit of two ambitions - to walk on a glacier and to see and photograph the northern lights.
He achieved both - and the results were among the highlights in an engaging talk with us last Friday as he retold the story of his trip in 2014, projecting a series of short AVs and collections of digital images onto a big screen.
Although he and his travelling companion - also called Dave - were in Reykjavik at the end of their stay, the show started in the Icelandic capital with shots designed to introduce us to the place, with its multicoloured buildings arranged around a working harbour.
Then it was off along the south coast of the island in their hired Suzuki 4x4. First there was a snowmobile excursion towards Mount Katla, overlooking the ice-capped Eyjafjallajökull volcano which caused flights chaos across Europe when it erupted in 2010. Dave told us that Katla - which is covered with ice up to 700 metres deep - is overdue to erupt but fortunately stayed quiet.
He wore a ‘What is it about Eyjafjallajökull that you don’t understand?’ T-shirt for his evening with us - a nod to the fact that many people find Icelandic words difficult to pronounce, including himself.
They were lucky to experience good weather, despite the trip being in February and March - making for some stunning photographs of the spectacular scenery. Dave and his companion spent time in the south coast towns of Vik and Höfn and at Jökulsárlón - with its ‘diamond’ beach of glacial fragments littering the black sand.
It was getting close to the end of their visit and they still hadn’t been able to access a walkable glacier so they made a specific effort on the final day and, in fading light, finally got their crampons on to realise their dream.
Dave completed his presentation with stunning shots of the aurora borealis - northern lights - which he had also managed to capture during his stay. A memorable end to a memorable show.

Club Meeting 13 April 2018

Sheila Giles DPAGB has visited the club previously with sequences illustrating her exotic holidays in search of wildlife. From steamy jungles through arid deserts and frozen tundra Sheila has taken her camera to incredible places. But this visit Sheila entitled Beyond Wildlife and demonstrated her ability to capture shots across a wide range of subjects and mould them into a series of captivating shows that have earned her medals and ribbons at many national and international competitions.
Her show started with ”Arthur’s Secret” and was based on the medals and mementos of her father-in-law found after his death. Arthur had been taken prisoner by the Japanese forces and sent to work on the infamous Burma railway. Photographs, and drawings by one his colleagues, revealed to the audience the conditions of the POW camp, the friends who didn’t survive, and the memories that remained Arthur’s secret for the remainder of his life.
The mood changed as we shared Sheila’s 2017 birthday present- a passenger in a microlight aircraft accompanied with her camera and witnessed by her husband flying alongside in a light aircraft and taking additional photographs of the flight. Movie sequences and still photographs combined to involve the audience in a memorable birthday treat.
The final sequence was “The Happy House”, and was the story of a retired Blackpool landlady Sue Hayward and her husband Dave who settled in a somewhat remote African village in Kenya and started a primary school there. This extended to include a nursery school and is in process of adding a secondary school. Sue and Dave acquired waifs and strays from across the region as people recognised the safe environment they offered and an orphanage grew on the site. Sue was determined that the home would be a proper home and not just an establishment taking in homeless, abandoned, or unwanted children. Sue and Dave became legal guardians of their children and at last count had a family of 63 children - all brothers and sisters regardless of where they came from. The love that Sheila captured in her camera was evident to the audience who remained spellbound as the final credits were on screen.
Carefully scripted narratives, superb photography and complementary music combined into a series of riveting sequences and left the audience wanting more. As one member said: “ If the show had lasted till midnight I would still be wanting it to go on.”

Club Meeting 23 March 2018

OUR last-but-one monthly competition of the season was eagerly anticipated and once again showed the variety and quality which members can produce.
The judge, Frank Sharp from Todmorden Photographic Society, started with the small prints - no larger than A4 size - choosing Freesia by George Spence as the winner. Mary Braithwaite took second and third with Dusk over Windermere and Arctic Cathedral, Tromso, Through a Frosty Window.
Brian Stowell took the top spot in the large prints with nature shot Pelican Brief, Stephen Riley was second with portrait Nurse Wolf and Harry Emmett was third with Hill Climb.
After a short break for a hot drink and biscuits, we reconvened for the projected images, which saw Tony Hopkinson’s nature shot Gathering Nectar take first place. A striking picture by Ashley Hale featuring shadows and brightly coloured stripes was second and The Sacred Heart, Paris - domes of a building against a bright blue sky - was third for Martha Caramitsos.
Frank had obviously spent some time going through the images beforehand and gave constructive comments about their respective merits. He was thanked for his efforts by vice president Harry Emmett.

Club Meeting 9 March 2018

Members were entertained with a feast of black and white when we were visited by Andy Marland at our last club meeting.
Andy brought along his show ‘mechanical landscapes’, in which he shared with us his love of contrasty, industrial monochrome images.
Concentrating on the North - Lancashire, Yorkshire, Cumbria and North Wales - he projected a number of photos from various locations, explaining what he had been trying to achieve and how he used different types of shots - such as wide angle scenes, close-ups, framing subjects and men at work - to portray different aspects of the location and give a more rounded understanding to the viewer of what the location was like than one or two isolated or similar images would have.
Among the locations were Huncoat power station, a slate mine at Dinorwic, coal mines, cooling towers and mills in varying stages of decay.
Some were in colour but the vast majority were monochrome - shown using our new projector part paid for by sales of our Accrington 2018 calendar.
Andy also brought along a small selection of prints and two books he has produced on the subject.
He proved to have a good eye for a picture and his use of angles and perspective produced some interesting and entertaining collections of work.

Club Meeting 23 February 2018

In our monthly competition, judge Ken Rowlatt, from Rochdale, did a great job of looking through our images and giving feedback about their respective merits.
Starting with the small prints, no bigger than A4 size, Ken picked out Concentration by George Spence as the winner - capturing a potter putting the finishing touches to a bowl.
Night shot Distant Lights, showing not only illumination in a distant town but also stars in the sky, was second for Ashley Hale and Ashley also took third spot with The Power of Nature - a pleasant landscape criss-crossed with pylons.
Two portraits by Stephen Riley - Jynx and Glance Back - filled the top two places in the large prints, with Martin Yates taking third for House in the Wood.
After a short break for a hot drink and biscuits, we returned for the projected digital images, where Ashley Hale once again did well as he won with a striking image of a swan titled Under the Bridge. Paul Wright was second with Queen Street Mill worker and John Hurst was placed third with Whale Bone over Birsay.

Club Meeting 16 February 2018

A view of the world in black and white as seen by Sue Berry of Bolton. Stunning images accompanied with atmospheric and emotional music kept the audience entranced.
Sue introduced herself and her interests in a prepared commentary from her seat amidst the audience before any images were projected. The presentation created an intimate atmosphere in the audience and then the music took over accompanying a sequence of strong images on an architectural theme. Abstract shots of “sphericity” Birmingham immediately captured the attention of the audience, and continued with scenes of industrial sites in and around Lancashire before exploring details of buildings new and old in Manchester, Liverpool and London. Dramatic lighting and creative angles gave an insight into the appreciation Sue has of her surroundings.
The Yorkshire Dales, Anglesey and Scotland provided opportunities for Sue to explore the landscapes and present to the audience another aspect of her photographic skills. Many of the locations were close to home and featured Mary’s Shell at Cleveleys, Fleetwood marshes, the Wirral and Belmont before extending her journeys to North Wales, the Lake District and the Scottish glens.
After a short break the audience were treated to hidden scenes as Sue embarked on an urban exploration of buildings abandoned, derelict and awaiting demolition. Victorian hospitals, power stations, country mansions were photographed and the stark, contrasty images captured the present state of neglect and dereliction while hinting at the previous glory and life that all the buildings had.
The rather sombre mood was lifted by the next sequence of graffiti and street photography. Works by Banksy, Akse, Stewy and Doc illustrated the art freely painted and displayed for everyone to enjoy. Some of the artists in the process of painting new artwork were shown in rare moments. In spite of the artwork generally being extremely bright and colourful, their projection as monochrome images enabled people to appreciate the strong lines of the designs and the strong composition of the photographs.
A series of nature shots brought the show to a close. Meerkats, kittens, otters and flamingos were presented in incredible definition, while waterfalls were depicted in a more sympathetic light with longer exposures producing lovely milky water indicating the movement of the water on a still photograph. Flower heads and leaves completed this collection of natural subjects and provided a calming conclusion.
It was all credit to Sue Berry’s mastery of her camera and her understanding of her subjects that the absence of colour made the images stronger. The music by Jean-Michel Jarre and Mike Oldfield complemented the fabulous images and the audience was of one accord that Sue should make a return visit as soon as possible.

Club Meeting 2 February 2018

We had another great talk, this time by Jeff Cowling, who visited to give us his fascinating life story accompanied by pictures that while not ‘strong’ in a competitive sense aptly illustrated the moments and mood of his travels around the world.
An engineer for most of his life, Jeff was in Africa as a young man in the 1960s, staying in Dar es Salaam in present-day Tanzania. He told of his exploits during those times, including travelling to the Victoria Falls with a caravan and the day he went with friends to Kenya on its first day of independence from the UK.
He also spent time in other African countries - helping to construct the continent’s first motorway lighting in the process - but returned home to the UK because of a health scare.
Struggling to find a job he launched his own company and – his thirst for adventure and desire to see the world undimmed – his holidays seemed to be spent covering as much of the globe as possible.
The second of two world cruises saw him tour Central America, see the Argentinian fiords, travel up the Amazon and spend a total of 108 days at sea before returning home to Pendle. He also realised his dream of sailing through the Panama Canal.
Jeff had done and seen such a lot in his life that the audience could be forgiven for feeling their travels were tame in comparison.

Club Meeting 19 January 2018

TREES, buildings, people and wildlife were among the winners at our first monthly competition of the year.
Split into three categories, each image was commented on by judge Mike Stanley from Blackburn Camera Club, who then marked them out of 10 depending on their relative merits.
Composite picture Going, going, gone - showing three stages of a man diving into water in one photograph - gave Mary Braithwaite the top spot in the small prints, with a shot by George Spence looking down Avenue Parade in Accrington taking second place and rooftop factory shot Over the Mill, by Michael Birkett, placing third.
In the large prints it was the turn of Paul Wright to take the honours - Harvest Mouse in first place and a portrait of army sergeant Andy Anderton in second. Mary Braithwaite was third with Bamburgh Castle.
The projected digital images section saw Barry Noon win with monochrome landscape The Kinskill Loner. A vintage vehicle part way up a hillside track, entitled ‘I know a shortcut, he said’ put Harry Emmett CPAGB in second place and a shot of Lancaster Priory Church put Jim Robinson in third.
Interrupted part way through by a short break for a cuppa and a biscuit, the evening was an enjoyable one and a chance for members to test out their images to see what others think of them.

Club Meeting 12 January 2018

THIS was our AGM, which saw established members of the committee reinstated, plus a new name added to the team and others bowing out. John Lovell is the new face on the committee, taking over from Jean Emmett as programme secretary. Ian Kitchin ADPS remains as president, with Harry Emmett CPAGB re-elected as vice president and John Barton ARPS continuing as treasurer.
Martin Yates decided to combine retiring from work at the end of December with retiring from his post as secretary after about a decade. Alongside general secretarial duties, he had worked hard in other tasks - including leading the club’s successful application for charity status two years ago. His post as yet remains unfilled, along with that of external competition secretary after the resignation of Oliver Dorée CPAGB. Mary Braithwaite will continue in the role of monthly competition secretary but only until April. Annette Lord remains as social secretary and Jean Emmett as auditor, with Nigel Airey and Jim Robinson still in charge of organising the annual competition and the Hyndburn and Portfolio competitions. The three remaining committee posts were filled by Oliver Dorée CPAGB, Martha Caramitsos LRPS and Wayne Rushworth. Stewart Heath agreed to take over from Martin Yates in organising the refreshments at the weekly meetings. The annual subscription remains at £30 for workers and £20 for retired, with weekly subs continuing at £3.

Club Meeting 5 January 2018

OUR first meeting of the year saw members entertained with a host of colour prints from the Inter Club Photographic Alliance (ICPA) which achieved high marks at the association’s annual competition.
The ICPA consists of 17 member clubs mainly in east Lancashire, and the high-quality prints were testament to the talent of the area’s photographers and their imagination in the variety of subjects they choose to point a camera at.
Along with a brew and a biscuit, members were also encouraged to put their name down for a number of roles which will become vacant when the club holds its AGM next week, as well as a reminder about our January dinner, which will take place at Sykeside Country House Hotel this weekend and is a chance to enjoy a meal and a natter in a relaxed setting.

Club Meeting 8 December 2017

IN our last monthly competition of the year, Barry Noon took first in the projected images with Sunset at Durdle Door and John Hurst's At the Going Down of the Sun was placed second by judge Colin Douglas. Oliver Dorée was third with View from Bridestones Rocks.
The judge chose Mary Braithwaite's monochrome Cramond Island Causeway as the winner in the large prints, with Rusty Blue Metalwork placing Oliver Dorée in second and Tulips putting Wendy Stowell in third.
Early Morning Walker gave John Lovell the top spot in the small prints, with Tewkesbury Abbey putting Mary Braithwaite in second and Inverrarry giving Jonathan Tustin third.

Exhibition Opening 1 December 2017

MEMBERS attended the opening of a national photographic exhibition at the Haworth Art Gallery. The Photographic Alliance of Great Britain (PAGB) show represents the best images from camera clubs across the country, with members of these clubs - of which Accrington is one - entering regional competitions. The best from each region are then submitted to the national competition and from the several thousand originally entered, 680 prints form the national selection. Of these, just 150 are selected to create the PAGB exhibition.
It is the second time that Accrington has hosted this exhibition, which can be seen at four venues nationally but the Haworth Art Gallery is the only venue in the North West. The exhibition runs at the Haworth until January 28, with the gallery open from 12 noon Tuesday to Sunday (closed Mondays).

Club Meeting 24 November 2017

WE were treated to memorable bird images from far and wide recently thanks to a visit from Maxwell Law, who is not a stranger to this area after living in Burnley for more than a decade but now resides in Devon.
Formerly a mental health nurse, he and his wife Marion sold up after they retired seven years ago and bought a motorhome, travelling to the Orkneys and the Algarve and countless places in between. Maxwell has taken a photograph a day since then - some landscapes and other subjects but mainly birds after having become interested in them aged about 14.
He started his talk by briefly talking about Gestalt Principles, a psychological theory behind how humans see organised patterns - such as symmetry - and perceive connections such as similarity, and showed examples of these ideas in his photos before widening into a general commentary on his images.
The vast majority of the photographs were projected but he also brought along a small selection of prints. It was a highly entertaining show which was appreciated by the assembled members.

Club Meeting 17 November 2017

OUR monthly competition was the usual mix of largely high quality varied images both in prints and projected images.
Barry Noon took first and second in the projected images with The Langdale Valley - a monochrome landscape - and canalside shot Daisyfield Mill. Paul Wright was third with street scene Wet Walk to Turtle Bay.
Judge Adrian Hendley from Colne Camera Club chose Wendy Stowell’s portrait The Frenchman as the winner in the large prints, and two other portraits - Lady Waiting, and Victoria and Violin - by Stephen Riley were second and third respectively.
Yet another portrait, this time Chloe from Manchester Arndale by John Lovell, won the small prints and two images by George Spence - Approaching Ripon Cathedral and Remembering a Day from Long Ago - took the other two top places.

Club Meeting 10 November 2017

TONIGHT we held our annual Hyndburn Trophy and Portfolio competitions.
The Hyndburn Trophy is presented for a set of three prints taken within the Hyndburn boundary. This year’s competition was well supported, with a number of entries from members.
John Lovell won with his shots of Accrington landmarks after dark, which he had entitled Restorations in Progress and Completed. Hyndburn Cemeteries put Ian Kitchin in second and third was Michael Burkett with more photos of Accrington. One of these monochrome images from Michael was chosen as the best image in the whole competition.
The Portfolio contest was in two sections, one for projected digital images and the other for prints. Each entry is a set of seven images on a theme of the member’s choice.
Again both sections were keenly contested, with a large variety of themes and entries.
George Spence won the print section with his theme Readers, depicting seven people in various candid situations. Nigel Airey was second with his offering of a set of seven prints called Strictly Folk Dancing, and Alf Hoole was third with a compilation print showing seven images of a steam engine from Bolton Steam Museum.
Winner of the projected images was Barry Noon with his set of pictures taken at Bridestones, a collection of interestingly-shaped rocks above Burnley and Todmorden. Second in this section was Jim Robinson’s selection of images of Liverpool, while third-placed Brian Stowell took us to Oulton Park and his set of images portraying high speed on two and for wheels.

Club Meeting 27 October 2017

MEMBERS looked to try out their latest good images at our meeting last Friday as Mike Lawrence from Oldham Photographic Society came to judge our monthly competition.
Looking at the projected digital images first, Mike carefully considered each of the pictures in turn before selecting a simple yet striking image - Stem by Kieran McManus - as the winner. Lonely Tree by Barry Noon was picked out in second place and George Spence's Ford F600 Down on the Farm was chosen as third.
After a short break in which everyone enjoyed a brew and a biscuit, Mike then moved on to the prints. In the small prints, George Spence had further success as Mike chose his portrait I've Seen You in first place and his image of Saltburn Pier in second. Platform 3 put Jonathan Tustin in third place.
In the large prints it was the turn of Wendy Stowell to finish top of the pile, as Mike chose her image of a horse up to his neck in water - probably at Appleby Horse Fair - as his favourite image. He placed Brian Stowell's striking monochrome image Bodyscape in second and a portrait by Stephen Riley, Wild Child, in third.
Mike told us all that he talks too much, but his comments were in fact sensible and constructive, helping us to reappraise our images and providing an entertaining evening.

Oldham Mono Print Comp 2017

We achieved a respectable third place in this contest against some stiff competition, with South Manchester taking the top spot and Rochdale Photographic Society in second. Artistic Harbour by Martin Yates amassed 18 points for Accrington, with Paul Wright's Singing Ringing Tree and Rutherford Bridge by John Barton ARPS each getting 17 points to put us well on our way. Prints by Alf Hoole, John Lovell and Oliver Dorée also contributed to the total.

Club Meeting 6 October 2017

Poignant scenes of the Western Front greeted us when we were visited by Dianne Mason, from Nelson, who has become fascinated with the stories and landscape of this part of Belgium and northern France.
In a series of projected images, interspersed with short AV sequences, Dianne gave a quite personal account of her journey of discovery - which has seen her visit the region at least a dozen times.
Her first visit included popular sites such as Ypres and Tyne Cot but as she became hooked she gravitated to more remote, less frequented places.
A self-confessed videographer rather than a photographer, Dianne apologised for the compositional quality of her photos but there was no need as they captured the essence of what she was trying to convey.
She told of her excitement at having the freedom to photograph and video what she wished at deserted sites without restriction, although care needed to be taken as live mines are still in the ground in some areas. She also expressed her amazement at some of the things that she found piled up and left to rot for almost 100 years - including rifles and hollow shell cases. She said she got away with more in terms of help and access because she was a woman travelling on her own.
Her enthusiasm for her subject showed through in the dialogue which accompanied her images - from museums, villages, woods, grave sites and monuments - including the Accrington Pals memorial at Sheffield Memorial Park, Serre.
She showed how German grave sites are not as beautified as the English ones because it is not in their culture to make them pretty, and included humorous anecdotes - such as making a big effort before her first trip to learn French and then realising that it was Belgium so they speak Flemish and most people speak English anyway!
Dianne showed her own character and that of the area, providing an interesting and memorable talk that provoked memories for those who have been to the region and gave a flavour of it for those who haven't.

Club Meeting 29 September 2017

IMAGES great and small gave Paul Williamson a hard task as members found out the results of the first monthly competition of the season.
As judge, the Leyland-based photographer had to choose a top three in three categories - small prints, large prints and projected digital images.
This he did at our weekly meeting last Friday over the course of about an hour and a half, taking each image in turn and giving his thoughts on their respective merits.
Stephen Riley took first place in the large prints with portrait Lady Laura, putting Paul Wright’s Singing Ringing Tree in Mono into second and Harry Emmett’s colourful street candid Shush I’m Busy into third.
It was the turn of John Hurst to shine in the projected images, with his ceiling detail entitled He’s Watching You achieving the top score of 10. A mono image of Blea Tarn by Barry Noon was placed second and another monochrome - showing steam from an old loco - put Martha Caramitsos into third.
In the small prints, Jonathan Tustin took the top slot with Aspects of Berlin. George Spence took second and third with beach candid Dreaming of Fish and Chips, and Does it Make Your Mouth Tingle? - two young girls enjoying ice lolly treats.

Club Meeting 22 September 2017

Daryl Giles, the L&CPU judge for our recent annual competition and exhibition, had the unenviable task of commenting on the 119 prints that were selected for exhibition in the Haworth Art Gallery, Accrington.
Daryl last saw the prints in May shortly after returning home from a honeymoon touring the USA. In spite of the time that had elapsed, many of the prints were still fresh in his memory and he made comments on each one. There were only a couple of prints entered in the Beginners section so these were grouped with the Advanced Class for judging. However Daryl singled out these prints for detailed comments and pointed out some very simple techniques to raise them to a much higher standard. Many of the exhibited prints will now be used in external competitions.
Shortly we will submit prints to the Oldham CC monochrome competition where we will compete against about 16 other clubs in the area. The entry from each club must consist of one print from each of six members. The marks awarded to each print will be accumulated into a club score and the club with the highest combined score becomes the winner.
During the evening Daryl made frequent remarks on the high quality of the images and the professional mounting and presentation. The monochrome prints were especially praised as they showed the infinite care with which the camera had been employed in recording the fullest tonal range possible. The architectural and ecclesiastic photographs displayed the maximum detail from the bright highlights to the densest shadows and several of these were in contention for the Walton Shield for the best monochrome print in the whole competition. A photograph of the nave at Norwich Cathedral by John Barton ARPS finally took the honours.
The colour prints showed a wide range of subject matter and treatments to catch the judge’s eye. Carefully taken natural history subjects, stunning portraits and dreamlike prints all put their message forward and awakened a wide range of emotions. Vibrant colours are now possible from the latest digital printers but it was the more muted colours of “Boats at Rest” that was declared the best colour print of the competition.

Club Meeting 15 September 2017

WE were visited by Graham Dean, who until recently lived in Darwen but now resides in Fleetwood.
An accomplished photographer who has been taking pictures for many years, Graham presented a series of prints on a number of themes under the heading of ‘Elementary Dabblings’.
This is because many of the prints were accompanied by projected screen shots of Photoshop Elements, showing how he had arrived at the finished image from the raw one.
He told us that he enjoyed manipulating the images in the computer almost more than going out and taking the pictures in the first place, and told us all of the images he showed us had been accepted into national or international competitions – with most of them being ‘one-hit-wonders’.
Added into the show were comments made about the photos by members of Pendle Print Circle.
The night was an insight into the mind of a creative photographer.

Welcome back!

We returned from our summer break with a look-back to our annual competition in the capable hands of Graham Currey.
Graham, from Stockport, judged the projected digital images in the contest, the results of which were shown in our annual exhibition at Haworth Art Gallery over the summer.
With about 170 submissions, it was a tremendous task to attempt to discuss each one in detail in less than two hours. With time running out, Graham had to cut down the comments in the championship section to just the commended images and award winners.
But it was a sterling effort and the audience appreciated both his efforts in trying to cover all the images and the manner in which he appraised each one.
Our opening night was followed last Friday by a look at other people’s work in the form of entries to the annual competition run by the Inter-Club Photographic Alliance (ICPA). This is a group of 17 photographic clubs, mainly based in east Lancashire, of which Accrington is a member.
Again, what we viewed were the projected digital entries and it was good to see the variety of images produced locally.

We have produced an Accrington calendar for 2018 using archive pictures by Garth Dawson, who was a well known photographer in the town and a life member of the camera club who sadly passed away last December.
The calendar is on a 'then and now' theme. Each calendar month has been sponsored by local businesses to cover the production costs, with the camera club members contributing the ‘now’ photos.
Garth, who lived in Accrington on Queens Road West, died in December 2016, aged 92. His daughters Barbara Milne and Judith Murphy have kindly given us permission to reproduce his photographs.
His pictures in the calendar, all monochrome, include Accrington fish market in the 1950s, Accrington Conservative Club in 1974, the Grammar School in 1975, Peel Street bus station, Accrington Stanley, the railway station in the 1930s and New Princes cinema in the 1960s. See our homepage for more details.
The camera club is a registered charity and money from the sale of the calendars will go to club funds.
The A3-size quality calendars are available to buy for £7 from the following venues: The card stall in Accrington Market Hall, Clayton Co-op, Rishton Co-op, Haworth Art Gallery and Hyndburn Heritage Centre in Accrington Arndale. Only 170 have been produced, so get yours while you can!

Competition Success 1 September 2017

ONE of our members, John Barton ARPS, has won the Toulmin Shield for best monochrome print at the Inter-Club Photographic Aliiance annual competition. Despite the club getting unremarkable marks overall, John scooped the top score from judges Carol and Tony Dilger with one of his architectural interior shots, a genre in which he has long specialised. Congratulations John!

Club Meeting 7 July 2017

HE may be a familiar face, but most members learned something about club president Ian Kitchin that they didn’t know during our annual president’s night on Friday.
Ian chose to show some old slides, the earliest going back to the 1960s, which took us through his early days of photography as a child and at university in Sheffield.
Ian has always taken a lot of his photos local to his home in Rishton, and as well as some early shots he also showed the panel of 15 large prints, made over a number of years, with which he recently received his Associateship of the Disabled Photographers Society.
We also had correspondence recently from none other than the Duke of Edinburgh after vice president Harry Emmett sent a retirement card following the duke’s decision to cease carrying out public duties at the age of 96. It may sound like a random thing to do but the Royal is actually an honorary member of the club after being invited to submit prints to our annual exhibition in 1977 in celebration of the Queen’s silver jubilee. Well known for taking photographs at the time and also president of the World Wildlife Fund, he prepared a number of framed monochrome prints of pictures he had taken during a trip photographing birds on the Hilbre Islands in the Dee estuary and they were included in the exhibition that year.

Disability Award 17 June 2017

Our president Ian Kitchin has been awarded the title Associate of the Disabled Photographers Society (ADPS) after submitting a body of work and having it assessed in a similar way to that of the Royal Photographic Society awards. Ian's panel of 15 large prints on the subject 'Within one mile of home' included landscapes, buildings, trains and people. Ian, who is partially sighted, said the idea for the theme came about because he wanted to make the point that "it was not necessary to visit the Grand Canyon or make an African safari to find varied and challenging subjects which yield interesting and stimulating images." The successful images can be found on his website . Congratulations Ian!

Exhibition Opening 9 June 2017

OUR annual exhibition was opened with a preview night at Haworth Art Gallery featuring Hyndburn mayor Peter Britcliffe, mayoress - his daughter Sara - and president of the Lancashire and Cheshire Photographic Union (L&CPU) Garth Tighe.
The mayor officially opened the exhibition after a short address in which he professed that his photographic skills were not as good as that of his daughter but that they had both enjoyed their walk around the gallery viewing our creations.
Mr Tighe addressed the audience, saying how much he too had enjoyed viewing the prints and talked about the longevity of Accrington Camera Club, which was established in 1902 and has exhibited at the Haworth for most of that time. Our president, Ian Kitchin, also thanked members for their efforts in both making the images and putting the exhibition together.
Members also eagerly viewed our collective efforts, which comprise almost 120 prints across three rooms and a corridor at the gallery, many of which were winners or commended in our recent annual exhibition. In more than one room there is also a screen display of digital images entered into the annual competition for visitors to view. The bar was also open, enhancing the event as a social occasion.
Visitors can view the exhibition during normal gallery opening hours until Sunday, July 30 - with free entry and parking.

Results Success 29 April 2017

The overall winners of our monthly competitions throughout the year have been announced, with each member's top six scores counting towards a final total. George Spence topped the list in the small prints (with five firsts and one second place!) and Wendy Stowell and Stephen Riley shared the honours in the large prints on a score of 57.5. A very close contest in the DPIs saw three members tie for first place - Kieran McManus, Ian Musk and Jonathan Tustin. Just 5.5 points separated the top 11 placings! Congratulations to all.

Club Meeting 31 March 2017

FLOWERS, mountains and history in the present were among the successful subjects at our latest monthly competition.
Martha Caramitsos was flying high as her scenic shot Mountain High took first place in the projected digital images, with Anthony Sanderson’s Electrifying – an old control board of dials and switches – taking second and Orchid by Denis Tobin third.
Invited judge Daryl Giles, from Lytham St Annes Photographic Society, then chose Mary Braithwaite’s Do you want to sit in the sun or the shade? as winner of the small prints, with two shots by Michael Birkett – Entering Weavers Triangle and Anemone – taking the runners’ up places. Eccentric on Lilly was a winner for Stephen Riley in the large prints, with his monochrome portrait Distinguished Gent taking second place and Wendy Stowell’s Boats at Rest coming in third.
Last Friday it was our turn to look at other people’s successful images as the club hosted a print folio from the Lancashire and Cheshire Photographic Union (L&CPU). Featuring images in colour and mono that had scored well in the L&CPU’s annual competition from members of clubs across the two counties, they prompted a lot of discussion from members.

Club Meeting 17 March 2017

MEMBERS braved wet and windy weather to see a selection of prints by two seasoned photographers who have been members of the club for many years.
John Barton and Alf Hoole stepped in at short notice when our advertised visiting lecturer was unable to attend, and each treated us to a feast of prints that were strikingly different to each other’s - despite them being mainly of similar subjects and often taken on a joint outing!
First up was John, who took us through a talk that he has given to a number of other clubs featuring church interiors and landscapes in monochrome. He started off with prints from Lincoln and Wells cathedrals, and explained how he bracketed exposures and then used HDR to cope with the contrast range while creating a natural result.
Other interiors showed Norwich cathedral and the Italian chapel on Orkney but the rest of the show was landscape, much but not exclusively in Scotland - South Uist, Skye, Loch Etive, Pettico Wick and the stones of Callanish on the isle of Lewis.
One series of pictures showed the same view in 1979, 1990, 2000 and 2005 and how things had changed over time.
Via Dunstanburgh castle on the Northumberland coast we then came closer to home - Long Meg stone circle near Penrith, Back Tor in the Peak District, and a striking shot of Ribblehead viaduct with only the underneath of the arches lit by sunlight. All his prints were digital, although some had started life as film and the negs scanned.
After a short tea break it was then the turn of Alf, who brought along a mixed bag of recently produced prints he had ‘found lying around’ at home. But as you would expect from Alf they were far from rejects - taking in the coastline of Swanage in Dorset, Elgol on Skye, Brinkburn Priory in Northumberland and three ‘people pictures’ at reenactment events and country shows. These were all monochrome. He also showed a few which he had printed in both colour and mono, for the audience to compare. These included the lady chapel at Liverpool Anglican cathedral and the canal at Hebden Bridge. He then finished with some prints on a theme and these were darkroom monochrome prints, taken before he went totally digital. One was a series of four pictures of a gnarled old tree another a set of eight monochromes picking out details of the Fleetwood wrecks. A third, this time digital, showed sections of the outside of Liverpool’s Catholic cathedral, taken on a club trip last year.

ICPA PDI Knockout 11 March 2017

WE came joint seventh out of 15 clubs in the Interclub PDI Knockout, with Oliver Dorée’s Mont St Michel coming in joint second place. Congratulations to him and all the members who helped the club put in a strong performance.

Club Meeting 10 March 2017

OUR spring auction of photographic and computer items was a massive success, with £250 raised for club funds - the greatest amount achieved in recent years. In announcing the final total, co-auctioneer and club vice president Harry Emmett said: “Thanks to all of you for your generosity in bringing all that treasure and for digging deep into your pockets to buy it back!”

Club Meeting 3 March 2017

MEMBERS were lucky enough to have the benefit of professional photographer Reg Whittam’s experience when he attended a recent club night to share with us his portrait lighting skills.
Reg bought the Garth Dawson Studio in 1992 when Garth wanted to retire and had worked with Garth for some years beforehand.
The whole of his evening with us focused on using just one modelling light. Initially a studio light was used because this had the advantage of members being able to see the changes on the sitter as the source of the lighting was moved up and down, right and left, forward and backward. The light itself was diffused by putting a honeycomb mesh in front of it to soften the effect. The light was then turned away from the sitter and bounced back using a brolly and this gave a wide spread of light, illuminating not only the sitter but spilling onto the background.
Reg also showed that the position of the light could render the background all shades from pure white to jet black. All using just the one light.
Throughout the demonstration Reg took photographs and reminded his audience of the effects of moving the light by projecting the photos onto a screen and describing the light setting to achieve the particular effect.
Then Reg dispensed with the studio light and put on his camera a small flashgun such as most people get for their digital camera. A series of photos illustrated the different effects achieved by turning the flashgun away from the person being photographed and bouncing the light off wall or ceiling.
Finally the little flashgun was removed from the camera and put on a stand close by. Again the gun was directed away from the sitter into a brolly for a softer spread of light. The photos were again projected for members to compare the very obvious differences made by small adjustments to the light.
The effects from a single light source was a real eye opener and demonstrated the extensive skills that Reg has acquired over the past 30 years in lighting a person to their best advantage. A chance remark from a client is all that Reg needs to set the lighting to achieve the portrait that the person will enjoy for years to come.

Club Meeting 10 February 2017

THOUGHT-PROVOKING street photography arrived at the club courtesy of Dave Mason, from Canterbury, who visited as part of a 'northern tour'.
His 'windows of opportunity' talk concentrated on Dave's ability to capture moments which - despite being random and sometimes incredibly brief - somehow form successful photographs.
It could be the juxtaposition between people and the urban landscape, or interaction between people, or sometimes people doing something humorous or downright weird - Dave has been all over the UK and places such as Paris with his small, discreet camera.
Dave explained that he tries to take pictures without people being aware of the camera because doesn't like to be invasive and wants the situations to be natural rather than staged or posed. He describes his images as 'honest' with very little post-processing.
He feels that street photography should have a message and cleverly links people with their environment, or has them at odds with it, to gain a reaction from the viewer. He enjoys colour harmony - where people are wearing similar colours as each other and key parts of the picture - or people wearing neutral colours, so they don't dominate.
Although taken in an urban landcape, towns and the seaside were just as likely to feature as cities - but Dave confessed that if he was forced to choose just one place in the world to take pictures it would be London's Oxford Circus.
He originally was a landscape photographer and gravitated to architecture. At first he didn't want people in his shots but eventually started to include them as part of the scene and the idea grew on him.
Most of his show consisted of his street work but he also included a couple of other sequences on different themes, one of which was 'wildwoods' where he had taken multiple shots in camera - nine on each frame - to produce distinctive patterns.
Dave demonstrated a great 'seeing eye' and complemented his show with an interesting narrative to provide us with an entertaining evening.

Club Meeting 3 February 2017

A HISTORY OF Withnell Fold was the subject chosen by Boyd Harris of Chorley Photographic Society when he visited the club.
Lots of archive photographs accompanied the many facts he had unearthed to chart the development of the village, which lies adjacent to the Blackburn-Chorley road.
Withnell Fold was a model village- predating Port Sunlight and Saltaire - and was created by Thomas Blinkhorn Parke in 1843. Thomas was the son of a textile mill owner who had a mill on the site but was pessimistic about the future prosperity of cotton manufacture. The mill was duly replaced by a paper mill to supply the rapidly expanding need for books and newspapers of a more widely literate society. The village was built at the same time as the mill to provide housing for the planned workforce. Thomas at this time was just 19 years old. Various community buildings included a school, a chapel and a reading room where workers could educate themselves and keep abreast of national and international events.
The living conditions were superior to those found elsewhere in the industrial towns of Lancashire and the wages paid at the paper mill were also far above the average. Women who worked in the mill earned roughly the same as menfolk employed in the local towns.
The mill was eventually taken over by Wiggins Teape in 1890 .The Parke family continued its association with the mill for some time after the change of ownership and the mill continued to make fine paper until its closure in 1967.
Many of Boyd’s photographs showed the people who worked in the mill and most were fully identified with names. Other photographs charted the progress of the village primary school, where Boyd was himself a pupil, and we enjoyed trying to pick him out of the assembled group.
The evening provided a very pertinent use of photography to record everyday life and provide an historical archive. Considerable research enabled yet further information to be added to the story of Withnell Fold. Many of the original documents and photographs have since been lost or destroyed following the mill closure, and the subsequent mergers and takeovers within the paper industry.
Boyd’s records have become the only documented illustrated history of a unique local village.

Club Outing 22 January 2017

Bolton Steam Museum was the latest destination for our photographic outings, with a small group of members being warmly welcomed to the volunteer-run heritage venue where we were able to take pictures of the restored former mill engines.
The museum – run by the Northern Mill Engine Society – houses one of the largest collections of working mill steam engines in the UK and although none of them were under steam at the time, some were turned by electric motor enabling us to capture the movement of these machines. For those not running, we were able to go behind the barriers to have an unobstructed view of the workings on show.

Club Meeting 20 January 2017

A WIDE assortment of subjects and styles caught the eye of the judge at Accrington Camera Club’s latest monthly competition, which also saw a number of different people make the top three.
A close-up image of a frog in a pond gave Wayne Rushworth first place in the projected digital images and it was Nigel Airey who topped the large print section with his well-worked effort, Strictly Spanish Folk Dancing. Jonathan Tustin’s dramatic New Zealand waterfall shot, Milford Sound, took third in the projected digital images and it was Oliver Dorée who was awarded third spot in the small prints with Weathered, a monochrome featuring old pieces of wood.
Judge John Fletcher, from Ribblesdale Camera Club, chose two images by George Spence - one showing the interior of St Leonard’s Church in Downham and the other a street shot entitled Market Coffee Break - as first and second in the small prints, Wendy Stowell was second in the large prints with atmospheric A Gentleman’s Journey and Stephen Riley was third with portrait Peaseblossom.
Re-enactment picture At Ease, Soldier! put Tony Hopkinson in second place in the projected digital images to complete an entertaining evening.

Club Meeting 13 January 2017

Long-standing member Ian Kitchin was installed as the club's new president at an AGM which looked back over the highs and lows of the last 12 months.
One high point was the club successfully gaining charity status in January, which as departing president Wayne Rushworth reminded members, opens up avenues to additional funding.
A major low point was the death in December of Garth Dawson, a member and supporter of the club for many years. On his 90th birthday two years ago, Garth was made an honorary life member and his name will live on in the Garth Dawson Trophy awarded every year for best portrait print in the annual competition.
Accounts distributed to members showed that, unusually, the club made a slight loss during the year and in his financial report, treasurer John Barton said this was due to creeping costs over successive years. Annual subs had not increased since 2007, nor weekly ones since 2009, so after a discussion it was decided to increase weekly subs from £2 to £3 to hopefully return us to surplus next year.
Club secretary Martin Yates said that membership at the end of the year stood at 42 and president Wayne said he was pleased to see new members - not just to the club but to photography - improve as the season progressed.
It was also explained by Martin that both the national federation (PAGB) and regional one (L&CPU) had voted to change projection sizes for their competitions from 1400x1050 pixels to 1600x1200 this year and it had been decided that Accrington would adopt these sizes from the March monthly competition onwards.
It was also stated that the club was going to need new equipment such as a new projector soon, which was going to be expensive, and a discussion was held over how this money could be raised.
The new committee was agreed, with many of the names unchanged. Harry Emmett remained as vice-president, with Martin Yates as secretary, John Barton as treasurer, Oliver Doree as external competitions secretary, Mary Braithwaite as monthly competition secretary and Annette Lord as social secretary. Anthony Sanderson retired as programme secretary and Jamie Holden as annual competition secretary, with these positions still needing to be filled. Martha Caramitsos remained as a committee member and Jean Emmett as auditor, with Wayne Rushworth also remaining on the committee.
Ian Kitchin, Harry Emmett, Oliver Doree, John Barton, Wayne Rushworth and Martin Yates were elected as trustees.
The meeting finished with a pie and peas supper.

Club Meeting 7 December 2016

MEMBERS have been busy in the last few weeks producing images for our monthly competition and also for two annual contests which involved them producing a series of pictures rather than just one.
One Friday evening, our weekly meeting saw visiting judge Simon Ray have the interesting but challenging task of working through about 100 photos to choose the winners in our Portfolio and Hyndburn competitions.
The Hyndburn contest - showing three images on a theme taken within the borough - was won by Mary Braithwaite with her folio entitled Accrington Conservative Club – The End of an Era, showing the building in three stages of demolition. For this effort she also wins the Frank Nelson Trophy, which will be presented to her at the club’s annual prizegiving next summer.
Mr Ray was also tasked with choosing the Portfolio winners, with entries comprising a series of seven images presented as a set. He put Oliver Doree’s Trees from my iPhone in first place, which were projected images.
In second place overall and winner of the Print Portfolio section was George Spence with ‘Old American Pickups’ and in third was the projected image set from Anthony Sanderson entitled Downham Village.
George Spence and Oliver Doree also had success in the latest monthly competition, with George’s shot of Lincoln Market and Cathedral taking first place in the small prints and Oliver taking second with an image entitled Umbrella.
Judge Adrian Hendley, from Colne Camera Club, also picked out George’s picture ‘No! Buy your own’ - an interaction between two men, one holding an ice cream cornet - as third in the small prints and he also was second in the projected digital images with a picture called Modern Stairway.
In the large prints it was the turn of Stephen Riley to take the honours, with his striking colour portrait ‘Stacey’ coming first and another portrait of his ‘David’, this time in monochrome, clinching third in the same section.
Wendy Stowell was second with her landscape shot ‘Wensleydale Barn’.
Two images by Stephen Hooton completed the top three in the projected digital section, a creation featuring lilies dominated by pastel hues winning the group and ‘Ships docked in Iceland’, supported by a sky of orange, blue and gold, taking third place.

Club Meeting 11 November 2016

BARRACKING the judge isn’t usually acceptable at Accrington Camera Club but it was normal behaviour for one night only when our club hosted Chorley and Leyland photographic societies in a three-way ‘battle’.
In the fun competition, each club had a projector and a batch of 30 images from members, taking it in turns project an image that the other two clubs then had to match as best they could - the more unusual and wacky the image the better.
Judge Mike Lawrence awarded one point for the best match and one for the best image for each of the 27 rounds. With each image only available for use once, there were plenty of dubious ‘matches’ as the contest went on - and plenty of persuasion from the audience as to why their club’s image was the better match.
Unfortunately, despite winning the battle last time around, Accrington faded after the break and struggled to pick up points as the available images dwindled, landing us in third place. Chorley won the hard-fought contest, with just six points separating the three clubs.

Club Meeting 4 November 2016

A FEAST of photos were on display at our Friday meeting when we caught up with images from the Inter-Club Photographic Alliance (ICPA) annual competition.
After last week's monochrome prints, this time it was the turn of the projected digital images - with many, many pictures from members of photographic clubs across the area.
There was a wide variety of work in both colour and mono, and our members took it in turns to give their thoughts about each image before the floor was opened up to all for comment.
It proved to be a very interesting discussion and served to whet our appetites to get out more often with our cameras.
During this week we also had news that one of our members, Wendy Stowell, had two images accepted into this year's SRGB Print Celebration, which is a national photographic exhibition based in Southport. Boats at Rest was included in the Environment section and The Pole Dresser in the Step Out of the Box section. Congratulations Wendy!
This Friday we host Leyland and Chorley photographic societies in a three-way 'battle' - a fun competition in which each club in turn projects an image and the other two have to try and match it as best they can. Points are awarded for the best match and also the best image, with plenty of heckling and persuasion from the crowd. The more unusual and wacky the picture, the better!

Club Meeting 28 October 2016

MAGNIFICENT monochrome was the subject of the meeting with a show of black and white prints from the Inter-Club Photographic Alliance’s annual competition.
The alliance, commonly known by the abbreviation ICPA, is a small group comprising 15 photographic clubs mainly from the east Lancashire area.
Accrington is one of the member clubs and we were able to revisit our members’ prints entered into this year’s contest – in which we came joint fourth – along with images from nearby clubs such as Blackburn, Burnley, Bacup, Bury, Darwen, Nelson, and Padiham and District.
There was a wide variety of images which prompted discussion and it was good to see the quality produced by other clubs in the area.

Visit to Roddlesworth Woods 22 October 2016

SEVEN club members visited Roddlesworth Woods, which form part of the West Pennine Moor Recreation Area, on Saturday. Conditions could not have been better with intermittent sunshine and a vast array of autumn colour. All who visited the woods remarked how much they enjoyed the walk and said they would return again. Barry Noon, who organised the trip, said he was certain that we will see autumn images appearing in club competitions over the next few months.
If you are a club member and want to join us on one of the monthly walks, the next outing is planned for Saturday, 19 November and we will be visiting Rivington – details will be emailed nearer the time.

Club Meeting 21 October 2016

MEMBERS once again showed their versatility by entering a host of different photographic styles and subjects into the club’s latest monthly competition.
The event, judged by Ken Ainscow, was a happy hunting ground for Stephen Riley, who won in separate sections with two portraits - Annie in the projected digital images and The Name’s David, OK in the large prints. Humorous candid shot Even the Street Cleaners are Posh in Chester proved to be a winner in the small prints for George Spence, with Mary Braithwaite’s Rapid Descent - showing a group canoeing on whitewater rapids - second and Michael Birkett’s sheep portrait Looking at Ewe third.
Runner-up in the large prints was Wendy Stowell’s still life Passage of Time, showing a rose in three stages of growth, and third was a colour print of Mont St Michel by Oliver Dorée. Taking third in the projected digital images was Groynes by Alan Littler and second was a stylised oil painting shot of Oslo harbour by Stephen Hooton.

Judging Success 18 October 2016

OUR vice president Harry Emmett CPAGB has become an L&CPU accredited judge. To qualify, a number of clubs he attended as a judge were asked to give their thoughts on his performance - including issues such as punctuality, presentation, knowledge of photographic processes, aesthetic understanding, fairness in marking and appropriateness of comments. The accredited judge scheme was introduced to the L&CPU last year and is designed to create a consistent standard. Congratulations Harry.

Club Meeting 14 October 2016

MEMBERS took a journey into the wild with the arrival of wildlife photographer Sheila Davies DPAGB at our latest meeting.
Sheila, who is an international competitor in audio visual photography, paid us a visit with her ‘wild and wonderful’ show - taking us around the world with a series of AV sequences accompanied by tales of magical moments and hardships, plus the practical problems of digital shooting ‘off grid’ for days on end in harsh environments.
She told us that first became inspired by nature at a young age when her parents let her stay up late to watch David Attenborough’s Zoo Quest for a Dragon, which captured the first ever TV footage of the Komodo dragon. She became a fan of Sir David’s work, avidly watching all his nature programmes, and her wildlife trips have tried to emulate him.
In her talk, Sheila took us first to Uganda and her search for great apes. In Kibale National Park in the south of the country, she was able to get close to wild chimpanzees and also during her trip was lucky enough to photograph a family of mountain gorillas and successfully found lions resting in the trees - something which is unique to this area.
In Argentina she travelled in the Andes, reaching 16,112ft above sea level, and experienced the wilds of Quebec during a visit to her son who lives in Canada, as well as a trip to Alaska.
But tropical rainforest is Sheila’s favourite and her natural history ‘must sees’ had to include a special quest for a dragon - something she ticked off her bucket list with a trip to Indonesia. Seeing a Komodo dragon in the flesh and photographing it, Sheila said, was “a personal quest fulfilled after 55 years.”
She also visited Borneo for wild orangutans but her favourite country is Madagascar, which she described as ‘the most amazing place’, not just because of the wildlife but also for its people - who she said “have nothing but would do anything for you.”
Madagascar has an amazing collection of species, many unique to the island. These include 300 different reptiles, a bewildering variety of frogs, and more than 100,000 types of insects - with more still being identified.
Sheila was thanked for her fascinating talk by club vice president Harry Emmett.

Print Competition 12 October 2016

WE are taking part in the Oldham Mono Print competition tomorrow night, organised by Oldham Camera Club at their venue, East Oldham Methodist Church. Seven prints from each club will be scored and the club with the most total points declared the winner. Judge for the evening will be Geoff France.

Club Meeting 7 October 2016

OUR members met in the ecclesiastical surroundings of Irwell Vale Methodist Church for their Friday night get-together, thanks to an invite from Irwell Vale Photography Club.
In a joint critique night, 40 pictures from each club were put together for projecting onto a big screen, with Irwell Vale secretary Mark Watson giving his thoughts on each one, not knowing in most cases from which club it had come.
A former professional photographer, Mark has been taking pictures since the age of 10 and much prefers to comment positively on what he sees rather than evaluate images with criticism or by marking them out of 10 or 20. Hence there are no competitions at Irwell Vale Photography Club and Mark was very careful in his assessment of each of the images to evaluate them as they was presented rather than by how they could have been altered, had the photographer wished to do so.
The methodist church and Irwell Vale village were both devastated in the Boxing Day floods and although the church is visibly back to normal, some of the facilities such as the tea room are still out of action. Nevertheless, we were still able to enjoy a cuppa and a biscuit and we were warmly welcomed by the local club members for what turned out to be an entertaining social evening.

L&CPU Knockout 3 October 2016

MEMBERS are preparing entries for the L&CPU PDI Knockout in Chorley on Saturday, 19 November, with eight images needed to represent the club at the annual event. Entries need to be submitted by 11 November.

Monthly Outings 16 September 2016

CLUB member Barry Noon has organised a series of weekend photographic trips over the next few months, excluding December. They are: Saturday 23rd September, Skippool Creek; Saturday 22nd October, Roddlesworth Woods; Saturday 19th November. Rivington Pike; Sunday 22nd January, Bolton Steam Museum; Saturday 11th February, The Bridestones; and Saturday 18th March, Rydal Water. More details to follow by email.

ICPA Success 26 July 2016

HIGH scoring efforts from Alf Hoole, Martin Yates, John Barton and Oliver Dorée have seen us clinch 4th place in the monochrome section of the ICPA Annual Competition. The judge, Paul King CPAGB of North Fylde Camera Club, gave Alf's 'Interior Rodel Church Isle of Harris' Accrington's top score of 19 marks, with Martin's 'The Weather Closes In' and John's Luskentyre achieving 18 points and Oliver's 'Ready For Work' getting 17 marks. This gave us a total of 72 from our top four prints, putting us in joint 4th place alongside Blackburn Camera Club, Burnley Camera Club, Padiham and District Photographic Society and Preston Photographic Society. Chorley PS won with 76 points in the closely fought contest.

Club Meeting 22 April 2016

THE last monthly competition of the season proved a happy hunting ground for a number of our photographers, who once again showed an aptitude for a wide variety of subjects.
George Spence took first place in the small prints with Looking Into The Park, Astley Hall, and also came second with a street shot of Church Lane, Ledbury. Irene Burdell's interior of Blackburn Cathedral was chosen in third place by the judge, Chris Speak from Todmorden Photographic Society.
In the large prints, Alf Hoole took the top spot with a monochrome seaside image Groyne, another street shot - this time From Above by Martin Yates - was second and Setting Sun Over Boardwalk brought Oliver Dorée third place.
A picture of street entertainers entitled I Pull All Her Strings saw George Spence again take first place, this time in the projected digital images, with Full Steam Ahead, a train shot by Ian Musk, in second and a picture of a blackbird by Steve Hooton in third.

Club Meeting 26 February 2016

A RAINY street scene, a treat for steam fans and a bellowing stag all had their moment in the spotlight during our latest monthly competition.
The event is a chance for members to test out their latest images and the friendly contest was this month judged by Frank Sharp, a member of Todmorden Photographic Society.
The honours were shared out in the projected images, with the top three coming from different members. Ian Musk took first place with Taw Valley, a gleaming smoking steam engine, and Steve Hooton’s Malachite Kingfisher was second, with Rita Hoole’s flower detail, Nelly Moser, third.
George Spence took the two highest places in the small prints - second with flower study Beginning to Bloom and first with A Rainy Day in Cirencester. Mary Braithwaite was third with a shot showing the interior roof detail of John Rylands Library.
It was Michael Whittaker’s turn for a double success in the large prints, taking top spot with Autumn Rut, featuring a stag and two deer, and third with Nathan, a traditional-style monochrome portrait of a small boy. Sandwiched between them in second place was Reach for the Sky, another monochrome, this time by Martin Yates.
Frank was very thorough in his assessment of everyone’s images and was thanked for his efforts by the club’s vice president Harry Emmett.

Club Meeting 19 February 2016

WE were introduced to the wacky world of Lee Johnson when the Blackburn photographer gave us a talk at last week’s meeting.
Lee took us through a number of his images, projected onto a screen, while he told us about his personal journey in photography and some of the situations and subjects that inspire him.
Mainly now digital but still interested in film, Lee’s photographic journey started with being given his first camera aged seven.
As a countryside ranger around Pendle, Lee gets to spend a lot of time outdoors and this showed in his work, with a lot of landscapes featuring - some in colour but a lot in monochrome. His enthusiasm for photography was obvious as he explained how his fertile imagination would sprout a number of ideas, good and bad - with some ending up as themed projects taking many months.
A fruitful session photographing Earby waterfalls resulted in a series of pictures creating a photographic essay of Colne Water. Wondering what to do with a forgotten old roll of colour film led to him documenting Lancashire’s launderettes, where time seemed to stand still. An interest in the stonework littering the landscape resulted in Remnants, an essay on the history of Lancashire from its earliest inhabitants to Victorian times using the stone that still stands within its landscape - such as standing stones and burial cairns, Vacary field boundaries, abbeys, gravestones and abandoned mills. A desire to document the Lancashire coastline remains incomplete.
Lee was thanked for his varied talk, which highlighted how many pictures are waiting to be discovered on our doorsteps.

Charity Success! 5 February 2016

WE are now a registered charity! After a lot of hard work we are pleased to announce that our application for charity status has been accepted by the Charity Commission, opening up more avenues to us when it comes to financing the replacement of equipment and helping us to introduce and encourage people in the wonderful hobby of photography. Thanks particularly go to Martin Yates, who until recently was the club’s general secretary, treasurer John Barton and vice president Harry Emmett and his wife Jean, who all played their part in our successful submission.
The announcement was made to members at last Friday’s meeting, where speaker Tony Pioli FRPS FBPE travelled all the way from Derbyshire to show us a selection of his Alpine landscapes and flora. The collection had been compiled over a number of years and was projected using traditional 35mm slides. Tony is extremely knowledgeable about the area and its flowers, making for an entertaining talk different to those we normally enjoy.

Club Meeting 8 January 2016

AN eclectic collection of images were on view when we started the year with our latest monthly competition for members.
Taking inspiration from a wide variety of sources, wildlife, a working study and landscape scenes all featured in the top three picked by judge John Fletcher across the three categories.
The well-attended meeting saw Anthony Sanderson pick up first place in the projected digital images with his shot of Mary’s Shell on the beach at Cleveleys. Steve Hooton was second with Just Walking Home, which captured a couple in what looked to be a Caribbean setting, and new member Barry Noon was third with Neglected, a monochrome of a disintegrating old wooden rowing boat.
In the large prints, Michael Whittaker took first and second. The winner was an eye-catching shot of a stag at rest captured in soft light, with his runner-up a resting donkey on a dirt road. George Spence was third with his image of North Stack lighthouse.
The small prints also saw success for George Spence, as he took first with Getting Ready for the Chop - a man sharpening his knife in preparing to gut a fish. Annette Lord was second with a monochrome, Wordsworth’s Favourite Chair, and Mary Braithwaite secured third with her shot of fan vaulting inside John Rylands Library in Manchester.
The meeting ended with a well-deserved brew and biscuit and the chance to chat about pictures seen during the evening and photography in general.

Club Meeting 11 December 2015

THE last monthly competition of the year proved to be a good one for ‘Michaels’ - with two people of that name doing well across the board.
Michael Whittaker came first in the projected digital images with a restful image of Glen Etive in Scotland and took second and third in the large prints with Corner Café, France and a monochrome shot of Sunkenkirk stone circle respectively.
Not to be outdone, newcomer Michael Birkett took the top spot in the small prints with an image of a robin in full voice - just the thing with Christmas fast approaching. Judge Ian Greenhalgh, from Rochdale Camera Club, chose Mary Braithwaite’s shot of a row of old books to get second place in the small prints and George Spence was third with a shot of Rochdale Road, Manchester.
Another robin, this one perching on a log in the snow, won second place in the projected digital images for Steve Hooton, with a steam train shot entitled Early Morning Wake-up moving into third for Ian Musk.
Oliver Dorée’s detailed section of an interesting old door received first place in the large prints to round off the evening, with judge Ian being quite witty in his entertaining appraisal of the entries. Our Christmas party takes place this Friday, with a buffet and prizes to be won in the raffle as well as a just-for-fun photo contest of pictures taken with a mobile phone. Meetings start up again on January 8. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to everyone.

Club Meeting 4 December 2015

IDEAS for pictures were in plentiful supply as we viewed two boxes full of prints from photographers across Lancashire and Cheshire.
The L&CPU folio, packed with colour and monochrome images, was an opportunity for us to not only view a huge variety of work across different subject matter and styles but also share to our thoughts about them and enjoy some light-hearted banter.
We also heard about the success of three members - John Barton, Oliver Dorée and Harry Emmett - who also had prints accepted into the 20th Leyland Invitation Photographic Exhibition, currently on show in the town until December 22.

Club Meeting 27 November 2015

WE went around the world at our latest meeting thanks to the talents of video makers Spellbound Productions.
The duo - Gordon Sharp and his wife Anne, from Clitheroe - make a hobby out of producing videos, with background music and commentary, from their travels locally and abroad.
Titled ‘an evening with a difference’, Gordon’s talk was composed mainly of still AV-style sequences - covering subjects as diverse as The West Riding of Yorkshire, Peru, wildlife in the Arctic Circle, steam trains and St Anne's Kite Festival.
One of the most memorable captured the historic occasion last year when the last two airworthy Lancaster Bombers flew over Britain to commemorate the centenary of the First World War. One of the aircraft is based in Canada and the other in Lincolnshire.
Gordon has been interested in cine photography for many years and he also talked about some of the cameras he has used and how such cameras have evolved over time to end an informative and entertaining evening.

Club Meeting 20 November 2015

IT was up, up and away for Ian Musk when one of his pictures was declared a winner.
The keen member's image, named Balloon Night Glow, of hot air balloons lit up against a dark blue sky won the projected images section of the club's monthly competition.
In total, nine images were picked for special mention by judge Mike Davis, a member at Rochdale Photographic Society, who went into great detail about what he thought were the merits and weaknesses of each entry in turn before giving us his top three.
Stephen Riley tasted success with his portrait Girl in Spring, which won in the large prints, while Reach for the Sky by Martin Yates took second and another portrait - this time Natalie by Steve Hooton - was third.
Mr Davis picked another of Steve Hooton's images, a close-up shot of wild fungi, as second in the projected images and third was Bringing in the Lifeboat by Jim Robinson.
In Front of the Storm by George Spence triumphed in the small prints, with Mary Braithwaite taking the other two top slots with Lamplight and plant shot Plectranthus.
It proved to be a very enjoyable evening and we were encouraged by Mr Davis's comments to get out and take more pictures.

Club Meeting 13 November 2015

THERE was light and lots of it when Chris Speak ARPS travelled the short distance from Rossendale to present his talk Light on the Landscape.
It is rare these days to see a presentation using film slides rather than digital projection but Chris, who now works digitally, was happy to dig out this slideshow for us featuring dozens of scenes capturing mood and atmosphere over a number of years.
Most of the pictures were taken quite locally - many in the Pendle area, the Lakes and some around Burnley - and needed extremely good judgement in metering to get the exposure just right.
He explained that he commonly used spot metering in a highlight area to make sure the slide was not overexposed and he still prefered the overall quality of slide projection to what is available digitally.
Shafts of light through trees, mist, open landscape and early morning colour all took centre stage in Chris’s slides, many of which would have held little or no interest but for the way in which Chris had sought out interesting lighting and used it to best effect.
It proved a great talking point for the members, who very much enjoyed the traditional approach to Chris’s work.

Club Meeting 23 October 2015

A FLOWER, wildlife and cyclists all brought success for Accrington Camera Club members at our latest monthly competition.
The friendly competitive event made for an entertaining evening, with dozens of images entered into three different categories.
Gerber saw Wendy Stowell blossom into first place in the large prints, with the yellow bloom catching the eye of the judge. Equally colourful was the striking American Pickup by George Spence, which saw him into second spot, and an architectural shot of the interior of Salisbury Cathedral was third for Alf Hoole.
George Spence continued his good night with a win in the small prints thanks to Enjoyment - an image of a person obviously enjoying tucking into a sandwich - and American Legacy, a couple in 1940s dress pushing a pram, which took third. A shot of a sparsely furnished room entitled A Simple Life placed Mary Braithwaite in second.
Steve Hooton was obviously hoping for great things for his picture of a puffin with its mouth crammed full of fish, as he titled it ‘It’s two points a sandeel, right’. And he wasn’t wrong as the bird glided into first place with 10 points in the projected digital image category. Tony Hopkinson was second with Reflected Glory, one of Liverpool’s Three Graces reflected in its ultra-modern black glass neighbour, and a group of cyclists competing in the Tour of Britain Stage 2 clinched third for Peter Riding.

Three-way battle at Chorley PS 19 October 2015

A SMALL number of vocal members visited Chorley Photographic Society for a 3-way 'image match' competition with Chorley and Leyland clubs. Each club in turn projected an image and the other two clubs had a limited time to find among their bank of images one that they could claim matched it in content or style. Each group of supporters was free to harangue the judge - who on this occasion was Jeremy Malley-Smith from Blackburn - to point out spurious aspects of their photograph that purported to match. In the early rounds it wasn’t too difficult to find a similar shot but the choice became more limited - and the claims become more vocal - as the evening progressed.
After a somewhat rowdy evening, Accrington was declared a clear winner and was immediately challenged to a return battle next year!

Club Meeting 16 October 2015

IRENE Froy, EFIAP, MPAGB, Hon PAGB, BPE 4* made the 100-mile journey from Telford in Shropshire to show some of the photographs she has taken over the past 12 months.
In spite of being limited to walks of just a couple of hundred yards, she is a prolific photographer and compulsive print maker. Irene has developed her own style over the six decades since she borrowed her uncle’s rather expensive camera and managed to subject it to the incoming tide while taking some beach shots, with the inevitable consequences.
Undaunted by this mishap, Irene has continued her love of photography as witnessed by her successes in national and international exhibitions.
All her prints have a soft dreamlike quality and she concentrates her attention on landscapes, grasses and flowers. Irene has become skilled in the use of Photoshop but uses the camera facilities to good advantage. When photographing an incoming tide across a deserted beach she will frequently pan her camera to give the impression of the motion of the waves. Similarly when shooting grasses or flowers she will zoom the camera lens in order to blur the surround and leave the flower in sharper focus.
Irene was accompanied for the talk by her husband Gerry, who chauffeurs her around the narrow lanes and byways and has to be alert for the 'stop now' commands as Irene sees a potential photograph.
They both have a love of rural France and have spent several years capturing its tranquillity and beauty. Latterly much holiday time has been spent in Western Scotland around Gairloch and Torriden, where their sudden stops are less likely to cause traffic chaos.
Since 2000 Irene has been supported by PermaJet with papers and inks. She prints all her own exhibition prints. She brought a book she has compiled featuring the various paper surfaces available from PermaJet, each illustrated with one of her photographs that she considered benefited from that particular paper.
The evening was sponsored by the Inter Club Photographic Alliance and visitors from many of the local clubs attended. Irene is reluctantly having to refuse many invitations to lecture as travelling becomes more difficult, so we were delighted to see and hear her so far from home.

Club Meeting 9 October 2015

SOME light-hearted banter was very much in evidence when we invited neighbouring Irwell Vale to join us for a critique night involving images from members of both societies.
Volunteers took it in turns to talk about each image as it was projected on a large screen, with someone from Irwell Vale giving their thoughts on Accrington’s shots and vice versa.
The quick-fire session saw comments restricted to about a minute per picture in a bid to view all 100 images put forward - 50 from each club. This attempt failed but the fun and friendly evening nevertheless showed off the wide variety of good quality pictures produced by members of both groups, with a stunning Irwell Vale image of a field mouse with its tail wrapped around a stem being agreed upon as the winner.
Both sides also had a good time socialising in the packed hall while enjoying tea, coffee and biscuits afterwards.

Club Meeting 2 October 2015

ILLNESS prevented Sheila Davies DPAGB attending the club's last meeting with her show ‘Wild and Wonderful’, which was a shame as Sheila is an experienced wildlife photographer and members were eager to see her images taken on numerous expeditions.
Finding a gap in the programme at short notice, we instead took the opportunity to view some images entered in an inter-club competition.
Various members took on the role of photographic judge, with a panel of four discussing the merits of the projected images and each judge awarding a score. The combined score was then compared to the mark awarded in the competition and further animated discussion ensued when the marks differed greatly.
The experience gave members a valuable insight as to the task of a judge when marking a wide variety of subject matter. Moody portraits, wildlife studies, creative fantasies and stunning landscapes vied for places in the competition.
While the evening as not as billed, it nevertheless gave members the chance to look carefully at what constitutes a prize-winning photograph and consider more carefully the taking and the presentation of their own images when entering competitions and exhibitions. The success of the evening was evident in the level of audience participation.

Club Meeting 25 September 2015

OUR first monthly competition of the season was worth the wait, as some cracking shots were viewed both in prints and digital images.
Judge Norman Thompson was complimentary about them, giving succinct and honest feedback about what he thought worked - and in some cases what the author could do to make an image stronger.
In the large prints, two were neck and neck for first place - In the Shed by Steve Hooton and Alf Hoole’s North Aisle of Norwich Catholic Cathedral. It was a close run thing but in the end Steve pipped Alf to the winner’s slot, with Entrance to Gerainger, also by Steve Hooton, in third.
In the small prints it was George Spence’s turn to take the limelight, winning with a shot of the interior of Church of the Holy Rood in Ampney Crucis, Gloucestershire. He also took third place with dual portrait Who is She Hoping to Impress and Mary Braithwaite came second with Stay Away From My Lunch, featuring a protective bird of prey.
The projected digital images gave a winning glow to Tony Hopkinson with his low light shot of hot air balloons, entitled Nightglow. Jonathan Tustin was second with Lemur and Steve Hooton once again was among the top three, taking third place with monochrome portrait Fred.

Club Meeting 29 May 2015

IT wasn’t quite Britain’s Got Talent but there was plenty of audience participation as members viewed the entries in the Inter-Club Photographic Alliance (ICPA) projected image competition.
For the first time, we were invited to become ‘judges’ and took it in turns - four at a time - to score each image out of 5.
It did not alter the real result, as this had already been determined and we were being shown the outcome of the contest, but it was fun to hear people’s comments and see how our combined score out of 20 compared with that of the real judge.
The ICPA competition involves about 15 clubs, mostly from east Lancashire - including ourselves - and so we were able to see the variety and quality of images being produced locally.

Club Meeting 24 April 2015

THE last monthly competition of the season proved to be a very entertaining affair, with Ken Howlatt from Rochdale Camera Club doing the honours.
Ken, who won the Inter-Club Photographic Alliance digital image knock-out competition held at our club recently, made some worthwhile comments in picking out the winners in three categories.
Michael Whittaker took the top spot in the large prints with Route 66, leaving Martin Yates behind in second place with Towards the Buoy and Wendy Stowell in third with Fly By.
The small prints saw George Spence complete a successful one-two, winning first place with No, I’m Not Coming and also being runner-up with Big Brother is Watching You. Colin Lowther’s monochrome print of an Aveling Porter steam loco moved into third.
In the projected images it was the turn of club newcomer Nigel Airey to stride to success with Early Morning Ramble, with Steve Hooton’s image of a goldfinch - The Classic Shot - holding onto second and Michael Whittaker’s Wastwater landscape taking third place.

Club Meeting, 10 April 2015

ANOTHER enjoyable busy weekend for Accrington Camera Club saw members view an L&CPU Northern Print Folio, consisting of a selection of some of the colour and mono award winning prints from its 2014 annual competition. They discussed the different styles and techniques with a view to improving their own photography over a wide variety of work
Then on Saturday evening a packed audience saw the club host and run the 2015 Inter-Club Photographic Alliance Projected Digital Images knock-out competition, which was judged by Mr Michael Newton from Hebden Bridge. Fifteen member clubs from around the region competed for the Frank Sellers Trophy, which was eventually won by Chorley Photographic Society. The winning individual image was The Jazz Singer 72 by Mr Ken Rowlatt from Rochdale & District Camera Club.

Club Meeting, 27 March 2015

A WIDE variety of different pictures got results at the club’s latest competition.
The friendly monthly contest, which includes prints and projected images, saw Wendy Stowell take the top spot in the large prints with her picture of dragonflies. River View, Malmesbury, put George Spence in second place and Martin Yates took third with Misty Morning.
The small prints also proved fruitful for George Spence, who came first with Leaf and third with This Gardener’s World. Sandwiched between them in second spot was Water Street by Mary Braithwaite.
Harry Emmett took first place in the projected images with That’s Not Right, Trusting Robin clinched second for Tony Hopkinson and Visit to the Local saw Steve Hooton take third spot to round off an entertaining evening.

Club Meeting, 20 March 2015

MANY members, having received scores for their entries into our monthly competitions, wonder whether they would have scored differently (for better or worse) on a different month with a different judge.
It is quite likely they would have, as very ably demonstrated by last week's guest speaker, Tremaine Cornish, PPSA, EFIAP, from Birkenhead.
Tremaine's presentation was entitled 'same picture, different result'. He talked about how different judges view images. For example, some will examine images in minute detail, others will look at how the photograph was executed or get an overall feeling for the image and consider the story behind it. He also talked about entering international competitions and how countries can vary quite dramatically in their taste, even within Europe.
Tremaine then split members up into eight groups of three. Each group was handed an image and asked to write their comments and score it out of 15 (each member to score out of five). The images were then passed to the next group until they had seen all eight pictures.
It was, perhaps, predictable that comments and scores for the same image would vary between groups, but it was also extremely interesting and informative to hear the feedback and the basis on which they had arrived at their scores.
Although we had no digitally projected images at the evening's presentation, Tremaine also pointed out that differences of opinion will depend on whether an image is printed or digitally projected, and that, even with printed images, the type of paper has an effect.
It was an extremely entertaining and informative evening and demonstrated in an interactive way what we have always suspected - that there are as many opinions as there are people!

Club Meeting, 6 March 2015

THE guest speaker was Tillman Kleinhans, ARPS, EFIAP, DPAGB. Tillman is a member of St Helens Camera Club and an L&CPU (Lancashire & Cheshire Photographic Union) judge.
Up until 1998 Tillman worked mainly in mono print and colour transparency. Since then he has concentrated on colour printing using digital imaging.
Tillman's presentation was entitled ‘Digital Dos and Digital Don'ts’ and took us through his "trials and tribulations" of entering the digital era. His background is as a science teacher and the official school photographer, which proved an ideal knowledge base for his foray into digital photography.
From 1998 he became "hooked" on digital photography, teaching himself how to use Photoshop (there were no internet tutorials then!)
In the first half of the evening, Tillman showed us prints of photographs which he took in the 1970s, many of them slides, and used digital techniques to produce updated images. For example, he says, "a bit of blur, a bit of grain, can get you a gold medal".
Despite the title of the presentation, he says there aren't actually any don'ts apart from "I don't like it".
The second half of the evening featured some of Tillman's audio-visual slide shows with subjects including the Alps and a moving presentation of Oradour-sur-Glane, a village in France renowned for the massacre in June 1944 of 642 of its inhabitants by a German Waffen-SS company and now preserved as a permanent memorial and museum. There was also a presentation entitled "Blue" which, as may be expected, consisted of a wide variety of images all featuring something blue.
All in all, members enjoyed a very entertaining and informative evening, leaving many of us in awe of Tillman's achievements.

Club Meeting, 27 February 2015

THE club’s latest monthly competition for members saw the honours shared out among eight different photographers. Judge Frank Sharp, from Todmorden Photographic Society, picked out Oliver Dorée’s striking image Flower and Ice Crystals as the winner in the large prints, with Modern Fishing Boats by Steve Hooton second and Wendy Stowell’s The Pebble Balancer third.
The small prints saw beach shot I Wish She’d Get Back With That Ice Cream take first place for George Spence. Colin Lowther was second with A Window on Gozo and Mary Braithwaite took third with her relaxed portrait Ellie.
In the projected digital images it was the turn of Ian Musk to taste victory with colourful macro shot Hay Bud, with Jim Robinson’s Perfect Rose in second and Steve Hooton’s Final Checks Before Setting Off, showing a steam engine and worker, taking third.

Club Meeting, 13 February 2015

HOBBYISTS got an insight into the academic demands of photography when Colin Jarvis ARPS visited our club to entertain members with his ‘journey to an MA’ in the subject.
Colin, a member of Preston Photographic Society, used a slick digital presentation to show images from a number of photographers who influenced his work and he explained how each of them helped him to decide on the style and theme for his Master of Arts application.
This inspiration led to a series of monochrome images produced by Colin which captured a ‘non place’ - a place that in itself was not a destination but one which people used. These included car parks, stairwells and spaces containing escalators - all devoid of people, but the images were composed to make best use of the structures to maximise the emptiness and transient feeling of the space.
Colin not only projected the finished results onto the club’s large screen but also brought along some prints of the same images, which were placed around the room enabling members to look at them in more detail.
The pictures were a big departure from the subjects and approach normally employed by club photographers and so provided a talking point for members, as well as encouraging them to see the potential for a picture in situations where maybe they would not have done previously.
Colin, who is a lecturer and also runs photographic workshops, finished his talk by showing a series of ‘club photography’ shots, both in monochrome and colour, which were also impressive. They featured different subjects including landscapes and pictures taken with a 10-stop neutral density (ND) filter, which cuts the amount of light entering the camera, enabling slow shutter speed effects in bright light situations.

Club Meeting, 6 February 2015

IMAGES by photographers from across Lancashire and Cheshire were on show.
Members were able to view prints from the colour folio of the Lancashire and Cheshire Photographic Union, which is a federation of more than 100 camera clubs holding several inter-club competitions each year. From the entries, the L&CPU puts a collection of prints into boxes and these travel round member clubs.
The wide variety of work was thoroughly enjoyed by the members, who were able to discuss the different styles and techniques with a view to improving their own photography.
Vice president Harry Emmett then gave a demonstration of mount cutting and print mounting for the benefit of newer members.

Club Meeting, 23 January 2015

AFTER the unfortunate illness of one of our scheduled guest lecturers, members stepped into the breach to offer an enjoyable alternative programme.
John Barton launched the evening with a selection of his monochrome prints. His images were a mixture of film and digital, many of which were taken in Scotland, but other locations included the Lake District, Derbyshire and Norwich Cathedral. John provided very interesting background information about the subjects, together with some useful technical detail about how he sets up his camera to obtain the required effect.
Alf Hoole also showed us a selection of his monochrome images, half taken using film and half digital. His subjects were mainly architectural - townscapes, churches, church interior detail, etc. Alf explained that the difficulties caused by variations in lighting when using film no longer occur with digital photography due to enhanced camera settings and editing software.
Following the prints, three members showed audio visual presentations they had produced. The first was entitled Pickering Steam Rally by Ian Kitchin and concentrated on steam traction engines but with an interesting twist. It was set to the music Can-Can, as the rally also featured can-can dancers on stage.
Jonathan Tustin's presentation was entitled North West Ireland Borderlands showing landscapes, housing, architecture and examples of engineering such as iron bridges and waterways from the region's history.
Finally, vice-president Harry Emmett offered three presentations entitled Forties, taken at re-enactment events, Manchester Pride taken at the annual event of that name, and The Forbidden Corner, which is an attraction in the Yorkshire Dales consisting of a labyrinth of tunnels, follies, underground chambers and surprises.
All in all, despite some disappointment at the unavailability of our original lecturers, an enjoyable evening was had thanks to the efforts of several of our own members.

Club Meeting, 16 January 2015

SOUGHT-AFTER vehicles and all manner of photogenic subjects were in the frame when the club held its latest monthly competition.
A stylised image of a vintage Fiat car - Fiat ála Van Gogh - featuring a brushstroke effect, put Harry Emmett into third place in the large prints and Michael Whittaker’s colourful Past Its Best, featuring one of the Fleetwood wrecks, saw him take second in the same category. Judge Adrian Hendley from Colne, who said he had very much enjoyed looking through all the images shown that evening, picked out Raindrops Keep Falling - a flower complete with water droplets - by Wendy Stowell as the winner.
In the small prints it was George Spence’s turn to take the honours, clinching first place with a shot of Brimham Rocks and third with Halcyon Days. Sandwiched between them in second place was Colin Lowther’s Looking Backwards, which showed a Mod bike adorned with numerous lights and mirrors.
Monochrome image Go Go Go, showing a rally car getting lots of attention, roared into third place for Anthony Sanderson in the projected digital images, with Michael Whittaker’s shot of a grey heron taking second and three smiling ladies in ‘Having a Good Time’ gaining first place for Ian Musk to round off an entertaining evening.

Club Meeting, 9 January 2015

MEMBERS were lured by the prospect of pie and peas and a chance to have their say about the running of Accrington Camera Club at last week’s AGM.
After his president’s address, in which he thanked members and the committee for their support and efforts, Oliver Dorée retired from the position he has held for the last four years.
The new president elected in his place is Wayne Rushworth, who until last year was external competition secretary. Oliver has now taken up this post, which has been vacant for a number of months.
Jamie Holden took on the vacant post as one of the club's trustees.

Exhibition Success, 16 November 2014

IMAGES from three of our members have been accepted into this year's Leyland Invitation Exhibition.
The prestigious competition, now in its 19th year, was judged by Richard Speirs DPAGB APAGB. He selected Riding High by Harry Emmett CPAGB, War Games by John Barton ARPS and two prints by Alf Hoole - Rudstone Monolith, East Yorkshire and Wrecks, Fleetwood Marsh - for the exhibition. This runs at The South Ribble Museum and Exhibition Centre, The Old Grammar School, Church Road, Leyland from Tuesday 25 November until Tuesday 23 December. Congratulations on your success.

Club Meeting, 14 November 2014

CLUB members rediscovered the magic of lantern slides thanks to surviving images from one of the UK’s most influential photographers of a generation.
Margaret Harker was a leading light in photography education, introducing the first degree course in the subject during the 1960s as well as becoming the UK’s first female professor of photography and a publisher on photographic history. She died earlier this year aged 93.
She was also well known for her architecture images, particularly of churches - which were the subject of our talk by photographer Mark Watson.
Mark, a member of Manchester Photographic Society, is known for rescuing and showing images from bygone eras. Although most people would associate lantern slides with Victorian and Edwardian times, Margaret’s images - all monochrome - were from the 1950s and had been brought together by film and paper manufacturer Ilford as one of a series of shows produced for camera clubs on different topics. It is now believed to be the only survivor.
Mark projected each of the glass slides in turn, enabling us to marvel at Margaret’s skill. The quality and lighting of the interior shots was exceptionally high, especially considering the type of equipment available in the 1950s and the lack of editing software that digital photographers today can utilise.
Each picture - which also included modern architecture of the time - had been taken on film, mainly large format, and then printed using an enlarger onto the smaller glass plates. Just like printing paper of the day, the lantern slides - produced by major manufacturers such as Kodak and Ilford - were sold at different contrast grades and a variety of emulsions such as sepia.
Many members felt they would be unable to reproduce the quality even with all today's additional equipment and tools. It proved to be a very interesting and enjoyable evening.

We Won!, 24 October 2014

ACCRINGTON Camera Club captured that winning feeling by coming top in a competition involving seven other clubs.
The monochrome print contest, held at Oldham Camera Club, saw each competing club contribute seven prints, which were put at random before an independent judge.
And when the marks for each individual print were totted up, Accrington were the winners with 126 points out of a possible 140, edging ahead of second placed Rochdale and District Camera Club in a closely fought contest which saw just five points separating the top four.
As if to continue the winning theme, the result was announced at the club’s monthly competition, where members took part in the friendly event, again using an outside judge.
Jeremy Malley-Smith, from Blackburn Camera Club, picked out two of Steve Hooton’s images as his top pairing in the projected images. Monochrome muscle-clad man Dream Boy was first and pretty portrait Georgia second, with Oliver Dorée’s Rotten to the Core - a still life of past-their-best apples - coming third.
In the small prints, Steve Hooton also enjoyed success with second-placed Party Girl but it was Colin Lowther who took first and third with Patriotic Mascot 1914 and Hibiscus and Bud respectively.
The large prints saw Wendy Stowell’s Yellow-wattled Lapwing take third, while two prints by Oliver Dorée took the top spots. Towering, a shot looking upwards at an ornate building, was second and Oliver’s winning print was a monochrome portrait of the club’s own vice president Harry Emmett.
Harry, who had entered images into the competition only to see them lie among the also-rans, quipped that he was pleased to come first in some way, even if his photographs couldn’t!

Club Meeting, 10 October 2014

THE outline of a hand on a wall - a cave wall - created thousands of years ago by one of our ancestors filling his mouth with some coloured liquid and spraying the wall with his hand resting on it, was his way of recording his existence at that time and in that place. Now we use an inkjet printer to spray ink on paper to produce photographs, but essentially the technique is the same. The need to record events around us and to leave our own mark remains a driving force and is intrinsic in our hobby of photography.
So opened the talk given to our members by Garth Tighe, CPAGB, archivist of the Lancashire and Cheshire Photographic Union (L&CPU). He continued with a demonstration of the photographic processes when darkrooms were essential in the production of photographs. Older members watched with a tinge of nostalgia, while newer photographers listened intently to the various steps needed to produce a print.
For many amateurs, the bathroom or pantry became the darkroom when other members of the family retired to their bedrooms for the night. Yet in spite of the somewhat primitive conditions, prints of the highest quality were produced. Some remain in the archives of the L&CPU where 1,000 prints, 700 lantern slides and historic photographic equipment are kept and used in lectures and talks throughout the region.
The earliest prints shown by Garth were from the 1850s. A ferrotype, then albumen prints which used the whites of an egg in developing the image, gum bi-chromate, carbon prints, and platinotypes were all displayed to the audience. All these early photographs illustrated the experimentation in chemistry that our photographic pioneers followed in their quest for excellence.
Early photographs were all monochrome but colour was an ambition for many enthusiasts. One method amateurs used was the bromoil process, where a finished print was bleached and the image brought back to correct density by carefully stippling the surface with a brush tipped with lithographic ink. By using different coloured inks a realistic effect could be achieved, although several hours of patient and careful work were needed for each print.
The archives also contain examples from many past presidents of the L&CPU. Prints from Ben Garth, John Elton, Anne Jackson, Everard Sharples and Arthur Downes demonstrated the wide range of interests and styles and showed the development of photography as a hobby.
There then followed a look at the photographs of John Nicholson FRPS, an amateur from Preston who was renowned for his creative photography in the 1960s and 1970s. A commentary by the late John West,
of Clitheroe, accompanied the viewing. Many of the prints had a ‘twist’ as the photographer used a catchy title and then employed his excellent technical skills to illustrate the theme. ‘Mere music’ was one such photograph, where the gentle ripples on the lake surface emanate from a piano keyboard situated at the base of the print. John frequently incorporated the female figure in his photographs and became known internationally for his circular prints, where he used a figure or another item repeatedly - joining and fanning out from the centre - to create intricate and eye catching symmetrical patterns.
The content of the talk and its presentation kept everyone totally absorbed and the inclusion of more recent local photographers also brought back happy memories for some of the audience.

Club Meeting, 3 October 2014

DAVE Mason took us on a walk through the way he views the world with a presentation of his street photography.
Dave, from London, began by explaining that he has two approaches to his work - one in which he chooses a backdrop and waits for people to move into view (he calls this ‘borrowed art’) and the other mainly about the people, which he calls his ‘classic’ style.
He explained that his images are always as seen, being neither constructed nor manipulated. The majority are taken in the UK, with a few from abroad, and he particularly likes to take pictures in the rain because of the reflections, splashes, colourful umbrellas etc.
Among his many images were some monochromes from Eastern Europe and other pictures much closer to home in east London and on London Bridge, showing commuters walking on the bridge between 7pm and 7.30pm on the hottest day of 2013. The east London images Dave has compiled over a period of 15 years and he told us he chose the area particularly because of its transience.
Other images were from exhibitions Dave put together on different themes. One, called Smile, had the aim of making visitors smile at the photographs; another was a series of coastal monochrome landscapes from an exhibition held in 2012.
A more unusual theme was covered cars - parked cars from various countries covered with a wide variety of fabrics - and Dave also had a number of pictures of crazy golf courses from across the UK. These form a historical record as many of them date back to the middle of the last century and quite a number are no longer in existence.
Dave's comments were witty at times and gave us a great insight into the thinking behind his photography.

Club Meeting, 26 September 2014

FRESH from judging the prints in our annual competition, Ken Ainscow CPAGB BPE3* made a return trip from his home town of Preston to tell us what he thought of the images in our first monthly competition of the season.
Comprising prints and digitally projected images, the submissions proved that we had been pretty fruitful over the summer as Ken had a hard task picking out his 1-2-3 in the three categories.
Michael McGough’s early morning landscape Misty Dawn caught Ken’s eye as the winner in the projected images, with Teasel, a still life by Steve Hooton, second and Ready for a Wash by Oliver Dorée, an action shot of a mud caked motocross bike and rider, third.
One Man and His Dog saw Michael McGough score another victory, this time in the small prints, and Oliver Dorée also took another podium place with Black Widow, which was third in the large prints. George Spence clinched second and third spots in the small prints, with candid image Window Shopping and building shot Coming Home respectively.
Monochrome image Doctor’s Car motored Michael Whittaker to second place in the large prints, and Deep in Conversation took first place for Mary Braithwaite in the large prints, making it all in all an interesting and entertaining evening.

Club Meeting, 19 September 2014

A PACKED audience was treated to the wonders of “wild Britain” thanks to a special link-up with other clubs in the region.
This year, ACC holds the presidency of the Inter Club Photographic Alliance (ICPA) and it was in this capacity that we hosted a talk by Barry Payling from Rotherham Photographic Society, inviting guests from other member clubs.
But before the main event, it was the turn of ACC member Garth Dawson to take the spotlight as he was presented with life membership of the club in honour of his 90th birthday recently. Former Accrington Observer photographer and studio owner Garth joined the club after his retirement and is only the third member to be given the honour in more than 50 years.
The night was very well attended and what a real treat the main event turned out to be.
One could be forgiven for assuming that with ‘wild Britain’ as the title, Barry Payling’s images would be of wildlife and landscapes. But, whilst there were landscapes aplenty, Barry had interpreted "wild" through all its possible meanings. These included, among others, untended urban areas, run-down architecture, street photography, stunning sunrises and a selection of candid shots of the great British public!
Barry is a lover of the great British outdoors - North Yorkshire and the Lake District, as well as his home area around Rotherham, but he is particularly fond of Scotland, especially the River Spey, and his landscape images certainly reflect this love.
Barry started his talk by explaining the equipment he uses and why he chooses it. He shoots using film rather than digital, using no light meter, filters, zoom lens or autofocus. All his images are as taken with the camera, no manipulation whatsoever takes place. He knows his camera inside out and obtains his wonderful shots through his knowledge of his equipment and which part of the image to expose for.
As if all of the above wasn't enough, Barry is a personality in himself. His talk was delivered with a commentary which was entertaining and very witty. He told of how had achieved his images (5am starts figured quite prominently!), the exploits of the groups he takes on photographic excursions and also peppered his talk with numerous entertaining anecdotes.
Barry's messages to his audience included:
• A good photographer can take a good photograph with any camera - it's about ‘seeing’ a photograph, i.e. having an eye for what makes a good subject.
• It's all about using the camera settings appropriately.
• Don't just look ahead. Look around you - up, sideways, walk round the subject, etc.
All in all, it was a brilliant evening - informative, interesting and great fun!

Club Meeting, 5 September 2014

IT was a test of memory when members looked back at some of the best images entered into the club’s annual competition.
Paul Williamson, who judged members’ digital images for the competition way back in May, was invited to return to revisit the images and explain what drew him to those he chose as the winners.
And in the first meeting back after the summer break, Paul, from Euxton near Chorley, performed admirably to create an informative and entertaining evening.
Vice president Harry Emmett thanked Paul for his efforts, saying he was delighted that he had enjoyed judging the members’ work and was delighted with his comments.

Club Meeting, 13 June 2014

A FLASHBACK to Whitby Goth Weekend was the entertainment when members showed audio-visual sequences from their April visit.
A group of nine members stayed in the Yorkshire coastal resort for the annual festival, which sees hundreds of people leading ‘alternative’ lifestyles converge to parade in a wide range of wacky and wonderful attire.
Seven of the camera club crew even dressed for the occasion, with their own Goth outfits.
At Friday’s meeting, four of the group showed AVs featuring their photographs from the event. Bernard Taylor started off the evening with a stunning selection of close-up portraits and he was followed by Wayne Rushworth, who also paraded his Goth boots for members to see. Anthony Sanderson LRPS showed not only some of the characters but also views of the abbey taken from the open-top bus that runs throughout the day. Bernard then put on his second sequence, before Harry Emmett CPAGB showed his selection of general street scenes.
The music chosen by the four to accompany the sequences varied enormously and featured punk bands, electronic music, light classical and programme music. Each piece changed the mood and added to the enjoyment of the images.
Despite the group being in each other’s company for the majority of the weekend, it was interesting to note that the photos they took were largely quite different in content and each sequence contributed to an overall picture of the event. The Addams Family, the Corpse Bride, and a Clint Eastwood lookalike were some of the ‘celebrities’ seen during the evening’s show.
Bernard Taylor and Harry Emmett brought the evening to a close with photographs taken in previous years. Both are looking forward to another trip to Whitby next year to capture more of the participants in this extremely popular weekend.

Club Meeting, 6 June 2014

OUR guest speaker this week was Gordon Jenkins, APAGB, MIoP and Past President of the L&CPU. The majority of the evening consisted of Gordon's presentation entitled 'Colour - Is it a pigment of your imagination?'
Gordon posed the following questions: What do we mean by colour? Do we all see colours the same? Can we standardise so that we all speak the same ‘colour language‘?
He then proceeded to talk about colour in a way that could perhaps go some way towards answering these questions. For example, most of us will recognise a colour by a trade name such as: Cadbury's - purple; Asda - green; Sainsbury's - orange, or by a reference such as Air Force blue, British racing green, etc.
It is easy to be fooled by colour, as the way we see it is affected by certain factors. For example:

• Adjacent colours - For example turquoise is a greeny blue, or is that bluey green!! Turquoise next to blue looks green, but put it next to green and it appears to be blue. Borders also affect how a colour appears - the same colour with a white border will look different with a black border. There is a lesson to be heeded here when considering the colour of the mounting board for your images. Gordon suggested that monochrome images should not have a black mount, strong colours should have a black mount and subtle colours a cream mount

• Ambient light - Primary light sources are daylight, light bulbs and fire. Secondary light sources are anything else in the area which can affect the colour of the subject. The resulting colour therefore depends on the light source

• The age, health and mood of the observer

• Persistence of vision - Gordon demonstrated this with various images, requesting that the audience focus for a short period on a particular point in the image and then look elsewhere. For example, we looked at a dark spot of a predominantly green image and then shifted our gaze to a white square, which, for a number of members appeared to be pink. This is apparently due to the cones in the eye compensating for parts of the spectrum which did not appear in the initial image. However, not all members could see some of the various effects, which suggests that perhaps we don't all see the same thing when it comes to colour!

• Metamerism - Where two examples of a colour can look the same in artificial light but different in daylight. Beware of those changing room lights when buying clothes!

For the final half hour of the meeting, Gordon shared with us a wide range of quality images taken by several different photographers and covering a variety of subjects.
Graham's talk was interesting, witty and very enjoyable. It was a shame to hear that he is shortly to be retiring from judging and presenting his talks. However, we wish him all the very best for the future, whatever that holds for him.

Club Meeting, 23 May 2014

MEMBERS were entertained by Accrington-based professional photographer Reg Whittam, who runs Garth Dawson Studio.
His presentation was about using a single light in portrait photography. He used a flashgun fired remotely from the camera and demonstrated how changing the position of the flash relative to the camera altered the mood of the photograph and the personality of the subject. The photographs were transferred to a laptop and projected to illustrate the effect.
Reg says he now offers personal tuition on all aspects of photography and also invited members to view his Facebook page, The Garth Dawson Studio.

Club Meeting, 16 May 2014

DEMANDING and daunting are two words that could spring to mind for a would-be wedding photographer anticipating their first shoot.
But experienced ‘old hand’ Ian Stewart ARPS DPAGB was able to guide members through the dos and don’ts of the big day in a very informative talk.
Ian started his show with an AV presentation compiled from one of his recent weddings at Knowsley Hall in Merseyside. The images captured the start of the day, with the make-up artist getting the bride and bridesmaids ready, and included the ceremony and speeches, plus the evening reception.
Knowsley Hall is a stunning location and Ian made full use of the building and the surrounding grounds to provide an album full of memories for the newlyweds.
After this example of his work, Ian went through the equipment he uses at a typical wedding and repeatedly emphasised the necessity for the photographer to understand his equipment and the various accessories. Some of Ian's assignments can span a full day, starting at breakfast time and finishing in the early hours of the following morning, so batteries and battery life are crucial.
Ian explained how the weather on the day dictates the additional lighting needed and how the photographer must be equipped to contend with any combination of venue and weather.
Once Ian’s images are downloaded on to his computer, he makes backup copies, then the initial editing can begin. He uses wedding specific software to compile a proof album of images, and sophisticated software is eventually employed in the design and production of the wedding album.
The wedding day is a most important event, not only for the newly married couple but also for the many friends and family members invited to the ceremony and receptions. The photographer’s role is to faithfully record all the emotions that accompany this landmark event and this duty should not be undertaken lightly. Many people have cameras capable of taking good wedding images, but many cameras do not have the photographer able to do so.

Club Meeting, 2 May 2014

MEMBERS learned more about Adobe’s editing and image management software Lightroom with a visit by Professor Terry Hewitt.
Terry, a member of Stockport Photographic Society, put together a ‘Lightroom Exposed’ show, giving those new to the software a good overview of its capabilities and providing those who have used Lightroom before a chance to increase their knowledge.
Terry provided an insight into the main features of Lightroom, showing how it can be used to import, arrange, store, catalogue and organise images. They can also be categorised into folders and collections using keywords, or even a colour or star rating system. He also showed how the most commonly used features worked and touched on how Lightroom differs from and complements Photoshop and Bridge.
One of the main benefits of Lightroom is that editing is non destructive, meaning that the photographer has the ability to apply a wide variety of adjustments to their raw images, including white balance correction, exposure adjustments and colour enhancements.
Another useful feature of Lightroom is the ability to synchronise changes across a number of images.
Once images are processed, Terry showed us a variety of options for printing as well as how to create slideshows.

Club Meeting, 25 April 2014

SEVEN photographers shared the spoils during the last monthly competition of the season.
Always a popular event, members turned out in force to hear judge Chris Speak, from Waterfoot, give his thoughts on the entries in three categories.
Taking top spot in the small prints was Steve Hooton with Shipwreck, an old boat rusting away in a harbour. Chris said: “It’s been ‘sexed up’ a bit with the colour but it’s been very, very nicely handled.”
George Spence was second with Start of the Day, a street shot of a homeless man reading a newspaper, and Geoffrey Hill was third with Resting Chains, a colourful close-up pattern picture.
George Spence did one better in the large prints, coming first with pub candid Lunchtime Refreshments, of which Chris said: “Everything about this is so right. It has been taken at just the right moment.”
Michael McGough took second place with Ribble Valley Tree and was also third with atmospheric landscape Low Cloud.
American-themed composite Route 66 put Michael Whittaker on the road to the winner’s rostrum in the digitally projected images, with Mike Dickinson second with Set Printer and Martha Caramitsos third with Street Painter to complete an entertaining evening.
to view these images

Club Meeting, 11 April 2014

THE club's guest speakers for the evening were Christine Widdall, MPAGB, EFIAP, BPE5* and Mike Lawrence, AFIAP, DPAGB who shared with members their comprehensive knowledge about flash photography.
In Mike’s library of 120,000 photographs he has taken, 70,000 were taken with flash.
Using the built-in flash on your camera can often result in a main subject which is too brightly lit relative to the background and/or can cast harsh shadows which detract from the overall image.
Christine and Mike showed us how much more versatile an external flash gun can be, allowing the elimination of shadows and producing much softer lighting. Their ambition is to blend the flash with the existing ambient lighting so that the photograph shows little or no evidence that flash was used.
The effect can be achieved by ‘bouncing’ the light from the flash gun from another surface, i.e. by pointing the flash gun away from the subject towards a brighter area such as a window, light coloured ceiling, wall etc. or even a napkin, tablecloth or even one's own hand. This was very effectively demonstrated through various images of a sculpture taken from exactly the same angle but with the flash facing in a variety of different directions.
Christine and Mike also showed us a variety of modifiers and diffusers which can be used with the flash gun to control and soften its effect. Various proprietary products were shown costing £50+, but their favourite was cut from a 99p frosted shampoo bottle and held in place on the flash gun with a small strip of Velcro.
The accessory was fantastic value especially since the original contents provided several weeks of hair washes! Another ‘free’ accessory was a small bag made of bubble wrap packaging that again diffused the flash into a much more gentle light source.
Their photographs included wedding shots, baby portraits, pet portraits and even photographs taken at a night-time garden party.
Members certainly learned a lot from Christine and Mike, not least that a flash gun is not just something you have in the camera and point at your subject. The animated conversations after the talk suggested that there could be an epidemic of ‘flashes’ in Hyndburn over the coming days!

Club Meeting, 14 March 2014

A SUCCESSION of evocative and ethereal images wowed the audience when Dianne Owen FRPS paid us a return visit.
Dianne, who is a member of Chorley Photographic Society and the sRGB Photo Group, has developed her own distinctive style through many visits to art galleries. But rather than simply copying the style of other artists, sculptors and photographers, she uses their work as triggers for her own imagination. 
She uses texture layers within all her pictures but produces these herself rather than using the effects available in commercial software. Frequently the textures are taken from an area within the picture and the end result bears little of the original reality but allows the viewer the freedom to use their own imagination.
All Dianne’s photos are printed on textured fine art paper and mounted on textured soft white boards to create the dreamlike quality she is aiming for. The printing of a ‘final image’ frequently prompts further variations of the print.
One example was based on a straightforward shot of the Singing Ringing Tree. The image was duplicated, the second image flipped and the two images merged to produce a very different structure.
A second variation resulted in a bird-like shape being produced and this opened up a whole new avenue to be explored. Further editing and manipulation resulted in around eight pictures, each very different but still showing the tubes of the panopticon.
Many of the prints were circulated for close inspection by the audience, who were awestruck by the number of everyday objects given a new life by Dianne’s imaginative and creative treatment. It is not surprising that her photographs gain awards and are on show at many national and international exhibitions.

Club Meeting, 7 March 2014

A SPRING clearout saw dozens of items under the hammer at our annual auction.
Members brought unwanted photographic and computer items, both equipment and materials, to be auctioned off by our enthusiastic and energetic auctioneers, namely the president and vice president of the club.
This year's event had a slightly different twist because, due to the recent marriage of two of the club's members, some small household items which were surplus to requirements were also included.
Fortunes were neither made nor lost, but there were many bargains to be had as well as an element of fun.
The evening was very well attended and members bid freely, raising a substantial £230 for club funds.

Club Meeting, 28 February 2014

NINE photographers had a winning glow when we held our February monthly competition.
Because when judge Frank Sharp, from Todmorden Photographic Society, picked out his top three pictures in each category, they had all been taken by different club members.
Martha Caramitsos took first place in the digitally projected images with a well-timed shot of the Red Arrows performing a vertical loop. Michael McGough was second with Underground Relic and Irene Burdell third with Still Life with Lilies.
In the large prints it was the turn of Ian Hoole to take the honours with his reenactment shot of a medieval knight in ‘Ready for Battle’. Wendy Stowell was second with a restful scene of a great crested grebe and chick, and Mary Braithwaite came third with a dynamic shot of the interior of Liverpool central library.
Michael Whitaker’s glowing stained glass window shot, taken inside a church in Norway, won the small print category, George Spence was second with a striking picture taken at the Anglican Cathedral in Liverpool and Michael Crocker was third with a shot of Bamburgh in Northumberland.
Frank was positive about many of the pictures that didn’t win, explaining how small changes could have improved the finished result, and could not find fault with others but just found other images to be stronger. It made for a very entertaining and informative evening.
To view the top three images in all three sections of this competition

Club Meeting, 21 February 2014

IT was destined to be no ordinary night when Adrian Lines arrived to entertain us with a talk entitled Altered Reality.
Adrian is a well-known and well-respected member of Chorley Photographic Society and is known for his imaginative composite images. Many of our members are familiar with Adrian's work, but he also shared with us how he manipulates his images to produce striking compositions.
The first part of the evening consisted of a slide show of some of Adrian's images. He is a prolific winner of competitions but said that he makes pictures for his own pleasure and enjoyment rather than with an eye to winning.
He has built up a huge library of work which he uses to create unusual final results. He takes photographs of just about anything and then allows his imagination to wander where it will, resulting in fascinating ideas. He told us how his wife once returned home to find him throwing sheets of newspaper into the air and photographing them to add to an image he was working on. On another occasion he was in conversation with a man who happened to have a dead pigeon in his car and gave Adrian one of the wings to photograph.
His themes include adding animal heads to the bodies of people, and many of his images involve superimposing portraits onto unusual backgrounds. Several versions of the same image showed how the overall feeling can be altered dramatically by making changes to tone, background, colour, lighting or texture.
Members were fascinated to hear how Adrian achieves these results and were able to pass around some prints that he brought along, featuring a wide selection of his work. He enjoys the tactile quality of prints and many of the projected images were included in the selection, allowing members to look at the images more closely and appreciate their superb quality. Adrian was happy to answer questions. Overall it was a fascinating, informative and very enjoyable evening.

Club Meeting, 14 February 2014

ALAN Angel FRPS FMPA from Altrincham showed us a collection of striking portraits taken over a 25-year period.
He used to run a vehicle repair business close to Manchester city centre, but evenings and weekends saw him visit the many gyms in the area. The first images he showed us were ‘low key’ monochrome shots of male bodybuilders, using a single floodlight. Careful side lighting accentuated the muscle tone of the various subjects. During one of his photo sessions he was asked by an interested spectator if he would take some pictures of her, discovering when she disrobed that she had recently won a national bodybuilding competition. Again, the single light produced stunning results.
Alan’s next series featured boxers he found in the same gyms. Each had very powerful eye contact with the photographer, with careful positioning of the boxers’ heads revealing more of the white of their eyes.
Alan then changed the mood by showing colour prints of the many people he has photographed during holiday visits to India, China, Burma and Vietnam. He made sure to learn a couple of words or phrases before each visit and used them to quickly reach a rapport with his subjects.
He was later commissioned to photograph weddings, the multi-cultural populace of Manchester evident in his formal and informal images of Sikh, Muslim, Buddhist, Jewish and Christian ceremonies. Wherever there was a striking face or unusual location Alan’s camera was always at the ready.
His black and white photographs are still home processed in his darkroom using chemicals, thus ensuring the high quality evident in all his monochrome prints. But difficulty in sourcing paper and chemicals has caused Alan to adopt digital techniques for his colour prints.
His final shots featured Alan’s greatest passion - Manchester City Football Club. Players who were in the club’s FA Cup winning side from 1969 have been captured by Alan’s lens, pictured in their own homes with memorabilia from their playing careers. Alan attends all of City’s home matches as a spectator but can also be seen working at Stockport County Football Club where he holds a press pass.

Club Meeting, 7 February 2014

MEMBERS dipped into the past with a show of archive images.
The Lancashire and Cheshire Photographic Union holds an extensive archive of photographic prints and lantern slides stretching back well into the 19th century. Many of these have been copied and digitised, enabling the club to receive a DVD with several sequences of old and not so old images.
Early photographs from the 1850s used ferrotype and abortive processes and there were platinotypes from about 1900. Examples of later but now defunct processes such as bromoil and gum bichromate were seen - the work of John Bell, a past member of Accrington Camera Club, being particularly appreciated.
Members were impressed by heavily manipulated colour prints from the 1980s which had been constructed from up to five negatives. This would require several hours in the darkroom. Today the same effect can be achieved using photo manipulating computer software and a few clicks of a mouse.
The work of several eminent photographers was shown - including Winifred Madeley of Warrington, whose pictures were exhibited extensively throughout the UK in the 1930s, and Randal Rigby from St Annes who exhibited even more widely, reaching Vancouver, Los Angeles, Saragossa, Paris and Tokyo.
The show gave members an insight into the myriad of international competitions held in the UK in years past - the York Salon, Runcorn International and Darwen International to name but a few.
Comments were made about the high quality of the images, which impressed club members as they recalled the equipment available at the time. Many images would compare with today’s pictures, particularly record shots of buildings.

Club Meeting, 31 January 2014

MEMBERS were able to enjoy the beauty of nature when the club hosted a showing of top pictures from the Lancashire and Cheshire Photographic Union.
The nature and illustrative folio featured dozens of prints - with subjects ranging from birds on the wing and on branches, to insects, fungi, squirrels and more exotic animals. Portraits and ‘record’ shots of churches and other buildings were also included.
Those present joined in with the comments to make it a fun event, with observations not only about the photography but also in jest. A picture of a meerkat, made famous by a certain TV ad, was greeted by one wag with ‘do we have another one, to compare?’ which was followed by laughs and groans from the audience.
There was also time to view some of the images from the Interclub Photographic Alliance colour print folio, which encompassed a wide of subjects taken by photographers from across east Lancashire and beyond.

Club Meeting, 24 January 2014

THE Club’s first monthly competition of the year showed off members’ prowess in a variety of different styles, with landscapes, architecture, nature shots and sports pictures all gaining high marks.
Michael McGough led the charge, with first and third in the small print category with two landscapes, Obscured by Clouds and winter scene White Light. Sandwiched between them was Staithes Rooftops by George Spence, which picked out a pattern of pan tile roofs and brightly coloured house walls in the seaside Yorkshire town.
Adrian Hendley from Colne was the judge and did a good job of working through the 100-plus images to select those he thought were the best examples of work in the three categories.
Wendy Stowell’s picture of elephants drinking at a watering hole was chosen as Adrian’s favourite among the large prints, with striking portrait Defy Gravity by Stephen Riley second and architectural interior Sydney Arcade by Michael Crocker third.
In the digitally projected images it was the turn of Tony Hopkinson to shine, as he took first place with Through the Esses, which captured three racing motorbikes at different angles as they negotiated an S-bend, and third with monochrome Old vs New, an architecture shot which captured an old brick building and modern angular steel and glass structures side by side. Tree shot Bare Branches, by Michael McGough, completed the trio.
The night saw a bumper turn-out from members, who were keen to hear the judges comments and see the wide variety of images produced.
To view the top three images in all three sections of this competition

Club Meeting, 17 January 2014

FRIDAY'S meeting was out of this world thanks to photographer Michael Oates.
His talk was titled 'my kind of photography' - and as astronomy is one of his great passions we were treated to some stunning astrophotography.
Michael, a member of Prestwich Camera Club, has been interested in astronomy for very many years and is fascinated by our universe. He now has the best of both worlds by combining his love of photography with his love of astronomy and the results are awesome. It is quite impossible to put across in words how amazing his images are. He uses a digital SLR camera with a telescope and takes the majority of his images near his home in Manchester, where the light pollution is quite strong. But despite this he produces some fascinating results, showing close-ups of galaxies, comets and nebulae. Judging by the comments made my members as we enjoyed a hot drink and biscuits at the end, the audience as a whole was extremely impressed.
Michael also showed us a wide variety of other pictures, including landscapes, architecture, portraits, sport, pictorial, record images and candid photographs. We were very honoured to have him as a guest, as Michael confessed it was the first ever talk he have ever given - not that we would have known, as he carried it off very professionally.
He said he views photography as an art form and has no qualms about editing his images to take out unwanted or unsightly items, or perhaps adding something to enhance the image. He showed us several of his 'before' and 'after' images, as well as giving information about how he achieved various effects through lighting, or applying treatments to his images and he explained the lenses and settings used.

Club Meeting, 22 November 2013

LAST Friday evening we held our latest monthly photographic competition. The judge for the evening was Graham Dean, who was given the significant challenge of critiquing 118 prints and projected images taken by members of the club on subjects ranging from butterflies, church interiors, still life, landscapes and artistic work.
Graham successfully managed to review all of the images, which were in both colour and monochrome, and give his opinion on their merits or areas for improvement. He also found time to share a few of his photographic experiences.
It was a good night for Michael McGough, whose Misty Morning landscape took first place in the small prints and Ullswater picture came first in the projected images. Another of his misty landscapes, Right of Way, was runner-up in the projected images, with Storm Brewing by Irene Burdell third.
A riverside shot of Alsund in Norway gave Michael Whittaker top spot in the large prints, with Mary Braithwaite’s print of a spiral staircase at the Church of Notre Dame second and Ian Hoole’s monochrome image of a statue depicting wartime soldiers third. Michael Crocker was second in the small prints with his monochrome ‘Old Mill’ and George Spence took third with a candid portrait taken at a country fair.
All in all it was an enjoyable, well supported meeting of which again showed the diversity and quality of the photographic ability of people from the Hyndburn area.
To view the top three images in all three sections of this competition

Exhibition Success, 17 November 2013

CONGRATULATIONS to four of our members who have had a print selected for the Leyland Invitation Exhibition next month.
Harry Emmett's Medi-Evil Monk, Mary Braithwaite's St Mary's Church in Saffron Walden, Michael Crocker's Heron and Whalley Parish Church Nave by Mike Dickinson will all be shown at South Ribble Museum and Exhibition Centre in Leyland from 7th December.

Club Meeting, 8 November 2013

WILDLIFE photographer Maxwell Law from Leicestershire captivated his audience at Accrington Camera Club with his apparently endless supply of stunning images mainly taken in Britain but supplemented with shots taken in Portugal and France.
Some two and a half years ago Max decided to opt out and with his partner Marion bought a camper van as their permanent residence. Spring is generally spent in Orkney, where Max leads photographic holidays to photograph the islands’ wildlife. Gannets, puffins, arctic skuas, red throated divers, and short eared owl shots all featured in his talk.
Winters are invariably spent in Europe as they follow some of the migration paths of other species and photograph birds rarely seen in this country. In the autumn a leisurely drive through Wales, Cheshire and into Lancashire affords opportunities to capture images of red deer, mountain hare and red squirrel.
The prints were then put to one side and the audience were treated to projected images. Birds in glorious detail were projected as an image over 2 metres wide. Very few of Max’s photographs are taken from a hide. He prefers to wander with his camera where he recognises the habitat is suitable for a particular kind of bird and is happy to sit quietly and patiently until the birds accept his presence and allow his use of a long telephoto lens to capture his images. Pictures also included landscapes of some of the areas he visited: Elgol, Castle Donan, Snowdonia, Spurn Point, and the Pennines - even a shot taken in Skipton on the previous day while waiting for a repair on his mobile home.
His images can be viewed at

Oldham Mono Print Competition, 17 October 2013

THE club came a commendable second as six photographic societies did battle in Oldham Camera Club’s annual monochrome print contest.
Bury PS, Hyde, Rochdale CC and Rochdale PS also joined in the fun, which saw a total of 42 prints (seven from each club) amiably judged by Andrew Brochwitcz-Lewinski ARPS from Bramhall.
We performed strongly in round one, with three prints making it through to the next stage - ‘Abandoned House’ and ‘Hoffman Kiln, West Craven’ by Ian Hoole and ‘Little Details’ by Anthony Sanderson.
Round two saw the end of ‘Little Details’, and ‘Abandoned House’ narrowly failed to get through with a score of 19 - leaving Ian’s kiln shot to fly the flag for Accrington in the final.
Andrew found it impossible to separate the final four - but when told he had to because there was a trophy for best print - settled on one of Oldham’s entries, a rose picture entitled ‘Fifty Shades of Grey’.
When the marks were totted up, Hyde came out on top with 121 points, with Accrington just three points behind. The closely-fought contest put Bury two points behind us on 116, with the hosts on 114, Rochdale PS on 110 and Rochdale CC on 93.

Invitation Battle at Prestwich, 15 October 2013

MEMBERS visited Prestwich Camera Club for a battle in which the weapons were ten prints and ten projected images submitted by various members of each club. Adjudication was in the capable hands of Norman Thompson, DPAGB, LBIPP, treasurer and past-president of the L&CPU and an established photographer in Bury Photographic Society.
None of the images had previously been seen by the judge so we were assured of an impartial view as well as constructive appraisals of the various entries. All were marked out of 20 and the lowest score of the evening was 14- indicating the high quality of all the images.
In the projected images, Irene Burdell achieved an unparalleled 20 marks for her picture ‘Vintage Roses’ which captured the attention and imagination of the judge as soon as it was shown. Other images included an Alpine snow scene, an evening lake scene, and views in Venice and the Yorkshire Sculpture Park.
Accrington’s overall score was 162, averaging 16.2 marks per image. Unfortunately Prestwich averaged 16.7, so just edged ahead.
The prints included both colour and monochrome with a diversity of subject matter. Irene Burdell again achieved the highest mark for Accrington with a creative print entitled ‘Let the music play on’,
which shared a score of 18 with ‘War Games’ - a striking portrait of a GI taken at a recent event at the East Lancs Railway, and ‘Masked Lady’ taken at Whitby Goth Festival during a camera club outing. Accrington’s score on the prints averaged 16.1 against Prestwich’s 16.8. The highest mark went to Prestwich for a very dramatic wide angle black and white shot featuring a Victorian seaside shelter, and this just edged out an equally striking colour photograph of a kingfisher at rest.
Norman’s comments proved succinct and enjoyable and while we might have wished for a better result, the evening was most enjoyable, with both clubs looking forward to a return battle next year.

Club Meeting, 11 October 2013

GEORGE Steele LRPS, CPAGB, BPE1* presented the club with an insight as to how significant improvements can be achieved with small adjustments in Photoshop or other similar programs.
Each technique was shown in about ten minutes so none had a complicated procedure. George’s technique for producing sepia toned effect was simple and very effective. Having converted the original shot to black and white, a fill layer was created in whatever tone was deemed suitable, and this layer was placed above the image then reduced in opacity until the desired effect was achieved.
The various methods of converting an image to monochrome were explored, and the benefits of LAB colour described.
George’s current project is the appraisal of some of the many inexpensive, and even free, software packages that people could use as an alternative to the Adobe products. He hopes to have a new lecture available soon.
All the techniques were exemplified with George’s own shots, many of which had contributed to his acceptance in many national exhibitions. His talk gave an insight to some of the simpler techniques of image improvement and was intended to give members the confidence to try for themselves.
For a memory-jog checklist of the aspects covered in George's talk, see HERE

Club Meeting, 4 October 2013

WE battled to victory at our latest meeting in a contest against two of Lancashire’s top clubs.
Accrington hosted the event at our base in Rishton, welcoming members from Chorley Photographic Society and Leyland Photographic Society for a three-way photographic battle.
Each club started with 30 images - the more unusual the better, as the challenge was to present something that could not be matched by your opponents. The clubs took it in turns to start each round, with one point gained for the image which most closely matched the starting image and another point for the best image from that round.
And after 27 rounds - with a buffet supper sandwiched in the middle - Accrington was declared the winner, with a stunning 21 points to Leyland’s 17 and Chorley’s 16.
Terry Hewitt, from Stockport, had the tricky task of deciding which points went where during the fun evening, where heckling was not only accepted but encouraged. But he must have enjoyed the experience, as he asked at the end of the night if he could referee again next year. Well done to everyone!

Club Meeting, 27 September 2013

EXPERIENCED photographer Alf Hoole took the hotseat to pick out the best of the bunch at our first monthly competition of the season.
Alf, who is a member of the club and has been taking pictures for 60 years, judged the contest which saw fellow members submit some of their recent images for appraisal at the packed meeting.
Michael Crocker won the small prints with Red Sash, a close-up of a military-style uniform with its red sash forming a strong diagonal element to the image. It’s a Hard Life came second for Mary Braithwaite and Catbells by Michael McGough, featuring the Lake District fell, was third.
In the large prints it was the turn of Alf’s son Ian Hoole to shine, with his print of a flag marshal at a motor event narrowly beating a portrait by Stephen Riley to the top spot. Alf said: “I changed my mind several times between these two, they are equally good prints. It is a lovely portrait but why I chose the other one in the end is because I felt it was a one-off situation and so had a bit more difficulty to it.”
Martin Yates’s Steaming Round the Bend, a striking action shot of a model steam engine, took third place.
Alf said: “It’s a really good shot of a model, one of the best little train pictures I’ve seen.”
A softly-lit image of a foxglove in a field won the digitally projected images for Michael McGough, with a female portrait entitled On Longridge Fell seeing Stephen Riley into second and an action shot of three racing Minis placing Tony Hopkinson in third.
Alf’s insightful and supportive comments made for a very interesting and entertaining evening and - as well as praising the best - will have helped less experienced photographers to improve their images.

Club Meeting, 6 September 2013

WE returned from our summer break to discover more about what the judge thought of our annual competition prints.
Awards and certificates had been distributed to the winners in July but now it was time for Simon Ray LRPS BPE1* to give his thoughts on the majority of entries, which had formed the exhibition at Haworth Art Gallery over the summer.
He went through the pictures one by one, explaining what he thought worked well in each image, and also explained in some cases things he thought could be done to improve them further. It made for a very enjoyable talk and was also an opportunity to take a closer look at all the prints that had been entered, with every one on display around the clubroom.
In giving his vote of thanks, vice president Harry Emmett said Simon must have thought it a daunting task when faced with the boxes of prints delivered to him. He added: “Thanks to Simon. I think he has done a sterling job.” Harry also revealed that 1,900 people had been to Haworth Art Gallery during the exhibition - 700 more than last year - and that exhibition dates were already booked for next year.

Club Meeting, 28 June 2013

MEMBERS’ photographic hints and tips were shared when the club had a discussion evening.
The night started with the presentation of trophies to those club members unable to attend the presentation dinner last weekend. This included the Walton Shield - the club’s premier print award - to Mr Ian Kitchin.
Then it was on with the main event, which saw members asking and answering queries and sharing their knowledge, mainly about the use of Photoshop.
The power of the ‘magic wand’ tool, which selects pixels of equal density (colour), was well demonstrated and prompted a lot of discussion as members considered how they could use it to improve their images. Once employed, it can be used to easily change parts of an image to create a variety of effects. It is also highly flexible, allowing the photographer to change the tolerance. On completion, the edges of the selected area can be softened with the feather tool to remove any obvious joins.
Another useful Photoshop feature to be demonstrated was the clone tool, which enables parts of an image to be duplicated, either into the same image or into another image. Through the use of layers the altered image can be infinitely modified. Then the layers can be merged, sealing the change.
The final demonstration illustrated the benefits of shooting in raw file format rather than the more common jpeg. Additional tools are available to control exposure in selected areas of an image, such as bringing out detail in an overexposed sky without changing the rest of the image.
All members found something new from the various demonstrations and questions asked, going home better informed and eager to try out their new-found knowledge.

Exhibition Opening, 7 June 2013

THE club’s annual exhibition was officially opened this evening at Haworth Art Gallery by the mayor of Hyndburn, Coun Judith Addison, and mayoress, Coun Kath Pratt.
The event followed their three-day visit to London where they attended a garden party at Buckingham Palace - the last engagement of HRH Prince Philip before his admission to hospital. The mayor commented on the ‘painting-like’ appearance of many of the prints and remarked on today being an age of photography where everyone takes pictures, be it with camera or mobile phone. She also said the wide range of subjects on display gave something for everyone and successfully married the science and art of photography.
Also present was Henry Mullarkey, president of the Lancashire and Cheshire Photographic Union, who took the opportunity to award certificates to Oliver Dorée and Harry Emmett after they gained CPAGB status in April's adjudication.
Yvonne Robbins, on behalf of the gallery, reminded visitors to view the work on display by the Ribble Creative Stitchers. Their skills in tapestry and needlework are shown to great effect in showcases throughout the gallery.

Club Meeting, 31 May 2013

CLUB members were given the opportunity to show some of their previously unseen prints during a print appraisal evening.
Michael Crocker started the show with images of local scenes produced to mirror the bromoil process of the late 19th and early 20th century. The traditional bromoil process involved bleaching a photographic print then using printing inks to recreate the scene. The application of ink was effected with a stipple action and permitted localised shading to subtly change the contrast on specific areas.
The digital technique is far simpler and quicker but still gives the photographer a similar degree of control. The resulting prints certainly gave the impression of an early photograph.
Colin Lowther then displayed some prints of Valetta harbour in Malta. Photographs included shots of the 'millionnaires row' of luxury yachts , the cruise liners and the traditional fishing boats still operating. The clear atmosphere produced beautifully clear photographs, which showed well the crowded neighbourhoods and also the unblemished blue skies that predominate.
Recommendations on improving the pictures and awareness of possible detractions helped prepare Colin for his next Malta holiday.
Alan Littler brought three prints from his recent Gibraltar holiday. A close-up of a Barbary ape showed us the many battle scars of this particular individual and was adjudged a potential winner, whilst his images of the Moroccan coast gave rise to much discussion as to viewpoint, framing, and camera settings. A seemingly simple shot can be interpreted and produced in a myriad different ways.
Stephen Riley showed a monochrome portrait taken when he was a new member to the club some three decades ago. The quality of the image was extremely good and gave little indication as to its age. The hairstyle could easily pass for a present day style.
Alf Hoole showed a series of eight images taken from the one spot during a recent holiday in Scotland. He panned the camera to capture a panoramic record of the mountain landscape and then joined all the photos together to make a single panoramic view. The computer software stitched the different shots together without revealing the joins. The effect was stunning and certainly created a unique memory of the area.
John Barton ARPS rounded off the evening with photographs taken in Wells Cathedral. Its iconic strainer arches were installed in the 1300s to counter signs of stress in the columns and were shown beautifully in John’s views along the nave. He also showed the same interior views in colour as well as black and white, the yellowy light and stonework giving a different feel to that produced in a monochrome shot.
The final print was of the Chapter House steps. This was taken to emulate the scene captured by Frederick Evans in 1900 which he entitled The Sea of Steps'. John’s shot displayed much of the mood and lighting that Evans’ shot did. The difference between the two was caused by the recent replacement of many worn steps which made their ascent extremely difficult.

Annual Exhibition 2013

THE best of this year's pictures by club members are now on public display at Haworth Art Gallery.
This club's annual exhibition runs until Sunday July 21 at the gallery, on Manchester Road, Accrington, which is also home to the famous Tiffany glass collection.
It features the best images produced by members throughout the year and the winners in the club's annual competition.
Please come along to view our display of prints and a rolling show of digital images. Tell us your favourite print on the day and you could win a copy to hang on your wall at home!
The gallery is open every afternoon, Wednesday to Sunday, from 12 noon (closed Mondays and Tuesdays).
A preview for members will be held in the presence of the mayor of Hyndburn, Councillor Judith Addison, and Mr Henry Mullarkey, president of the Lancashire and Cheshire Photographic Union (L&CPU).
We hope you will be able to visit our exhibition and also enjoy a display by the Ribble Creative Stitchers that is on at the same time.

Club Meeting, 24 May 2013

ILLNESS brought about an unexpected change in the programme when a stomach bug cancelled the visit of photographer Dianne Owen FRPS.
Instead of her talk, members were treated to a high quality audiovisual (AV) show by Bernard Longley and Keith Fisher, who came in her place at short notice.
Their well polished AVs have been entered into a variety of international competitions and frequently win awards.
After a brief introduction into what it takes to make a successful AV, Bernard and Keith showed a number of sequences - including a comprehensive tour of Portmeirion, which was the location of cult TV series The Prisoner. Two AVs of flowers illustrated the different emotions that can be triggered by a subtle choice of music and also illustrated how creative use of images can produce a three-minute sequence from very few initial pictures.
The show finished with a slightly longer sequence featuring Parys Mountain, near Amlwch in Anglesey. This historically important mining site produced copper in huge quantities and in fact provided the sheathing for Nelson’s flagship. The copper prevented barnacles from building up on the hull and so increased its overall speed, as well as reducing maintenance time. The colours created by the mineral deposits were breathtaking, even on spoil heaps in the area.

L&CPU Success, 14 May 2013

CONGRATULATIONS to John Barton ARPS, Oliver Dorée CPAGB and Mike Dickinson, who have all had successes in the L&CPU Annual Individual Competition.
In the mono prints, John got a commended for Choir Norwich Cathedral and saw his Old Man of Storr retained for the folio. Oliver's Curves and Arches also received a commended in the mono print class and Mike's Whalley Parish Church Nave was accepted for the colour print folio.

Club Meeting, 10 May 2013

PERSPIRATION and determination paid off for club members when they picked up photographic honours.
President Oliver Dorée and vice president Harry Emmett recently achieved CPAGB status - a Credit from the Photographic Alliance of Great Britain - for their images.
And they shared their experiences with fellow members at Friday night’s meeting, which turned into an eye-opening tale of the planning and perfection that goes into making the grade.
Oliver and Harry took it in turns to talk through their experiences of the process, which results in 10 mounted photographs being put before a panel of six adjudicators who judge whether each print has reached the required standard by giving it a score from 2 to 5.
The magic number to reach is 200, meaning each print has to score an average of 20 to be successful.
To support members wishing to go for the award, the Lancashire and Cheshire Photographic Union - which is affiliated to the PAGB - runs a mentoring scheme. Each potential applicant is allocated a mentor to help them select and improve the pictures that will form their entry.
With some humour, Oliver and Harry told us of the difficulties of selecting images to put forward and their anxieties, frustrations and stresses in the run up to the adjudication.
Oliver provided his mentor with digital files of about 25 of his images, which were whittled down and tweaked to reach the final selection for printing. Harry provided his mentor with prints and showed us a number of different variations he had put forward before settling on his final 10 - quite an exhaustive (and exhausting!) process which saw them soldier on undaunted.
Their prints were marked alongside those of 33 other applicants and at the end of a nail-biting three hours Oliver had scored 210 marks and Harry 209 - more than enough for them to join the illustrious company of CPAGB holders. Despite their frustrations and stresses, both said they would encourage more members to give it a try. As Harry said at the end of the meeting: “Now it’s done, it was easy!”

Club Meeting, 3 May 2013

A CLOSELY-FOUGHT contest saw just a handful of points separate the winners as the club’s season of monthly competitions drew to a close.
And the year-long battle saw three different names top the list - Michael Crocker in the small prints, Michael McGough in the digitally projected images and Oliver Dorée in the large prints.
Just one-and-a-half marks separated the top three in the projected images, with Irene Burdell second and Tony Hopkinson third. It was a similar story in the other sections, with Irene Burdell runner-up in the small prints just two points behind the winner and Garth Dawson placing third just six-and-a-half points adrift. Garth also clinched third spot in the large prints, four points behind second placed Michael Crocker.
The final results were decided at the last monthly competition on Friday, which was ably judged by Frank Sharp from Todmorden. He picked out Garth Dawson’s Accrington Stanley match shot as the winner in the small prints, describing it as “a cracking sports picture”, before choosing Mary Braithwaite’s colourful riverside dusk shot of the London Eye as runner-up and a monochrome landscape by Michael Crocker in third.
Harry Emmett triumphed in the large prints with Go, Go, Go!, seeing off Stephen Riley’s Looks Like Kojak with a Cornet and a print of the Yorkshire seaside village of Staithes by Oliver Dorée, which came second and third respectively.
Gawthorpe Hall in Winter won the digitally projected images for Tony Hopkinson, with Beached by Irene Burdell second and Red Deer Stag by Michael Whittaker third.
View some of these images HERE

CPAGB Success, 23 April 2013

CONGRATULATIONS to club president Oliver Dorée and vice president Harry Emmett, who have passed the grade to be awarded CPAGB.
After a nail-biting adjudication process at Hillscourt Conference Centre, Bromsgrove, on Saturday, both were told they had reached the standard to be given a Credit by the Photographic Alliance of Great Britain.
The award, which they will now hold for life, followed months of painstaking work on a number of images before they each chose a final 10 to go before the panel of six adjudicators.
Each print was marked individually at the event, hosted by Midland Counties Photographic Federation, with each adjudicator giving a score from 2 to 5. A total of 200 was needed across the 10 prints to make the grade, which they both achieved with points to spare.

Club Meeting, 12 April 2013

SOME of the best pictures from across two counties were on view when the club went through the Lancashire and Cheshire Photographic Union (L&CPU) monochrome print folio.
Members were shown the higher scoring images from the most recent L&CPU annual exhibition and the images which represented the federation in the 2011 Photographic Alliance of Great Britain print competition. This gave members an opportunity to see and discuss a variety of monochrome photographs taken my members from a range of Lancashire and Cheshire clubs. Accrington Camera Club was represented by two pictures - Cromer Pier at Night by Michael Crocker and Scapegoat by John Barton.
Before the main meeting started, vice president Harry Emmett shared with members his knowledge and skills on mounting prints for competition and display.

Club Meeting, 5 April 2013

THE day before the Grand National, competitors gathered for another engaging contest in the Accrington Camera Club monthly competition.
And two of the runners in it at the last were Irene Burdell and Michael Whittaker. Irene placed first and third in the digitally projected images with atmospheric landscape Feeling the Winter Chill and Disaster on the High Sea, and took the same positions in the small prints with Out in the Mist and table-top arrangement Fruit Basket.
Michael started his campaign as runner-up in the small prints with Rain Across Durness Bay and continued with Loch Duich and Merced River, Yosemite, which came second and third in the large prints.
Another Michael, this time Michael Crocker, triumphed in the large prints with Basilica, Florence, while Tony Hopkinson took second in the digitally projected images with his colourful night shot, MediaCity UK.
Judging the contest was Norman Thompson DPAGB LBIPP, from Bury, who was very complementary about the work on show. He described Michael Crocker’s winning Basilica shot as “an absolutely stunning image, the quality is outstanding” and said of Irene Burdell’s Out in the Mist: “This is very, very cleverly worked. It is by far the best image.”

Snow No-show

JUST when we thought spring was around the corner, snow brought our Friday meeting to a standstill. The monthly competition was postponed as it was about to start, because of the rough weather, and the hardy 15-or-so souls who had made it to Primetime turned round and went home again - while they still could! Entries for the next monthly competition, the last of the season, will be accepted by Katie at the meeting on 5th April. The results night will be rescheduled to a date yet to be decided.

Inter-club Success

THE club came a respectable 9th in the Inter-club Photographic Alliance (ICPA) digital image knockout competition at the weekend.
Annette Lord’s shot ‘21st Century Dracula’ made it to the 5th round of the projected images contest on Saturday, judged by Christine Widdall MPAGB EFIAP at Chorley Cricket Club.
Tony Sanderson’s studio portrait ‘Amy’ also made it to the third round, to give us a total of 21 points for the 10 members’ images representing the club.
The other members who took part were Irene Burdell, Michael Crocker, Michael McGough, Tony Hopkinson, Mike Dickinson, Harry Emmett, Rita Parker and Oliver Dorée.
Chorley Photographic Society won the competition, with Prestwich Camera Club second and Preston Photographic Society third.
External competition secretary Wayne Rushworth said: “It was a hard-fought knockout with a total of 150 images. In round one we lost only three images of the 57 eliminated. Five of ours went out in round two, which left us hanging on to two images.
“Round three began and we lost Tony Sanderson’s ‘Amy’. Annette was our hope for some glory. Fingernails raw, we were hanging on to Gordon Jenkins’s every word for the results table. Out of the 15 clubs entered, we came a respectable 9th. Well done and thank you everyone.”

Club Meeting, 15 March 2013

ABOUT 40 members were privileged to be involved in a discussion with Gordon Jenkins APAGB on picture assessment at our latest meeting.
Gordon is competition secretary of the Lancashire and Cheshire Photographic Union, which is a federation of about 100 camera clubs in the north west of England with a combined membership of 4,000 photographers.
We were shown a wide variety of projected images from a recent inter-club competition and were asked to consider the merits of each one and whether we agreed with the marks that had been awarded by the panel of three external judges.
It became apparent that first impressions were very important and that images which had had lots of manipulation in photo editing programs often performed better than straight photographs. Indeed some photographers described themselves as photo-artists.
Finally we were told that, as in all walks of life, trends were of great influence. For example, movement was now expected in natural history photography and insect details are highly regarded.
The feeling was that the discussion had been both educational and stimulating, with much participation from members.

Club Meeting, 8 March 2013

MEMBERS enjoyed a treat of natural history photography with an AV presentation in honour of the late Thomas Beaumont.
Mr Beaumont, known as Tommy, was a member of Hebden Bridge Camera Club for many years and won many awards. He left a legacy of thousands of natural history 35mm slides when he died a few years ago. His friend Michael Newton and Tommy’s wife Margaret decided to save some of them, whittling the boxes and boxes of images down initially to about 1,000 slides, then to 300, to form the basis of a slide show, which has now been digitised.
Mrs Beaumont decided it should be accompanied with music that her husband enjoyed – resulting in an eclectic range of tunes being stitched together – and a commentary was scripted using her memories. Mrs Beaumont then did the narration of the hour-long AV presentation, amazingly in one sitting without a break, and produced an excellent, balanced story.
The digital presentation was given to us by Mr Newton and it began with a brief history of Tommy's life and photographs of his local area around Mytholmroyd. Many of the photographs had birds or butterflies as the subject and there were some beautiful close-up shots, with descriptions of the lengths to which Tommy would go in order to obtain these - a hide built on top of a wooden tower in his garden and a tripod anchored into a river bed are just two examples. Tommy must have had endless patience to wait for the right moments, such as parent birds feeding their young in the nest.
Tommy didn't only capture birds and butterflies. There were other superb examples of his work featuring beautiful landscapes, flowers, insects and small animals. All in all, the evening provided a fascinating insight into the world of flora and fauna and the dedication of the nature photographer.
Many of the photographs were taken in Tommy’s own back garden – and during the vote of thanks it was commented that we were not aware there were so many small birds, butterflies and moths to be found in gardens and hedgerows just over the border in Yorkshire!

Club Meeting, 1 March 2013

OUR auction nights always present good opportunities for local photographers to acquire used photographic equipment at bargain prices and this year's spring auction proved no exception.
The auction included goods such as cameras, lenses, tripods, studio lighting, flashes and scanners, as well as consumer items such as film, printer paper, inks and other items too numerous to mention.
The club levies a small percentage for each item sold, and this year collected a record £224.

Club Meeting, 22 February 2013

FOUR weeks later than planned it was time for some friendly rivalry as members enjoyed another monthly competition.
The contest on its original January date was postponed because of snow. And it was worth the wait, as judge Mike Stanley went one by one through dozens of prints and projected images covering a wide variety of subjects.
He picked out striking landscape Rural Gate as the winner in the projected images, which provided a double success for Michael McGough, who also came third in the same section with ‘olde worlde’ café interior shot Afternoon Tea.
Michael Crocker equalled this success in the small prints, with his monochrome Door Detail placing second and an imaginative shot of Whitby coming in first. On the rocks gave Tony Hopkinson the runner’s-up spot in the projected images and Bicycle in Herb Garden wheeled Mary Braithwaite into third in the small prints.
The large prints saw Mr Stanley, from Blackburn, choose another of Michael Crocker’s images, Gibbon, in third place. John Barton was second with an architectural record of the interior of Norwich Cathedral and Garth Dawson was top of the pile with his well-captured Curious Child.

Club Meeting, 15 February 2013

IT was a clean sweep for Michael McGough’s projected images as members settled down to another monthly competition.
The contest is divided into three sections and judge, Ken Geddes from Ribblesdale, duly picked out Michael’s Lakeland valley scene and two boat shots as the top three in the digitally projected images section. Mr Geddes said of his winning picture, Ashore: “It’s a very conventional image but it works extremely well. I love the way it has been presented.”
Not to be outdone, Irene Burdell placed second and third in the small prints with Bergerac and Let the Music Play On, and Michael Crocker came first with Sawing Logs, a close-up of hands at the machine with sawdust flying.
Mr Geddes said: “Everything is so sharp. Technically it’s as good as it could be, I can’t fault this.”
It was a battle between president and vice president for honours in the large prints, with second in command Harry Emmett taking the top spot with a monochrome image of the Italian Chapel in Orkney. Oliver Dorée came second and third.
“I think this is absolutely beautifully done,” said Mr Geddes of Harry’s winner. “It is the highest possible quality.”

Club Meeting, 8 February 2013

MEMBERS were treated to an interesting and informative evening in the company of Mike Lawrence of Oldham Photographic Society. Mike is a professional photographer and his talk, entitled ‘Images’, gave an insight into his work. He showed a selection of his photographs and shared some of the ways in which he manipulates them to achieve a variety of different effects using various editing programs.
The second part of the evening consisted of a question and answer session in which Mike answered members’ questions and offered advice to enable them to try out his techniques at home.
The evening concluded with Mike showing a couple of his audio-visual presentations, one filmed in a shanty town in Dallas, Romania, the other a transformation of a dining room in the style of the TV programme Changing Rooms.

Club Meeting, 1 February 2013

ABOUT 35 members were privileged to listen to Professor Terry Hewitt from Stockport who explained in detail the intricacies of Colour Management from Camera to Screen to Printer.
Terry pointed out the problems of defining colours and the attempts to get an international standard and that colours tend to look slightly different to each person and how the prevailing lighting also impacts on how we see colours.
He argued that the existing colour spaces such as ProPhotoRGB, AdobeRGB and sRGB were unable to totally represent the full gamut of colour.
However, he stressed that it was essential to calibrate our cameras, our scanners, our monitor screens and our printers to their optimum level if we want our photographs to be of the highest quality possible.

Club Meeting, 18 January 2013

MEMBERS were treated to a double bill when they were given tips on how to transform their pictures, then treated to a show of quality work.
First up was a presentation from club president Oliver Dorée, who explained in detail how to cut out part of one picture and place it in a completely different image using the wonders of Photoshop. To make it easier for members to follow, he thoughtfully provided a printed sheet with the 15 different steps that were necessary. Click here to see Oliver's notes.
The digital workshop was followed by a collection of projected images from members of the Inter Club Photographic Alliance (ICPA) - a grouping of around a dozen or so clubs mainly in south east Lancashire.
Accrington Camera Club was represented with five images from Oliver Dorée, Jamie Holden and Anthony Sanderson.

Club Meeting, 4 January 2013

MUCH of the entertainment was set to music when Accrington Camera Club kicked off 2013 with a visit from audio visual duo Ray Wilson and Eddie Garside.
The pair, both photographers based in Blackpool, showed members a number of AV sequences, blending interesting photographs on a theme with either appropriate music or commentary.
The first sequences dated back to the 1980s and had been taken using slide film but Ray and Eddie now use digital equipment.
Subjects included Blackpool Tower, Saint Chad, a canal wedding, the new canal extension linking the Lancaster Canal to the River Ribble, hot air ballooning in Pendle and an historic cog mountain railway in New England.
Perhaps the most interesting topic was the Blackpool tram network, which celebrated its centenary in 1985. However, the most poignant presentation was Oradour – a small village in France where during the Second World War the Germans tried to kill the entire population. They almost succeeded, executing 646 people and leaving just six survivors. The village has been left as a ruin as a permanent memorial.

Club Meeting, 14 December 2012

THE club’s last monthly competition of the year was well fought, with more than 100 images vying for the top spots.
The judge, John Fletcher from Ribblesdale Camera Club, found a lot to say about the pictures, with “a superb” red deer stag by Michael Whittaker taking first place in the large prints. Cobbler’s Workshop, a print “full of interest with good detail and colour”, gave Michael Crocker the runner’s up spot and Ian Kitchin was third with Pier Reflections, a “well framed and composed image” of a couple on a promenade bench framed through a window.
Irene Burdell won the small prints with Broken Dreams, which Mr Fletcher described as “a beautifully created still life that invites repeated viewing”. Early Morning, Lake Windermere by Michael Whittaker was second and Cove by Michael McGough third.
Rita Parker triumphed in the projected images with a record shot of a stained glass window in Heptonstall. Irene Burdell was second with Reflections on the Lake, a shot taken at Browsholme Hall, near Clitheroe, and Jonathan Tustin was third with simply-titled Leaf, a close-up of an autumn leaf on a cobbled path.

Club Meeting, 7 December 2012

IT WAS time to get creative on our audio visual night.
Members were asked to put together a small AV on a subject of their choice and a fair few responded to the challenge, with three of the sequences on a military footing.
Michael McGough chose war memorials in Hyndburn and included copies of images shot in the trenches, accompanied by a poignant folk song about the sadness and futility of war. ‘Those Magnificent Men’ was put together by John Barton using old negatives he had restored from the early days of the Royal Flying Corps, showing a variety of crashes as the aviators tried to get to grips with the fragile early aeroplanes.
Garth Dawson’s sequence was of the recent Remembrance Sunday service showing the ex-servicemen and their many medals for bravery.
Other subjects included Bolton Abbey, by Ian Kitchin, with a Gregorian chant soundtrack and a brief history of the abbey, images of old adverts from the British Journal of Photography 1948 Annual, Whitby goths, Chipping steam fair and Rishton’s garden-based model railway.
The last sequence ‘Around the Beautiful North’ was perhaps the most effective, with photographs of various picturesque shots taken in the north of England seemingly coming out of a photo album to fill the screen.
The sequences covered a variety of emotions, from poignant to humorous, making for a very entertaining evening.
Newer members and locals also had the chance to find out more about making the most of their camera settings in a digital workshop prior to the main meeting. Member Michael Crocker led the discussion, which covered subjects such as using raw format, understanding ISO settings and modes such as aperture priority and shutter priority, plus exposure compensation and histograms. Those present seemed to find it very informative and hopefully it will help them to get the most out of the photogenic situations they come across.

L&CPU DPI Knockout, 24 November 2012

THE club put in a credible performance in the L&CPU Knockout, with three images making it to round two of the contest.
Only five DPIs were selected of the eight chosen to represent the club, because of the high number of entrants, and two were eliminated at the first round stage by judge Martin Fry FRPS APAGB.
But we rallied to reach a total of seven points, which kept us six places off the bottom.
Chorley won the contest, held at Albany Science College in Chorley, with 17 points, holding off joint runners-up Southport and Wigan 10 on 15 points.
External competition secretary Wayne Rushworth said: “Many thanks to all members for your interest and for the great turnout by the club. There were many interesting and wonderful images to compete against.”

Club Meeting, 23 November 2012

MEMBERS went head to head in the third monthly competition of the season.
And it was a clean sweep for president Oliver Dorée in the large print section, as his images were placed first, second and third by judge John Riley, from Atherton. Third placed ‘Coat of Paints Needed’ he said was a “beautiful picture” with a “very nice composition.” He described runner-up ‘Red, White and Blue’ as “so simple yet so good” and winning ‘Resting Boats in Staithes Harbour’ as having “classic lines” and printing so good it was “among the best I’ve ever seen.”
It was the turn of Irene Burdell to shine in the small prints, as she took the first and second spots, with Michael Dickinson’s ‘Oakhill Bandstand’ placing third. Mr Riley said the park shot was “a lovely little picture” and described Irene’s second placed ‘Old Mills’ as “just magnificent” and her winner as “a simple thing, beautifully printed.”
The competition for digitally projected images put three other members in the frame, with Michael Whittaker’s “relaxing and peaceful landscape” ‘Yosemite’ taking top spot, Annette Lord placing second with “well arranged and really imaginative” ‘21st Century Dracula’ and Michael McGough coming third with a “simple yet effective” monochrome shot of an old filling station.

Leyland Competition Success, 20 November 2012

CONGRATULATIONS to vice president Harry Emmett and president Oliver Dorée, who have both had images selected for the Leyland Invitation Exhibition.
Oliver’s ‘My World’ and Harry’s ‘Refugees’ and ‘Chris Williams and his Napier Bentley’ were chosen by judge David Butler from almost 200 entries.
The competition was won by the print judge at our annual competition this year, Adrian Lines.
The Leyland Invitation Exhibition opens at the South Ribble Museum and Exhibition Centre on December 1 at 11am and runs until December 22. The museum is at the Old Grammar School, Church Road, Leyland PR25 3FJ.

Club Meeting, 16 November 2012

WILD light was the subject when we welcomed guest speaker Mick Caddy from Whalley, who gave us an enthralling presentation. He has been to the club on several occasions and is a great fan of slide film, once remarking that he would be the last man standing taking colour transparencies. However, he had now partially changed his mind and all his pictures were digital - but many had been scanned from film or prints.
His first images were in black and white but his best were his superb colour shots of wild animals. Through sheer patience and perseverance he had managed to capture red squirrels in the air as they jumped from tree to tree, sometimes with nuts in their mouths. In Scotland he had photographed mountain hares which seemed to be skiing down the hillside! Perhaps his best pictures were of kingfishers which so few people manage to see let alone photograph.
Despite some stunning images, Mick also revealed that he was a modest man saying: "I take photographs, that’s all."

Club Meeting, 9 November 2012

THREE winners’ slots were up for grabs when the club held its Hyndburn and Portfolio competitions.
The Portfolio - seven images on a theme - was split into two contests, prints and projected images, while the Hyndburn was a set of three prints taken within the borough boundary.
Judge Peter Hurst, from Rochdale Camera Club, said he had spent hours on an excellent sets of entries and he admired the work put forward by those who had taken part.
He had seven entries to choose from in the projected image category and plumped for Tony Hopkinson’s set Reliving History, which comprised images of battle re-enactments from pre Roman times to the Second World War. He described them as a well presented and balanced set.
Mr Hurst also gave a highly commended to Harry Emmett’s Pond Dipping sequence, taken at Wycoller, saying it told the story well as the children were unaware of the camera, engrossed in what they were doing.
Garth Dawson won the print section with images of the Queen’s visit to Accrington, which the judge described as an outstanding example of photojournalism.
He also gave a highly commended to Irene Burdell for Forgotten Gems, which he said were excellent quality prints, well exposed and composed.
Irene also won the Hyndburn Trophy.

Club Meeting, 2 November 2012

SOME of the best pictures from across 15 north west photographic societies were on show at the club on Friday.
Members were treated to top marked colour print entries from this year’s Inter Club Photographic Alliance competition, which involves clubs from Chorley to Todmorden and Rochdale to Ribblesdale.
Six of the prints were from Accrington Camera Club members, with snow shot ‘Walking in the Tracks’ by Martin Yates receiving a commended and 18 points, the club’s highest mark. Another two images by Martin - ‘Jetty Steps’ and ‘Misty’ - were also included, as were two prints from Michael Crocker - ‘Derwentwater’ and graffiti picture ‘Art or Vandalism?’ First out of the box was vintage car picture ‘Simply Red’ by Dennis Parker, a long-standing member of the club who sadly died in September.
Great Harwood and Darwen photo clubs were also among those represented in the contest. 
Members had a lively discussion about the relative merits of the prints during the course of the evening.
They also had the chance to find out more about the workings of computer digital manipulation program Photoshop for 30 minutes before the main meeting. Club member John Barton ARPS was on hand in the digital workshop to show people how to set up and use ‘actions’, a quick way to repeat common tasks.

Club Meeting, 26 October 2012

SHE may have been on terra firma but Julie England was still in her element when she judged Accrington Camera Club’s monthly competition.
Julie, known for her underwater pictures, carefully picked through the prints in order, starting with those marked the lowest and keeping the best until last.
Oliver Dorée triumphed in the large prints with A Dark Cloud Over the City, with Annette Lord’s water shot Rushing Downstream second and Martin Yates with The Cullin From Portree third.
Michael Crocker took first and third in the small prints with Rough Seas and Whitby at Night, leaving space for Garth Dawson’s Thoroughbred to place second.
In the digitally projected images, Anthony Sanderson won with his portrait of Amy, Katie Farnell was second with Kitty and Michael McGough third with Way Back to Horton.
Julie found something positive to say about each image, including those lower in the order, and the result was a highly entertaining evening.

Club Meeting, 19 October 2012

ON Friday we were lucky to have the company of John Smith APAGB CPAGB, who is a member of Rochdale Camera Club and also the prestigious Wilmslow Guild Audiovisual Group.
In his talk 'AV for beginners' John demonstrated very clearly how to create an AV sequence with relative ease. He suggested a basic AV could be made in about ten minutes and recommended a software program available online for $75 which can be upgraded for free.
He added music and sound to the sequences by converting it to WAV or MP3 format, making use of free online programs. He stressed the importance of making sure that infringement of copyright was avoided when doing this.
Finally we were treated to some of John’s competition-winning AV creations.

Club Meeting, 12 October 2012

WE were treated to an unusual and interesting presentation from Graham Dean AFIAP, CPAGB, BPE 3*, when he showed us more of his 'digital dabblings'.
Graham, from Darwen, showed a selection of his prints, then used a laptop and digital projector to illustrate the various tools and techniques in Photoshop he used to produce each image.
His first image was entitled Brief Encounter and had been created as part of a club competition on film titles. The finished photograph was of a piece of male and female underwear on a washing line at Carnforth Station. Graham had photographed the briefs in his own garden and then added them to a separate image of the railway station. The composite picture had then been tidied up and enhanced in a variety of ways.
Another technique that was carefully explained was that of 'joiners' where many images are overlapped to create unusually wide views. Perhaps the best of these was of a girl in red in a wet Trafalgar Square.
Other manipulations Graham used included poster edges and inklines.

Club Meeting, 5 October 2012

AROUND 35 members welcomed John Widdall of Oldham Photographic Society to explain the Art and Science of Panoramic Photography.
John told us his interest in this type of image making had been inspired about 10 years ago when he stitched together some images originating from glass negatives dating back to the 1880s. These pictures of Oldham were exhibited in the town’s gallery.
He then gave a brief history of the sort of cameras that were suitable for very wide picture making. We were shown classic school photographs with hundreds of pupils that had been taken with revolving cameras.
Several panoramas of London in the early 1900s were amazingly good. A few photographs revealed 360 degree coverage.
John told us how easy it was to take panoramas nowadays with very ordinary digital cameras. The technique involved making a series of exposures with a slight overlap and using computer software to stitch them together.
Finally we were shown many fine examples of his recent digital panoramas.

Club Meeting, 28 September 2012

OUR season of monthly competitions got off to a cracking start on Friday when judge Gordon Jenkins APAGB went through dozens of images - prints and projected - to pick out the best of the bunch.
It was a particularly good night for Michael Crocker, who came first and second in the small prints and also won the large prints with Whitby Pier and projected images with The Devils.
Former Accrington Observer photographer Garth Dawson was third in the small prints with Legs Eleven, while Martin Yates came third in the large prints with Lit Cone. Oliver Dorée was runner-up with The Shard.
Derwent Water saw Michael McGough into second place in the projected images, while Irene Burdell was third with The Forge.
Gordon Jenkins was particularly enthusiastic and made a point of picking something positive to say about each image, using constructive criticism when needed to say how he would change a picture to improve it.
In giving his vote of thanks, vice president Harry Emmett said: “I don’t think I could find another judge who makes every photographer feel that they just missed out and if they tried again, next time they would walk into the Royal Photographic Society or something. I can only say, as a judge myself, 10 out of 10.”

Club Meeting, 21 September 2012

MEMBERS who did well with their digital images in the annual competition were able to find out why on Friday when Jeremy Malley-Smith LRPS BPE2* paid a visit.
Jeremy, who judged the digitally projected images in the club’s contest, rushed back from an engagement in Birmingham to take members through the merits of the entries.
With much humour, Jeremy - who lives in Knuzden - did a fine job of taking each of the images in turn and explaining what worked for him and what didn’t. And with well over 100 pictures to get through, he had his work cut out!

Club Meeting, 14 September 2012

ABOUT 25 members were entertained, enthralled and educated by John Morton, from Crewe, who gave a presentation called A Land of Myths and Legends and Adventures.
His talk was on Romania – a country he has visited many times. He stressed that most people in the UK know very little about the place beyond that it is a poor nation in eastern Europe with a Latin based language.
John brought along a varied selection of images which showed so many different aspects of life in this Black Sea state. Since he had hired a four wheel drive vehicle, he was able to go to places off the usual tourist routes.
His pictures revealed an unspoilt country with a great deal of natural beauty and a population that was often far from prosperous but was usually very happy.
Perhaps his best photographs included shots of Dracula’s Castle , monasteries with painted exteriors, church interiors with ornate gold leaf, narrow gauge steam railways and wild bears.

Club Meeting, 7 September 2012

IT WAS time for a recap when Adrian Lines ARPS DPAGB BPE3* called in to comment on members’ prints from the annual competition.
Adrian, this year’s print judge for the contest, gave a print-by-print appraisal of the 150-plus entries, many of which had been on show at Haworth Art Gallery over the summer.
Taking each competition section at a time, he explained what he thought were the strengths and weaknesses of each print, and kept back the award winners until last to justify his selection.
His remarks were brief yet constructive and gave a valuable insight into the thought process behind his choices for the top marks.
Vice president Harry Emmett, in giving the vote of thanks, said he thought Adrian had done ‘an incredible job’ in commenting on so many prints in one night. He added that he felt everyone present had gained something from the night and he was sure improved versions of some of the prints would be seen in the months ahead, based on what Adrian had suggested.

ICPA Results, 31 August 2012

A THIRD place for John Barton helped the club into a top three place in the Interclub Photographic Alliance (ICPA) annual competition.
His mono print, Norwich Cathedral Chancel, was praised by judge Geoff Robinson AFIAP ARPS DPAGB BPE5*, who noted it was ‘one of the very few record shots in either colour or mono. Beautiful detail and a very worthy church interior print.’
With a score of 19 out of 20, it was also accepted into the ICPA mono folio, which will tour participating clubs. Another mono print by John, Smoke Gets in your Eyes, was also accepted into the folio after receiving 15 marks, as were three prints by Michael Crocker - Old Boats, Pin Mill (16 points); Loch Etive Pier (16); and Old Rope (15). Harry Emmett’s image Richard Prest, Vintage Car Enthusiast (16) and two prints by Oliver Dorée - Brimham Rocks (15) and Cellarium, Fountains Abbey (15) were also accepted into the mono folio, which will see the club well represented with eight prints.
The club’s total mono score of 66 saw us come joint third, alongside Bury Photographic Society. Winners Chorley Photographic Society picked up the Toulmin Shield with a score of 74.
We didn’t fare quite as well in the colour prints, sliding to tenth, but there was success for Martin Yates, whose print Walking in the Tracks received 18 and was commended by the judge. This and two other of Martin’s images - Jetty Steps (17 points) and Misty (16) were accepted into the colour print folio, along with Dennis Parker’s print Simply Red (16) and two by Michael Crocker, Derwent Water (17) and Art or Vandalism (16).
A total score of 75 made Bury Photographic Society the winners in this section, for which they took home the Arthur Clayton Rosebowl.
A DPI (digitally projected images) contest completed the competition, which saw Chorley Photographic Society triumph again, this time clinching the Frank Sellars Trophy with 73 points. Despite being well down the pecking order, Accrington members Jim Holden, Oliver Dorée and Tony Sanderson had images retained for the folio. Jim’s Toxic Economy and Oliver’s My World both got 17 points and Tony’s Talacre Lighthouse, Jim’s First in Line and Oliver’s Blue Chairs also got 16 points to complete a worthwhile contest.

Club Meeting, 29 June 2012

ALTERNATIVE lifestyles were in front of the lens as club members shared images from Whitby Goth weekend.
The Yorkshire seaside town has hosted the festival each spring since 1994, when the streets teem with enthusiasts and photographers.
Several members who attended this year’s April event, a club trip, presented images they had taken over the weekend, in the form of slide or audio visual shows.
They also experienced very poor weather, so as well as many pictures of elegant, amusing, glamorous or even shocking forms of dress, the meeting was also treated to images of Whitby harbour in storm conditions!

Pictures Wanted, 26 June 2012

A PERMANENT showcase of members' work exists at three venues in Hyndburn and we are now looking for some fresh images to display.
Accrington and Rishton libraries and 'Garth Dawson's' photographic shop in Accrington town centre kindly agreed to host some of our work a few months back to help publicise the club. And now it's time to freshen up the displays.
Please contact Oliver Dorée if you have a print you would like to put forward. It will need to be A4 size. Thanks.

Exhibition Opening, 15 June 2012

OUR photographers were able to stand back and admire the fruits of their labours at the preview night for the club's annual exhibition.
Hyndburn mayor, Coun John Broadley, and mayoress Jean Broadley officially opened the exhibition at Haworth Art Gallery. Other special guests on the night were president of the Lancashire and Cheshire Photographic Union Henry Mullarkey and his wife Jean, who enjoyed looking around the exhibition comprising colour and monochrome prints and digital images on a wide variety of subjects.
Two glass cases also house displays of photographs and old cameras through the years, which members brought along. One case shows winning monochrome print, Interior Utah State Capitol by Michael Crocker, and its prize, the huge Walton Shield. The other houses a working caricature of former Haworth curator Norman Potter, created by famous Accrington artist Frank Nelson, which is the club’s Hyndburn trophy. Every year our members compete for it with a series of pictures taken within the borough boundary. This year’s winning set by Garth Dawson is shown alongside the trophy.
The exhibition is now open to the public at Haworth Art Gallery until July 22.
Members also got together on Saturday night for a meal at the Sykeside Country House Hotel in Haslingden, where trophies were presented to the winners in the annual exhibition and other club competitions through the year. Those present tucked into a three-course meal and a raffle was also held, raising £66 for club funds.

Sad News, 14 June 2012

THE club is sad to hear of the death of former president Joan Campbell.
Mrs Campbell, who died on June 10th aged 90, was president of the club in the 1970s and was a long-serving member, along with her late husband John.
She gave her name to the Campbell Cup, which is still competed for every year in the club’s annual competition.
In tribute to her, current vice-president Harry Emmett said: “She enjoyed her membership of the camera club without having any ambitions for glory in competitions. She did participate in all club activities and produced small monochrome prints, as well as
transparencies. Her main input was her willingness to share her knowledge and love of photography by encouraging others. This is evidenced in her presenting the Campbell Cup for best beginners’ print, which is still competed for some 40 years later.”
Mrs Campbell’s funeral service takes place on Monday next at All Saints, Clayton-le-Moors, at 11.30am.

Club Meeting, 8 June 2012

ROYAL photographer Jeremy Makinson was a special guest as he talked to members about his career so far.
Jeremy, who counts Princess Anne and the Duke and Duchess of Gloucester among his high profile clients, was in unfamiliar territory in speaking to a camera club audience. But he gave the group a fascinating insight into his work as a portrait photographer, which began really by accident in his teens.
Initially interested in art, Jeremy, from Blackburn, used a camera only to take pictures to paint from. But at the age of 18 he realised making a career as an artist would be difficult and instead began a photography apprenticeship. After taking the plunge and going solo he began to make his mark, doing numerous weddings and commercial work before he eventually tired of weddings and concentrated on portraits.
He explained that he does not use flash, even indoors - preferring instead to make the best use of the natural light available and a gold coloured reflector to provide a warmth to the pictures. He showed examples of some of the retouching work he used to do on film before the advent of computer manipulation and some of the commissions he has been involved in all over the world - from Spain, to Zimbabwe and the Middle East. He then moved on to some of his royal portraits, including informal ones of the Princess Royal and her family that he takes for their official Christmas card every year, to complete an extremely entertaining evening.

Club Meeting, 1 June 2012

IT was cameras at the ready when the club had one of its practical nights.
Around 25 members brought along their cameras and tripods for the session, which gave them the opportunity to tackle two different types of photography.
The most popular area was the portrait studio, where three flash set-ups had been arranged giving different lighting effects – a soft box, umbrella and a snoot - against either a black or a white background.
Members enjoyed photographing Amy, the model for the evening, who adopted a variety of poses and wore a series of different hats – the most popular of which was a white England cap.
In another part of the room a mini close-up studio had been set up for members to have a crack at macro photography. There were flowers which could be arranged to make pleasing compositions.
The evening was arranged by club president Oliver Dorée, who made himself available to help and advise the less experienced members.

Club Meeting, 25 May 2012

RESULTS of the Hyndburn and Portfolio competitions were presented to an eager audience on Friday.
Judge Richard Heyes, from Blackburn Camera Club, started with the Hyndburn competition. This was instigated by the late Norman Potter during his time as curator of Haworth Art Gallery to encourage members to take photographs within the borough boundaries and thus provide a historical record of changes over the years.
Among the entries - each comprising three prints - were shots of the war memorial and snow-covered children’s play area in Oakhill Park, the stable block bell and an ornate street lamp in Haworth Park, scenes in Rishton of the cenotaph during a service, the canal bank and a woodland glade, craftsmen at work and attractive floral displays in Accrington town centre.
The Portfolio competition requires seven images on a theme, in either prints or projected images, which are judged as one entity.
Alongside a collection of garden flowers and pot plants were prints of sailing on Rishton reservoir, a collage of black and white images taken at a street protest and vintage cars climbing Drumhouse, at the top of Honister Pass.
The projected images saw a sequence inspired by the spells of Harry Potter, with people leaping into the air. Also high in the air were motorcyclists in a Moto X event. Other entries recorded images of York, a visit by Dr John Sentamu, Archbishop of York, to Altham Parish Church and Model T Fords altered to all the colours of the rainbow thanks to computer wizardry.
The winners were declared as Michael Crocker in the print section and Garth Dawson in the projected section and the Hyndburn contest.
To round off the evening, Garth Dawson projected some of his pictures taken during the Queen and Prince Philip’s recent visit.

Club Meeting, 18 May 2012

ON Friday night we were privileged to welcome Gordon Jenkins from Chorley Camera Club. Gordon is also a member of the L&CPU committee fulfilling the role of competition secretary. He has also spread his wings and now also supports the PAGB as assistant competition secretary, insurance representative and one of the three awarders of photographic merit.
It was this last role with which Gordon opened his evening talk, providing a very enthusiastic overview of the criteria needed to gain the differing levels of photographic merit with the PAGB - from the CPAGB (good club photography level) through to the more prestigious MPAGB (highest standard of UK amateur photography). This talk appeared to provide the attending members with motivation to investigate the standard of images required in the various entry folios.
Gordon then showed a short review of some of his own work, which covered a variety of topics and were generally of an interesting nature. Following this we were taken through some very useful techniques in creating layer masks to create cut outs and multiple layered images. He also found time to show us how to configure the photo editing software to optimise its performance.
To round off a thoroughly enjoyable evening he gave Accrington Camera Club a ‘sneak’ preview of the 2012 L&CPU colour PDI folio, which contained many excellent images that should inspire the members to get out their cameras and take more of their own images.

L&CPU Results, 15 May 2012

CONGRATULATIONS to John Barton and Michael Crocker, who have both had prints retained for the L&CPU mono folio after entering the organisation's annual contest.
John's 'Scapegoat' and Michael's 'Cromer Pier at Night' both received 11 marks out of a possible 15.

Club Meeting, 11 May 2012

CLUB members were royally entertained on Friday by three club members who each gave a talk on their photographs.
Ian Hoole, of Great Harwood, kicked off with a selection of prints, in black and white and colour. He became involved in photography aged seven, accompanying his father, renowned local photographer Alf Hoole. His selection of prints spanned many years and included nostalgic family pictures, sport and portraits, together with many architectural shots for which Ian is well known. He also showed photographs of Gawthorpe Hall. These were commissioned by the National Trust to be included in a guide book for disabled adults who were unable to access all the building.
Jim Holden, who lives in Oswaldtwistle, demonstrated several sequences of projected images with very different themes and techniques. His first photograph of note was taken 40 years ago when he won a local newspaper competition. After that, he took few photographs until joining Accrington Camera Club 10 years ago. His first sequence showed the Higham Scarecrow Festival with some amusing, quaint and scary pictures. The next was a short cameo on the Augusta Street area of Accrington which was intended to be a regeneration area until finance was cut. His photographs showed the dereliction of boarded up houses that have been left to rot. Other sequences showed Iceland, London and its people, and a model village on the Isle of Wight. His final piece demonstrated how he had used photographic software to produce his latest winning picture, Toxic Economy. This was a layered picture of a female goth wearing a steam punk mask together with a stylised photograph of the London Millennium Bridge. The resulting picture was a striking, surreal image.
Annette Lord produced a mixed bag of prints, all but one black and white, demonstrating a timeline of her photographic life, which started as a result of her journalism course. Her pictures were an eclectic mix of images on many topics, as she does little specialisation, preferring to capture the moment as it occurs. Sport, statues, graveyards and memorials featured along with a visit to Las Vegas, where she photographed one casino which had a large display of classic cars. She commented on how much she has learnt over the last few years of being in a camera club. Photographs also included landscapes as well as several informal portraits. Her final collection of prints was of two villages in Turkey, which showed weather beaten and rusty buildings together with their weather beaten and wrinkled people.

Club Meeting, 4 May 2012

A TIE between photographers made for a cliffhanger finish as this season’s monthly competitions came to a close.
And it went down to the last print, as Bolton judge Kevin Shipley picked Michael Crocker’s ‘Tree Roots’ over Oliver Dorée’s ‘Dry Dock’, blissfully unaware that his choice of first and second would decide the winner for the year in the large print category.
The result ensured Michael and Oliver each gained 57 points over the year, meaning the number of first placings had to be looked at to separate the pair, and Michael triumphed. Martin Yates came in third with 51.5.
Elsewhere it was almost as close, with Jim Holden taking first place for the year in the digitally projected images with 55.5 points, ahead of Michael Crocker and Tony Hopkinson. They tied for second with 53.5 and Michael was once again ahead when the placings were studied.
He also topped the year list in the small prints with 59, pushing Ian Kitchin into second place with 57 and Garth Dawson third with a score of 56.
An eyecatching image of daffodil flowers in various stages of opening won Jim Holden the digitally projected image section for the month, with ‘Haley’ by Michael Whittaker runner-up and Martha Caramitsos’s ‘Astro Clock, Prague’ third.
Special congratulations to new members Irene Burdell and Kieran McManus, who came first and second with ‘Bazaz Cathedral’ and ‘Building Vase’ respectively in the small prints, with Michael Crocker’s ‘Old Mill’ third. Ian Hoole was third in the large prints with ‘Boat Shed, Staffin’ to complete an enthralling contest.

Club Meeting, 27 April 2012

IT was a mixed bag of delights as members revisited modern pictures and classic images of yesteryear.
Turnout on the night was lower than usual because of a club trip to the goth weekend at Whitby, but those present were treated to a selection of images from the Royal Photographic Society’s 150th international print exhibition.
Taking the form of a digital slide presentation, 125 widely differing images were chosen from 2,200 entries representing countries as far apart as Hong Kong and the USA.
Allied to this was a retrospective section which rolled back the years to show digital projections of some of the myriad of pictures in the RPS archives, starting with an albumen produced portrait of Crimean War photographer Roger Fenton from 1854 and taking in pictures by luminaries such as Julia Margaret Cameron, Frank Meadow Sutcliffe, Alfred Stieglitz and Joan Wakelin.
The action then moved to a travelling portfolio by the Postal Photographic Club, which featured a wide selection of images from its members, including six by Accrington’s own Dennis Parker, two of which received a certificate of merit.

Club Meeting, 20 April 2012

AROUND 30 members were treated to an amazing talk by Dianne Owen - a Fellow of the Royal Photographic Society and a member of Chorley Photographic Society.
During her presentation, ‘A Step out of the Box’, she showed around 80 pictures – some colour, some black and white. She also passed many of the pictures round so that members could have a close inspection.
All her images were taken with a digital camera but every one was manipulated in a very creative way. Many of her shots were of landscapes or seascapes but they were then subjected to much processing in Photoshop by adding textures and overlays which Dianne had made herself, and usually the end picture was different and mind blowing.
Dianne also showed great skill in the art of still life. She managed to make interesting pictures from odds and ends found in her garden or on the beach. By using many layers and layer masks and Photoshop filters such as liquefy, the final picture was almost beyond belief. For these images she always used the natural light in her conservatory.
Overall, the lecture was a masterclass in how to produce truly creative photography and provided an inspiration to those present to be more creative in their approach to image making.

Club Meeting, 13 April 2012

VISION was in black and white as members and visitors sampled some of the best monochrome pictures from the area.
A packed house viewed almost 50 prints from the Lancashire and Cheshire Photographic Union (L&CPU) 2011 mono folio, which selected pictures that had received the highest marks in the L&CPU contest across the two counties.
Among the selection were 13 chosen to represent the region at the national PAGB championships and a print entitled ’First Time Model’ by Sophie Chalkley, from Chapel Camera Club, which won the Young Photographer competition.
The pictures on show prompted a lively discussion between members over the variety of subjects, the print’s impact and the techniques used.

Good Result in DPI Contest

THE club came a credible 5th out of 12 clubs competing in the ICPA's recent DPI Knockout at Euxton.
The 31st March event, hosted by Chorley PS, saw each club submit 10 digital images with the points gained corresponding to the round reached.
Heading our roll of honour were Jim Holden's Toxic Economy (2011 Protest) and Michael Crocker's Southwold Pier, which both reached round 5 and so notched up 10 points for Accrington.
Deep Channel Light by Annette Lord and two images by Oliver Doree, Flower Model and Winter Scene of Pendle over Whalley Nab, each made the 3rd round.
Pile of Pigs by Oliver Doree, Onwards and Upwards by Jim Holden, The Evangelist by Michael Crocker and Drool by Tony Hopkinson reached the 2nd round.
Steam Vent by Michael Crocker was unable to navigate the 1st round but the combined effort gave us 28 points and 5th place in a closely fought contest.
Winners were Bury PS with 43 points, followed by Chorley PS (39), Nelson CC (34), Ribblesdale CC (30), Accrington CC (28), Leyland PS (26), Prestwich Coop CC (25), Padiham and District PS (24), Darwen CC (20), Rochdale PS (20), Burnley PS (17) and Blackburn and District CC (16). Best image was awarded to Running Free, by Sue Marsden from Ribblesdale CC.

New Blog

CLUB member Wayne Rushworth has decided to start an internet blog, which seeks to promote discussion on a variety of photographic and related topics. His first post is 'a quick look at CS6'.
See our links page to connect to his site.

Club Meeting, 30th March 2012

HIGH scoring prints from a competition dominated by east Lancashire photographers were on show as the club viewed the Inter-Club Photographic Alliance (ICPA) 2011 Mono Portfolio on Friday.
Fifteen camera clubs, including Blackburn, Burnley, Darwen, Bury - and of course Accrington - took part in the annual contest, which sees local photographic societies go head-to-head.
More than 80 images made it into the mono portfolio, which comprised the winners and other entries which received a mark of at least 16 out of 20.
Tranquillity by Noel Morgan, from Chorley, took the top award with Fisherman’s Retreat by Sarah Davies, from Bury, runner-up and Graffiti by Alan Eastham, also from Chorley, third.
Members had a lively discussion about the content and presentation of the prints on view.

Club Meeting, 23rd March 2012

HE’S not long been away but judge John Riley returned to decide the winners in the club’s monthly competition on Friday.
Mr Riley, who judged the same contest last November, gave members a healthy mixture of encouraging comments and critical appraisal in assessing the dozens of images - both prints and projected - submitted by members.
Michael Whittaker took the honours in the small prints with the colourful Beach Huts in the Caribbean, and also took second place in the projected images with French Cottage. Runner-up in the small prints was Michael Crocker with Wash Day and third was Alan Littler with Bell Tower.
Michael Crocker added to his tally by triumphing in the large prints with Pin Mill and taking third spot with an interior shot of Utah’s state capital building. Sandwiched between him, in second, was president Oliver Dorée with his print Tourist Attraction.
Peeping won Peter Anstess top marks in the digitally projected image category, while Tony Hopkinson’s Goth Beauty came third behind Michael Whittaker.

Club Meeting, 16th March 2012

PAUL Williamson from Euxton provided the entertainment with his talk 'Working Prints and Holiday Snaps'.
He brought along a wide selection of images, in both colour and monochrome – some produced in his darkroom and some of the more recent ones digital inkjet prints.
One of the interesting features of Paul's presentation was the development of his pictures – how he gradually improved the final photograph by adding a sepia tone or by enhancing the sky. In fact he did stress the vital importance of skies in a landscape photo – sometimes he even borrowed a sky from a completely different picture. He did say that although Italy was his favourite holiday destination the country often had very bland skies, whereas in Britain there were nearly always interesting clouds!
The content of the lecture was extremely varied – windmills, bridges, stone circles, Swaledale, Venice, Austria, and the USA. Perhaps the most fascinating sequence was of skyscrapers in Canary Wharf, Chicago, New York, the Middle East and Asia.

Queen's Jubilee Celebrations

THE club has been asked to help contribute to celebrations to mark the Queen's diamond jubilee this summer.
Accrington's Haworth Art Gallery, where the club holds its annual exhibition, is putting on a show of royal visits to Hyndburn over the years and is searching for photographs of such occasions to form part of its exhibition.
Present or past club members, or indeed members of the public with suitable pictures they are happy to see included, are asked to contact the gallery on 01254 233782.

Club Meeting, 9th March 2012

MEMBERS were transported to places as varied as Anglesey, Whitby, Manchester’s Pride festival and the 1940s weekend on the East Lancashire Railway when the club was treated to an audio visual show.
Vice president Harry Emmett and his wife Jean, both life members, showed the audience a number of short sequences using different visual effects and accompanied by appropriate music, that they had put together using computer software and a digital projector.
One series of images taken during Whitby’s annual spring goth weekend was dedicated to Sophie Lancaster, the young Bacup goth killed in the town’s Stubbylee Park because of the way she dressed.
Others featured Yorkshire natural phenomenon Brimham Rocks, bluebells at Rannadale near Buttermere, and scenic views taken on a holiday to Anglesey.
Vintage motor cars are a favourite of Harry’s, which showed in two of the sequences. One featuring a hill climb in the Lake District was accompanied by the sounds of ‘Is This the way to Amarillo’ and another, this time on the track, to Driving in My Car by the band Madness.
The couple also gave a brief demonstration of how to put together a sequence using Pictures to Exe software, to round off an entertaining evening.

Club Meeting, 2nd March 2012

MORE than £120 was raised when an assortment of photographic and computer items went under the hammer.
The club’s annual auction saw dozens of second hand items sold by the able auctioneers - club member Michael Crocker and president Oliver Dorée.
Camera bags were snapped up for less than £5 and a monitor calibration kit for £20, as members clamoured for bargains. As well as darkroom gear and computer software, books, old cameras, filters and digital photo paper were among the items on offer.
Some of the more expensive items carried a reserve price and the club pocketed 10 per cent of the cash from each winning bid.

Duchy Boost

ACCRINGTON Camera Club is £250 richer after being handed a grant to help expand its use of digital photography.
The cash, from the Duchy of Lancaster Benevolent Fund, will go towards the purchase of equipment and software to bring members' images to a wider audience.

Club Meeting, 24th February 2012

TOP images from across Lancashire and Cheshire were centre of attention at Friday's meeting.
Members viewed 61 colour prints that received high marks in last year’s Lancashire and Cheshire Photographic Union (L&CPU) annual contest and there was lively comment on the work shown.
Alongside four prints, chosen by the L&CPU to represent the region in the national contest run by the Photographic Association of Great Britain, was a wide variety of work from landscapes to sport and still lifes to portraits. Many of them were heavily manipulated.

Monthly Competition, 17th February 2012

MORE than 70 images were on show at the club's monthly competition.
From September to April the contest gives members chance to view each others’ pictures and have them appraised by an independent judge.
About 30 members attended the event, which was judged by Ken Geddes from Ribblesdale Camera Club.
‘Tyre Tracks’ by Michael Crocker took the honours in the small print section, for images up to A4 size, and he also came second with his reportage-style shot ‘Having a Laugh’. Third place went to ‘A Street in Havana, Cuba’ by Michael Whittaker.
Michael Crocker also triumphed in the large prints category with his landscape ‘Outlines in the Mist’. Oliver Dorée clinched the runner-up spot with ‘Brimham Rocks’ and third was a Harry Emmett portrait entitled ‘Chris Williams and his Napier Bentley’.
Finally Ken judged more than 40 projected digital images. First placed was Oliver Dorée's landscape ‘Winter Scene – Pendle over Whalley Nab’. Second was Tony Hopkinson with his portrait ‘1940s Singer’ and third was Michael Crocker's portrait ‘Contempt’.
Michael Crocker thanked the judge for his careful effort in studying the images and for his constructive comments.

Club Meeting, 10th February 2012

ABOUT 25 members were fortunate to have a print lecture from Dave Crabtree, of Bury Photographic Society.
As well as being a fine photographer he also acts as his club’s general secretary and holds a similar post with the Inter Club Photographic Alliance - a group of around a dozen camera clubs in south east Lancashire. He is also an enthusiastic member of the Lancashire Monochrome Group, which meets monthly in Leyland.
For his ‘From Darkroom to Digital’ show Dave brought along around 80 pictures, with about half created using film and a traditional darkroom. The rest – the more recent ones were made using a computer.
At first he scanned traditional film but he soon found it was more convenient to use a digital camera.
Most of the pictures were landscapes that had been taken in various parts of Great Britain. Some were of places near to his home, close to Burrs Country Park in Bury or around Holcombe Moor. However, Dave’s favourite area for photography is Scotland. Some of his photos were of waterfalls which had been shot using long shutter speeds to produce a beautiful milky effect to convey the feeling of movement in the water. His two favourite images were Sanna Bay, Ardnamurchan and Tarbet in Sutherland.

Winter Dinner, 4th February 2012

SATURDAY night saw members and guests battle through a snowstorm for the club's winter dinner at Sykeside Country House Hotel, Haslingden. Only half the party was able to attend because of the atrocious conditions but those there were treated to a great meal in very pleasant surroundings. Special thanks to the staff at Sykeside for their warm welcome and assistance on what was a difficult night.

Club Meeting, 3rd February 2012

IMAGES from one of the world's leading photographic groups were on show at Friday's meeting.
Around 25 members had an enjoyable and instructive evening looking at digitally projected pictures created by Wigan 10 Foto Club.
Wigan 10 is rather different from most other photographic societies. It was formed in 1988 with the aim of entering national and international competitions and exhibitions. Most of its members have top distinctions from the Royal Photographic Society. It is arguably the UK's leading competitive photo club and one of the best in the world.
The club was treated to some outstanding pictures, many of which exhibited great creativity. Some had been taken using film, then scanned and digitized, but the more recent ones had been taken using digital cameras.
All the images were projected on to a large screen. They were very wide-ranging in their content and style and included portraits, natural history, sport and travel.
Perhaps the most memorable were a Colin Smith shot of a misty Eiffel Tower taken at night and a self portrait by Gwen Charnock.

Monthly Competition, 27th January 2012

A FLOWER theme featured strongly among the winners during the latest monthly competition for members.
Jim Holden, from Oswaldtwistle, caught the judge’s eye with the intensely colourful and striking close-up Peony in Red to take first place in the projected images. Club president Oliver Dorée was third in the same section with Flower Model and Michael Crocker took the same spot in the small print category with Banksia.
Michael’s image of shire horse Murdock also won the small prints, with Old Man on the Beach by Arthur Phillips, from Accrington, taking the runners-up spot. Second place in the projected images was Tony Hopkinson with Captain Strong.
In the large prints it was the turn of Garth Dawson to triumph with Classical Musician, a portrait of a woman playing the flute, and a monochrome image of the American mid west, Cowboy Country, won second for Michael Crocker. Judge John Fletcher, from Ribblesdale, found it impossible to choose between Michael’s dusk shot of Darwin Harbour and Oliver Dorée’s Greek Church Interior, giving them both third place to round off a closely fought contest.

Club Meeting, 20th January 2012

A VARIED selection of digital images from the Inter Club Photographic Alliance annual competition were screened.
About 100 pictures were projected from 16 local clubs and the choice of subjects was wide-ranging. There was a good selection of natural history shots - from butterflies and fungi taken in the UK through to the more exotic ones of leopards, cheetahs and iguanas. Many displayed an in-depth knowledge of the subject and created lively discussion on the techniques used to capture the scenes.
There were several pictures showing the varying moods of the Lake District as well as some capturing incidents in local sports events - the moment of impact when two opposing rugby players met in a tackle was especially memorable.
The winning photograph in the competition was an evocative evening shot of a bandstand and the silhouettes of two friends enjoying a peaceful moment of quiet solitude. This was entered by Sarah Davies of Bury.
The club whose entries achieved the greatest number of awards however was Chorley, with 2nd and 3rd place, a very highly commended, two highly commended and a commended. Their photographs displayed a high level of creativity and imagination as well as technical excellence.
Before the main meeting there was a short lecture by member Ian Kitchin on the use of layers - one of the digital tools used by photographers in the preparation of images for competition and exhibition. The half-hour talk is one of a series where members share their understanding of the post-processing techniques available on computer to help improve the finished image.