The Stevenage Photographic Society kicked off its 41st year last night with the start of its 2015/16 season at our trusty community centre on the London road. It was a largely informal night and great to see so many regular faces returning for the new season and even more wonderful to see a good few new ones too! We offer our newcomers a warm welcome and hope that you all enjoy the club and get a lot out of it.
Our very own vice-chairman Mr Tony Brooks introduced the rest of our committee to the group which was followed by a brief rundown of whats to come with our extensive programme that has been put together by our talented programme secretary and news letter editor Mr Chris Thurston. Our exhibition secretary Chris Pike broke some amazing news about our planned exhibition this year, as he has secured space at the Gordon Craig theatre in town for the princely sum of nothing! So start putting all your images together as we have a real chance of absolutely packing it out with all your wonderful work. Don’t let him down! We had a quick run down on the new website and it’s new features which hopefully the club will embrace. A few of the members have already started uploading images so that we can get an impressive gallery going with members having their very own page if they wish!
So with the season underway, we are looking forward to all the events in store with the lectures, monthly competitions, studio nights, tutorials, advice, natters, and social nights. Welcome back everyone, (and newbies) and see you all next week for our collaborative ‘How to use your camera’ group session. Don’t forget to bring your cameras!
This last Monday saw the final SPS gathering of the season!
The club met for our AGM which ended with the members voting for our committee members for the next season. I for one retained my position as web guru and internet genius! Largely the committee members has remained the same with a couple of exceptions. Our very own Arthur Ash has stepped down as club vice chairperson after long and distinguished service, and we all thank Arthur for his time, effort and commitment that he has shown the club over many years and hope that he continues to enjoy the clubs programmes.
Tony Brooks steps in as our new vice chairperson having relinquished his position of social secretary which has been appointed to Jo Sowden. We wish Jo a very warm welcome to the committee and look forward to all that she can offer. Chris Pike has also taken on the unenviable task of organising the clubs exhibitions which enable you all to show off your photographic skills whilst promoting the club!
The evening ended with prize giving for the various competitions that have been run throughout the season with our winners being immortalised on the various cups and trophies. Very well done to all our winners!
So that’s it for the season, we wish everyone an enjoyable bank holiday weekend, and hope you all enjoy your summer break and we look forward to seeing you all for the new season come September! For those of you who can’t wait that long, then come along to our more informal summer season programme! Chris Thurston will keep you all up to date as usual with his newsletter and we hope to see as many of you as possible during the summer programme which kicks off on Monday June 1st at Fairlands Lakes for a nice photo walk with Des. The summer itinerary is as follows. (this will of course be updated on the website calendar programme.)
A very important announcement from
As part of a larger fund raising event I am going to get my beard and hair cut. Not trimmed but severely chopped. The purpose of this is to raise funds for the St John’s Hospice in Moggerhanger.
The event on the 24th of January is part of a larger fundraising challenge where Matt Givertz and his ex-wife, Sarah, will be driving a 1968 Morris Minor Traveller (Albert) to Mongolia and back.
So sponsor me now or come along to the event on the 24th January 2015 at Potton Market Square and watch the action as it unfolds and, if you want to donate even more, have go at helping the cut! Hair and beard cutting will start at around 1pm and go on for as long as it takes.
Thankyou for your support
Ron has sent this link if you would like to sponsor him having his hair cut off. Don’t forget your balaclava, Ron!
Dr John Law UPI ZEUS UPI 4 CROWN FRPS MFIAP
was on fine form last night for our print competition. He describes himself as a “Counter Conformist” and he certainly lived up to his own handle. When faced with a themed competition, he looks for “Hard Bits”. That is the actual foreground, background and in between ground. Then he looks at the “Soft Bits”. Lighting and treatment. But, most of all, he looks for the “Wow Factor!”.
He is a very entertaining judge who has critiqued more than a million images in his time.
I found him to be fairly harsh with some images. Beautiful scenes were rewarded with a lowly 15 for no apparent reason. Anything that didn’t seem like a landscape to him ended up with a 12. Dr John seems very enthusiastic and passionate about photography. He touches and caresses the prints as he looks for their finer points to talk about.
He found his winners.
Andy’s volcanoes exploded with Wow Factor!
Andre scored an amazing 21/20 for his print which was deemed to be “Print of the Night”. Andre is also a genius who needs to be nurtured and encouraged. Dr John pointed out that there is a very thin line btween genius and madness, as if we needed telling. Andre’s picture was reminiscent of a Jackson Pollock masterpiece and the judge was actually speechless as he admired it. Remarkable. Some people thought that Andre had simple snapped a picture of someone else’s art, but what do they know?
The other 20 was won by Alan Brown who chose not to attend again. What could be more important than seeing your pictures win 20’s? Alan is becoming The Invisible Man.
Very well done to everyone who entered. A very good quantity of prints with excellent quality. Presentation was very, very good across the board, too. No one was marked down for poor mounting or scruffy entries. Sara and Andy worked well together. (How come I never thought of getting someone else to call out the titles? Doh!)
A great competitive night. Those scores will be getting exciting now.
Monthly Print Competition
An Evening with Henry O’Dwyer
Henry is a good friend of Ron Pickford. I’m afraid I don’t know much else about him. He has agreed to come and talk to us. I’m sure it will be an entertaining and informative evening. Come down on Monday April 29th and find out for yourself.
Portrait Photographer of the Year
was a total disaster this year due to not having a judge. There seems to have been some sort of mix up and the judge, Russell Lindsay, thought he was coming to Stevenage next Monday. Russell and his wife, Barbie, live in Suffolk and it would have taken too long even if they had set out as soon as they realised. Clearly, we need to ensure that our speakers and judges are reminded by email and that we have contact details for them on the night. It doesn’t happen very often, but it is a real nuisance when it does. I do apologise to everyone who came down to the club expecting an exciting competition. Also to all who entered. We had more entries than ever before. The entries have been boxed up and we are going to try and judge them on the evening of May 13th with the Photographer of the Year Competition. Some members asked if they could add their portrait images to this competition. I have to say no, as it wouldn’t be fair to all those that had their sets ready for last Monday. I would like to thank Gary for going through the programme for next year and explaining what we have to look forward to. David made a collection of “Portrait Cakes”. He was going to send me a picture of them, but I haven’t received anything yet. They were very tasty if the one I had is anything to go by.
Eric Saul ARPS, EFIAP, DPAGB, APAGB
Congratulations to all those below who had images accepted by the EAF Exhibition. Good work, Team!
EAF Exhibition 2013
Stevenage PS acceptances
Chris Thurston – Lone Tree – 12
Chris Thurston – An Alternative Fashion – 11.5
Adele Gibson – Rydal Water Tree – 12
Elliot Hook – Still Waters – 12
Elliot Hook – The Second Severn Crossing – 12 (Selected to represent EAF in National PAGB Comp)
Gary Nicholls – Lombok Street Carver – 13 (Selected to represent EAF in National PAGB Comp)
Chris Thurston – Walking the Dogs -12
Chris Thurston – Frosty Teasels -12
Adele Gibson – Symmetry – 13
Adele Gibson – Luskentyre Beach – 12 (Selected to represent EAF in National PAGB Comp)
Lynne Owen – On a Spin Cycle – 11.5
Gary Nicholls – Storm over Bamburgh – 12
Elliot Hook – Brown Hare – 13 – Highly Commended – (Selected to represent EAF in National PAGB Comp)
Jeff Owen – Waiting and Wondering – 12 (Selected to represent EAF in National PAGB Comp)
Tanya Warren – Surface Tension – 12 (Selected to represent EAF in National PAGB Comp)
Gary Nicholls – Saved from her Reverie – 11
Paul Langshaw – Iranian Protester – 12 (Selected to represent EAF in National PAGB Comp)
Chris Thurston – Macabre Night – 12 (Selected to represent EAF in National PAGB Comp)
Chris Thurston – Walking in the Snow – 11
It is nearly time for the annual exhibition, our chance to show case some of our best work to the public. As you can see the exhibition will run on Saturday and Sunday the 22nd and 23rd of September at the Community Arts Centre.
Please come along and support us, entry is free to the exhibition and we will be serving refreshments (for a small charge).