2015 09 - First Meet of the new season

14th September 2015
The 2015/16 season for RDPS members started when a large group of returning members were joined by a good number of potential new members for a pleasant evening combining reminiscences about the summer with a look at the new programme.

President Alan Burkwood welcomed everyone and gave an update on the news. We have been invited to mount a display at the event in Lincoln Drill Hall hosted by London Camera Exchange in November, which will offer a chance to promote our activities to a wider audience of enthusiasts. We have been invited to join Doncaster members for a wonderful evening of photography from Colin Prior in the same week.

Our Programme Secretary, Lesley Wilson, talked us through the new programme which includes many and varied speakers as well as tutorial sessions, competitions and member evenings and which concludes with the annual presentation dinner next May. Most speakers now have a web site, so members can acquaint themselves with the work of their work if they wish before the talk. We have some returning favourites in the year to come as well as new speakers recommended by other clubs. The programme covers many genres of photography and offers something for all ages, interests and level of experience.

We will be getting a glimpse into the world of judging when we hear how images are selected for exhibitions as well as hearing more about what is required to get photographic letters after your name. Some of the other speakers, while not speaking specifically about how they judge, also serve in this capacity and some have judged our own competitions. We have sessions on sports photography, including a practical event, as well as portraiture, street and architectural photography in addition to the ever popular wildlife and landscape sessions. Members still remember the outstanding presentation from the architectural speaker from some seven years ago, so this is one to really watch for.

Jane and Neil Brownley followed with a lively summary of the group trip to the Farne Islands in June. Members who had joined the trip supplied photos to support the talk, enabling Jane to illustrate the variety of species to be found on the islands, the challenges of both getting onto the islands and photographing fast moving and burrowing birds and the very special time enjoyed by the group. If proof were needed, a beautiful hard back book of the visit prepared by Alan Townsend had members enthralled.

We are encouraged to be original and to shoot our own view, so members were at pains to look for an original viewpoint at Bamburgh Castle – one of the best known iconic views in the north east. The result was several different images from an identical, if new, viewpoint. Interestingly it showed how Jane's interest in plants was revealed compared with Dik Allison's desire to give the castle equal prominence; a result achieved through selective use of the camera settings. Jane concluded with the good news that they are working on dates for another visit in 2016.

Harold Gay concluded the presentations with a compilation of his photos, which portrayed his wide range of interests beyond the dogs he photographs day by day. His shot of the Press melee at Crufts showed it to be a less glamorous opportunity than it sounds. He discussed the difficulty of getting good shots of black dogs and retaining detail when all the things we are taught to manage are not in your control, the lighting constantly changes and your viewpoint is severely restricted.
Travel provides Harold with many opportunities for his photographic talent to show itself and members enjoyed not just seeing a selection of his work, but hearing some of the thinking and processes which lay behind individual images.

The evening concluded with a chance for everyone to enjoy some social time over the first buffet of the season. More are to come with our competitions and other social events. We are a friendly club and enjoy getting together.