A large audience of 43 members and visitors at our last meeting were present as BPC President, Ashley Hoff, welcomed English visitor Paul Hughes (and North Norfolk Photographic Society member) and his family to our meeting. Paul had earlier contacted the club and offered to show his photographic record of his walk through northern Spain along the renowned pilgrim route known as Camino de Santiago – it is also known as the St James’ Way or the French Way. It commences in the French town of St Jean Pied-de-Port and finishes at famous Romanesque Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela, a journey of about 800 kilometers.
Paul explained that after much research and with the generous encouragement from his wife Kate he decided to do the walk to mark the year of his 70th birthday. The trade off was Kate would visit family in Blackwood South Australia.
The first thing – other than the walk – that Paul mentioned was the need to travel light. He left behind his large SLR and lenses that weighed almost 10kg – his research had indicated that a pack of 7kg was about the limit. Instead he used a smaller Canon Powershot G12 so he could carry clothes and water. In one image he showed us was this travel beaten camera that served him well.
It was not long before everyone was being taken along the walk through Paul’s many photos using landscape and portraits as well as well placed videos of the various characters he came across in the many towns and villages he passed through.
Paul had initially decided to do the first short leg of the journey up to Puene la Reina. But after returning home and much thought he chose to complete the full journey.
The basic but adequate bunk accommodation (including bed bugs) and the camaraderie quickly established between the walkers along the way were experiences obviously enjoyed by Paul. His shots of the Pyrenees landscape to the flat plains known as the bread basket of Spain and the various wine regions along the way were fantastic. The architecture from Roman bridges to modern city buildings, the vast Gothic Cathedral in Burgos and the stain glass in the cathedral at the Leon were outstanding.
During Paul’s presentation we were given an insight into the various cultures and Spanish way of life. This included those in the famous wine lands of Rioja, the streets and people of Pamplona, famous for its bull running festival and culturally rich Leon.
Upon conclusion Paul invited everyone to view the mementos of the trip has referred to during his presentation. Fortunately, he didn’t bring any of the boots he found – often seen abandoned on the walk.
Many members used this opportunity to discuss Paul’s walk with him and to add to the vote of thanks made by Ashley at the conclusion of the presentation.
You can see many of Paul’s photos on Flickr
Blue – it evokes a range of emotions, has a range of meanings and is seen all around us. For some it is sadness or melancholy and for others it is calming and soothing. We relate blue to cooler temperatures. We listen to blues music, and often see it in corporate colours. In some cultures blue means a boys colour (but in others its for girls). It’s the colour of the sky and of water. Blue is often a favourite colour (no Monty Python quotes here) – or not – but that also depends on culture. Many people wear blue clothing (blue jeans!). It is the colour of an utterly insignificant little planet in the outer western spiral arm of the galaxy. Technically, blue is a primary spectral colour, with a wavelength of 450-495nm and RGB value of 0,0,255. Until the advent of modern chemical dyes, it was a difficult colour to reproduce and source from minerals such as lapis lazuli and cobalt or plants such as woad. Early photographic emulsions were overly blue sensitive making colour reproduction difficult which was overcome with the advent of panchromatic films.
But enough of the philosophy and history of blue. How about some photographic representation? There were plenty of people present to see how we could represent blue in our images – 40 members, 3 guests and judge Peter Phillips. On this occasion Peter had 108 images to judge (of which 45 were set subject). Peter seems to be making a habit of visiting our club at the start of the year as a judge – and that may be a good thing as he carefully and efficiently judged the images, giving some very good critique, sharing his insights, and handing out scores. As Peter carefully pointed out at the start, the scores he gave were his opinion – but the most important opinion was that of the photographer responsible for the image. Despite his warning – he did hand out a lot of very good marks (I counted eleven 10s and fifteen 9s – that’s almost 25% of the images). We also shared our usual club banter with the judge (there were a lot of puns and segues) making the night the usual friendly, relaxed affair we all enjoy.
So – how did we go?
Well the usual offenders obtained their expected high scores (and a few lower ones as well), but a few new faces emerged that will threaten the status quo! Jen Williams shook up the competition with the image at left. I’ve been watching Jen’s work on Flickr – and I think other BPC members should not be complacent. This image evoked no comment from Peter other than “10”. Enough said about that.
Gloria Brumfield is showing off her talent too with some great images. Dean Johnson again showed his ability with just one very clever image. David Hope gave us a stark landscape. And Perry Phillips took a punt in the novice section with some unusual images of silica gel (I knew what it was) – I hope we’ll be seeing more from him.
It was also good to see Theo and Ursula Prucha return to the club and get a few high scores in the process.
A dedicated bunch of BPC members took up the challenge again this year. It’s been a fun ride and most of the participants managed the full 31 days.
If you look through our flickr group it looks like Heather, Jen, David, Eric, John, James and I managed to post at least an image a day. Kerry came close, and we had a few images from Gloria, Ann, Helen, Terry, Howard and former member Hilary.
So what did we see? Well first we had a huge variety of images, following of themes, a bit of image manipulation, some of our photographers rediscovering their photographic passion, and a bit of repartee between us in the comments. I’ve picked what I think are the best of each members images and a comment on what they gave us. You may not agree with my choices, but you’ll probably agree it’s been fun and entertaining for the observer.
Sticks and Bits
Let’s start with Heather, who gave us a selection of wildlife, birds, travel photos, Christmas food and drink (love that Quinta Ruban!) and observation. No theme per se, but Heather looks to have had fun. What’s more, Heather didn’t confine herself to her dSLR, but use her iPad and a compact as well. For me, the image above was quintessential Heather – simple and effective imagery.
Figure to ground relationship
Next we had Jen exploring themes of photographic composition, often using simple objects and simple lighting. There were some powerful images in there that merit a serious look – like the 3 rocks and the almost monochrome sea urchin on a black background. Jen has a very good eye for composition – so watch out in this years competition everyone! Jen I think takes out the award for comment discussions. I direct you to one image as an example and you be the judge!
Kerry took part for most of the 31 days (actually, all of them I think, but she didn’t post them all on the BPC flickr page), and seemed to explore a lot of food! Not a problem really, as we all like it, and I was half tempted to visit and inspect the pantry! You’ll have to look at her photo stream to see her images as I can’t embed the images here directly. Never the less check out her Monarch Butterfly Caterpillars and her Dump Trucks to see what I mean.
Father and Son
David worked at giving us an image a day from his secret hideout south of Adelaide (we can’t tell you where or he may have to silence us!). David presented us with an fascinating array of still life, images from the hideout, and garden images, often manipulating the images to add something new. For me, Father and Son, (although not fully representing the body of work) showed us David’s wit and talent. But don’t overlook his artistic work either – Argive Abstract is one not to miss.
Now on to Eric. Never stuck for a word or a witticism, Eric produced some excellent work demonstrating clever manipulation in camera, around the camera, in processing and outside the camera. Check out Friction Grater as an example. That’s comes from lots of practice and experience. But for me, Year End was a stunner that should not be missed.
Hindmarsh Old and New
Our newest club member, John, participated in the process enthusiastically – both as commenter and photographer. Although a long time photographer, he commented to me “This challenge has whetted my appetite for photography again. Until it started my camera would have been lucky to have been out of the house more than once a month or so”. John’s stream of images shows his new enthusiasm with some great images of his favourite architecture (like the one above), but also exploring other ideas like panos (which he does very well – have a look at Base Running),macros and some clever textures. I’m glad you had a good time John and look forward to lots more images from you.
Bus Shelter 2
James again enthusiastically took part in the Challenge, even incorporating a Best of 31 Days commentary on his new Camera Clips page. His images of course show his experimental and strong visual style. The image above is one that is shows a powerful awareness of that style. It has shades of Robert Capa’s “If your photographs aren’t good enough, you’re not close enough”. How many of you see beyond the obvious? James of course gave us his bird and insect shots, but I think his abstracts are some of his best images.
Finally, there was me. I spent a bit of time trying different things like only using one prime lens a for week (I succeeded), experimenting with mono treatments of images (like the one above – check out it’s colour cousin), wide angles, abstracts, and memories of lost relatives. It was hard work at times – as work and other things again got in the way. But the capture of a daily image or two to share was very satisfying in the end.
So there you have it – an interesting journey for all of us. Please visit the club Flickr page and see what we’ve done. We’ll probably hold another mid-year just to try something new.
Hasn’t the year flown by? Here we are about to finish up and another BPC Annual Exhibition has been run.
It’s been a busy year, with competitions, critique, some memorable workshops, outings and a new calendar. Full credit to all those who get stuck in and make every evening happen – the folk who set up chairs, the tables, the screen, the supper, the print stands – and then tidy it all up afterwards. Without your involvement it wouldn’t happen every fortnight and maximise our enjoyment.
So on to the Annual Exhibition. Like last year, we took the judging out of the meeting programme, collated the numbers and presented the results. Our thanks to our 3 panel judges – Joy Lee-Archer, Gary Secombe and John Williamson who carefully and efficiently scored our best images. Our thanks also to Jenny & Mark Pedlar for hosting the judging (and a great supper to go with it). Mark Pedlar then organised the certificates (again – thanks Mark) and a programme whilst Julie Goulter had trophies engraved.
On the actual awards night, we had an excellent turnout (I counted 43), with judges Gary Secombe and John Williamson in attendance along with several guests (like an ex-President, a few former club members and a partner or two) and many members filling the room comfortably. John Williamson liked us so much he joined our merry band as a member. Welcome!
President Ashley Hoff and Secretary Julie Goulter officiated to hand out the awards – Ashley getting RSI from signing all the award certificates and spots in his vision from the flash :)
JV Spick Chemist Award for Album Prints
Blackwood Photographic Club Award for Colour Prints
Blackwood Times Award for Mono Prints
Photographic Wholesalers Award for Projected Images
Congratulations to everyone who participated – and challenged each of us to try that little harder over the year.
The Annual Exhibition itself had some inspiring images to stimulate us. The full selection of digital images are presented below – click on any one to go into the slide show for a full size view.
And now for the Annual Exhibition Award winners – drum roll please………
Edge Malpas Award for Album Prints
|2nd||Helen Whitford||Parrot Fashion|
|3rd||Jo Tabe||Strike a Pose|
|Merit||Helen Whitford||Fun with Pebbles|
Mal Klopp Award for Colour Prints
|2nd||Jo Tabe||A Quick Snack|
|3rd||Jo Tabe||Left to the Weather|
|Merit||Jo Tabe||Mixed Emotions|
I’ve Been Framed Award for Monochrome Prints
|2nd||Jo Tabe||Standing Proud 2|
|3rd||Helen Whitford||Going for It|
|Merit||Helen Whitford||Let’s Stick Together|
Hutt Street Photos Award for Projected Images
|Mother and Child|
|2nd||Jo Tabe||River Contrasts|
|3rd||Ashley Hoff||Not the Messiah|
|Merit||Kerry Malec||Pacific Coast Iris|
WEA Australian Landscape Trophy
This time, even though the awards were dominated by those with a J or H as their first initial, other letters of the alphabet made an appearance! Well done to K, G and A for getting in the mix.
I’ve created a summary of the final scores from the big spreadsheet that you can download for those that like numbers. For those who prefer it, we also have Mark’s official BPC Annual Catalogue.
So what of that other award – the Bill Templar Award for services to the club over the last 12 months? It came down to a secret ballot vote between two people – Julie Goulter and Chris Schultz and was awarded to…….. Chris Schultz…. Hey! That’s me :) . I’m pretty humbled by that and appreciate your support. Thank you all.
Finally, after all the awards, celebration of our work and sharing in the fun, the evening finished with a supper of assorted goodies, viewing of the all the images, a lot of chat and supplemented again by Ron’s pizza!
Here’s a few photos of the award winners to finish (and yes – some faces just keep coming back :D )
Thanks again to our sponsors and everyone for taking part.
Next year promises to be interesting again with a new Novice only competition, some changes to the Peer Review nights and more interesting speakers.
Oh – and while you’re waiting for 2015 – anyone interested in the 31 Day Challenge for December? It’ll be on again – just post your images with the day number in the Flickr group.
Roll on 2015!
Yes! Another BPC Calendar has rolled off the presses.
We have trawled the images of our talented club members again and managed to snare the work of 39 different photographers. You may have seen some on the club Flickr group or at a competition or an exhibition or even on these pages – but they are all high quality images that will provide viewing pleasure and maybe inspire you.
This time the calendar editor role has passed to……..me! I’ve been given the task of producing the calendar for 2015 and tried to fill it with mainly local images, but now with a couple of twists. This time you get a glossy cover, a different layout, and each page has a theme (see if you can guess it). We’ve also worked with the printers to reduce page curl for a better product you’ll be pleased to share or give.
Now here’s a thought – Christmas is only 4 months away! So let this little beauty soar to remote locations, give it to your Aunt Mabel or Uncle Bob, surprise your neighbor with a copy over a cuppa, present one to your boss or favourite co-worker or even hang one on the wall in your home or office.
Here’s a YouTube video showing you each page:
The price remains the same – $15. Tough bag postage/packaging mail delivery is extra. You can obtain a copy from any club member, email us, or write to the club via snailmail (yes, we do have a postal address). We accept cash, cheques & money orders (payable to Blackwood Photographic Club of SA) and Electronic Funds Transfer (details available upon request) as payment for this great calendar.