Members, Family and Friends celebrated a first for the Bangor and North Down Camera Club. Holding their annual display of exhibition prints in the Curve Gallery at Bangor Carnegie Library on Thursday 3rd July 2014. It also gave a rare opportunity (only on the opening night) to view the Projected Digital Images which had been submitted to this years Competition. The library is the first of two organised exhibition displays for the club in the town. The second venue for the Exhibition Display will be at the Aurora (for the second year) in August and detail will be made available later.
The newly elected Chairman Ray Magill opened the exhibition by offering words of Thanks to Club President Gerry Coe for his guiding hand and expertise for Ray and Alan Mc Morris in the selection and display of the images. This added an innovative touch to the images hanging on the wall. Ray stressed on the impact of the images to the viewers and hoped they would encourage more to join in the new club season starting in September 2014.
The exhibition images will be on view at the Curve Gallery from 3rd July to 30th July and prints will be refreshed a few times so as many members images can be exhibited. The Club expresses that the library does hold other events in the Gallery and if you are planning to visit the exhibition, Please check availability with the Library first on 91270591. Opening times can be viewed on the Carnegie library website. (The Library will be closed for the public holidays on Saturday 12th July and reopens Wednesday 16th July)
BNDCC wish to Thank Management and Staff of Carnegie Library for this wonderful opportunity to display our Annual Exhibition in the Curve Gallery and to Gerry Coe and all those behind the scenes who arranged this special venue for members. We hope everyone enjoys the array of images and anyone wishing to join the club can visit www.bangor-camera-club.co.uk for details. The club still meets on a Wednesday and Friday from 7.45 - 10pm at the Ward Avenue Clubhouse and everyone is Warmly Welcome to check out the facilities and workshop evenings.
Bangor & North Down President Gerry Coe hands over a cheque for £200 to Diane Weston of the Childrens Hospice in Belfast.
The money was collected after a special tribute night in remembrance of our good friend Jim Moreland who died recently of Cancer. Jim was one of the greatest photographers Northern Ireland has ever produced, both as a professional and as great supporter of the amateur Camera Clubs in Ireland and beyond, including his own club, Christian Brothers CC in Belfast.
He is greatly missed by his many friends and colleagues but his legacy remains in the substantial number of photographs he has produced over many years.
The AGM officially brings to an end this season at The Bangor and North Down Camera Club, but before the meeting proceeded Alan Field was officially presented with the Photographer Of The Year trophy. Congratulations Alan!
Chairman Harry Watson then opened the proceedings with his review of the work that had been done, is currently being done and is still to do. Harry went on to pay thanks to Treasurer, Jack Thompson and Secretary, Christine Pearson for all their hard work in the running of the clubs administration. Thanks to Alan McMorris and Alan Hartley for all their dedication and hard work for the Exhibition and NIPA Competitions throughout the year. Special thanks to Noel Maitland our Facilities Manager who did a sterling job to keep the club running in a safe and healthy environment.
In the presentation and promotion of the club thanks went to David Roberts and Deborah Carvill for their weekly blog on the BNDCC website and in the Spectator Newspaper. With thanks to Shirley Graham, John Miskelly and Trevor Craig and other committees members Helen Fettus, Darren Brown, Hugh Rooney and especially to David Best who works tirelessly behind-the-scenes to organise, develop and assist in all aspects of the club.
For our Wednesday nights workshops a special thanks went to David Roberts, Mark Allen and David Best for their contribution to the development and success of our novice members. With this years official programme Thanks go to Gerry Coe and Ray Magill for once again organising a wonderful line up of Photographers, Artists and Actors to inspire and encourage us with pure excellence and talent. A sheer delight to witness!
Final thanks went to Club President, Gerry Coe. Busy by his actions of dedication for the club. While promoting BNDCC and tirelessly keeping the club on a visible platform as an important part of the community. With exposure of the clubs talents through the displays in the Aurora last year and the possibility of returning this year as well as an exhibition in Bangor Library too.
Next on the agenda were the committee reports from Treasurer - Jack Thompson, Facilities Manager - Noel Maitland, Webmaster - David Roberts, Competition Secretary - Alan Hartley and NIPA Representative - Alan McMorris.
The President, Gerry Coe, Thanked Harry for the last two years, in which he had dealt with any arising problems in his normal gentlemanly way. Gerry then took the chair for the proposal and election of Officers for 2014 - 2015 season.
Ray Magill was elected Chairman with Mark Allen newly elected as Vice Chairman. Secretary - Christine Pearson
Treasurer - Jack Thompson; Assistant Treasurer - Peter Gibson
Joint Exhibition Secretary - Alan McMorris and Harry Watson
Competition Secretary - Alan Hartley
Assistant Competition Secretary - Bobby Peacock
Facilities Manager - Noel Maitland
N.I.P.A Representative - Alan McMorris
Webmaster - David Roberts
Information Officer - Deborah Carvill
Child Protection Officer - Shirley Graham
Programme Committee - Gerry Coe and Ray Magill
Auditors - John Miskelly and Trevor Craig
Summer Outings Secretary - Deborah Gardiner
Other Committee Members - Helen Fettus, Darren Brown, Hugh Rooney and David Best.
Gerry Congratulated all the elected committee members and handed over to the incoming Chairman Ray Magill for his opening address.
Ray remarked about the high standard the club has within NIPA and looks forward to working with everyone to keep that high standard going and improve the level of photography from the BNDCC members. As past NIPA President Ray urged everyone to take the opportunities the club offers and move out of the comfort zone and discover the potentials he knows and witnesses the club members to have. Ray also wanted to acknowledge the hard work which Alan Mc Morris contributes to NIPA and for the BNDCC. Ray conducted a few points of business before drawing a close to the meeting.
A reminder to members that the midweek sessions will continue throughout the year and Friday meetings will change to a workshop night until the new 2014 - 2015 season begins in September. The summer outings will continue as usual on the first Saturday of May, June, July and August and we hope to see members back safe and well in September. Have a great Summer everyone!
Most people when they retire would love to take up a hobby to fill their days. For Peter Wilkin, it was to be Photography.
For many years previous Peter talked about taking the leap and shutting the door to his dedicated working day in the family business. So when the day finally arrived Peter surprised everyone by doing exactly that.
Becoming a member of the Ballynahinch Camera Club, Peter purchased his first camera. A square format camer .he didn't know the first thing about and over the years gained the knowledge to move onto 35mm film and finally digital cameras. Testing each new model and lens that came along. Even becoming the 1st person in NI to buy a DSLR Nikon D1. With all these skills Peter reached the heights of being a past President of NIPA.
So who better to be a returning judge for the Bangor and North Down Camera Clubs Annual Exhibition Competition. Although Peter did say never again after the last time. With a background in Landscape and Infrared Photography Peter began the task of explaining what makes his winners. Dramatic skies or captivating stories within the frame. A powerful image that instantly catches the eye with all the technical and artistic quality a photograph should possess.
Peter's selection was as follows.
HC. & C.
(Projected Digital Image)
(Projected Digital Image)
(Projected Digital Image)
(Projected Digital Image)
(Projected Digital Image)
Best Overall Exhibition Picture went to Trevor Craig.
The award for the Photographer Of The Year went to Alan Field. Best Panel awarded to Hugh Rooney and Audrey Argue Best image awarded to Alan Field. Alan also was awarded the best overall score in the monochrome print annual competition with Trevor Reid winning the colour print section and Jack Thompson taking the Projected Digital Image competition. Congratulations to all the winners and to everyone who entered images to the exhibition and all the competitions throughout the year.
The club wishes to Thank Peter Wilkin for spending time to judge the BNDCC Exhibition Competition and for returning to the clubhouse for a second visit to give his feedback. Even though the Exhibition entries this year was down from 320 images last year to 250 images this year it was a jam packed night and a special Thanks go to Alan McMorris and Alan Hartley for all their time, dedication and hard work to prepare and display the images on the night. This year some of the images will be on display in Bangor Library. (Hopefully in July).
Next week is the AGM and the last official night of the club season so anyone with subject for the agenda to discuss please email them to Christine Pearson (Club Secretary) ASAP.
Congratulations to all the novice members of the BNDCC as the club took home an award and the honour of joint 1st place in the 2013 / 2014 NIPA - Projected Digital Image competition with Belfast Photo Imaging Club (BPIC) gaining the overall joint highest points total of the competition year. Congratulations goes to the novice members of BPIC who we share the honour with.
The BNDCC Annual Exhibition Dinner was as usual a huge success for club and members with The Esplanade in Ballyholme providing a wonderful and plentiful dinner for everyone. Thanks go to all the staff who made the night run so smoothly. Thanks also goes to Gerry Coe, Alan Mc Morris, Harry Watson, Jack Thompson and Hugh Rooney for all their hard work in preparing, organising and presenting all awards and prizes on the night.
Congratulations to all the winners and to everyone who submitted images to the competition. It is without the support of members who enter their images for the exhibition and all the competitions thoughtout the year that makes the journey and the final results a worthwhile reason to celebrate together. Thanks to Christine, Darren and Gareth for taking a few photos on the night. Members can see these on facebook.
Friday 18th April the Clubhouse is closed for the Easter break. So have a lovely few days and Enjoy the rest, back on Wednesday 16th, closed Good Friday. Resume Wednesday 23rd and Friday 25th April for the Exhibition Post Mortem. Where we will see all the entries and winning images and hear feedback by the exhibition judge.
For anyone who hasn't dropped in to see Gerry's exhibition there is still time as the prints will still be on display in the Carnegie Library of Gerrys iPhone Art from 4th - 30th April 2014. A wonderful range of images that are truly inspirational.
In a change to the Friday night programme Harry informed the members that a selection of PDI's from the NIPA competitions year would be displayed with comments from our more Advanced members to help and answer any questions the author or any foundation members may have.
With the usual advice on cropping, sharpness and adjustments of colour and density there were also more technical tips like shortening the power of the flash unit to sharpen images that needed precisely timed shutter speeds and the planning of a photographic trip to get the best use of lighting and shadows. Using the sun to shine from an angle rather than above or behind the photographer. Giving much needed contrast to a flatter image.
The turning of an image upside down proved that now the subject in the image wasn't the main focus of attention any distractions were clearly visible and could now be removed. Also giving space, flow and a focus point were important components in the compositions of successful competition images. Less saturation in colours could make all the difference to a winning image. Many judges talk about the dreaded 'Digital Green'. But some images can look better in B&W and it's worth a try to experiment a little.
Tea brought the meeting to an end and with our exhibition awards dinner next week at the Esplanade in Ballyholme members are reminded to check Facebook and their emails for the menu and return their choices to Gerry Coe ASAP. If you haven't received the menu email Please contact Gerry directly. It will be on Friday 11th April, 7.30 for 8pm start. Have a great night everyone!
Last years award winners can still leave their cups and trophies at the clubhouse for Wednesday 9th the last club night before the presentation to the new winners at the exhibition awards dinner. So a reminder there will be no meetings on the 11th and 18th at our clubhouse in Ward Avenue. It will be closed on Fridays for two weeks. Wednesday nights meeting will be advised on the 9th.
Don't forget some of Gerry's images will be on display in the Carnegie Library in an exhibition of iPhone Art from 4th - 30th April 2014. Where Gerry will attend for 2 days. Wed 9th 1- 5pm and Sat 12th April 11.30am - 5pm for a chat.
When you join a club it is inevitable you will meet like minded people and find a common bond. But sometimes it can also bring a stronger friendship with years of memorable experiences and stories which can colour and enrich a character to challenge their goals and achieve something worthwhile with their talents.
This was the message that Bangor and North Down Camera Club President Gerry Coe wanted to share when he presented the body of Black and White photographic works by Jim Moreland a man Gerry was proud to call his friend. A man who became a great influence and trailblazer to other photographers in Northern Ireland after becoming the first person from here to achieve a Fellowship from BIPP. Encouraging each other to achieve further awards in a friendly competitive spirit.
Earlier in this year's programme, BNDCC was to be honoured with a presentation by Jim Moreland of his life works of award winning images. Jim couldn't be with us that night and sadly passed away in January 2014. As a tribute to Jim's memory and a testament to his dedication to teach others Gerry, with kind permission of Jim's family, recalled all the details and memories each images revealed.
Describing Jim as the greatest environmental photographers he knew, Gerry explained the characters Jim captured and from the accompanying notes and snap shots of the places he photographed with the very environment it was taken in and showed where the only natural lighting was available to him proving the true skill and talent Jim had. He was a master at handling light and keeping the detail in the shadow for the perfect photograph.
Jim achieved many awards of excellence and prizes from various boards with his dark heavy atmospheric styles of portraitures, commercial and architectural photographs. Images that Jim had perfected in its composition, framing and lighting which worked on so many different levels and Gerry expressed there was a lesson to be learnt from the images. When members are next out taking photographs, keep in mind what they see from Jim's images. See the lighting and try to capture the same qualities Jim revealed. Experiment until you find it. Jim did this and mastered it with time. It had to be right for him. He understood the qualities to make a good print which in turn made him successful and generous to pass it on to others.
In some notes with a unfinished panel of images Jim had written down how he wanted the pieces to be presented and no doubt it was one of many notes Jim would have made. Always challenging and looking for improvement. Having an honest eye for his own work and over his friends too. The loss of Jim and such a true friendship is sadly miss today.
Everyone at BNDCC wishes to thank Mary and Donna for their generosity in granting the club permission to have Jim's photographs presented by Gerry and learn about the man behind the stories of steak and Guinness and a wonderful larger than life character. Many thanks also to Gerry Coe for bringing heart to Jim's story and passing it forward. The night was also in aid of the Children's Hospice. All donations can be given to Jack who will pass it on to the charity. Thank you!
Gerry also presented David Roberts with a signed print of a portraiture Bill Gatt had demonstrated for iPad art a few meetings ago and Ray Magill with a green ribbon for his AV in the Novice section of the PAGB award. Ray in turn as NIPA president presented Hugh Rooney with a starred image certificate for Round 5 Interclub Portraiture competition with an image of 'The Flautist'. Congratulations to both Ray and Hugh.
A reminder that all trophies and cups have to be returned to the clubhouse preferable cleaned and polished by Friday 4th April so they can be presented the following week at the annual dinner.
Some of Gerry's work will be on display in the Carnegie Library in an exhibition of iPhone Art from 4th - 30th April 2014. Where Gerry will attend for 2 days. Wed 9th 1- 5pm and Sat 12th April 11.30am - 5pm for a chat. We wish Gerry every success with his exhibition in April.
Bangor and North Down Camera Club has it's own band of photographic legends in the form of a group of members calling themselves 'The Travelling Wilburys'. Every year 8 members visit a location abroad and set out to capture individually their own creative style of photography. Their destination in May 2013 was Rome with 5 members - Gerry Coe, Hugh Rooney, Trevor Craig, John Miskelly and Peter Gibson presenting the results at Friday nights club meeting.
'The Seven Hills Of Rome' took members on a tour of the many iconic sights and meeting places of the Ancient City. With a range of different viewpoints the five explained why and how they had chosen different angles and even times of the day to do the most justice and grandeur to the landmark in its entirety. Canon, Nikon, Fuji and the iPhone all being the chosen pieces of equipment to represent each member but each presentation proved that without the correct composition and technical skills to create something unique it really is the photographer who has the talent and a good eye, or even who goes to any length to searches for the shot, that really matters.
Hugh Rooney gave us an insight into the buildings, sculptures and monuments, with accompanying crowds, the travellers had to endure. The architecture inside and outside giving shapes and lead in lines perfect for composition.
Visiting Vittorio Emanuele monument, Colosseum, Roman Forum, Pantheon, Trevi Fountain, St Peters Square and Basilica, Hugh gave many tips on how a little patience in capturing his wonderful images of the columns in St. Peter's square to the extra steps taken to climb to the top of the dome in the Basilica to create an image to convey the sheer scale of the cityscape and amazing architecture.
Another of Hugh's detailed Panoramic view from the Vittorio Emanuele monument contained 8 full frame images which could be made into a print 15 feet long.
Trevor Craig introduced his presentation with the quote "When in Rome!" and gave the members a little taster of 'Meeting the Locals' where a Roman pageant near the Forum offered an opportunity to photograph Roman Soldiers re-enact history with some savages. 'Doing the tourist thing' Trevor shared tips on how the 'Record Shot' can be transformed and made interesting by moving. Giving an examples of a few shots.
One from a bridge on the Tiber river with St. Peter's in the distance compared with a shot taken from underneath the same bridge which now framed the scene and gave it shape. Visiting the Sistine Chapel they had to walk through long corridors with works of art covering the ceilings but at the exit was a grand staircase where Trevor capture a memorable image. 'Getting out of the city' saw an early start with a train and hire car trip to Civita de Bagnoregio created a little adventure for Trevor and John for the day. 'and Finally some people photography of the police in fashionable uniforms to the tramps lying in the streets. Finishing with 'Grazie e arrivederci (Thank you and goodbye in Italian).
John Miskelly presentation 'The Old Geezers' offered a look at the camera equipment John used on this trip. His first location using his new Fuji System. Usually carrying a heavy backpack with his Nikon camera, lens, batteries and filters. Not forgetting his tripod. John had reduced the sheer weight and size of this load by his most recent purchase. With the DSLR camera John saw how the use of the more professional looking camera you stuck out whereas the newer Fuji XT1 gave a more freedom to engage with the subject or person. But a testament to the quality of the image came in the from of a print of Trevi Fountain taken at 5am in the morning when the tourists were turning for their second sleep which was viewed and studied by members for its remarkable detail. A success camera that will now accompany John on his future travels.
After tea Peter Gibson declared Rome as the destination for the most expensive fish and chips he had ever tasted. When an oversight in the price per gram was missed. But it was lovely! Peter found Rome's vastness and metro a little confusing and admitted to feeling lost. But no better place to be lost as the saying goes 'all roads lead to there'. Peters images showed a different viewpoint and where Hugh waited for people to walk out of the shot Peter found people a focus point in his photographs. A visit to the Jewish quarter created a memorable moment when a plaque for the memory of Leone Pavoncello who was taken to Auschwitz in October 1944. Peter finished with an AV of Rome with images of statues, the beautiful architecture of the buildings and streets. The markets were Artist or 'Pot boilers' sold pieces of art by the weight rather than the name. Capturing the sights and people who gathered to visit the historical city.
Gerry Coe who traveled all the way to Rome with only an iPhone and a small tripod in his pocket wanted to capture a totally different feel to the normal tourist pictures. But the main reason was to build a series of pictures with an industrial themes too and arranged a group visited to an old gasworks industrial site with a artist twist. Statues with machinery and pipes giving a different backdrop. Gerry had a great advantage being able to snap away without causing to much attention or distraction. Using the rain and the use of colourful umbrellas to at first capture and then blend different textures and more colours to give a painterly picture of Rome and it's people. In one image a passing lady in a red coat caught his attention and spinning around to capture the shot Gerry had an app on the iPhone with sharpen a certain part of the image but instead of a sharp red coat it focused on a man standing watching the girl and Gerry giving the picture a totally different story and feel. With more photographs of the Roman landmarks Gerry added different effects and created a wonderful collection if images. Some of Gerry's work will be on display in the Carnegie Library in an exhibition of iPhone Art from 4th - 30th April 2014. Where Gerry will attend for 2 days. Wed 9th 1- 5pm and Sat 12th April 11.30am - 5pm for a chat.
The club wishes to Thank and Congratulation Gerry, Hugh, Trevor, John and Peter for a wonderful journey through Rome and wish Gerry every success with his exhibition on April.
Next Friday 21st March is the night club members can submit images for the Annual Exhibition. Good Luck Everyone!
On Sat 22nd March the AV workshop will be held in BNDCC Clubhouse from 10.45am to 4.30pm. New members Welcome!
Each year BNDCC finishes the club Photographer of the Year competitions with a Panels round. Members can submit 6 images with a common theme or story and arrange them in a complimentary display to capture the judges eye. The judge on Friday night was no stranger to photographs that captures a story within the frame but also had a wonderful story of his own to tell.
Hugh Russell, picture editor of the Irish News and Boxing Medal Winner from the 1980 Moscow Olympics, packed a lot of punch with his experience and comments on Friday night.
On his way home from the Olympics, Hugh bought his first camera and developed his talents into a professional career over the next 30 years. It has taken him to many places local and abroad to uncover breaking news, winning awards in the NI Press Photographer Of The Year and Sports Photographer Of The Year.
A Vice-Chairman of Christian Brothers Camera Club, Hugh related not only to both clubs but the world of press photography being in competition with other photographers, newspapers or magazines on a daily basis. It's a cut throat business! But with Hugh's background he knows how to fight his corner.
Remembering the journey of taking photographs, to being able to develop images himself in the darkroom, in the days of film, to the digital age where he has to capture the scene in all it's passion with truth and honesty. Where Photoshop is forbidden! And serious consequences can result if the image used have been altered.
Hugh was looking for images that told a story but had control over how shapes, light and textures were put together in the right order and held the viewers attention within the finished presentation. Each image not only working as an individual but as a whole. Urging members to go to town with the subjects and make each image different as it's easy to take similar photos and add it to the panel to make up the numbers. He wanted to see the subjects story and depth with the use of water, dirt or oil. Bringing rainstorms or adventures to create texture or reveal a hidden storyline.
With Hugh's winning selection he commented how each Panel worked for him and complemented everyone for taking part.
Foundation Colour Print
Foundation Mono Print
Foundation Projected Digital Image
Advanced Colour Print
Advanced Mono Print
Advanced Projected Digital Image
Hugh paid compliment by 'wishing he had taken these images himself' before announcing his Overall Winner of the Panels Competition. A Panel by Advanced member Hugh Rooney for "Staircases". Bringing the comp to a close Alan Field took top spot on the Photographer Of The Year leader board so Congratulations to Hugh and Alan on their well deserved awards.
Ending another memorable night Chairman and members thanked Hugh Russell for his generous comments and for being forthright with his judging. In a good way, A Knockout Round for everyone!
A huge thanks also goes to Alan Hartley, Bobby Peacock and helpers for all their dedication and hard work throughout the competition year! Well Done!
Next Friday is a night not to be missed. A night where our very own "Travelling Wilburys" will escort us over the 'Seven Hills Of Rome'.
Also a reminder that the club's Exhibition Competition entries are due at the club the following week (Friday 21st March 2014)
Colour Prints, Mono Prints and Projected Digital Images sections with each section a maximum of 3 images in landscape and 3 in portraiture and a maximum of 5 images in general. 1 Printed image on the Chairmans Challenge - Our Club. Which can be any image representing BNDCC from the building, events, members to the summer outings. All to be presented in accordance to the rules. See club website of Facebook page for details. Good Luck Everyone!
Congratulations to Nigel Snell and Bill Henning after both achieving 1st place in Mono Print and Projected Digital Image sections of the NIPA Round 4 Open Interclub competition at Catchlight Camera Club. Friday nights Bangor and North Down Camera Club meeting kicked off with a presentation of their certificates by NIPA President Ray Magill.
Guest speaker for the night was Allan Gildea. A local actor for the last 20 years, who has progressed into the world of filmmaking and directing. Admitting to knowing very little about photography he did express how the use of moving images had a common purpose of inspiring and provoking the viewer. Each media has to tell a story. From the who and where the story was focused on. What their story is. To who you want your story to be told to.
From a young age Allan had an active mind for the art of storytelling and demonstrated with storyboard, narration and accompanying soundtrack of dive bombers at the hight of a raid in WWII. Something that any 5 year old of past generations and their mates did when they played. "That's Magic" was a friends response, to which Allan replied "I Know!" A confidence and not being shy with his creative side has taken Allan to where he is today.
By unlearning the restrictions of ego which we pick up from life we can release a creative state of mind. Daydreaming is your creative mind at work and it is something we were told off for as children. So on our journey in life we lose our creativity more and more. But where would we be without the creative mind? What would exist without it? Nothing would have been invented, designed or made without being created in the mind first.
Music dancing and exercise were another passion Allan has. It clears the mind and prepares it for a stated that let's our creative side flow. We live in a great part of the world with fresh air and great music so we should take every advantage of that! It's good for the mind, body and soul! In being so restricted in our jobs today it can cause a great impact on our bodies and our lives. We need the balance of freedom of movement and fresh air. They are a wonderful medicine!
Keeping good company is also important. Being with like minded people especially like the camera club were you actively take part in your passion as well as the social aspect and support everyone has for each other is a special and wonderful gift to have. When an ember of a fire falls onto the hearth it burns itself out but in the fire they keep each other warm and strong. It burns bright! Likewise when a tuning fork is struck any other turning fork in the room will also resonate and ring true. Digging the same vibe! (Good vibrations!)
Busting bad habits like video games and tv which were a waste of time to Allan's creativity. So he now puts more time into learning new skills. Skills that would stand him in good stead in a career. But he would also have to get used to failure and accepting it, to learn and move on. By doing so we create a success. Tried and tested success! When we are babies learning to walk. We fail and fall but naturally we learn, we get up and try again. So it is inbuilt in us we just have to recognise it and accept it but we must learn from it and move forwards.
Keeping a notebook or journal (Dream diary) was another tip Allan passed on to members. It is a great resource to have with ideas and inspiring directions. Stepping out of comfort zones to do something different. If you push yourself you may surprise yourself! We are creative by nature but we have to find it and use it! Reading was also important as it is a workout for the mind. Switch off the tv that puts you in a highly suggestible state which keeps you glued for hour. Doing something creative will increase your confidence and be more fulfilling.
Like all good storytelling or in Allan case scriptwriting it must have structure and the golden rule is it must have a great beginning, middle and ending. The hero is introduced by a view into their world and the people in their life. 28 mins into the film is the first crisis plot which increases to a climax and can go no further but ends in resolution of a wiser character because of the journey they have learnt and grown wiser from. Next time you watch a film look out for these factors.
To help members relate to the same storyline within the image of a photograph, Allan showed some images showing how great painters and photographers has used lighting to give a sense of depth of space , of textures, looks and gestures. How the use of children and animals pulled on your heart strings and how the moon landings iconic images can be so powerful in the triumph of human endeavours. Ending a hugely thought provoking night for members. Once again challenging everyone to look into ways of reinventing their styles of photography and opening a world that may have been silent in them. Discover your creative side and have Fun with it!!!
The club would like to Thank Allan Gildea for a very interesting and entertaining night and hope he can return as our guest to join us in our creative journey! Next week is our Panels competition night and another opportunity to increase the creative edge to a display of 6 images with a common theme. Good Luck to everyone who submitted images!
At the NIPA AV Festival in Ballyearl on Fri 21st and Sat 22nd February BNDCC had a trio of club members mentioned among the shortlisted selection of AV's by Malcolm and Imhoff. With 4 AV's between those members receiving awards. Our Congratulations goes to Mark Allen who achieved 2nd Place in the NIPA Open Section for "Scotland". Jack Thompson achieved the award for Best Sequence with a Northern Ireland Theme for "De Courcy" and Commended for "Cottage Dream" in the All Ireland round. With Ray Magill achieving a Commended with his very first AV to the competition with "A Walk Through Montmartre" A great result for the club.
On Friday, Bangor and North Down Camera Club held its 5th Round 'Portraiture' competition and who better to be the guest judge than one of Northern Ireland's most distinguished portrait Photographers, Stanley Matchett, F.R.P.S., L.B.I.P.P. In 2003 Stanley received an M.B.E. in recognition of his contribution to Photo-Journalism.
In a career spanning 5 decades Stanley has captured historical moments from the terrifying times through the troubles. From royalty and presidents to the character and characters that make up the beating heart of Northern Ireland. He has been recognised three times for Northern Ireland sports photographer of the year and as the Rothmans Press Photographer of the Year.
Stanley praised the club for the high level of entries as being a great reflection on the club in their involvement in competitions. Showing support and encouragement to foundation members as they will be the next generation of photographers in a deeply competitive field.
"People Photography that's been my entire life in photography" and getting shy or people who lack confidence to relax and feel at ease is an art in itself so engaging with the subject is crucial. Making sure you capture a higher, flattering angle, using lighting to highlight beautiful tones. But Stanley spoke about one aspect. Your subject doesn't have to look straight down the lens. If you watch any feature film no one looks directly into the camera.
The use of props, reflectors and lighting were something's that you need to prepare before arriving to take a portraiture. Have that done before you go! do the research find out what you need to dress up the scene! While on a trip to London he managed to visit Patrick Lichfield who was photographing Joanna Lumley as the model for that day. Lichfield give him some great advice - keep it simple!
Working for the Belfast Telegraph gave Stanley the challenge to get his lighting and settings quickly and the use of film gave him a limit to the quantity of images to be taken. Pin sharp images were essential. Backgrounds hadn't to detract from the subject and filling the frame was important as an image could be cropped. If it was too tightly taken you couldn't do anything about it.
Stanley commented on one of the images. A high key image and complimented Gerry Coe as being one of the Masters of High Key Photography. Something the club should be proud of. Like Gerry putting your own interpretation into your images and portraitures is key to a successful photographer, so get all the practice you can!
Stanley announced the winners:
Foundation Colour Print
Foundation Mono Print
Foundation Projected Digital Image
Advanced Colour Print
Advanced Mono Print
Advanced Projected Digital Image
Nigel Snell finished off with congratulations to all who submitted images to the competition and all prizewinners with a huge Thank You to Stanley for his great advice freely given as usual on the judgements of the portraiture competition. A Great Honour for the club!
Reminders that this Friday, Allan Gildea filmmaker will be with us on a return visit to the club. His last presentation on 8th February 2013 was a very interesting demonstration into how film sets used lighting and promises to be a great night. It is also the night that the panels competition submissions are due in. So don't forget the 28th Feb deadline. Our Exhibition Competition will be due in on 21st March 2014. So that is one month to prepare and present your images.
Bangor and North Down Camera Club were treated to a special event on Wednesday 19th February when members were invited by the Mayor, Andrew Muir, to the Town hall. They were given a tour where the history of Bangor Castle and portraits of past residence and Councils have resided and taken office.
Viewing the many works of Art and wonderful old photographs of Bangor was a real honour for Club President, Chairman and visiting members. A photograph which was taken in 1949 of the then Bangor Borough Council showing a group photograph of all the officerswas examined.In it, a ghostly figure of a man can be seen in one of the windows behind them. The Mayor posed the question "Maybe as photographers we could shed some light on the figure that had stumped so many?" Someone inside? Maybe a reflection? But the mystery still remains!
After the tour was finished members filed into the Parlour for tea and chatted with the Mayor a while longer. After tea it was time to record the evening as the 15 members and The Mayor gathered for a group photograph. In a lovely gesture and surprise for the club, Mayor Andrew Muir presented President Gerry Coe and Chairman Harry Watson with a plaque of the crest of Bangor to be displayed in the clubhouse as a reminder of the visit.
In return a wonderful image was presented to the Mayor. The Mayor had spotted the image at the opening of the clubs exhibition in the Aurora centre in August 2013. Trevor Craig's Image of Canyonlands National Park Utah USA (Island in the sky) had been a test to the survival skills in the search for the perfect image and fascinated the Mayor.
Do you have a bucket list? Places to go or goals you wish to achieve in life! Photographer members of the Bangor and North Down Camera Club would probably have such a list tucked away in the pocket of their camera bag. Well, one member Colin Ross (ARPS and AIPF), who posed this question in Friday's meeting, made his bucket list a reality. Wanting to visit 50 countries by the time he was 50 years old. Colin has surpassed this number visiting many more countries than that. Antarctica is next on Colin's bucket list but at the top of his list was Namibia and South Africa.
Photography for Colin was purely a hobby that he enjoyed with a passion. He also loves travelling a lot and described himself as a landscape photographer. But it was in Namibia and South Africa he discovered another side to what he could do with photography. Wildlife photography!
Colin's wife Alison, who is also a photographer and has achieved her LRPS and LIPF, joined the audience and hopefully felt most welcome on this Valentine's night meeting. Alison was a strong influence on the night as she and Colin have published many of the images in a book via their Blurb page which you can preview before you wish to purchase. Alison who lived in South Africa and knew the area very well, wrote the words to accompany Colin's photographs.
Describing Africa by the use of maps he explained how big the country is. Demonstrating how other continents like USA, India, China and all of Europe could fit into the vast African continent. Most of the territories of Namibia became German Imperial Protectorate in 1884 and remained in German control until the first world war ended. But those times now long gone have left it marks in the form of ghost towns and German vehicles left abandoned. With a population of 2.1 million Namibia is one of the safer parts of South Africa it has also the least rainfall but fortunately before their journey a recent rainfall on this arid land gave the grasses a good flourish and great nourishment to the Animals in the region. In some places it hadn't rained for 15 years.
Photographer golden hour of light became a golden 10 mins for Colin as the harsh sunlight made it difficult to bring contrast into the images but with his wonderful talents and the richest of blue skies Colin produced a presentation that left the audience captured in silence with the colours, shapes and texture taking everyone on the journey with him and maybe adding it to their own bucket list too.
After a drive of 500 kilometres in a 4x4 over a well maintained dirt track they arrived at The Quiver Tree Forest a well known tourist attraction and national monument were the aloe tree are two to three centuries old. With some restrictions to road due to the country richness in precious and semiprecious stones the next place to visit was a deserted German mining town of Kolmanskop. It still has a working mine but this town, named after Johnny Coleman a transport driver, once thrived with a schools, hospital, ballroom, bowling alley, power station, theatre, casino and and boasted the first X-Ray station in the Southern Hemisphere and the first tram in Africa. Now the sand is trying to reclaim the land and chokes the buildings in this eeriest of sights. The strong winds off the Atlantic which returning hours laters to the Atlantic again create a pattern of wavy lines in the sand and contrast the strong lines of each room to give a view like no other. Capturing the light of rooms and object in the distance. All beautifully complimented by the soft gentle colours and tones.
Travelling to another highly photographed place Sossusvlei, along the tracks Colin accidentally came across some old abandoned German cars, tractors and trucks which were left to rust in the burning desert sun. When he arrived at the gates to the national park it was a further 70 miles from the gate with a 1 mile walk to the 350 - 400 year old Acacia trees at Deadvlei on this dried out mud pan with sand dunes in the backgrounds. These dunes are amoung the highest in the world. One named Big Daddy is about 380 metres high. An amazing sight to witness first hand. But Colin was to go one better and also took a 45 min flight over the dunes in the desert to gain a spectacular advantage over this vast park making the warnings they had been given about water and fuel supplies never running low more a reality check as he surveyed the 100's of miles from the air. With the advantage of sitting in the co pilots seat and an open window Colin never took his eye from the viewfinder and just kept clicking the shutter.
That went for the rest of the adventure were Colin was able to capture all the animal he wanted to shoot at through his lens. Even Seals, Sea Eagles, Monkeys and lizards. On safari in an open top land rover at Kruger National Park a tracker was able to get him closer for photographs of oryx, springboks, elephants, giraffes, zebras, cheetahs, leopards and lions. As both human and animal kept a sharp eye on each other warning again were issued to stay seated or not to exit the vehicle as you would be the next target for their meal.
It was after the break that achieved the most gasp of amazement when Colin revealed his panel of work and a canvas specially made of one of his images of a roaring lion. Colin had worked on the images to create something in his own unique style. Not wanting the background to take over the image he wanted to reveal the soul of the animals by taking all the colour away and concentrating only on the subject. A successful achievement for Colin!
Members would like to Thank Colin and Alison for a wonderful evening in which we got to know only a droplet on the tip of the iceberg of Colin's bucket list and would love to see more of their adventures.
A reminder that on Wed 19th February at 7pm the Mayor has invited the club to the Town hall for tea. On Friday 21st is NIPA round 5 Portraiture competition results with guest judge Stanley Matchett and is also the First of a two day AV festival at Ballyearl. Good luck to anyone who submitted to either competition!
Photography today is zooming ever faster into the digital age but with portable tablets and the revolutionary Apple ipad, with all the different apps on the market, artists and painters have taken up the challenges of creating a work of art without the mess and time spent on cleaning brushes and palettes. Finger painting has grown up and changed all that forever where even the touch of an icon can rewind a few brush strokes, if it just doesn't look right!
On Friday the Bangor and North Down Camera Club was treated to a memorable night in the talented company of Bill Gatt. Bill, who has had a life long passion for Art, began by expressing his wish to be able to pass on his knowledge to others in the spectrum of the artistic media including photography as best he could and found it all a great privilege to share the passion for being creative.
Over the years Bill has developed his talent to be able to see the subject before him and replicate it in the movement of tone, texture and shape through each stroke, dab or touch. His hopes were to help members of the club see in the same way. The only difference was we would see it through the lens of a camera. Coming from an artistic and musical family, Bill strived to bring the same life to a painting as he would a piece of music to a song or a dance. Bring life to landscapes, natural history or portraits.
Travelling with his watercolours (field box) and sketch book Bill would record short snippets of subjects he had observed but once he was introduced to the ipad all that changed and it's now the ipad that goes everywhere with him.
A short video of a portraiture of Victoria Williams carried out on the ipad and filmed over three quarters of an hour shows the step in creating the ipad painting (which can be viewed via a link on Bill's website on www.billgatt.ie) The painting brought a new experience, using his finger to paint and even zoom in and out when needed. Using his nail he could bring finer detail when needing to draw lines. Having a fondness for drawing hair and especially to eyelashes where he could bring focus to the eye which is very important in portraiture.
Using an app called Inspire Pro, Bill then called upon a volunteer from the audience and David Roberts was gently persuaded to pose for the portraiture. Taking a walk around David to observe all the angles and lighting within the room Bill made some adjustment and chose a Caravaggio feel to the ambiance. Bill finally made sure that not only he was comfortable but also David was too and both of them were made to feel relaxed before he began.
Filling in with the colour turquoise, for a backdrop and bringing in shaded colours beside lighter tones for the face, Bill then created layers of half tones building up the opposite sides with tones of cold and warm colours that were being reflected onto Davids skin tones. Once these were blended with a dry brush the magic of Bill's talents were clearly visible and members had now seen light in a totally different way and delighted to experience a real eye opener unfolding before them. Using the colour palette and brushes flicking between the different shades, brush textures and sizes the unmistakable characteristics of David now appeared and Bill continued to engage in conversation to discover his personality which he magically portrayed on the big screen in the half lite clubhouse.
This was David's first ever portrait sitting for a painting. Being a photographer he was "usually the other side of the camera". Bill found it a great privilege to meet people. To share time with them while getting to know and converse with them, as not too many professions do that today and was something to be respected and cherished.
In teaching other students in the evolving world of technology he has also become a student himself and thanked Gerry Coe, the Club President for everything he had inspired him to learn. Bill then took members on a viewing of his art gallery with images from his body of work. Portraits of one of his favourite models Claire Broom in pastels on brown paper to family portraits and a triptych of Prague in oils. Working in egg tempera on plaster he would create religious icons using images of family who are very dear to him and pure gold to recreate the glowing sunlight. Bill revealed his mother used to sew and only had the opportunity to paint her only once and wished he had done more but it holds a precious memory for him.
In another image Bill recreated the scene by telling the story of how the painting came about. While house sitting for a friend the landscapes in the location were a great source of inspiration for Bill. In the middle of a painting he had a peek over his shoulder and to his surprise found a line of cows watching him as he painted. He started to feed them with some grass and charmed them all into a wonderful pose. One of the cows craving the limelight would stick out the tongue to attract all the attention. It was an image members loved and made a great memory of the night.
A chance meeting of Ursula Burns the harpist in the rose garden. With her hair blowing in the wind and carrying a heavy harp she would set down the harp and start playing it for him. Which lead to a portraiture sitting of Ursula with her harp and real flowers decorating the frame of the harp.
Thanking everyone for attending and all those who helped out on the night Bill hoped members would now be inspired to try and create some great work or pieces of Art with their iPads. A sentiment mirrored by Gerry in his closing word of thanks to Bill expressing his admiration for the way in which Bill can work so quickly to produce a portraiture which the viewer instantly recognised. Members would like to thank Gerry for introducing us to the raw talents of Bill Gatt as Gerry put it, "a totally different view, an artist view, that will take us beyond what we think we see".
To Bill it was a great privilege for members to have him share a night and his wonderful talent with us at the clubhouse and would like to Thank him for making it a special evening!
Next weeks meeting is with our very own club member Colin Ross with a beautiful selection of images from Africa - Land of Contrasts. Once again making for a memorable night.
The Bangor and North Down Camera Club has been enchanted by the travels of a few fellow photographers this season, with India especially Katmandu being a popular destination for many of them. On Friday guest speaker Kieran Murray added another few destinations in India to the nights itinerary - Bangladesh, Bhutan and the Dalai Lama's residence in Dharamsala.
Kieran has been taking photographs for over 50 years and is a member of the Banbridge Camera Club for 35 years now. Before the digital age arrived he liked to use slide film and on Friday night's meeting he displayed all the images in printed format so members could get a real feel for the subjects within the frame.
Interacting with the locals to see what the country was about Kieran found wonderful, funny and talented characters in one of the poorest country in the world. In Bangladesh where monsoons had taken many lives and caused so much destruction he found children playing and having fun "with not a computer game in sight" which brought home the life struggles and hardship the people had to face. always with a smile.
In Bhutan where the population is just less than 1 million people he was able to capture this "Hidden Kingdom" with it monasteries and Buddhist Monks praying with beads and prayer wheels in the backdrop of the Foothills if the Himalayas. One image of the Tigers Nest monastery 7000 ft up a cliff was covered in mist and with great timing Kieran caught a glimpse of the majestic landmark as a pocket of clear air passed over the monastery.
Stories not only in word but with visual impact bore witness to the Dalai Lama and fleeing refugees escaping Tibet in 1953. They crossed the Himalayas to India, when many monasteries where being destroyed. It brought images of beggars who lost limbs to frostbite in the freezing temperatures they had faced to gain their freedom. It was also a place where Kieran captured a rare image, that of a Snow Leopard and one he was delighted to have the opportunity to take.
Giving us a brief history of Burma, Kieran expressed what a delightful place Burma is. Steeped in religions with a million Stupas and Golden Pagoda's with the serenity and devoted expressions on the faces of pilgrims and the monks stealing a moment of their daily routines and rituals.
Soft bark from a tree gave faces decoration and a protection from the sun of some of the ladies who stopped to have a portrait taken. Contrasting that was the few women who's teeth had been stained with beatlenut and took great pride in showing off their blacken teeth. Kieran, who was a dentist, assured us the good condition of their pearly whites were under all that blackness.
Boys as young as 6 or 7 trained to be monks and gained honour within a family and community and became a great source for having 3 square meal a day for all the monks. Monks would travel in lines or in groups and be greatly received in people's homes. But everyone that Kieran photographed kindly gave him the freedom to do so. Even in the darkest of rooms Kieran managed to light his subject with such atmosphere and honesty and all on one foot as he explained a few mishaps he experienced on his journey making the quality and capture of the images that more remarkable.
In Kathmandu, celebrations were underway for Buddha's birthday and gave colourful decoration to the Buddha and the people around. While in Punjab's Golden Temple he experienced something magic about it. Sikhs, a warrior sect and men of great intelligence, would give free meals to 30,000 people a day all through volunteers donations of time and food.
A shop that had been taken over in 1947 stood still in time as one news paper inside had headlines exclaimed "A man has climbed to the summit of Everest" also a library whose books were now sacred as in the past books had been destroyed and lost forever.
Kathmandu gave Kieran a wider view into life and death within India from its squares where children played in peace while mothers watched and chatted to each other. Statues of Buddha were colourful flowers and spices or rice were left at the feet as a gift of thanks. To life's end with the preparation for cremation by a son being the testimony of his fathers life devoted to the daily worship of god by the image of the son holding his hand over the flames in prayer.
Club President Gerry Coe thanked Kieran for his colourful tour of India and all the tips and information passed on to members. He reminded everyone next week's guest is Bill Gatt with a talk on iPad art. With the endless possibilities for drawing and photographic portraiture in apps on Apple devices it opens up a different world to artist and photographers alike.
Anyone wishing to visit Kieran Murray's website can see more images of his travels at www.kierandmurray.com and for those wishing to find out more about the printing processor he uses can google DS Colourlabs in England. www.dscolourlads.co.uk or they also have a Facebook page I will post on BNDCC.
We have been invited to the Mayors Parlour on Wednesday 19th February and it will be a great privilege for the club as an important part of the community in Bangor.
In the last Open Round of the Bangor North Down Camera Club 2013 / 2014 competition year Stephen McWilliams ARPS from Christian Brothers camera club was the guest judge. Stephen who has been a frequent visitor to the Bangor club is a member of CBPPU for over 30 years and joined members in paying Thanks and tribute to fellow member Jim Moreland. Stephen expressed the Big Loss the club now sadly felt.
Stephen described all the images that had been entered as an interesting selection of images. With a wide range including natural history, landscape, still life and sport. With his final decision of the winning images of being a matter of just his opinion and encouraged everybody to take any criticism as being constructive. One piece of advice was 'Don't give the judge something to talk about, change or edit images before a competition' encouraging members to look closer and if they have any issues with the image the Judge probably will too, so change it the best you can!
At Stephen's own club when he was a novice at photography he talked about being discouraged from taking chocolate box shots and encouraged to take one photo of your original view and move to change angles to become more interesting. As the competition between photographers today it needs it as it's harder to win with the excellent work that has been produced today. Some of the images especially from the foundation section were 'outside the box' and Stephen congratulated those members for being more creative and giving it a go!
A few images of the oil rig at Harland and Wolff gave incentive to Stephen to promise a visit before it leaves. In some images vignette and contrast was a factor that let some images down but one image caused a stir when Stephen was told the image had not been taken from two images but was take as is. But hopefully made it up by choosing the members other image first anyway.
Stephens results are as follows:
Foundation Colour Prints
Foundation Mono Prints
Foundation Projected Digital Images
Advanced Colour Prints
Advanced Mono Prints
Advanced Projected Digital Images
Club Chairman Harry Watson ended the meeting by thanking Stephen for his constructive critique and in sharing his experiences. Thanks also to Alan Hartley and Bobby Peacock for all their hard work arranging the images for adjudication and display. Congratulations to the winners and to everyone who submitted images in the competition.
Next week, Friday 31st January, will be the next NIPA Interclub adjudication and display of round 3 - Dereliction in BPIC while the club's own meeting at the clubhouse in Ward Avenue on Friday 31st will have guest speaker Kieran Murray joining us to talk about his Travels.
Club President Gerry Coe, Chairman Harry Watson, committee and members of the Bangor & North Down Camera Club would like to express their sincere condolences to the family and friends of Jim Moreland. One of Northern Ireland's finest and most respected photographer. A gentleman of great character who inspired and became a true friend to many members. He will be sadly missed.
In November 2012 Bangor and North Down Camera Club attended the launch of a book members had been involved in by way of photographing the ever changing face of our seaside town. Members who had participated in Adam Bells book 'Bangor Then and Now' got to know the town a little better and heard many a story about the character and characters of Bangor. On Friday 17th January, 2014 they were treated to another instalment of its colourful history and development. With 'An Illustrated History of Bangor'.
A member of Bangor Historical Society Sandra Millsopp a postgraduate student from Queens University, she has also written about the rise of Bangor as a Victorian town. Often described as the 'Brighton of the North', Sandra presented a wonderful photographic and visual journey of the chronological history of Bangor which was for her sparked off by a piece of flint found in her garden. Discovering more areas of archaeological finds revealing the fabric of glimpses into the past.
History of Bangor-
Bangor Monastery was founded by St Comgall in 558. It became a centre of learning and had widespread influences of great importance, so much so, that the town is mentioned on the Mappa Mundi. St Columbanus and Gall set off on their missions to Europe from Bangor.
Sandra talked about surviving artefacts like the Bangor Bell, Ballycrochan Swords and Standing Stones. Even Brooches from the times of Viking invasions in the mid 9th century. The sundial now at the Townhall and letters with wax seals on them were also explained.
With the arrival of James Hamilton during the plantation of Ireland. Came the arrival of the Customs House in 1637 after Bangor had been granted the status of a port. From there a Quay was established in 1757 from a grant from the Irish Parliament and with Robert Wards improvements to the harbour. This became a great source to the growing cotton industry in the 18th century. With it came the gasworks which brought more employment to the area. Market House now Danske Bank was a school, the Townhall and then a bank due to the towns increasing prosperity. (Sandra had an image that showed the two-way system in the town. A change that she wanted to document before it became the one-way system. Little things like this can be forgotten but with photography it is recorded forever.)
Bangor had two Cotton Mills, one in Lower High Street and one at the McKee clock area but by 1856 fires had put them to an end and both mills closed.
Steamers carrying coal and passengers would dock at the partitioned Central Pier as industry and holidaymakers on day trips fuelled the towns prosperity. Hotels like Savoy and the Royal Hotel and recreation centres like Barry's. The bandstands and bathing areas were also the place to be. Street names were changed to make Bangor more Posh to imitate places like Brighton. Sandy Row becoming Queens Parade as landowners wanted to attract wealthier residents and visitors.
Transportation by Railway arrived in 1865 as the Belfast population grew Bangor developed and thrived. (Sandra had an image of the demolition which uncovered the Beautiful brickwork and decoration of the station and tower of the Railway station before it was pulled down.) Wealthy businessmen would buy houses or villas in Bangor and in Summer they would commute to work during the week, spending nights and weekends in Bangor with the family while getting out of the heat and pollution of Belfast.
With the increase in visitors came Bangor Cinema – Tonic, the 'Showplace of Ireland' as a buzz filled the clubroom as members exchange their memories only to be dampened by the smoke and the blackness of the images Sandra presented next. The balcony once packed with crowds of cinemagoers with their popcorn and drink was now filled just the jumble of falling debris and charcoal wood. An old projector and a sign TONIC were captured in the foreground as the only recognisable record to the place - the landmark that now stood in view.
Other happy memories to cheer us all up again were images of the famous Caproni's Ballroom and ice cream on a hot summers day. Swimming in Pickiepool and or being chased by the lady with keys at Barrys. Bathing boxes at Ballyholme, rowing in Bangor Bay, or the Regattas that used to fill the harbour with boats, to the illuminations of the town along the walkways and path that lite up the coastline for people to enjoy. Sandra showed an image that Bangor even grew its own tomatoes in the Forsyth Nurseries to attempt to become a more self sufficient town.
From it's founder St Comgall, its Viking invasions and the 17th-century settlements to the landowners of the plantation of Ireland thought to the seaside status and its decline, decay and redevelopment. Visiting places like the Tonic, Barry's, Pickiepool and Caproni's Ballroom. Fond memories of landmark long gone. Sandra and many of the visitors to Bangor will always remember tasting the famous Caproni's ice cream. Even one of the photos showed the Pickie Hotel on Princetown Terrace which was once used by Bangor Camera Club for their meetings.
Members relived beautiful Happy memories and strong roots within the streets, shops and iconic buildings of Bangor that will never be forgotten. Even though images of demolition gained gasps of shock the footprint of the fun of youth and the good ald days were shared with a suttle smile and chuckle with remarks of maybe a misspent youth? Anyway the sands of time waits for no man and the changes we see today will hopefully be revisited by the future generations to come. But not without that wonderful invention we know and love - Photography! So record those Streets and Avenues. Meet the characters and ask them to strike a pose. Record the storms and snow falls. The buildings built with grand architecture to their timely demise and leave your photographic mark on the town you call home. BNDCC would like to Thank Sandra Millsopp for a wonderful presentation and a night of great memories witnessing the value for the recording of history through photography. What it means to so many generations!
Finally, NIPA Novice Competition is being held in BNDCC clubhouse on Thursday, 23 January 2014 at 7:30pm. Also NIPA Interclub Round 3 - (Dereliction) adjudication and display will take place on Friday, 31 January 2014 at BPIC Morton Community, Centre Lisburn Road, Belfast. NIPA Club Round 4 (Open) will take place in the clubhouse on Friday 24th January. Good Luck to Everyone who has submitted images.
Bangor and North Down Camera Clubs Chairman Harry Watson welcomed members back to the clubhouse for their first meeting of the new year on Friday before handing over to Mark Allen and David Roberts to introduce members to the Digital Audio Visual Presentation Night. One piece of news is that NIPA have contacted the club and are holding a judging workshop on Sat 25th January 2014 This is to encourage members to become part of the new judging panel and also to improve the existing standard of judging. Giving encouragement and support to any aspiring judges wishing to join and learn more about the judging system for competitions. Ray Magill or Mark Allen can assist members with any enquiries.
Mark Allen kicked off proceedings when he recalled joining the club in September 2006 after a welcoming handshake from Bill Nesbitt who introduced himself and asked if Mark knew anything about Photoshop. After five minutes Mark felt like one of the boys and has continued to pass on his experience and knowledge with members ever since. After buying a Nikon Camera (simply because his father had one and he had used it in the past) he would enjoy taking photographs while on holiday but he would often wonder what he could do with them after getting them printed in a photobook or by submitting them into competitions.
It was at the Wednesday club night were Jack Thompson introduced Mark to Proshow Gold and David Roberts introduced him to Pictures To Exe. After experimenting with both they all found the latter to be the best. Especially as Pictures To Exe has an international forum for feedback. On Wednesday nights David would take a workshop on how to build up many effects and how to add them in order to tell the story he wanted to express within each image and create a better flow to the finished AV.
Mark explained his workflow by started off with about a good selection of images and whittled them down to 30 images arranging them in the softwares lightbox. Giving every slide the same duration and fade while introducing his chosen soundtrack with the same length of time and previewed the show before making constant adjustments to flow and colour so each slide will blend easily within each transition using the same technical aspects that work, like the way composition works in any single image. Next Mark would alter the duration of the slides fitting each to the beat or tempo of the music. On the previous Wednesday club night Mark showed all these techniques and preparation to members by demonstrating Shirley's ladies night AV within half an hour.
Mark introduced his first AV as his fifth version of this one particular trip to Glencoe in the Isle of Skye and is always seeing room for more improvements. Snow capped mountains, lakes with beautifully still mirrored reflections, rivers and waterfalls, even crisp details within rock formations and the occasional deer. With its colour and detail amazing the audience to silence. Mark had used the changes in the tempo of the music to introduce black-and-white images and change from landscapes to a square format images and let them flow smoothly throughout the AV. In his second AV Mark used the music to separate colour and black-and-white photography blending backgrounds from desaturated to saturated, blurred to focused and back again. This time with the landscapes, shores and coastlines, lakes and mountain ranges, still life, market stalls, towns and architecture giving a different but as effective sequence to his AV. With a memorable soundtrack to make each slide as atmospheric as the last. Mark would hear a piece of music and know exactly what images he would need to make the perfect AV.
David took over at the computer and introduced Edward Mc Cavana who described his AV as a slideshow with music from a collection of images from New York, taken in September 2012. Being an MP4 format produced in Lightroom David explained that PTE is not available on Apple Mac systems so other software is available that will play MP4 files (such as Lightroom) with similar functions which are easy to use. New York New York took the audience from the famous city skyline through the hustle and bustle of the streets with its towering architecture and it welcoming blue sky backdrop and danced through Central Park with its 1920's soundtrack.
Bill Henning's AV took us to Hot Hotels. Full of holidaymakers, locals and hotel staff Bill whisked us off on a journey to destinations like Dubai and Thailand where relaxing by the pool or eating dinner in a romantic setting and a warmth from the summer sun taking the chill off these past few Winter weeks.
DeCoursey - His Influence on North Down was presented by Jack Thompson. Of which he hopes to submit to the AV festival at the end of February but explained to members how he is still improving the script and emphasised how important research for AV is. Jack expressed how he found it fascinating when he started exploring the history of Carrickfergus to other castles like Dundrum and with DeCoursey and his wife Affreca they built Greyabbey Cistercian Monastery and established Inch Abbey in Downpatrick. Which lead to a little history of our own Bangor Abbey. Jack finished by stressing how strong the story has to be. A beginning, a build up and an ending are very important in a successful AV. In Jack's second AV- Autumn Windows 2013 (His private estate) Crawfordsburn with all it's warm and glorious colours gave Jack the opportunity to use some of his portrait shots by adding a curtain to frame the images bringing home the beauty we have on our own doorstep.
On a visit to Paris Ray Magill's AV was inspired by a stroll from the Sacre Coeur, past Bistros and Metro stations, theatres and the Moulin Rouge in the Montmartre district to the Montmartre cemetery using iconic black-and-white images with music to set the tone of the sites and sounds of Paris and beautifully ending on a panoramic view over of Paris that captured this wonderful city.
My Picture Blog by Deborah Carvill saw a peek into a year capturing memories in a photographic diary. Recording moments from camera club summer outings to concerts, family weddings and special anniversaries. Birds, butterflies and bees to even the occasional film stars who visited Bangor and Donaghadee. Extras, film crew and props with all the trappings, atmosphere and excitement that happens on a movie set arriving in our own home town.
David Roberts expressed how he could have spent the whole day if not the week in St Petersburg Hermitage Museum. Elegant rooms, grand golden ceilings coloured with patterns and paintings. Thrones of gold, sweeping staircases, dazzling chandeliers and Knights in their suits of armour standing guard. Statues and works of art surrounded with space and light. The colours and symmetry in perfect balance gave a spectacular visit not just in person but to the audience.
Finishing off the night Mark Allen delighted members with his AV of his Norwegian Coastal Voyage. In 2006 Mark took first place in the beginners section of the AV Festival with this AV. Inspired by Jack and a new camera he thought "I can do that". But after many weeks and long nights of preparing images, writing scripts and recording the voiceover and the soundtrack editing. He had trouble editing the 12 1/2 minutes AV down to just 5 minutes. But after being told to let the pictures talk for themselves Mark finally produced a winner. With the judge quoting from the AV "Every day is a great sky day".
Harry closed the meeting by Thanking everyone who contributed to the night. Bill, Edward, Ray, Jack, Deborah and especially to Mark and David for hosting the night, remarking that everyone was both informative and entertaining. For those members wishing to enter the AV Festival taking place on Friday 21st - Saturday 22nd February 2014 at Ballyearl Theatre. Please see Ray or Jack. Details are also available on the NIPA website at www.niphoto.co.uk/events where Raymond Hughes can answer any enquiries. (Raymond adjudicated the last AV competition within BNDCC on 15 April 2013 and was very complimentary about the standard of entries and encouraged members to enter the competition this year) The NIPA Committee are now welcoming slideshows (images and music) as well as the normal AV (images, music and narration) to open up the wider audience of AV presentations to encourage new people to join in. So Good Luck to members who submit AVs for the festival!
Visiting the club next week, 17th January, is Historian Sandra Millsopp a PHD student who will give a talk about the development of Bangor as a Victorian seaside town and a night not to be missed. Also it will be the closing day for submitting images for Round 4 - Open for club competition. So Please bring with you, your prints and digital images you wish to submit.
This past week or two has seen hazardous storms and tidal surges battering the coast and flooding many areas in the Towns and Cities but the bad weather conditions eased enough on Saturday for the members of Bangor and North Down Camera Club to celebrate its 2013 / 2014 season with their annual Christmas dinner at The Esplanade in Ballyholme, Bangor.
Full to capacity members were soon seated and once again enjoyed a wonderful meal served up by the staff of The Esplanade. To all the staff, club members would like to Thank them for all their hard work in making sure everyone had a great night.
It was also a great occasion for our newer members to mix and have a taster of the laughter and banter the club all share making the night a memorable one for all members. A Welcome also went out to Julie Campbell who will be back at the club after a short break. It will be great to have you with us again. Thanks also go to Gerry, Jack and all the members who organised everything for the Christmas dinner.
The next meeting Audio/ Visual night, will get members into the swing of things again in the new year back at the clubhouse. Members are encouraged to bring any 3 minutes AV presentations they have to display on the night. Last year the feedback was very encouraging and showcased the talent and skills many members had in this digital media.
May 2014 be a inspirational year for everyone in which you can hold those Moments of Happiness with the click of a shutter button. Happy New Year Everyone!
Quiz Night at the Bangor and North Down Camera Club brought to a close a memorable 2013. Alastair & Mildred Bell have hosted the quiz for over 6 years now and added a bit of fun to the clubs programme with this great social night where new and old members can mix and get to know the other members of the club.
Alastair has been a member of BNDCC for over three decades was kindly replaced by Shima Choudhury in a little change to the Quiz Masters line up, in order for Alastair to join in the fun with fellow members of the club.
With 10 questions over 10 round of categories (one being a cryptic carols round) and spot prizes of bags gold and silver chocolate coins to be won the fun and laughter filled the night coupled with the whispering of answers amongst the huddles.
As the night drew to a close the winners were revealed and celebrated. First place was Santa's Little Helpers with 67 1/2 points, (nearest to the camera), second place was Christmas Crackers with 60 points third place was Nerds with 59 points and Misfits ending up on 49 1/2 points. Congratulations to all the winners and everyone who joined in. Thanks to Alastair, Mildred and Shima for a Wonderful night as usual.
The next club meeting will be for the Christmas Dinner on 3rd January 7.30 for 8pm and the menu will be emailed to all members. All members welcome and If everyone can Please reply to Gerry at email@example.com with your choices so arrangements can be finalised ASAP. Details also on Facebook. Thank you! To all the members of BNDCC A Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to you All! See you in 2014!
In the current global financial situation we only have to walk down the main street of any town or drive along any winding country lanes across Northern Ireland to find shops, homes and building abandoned, left open to the elements and the erosions of time but for Bangor and North Down Camera Club it has lent a wonderful artistic influence and documentation for this week's Round 3 NIPA competition.
Dereliction and Degeneration was the theme and well represented in both Foundation and Advanced sections causing an even bigger dilemma for guest judge Eileen Mc Causland from Dungannon and Cookstown Camera Club.
Eileen is the NIPA Council Representative for her club as has been to the club as a past judge of the Interclub rounds and Novice competitions. Being Friday the 13th, Ray Magill talked about the date being a day of fear and foreboding for those who submitted images to the competition, as he introduced Eileen to the rest of the club members. But Eileen soon eased everyone's nerves with a brief introduction to her love of photography and also to her understanding of the topic as not only a judge but as a fellow interclub competitor too.
Eileen described herself as a hobbyist in photography, she enjoyed the fun it brought. For her joining a club meant that she could share the photographs she had taken with other photographers and instead of having photographs on the computer which would never be seen by anybody she could now learn more to be able to print them and see if people appreciated them the same way as she did or not. Eileen loved the fun of it with the added social aspect too and she looked forward to coming to other clubs to share that appreciation especially with the Bangor Club.
Eileen herself had done some research before carrying out her expedition for photographs. Gaining research, forward planning and permission from the owner of the land or building was key. Safety also goes without saying. Bring someone with you, was her advice, especially to old buildings in ruins which were left in a dangerous state and now offered wonderful colours and textures and atmosphere in those wonderful buildings.
Dereliction is a noun and it means a tribute of people and objects, wilful neglect, delinquency, neglect and uncaring, capturing what has been left behind, the history of a place, documenting the world around us, how it ended up in that state, in other words, telling a story and summing it all up in your image. It was a subject that was new to Eileen but she found it very challenging and enjoyable.
Eileen expressed that there were no losers in her opinion and everyone was a winner for entering their work for the competition. She congratulated everyone on how they all looked at different aspects and angle of the theme, Dereliction. The detail that HDR (High Dynamic Range) brought to the image or colours of rusty pieces of metal and textures of flaking paint caught the eye in which she express she would have loved to peel the rest off the wall.
Being from the digital age of photography Eileen expressed that she would have loved to have been a film photographer because they are true photographers and she's expressed that digital is the age of artistry and artists in which people had to be creative and use the technology that isavailable to them in things like Photoshop.
She gave tips and tricks on how to make the lighter parts of an image a bit more detailed and on how to sharpen different areas within a photograph instead of the whole photograph. Eileen's critique on each image in Foundation and a few in Advanced was enlightening and constructive which was well received and welcomed within the club. The choice of paper was also one of the important elements within printing and presentations of a print that Eileen drew to the attention of members, suggesting that they make a smaller print and look for the points that need changing before making the final bigger print.
Foundation Colour Print section
Foundation Monochrome Print
Advanced Colour Print
Advanced Monochrome Print
Foundation Projected Digital Image
Advanced Projected Digital Image
BNDCC would like to thank Eileen Mc Causland for adjudicating our NIPA Round 3 competition and for all the extra information she passed on to members. It was without doubt a very enjoyable round and one that holds merit for its own exhibition for the memories we have of our once thriving country. Congratulations to the winners and to everyone who submitted photographs. Thanks also goes to Alan and Bobby for preparing the images for display and adjudication.
Reminders to members that next week is the Quiz Night with Alastair and Mildred Bell hosting one of the great social nights of the year. With Christmas on the horizon our Club Dinner will be held on Friday 3rd January 2014. All members are welcome and detail will be sent out from Gerry by email as soon as they are available.
NIPA News - 6th January 2014 is the next NIPA council meeting for Round 3 and it is also the closing date for entries to the Novice Competition. If you wish to submit images, please check out the NIPA website for details and rules.
Friday night saw guest speaker Ross McKelvey (MPAGB AFIAP BPE4*) from Catchlight Camera Club join Bangor and North Down Camera Club. To talk about his "Passion for Prints". Ross is the Chairman of Catchlight Camera Club and co-owner of Catchlight Studios. He is a well known photographer on the competition circuit both home and abroad.
Catchlight camera club was formed in September 2012. Members are from all levels of amateur and professional photography and its membership is currently full to capacity at 50 members. But they do hold a couple of workshops on camera settings, image composition, Photoshop editing, printing and for the mounting of each print to anyone who is interested but not a member of the club, by contacting the club on their website www.catchlightcameraclub.co.uk
In November 2013, the Club came 13th out of 160 clubs from around the world when they competed in the prestigious FIAP Clubs World Cup (International Federation of Photographic Arts). Bangor Camera Club wishes to express their congratulations to the members for their individual success and the collective achievement for their club.
Ross himself is an award winning photographer. The first ever medal that Ross received was a Bronze medal in 2009 in the NIPA Exhibition for his image of Ella Rose at Howth. During the meeting Ross displayed his 2 award winning prints with Bronze, Silver and Gold Medals all mounted and framed as a wonderful tribute to the success each image had bestowed upon him.
One of the images titled "Stephen" a Cockney with white hair, as Ross described him, was in real life 30 years younger than his now famous portraiture. But a character so beautifully captured that among its achievements is the FIAP Gold Medal and Grand Prix awarded in Serbia in 2012. Out of 11201 photographs submitted by 692 photographers from 59 countries his portraiture of Stephen was the winner.
Ross's portraits would use composites with portraitures captured in the studio to technically light his model but would use backdrops with prints on them (bought from Hong Kong off the internet) or from one he had made up specially from his own stock of images or he simply used Photoshop to cut images onto a new layer and choose for himself the positioning of the subject and background that compliment the sitter. Giving club members hint and tips all the way through his presentation.
Using lighting techniques to give a 3D effect or using just natural light (taught to him by Trevor and Faye Yerbury - a Scottish couple both in their 70's still teaching photography and who come from a long line of Professional Photographers who Ross recommended members to Google- www.yerburystudio.com) changing the size of the sitter or the colour of a dress or adding texture from the surroundings to brush in using soft light blending mode in the layer.
Ross told the story of each model and explained how in each image he had tried to tastefully capture the grace and elegance of the female form as well as the toned muscles giving strength to the postures of his male models. He went on to reveal how each image had gained him recognition
and success in many of the competition he has entered in National and International Salons and Exhibitions. He also revealed that at his studio in Conway Mill, Belfast stylists were informed about how a set or background is going to look and the models hair, makeup and clothes were styled so they could turn up to the set ready for the shoot. So preparation was key to a successful photograph.
Ross kept the best till last and showed his successful MPAGB panel (in the newly constructed display lightbox from NIPA) Ross achieved this distinction in April 2013 in Birmingham. He is only the second photographer in Northern Ireland to gain this distinction after Colin Thompson gained the distinction 17years ago.
The MPAGB is the highest distinction awarded by the photographic Alliance of Great Britain. It requires 20 prints all individually scored by 6 judges to the benchmark of a higher standard of UK amateur photography with a maximum score of 30 points for each print Ross scored no lower than 20 and his highest of 28 for "Stephen". He achieved his MPAGB distinction with 457. (With 450 being the pass mark) Congratulation on this and all your achievements Ross! (all in all Ross has about 60 medals with countless awards, ribbons and commendations) and the club would like to express their appreciation and thanks to Ross for his captivating and memorable presentation.
Ross mentioned in his presentation to google some websites so on checking these out here are the few he advised us to look at
www.catchlightcameraclub.co.uk for video tutorials (the image of Stephen from the RAW file to the final product, using duplicate layers, work done to bring out his eyes and the detail in his hands etc can be seen in a 20 min video)
www.catchlightstudiosni.com, www.rossmckelvey.co.uk ,www.paperspectrum.co.uk for paper, inks, mounting card and backings, etc (Ross is sponsored by Paper Spectrum and if you mention his name at your first order a 25% discount is given)
Ross uses anything from the Pinnacle brand and likes Pinnacle Baryta. He uses the colour Hayseed for his photo mounts which are textured. On checking these they do come in a precut window option too. (A3 and A4)
www.google.co.uk/nikcollection Ross uses Niksoftware colour efex, silver efex, tonal contrast and detail extractor. The detail extractor is wonderful for bringing out the detail in wedding dresses. With Nik silver he uses the default settings and then adds contrast, tone, dodge and burning until he is happy with the image.
Here are a few more tips and tricks Ross passed on in the meeting that I hope members will try out.
Ross uses Epson 3880 Printer with now only Genuine Epson Inks.
He also uses RAW with a mono jpg. If he has the lighting correct he will use the jpg and just add sepia. But advised us that RAW is best for mono printing.
Black turns to blue if you turn the colour temperature down.
While photographing a model on the beach his flash did not fire and all he got was a silhouette using a single flash and an umberella off to the left side he balanced the shutter speed and lighting to correctly expose the scene. Ross explained that shutter speed controls how his background turn out. A slow shutter speed brightens the background and a fast shutter speed darkens the
background. So he then just needed to balance the light from the flash on the model to make a successful image.
In the studio Ross would use a grey background as he prefers this to add textures to his final image. Making sure he would light the back of the subject and both front sides to make a more 3D effect. Working with models with black clothing on a black background using skin tones for the contrast and the same for a model in white on a white background. Gently using just rim backlighting for each to separate the subject from the background. A white background was also useful when cutting out the subject or model for composite especially with things like hair. If the hair was not selected properly the white could be blurred easily and would hide it so as not to be as noticeable. As for engaging with a model or sitter Ross uses this as a guideline not a rule. He advised members that when out taking portraits don't show the camera, talk to the person first, bring out the character and then asked to take photographs. Which has proved very successful for Ross.
In editing software or Photoshop Ross would use the colour picker boxes. Choosing the foreground colour box he would click on it and then click on the dress in the image to pick up the colour he would then apply it to the image with a soft light blending mode to give the same colour tones to the whole image.
For one image Ross had photographed the model with two lights, a rim light and another light on the face. He then took the image file of the model and a picture of a cloud and put the cloud over the top of layer with the model. Using the blending mode in softlight and with a white mask on the Cloud layer in a 70 to 80 percent opacity and using a soft brush to paint over the model he was able to add the texture and shapes of the cloud into the atmosphere of the image. A simple technique that only took him three minutes.
News for Members who attend the Wednesday night meetings. Gerry Coe started off this week with his workshop. Ray Magill will be giving a Black and White workshop in January and Hugh Rooney a workshop on printing in February 2014. Details nearer the dates will be posted.
Next week is competition night, club and NIPA Round 3 - Dereliction so Good Luck to all those who submitted images! Also a reminder that Alastair and Mildred Bell will be hosting our Annual Quiz Night on the last meeting before the Christmas break and Dinner. With the first clubhouse meeting of 2014 on 10th January being a Digital AV presentation by members. So come along and have fun at one of the great social nights within the clubs calendar. Testing both visual and memory with treats for the winning teams. During the break members can gather together some images for their Audio Visual show of 3 mins duration and submit them on our return on to the clubhouse on 10th January 2014.
The Seacourt print workshop at the Dunlop industrial estate, unit 20, 8 Balloo Drive, Bangor. BT197QY is holding an exhibition which opened at the weekend and will run until the end of January 2014. It is well worth a visit.
John Miskelly ARPS one of Ireland's prestigious landscape and travel photographer joined fellow members to share his vast knowledge and experience of "The Importance Of Composition' as the speaker at the Bangor and North Down Camera Club on Friday evening.
With over 20 years experience in commercial, wedding, landscape, family and pet portraits, John set up his own business and website in 2011 www.johnmiskelly.co.uk and you can also see some of his travel logs and images on Facebook - facebook.com/johnmiskellyphotography. John also hold workshops for budding photographers who want to learn more about landscape photography and this year visited areas like Donegal, The Glens of Antrim, The North Coast and Strangford Lough.
John has won many awards receiving Northern Ireland BIPP landscape and location portraiture award in 2011 and was awarded three bronze and one silver award in Epson International Panorama awards for 2012. As club members will already know John is a keen Nikon and Apple product user but revealed that any image can be captured by any camera and the use of a Fuji compact camera was used to demonstrate this proving that composition is the most important factor in a good image.
John began the night explaining the rules by which he is guided and as with all genres of photography composition is a key element to be experimented with but with landscapes it is a very unforgiving one if the composition is not there. Composition has a blend of light, composing of each element, a subject matter and emotion. It must not be flat and boring but it must have depth and room to breathe.
John displayed four images that he had taken and asked the audience if they liked them, also asking for some feedback after which John displayed a further four images referring back to the original images commenting on how he had changed his viewpoint height or angle on an image. The improvements clear for all to see in the second image. But John followed up his changes with his reason Why? Explaining why the image didn't work. Pinpointing a variety of flaws that instincts told him to make those changes. Instincts gained through experience. In the beginning John would find a beautiful scenic place to photograph but when he got home he was disappointed with the image he had captured claiming it had lost all the emotion he had been witness to and so set out to compose his images with an eye that recognised six main guides that he works by. Lead in lines or diagonals, flow, symmetry, space, depth and framing he blends to produce the perfect composition in his landscape photography.
John's panoramic landscapes use a number of images professionally stitched together and can be exposures of around 30 seconds each sometimes with neutral density filters or a tilt and shift lens. Early morning rises to visit deserted tourist landmarks or capture the golden hour before sunrise and after sunset is critical to a successful landscape and dedication to spend a lot of time waiting for the tide or the perfect light coupled with a lot of hard work carrying equipment over extreme terrain in all weathers and temperature is a test to John's dedication and talent. (Especially when
John had been asked if he carried the same rocks with him for all his images) John over the years has found a more minimal approach with his images finding them more visually pleasing and he is like most of us learning every day and what better way than pushing out of your comfort zone and experiencing the great outdoors witnessing at first hand it's beauty and glory.
Timing and preparation is also a big part of Johns everyday photographic journey waiting minutes, hours or even days, sometimes even another visit to the location Years later, to capture the perfect light and the mood that he wanted to portray. In knowing his subject, the area, the lay out of the land, time of the high and low tides as well as sunrise or sunset. All as important as each other in bringing a image to life. With flow and space john revealed how he separated each element to give a flowing movement through the image and space for the viewer to feel free and comfortable in.
Being prepared for all weathers and difficult situations that can easily creep up on you was a warning that John also wanted to convey. With stories of falling equipment and an unexpected dip in the sea in the pursuit of a photograph but his love for the outdoors and for what he does for a profession the benefits of all this hard work is very rewarding. We live in a beautiful part of the world and there is no better place to photograph than our own country we call home.
Ray Magill was to oversee the proceedings and Thanked John for his Wealth of knowledge a Thanks that was echoed in the response from the members who had just found a new perspective on the Art of Composition and an eagerness to put into practise all they had learned.
Ray had a selection of NIPA news for members. Friday the 29th saw the launch of the new NIPA website. With an acknowledgement to David Roberts for his work and dedication to the old website who now passed on the role to fellow members Alan Morris and Mark Allen. The same web address of www.niphoto.co.uk is now a more image based site with more links and news updates. Thank you to Alan and Mark for all their hard work in establishing a new website in such a short time frame.
Also with the Results of NIPA Round 2 - open being announced on Wednesday when Ballymoney and Fairhead Camera Club held the display and adjudication evening the club took first and joint first places in two of the three sections of the round - monochrome and colour print competition with Hugh Rooney and Darren Brown taking Bangor to 5th Place in the overall standings. Well done to both members and Thank you to Ballymoney and Fairhead for all their hospitality and for the welcome members received. Thanks was also expressed to Mark Allen for securing books and e-books as prizes for the NIPA competitions.
Lastly members are reminded that next week meeting is the due date for NIPA Round 3 Dereliction or Regeneration competition and that guest speaker on that night is Ross McKelvey from Catchlight Camera Club and it will be a night not to be missed.
Congratulations to Bangor and North Down Camera Club for their 4th win out of the 4 years the clubs have held their NI vs Spain annual competition.
From a selection of images judged at the club on Friday, 4 October 2013 (from 220 images over seven categories) with three images from each of the categories going into the competition to represent the club against Spanish club Marina Alta by an Independent judge.
Marina Alta chose this year's Judge a Professional Artists who was not a photographer but has experience with the judging process in his field. Gerry Coe had to warrant a health warning before announcing the result and comments as the judge had sent no critique at first and a message for some comment had to be requested from him. Whether members found these returned comments helpful or not is up to the individual. A reaction shared with Marina Alta.
Black and white - Bangor won (23/15 points) with John Miskelly and Hugh Rooney coming joint first with nine points each.
Contrast - Spain won (16/9 points) with May Carvill coming joint second with Spain on four points.
Flight - Bangor drew with Spain (10/10 points) with Nigel Snell in first place with seven points.
In motion - Bangor won (15/11 points) with Peter Gibson first on eight points.
Joy - Bangor won (10/6 points) with Alan McMorris first on seven points.
Open - Bangor won (15/7 points) with Jack Thompson first with six points.
Seasonal colour - Bangor won (19/7 points) with Alan McMorris and John Bennett joint first with eight points.
Final results are Bangor 101 points / Spain 72.
It was a shorter than normal meeting so Gerry Coe began the night with a presentation of a few maps and images to give members a flavour of the surroundings from which our fellow competitors live in. With a look at the websites and links from Marina Alta (formed in 2006 currently with 30 members). http://www.macameraclub.com/ Gerry traced out a route around the coast in the Costa Blanca area from the airport in Alicante through Benidorm to the old town in Javea where the club meet on 1st and 3rd Thursdays of the month.
BNDCC would like to take the opportunity to Thank Marina Alta photographic club for organising this years competition and look forward to the next. Thanks Also goes to Gerry Coe, Alan McMorris and Colin Spencer (External Competition Secretary MACC) for making all the arrangements between the two clubs and the judge. To Gerry, Thanks for breaking the news to us gently and for your constructive feedback in response.
Congratulations to both Ray Magill and Nigel Snell for their starred images in the NIPA first round at Christian Brothers Camera Club and members are also reminded that on Wednesday 27th November 2013 at 7.30pm in Ballymoney Town Hall the hosts Ballymoney / Fairhead are holding round two - Open competition for the display and adjudication.
Jack Thompson also passed on some encouraging news that the upcoming Audio Visual competition is being held in February. Remarks were made by a previous judge to the club that many clubs around Northern Ireland should be entering this competition. From what he saw and from the standard in Bangor camera club is anything to go by. So maybe members would give a little thought to entering the Audio Visual competition in 2014.
Finally Gerry Coe also reminded members that on 30th November 2013 the are Royal Photographic Society has a presentation of all the winning panels submitted for licentiate on display for everyone to get a feel for what the quality and Standard is for such a qualification. Details can be found on their RPS website www.rps.org/events/
Bangor and North Down Camera Club has a photographic programme filled with a variety of competitions, speakers, workshops and events. Covering most of those bases, Friday's guest speaker and workshop master Glenn Norwood demonstrated his use of photographic lighting techniques and how he has mastered the post processes with his workflow through Lightroom and Photoshop to encourage and inspire members to be a bit more adventurous especially with this seasons NIPA Portraiture competition, not to far away, in February 2014.
Glenn is one of Northern Ireland award winning Portrait/fashion professional photographers for over 20 years, winning the prestigious Kodak European Gold Award three times (1994, 1999 and 2001) and earning the title of Kodak Portrait Photographer of the Year 2001. He also holds the title of BIPP (British Institute of Professional Photography) Northern Ireland's Photographer of the year in 2010. An educator and faculty member of the Metropolitan College in Belfast. He holds a Bachelor of Arts in Art & Design and Interactive Multimedia Design. His relaxed style and breakdown of each image and the processes involved, with a few images explained in his presentation, he is well received by students and fellow professionals alike.
Glenn wanted the night to be an informal one and any questions to be asked if members wished to. After a short AV of Glenn's Fashion Photography he described the 4 main lighting patterns he uses in studio or location shoots. (Classic Paramount lighting, loop lighting and Rembrandt lighting with fashion modernised lighting now adding a 3D effect to faces and giving the model shape) Preferring to use lighting, instead of natural light, to gain full control over the final image he has pre-planned.
Over the years Glenn experimented with the different techniques and with the improvements in the software he has streamlined and simplified his lighting and workflow set ups. Using smoke pellets and adding light flares, colour gels and textured images to add atmosphere to the photograph. With seconds to an hour in the post production creating a cleaned and enhanced image that thrills his clients and earned him his illustrious reputation.
Using Lightroom and Photoshop Glenn captivated and sometimes shocked members with the ease in which he glided through the transformation of each image. As members could spend minutes to hours perfecting an image Glenn had it down to a 10 second edit in many of his images. Explaining blending modes and plug-ins, selection tools and sliders, healing brushes to curves he used the history window to review the layers and rebuild his process which revealed each step and his reason for making them.
With the time flying by and the normal 10 pm finish long passed the meeting ended with the recommendation from Club Chairman, Harry Watson that Glenn should return again to the club to continue his journey through Lightroom and Photoshop where he left off. Until then we will all be using Glenn's techniques and trying them out, to capture that perfect portraiture.
The BNDCC would like to Thank Glenn Norwood for his time and for sharing his expertise with the club members! On a subjects so vast and for turning it more into a joy for the creative mind!
The BNDCC President, Chairman, Committee and Members would like to show their thanks and appreciation to Bangor Aurora Aquatic and Leisure Complex Management and Staff for displaying the clubs exhibition photographs during the Official Opening of Aurora by Her Royal Highness Princess Anne on Tuesday, 12th November 2013. With Gerry Coe representing the BNDCC at the event.
One of the founder members and Chairperson, the late Audrey Argue, still features in Bangor North Down Camera Club's annual programme. Audrey (past vice principal at Glenlola School), was a keen photographer and a passionate animal lover. Audrey achieved the title of Winner of the first ever Belfast Zoo Photographic Competition in 1984 and as a tribute to her, the club still runs the Audrey Argue Trophy, a dedicated competition for photographs of Animals and Natural History.
Judging this years competition was Stanley McIlreavy, another past member of the club, who remembers Audrey and remarked that she had also spent a lot of her time in Central Photographic Association where they both had been members too. Stanley being more into the cine part of the photography club. Stanley is now the Programme Organiser of Carrickfergus Photographic Society and invited Bangor club to visit the preview of their Exhibition of their 21 members being held at the Carrickfergus Civic Centre next Friday 8th and open to the public until the 22nd of November 2013. (Mon - Fri 9am - 5pm, Sat 10am - 4pm)
Bobby Peacock assisted Stanley in his adjudication of the six sections. Choosing 1st to 5th places after speaking briefly about each image that had been submitted. Each member can submit up to nine images in one competition but Alan Field ran away with six placings on the night with Nigel Snell, Michael Rice and Angus Gardiner all getting three places each. Six more members getting two places. (John Miskelly, Jack Thompson, Helen Fettus, Darren Brown, Colin Majury and David Hamill)
Foundation Colour Print
Foundation Mono Print
Advanced Mono Print
Advanced Colour Print
Projected Digital Images Foundation
Projected Digital Images Advanced
After tea Stanley commented on the overall quality of the printing in the print sections. With the colour being the better in Advanced and not much difference in the mono competition between Advanced and Foundation.
Stanley revealed the overall winner of the Audrey Argue Trophy with Congratulations going to Alan Field for Toady. To round up the evening we would like to thank Stanley for judging the Audrey Argue Competition and to his wife Kate, who is also a member of CPS, for joining us and visiting the club.
Members are reminded that next week there is no official club night as the Roy Finlay Natural History Annual Competition is being held at Castle Espie on 8th November. 7.30pm for 8pm start. But an open invitation to club members to join in on what has in the past been a very successful night for club member Nigel Snell and a night to share with other Photographic clubs throughout Northern Ireland.
Let's us now bow our heads.
As winter draws its dark tentacles around the evenings the members of Bangor and North Down Camera Club could be excused for seeking some light relief – and they hit the jackpot on Friday night as the feminine side took control for the annual Ladies’ Night. Apart from the artistic nature of the event the gentlemen members of the club await this date in the calendar eagerly- bringing, as it does the promise of cakes, buns and savoury delights of such quality and abundance to dispel any notion of winter blues.
They were not disappointed as justice was done to a superb spread after the interval.
Shirley Graham slipped effortlessly into the role of Mistress of Ceremonies and bedecked as the Hallowe’en Witch she cast her usual eloquent spell over the proceedings which began with an audio-visual presentation by Christine Pearson recalling some of the memorable moments from the club outings during the summer. A touch of humorous menace added to the seasonal enjoyment. Deborah Gardiner presented some more photographic memories of warm days, flowers and bees accompanied by a cool jazz backing while Angela Shannon displayed the results of her first attempt at street photography. Her candid shots earned warm applause.
Deborah Carvill’s offering was by way of a graphic blog of the club activities merged with some fine action shots from concerts she had attended. May (Deborah’s mother) meantime had been compiling a selection of her favourite images, including some prize-winning shots of flowers. Helen Fettis reminded the members of the very enjoyable club outings to various locations with a visual recollection laced with some of her personal studies.
Mandy Milliken’s presentation had some folk thinking of next year’s holidays as she recalled a visit to New York. The night-time scenes of Manhattan merged seamlessly with some dramatic memories of a Barry Manilow concert on broadway.
“Girls just wanna have fun” was the sound track for a presentation specially commissioned for the evening. The ladies had planned a day out at Mountstewart and judging by the pictures fun was precisely what they had.
Shirley Graham completed a fine night’s entertainment with a thoughtful note on the beauty and value of taking photographs sometimes for no other reason than to keep a record of events and loved ones. She illustrated her talk with some personal images thus rounding off a very enjoyable evening.
Round 2 of the NIPA club competition was held in BNDCC on Friday night with guest Judge, Vittorio Silvestri from the Central Photographic Association. Vittorio (A Research Photographer in the Ophthalmology department in the Belfast trust) is the Chairman of CPA and has visited the clubhouse several times before but this was the 1st visit as a judge of a club round. He began the night by telling members about one of his visits and recalled how he had a bad spin in his car on his return journey home in the snow and bad weather conditions on that night and how lucky he was to be back.
In his adjudication, Vittorio saw no difference between the Colour print Foundation and Advanced sections but remarked on the higher standard of printing in the Mono section of the competition. With presentation of the finished image and mounting also being a key factor. In a quick survey by Harry it seemed half of the advanced members who had submitted images for the competition had hand printed their work which evidently had the best quality result and was a huge influence on the final decision making.
Talking constructively about contrast, framing and composition to all the foundation members and taking a selection of the advanced photographs to explain his selection process he revealed his 1st, 2nd and 3rd winners as well as a healthy selection of commended prints. Recommending that some of the images should be resubmitted for other rounds later on this year, Portraiture and Dereliction being the themes.
Again as reported in round one, in September 2013, Family members were placed in both foundation (Deborah and son, Angus Gardiner) and advanced (May and daughter, Deborah Carvill) sections with many members once again taking double placings (Nigel Snell, Michael Rice, Trevor Reid, Alan Hartley, Hugh Rooney and May Carvill) All making a bid for the Photographer of the Year competition a very exciting one to watch, but this time 3 members took 3 places. Darren Brown in advanced with new members Colin Majury and Glen Johnston. Congratulations to Glen for nearly sweeping the board in PDI foundation on his 1st ever competition night.
Colour Print Foundation
Foundation Mono Print -
Colour Print - Advanced
Advanced Mono Print
Projected Digital Images Foundation
Advanced Projected Digital
Members would like to show their appreciation with a huge thank you to Vittorio for returning to the club and adjudicating for the 2nd Round - open NIPA competition with their parting wishes for a safe journey home.
Alan announced that images for the Audrey Argue competition are due next week with the Roy Finlay to follow. Harry ended the night by congratulating everyone and thanking Alan Hartley and Bobby for all their hard work as usual. He also reminded members of the display and adjudication of the Round 1 open NIPA competition next Thursday 24th October at Christian Brothers 7.30pm for 8pm Judging and once again recommended the night as a beneficial experience.
Another beneficial experience is due next week when the long awaited “Ladies In Charge” returns to bring a feast of delights to the club with not only the colourful photographic presentations from the Ladies but the usual spread of treats await the members at the nights end. So don’t miss the fun!!! Or as Harry put it “Brace yourself”!
“The People and Buildings of Nepal” by Ian Lyons, was a colourful photographic glimpse into the lives and architecture of its capital Kathmandu. Ian was the guest speaker for the members of the Bangor and North Down Camera Club at Friday night's meeting.
Ian is a member of Merville Newtownabbey Photographic Club and the website publisher of computer-darkroom.com. He is a frequent visitor to the club, in order to fulfil another role, as a Judge for Club and Interclub, Northern Ireland Photographic Association competitions. He is on the NIPA council and is a PAGB Executive Member.
Having always opted to travel west to the USA, circumstances saw a change in the usual photographic tour and a group of 8 (4 women and 4 men), packed mainly their camera equipment and headed for Nepal for a 15 day tour.
With Hinduism and Buddhism being the main religions of Nepal it offered many religious and cultural festivities, as this forms a major part in the lives of the Nepalese peoples.
Ian tried to convey the dark conditions in some areas they were guided to, which he expertly handled on his Canon 5D camera. First finding a suitable backdrop and asking permission, or taking opportunities, to capture an expression or reveal the characters that passed him by. Ian remarked that for such living conditions the people were lovely and only too happy to pose for the group. Ian later met The Tharu people whose claim to fame is being genetically resistance to malaria. They have very little but they all had TV and enjoyed life!
Ian talked about his guided travels, capturing street photography within the dark streets of the three cities of Kathmandu Valley, Kathmandu, Patan, and Bhaktapur, each having a Durbar Square, to the streets of Pokhara. From the wildlife in the Chitwan National Park to the rice terraces of Nagarkot Village. Close by to a Himalayan sunset at Fishtail Mountain where you could just catch sight of Everest in the distance (100 miles away) on a good, clear day. Capturing devotees in a meditative trance induced by the smoke filled atmosphere of the bamboo purification fire at the Monkey Temple. The Shanti Stupa, Buddha statues, Temples, all seeing eyes, prayer wheels and flags, Bazaars, potters, rope makers and water carriers all part of Ian’s presentation.
After a 9 hour “Road of Death” journey from Kathmandu to Pokhara and the same on the 4 hour road to Chitwan National Park, when faced with a 5 hour death road back to Kathmandu the group was given the option to fly a 15 minute flight in a plane. The only dilemma was 3 weeks earlier a plane had crashed on the same route. Choosing the latter they arrived safely to Kathmandu to the groups relief.
With their experiences of the Rapti River in a dug out canoe, happily snapping the birds like Pond Herons, Black Storks, a Kingfisher and various sizes of Egrets, before a Chariai Crocodile splashed into the river from the bank and his attention soon focused on staying firmly in the boat.
But Ian had one photographic opportunity to lag behind the group and found a Monk standing in the Temple doorway. When permission was asked and granted for a few poses for the hefty fee of “50” (50 Rupee - 30p to us) Ian walked away happy he had got a unique image, only to meet up with the group around the corner of the temple, with the same Monk now posing for the whole group. Joining in he snapped a few free images and on showing the two images to the group they remarked he had, maybe, got his money's worth.
Another story Ian told was of the women of Nepal and how hard they worked. They had met this old woman who was directing the work being carried out and stood for them but quickly got impatient and walked off. Wondering what the group had done they went around the back of the house and met the woman again. This time she presented her Grandson and proudly posed for the camera with the happiest of smile a Grandmother could have. The two images were a total opposite to each other and beautifully captured.
But as Ian began with the life of Kathmandu his finish was with the grieving rituals of the Burning Ghats were the smells and smoke from the funeral pyres created an image he wanted to come the full circle of life with the Nepalese people.
The BNDCC would like to Thank Ian for sharing his images and his experiences about his journey to Nepal with the club.
During Ian’s presentation he mentioned that NIPA was looking for a certain type of Portraiture and it was becoming a popular technique within all the clubs, especially for competitions and so he wanted to pass it on to our club. The foreground subject has to be close in focus while letting the background or other subjects or people go out of sharpness (drop off) as quickly as possible but keeping the image uncluttered. So with this season we can all get clicking for the NIPA Portraiture (round 5) competition on 21st February 2014
A reminder went out from Harry about Next weeks being the competition round 2 and that the 1st round of the Interclub NIPA competition is being held in Christian Brothers on the Antrim Road on the 24th October 2013 and urged members to try to attend and view 1st hand from our own recent open comp and experience the quality of work we are up against.
Before the meeting got underway, a call for quiet was requested by the Chairman, Harry Watson, so that the judges could carry out their difficult task at hand. The Bangor and North Down Camera Club served up a wonderful mix of images at Friday night's meeting for the annual picture battle with The Marina Alta Camera Club in Spain. ( www.macameraclub.com ) It was a welcome return to this years programme after a 1 year break.
Gerry Coe, the club's President (who first proposed the competition to Club in 2009) expressed how good the submissions were with some very strong images for the judges to make their selection from. As the Bangor club have won the last 3 out of the 3 years the competition has been going between the two clubs. But the points gap between them is getting closer by the year.
The judges on the night were Gerry Coe, Peter Hughes, Ray Magill, Peter Gibson, David Roberts and Nigel Snell. They deliberated their way through a selection of 220 images over 7 categories and unanimously selected 3 projected digital images per category to represent the club in the final round of judging. The final results of which will be revealed at the clubhouse on 22nd November, 2013.
The members with winning images in each of the categories are:
Black and White - Hugh Rooney, Ray Magill and John Miskelly.
Contrast - Hugh Rooney, Gerry Coe and May Carvill.
Flight - Nigel Snell, Deborah Carvill and Nigel Snell.
Joy - Alan Mc Morris, Mark Bell and Davy Cooper.
In Motion - Peter Gibson, Nigel Snell and Stephen Mc Ewan-Lyon.
Seasonal Colours - Mark Allen, Alan Mc Morris and John Bennett.
and Open - John Miskelly, Nigel Snell and Jack Thompson.
All winning images will be sent over the internet to an Independent Judge who has been chosen this year by the Marina Alta Club. Thanks is expressed to all those members from the two clubs who made this competition possible by submitting their images and to the judges for making their selection. Congratulations to all the winner especially Stephen Mc Ewan-Lyon, one of our newest members and to Nigel Snell with four wonderful images chosen to represent the club.
Alan Hartley Would like to remind everyone the 2nd round competition - Open is Due in at next Friday’s meeting on 11th November, 2013. While Alan Mc Morris announced that The Roy Finlay Natural History competition has to be handed to NIPA by 24th October, 2013 so members will need to give images to Alan or Ray for submission. Very soon!
Members wishing to find out more about The Marina Alta Camera Club in Spain and the NI vs Spain Challenge in previous years can visit the BNDCC Blog page and see the dates 9th October 2009, 3rd December 2010, 14th October 2011, and 2nd December 2011 with some links to the club and the judges remarks on some of the images for that year. I will close by wishing The Club and members with their images in the final round, Congratulations and Good Luck!
After weeks of hearing and talking about the Wow Factor in a photograph, the members of the BNDCC were witness to an explosion of “Wow” on Friday night. When Gabriel O’Shaughnessy, from The Dundalk Photographic Society, joined the members to talk about his Associateship and Fellowship Panels.
Coming from a club that has won the FIAP - Clubs world cup of Photography and with a reputation that preceded him, visitors from other Camera Clubs throughout the country travelled to the clubhouse to become part of the audience to greet Gabriel. Welcome and renowned guests like Stanley Matchett, Stanley Mc Ilreavy and Tom Robinson but to name a few.
Accompanying Gabriel to the meeting was his wife Maureen, who we later discovered was an important part of Gabriel’s photo shoots entourage as she provided hair and make-up for their daughters Ciara and Aoife, who modelled for the majority of the images and also providing props and special effects for still life.
Gabriel described his style as not being a technical photographer but a passionate one! Thinking about photography 24/7, even in his dreams. He explained that a good photo is one you can see in your head and reveal it in the same detail, onto the finished print. “Express Yourself! Express your Passion!” Some advice he was given and wanted to pass on, was of writing your ideas down. Know why, where and when you want to take them, research it and learn timing and then Go Out And Take Them!
He also revealed that most of his work has been taken in and around his home. With a number of the seascapes taken in Dingle, Co Kerry, on beaches such as Inch, Brandon bay and Clogher. Also places like Clogherhead, Co Louth and Whiterocks in Antrim. Also visiting the Folk parks in Cultra and Omagh. But he did the occasional trip away to places like Cuba, Romania and Vietnam. No matter the location the results were outstanding.
Images of Family and Friends posed in great compositions. One image of his twin Nephews, turning up in their clean rugby strips (that would be great for any TV commercial) was quickly grunged up with a sod taken from the garden and a transfer tattoo used to great effect and fun, becoming an image the members will never forget.
Another image of a 92 year old musician captured him in his home environment, with object collected over time and an old photo of the man in his youth as a band member hanging on the wall behind him. All bringing the decades of his life to stand side by side in the one moment. On Gabriel’s next visit to the man the room had been renovated and remarked how delighted he was to have captured the photo before it had all had been removed from his historic image.
He set out two rows of images and reading out from his statement of intent about his first (Associateship Royal Photographic Society) panel of B&W Portraitures he revealed that the top set depicted youth with a passing of time, to the bottom row and its maturity of years.
With Natural lighting and reflectors to bounce the escaping light back into the frame and great stories about the characters in his portraitures he brought each image to life. Ansel Adams once described photography as painting with light and Gabriel had certainly achieved that. Through his Portraitures, Still life to his Landscapes all expressed a mood or feeling that the audience loved and wished they could have taken themselves.
In the second (Fellowship Royal Photographic Society) Colour Panel Gabriel’s work and family played a factor to the location and the direction he wanted to take with the theme and styles of the images. On showing his mother some interior images of rooms in the house, she was horrified how anyone could find the images of hardship so appealing and hated them. It was only then that he realised and came to appreciate the subject he was taking and knew he had to portray the same value of respect to each image.
It was also his young family and their interests that inspired different styles to influence some images. With themes like Avatar and Downton Abbey creating images of great and true vision from Gabriel. A body of work which proved his accomplished, creative talent and achieved a great hunger for knowledge from members who were present. Summing up the night as one of the most inspiring and best nights the club had ever had. It is with that respect we wish to Thanks Gabriel for visiting us and welcome him back soon!
Finishing off the night Harry reminded everyone about the Spain v’s NI submissions being extended to the Wed for selection on Friday 4th October and The Roy Finley competition coming up on 8th Nov. With our recent success and wishes to the club to hopefully repeat the results by encouraging members to submit some images.
A further discussion with Gabriel via email, I asked him for a few more details for our blog, as I think it would be of great benefit to us. Giving us knowledge and inspiration in the years ahead. So in Gabriel’s own words I have included his reply below with a little Bio he kindly sent.
“I am now printing on the Canon Pixma Pro1 using canon inks and papers which is great as I now use canon all the way from capture to print. I really like Canons FineArt Paper "Museum Etching" this is perfect for that textured finish which really suits fine art prints. I also use Canson Infinity "Aquarelle Rag" 240g this paper is also very good for that textured finish. For semi gloss Canon Photo Paper Plus semiGloss is what I now use. Although a number of the prints I showed were on Epson semi gloss and also Calumet's Brilliant Museum SilverGloss White.!
“I have been interested in Photography from an early age. For me Photography is a means of self expression, an art form that allows us to portray reality and fantasy side by side. In todays world the end product is only limited by our imaginations.
I enjoy all aspects of photography. In each photograph the challenge is the same - I strive to portray a mood or a feeling that goes beyond the image itself and connects with the viewer.
I have been a member of Dundalk Photographic society since 1994. In my time there I have made many friends around the world, all of whom share my passion for photography. Judging and exhibiting are a source of great enjoyment, but for me, nothing beats the thrill of getting out and taking pictures."Gabriel J O' Shaughnessy.
FIPF FRPS MFIAP
The Bangor and North Down Camera Club, past and present members, would like to pass on their condolences to the Family and Friend of Randal Clarke, after the sad news of his passing. Randal was a long standing and valued member of the club and its committee over the years. Reaching a great achievement of becoming the Chairman and the President of the club. He will be sadly missed!
As the competition year started, it soon became a family affair and a night of Doubles! Mother and son, Deborah and Angus Gardiner, took all the placings in the Foundation Colour Print section. While Father and son, Jack and John Thompson, took 1st places in both Foundation and Advanced sections of the Projected Digital Images. (A skype call by Jack to John had to wait awhile as it would have awoken him at 4 am) Also many members received 2 winning places - Nigel Snell, Peter Gibson, Ray Magill, Trevor Reid, Colin Majury and Alan Field.
The results of the Foundation B&W saw Alan Field taking 1st and 2nd with an environmental portraiture of a little girl, who the judge remarked, “told a story” while his 2nd image was of an old fashioned scene with action and tones to match. Colin Majury, with his graphic photo of an ornament, coming 3rd.
In Colour print, Deborah’s youngest son surfing and a red flower, impressing the judge to take 3rd and 1st. With Deborah’s older son Angus, 2nd with a Dragonfly of great sharpness and detail. (The Gardiner family joining the audience tonight in support of Deborah’s first competition and delighted with both their results)
In the projected digital images, John Thompson portraiture of a Vietnamese Man took 1st with Colin Majury’s Bee on a Flower and Alan Fields slow motion water drop following each other into 2nd and 3rd.
In the Advanced B&W sections Ray Magill’s Tulips and Avery under the stairs, with quality tones and detail took 1st and 3rd. A graphic image of the Titanic buildings gained Trevor Reid the 2nd place.
Nigel Snell’s artful and real image of a Red Squirrel sealed 1st place in the Colour section with Peter Gibson’s, Ponte Vecchio in Florence and Trevor Reid’s painting with Light around 4 playing cards took 2nd and 3rd.
Jack Thompson’s Bee and Hoverfly on a flower buzzed its was to 1st, while the judge remarking how well Nigel Snell had captured the Red Arrows and paying the compliment it was better than the images he had seen at his own clubs the night previously, placing it 2nd and Peter Gibson ending the judging with a 3rd place for a well taken view of steps leading to the doorway of an old building.
At Friday’s 1st competition round - Open, The guest judge Malachy Connolly sparked off a healthy debate in the clubhouse. Malachy took the harsh line of “perfection” in the images presented. Describing many as record shots or nice images before revealing his selected 1st, 2nd and 3rd placings
As with many of the members of club, they submit images for feedback to our Wednesday night meetings and finally present prints and projected images for the Friday comp nights, with the hope that they can improve and get feedback, on an approachable level, especial for its newer members. The club, taking the line not to scare budding photographers away but to guide and support them, keeping our club on an open and friendly level and a place to learn and pass the skills on to others.
On the other side of the debate were the members who thought about what the judge was saying in his feedback and agreed. Using the advice to better their photographic skills so they can compete on the same level as the other clubs within the region, nationally and in the UK. A no nonsense approach.
Advising members to think about the subject matter and composition of each image, as well as the after process in which the images can be improved by lightening or darkening or simply by removing areas of distraction. To be different than any other image you have witnessed.
With Malachy’s 33 years of experience in the CBPPU Camera Club in Belfast, he too remarked on the harshness of judges he had experienced and it made him think about what image he would use to represent his style of photography. Choosing to concentrate on Landscape photography. Submitting images not just for the sake of it, but to bring a different angle or a feeling of depth within the framed image. Even with a story to pass on to the viewer.
Photography is indeed a vast subject and many judges give different, if not contrasting opinions, but always remember “Beauty is in the eye of he beholder“! What one person finds as a record shot maybe a precious capturing of a moment for someone else. Photography was invented to record history too, so have Fun!
Harry was to finish the night by Thanking all the members who submitted images and Congratulating all the winners. Also a reminder to members that next weeks external speaker is Gabriel O Shaughnessy meeting is a presentation on Panels and beneficial to members and tying in with the theme which is running through the club programme this year. A final reminder for members that submissions for the Spain V’s NI comp is to be in by Friday next week, 27th September 2013.
An air of disappointment greeted the members of the BNDCC on Friday night as unfortunately the guest speaker couldn’t make it to the meeting. The Club sends their best wishes to Jim Mooreland and extends our warmest invitation to be our guest in the near future.
On the positive side (and glad of a big turn out), the President of the club and an old friend of Jim’s stepped in to fill the evening with his wonderful body of work, accredited to him in a lifelong career of achievements and awards. Gerry relayed Jim’s apologises and paid tribute to a “good mate!”
Gerry and Jim were known as the only two Black &White Photographers in Northern Ireland and teased one another about the fact. Nicknamed, “The Guinness Printers”. Jim’s black & white’s were dark while Gerry’s were light and airy.
The title of the night was inspired by a former member of the club, Harry Pettis, “EffnEffs - A Journey” (scheduled on the club programme for March 2014, a night mixed with talent, experience and great banter through Gerry’s journey, with his 2 Fellowship panels and the 2 Peter Grugeon awards. A great achievement as he was the first to do so.
Gerry explained the process through Licentiateship, Associateship and Fellowship with Associations such as the Royal Photographic Society, Master Photographers Association, British Institute of Professional Photographers and the Society of Wedding Portrait Photographers. Jim was the 1st person in NI to get a Fellowship for his Panel of Black &White images and Gerry was the 2nd.
Sharing his stories of people who supported and were a true inspiration to him, he also passed on the same to all the budding photographers before him. He gently encouraged members to push that bit further and take the first steps out of their comfort zones, develop their skills and present them to a professional body.
Gerry remarked that two or three members had achieved Associateship and one was thinking about taking the step to the top tier with a Fellowship. Showing members, there is not only a personal achievement in what we do but for those wanting to share and have their work recognised and make the journey, there are a few photographic bodies to achieve it with.
Gerry explained how the first time he was turned down, it made him look with fresh eyes and create a panel with balance. It wasn’t about some great images that carried the rest but it was a overall harmony the images have together with the darker images holding the lighter images in the middle. This draws the viewer to stay and not wander off but inviting you to hang out for a while.This urges us to balance our images in appearance as well as presentation, not to show a wide range of topics, but to hone in and refine the theme. This is the criteria of the judging panels on the various boards.
We are always on the search to discover something new and different from the rest, an innovator and always with that WOW factor. We should never lose sight of the more important personnel achievement that drives the style and quality of the Gerry Coe brand, a trademark with heart and soul. (or maybe blood, sweat and tears). Each finished print or artwork has a personnel touch from start to finish. The taking, editing, hand printing and mounting is 100% genuine Gerry Coe and a badge ofhonour for Gerry.
Gerry’s first Fellowship Panel had 20 beautiful Black &White high key photographs. It ranged from close-ups of flowers, a workshop, reflections in a puddle, an old coat in a cloakroom to various landscapes all of which complimented each other. These were all hand printed using techniques he had learnt from club workshops. John Blakemore passed on processing techniques which gave Gerry’s images tone and changed everything for him.
When digital photography arrived, Gerry believed it would never catch on. “Was I wrong!” he exclaimed and pretty soon he was sold on the idea of spending less time in the darkroom with chemical baths and rolls of films and more time at the computer. It was a chat with another friend Dan Burkholder, who was using the iphone to create images, that placed Gerry on the road to another Fellowship and the second Peter Grugeon award.
So to Gerry’s second panel" Iphone Art" was taken at home or when visiting the now famous Rhianna tree's neighbour or on holidays or chasing nuns in the alleyways of Girona in order to “get the shot“.
Gerry sculpted and moulded each image out of the different iPhone Apps available. Admitting to being a frustrated artist who can’t paint, he has now been given the freedom to be adventurous and creative at the same time. The Canon and Nikon users in the club who once mocked the idea have all found a new rival in the iphone. Many have found the iphone to be an essential piece of equipment in their camera gear.
Sharing and connecting with people via social media has opened up a new world for photographers. Gerry realised that he disagreed with the quote "the best camera is the one you have with you", and told us," the best camera is the one you have in your eye" . that is the one that really makes the difference. The camera is just a method of capturing that. It’s all about training your eye.
Rreinvent yourself! and always look for something different. Something special!
Thank You Gerry!
From a Nation that walks in the steps of giants and fills the Nations with news and stories, Good and Bad! I only hope my new role as BNDCC information officer can follow bravely in the footsteps of my predecessor John Bennett.
I want to thank John for the wonderful job he did each week reporting our Friday night programme and for his encouragement to take up this role. It is by taking up new challenges do we advance and discover in ourselves a hidden talent and I wish all who join the BNDCC, this year, the passion to embrace those challenges and reveal their talents, which we all love and share in Photography.
On behalf of The President, Chairman and all the Committee Members we wish to welcomeeveryone to the BNDCC Season 2013 - 2014. Happy snapping guys and let’s be careful out there!!!!
The BNDCC’s Chairman Harry Watson launched proceedings by opening the 2013-14 season in the words of Jeremy Clarkson - We’re Back!!! He offered guests, new and returning members a hearty welcome to the first night where holiday snaps had been transformed by the process of Audio/visual software.
The night intertwined AV’s with an announcement, filling the transitions time in between shows.
Noel gave a talk on Rota’s, H & S and house rules. Gerry filled us in on upcoming events and guests.
Jack (Our new Treasurer) was awoken from the back to announce that membership was now at 43 and it was filling up very quickly and hinted at the possibility of losing our President, if our quota had been met. (I am glad to report we have our President onboard!)
Noel Maitland started off the night with a gentle view of Boating on the Shannon. Telling the story of the winding rivers and Loughs with the weather as a perfect backdrop to the wildlife, people and sense of community, which was evident, in the images and music that accompanied them.
The Norwegian Fjords were our next port of call where Trevor Robinson visited on a cruise. Stopping at 4 or 5 places, capturing quaint village life and the architecture, welcoming us to Glaciers with beautiful vast landscapes and refreshing waterfalls.
Landscapes and waterfalls were a theme in many AV’s tonight but Scotland was the destination in Mark Allen’s presentation. Rock formations mistaken for people. Snow dusted the mountain top vistas. Mirror lakes that reflected beautiful mountain ranges which left you without words, to white sandy beaches you would travel the world to visit. Castle views and a wild deer all melted into the landscape and captured the audience with a silence. With music that carried you through each frame. Relaxed at journey’s end!
Bill Henning’s AV took us on a journey to Canada. With an offer no one would refuse. With a car and accommodation in the mix, a Jaguar and a villa for a month, no less with visits to Oshawa golf clubs and Windfields Farm to see some horses.
For Bill’s second AV he demonstrated a Lens Test. With his Canon Lens set carefully on the ground he drenched the lens with water from a hosepipe and for good measure dunked it in a basin of water. (Readers, as it was advised on the night and we recommend you do not, Repeat, Do Not try this at home - as the lens is a thermal cup in the design of a lens)
I guess some members didn’t know whether to laugh or cry, but Jack added, Bill was never to borrow his camera equipment.
Jack Thompson was next on the agenda and put together an AV on the Club Summer Outings for 2013. Visits to Armagh, Ulster Aviation Society, Castle Ward, Crom, etc. With inspirational macro photography of Butterflies and flowers with wasps and insects. To airplanes and members resting for a spot of Jack’s Tea and scones, reminders of a great summer with our wee club. With not a glimpse of Jacks home from home, Crawfordburn (Or maybe just one!)
Alan Hartley reminded everyone of next week’s submission date for the first of 7 yearly competitions, before his wonderful AV from Jersey., taking in many of the sights and landmarks that attract many visitors. The landscape fails to disappoint. The causeway and castle, the harbour and beaches. Lighthouses with crashing waves in contrast to the calm rock pools that reflected the glorious summer weather. Also to St Matthews Church with the fixtures inside made from glass. Jersey was the setting for Alan’s 2nd AV with a lovely addition of his wife and son. Having a fun filled time with each other. Some monkeys also appeared on screen to the tune of Jungle Book and the occasional appearance of Superman!
Gerry Coe ended the 1st half of the night with a cruise on a Baltic Journey and from the sound of him Baltic wasn‘t the half of it. We wish you well Gerry, or at least Cheers! Gerry announced that everything was taken on his iPhone and edited in an App on his iPad. The sights and sounds blended with the grand, decorative architecture inside and out. Lighthouses, musicians, dolls and scissors all weaving in between frames with the last images ending on a Lada 210. A symbol of changing times, we all must move with and Gerry certainly leads the way.
After refreshment by Alex and Christine, the 2nd half kicked off with Nigel Snell. A tantalizing taste and smell of Provence, France. Lavender and Poppy fields. Butterflies and birds. Shop fronts, doorways, doors and shutters. Turquoise seas, chateau and sunset all flowed with textured effects, softening and colour popping and wetting our palettes with a glass of wine. All accompanied by music that placed you in the heart of every frame.
Finally to Kevin Neupert’s - A River Runs Through, with matching soundtrack. No Brad Pitt here but counting himself lucky it wasn’t Deliverance with Jack on his tail. A seasonal look at one of Bangor beautiful landscape Crawfordsburn. Beautifully capturing Autumn’s golden light and colours with canopies watching over winding pathways, rivers and waterfalls. With silky movement of the waters, contrasting the stillness of the rock being shaped and moulded by the flow of time.
Many Thanks to these members, who spent the time, to show us their adventures this summer and for making the opening night such a great success. Well done Everyone!
Can I also mention the great new layout of the clubhouse and a Big Thank You to all the members who gave up their time to help.
The scheduled viewing of the PDI’s from the exhibition had to be postponed to a later date and we look forward to viewing them in the near future.