Weekly Roundup

Weekly Roundup,  26th November 2020 meeting. 

Last Thursday, it was our turn to host the 5 Way Competition. It’s an annual friendly event between Airdrie & Coatbridge Photographic Club, Cumbernauld & Kilsyth Photographic Society, Kirkintilloch Camera Club, Stirling & District Camera Club and Falkirk Camera Club. This year’s judge was Pat Couder CPAGB BPE1* who is a member of two clubs. South London Photographic Society which was founded 1889, the same year as our predecessors here in Falkirk, and Old Coulsdon Camera Club. Photographers active in the era of film will remember Farmer’s Reducer, well, Dr Farmer was a member of S.L.P.S. Louis Gandolphi, who founded the iconic Large Format camera company bearing his name was also a member of S.L.P.S. Pat also judges throughout Kent and Surrey.

Pat works in both Black & White and Colour extending from Still Life to People plus a wide variety of subjects all photographed with great care, imagination, and attention to detail. Her BPE1* designation tells of her success on the International Salon of Photography circuit. Recommend looking at her images on the South London Photographic Society website and also on the Postal Photographic Club website plus the Photographic Society of America website. Judges expend a great deal of their time judging these competitions so we offer our sincere thanks to Pat for her work and for sharing her considerable expertise.

The 5 Way competition is usually for both Prints and Projected Digital Images however, to lessen the possibility of virus transmission, this year all the individual photographers retained their Prints and only the associated P.D.I.’s were sent to the judge. Photographs could receive a maximum of 20 points and, in this respect, Falkirk C.C. did well. Abstract Nude and Dandelion Silhouette, both by Dave Ferguson L.R.P.S., Nebulous Anemone by Nancy MacArthur C.P.A.G.B., A.R.P.S. and Kestrel Eating Mouse by David Jones all received maximum points. 3 Photographs from Kirkintilloch C.C. received the maximum of 20 points with K.C.C. being deserved overall winners on 183 points. Falkirk C.C. were in second place with 176 points followed by Stirling & District C.C., Cumbernauld & Kilsyth P.S. and Airdrie & Coatbridge P.C.

During lockdown we set ourselves a Weekly Theme with subjects which could all be photographed around the home, garden or, the then designated 1 Hour exercise period. As written in these columns before, the quality, originality and creativity of the images produced by our Club members has been outstanding. Photographers tend to have favourite subjects and, through Club events, we had been trying to extend our subject range but enforced public health conditions focused our minds. It was such a successful project that we kept it going so, each week and after the organised event, our Club members remain online to share and discuss their most recent images. The Theme set for last Thursday night was Paper with Camera as the Theme for next Thursday.

Also on Thursday 5th December we have Monthly Competition night Number 3 when the judge will deliver their adjudication. We have both Print and Projected Digital Image sections although, as is usual for our Club this season, Print entrants retain an unmounted Print and only the associated P.D.I. is sent to the judge. Entries were submitted a few weeks ago, catalogued by our Internal Competition Secretary – Scott Farrell, and forwarded to the judge. Club members only discover the identity of the judge on competition night.

Thanks for looking in and Stay Safe.

Weekly Roundup 19th November 2020 meeting.

We have been privileged to host a number of Street Photographers during the past few years and, while it may be convenient to imagine that there may be a similarity in their styles, the reality is that those styles vary enormously. Just as much, in fact, as the styles of photographers of any other genre. Courtesy of a video conferencing platform, last Thursday night we welcomed street photographer Dave Mason from Kent to our online gathering.

His photographs featured in the official London 2012 Olympics book and it’s easy to understand why. Dave’s Colour images feature astonishing harmony between the natural hues of the location, and the people despite the fact that he rarely waits longer than a few minutes in any one place while waiting for the ideal scenario to come along. His Back & White imagery is equally outstanding often illustrating fast photographer’s responses to ever changing situations. Imagine a busy Street Market ( remember being in a crowd of people ? ). In the foreground are 5 people, not all in the same group. One person is pointing to the right yet all are looking to the right. One person is wearing a t-shirt with a drawing of a woman’s face, the eyes are looking to the right.

Tight compositions and humour feature strongly in Dave’s work, notably in a photograph of a London bus with three Panda’s as passengers or a group of Painter & Decorators entering the Royal Academy Of Arts building in London. A dog gazing covetously into a butcher’s shop was instinctively photographed too as was a skeleton being pushed along in a shopping trolley.

Many of us are missing our frequent sojourns into art galleries yet Dave’s unobtrusive camera has picked out those fleetingly observed moments where the attire of the gallery visitor accidentally, or not, matches the artwork they are viewing. I say, “ or not ” as I’m reminded of a marvellous exhibition of the art of Bridget Riley CH CBE which in 2019 filled the Royal Scottish Academy building in Edinburgh and where, I’m convinced, some visitors attended similarly and stylishly attired. Add the colour of the gallery walls, and the juxtaposition of the angular frames with the more rounded outline of the visitor and we have more stunning photographs. Co-incidentally, Dave created contrast with a photograph of someone wearing a checked shirt and standing in front of a Bridget Riley artwork.

Dave’s travels take him to many interesting locations and here he demonstrates the breadth of his photographic skills. A street scene in Giza, Egypt, with a pyramid and sphinx in the background was an example of contemporary photography at its finest. Returning home, visitors to the closing day of the Chelsea Flower Show photographed outside the show ground, and often obscured by the flower and plant exhibits which they had purchased affectionately illustrated our quirky determination. A glum clown too, was showing his true feelings.

Having spent a thoroughly enjoyable and inspirational evening in Dave’s company those opening remarks that the style of street photographers vary, “ Just as much, as photographers of any other genre. “, should now read “ More, in fact, than photographers of any other genre “. Dave’s power of observation, his ability to identify a potential scene and to anticipate how people might influence that scene are unsurpassable. In his own words he is “ seeking the extraordinary and surreal events occurring on city streets. “ He cited the word, flâneur. That french word describing someone sauntering around observing society. Did I mention that Dave visited Paris ? Seek out his website.

Next Thursday it’s our turn to host the 5 Way Competition. It’s an annual friendly event between Airdrie & Coatbridge P.C., Cumbernauld & Kilsyth P.S., Kirkintilloch C.C., Stirling & District C.C. and Falkirk C.C. We look forward to welcoming our friends.

Be safe.