Jaguar Annual Trip – Yorkshire Wolds 

Words and photos contributed by Stephanie Donnelly

As a new member this year I looked forward to the trip to the Yorkshire Wolds.  We started a convoy off to the North east and our first stop was Blacktoft Sands,  a RSPB nature reserve.  Blacktoft has numerous hides to sit and watch the birds and photograph them going about their daily lives.  It was challenging as a beginner as the hides were quite far from the birds but I was pleasantly surprised at some of my images once I got home as I managed to get a few nice shots.  

Avocet in Flight

We made a quick stop off at a wood filled with wild garlic which provided some interesting shots before heading off to the B&B.  The first night we had a lovely three course meal at the B&B which gave us all time to relax and go over the photos of the day.  

Wild Garlic

Next day started early for some heading off to Flamborough lighthouse but I chose to get my beauty sleep.  After breakfast we headed off to Bempton Cliffs another RSPB nature reserve.  This was an amazing place with thousands of seabirds all nesting on the white chalk cliffs.  It offered a real unique chance to see and photograph these beautiful birds up close.  I got my picture of a puffin which I set myself the challenge of along with gannets, razorbills and guillemots.   In the afternoon we went down into Bridlington seafront to see a kite festival and the beach huts.  Afterwards we all met up for fish and chips on the beach.  Exhausting but what a great day! 

Sunday was a slower start with breakfast and packing up.  We then all headed off to Thornwick Bay to get some lovely shots of the cliffs and the sea.  It is a lovely rocky beach offering a chance for us all to get some really interesting shots.  

The last stop on the way home was Hardwick Hall a National Trust property.  The gardens were coming into bloom and there is a ruin along with the current Hall itself again offering a wealth of shots.   

Overall the weekend was a huge success with lots of laughter and fun for everyone.  Will definitely look forward to the next trip. 

Annual Print Competition Results

With many high quality pictures our judge Bob Johnston had a very difficult task. Here are the winners of each section.

Pictorial and Overall Winner - Simply Silver - Allan Stewart

Portrait - The Dark Side - Tony Cartwright

Black and White high contrast portrait

Flora and Fauna - Shades of Autumn - Russ Fowler

Leaves with stylised background

Set Subject - The Sea - Rhossili Bay - Tony Cartwright 

Merit Competition Success

The merit competition has come to and end after four hotly contested rounds. It's been great to see our newer members develop and start to challenge those who are more experienced.

In the Prints section the overall winner was Tony Cartwright followed by Matt Stratford who started his photographic journey with us a few short years ago, club stalwart Allan Stewart proved he still has what it takes in the digital age to come third. 

Llyn Idwal by Tony Cartwright Prints Section

The Projected Images section was won by Tony Cartwright with Thomas George in second and another of our newer members Russ Fowler in third. 

Morning Run by Tony Cartwright Projected Images Section

The Set Subject category has prompted some highly creative efforts and some really original submissions. The winner for the second year in a row was Thomas George, closely followed by Bill Griffiths who always surprises us with his unique perspectives and Tony Cartwright came third.

Light Trails Take Over the Sunset by Thomas George - Set Subject "Light"

Well done to everyone who took part this year. Time to dust off those cameras and enjoy the spring sunshine to start work on your entries for next year.

Fun with Flowers

There's a worry sometimes that table top nights could be a rather dry style of photography, however, inspired by recent studio portrait sessions members really put their skills to the test, with lots of creative ideas and novel lighting solutions being brought into play. It's also a great way to learn more about your camera and how to get the effects you want. Working together and sharing ideas helped everyone to come away with some images to be proud of.

 Poster Amarlyis by Tony Cartwright  
Tony Cartwright shot this Amaryllis against the exposed reflector and flashlight.  Sophie Niepercon chose to light this orchid against a black background.

 Ester Riordan experimented with torchlight and a diffuser for this low key image.

Great Images at our Panel Evening

Well done to everyone for an outstanding panel competition, our judge Alan Butler had a very difficult task. There was so much variety in style and approach and the outcome was very close too. Five members shared the top two spots in the print section, and four in the projected image category with 24 entries in total.  It was great to see so many of our new members enjoying the evening too. Well done to our winners Phil and Tony!

Ashness Jetty by Phil Holroyd - Winner Projected Image

Devil's Kitchen by Tony Cartwright - Winner Prints and Overall

Awards Evening
Congratulations to our award winners from the 2015/16 season, there were some really great images. Here's a little taster of the winning images - click on image to see presentation. Thanks to Nick and Tony for pulling it together!

Autumn is coming
Most of us will now be noticing the shorter days, but with the change in season comes a myriad oopportunities to photograph nature at it's most beautiful. Mists hanging over the fields, the trees changing colour and for wildlife photographers the annual opportunity to photograph the stags and their hinds for just a few weeks of the year. We'll be making our annual trip to Bradgate Park in the middle of October, a great opportunity to photograph Red and Fallow deer during their rut. The park is a beautiful setting and the deer are somewhat used to people thanks to it's popularity. As ever though it's important to be sure to give them plenty of space to be
have naturally. Look forward to seeing you all there.

Red Deer Stag

Unexpected Bonus
Our summer practical at Chesterton Mill brought an unexpected bonus, the farmer was harvesting his crop and very kindly posed for some portraits too. Thanks to Tony for this image :) rumour has it that there was a rainbow later in the evening too, check out our Facebook page for more images.

Date for your diary 2017 Annual Trip 5th - 7th May 2017
The JPS Annual trip for 2017 will be to the Yorkshire Wolds Coast, highlights will include the chalk headland of Flamborough Head, the seabird city of Bempton Cliffs and the 5 mile long beach at Filey. We'll have exclusive use of farm based 4* B&B accommodation with the possibility of Red Kites, Common Buzzards, Barn Owls and Kingfishers as our neighbours. Full details and trip guide coming soon, let us know if you're interested.

Oh I do like to be beside the seaside....
While you're on your summer holidays don't forget that next year's set subject for the Annual Competitions is "The Sea" Get your creative juices flowing for your own interpretation of this subject.

Beach and waves

One Scene - Many Interpretations
How often do we travel to an "iconic" location and wonder what we will capture? It often seems that there is only one composition which will work but sometimes going back at a different time or taking a different approach can give you something pleasing too. As Russ mentions in his trip report not everyone was crazy enough to be up and out of the guest house for 4:45am and so we have the iconic Llyn Padarn tree at different times of day and with very different lighting conditions. Here are a small sample of them. More to be added as people process their images.

Wales Trip Report - Russ Fowler

My first year with the club and as such my first trip away with the group. In fact this was my first trip dedicated to photography ever and it was on Landscapes, there’s a first. My usual preference is small furry things but if you don’t try you will never learn, and that was the mindset when I said I’d go. A few emails and my transport was sorted, thanks to Helen and a mighty impressive Jaguar.

The journey to Wales went well, the first group of 8 meeting at the M4 Telford Services from where we went on to Swallow Falls and met the next contingent of club members and had our first photo opportunity.
I had never been to Swallow Falls before so on the way we were jokingly talking about what we might see and funnily enough Helen and I were saying birds such as Dipper but I was impressed with the Falls themselves, lots of flowing water in a series of cascades. Then the learning started, what settings, to filter or not, what to focus on, its so much easier when you have a bird to photograph, there is only one thing to focus on, but with some points and tips from the others I was soon shooting white water at various speeds and with/without filters. Some actually came out ok.

On one I actually have a Dipper but I never saw it while I was there, it was sitting at the top of the falls. For anyone venturing to Swallow Falls one note of caution, the turnstiles at the entrance are very small so large camera bags on your back make it almost impossible to get through.

Next stop Llanberis which was made in time for drinks and dinner at our B&B where the whole group finally got together. 16 in the main B&B and 1 next door giving us a total group size of 17 so we did a bit of planning for the morning, then more drinks before a late bed time. Some intrepid folk got up at dawn on Saturday (this was optional) but I am afraid to say I was not one of them. They all headed to the lake to get “The Tree”, after which it was breakfast and into the cars for a trip to the second lake, second waterfall, third lake, fourth lake and then back to the first lake at Llanberis ready for dinner.

I have intentionally left out the names of the lakes and waterfalls because I can’t remember them, can’t spell them and was never able to pronounce them when I was there. A few of us, me included, stopped at “The Tree” to get a few afternoon pictures so we could also say we had seen it.

For Sunday we were going to an aqueduct on the way home for some more pictures but before we got there we had a stop at the Glass Blobbery where we were entertained by a gent making a glass horse. He had obviously done this many times before and had a regular spiel to entertain the audience, he was good but I think he met his match with the JPS as every bad joke he told we told one right back at him. A very entertaining stop before getting to the aqueduct for photos and lunch and then home.

The scenery had been spectacular throughout, I was hoping some of the pictures I had taken would do it justice. I had been helped along the way by various members of the club, some with tips on settings, some with bits of equipment, all with encouragement, all with friendly conversations and a few good jokes and one or two bad ones. It was a well organised trip and well worth going on. I am looking forward to the next opportunity to take photos and learn things, so would really recommend the trips away. Russ

Interested to see more from this trip? Click here for the trip gallery.

Merit Competition Round Up

The results for the 2015/16 Merit competition were pleasing for two main reasons.  Firstly, with a growing membership, the number of entries was much higher than for 2014/15: Set Subject up a whopping 60% with more members stretching their creativity to come up with some fantastic images. Projected Images up 16% and Prints up by a healthy 33%.  Secondly, it’s great to see some of our newer members giving the ‘old-guard’ a run for their money with Joost Lohman coming 3rd overall in Set Subject and Thomas George 2nd overall in Projected Images, with Matt Stratford (who’s not really a new comer any more) coming 4th overall in the Print category.  Congratulations to our three overall section winners: Thomas George (Set Subject), Phil Holroyd (Projected Images) and Helen Jackson-Garside (Prints).


Go on, be bold...

I was asked if I could write an article for the website, my reply was is there a particular topic I should cover. I was told I could write about anything I like and I guess this in a way mimics everyone's photography at one time or another - How do we be creative? A search for definitions for creative gave me this: Relating to or involving the use of the imagination or original ideas to create something.

Creativity is what defines photographers as well as any other artists. Being creative is an experiment, a step outside of your comfort zone. Don't be afraid to try, these days with digital cameras it does not cost to experiment.

If you shoot typically with a mid range zoom such as a 24-70 or 24-105 then stick on a wide angle, or a short telephoto such as a 70-200; alternatively try a wide aperture prime lens such as a 35 f1.4 or 50 f1.4. You will be forced to look at the world in a different light.

Experiment with different compositions, shoot vertical as well as horizontal and vice versa. Do you like an object for the foreground or are you willing to try leading lines. Do you have a nearby landmark? Can you go and shoot it every week for a year or every season? If you like dark and brooding images, consider going high key or experimenting with HDR.

Try your hand at a different genre. One of our members always said he didn't do people, yet he's just won the portrait category of our projected image competition. If you shoot landscapes try a new location or a different type of year or weather. Landscapes needn't be about sunrise and sunset. I've taken some fabulous images in less than ideal conditions.

Be bold, take a walk on the wild side of your comfort zone.


Annual Projected Images Competition
Alan Rich had a challenging evening as judge for the Annual Projected Images competition with almost 80 entries submitted by the members. The standard has continued to improve year on year and Alan's constructive feedback was appreciated by all those who entered. 

The winning images were as follows:
Pictorial and Overall winner - Portuguese Poise by  Helen Jackson-Garside
Photo of a Lusitano horse Passaging next to the shadow of a lamp

Portrait - Pay the Bill by Tony Cartwright
Gritty portrait of an angry man

Flora and Fauna - Puffin Flap by Helen Jackson-Garside
Puffin Flapping it's wings

Set Subject - Action - Aerial Cartwheel by Nick Archer
Photo of a lady performing an aerial cartwheel

Tom Way's Mercia Group Talk - Capacity Audience
The JPS hosted Mercia Group event was a great success with photographers from all round our local area and beyond coming to listen to a thoroughly entertaining speaker. He even managed to covert our resident "Non-Wildlife" photographer Tony Cartwright to wildlife images as a subject. Although Tom has only been a wildlife photographer for 4 years he's already developed an impressive portfolio of images from the UK and round the world.

Panel Competition
A fantastic collection of images awaited judge Bob Johnson at our annual Panel Competition. Each member had entered a panel of 3 images on a related theme.

Winner of the Projected Image section with his series of Flooded Jetties was Phil Holroyd. 

Winner of the prints and the overall competition winner was Joost Lohman with "Waiting for the Train". Well done Joost!

Winning Panel Entry

Merit Competition Round 2
Members submitted another fantastic selection of images for the second round of the merit competition, the print section now has just 5 points between the top 5 contenders. In the projected images section newcomer Thomas George extended his lead well done everyone! Don't forget it's practical week next week.

A Date for your Diary
JPS will be hosting award winning fine art wildlife photographer Tom Way for our Mercia Group talk on the 20th January. It promises to be a fantastic evening in two parts, firstly the wildlife on our doorsteps and then exciting wildlife from around the world. You can heck out Tom's work here
Speed Challenge
This week we tried something new - a list of 20 random subjects and 40 minutes to photograph them in, then to select and share them straight from camera. It was great to see everyone trying something they may not normally shoot, the range of creativity was great with each photographer's personal style shining through. Bonus points for those who managed every subject, and a special mention for Tony who didn't move more than a metre from his seat and with the help of assistants came up with some great images. Next week we'll be learning more about lenses and the difference they can make to your photographs.

New Lightroom Video
The latest instalment of our hints and tips for the digital darkroom is now live, check out the Lightroom page of Hints and Tips to find out how to make use of Digital Graduated ND Filters to enhance your photos.

Welcome Back
The season is back underway, it was great to see you all again and to see some of the adventures you've been on over the summer. After some lively debate the fun set subject for the first round of the merit competition is "People" the clock is ticking - you now have until the 30th September to take your image.

Digital Projected Images have a new size this year to make full use of our projector. The new size is 1920 pixels wide by 1080 pixels high.

See you all next week for our digital evening - send an e-mail to the club account to let us know a topic you'd like us to cover.

Not Long to Go....
The summer break is almost over, which means the start of the season is almost here! Bring your friends along to our New Members Evening 2nd September.

One Place - So Many Interpretations
It's always good to get out and about with your camera, sharing images afterwards reveals just how many possibilities there can be even when stood in close proximity to your fellow photographers at a local land mark. The images below are a small selection from our summer outing to Kenilworth Castle

Joost Lohman
Joost Lohman
Joost Lohman
Backlit Grasses
Helen Jackson-Garside
Flowers at Sunset
Helen Jackson-Garside
Kenilworth Castle
Helen Jackson-Garside
Kenilworth Cottage
Steve Randle
Lone Figure on Horizon
Steve Randle
Kenilworth Castle

Tony Cartwright
Tony Cartwright
Scott Wiggins

Scott Wiggins

In Focus
The latest issue of In Focus is now online with articles on aeroplane photography, packing light for city visits and some trip reports too. Click here to read it :)

New Equipment
A big thank you to Simon and Brian at The Flash Centre who have helped us with the purchase of some new equipment for our studio portrait practical events. They'll be coming along to give us a demonstration and you'll have chance to play with it in the new season. If you can't wait that long, our practical on the 5th August will now be a session using them at the club house.

Enjoying the Summer

We've now got our new committee in place, Scott Wiggins has picked up the reins as Chairman, Tony Cartwright is now Secretary, Nick Archer has stepped up to the role of Competition Secretary, Bill Griffiths has joined as Treasurer and Helen Jackson-Garside continues as Publicity Officer.

Our summer practical events are now on the calendar page, make the most of the weather to get out and use your cameras - even bad weather can give you some great photo opportunities. The set subject for this year's annual competitions is "Action" so check out all those local events and see what you can find.

Video Fun

Members spent an evening looking at the video functions of their DSLR and compact cameras with a view to being able to record either sections of video to add into slideshows or to record short videos for friends and family. 

With audio being a key factor in any video a section of the night was spent looking at this as well. As we are not professional videographers we looked at the on board mic of a Canon DSLR and the use of a shotgun mic on a 5D Mk III. The video below is a little comparison of the two pieces of footage.

Experimenting with video

The notes from the evening are also available to download should you wish to have a go yourself.

We may also put some of this into practice for a few tutorial videos on our practical events so watch this space.

The Victory Show

Our first practical of the year will be a trip to The Victory Show at Cosby, providing a great variety of opportunities from re-enactors to aeroplanes. Check out the website at feel free to bring friends and family along too. We'll meet at 9:30am by the flight line (Where the planes are parked) on to allow everyone to get to the show and park and make their way over. The selection of images below show some of the shots we're taken in recent years.


Hartland Weekend Trip Report - Scott Wiggins
Our annual weekend photography trips continue to grow from strength to strength.  Phil one of our members suggested we make a trip to Hartland in Devon, somewhere known for it's rugged coastline and natural beauty.  16 of us made the trip down on Friday stopping along the way at Watersmeet in Exmoor to photograph the house there and river which surrounds it.  With such a diverse range of photographic interests we had a mixture of landscape and natural history shots.

Moving Water at Watersmeet - Scott Wiggins

Grey Wagtail - Helen Jackson-Garside

We all settled into our lodgings for the weekend and had a quick recce of the shore by the hotel.  The clouds prevented a good sunset or any celestial photography so we enjoyed a social night with a few drinks.
Hartland Quay - Tony Cartwright

Saturday morning started was a dawn patrol amongst the rocks, well for those of us who got up early!  Lots of tips and pointers were being shared as we made the best of the early morning light and outgoing tide.
Hartland Mist - Scott Wiggins

Hartland Rocks - Scott Wiggins

Fortified by a hearty breakfast we set off for Welcombe.  If you'll excuse the pun, our welcome at Welcombe was a wet one but the rock formations were stunning and the nearby waterfall and river gave further photographic opportunities.  The hard shower of almost horizontal rain didn't dampen anyone's spirits.
Spot the Photographer! - Helen Jackson-Garside

It would be rude to not enjoy a Devon Cream Tea and the tea room a Docton Mill Gardens allowed us chance to rest a little before we enjoyed the gardens.
Tulip at Docton Mill Gardens - Helen Jackson-Garside

We returned to the hotel to find that the stormy winds had knocked the power cable off the pole, the fire brigade were present and there was no power to the hotel.  Thankfully the bar was gravity fed so we could still enjoy a pint.  The incoming tides around the harbour were some of the most violent I've ever seen, mother nature is certainly the dominant force.  

Crashing Wave - Helen Jackson-Garside

The power was restored in plenty of time for our group meal and everyone swapped stories from the day or began to work on images they'd taken.
Incoming Tide - Scott Wiggins

Sunday was going to be a long drive home and we broke the drive up by visiting the beach at Woolacombe for a couple of hours in the hope of catching some images of the surfers on the beach.  The surfers were not as prevalent as we'd hoped although we did get a few images, together with lots of candids of each other on the beach.
Surfer - Helen Jackson-Garside

All in all a great weekend of photography, fun and friendship.  Thanks to everyone who played a part in organising the weekend, I can't wait for next years trip.

JPS does Hartland