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!

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.

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.