Twelve of us met at Kidderminster Station in time to catch the first train into Birmingham to meet our tutor for the day, professional photographer and former editor of Amateur Photography,Damien Demolder.We were to take part in a practical “hands on” day to learn how to improve our street photography through “seeing in new ways”.
The Old Joint Stock (a former bank) in Temple Row was our destination to listen to Damien talk and demonstrate ways to use the Panasonic cameras he had brought with him for us to use.After our “drinks”, we chose a camera and headed into the city to learn how to set up our cameras, look for light and learn how to work within the confines of an area.
The morning session at an end, we popped into Costa Coffee for lunch(which just happened to be nearby). Tummies replenished, we went back “out on the street” to put into practice everything we’d learned in the morning session – with Damien and Andre nearby to keep a watchful eye on us and also to suggest things individually on how to enhance our images. The day ended with warm drinks and a final chat before bidding farewell and making for the train back to Kidderminster.
Tired and enthused into a new genre, we agreed that it was a “day to remember”, new friendships were formed, there was lots of laughter and we thank Damien and Andree for making it such fun.
The following Monday Damien came to the club to give his lecture entitled “Light & Life on the Streets”. Everyone agreed that this was one of the best (if not the best) evenings that we have enjoyed. His talk was not only informative with lots of hints and tips concerning street photography, but his knowledge of the Panasonic range of cameras was excellent as, indeed was his knowledge of all the other leading brands.
We missed “last drinks” at the pub but, hey, nobody cared. That proves just how much he impressed us!
See more from Damien at https://damiendemolder.com/
After “floating the idea” amongst our members, we organised seven Monday evenings during the summer recess with the idea of helping members improve their photography and to get outside to use their cameras as well as increase the social side of the club..
Gary talked about the quality of light, shape and texture, tonal and dynamic range, Highlights and shadows as well as filters. 27 members turned up.
Hurcott Pools and Hartlebury Common
The evenings were spent at Hurcott Pools and Hartlebury Common where we attempted to practice everything we had been told. The lighting at Hurcott wasn’t so good but Hartlebury Common in week three more than made up for it.
Check it Out
We invited members back indoors for a re-cap on everything learned so far as well as the opportunity to view the images and talk about options for improvement.
Stewpony Lock & Canal, Bewdley
The final two outside evenings were spent at the Stewpony Lock and the riverbank in Bewdley again working to i
mprove things. Both evenings were very successful although the nights had started to draw in a little.
Images were reviewed and the opportunity to ask any last questions as well as learning a few new tips with photoshop.
Thanks should go to Gary, Mark, Brian and Martin, Mike for sorting out the DPI’s, Stee Green for training up as “tea boy” (and for helping out with tuition) but most of all to our members for supporting the idea.
We have learned what to do as well as what not to do in the future and have some great suggestions for Summer School 2020. It will be back with new venues, definitely with a pub for “afters” so we can continue to discuss our photography into the late evenings.
If any members are interested in becoming involved in the organisation for Summer 2020, please speak to Mark or Suzanne.
Here are a few images to give a taste of the pleasant evenings enjoyed by our “pupils” and, indeed, our tutors…
This year’s team Challenge was as enjoyable as ever and made even more so by the presence of ex KCC member Terry Livesey acting as our judge, not a task to be envied
Terry (centre) with members of the winning Pixellated Team
This year’s images were of the usual high standard. Here are just the ones that scored twenty…
and the scores on the proverbial doors…
The event that we all work towards during the season – Awards Night.
This year was little different to previous years, everyone brought along a plate of delicious but probably non- Slimming World approved food. Steve Ficken organised an array of drinks donated with Hon Treasurer’s approval. The silverware re-appeared newly polished and engraved with this years recipient’s names and fifty individually printed certificates bearing a new 2019 design made their debut.
Images that had made their mark during the season were on show thanks to John Pugh and Gary Noake.
Jill Harris took the opportunity to arrange the teams for the forthcoming Team Challenge and Mark Gameson stood in splendidly for our Chairman who had nipped off on one of his holidays to foreign parts.
The crac flowed in typical KCC style and a good time was had by all.
Following the unlikely success of our trial run at organising a “Photo Marathon” back in 2018 (see the BLOG 17th October) in torrential rain it was decided that we should go for the ‘real thing’ this year and pray that the weather be kind to us.
Worcester was chosen for our battleground, the Hive as our meeting place and centre of operations from where Brian, Sue & Mike Webb set up the computer, met and greeted the participants collected the images and drank a lot of tea and coffee.
The weather behaved surprisingly well just giving a short sharp shower around lunchtime presumably just to remind us that we shouldn’t take it for granted.
We were set ten titles/subjects to test our skills, imagination and patience.
We therefore set off to record, in strict order:
ALL IN A ROW – HANGING – GREEN – ARCH – LUNCH – EQUAL – DETAIL – GLASS – COLLECTION & RIVERSIDE.
Great fun. Making sure to get the subjects in the correct order, trying to overcome our natural desire to frame some of our shots in portrait mode as one of the rules decreed that all images must be in the landscape format. Meeting fellow members all looking for the shot that you’ve just taken or desperately need. All adding to a really pleasant, different day’s shooting.
Obviously, so many images were taken that it is impossible to show them here but here are just a few.
Our Chairman, Brian, made the cunning decision to hold the Marathon Prize Giving on the same evening as the Annual General Meeting thus it was one of the best attended AGMs ever!
Every image was printed and mounted on boards dedicated to individual authors and they made a really impressive display.
The images were judged by technique, composition, portrayal of subject etc. and points awarded. The final results looked like this:
The top three players were so close it is unfair to distinguish between them. Prizes were also awarded to the top scorers in each category.
Here are the lucky winners clutching their prizes:
a BIG Thank You!
Listed below are links to all the companies who responded so generously to our request for prizes for this event. We would urge all members to make these dealers a first stop for any future purchases you have in mind.
Thanks also, of course, to Brian Hardy, Sue Hancox, Mike Webb and Maureen Mundon for the organization of this splendid event which, no doubt, is set to be a regular in the KCC calendar.
April 7th saw the inaugural meeting of the “Photonatter” group. This is a new social event instigated by Sue our very esteemed programme sec. The plan is that on the first Sunday of each month we should meet at 11am at Coffee #1 in Kidderminster just for a general chat, hopefully with a bias towards photography but not necessarily so as being such a social club it is always pleasant to catch up with our friends.
As it was the first such get togethers the participants turned out to be mainly the committee but perhaps future occasions will be better attended. Here’s a few snaps taken on the morning with sincere apologies to Steve, who, although sitting next to the photographer, the only clue to his presence is the bicycle wheel in the first image !! Sorry Steve !
Yes, it’s February again – that means two things are certain – snow and the now famous KCC Exhibition.
Thank goodness we have such spirited helpers among our members. Out of our membership of about fifty fourteen came along to help frame the prints and sixteen came to hang them in the library. Many hands certainly make for lighter work!
Opening night was the usual success with a good attendance of club members, partners and friends. Steve kept everyone supplied with drinks and nibbles and the usual ‘crac’ ensued.
Our judges for the evening were Ros & Martin Billingham, the folk who make those fabulous bags.
Here they are admiring John Pugh’s thirty year old workhorse.
No one envied them their job of choosing two winning images from the excellent prints on show.
And so, a decision has been made – cross your fingers and wish…
Mike Morris struck gold with his “Fisherman’s Cottage” winning the trophy for best General print.
And Geoff Cooke created a splash with his “Waves” !
The Exhibition will run until 28th March acting as a window to our club.
This year’s Christmas Fun Night just had to make up for last year’s disappointment when the “Beast from the East” came to visit. The wine, the fish and chips, the quizzes the mince pies and, of course, the skittle alley, same old formula but why change if it still works and work it did with everyone having a good evening and a chance to wish their friends Season’s Greetings until we meet again in January.
Every so often a small contingent of KCC members lead by Derek Aston take themselves off on a little adventure in order,they say, to get a few snaps under their belts ready to do battle in forthcoming competitions. Those of us not privy to these little excursions think that is is more likely to be an excuse to get away from household chores and cafe crawl, we shall see… In the meantime take a look at these pics and draw your own conclusion.