Peter Weaver – I have seen the light

This was Peter’s 12th visit the club. It soon became clear that Peter’s passion for our art is undiminished. Peter made the move from film to digital in 2011, not before he had amassed over 40,000 slides! He’s still fond of the medium, but at £20.00 a roll after processing, Fuji Velvia transparency slide film is an expensive option!

Peter enjoys the outdoors. He has spent many happy hours walking and taking photographs during his expeditions to places of interest in England and Wales. Peter took us on a delightful digital image tour of some of his favourite places with a selection of striking images from locations that included:

  • Paignton, Dartmouth and Totnes
  • Waterfalls in the Brecon Beacons National Parks
  • Powis Castle and Garden
  • The Keynsham music Festival
  • The Black Country Museum.
  • Big Pit

The projected images that Peter shared with us during the evening clearly showed his appreciation of the importance of judging light, and of choosing the right time of day to make the best use of light.
It was interesting to note that Peter isn’t a fan of post-processing. He much prefers to get photographs ‘Right First Time’ by the application of careful planning and very early starts to the day or late evening, taking photographs when the crowds have left.
This was a wonderful evening that was thoroughly enjoyed by all members.

Robert Ashcroft – Make the ordinary, extraordinary

‘Inspirational’, ‘Wow!’, ‘Simple but effective’ and ‘Fascinating’ where just some of the comments overheard from members during the intermission of Rob’s demonstration of his macro photography techniques and the equipment he uses to create so many original and dramatic images both in his home studio and quite literally, ‘Out in the field’.

_mg_1332-1The images that Rob Ashcroft showed to club members during this evening’s macro and close-up photography were truly stunning.
Rob’s talk, image display and demonstrations were spread over seven different sessions that were designed to help both beginners and experts understand how to capture striking close-up images using a lightweight camera set at f/18 – f/20 in one hand and a remote flash set at half power in the other, or by the creative use of light in his home studio. Rob also explained his interpretation of the difference between ‘Close-up’ and ‘Macro’.

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Dave Mason, Street Photographer

A little bit different from most of the images we tend to see on a club evening, Dave Mason showed us some of his street photography images, both in colour and monochrome, taken all over the world.

Not only were there a variety of subjects within the street photography genre, but Dave also delivered a stream of comedic anecdotes to go with almost all of the images he showed.

Seeing these different images and hearing about how they were captured, has meant that there is now inspiration for club members to try something different for themselves.

To see more of Daves work, check out his website.

An evening with Sheila Haycox

Spectacular images from the world over, with a huge amount of variety and unsurpassed quality.

Despite breaking a hip in March, Sheila tirelessly produced prints, non-stop, that took our breath away. Included in the vast array of images, were poppies at the Tower of London and Bovington, Buddhist nuns and monks, long necked Karen women in Myanmar (Burma), spectacular domed monasteries in Bulgaria highly decorated with a background of forests and snow, a limestone pavement, a frosted landscape in Yorkshire, speedway, dog agility tests, Dalmatian pelicans, and Lake Kerkiniin Greece. Of especial note were the stunning images of the red eyed tree frogs of Costa Rica.

To see some of these images, see Sheilas website.

Extraordinary Ordinary

Simon Caplan presented an interesting evening showing a different view of everyday items, portraits, landscapes, architecture and situations taken from unusual angles and conditions and so producing pleasing effects not obvious to the passer-by and the unenlightened.

His subjects include anything from anywhere caught by his imagination and vision. Nuts and bolts, rusty machinery, tin cans, broken hinges, all can have appeal if photographed and displayed with Simon’s flair.

Born in London Simon has lived the last 15 years in the Bristol area. A retired journalist he now spends his time on photography an voluntary work. We will be assessing our possibilities a little differently after this.

More of Simons work can be found at his website.

Madagascar with Ray Cotterell

Situated 250 miles off the east coast of Africa, Madagascar is the 4th largest island in the world and must be one of the most diverse in flora and fauna, more than double the size of the UK and only one third of UK population.


Ray’s talk started with the history of the island when it broke away from India and became isolated, 88 million years ago, and the evolution of its wildlife, filling every niche and adapting to the unique conditions.

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Taking Better Wildlife Photos with Sandie Cox

Sandie showed us her wildlife photographs from many places in the world, Antarctica to the Isle of Mull. The evening was interactive and we were encouraged to ask questions at any time.


Most important is to try and catch movement or purpose in the subject and to do this the photographer must have their camera prepared and ready for immediate use.

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The Cotswold Lad Returns

A firm favourite with the club, Martin Fry did indeed return to make his captivating AV presentation “From Artist To Excellence” We started with some stunning pictures of the Cotswolds, Laurie Lee’s home and the area around Slad Valley and Stroud and continued to some spectacular rough weather scenes in Cornwall. Martin’s skills were also highlighted with some period pieces including Wartime and Old Gloucester Market.

Until recently Martin was Head Teacher of the VA. C of E Primary School in the village of Horsley, near Stroud, Gloucestershire. The Nave of the nearby Church of St Martin has been modified, making space for the children, on occasion, to assemble and entertain the community, which was hardly possible before in the small school hall.

GWR Badminton line

Our first speaker this year was Alan Freke from The Frenchay Village Museum who gave an amusing and, considering the title, a surprisingly interesting presentation of the story of The GWR Badminton Line, which ran between Wootton Bassett and Patchway from 1903 until 1968, illustrated with photographs from the whole period and up to the present day.


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