2020 – Round 2 Bi-Monthly Results – April 6th

This was the second of our 6 bi-monthly member competitions for 2020. Our members are encouraged to submit 2 Prints and 2 Digital images in an open format, for the SYPC, Bi-Monthly competitions. Our judge for this Monthly competition was  Victoria Hillman. 

Victoria is a wildlife researcher and photographer and part of the current judging panel for Bird Photographer Of The Year (BPOTY) and judge for British Wildlife Photography Awards (BWPA) in 2018 & 2019. So well qualified to judge our Round 2 competition.

For our 2nd. Bi Monthly Competition Victoria reviewed and commented on 80 images (44 digitals and 36 prints). However due to the current travel restrictions and the need for ‘social distancing’ Victoria was unable to deliver the results of her findings in person. However she supplied sufficient information that we were able to share her deliberations and results to our club members.

Thank you Victoria and we look forward to meeting you in person in 2021.

Below is a Table of the Top 8 Images and their authors for each Section (Prints and Digital)

Round 2 Prints Author Place
Sea Arch Isle of Lewis Alan Grynyer 1st
Leeds Minster John Scantlebury 2nd
Garden-Spider Ray Grace 3rd
Smile Like You Mean It Mike Franks 4th
Old Scarface Adrian Smithson 5th
Cheeky Lynne Smithson 6th
Spiders Web Mark Seaman 7th
Newark Park Sheep Peter Range 8th
Round 2 Projected Images Author Place
Walking away to music John Portlock 1st
Sunset above the Clouds Carole Brown 2nd
Resting Heron Peter Range 3rd
River Annette Wakefield 4th
“Pax” (Peace) Terry Cooper 5th
Helter Skelter Quayside, Bristol Alan Grynyer 6th
Raindrops on Leaf Steve Purkiss 7th
Lake district fog Pete Atkins 8th

Below is a copy of the FIRST place print

“Sea Arch Isle of Lewis” by Alan Grynyer
“Walking away to Music” by John Portlock

Additionally digital copies of the top 8 Prints and Digital Images can be found at our Competions tab http://www.sypc.org.uk/gallery/index.php/2016-Competitions/2020-Competition-Results

2020 – “Reflections of Newark Park” an exhibition

The National Trust, at Newark Park, invited SYPC and  Tetbury camera clubs to come together to present an exhibition of Photography using the  theme “Reflections of Newark Park”.

30 Framed prints were displayed at Newark Park, but unfortunately due to Coronovirus epidemic the display has ended prematurely. However  below  are digital copies of the 18 SYPC prints that were on display .

These digital copies will be be held in one of our SYPC Gallery folders in the near future – link to follow.

16th. March – Rich McD – An Evening Photoshoot “Walking with Giants”

One of the obvious delights of being a member of SYPC is the opportunity to be with like-minded enthusiasts and to have your favourite camera in your hands, this thrill was further enhanced last night as our Local professional, Richard McDonough, led us on a most informative tour from Old Sodbury Church and then down to Chipping Sodbury car park taking a circular tour through Brook street, up the steep hill to the top of the High street down the High street back past the church to the car park.At the start of this shoot Rich reminded us all of what he described as a few basics – this stretched to about 13 excellent tips e.g. remember to maintain a level horizon when photographing the setting sun, think about the lens’s dynamic range to include the sky and the foreground, retain some interest in the foreground (this was achieved using crosses, headstones and a small plastic blue tit that he had brought along – who would have thought of that?). His expertise stimulated the 18 members who turned up to think intelligently about their camera settings and, of course, composition!
The second part of our shoot brought us to Waitrose’s car park – here the challenge was to take a worthwhile atmospheric image of the store. Taking Rich’s advice, a setting of f4 was used to capture as much of the available light as possible, A ‘P’ setting a high ISO value and, using manual focusing on the store’s name sign, re-align to produce an interesting shot.

At the bottom of Brook street we paused to shoot the sweeping incline of “cardiac hill” which lay in front of us, members drifted of the pack to provide some interest to the shot. We were reminded to keep our eyes open for all opportunities and in no time a black cat was seen at a cottage window. We were, quite rightly, reminded to respect people’s privacy in strolling around in the dark.
As we emerged to the top of the hill by the new bakery shop another opportunity presented itself as the olde sweet shop was brightly lit and the walls of the intervening houses provided a frame for the image. Cars sweeping by added interest along with one of our members volunteering to walk across and a resident walking his dog, all of these things add to the main subject.
We turned down the High street and photographed the Horseshoe pub and the Moda hotel, no doubt our more observant members saw dozens of other sparkling opportunities.
One of Rich’s current challenges is to video headlight trails down the high street, his efforts so far have not been successful so our attention focussed on long shutter times to provide single images with car headlight trails – at one stage there were 7 members set up on the central reservation in order to capture this shot (without being run over!).
This nerve-wracking procedure continued down to the clock tower – pleased to report no casualties. Our next challenge from Rich was to see if we could catch the two post boxes, the telephone booth and the clock tower in a single shot (getting the tower in focus proved tricky). One of our group acted as the model (wearing red) and posed opening the phone box door, again more interest.
To conclude the evening a few of us found ourselves in licensed premises where Rich really demonstrated his enthusiasm for his chosen career, he talked, with knowledge and a genuine passion of his work, his wedding photography and his new camera. We were in the palm of his hand. A really enjoyable night despite the cold, a valuable session and well worthwhile attending.
Many thanks Richard – to find out more follow him on Facebook Rich MCD – visit his website at –http://www.richmcd.co.uk

9th. March – Robert Auckland – Getting Sharper & Better Exposed Images

We were able to welcome Robert Auckland  for the third time in the knowledge that, without doubt everyone would have a useful tip to take away with them.

His practical presentations are always useful in fact his presentation style and enthusiasm to ‘share’ is infectious .
His opening comments were absolutely pertinent, practice makes perfect, learn from others, photographic techniques are often counter intuitive, analyse your own performance – are you getting 65% failures? Why?
The session’s opening approach made use of small groups of members addressing questions regarding camera shake/subject movement, how to recognise and improve. How to freeze subject movement, identify simple techniques to get sharp images in most cases.
The members applied themselves to the task with sufficient knowledge to please Rob and we were soon using our own cameras in an attempt to address the question in hand e.g. photograph a moving rugby ball at faster shutter speeds until you are able to read the wording on the ball!

125th.second exposure

500th.second exposureWe were all interested to observe how flesh tones photographed against a black or white background altered radically – white background tended to over expose the subject, naturally dark backgrounds did the opposite. These observations naturally lead to landscape photography at both dawn and dusk – the golden hours.
Of course, there was technical discussion regarding sensors, equipment, filters and a warning was given as the authenticity of apparently genuine memory cards as their packing should be carefully examined. A card containing 1000 wedding shots might fail spontaneously for no apparent reason. His tip was to use a twin card system shooting in JPEG and Raw simultaneously and take care when purchasing even well-known brands.
Finally, in response to a question regarding Black and White images Rob admitted going on individual shoots where he keeps his creative skills up to scratch be deliberately challenging himself to take that awkward, tricky, rare image – do we ever do this?

Another superb evening from Rob. Please if you have a moment take a peek at Rob’s website link attached.


2nd March – Graham Harries – Visions of Silence, Chernobyl 32 years later

Graham Harries presented a superb and complete package at SYPC on Monday evening. Graham started the evening with  a quick run through of his work including  Wedding Photography, Live music shows, general landscape and the natural world.  His interpretation of aspects of photography from skateboarders in suits to images of musicians, ballerinas and fashion models shot in unexpected locations viz under motorways were all well received. We were already enthralled by Graham’s presentation style, his work and the enthusiasm he had for his profession. Then Graham started the main event.

” On the 26th April 1986 Chernobyl in Ukraine hit the world headlines when nuclear reactor no 4 at the VA Lenin power plant exploded during a safety test. The result saw 49,000 people from the city of Pripyat and the surrounding area being evacuated within 3 hours. They were told this would be a short-term measure but they never returned! 32 years later Graham visited the exclusion zone of Chernobyl & spent 4 full days exploring the now deserted wilderness. Homes, shops, schools & hospitals sit silent and forgotten with trees growing in the middle of once busy roads.”  (this extract from Graham’s website at http://gphotography.org.uk/chernobyl/

Graham presented the Chernobyl  Vision of Silence in 2 parts.  Both came across like a documentary starting with the rationale behind his visit to the Ukraine followed by a recap of the disaster in 1986, very  very dramatically presented. The still images and video intermeshed with voiceover were tremendously effective. You couldn’t be unmoved by the whole story. Exceptionally thought- provoking.

Graham, please you must visit us again next year with another fantastic presentation. It will be a challenge to find anything quite so dramatic and thought provoking as your Chernobyl package.

We commend Graham’s Website at http://gphotography.org.uk/chernobyl/

24th. February – Richard Price – “Macro to Massive”

Richard Price joined us on Monday evening with his talk entitled “Macro to Massive” and what an encouraging and enlightening talk that was. Richard’s presentation was structured in a very clear and logical way .

The first half of the evening was dedicated to his take on Macro. Richard was at pains to emphasise how easy it was for all of us to aspire to and indeed achieve results like his without investing huge sums in equipment. We were taken through the world of bugs, small creatures such as frogs, dragonflies, damsel flies, spiders, fungi, ferns and frosts were also high on his list of chosen subjects. At every step Richard explained how he captured each image, pointing out the camera settings, number of exposures and when and why he decided on focus stacking.
We also learned about Richard’s “studio” settings and lighting ‘tricks’.Again all the equipment demonstrated was very functional and not too costly.

Richard’s images of his experiments capturing water droplets landing on water and then inside a soap bubble, plus his time lapse short films and some stunning panoramas will live long in the collective memory.

Richard had clearly summed up his audience very astutely and repeatedly explained that many of the images he was to share with us were all within our means.

Many of us went away enthused enough to have a go ourselves . We hope to see Richard back at SYPC in the near future with another of his very special talks and informative presentation styles.

Richard Price has been an amateur photographer for 10 years living in Somerset. He particularly enjoys the outdoor experience, whether walking or wild camping but equally gets great satisfaction from his Macro indoor work on a wet Sunday afternoon.

We commend Richard’s website to any readers at –


17th. February 2020 – Mike Dales – “An evening with Mike Dales”

Mike Dales – (ARPS, CPAGB) was a first time speaker to SYPC. On Monday night his presentation “A night with Mike Dales” didn’t disappoint.  We were treated to a thought provoking and creative set of images narrated perfectly by Mike.

Mike Dales is not your typical camera club presenter, in fact his opening gambit made that very clear, telling us in no uncertain terms just what we wouldn’t see within his presentation. At this point it was easy to think, oh dear, how’s this going to pan out, but then straight from the very first image we were pulled into his “world”. Outstanding !

Portrait of a Young” Snapper by Mike Dales

It was an entertaining evening . We were given much to ponder :-
• as in “Is this a photograph. What is a photograph”?
• Ideas for exploring different approaches to photography, to the extent that some of us began to question our own photographic approaches.
• Creating book covers  and film posters
• or just using unconventional ‘models’ – such as the hysterical use of jelly babies with a few simple props.
• creating patterns or series of images.
Every one of Mike’s images came with its own unique story articulated in an informative way .

Time by Mike Dales

All in all a really enjoyable evening, thought-provoking and entertaining in equal parts.

Coming from a judge his comment (as borne out by his own photography) is that “you should not take photos for the express purpose of pleasing judges”, but rather for your own pleasure and enjoyment. A mantra that we should all be pleased to live by!

Mike will always be a welcome visitor to SYPC we look forward to his next visit as a presenter and of course his visit to us in May as our judge for one of our bi-monthly competitions.

Meanwhile I commend Mike’s website well worth a visit at – http://www.mikedalesphotography.co.uk/

2020 – Round 1 Bi-Monthly Results – February 10th.

This was the first of our 6 bi-monthly member competitions for 2020. Our members are encouraged to submit 2 Prints and 2 Digital images in an open format, for the SYPC Bi-Monthly competitions. Our judge for this Monthly competition was  Tony Byram (EFIAP, ARPS, AWPF, DPAGB). Over the years Tony and his wife Jenny have been great friends to SYPC and they are always made welcome at our club, indeed in January we had an enlightening and entertaining evening of AV’s from Jenny and Tony.

For our 1st. Bi-Monthly competition Tony reviewed and commented on 61 images (21 prints and 40 digital images). Tony’s comments were constructive giving pointers for improvement with a particular emphasis on composition. All of which were well received.  We look forward to seeing Tony (and Jenny) again at SYPC .

Below is a Table of the TOP 8 images and their  Authors for each Section (Prints and Digitals).

Round 1 Prints Author Place
Wast Water Adrian Smithson 1st.
Jet Ski Jump Stuart Lewis 2nd.
Formula 1 Alan Grynyer 3rd.
Ardnamurchan Lighthouse Foghorn Dave Clark 4th.
Night Café Mark Seaman 5th.
James Margaret Snee 6th.
Church of St. wolfgang (Slovenia) Ray Grace 7th.
Aira Force Lower Falls Lynne  Smithson 8th.
Round 1 Projected Images Author Place
Walking the dog Keith Barlow 1st.
Heron Resting Peter Range 2nd.
Looking Thru’ the Window Kevin James 3rd.
Butterfly on Blossom Graham Harlin 4th
Dyrham Deer Annette Wakefield 5th
where’s he gone Adrian Clay 6th.
Trams pass by John Portlock 7th.
Shoreline lighthouse Carole Brown 8th.

Below is a copy of the First Place Print

“Wast Water” by Adrian Smithson

Below is a copy of the First Place Digital Image

“Walking the dog” by Keith Barlow

Additionally digital copies of the Top 8 Prints and Top 8 Digital Images can be found at http://www.sypc.org.uk/gallery/index.php/2016-Competitions/2020-Competition-Results

3rd. February 2020 – Martin Fry – 7th Cheltenham International Salon of Photography

SYPC Members were delighted to have a visit from Martin Fry (FRPS EFIAP/p AV-EFIAP ABPE APAGB) with his digital AV presentation of the 2019 – 7th Cheltenham International Salon.
Martin started the evening by explaining just how successful the Salon has become over the years by offering a few basic statistics –
The 7th Cheltenham International Salon of Photography 2019 attracted over 7000 entries
• from 61 entrants
• in 45 countries.
• 27.1% of the entries were accepted into the Salon
• and 84% of entrants gained at least one acceptance.

The Entries to the Salon are grouped into 5 sections
Travel Section
• Nature Section
• Monochrome Section
• Colour Section
• Creative Section

Each of the 5 sections was presented as an AV set to music. Not only were we treated to an enthralling set of images but the craft of setting stunning images to appropriate music made the whole experience even better.

Martin closed the session by encouraging SYPC members to seek acceptances to International Salons with a view to gaining distinctions.

Footnote – Entries are now open for the 8th. (2020) Cheltenham International Salon and close on the 1st April 2020.

For more information about the 8th. Cheltenham International Salon see :http://www.cheltenhamcameraclub.co.uk/wordpress/salon/

A superb evening once again. We are already looking forward to Martin’s next visit to SYPC !

20th January 2020 – Dr. Tim Taphouse – “A sense of Place”

Monday January 20th saw the visit of Dr.Tim Taphouse. At very short notice Tim agreed to stand in for our scheduled speaker, the injured Jim Cossey; but in no way should Tim be considered second best.

Tim’s talk was “A Sense of Place”, subtitled “From the Cotswolds around the World via Markets and Mountains”. You’d be forgiven for thinking that this was a daunting title to live up to, but how wrong you’d be, for Tim delivered on this promise in ‘spades’.
We were asked to consider what makes one place different from another enough to make us want to photograph it.
Is it the location?
the content?
or …..?
By using examples from his own photos, Tim wasn’t shy of telling us which images he no longer found pleasing, while at the same time showing how “less” is “more” by focusing on smaller areas within the imagined full frame.

Other examples demonstrated how the mood of a location could be changed and the benefits of home v travel photography.  In that a home location could be photographed through the seasons or at different times of day.
Classic car racing through woodland rather than a gentle stroll through the same woods. Not just a landscape but a landscape showing a local event ( the carrying of the cross on Good Friday up to Cam Peak) and similarly, one which can be replicated in other foreign locations. All these featured in a section looking at TRADITIONS .
MARKETS  – In the UK and Sicily to India. MARKETS are good locations for colour and a taste of local life – Kashmir and the Far East, with amusing photos of traders sleeping at their stalls during quiet periods or indeed the memorable photo of the smoker standing at the ‘firework’ stall!

Tim clearly has a passion for the MOUNTAINS and is prepared to face the elements [ via wild camping] to be in the best position for that perfect shot. These were not just landscapes but would often include the people who work in these landscapes. 
Tim is a great believer in having your camera accessible at all times. This he will carry on his waistbelt to capture that fleeting moment which may be no more than ten or so seconds.
We were also treated to a fascinating AV of the Pyrenees, demonstrating his desire to “take the road least travelled”.
A thoroughly entertaining evening, a well researched and constructed presentation. We will be approaching  and encouraging Tim to come back to SYPC soon. 

Meanwhile I commend his website to you at – https://timtaphouse.com/