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/

6th January 2020 – Emma Drabble – Portraiture on Location

The SYPC programme for 2020 was off to a great start in the company of commercial and commissioned photographer Emma Drabble who comes from a documentary background. Her photography covers a wide range of subjects from architects and food producers to actors, farmers, dressage horses and even equine dentists. Operating a portable ‘pop-up fine-art studio’ on location, she says her work is “more than portraiture, but rather capturing something other – the living connections between people. The life, love and laughter.” Emma demonstrated her art by taking the members through two of her recent commissions,
“River Voices” detailing the lives and livelihoods of the people of the river Wye and those who live on the Gwent levels.

One of many images that project a story from Emma’s work.

Pictorial story telling is her forte and the chosen subject matter is very compelling. As a Panasonic Ambassador, her LUMIX G cameras are “like a paintbrush in my hand. Always a help, never a hindrance; always delivering some extra magic.”


2nd. December 2019 – Tony & Eva Worobiec – “The Water’s Edge”

Eva and Tony Worobiec ( FRPS) are described as a fine art photographers and their latest book [one of 17 published in some 8 languages] titled ‘The Waters Edge”  is a journey around the coast of the UK and was the subject of Tony’s talk at SYPC.

Tony  (supported by his wife Eva) described this lecture as more of a workshop – but in fact it was a Masterclass in outstanding and inspirational photography with many of the photographs shown taken within a two-hour journey for our club members.

Tony’s photography has the ability to present the viewer with a coastal scene of complete wilderness, transporting the viewer into a surreal world of colour, strange rock formations, decaying structures, lighthouses and piers –  often only a short distance away from a bustling and busy built-up area.

The sheer power and beauty of the sea, was beautifully demonstrated in powerful beach, rock and cliff images taken at pre-dawn, at sunset, the blue hour and in night time darkness. 

Adopting a ‘minimalistic’ approach to photography Tony’s work captures the visual elements of many contemporary fine artists using a limited range of colour, shape line, texture and tone.  This typifies his ‘personal style’ to photography, demonstrating why his work is in the permanent collection of the RPS, The Fox Museum and in numerous private collections in the UK, Europe, Japan and the USA.

Tony is a Fotospeed Ambassador and displayed in the interval a range of stunning images printed on all of the various Fotospeed papers and also signed his latest book for our members – sold at a discounted price.

Unlike many photographers Tony declared the locations of all of the images presented as well as the important techniques used and the important  ‘technical stuff’ such as ISO, fstop, speed, filters used etc .

Tony’s UK coastal photographic journey included numerous sub sections, such as; The Beach, The Rocky Shoreline, The Intimate Landscape, Minimalism, Coastal Features, Lighthouses, Piers of the Realm, Crossover Lighting, Beach Huts, Coastal Structures plus a few non British locations to finish off this Masterclass.

A most memorable evening for SYPC members learning from a real expert on how to deliver excellence given grey and moody skies, winter light, shooting in the rain, taking night-time photographs on wet and windy days, underneath piers, using long shutter speeds, working in rich low light conditions and more importantly “on making the uninteresting – really interesting”.

We look forward on welcoming back Tony & Eva to our club in 2021.

25th. November 2019 – Shaun Boycott-Taylor “A walk on the Wild Side”

Guest Speaker – Shaun Boycott- Taylor, presenting his talk entitled “A walk on the wild side”
Our guest speaker last night described his passion for wildlife photography around the world by one of spending many hours in public hides, private hides and one of sheer persistence, patience, hard work and a little bit of ‘good fortune’ in capturing the target.
We were privileged to see the results that a totally dedicated wildlife photographer can achieve through sheer dedication, determination, preparation and a vast amount of experience and skill. Shaun took us to locations in Northern Hungary, the Danube delta, north-eastern Spain and Scotland.


Little Owl – by Shaun Boycott-Taylor



In each location we were able to enjoy the rich variety of the wildlife on display. Shaun’s images are based on the understanding of his targets’ habits and behaviours and his detailed knowledge added to the degree of entertainment for all members.
On occasion his determination to go for THE image would lead to the kind of privation and discomfort few of us would consider, but as ever the results speak for themselves. The tale of the bolshy male western capercaillie [also known as the wood grouse or heather cock] will linger long in the memory!

21st. October 2019 – Sue & Richard Winkworth – HIMALAYAN KINGDOMS

It is often refreshing to be able to enjoy someone else’s holiday or visit to a distant and exotic place through an expert commentary supported by images taken at that time.
Last night our club enjoyed such a journey from two intrepid walkers with enquiring minds and the courage to step “off the beaten track”.
We were shown 5 distinct elements to their holiday, lasting three weeks, some years ago:-

Part 1 – Touring Kathmandu.

This reminded our speakers of India with wandering cows, exotic smells, thousands of trades carried out on the roadsides and smiling responsive people.

Part 2 – Walking in the Annapurna range.

This trek avoided Mt. Everest but challenged Sue and Rich to walk for up to 6 hours per day through steaming open valleys fighting off aggressive leeches, across dangerous bridges seeing rice and corn grown under paddy fields on steep sided conditions. We were feeling exhausted following their descriptions.

Part 3 – Searching for unicorns.

This evocative title saw the explorers looking for the one horned rhino which bathes in swamps in the national park, where the only means of transport is elephant. A unique and surprising wildlife experience.

Part 4 – Land of the Thunderdragon.

Walking in difficult conditions up to 13,000 feet in Bhutan amongst friendly people. The men virtually all attend the monastery at some stage and are always in evidence. Vast amounts of chilli seem to be grown and are harvested and dried under the roves of most houses.

Amazing to see the national sport of archery carried out under dangerous conditions for the spectators. The population have a Tibetan “look” and seem to thrive on rice and yak’s milk cheese amongst few roads in a country infested with un-owned dogs!

Part 5 – Roof of the world.

Who wouldn’t be thrilled taking off in light mist from Khatmandu Airport to see Mt Everest from every angle in bright sunshine against clear blue skies
A very special holiday, not for the feint hearted!

We look forward to seeing Sue and Richard again (next year already booked) !

14th. October 2019 – Cate Barrow – PHOTOGRAPHING UK WILDLIFE

Our guest speaker last night described her opportunities to pursue her passion for photographing Britain’s wildlife as being through public hides, private hides, hard work and luck!
Her target outcome was clearly established, early in her talk, as being as near as possible to perfect “out of the camera” with minimal post shooting modifications. She described her success hit rate as being1% and we soon realised that she was prepared to stay all night waiting for the opportunity she was looking for, or to lie in freezing and/or wet conditions to be close to the object of her intentions or even to lie in animal faeces knowing that this was the only way to achieve that particular superb photograph.
It was clear to us devotees of achieving our selected image that Cate was “driven” and has been rewarded through patience and commitment.
Here are the results shown to us:-

Sea eagle, Osprey, Kite, Sparrow hawk, Hobby, Kestrel, Red grouse, Ptarmigan, Grey partridge, Water rail, Oyster catcher, Lapwing, Ringed plover, Curlew, Puffin, Cuckoo, Reed warbler, Grey heron, Barn owl, Little owl, short eared owl, Tawny owl, Kingfisher, Green woodpecker, Great spotted woodpecker, Waxwing, Starling, Wren, Dipper, Dartford warbler, field fare, Blue tit, Long tailed tit, Crested tit, Bearded tit, Robin, Tree creeper, Siskin, Hawfinch, Tree creeper, Jay, Magpie and Crow.
It was evident that the ordinary shot was not in her vocabulary and, as previously indicated, she is prepared to develop new methods, put herself at personal risk or go to limitless lengths to achieve a unique shot.
There are currently 56 types of UK butterfly and we saw examples of male and female of each and 28 examples actually mating. We were given tips ranging from field skills through to camera settings to achieve a target. Who knew that the flying butterfly was generally the male seeking a mate while the female remains hidden at ground level hence our responsibility when seeking these elusive photographs is to remain on pathways and picking our footsteps very carefully – another example of Cate’s sincere ecological concerns.
A splendid array of Hedgehog, Bank vole, Wood mice, Water rat, Red squirrel, Fox, Harvest mice, Rabbit, Hare, Water vole, Snow hare, Pine marten, Otter, Badgers, Wild boar, Fallow deer, Red deer, Common seal – all photographed in special unique circumstances where considerable effort, ingenuity skill and, above all, patience had been exercised in order to go that extra mile. We were even spoilt with some wonderful underwater images of blue sharks.
It should be compulsory to visit Cate’s web site – here’s the link:-


We will certainly be welcoming her back soon!