2019 – Round 1 Bi-Monthly Results February 7th. 2019

Throughout the year SYPC have a schedule of 6 bi-monthly member competitions.

Brian Swinyard – was our Round 1  external judge for the first of our Bi-Monthly 2019 Competitions. Brian has visited SYPC some 4 times over the years either as a judge or a speaker and is always very welcome. Brian’s constructive review of the prints and digital images was well received drawing on many years of Photographic experience, with words of encouragement and constructive comments for improvement.

Brian reviewed and commented on 86 images (36 prints and 50 digital images). All of Brian’s comments and suggestions were well received we look forward to Brian’s return to SYPC in 2020 as either a speaker or judge.

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

Round 1  Prints Author Place
Horizon Walk Mark Seaman 1st.
I Don’t Like Birds John Scantlebury 2nd.
Stormy Iceland Carole Brown 3rd.
Cottage in the Glen Adrian Smithson 4th.
Windmill near Bruge Dave Bruten 5th.
From Rags to Riches Pete Atkins 6th.
Down the Drain Margaret Snee 7th.
Smoking Zone Stuart Lewis 8th.
Round 1 Digital Images Author Place
Avenue Mark Seaman 1st.
Sunset at Severn Crossing Terry Cooper 2nd.
Stag in Glen Etive Peter Range 3rd.
The Pose Jeremy Harris 4th.
Water Colours Eileen Scantlebury 5th.
Night Church John Portlock 6th.
Vineyard Pete Atkins 7th.
Night at the Reservoir Carole Brown 8th.

Below is a copy of the FIRST Place Print

“Horizon” by Mark Seaman 

Below is a copy of the First Place Digital Image

Avenue” by Mark Seaman

Additionally the Top 8 Digital Images and Top 3 Prints can be found in the Competition Tab of this website at – http://www.sypc.org.uk/gallery/index.php/2016-Competitions/2019-Competition-Results

11th February 2019. Leigh Woolford – “A Search for Focus”

It is interesting to notice that so many of our visiting speakers enjoy a range of hobbies and interests and, of course, they are then able to bring those things together under their photography umbrella.
An excellent case in point was last night’s speaker, Leigh Woolford (AWPF EFIAP DPAGB BPE2* FWPF Hon). Within the first minute he was posing an age-old question “What can I photograph?” – the answer lies at the end of this report. We were all interested to learn of Leigh’s captivation by photography and it was clear to see that a box of old images, slides and negatives had been passed to him that were his father’s possessions and naturally he had been bitten by the bug in early childhood ……how interesting that he won a school competition following a visit to Bristol Zoo at 10 years of age.

Our journey starts with a visit to a number of major motor sport circuits, including the British Grand Prix at Silverstone, the demanding skill of panning the camera and chasing the right image when the viewing public is now kept so far from the action, due to H & S and that careful planning to always be at the right place at the right time, all became evident. The motor sport passion also extended to local circuits and to the wonderful spectacle of the hill climb. Naturally we were treated to great drivers of the recent past, Moss, Surtees, Rosburg etc.

We were soon zoomed abroad under the heading of “Souk, Drugs and Moroccan Roll” with a trip to Western Morocco facing the challenge of, perhaps, personal danger and the objective of securing portraits of people, generally unwilling to act as models!
In no time we found ourselves in the rock’n roll concert hall with challenging light conditions, rapid guitar hand movement and occasional “acting up to the camera”. The range of costumes, settings and clever presentations, using dark added areas of equal size to the main portrait, showed us a subtle and creative skill borne of close observation of the subject.

Under the minimalistic heading of Urban images we visited the crowded former colony of Hong Kong, then local views on beaches with the ubiquitous multi coloured beach huts, landscapes of Scotland, Skye, Rannoch Moor, Glencoe including some wonderful monochrome images with spine chilling moody skies.

Naturally we were whisked away to the Norwegan Lefoten Islands, North and South Iceland with magical images of frozen lakes, dangerous snow packed overhangs, waterfalls, ice roads and studded car tyres, diamond beach and a range of Icelandic horses – what’s not to like amongst all of this?

Where did we end?
The mysterious box with Dad’s precious photos showed father and son, 50 years apart, having found the same position on a small circuit’s “S” bend taking an identical shot.
Finally we saw some lovely pictures of Leigh when he was small, his extended family and the great joy that photography extends and allows us all to share – time passes too quickly. The answer to the question is, of course, keep a running record and display prints of all sections of your family.
A super evening where all of the members of SYPC felt connected to the speaker – For more information please see Leigh’s website at – –https://leighwoolfordphotography.weebly.com/

Thanks Leigh

4th February 2019. Alex Nail – “An evening with …….”


Alex Nail and his presentation might well go down as the most exciting, life changing and thrilling examples of commitment to searching and completing the art and science of photography that we will ever see at SYPC.

For all of the previous day it felt like the night might bring an inversion, I’m not sure what exactly caused this notion, but something was different in the air. That night I awoke from my half-sleep to find a valley full of clouds. We headed out to a viewpoint over Pyramid and Column to find them just poking through the mist with the Milky way arcing above. The moonrise was unexpected but ultimately created one of the most impossibly beautiful sights I have seen in the Drakensberg.”

Alex’s evening took us through a rambling mixture and adventure by a young professional photographer who seeks to go into the wildest of places with a target image in his mind and follows it through to perfection.
Through careful and finely judged planning Alex and his parties and walking companions took us to The Northwest – The Scottish Highlands, The Isle of Skye, Iceland, Greenland and the Drakensburg Mountains of South Africa.

“I’ve shot this view in a variety of lighting conditions now, but every time I am there a new opportunity presents itself.”



To describe his work as just landscape photography is a gross understatement. He is a great advocate of composition, a student of weather conditions, including rough camping, he knows what he wants, where to find it, and is dogged in his determination to achieve the very pinnacle of breath-taking views and stunning abstract open-air images, and time-lapse videos.


A visit to Alex Nail’s  website at – http://WWW.alexnail.com  is essential

28th January 2019. Graham Harries – “What I Do”

Monday 28th members of SYPC were privileged to witness a truly inspirational and thoroughly entertaining presentation by Graham Harries from Llanelli.

Graham was very keen to point out that he supported photographers who ‘did their own thing’ and did not follow the crowd which was again demonstrated by his ability to look for something different in the most formal of scenes, whether a sporting venue, a rock concert or indeed a wedding.

Not one to be left behind he has also embraced drone photography and video photography, leaving us all speechless with a wonderfully crafted sequence based on his time in Iceland.

Needless to say we are all looking forward to a return visit.

7th January 2019. Ric Harding – “Some of my wildest moments”

Our speaker, Dr. Ric Harding (EFIAP/b DPAGB BPE4*), treated us to a feast of photographic delights covering both a variety of subjects and venues.
The evening began with a whistle stop tour of Ric’s background into photography, from University watching “The Who” in concert to post graduate work, travelling, for 3 years in France to a foundry in Metz, enjoying playing rugby for the local team then further high level studies finishing with a PhD in materials science and working in research at B’ham University.
His first series of delights for us demonstrated a modest formula for the establishment of the DEPTH of FIELD for macro photography, this was verified by seeing the actual depths by photographing a metric ruler’s scale – excellent! The subsequent set of images showed wonderful images of insects taken in his garden, flies, shield beetles, ladybirds, damsel flies and many more, these extended to similar work done in the tropics.

Ric’s travelling partner was often his wife and he now diverted his attention to recording a visit to Africa, to the Namib desert.

The huge extensive red sand dunes formed monuments across the desert landscape and great care was needed to protect expensive cameras from ingress by sand.

He was able to enjoy a balloon trip over the desert and of course this elevated position provided stunning views – he himself described it as the “journey of a lifetime”.

The photo thrills continued with birds, animals, mainly brown bears fishing, abstract grab shots and coastal seascapes.

This particularly focused on a trip to the USA and the State of Oregon where the rugged coastline, often immersed in sea fog, showed us an area not often seen.

The rocky crags gave way to coastal caves, created by the ceaseless activity of the sea, which provided hiding places for seals and other aquatic mammals.
Ric’s final series was drawn from his many visits to the North East of England which included all manner of delights from castle’s to sea views, birds and rock formations, these began at Lindisfarne and continued southwards down the fierce North Sea coast.
We were spellbound, a very special night.