March 18th. 2019 – Martin Fry- The Cotswold Lad Returns

Martin Fry (FRPS EFIAP/g AV-EFIAP ABPE APAGB) has been to Sodbury & Yate Photography club on several occasions and always gives us a wonderful evening of Audio-Visual presentations, he is a real friend to SYPC. On Monday evening Martin transported us through many emotions, drama, sadness, and pure delight, he is outstanding in his knowledge of photography and his ability to adapt them into superb pictorial “stories”.
The Belgium Field War memorial sequence was really moving, about a 14-year-old boy going to war, with scenes of destruction but also poignant and thought provoking.
Another sequence told a story of Ivor Gurney a poet and a musician during his war years and after suffering “shell shock” he wrote his best music and poetry. Martin goes to great lengths to find all the facts about the subject’s life.
The Irish and the Cornish presentation were full of wonderful scenery and drama especially the storms out at sea. Clearly significant planning was needed but with that planning he was in the right place at the right time!

The musicality, poems, singing, and most of all, the images Martin produces to “tell a story” are outstanding, something perhaps we should all aspire to.

Martin also took us through the process to gain FIAP distinctions for Photographic Merit encouraging us to start on that process. The level of satisfaction achieved knowing that others appreciate your work is very gratifying.

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

March 11th. 2019 – Free Spirit – Nick Jenkins (ARPS, AWPF)

Nick Jenkins (ARPS,AWPF) joined us on Monday evening where we spent a relaxing time being transported to many  photogenic, tranquil venues across the UK. Nick has a very charismatic style and is a joy to listen to. And clearly an outstanding Landscape Photographer.

“Forest of Dean Light Shafts” by Nick Jenkins

We travelled to the Brecon Beacons, Wales, Yorkshire, Pembroke, the Forest of Dean, Scotland, Sky and Iceland. The pictures in all the locations were often dramatic with wonderful lighting and many with milky waterfalls.

“Llwyn Onn Reservoir Reflections” by Nick Jenkins

Nick loves water reflections and he captured these in so many of the locations. The Iceland pictures were some of the most dramatic with pictures of ice flows, ice burgs and the amazing Aurora Borealis.
Catching the “right” light on the hills and mountains was something Nick loved to do and did this to perfection.

“The Corpach Wreck” by Nick Jenkins

Scotland was another wonderful setting for more dramatic pictures, capturing the snowy mountains sometimes in monochrome which gave even more drama to the images.
Nick runs various tutorials/workshops and enjoys taking groups out to the locations he has a passion for. As with many photographers he just loves to pass on to others the knowledge he has learnt over many years.
In photography there are various composition rules, however at times these rules can be broken to get the picture you really want!
Come back again please Nick an excellent and informative evening.

For more information on Nick Jenkins and Free Spirit please see Nick’s website at –

4th March 2019 – Catherine East- A Talk on Commercial Photography

The talk we had from Catherine was a breath of fresh air, the enthusiasm and passion she had for her subject was magnetic. She went from a very young girl with her first camera as a hobby to a very well accomplished young woman with a tremendous feel for her subject matter.

Some of her work was very family orientated, taking candid shots of children often quite endearing and quirky just letting the children do their own thing. Like wise the wedding photography seemed very relaxed and the locations made all the difference to a wonderful day for the clients.

Baby bumps came next, then new born babies, all very tastefully taken. Everything she did told the story of the event from start to finish.

She has also found time to mentor and tutor keen photographers, look after two children and have a job as Project Manager at some time in her career. She is also now working with local trades to help them with their products.

All in all a fascinating and interesting evening.

For more information and details of Catherine’s work please see her website :

25th. February 2019 Members’ Evening with Lynne & Adrian

Throughout our calendar year we occasionally invite 1 or 2 members’ to take a turn and present their recent work or images that they enjoy. One such evening was last Monday night and Lynne Smithson (LRPS) and Adrian Smithson (LRPS) took us through a range of work that interest and excite them.For the first half of the evening Lynne took centre stage with a whistle stop tour of 140 projected images, each with an explanation of why Lynne liked the photograph, where it was taken and why. We started with some street photography, moved through holiday destinations in Devon, Cornwall, the lake District and several visits to Scotland.

All this was interspersed with various close up / macro shots of iron work, patterns, plants fungi and flowers and interesting yet everyday objects.

For the second half Adrian took us through 2 presentations. The first was a visit to Chatsworth House and their Christmas display. This years theme was “Once Upon a Time” including a section for the “Tales of Beatrix Potter”. Adrian explained that getting quality shots was problematic, no tripod, difficult exposures due to extremes of light and shadow and the need for high ISO. All that said the whole display was quite enchanting. Adrian’s second presentation was a detailed photographic walk around Blists Hill a recreated Victorian Town and fascinating that was.

There were numerous characters in Victorian dress, visits to various shops (the dentist chair was particularly vivid and scary), a lesson in a Victorian school, some heavy industry, lots of copper industry, the canal and much much more.

A very enjoyable evening was had by all many thanks Lynne and Adrian.

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 –

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 – –

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 –  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.