- PAN & TILT -

December 2016

5th December
Outing to the Royal Opera House Organised by Ann Herbert.

This outing was organised with a slight difference. For this occasion it was planned to run in two halves with a photo session/competition in the morning followed by a behind the scenes tour of the Royal Opera House taking place in the afternoon.

The day commenced in the usual manner with a coffee stop, this time in the crypt of St Martins in the Field. Here Ann presented an outline for the day, explaining what was required of the one off competition she had planned for the mornings photo shoot, where the members were asked to submit their best un-retouched pictures from the morning shoot, so that she award a prize for the best picture from the the days happenings. So off everyone went. Some on their own, others in groups to roam around St Martins and meander up to Convent Garden for the main target of their photography.

Two hours later with warm cameras in hand everyone met up at the arranged eating emporium EATS just off the Strand, where down in the basement everyone refreshed and relaxed prior to the tour.

At 2.30, all those that had pre-booked the tour were ushered through security and the doors to take in the beauty and vastness of the Royal Opera House. It is an amazing place to visit and the tour, which takes just over the hour, doesn’t do it justice in the time. As a guide the auditorium only takes up about 20% of the site, which include the Sadlers Wells Ballet Company. Its not just the size, but the mechanics of how it operates. Rising seven stories there was a lot to see from dance rehearsals to wardrobes to the scenery being prepared. An amazing tour which shouldn’t be missed by anyone.

Thanks to Ann for an extremely interesting day that gave the members an insight into another world that they could never have anticipated.

Royal Opera House Dec16

6th December
DPI heat 2 - Judged by Paul Adams DPAGB of Bexleyheath PS

It was a warm welcome to Paul Adams our judge for the night who we knew would give a true and honest opinion on the members efforts. With a grand total of 57 entries for the night, Paul set to immediately with the standard procedure of a quick viewing of every picture, where he could get an initial idea of those that stood out to him. With that out the way it was down to the serious business of carefully viewing and giving his comments on every entry. Simplicity, with no distractions was the strength Paul was looking for, along with good technique and composition. This he emphasized where images had a lot of excess background, which with tighter cropping the pictures he felt would be further enhanced.

With all the images vetted Paul got down to giving them all a score. With just four images held back, it was a straightforward choice for the top four places. One ‘Honorary Mention was then selected which had the highest score from the rest of the entries.

1stPortrait of a Bald EagleMartin Ridout
2ndWhatever the WeatherJon Cowdock
3rdRecoat EncounterJon Cowdock
4thIcelandic AngelTony Warran
H MFallow DeerJon Cowdock

It was an excellent evening for Jon, a new member who is showing a great deal of quality in his photography and a big thank you to Paul for making an excellent evening.

10th December
Outing – London Prepares for Christmas’ Organised by Debbie and Mick Valentine.

Being Christmas, a second trip for December was planned along the South Bank of the Thames to be part of the festivities and photographically take advantage of the late afternoon for those special twilight shots. But alas nature was not very helpful this time. The nine members were met with one of London’s miserable cold drizzly days, with every one wrapped up to keep warm, that is everyone except the hundreds, nay thousands of ‘Santa Claus’s’ roaming around. Still this didn’t stop the members, cameras in hand and duly protected to walk the Embankment. As expected it was very busy, with the market this year being set on its own site, very close to the London Eye. There was plenty of refreshment available though, but at a price. With a less than usual amount of photography the members met up at an agreed time at the National Theatre prior to taking a walk over Waterloo Bridge to Somerset House for the ice skating and a chance to wander around the ‘Fortnum and Mason’s’ Christmas Wonderland. The ice was rather wet and pictures were there for taking as the skaters tried their best to avoid ending up soaked on their backsides.

With cameras put away it was time to stroll arm in arm with the sea of Santa Claus’s down to Trafalgar Square. Then on Whitehall and the ‘Lord of the Moon’ for planned refreshment and nourishment. Alas being Christmas it was heaving with surprisingly lots of Father Christmas’s. Luckily someone was looking down on us. From times past Jenny had introduced us to a pub/restaurant down a side street just off Whitehall, and lo and behold on entry, there was a table for nine awaiting us. Yet another Christmas miracle - thank you Jenny. Warmed and with good food and refreshment inside us, the members really got into the Christmas spirit.

With the evening creeping on it was decided to leave Trafalgar Square and its wonderful Christmas Tree to the hordes of Santa Claus’s trying to climb both of them and wend our way home.

A good day that was not allowed to be ruined by the weather. A nice way to start the Christmas festivities. – Thanks to Debbie and Mick for putting it all together.

13th December
Chairman’s Presentation - by Bob Zwolinsky

This event is looked on in anticipation in the same manner as the wonderful Christmas Lectures from the Science Museum are. This year Bobs presentation was - ‘My Take on Travel Photography and lessons Learnt’.

Bob started with the quote ‘Still getting it wrong, must try harder’, then set about asking what we as photographers were trying to achieve when traveling, whether the pictures we planned to take were for competitions, a record of our travels or just to show friends. He then proceeded to discuss the general aspects of travel, photography and its problems especially on what to take. To this end he set everyone the task of listing the seven photographic items they would choose to take on their travels. With the usual variety of suggestions and differences a good discussion entailed which concluded that with the quality of equipment available, lightness has become one of the most important deciding factors.

Bob rounded of the evening with a showing of pictures he had taken on his latest venture to Morocco.

Thanks to Bob for a good and instructive evening well received by the members.

20th December
Christmas Party

For the second year, it was decided to hold the clubs Christmas celebrations at the Wheatsheaf pub. With 27 members and partners attending, a very pleasant and amenable evening was enjoyed, with everyone getting up to date on their plans for Christmas and the New Year. The staff, this year were excellent in the manner they looked after us and helped to make it an evening to remember.

A special thanks to Joyce and Norman for organising the event again and a special mention to Jenny and Derek for the lovely gifts they presented to everyone.

Xmas Party Dec16