- PAN & TILT -

March 2017

Pan & Tilt
March 2017

7th March
Workshop - Using lights

This was the last of this years ‘Working with light workshops’, It was where members were able to experiment with studio lights using triggers. The tutoring for the evening was managed by Martin, with Bob both participating and organising the models. With members now having got used to studio lighting, freely experimented, bring to an end this series of workshops where members had the opportunity to become familiar with lighting they would not usually have the opportunity to use trying the various techniques learnt in some of the previous workshops.

14th March
‘Iceland as I Remember it’ - A talk by Alec Mahood

This was Alec’s evening, where he had the opportunity to display his photographic affection for Iceland. Alec has been to Iceland three times with his friend Colin Westlake on photo trips, so has become very familiar with some of its beautiful aspects.

The images he showed gave a first impression of a grey country with black volcanic beaches, but as the evening went on he showed the island also had a green side with white waterfalls, blue lagoons, geysers and multi-coloured minerals everywhere. On one of his visits he was fortunate or maybe unfortunate to be there at the last volcanic eruption. The images he took of ice, blue in colour dashed with the black volcanic dust were amazing. He showed the type of transport required to get around the island, the large wheeled 4x4. The timing for visiting is limited to the six months of its summer as most of the island gets cut off in the winter.

Along with the pictures he showed us, Alec with his broad Scottish accent kept us well informed of all the aspects of the island he had visited along with his little anecdotes. An evening well appreciated by all the members present.

19th March
Visit to the ‘Crossness Pumping Station – Leader Val Bryant

On a typical March day the eleven members and guest gathered outside the Pumping Station to be met by the Chief Engineer on the project.

The Crossness Pumping Station is situated near Abbey Wood, adjacent to the Crossness nature reserve on the Erith Marshes. It is a former sewage pumping station constructed between 1859 and 1865 to pump and discharge London’s Southern outfall sewer. Its features include some amazing ornamental Victorian cast iron workings.

By 1956 the station had been decommissioned and left to rust and the world of vandalism, but in 1970 the buildings and works were given a Grade 1 listing. Come 1987 and the Crossness Engine Trust was formed to oversee the restoration project which had been put in hand. At present only one of the four pumps is working named ‘Prince Consort’ of which it took 15years to restore. Work has now commenced on the restoration of a second pump aptly titled ‘Victoria’.

For those with sensitive noses, a slight aroma hung in the air, but it was nothing to put one off their photography. The members spent all the 3hours shooting the spectacular Victorian machinery, some beautifully restored, others still in the rusted state of the 1950’s.

A very interesting place for taking pictures, with various aspects that appealed to different kind’s of photography.

Crossness - Mar17

A very big thank you to Val for organising the outing.

21st March
DPI Heat 4 - Judged by Marcus Scott-Taggart

With 61 entries, which included a fair number from new members, this was the best entry for the year, which hopefully will continue. With this being the final round of this years DPI competition, it was all eyes on how Jon would fair in his first year of club competition, at the same time keeping an eye on Inna and Martin who were keeping him close company.

After the usual quick run through, Marcus commenced the viewing of each image, taking time and assessing them in a very straightforward manner. Unlike a lot of judges he didn’t want images closely cropped, but liking them to be telling a story, which usually involved a good background that didn’t take your attention from the main subject. The marking again was over a greater range as we had been seeing recently, with Marcus being honest about the technical qualities, with sharpness and excessive dropping out coming to the fore.

With the main viewing completed, Marcus set about scoring each of the 61 images shown. It was a good showing with 17 images held back for a third viewing. After due deliberation Marcus decided t on the winning images:

DPI R4 results:
1stTaj Mahal ReflectedBob Zwolinsky
2ndGara Gold RockRalph Longhurst
3rdBob the ChairmanRalph Longhurst
4thContemplationMick Valentine
H MWalking on the EdgeInna Karpova
H MBell Tuning Lthe at the FoundaryMartin Ridout LRPS

It was a shame that Bob was away on his travels, as he really showed up this week both as an entrant and an entry, and congratulations to Ralph on hitting the competition trail in a big way.

Wed 22nd March
Croydon Centenary Competition – Judged by Keith Evans

West Wickham and Five other Clubs entered this year: Beckenham, Bromley, Croydon, Old Coulsdon and Selsdon. This is one less than last year which is unfortunate. There is a regrettable, slow downward trend in participants for this competition and I am not sure why.

It was held at Croydon’s venue in Shirley where each club had to show 8 images (four prints and four PDIs) from 8 different members. So you may imagine there were some “negotiations” between Martin and I about which image from which member should be put into which panel. Our images are usually selected from those seen in the current year (the FSLPS inter-club panels are all from the last year’s images) as a bit of a trial for next season’s FSLPS competitions. The requirement for 8 different members means that the choice needs to be spread quite wide which gives images from more members a chance in external competition.

With Keith Evans as judge, it started off with the PDI panels. There was the usual quick preview of the 24 images and then Keith viewed, commented and then scored each one out of 10, holding back 4 for a final review and scoring. We scored 31½ putting us 4th equal (with Selsdon) behind Bromley top with 36. Nine of the twenty four images scored 9 or more. I think that Inna’s score was a little stingy given Keith’s glowing comments.

Our individual scores for the DPI Panel were:
Lone Tree, Grand CanyonDenis Noble7
Reculver ReflectionsJon Cowdock10
Dreamy DahliaInna Karpova8
Omaha BeachTony Warran

Then it was on to the prints, with Keith following the same process and again holding back 4 for final review and scoring. We did a bit better in this round, in fact winning it with 36. The scoring was generally a little higher in this round but very close (Bromley came last this time but with 33½) and as a result the overall placings did not materially change from the situation after the PDI round. Half the images scored 9 or more.

Our individual scores were:
Spending a MomentJan Gilkes LRPS7
Temple ChurchMartin Ridout LRPS10
Gold at TwilightMike Spurway LRPS10
Snake WomanJohn Hill LRPS9

The final scores were:

The Croydon Centenary Competition Result 2017
Old Coulsdon343343=683rd
W. Wickham31½4=36167½4th

Thus we were 4th out of 6. But we were only a quarter of a mark per image off the top – putting it that way makes me feel better!
Very Well Done to Jon, Mike and Martin for scoring 10. Beckenham, Selsdon and Bromley got one 10 each.

Thank you to Andrew for his very complete covering report of the event.

Monday 27th March - For 2 weeks
Exhibition at the West Wickham Library.

Once again the West Wickham Library allowed us to display a selection of our prints. About 15/16 members provided 2 or more prints for display.
The exhibition was on from 27th March 2017 for two weeks and the library said it had gone down so well that they decided not to charge us. Norman and Joyce with the help of Inna set it up and Tony helped with the swap over of prints on the middle Saturday.
I must say it looked really good. Whilst we were there we heard some nice comments and the two librarians said there had been a lot of interest. In fact we left some of our cards and lots of them went. - A great success.

Many thanks to Tony for his report.

28th March
‘Romania 1990’ - A talk by Malcolm Hardie

The evening was a chance to go back 25 years and more, to experience through photography Malcolm’s early working days and his visits for humanitarian reasons to Romania.

Malcolm commenced the evening with a show of photographs from the time when he was working for the Baptist Times at their Spring Meeting, with a picture of the entertainer Roy Castle where he related his experience of his amazing performance shortly after finishing treatment for his lung cancer.

In 1990 Malcolm went with the help of a Christian Aid grant to Romania shortly after the fall of Ceausescu government. With his initial task of building a toilet block for an orphanage, he would take time after working to arm himself with his camera and venture out to take pictures, which would give an insight into the state of the country and its people. It was very apparent from his pictures the deprivation of the country and the help needed for the people. There were some amazing pictures of children from the orphanage with wondrous looks of appreciation for what was being done for them. But, and a big but, the images from the psychiatric wards showed a very different story with the austere surroundings the people had to live in, made all the more poignant with the phrase Malcolm repeated, ‘Its very hard to focus with tears in your eyes’.

The second part of the evening was given to showing the state of Romania as a whole at that time with supermarkets with nearly bare shelves and the housing designed a very organised way for people to live in an organised state.

Malcolm finished the evening off with a chance to ask him questions on his adventures and also to discuss whether the members appreciated the showing of pictures from the past and their anecdotes.