It was great to see such a high number of members in attendance (36) for what was going to become a rewarding and confusing evening and whilst the end of the competition proved the ultimate cliffhanger, I will come back to this later, the competition itself demonstrated that the quality of the images just kept on coming and coming. Looking at the sheer range of subject matter on offer including: landscape, family shots, aircraft, painterly effects, birds, portrait, tabletop, infrared, action, record, Astro, silhouette, low light, animals, reflections, flora, monochrome, compositions and close-ups it was clear to see that everyone had really put the heart and soul into their images, all 88 of them (32 prints & 56 digital images).

On the route to the winning images, our judge for the night presented us with a wide array of information and challenging feedback. Pointing out as he went things like the rule of thirds, light leakage, elements of composition and interest, imagination, lead-in lines, sharpness, timing, aspects of cropping and framing. Whether you agree or disagree with some of the comments made just remember that that is the viewpoint of an experienced judge and he presents them so as to drive improvement and challenge - DO NOT TAKE IT PERSONALLY. Talking your way through 88 images is no mean feat and to continually be constructive was impressive.

As all those in attendance will know, the end of the digital images competition proved a little more troublesome and the members of the committee immediately started to work (and are still working on a solution) to the lack of placings. We will be sending you all an email once we have decided how to proceed.

But back to where we started this blog. The quality of all the subjects and presented images was amazing and you all deserve a ‘WELL DONE” and here is to the next competition (Monday 2nd July - Title = "Number")

LCPU 1                       LCPU 2

A very successful and enjoyable evening of critique by members of previous entries to the LCPU competitions.

The meeting was well attended, including a good number of newer members.

Dave Edwardson led the evening in a very structured and organised manner.

He began by explaining how the prints were originally judged ( from a distance and for a matter of seconds!) He then gave some of the main criteria that the judges look for e.g. lighting, composition, colour, impact, originality etc.

Firstly each team were given a mixed bag of images and asked to select a favourite from paricular categories - landscape, animal life, people etc. after scrutinizing them using the suggested criteria.

These images were displayed at the front and a spokesperson from each team gave their teams estimated score for all of them. It was interesting how varied the scores were between teams.Dave read out the actual LCPU scores as a comparison. There were some surprises and shocks!

There was some very positive feedback for the session, including from some newer members.

A huge thanks to Dave for an informative, interesting and enjoyable evening.


Monday's meeting promised a great deal for those not too familiar with the basic of camera craft - but delivered a number of things for those already familiar with their camera and its associated equipment. Michelle went through a wide range of necessary equipment pointing out what to look out for and what to avoid. Interlaced between the equipment reviews Michele presented a fascinating tour her of her camera bag with each item produced adding another fact, recommendation, buying tip or user guide.

This event was attended by over 30 members and thanks must go to all involved in the planning and production and presentation of this event.

Having read the range of comments from our latest session I can see that each and every one of them have validity in one or more ways. Being mainly an observer at the session, apart from a brief spell as a useless model, it was clearly a difficult session to run and develop. If anyone has any suggestions as to how we could improve on this session - please let us know by whatever means you feel most comfortable.

This is a summary of the key issues discussed during the last committee meeting. 
Sean's finance report indicated a healthy situation, which is in sharp contrast to the situation a few months ago. The current membership level stands at 39 indicating a recent increase of 8. 
Ian reported back on recent club competitions in connection with a slightly reduced number of entries and it was decided to pay particular attention to the subject matters chosen to be included in the 2018-19 programme. The chosen themes will include open, number, glass & Autumn and full details will be posted on the programme listing. We are also looking at a mechanism we could employ that will allow us to grade external judges. We have also entered a range of images into the L&CPU  DPI Knockout competitions.
Bernard updated us that we now have a confirmed schedule and some details for the 2018-19 programme which will include: 4 competitions, 3 location shoots, a number of workshops and lectures including AV presentions and infrared as well your usual wide range of activities.
The feedback received from all those who attend the recent Digital Splash even on the clubs behalf indicated that it was a worthwhile event and the cost involved, that of purchasing the advertising banner has already proved a worthwhile outlay. The range of images exhibited on your behalf, and displayed alongside those of other clubs, really demonstrated the quality of the images you produce. Helen and Sean have also installed our first exhibition, using some 13 images, at the Woolston Hub. The idea behind this is to let the general public see the quality images you produce whilst advertising the club. Other recent advertising activities include the full-time display of the banner in The Gateway Centre, flyers in Wilkinsons Cameras in the Golden Square, and a collection of flyers in various other locations. If you know of any additional locations we could approach please let us know. 
Lawry reported back that whilst the use of the club website was looking good we still need to promote our use of Instagram, Flickr, Twitter and Facebook. It was also noted that the projected image at Winwick appear to have improved, but will remain under constant review.
Community involvement has been identified as a key aim of the club and in connection with this, we have started to generate a link with Scouting in the area and it is hoped that we can help them with the activities connected with the achievement of the two photography badges available.
It is with deep regret that we accepted the immediate resignation of Adrian from the role of Publicity Officer due to family commitments and would like to thank him for the range of activities he has successfully undertaken and the links he has given the club. One example of this would be the links with Wilkinson Cameras and Digital Splash. It has been decided that at this point in time his role will be absorbed by myself and Helen. 
The date of the next committee meeting will be Monday, Jan 8th and primarily focus on the needs and requirements of the approaching AGM

For the 25 Sept Workshop evening, I organised an evening of High Speed Flash Photography. This follows my limited experience of it I had gained during some competition rounds.

However, the one lesson  I learnt was that it could be achieved with the minimum of extra equipment - mainly a flash gun with a manual output, a remote flash trigger and , if possible, screens.


 brandy swill 2         

High Speed Flash uses only low flash outputs eg 1/128 which have the shortest duration. This short duration can be used to "freeze" motion.

As a preparation I practised swilling fake brandy in a brandy , dropping fruit and veg into a tank of water and lemon slices into a glass of lemonade, complete with fake ice cubes.


Careful timing was needed to capture the drops a split second after the objects hit the liquid. I played around with different exposures and shutter speeds.

The practices also enabled me to prepare all the equipment and accessories for the workshop, e.g. a squeegee is required to clean the water drops off the inside of the fish tank.

On the night I looked after the fish tank, Andy Gilert ran the brandy swill and Lawry looked after the lemon drop. (and got drenched with lemonade!)

 Dave Mellor provided a superb setup for a red wine pour and dropping a strawberry into milk.


I kicked off the evening with a short presentation about the principle behind High Speed Flash

The session got off to a bit of a frantic start as the flash guns had to be set up to compatible cameras (something I'd completely forgotten to look at) but once it got started most people seemed to enjoy the shooting.

One member came up to me and said it was easier than he expected and it gave him the confidence to try it at home.This made my night as that was why I wanted to put the session in the first place

04 Andy demo              01 Bernard demo


03 DaveAlan           02 Lawrie demo




Well, I found that to be a very interesting talk, even moreso than I expected. Some of the images blew me away, and hearing about the lengths Jo goes to to capture the images was fascinating. It doesn't sound easy being a pro photographer, but the thrill of capturing a winning image like some of those we saw must be amazing. Selling them in abundance must be even better!

We will continue to try and bring great speakers like Jo to the club, and have pencilled in some dates for guest speakers for the new programme. Bernard is working hard to secure the services of a selection of great speakers for next year. 

But this year isn't over yet, and we have not one, but two sessions to come with Alan Angel on portrait photography (a lecture one week and a workshop following). Can't wait!

Well, I’ve been a lax in keeping this blog updated, but it’s been a busy few weeks with all of my spare time being taking up with the vote and the additional meetings this has entailed. Since our trip to Another Place, the club has a number of events, that I will cover in aggregate

Member’s Worknight – Competition Winners

For this event we invited the top 5 placed people in the photographer of the year competition to give talks on the successful (and not so successful) images. I always find it interesting to hear how other photographers get their inspiration, what they were trying to achieve, and how they came to realise their vision for the image.

We had images from Andy Gilbert, Bernard Booth, Ian Sprott, Mike Lyne and myself. A varied selection of images and stylesfrom wildlife to nature, and some great creative shots.

For my own part, I like to show the before and after. Show the image as it came out of the camera, how it was when it was submitted, and give an overview of the steps I took to get from A to B. Sadly in that sort of event, there can’t be a live demonstration, although I know that people have asked for some more practical guidance on image editing. Keep an eye on the programme as we try to build those type of events in.


Workshop – Shutter Speed

This was a practical workshop led by Michelle Mansley, regular visitor to the club. Her sessions always seem to go down well, and there was lots of positive feedback from the night. Some photos from the event are on the club Facebook group and the Flickr site.

I consider that I know what I am doing in terms of shutter speed, so on the face of it I didn’t think that I would get much from the session personally. In actual fact I still had fun (especially trying to time a shot of a bubble being burst!) and even learned a couple of snippets that I didn’t know previously. We will try and get Michelle back next year for another practical workshop.

It was also the first time we tried out the Winwick Leisure Centre for a club night (the committee have met there on a number of recent occasions to scope it out). It was very successful, and a sizeable portion of the membership got to see the venue for themselves.

As you will no doubt know by now, the membership have voted in the majority for a move to Winwick to aid with cost cutting, ensuring the future of the club. We will move there in the near future once we have ironed out the last few details, and this will no doubt be a new page in the club’s history after many years in Grappenhall.


Guest Speaker – Adrian Lines “Post Creative Photography”

Most recently, we had a talk from Adrian Lines entitled “Post Creative Photography” where Adrian told us how he got started in photography, how his inspiration led him to creative, and both national and international competition. Again, heaps of positive feedback for the session, and I myself enjoyed it thoroughly.

Whilst I couldn’t begin to create images in the style of Adrian, I am a fan of this type of creative artwork. His presentation, where it showed the creation of an image from the building blocks, through the blending and post production process was especially interesting. Of amazement is that most of his creations are done in a night. It just goes to show the benefit of shooting everything, and building up a library of components to use in creative composites (we’ve been told the same by Joan Blease and Lynne Morris of Wigan 10 in the past).

I know from recent research of clubs in the region that Adrian is essentially on a tour of the LCPU over the course of the year, so if you missed his session at our club, I would recommend trying to pick it up as a visitor at another local club.

The last club location shoot was at the Another Place art installation along Crosby beach. I grew up not far from here, so Crosby beach was a common weekend trip on the bus (4p for a half I seem to recall). Having moved away from the area in adult life, it was nice to get back to my old stomping ground, if only for a few hours.

The weather was perfect for the evening, and an unusually high turn out was great to see. Most location shoots we get a dozen or so attendees, this week there were 20 of us, pretty much two-thirds of the club membership. Sadly due to the distance (and lack of a pub at the locality) it was impractical to arrange meet up for a drink afterwards. Most people had the best part of an hour's trip home, but nonetheless it felt like a pretty social event anyway, as the majority of members were working within close proximity to each other. We also got a lot of feedback during the night and afterwards that people really enjoyed the location.

The have been some great images posted from the evening already, keep them coming on Flickr, Instagram or the club Facebook group - it's nice to see different people's take on the same subject matter.

The next location shoot is still a bit fluid - we are looking at a possible Sunday (16th July) visit to Astley Head Colliery. If this doesn't come off then it will probably be a trip to Salford Quays on the Monday 17th July (we will of course keep you updated at club meeting and via the website). The club did go to Salford Quays a few years ago (before I was a member), but there has been a lot of development since with the Media City springing up, so lots of great photo opportunities there.

The club welcomed Brian Dunseath to its meeting on 10th April to judge the first club competition of the year.

The “open” subject attracted a selection of good quality images on a variety of subjects. These included landscapes, natural history, sport and portraits and made selecting the winning images a challenge for Brian.

Having provided helpful tips and guidance for members, Brian spent some time considering the images and selected a print from Andy Gilbert and a DPI from David Mellor as the outright winners.

The rest of the winning images are included in the gallery elsewhere on the website. Thanks to all members who entered and to Brian Dunseath for judging and  entertaining us on the night.

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