Vocal Point 8/12/2019

Hi all

Well, how do we follow on from our major success in the Midland Bank Trophy this week?

We have two more great meetings to look forward to before the Christmas break. This week our early session will be part 4 of the Roger Lewis Foundation Course with Beks and Michelle. This is proving to be very popular so get there early for a good seat. The main meeting will feature our 2nd Print Competition (Colour and Mono Sections) with judge Tony Thomas EFIAP. Also, just a quick heads up on our main meeting the following week, which is our own Richard Chapman doing a presentation on Astro Photography. I always find that the night sky is at it’s best in January and February so I’m looking forward to tips and techniques on how to capture it on camera.

Looking ahead to January, our first meeting on 7th January is our ever-popular New Year Party and quiz night. This will feature a quiz with prizes plus food and drink. Our New Year Party is always a good night to let our hair down (for those of you who still have enough) and get to know people socially. We will be doing a list at club on Tuesday for those who plan to attend, we also like to see lots of guests on the night also, so please invite family and friends. More details will follow after our committee meeting tomorrow.

Well that’s it for now, see you all on Tuesday


Vocal Point 9/11/2019

Hi all

I’m going to be relatively brief today as I’m flying off tomorrow.

This week we had a very entertaining lecture from Vin Scothern. I think the most inspiring things to take away from his talk was –

Nearly all his images were taken with a 1 to 2 hour drive from Bromsgrove
His sport and nature photos were taken on a 70-200 lens

It just goes to show that you don’t need expensive equipment and exotic locations to get good images. It all comes down to the natural skill of the photographer.

Richard Chapman will be chairing the meetings for the next 3 weeks. This week we have Tony Gervis for the early session, followed by the 2nd PDI competition. Good luck to all participants.

Finally, I am very pleased to inform you that Len Pugh has had 3 accepted in the New Zealand International Salon. Well done Len.

Best wishes


Vocal Point 3/11/2019

Hi all

I’ve had several members say that Damien Demolder’s talk on Tuesday was the best that they have had at the club. I have to agree, he was entertaining, funny and informative. Not only that but we got the chance to lay our hands on some good gear from Lumix. Even though it went on to 10.30 no-one was rushing to get home. What a great night at Bromsgrove PS.

On Wednesday 9 of us met Damien in Birmingham for a day of Street Photography. We also got the chance to use some of the Lumix gear. Over a coffee, Damien discussed with us all what we expected from the day. It was pretty clear at the outset that most of us were outside our comfort zone. By the end of the day, we were taking candid street shots as if we had been doing it for years. Another fabulous day to live in the memory.

Some good news – Jenny Webster has had 5 Honorary Mentions on the Balkan Circuit. Our members go from strength to strength.

This Tuesday we have Vincent Scothern “From the Other Side of the Fence”. I have had a look at some of his work online and I’m blown aware by the quality of the images. It should be another good night.

The early session this week will be taken by myself. I deliberately didn’t set a programme for myself at the start of the year as I wanted to be flexible to what’s happening at the club. This week I will be looking at some photo-editing packages. There will be two free ones – Photopad and Photo Pos. Both are excellent software for photo-editing. I will also look at Affinity Photo – it’s not free but is a very strong package and comparable to Photoshop – without paying a monthly fee. If there is time, I will also advise on converting colour images to mono and how to achieve the impact that judges are looking for.

See you all on Tuesday.

Best wishes


Just a small correction to the early session content tomorrow. Photo Pad is no longer a free programme – even though the version that I have is.

I will focus on Photo POS (free) and Affinity Photo (not free)

Vocal Point 28/10/2019

Hi all

1. Just a follow on from the information on our presentation tomorrow with Damien Demolder. You may have received an email from Jan (Programme Secretary), advising you that Damien will be running a Street Photography Workshop on Wednesday. This will take place in Birmingham. It is open to any of our members, regardless of experience. There is a limit on the number of places, but I am pleased to say there is still a small number of places available. You don’t even need to take a camera, equipment will be supplied by Damien. The cost of the workshop is £99

Street Photography Workshop
This is a practical hands-on day of learning how to improve your street photography through seeing in new ways. Damien demonstrates a range of principles around using light, finding backgrounds and working in public areas, and then helps the group to find their own way at their own pace. It’s a day suitable for all levels of experience, and is certain to change the way you see and shoot – no matter what subjects you are usually interested in.
Cameras and lenses will be provided, so you only need to bring your imagination.

Participants will meet at in the Old Joint Stock Pub, 4 Temple Row W, Birmingham B2 5NY at 10am on Wednesday. This is a super chance to learn from a master of the genre and to try out some equipment in the process.

2. Tea rota. Most of you will know that we have implemented a tea rota for the first time – this avoids the same people doing the refreshments week after week. The new rota seems to be working well and has been well received by participants and the membership as a whole. It is hoped that most members will participate, however, there will be an exemption for anyone with mobility or other significant issues. The current rota was put in place to the end of this calendar year. In the next few days I will be putting out the rota for the year from January onwards. With the membership that we have it only means doing this on one evening in the club year. Thanking you in anticipation.

3. There is a vacancy for a Membership Liaison Officer on the committee. The role includes –

Acting as a communicator between the membership as a whole and the committee

Acting as a point of contact for members to discuss any problems or worries in confidence

Previous holders of the post had very little to do – maybe to deal with 2 to 3 issues in the course of the club year. Needless to say it helps to be a good listener.
If you feel that you would be perfect for this role, please let me know.

See you all tomorrow.


Vocal Point 27/10/2019

Hi all

There will be a lot I want to cover this week but I’ve decided to put it into two messages – hence Part One, Part Two should follow tomorrow.

What a great night for the club on Tuesday. Chris Fairweather was one of the most entertaining speakers that we have had – informative, entertaining a witty. His anecdotes in the first half were fascinating. And of course, his images told a story and provoked emotions. On his own admission, he said that they wouldn’t win any photographic competitions (too humble I feel), but that’s not what his work is about.

This Tuesday we are in for another treat. We have Damien Demolder – recognised as one of the best street photographers in the UK. If you get a chance, have a look at some of his work online – quite stunning.

The early session on Tuesday will feature part three of the popular Roger Lewis Foundation Course. Even if you have missed the first 2 parts, it’s not too late to attend and learn a lot more about the basics of photography.

Well that’s all for now, more to come tomorrow.

Best wishes


Vocal Point 21/10/2019

Hi all

I don’t have a lot to say tonight other than to promote our Bill Chambers Memorial Lecture tomorrow evening. This is a very special night in our calendar and deserves our full support. This year our speaker – Chris Fairweather – comes from the world of Photojournalism, covering a wide range of topics including sports photography, international news, commercial and feature photography.

We are aiming to start the talk at 7-45 tomorrow. Visitors will be arriving from 7-30. Due to the nature of the evening, there will be no early session tomorrow.

Looking forward to seeing you all then.


Vocal Points 13/10/2019

Hi all

Well, Bromsgrove Photographic Society goes from strength to strength. What a great night Tuesday turned out to be. Informative, entertaining and amusing. Several of our members communicating their passion for photography to us and I have no doubt we will aim to repeat it in future years. Many thanks to Jenny, Les, Nigel, Colin and Tony – and also to Jan for putting it all together.

This week we have our first print competition of the year and I’m looking forward to seeing a strong entry across the board. Before that, Beks and Michelle will be continuing with the Roger Lewis Foundation Course – so if you want to learn more about the basics of photography this will kick off at 7-00 PM on Tuesday.

Our club isn’t just about Tuesday nights. Yesterday 15 of us had a practical day out in central Bromsgrove doing a bit of street photography. Many thanks to our models – both members of the public and members of BPS who acted out their roles so naturally.

Please look out for future practical outings, In addition, we are aiming to run workshops on model nights and the return of Wendy Irwin to instruct us on her unique style of photography. Numbers will be limited on these days and will always be on a first-come, first-served basis – so keep looking out for further details.

It also gives me great pleasure to announce that Julie Hall and Michelle chance have had several acceptances at Shrewsbury Open Photographic Exhibition 2019. I believe that there may be others, but I haven’t received any further information to date.

Well, that’s it for this week, I will see you all on Tuesday.

Best wishes


Vocal Points 6/10/2019

Hi all

So we have passed the Autumn equinox and summer is definitely a fading memory. Why not set yourself a new challenge for the Autumn and winter. The countryside is about to produce it’s most colourful display of the year. It would seem a waste of all that mist and Autumn fruitfulness. Also, the firework season is nearly upon us, so why not get those tripods out and take some long exposures, One thing that has been very noticeable when we have interclub competitions – we don’t have very many sporting images – I think we are missing a trick there. It doesn’t have to be a major event – start with something local – if appropriate get consent especially if children are involved.

Our first studio night of the year went very well. What a good turnout and two great models. Thanks to everyone who helped on the evening. Remember, the models would like to receive some of your images – Colin has already sent you details of how to do this.

This Tuesday we start with our early session, presented by the always entertaining Tony Gervis. The main event will be presentations by several of our members. Please give them the support that they deserve.

See you all soon.


Vocal Point 29/9/2019

Hi all

What a great start to the competition season on Tuesday. We had a lot of high quality work in both sections. It was also refreshing to see so many entries from our new members, many of whose entries were held back by the judge. I can see this club going from strength to strength in the future.

This week we have our first studio night of the year. We have two excellent models posing for us – including Sophie who was gave us some great images when she attended last year. Bring your camera. Even if you have never taken studio shots before, you will learn a lot from the night. You will all have had an email from Colin yesterday. We would appreciate a little help on the night – someone to organise an order of shooting rota for the night, and someone to attend to the models. There is not a lot to do in either of these roles – and you will still be able to take your own shots on the night.

Due to the amount of work involved in setting up for the studio night, there will be no early session this week.

There will also be a number of studio backgrounds displayed around the hall on Tuesday. These will be available to purchase for home studio use, at a fraction of the price that they cost online.

Finally, our established members will be aware that we normally have a display of members “mugshots” displayed on the board each week. This helps us all – it is an easy way to learn the names of new members and great them in person. For new members, it is a quick way to learn the names of everyone in the club. This is not compulsory and anyone can opt out. We would plan to continue using the images of established members which were taken in previous years – any member whose image has been taken in the past, can off course opt out if they so desire. Nigel Taylor will be on hand to take images on the night.

Well, that’s it for this week. I look forward to seeing you on Tuesday.

Best wishes


Vocal Point 15/9/2019

Hi all

John Chamberlin certainly served us up a treat with wildlife from around the world. High standards indeed.

We also had our first practical outing to the Stoke Prior Steam Rally. Lots of steam traction engines of all sizes, plus vintage motorcycles, cars and trucks. There were plenty of people in period costume and even a chance to enjoy a proper cup of tea (no tea bags) in the refreshment tent with a World War II theme. The weather was perfect as well.

This week we have an interactive night, partly hands-on and partly lecture/demonstration – guaranteed to be all informative I believe. Wendy Irwin will be showing us how she achieves special effects with her still lifes. We will see her work and how she processes it in Photoshop. She will also set up some still life tables with basic lighting – a chance to bring your cameras and perhaps practice some new techniques.

Finally, for those of you who have not submitted your entries to the first PDI competition (myself included), there are 2 days left. It’s an excellent chance to receive positive feedback and advice from an experienced judge, plus being able to learn from the critique offered to other people’s work. Don’t miss out.

See you all on Tuesday.