This, That and the Other 17/2/2019

Hi All,

What a good turnout we had on Tuesday and proves the popularity of our competitions. Obviously members are interested in different aspects, some are very competitive and are there to win, whilst, I suspect that most of us want to learn and improve (and then win). Last week’s judge was a little controversial with many feeling he was more interested in the technique used rather than the image itself. I mean, how can you say that a particular image was shot at an aperture of f10, so long as what should be sharp is sharp does it matter and as for implying there was some fiddling and diddling going on in a nature print certainly ruffled a few feathers (rant over!). However I think the final results were pretty much spot on and nice to see John Davidson’s landscape getting a well deserved 1st (even if it was a composite, which it wasn’t lol). I must say the nature section was superb with so many of those images worthy of being in a National or International Competition. Well done everybody, now it’s panic time for the next PDI comp. with the set subject of “Speed”. I’m thinking ‘out-side-the-box’ ideas as possibilities.

This week’s early session is by our own very popular and entertaining Tony Gervis starting at 7.00pm sharp. The Presentation is ‘PEOPLE’. The most photographed subject by a long way, but probably the one photographers know little or care about. He will show you some basic poses, family shoots, weddings, groups and how to get the best from children and a whole lot more. Please note, this is NOT street photography.

The main event is Andy Beal FRPS with a presentation entitled “The digital monochrome print”. As an established lecturer on the photographic club and society circuit, Andy enjoys a reputation for producing thought-provoking black and white pictures printed in a dark and gritty style. The first half of the evening is large A2 size prints followed by a digital presentation. Should be a wonderful evening of visual delights.

I called into Smethwich PS on Saturday for the Masters of Print Exhibition which is worth a visit but what really interested me was they were getting ready for the judging of the Midphot Exhibition in the afternoon (I did get an invitation to watch it but Gail is in car hunting mode, and I’m not that brave). Anyway, I have never seen so many boxes of prints – there must have been thousands of prints – so for those who say the print is dead, you are wrong!

Finally summer is approaching (as I pen this email the sun is streaming through the conservatory windows so it’s possibly here already) and we need to start thinking of what we want from the Summer Programme, so ideas please. This will be one of the topics on tomorrow’s Committee Meeting.

Hope to see you Tuesday,
Roger L

This, That and the Other 10/2/2019

Last week didn’t turn out too bad in the end, in fact it turned out much better than I had hoped. Julie Hall’s daughter, Sophie, was a real star in Colin Close’s Portrait Studio (don’t forget she would like some of your images). Dave Riddle brought along some exotic butterflies from the Stratford-on- Avon Butterfly Farm where he seems to have a special relationship for getting things most can’t. John Davidson was kept busy with mounting, showing and answering the many questions. Jan Harris had a very busy bring-and-buy table with quite a bit of money changing hands so thanks to everybody who brought some really nice gear along. The only disappointment was the still life tables which didn’t seem to inspire, perhaps we need something more exciting, answers on a post card please!

Wednesday evening six of us were made very welcome at Kings Norton PS for the Six Societies Annual Competition. Unfortunately we did not win but we did come 3rd with 96 points which if they were giving out medals that would have been a bronze. This year Redditch came 4th with 93 points; then Studley with 91 points, and finally South Birmingham with 90 points. We were just behind Kings Norton on 98 points but Droitwich could do no wrong with 108 points. It was a very enjoyable evening with plenty of good humour banter and some cracking prints.

A personal bit of amusement came from the Judge Mr Bob Moore who during his opening remarks mentioned fashions and trends and what genres are in and out and he happened to mention that church interiors were dead and no longer got anywhere in competitions which caused a little giggle from our group as my entry was an interior shot of St David’s Cathedral. Judged before it had even been seen, thank you, I thought!

This week we have our 3rd Print Competition (Colour and Nature) so best of luck to all the entries (could this be the entry that gives you a trophy on Awards Night?).

The early session on the stage (7.00 pm – 8.45 pm) is Colin Close helping with competition and distinction entries so please bring along a print for discussion.

Something which might be of interest is that Smethwick PS is hosting ‘Masters of Print Exhibition’ until the 28th of February, see the attached Poster.

Finally a request for some more help with getting a bigger rota for the refreshment break and as strange as it might seem men are quite capable of making a cuppa and tidying up after. Please talk to Julie Bridgwater.

Hope to see you Tuesday.

Roger L

This, That and the Other 4/2/19

Hi All,

Sorry a bit late this week due to lots of non-club or photo activity apart from getting together my prints for handing in on Tuesday for our monthly competition as well as an entry for Midphot. Don’t forget if you are putting in prints to Midphot, Colin Close will collect them this Tuesday, just make sure you put them in the right box with the entry form. I understand we have a good entry promised for Midphot which is the premier Midland Exhibition of Photography. Fingers crossed we do well and our reputation continues as one of the best clubs in the Midlands.

What with the weather forecast for last week I almost expected a total no show on Tuesday, so I was pleasantly surprised how many braved the cold (or is Tuesday night when the Mother-in-law visits!!) to listen and see Graham Walton’s superb images. Just about every subject was covered apart from erotica which is not everyone’s cup of tea (however I do enjoy discussing the artistic merits). On a serious note, I was impressed about the intricate attention to detail Graham incorporated in his images which raised the bar from excellent to stonkingly good (an eloquent local term as ‘amazing’ is just such an over-used word).

This week please note there is no early session (7.00 – 7.45 pm) as we prepare for a members’ practical evening. A couple of changes to Tuesday’s events: Firstly we have to do a fire drill, I keep putting it off but now Avoncroft are nicely insisting, so that will happen straight away at 8 pm and so long as we don’t lose anyone in the pretend flames it shouldn’t take too long.

The other change is that Richard Chapman who was putting on a Macro table has been shipped off to the USA with work commitments.

The John Dignum Sales Table is on so bring in your surplice gear and see if you can find it a good home as well as some cash in your pocket.

John Davidson will be demonstrating mount cutting and presentation, and he will also have blank mounts for sale so this might be ideal for mounting your prints and handing them in at the same time for next week’s monthly competition.

Colin Close will be setting up a small portrait studio and will be happy to discuss various lighting techniques. We do need some models both girls and guys so volunteer’s please.

Nigel Taylor is trying to bring our members’ portrait gallery (otherwise known as the BPS horror gallery) up-to-date and which has proved so useful in getting to know one another.

This evening is also your opportunity to get creative with Still Life so bring your cameras and also some interesting items (or some everyday items but with some creative thoughts). I think back to Michelle Chance’s table forks and a marble and Jan Harris’s line of table forks with reflections. Both did very well and won several awards, perhaps they would like to replicate them? There will be several different light sources for you to play with. Let’s have some fun! We will have an informal competition a few weeks later (to allow for editing) probably via our face book page for a bottle of bubbly. I am hoping for new challengers as Phil Nokes has won the last three bottles!

That’s it for this week and hope to see you Tuesday.

Best wishes,

Roger L

This, That and the Other 27/1

Hi All,

Congratulations to all those who entered the 3rd PDI competition on Tuesday, although the biggest congratulations must go to the judge Michael Krier ARPS MA(photo) AFIAP for the difficult selection decisions he had to make. I thought the standard was exceptional with so much high quality work from both Open and Novice and with brilliant images from the winners, in fact, if I had seen them in an international exhibition I would not have been surprised. Let’s hope that Sue Vernon considers sending off her singing Robin to next year’s BBC’s Country File Calendar Competition, got to stand a chance.

This week’s early session (7.00 pm) is Tony Gervis FRPS as he continues his journey to make us better photographers. My apologies for last week’s confusion , a senior moment, however a bigger apology to last week’s audience as I was not able to demonstrate simple flash triggers (who would believe that out of the six triggers I had with me every battery would be dead). Just call me Lucky.

The main event of the evening will be a print presentation by Graham Walton DPAGB entitled “Burning in the Shadows”. You may remember him as the judge we had on the 11th December, well now’s the chance for us to judge his work although, to be fair, I suspect we will be impressed. As the title suggests this will almost certainly be mainly black and white prints for which he is well known. It’s just a pity we won’t have our new super impressive print display easel (it’s on order) so those with not so good eyesight make sure you get to the front (or do what I do occasionally and bring some binoculars).

Now for a bit of advanced notice, the following week (5th Feb) we have a member’s practical evening and it’s your chance to get creative and try something new out with your cameras. So far we have a Bring and Buy space in memory of John Dignum who first started it going, so have a look around your kit and consider ‘Do I really need that???, you haven’t used it for???, wouldn’t it be better if you can turn it into cash???’ All you need to do is fill in a little label with your name and asking price and see what happens, the club asks for a donation of 10% from the seller once sold (limited to £20 max). Richard Chapman is setting up a macro table so you can use your cameras up close and personal and perhaps use some of the techniques he demonstrated two weeks ago. John Davidson will be demonstrating how easy it is to cut your own mounts, as well as having standard sizes on sale. We will be having a speedlight portrait studio set and Nigel Taylor is interested in getting members’ portraits so that we can all put names to faces as well as producing membership ID cards. Hopefully other members will help with this area and if anyone wants to be a model or knows someone who would like to be a model (over 18’s) then just let me know. I’m hoping I can persuade someone to put a nature space together. Finally I will be running some still life tables however instead of me bringing along the usual items, I’m throwing it open to members to find something that might work and make an image. We can use a selection of lights from flash to continuous to torch light. Perhaps you would like to get together with a few of your mates and produce a team effort. It’s a challenge so who’s up for it and there might very well be a prize.

Whilst mentioning advanced notice don’t forget that the 4th PDI competition on the 5th March is a set subject of “speed” and time is quickly ticking.

Looks like I have exceeded my 500 words somewhat so time to call it a day for this week.

Hope to see you Tuesday.

Best wishes,

Roger L

This, That and the Other 21/1

Hi All,

Many thanks to member Richard Chapman for putting on last Tuesday’s presentation on Macro Photography, an introduction to what is before us but our eyes rarely see, a whole new world to explore. Unlike a lot of presentations that rely on the end product ie. the image to wow us Richard took us from the start showing the challenges and solutions and the myriad of gear available to get us up and running and for as little as a few pounds for extension tubes or an old lens with a reverse ring we are away. Well I for one will be giving the less expensive options a try whilst salivating over that specialist macro lens at £900 but then it’s all about the challenge to give the greatest sense of achievement (or so I keep telling myself!).

This week we have our third PDI monthly competition featuring ‘mono’ and ‘nature’ and it looks as if it will be a good entry with more new members taking part to give us old-un’s a run, that’s progress as new members become the senior members of the future, welcome.

A bit of confusion for this week’s early session (welcome to my world). The early group 7.00 pm on the stage is either Tony Gervise continuing his very popular beginner to competent photographer series or me carrying on from last week’s studio flash to portable flash (speedlights). I will confirm the subject asap.

We still need Committee Members: particularly a Membership Co-ordinator that looks after the interests of individual members and ensures we have a happy club with any disputes quickly and fairly resolved (although I am pleased to say these talents are very rarely needed). Anyone interested please contact me or a Committee Member.

Also Ideas for the summer programme and group events that would be of interest to members, please let me have your ideas as soon as you can.

Finally the last two models from a studio evening haven’t received a massive amount of images so if you have any please let me have them and I will forward them on to either Alex or Jessica (Jessica being the younger model). This can also be a reminder to the studio group who took some images of Jobie more recently on Friday 11th January.

Short one this week, hope to see you Tuesday.

Roger L

This, That and the Other 14/1

Hi All,

 Sorry, very late with this week’s News Letter. Got to say I enjoyed last Tuesday’s  New Year Party, time just went so quick and I never got chance to talk to as many friends as I would have liked. Massive thanks to Janet Cox and her team of Jill Howe, Liz Perrins, and Gail Lewis for organising and preparing the delicious and generous buffet. Also a big thanks to Nigel Taylor for organising our Quiz Masters, Ross and Matt, who put on a thought provoking, yet very entertaining quiz, overall, a very enjoyable evening. Thanks also to those who donated raffle prizes. I have only so far received positive comments but if you can think of improvements or alternative ideas please let me or another committee member know so it can be considered for future events.

 I understand many members went to visit the Smethwick International Exhibition over the last week.

Gail and I went yesterday and the place was packed with photographers from all over the country taking in some amazing work from forty four countries in both prints and projected images. It was a visual feast to fuel the creative juices. A couple of observations, sport was a very strong subject with just about every conceivable sport covered (notable exceptions being darts and snooker). Art nude, semi nude and portraiture seems to be making a big comeback and travel photography was also a strong theme. There was some superb landscape imagery but not in big numbers and the Ragged Victorians and that genre was very small compared to previous years. Still lifes were few and far between as was digitally created imagery. Having said that there was something for everyone to enjoy. However the most satisfying aspect was seeing the many Bromsgrove members’ images appearing up with the best from the world. A special mention for Jenny Webster who picked up a silver medal, well done to everyone.

 This week we have our own member Richard Chapman on “50 ways to take a Macro” taking us into that fascinating and wonderful world of small, a world that is at our fingertips but we very rarely see.

The early session 7.00 pm on the stage is me and the subject is “studio flash” and how we can achieve different lighting effects.

 Whilst mentioning studio lighting the studio group organised by Colin Close  had an excellent session on Friday with Jessica Taylor who was one of the two models we used at our last Tuesday studio evening. If portraiture is your thing and you would like to get involved with the studio group talk to Colin. Anyway, how about a few images up on our facebook page from Friday’s session.

 Finally, nothing to do with the club but The Middle Earth Festival organisation is holding an 80’s Disco at Wythall British Legion on Friday the 25th of January and I am trying to put a table together, so if you fancy a Friday fun night out (food provided) please let me know asap.

 Hope to see you Tuesday evening.

 Roger L            


This, That and The Other 6/1

Hi all,

 What’s the most asked question about this Tuesday’s New Year Party?  Would you believe, is there any booze! Yes we will be putting on wine, Red, White and Rose plus soft drinks, Orange, Cranberry, Coke, Lemonade and sparkling water.  If you want beer/lager or spirits you will need to bring your own. Looking at the food shopping list Janet Cox and her team are planning on a feast of a feast so do come hungry. Don’t forget we start a little earlier at 7.30 pm and tables will be arranged to seat six.

 If you are planning on donating a raffle prize it will be gratefully received but as we have sufficient prizes for this occasion it will probably be held back for future raffles so please don’t be offended if it is not used immediately.

 Just a couple of reminders: Smethwick International Exhibition has started and is on until the 13th of the month, see Colin Close’s email to the group for more details. I believe this is the largest international exhibition in the UK and is right on our doorstep so it would be a shame to miss it.

 We have a few national competitions who are now open for entries including: Leicester and Leicestershire Photographic Society National Exhibition, Vale of Evesham National Competition plus an International at Cheltenham International Salon so for those going for BPE or FIAP points it’s a goo start to the year.

 And finally (it’s a short Newsletter this week) I see some great facebook posts from members on my personal facebook page and I’m thinking wouldn’t it be good if they were also shared on the club’s facebook page. Yes I know we have two pages which is a bit confusing but it’s so easy to copy and paste so let’s share some happy photos as well as pic’s we are pleased with (even exotic dance videos – you know who you are ).


Hope to see you Tuesday for a great start to the year.

 Best Wishes.

Roger L


This, That and the Other 2/1

Hi All,

 And a VERY HAPPY & HEALTHY NEW YEAR to everyone.

 It’s been (in my view) a mainly positive year so far, I suppose it all depends on what you want out of your membership, some like the thrill and learning experience of the monthly competitions, others enjoy the presentations of brilliant images from talented photographers to inspire and motivate, some enjoy the practical and studio evenings to achieve their own works of art, whilst many just enjoy being with other like-minded colleagues and enjoy the chat over the tea/coffee and biscuits.

 At the last committee meeting we were discussing getting ideas for this summer’s programme (yes, the shortest day has gone and summer is on the way) but were sidetracked a little in thinking about  encouraging more members to organise small events that would make good photo opportunities and publicise it  with a view for group outings, share a couple of cars or maybe a minibus? Sport especially if it involved horses, mud, or sweat seemed popular.  Suggestions and offers please. I know it’s a bit late but whilst we may still have our festive decorations up how about some Christmas themed photo’s that would work as Christmas cards for next year?  I will be asking for some later on in the year, maybe as a competition.

As I mentioned Christmas don’t forget our Christmas Tree at St Michael’s Church, Stoke Prior. I understand we are unlikely to win as the Girl Guides’ tree had a whole troop of 40 plus pay a visit and no prizes for guessing who they voted for. The tree’s come down on the 6th.

 Now for the New Year Party on Tuesday 8th at 7.30 pm, that’s just one week away, and it’s at our normal Hall and although already well supported we can still accommodate a few more so if you now want to come for a super evening and haven’t put you name on the list please let me know asap 
Thank you to all who contributed in making last year a success. I can’t mention everyone by name but those who arranged the refreshments, those who entered the competitions, those who helped with the setting up and taking down, those who organised the extra events and mentoring and everybody who made a positive contribution in some way or another and of course the Committee who give their time and energy in steering us in a forward direction with fresh ideas and inspirations.

 In 2019, we can look forward to the challenges and triumphs of the new year ahead and hope we can all feel a part of our successful, inclusive and friendly society. Happy New Year.

 Best Wishes

 Roger L 


This, That and the Other 22/12

Hi All,
Hard to believe that last Tuesday was the last meeting of the year, hasn’t the year gone fast. We now have two weeks of no meetings, I’m already feeling withdrawal symptoms coming on.
There are a few more spaces left for the New Year Party on 8th January, please let me know asap if you want to join in the party evening festivities and of course you can always bring a friend or two.
Not much more to say for now than to wish you on behalf of the Committee and myself all the best for the Christmas festivities and hope that Santa brings you a bit of Xmas magic (otherwise known as presents).
I will be reviewing the year in the next letter so until then have a lovely time.
Roger L

This, That and the Other 16/12

Hi All,

It’s starting to feel like Christmas with all the shopping, decorations, last minutes panics and of course parties, the “Camera Chicks” looked like they had a good time last night, how’s the hangovers ladies (any embarrassing photos you can share).

Well done to all who put their prints into last week’s competition.  I thought the quality was very good and great to see a larger entry in the novice class. A special congratulations to Linda Allen who got a well deserved 1st in both Colour and Mono and it was the first time she has ever entered prints.

The results aren’t on the web site yet but I think it was Colin Close who got the 1st for colour and your truly got a 1st for mono –  well you could have knocked me over with a feather but it backs up what I said last week, sports images seem to do well.  Whilst on the congratulations I missed out Sue Vernon last week who got three acceptances in Smethwick International. The talent we now have in the club is the best for many years and the beauty is it is spreading throughout the membership, but let’s not get complacent however a little pat on the back is truly deserved.

A couple of thanks, firstly to Tony Gervis for his excellently entertaining presentation on how with just a few tweaks in Elements you can take an ordinary photograph and make it more interesting, maybe even competition worthy. A good laugh and hopefully we learned to concentrate on the main story and drop the dross. I would also like to thank the very modest Roger Tyler for giving up his time with an open house for mainly novice members to help with Photoshop skills. Colin Close organises model studio sessions both at Avoncroft and other studios further afield. I understand January and February dates are all taken, Colin works on a rota system so if Studio Photography is of  interest get Colin to put you on his list for future sessions.

This week Colin Close will doing the early (7.00 start) session and will be concentrating on what works well for competitions and obtaining distinctions. The main event is a couple of old friends to the club, Dave Lowe and Dave Yates (fondly known as the two Dave’s) who, going by previous times, give a hugely humorous and entertaining presentation and just for good measure throw in some brilliant images.  A brilliant end to the year.  Win, Win!

Other bits and pieces include:

Have you signed up to the New Year Party yet?  Last chance this Tuesday together with payment. For those that have and not yet paid (me included) we really need your money in this Tuesday.  Don’t forget the Mega Raffle tickets which include £60 of Amazon Vouchers plus, plus – again last chance to purchase if you can’t make the Party.


For those that don’t know our Print Easel after 20 plus years is starting to show its age plus with colour accuracy and health and safety issues it needs replacing. The cost of a commercial one recommended for Photographic Clubs costs £1,700. This would have meant digging into our reserves which includes monies ring fenced for our ambition of once again holding a BPS National Exhibition which we held up to 2012. Fortunately some lateral thinking was why not try for a Grant and I am pleased to say we have been notified we were successful.  I would like to thank Bromsgrove Institution Trust for their consideration and generosity as well as all the Committee Members who helped put the bid together.  Well done!

Running out of time so hopefully see you Tuesday evening for the last of this year’s meeting.

Best wishes,

Roger Lewis