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.


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



The 2017 Awards Evening

Another glittering occasion took place at Avoncroft Arts Centre on Tuesday 16th May when BPS held its annual awards event to celebrate and congratulate members on their achievements throughout the year. Best bib and tucker was the order of the evening which commenced with a sumptuous wine and buffet supper. Then over to the serious business of handing out the 412 certificates and 43 individual trophies representing the successes and high standards reached this year.

Roger Lewis, Chair commented “Another exciting year with lots of our new members submitting work into the competitions pushing standards even higher with a special nod to our lady members who are going from strength to strength. On many occasions, this has given our judges a hard time picking overall winners. I would like to say a very well done to all those who received awards but in particular I would like to particularly congratulate the following.

Sue Vernon for achieving the Best Newcomer Award and winning 8 individual trophies and 47 certificates of achievement, a feat unknown in recent history.

Mike Troth one of our more established members for another successful year with an outstanding 6 individual trophies and 26 certificates of achievement.

Colin Close for representing the Society in national and international competitions achieving 93 International acceptances putting him and Bromsgrove firmly on the world photography map as well as 59 country- wide UK acceptances.

The Services to the Society Trophy was a particularly difficult choice with six nominations which this year was based on help, organisation and mentoring of our newer members. The trophy finally went to Adrian Butt for his enthusiastic sharing of his Photoshop and Lightroom software knowledge plus his willingness to get involved with anything member related.”

Other notable Certificates of Achievements went to Roger Tyler with 27, President Barry Green with 26, Jenny Webster with 17, Julie Hall, Michelle Chance, Pat Billyard and Roger Lewis all with 15 certificates each and were part of the total 46 members who received certificates.

A moving and pleasant moment came when the family of previous Vice Chair Mike Cox who had had a serious and debilitating stroke last year was welcomed in by his many friends before having to return back to St John’s Court Nursing Home.

Also welcomed as a special guest was Angela Garnett, the wife of the late Peter Garnett (our previous Chair) who passed away last year. Angela kindly agreed for us to put a portfolio of Peter’s prints on display which was admired by many.

Not wishing to take anything away from the big winners it is when you look at the statistics over the year the secret seems to be the more you enter, the better the odds, so more entries please, and we could be calling your name out next year.

Thanks go to Janet Cox for the excellent buffet, with a wide variety of tempting snacks and plenty of them. Janet’s home-made cup cakes were certainly more than delicious.

All in all our Awards Evening was a good, fun evening with many laughs and chatter amongst friends as well as an acknowledgement to all those who had achieved throughout the year.

Roger Lewis

Studio Group Session 7th April 2017


The Studio Group met on April 7th for another session aimed mainly at beginners. The model was Jon who is well known to BPS in recent years. His characteristic rugged looks are great for contrasty male portraits. He has recently changed his look with shorter hair and a goatee beard. We started with mainly single light for portraits and moved onto  him stripped to the waist and pulling on a rope. Finally he donned boxing gloves for some, possibly clichéd, poses!

Special thanks to Adrian Butt who provided the link between cameras and a large TV screen so we could view, almost in real time, our pictures. This was valuable in demonstrating changes in the light set up. Jon benefited from receiving pictures afterwards for his portfolio and to pass onto agencies for his film and TV work.

It is hoped to arrange future sessions on a 6-8 week basis.



John Dignum

John being presented with a certificate by Barry Green

John being presented with a certificate by Barry Green

Bromsgrove Photographic Society is sad to record the passing of one of its members, John Dignum, on Saturday 30th July following illness.

John joined the Society along with his partner Jan Harris in 2014. He held the position of General Committee member and was responsible for the “Bring & Buy” table. He was also very quick to volunteer for any other Society activities. At the last AGM he was elected to the position of Vice Chair, a position which he greatly relished and hoped to do a lot with. He did enjoy keeping the Committee in order and observing correct meeting etiquette.

His main activity was table tennis and he was actively involved in the English Table Tennis Association, traveling the country.  He also ran a table tennis club at Arrowvale sports centre on a Sunday night coaching young and old alike and organising league teams.

Until about 5 years ago he ran and coached at a kick boxing club in Redditch and was still an active member of a bonsai club.  Only until just recently he had his own printing consumables business selling re-manufactured inks and toners. In connection with the business, he attended many of the local business networking groups.

John is survived by his two daughters and four grandchildren.

He will be much missed by Jan, all his family and friends.