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Notes Archive












Notes for Friday 12 January 2018
Guest Speaker - Hugh Wilkinson - 'Photography My Hobby'

The Christmas break is now but a memory and our Programme resumed on Friday 12th January with the rearranged visit of Hugh Wilkinson, award winning photographer and stalwart of Catchlight Camera Club. Hugh's presentation was well worth the wait, as Keith Malcolm writes:-

"What an enjoyable and entertaining evening at Ards Camera Club, where a full house enjoyed the outstanding images captured and displayed by Hugh Wilkinson. An amazing variety of images in a range of genres, all reflecting the experience and expertise of a very talented photographer who deserves all the success he has gained on an individual basis and as a member of Catchlight.
The success of the evening was added to by his entertaining commentary and quick witted banter, and the audience appreciated all the advice and explanation he readily shared about the techniques used to capture the images as well as the methods used during processIng.
At the end of the evening I left feeling very inspired (as I’m sure everyone else did), and impatient to get out with my camera in the hope of raising the quality of my own photography."

Many thanks to Hugh for providing us with an entertaining, educating and inspiring presentation and thanks also to Keith for this narrative of the evening.

Irvine Ferguson
Chair - Ards Camera Club

Notes for Friday 8 December 2017
Christmas Dinner

Friday 8th December and it was Christmas Dinner Night at the Chef & Manager Restaurant. Not withstanding the Arctic weather, there was a great turn out of members to enjoy the good food, good craic and the usual exchanges of good humour that is now standard practice when we get together. A ballot for the framed and signed image that was donated by our friend and guest presenter Tuck Goh, together with the customary bottle of wine, raised over £100, a portion of which will go to one of Tuck's charities at the Ulster Hospital. The draw was made by the 'real Father Christmas' and the winner was Carole Watson who was surprised and delighted in equal measure.

Since the dinner, there have been many photos and expressions of thanks and good cheer posted, displaying the camaraderie that underpins the success of all aspects of the Club this year. Thanks to Patricia for organizing the dinner and attending to the long forgotten choices from the menu.

Some of you I will see again before Christmas and some not, so I take this opportunity on behalf of the Club, to wish you all a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

Irvine Ferguson
Chair - Ards Camera Club

Notes for Friday 1 December 2017
Roy Finlay Memorial Natural History Competition

Friday 1st December was a busy and as it turned out, a very successful night for Ards Camera Club. The Club was co-host with the Northern Ireland Photographic Association (NIPA) for the Annual Roy Finlay Memorial Natural History Photographic Competition.

Now in its 34th Year, the Judge for the event was Mr Jack Malins ARPS, Chairman of the Irish Photographic Federation Nature Group and a specialist in Natural History Photography. Also present was Mr Neil Finlay, his wife Kerry and Mr Billy Snoddon representing the Finlay Family.

The Competition had its orgins in 1983 when Roy Finlay, a past President of NIPA and stalwart of Ards Camera Club, tragically lost his life following an accident on a photo-shoot while pursuing his passion for nature photography. Roy's wife Rosemary instigated the Roy Finlay Competition in his memory and each year supported it with the provision of a trophy for the winning photographer. Sadly Rosemary passed away this year, but her son Neil confirmed that on behalf of the family he would continue supporting the event, in memory of his Father and now in honour of his Mother.

The Competition had been prejudged and on the evening, Judge Jack Malins gave an overview and critical commentary on both the printed and projected images. Jack's critique was firm, to the point and decisive, clearly demonstrating that in this competition, a very high standard of photography is a basic requirement.

As previously alluded to, it turned out to be a very successful event for Ards Camera Club with three members achieving recognition for four of the placed images.

Michael Loane whose image of 'Toad Headed Agama' was placed First in the Printed Image Section and First Overall for the Competition. In the Projected Image Section there were three Highly Commended Images; Michael Loane was again successful with 'Honeycomb Moray', Ted McKee with 'Ringlet' and Keith Malcolm with 'Common Terns with Sand eel'.

Michael was unable to attend the Competition and his trophy of the Perpetual Silver Tray and Langham Glass hand crafted crystal 'Avocet' presented by Neil Finlay was received on his behalf by Club Chairman Irvine Ferguson.

Congratulations and well done to Michael, Ted and Keith and to all of the entrants who had images placed. Also, many thanks to the members of NIPA and Ards Camera Club who put in a lot of hard work to ensure the success of the Roy Finlay Memorial Natural History Competition.
(Copies of the successful images are not yet all available and will be posted as soon as can be arranged)

Irvine Ferguson
Chair - Ards Camera Club

Notes for Friday 24 November 2017
Club / NIPA Competition Round 3 'Infrastructure' - Judge Louise Borbely

The combined Club and NIPA Round 3 Competition with the theme of 'Infrastructure' took place on Friday evening 24th November. Guest judge was Louise Borbely who noted her delight to be visiting the club in spite of the daunting task of judging the diverse interpretations of infrastructure.

At the time of writing, the results are unavailable, however they will be posted in due course.
First observation from Louise was of the exceptionally high standard of the images from the General Section which contains our novices and those relatively new to club photography. As always with themed competitions, the title give way to many ideas of what may be relevant.

A selection of the images on show included electric pylons in various settings, light houses from various angles and with diverse post production applications, bridges ancient and modern, straight, curving and s shaped and constructed from concrete, stone and steel (most in focus but some not so much!), dockside cranes in silhouette and ships loaded with wind turbines, city bicycles and cars in tunnels, brightly painted gas containers in refineries and of course planes and boats and trains. Then there were the clever ideas from those thinking beyond the normal interpretation. There was an image of a satellite dish situated above the door of a cattle pen in foreign parts (indicative of infrastructure in that economically deprived area) and a cityscape created as a silhouette of a pile of stationery items!

All of the work was very well presented with some new ideas apparent with the positioning of images within their mounts and varying colours of mount card used in accordance with the contained image. Overall, Louise was very impressed with the entries on view and gave an excellent display of judging being clear and concise in her critique and decisive in her selection of the placed images. Well done to the successful entrants and many thanks to Louise for judging.

Irvine Ferguson
Chair - Ards Camera Club

Notes for Friday 17 November 2017
Guest Speaker - Tuck Goh talks us through his facinating images

Friday 17th November, week twelve of the programme and our guest presenter was Tuck Goh, doctor and much travelled photographer specializing in street photography. Tuck resides in Ards and is a long time friend of Ards Camera Club and many of the members. So, a full house was in attendance to hear of his journey in photography and see many of his expertly taken images.

Tuck explained how he travelled to N.Ireland initially to study medicine, but following qualification embarked on a career in photography! However, after a few years as a commercial photographer he returned to medicine and 'focused' his photographic interests in street photography during his overseas travels.

Much to the amazement and horror of those with the latest high spec DSLR cameras,Tuck explained that he uses a compact fixed lens camera and displays his images mainly in black and white. The presentation of his many themed collections of street images taken in places such as Singapore, Malaysia, Belgium, Paris and USA, included many from his recent exhibitions in the Ulster Hospital and Ards Arts Centre. The presentation was punctuated with many questions, explanations and 'the usual witty exchanges that sometimes/frequently occur'!

Very many thanks to Tuck for such an entertaining and informative evening that was thoroughly enjoyed by everyone.

Irvine Ferguson
Chair - Ards Camera Club

Notes for Friday 3 November 2017
Members' Night - Neal Ritchie

Last night was one of our members nights and it was club secretary Neal who took up the challenge and what a great night it was. Neal started the evening by telling us something of the great work that Habitat for Humanity does and in particular his trip to Cambodia where they built houses on stilts to prevent flooding. It was interesting to hear about Neal's trips and to see the photographs that he took that are a great record of everything that they do there.

Neal then moved on to give us all valuable advice about travel photography such as what to consider when choosing and packing your equipment, the importance of keeping back ups of your photographs in separate luggage and traveling as light as possible. Neal illustrated this part of his talk with some examples of his photographs to show how you should consider recording the general view and then moving in closer to record the detail.

During tea break, we had our usual ballot but with proceeds going to Neal’s charity, Habitat for Humanity. Together with other donations on the night, we raised a fantastic £308 pounds so a big thanks to all the members for this great effort. I think Neal is still in shock over the amount raised !

After tea, Neal finished off the evening with some fantastic images from one of his photo trips to China. This showed how dependant we are on the weather for our travel/landscape photography but also how you need to put the effort in and do some hiking to get to the great view points.

All in all, a great night.

John McKernan
Vice Chair - Ards Camera Club

Notes for Friday 27 October 2017
Club / NIPA Competition Round 2 'Open' - Judge Gerry Coe

Friday 27th October and Club activity continued tonight with the Open Category Round 2 Competition. Judge for the event was Gerry Coe from Bangor & North Down Camera Club. Gerry is renown for his expertise in iphone photography and was immediately called into action, not in judgement, but by a request for a rather scary Halloween photograph!

On to the serious business of the evening and being an open round, there were photographs covering many topics, including:- sport, landscapes, long exposure seascapes, travel, portraiture, street photography, abstract and natural history where the usual 'bird on a stick' photos were seriously challenged by 'a snail on a stick'!

The standard of photography was as always very high, giving our judge a big challenge to choose those worthy of placings. Gerry gave a comprehensive critique to all the images, frequently offering suggestions for improvement or different approaches to capturing the shot. After much consideration the following members were deemed successful and had their images placed:- Rusty Adair, Raphael Clarke, Richard Cowan, Sean Evans, Irvine Ferguson, Sian Kerr, Michael Loane, Ted McKee. Ryan Patterson, Neal Ritchie, Claire Russell, Sarah Shaw and David Williamson. Congratulations to those members and especially well done to those who are both new to the club and new to competition.

Many thanks to Gerry for his input, both in judging and positive commentary as he perused the images. Also thanks to everyone who put in the time and effort to take and prepare images for the competition and to David and Peter for their administration of the event.

Irvine Ferguson
Chair - Chair Ards Camera Club

Notes for Friday 20 October 2017
Insight into Judging - Vittorio Silvestri and Martin Spackman

The Programme continued last night with a visit from the 'top brass' at NIPA. President Vittorio Silvestri and Past President Martin Spackman gave a demonstration on the process of judging competition entries. Details of how each image was given a score of 1 to 5 by each of three judges, with due consideration to all the expected considerations of composition and accompanying technicalities was imparted to the now usual full attendance. The ensuing question and answer exchanges that continued throughout the presentation enhanced the member's knowledge of the judging method and proved very helpful when everyone was given the opportunity to score a provided panel of images. The feedback more or less concurred with the expected scores, so the approach was obviously being applied as indicated. Many thanks to Vittorio and Martin who were both instructive and enlightening in their presentation and worked hard answering the many questions and observations directed at them.

By coincidence, it was revealed today that three of our members achieved 'starred image' grade in the judging of the Round One Competition. Congratulations to those members whose names will be made known at the Adjudication Event in the Morton Centre, Lorne Street, Belfast on Wednesday Night 25th October commencing at 7-30pm.

Also, continuing with success, Ards Camera Club won the Annual Quadrangle PDI Competition which was held in conjunction with Hamilton Club in Scotland, Corby Club in England and Wrexham Club in Wales. Congratulation and very well done to those members whose images were selected to represent the Club.

Irvine Ferguson
Chair - Ards Camera Club

Notes for Friday 13 October 2017
Quadrangle Competition Judging

Last night saw Tom Fairley faced with the unenviable task of judging and scoring 60 PDI images in the annual quadrangle battle between Ards, Hamilton, Corby and Wrexham Camera Clubs. After having a run through of the 60 images for those of us at the club we realised that all the images were of a very high standard. Tom then gave his very valuable critique of each image and his score for each one. After scoring 30 images, we took a break for tea (and a well deserved glass for water for Tom) and then continued with the second half of the remaining 30 images. David, our very able Competitons Secretary then announced the scores which where:

Corby 231
Wrexham 247
Hamilton 248
Ards ( wait for it..........) 259

That makes Ards the winner of this round but we have to wait until all the clubs have their scoring completed before we hear the final results. A very enjoyable night was had by all and our sincere thanks to Tom for all his efforts prior to and during the night.

Notes for Friday 6 October 2017
John Miskelly - Landscape Photography

Friday 6th October and we had a full house to see the work of Landscape Photographer John Miskelly. John presented a remarkable selection of long exposure seascapes, providing a detailed narrative of the story behind each image along with a technical insight into all the aspects of light, exposure and composition in their creation. Although John has travelled to many corners of the world on commissions and personal photoshoots he pointed out that the West Coast of Ireland and the Islands of the West of Scotland provide the backdrop to many of his favourite photographs. The presentation was entertaining and educating in equal measure and thoroughly enjoyed by everyone.

Also, the Club conveyed its congratulations to John for having his entry placed in the top ten finalist grouping of the Hasselblad Masters 2018 Competition. The top ten entries will now go to a public vote. We give John our best wishes for the next stage and many thanks for his presentation tonight.

There was also a surprise in store for our 'elder statesman' Sinclair Adair when he was presented with the gift of a framed portrait of himself. The portrait was expertly photographed and generously provided by Ross McKelvey of Catchlight Camera Club. Many thanks to Ross for this thoughtful gesture to Sinclair.

Next Friday is the final judging phase of the Quadrangle Competition when all the images of the four National clubs are presented for marking.

Irvine Ferguson
Chair Ards Camera Club

Notes for Friday 15 September 2017
Ross McKelvey - Portraiture and Lighting

Week 2 of our 2017/18 Programme and we welcomed Ross McKelvey of Catchlight CC to educate and entertain us with a masterclass in portraiture and lighting. After a brief explanation of how he gained his own renowned expertise, it was down to business with details on camera settings and basic lighting setup.

No need for directions to the first selected volunteer model when veteran master photographer Sinclair Adair took the chair. Ross demonstrated with a number of shots to check on lighting and camera settings, then it was over to the members to practice their skills.

Model number two was Ryan Patterson, always in demand for portraiture due to his very photogenic 'lower facial hair'. Much more taking of photographs ensued and undoubtedly much more knowledge in portraiture photography taken on board.

Many thanks to Ross for a very informative and enjoyable evening and also to Sinclair and Ryan for their modelling skills.

Irvine Ferguson
Chair - Ards Camera Club

Notes for Friday 1 September 2017
Opening Night of New Season

What a great start to the 2017/18 Camera Club season! We were delighted to see old friends and new at our opening night tonight to hear about our programme for the year ahead and to look back at some of the highlights over the summer. And not a camera in sight so the phone photo will have to do.