Notes (Current)


Annual Exhibition

The Annual Exhibition of the Ardscameraclub.co.uk is taking place in the
Sunburst Room at the Town Hall until 30 May and everyone is welcome to view
the entries. At the Prize giving the Club Chairperson, Carole Watson,
welcomed the Exhibition Judge, Vitorio Silvestri, a long standing member of
CPA. and thanked him for coming along to comment on the entries. She also
thanked everyone who had contributed their time and efforts to bring this
Exhibition to fruition. The work covers a wide range of subjects with
Monochrome and Colour Sections for General and Advanced workers. The
results are as follows: General Monochrome: 1st Cottage, Wes McMeekin; 2nd
Cushendun Harbour, Ali Whitaker; 3rd Trees, Wes McMeekin; Highly Commended
Window by the Sea, Brian Widdicombe; Commended Peer to the Ocean, Carole
Watson: Advanced Monochrome: 1st Ballynahinch Castle, 2nd Jacobite, Colin
Ross; 3rd Castlerock, Leslie Armour; HC Rannoch Moor, Colin Ross;HC Boats,
Leslie Armour; HC Wheel Dog, Marty Watson; C Stoker, C Kylemore Abbey,
Leslie Armour: General Colour: 1st Firey Skies, Brian Widdicombe; 2nd We
have Lift-Off, Carole Watson; 3rd Spring Storm, Ali Whitaker; HC Spring in
Killyleagh, HC Lighting Up, C Hurting, C Taking Pictures, Brian Widdicome:
Advanced Colour: 1st and Top Print Castleroack Station, Leslie Armour; 2nd
Castlerock Anglers, Colin Ross; 3rd Barn Owl, Peter Knott; HC Loch Eil,
Colin Ross; HC Burren Lighthouse, Leslie Armour; C Lough Derryclare, Colin
Ross; C Cushendun Harbour, Leslie Armour:
Slides: 1st Palm Frond, 2nd Abstract, Richard Holmes; 3rd Red Handle, HC
Moorish Haven, Carole Watson; C Winter Landscale, Richard Holmes. A light
Supper concluded a very enjoyable evening and members were asked to keep in
touch with the website for information about summer activities and outings.

Print Battles

On 21 March ardscameraclub.co.uk visited City of Belfast Photo Society at
the Sandy Row Community Centre to contest the Challenge Shield in a Print
Battle. The Judge was Charlie Rutledge of Ballynahinch CC. For those of us
who are new to Print Battles the usual form is as follows. Each Club
chooses 12 Monochrome prints and 12 Colour Prints. (There is no General or
Advanced categories). The 12 mono prints from each club are displayed for
the Judge, mixed up on the display boards. The Judge then has some time to
study the prints and makes comments on each one as he moves along the rows.
He marks each one as he goes along, on this occasion the marks were out
of 10. A marker from each Club keeps the score and at the end of the
monochrome section the scores are added up. The same procedure is adopted
for the Colour section and the monochrome and colour scores are totted up
and the winner is declared. At COBPS Ardscameraclub.co.uk were the victors
and the Challenge Shield returned to Ards. All members are welcome to these
battles as they are a very sociable evening and a good opportunity to hear
the Judge's comments.

On Thursday, 5 April six club members travelled to Ballynahinch CC for
another print battle. On this occasion the prints were marked out of 20 and
the Judge was Colin Thompson, who had some interesting views on the prints.
The home team had a resounding victory in the Battle of Ballynahinch as we
were well beaten in the monochrome section by 189 to 155 but in the colour
section the margin was reduced 196 to 187. The Top Print with 19 points was
Donaghadee Harbour by Colin Ross.


At the end of Round Four of the NIPA Inter-Club competitions the results
were as follows:

There are 20 affiliated clubs attached to NIPA the top 10 were:

1 Ballynahinch CC 439.5
2 Christian Brother PPU.CC 432.5
3 Banbridge CC 426.0
4 Belfast Photo-Imaging Club 417.5
5 Ards CC 409.0
6 Shorts CC 392.0
7 Nerville & Newtownabbey PC 391.5
8 Donaghadee CC 388.0
9 Antrim CC 385.0
10 Bangor & North Down CC 365.0

In Round 4 Colin Ross had two starred prints in the Colour Section,
Mussenden Temple and Cushendum Harbour and Richard Holmes had a starred
slide with Missing. Well done.

Notes for 23 March 2007

Unfortunately, owing to circumstances beyond our control, we were unable to
enjoy a visit from Gerry Coe of Coe Photographic Art but the good news is
that he will be with us next Friday 30 March when we will be able to see a
range of his photography from pencil portraits to panoramics.

We were indebted to Colin Ross who stepped in to present landscape images by
prominent names in the field of photography and we were able to discuss the composition, their appeal and to try to interpret the work as we saw it.
All truly impressive scenes to encourage everyone with ideas, but speaking
for myself, a tad depressing to see such work and realise I could never
aspire to such standards but then - everything is relative!

The weekly fund-raising ballot is going well, thanks to Wes McMeekin, and
proving a very worth-while addition to club funds. With three prizes each
week the bottle of wine is becoming a must-have assessory!

Dates to remember: The Annual General Meeting is on 20 April, so come along
and let us have your ideas and your support for the future of the Club -
afterall the members are the Club.
Entries, for the Annual Exhibition to be displayed in the Townhall, should
be with the Committee as soon as possible but no later than 20 April (the
evening of the AGM) in order to allow time for mounting and framing.
Categories are General Monochrome, Advanced Monochrome, General Colour,
Advanced Colour and one category of Slides.

Notes for 16March 2007

The Chairman Leslie Armour, welcomed everyone to the last inter-club
competition of the season but reminded them that prints for the Annual
Exhibition in the Town Hall should be with the Committee as soon as you can
but 20 April at the latest. Our Judge on this occasion will be Vittorio
Silvestri of CPA. The AGM is on 20 April and the Chairman encouraged
members to consider standing for Committee in order to keep the Club running and to build on the progress we have made during the year.
In the Competition the different categories were all well supported with
General Monochrome and Colour producing good quality prints on varied
subjects. The Advanced Sections produced high quality images, a number of
which were of local Northern Ireland scenes reflected in the results.

General Monochrome: 1st Ballycastle, 2nd Cottage (Wes McMeekin), 3rd Winding Road (Brian Widdicombe).

Advanced Monochrome: 1st Burran, 2nd Old Homestead
(Colin Ross), 3rd Ballynahinch Castle (Leslie Armour).

General Colour: 1st
Boat (Beth Hodgett), 2nd Crown of Thorns (Brian Widdicombe), 3rd
Hundertwasser House (Beth Hodgett)

Advanced Colour: 1st Cushendall (Colin
Ross), 2nd Small Window, Small plane over Alaska (Marty Watson), 3rd Behind Scrabo (Leslie Armour).

Slides : 1st Missing, 2nd The Rock, 3rd The Head
(Richard Holmes).

Don't forget the Print Battle with YMCA this Wednesday 21 March and the
visit of Colin Prior, 21 April, tickets available from Calumet. Next Week
is entitled "An Evening with" and on this occasion it is Gerry Coe so come
along and enjoy the work of this talented photographer. See you there!

Notes for 09 March 2007

If you didn't make it down to Ardscameraclub.co.uk on Friday last to hear
John Agnew of CPA you missed a treat!

John gave a presentation of the l906 - 2006 Centenary Exhibition of CPA
which is a diverse collection of work from the 1940's to the present. A
labour of love for all connected with the Exhibition and the culmination of
several years work. With the passage of time some of the images can never
be repeated and that in itself makes it unique. We heard how the images
were photographed for the purpose of electronic viewing and a filing system
was set up to keep records of each trophy at CPA and this system enables
records to be maintained.

There was something for everyone on display. The subjects covered
landscapes, portraits, child portraiture, the shipyard, sunsets, snow
scenes, church architecture, comment on social life and more, many more. I
would have to say I personally enjoyed a very striking image of "Lily of the
Valley" in monochrome - the image filled the frame from the top right to the
bottom left. Portraits were many but outstanding were Pipe and Man 1949 and one entitled "Signs of a Hard Life" a rugged character at a cottage door
with clothes that had seen a long life of hard work. Overall my favourite
was "Two Beacons" 1949 a monochrome study of a street in the Lower Falls
leading your eye to the spires of St Peter's Pro Cathedral with two street
lamps, mounted on brackets on the walls of the houses, showing us the way up the cobbled street. The spires could, themselves, have been interpreted as the two beacons.

The vast majority of the images were pre-digital and I wonder how many hours were spent in the darkroon to achieve such quality. This is a great body of work saved for posterity and congratulations are due to John Agnew and Vittorio Silvestri and also to CPA for allowing us to view this project.

Next week it's our competition night and as it's the last one of the year
come along with your prints and make it a good evening. Don't forget to
keep the Annual Exhibition in mind - your prints are needed for this event
which is the culmination of the year at Ardscameraclub.co.uk. Keep an eye
on the website too!

Notes for 02 March 2007

There was a great turnout to welcome the speaker for the evening at
Ardscameraclub.co.uk when we were fortunate to have Mervyn McClelland and his stunning motor sports pictures. Photographing anything on wheels since 1983 his shots of rallying included his favourite topic of jumps - when all
four wheels are off the ground but also the speed and excitement of the
sport. Negotiating stone bridges and the different ground conditions with
dust, water, exhaust sparks all adding to the atmosphere. He researched his
photos and would drive the course of the event and felt that the more you
knew of your sport the better you were equipped to seek out the best ipics.
The inclusion of spectators and sign posts gave the pictures a sense of
scale and also the venue of the event. All the big names were represented
but he especially like to photograph Melvin Evans and in sports journalism
the editor wants a certain type of shot from local heroes to celebration
shots - avoiding the champagne of-course! To complete the evening Mervyn
covered other sports such as World Indoor Trials, Super Cross at the
Odyssey, Road Racing and local Irish League Football together with Northern
Ireland International games.

Don't forget - An evening with Jim Moreland, My Kind of Photography and
Monochrose Magic at Ballyearl Arts and Leisure Centre, Wednesday, 14 March,
2007 at 7.30 pm £7 in aid of Marie Curie Cancer Care.

One of Britain's leading landscape photographers will visit Northern Ireland
soon. The Colin Prior Seminar is on Saturday, 21 April, 2007 at the Ramada
Hotel, Shaws Bridge, Belfast Afternoon Session 2.00 pm £10 and the Evening
Session 7.00pm£10

Next week our speaker is John Agnew from CPA who will be presenting images
from the 100th Anniversary Exhibition of CPA. See you there!

Notes for 23 February 2007

It was off to Ballyearl Arts and Leisure Centre in Newtownabbey for the members of Ards Camera Club on Friday 23 and Saturday 24 for the Audio-Visual Festival. This annual festival, run by the Northern Ireland Photographic Association, always attracts a large audience from camera clubs, both North and South of Ireland, as well as members of the public. The guest judge this year was Richard Brown FRPS FIPF EFIAP.

On Friday evening, Richard presented a selection of his own work. On Saturday morning and afternoon, the judging took place of almost thirty audio visual sequences from Northern Ireland clubs. The evening consisted of a gala showing of the best club entries and presentation of awards; the winning entry was ‘The Least of the Faithful’ by Raymond Hughes from Merville Newtownabbey Photographic Club.

Finally, Saturday evening finished with the North (NIPA – Northern Ireland Photographic Assocation) versus South (IPF – Irish Photographic Federation) competition. ‘The Least of the Faithful’ competed with the top Southern entry ‘Land of the Rising Sun’ by Geraldine Malthouse of Waterford Camera Club. Richard, after some consideration, decided on the Northern entry ‘The Least of the Faithful’ as winner.

All in all it was an excellent weekend of audio visual photography covering a diverse range of subjects. Almost all sequences were in digital format compared with only a few years ago when they were all produced by traditional slides and cassette tape.

Tomorrow, Friday 2, March at 8.00pm; Mervyn McClelland will give an illustrated talk on ‘Motor Sport Photography’. Anyone interested is welcome to come along to the club room at the junction of South Street and Comber Road.

Notes for 16 February 2007

Not to be out done by the ladies the previous week, it was the turn of the men to provide the evening’s entertainment on Friday 16. First up was Campbell Brown with prints he had taken of the Military Living History Group at Tunbridge Wells. This consisted mainly of splendid character shots of military personnel. Next Wes McMeekin projected a miscellany of spectacular scenes from Mount Stewart to London and beyond. Supper was not quite ready so John Nelson took the members further afield with images of Canada. He started with the Vancouver wall murals and ended up with scenic views of the Rocky Mountains, taken from inside the car. Unfortunately during John’s talk the computer decided to ‘hibernate’ but this allowed time for a check on the supper. Soon things were up and running to enable John to continue.

At last supper was ready and out it came; the sandwiches and buns all looked fine but what was wrong with the sausage rolls! How is it possible to have sausage rolls straight out of the oven burnt and raw on the same tray? It’s hard to understand ­– only the men could do it!

So into the oven they went again and another showing took place. Hugh Miles took us to Inishmurray, a now uninhabited island eight miles off the Co. Sligo coast. Hugh went in June with some colleagues from work to find the island covered in bluebells. With the island now uninhabited, the birds have taken up residence and lay their eggs everywhere. The ruins of houses, chapel and graveyard are the only signs that people once lived there. During Hugh’s talk a second attempt at passing round the sausage rolls took place. Understandably, the members were a bit cautious, having seen what they were previously offered but this time the sausage rolls were cooked just right.

Yes, the men certainly put on a good show but it was the food that let them down. Who said men are good cooks? Not in Ards Camera Club they’re not! Better luck next year!

Tomorrow, Friday 23, there is no meeting at the club rooms; instead the members are off to the Audio-Visual Festival at Ballyearl Arts and Leisure Centre, Newtownabbey.

Notes for 09 February 2007

Friday night was Ladies Night at Ardscameraclub.co.uk when several lady members provided the topic for the evening. The proceedings started with
Alison Evans giving us an insight into how she designed and photographed a
calendar.The images were inspiring and the end product a very professsional piece of work. She also exhibited other images she likes to
photograph. Mable Armour followed by showing us prints she had taken on a
trip to Connemara. While some photographers like to use extensiive
equipment Mable showed us that striking images can be achieved with a more simple form of approach. Connemara's rugged scenery shown at its best.
Next up Carol Warden entertained us with photographs taken on holiday at
Newtownmore in Scotland. Together with information of the area and wild
life we heard the Folklore, or should I say the true stories, as well.
We remained in Scotland when Cariole Watson took us for a walk along part
the Southern Upland Way. The scenery was beautiful is this unspoilt area
and fortunately the weather was too.
The business part of the evening concluded when Beth Hodgett displayed
prints she had taken of architecture, a harbour scene, a close up shot of a
flower and a scene of water and hills. Deciding that she would have liked
to approach the subjects differently she photographed similar subjects and
we were invited to see the outcome. A very interesting idea, perhaps an
exercise we all could attempt. The Chairman, Leslie Armour thanked everyone for their contributions to the evening and as usual on this occasion supper was provided by the Ladies and enjoyed by all. Lady Members will be looking forwad to next week when it will be the turn of the Gents to organise the programme!
See you there!

Notes for 2 February 2007

The annual club ‘Auction Night’ was on Friday, February 2. In the programme it said “Bring your bits and bobs”, and the members certainly did! Everything was there – from ornaments to dinner plates and clocks to books. Oh yes there were some photographic items, well it is a camera club after all, but they were thin on the ground!

Auction night always turns out to be a great fun night and tonight was no exception; with Leslie Armour as auctioneer; it wasn’t long before he had the members in stitches of laughter. Most items were sold by the end of the evening and the proceeds of some items went to club funds.

On Saturday, February 3, was the ‘Voyage of a Lifetime’ at Clotworthy Arts Centre, Antrim. It was described as “The Best Show Ever” and it certainly lived up to its expectations. A capacity audience were entertained to superb audio visual and video images of Antarctica, South Georgia and the Falklands. It was presented by four of the top photographic and video specialists in the UK. In the morning a workshop was held, this explained how each element of an audio visual – the ideas, script writing, sound recording and photography all go into the making of a successful audio visual.

Ladies night is on the programme for Friday 9, entitled ‘20 minutes of fame’. Each year the Ladies put on a superb night; so to all the men – be there and give them your support, as the following week it’s your turn

Notes for 26 January 2007

At the beginning of Ardscameraclub.co.uk's Friday evening meeting the Chairman, Leslie Armour, welcomed everyone and gave details of a forthcoming photographic event. On Saturday, 3 February there will be an audio visual extravaganza, "A Voyage of a Lifetime" - Antarctica, South Georgia and The Falklands - taking place at the Clotworthy Ards Centre, Randalstown Road, Antrim at 2.00 pm - 5.00 pm Tickets £7. This will be preceded by an AV Digital Image Workshop 10.30 am - 1.00 pm £3 extra. The presenters are Colin Balls, FRPS and Rhona Balls together with Lee and Bernadette Kitchingman. There will also be an Exhibition of Wildlife prints.
Something for everyone - hope you will get along.

It was a practical evening at the Club and the Tutor, Colin Ross invited
members to set up a digital portrait shoot using the lights (kindly provided
by Leslie Armour) and the studio facilities at the Club. Images taken were transferred to screen and members had the opportunity to compare their portraits depending on what they wanted in the picture. A lot of information was on offer and it was a bonus to see the images in Photoshop
and learn more about the tools and the results of their use. It was a good
in-house evening for members with craic to match. It also helps to have a
model with a thick skin. Hope you can get along to Clotworthy Arts Centre
next Saturday, but in the meantime - next Friday we have our own annual
Auction. Bring along your photographic and non-photographic items and put
them under the hammer and don't forget to bring your wallet!

Notes for 12 January 2007

Ards Camera Club members were taken on a guided walking tour by Kieran Murray and what a tour it was, to Nepal no less, although no one ever left the club room! Kieran from Banbridge Camera Club has been coming to visit the members for the last 25 years, so he is no stranger to Ards Camera Club but a very welcome friend. Kieran, a keen walker, went to Katmandu in Nepal, from there to Pokhara and then on to the Annapurna Sanctuary. This is a very mountainous country and walking at 3,000 to 12,500 feet is quite normal. Annapurna Mountain itself is 26,500 feet high. The air is thinner at these higher altitudes and makes walking more difficult. To put this into perspective; our own highest mountain, Slieve Donard in the Mourne Mountains, is just 2,790 feet.

The quality of the slides and the beautiful scenery Kieran brought back were truly amazing. Describing them here would not do them justice; you would have to see them to appreciate his magnificent landscape slides. Imagine wakening up in the early morning and looking out of your tent and watching the golden sun rise over the snow covered Annapurna Mountains; a truly breathtaking sight. Although it’s a poor country, the people are very happy and willing to make friends. The scenery and the people certainly made for excellent photographic opportunities.

Sometimes slides are not always convenient to show; requiring projector, screen and blackout. Kieran printed out many of his images and then had them bound into book form. At the end of the evening he handed these round for the members to view.

A special forthcoming event of interest not only just for photographers, but for everyone, is the ‘Voyage of a Lifetime’. This is an ‘Audio-Visual Extravaganza’ consisting of a top-quality demonstration and exhibition of superb audio-visual sequences, videos and still images of Antarctica, South Georgia and the Falklands, displaying advanced techniques in digital photography and AV. It will take place on Saturday, February 3, from 2.00 to 5.00pm at Clotworthy Arts Centre, Antrim.

The event is presented by four of the top photographic and video specialists in the UK. It has been shown in England and has been described as “The Best Show Ever”. Tickets are available from Clotworthy Arts Centre, Antrim. Telephone 9448 1338. This is a show not to be missed.

Tomorrow evening, Friday, 19, is the Inter-club round 3 competition. The subject this round is ‘Abstract’.

Notes for 5 January 2007

A warm welcome was in store on Friday, January 5, for our first guest speaker of the New Year, Stephen Davison from Pacemaker Press International. Stephen, also a member of Antrim Camera Club, has been at the club before. He specialises in motor bike photography and with the publication of his third and latest book, ‘Ragged Edge – a raw and intimate portrait of road racing’ provided the basis for the evening’s talk. Inside the front cover, Stephen quotes, “Experience the ragged edge of road racing – the most extreme of extreme sports. Men and machine hurtling at 170mph between hedges and stone walls, balancing speed and risk at every corner”.

Stephen illustrated the talk with projected images from his book, first showing road racing in Ireland, including the thrills and spills of the sport as well as work behind the scenes. He went on to describe the Isle of Man TT Races and the Macau Grand Prix in China. Motor bike road racing certainly is a dangerous sport as some of the photographs proved but he also showed the humorous side as well. These bikers are dedicated to their sport but as Stephen went on to explain; they have a family life as well.

Stephen asked the members how many were interested in motor bikes, 25 per cent raised their hands. He then asked how many were interested in motor bike photographs, the hands increased to 100 per cent. This showed the appreciation the members had for his work. He finished the evening with his five favourite biking photographs – his number one was a behind the scenes moment with the one and only Joey Dunlop. Stephen has two passions in life, ‘bikes and photography’, both really shone out this evening, delighting members with his superb images and the stories of how he achieved them.

Tomorrow, Friday, January 12, ‘Further travels to Nepal’ will be the topic covered by our very popular friend Kieran Murray from Banbridge Camera Club.

Notes for 15 December 2006

Yes, it’s hard to believe this is the last Friday evening (15 December) of the programme for 2006 at Ards Camera Club. The weeks have disappeared very fast since the first meeting in September. A smaller number of members were at the clubroom last Friday, it must have been a case of last minute Christmas shopping, but for those who were there the evening’s topic was ‘Pictures to Exe’. This was demonstrated by the club’s own member, Colin Ross.

For those new to Pictures to Exe, it is a software programme designed to create a slide show on your computer. Images are downloaded from the camera to the computer, the slide order can then be arranged and a range of transition effects inserted between each slide. The final result can then be recorded on to a CD or DVD. This gives a very pleasing result whether it is for showing on the computer monitor, the TV or projected on to a large screen via a video projector. Gone are the days of showing traditional slides with a black interval between each slide change. Pictures to Exe also allows for music to be added thereby creating a very professional presentation. A demonstration version of the programme can be downloaded from www.wnsoft.com and the full version costs approximately £15.00.

Colin showed the members the various features of the programme and how they are achieved. Many questions were asked by the members, this showed the level of interest in the Pictures to Exe software programme. It seems that with a bit of practice a slide show can be created as Pictures to Exe doesn’t seem that complicated. Colin finished the evening off with some of his superb images of Scotland using Pictures to Exe. The first meeting of 2007 is on Friday, January 5, with Stephen Davison of Pacemaker Press.

All that remains now is to wish all Ards Camera Club members a ‘Very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year’ not forgetting all our readers who read these notes. Finally, may everyone who will be lying awake on Christmas Eve wishing Santa to bring that new digital camera or other photograph goodie, have their dreams come true!

Notes for 24 November 2006

Ian Lyons was guest speaker last Friday evening at ArdsCameraClub.co.uk. Ian is from the Merville Newtownabbey Photographic Club and has been at the club many times before. He is an acknowledged expert in Photoshop and a beta tester for Adobe, testing their new versions of Photoshop before general release. He also runs his own website (www.computer-darkroom.com) which is well worth a visit for any keen photographer. On previous occasions Ian has demonstrated Photoshop but this time his topic was ‘My Travels’.

Ian was influenced by the book ‘Glen Canyon on the Colorado’ by Eliot Porter, so much so that he travelled there with his camera and brought back many superb landscape images. Another book, ‘The Hidden Canyon – A River Journey’ by John Plaustein, and a team of water rafting enthusiasts, had Ian white water rafting down the Colorado river which he described as ‘an experience of a lifetime’. The prints from these adventures were on display and handed round the members for closer inspection.

‘An absolutely amazing place’ was how Ian described Yellowstone Park. So many people go there in the summer but winter is the time for photographers. This certainly is true, after seeing the beautiful images he captured while there. That is if you don’t mind the minus 25 to 30 degrees of temperature! The stunning image of a Coyote in snow covered Yellowstone, won Ian a top award in the ‘Photographic Alliance of Great Britain’ (PAGB).

Ian went on to describe his adventures in Iceland. This produced a different type of landscape photography which Ian captured superbly. He certainly does get around! Ian concluded his talk by projecting this time, more of his digital images. These included images of Iceland as well as America. Ian’s images, along with the stories of his expeditions and adventures in some of the world’s most beautiful places, made for a truly enjoyable evening.

Tomorrow, Friday, 1 December, the club is hosting the annual Roy Finlay Memorial Natural History Competition. This is a Northern Ireland Photographic Association (NIPA) event and members from other clubs will be present, so come early to the club room to get a good seat.

Notes for 27 October 2006

Delving into the past was the theme of last Fridays talk by Kenneth Anderson from the Ulster Folk and Transport Museum. The photographic department of the museum, of which Ken is the chief photographer, was set up in 1958 to archive the way of life, past and present, in Northern Ireland. The archive now contains some half a million photographic images and two thousand cine films. The archive contains a number of major historic collections by James Glass, William A Green, Rose Shaw, Robert J Welsh, A R Hogg and many more.

Early images of Belfast, Strangford, Glenarm Castle, Kilwaughter iron mines and the Ulster TT races were shown. The A R Hogg collection provided interesting photographs of transport with motor cars, racing cars and aeroplanes.

The Harland and Wolff collection by Robert J Welsh contained photographs of the construction of the Titanic and Olympic also the Titanic leaving Belfast. Ken informed the members of a new web site worth looking at (www.titanicinbelfast.com) it is in the early testing stages at the moment. Also of interest was the Bangor Boat paddle steamer, where you could travel from Bangor to Belfast for a ‘bob’ (one shilling) or 5p.

Ken showed a photograph of the poor living conditions of a family in Gweedore, Donegal in 1878. In the photograph he pointed out that the young boy was wearing a skirt. Ken told the members that most people think it is for hygiene reasons but as he went on to explain; in those days people believed that ‘the fairies took away wee boys’ but if they wore skirts, they were safe as the fairies wouldn’t recognise they were boys!

Most people will recognise Parliament Buildings at Stormont, but did you know it was not always white? As the photograph showed, during the war it was painted black so as not to be seen by the German bombers!

Ken recommended that everyone should take photographs of ‘everyday events’. In years to come, they will be of interest to future generations, showing how we lived today. Altogether a fascinating evening, which gave an insight into a time gone by and without photography, it would have been lost forever.

Next Friday, 3, November, is an evening with Vittorio Silvestri. Vittorio judged a competition last year at Ards, so impressed were the members with his judging, they asked him to come back and give a talk about his own work.

Notes for 20 October 2006

A different approach to digital imaging was presented by Ernie Patterson last Friday. Ernie, a member of the Central Photographic Association (CPA) in Belfast, began by showing a Roman mosaic, buried for some 2000 years under sand, which he photographed while on holiday. He explained how they were made up of many small ‘tiles’ to make up the image and compared this with the digital camera which uses many small ‘pixels’ (or picture elements) to make up the digital image.

He went on to demonstrate how the colour of light changes at different times of the day, the effect this has on daylight film, which is calibrated for a colour temperature of 5,500 degrees Kelvin. Ernie also explained that many digital cameras are sensitive to infra-red light and how a TV remote control can be used to test whether a digital camera is suitable for infra-red photography.

The members had great fun with Ernie’s ‘Colour Conundrums’. These ‘optical illusions’ had everyone guessing at the images they were seeing on the screen. Were their eyes deceiving them or had their brain been tricked? It just goes to show ‘you can’t always believe your eyes’!

The first round of the Northern Ireland Photographic Association (NIPA) inter-club competitions was held at Merville Newtownabbey Photographic Club and ArdsCameraClub.co.uk are now in fifth place overall. Colin Ross obtained a starred entry with his beautiful monochrome print entitled ‘Sailing Club Jetty’. It’s a good start; of course it is early days yet, so let’s hope Ards can increase their lead over the next three rounds.

Leaving digital and Photoshop aside for a while, tomorrow, Friday, 27, Ken Anderson from the Ulster Folk and Transport Museum will be the guest speaker. Also on Sunday, 29, a club outing has been arranged, the venue and time is to be agreed at the Friday, 27, meeting.

Notes for 13 October 2006

The guest speaker for last Friday evening was Trevor Gibb from Merville Newtownabbey Photographic Club. As well as a keen photographic club member, Trevor also teaches City & Guilds Photography and Adobe Photoshop at East Antrim Institute. So who better, than Trevor, to ‘teach’ the members of ArdsCameraClub.co.uk? Trevor began his talk, entitled ‘A Beginners Guide to Digital Photography’ by describing the five requirements in making a successful print. These are: (1) Creating the image, (2) Storing the image, (3) Viewing the image, (4) Editing requirements and (5) Outputting the image.

Trevor also covered the importance of calibrating the computer monitor and printer. This is essential to enable the image viewed on the monitor screen to be the same as that from the printer. Other areas covered in Photoshop were: resizing the image, changing the resolution and adjusting the levels. Adjusting the levels is the process of setting the black, white and mid tone points of the image. This is easy to achieve and makes for a considerable improvement to the overall image.

Many questions were asked even by the more experienced members, which shows you can learn something new every day! Trevor introduced the members to a new imaging programme ‘Adobe Lightroom’ still under development by Adobe. This is free to download from the internet and is ideal for organising and cataloguing of digital photographs.

The excellent beginners Photoshop evenings on Wednesdays are still continuing and tomorrow, Friday, 20, the guest speaker is Ernie Patterson. He will take the digital theme further to a more advanced level. It seems ArdsCameraClub.co.uk is the place to be for all things digital!

As an extra, on Tuesday, 24, the members will be travelling to Newtownabbey to see how they have fared in the first round of the NIPA inter-club competitions. This month it is hosted by Merville Newtownabbey Photographic Club in their newly refurbished clubrooms at Merville Garden Village. Here’s hoping they do well!

Notes for 6 October 2006

It was the evening all the members were waiting for. It was the ‘Sinclair Adair Experience’ and what an experience it turned out to be last Friday. Sinclair has spent most of his life in photography, from the early days of black and white turning to digital in recent years. He started working in digital photography using a Commodore Amiga computer long before the PC was in general use and then progressed to the PC in later years.

On this occasion it was digital which he entertained the members with, in particular his audio visuals. Sinclair’s audio visuals are like none you have ever seen before, his visual effects are superb and his imagination is truly out of this world. Even the music had the Sinclair style to it, carefully selected to suit the theme of the piece.

Sinclair reduced the packed club room to fits of laughter when he showed manipulated images of ‘the many characters of Sinclair Adair’. Some say he must be from ‘another planet’ when seeing his work but in reality, he is an undiscovered genius! So enjoyable was the evening that after supper, Sinclair agreed to stay after normal finishing time to present further examples of his unique style of audio visual.

Sinclair concluded with a showing of his earlier black and white exhibition prints projected on to the large screen. Many of these outstanding prints have won awards for Sinclair both at national and international level. His work has been displayed in photographic exhibitions in many countries throughout the world. He really is a master of photography, this being justified with a string of letters after his name. The club is really proud to have Sinclair as one of their most valued members.

Still on a digital theme, tomorrow, Friday, 13, ‘A beginners guide to digital photography’ will be the topic covered by Trevor Gibb from Merville Newtownabbey Photographic Club.

Notes for 29 September 2006

Now at the end of September, we are well into our new season here at ArdsCameraClub.co.uk and this Friday we had the pleasure of Paul Moane of Aurora Photography. We had a few technical hitches with the equipment at the start of the evening (who said digital was the way to go?) but finally Paul was introduced to a packed club room.

Aurora Photography is a Press and Public Relations Company and Paul demonstrated the type of images he has taken in the last few years. George Best's funeral at Stormont, tightrope walking at Belfast City Hall, Orange parades at Drumcree and the Red Arrows were only some of the diverse subjects Paul takes for his 'day job'.

He then went on to show us some of his 'for pleasure' photography. This made us sit up and take notice! A selection of magnificent images of the Aurora Borealis or Northern Lights taken with a 30 second exposure, and even getting himself in the shot! The Belfast Lough like you've never seen it before! Someone remarked "It's like Manhattan at night", when seeing Paul's superb image of the four tower blocks of flats at Rathcoole with the Belfast Lough in the background. Not forgetting his incredible image of a complete rainbow ending at the top of the Belfast City hospital. Most of his for pleasure photography was taken in early morning or in the evening when the light is so magical.

Paul finished with a selection of 'People' images. These consisted of everything from politicians to a lady one hundred years young.

The enthusiasm Paul has for photography was very evident tonight, after working all day he is still able to produce such superb images for himself.

Next Friday, October 6th, our very own member Sinclair Adair will give us an evening of his work. Those who know Sinclair will know they are in for a real treat! An evening not to be missed! Also not to be missed are our special beginners' nights, 'Digital / Photoshop' on Wednesdays and 'traditional Black & White printing' on Thursdays.

Club Outing goes International

Smaller in numbers this time, we were without some of our regulars and if you didn't make it - we missed you.

Four members and a Hairdresser left to " Drive the Mourne Area" and our first stop was the arches before you reach Newcastle. The weather was cloudy with bursts of sunshine. We moved on to the Newcastle Promenade. Now that the seafront has been redesigned there are several large sculptures worth looking at. Onwards to the road to the Silent Valley with the first stop being for lunch at the crossroads below Little Binnian. We then found our deserted cottage with the rusty red roof! It seemed as though someone had got out of bed, walked away and left the door open. Mind you his standard of living wasn't the best! We dodged heavy rain at the cottage and waited for some light before moving on. An unexpected crop took our attention and we took the attention of the cows of the area! In addition to images there were plenty of blackberries to the taken. At another stop a cottage was spotted but on reaching it other views were on offer.

Moving away from the hills we pressed on towards Rostrevor via Attical - heavy rain following us but when we stopped at the Kilfeaghan Stone Tomb it was clear and the rain had gone. We followed the instructions to get to the Stone and now that the ground work has been done you can tick that one off your list! As the man said "worth seeing but not worth going to see". The site has been fenced in and with a poor prospect.

At Rostrevor we entered Kilbroney Park and took the Forest Drive which ends at a Car Park 2.5 K from the Cloughmore Stone. You might like to make a note for a future visit as there are great views from the top. We were now looking to locate the Fairy Glen and this is actually at the opposite side of the Kilbroney Park right in the town. It looks a very well kept park and the Fairy Glen needs to be investigated.

At this point, we turned for home back through the Mournes. Sadly, we were not able to find a place to eat as this was a Bank Holiday Weekend it proved difficult so after trying three places we headed for home.

Another great day with pictures for everyone. Oh yes! The international connection? Well "the big lad" nipped over the border to fill up with diesel in the Republic! And at Omeath we just missed the Donkey Derby and Pig Racing!!!!

Sunday 10.00 am 30 July and the usual suspects assembled at the clubroom to set off for the Loughinisland Churches. "Three ruined churches in one graveyard on an island accessed by a causeway" Turn off at Brennans on the Ballynahinch - Newcastle Road. The sun shone and the site of the churches was a pleasant spot - peaceful and calm beside the lake. The little island is domed. We tumbled out of the cars and moved onto the site. The earliest ruined church dates from 13th Century and the graveyard is very well tended. Evidently it is still in use and many of the graves are Family Burial Grounds and there are two small vaults. Brightly coloured artificial flowers adorn some graves - they can be a bit sad looking on a grave but on this occasion they looked in place - perhaps it was the sun and the clear blue sky that did the trick.

We spent some time at this venue until food beckoned. Onwards to Brennan's for a comfort stop and top ups for lunch which was consumed at a picnic site not far from the Seaforde Butterfly House. Some of the party had been to the Butterfly place before when it had first opened and unfortunately this visit was disappointing. In past times the butterflies were so plentiful they would light on your clothing and be as large as 6 inches in wingspan. On this occasion, however, things were very different - there were very few butterflies by comparison and few large ones. There was also another small Tropical House with tortoise and iguana and caged birds.

We had arranged to meet again at 4 o'clock but most people were ready to move by 3 o'clock or at least were ready for Ice-cream or coffee. The gardens and the maze were underwhelming and the whole aura of the place was one of faded grandeur and certainly not good value for the entrance fee. Photographs and images were taken but perhaps not as many as was expected but as usual we made the most of our day out and we set off to follow the leading car. A stop was made at the Lakeside Inn, plenty of Lake to view but the Inn seems to be dormant. This lake is in the area of the Ballyduggan Mill - a pretty imposing building in itself but the weather closed in and we moved on. Our lead car took us to Saul, the Church of Ireland site which dates back to the 5th Century but the present building was built in 1933. There is planty of information in the vestibule of the Church about the graveyard and the building and interestingly it was produced on an manual typewriter! The sun shone again and everyone seemed to enjoy the location and I look forward to seeing the internal images. Our Guides took us to another small lake in the area but unfortunately the weather has again closed in and it was decided to head for the Strangford Ferry with a view to having a meal at the Saltwater Brig. There are sometimes when a plan doesn't necessarily come together and so by the time we reached Strangford the Cuan Restaurant had captured our attention.

The chat was good and the meal was enjoyed by all and another outing of Ards Camera Club came to a close. The "Canon 20 D" club had a good day under the auspices of their Patron "Tiger" Browne and so we look forward to our August Outing hoping to see something of the Mourne area. See you there.

Club Outing June 2006

Eight members , a guest and the Man from Delmonte left the clubrooms on Sunday morning 24th June and headed for Co Antrim. Out "Leader" Brian Widdicombe had distributed very helpful maps of the area and our first stop was the Railway Preservation Society of Ireland depot at Whitehead.

Most people had an idea of what they would find there but it appeared that it was not what they had expected, but very interesting all the same. Paul McCann of the Society gave us the Tour which involved visiting several workshops with very large on-going projects in hand - trains from Downpatrick and Donegal Railway Societies, in need of repair and safety checks. This is a working site and apart from the workshops they had a mini-foundry, a paint shop, a store and a yard full of very large pieces of steam trains and all the paraphernalia of railway preservation. Volunteers work on jobs in hand and when grants are available specialist staff are employed. The size of the jobs in hand was amazing.

After the tour we were free to wander the site - taking due care - to photograph as we wanted. There was a bonus for us at the end of the tour when about 30 classic bikes and a few vintage ones arrived as part of a rally in the area. There were BSA, Triumph - even a Triumph Bonnaville, Ariel, Matchless, and Moto Guzzi among the makes and even a 1915 Campion with a very rare four speed gear box - wow!

We had lunch while sitting at the Harbour before heading for the Blackhead Lighthouse. The road to the Light was narrow and became decided narrower but four cars arriving obviously attracted someone's attention because after about 10 minutes we were asked to leave. It would appear that the buildings were now holiday cottages and perhaps the fact that it said "Private no Admission" on the gate had something to do with it! Young Peter poured oil on troubled water though, while waiting for his passenger to eventually return, the lady in question had given Peter her telephone number - so if you would like some holiday accommodation at Blackhead Lighthouse Peter has the contact number!

Next we went in search of the Gobbins but without success but that was after four grown men stood in a queue with innumerable children to get their ice cream at the "Rinka". Onwards and upwards we arrived at Port Muck, a lovely wee place - the tide was out but well worth a visit. On the map we could see that there were some Druids Stones further round the Peninsula and so turning away from Brown's Bay we scanned the fields and surrounding area for the stones. We found them - at the side of the road with a chain fence round them, 6ft from the front door of a very nice Georgian House with a sign saying "PRIVATE".

We were on our return journey and visited the church of St John 1564. A pretty church worth visiting, with a Car Park on the opposite side of the road.

Our last port of call was Glenoe waterfall - a very pleasant site to conclude a day out for me. It was all very enjoyable and our thanks are due to Brian Widdicombe for his time and research into the area. The craic was good and I look forward to seeing the pics!

Next Outing 30 July: Butterfly House, Seaforde and surrounding environs.

Keep an eye on the Website!

The Annual Exhibition and Prize Giving

There was a great atmosphere at the Town Hall last Friday 28 April when ArdsCameraClub.co.uk celebrated its Annual Exhibition 2006 with the Prize Giving. There were 87 prints on view representing General and Advanced work in Monochrome and Colour. The Chairman Leslie Armour welcomed club members, friends and guests from Ballynahinch, CPA and YMCA Clubs. There were some very well knows faces from photography circles amongst our guests - Colin Thompson, Will McCrum, Stanley Matchet and Brian McKenna and all were made very welcome.

The Chairman thanked everyone who had contributed, in any way, to the success of the exhibition and also to the evening to come. He introduced the Judge for the Exhibition, Nigel Burthey, from Ballynahinch C.C. In his remarks Nigel Burthey said it was a good exhibition with a high Standard of work, well framed up and well set up. He commented on the Prize Winning images expressing the opinion that these were his personal choice. He liked the introduction of colour red into the Monochrome print of a "Steam Engine" by Bob Malcolm and said that it made the image stand out. The image of the "Drummer Boy" by Peter Knott made good use of colour and caught his eye saying it wasn't everyone's "cup of tea" but it certainly made an impression on him. An abstract image of a leaf called "Pearls" by Brian Widdicombe worked for him and stood out but he was slightly critical of "The Word" by Leslie Armour, in that a small fraction of the corner of the focal point had been missing. The Top Print of the Exhibition was by Colin Ross - Donaghadee Harbour, a very familiar scene to us all but this image had great light and atmosphere in it with reflections and puddles of water and it was sharp from front to back. He felt that a number of prints on the walls could have been on the top board and made many favourable comments on this work.
White Lines by Paul Neill was a monochrome study of a ploughed field and he liked the lines of the furrows taking you into the picture. The composition of boats in a Black and White study took his attention with the boats forming a zig zag pattern.. Leslie Armours, The Bridge, made a good impression with the Judge - a well taken image and an interesting subject.. Another of Leslie's images the white Water canoeist created good shape and action. Wes McMeekin's print of Hands pleased him but he said he would have removed the white area above the hands. He felt the Ballycopeland Windmill by Iain Lacey was a credit to the author, it was well presented and mounted. And he was also pleased by Paul Neill's Windmill with a rainbow he liked the composition. A Portrait of our Chairman took his eye and he thought the image by Peter Knott had a good atmosphere about it.

The evening continued with a viewing of the Exhibition Slides but sadly with the increase of digital work there is a dramatic reduction in the number of slide workers which is a pity as slides are a medium that can present vibrant and intense images.

The results of the Judging were as follows:

General Monochrome: 1st Hands (Wes McMeekin), 2nd Sophia (Bob Malcolm), 3rd Door 2 (Brian Widdicombe) Highly Commended Hay Making (Wes McMeekin)

General Colour: 1st Lily (Bob Malcolm), 2nd Pearls (Brian Widdicombe) 3rd Coastal Scene (Mabel Armour)
Highly Commended Spotted Flower (Bob Malcolm)

Advanced Monochrome: 1st Niest Point, Isle of Skye (Colin Ross), 2nd Light on the Word (Leslie Armour), 3rd The Old School (Leslie Armour), Highly Commended Donegal Rally (Iain Lacey), Highly Commended Scrabo by Moonlight (Colin Ross), Commended Priest (Leslie Armour), Commended Ballintoye Harbour (Iain Lacey)

Advanced Colour: 1st and Top Print Donaghadee Harbour (Colin Ross), 2nd Strangford Sunset (Colin Ross), 3rd The Drummer Boy (Peter Knott), Highly Commended By Candlelight (Leslie Armour), Highly Commended Bunbeg Wreck (Colin Ross), Commended Brown Eyes (Leslie Armour), Commended Portstewart Strand (Colin Ross)

General Slides: 1st Red Handle, 2nd Earth, Air, Water, 3rd Red Doors (Carole Watson)
Advanced Slides: 1st Hancock Tower, 2nd Arches (Richard Holmes), 3rd Audovin's Gull (Iain Lacey),
Highly Commended Lighthouse, Highly Commended Louvre, Commended Shaker Sunlight (Richard Holmes), Commended Sea of Gold (Iain Lacey)

The Prizes were presented for the weekly Club Competitions as follows:

General Slides 1st Carole Watson, 2nd Beth Hodgett
Advanced Slides: 1st Iain Lacey, 2nd Richard Holmes
General Colour Prints: 1st Wes McMeekin, 2nd Bob Malcolm, 3rd Mabel Armour
Advanced Colour Prints: 1st Colin Ross, 2nd Leslie Armour, 3rd Iain Lacey
General Monochrome: 1st Wes McMeekin, 2nd Mabel Armour, 3rd Bib Malcolm
Advanced Monochrome: 1st Colin Ross, 2nd Leslie Armour, 3rd Iain Lacey

After the Presentation of Prizes we were treated to a very fine Supper much appreciated by everyone present. There will be more food at the annual BBQ and Treasurer Hunt which takes place on Friday
12 May
, starting at the Club Rooms at 8.00 pm. So come along and bring your vitals and your tipples
and enjoy the craic.

7 April, 2006

There was a good turn out for the AGM of ArdsCameraClub.co.uk. The Chairman Leslie Armour thanked everyone for their work throughout the year. He felt that the Programme had worked well and hoped the Committee would be able to include a specialist subject such as motor sport next year to which we could invite neighbouring clubs. It had been a good year for competitions as the club had finished a very creditable 3rd place overall in NIPA. The Chairman hope that it would be possible to revive a mid week activity night in the club this year. The Hon Secretary Carol Warden also thanked the Committee for the smooth running of the Club. She commended the Summer Programme which had been enjoyed by those attending and the Auction which did so much to help club funds and also thanked Mervyn Mackey for his help with printing requirements.

Members present felt that the needs of beginners had to be addressed, the usage of the space in the Darkroom needed to be reviewed - a possible Summer Project perhaps? Fund Raising was always to the fore and suggestions included a meat tasting and taking space at a Car Boot Sale. Various suggestions for Summer Outings included: the Gobbins and Whitehead, a Day at the Races, Culzean Castle (Ayr), special days at the Folk Museum and a trip to the Zoo to tie in with their annual photographic competition.

The Committee for the Year 2006 was elected as follows: Chairman, Leslie Armour; Vice Chairman Carole Watson; Hon Secretary Lydia McCallem; Hon Treasurer Hugh Miles; Programme Secretary Colin Ross; Exhibition Secretary Beth Hodgett; NIPA Representative Peter Knott; Webmaster Paul Neill; Press Officer Carole Watson. Committee Members: Mabel Armour, Peter Brown, Richard Holmes, Wes McMeekin, Carol Warden, Brian Widdicombe.

We have a break now for two weeks but look forward to Friday 28 April when we meet at the Town Hall for the results of our Annual Exhibition. Light refreshments will be available so see you there.

31 March 2006

It's nearly Exhibition time again and the Chairman Leslie Armour reminded members that prints were urgently needed now for the Annual Exhibition in the Town Hall from
19 April.

The AGM is this Friday, 7 April and everyone was encouraged to come along, put forward their points of view and hopefully volunteer to help run the Club. All help is welcomed, after all, the club is its members.

Ardscameraclub.co.uk are invited to attend the opening of the Ballynahinch CC Exhibition in the Market House, Ballynahinch this Thursday, 6 April.

Keep in touch with the website for more information about events and exhibitions .

The Chairman welcomed the representative from YMCA to a Print Battle, our own valued member Peter Knott was wearing his YMCA hat for the evening. It was good to know that in a climate when winning is considered the only thing that matters our Chairman felt that participation was the key factor in enjoying competition.

We are indebted to Vitorio Sylvester of CPA, our judge for the evening. He managed to comment on every print, no mean feat as there were 80 in all. In the Colour Section he awarded top marks to two subjects - he spoke very highly of - a view of Donaghadee Harbour and a Blue Heron. Many hints and tips could be gleaned from his comments on all the prints. Subjects were considered in their entirety and his criteria for judging included -Print Quality. Composition - centre of interest, horizons, foreground, mid ground and background and the rule of thirds. Colour Balance - colour banding.
Framing - presentation being most important. In the Mono Section he awarded full marks to three prints - a landscape, a boat scene and a lake scene with fence posts in the water.

The outcome of the "Battle" - in the Colour Section was Ards 68 YMCA 53 and the Mono Section Ards 72 YMCA 54 Ards being the overall winner the Chairman was very gracious in victory!

Don't forget the AGM. See you there.

Club Notes, 24 March, 2006

Opening the meeting the Chairman, Leslie Armour asked members to check the club notice boards and the website for up to date information of forth coming events. He welcomed the speaker for the evening, Paul Crawford together with model Kelly to demonstrate glamour photography. Paul Crawford had recently opened a glamour website which is proving very popular but time will tell if it maintains its popularity. In the past, glamour photography has not proved to be an enduring aspect of photography in Northern Ireland. We then viewed a digital presentation of his glamour work which was viewed in relative silence and questions were invited. I would imagine that there is a fine line between glamour photography and pornography but would refer to the quote "You can't define pornography but you know it when you see it."

Paul demonstrated Photoshop techniques when working on his images and I was a bit surprised when having captured an image of a very good looking subject he set about to improve on the original by changing the skin tone and appearance, shadows and making the eyes more striking. There was good interest in this section of the evening with questions on processing and sizing.

After tea, a mini studio appeared, as if my magic, and members were invited to photograph Kelly, the model. Members were hard to coax to take the floor initially but it was a lot easier if you sat in the front row! I look forward to seeing the results of the shoot in competitions to come.

This coming Friday we are having a Print Battle with YMCA so come along and bring your prints both black and white and colour. Ards and YMCA present the same number of prints and a judge gives points to each print. The scores are tallied at the end of the evening and the winner declared. Let Battle commence! See you there.

17 March, 2006

This week at ArdsCameraClub.co.uk we had a very good in-house evening. Two competitions were held - one with the title "Liquid" and a competition for a photograph taken on a club outing.

There were 18 entries for the Liquid Competition and with audience participation the entries were reduced to four. Subjects and interpretations were many and varied from seascapes, raindrops, a light ship, a ice pattern to a cup of tea. Debate ensued as to how the subject of "Liquid" was translated. Some people felt that the subject should shout liquid at first sight not convey liquid by suggestion alone, so the sunsets and landscapes were set aside. We were left with Colin Ross's images of stones and moving water - lively water with a slow shutter speed. Carole Watson's Cup of Tea albeit a green cup and saucer and a reminder that it was St Patrick's day. The final image was Peter Knott's interpretation of a waters edge with patterns made by the froth on the surface running from top to bottom of the photo.
After long deliberations the Green Cup of Tea was deemed to have come closest to the subject and after a whip-round £1.98 was presented to the author, nearly enough to buy a cup of tea and a bun!

The competition for a photo taken on a Club Outing should have attracted more entries but those that we had were taken at Ardglass, Donegal, the Mournes and the Ards Peninsula. Subjects were fishing boats, a boy on a beach, a sunset, fishing from a beach and a windmill. The Boy on the Beach came out on top with the Fishing sunset a close second. The authors were Wes McMeekin and Peter Browne.

Our club competition was interesting and enjoyable with great craic as well but I took the opportunity to attend the Round 4 of the NIPA Club Competition at Downpatrick last week and was a bit taken aback by the judging procedure. I find it hard to understand how one of the judges had two Black and White images and a colour image in the top pics in each section. ArdsCameraClub.co.uk were third overall - a very creditable result behind Banbridge and Ballynahinch. I have had the system of marking explained to me but have never known a competition where the judge is also one of the competitors! At such a crucial point in the competition surely it would have been wiser to have an independent judge.

Next week Paul Crawford will speak and demonstrate Model Photography
- don't forget your camera!

Check out the website, there are more contributors on line.

3 February, 2006

The annual Auction took place in the Clubrooms with the Chairman, Leslie Armour as Auctioneer. With a good line in patter he moved the evening along with great humour and the people who actually did bid were insured of a bargain.

Items changing hands were a Konica for £10 and a Canon EO100 for £20. Believe it or not film was also on offer but not a popular commodity. Two new Camera Rucsacs went for £15 a piece. A fine selection of wines and spirits donned the table with the new world wines there was even a bottle from Transylvania! Some of the best bargains came late in the evening with hardback Biographies and Frank McCourt's T'is going for £1.

At the end of the evening the club benefited by approximately £100 - a good return for a fun evening.

Dates to Remember

This week 10th February Bob Given will give a presentation on a trip to Krakow and Auschwitz. A very serious subject with serious images to consider. Photography can say something words cannot and it will be interesting to hear the author's impressions.

17 February we will have An evening with Roy Dempster .

From Tuesday 21 February to Sunday 5 March our own member Colin Ross is holding an exhibition of his work at the North Down Heritage Centre, Bangor when he will present photographs of Irish and Scottish Landscapes.

The Website is improving all the time and we now have another contributor to the Gallery so check out Brian Widdicombe's work. You too can have your slot on the World Wide Web by contacting Paul Neill with your Gallery pictures.

6 January 2006

The first meeting of 2006 saw us gathered for a talk on Photo Journalism by Paul McCambridge

A talk on Photo Journalism was to start the new year but unfortunately the speaker found himself committed to work in Dublin on Friday and we are indebted to our Chairman for rescuing the evening. He collected the Exhibition of Paul McCambridge's work for our perusal. A written review did not come with the prints and so the members had to form their own opinion of the subject matter. Comments were many and varied but generally the images were thought provoking an certainly made an impression.

The subject was "Drugs" . I understand many of the photographs were taken in Dublin and some in Ballymena. Images of young people taking cocaine also people using needles in what were dismal surroundings. There seemed to be a story board but I could not come to terms with the images. It would appear the author was accepted into the culture and could move about and work freely.

Following the discussion of this work there was a CD presentation entitled See Scotland and the subject chosen to be viewed was 'Composition'. I certain found it interesting and entertaining.

Forthcoming events

The Chairman encouraged members participation in the Print Battle to be held in two weeks time with Ballynahinch CC. We need a good representation of prints so bring yours along to add to the choice.

Don't forget the Auction Night on 3 February. Anything Goes Plan to bring some items along. You can even pass on some unwanted 'Christmas Presents Gather up some items to sell - not just photography items can be sold . Items will be accepted to be sold for Club Funds and generally speaking its good entertainment all round.

Next week we look forward the visit of Shaun McKeogh who will speak to us about the Royal Photographic Society