Joining the Club

Notes Archive












Notes for Friday 27 April 2018
Annual Exhibition

Friday 27th April and Ards Camera Club held its Annual Exhibition and Prize Giving at the Londonderry Pavilion. Viewing commenced at 7-00 pm and by the start time of 7-30 pm all seats were taken with those unable to find seats standing adjacent to the refreshments table.

Chair Irvine Ferguson welcomed everyone and amplified that welcome to chief guest and judge Hugh Rooney from Bangor & North Down Camera Club. Hugh has recently been elected to the post of Vice-President of NIPA and with three former Past Presidents also present, there was a sizeable contingent of NIPA 'top brass' in the audience.

The programme for the evening commenced with an overview of the display of printed images by the judge, who then gave a critique of a selection of the ones that caught his attention.
This was followed by the display of projected digital images (PDIs) and again, the judge gave his comments on his favoured selection. While the images were still fresh in everyone's thoughts, the placed images were announced and presentations made. Ted McKee's image of 'Early Morning Orange Tip' was placed First in the Advanced Section and Sian Kerr's image of 'Watching' was placed First in the General Section.

An overview of the Club's year was presented to the audience where the Chair highlighted the many successes in competition, especially the third place overall achieved in the five NIPA rounds and the Top Print achievement of Michael Loane in the Roy Finlay Natural History Competition.
A break for refreshments followed, accompanied by member's Audio Visual projections on various themes.

The final part of the evening was given over to the much anticipated announcement of the placed images together with the presentation of medals and certificates. The First Place and medal winners were :- Claire Russell General Section Mono for 'Runny Honey', Richard Cowan General Section Colour for 'Keeping an Eye', Alan Reid Advanced Section Mono for 'Sophie' and Patricia Mackey Advanced Section Colour for 'The Plains of Bagan'. Top Print went to Alan Reid for 'Sophie'.
Also, Certificates of Honorary Life Membership were presented to Carole Watson, Peter Knott and Mervyn Mackey for their exceptional service and dedication to Ards Camera Club.

The Chair concluded the evening with thanks to all those who had attended, supported and contributed to the Club for its Exhibition and congratulated all of the members who had entered images.

Notes for Friday 20 April 2018
Triptych and AV Competition

Friday 20th April and the club had its last programmed night with a fun Triptych and AV Competition. Entries for this competition were not excessive, but the items on show were well worth the free entry.

First on were the Triptychs, with a range of subjects featuring small block plastic people, rusty steel hawsers, overseas street photos, squirrels, flying fairground things and family.
Next were the AVs where the subject matter was slightly more diverse. The items covered infrastructure, Italian lakes and mountains, Wells Cathedral, Nepal, Belfast, Antrim Coast, snow at Stormont and a journey through the Cosmos.

After very little debate and head scratching, Sarah Shaw was declared winner of the Triptych Competition with her trio of expertly taken photographs of steel hawsers in various states of rusty decay and Martin Conroy won the AV Competition with his equally top quality images of the sun rising over the Antrim Coast. Well done to Sarah and Martin for their successes and also well done to everyone who took the time and put in the effort to enter the competition.

Ards Camera Club's Annual Exhibition takes place next Friday 27th April at the Londonderry Pavilion, starting at 7-30pm with viewing from 7-00pm where the culmination of the season's work will be on display.

Irvine Ferguson
Chair - Ards Camera Club

Notes for Friday 13 April 2018
Guest Speaker - Paul Hanley

Friday 13th April and our programme of guest presenters reached its conclusion with a visit from Paul Hanley to entertain us with his unique take on architectural photography. Also, following a very successful year in NIPA Competitions, Paul display a number of his starred images covering many other topics.

Being much travelled, especially in Germany and Spain, the images taken both above and below ground, gave us an insight into the buildings of mainly Berlin and Barcelona. Paul specialises in symmetrical and asymetrical compositions and his visits to the BMW Showroom and Museum, the Berlin Parliament Building, various other Museums and Art Galleries and Gaudi's Cathedral provided many 'fantastical' photographs.

The foregoing images were taken above ground, then there were the equally amazing photographs taken below ground in the Berlin u bahn subway stations, all taken hand held in low light and all of a quality as if taken on tripod. To complete this section, there were staircases and walkways, photographed from top to bottom and bottom to top, giving many compositions of aspects not usually observed when they are used for their intended function.

The evening concluded with a display of the previously mentioned competition successes which were obviously well deserving of their starred and top print status.

Many thanks to Paul for such a comprehensive display of architectural photography which gave much impetus for looking at buildings with a more creative perspective.

Irvine Ferguson
Chair - Ards Camera Club

Notes for Friday 6 April 2018
NIPA Novice Competition

Friday 6th April and Team Ards Camera Club travelled to Bangor to support their members who had entries in the NIPA Novice Competition. In recent years, Ards Camera Club Novices have supported this event with many entries and much success. This year the trend continued with a 2nd Place, two Commended and two Highly Commended.

In the Mono Section, Sian Kerr achieved 2nd Place with her image 'San Sebastion Speakeasy' and Sarah Shaw achieved Commended status with her image 'Hope'.
In the Colour Section Sian was again successful, achieving Highly Commended for 'Keeper of Goals'.
Success continued in the PDI Section with Sian achieving Highly Commended for 'Watching' and Richard Cowan achieving Commended for 'Silent Anger'.

Very well done to Sian, Sarah and Richard. Also, well done to Jacqui Agnew, Marlene Hazelhurst and Claire Russell who had some excellent entries in the PDI Section, some of which received very encouraging comments from the judges.

Thanks to the rest of the Club members who as usual gave great vocal support and also, thanks and well done to NIPA, especially the judges who performed well, doing such a difficult job for the first time.

Irvine Ferguson
Chair - Ards Camera Club

Notes for Friday 23 March 2018
Members Night

Friday 23rd March and after the euphoria of finishing third overall in the 2017-18 NIPA competitions it was fitting that there was another evening of member's presentations.

Campbell Brown continued where he left off last week with yet another display of images from his back catalogue of photographs taken on film. Highlight of this collection was a series of pretend military men on manoeuvres in a stream! Such was the quality of the images that the exercise looked like the real thing. Portraiture as always was to the fore, with a particularly good image of one time champion boxer Chris Eubank.

Sinclair Adair continued the presentations and instead of his usual entertaining audio visuals, showed his incomparable talent with a display of film era images that could readily have been entitled 'The Ones That Should Have Won'. A mixture of photographs straight out of the camera and those with post production work carried out in both the dark room and on computer provided an amazing display of photographic brilliance. (The writer is trying to redeem himself following a slight issue over timing on a previous occasion!) Sinclair finished with three images of food portraiture equal to any on display last week.

Ted McKee was next to display his work with a projected show of images taken at Castle Espie where he is an accredited photographic member. The photographs on show ranged from the obvious resident population of wetland birds, migratory swans, visiting wild owls, frogs, fish, insects and a diverse selection of other flora and fauna. Also, in a departure from the usual, there were some architectural images of the buildings in the complex together with some portraits of the staff. As always, it was a quality show of nature at its best.

The member's night concluded with a presentation by David Williamson on restoring/transforming a seventy years old black and white photograph using Photoshop. The original was damaged along the top edge, had been folded in a few places, was scribbled on with a pen and was generally in an age worn state. David demonstrated how the process commenced by scanning the image and then applying the various processes available in the software to produce a sympathetic update of the photograph, rather than making it look like a recently taken shot. In consideration of the questions asked during the presentation, this is obviously something that will require further detailed examination at a future date.

Many thanks to Campbell, Sinclair, Ted and David for displaying their talents in a diverse set of presentations to the club.

Irvine Ferguson
Chair - Ards Camera Club

Notes for Wednesday 21 March 2018
NIPA Inter-club round 5 adjudication at Catchlight Camera Club

Congratulations to all those involved tonight at the final NIPA Adjudication of 2017/18. This was an excellent showcase of everything good about club photography in Northern Ireland - inspiring, imaginative, artistic, creative and occasionally very peculiar!

To our delight (and a little surprise) Ards Camera Club finished this season as the third best camera club in NI! Every member who has helped or taken part during the year is to be congratulated for our combined success. Also Ards finished 2nd overall in the Beginners Mono and Beginners Colour competition which bodes well for the future. Tonight’s three winners with starred prints were Martin Conroy with Prawn Party and Raphael Clarke with Curry Me (both Colour Prints) and Richard Holmes with Peppers PDI.

Congratulations also to CPA for becoming the top Club in NIPA and to Catchlight for following close behind.

Notes for Friday 16 March 2018
Members' Night

Friday 16th March and we had the first of our members' nights. These nights are for members to present aspects of their own work or address topics of relevance to their own or the club's photographic involvement.

First to present her work was Jacqui Agnew, new to the club this year and keen to tell of her journey into photography and demonstrate her undoubted progress since joining. Jacqui give a display of projected images of family, holidays and her particular interest of arena shows. Very impressive were her photographs from trips throughout Europe and beyond, together with shots featuring dancing and ice skating from the shows.

The next presentation was from Campbell Brown, long time member of the club and passionate user of the Canon brand. On view was a display of both film and digital images, including many past competition entries that obviously would still fair well today. As we all know, Campbell is very much a people person and this showed in the array of portraits taken on his travels to various events throughout the UK.

Third member to present their work was Marlene Hazelhurst, also new to the club this year and also keen to give a presentation of her progress from a general interest in photography to participating in club photography. Marlene, like her friend Jacqui, give an overall display of various aspects of her work and concluded by focusing on her impressive progress in post processing.

The break for refreshments was next on the agenda and featured birthday celebrations for our dedicated lighting technician Graham Mackey. Best wishes to Graham for a great birthday and thanks for being the best light switcher in the club.

The evening officially concluded with a Power Point presentation from Brian Widdicomb. As always with Brian we know to expect the unexpected and were entertained and perhaps confused in equal measure with some exploration of how the brain works. The work of Picasso and others was included in the presentation and overall, Brian left us with much food for thought.

Many thanks to Jacqui, Campbell, Marlene and Brian who obviously put much thought and preparation into their presentations. All in all a very entertaining evening, although the timing of the proposed schedule went slightly astray which was gleefully pointed out to the Chairperson by nonagenarian Sinclair Adair.

Irvine Ferguson
Chair - Ards Camera Club

Notes for Friday 9 March 2018
Guest Speaker - Geoff McGrath

Ards Camera Club's Programme continued on Friday 9th March with the visit of Geoff McGrath. Although well known in photographic circles, Geoff is not so well known for presenting his work to Camera Clubs, so it was great to have him visit and demonstrate his expertise in Landscape Photography, Fine Art Portraiture and iPhone Photography.

Geoff initially provided an overview of his journey into photography, with images of himself as a youth posing for his wedding photographer Father. This developed to assisting his Father and from that learning all about film photography in the pre-digital age. Much travelling to various corners of the planet helped hone his skills and after settling back in N. Ireland, continued his photographic learning, now in digital format, at various training courses.

Geoff then focused on the aspects of photography as previously mentioned and there followed an evening of mainly audio visual (AV) presentations of his work.
Landscapes of various scenes in Ireland featured with processing to suit a slightly darker application that he explained he applies to most of his work.
iPhone photography was shown next, with an AV display composed of images that were processed mainly on his phone.

Last but by no means least, Geoff presented his cosplay portraiture for which he is currently best known. 'Perps Portraits' as they are termed are portraits of people in costume, representing the various characters from the likes of the Marvel Films/Comics and Starwars, etc. The screen was filled with portraits of Spiderman, Batman, Batgirl, Black Panther, Captain America, Darth Vader, Judge McBride, to name but a few. Such is the quality of this work that many have featured on the covers of Empire and Cosplay Magazines.

Many thanks to Geoff for a very entertaining evening and for giving us an insight into a genre of photography that some didn't know even existed.

Irvine Ferguson
Chair - Ards Camera Club

Notes for Friday 2 March 2018
Club / NIPA Competition Round 5 'Food Photography'

Friday 2nd March was the NIPA Round 5 Competition with the theme of 'Food'.

Due to a technical hitch and the absence of a scribe, there was no report of the competition published. So, for those still interested, especially as the attendance was low due to the 'Beast from the East' and 'Emma' from the South, it turned out to be a low key affair with a smaller than usual entry. There was a noticeable absence of entries from the Advanced Section, obviously no appetite for food photography! However, the General Section was well supported with some excellent photographs and PDIs of great calorific value. Judging was carried out by the club members and the marks added and verified expertly by David on his spread sheets.

Well done to all who made the effort to participate in the competition and very well done to the following members who had images placed:- Jacqui Agnew, Raphael Clarke, Martin Conroy, Richard Cowan, Sean Evans, Marlene Hazelhurst, Richard Holmes, Linda Hutchinson, Keith Malcolm and Claire Russell. Those members who then had their images selected to go forward to the NIPA Adjudication were Raphael Clarke, Martin Conroy, Richard Cowan, Richard Holmes, Linda Hutchinson, Keith Malcolm and Claire Russell. We wish them every success at the Adjudication which will be hosted by Catchlight Club on Wednesday 21st March.

Irvine Ferguson
Chair - Ards Camera Club

Notes for Friday 23 February 2018
Print Battle - Ards v City of Belfast - Hosted by Ards CC

Friday 23rd February and Ards Camera Club went into Battle for a second time this season. This time, it was the Annual Print Battle against City of Belfast Photographic Society. Ards were the hosts and although the visiting support from Belfast was a bit thin on the ground, their arsenal of competing images was impressive. These images were pitted against the selection that produced the decisive victory for Ards at Westcourt earlier in February.

Back in the mists of time, City of Belfast evolved from Belfast YMCA and the Print Battle with Ards was for the Beginner's Trophy. However, as the Beginners developed into seasoned photographers the Trophy retained its title, but continued to be competed for at a general club level.

Guest judge was John Belshaw who had the unenviable task of critiquing and scoring the competing thirty colour images and thirty black and white images. A difficult job at the best of times, but as usual on such occasions, there was a modicum of suggested assistance from the 'experts' in the auditorium which as usual was totally ignored by the experienced and battle hardened John.

After much consideration and a break for tea and cake to mark Keith's Birthday, the scores were counted and agreed. Ards proved too strong for their gallant opponents from Belfast and were declared winners and retained the much coveted Trophy.

Much thanks to Honor Ross and Peter Knott for their input to the Print Battle on behalf of City of Belfast Photographic Society and to John Belshaw for judging, especially as he agreed to be the judge at short notice.

Saturday 24th February was NIPA Competition Round 4 Adjudication at Strabane and District Camera Club. Congratulations to David Williamson and Ted McKee who achieved star status for their images. Also, well done and thanks to those members who made the long journey to Strabane as representatives of the Club.

Irvine Ferguson
Chair - Ards Camera Club

Notes for Friday 16 February 2018
Guest Speaker - Reinis Babrovskis - Motorsport Photography

Friday 16th February and returning by popular demand, our programme tonight featured Reinis Babrovskis to enlighten us further with his expertise in car and motorsport photography. As usual, he provided a clear and detailed account on how car and motorsport photography is achieved, together with a superb display of images.

This time, Reinis featured mainly on car photography, showing images of cars in the rare, luxury, super luxury and eye wateringly expensive categories. The images covered many replicas from film and TV, shot on locations to suit their status, cars set in cityscapes, carparks, by the sea, up mountains, in aircraft hangers to name a few, situations all expertly thought out to suit the particular car.

Of great interest and providing much mirth were some of the tips of the trade, including 'human smoke machines', black bin bag anti reflectors and cars being pushed by hand that looked like they were going at their maximum speed. A full house thoroughly enjoyed the presentation and I am sure will nod knowingly the next time they flick through a car magazine.

Many thanks to Reinis for educating and entertaining in equal measure with his display of narrative and wonderful images on car and motorsport photography.

Notes for Thursday 8 February 2018 - Print Battle with Westcourt Camera Club
Friday 8 February 2018 - An Evening with Sinclair Adair

Print Battles between camera clubs are a regular feature in their programme of events. This is when a club presents a selection of images to be judged and scored against a similar selection from another club. Naturally the highest score wins. So, in this tradition of Print Battles, Ards Camera Club set off for Belfast on Thursday evening 8th February to do battle with newly formed Westcourt Camera Club. A great night of camaraderie and hospitality ensued as Vittorio and Shelly expertly judged and scored the array of quality images.

At the end of the evening when the scores had been added and verified, Ards came out on top and were declared winners of this first Print Battle between the clubs. Many thanks to Westcourt for hosting the event and every success to them as they establish this new club which obviously has the potential to be well placed within the NIPA affiliated membership.

Back on home turf for Friday 9th February and the highlight of our season's programme took place with the combined Birthday Celebration and presentation of his audio visual work of honorary club member Sinclair Adair.

In spite of the usual helpful and maybe not so helpful advice from the assembled members and visitors, a few initial technical glitches were soon sorted and the show got underway. The creative imagination and masterly ability to produce such amazing audio visuals never ceases to amaze and the evening proceeded with a variety of psychedelic works of art, cloned animal menageries, train crashes and much more.

Following a break for Birthday cake ( 94 candles was deemed a fire risk so one symbolic candle was deemed sufficient ) and other treats the evening concluded with a further array of entertaining and sometimes confusing images. 'Trips to Holland and fast food outlets will never be the same again!'
As always on these occasions it was a night of much mirth and entertainment and the club's best wishes for a very Happy Birthday and thanks for an outstanding performance were bestowed on Sinclair.

Irvine Ferguson
Chair - Ards Camera Club

Sinclair Adair celebrating his 94th Birthday with friend and fellow photographer Stanley Matchett

Notes for Friday 2 February 2018
Club / NIPA Competition Round 3 'Infrastructure' - Judge Darren Brown

Friday 2nd February saw NIPA Secretary, Darren Brown, join us from Bangor & North Down Camera Club to guest judge the fourth round of the combined Club and NIPA Round 4 competition. Back on familiar territory with an ‘Open’ round, the entry extended over onto the new display boards around the side of the Clubhouse. It is great to see so many members participating in the competitions and, as Darren observed, a particularly strong Novice section!

Accompanied by his dogs, Darren provided an excellent critique of all the images on display. Subsequently, there has a lot of feedback about how much everyone enjoyed his judging and the positive comments and encouragement he gave everyone, especially the novices.

As is usual for an Open round, there were photographs covering many topics ranging from lighthouses (!), landscapes, portraits, sports photography, natural history and travel. A stand out image was a self portrait of our Competition Secretary, David, looking like he was mid way through adding up the scoring for the evening!

After much consideration the following members had their images placed:- Jacqui Agnew, Michael Loane, Rusty Adair, Bobby Graham, Sarah Shaw, Linda Hutchinson, Richard Cowan, Sean Evans, Sian Kerr, David Williamson, Ryan Patterson, Ted McKee.

Well done to the successful entrants and many thanks to Darren for judging.

Notes for Friday 19 January 2018
Guest Speaker - Ryan Simpson - Landscape Photography

Friday 19th January and Landscape Photography was elevated to new heights by guest Ryan Simpson's presentation of his Mountain Photography.

A full attendance, enhanced by visitors keen to view Ryan's photography, were treated to a fantastic display of scenes taken mainly in The Mourne Mountains, Norway and The Faroe Islands.

As a result of many solitary overnight camps spent in the Mournes at all times of the year, Ryan displayed photographs of the mountains, the sky and clouds, taken at varying times of the day and night, together with the accompanying sunrises and sunsets. A great feature of Ryan's work was his time lapse photography, where the changing light and cloud formations could be appreciated as they moved according to the varying weather conditions affecting them. In comparison to other mountain ranges, the Mournes are relatively small, however the photographs on display showed they have a massive diversity of beauty in a landscape that is on our doorstep.

Ryan followed with photographs from a marathon trip to the North West tip of Norway that contained scenes of fjords, mountains, deserted beaches and of course, being so far North, the Aurora Borealis (Northern Lights) at it's magnificent best.

The presentation continued with photographs from Ryan's most recent trip to the Faroe Islands where the landscapes can only be described as looking like amazing photographs from 'Middle Earth' as depicted in the 'Lord of the Rings' films.

Many thanks to Ryan for this very accomplished presentation of Mountain Photography.

Now that our 'Life in Mono' project is underway, well done to the fourteen hardy members who assembled on a grey, damp, cold, miserable Saturday morning, for the first outing to take some local photograph at Island Hill and Comber. Highlight of the day was breakfast/morning break in Comber. We look forward to seeing the resulting photographs on Wednesday.

Irvine Ferguson
Chair - Ards Camera Club

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.

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