Seasons Greetings - Tony Cartwright
2013 is almost done! Hard to believe that not so long ago we were meeting at the social club and worrying about our future. We really have been very lucky to land at the Jaguar Bowls Club. We have been so well looked after here and they're a great team of people. It does seem to suit our purposes very well and I look forward to a very long association. And if you haven't been down yet - feel free to drop in and see us on a Wednesday evening.
Of course we are in winter now (yes I know it starts officially on 21st!) but to me it's winter. This time of year can be difficult season photographically for many with much shortened daylight hours and the cold. But it also brings the rewards of the dramatic lighting of low sun, sunrises and sunsets at more sociable hours, early morning mists, snow, and completely different landscapes are revealed as all the foliage disappears. And of course you have the opportunity to ask Santa for the latest bit of kit that will obviously transform your photographic efforts into award winning masterpieces.
So have a great Christmas break, write your new year resolutions and join us on 8th January for another season's packed programme.
Competitions Report - Matt Garside
Our Practical Outings have proved a great source of images for our members this year, both in our inter-club competitions and in the Merit too. We're half way through our title defence in the Coventry Works Print League and so far we've maintained a narrow lead. In the Merit it's been great to see some entries from our new members who are already rapidly improving and will be stretching the more established photographers soon too. Well done to everyone who's taken part so far, we look forward to seeing some more exciting work after the Christmas break!
Bird of Prey Day - Report by Sylvia Barthorpe
On Saturday 10th August, I took part in my second Photographic outing since joining the
Jaguar Photographic Society in July. A group of 8 of us, met at 1pm on a lovely sunny day at J.R.C.S Falconry , with cameras ready and looking forward to taking some good photos. Jan, the Falconer gave us an introductory talk about the private collection and different breeds of birds he has, which was very informative and extremely interesting. Our first subject was the European Kestrel:
European Kestrel - Sylvia Barthorpe
We then moved on to tackle Lanner and Peregrine Falcons to White Faced Scops, Eagle, Long Eared, Little and Tawny owls and not forgetting the Buzzard and Golden Eagle. Which I might add, all held a perfect pose while we took many photos of each one.
The weather was lovely for taking photos, sunny but not too bright. There was a bit of a firm breeze at times which ruffled the birds feathers now and then, offering a good photo opportunity should you catch it at the right time.
Jan was able to fly some of the birds, at the end which I have not experienced before. I was very surprised just how close a barn owl can fly to the top of your head. I was pleased to get this image of the Barn Owl mid flight.
I was very pleased with my new camera, Canon 550D which only arrived the day before. I would like to thank all the members of the Jaguar Photographic Society for sharing their knowledge and experience, and providing advice on which settings to use and the best angle to shoot at.
After a few hours spent at J.R.C.S Falconry my arms certainly knew I had been taking photos, but the whole experience was well worth it. A must for any Photographer.
Snowshill Lavender Summer Trip - Report by Nick Archer
The weather was sunny with some cloud and a brisk breeze as six of us met up in the Car Park of Cotswold Lavender. Despite being first in the queue (and no tourist coaches) it became difficult to take ‘tourist free’ shots virtually from the off so getting decent photos called for either creative composition or a lot of patience.
Venturing up to the back and along the top of the field proved a good move as it was much easier to get some distance shots, although even here, it was sometimes necessary to limit the scope of shots in order to exclude wandering tourists.
The wind was quite brisk on the top of hill so it was either a fast shutter speed or a slow creative one to show motion. By way of contrast to the colour of the Lavender there were some brightly coloured weeds and grasses.
Towards the end of our couple of hours in the field some threatening clouds cleared and allowed us to finish the shoot on a high note with sun and some fluffy clouds, before adjourning to the cafe for a well earned drink and the consumption of miscellaneous food.
After lunch we went down the hill to the picturesque Snowshill village. The village has an abundance of buildings built of Cotswold stone, many with interesting architectural details, with the church right in the heart of the village.
The lovely warm tones of the Cotswold stone lends itself to some nice pictures on a sunny day, just ripe for a few chocolate box covers!
The contrast of flowers with architectural details and the stone couldn’t be missed either.
Not long til the new season begins and we're looking forward to some more great trips along the way.
Spring Outing - Report by Scott Wiggins
Saturday 20th April saw 10 members make an early start to Wales for a day of photography around Lake Vyrnwy and Pystll Rhaeadr.
On arrival we were treated to an hour of calm which gave us some wonderful reflections on the Lake. Whilst Vyrnwy isn't the biggest lake, it does offer the chance to get to grips with a number of compositional elements and practice fundamental techniques. As ever all the members were keen to help each other with tips and assistance as needed and soon some of our newer members were being shown how to use graduated filters and photograph panoramas.
Making our way across the dam we dropped into the RSPB hide and were treated to a wonderful display of small finches and tits as well as a few grey squirrels making the most of the free food from the feeders. Our contingent of keen nature photographers decided to sit tight for a while and made the most of the light to capture some images of the birds with some pleasing results despite having to shoot through the glass.
Making the short journey across to Pystll Rhaeadr we enjoyed the best of the light making it's way into the falls and along valley. I think it was fair to say that everyone enjoyed the opportunity to make images here and there are lots of compositions to be found. If you liked moving water then you were in for a real treat.
The day was a great opportunity to make the best of the early spring weather and to kick off our summer outdoor events. Our club's first ever video record of the day can be seen below:
If you're interested in taking your photography further then please come and join us. We have an interesting programme of events, tutorials and practical events.
Our New Home
Sadly the Jaguar Sports and Social Club in Radford is closing down, so with regret we say farewell to Carole and her team and thank them for their support over the past few years. Following our EGM with the majority of the members voting in support we will now be meeting at the Bowling Club in Kinlet Close just round the corner. Full details on the Location section of the site.
There have been a couple of competitions recently, firstly the Annual Panel competition with members challenged to present sets of three images on a theme. Our judge Martin Robinson had an exceptionally difficult task as there were some really excellent images, of the 15 entries 6 made it through to the final decision. Phil Holroyd's beautiful images on the topic of "Reflections of Scotland" came a close second to Tony Cartwright's panel "Alone - The 2013 Collection". Well done to everyone, the standard of images showed just how much we've improved in recent years.
The Merit competition is heating up with just one round left to go, we've seen some great images from all our members, keep up the good work. The set subject for Merit Competition 4 is "Automotive", time to find some beautiful cars to photograph.
Jaguar Retain Print League Title
After a close year of competition with a great standard of images from all the clubs the deciding round between Courtaulds and Jaguar took place on 23rd January. Courtaulds held a narrow lead of 1 point going into the competition. On the night Jaguar earnt 288 points to Courtaulds 268 points and Scott Wiggins earnt the extra point for print of the night with Boredale. Well done to everyone whose images were part of the set, it was good to see prints from our new members scoring consistently well.
It's now time to focus on our images for the internal club competitions as well as our entries for next year's print league too.
Chairman's New Year Message
2013 already. I hope you all had a good Christmas break. Days are getting longer again and hopefully the incessant rain has subsided and we can look forward to some bright, crisp, inspiring, photographic weather. Winter can bring some very dramatic lighting, but it does mean getting out in the cold and taking great care with exposures of all kinds! Scenes that can be very mundane in spring and summer can be stunning when the frost strikes and the early morning sun is low in the sky. Remember the special topic for the second Merit Competition is "Cold", and it's coming up fast.
Looking back to the first competition, it's very encouraging to see new talent doing well, and challenging the long standing performers - take a look at the results under the competitions tab on the left menu bar. With 3 three more to go, it should be an exciting season, and we are also still the club to beat in the Coventry Print League. Between us all we have a wonderful variety of photographic styles which is really inspiring.
Looking ahead our main challenge is to sort out a new venue, prior to the Radford Social Club closing later in the year. It will be sad to leave after many years here, but we should take it as an opportunity to move the club forward. We will be exploring alternatives in the next few weeks before calling an extraordinary general meeting to present our proposals.
Meanwhile, keep focussed . . . . . Tony Cartwright
Works Print League First Round Results
The first round of our Works Print League title defence took place against Alfred Herberts with some very strong images from both sides.
Jaguar gained 2 points for an overall win with 289 points to Herberts 279. Herberts won 1 point for best print of the night with "Caught in the Rain". Thank you to our hosts Herberts and the judge from Courtaulds who provided some very constructive criticism for both sides.
Bradgate Park Trip Report
By Scott Wiggins
An early morning drive through fog didn't provide much hope for a fruitful morning’s photography at Bradgate Park for us last Saturday. Walking into the park whilst still dark and foggy was an interesting experience, but once we'd positioned ourselves on the edge of the bracken and the light began to rise we began to be able to pick out the deer. The mist provided some atmosphere to the initial images of the Red and Fallow deer albeit at some rather high ISO's.
As the light improved and our confidence grew so did the opportunities, we were able to get images of stags around their groups of hinds. The roar of the younger stags was drowned out by the alternating tones of the big old boys showing who was boss. It was interesting how the Red and Fallow deer seem to co-exist so closely together and standing amongst the bracken it was easy to get lots of images of each group interacting. As none of us own really long telephoto lenses we opted for the fieldcraft approach and moved slowly into an area before settling down and waiting quietly for the deer to get closer.
As ever at this time of year, Bradgate is a hot spot for lots of photographers all looking for images of the deer and as we reached the lower pathway we were soon amongst a lot of others with similar ideas. I dread to think how much the lenses on display would have cost. Images of a group of Fallow deer interacting under the trees provided lots of opportunities before a Red stag gave us some real interest. The sun by now having burnt off the mist was providing some nice rim light to the stag before he trotted off.
As we made our way along the path back towards the entrance to the park we were fortunate to witness a fantastic display of rutting from two Fallow Stags. It was fascinating to watch this live and I almost forgot to press the shutter at times, the display was so enthralling. This alone definitely made the early morning worthwhile. As we looked up from the display we saw another couple of members who'd decided to come into the Park a little later on. We rounded the morning out with a well-deserved late breakfast from the Jade Cafe opposite the Park which if you visit is well worth walking over the road for.
On behalf of the group I must pass on our thanks to Helen and Matt for scouting out the locations within the park the week before which helped to make our trip so successful.
Check our our images on our Facebook Group Jaguar Photographic Society.
If you're interested in joining us to take advantage of our practical events then please pay us a visit on a Wednesday evening. Our next trip will be to grab some Autumnal Colours.
In Focus Issue 2
Our second editon is now available to download here. We're always looking for your contributions to the newsletter so drop Scott a note if you have something to share. Thanks!
The new season is underway, welcome to our new members it was good to see you at our first meeting and to see some of your images too. Our members have been busy capturing new images, with a trip to The Victory Show at Cosby providing a great variety of opportunities from re-enactors to aeroplanes.
New Season Just Around the Corner
Not long until the new season starts, so get sifting through your holiday photos ready to share some on our welcome evening 5th September 2012. We now have a presence on both Facebook and Twitter so there's a chance to discuss photography online as well as at club meetings. If you've been on some good courses you'd recommend to other members let Helen know so she can add them to our links page.
In Focus - Our New Newsletter!
Click here to download the first edition of our newsletter filled with information on trips members have been on, favourite Photoshop techniques and the gear/supplies we like to use. Let us know what you'd like to see in future issues.
Motorsport at Mallory Park
Bank Holiday Monday saw five members of the society visit Mallory Park for a day of motorsport photography. The morning practice session provided ample opportunity to set up the cameras, practice panning and framing of the cars. The nearby motocross circuit also gave members the chance to get some action shots; although you had to dodge the mud that was thrown up.
The races in the afternoon saw us move around the circuit to the esses and hairpin to get various shots. One unfortunate Caterham also gave us the chance to get some images of the marshals at work.
Thanks to Helen Jackson and Steve Harrison for their advice and tips on the day to the members.
A small group of our members had a great trip to the Yorkshire Dales based at Cocketts Hotel in Hawes. Although they had just 2 days they managed to capture the spring flowers and barns in the Muker hay meadows, sample the local cheese and ice cream at the Wensleydale Creamery, have an adventure to Cumbria chasing the sunset before tackling the Ribblehead viaduct and the Ingleton Waterfalls Trail on the final day. The trip presented the opportunity to experiment with landscape, nature and moving water photography, each with the additional challenge of bright sunshine. Polarising and Neutral Density filters all had a good work out. A full gallery of images will follow, but for now here's one from our newest member Jacinto Carrasco.
Thank you to our two longest serving committee members Colin Peakman our chairman who has now stepped down after a record 40 years on the committe and Allan Stewart who has stepped down after 30 years service. Thanks also to Allan for doing such a great job as our competition secretary for 12 years. We would like to welcome some new faces - Tony Cartwright who has picked up the mantle of Chairman, Matt Garside our new competitions secretary and Helen Jackson who will picking up the reins of the publicity role. We're looking forward to start of an exciting new era for the club.