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Member Focus : Ken Last

September 17, 2016 in Crewe PS news, Information


Ken Last can be relied on the get the shots of local events, and our event of last week was surely the Tour of Britain Stage 3 which came through Crewe on Tuesday 6 September. Ken managed to capture one of the stars, Sir Bradley Wiggins and  got the shot into the local papers like a shot too! Ken also loves to create his images on the computer as well as get in camera shots like this and his montages are always a feature of our competitions. With his fascination for camera equipment old and new too, Ken keeps himself very busy with all aspects of photography.

Member Focus – Tom Seaton

September 11, 2016 in Crewe PS news, Information


We always eagerly anticipate Tom Seaton’s entries into our competitions, his work is always among the most memorable of the year. He is able to make those resonant images from the most unpromising subjects; a few people on a beach, a disused lido, a window, a door, even a chink of light though a gap in the curtains. Impressive images abound these days and they seem to flick before our eyes, just briefly holding attention. Tom’s pictures are memorable, repay closer study and thought precisely because they don’t just show us what something looks like, they intrigue because they show us something in a different way, often with beautiful lines and tones which delight the eye.

British Portraits by Niall McDiarmid at Oriel Colwyn

September 10, 2016 in Crewe PS news, Information

Niall has a growing reputation now and it is in no small part due to this project which started as little more than an afternoon’s entertainment and has now gained international recognition. He simply went out with a vague idea of taking portraits of people he met on his walk one Sunday afternoon. Quite quickly it developed into tripping round the country taking portraits of people he met, people who interested him because of their dress and/or personality, a record of the British people in the second decade of the 21st century. That would be interesting enough but Niall’s wonderful sense of colour harmony, his special style, make these photographs totally captivating and far, far more than a mere record.

Niall has used a medium format film camera. Use of film contributes to the beautifully detailed yet smooth appearance of these pictures; there is no unpleasant “edginess” to the image rendition, There is also a uniform “look” too, which gives a group feel. The medium format contributes  in giving a more limited depth of field, blurring the background and helping to subdue it, so it is a scene setter, a backdrop, and not a distraction.

I hope you can manage to get to the exhibition. We are told it will be touring, but when and where is not known and it may never be nearer than Colwyn. The gallery is upstairs at the Theatre in Abegele Road and though it says it is open every day it is a good idea to ring to check because the gallery sometimes runs courses and is closed for viewing. Cambrian Photography, a real camera shop, is just down the road and you can eat at Isaac Simeon’s very cheaply!

You can read a bit more about Niall and this project HERE and on Niall’s Website.On until 14 October 2016

Oriel Colwyn, Upstairs at Theatr Colwyn, Abergele Road, Colwyn Bay, North Wales. LL29 7RU Tel: 01492 577888 Gallery website.

Niall Oriel Sept 2016web


Peter Bainbridge

August 22, 2016 in Information

Aerobatic-Ascent_Peter Bainbridge

Although Peter Bainbridge specialises in photographing aircraft he often turns his lens on wildlife too and we sometimes see his landscapes and so on. Last season gave us one of the best talks of the season where he described his subjects beautifully and had his audience enthralled. For a competition picture, however, you need something that requires no explanation and Peter knows that, which is why he chose this one Aerobatic Ascent as an entry last season. You do not need to be an aeroplane enthusiast to appreciate it, the clearly visible pilot helps a great deal in keeping attention.

In his talk Peter came out with the quote of the season “I like to try and show how they [the planes] make me feel” – a quest that many photographers could set themselves.

Nature Photography – Robert Brown

August 14, 2016 in Information

Dartford Warbler Robert Brown

Patience, fieldcraft and the right equipment go a long way in getting you shots like this. Today’s cameras will take many frames per second but good timing, even anticipating the action, is still paramount. Of course nature provides us with many beautiful subjects, not all as small, lively, rare and wary as the Dartford Warbler pictured here by Robert Brown, but you can start without specialist equipment if you choose the right subject. If you get into this particular type of photography then at a club you will find people who can help you on your way.

Bowler Man by Peter Robinson

August 5, 2016 in Information


We are bound to feature successful photographs on our front page but at times we have the pleasure of presenting those works which perhaps didn’t fare so well in competition, yet are more than worthy of attention. Such an image is Peter Robinson’s Bowler Man, which he entered into our portraits competition at the end of last season. Peter may have lightened the eyes slightly and darkened the background but to good effect, making the figure stand out a little more and adding a twinkle to the eyes. This surreal effect is not overdone. There is a certain quality to the image, a kind of luminance and detail which I like but there are two further things which lift it; the visual design (the pose and the triangular shadow behind which echoes it) and the curious nature of the hat itself – surely not made of felt or silk! Above all though that look communicates.

Liverpool Library Rooftop – Morgan Griffiths

August 1, 2016 in Information


This work is by Morgan Griffith member of CPS and independent film maker. I think it makes a very good photograph because there is plenty of visual interest there and yet it is ordered, clean. It is not just a record of what this piece of architecture (Liverpool Library roof) looks like, the way Morgan has framed it makes it quite abstract and you can begin to look at the items in it, and their shadows, in a new way. The granite seats seem to lead us up to the wall as an entry into the picture, helped by the fact that they start out of the frame (in it they would just be another of the items, interesting but functionless). It is frequently said that landscapes do not do well in competitions, perhaps because a general vista, unless very well captured and carefully constructed is easily and quickly appreciated with items too small to get into as we can here.

This was our Picture of the Week 25/7/16.

Promotional Video – Elia Locardi

July 17, 2016 in Information

Yes, it is a promotion but I’m sure many of you will enjoy watching the very well produced video by landscape photographer Elia Locardi as he talks about shooting in Iceland and then takes you though an introduction to his method of processing his photographs.

He starts with Lightroom to make some basic adjustments and then takes the image into Photoshop to duplicate the image and then exports it to NIK Colour Effects Pro, finally back to Ps to be sharpened using the high-pass filter.

See the video  HERE.

(Elia doesn’t seem to like sharpening in Lr. On the basis of a very quick test this morning I can’t say I would abandon sharpening in Lr and use his method, which is a commonly used one employing the High-Pass filter. It may work better for landscape with a Nikon camera but my Fuji files look just as good straight out of Lr.   Remember there is a default of 25% in Lr, so unless you adjust it down you are always be applying some sharpening. The Fuji X-Trans sensor has no anti-aliasing filter.)

Ian Whiston EFIAP

June 28, 2016 in Crewe PS news, Information


We all know that in our midst we have an extremely successful club photographer; Ian Whiston.

He has now gained his EFIAP, which needs 250 acceptances in competitions in 20 different countries and 30 salons using 50 different images. This is a career-long achievement for many but Ian has achieved it in just a few years, so successful are his nature pictures. Not that Ian is new to club photography, he has been a member of MCCC for many years but only in the last few years has he taken to entering national and international competitions and joining Crewe PS.

His rapid rise through the awards schemes is illustrated by the image above which we last used only three years ago. Gone is the CPAGB, superseded by the DPAGB, gone is the BPE 2 crown award, replaced by a 5 crown (March 2016) and between 2013 and the present he gained the AFIAP and now EFIAP.

Ian has also been a judge for many years but is now on the PAGB list which means that he is not only called on to judge regionally but nationally and internationally

Part of Ian’s success is the meticulous way he prepares his images, but while this helps any image it will not produce international winners by itself, you need arresting, exciting, breath-taking image capture too and also  to make the effort to get yourself out there and in place to take the photographs. The latter Ian achieves partly by going on safari and he is just about to take his fourteenth! Ian-on-Safari

But “being there” is only part of the equation. All nature photographers know that field craft is essential to capture the really great picture – to understand the behaviour of your quarry. Ian is a pastmaster at this now, he seems to know every lion and cheetah in his part of Africa personally and far from benefitting from the set-ups where the photographers are virtually buying the pictures Ian is well-respected nationwide as a safari guide and expert.

So, hearty congratulations to Ian on this great achievement but I think we at Crewe should also be very grateful for having Ian as a member – not just because of his successes but because he is always prepared to pass on his knowledge and experience to the rest of us, and not all high flyers are willing to do that.




The Ron Smith Cup 2016

May 9, 2016 in Crewe PS news, Information


Ron Smith is an honorary member of ours who had a long career in teaching photography in London before moving into our area to retire. He continued to teach an extremely popular U3A class until ill-health forced him to stop but he can claim to have taught photography for over 60 years. In the 1970s he was awarded the RPS Hood Medal for service to photographic education.

He used to give us a lecture annually and it was the most eagerly anticipated event of the year. His deadpan humour, immense knowledge and once hilarious and then moving anecdotes which peppered his talks had us absolutely transfixed.

Ron donated a cup which he said should be awarded each year to a member displaying ”creativity” in their work. Sadly Ron can no longer attend meetings and it falls to us to decide who should get the award. Our deep respect for Ron makes us take the task very seriously and you can be sure that it is not awarded lightly.

Clearly part of our creativity is innate but it is shaped by our experience too and we felt that nobody can lay more claim to broadening our appreciation of photographic art than Ian McNab, whose enthusiasm for post-modern photography and his lucid explanation of the work of many of its exponents has helped us to understand it, appreciate it and give us more confidence in self-expression.


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