November’s Monthly is Autumn Colours

Autumn is a beautiful time of year when the trees turn golden and vibrant especially when ignited by a sinking sun. It’s a great season to get creative and experiments with different techniques. Slow shutter speeds can make flicker leaves look like fire and a wide angle lens can stretch a huge oak. Or why not concentrate on the fine detail of a curling leaf? Show fellow members your autumn delights and join in the productive discussions.

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Who was Chambré-Hardman?

This photograph, showing the Ark Royal being constructed in Liverpool, is one of the best known works of Chambré-Hardman (1898- 1988). The story goes that he had planned to take this view for quite a while and then, one day, he realised that they were painting the ship and it was going to stand out so beautifully in the morning light. Setting up, he had a great stroke of luck; a school boy walked past and down the centre of the road, the perfect visual path into a great composition, touché.

Back at his studio in Rodney Street he developed the negative but must have known all along that there was one flaw to his masterpiece; the end of the house on the left was also a light colour and was going to ruin the shot by competing with the aircraft carrier for attention. No problem; he made a mask so that the house got more exposure under the enlarger and turned dark grey. Hey presto, a miniature masterpiece was born!

Chambré-Hardman made his living from studio portraiture – a good earner in those days, but he loved to get out into the city and countryside, sometimes by bicycle, and take picture for himself, his own artistic satisfaction.

Great pictures they were too. Perhaps my favourite, for its atmosphere and perfection of composition was one taken in France. It perfectly illustrates my favourite composition lines, what I like to call the “Painter’s Armature” – Ian McNab, in his talk to us, illustrated it as something which Henri Cartier Bresson was taught in his painting lessons and intuitively used in his photography.

Chambré-Hardman’s studio in Rodney Street is now a National Trust property and is set out to show how he worked. When some of us visited it shortly after the NT opened it I was a bit disappointed to find that there were relatively few of his photographs on display – nothing like the wonderful exhibition I saw in Bradford a few years before – but no doubt it was a temporary omission.

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The L&CPU’s Big Day and Novice Cup

On Sunday Carl Sumner and I attended the L&CPU’s Big Day and Novice Cup event in Eccles we enjoyed listening to four talented photographers who had achieved a CPAGB or higher. We also submitted our clubs entry of 6 monochrome and 6 colour A4 prints. There was a strong entry of mixed subjects and quality, some of which was very high. It’s clear that many photographers are taking this seriously now.

All the speakers told their encouraging stories of how they achieved their awards. They all stressed how the L&CPUs mentoring system had helped them greatly and they welcomed being told that if their work wasn’t up to the standard and what they needed to do to improve it. They shared the same dedication and stressed their attention to detail. The speakers told the stories behind their panels and how they decided on the balance and frequently changed their selection. They also told us of their main photographic interests and showed us some excellent examples of work that owed as much to excellent Photoshop skills as much as camera techniques.

Eddie Leach, a member of Oldham PS, kicked off the talks by explaining his path to achieving his CPAGB. He started photograph 5 years ago and enjoys photographing people, sport, macro and landscape. His main tip was to photograph objects that can be used in a composite like skies, textures and backgrounds.

The talented Christine Johnson CPAGB continued the theme by discussing her panel and love of photography. Her passion was to photograph her dog playing on the beach and capturing the atmosphere of the places she visits.

After the included buffet lunch former engineer Steve Proctor explained how his background had helped him create a structured approach to planning his portfolio. He developed a spreadsheet to monitor his works results and comments and referred to it before deciding on his panel. This removed some of his personal preference from his selection.  He was an excellent and natural speaker who would do well giving regular talks. Christine Widdall asked him to talk at the next L&CPU event.

The final speaker was Yorkshire lass, Andrea Hargraves who has achieved a MPAGB. Her work was pure fantasy in the vein of beautiful ladies floating on clouds. Some would argue that it’s not pure photography, but no one can deny that she’s extremely talented and her work is beautiful.

Unfortunately, we didn’t gain any awards with our Novice Cup entry this time, but on seeing the high quality of the opposition I can see it was very difficult for the judges. Thank you to everyone that submitted photographs for the competition.

Peter Robinson

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October’s Monthly Theme is Street Photography

The Monthly Theme for October is Street Photography. It’s a subject that is accessible to everyone and can be accomplished with a wide variety of equipment. Many successful street photographers find a suitable location without many distractions and wait for their subject to appear in their composition.  As Street Photography isn’t set up more natural photographs are created in a urban environment.  You’ll soon learn it’s just a case of snapping people in the street, but looking for a situation to develop and planning the photograph will give you a thought provoking photograph. I’ve provided some links to useful Street Photography websites in the Forums thread.

Why not enter this months’ theme. It might be right up your street!

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The new season and an exhibition

We are now a couple of meetings into the new season and have an exhibition mounted in Crewe Library, so a good time to take stock.

Self-help and the society of other enthusiasts are probably the most valuable features of any club and that has been underlined in the last two weeks when we have looked together at some of the best club prints from the region and heard three talks from members about their recent work.

The discussions which arose have been an invaluable help to us all. Our faith in the internet as a source of information is justifiable but, as a member commented last year, “I just learned more in five minutes about [subject] from [another member] than I have in years”.

We hope you will take a look at our exhibition. It shows the variety of work our members undertake – that bit is always up to you, of course – but if you feel inspired to find out more just come to a meeting!

Remember that printing is a special thing that we don’t all do – many are happy with electronic images, the things that everyone knows from social media etc, but we want to do it all that little bit better.

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September’s Monthly Theme is Camera Phone Photos

Wow it’s September already! It’s less than a week to the first meeting of our brand new season. With that in mind this month’s theme is one that some members have requested and easy for most of us can partake in. To show the world that CPS members are forward thinking and keen to keep up to date I’ve chosen to accept any photographs taken with a camera phone or tablet.  The subject matter is open, but show us how versatile these high tech devices can be. Many allow you to apply creative special effects and you could always enter them into our PDI competitions.

Camera phones have obvious advantages over their bigger brothers. Their light weight and compact size makes them ideal for street photograph. It’s a lot easier to take a photo without being noticed and the quality of modern camera phone images is excellent.

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August’s Monthly Theme – Magic Moments

Cameras are better than any other device at capturing magic moments. We have all reviewed our photographs and noticed elements that we didn’t see at the time. Magic moments come and go in all walks of life. Sport, nature, street scenes, even a dripping water can produce a special moment. Please have a look at the Forum’s Monthly Theme for some examples and advice on this topic.

Why not share your magic moments with fellow members to spark some lively discussion and inspire your photography.

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Under 16 Steampunk Photographic Competition Winner

13 year old Rosie Warburton won the ‘Under 16’ category of our Steampunk Competition with her imaginative image of the Municipal Buildings photographed through her steampunk goggles. The judges were impressed with her creative approach and composition.

Rosie was unable to attend the main prizing event at the Municipal Buildings in June and so was invited to attend a Town Council meeting where the prize giving was added to the agenda on 10th.July. She was supported by her proud family and several members of CPS.

When the time arrived Councillor Simon Yates gave Rosie a glowing tribute and thanked Crewe Photographic Society for their work in making the competition a success.  Then Mayor Brian Roberts congratulated and presented Rosie with her trophy, certificate and mounted A4 print. Meg and Dolores were on hand to record the occasion with these photographs. They will be published on the Town Councils web and twitter sites.

Rosie’s dad, Mark kindly emailed with with this email thanking us and telling how pound Rosie is.

“Thank you Peter,
It truly was a brilliant day for Rosie, I know she can be a bit shy but was totally over the moon and still hasn’t stopped talking about meeting you all and the mayor. I do hope she does take photography on as her art teacher at malbank thinks she is very creative with her work at school.
Thank you for the photos they shall be cherished and hopefully see you again soon. We took this one of her having a celebratory lemonade.”

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L&CPU Awards and Exhibition

On Saturday (7 June) 6 members shunned the Football World Cup (England v Sweden) to attend the L&CPU Award Ceremony and the opening of the 2018 exhibition.

We were to receive a certificate for getting third place in the nature section of the L&CPU Club Annuals this year. Of course we were anxious to view the exhibition too.

Peter Robinson’s splendid Posh Chimney Sweep was selected for the exhibition.

After our unofficial viewing we applauded our way through the wards. Ian Whiston received ours for us, appropriate because two of his images contributed a great deal to our successful total.

Chorley and Adrian and Jane Lines practically needed a wheelbarrow to take their awards home. Pictures are just some of their haul.

The stands used for the exhibition were interesting, being an open metal meshwork. It let the light in, and was better for security than solid boards. It was self supporting, with triangular piers at each junction making three sided display areas as well as supports.

The exhibition now continues  until 5 August at Urmston Library , 34 Golden Way,
Urmston,  Manchester,  M41 0NA. Open 9am Mon-Sat, closing at 5pm on Mon, Wed and Fri, 7.30pm Tues and Thur. Closes 4pm on Saturday.

Thanks to Ian Whiston, Paul Hill, Stephen Coyne, Wallace Baxter and Bob Brown for producing the quality work which earned us the award. At present there is a slide show of the winning images on the front page.

England won, as everyone knows!


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July’s Monthly theme – ‘Break the Rules’

We’ve all been taught how we should construct a picture, but this can make our photography predictable and even stagnate. If we want to progress our photography I think we should experiment more by breaking the predefined rules. Just try out new angles and composition, then post your photo on our forum and see what fellow members make of it. Go on, break the rules!

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