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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Steampunk Photographic Competition Awards

Winner John Newell presented with his trophy by CPS Chairman John Royle

Second placed Matthew Lee receives his trophy and certificate from John looked on by the Mayor Brian Roberts

Crewe Town Council kindly secured the Mayor’s Parlour in the Municipal Building as the venue for the prize giving presentations of our 2018 Steampunk Photographic Competition. It was held on Monday 25 June. Due to space restrictions we were unable to invite everyone so I just invited those who were able to contribute to the Steampunk event.

The Town Council also provided two excellent trophies for the winners and Dolores produced the excellent framed certificates and I printed and mounted their photographs. Those present were Mayor Brain Roberts, his PA Sinead Wheeler, the Council Event Officer Simona Garnero,  the winner John Newell and his partner, second placed Matthew Lee, John Royle, Dolores, Martin Smith and me.

We had plenty of time to get to know each other and learned a lot of the Council’s plans for the town. I think we could have a beneficial relationship with them.

The winner John Newell is from the Isle of Man and occasionally comes over to the mainland on business trips. He was on one this week so was able to attend the presentation. One of his prizes was a year’s membership to our society, but he’s unable to take advantage of it so he kindly donated it to second placed 20 year old Matthew Lee. Matthew enthusiastically accepted it and can’t wait to join us in September. Unfortunately, the winner of the under 16 category, Rosie Warburton, was unable to attend and she will receive her award on 10 July in the Council Offices.

Simona Garnero has written a press release and sent it to the Chronicle with our photographs of the presentation. So look out for us in next weeks Chronicle which will get our club better known. Sinead Wheeler plans to display the winning prints in the Council Offices and give us credit for our co-operation.

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June’s Monthly Theme is Intentional Camera Movement

This month’s theme of Intentional Camera Movement (ICM) gives you the opportunity to experiment and get creative. The results of moving the camera during the exposure can be unpredictable, but with experimentation you can develop your very own technique to produce some eye catching photographs. Some members have bravely entered ICM photographs for our monthly competitions. Why not try it your self?

Follow the links in the theme’s post for some guidance and inspiration then share your creations with fellow members.

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Crewe Steampunk Weekend

Crewe’s Steampunk Convivial and food festival took place this bank holiday weekend and as you may recall from my previous emails our members were invited to enjoy photographing the event and pass their photographs to the town council. In return the council have given us credit and publicity for the photographs with links to our website and facebook pages. They also generously gave us a free stall in their Steampunk Market at the Lifestyle centre for the full three days.

A big thank you to Jo, Meg, Dolores and Martin Smith for helping to man it and for talking to the many visitors who showed an interest in our stall. The council also initiated the idea of holding a photographic competition for the public to enter and for us to judge. They’ve promised to donate two cups for the winning entries and we have offered a free years membership to CPS. The mayor is to present the cups to the winners and a press release will be submitted to the local press. This is giving us even more publicity. We gave out over 40 programmes and competition leaflets during the weekend so we hope this will lead to some new members.

There was a steady flow of steampunks floating around town in their amazing costumes. We spoke to one guy who had come from near New York and loved sunny Crewe! There were quite a few visitors from other camera clubs from places like Leyland, Cardiff and Newcastle. Although the event was smaller than previous years the town was still quite busy with entertainment in the town and Memorial squares.  Thank you to those who have photographed the event and offered them for the town councils publicity. If any members have any photographs to pass on please let me know.

On Saturday, 7th.July, Crewe hosts a ‘Traction’ Carnival. After last year’s event some of our members kindly donated some photographs to the town council that they used on their website. The main attraction then and again this year is the ‘Spareparts’ carnival. These creative people build crazy vehicles from spare parts and cycle them around town putting on an entertaining show. Some of our members have agreed to photograph the event again and donate some of their photographs which will help heighten our clubs reputation.

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CPS results in the L&CPU Individual Competition

The results for the weekends’ L&CPU Individual Competition has just been published and some of our members have done particularly well.

In the ‘Colour Print’ section, Wallace Baxter scored 12 for ‘Precision On The Beam’ and 13 for ‘Mounting The Beam’ both have been retained for their Folio. Peter Robinson scored 14 for his ‘Posh Chimney Sweep’ photograph and will be displayed in their exhibition.

In the ‘Monochrome Print’ section Wallace Baxter scored 12 for ‘Strength On The Rings’ and ‘Jamie Lewis On Pommel Horse’ which was retained for the exhibition.

In the ‘Colour PDI’ section Stephen Coyne scored 13 for Indian Ascetic’. Peter Robinson scored 12 for ‘Cattle Market’ and ‘Kelsall Jumper’. Wallace Baxter scored 12 for his ‘Elegance, ‘Getting High from the Trampoline’ ‘Panic’ and Floor Exercise’.

In the ‘Monochrome PDI’ section John Royle scored 12 for ‘Driver’ and ‘Life Intimidates Art’. Wallace Baxter scored 12 for ‘Delight’, ‘Estell Eccleston’, and 13 for ‘Mature Competitor’. Stephen Coyne scored 12 for Grand Central Station’.  Peter Robinson scored 12 for ‘Llandudno Pier’, ‘Ruby Turner’, Swing Dance and 13 for ‘Memory Lane’.

In the Nature PDI section Ian Whiston excelled by getting two top scores of 15 for Buffalo and Oxpecker’ which was commened, and for ‘Cheetah and Playful Cub’ which came third. Ian also scored 13 for ‘Kori Bustard Booming’ and ‘Leopard Cub’. Wallace Baxter scored 12 for ‘Point Stag’ and ‘Calling Red Grouse’. Stephen Coyne scored 12 for ‘Camouflaged Gargoyle Gecko’.

Very well done to everyone who entered. The competition is very strong. All the results can be seen under out ‘Resources’ > ‘Results’ page by following this link: L&CPU AIC 2018 Results

Thanks, Peter.

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May’s Monthly Theme is Photo Captions

Something a bit different for merry May. Choose a caption for your or other members photos!

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April’s Monthly Theme is ‘Dirty Framing’

No it’s not an April fool joke. I want you to show us your dirty framed photos. If you’re not sure what I’m talking about have a look at Ian McNabs post entitled ‘Manet and Street Photography’ under the ‘All About Photography’ section of the Forum. It’s a bit more challenging than the previous themes and will give you more armory to your photographic arsenal.

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Clubbercise Challenge

My niece is running the London Marathon in aid of the Shine Bright Charity which was formed in memory of her sister who sadly died at the age of 32 from breast cancer. To raise funds to run the marathon she’s organised a few events. One of these is a Clubbercise  event which she asked me to photograph. I asked her why she wanted me to photograph a sandwich. When she stopped laughing she explained that it was a dance done with glow sticks thee dancers wore colourful outfits. It sounded like a bit of fun.

I did a bit of research and wonder what I’d agreed to when I discovered it was done in semi darkness with flashing lights and fast movement. How do I photograph that? If I use flash it would kill the atmosphere. If I used an high ISO the shutter speed would still be to slow and I would end up with grainy and blurred photos.

After thinking about it for a while I decided to start off by trying a bit of a compromise. I’ll shoot fully manual with a bit of flashed bounced off the ceiling and a longish exposure to record the ambient light. This would also allow me to use a reasonable ISO speed.

The venue was the Willaston Social Club and there were about 25 ladies doing the dance or should I say aerobics. The instructor was on a relatively brightly lit stage and the ladies were on a dim dance floor lit by scrobe coloured lights. I could wander around the outside of the dance floor but found the side of the stage was the best spot. I checked with everyone that they were happy for me to take some photographs for Shine Bright and they all agreed it was OK.

I started just trying a few shots using auto ISO with the camera  set manually to 1/125 at f6.3. It gave me as ISO of 12800 which gave pretty soft and grainy photos so I quickly changed to my original  plan at set the ISO to 640, the shutter speed to about 1/4 and the aperture to f6.3. I then set the flash to 1/4 power and second curtain sync so that it would fire at the end of the exposure. This means that the sensor will record the movement then the flash will fire at the end of the exposure and hopefully capture a shape image. The aperture controls the flash exposure and the shutter speed controls the ambient light. That’s the theory anyway.  To make the flash exposure more even I chose to bounce it off the low light ceiling.

The first few exposures were way out so I controlled the exposure by either changing the ISO or the flash power until they started to look reasonable. I always shoot in RAW so I can recover some highlights and shadow detail. After some trial and error I settled on an exposure of approximately 400 ISO, 1/8 sec ant f7.1. This gave me some wacky images with movement and a sharpish figure.

The problem was that the instructor was brightly lit on the stage so it was difficult to get a picture of her and the dancers both well exposed and reasonable sharp. She wouldn’t keep still so I just had to settle for some ‘creative blur’. The only way I could get a sharp photo of her was by photographing her separately with flash which spoilt the atmosphere, but got the result.

If anyone’s ever tried this kind of photography before I’d love to know how you did it. If you’ve overcome a photographic challenge before perhaps you’d like to share it with fellow members and tell us how you did it.

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