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