Cheltenham Camera Club
Welcome to Cheltenham Camera Club!
CISP 2015
Annual Exhibition of Photography
Charlie Waite at the Parabola Arts Centre
CAPTURING THE MOMENT - 150 Years of Photography in Cheltenham
Published by Cheltenham Camera Club
Capturing the Moment Cheltenham was one of the first towns in the country to establish a professional photographic studio and has one of the oldest camera clubs. The book, marking the 150th anniversary of Cheltenham Camera Club, looks at how the nature of Cheltenham society influenced this development. We look at the history of photography in the town and its leading figures. The book outlines technological developments in photography and sets the photographic scene in Cheltenham into the wider social context, ending with a summary of photography in Cheltenham today.

Illustrated, 76 pages. 210 x 148 mm
ISBN: 978-0-9931482-0-0

£10 (to include postage and packing in UK)      Buy Now Using PayPal

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The Club meets on Thursday evenings from September to May for a varied programme of high quality presentations and competitions.

The Club welcomes photographers of all ages, interests and abilities.

We are friendly and supportive and, as one of the oldest photographic clubs in the country, continue to encourage our many members to develop and improve their photography.

If you are interested in finding out what we are about, simply turn up at one of our meetings – there is just a £2 visitor’s fee – you will be made most welcome. For more information click on 'About us' above.

Selection of our award winning images

Gatekeeper Butterfly On Edible Peas by David Adamson accepted at MidPhot 2015.JPG by David Adamson <b>DOROTHY</b><br>David Ross
<br><br>22 International Acceptances(FIAP) to 12 November 09
<br>FIAP Gold Medal
<br>FIAP Bronze Medal
<br>Austrian Super Circuit Bronze Medal
<br>FIAP Hon Mention
<br>FIAP Hon Mention
<br>Photographic Society of Singapore Merit Medal
<br>Midphot Best MONO Trophy 2006
<br>Judges Award (PSA) Pallyup; Washington State USA
<br>Exhibited RPS International Print Exhibition by des Resting on Forester Pass by David Adamson BPE1*. Accepted at Yorkshire Photographic Union's(YPU)first International Salon. by David Adamson <b>Turning Colder</b> by David Adamson<br>International acceptances at Sydney Harbour and Serbia by David Adamson Female Yellowhammer by David Adamson, accepted print at MidPhot 2015.JPG by David Adamson Mist In The Woods by Aleks Gjika - 6 x FIAP Acceptances, 1 x PSA Blue Badge by aleks <b>Roosting Brown Argus Butterflies</b> by David Adamson<br>International acceptance at Sydney Harbour by David Adamson <b>KEEP OUT</b><br>David Ross
<br><br>7 International Acceptances (FIAP)
<br>FIAP Ribbon
<br>Exhibited London Salon by des Laundry Room by Richard Cherry, Midphot 2015 Malcolm Kus Medal.jpg by Richard Cherry
Lightbox of recently uploaded images

Tour Bike No.  3 by admin Sunny Delight by admin Lily by admin The Cyclist by admin Abstract Shelduck by admin Made to Measure by admin Frost on Car by admin Flow by admin Apparitions by admin
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Mike Lane’s Latest Wildlife Images by Len Shood

For those of us who have travelled down A Lane in Poland, experienced A Lane in Brazil, wandered Back Down a Country Lane and journeyed along A Lane around the UK, attendance this week was a must to see Mike Lane’s latest presentation, Latest Wildlife Images. He always has new material to show, presents lots of tips and is an accomplished speaker. Even for those with little interest in photographing natural history, his enthusiasm and knowledge are infectious and enjoyable. Has he run out of Lanes, we wonder? He explained that his many trips to exotic locations were financed out of income attainable from subsequent sale of images, but the internet has virtually destroyed this as an income for the free-lance photographer. This talk therefore centred on work nearer home in Warwickshire. Notwithstanding that, he also showed us photographs of Komodo dragons in Indonesia and Black grouse in Finland. I was fascinated by the former because I have just been reading David Attenborough’s account of seeing and filming them eating a stinking goat carcass in the 1950s when travel to such locations was not for the faint hearted.


            Natural history photography has now become an industry with loads of equipment for sale. Hides have become big business with different styles of portable models being produced in different countries. In Finland where Mike went to photograph black grouse there is a manufacturer of particularly good ones, necessary when you are spending many hours in one and need to stretch out. Birds do not keep the same hours as us, and you need to rise when they do! He had some splendid images of males fighting and then went on to show us them on ice against a perfectly white background. We were astonished to see his hide on the snow which was a traditionally camouflaged model, very conspicuous as you’d have expected, but although the company does sell white ones, in Mike’s experience the colour of a hide is immaterial wherever you are. The advantage of a camouflaged one is that ramblers and other people do not notice it and therefore ignore it. The same goes for his car, shown concealed beneath a net covered with leaves.


            Nowadays Mike does a lot of his photography on a private estate in Warwickshire to which he has exclusive access. Here he has a more substantial, shed like hide with perspex windows to which he attached one way mirror film so the birds cannot see him. Although he can see through it, it is unsuitable for photography so his windows slide open for a lens to peep through. Talking of which his favourite lens on his Canons (full frame and ASP-C) is an 800mm so he can work a good distance from his subjects.


            The secret of his success is his very detailed knowledge. A former zoo keeper he clearly has a deep understanding of wild life and this is why he is able to get such superb photographs. But he also goes to a great deal of effort in helping the birds come to the most appropriate place to suit him where he gets a good background and good lighting. He collects old branches to make perches, maybe with fungus on them. He considers the wind direction — birds, particularly large ones always take off and land into the wind. He knows their favourite food, and provides it, whether this be nuts, roadkill (the latter is not popular in the fridge at home so chicken from Aldi is sometimes substituted for buzzards), or acorns for migrating jays which last year he had to buy on ebay as there was no native crop. They prefer peanuts but eat them with their head kept down so you do not get a good image. To consume an acorn they lift the head so it can be dropped down the throat.


            By placing appropriate food on a prepared branch or perch birds will repeatedly come back to it. While some will stay a minute or so, others are in and out within a second. Here a short burst is the best approach. The technique for kingfishers is to provide a perch which they get used to coming back to regularly. Suddenly removing it causes a sensation. The bird returns and the perch has gone! Perplexed, momentarily it hovers, providing a unique alternative view. A plank, just under the surface of the water in a lake will attract birds, particularly if there is a dead fish just beside. 


            Other tricks used include using a small mirror on a branch; a nuthatch will see the reflection and think it is another bird. Niger seed sprinkled on teasels will attract gold finches. Apples are attractive to many birds. When in the hide with the bait in situ do not take the first bird that comes along: wait silently and observe, the bird will return. Let it get used to coming back.


            Just when we were thinking that without hides and a private reserve such bird photography  was out of our reach Mike showed us house martins nesting beneath a public toilet roof and told us he sometimes goes to the zoo — not to photograph the caged animals but the wild birds living within the surroundings. And he said there is lots of interesting wild life in our city parks, proving it with Coots in Regents Park being very aggressive. High up in a tree there was a heron’s nest. What have you photographed recently in Pittville Park?


            Few of us have an 800mm lens — together with 1.4x and 2x extenders — but Mike also uses shorter lenses, a Canon compact camera close to his prospective subject but controlled from a distance, and most recently a Panasonic GH4 which shoots 4K video (he doesn’t know what that means) and provides 8mg files from each frame. He likes it and foresees this as the future.


            Mike’s style of bird photography is to show the bird’s detailed features against a very out of focus background that appears almost plain, usually green or blue. There is very little of the environment present except in a few instances, e.g. when taken with his compact camera. This style is in contrast to that we saw earlier in the season from others where more of the environment was included in bird pictures. It could be of course that those photographers have neither the wherewithal to buy nor the stamina to carry, such a long lens! Mike concentrates on the birds’ behaviour and antics and is unquestionably a master of this technique, spending many hours awaiting action as all natural history photographers and film makers do.


            While birds are his prime subject, in addition to the afore mentioned dragons, we also saw excellent photographs of hares, but none boxing despite his spending many hours with his lenses trained on them. He wonders if it is a regional thing, but that is the wonder of nature;  there is always more to see, more to photograph and another Lane to travel.

CCC 150th Captures the Moment

There is an article and video on the first event of our 150th celebrations 'Capturing the Moment' on the BBC Gloucestershire website, please follow the link: BBC Gloucestershire

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Len Shood Archive

26th March 2015 Mike Lane’s Latest Wildlife Images
19th March 2015 Children in Fashion and Advertising with Fiona Senior
12th March 2015 The Eric Franks and Jean Krier Competitions
5th March 2015 Interclub Battle, Cheltenham v Cheltenham
26th February 2015 Print Appreciation Evening
19th February 2015 Aggregate Round 3 Print 'Feathers' - Judged by Ralph Snook
12th February 2015 Bryn Griffiths, Hasselblad Master Photographer
5th February 2015 Aggregate Round 3 PDI 'Reflections' - Judged by Pete McCloskey
29th January 2015 Harry Sedgwick Memorial Competition 'Architecture' - Judged by Dave Johnston
22nd January 2015 Showing of CISP 2014 images
15th January 2015 Travel Photography by Michael Freeman
8th January 2015 'Capturing the Moment' at the Parabola Arts Centre

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InFocus Newsletter Archive

Issue 137: 1865 January The Photographic Society; Making a Photograph; Purchasing a Camera; A Method for Photomicrographs by Dr E. T. Wilson; Letters
Issue 136: 2014 October Godfrey Outram, 1934-2014; External Competitions; Update on Plug-Ins; Are you a Constable or a Turner?; Rule Changes
Issue 135: 2014 April OnOne & Adobe Creative Suite, Histograms and RAW files, What makes Colin Harrison Click, Breaking the Rule - thoughts on Composition
Issue 134: 2014 January Honorary Life Membership - Martin Fry, Olympus day with Gifford's Circus, Sandy Fothergill, John Cook, Corrupted memory card?, Focus stacking with a tablet
Issue 133: 2013 September 1st CISP, Competition Software, Ewa & Peter Makas and Richard Cherry, Honorary Life Membership - Martin Fry, Life in a Competitive World by Ian Gee
Issue 132: 2013 April Adding a Keyline, Soft Proofing, Jane Borland and Graham Hodgkiss, Private Lives, Ghosts and Shadows, Morgan Outing
Issue 131: 2012 December Tewkesbury School, Janice Clark, Archie Douglas, Creative Course, Topaz & Nik, Photoshop in the 1850's?
Issue 130: 2012 September Cheltenham International Salon, Chairman's Medal, Liverpool Cathedral, Making Cards, New Logo, Lightroom
Issue 129: 2012 April Founder E.T. Wilson; My Journey; Making 'The Mystic'; Nature Photography; Depth of Field; CCC at the Mayor's Parlour
Issue 128: 2012 January Brain Swinyard Award; Layers; Adding Text; Guy Edwardes Review
Issue 127: 2011 September Lundy Trip; Digital Dabblings - HDR; Micro Adjustment; The wider world
Issue 126: 2011 April Street Photography; Royal Visit; Showing Off; Copyright
Issue 125: 2011 January 150th Anniversary plans; Photography and the law; Keywords; David Christie tribute
Issue 124: September 2010 Preserving the past; Our Archivist; Using the Web Galleries; Clogged Nozzles
Issue 123: 2010 April Converting to Infra Red; Fred Wall tribute; Colour Management; Fibonacci deconstructed; The way we were.
Issue 122: 2009 December Cyril Bint tribute; Calibration and colour management; iPhone apps; Club competitions precis
Issue 121: 2009 September Lightroom 2, CS4 and Elements 7; Back Button Focusing, New FIAP rules
Issue 120: 2009 April Memory test; Jack Stephens tribute; Competition changes; Raw files
Issue 119: 2008 December Image Stabilisation; Public photography and the police; Updating your camera?; Black and White Printing
Issue 118: 2008 September Profile converting; Digital projection; Making the print; Dynamic range explained
Issue 117: 2008 April Annual Exhibition report; Scanning; Letters and distinctions explained; Canon 40D - worth it?
Issue 116: 2007 December The lighthouse of Cordouan; Wendy and Godfrey Outram Arts Council Award; CS3
Issue 115: 2007 August Backups; Exhibition move; Sikkim & Bhutan; DIG info
Issue 114: 2007 April Judges; Selective focus; Photomatix;
Issue 113: 2006 December Woodchester Mansion; Looking towards 2015;

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