It has been great seeing you at the summer outings. I can't believe that time is over and we are now talking about 20th September! We have had some great times and most of the photos are available to see on our '21st Century Outings' group on Flickr.
The meeting on Wednesday will be aimed at two or three things:
1. A 'getting to know you' introduction. We have quite a few new members and I think this would be a good time to 'meet and greet' :-)
2. The first of the 2 main topics this evening - 'What should I be looking at when editing my photos?' This will be looking at what can be improved rather than getting into the technical side of post processing. Any questions on how to do some of these things can be included in the discussion at the end. We may not answer them all then and may use them as the basis for a meeting in the future.
As part of this, it would be great if you could bring some of the images you have taken over the summer that you may want advice on or would like to show as an example. It would be a good idea if you bring the Middlewich ones as you may want to get some of those ready for printing. Please bring a before and after if you have already done some editing. :-)
3. After a well deserved cuppa we will discuss what topics and outings the group wants to cover this year. As last year, we will look at working on 2 levels - one to develop our more confident members and one for beginners - we will be taking existing knowledge into account in both groups so make sure you have your say! :-)
The meeting starts at 7.30pm at Willowmere as usual. Cost is £4 and includes refreshments. All profit is used to benefit the group.
September Outing 2017
Saturday 2nd September
Some of you may remember that we were kindly offered the chance of doing another display in Art and Frames, next door to the pet shop.
The theme was 'Middlewich in Summer' which we are rapidly running out of, so this Saturday we are going along the canal from the King's Lock to the Big Lock, looking for opportunies.
Let's meet outside the King's Lock at 2.00pm. If you are driving then there is the Seabank car park on the A54 between the Boar's Head and the traffic lights. Once parked, walk up the road towards Sandbach and the King's Lock is on the left.
Any photo that you want to submit must have been taken this summer. It should be printed as 16X20 and framed ready for hanging.
August outing 2 2017
As we suffered the terrible traffic last outing it has been decided to defer the trip to picturesque Port Sunlight until later. Instead, we are going to meet up at Brereton Heath Park. Meeting in the car park at 2.00 pm (Post Code: CW12 4SU). Dave Warren and Ken Rane will be leading this one. Details of the teaching focus/topic assignment will be shared on arrival.
Pennington Flashes (LNR) is part of an impressive country park. The lake and surrounding marshland are home to a diverse group of mammals, birds and insects, including 5 RSPB red listed birds and the protected water vole.
Meet at 2pm in the car park. For sat nav users the postcode is WN7 3PA.
July Outing 2 2017
Saturday 15th July
Our outing is to Trentham Gardens as requested by the group in our survey. There is a lot to see (great garden centre, shops, lake) so you may want to go earlier and then meet with the group inside the main entrance (near the pay desk) at 2.00 pm. When you arrive you will be given a photographic assignment :-) Car parking is free.
How to get here
The Trentham Estate, Stone Road, Trentham, Stoke-on-Trent
Find us on the A34 between Newcastle under Lyme and Stone, in Staffordshire
Directions By Car:
Head to Main North Entrance: Sat Nav postcode ST4 8JG for:
Trentham Gardens main entrance
Trentham Shopping Village
Trentham Garden Centre
Frankie & Benny’s
Situated to the south of Stoke-on-Trent, there is easy access from both the M6 motorway and A50 dual carriageway.
From The M6 North or South Exit junction 15 of M6 - Follow A500 towards Stoke-on-Trent for 1 mile. Exit right at roundabout and follow A34 towards Stone. Trentham’s main North Entrance is 1 mile on the right.
From The A50: At Stoke City Football Club- Exit left at roundabout and follow A500 for 1 mile. Exit left at roundabout and follow A34 towards Stone. Trentham’s main North Entrance is 1 mile on the right.
Our outing is at the Ellesmere Port Boat Museum as requested by the group in our survey. There is a lot to see so you may want to go earlier and then meet with the group inside the main entrance at 2.00 pm. When you arrive Alan will give you a photographic assignment :-) Car parking is free.
How to find them:
National Waterways Museum
South Pier Road
The ticket price is your annual pass. It now allows you to return as many times as you like during a 12 month period.
Our AGM at 7.00 pm followed by a meal at the Blue Ginger in Middlewich. We need all of our regulars to this one to vote in our new Chairperson and approve any changes. Hope to see as many as possible attending please.
June Outing 2017 - Tatton Park
Saturday 3rd June
We will meet at the cafe in the courtyard and decide on our approach to the afternoon from there. Car park is £6. Gardens £7, grounds are free.
Guest Speaker on a local photo haven, Whixhall Moss
THURSDAY 18th May 7.30pm
We welcome guest speaker Barry Probin who is going to talk to us about the nearby beauty spot - nature reserve Whixhall Moss. This is followed by a general discussion, open to all, on techiques used and equipment recommended for insect photography. Barry is collecting for St. Lukes Hospice in memory of his wife, so the group will be donating the standard £4 per person fee on the night to this cause. Refreshments will be included as usual.
“Wings Over Whixall” by Barry Probin
I am a Volunteer Warden for Natural England and I am a lover of all wild life. Whixall, Fenn’s and Bettisfield Moss National Nature Reserve represents a rare and precious environment that supports an abundance of invertebrates specific to a raised peat bog. It is the third largest raised peat bog in England. The talk in no way pretends to be scientific, it is a sharing of the speakers’ time observing and photographing the many different “wings” throughout the year.
“Wings over Whixall” is a celebration of many of the invertebrates that can be seen throughout the year in various parts of Whixall and Fenns Moss. It represents the exploits of an amateur naturalist and photographer. Photographing invertebrates in their natural habitat can be challenging, frustrating, hilarious and rewarding all at the same time. From the periphery, to the centre of the bog itself and to the Disused Railway line, the talk describes the species that can be seen. The talk is illustrated with photographs straight from the camera. Every picture tells a story.
The talk aims to encourage visitors to come to the Moss and enjoy the large number of invertebrates that can be seen there. Given the right weather conditions all the species covered can be seen by enjoying a slow walk along the Moss trails. The speaker will give a few tips as to where some of the best spots are to see and photograph some of the more treasured species. Many of the species could be considered common but they are still to be admired and treasured. Many of our butterflies are under threat nationally so Whixall provides a haven for them and one for us to enjoy.
Species covered include Dragonflies, Damselflies, Butterflies and some examples of day flying Moths. Some are particular to the Moss and nationally rare. For example, the White-faced Darter Dragonfly, the Large Heath Butterfly and the Argent and Sable Moth. The life cycles of the White-faced Darter, the Brimstone Butterfly and Emperor Moth are also covered.
The talk takes the listener on a short diversion to a local canal to compare the species of Damselflies that can seen in a very different environment. The talk ends with a success story about a very beautiful and rare butterfly.
We will be visiting Marbury Park, Wincham, Nr Northwich this next time, and members are asked to make their way there to meet in the main car park (pay and display) for 2.00pm.
We can then decide where best to complete the outing as there is much to see, and it is quite big to get around. However, the paths are normally quite good for wheelchairs and scooters for those that need them.
The more skilled group members will be on hand to help those who may be new to using their Digital cameras or just have a question about the best settings for the shot you want. PLEASE feel free to ask for advice if you need it :-)
In preparation for the trip to Marbury Park we will be looking at two very different topics: Landscape photography and macro photography. Couldn't be further ends of the spectrum!
There are some great opportunities for you to use your skills at landscape photography and composition at Marbury Park. Last year we were fortunate enough to have Bill Armsden and Mal Wetton share their photos and experience and this year we have Andy Boyle to share some of his.
After Andy has shown us his photos we will be trying out some scenarios for using macro photography to hone those skills for plant life and insects on the day. Dave and Terry Warren will be providing some of these but, as always, if you wish to set up a challenge you are always welcome. DON'T FORGET YOUR CAMERAS!!!
Ken Rane will have the laptop available to support people who have any questions about Flickr and photosharing and the COTC winner will be announced too.
All of this at £4, refreshments included! See you there.
April Outing 2017
Saturday 1st April
Don't be a fool and miss this! We are going to Chester for the day, with several different tasks, we will spend the day challenging each other to get the most of Chester's architecture and atmosphere. It will also be an opportunity to try out a little street photography. We are aiming to spend the day with a lunch near the river. Partners welcome!
This will be a secret Santa event with members who are going to attend providing a task for another attendee who they draw out of the hat. We will meet outside the Town Hall at 10.30.
Lots on this week - I will start things off as usual and also cover a little about the website. Ken will introduce Flickr look at the group's requirements. Dave Warren is going to talk to us about camera sensors and compare crop(ped) sensors to full frame. Andy Boyle will finish with the addition of how this effects his approach to photography in terms of settings.
Cost as usual - £4 including refreshments. See you at 7.30, Mel :-)
March Outing 2017
Saturday 4th March
This month we will be visiting the Anderton Boat lift and surrounding grounds and canal paths in Northwich. The lift itself is quite a challenge to photograph in an interesting way. It is probably worth you studying some of the different shots taken of the lift in the past and deciding how you want to approach the subject.
We will meet in the car park at 2.00pm
February Meeting 2017
Wednesday 15th February
At this meeting we will complete our look at composition. This will be followed by two opportunities: Alan will be continuing his talks on camera basics - part 2 - exposure and Ken will be looking at ways of processing HDR. As always bring your camera . In this case bringing your laptops to practice editing would be a good idea.
Charge for this meeting is £4 including tea, coffee and biscuits.
February Outing 2017
Saturday 4th February
A great opportunity to photograph a building which has had pride of place in Middlewich since the 15th century (with some parts even earlier!) . Tutorials and support will be given during the event. Alan will be continuing his work with people who are just starting to find out about their cameras. He will be looking at exposure settings for church windows. Ken will be demonstarting and supporting HDR photography. You will be able to freely take photos in the church and Ann Latham will be on hand to provide you with any information you need.
January Meeting 2017
Wednesday 18th January
Our first meeting since the start of the New Year! We have three topics - Firstly, for all members, 'Composition' then we will split into 2 groups - One group will be going over camera basics and the other group will be looking at auto focus issues with third party lenses.
We will be looking at the various elements of what makes a composition good. We all know beauty is in the eye of the beholder but there are some elements which are particularly pleasing to the human eye. What are they and do they work for you? if you have a photograph you would like to discuss re. composition then please message me and I will work out the best way for you to send it to me for inclusion on the night.
Alan Smith will take a small group of people who want to learn more about their camera and start to introduce the hardware and explain what is going on when you choose a setting or press that shutter button.
Third Party Lenses
Andy Boyle will tell the rest of us about some of the issues with third party lenses and how to correct issues with the auto-focus.
The practical session will, of course, give you a chance to exercise the information you have learned. Please bring any items that you would like to photograph. You may also want to bring a suitable drape or backcloth.
Make sure you bring your cameras and tripods!! Andy's advice will involve a tripod.
Admittance is just £4 which includes tea or coffee and biscuits. Meeting is at 7.30pm in Willowmere, East Road, Middlewich.
First outing of the year! 2017
Saturday January 7th 2017
A chance to take a stroll and clear away those cobwebs! We are going for a walk in Delamere Forest. Meeting at the car park by the cafe at 2.00pm. Details are as follows:
Car Parking charges Forest Centre Car park
Forest Centre Car Park is adjacent to the toilets, picnic area, learning centre, cycle hire and café. It has designated spaces for visitors with disabilities and is close to the start point for all the trails.
POST CODE: Delamere website gives CW8 2HZ for sat nav but Google maps gives CW8 2JD for the forest centre car park and shows 2HZ centred on a farm. Whichever you use I recommend getting to Delamere and following the signs to Forest Centre carpark, :-)
Happy Christmas and New Year!
Hope you all have a great time over the holiday season. Really enjoyed our last meeting of the year. The committee will be meeting soon to arrange the upcoming programme for the next few meetings and outings. In the meantime don't forget COTC and check out the poster for our event on New Year's Day. Have fun.
December Meeting 2016
Wednesday 14th December
This meeting will be an informal chat about all things photography and we will also announce the winner of our monthy competition, Storyteller. Andrew Boyle will be supplying a set up for portraits and telling us a little more about how we can improve our shots. Refreshments (Mince pies, biscuits, mulled wine, tea and coffee will be available. There will be no charge for this meeting.).
Crafty Christmas Event
Our very own Crafty Christmas event. See blog here.
The night's are drawing in so it is a good time for a little astro photography. Alan Smith will be giving us some advice on this including camera settings and how to find out what to expect. Andy Boyle will be discussing what to consider with your camera settings when lighting a subject.
Cost is £4 with refreshments included.
Light Painting Outing
In the build-up for Halloween we have a fantastic light painting outing. We are meeting on Wednesday 26th October at 7.30pm in the car park behind the Memorial Hall Leisure Centre (CW9 5QJ) in Northwich. From there we will be walking along the riverside towards the viaduct, setting up scenarios as we go. Thanks to the efforts of Karen and Andy Boyle, we will have a model for our light painting too!
NB. There will be no outing on the following Saturday afternoon.
The topics this week are 'autumn' and more on 'light painting'. Ken Rane will be looking at how you can make your autumn pictures look even better in Adobe Lightroom, Dave Warren has an 'autumn' photo set up and Alan has a light painting challenge.
As much as possible the demonstrations and certainly, the set ups, are designed to work for a range of abilities. All members are also welcome to add their own flavour or ideas to these, or indeed, set up their own scenario to test other members’ skills or knowledge.
Remember to bring your camera. Cost to attend £4, refreshments included. Meeting at Willowmere, East Road, Middlewich, at 7.30 pm.
October Outing 2016
The next outing is on Saturday 1st October at 2pm. The group will be going around QUEEN’S Park in Crewe. The last time we visited this venue it was springtime so this will provide a great opportunity to consider the contrast of our current autumn season. We will meet in the car park before going into the park.Add News Story here
Summer Photo Outings
1st and 3rd Saturdays in July and August
The proposed meetings over the summer are:
- Daresbury Village and church (including a pre-meet longer walk for those interested). In the village there is a Lewis Caroll visitor Centre, All Saints Church, Lewis Caroll's birthplace, Lewis Carroll Centenary Wood and an ice cream farm. Let's meet at the Lewis Carroll centre car park (post code - WA4 4AE) at 2.00 :-) Weather permitting, Alan and I will probably go on a walk before a lunch at the Ring'o' Bells. Let us know if you are keen.
- Radio Controlled Models, Directions: Head out of Middlewich towards the motorway at roundabout by Salt Cellar pub turn right. Just after entrance to pub take lane on left (careful some large potholes) field is then on left about quarter of mile along.
Saturday 20th August Motorcross - cancelled. COTC Comp instead.
June meeting 2016 - AGM
Friday 17th June 2016 7 pm
Last meeting of the club year. A quick informal discussion about the group and the committee. Followed by a chance for you all to voice your ideas on how you want the group to develop and where you would like to see the funds spent over the next year. PLEASE TRY TO ATTEND - This is an important time to get your ideas across. WE RELY ON YOUR INPUT AND FEEDBACK.
As soon as this is over we will be heading for the Blue Ginger at 7.45 pm.
Hope you have enjoyed the year. Next evening meeting will be at Willowmere on the 3rd Wednesday in the month. The photo outings will be going on throughout the summer on the 1st and 3rd Saturdays in July and August. See you there.
Photo Outing - Swettenham Arms
Saturday 4th June
As the first of the outings planned for the summer we will be meeting near the Swettenham Arms and going for a stroll looking for photo opportunities. More details to follow once I have been to check it out, unless someone beats me to it! ;-) I feel a cycle ride out for a cream tea coming on...
With the coming summer in mind, we will be looking at how group members can develop photographic projects to inspire and focus their photography.
Continuing the summer theme, we will also be looking at how to improve our landscape photography. First we shall have Mal’s top tips for taking landscapes, followed by ‘Bill’s Scottish Scenes ’with Bill Armsden. (Bill’s appearance will be subject to his availability due to (happy) family commitments).
After refreshments there will be a choice:
For our newer members: Selecting the correct aperture - Advice on making the correct choice of aperture for situations and compositions considering required outcomes
For advanced members: Perfecting landscapes and critical analysis – a discussion. Please bring along examples to discuss or to seek advice on.
Entrance fee: £4 (includes refreshments)
Meeting starts at 7.30 pm at Willowmere (address on our 'contact us' page).
Photo Outing May 2016
Saturday 7th May
Thought we would start the 'outside' season with a re-visit to Whitegate Way Countryside Park and we weren't wrong!
It was a glorious spring day with summer like weather. A walk along the old railway line with photo opportunities and good, like -minded friends. What more could you want?
How to get there
The car park and picnic area at Whitegate Station is signed off the A54, south of A556. The car park is locked in the evening. Lots of nature studies with a pleasant walk too. We have a backup in case it is rainy but forecast looks good - warmer too. See you there at 2 pm.
Another exciting opportunity to stretch your photographic skills this week. We will be looking at the world of product photography - an expanding area with so mant small businesses setting up shop on the Internet.
One of the biggest challenges in this area of photography is to get your lighting and colours correct. Our good friend, Andy Boyle has very kindly offered to discuss white balance with us and he will be bringing a light box. Alan has kindly offered to have a go at a homemade version too.
If you are reading this and thinking that this might not be for you then just stop and think how important light, and in particular, the quality of light is in photography. From the'golden hour' to the candlelit photos that we attempted at the end of last year, understanding light and how it affects your photos is a major topic.
Also for those of you who are working on your exposure triangle and the issue of getting a sharp image then this is the perfect practice.
Our 'models' will be kindly provided by Ruth Duck, a local artisan, who makes beaded jewellery. So we will also have the added bonus of seeing examples of her work.
I will also be looking at our Flickr accounts and answering any questions you may have.
Alan is also looking forward to announcing the winner of the 'glass shadow' challenge. A tricky one this time round but I have seen some interesting attempts :-)
All this for the entry fee of £4 - tea, coffee and biscuits included. Don't forget your tripod and camera!
April Outing 2016
9th April 2016 (please note date change)
With the date changed to avoid the Easter holidays, we are the Karting track in Warrington where Mal had a word with the Manager of the track about the group going to take photos, he was very enthusiastic about it and said it would not be a problem. When asked about entrance fees for us to go as spectators he said that there would be NO CHARGE, We are welcome to go into any of the public areas and he would be willing to show us the best vantage points. There is ample parking space and access to the venue is good insofar as it is on this side of Warrington therefore we do not need to go through town witch can be quite hectic on Saturday afternoons, the route from Winsford is right down the A49 through Stockton Heath into the edge of Warrington then head for Bank Quay Rail Station and it is just before the station. We will meet at 2pm as usual. :-)
March Monthly Meeting 2016
Wednesday 16th March
We will be looking at post-processing of your images. In this case, changing your photos into monochrome. We will also look at other ways of using monochrome in part of your composition.
Ken Rane and Andrew Boyle (Andy Boyle Photography) will be presenting. Please bring your laptops if you wish to have a practical experience with help on hand!! There will also be some 1:1 advice and informal discussion about considerations when printing your pictures.
This meeting will be £4 including tea and coffee.
February Meeting 2016
Wednesday 17th February
Wedding photographer Andy Boyle will be with us to tell us more about how he sets up models and props for posed shots in various locations. He will also be sharing some of his photos.
Bring your camera and tripod for a practical session. Andy and his wife, Karen, will be setting up a studio for us to take pictures with their assistance. This will be in high demand so please also bring some unusual or challenging items to photograph while you are waiting. We will bring some lighting as usual.
The Challenge for next month is 'Photograph rock, paper and scissors in one shot.' The winner from last month will be announced on Wednesday.
Andy and Karen have kindly provided their services free of charge so the cost of this meeting will be £4 including tea , coffee and biscuits.
March Outing 2016
Saturday 5th March
This month we will be meeting in Knutsford at 2pm to tour the town and take photos of the local architecture with a view to produce monochrome pictures.We will meet in the car park behind Gustos (there is a charge in the car park).
February Outing 2016
Saturday 6th February
We will be meeting at St. Oswald's Church , Lower Peover on Saturday at 2.00 pm.
A church has been on this site since at least 1269, when it was a chapel of ease to Great Budworth. The west tower dates from 1582, the mason being John Bowden. A south chapel was added around 1610, and the north chapel in 1624. The aisles were altered and re-roofed in 1852 by Anthony Salvin and there have been subsequent restorations.
The tower is built in Alderley sandstone and the body of the church is timber framed. Its plan consists of a west tower, a nave and a chancel, with north and south aisles and chapels at their east ends.The tower has three stages, with a west door above which is a two-light window. On the north, west and south faces are lozenge-shaped clock-faces and two-light bell openings. The top of the tower is crenellated and on each corner are diagonal buttresses.
The north chapel is the Holford chapel, which is now used for the organ chamber and vestry. The south chapel is the Hulme or Grosvenor chapel, and at its east end, divided by a screen, is the small Shakerley chapel. The aisles are separated from the nave by an arcade of medieval octagonal oak piers. Many of the pews are Jacobean, as is the pulpit.The cylindrical font is of uncertain date, and was reputedly brought here from Norton Priory in 1322.The screen to the Holford chapel dates from the early 17th century, and the screen separating the chapel from the nave is dated 1642. The screen to the south chapel is Jacobean, consisting of four bays surmounted by three large spheres. In the chapel is a large 13th-century chest made from one piece of oak, 6 feet (2 m) in length and 2 feet (1 m) wide. In the church are two cupboards dated 1737 which were used for the distribution of the bread charities. Also in the church are memorials to the Shakerley, Leicester and Cholmondeley families. One of these is to Godfrey Shakerley who died in 1696 and another is to Katherine Shakerley who died in 1725.
The two-manual organ was built by Alexander Young of Manchester in 1880 and modified and overhauled in 1985 by G.Sixsmith and Son of Mossley.The parish registers date from 1570 and the churchwardens' accounts from 1699.There is a ring of six bells cast by John Warner and Sons in 1912.
In the churchyard is a sundial dating from the 18th century which consists of an octagonal shaft on square steps. The shaft has a square dial on a square stone head and a gnomon is present. It is listed Grade II. The lychgate dated around 1896 is also listed Grade II. The churchyard also contains the war grave of a Royal Navy officer of World War II.
January Meeting 2016
Wednesday 20th January
Our first meeting since the start of the new year! The focus for this meeting is 'Composition'. We will be looking at the various elements of what makes a composition good. We all know beauty is in the eye of the beholder but there are some elements which are particularly pleasing to the human eye. What are they and do they work for you?
The practical session will, of course, give you a chance to exercise the information you have learned. Please bring any items that you would like to photograph that begin with the letter E (our Challenge of the Century). You may also want to bring a suitable drape or backcloth.
Make sure you bring your cameras and tripods!!
Admittance is just £4 which includes tea or coffee and biscuits. We will be having a small raffle as we have a couple of prizes left over from last year.
Review - Great thanks goes to Bill Armsden, Andy Boyle, Karen Boyle , Ken Rane and Alan Smith for their help and support to our photographers on the night. There were some really interesting discussions going on and lots of photography practice. I will post my attempts at street photography on the Flickr group soon. As I said at the meeting , it brings in a completely different aspect to photography and can be quite exciting. Quite a challenge for composition too.
As a group we discussed the Manchester Street scene 'golden ratio' picture that has been circulating the media and then watched tutorials on composition. They start on a fairly basic level and build up from there. The link for the composition tutorials shown on the night is here. At the end of each video the link to the next one is below it.
This event has been recommended by many members of the group as an excellent place for a group outing so we are bringing our outing day ahead of time. There are numerous activities going on during the day however I suggest that we meet outside the museum in Pillory Street at 11.45am for activity 5 on the programme. Then later at 1.30pm for the battle (activity 8 on the map). I believe that there is a charge of £2 per adult/£5 per family for this part of the activities. The monthly meeting is just before this outing so we can finalise any arrangements then.
"The annual Middlewich Charity Shield will go to the winner of the New Year's Day Quiz: 1pm from the Boars Head. Now in its 24th year, this time we are raising money for Middlewich & District Foodbank. Join us for a family fun afternoon and a gentle walk around the town. Answer a few questions as you go in our Middlewich Monopoly Challenge and win prizes."
I thought it would be good to meet in the Boar's Head and make up some teams. We could take local photos as we go.
Looking at suitable settings and poses for 'light on skin' with the aim of candlelit /soft light poses for Christmas photos at home. Also Andy Boardman and Nigel will demonstrate the effects you want to achieve and how to get them with a focus on exposure- you guessed it - BRING YOUR CAMERAS!
Outing for December will be the Christmas Meal. Please bring your final payment and menu choices for this.
Meeting charge £4 inc. tea, coffee and biscuits.
Update: Many thanks for the presentation Andy and Nigel!! It was well received and the practical examples after were a very good training experience for all. The practicals included exposure and white balance.
November Monthly Meeting
Wednesday 18th November
This was aimed to be a mega - camera meeting with several different scenarios for you to try out so I didn't waste any time, did a speedy intro and let everyone get straight into the photography... Oh alright then there was a brief video - well worth a look if you weren't there.
Mal re-created the scene he set up last month using defraction with some variations on lighting and subject. This was for you to arrange things yourself and start to take control and experiment :-)
Alan had a subject which was designed to make it a challenge to get your settings right. Members got a chance to experiment with using a histogram and use their manual settings.
Members got creative with the 'hands' topic which was set up to help them consider lighting, composition and portrayal. This inspired some creative post production work on the images which were very interesting and varied. I think that this might be the topic for the month.
We also drew the raffle which raised £118 for the group funds. Winners as follows:
WINNERS LIST – 21CTNCG Grand Raffle
Drawn by Bill and Melody on 18th November 2015
Photo Canvas Green/6 Vic
SD Card/reader White/6 Terry W
Large Print Yellow/17 Dave W
Superhero Mug Yellow/13 Paula W
Bottle White Wine Green/11 Sammy
Make-up Green/26 Mark P
Haircut voucher Yellow/8 Philip Y
Nail polish Yellow/7 Sarah B
Mornflake cereals Green/17 Peter D
Art frame voucher White/1 Vic
Xmas decorations Yellow/5 Ann R
Cadbury Roses White/10 Donna-Marie
Bottle Red Wine Green/27 Dave W
Photo Opportunity - Woods Mine
Saturday 14th November
This turned out to be an excellent outing! Having the mine to ourselves was a rare treat. The guide who took us down the mine, a gentleman called Nigel, was also a keen photographer and he kindly brought with him his remote flash units to help us light the caves.
The main challenge was the fact that the automatic settings that are a fall back in most circumstances were of little use in the mine and all of the members who attended had to think carefully about their settings and how to create the picture that they wanted.
The setting allowed for a fantastic light painting opportunity; allowing us to get creative using the rock itself and also just making the most of the pitch black conditions. Great fun! We were there for well over two hours and could easily have been there for longer! I would definitely recommend this. Hope to be going back again in the spring!
Photo Opportunity - Woods Mine
Saturday 14th November
Another fantastic photo opportunity! This gives the group the chance to go down Wood Mine at Alderley Edge to tour and take photos of the mine and make use of the conditions to take 'light painting' style pictures. We will set up a few different scenarios but can also accommodate special requests and ideas.
The mine itself is an old copper mine and there is a couple of places where the copper deposits can clearly be seen (and photographed).
The 21stctncg will be exploring settings for light painting before the date of this outing in preparation for this opportunity. Please confirm attendance by the end of October so I can confirm numbers with the mine.
For those of you who attended the meeting you can access the night photography tutorial here.
During this evening we reviewed the group's use of Flickr and our copyright policy. As part of our tutorials we looked at a long exposure practice session. There was also be an opportunity to practice manual focus and explore other focus settings (single point vs. matrix) on your camera.
BRING YOUR CAMERAS!
Photo opportunity - Radio Controlled Craft
Saturday 3rd October
LAST MINITE CHANGE ALERT:
We are now meeting at Andy Boyles farm at 2.30 pm. Post code CW5 8NR. Go over the canal bridge and take the 2nd right marked to Swanley Bridge Marina. Remote control postponed due to bad weather, will be on another date.
A message from Dave and Mal:
The directions to the venue for the photo outing on Saturday are :- Go through Middlewich and take the Holmes Chapel road (A54 ) up to the roundabout at the SALT CELLAR PUB, go around and take the last exit (Right towards Industrial Estate, Pochin Way). Pass the entrance to the pub and take the next left down a farm track, BE WARNED ----- IT'S A BIT ROUGH. Keep going until you see the field on your left, we will meet at 2.00 pm. If you want to look on GOOGLE MAPS you can see the field with a landing site in the middle, club members mow this area regularly, you can also make out some cars parked in the field with the aircraft in front of them. Hope this info is of some help and let’s have a good turnout, there are no excuses about it being too far away, it's on the doorstep. ;-)
This should be a great photo opportunity, which allows the members who went to the power boat meeting to hone their skills and those who missed out a chance to catch up. I just want to take this opportunity to remind the group what a great job both Mal and Dave are doing since they took over arranging the photo outings for the group. It is wonderful to have so many different photo opportunities - I hope you will all show how much you appreciate their efforts by supporting what they do. It will be a great help if you can reply to the reminder email coming your way so that we know how many to expect. :-)
Exciting Extra Photo Opportunity for September
Saturday 19th September 2015
Mal has been to Lancashire Powerboat Club at Carr Mill Dam to discuss a trip to a Power Boat race meeting. It is quite a big meeting sponsored by The Daily Mirror, admission is free and we can get right into the action, a bit like going into the pit lane at Oulton Park. He says:
“The chap who runs the clubhouse was very enthusiastic about us going there and even took me outside to show me some of the best vantage points to take photos, alas, some of them were a bit too far to get to but there were plenty of opportunities closer to the clubhouse. He said we could virtually do as we pleased as long as we did not get in the way of the drivers and mechanics down on the jetty area. The club will be open for refreshments and there are toilets within the building. Access to most areas is good with a gentle slope leading down to the water’s edge.
Directions for getting there :- The route is very straightforward ---- get on M6 at Holmes Chapel NORTHBOUND and stay on until the junction for St Helens ( A580 Haydock roundabout ) get in a middle lane at the bottom of the slip road and head WEST on A580 for Liverpool stay on this road for about 5 miles until a PREMIER INN shows on the right, turn right at the lights and right again onto the hotel car park, OUR MEETING PLACE at 2.00 pm.
When we are all there we drive down a small road to the club, about 1 minute ."
Contact us hereto become a member (no membership fee) and join us to this outing.
Mal and Dave have been out and about scouting again and they have come across this little gem. It has so many photo opportunities that Dave has recommended an early start of 1.30 pm for this meeting! Dave has given us these detailed directions:
“From Biddulph go south along A527. After a double set of roundabouts keep going south, past Sports Ground on left, then Industrial Estate on right (Howden Builders). Just past this, turn left in front of Station Motors and then LEFT down Childerplay Lane (this changes to Bemersley Road). Then turn LEFT into Greenway Bank after approx. 3/4 of mile 1st car park is by the Visitor Centre, 200yds further on is Car Park next to lake. MEET HERE at 1.30 pm. Walk round lake is .99 of a mile. allowing for photos. It took me, Terry and Mal about 2 and a half hours to get round. Smooth path and roadway all round.”
Dave also points out that if you use a sat nav the post code will NOT take you to the car park. On the map we will be following the red route with the grey shortcut between the two lakes.
Looking forward to seeing you all there!
Resuming the Monthly Meetings! Comment by Mal Wetton
Wednesday 16th September
A GREAT BIG THANK YOU !!!! to all members who turned up at last nights meeting at " WILLOWMERE " in Middlewich, it was a great turnout and a very informative presentation, thanks to Melody Smith who gave us a detailed insight as to where the group was going in the future, this was aided by a on- screen presentation set up by Mel and Alan Smith and judging by feed back at the end of the night was greatly appreciated by all.
After all this and a short Tea/Coffee break there followed two tutorials and two practical HANDS ON instructional demonstrations.
Panning running man - Check the shutter speed where blur occurs on his on his limbs
The first practical was an introduction to the photography of movement, this of course was intended to give an insight as to the techniques that will be required for the forthcoming outing to Carr Mill Dam on Saturday where a knowledge of capturing speed and movement will be required, of course there will be the more experienced members on hand to help anyone with any problems they may have, after all, this is a pretty specialized field of photography, but please don't be daunted by this as I personally guarantee everyone will come away with a passable picture on their memory card, so PLEASE. PLEASE ask questions.
The second instructional demonstration of the night concerned the subject of " BOKEH ". The word has Japanese origins and basically means, Haze or Mist. Last night's demo ( given by myself ) involved using some everyday household objects, i.e. some candles, tin foil and a glass candle holder. Using the tin-foil as a backdrop the exercise was to have the main subject in sharp focus ( the candles and glassware ) and to throw the background not only out of focus but to make it into a pleasing vision in its own right. I think the demo went quite well and most of the members had a go and asked questions as to camera settings etc. I think we all enjoyed it and some members went home happy after trying something new. GREAT !!! So once again, THANK YOU ALL for turning up and I sincerely look forward to seeing you all again soon. ( Preferably Saturday at Carr Mill ).
Extra August Photo Outing
Saturday 15th August
We will be visiting Alderley Edge in search of ‘dappled light’ and other light effects so hoping for suitable light through the trees! (Please except the standard safety warning of NOT shooting directly into the sun). We will be looking for an opportunity to compare this with softer light in the autumn.
Meeting in the car park at 2.00pm. (Go to Chelford roundabout and head towards Alderley Edge and Wilmslow (straight across when coming from Holmes Chapel direction). Turn right for Alderley Edge at the T junction. Go through Alderley Edge, take a left into Artist's Lane and at the end turn right. The car park is on the left just past the Wizard Pub.
Comment on Walton Hall Outing
Saturday 1st August 2015
What a great day out with the 21st Century Technology & Camera Group. We went to Walton Hall Park & Gardens, Nr Warrington and although the weather was a bit disappointing with rain for most of the time, the members who braved the elements ( 12 in all ) had a great time and took some really good photographs of the park & gardens, with the bird and small animal enclosure proving to be a particular favorite. As always the Peacocks " Ruled the Roost " as it were and I swear that... I actually saw some of them posing for us.
So now it is a case of waiting for the next Group Outing in two weeks time, this will be at Alderly Edge, a venue which proved very popular last year and provided some stunning Photographs. There are a lot of photo opportunities on this trip, i.e. Landscapes, Woodlands and Birdlife, Rock Formations, as well as using light. So lets have another good turnout and don't forget, if you have any friends who maybe interested in Photography, bring them along and let them see what we do, they will be made most welcome as I am sure you all know and I am sure they will enjoy the experience. SEE YOU ALL THERE. and don't forget " HAPPY SNAPPING " --- Mal Wetton
Photo Outing - Walton Hall
Saturday 1st August
The next photo opportunity is going to be Walton Hall in Warrington (POST CODE WA4 5SN). It has a great garden with some interesting features including a small waterfall. We will be meeting at 2pm as usual. For anyone who decides to wander off to explore we will be regrouping at the waterfall at 3pm to look at using the shutter speed setting on your camera to get some great effects. We will also be looking at changing the composition of your shots, focussing on 'closing in'.
There is no charge for entrance to the gardens. You will need to pay a car parking charge of about £3.
There are a couple of ways to get there, here are two as per Google Maps UK :- Get onto M6, and go to M56, for Warrington, come off at Jct.10 ( A49 ) and stay for Warrington until pub on left, CAT & LION turn LEFT AT LIGHTS and follow signs for Walton Lea. Walton Lea Road is on your RIGHT after crossing canal bridge. 28 MINS. 25 MILES.
Or get onto A556 out of Middlewich and stay on to A49 then as above. 32MINS. 17 MILES. Meet on main car park 2.00 pm.
SEE YOU ALL THERE !!!!
Opening times All year, Daily, Open 8 am to dusk Please see closing times for the pay and display car park on arrival.
Entrance fee Walton Hall Gardens is a free access Cheshire Garden of Distinction. Green Flag and VAQAS accredited.
Wednesday 15th July
Everyone had a great time at Ayaan's after a quick meeting to announce the changes to the committee.
Just a quick meeting at 7.30 pm, upstairs at the White Bear. This meeting is to announce/confirm any changes in the roles and responsibilites line up. If you have not received an email about the Roles and Responsibilities, including the details of the last meeting, please check your junk mail folder just in case. If you can't find it then please contact us through the 'Contact us ' page.
If you would like to volunteer to take on a responsibility then again, please contact us through the 'contact us' page on this website.
Immediately after the meeting (around 8.15 pm) we will be going on to enjoy an Indian meal at Ayaan's.
Nantwich Photo Outing
Saturday 4th July
So pleased to have such great support from members on Saturday for the latest photo outing. The opportunities for photos in Nantwich were fantastic and the town was alive with people which made it even more photogenic. It could be interesting to re-visit it in different seasons . Maybe Mal , Dave and Paul will consider this in their outing arrangements for the group. Watch this space!
As always, there was lots of chatting in amongst the clicking of shutters which is always great! I personally enjoyed meeting some of our outing 'first timers' too.
Don't forget to get your photos onto Flickr Members group for all members to see and also choose 3 to add to the Flickr Gallery group so I can get them on the website.
Group AGM and More! (changed)
to be announced
Note: The details of this meeting have been sent out to the mailing list. Please ensure that, if you are a member of the group, you are on our mailing list. Contact us through the 'Contact us' page for more details of how to join.
The meeting in June will commence at 7.30 pm with the Annual General Meeting,
Members will have the opportunity to meet the group committee and ask any further questions they may have about the group, and help by providing any suggestions to improve or enhance the present ways in which the group operates.
We would like as many members to attend the meeting as is possible, to ensure we have everyone’s input to what is being planned by the group, and that any input provided enhances the current format, to ensure this continues successfully into the future.
We will also be looking at the different roles within the group and how they can be provided for.
Report on Bunbury Mill by Dave and Terry Warren
30th May 2015
This June, members of the 21st Century Technology n Camera Group visited Bunbury Water Mill and what a beautiful place set on the River Gowy near Tarporley it turned out to be.
The visit started off in the visitors centre with a talk about the full history of the place going all the way back to 1087 witch is the first reference of a mill at Bunbury.
After the talk the group was spilt up in to two smaller groups for our tour of the mill itself.
Thoughout our tour we were shown all the different parts of the mill in working order from the water wheel to the mill stones from the grain going in to the flour coming out. The knowledge and the passion shown by the staff for the place were out of this world.
After our tour we were left to wonder around the place and the grounds to take photos and talk to the staff.
What a wonderful place to visit and a great time had by all.
Bunbury Mill: Instructional Group Photo Outing
Saturday 30th May
We have received formal notification for the group to visit Bunbury Mill, for a photo outing on Saturday 30th MAY 2015. 2.00 till 4 / 4.30.
This is quite an extraordinary opportunity for the group, and I have added this extra visit in MAY as I am not too sure how many can make the North Wales trip on Sunday 17th May.
Bunbury Mill is run today by a local group of volunteers, much like our group, and they are prepared to open the Mill for our group for a full afternoon at a time when they are not normally open to visitors. We will be provided with a 45/50 min’s guided tour of the Mill and shown it’s operations, with the water wheel operating as it would have when it was operational. The cost per member will be £ 3.50 each.
We would like to make this a great local photo outing, so please try to make sure you attend, as there is a minimum charge for the group of £ 40.00 for this special open day.
For this particular outing could members please e-mail the group directly, using the group e-mail of (firstname.lastname@example.org) or use the ‘contact us’ page of the website to make sure we have sufficient members attending, to make up the minimum numbers to cover the £ 40.00 charge.
You will need to use flash for some of your indoor shots, as it is quite dark in many of the most interesting places. A tripod will also be useful. There is a Mill pond with ducks as well as many different spring flowers and a visitor centre. (This may not be open).
NOTE: - Access to some of the floors, as you would expect, is via some steep stairs, but has also has been made user friendly for disabled access. However, loads to see and photo anyhow, as both inside and outside is just full of history, and in my view a photo opportunity not to be missed.
The Welsh Wagon Train returns home
Sunday 17th May
Another most enjoyable trip was undertaken by members of the group on Sunday 17th May, and in spite of the rather cloudy start and the odd spot of rain as we went over the Llanberis Pass, it was a good photography day, being cloudy, but nice and clear for most of the time.
We managed to take a number of photography stops starting at the aquaduct at Pontcysyllte, the waterfalls on the river Conway, and Betws-y Coed, to a late afternoon stop at the small stream along the Llanberis Pass.
With the rain now beginning to be a problem for clear photos, and being early evening time, we decided to call it a day stopping at the lake in Llanberis for a few last minute shots, as the weather had improved sufficiently to get shots of the lake and back along the Llanberis Pass.
Great to see members getting together and having a good time, whilst being able to gain even more experience, photographing differing places of interest. A selection of photos by members taking part can be seen on the group Facebook page, and also very many more on the group FLICKR account link, on the web page.( http://www.watch-it-and-c.co.uk/#!gallery/c1pwt ) .
What a big difference in quality of shot and perspective is now being shown by members of the group, with some member shots, I would consider, surely good enough to go into photo magazines. The group is obviously making a big difference to our members’ photography and understanding of their cameras. Great to see, and it can only get better (cue D-ream…).
The next group photo outing will take place at BUNBURY MILL, on Saturday afternoon 30th May, from 2.00 till 4.00 pm. ( £3.50 entrance fee, payable on entrance, parking free). Make sure you make this next photo outing day, so that you can gain even more experience using your own camera, with a group of sociable, like-minded members.
May Extra Group "Instructional Photo Outing" with family, friends & Guests
May 17th 2015
**NB: Meeting at Salinae car park, opposite fair. **
Sunday MAY 17th 2015 from Middlewich at 9.00am-return to Middlewich, about 8.00 / 9.00 pm
One of the best photography days out from our Mid-Cheshire homes is a FULL day visit to North Wales.
It is just a wonderful day out for all of the family, with some fantastic photo opportunities.
For anyone who who is interested we are going a la 'wagon train' style. Please contact Cliff via. the group email on the 'contact us' page to find out more. It is a long day out, stopping on the outward journey at the many local beauty spots, taking lunch (or take your own packed lunch which makes better use of the time).
From Middlewich at say 9.00 am, and then making our way to the Pontcysyllte Aquaduct for a short stop for photos. Then on to Betws-y-Coed, for a stop for photos, water falls passing through the town etc.
Proceed to Chapel Gurig and along the road to Llanberris Pass, my photo of the rocks / stream running along the Llanberris Pass, turning round at Llanberris Lake, Andy Boardmans photo above, and head back to Middlewich, via the same route, or perhaps head back towards the A55 at Conway Castle ( NOT STOPPING on return leg as it will be TOO LATE), and back via the A55 to Chester & Middlewich.
This would be a GREAT GROUP SHORT WORLD TOUR of North Wales, with like minded people all wanting to have a good friendly fun & family day out, and taking of a "few" photos, so we may look back and remember the trip for many years.
Get a great photography experience in just one day, with HELP from group members to ensure we all get some GREAT photos.
People that had previously said YES wish to go, also need to re-confirm to me.
Thanks for your continuing interest.
13th May 2015
The group has been looking for some considerable time to obtain a technology and photography presenter for the group, who can speak about the increasing capabilities of the mobile phone cameras. We are therefore very pleased to be able to have with us at our May monthly meeting, Mr Craig Carroll.
Craig is a work colleague of Mr Owen Lloyd, of Owen Lloyd Photography. He is particularly interested in the photographic capabilities of mobile phones and has a wealth of knowledge on the subject. The presentation will cover current technology on mobile phone & tablet photography, and where this technology looks to be heading in the future.
The monthly meeting and presentation will be at Willowmere-East Rd, Middlewich, Cheshire CW10 9PY, and will commence at 7.00 pm with the member photograph presentation. Craig's presentation will commence at 7.30 up to the now normal break time of 8.15, and will continue after the break with member questions and open discussion on the topic.
Additionally, we will also have available the Member Training Work Station, and Ken Rane will be on hand to answer your questions and to show members, if necessary, how to solve their problems on both photography, and the surrounding technology.
Please let Ken know in advance of anything specific you would like to talk to him about, or for Ken to show, so that he may have time to be prepared.
Guests are also invited and the fee this month will be £ 5.00 per person.
Please Note:-Fee includes coffee / tea at break time, and allows for members to attend for free, the now monthly, and very well attended, instructional photo outings).
Instructional Photo Outing-Queens Park-Crewe
11th April 2015
I would like to thank members for an excellent group turn-out, yet again, for the latest photo outing at Queens Park Crewe. The morning’s rain had cleared by the time we arrived, and although it was cold and a tad windy to start with, it soon cleared and the day was a very good day for photos.
Not quite as many flying birds as I had anticipated, but as this is the time for the male birds to strut their stuff, there were many of the male Canadian Geese doing just that, and making their presence well know to the other male geese. There were plenty of other photo opportunities, in particular this year’s crop of spring flowers and with a total of 16 members on the photo outing, these photo outings are still proving to be very popular, with numbers attending growing all the time.
Member photos taken during the visit will no doubt be soon available for all to view, on the Group Web Site Flickr Galleries.