• "Bird Photography" and "PAGB & RPS Accreditation"

    We enjoyed two excellent and very informative talks at Camera Club this week.

    For the first half we welcomed Marc Read, son of club member Dick Read, an experienced birder and bird photographer who gave a presentation entitled “Bird Photography – Behind the Lens”.

    His most important advice for capturing the best bird photos was, where possible, try not to shoot from above or below your subject. One thing that will really make a bird photo stand out is getting to the level of the bird thus taking the viewer of your images into the bird’s world. Another benefit is that by having the camera’s image sensor parallel to your subject all of the bird will be on the same plane of focus and therefore more of the bird will be sharp and the background and foreground will be nicely blurred.

    He illustrated his talk with a set of slides which showed a number of scenarios which demonstrated how he approaches his bird photography. Sometimes he visits the location of a rare bird a number of times to view the bird’s behaviour and to find an ideal spot to take the perfect shot. Sometimes to get level with the bird he would wade into the water or lay in the mud. He also showed how for some nervous birds the only way to get a close enough for a good shot is to use hides.

    He showed a number of excellent shots, many taken locally in Sussex, others taken in more distant locations such as Spain and the Isles of Scilly and at the end of his presentation he was given a well deserved round of applause from the club members and visitors.

    Following the usual interval of tea, chatter and raffle, we welcomed back two former club members Lynne and Jeff Owen who gave an illustrated talk about their experiences in preparing for successful submissions for accreditation with two different photographic organisations - The Photographic Alliance of Great Britain (PAGB) and The Royal Photographic Society (RPS)..

    They highlighted that the main differences in judging between the two organisations were that entries for the PAGB were individually and briefly displayed for marking by a panel of judges whereas the RPS judges viewed all entries from an applicant as a panel of prints and spent much longer reviewing both the merit of the individual prints and their inter-relationship within the panel.

    Lynne & Jeff both displayed their 10 print entries for the PAGB “Credit” level awards and revealed the individual scores awarded which they believe were influenced by the impact value of the prints given the short time (5 or 10 seconds only) that they were viewed by the judges.

    They then displayed their 10 print panels for the “Licentiate” level of distinction for the RPS (“LRPS”) which really demonstrated how a panel should be laid out with the portrait and landscape prints and even the colours in prints being carefully balanced.

    The final display of the evening was Lynne’s 15 print panel for the “Associate” level of distinction for the RPS (“ARPS”). For this level the submission must use one of 9 theme categories and must include a written Statement of Intent. Lynne chose the “Fine Art Photography” category for her submission. She took a set of photographs of windows and then cut the prints so that the windows could be opened to reveal a matching or contrasting image displayed behind. This was a most impressive panel which rounded off a very informative presentation