Bedworth & Exhall Camera Club, Local friendly club. Watch, Learn and enjoy all things photographic from this long established fully affiliated club.

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July 2018 NewsletterMCPF WebsiteNewsletter Editor


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 ARE  PHOTOGRAPHERS BORN? - By Catherine Wilson

Why does one choose photography as a  hobby, as opposed to the more practical,  more productive and  definitely  healthier , gardening,  fishing , or even cooking?

Or does it choose the person?

I once had a  well - known photographer brother-in –law who believed that real photographers were born . He agreed that anyone could learn the craft , but that the ‘born’ photographer had an instinctive feeling for it.    Don’t get me wrong,  he  didn’t believe that born photographers were always good  photographers--just that they had this special ‘thing’  -  which always showed.

He  joined  a  well known photo club in a large factory in  Coventry. He always won which didn’t go down well with the members, so he agreed to be handicapped. I had visions of his arms or legs being broken, and never found out exactly how they did it. He won again, then stepped down and became a judge.

As a child   my mother cooked for an elderly couple every evening, taking me with her. .I had to sit still and behave. It was the most boring two hours of my week day. Nothing to do and nothing to read but a pile of boring gardening magazines I found under some cushions .

I  complained –very  loudly-  but still had to go.

One day a neighbour left a  large bundle of photographic magazines for the couple to look at before throwing them out.

I picked one up – and  was  hooked.. Why?  I don’t know.

Those were the days when they contained few colour photo’s .They should   have  bored me as a seven year old.

We  didn’t  go  at weekends, and I couldn’t wait until Mondays to get at that special bundle. Mum was happy.  I wasn’t pestering her as she cooked.

.It was to be a  few  years later that I met my future brother in law and  learnt of his ‘obsession’ with photography. He   passed  on to   me his weekly photo magazines- and  there I was, off again.

I had my first camera at fourteen, a second  hand plastic (or bakelite) Coronet, ( Mum thought it was another ‘phase’  I  was going through.)

It  took  sixteen two and a quarter inch  square pictures. I  used  it  as often as I could afford film and processing at the chemist. I still have some of the negatives.

One day a few years later, great tragedy struck.

I left it on  a  bus  and  no –one handed it in.  

I   lived  on tea , cornflakes and beans for three weeks and  bought another camera with  the  wages I’d saved.

By then there was a lot of colour film about, but after a few dabbles with it I went back to black and white.

That was all a  long time, and a lot of photography ago.

I learned to process all films and transparencies, but my favourite  is  always  black and white.

I believe I have  what my brother-in law  called  that  ‘inbuilt special  instinct’ for photography, and whether I’m any good at it or not -  as long as the passion is there --it doesn’t matter a scrap.  

Catherine Wilson


NPhoto Discount

Many thanks to Dave & Cath for getting us a discount code for Nphoto an online supplier of Albums, usb products and presentation solutions, Our personal 30% discount code is now on the discounts page inside the members only area. We also have a link to nphoto on our links page, If you wish to head over for browse right now then click HERE

Don't Clone Out Our History

Open that box of old black and white photographs and look at them carefully. What do you see in that crumpled pile?
In my pile I see history. 
I sort and scan them, as everyone does, and blow them up on my screen, looking at the backgrounds, the places these picture were taken-- many places which have long gone. That’s history.
I look at my old photographs --and those taken by my family and others before me—faded, cracked and folded where they have been lying neglected in drawers and boxes over the years as photography developed - and we and our cameras got more sophisticated. 
I found a packet of 1920s photo’s taken at a christening where the light had got into the camera and burnt out Uncle Bert’s face on every one, and Aunties dress was a blob of white fluff, but the backgrounds were clear. No-one threw them away----in those days photography was magic, every photo precious.
Early 20th Century--the era when anyone could buy and use a camera, was one of the greatest phenomena of our time.
I was looking at some 2 ¼” square photos taken on a ‘60s Cornish camping holiday. In the background was a potato peeler which we took with us - a heavy clonking contraption ,with a handle on the top-- ,plus our newest claim to camping sophistication --a stove with not one, but two burners, ( in spite of the fact that we had no proper fitted groundsheet in the tent—that came later,) These were memories I had quite forgotten until I saw them again in these old pictures
Seeing these backgrounds in the photos evokes memories for me and my family. Being children then, they have different memories to mine. ( I had also forgotten until reminded that the peeler gave up the ghost at John O’ Groats a couple of years later.
We often wondered what the farmer thought it was, when he saw it sitting on a cowshed wall after we’d left.)
Children playing in the garden-- we all have those pictures. 
‘But hey’, I say, ‘ Id forgotten about that old pedal car in the background at the old house- I wonder what happened to it--- and weren’t babies prams big in those days.
And those awful orange faces in hand coloured wedding photos.
One of my favourites was a black and white wedding photo I bought from a car boot sale. It was taken in a backyard. Classic pose, ,Matriarch grimly sitting on a dining chair at the front and Patriarch standing tightly buttoned into his stiff best suit at her side. The rest of the family arranged formally around them.
But what a background. 
An old bike leans up against what looks like a privy door, and hanging on the wall, almost touching one of the bridesmaids shoulders, a large tin bath. 
Now whilst I’m not advocating that we should all dash out and buy a tin bath as an essential background prop for our wedding photographs ,my point is that far too much cloning goes on now in photographs---often because we can !
We must value this type of social history ,much of which is only contained in the normal family snapshot.
History which we are in danger of erasing in our effort to create the ‘perfect’ picture, which often is quite sterile.
Be careful when you erase unwanted detail. You may be erasing history.

Catherine Wilson,

Club Talk - Catherine Wilson

       Club Talk

Many years ago I joined a second photographic club. Only one of3women and50 odd( very odd ) men.

I sat at the back and no-one spoke. I was persistent. Or probably thick!

The 3rd week someone actually spoketo me.

He said I’d had my 2 free weeks and if I wanted to come again I’d have to join. I paid up and he asked me what camera I had. I sensed he thought I was joking when I told him. Later I saw him and some cronieswatching me and muttering. I was right.

Every week they had a competition, and I watched.. The pictures, my favouriteblack and white- were wonderful, convinced me mine could never be as good.

The same few men entered the competition every week. Others sat around discussing and wearing new equipment like fine jewellery. Cameras I could never dream of affording- ever. 

My equipment -my outfit- my pride and joy, and all of £40.00 worth, consisted of a Zenit B,  a Chinon lightmeter, both of which I still have, and an old dented Gnome enlarger I’d bought for 15.00, complete with a Nikon 2.8 lens.

I practiced in my loft when the children were in bed, coming down the ladder with a bucketful of soaking prints to rinse in the shower and slap on the tiles to dry.. My children thought I was a really clever mummy.  My husbanddidn’t mindsometimesbecoming a ‘darkroom widower’.

I stubbornly continued my Monday nights and was eventually on nodding terms with the two women. One night one of them asked why I never showedanything. I said something on the lines of,  “I’m not much good yet”, but said I’d take a sample on condition that she didn’t show the others. I chickened out and went empty handed. A couple of weeks later she turned up at my house.

I showed her what I’d done and she said she was impressed. I didn’t believe her, I thought she was afraid I was fed up with the club and would leave.  She turned out to be the competition secretary and was aiming to get the three women in the club to prove themselves equal to the men

Shehelped me pick something out for the annual portrait challenge, tellingme how to mount them.

I entered two pictures, (anonymously as per the rules)- my first ever. And then forgot about them during the summer break.

September, a man from the club phoned and asked me to bring mynegative to the club on the first night to prove the picture was mine. I was - unusual for me – quite rude to him.

I had won thehideous Hilda Gilda Rose bowl -first prize for the best black and white portrait of the year. I hid it behind an armchair until I left the club later that year..

The judges were all men. (That’s how I first met Andy Fell. He was one of the judges.)

I learned a lot by watching. andAnd joined another club in Coventry - progressing to judging slide showsaroundCity, all great fun.

Some years ago I started a new small camera club, and remembering my experience, where every member is deemed equal whether their camera is the dinkiest compact ever, or the latest performing - art blast of the year.

Technically the big expensive ones are more versatile, but overthe years I’ve seen some really professional ‘jokes’.

Proving that the person behind the lens is master

Catherine Wilson

Published in Amateur Photography Magazine.

BECC Takes The Win!!

Tonight was the first interclub competition between ourselves and the Jaguar Club.

There were some truly beautiful prints on display from both clubs it was a close match but BECC came through in the end with a final score 317 BECC To  304 JAG.

Huge thanks to all memeber who were entered and those who helped behind the scenes, from entry collections of subs to the ladies who arrange the tea, the committee for giving up time to co ordinate the image selections, Chris Robertson for collating the images and arranging drop box uploads, Rex done an outstanding job as always as our chairman, We are very fortunate to have a great club of people who work with and support each other.

Well done everyone


Club Discount

Members can now receive 10% discount off cartridge world cartridges and A3 prints for the price of A4 and 20% off pro photo papers A4 and A3.  Also some ad hoc offers on printers and print services. All on production of your membership card.

PC Security Options

we have all been made aware of issues with virus and malware recently, Just a a quick link for you. Of course you should do your own research but i am currently using this software from bitdefender i use the Total Security Multi Device option which allows me to download and install on 5 devices pc or mac and even android. With some parental controls as well all at £59.95 for the year. i use this one becouse it does not slow the machine at all and also it has a auto pilot setting so you pretty much have to nothing as its all done for you,

Summer Meet

Thanks to those who turned up for the train museum summer meeting, and thanks to Rex for his hard work in setting it up and colin for managing donations etc. (10 minute edit from me!!)

Monitor Luminance Check Sheet

The basic luminance check is now in the members area, linked at bottom of the list simply click it a jpg will open with numbers 1 - 10 the idea is you adjust your brightness level so u can see all numbers bare in mind 1 and 10 will be very faint. THIS IS NOT as efficient as electronic calibration but may help you get a workable luminance level if your having issues.

Annual Result For BECC Photographic Competitions 2014

The  Competitions Secretary  announced the  results of the Annual  Competition  categories  and made the presentations.    

Andy Fell Memorial  Trophy: 1st - Karl Redshaw

Martin Bend: 1st - Karl Redshaw

Annual Colour : 1st - Karl Redshaw / 2nd  Dave Dewis

Annual B&W: 1st - Karl Redshaw / 2nd Ian Flint

Annual Projected: 1st  - Karl Redshaw / 2nd Ian Flint  
Photographer Of The Year 2014: Karl Redshaw
Pearl  Anniversary Comp: Joint 1st Cath Wilson/Rex Coleman    

Karl's Pro Photographer Awards Result

The awards night for The Guild Of Professional Photographers went well, My results are as follows:
1 - Image Of The Year Monochrome 2nd
2 - Image Of The Years Urban & Street 2nd
3 - Photographer of the year "International top ten finish"
4 - The photographers Bar (Awarded to the few photographers that have consistently entered high standards in the image of month competition.

Also in the final 6 for Sports & Events Image but missed out on the coveted top 2 spots,

This Weeks Meeting

Hi everyone,

Just a bit more detail about Tuesday's meeting.

This is a workshop/tutorial on digital editing - something we all do to some extent or other. We all get images that don't look anywhere as good as we expected when we get to see them on screen. 

It isn't intended to be advanced but to cover a range of editing skills and techniques from very basic skills.

The intention is to choose a range of images and apply a number of levels of editing, from an explanation and use of basic RAW editing, some basic manipulation in Lightroom and Photoshop through to more complex editing to generate either something more creative to extract something better and even wonderful from an unpromising image.

From there there will be a challenge to each of you do some editing of your own images prior to the chairmans Challenge meeting on 6th January where I would like you to bring the before and after versions.

There, if you feel comfortable doing so,  I would like you to show explain what you did to achieve the results. This isn't just a platform for the more advanced but also for the developing photographers to help you develop your skills through doing something beyond your current skills and to allow us all to assist you where you may have problems or are unsure how to get the effect or improvements you are after. There will be a small competition to choose the most improved image in the evening!

If you specifically want to know what to do or how to do something, bring along your questions possibly with a copy of example images (RAW files if you have them) on a memory stick to Tuesday's meeting and we'll see how we may help. Remember - If you want to learn how to achieve something and develop, please please ask!