Blog

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

POTW - Week 7 - Chris Baker - Sunlit Tulip

The tulip was enjoying the sun in the back garden as much as I was. It was shining back brightly, and was wide open to catch the rays. It therefore had to be photographed... not even on macro setting, fore-arms on knees for stability, whilst sitting in front of it. A polarising lens prevented reflected glare. A watering can provided the "dew-drops".

7 - Chris Baker - Sunlit Tulip.jpg

POTW - Week 6 - Chris Baker - Knife Angel

I happened to be in Coventry at the same time as the Knife Angel, and couldn't resist the shot.

The sculpture was made at the British Iron Works in Oswestry, Shropshire by sculptor Alfie Bradley using over 100,000 knives/blades etc provided by (eventually) all the police forces in the UK. It has toured several British cities as part of a campaign to highlight/reduce knife-crime.

6 - Chris Baker - Knife Angel at Coventry Cathederal.jpg

BECC Schedule Change in May. Plus POTW

1, The BECC schedule has been changed in May, the two activities on the 14th and 28th have swapped places.

The schedule on the website has been updated.

2, We have slot vacancies on the POTW planner (Members section - Club Files and guides) so if you did not have the opportunity on Tuesday or effectively avoided the prowling members with the sheet, you can see the dates and select your own.

BECC Schedule 2019 / 2020 and Survey

1, The Club Schedule has been updated and uploaded to the website. Please go to the site and note any new activities and changes.

2, A members survey has been placed into the Members are - Club Documents, Files and Guides. If you could fill this in and bring it to the club meeting that would be great but printed copies will also be available

 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.

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.

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.