Members Evening – Around The Table

On Wednesday 13th November 2019, Dunchurch Photographic Society hosted a practical evening of technique demonstration with several club members sharing their skills and expertise during a fascinating and engaging evening. It was an opportunity to look, see and practice in what seemed to be a very well received event. 

After an overall introduction to the evening, each presenter summarised the topic of their demonstration. 

Table 1 – Tony Timmins

Tony was demonstrating various bits and pieces with Lightroom and Photoshop Elements, including the topical subject of re-sizing images appropriately for submission as Projected Images for exhibition or competition. 

Table 2 – Ken Monk

Ken’s demonstration involved water coloured with food dye and dripping liquid from a homemade drop tank (with tap) into a Pyrex baking dish. The premise of this demonstration was how to photograph the dripping water drops and the ripples made. Ken’s equipment included flash lighting and snoods. 

Table 3 – Tony McMaster

Tony’s demonstration also involved water; this time in a glass tank. The object here was to capture images of various objects as they landed in the water, displacing it as it reached a certain depth. This sounds more complicated when reading about it than actually it needs to be in practice! 

Objects that were photographed during the evening included ‘fake’ ice cubes, strawberries, a satsuma and a lemon. All of the different shapes and textures made for very different types of image patterns. 

Tony was shooting ‘tethered’ and wireless during his demonstration, which included the use of a laser beam trigger to enable capturing the moment of ‘splash’ without having to ‘machine gun’ multiple exposures per second. This latter would have been my technique before seeing Tony’s demonstration!

It was fair to say that Tony’s set up included some quite expensive equipment, but there are options for photographers working on a more modest budget. It would be worth speaking to Tony about ‘how to’ on a budget if you are interested in this kind of photography. The results were very effective indeed. 

Table 4 – Liz Peat

Liz’s table was more modest in size, but no less effective. Again involving water in a pyrex dish, Liz had added a few drops of olive oil to create patterns on the surface. 

So how do you make a photograph of this? Well, Liz had coloured card on the floor and a reclaimed coffee table frame on which she had placed a layer of glass from a picture frame to form a clear top. Two domestic desk lamps illuminated the paper from below. The pyrex dish with the olive oil sat on the glass and the camera was mounted on a tripod looking down into the patterns.

Liz’s demonstration really did prove that, even on a modest budget, one can still deliver excellent abstract results.

I took the accompanying photographs using an iPhone 6 to capture the essence of the evening and hope that any members who took their own photographs during the event will be prepared to share them here on the website or in their own galleries. 

A big thank you to all of our demonstration leaders and also to the venerable Rosemary and Jack who operated the tea service during the evening.

A fascinating and worthwhile event which we hope to do more of in the future. 

Well done folks!

Report compiled by David J. Bray (Chairman). 

President’s Trophy Competition Results

Judging of the President’s Trophy Competition for the best Projected Image was held on Wednesday 6th November 2019. The judge for the evening was Ralph Duckett MPAGB EFIAP APAGB.

The results were as follows.

First Place

He’s Lost His Cap by Mike Parmee ARPS CPAGB

Second Place    

Ely Moon by Rosemary Gibbs

Third Place      

The Landscape of Being by Adrian Canole-Parola

Highly Commended   (in title order)  

Check Mate by Ken Garside

Elephant by Anthony Timmins

Orchid by Tony McMaster LRPS

Commended   (in title order)  

Coastal Fungi by Terry Mann

Feather by Tony McMaster LRPS

Fisherman’s Chapel before the Storm by Robin Cooter AFIAP CPAGB LRPS

Into Each Life Some Rain Must Fall by Eric Tatham

Pool’s Reflection by Steven Farmer

The Tube by Eric Tatham

Abstract Photography As Fine Art – Presentation By Nat Coalson ARPS

On Wednesday 30th October 2019 Dunchurch Photographic Society were proud to host the welcome return of Nat Coalson (ARPS) who had travelled from Hinckley in order to give a presentation on making fine art from abstract photography. Nat had visited us at Dunchurch last season as the judge for our Projected Image competition for the President’s Trophy. 

Dunchurch Photographic Society were also very pleased to be joined by our good friends and neighbours from Lutterworth Photographic Society.  

Unfortunately, the WI Hall at Dunchurch was in the process of being decorated and it was a challenge to make the hall habitable for the evening. As Chairman I wish to re-iterate the Committee’s sincere apologies for the malodorous environment inside the hall during the evening to all those attending and of course to our guest speaker, Nat Coalson. It isn’t like that every week, fortunately! 

So, on the evening, with that ‘elephant’ in the room addressed, I handed over proceedings to Nat to enable him to commence his presentation. And what an inspirational, eye-opening and thought-provoking presentation it was! 

In the first half, Nat gave us an introduction explaining what abstract photography is and explaining the various elements that are required to satisfy that particular brief. He spoke with assurance and with demonstrable expertise in his craft. Nat also outlined what was required to then transform abstract photography images into ‘fine art.’ This included large, or extra-large printing onto canvas or metal, and also involved ‘mixed-media’ acrylic paint embellishment to create something truly unique. 

Nat used a sample of his images to help convey the context of ‘abstract’ and help the audience understand which elements we may have previously considered to be abstract, but which are in fact are not actually true examples of the abstract, demonstrating that in its truest form, abstract should leave the viewer pondering ‘what is this I am looking at?’ or ‘what does this actually mean?’. It was both intriguing and thought provoking to see some of Nat’s abstract works, illustrating how often simple things can ‘confuse’ or even ‘misdirect’ the viewer’s interpretation and yet still achieve a pleasing and interesting image! 

It was a busy night in the hall and, with guests from Lutterworth swelling the attendance, the refreshment break was busy for Liz and Jean, who kindly volunteered to staff the tea roster for this particular evening. Prompt and efficient service enabled the break to run smoothly, and an extra special thanks to them both for the plethora of cakes that had been supplied especially.

In the second half of the presentation, Nat Coalson continued to demonstrate his abstract photography images and helped to set the scene relating to ‘Series.’ By this, Nat explained that it is quite important for abstract photographers to work with a concept, or a style, over more than one image to create a series of images that when put together add a little more context, or flavour, back into the intent of what the photographer or artist is trying to achieve. A single image may look or feel good to a photographer but a series on the same theme, or processed in the same style, even if it’s a slightly different viewpoint each time, can be very effective indeed – especially if you are seeking to sell pieces as fine art. 

Nat also showcased a wonderful image featuring blue glass that had been melted and juxtaposed sympathetically with ordinary kitchen tin foil. Lines, shapes, and patterns were very noticeable, along with the abstract fantasy, almost alien, landscape such materials created. It was a new concept that Nat is currently working on and will no doubt be part of another successful ‘series’ of work in that media for him. 

Before taking feedback and questions from the audience, Nat Coalson explained more about how his work has been demonstrated at craft/art fairs, within galleries and even restaurants, with guidance on how photographers and artists can get into the realms of selling their work should they so choose. 

In summary, Nat provided the audience with an inspirational ‘tour de force’ of abstract photography and how this can transform into unique pieces of fine art or limited/open editions for sale. We look forward to welcoming Nat back to Dunchurch Photographic Society again in the future, as well as our guests from Lutterworth Photographic Society. Hopefully with the hall in better, more presentable shape! Grrrrrrrrr!

Thank you Nat!

Report compiled by David J. Bray (Chairman). 

Nature Competition Results

Judging of prints for the Wally Mills Trophy and projected images for the Toft Trophy took place on Wednesday 23rd October 2019.  The judge for the evening was Peter Going, LRPS.

The results were as follows.

Wally Mills Trophy (Prints)


Gray Heron Reflected by David Bray


Sri Lankan Marsh Crocodile and Pond Heron by Robin Cooter AFIAP CPAGB LRPS


Barn Owl at Dusk by David Bray

Highly Commended   (in title order)  

Antarctic Conditions by Jean Sutton

Cheetah 5a by Anthony Timmins

Gentoo Penguins by Jean Sutton

Commended   (in title order)  

A Flesh Fly by Terry Mann

Flower Beetles and Flesh Fly on Buttercup by Ken Monk

Toft Trophy (PDIs)


Tawny Owl with Mouse by David Bray


Buff-tip Moth with Camouflage by Rosemary Gibbs


Kingfisher Diving by David Bray

Highly Commended   (in title order)  

A Crimson and Gold Moth by Terry Mann

Snail on the Move by Patrick Joyce

Southern Cuckoo Bumblebee (Bombus Vestalis)

Commended   (in title order)  

Gentoo Penguins by Jean Sutton

Grey Squirrel by David Cunnane

Slavonian Grebe Family by Robin Cooter AFIAP CPAGB LRPS

Sparrowhawk by David Cunnane

An evening with David Keith Jones, FRPS, DPAGB, EFIAP

On Wednesday 16th October 2019, Dunchurch Photographic Society was delighted to welcome David Keith Jones from Lichfield for a fascinating ‘double feature’ presentation to our members. It was good to host David again after having previously visited the Dunchurch group in 2018 as a judge for our Nature competition. 

Prior to the meeting, David had placed around the hall a number of large prints and postcards featuring his images.

Following a brief introduction by the Chairman of the Society, David commenced his first half presentation, ‘A Photographic Journey along the River Rhône’. 

Commencing at the Rhône Glacier in the Swiss Alps, David’s photographic journey covered a lot of interesting detail pertaining to the geography of the river along with key riverside features as the journey progressed through Lake Geneva and into South Eastern France. There was time to consider various bridge structures, nuclear power stations and cityscapes. 

There were photographic interludes that included the cathedral and art gallery in Lyon, for example, as well as images from the towns of Vienne and Avignon. Of course, no photographic journey of the River Rhône would be complete without an image of the famous Pont d’Avignon! 

The Rhône presentation concluded with the river running out into the Mediterranean Sea and, following warm applause, we adjourned for a refreshment break. 

In the second half of the program, David provided a fascinating and detailed presentation that was entitled ‘Life Beyond the Judges’. It delved deeply into David’s archive covering the early days of his photography showing how his equipment has evolved through various camera bodies right through to the digital media used today. 

What was fascinating about this presentation, apart from the wonderful wildlife and landscape pictures that David shared with us, was just how enduring and timeless a lot of his 35mm film subject matter remains. The quality and the detail have not been lost at all. 

It was abundantly clear to the members at Dunchurch just how successful David has been as a photographer. Having been fortunate enough to spend much of his working life in Africa as a teacher and as a photographer, he is amazingly well travelled. David is also very well published with a showcase of images and samples from his considerable portfolio of brochure, calendar, postcard and book illustrations. In some cases, images that David has taken have been printed commercially several million times.

It was interesting to hear David recount tales of images that had been entered into club competitions where judges had given negative feedback. Little did they know just how widely published those images were in a variety of places and media.

In summary, David provided a thoroughly entertaining evening of images and anecdotal commentary during both of his presentations. We look forward to welcoming David back to Dunchurch Photographic Society again in the future. 

Thank you David!

Report compiled by David J. Bray (Chairman).