Report of Bradford Photographic Society Meetings

The reports of the meetings held by Bradford Photographic Society

With a total of 45 images in the gallery in advance, we had a lot to talk about on this our second critique evening of the year. I was interesting to hear what the author was trying to achieve in each case and how he/she had gone about it. It was surprising how often opinions on how an image could be improved developed into a consensus - and there were the inevitable disagreements. One man's meat will always be another man's poison!

Back in the warm on 5th February, we set out to share our knowledge of Macro photography. During the introductory video, with its American presenter, you could hear a pin drop. That was because the sound level from the projector was so weak that it was almost inaudible! We need decent extension speakers.

Tom Heggie illustrated his experiments using extension tubes on his existing non-macro lenses. Paul Richards showed a full-scale macro set-up complete with a solid tripod, focus rail, ring light, remote release and a special lens with bellows. He also explained the inherent issues with depth of field, sensitivity to camera shake and getting light on the subject. Then Kyle Smith showed his macro lens and some of the images he has taken with it - complete with suggestions for attractive subjects and tales of image stacking.


On 29th January, a truly impressive number of members (12+) turned out for this outdoor expedition in snow-covered Bradford. We met in the Jacob's pub in the city centre - itself a revelation for the uninitiated. After a brief run-down on night photography techniques by Stephen Goodfellow we ventured forth. There was a surprising lack of reluctance to leave the pub!

It was cold, but not as cold as expected since the forecast wind did not materialise. We managed the cold and slippery conditions without mishap. Unfortunately one member was taken ill and an ambulance was called to be on the safe side. She got home late that evening, fully recovered and we look forward to seeing her pictures.

Our first meeting of 2015, on 7 January, was entitled 'Many Visions'. Since members brought their work on memory sticks, as requested, there was some delay in collating the images. However this gave Peter Sykes the opportunity to run his much anticipated tutorial on the operation of the BPS web site. Even those of us who thought we knew about it discovered hidden depths in there! Hopefully everyone will now be able to fully access what is a very valuable facility.

A Talk by



Members of BPS were treated to a double bill at the last meeting on 27th November with Shelia and Dave Coates displaying prints from all over the world.
Running commentary from Dave explaining the history of each print with the occasional comment from Shelia added an amusing story. Both Shelia and Dave are very well established photographers and judges, having accredited themselves with substantial photographic qualifications.
An interesting night from a very accomplished partnership whose enthusiasm for photography would clearly never fade.
Image shows Shelia and Dave with President Tom.

On Thursday 20 Nov , there was a return visit of Oliver Wright, a very talented young man who gave us all an excellent evening. From his wild life shots to his macro shots of insects, they were superb! His shots of the aurora borealis were amongst the best we have seen.

You can see more of Oliver's images at


Thursday’s 6th. November meeting saw presentations by three of the Society’s most experienced members.

The evening’s headline act was Don Crabtree on composing our photos. Don brought a lifetime of expertise not only in the field of photography but also from his vast experience as an accomplished oil and watercolour artist.

Don began by laying out some of the universal “rules” of composition, covering the Golden Mean, Leading Lines, Horizon placement, Picture Balance, and Framing.

Don demonstrated these principles with diagrams drawn on ProAm envelopes (now charged at a £1 each, so take them back and avoid the charge) and reinforced these with some stunning examples of photographs from his own outstanding photographic archive.

'What I use' was about more than cameras. Several members told us about their own introductions to, and motivations for entering, the world of photography.  Then about the cameras they began with and how and why they moved on to better kit, relating it to the type of photography they were interested in or became involved with.  But we also heard about accessories, especially tripods, and there was a fairly detailed exploration into the science of camera bags.


On 9 October, members were invited to bring their images for a Critique Evening so that other members could comment on the work to try and give a varied and positive indication of possible improvements and subjectiveness.


Both senior members and new members were not backword with their comments with some hardy but constructive discussion on some images. However the night came to an end without the President Tom having to intervene.

On Thursdays 25 sept.the lecturer was Andrew Woolley , who is an all round photographic professional , his subjects vary from weddings to racing cars, his style is outspoken and robust, he brought along a number of framed enlargments in black and white which were quite impressive, he also told a few anecdotes, about his travels abroad, at 830 pm we had a snack break,in which food and drinks were provided by our master chef, Rais Hasan, which was very good. Andy invited us to an evening at his studio in Rawdon. He would organise a model for the evening - if any member is interested can they please contact Peter Sykes as soon as possible. The meeting was chaired by Kath Bonson, and Don Crabtree gave a short vote of thanks, the attendance was around 30 members, and concluded about 9 30 pm.

The meeting title "How I Do It " was as they say -  'Did what it says on the tin'.

Three of our members {Paul, Peter and Steve} gave us an insight into how they use Bridge and Photoshop to manage and enhance their images. Plus we had an impromtu look at Lightroom thanks to Jim.

 Paul - Bridge.

Paul showed us how some of the ways to look at images (RAW and JPG) in Bridge, and went on to demonstrate the use of brushes and gradients to adjust expose and tints of an image.

Our first Training Evening on 11th September was entitled 'Basic Principles'.

Although setting out the sort of basic photographic principles a beginner would need - aperture / shutter speed / ISO - the information went well beyond the basics. In his talk, Paul explained the use of filters, depth of field and post-processing ranging onwards to the choice of cameras and lenses.