Report of Bradford Photographic Society Meetings

The reports of the meetings held by Bradford Photographic Society

Gold - Kyle Smith

On Thursday 9th we had a Photographic Treasure Hunt. Although the turn-out was relatively small, those who took part agreed that it was a lot of fun and an unusual challenge. Teams were given until 9pm to hand over five images entitled:

1.       Gold

2.       Perspective

3.       Old Blue Eyes

4.       Bright

5.       Food for Thought

The 2nd April saw the 154th Annual General Meeting of the Bradford Photographic Society. An impressive 22 members attended, sacrificing the opportunity to see the 7-way political leaders debate live on television!

The meeting proceeded in accordance with the agenda, taking the pre-circulated minutes of the 153rd meeting as read and approving them. Reports were delivered by the Hon Treasurer, Kath Bonson, the Print Secretary, Tom Heggie, (detail to follow by email), the Digital Image Secretary, Steve Swiszczoski, the Acting Webmaster, Peter Sykes, the Interclub Representative, Graeme Mitchell, and the YPU Representative, Geoff Richards. This was followed by the Presidents report by Tom Heggie who thanked the committee for their hard work during the year which has resulted in a lot being achieved with separate mention for Brain Packer who, although not a Council member, agreed to be co-opted to help with the archive.

Members were entertained by Howard Tate, Immediate Past President of the YPU, on large prints on 19 March.
Large being A1 and special Panoramic shots with over a 100 images taken - well beyond the 400x500 YPU standard size!

Howard, a judge himself, seemed to have little time for the opinions of other judges and made it clear that the images he took, were to please himself, and to promote his own individual styles, and often broke the rules of composition.

What set out to be a training evening on Action and Sport Photography on 5 March, developed into something rather unique.

We started off with two short talks by Tom Heggie and Kath Bonson about the techniques for photographing 'planes, bikes and trains' and 'swimming and rowing' respectively. The intention to have a couple of boxers demonstrating shadow-boxing  expanded somewhat as Nick Manners brought along no less than six members of PAT's gym to our meeting.

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.