Report of Bradford Photographic Society Meetings

The reports of the meetings held by Bradford Photographic Society


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.

The first meeting of the new session took place on Thursday 4th September. There was a good turnout of members and an encouraging number of prospective members also came along -a great buzz to start the 2014-15 meetings.

Bruce Pickering, our speaker on 30 October, stated that the Future was back to film. More people are again taking an interest in film - specially large formats.

He brought with him two plate cameras one a 5”x4” with a 90mm Schneider lens, the other a 10”x8” Karona dating from 1903 beautifully restored. The large bellows was made by a British company.

Both have rise and fall, and tilting fronts, and tilt and shift backs, Bruce explained the way these worked with diagrams drawn out on a white-board.  The brass lens on the Karona camera has no shutter, but inside is separate Packard shutter with Waterhouse stops, and a bulb shutter.

On Thurs 21st November we had an interesting guest speaker Mr Howard Toller, also known as "The Owl Man", come to give members a talk on Owls, also accompanied by "Henry The Horror", a wild Tawny Owl, rescued by Howard.

Henry was found in brambles with an extremely damaged wing, which Howard proceeded to tell us of the rescue. Unfortunately Henry will never be released in to the wild, as his left wing is rendered useless. Howard's talk was interesting, witty, friendly, and above all very informative. He described in detail, using projected images, how an Owl differs from other Birds of Prey or Raptors, and at times, in length, interesting aspects of Owls in general.

Members who attended the meeting asked questions, and were intrigued with what Howard had to say about his passion for Owls and the general upkeep of maintaining rescued birds.

Once Howard had finished his excellent talk, members who brought their cameras, were invited to take images of Henry, who, very obligingly posed for us on the makeshift perch made from logs, leaves, Ivy, and Holly, that we made for him!

An interesting meeting indeed!


For our first training evening of the new session on 3rd October, we tried a new format. The topic was 'Landscape' and members were invited to submit questions in advance. These were packaged into small sets and each set was answered by a volunteer with some experience of the topic to offer.
Considering first the pre-expedition stage, Michael Myers opened the proceedings by addressing the decisions we need to take about the weight of equipment then Paul Richards made us pause to consider our Personal safety and the sort of planning that should go into an outdoor shoot.
Next was 'Getting the Shot'. Don Crabtree took us through the elements of compostion then Steve Swiss demonstated the important effect of light. The need for a tripod and the choice of lens was demonstrated, with hands-on examples, by Imran Mirza while Sandra Cockayne showed her methods for creating impressive skies and sunsets.
After each short presentation, other members were invited to offer their views and any follow-on questions were addressed. Quite a variety of angles and opinions were aired and some useful debate was generated.
The evening was rounded off by Kath Bonson showing us facebook pages and web sites siuted to further study and well as some that are pure inspiration. Links are now available on the members forum.
In all the evening provided some sound information and I would be surprised if anyone, however experienced, came away without some food for thought - a new angle on how you have always done it or a flash of the blindingly obvious, even!
There will be a club outing to put some of this into practice at the end of the month.

This meeting was intended to let our newer members show off their work and they did so in some style! Each person was allowed twenty minutes to use in any way they wanted so there was a variety of approaches. Although members had seen work from most people before, this session brought out many new areas of interest and expertise.

Imran Mirza showed us some of his extensive portfolio of studio work including fashion and product images along with his famous night shots of well known locations. More of a surprise were outdoor model shots which all seemed to involve the same armchair!

A wander through Imran Khan’s work, from early to recent, covered work for magazines and his developing (!?!) interest in old film cameras.


We all expected landscapes from Steve Swiszczowski and there were certainly a wide variety of those.

He demonstrated how impressive, fresh images can be taken of the same subject under different seasons and lighting. The outdoor benches were unexpected. It’s amazing what you can make look good!

Steve Goodfellow displayed an impressive command of Photoshop and showed us some creative images of some familiar subjects.




Danny Hill’s moody monochromes of local streets contrasted well with the riot of colour in his shots of India but the greatest punch canme in the boxing shots.

Leading us through his impressive web site, Chris Ingleson displayed his wide range of subject and experience. There was not enough time to cover it all!



Well, we actually had a proper summer, for once, and our first meeting did reflect that with a fine selection of members’ images to show on 5th September. Beforehand, a healthy dozen or so members were kind enough to email their 10 images in advance so a respectable evening’s viewing seemed in prospect. But, as promised, images would be accepted on the evening itself and, with nine members taking advantage of that offer, the total was truly impressive!

Happily, with a bit of parallel working on re-sizing by willing volunteers, the organisation was not actually overwhelmed and everyone seemed to find plenty to chat about while waiting for the presentation to get started. Every contributor said a few words about each of their images which brought home the wide range of approaches encompassed by our members, both in their travels and in their thinking about photography.

It was great to see such a large and enthusiastic turnout to start us off. Since the evening was very informal and not a competition, we will surely see some of these images again in our competitions to come – an exciting prospect for the new session!






30th May saw the last meeting of the year, the President's Night. The purpose of the meeting was to present the competition trophies for the year, choose the Image of the Year and, of course, eat and drink!

Kath Bonson, our President had clearly spent a long time polishing all the silverware and, it transpired a lot more time delving into the piles of historic documents that belong to the Society. She started the evening by giving a potted history of messrs Leighton and ???, nationally famous photographers of their day, in whose name two of the trophies we compete for each year were presented to the club. These bits of history made the grand old trophies ranged before us even more impressive.

The prizes were then presented with each winner receiving a small trophy to keep along with a certificate and a brief opportunity to hold the main trophy before it is whisked away to safe (and insured) storage.

The winners of the print trophies were:
WH Hammond Trophy, Portrait: Terry Kolanko (who could not be present)
Norman Stow Applied Trophy: Rais Hasan
JW Murray Pictorial Trophy: Steve Swiszczowski
Greenwood Trophy, Novice: Karl Dunachie
Tom Scatchard Record Trophy: Graeme Mitchell
JH Leighton Trophy, Pictorial: Michael Myers
Walker Trophy, Colour All-Rounder: Michael Myers
HM Storey Salver, Monochrome All-Rounder: Peter Milthorp

And the winners of the Digital Projected Image trophies were:
Bronze Statuette, Novice Colour Trophy: Bill Clark
JF Mather Trophy, open: Graham Pile
Percy Lund Rose Bowl, best all-rounder novice: Chris Ingleson
D Bates Trophy, best all-rounder open: Sandra Cockayne
Norfolk Trophy, natural history: Sue Zajaczkowska
VB Lloyd Trophy, journalism/action/sport: Imran Khan
CE Lawson Trophy, creative processing: Rais Hasan

Using digital versions of the print trophy winners as well as the digital winners, Graeme Mitchell produced a projected sequence of images for us to judge the Image of the Year. In a dramatic tied vote, the Presidents casting vote gave the award to Sue Zajaczkowska for her Natural History image.
The evening was rounded off by eating and drinking - the only disappointment being that Rais' curry was all gone by the time I got to it!
A fine end to the session, indeed!






Our last speaker of the 2012-13 session was a real treat. Cpl Mike O'Neil gave us a much anticipated talk on his experiences as an Army photographer. The anticipation came from an initial booking for last September which was re-arranged when Mike's posting to Afghanistan came along. While everyone else gets leave as soon as they return from the posting, the photographer has to carry on and cover the arrivals, homecomings and parades of every unit as they come back. So we were very privileged to have some of his precious time and to be the first to see his amazing images of his time in Afghanistan – and there were hundreds of them!

Mike’s running commentary on the circumstances of each picture gave a fluent and intimate insight into the lives of our soldiers, of all ranks, at the sharp end of the conflict. We were left with many unexpected impressions
- of everyday civilian life on the streets,
- of a group of Afghan Policemen laughing
- of sheep running along with the troops as they cross to board a helicopter
- of the rugged beauty of the countryside.
Sadly there was not enough time to linger over the most beautifully crafted images that leapt out from the photojournalism - the dawn patrol walking along the side of the irrigation canal, with reflections in the water and that golden light – just one example.

It was heartening to hear of the dramatic normalisation of in the life of the people since Mike’s previous tour in 2009 and to hear of his ambition to return as a tourist in, maybe, 10 years time to photograph the countryside properly.

We agreed that Mike an excellent professional photographer and a first class representative of the Army. We wish him every success in his next posting to Northern Ireland.