Photography ArticlesThis is Bradford Photographic Society website's teaching and activities section, where you can find advice and stories from members.

Along with reports of our meetings.

We hope to eventually have a good collection of interesting and entertaining articles on different aspects of photography.

Bempton Cliffs

Located on the East coast, along a narrow road from Bempton and just a few miles south of Filey, is the RSPB reserve at Bempton Cliffs. Here, dependant on the time of year, you can find a variety of wildlife from Gannets, Guillemots and Kittiwakes to Short-eared Owls and Puffins. According to the RSPB website, it is “easily the best place in England to see, hear and smell seabirds” and after a recent visit, I would have to agree.

From the car park (remember to take cash to pay if you are not a member of the RSPB, I am not and was nearly in big trouble when faced with a £3.50 charge with no cash machine in sight!) the visitor centre is next door, and helpful staff are on hand to show you the paths available to walk the cliffs.

There are boards stating which birds are likely to be seen during the time of year, and then it’s off to the coastal path and it’s various viewing points for bird spotting and more importantly, bird shooting!

I went armed with a 80-200mm lens, a longer one would have been a bonus, but still there were enough birds drifting on the wind and standing on the rocks to make the journey worthwhile, but the wind did make a lens/body with stability of some kind a distinct bonus.

For more information visit

How to Take a PhotoThe new BPS season starts on Thursday 3rd September, at 7.30pm. The programme kicks-off with a two-part series on technique. If you often find yourself wondering what goes through other photographers' heads, just before they press the shutter, then these talks are for you.

Part One explores the different ways of seeing a potential photo, composing the image, and setting your camera for the best results. In Part Two, the audience is asked to provide recent images — taken since Part One, if possible — to demonstrate how these techniques work. Everyone will be invited to comment on the merits of each photograph, and, where appropriate, suggest improvements which could have been made at the time of capture, or can be made in post-processing.

Whatever your level of expertise, there will hopefully be something for you. You may even be able to pass on a gem of wisdom yourself.

  • Do you have a definitive attitude to your photography?
  • Do you really try and take your time in setting up the perfect composition, for what is available, to make the perfect image?
  • Do you consider using Aperture or Shutter priority, rather than Auto Program?
  • Do you consider if exposure compensation will help to improve the final outcome?
  • Are you sure the White Balance on your camera is set for the current conditions?
  • Should you shoot in Raw or Jpeg or Tiff?
  • Would Landscape or Portrait format suit the composition better?
  • Would changing the ISO help, or cause unnecessary noise, or improve a given effect situation?
  • Would it be better to wait for the light/darkness to arrive just get the perfect image?
  • Have you checked the settings on your camera since last time you used it?

I am sure everybody at sometime have considered some of the above points prior to pressing the shutter button. Perhaps some of us suffer from the machine gun effect, assuming that if we take enough, some images will come out good.

  • Do we take the image and believe that it will look better after some post-processing in Photoshop?
  • Do we shoot an image to suit a title, or think of a title afterwards?

I think the answers to some of these questions are very simple. Photography should be enjoyable, no matter what standard of ability you are at, and no matter what equipment you use. It is an activity which can never be completely learnt in any one lifetime, no matter what age you start at. Technology is like moving sand, it constantly changes and we go to the next level. However, it is this constantly changing battle that keeps our interest going, If there was not a challenge, where would the fun be? Photography is a media for all, no matter what your gender, age, abled or disabled. Photographers come from every walk of life. So why continue making these decisions by yourself?

Join the Bradford Photographic Society and be involved with like-minded people, and share the satisfaction that only Photography can give.

Paul Richards (President), BPS

StopGAP Dance CompanyThe BPS was invited to photograph dress rehearsals of the StopGAP Dance Company last week. StopGAP is an integrated professional contemporary dance company, which has dancers with and without disabilities.

Ten BPS members were present, & they photographed the dress rehearsal for an hour, before the company's Barnsley Civic Theatre performance on Saturday 9th May.


West Yorkshire PoliceNine members of the Bradford Photographic Society were made welcome by a representative of the West Yorkshire Police Imaging Unit headquarters last night. They were given a tour of the facilities, and they were given an insight into the life of a police photographer and how cameras, video equipment and computers are used against crime.

The BPS wishes to thank those concerned for their time and hospitality. The tour was very interesting and enlightening, especially the insights and stories provided by the host, who was very receptive, frank and open with his guests.

Inter-ClubThe fourth and final round of the 2008/9 Inter-Club Competition took place on Saturday 14th March. Twelve photographic societies took part in the competition, submitting a total of 240 photographs, which were critiqued and marked by guest judges over four rounds.

Bradford Photographic Society won the first round with a clear lead, which narrowed with every successive round. By the time of the last round, nerves were frayed as other clubs scored impressive marks. Eventually, after a long tense pause, it was announced that BPS had won by 1 point, narrowly beating Leeds Photographic Society to the finishing line.

The Inter-Club Cup (held by Huddersfield for five years) was presented to BPS President, Graeme Mitchell, after a good polish. You can see the winning photographs in our new Inter-Club Winners gallery.

Bradford Industrial Museum45 of our prints will be on display in the café of the Bradford Industrial Museum until Sunday 11th January 2009. Admission free.

Bradford Industrial Museum, Moorside Road, Eccleshill, Bradford BD2 3HP. Tel. 01274.435900
Tuesday - Saturday 10am - 5pm; Sunday 12 noon - 5pm (café closes at 4pm)
Closed: Mondays (Except Bank Holidays), Christmas Day, Boxing Day and Good Friday

The 2008–9 BPS 1st Trophy Night Print Competition, was held on Thursday 27 Nov 2008, judged by Howard Mason, of Leeds Co-operative Photographic Society.

The Hammond Colour Cup entries were of a very high standard and it was narrowly won by Helen Hall with 'Groyne at Sandsend' (19.25 points), with 7 prints sharing 2nd place (19 points).

The Norman Stow Record Cup was won by Geoffrey Richards with 'Giraffe and Zebra, Knaresborough' (20 points), with Graeme Mitchell taking both runner-up positions (19 points).

The J.W. Murray Pictorial Trophy (monochrome) was won by Michelle Roundhill with 'Mist of the Swamp' (19 points), with Kenn Taylor taking 2nd place (18 points), and Graeme Mitchell and Terry Kolonko sharing 3rd place (17 points).

The C.E. Lawson Cup (computer-manipulated Images) was impressively dominated by Terry Kolonko with 'Venetian Glass' and 'Three Sheds' sharing 1st place (19 points), as well as sharing 3rd place with two of Michelle Roundhill's prints!

Many of the prints were chosen for the upcoming print exhibition at the Bradford Industrial Museum.

Inter-ClubIt was our turn to host the second round of the Inter Club competition, last night. There was a good turn-out, and the evening was a success.

Normanton won the round with an impressive score of 92/100, but the BPS managed to hold on to an overall lead of 176/200, with Michelle Roundhill scoring a perfect 20 with 'Physalis'.

Bingley Camera Club will be hosting the next round in February 2009.

JF Mather Trophy (Pictorial)

1. Keith Nuttall, 54 points: 'Harnessing the Elements' (18); 'Remains of the Day' (16); 'The Towpath' (20).
2. Graeme Mitchell, 52 points.
3. Helen Hall, 51 points.

Norfolk Trophy (Natural History)

1. Bruce Pickering, 58 points. 'Cheetah' (19); 'Fruit Bat' (20); 'Wildebeast at Waterhole' (19).
2. Sue Zajaczkowska, 56 points.
3. Helen Hall, 55 points.

Novice Colour Trophy

1. Keith Nuttall, 55 points: 'Canning Dock & the 3 Graces' (18); 'Fox Cubs & Vixen' (20); 'Trattoria Sempione' (17).
2. Bruce Pickering, 51 points.
3. Craig Denton, 46 points.

The reports of the meetings held by Bradford Photographic Society

Reports of BPS Exhibitions and talks held by others

Articles on the history of Bradford Photographic Society

Reports about Bradford Photographic Society photowalks and shoots

Articles on how to improve photographic techniques

Other articles about Bradford Photographic Society or photography in general

Reports on the various competitions in which BPS is involved