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RR VA Timbrell John Abstract Reflection In A Greek Harbour

Visual Art Group - Committee and Helpers

Chairman - John Cavana ARPS

Following a long career overseas in Telecoms, John discovered a passion for photography in retirement. He has been a member of the Adderbury, Deddington & District PS for many years and served as Programme Secretary for 3 years, followed by a short term as chairman.

In 2015 he joined the RPS Visual Art Group and has been a regular and enthusiastic attendee at the Rollright sub-group meetings.John’s photographic interests are wide ranging, through landscape, architectural and floral subjects. He attained LRPS in 2017 and presented a successful ARPS panel in applied photography in 2019.

John has served on the Visual Art Group since early 2019, firstly as an exhibition co-ordinator and more recently as Secretary and Newsletter Editor.

visualart@rps.org

Secretary & Newsletter Editor - Carol Paes ARPS

My first camera in the early 1980 proved to be a disaster. As I had no idea about depth of field, shutter speed or light metering, my SLR camera only managed to give me a few decent images (maybe a few is an over-exaggeration!). A hectic life of marriage, children and work took over and as cameras progressed to be more user friendly, the point and shoot variety seemed to be easier to manage. My enthusiasm for more serious photography returned about 14 years ago and I joined Prism Photographic Club, here is Guernsey, to help improve my photography and enjoy the social time with other photography enthusiasts. Club life is an immense source of joy to me: I love the meetings, outside shoots, social events and competitions. I became secretary after a couple of years and was then elected to President, a role that I undertook for 6 years. I am now Secretary again, as I always love to be part of the action.

I joined the RPS when my first panel was nearly ready. I decided if I was going to be a member, I wanted to get more involved and I found the perfect avenue for this – the Visual Art Group (VAG) residential weekend. I love exploring the UK with a fabulous group of like-minded members. I have made some wonderful friends and applaud VAG for this great event.

I was delighted to gain my LRPS at an Assessment Day in Cambridge in 2015. I loved attending the actual day and feel it really added to my understanding and appreciation of the whole LRPS process. Since then, I had been trying to settle on a subject/theme for my ARPS panel. I had a few ideas but I didn’t really ‘feel it’, and I think that is so important when you are trying for a distinction. I was lucky enough to gain access to a closed down hotel here in Guernsey which had been repeatedly broken into by vandals. On my first visit I knew that this was the perfect subject for my panel. After many visits and hundreds of images, an advisory session and a one to one, I was beyond delighted to pass my ARPS earlier this year.

Other than photography - for the last 22 years I have been a self-employed Registered Nutritional Therapist, a subject I am passionate about even after all this time. Never has nutrition, the health of the nation and the state of our food been of more importance.

I used to enjoy lots of sport, but a back injury and knee issue has reduced that ability. I was also on the Board of the Channel Islands Co-operative until earlier this year having held the post for the maximum 10-year term.

My husband and I enjoy travel (when it isn’t curtailed by Covid) as I am always happy to go anywhere so long as my camera can come too!

visualartseec@rps.org 

TREASURER - BARRY BARKER FRPS

I have been a keen photographer since I was about 8 years old when I "acquired" my Dad's folding Zeiss Icon camera, read the exposure recommendations on the leaflet with the film, squinted at the sky and pretended that I knew what I was doing. I guessed at the aperture and speed settings, and took responsibility for all family photography thereafter.

My work is difficult to pigeon-hole, it goes its own way as a particular theme or subject catches my interest. People have always been my favourite, candids, street pictures, in an urban landscape, the studio or theatre. Actors and dancers make wonderful images, easy to direct, especially when projecting a role or a character - it made me realise that, even when making relatively conventional portraits it is necessary to get the sitter to play their part, to think about the image that they wish to convey of themselves and to build a rapport with the camera. Actors seem to do this naturally, whether on stage or relaxing. My theatre pictures give me great satisfaction and Associateship of the Royal Photographic Society in two categories, Theatre and Pictorial. I subsequently gained a Fellowship of the Royal Photographic Society in Contemporary Photography for Ghoti ** - a very peculiar kettle of fish. Photography has always been more than a hobby for me, it has been an outlet for my creative juices, and an opportunity to celebrate, to capture and preserve many wonderful sights and moments.

You'll find my work on my website www.double13.uk.

[**Ghoti - is pronounced "fish", gh as in enough, the o as in women, and ti as in station.]

Membership Secretary - Mark Deutsch LRPS

I was introduced to photography by my father, a GP, who was very keen - within the limitations of the time. He and my uncle (his brother in law) were always competing to have the latest gadgets. His interests covered everything from family to architecture to still life. He had a darkroom in the attic, although it was used mainly when he discovered the techniques of bromoil and transfer. This was probably Visual Art, though I didn’t ‘get it’ at the time.

I was encouraged to take pictures from the age of about eight with an assortment of borrowed kit. I still have many of them, though sadly my keen interest in trains - all steam then, of course - vastly outstripped my inadequate photographic ability.

Dad gave me my first ‘real’ camera, an early Pentax Spotmatic, to take on a trip to the US in 1970. It stood me in good stead for many years, despite an early fall at the Grand Canyon! At the time I was while reading Chemistry at Queen Mary College, London.

My other keen interest at the time was amateur radio, encouraged by my physics master at school. This led me to apply for a studio manager traineeship with the BBC but took me away from photography until I was lucky enough to get a 2-year posting to the BBC Relay Station in Singapore. Once there I was fascinated by the culture, sights and traditions and soon procured a Canon A-1 - tax-free of course, and this rekindled my interest, which has continued to this day.

In my early BBC days I became friendly with a young German, one Andreas Klatt. Though our paths through the years have been different we never lost touch and thus in about 2013 I discovered the delights of the Rollright Group.

My main area of photographic interest has always been Travel. In over 40 years with the BBC World Service I was lucky enough to visit many countries and always took a camera. I also took advantage of my employer’s parsimony when the cheapest airfare involved staying Saturday night although most work had ended on Friday.

Egged on by some of my RPS friends, I have recently gained my LRPS. The finer points of photographic technique are still to be learnt but in retirement - and in the company of like-minded photographers - I intend to have fun learning.

 

EXHIBITIONS LEAD/MAGAZINE CO-ORDINATOR - WENDY MEAGHER LRPS

I’ve been a member of the Adderbury, Deddington & District PS since 2012 and of the RPS since 2018, gaining my Licentiateship in 2019.

My father gave me a Brownie camera for my 11th birthday; he was an excellent photographer – Motor Sport published his photos; he also advised the likes of Patrick Lichfield. Nikon D7100 and Fuji X-T3 are the cameras I now use.

I was born in Dublin, but grew up in Italy, Austria, Malaya and England, speaking fluent Italian and enough German and Malay to get around. My marriage to an American publisher and botanist, took us to America, St Kitts and Mexico. Living in these countries fed my imagination and woke my sense of the extraordinary.

When young, I studied graphics and photography at Colchester School of Art. At the end of my prelim year, my dissertation on Ben Nicholson won me joint first place for design. My love for seeing the abstract in the ordinary benefited from the assignments and projects we had at art school.

My enthusiasm for drawing, design and photography came into full use after I met my husband, when I contributed drawings, photographs and book design to his writings. Eventually I became his in-house editor and designer, and we formed a small publishing company (he was a founder member of Worth Publishing Inc.). If I had known I could have made a career from book design, I would have done that from the start. But instead I earned my living as a PA to some very interesting people like the historian Trevor Aston at Corpus Christi, where I learnt to proof manuscripts. I enjoyed copy and picture editing, and this led to occasionally using my photography when we moved to San Miguel de Allende, Mexico. I contributed photos to my husband’s book Wild & Wonderful: Nature Up Close in the Botanical Garden ‘El Charco del Ingenio’, San Miguel de Allende, Mexico.

Although I was interested in taking photographs, and had some published in Mexico and St Kitts, it wasn’t until after my husband died that things took a turn when I ventured into a photographic exhibition given by the Adderbury, Deddington and District PS. A whole new world opened to me.

In the autumn of 2015, I attended my first ‘RPS Visual Art Rollright Day’, at Long Compton. It was here that I was introduced to a wider variety of photographic styles and techniques, and found that Visual Art encompassed so much that interested me. I was particularly inspired by Viveca Koh’s work.

I’m enjoying being a member of my lively and productive photo club, and able to pursue photographic projects with fellow enthusiasts. When some of us wanted our work to be seriously critiqued with a view to gaining distinctions, I formed the Constructive Criticism Circle which has proved successful, serious but fun.

My love of photography was instilled into me by my father, and I in turn seem to have passed it on to my son, who is a photographer. My passion for design is in my daughter’s genes, and she and her husband are in The List of the top 100 designers in the UK (Joanna Plant Interiors).

EXHIBITIONS MEMBER - MARTYN PEARSE

Like so many people of my generation the Kodak Brownie was my start with photography. How I came to have the Brownie is not clear, but what is clear is that immediate connection with holding a camera and taking pictures.

For many years whilst I have always owned a camera, studies and riding motorbikes came first, but then one day I made the step up to a Leica 111b. Cambridge is my home town and on Kings Parade there was shop that specialised in used cameras and it was there I made my purchase. Loading a roll of film was interesting, but it was a beautiful camera and I eventually treated myself to a Weston Master V light meter with Invercone to take the guess work out of exposure settings.

Having qualified as a Mechanical Engineer and then getting married we moved to Banbury and it was then I joined a camera club for the first time and I moved on to an Olympus OM10 with a built in light meter, which I still own. The club had its own darkroom, as did several members, and being long before the digital age, developing, printing and mounting your work was the norm.

Following the closure of the Banbury factory I transferred to the Leamington Spa where they had a full time photographer and the most comprehensive studio with a Gandolfi plate camera, darkroom and archive of photographs dating back to the late 20’s. The tragedy is that I believe the priceless archive has been lost when that part of the site was demolished.

During this time I moved onto a Nikon F-601, which again I still own. The camera club in Banbury closed about 15 years ago and left me pondering where to go, when a friend told me about a new photographic society that had been formed locally.

This is the Adderbury Deddington & District Photographic Society (ADD) of which I am currently the chairman. It has the distinction of being “non-competitive” so no judges. Guest speakers continually complement us on this aspect of the society. What is does not do is lessen the standard of photography. We hold an exhibition in September every year with over 100 entries that receives high praise from all who visit. It was at one of these events that Andreas Klatt visited, and was so impressed he joined the society. It was this that brought me to the RPS and the Visual Art Group (VAG)

Finally, I went digital with a Nikon D7100 and now onto Mirrorless with Fuji.

Group Web Editor - Michael Butterworth LRPS

I started my journey in photography when I was 12 and joined the camera club at secondary school. This is where I developed my understanding of photography and the magic of capturing life and watching the images appear out of the chemicals, in the dark.

I gained my Licenciateship of the Royal Photographic Society in 2016 with a panel consisting of a combination of concert photography, architecture and nature with a combination of portraites and abstract images. I am currently working on my Assiciate qualification, which will be based around my music photographic images, featururing portraits, abstracted instuments.

I've been a member of the RPS since then end of 2014, and a member of Banbury Camera Club sine 2005. As an active member of both organisations I have been on the committee of BCC over ten years and the Visual Art Group since 2017.

visualartweb@rps.org

 

Circles Secretary - Gill Dishart ARPS

My very first camera was an all-plastic Brownie 127, when I was eight years old.  Since then I’ve never been without a camera, latterly Nikons, and moving onto Digital in 2004 and now mirrorless.   Starting in the age of Black and White, I used my University darkroom, then set one up in my father’s cold garage. Peter and I set up a permanent darkroom in our new house, and moved onto Cibachrome.  Since moving to the Midlands, our A3 printer has been our darkroom.

I successfully applied for an LRPS in 1991, and joined the RPS and the Colour Group.  We have been fortunate to have many opportunities for foreign travel, and my ARPS in 2004 was as a result of a visit to Yellowstone.  Learning Photoshop in the 1990s was an exciting development for me, and I enjoyed exploring the possibilities of the new medium.  Yes, all the various effects were fun to learn, but there is nothing as satisfying as getting an image, print or digital, exactly as I want it.

Having joined a slide circle in the Colour Group, I became co-ordinator of its print and slide circles in 1997, and when the Colour Group joined the Visual Art Group, I became coordinator there, and started the Email Circles, of which we now have five, together with two Print Circles.  For me each new round in the email circle is like opening a new assortment box of chocolates.  It is exciting and rewarding to see a new set of pictures each month, and to discuss the images online with the photographers.  So I never tire of it.

RESIDENTIAL WEEKENDS - MIKE KITCHINGMAN LRPS

I grew up in postwar London where I enjoyed playing games in and around the skeletal remains of buildings. I was fascinated by these structures and this turned, over the years, into a love of architecture and abstract forms. 

I have always enjoyed the arts in one form or another and I enjoy music, reading, sketching and wood carving as well as, my greatest love Photography and I derive great enjoyment from visiting art galleries and places of architectural interest.

I have been practicing photography for the last 60 years starting with an Ensign Full Vue Flex (my father was an engineer at Ross Ensign, a UK camera and lens manufacturer), later on my hardware was a 2nd hand Rolleiflex and I graduated later to a Nikon F 35 mm. and Olympus OM1 and Minolta 9000 thereafter.

I always did my own processing in the rollfilm days and much of my time was spent in the darkroom at that time. Later, after debating with myself over the vices and virtues of doing so, and thanks in no small part to my wife Sally buying me a Nikon D60, I moved over to digital in 2005 I now use a Nikon Z6.

My main interests now are Architecture, Abstract and Street Photography with an occasional dabble into Compositing and Landscape. 

I have been a member of the RPS for around 10 years and the Visual Arts Group for 2 or 3 and I recently gained my LRPS. I’m now planning on going for an ‘A’, with luck and a fair wind.

I am also the Chair and program coordinator of the Leighton Buzzard Photographic Club, a position that I have held for some years.

COMMITTEE MEMBER - CLAIRE CARROLL

My first camera was a Brownie Starmite in the 1960’s and I have been snapping away since then.  Nothing survives from the early days but I am sure there was nothing of note in any case! Photography has interested me ever since.  I did a BA (Hons) in Fine Art (Printmaking) from Kingston Poly and photography was an element of the course – dark room, etc, - although it didn’t real appeal to me: I was waiting for the digital age!  I love the immediacy of it, the instant gratification and the added benefits of such a wealth of opportunity to improve in post! 

I love the visual art aspect of photography and whilst two of my favourite subjects are children and birds, I love the art, design and abstract nature of ultra modern architecture.  There is art and beauty all around and in the most ordinary of subjects can be found a treasure of visual art.

When living I the US I joined the Photographic Society of America and was an active member of an email circle.  I have now joined a VAG email circle and enjoy the give and take of the format.  I am a member of the Cheltenham Camera Club.

I have been a member of the RPS for a few years and absolutely love the VAG and the excellent talks that we had been fortunate enough to enjoy at Long Compton.  It is in gratitude to the group that I decided to stand for election to the committee. Many thanks for electing me – or at least for not rejecting me!

COMMITTEE MEMBER - BOB BRACHER ARPS

“ Being of a certain age, it all started with a Brownie 127 and I still have the print I took of my grandfather standing on the promenade in Southend way back in the late fifties.

Although I snapped away all the time, I didn’t join a camera club until 1978 andshortly after secured an “L.” More importantly I continued to put prints into the series of family albums that now total 80 … and still counting.

The onset of the digital age however really set me on course to expand into the visual arts and it has been a revelation and a joy to participate in this subject. I attained an "A" and became involved with the Rollright Group from their early days. Four highlights of my photographic year are their quarterly meetings, the content of which is always inspiring, whether it be generated by visiting speakers or the members showing a huge range of ability, talent and vision.

My other photographic "home" is The Solihull Photographic Society and I was delighted that we were one of the first to start meeting up in our hall when the pandemic rules relaxed. Furthermore, I was allowed to introduce the print-only Solihull Salon of Photography which was held in the wonderfully lit gallery space of our main library.

It should now be apparent that my mantra is "print prints!" To my mind, there is nothing like thumbing through photographic albums and books, or seeing photographs hanging on a gallery wall. It is certainly true that the taking and viewing digital images is somewhat less cumbersome and there are numerous apps available to aid creativity. However, viewing prints as they emerge from my machine is very exciting. Yes, more expensive, but definitely more rewarding especially when I do not have to assign them to the bin !

As for my photo-likes, I really do prefer mono and I also enjoy panels because of the relationship one image has with the another. I think there should be more opportunities to exhibit panels and maybe the Visual Art Group should consider this.”

GUEST EDITOR: VISUAL ART MAGAZINE - RAY HIGGINBOTTOM ARPS

I have a long standing love of art and design, and have been a photographer for over 25 years. I have a BA (Hons) in Photography and Multi-media from the University of Westminster and I am a member of London Independent Photography.

For the last few years I have concentrated on fine art and still life photography. I am often asked about where the inspiration comes from when I am producing a body of work. I can only say that for me, it is all about looking: looking at other artists, photographers, magazines, and above all the environment we inhabit, in all its diverse and intricate forms. My preferred styles are very much centred on the abstract, contemporary, minimalist and sometimes conceptual. Focussing on the found object, both natural and man-made, I create images that I hope will stimulate the imagination and that can be shared in a celebration of colour and beauty. 

I live in Chalfont St Peter with my wife, who is also a photographer, and we are both very active members of the Chalfonts and Gerrard’s Cross Camera Club. 

 

GUEST EDITOR: VISUAL ART MAGAZINE - NICKI GWYNN-JONES FRPS
GUEST EDITOR: VISUAL ART MAGAZINE - LINDA WEVILL FRPS