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Roman Baths By Peter Basterfield ARPS Western

Meddling Monks

February 2020 - What Makes Judges Tick

Thirty plus souls braved Storm Ciara to attend February’s regional event.

In the first part of the meeting Sue O’Connell FIPF, ARPS, ERAP/d1, DPAGB, BPE5*, an accredited PAGB judge and member of the WCPF Judge Training team, gave us her insight on what judges are looking for when assessing an image - good points as well as areas for improvement. Using a selection of her own images Sue demonstrated how preparation for taking a shot, in-camera techniques and post-production can all work to produce great images.

A group session followed where attendees who brought along prints had the opportunity for them to be reviewed by their peers acting as judges. Very good fun and some invaluable feedback for those who showed prints. 

Black & White Everest From 40Km

May 2020 'My Photographic Journey - started on Mount Everest!'

On May 10th the Western Region was treated to a marvellous talk by Ken Skehan on the topic “My Photography Journey ~ Started on Mount Everest”.  Over 60 members registered and were able to enjoy, via Zoom, an amazing story of how the trip changed Ken’s life, while viewing great Photographs. 

Ken shared with us the motivation for his trip to Mount Everest along with the challenges faced and rewards.  Brought to us in a heart-warming fashion that made us both wish we were there and be thankful that we were not.  The trek to Base Camp at 17,500 feet took us along narrow trails, across shaky bridges, past housing construction Napalese style (no machines) and suffering the fearsome altitude sickness. Read more about it on our website

From the beginning of not knowing that a DSLR needed a CF card to the successful publication of his book, our interest was drawn into tales of soliciting free equipment, gaining commercial sponsorships and involvement travelling the world with high profile companies.  He shared secrets of how he attracted business as well as how & where to raise funds selling your images. Ken’s enthusiasm and determination of promoting himself proved once and for all that with the right attitude you can make a living with your photography… along the way also receiving his ARPS distinction.  His generosity does not end with his sharing his knowledge but carries over in his support of many of his chosen charities.

Anyone who missed hearing Ken should take the time to look at his website.  You will be treated to inspirational photography.

Thank you Ken for a magnificent, interesting and entertaining presentation


UK19 471 Marbled White (Melanargia Galathea) And Full Moon, Barbury Castle, Wiltshire

Small is Beautiful

On Sunday June 7th the Western Region was treated to an exceptional presentation “Small is Beautiful” by Robert Harvey. 

With expert photographs of wild life and flowers, often taken in his own garden, we were not only given the inspiration and motivation to take advantage of our immediate surroundings but also given a huge range of tips on how to approach our subject, which settings were best, which equipment we would need …. even which month of the year and what time of the day is the prime time to capture the best photograph. 

Michelle Whitmore July2020
CREDIT: Michelle Whitmore ARPS

5 July 2020 - Transform photos into fine art

For our first of two talks in July, Michelle Whitmore ARPS demonstrated in real time how to use a range of filters within Photoshop and other applications to transform everyday images into fine art creations. 

Michelle's easy to follow descriptions, along with regular recaps to give listeners the opportunity to capture any parts they missed, were all delivered in her cheerful and confident manner. 

Many commented how illuminating the session was. We have no doubt that a good number of the many people who joined the talk will - as Michelle encouraged us all to do what she does - 'play around with these filters until you create something you like'.

Michelle also showed us to the detailed and very precise processes she uses to create Fine Art Prints from her love of flowers, transforming them into period style dresses in appropriate room settings that are simply beautiful images. You can view these - and buy limited edition prints - on Michelle's website


See examples of member fine art creations
Pam P3
CREDIT: Pamela Jones LRPS

Adventures in Siberia with Pam Jones LRPS

On Sunday 25 July Pam Jones’ talk about her adventures in Siberia gave everyone listening the shivers. Pam braved temperatures of between -11 and -50°C to experience the culture and history of the city of Irkutsk, followed by what was clearly a genuine adventure driving across part of the ice-bound Lake Baikal.

The entire talk demonstrated the indomitable will of human beings to triumph over adversity.

From the early exiles banished by the Soviet authorities to a frozen wasteland, who not only survived appalling conditions but created a community that thrived to become the city of 580,000 people it is today; to the modern-day local tour guides who ‘read’ the ice to ensure visitors can safely experience the unique opportunity to drive on, walk on and photograph an extraordinary natural phenomenon, which enabled Pam to educate us all with her words and images how life is managed in the extremes of weather the region endures and to show its ethereal beauty.

It was no easy ride for the visiting photographers either, as the stories of dressing in multiple layers, Pam’s frozen digits and a shot of a frostbitten nose for one of the group made very apparent.

Thanks Pam, for sharing your Adventures in Siberia in a way that really brought to life what was quite clearly the sort of experience many of us would baulk at enduring for the sake of our art.  

YouTube Video
Ruined Chateau

Rediscovering our Forgotten Heritage with Matt Emmett

Matt Emmett gave an extraordinary presentation charting his journey from Urbex photography of abandoned buildings to becoming the Architectural Photographer of the Year and the historic Photographer of the Year, as well as becoming a Pentax Brand Ambassador.

Matt's research into the subjects of his photographs added a rich level of detail to his fascinating and adventurous stories and images, introducing us to a world of photography that most of us had never considered.

He concluded with some demonstration of Photoshop techniques that elevate his images to award winning levels.

We had so many messages about this event we are booking Matt for his follow-up presentation in 2021.

Richardolpin Tunneldweller

Getting Out of your Comfort Zone with Richard Olpin - 9 August

Mr. ‘Maverick’ shared with us his personal experiences introducing us to many of his ‘hidden’ locations and several of his beautiful models.

His words were not necessarily new to many of the photographers attending but they were strong reminders of what we already know and sometimes forget to follow. Reminding us that we should shop worrying what other people think in order to build up our self confidence and to photograph what we enjoy, rang true for many ears.

Richard also taught us to be satisfied with the equipment we own reminding us that the vest camera is the one you’ve got in your hand. Thank you so much Richard.


October 2020 “Mastering Mountain Photography” with Alex Nail

Accolades keep coming in with appreciation of Alex’s ‘stories, images and advice being excellent’, ‘Photos mesmerising’.  We were made conscious of choosing the right spot for balanced compositions with comparisons of alternate choices.  Bad weather is never a deterrent for Alex – and often a bonus, adding drama to already wonderful scenes. He shared with us post processing and was able to show us time lapse pieces which were amazing.

We were whisked to mountain tops with not only an accomplished photographer but the experienced climber.  Tips of world travelling through Google Earth to find exciting and unexplored areas was just the start of long range planning from maps to food, camera and survival supplies.

So sorry if you have missed this experience, Alex’s addiction and dedication to his photography was compelling. His photographs can be viewed on his website and if anyone has dreamed of capturing landscape photography on another level you might have the opportunity of doing so on a special photo trip with Alex.