The new season began with a lot of hard work for a few committee members. with plans for two major events underway. The Uppermill Exhibition will be called “Circles of Confusion” – an idea which John W originally suggested and caught the imagination of the organising team.
February started on a high note, with the long planned visit from top lecturer, Leigh Preston. Leigh is one of this country’s foremost monochrome workers. Actively involved in photography and lecturing since 1980, he gained his first Fellowship of the Royal Photographic Society in 1988 and his second in 1998. He now sits on the Associateship and Fellowship panels. His first book, “Shadows of Change” was published in 1993. A well known name in exhibitions Worldwide, Leigh now divides the remainder of his time between teaching photography for City and Guilds and professional black and white printing. We were delighted that club members from across the Union joined us for what turned out to be a splendid evening. Leigh is a witty and inspirational speaker and his monochrome prints, as expected were second to none. It certainly was an evening to remember.
On Friday February 13th we held the preview and official opening of our first commercial exhibition, “Circles of Confusion” at Saddleworth Museum Art Gallery. Members and guests enjoyed a relaxing evening wine and conversation. David Butterworth’s print “The Three Sisters” was sold in the first hour – congratulations to David. Unbelievably, no-one brought a camera along to recore the events!!!!…..isn’t it always the same at a gathering of photgoraphers? Anyhow, your assistant webmaster took along hers the following day to record the event (see above). A number of prints were sold by the end of the exhibition, which gives us some ideas for next year.
Three big competitions dominated the month of March. First was the Annual Prints competition – with a record number of 179 prints entered. The competition was ably judged by Geoff Robinson from Bramhall and 85 Group. Geoff is an accomplished creative photographer himself and was especially appreciative of our creative prints.
On 11th March, Jack Byatt from Romily was judge for the Annual Slides Exhibition – again a record number of 139 slides were entered, but Jack, as always, was an excellent timekeeper as well as an entertaining speaker and finished well ahead of closing time.
Our thanks to both Annual Competition judges.
The following week was the 10th Adrian Deaville Memorial Competiton, hosted by Oldham PS in the Upper School Hall. Barry Deaville once again donated the prizes and brought along his family and friends to support the event. Tony Redford expertly and amiably judged the event and awarded the top prizes to OPS members Chris Widdall (prints) and Joe Chippendale (slides). Oldham PS also won the club trophy with a resounding win over opponents Oldham CC and Rochdale & District PS.
April 1st was the first time that we have held an awards presentation without an annual exhibition attached to it. However, we made it into a special social occasion and both of the annual competition judges were able to join us and see the award winning prints and slides. Chris did a commentary to accompany the work from notes provided by the authors. Wine and nibbles followed. However, the occasion was marred by the announcement that Joe Chippendale had died suddenley the evening before, on his 59th wedding anniversary. Joe should have been present to receive his certificates and awards, having won the best slide overall with his monochrome slide “Castro”. Joe will be missed by Members of Oldham PS and North Manchester Camera Club. The club held a minute’s silence in his memory.
Members were once again featured in a National photography magazine, with a double page of pictures by Mike Lawrence and Christine Widdall in the May issue of Digital Photo. Each picture was accompanied by a paragraph of information supplied by the author and the magazine published some basic information about the society – pity they forgot to mention our web site address!!
Oldham PS came third overall in the Colour Print and in the Creative Print sections of the L&CPU Annual Competitions. At the L&CPU Delegates’ Meeting in St Helens, Mike Lawrence, OPS President, was presented with certificates by Keith Suddaby, L&CPU President.The appraisal evening on 10th June was a great success – members discussed the attributes of digitally projected offerings from several members. It was agreed that this was a GOOD THING and should be repeated soon.
Graham Dean of Darwen showed his expertise with digital photography – showing both original slides and the prints made from them and a very entertaining style. Our first AV competition for many years, all digitally projected sequences, was ably judged by John Smith. John offered some very constructive but kindly delivered criticism of 11 sequences. Chris Widdall’s sequence “Venice” was awarded first place.
In spite of enforced closure – due to the school summer holidays, some members were determined to keep in touch, so a number of outings have been arranged with a variety of potential photographic subjects. See the “What’s on” page for full summer programme details.
On Saturday 7th August, a group of seven members, led by Ron Needham, met at Victoria Station Manchester. After photographing various subjects in the station, including a large model cow!! we moved on to the Urbis building and the Triangle. The next visit was to the “Hanging Bridge” – a remnant of Medieval Manchester that lies beneath the present city. A hard taskmaster, Ron quickly moved us on to the Royal Exchange theatre, a lunar landing module nested inside the vast Victorian Cotton Exchange building, though some of us sneaked off to take the odd photograph inside the Cathedral and the Shambles on the way. After a sit down and refreshments inside St Anne’s Church, and more cow pictures in St Anne’s Square, the intrepid party moved on to Manchester Town Hall, Central Library and the historic Midland Hotel, when Mssrs Rolls and Royce had their first meeting. The Bridgewater Hall provided more photo-opportunities. Walking back into Deansgate, with more cow pictures to be taken on the way, the last visit was to the Vicorian Barton Arcade. There’s going to be an evening in the next programme where pictures taken on the walkabout can be shown – should be some good’ns.
The following Sunday found us at Park Bridge, near Ashton, where a group from Ashton PS, Rochdale PS, North Manchester CC and Oldham PS spent an enjoyable morning and into the early afternoon photographing anything from rickety styles to old baths!.
On Sunday 21st August a small but enthusiastic group met at Tideswell in Derbyshire. Typically, Mike L arrived during the morning service (hoping, no doubt, to snap up pictures of the pew end carvings before the main assault began). We moved on after lunch to Eyam and those who remained by late afternoon ended up at the Magpie Mine where, unfortunately, the storm clouds gathered and the light disappeared. Not to be deterred, more pictures were snapped up and the remaining three had refreshment at the Lamb Inn at Hayfield on the return trip.
The second meeting of the season was Mike Lawrence’s President’s Evening. The generous buffet prepared by Mike’s son Chris was enjoyed by a good turnout of members. Mike had spent hours beforehand preparing a CD of free software with heaps of useful bits and pieces – and all totally legitimate, from sound editor “Audacity” to zip utilities and the free PhotoShop rival “GIMP”, some of which Mike demonstrated with the help of a digital projector. The closure of the entrance to Hunt lane from Broadway had done it’s best to throw a spanner into the works – several members, including the president, had to drive extra miles round the diversion to get back to where they started! A big thank you to Mike for all his hard work, not only for President’s Evening, but for his dedication throughout the whole year.
At the AGM, Christine Widdall took over as president for the next 12 months. It was decided to start meetings 15 minutes earlier to give a little extra time for meetings at no extra cost to the society. Subscriptions were held at the same rate as last year and it was agreed to introduce a section for digitally projected images from the 2005 competition season.
The triptych competition this year was not as well supported as previously, but that gave us the opportunity to show a selection of work by late member Joe Chippendale. Joe’s wonderful monochrome work has been donated by his widow to the L&CPU archive and will be lodged there in 2005. We hope that we shall have an opportunity to view another selection of Joe’s prints in the New Year.
OPS represented the L&CPU in the National PAGB print Challenge at Deeside College in North Wales. No, we didn’t win!! We were, after all, competing against the best photography that Britain can provide. The top 8 UK clubs after round 1 contested the final, leaving the “also-rans” to compete against each other in the plate competition, where we came a creditable 6th. More importantly, what a good day out it was!!!!
A group of OPS members attended the Austrian Super Circuit awards in Linz, Austria early in the month and new member Salim Khan enjoyed a short break in the Lake District with tutorials from landscape photographer Charlie Waite.
On 10th November, several OPS members took part in the 6th annual creative print competition at Bramhall. Norman Piper won the first prize, partly cash plus an A4 printer with his print “Contemplating totality and infinity”. Maureen Glynn’s below stairs took 3rd place. Congratulations to both!!!
Verna Piper, Maureen Glynn, Sheila Goodyear and Brian Lomas were all awarded the CPAGB at the adjudication in Burton-on-Trent on 27th November 2004.
The highlight of the month was the Christmas Party, starting with a light-hearted quiz prepared by John W. The main part of the evening was given over to the buffet, with lots of good spirit – the room was simply buzzing all evening.
Salim’s trip to the Lake District with Charlie Waite was featured in the Christmas edition of Outdoor Photography magazine.