Synopsis of 8th October 2020 meeting

Our Chair Joan opened another of our virtual meetings, conducted by Zoom. It now seems unlikely that we will hold a ‘real’ meeting at Castleton for the remainder of this year. A smiling Joan welcomed everyone to the well attended digital meeting. Then Joan updated us on our upcoming event diary, particularly noting that Covid19 had forced the cancellation of our traditional annual Christmas party meal & gathering. Instead the meeting will be held virtually, via Zoom, so we can forget about drinking and driving, whilst enjoying a presentation by Christine Hodgson. The diary covering forthcoming events and updates is shown below, courtesy of Ian S.

Joan welcomed the 8 ‘Beat the Clock’ members who were going to shown as many images as they wished within a strict 10 minute time limit. Ian Holmes; Margaret Drabble; Paul Hatt; Ian Ord; Richard Clemons; John Sampson; Christine Noon; Stephen Elliott. I’d like to thank our Chair Elect Roger for his role as Zoom-master for the evening, as well as spending time in advance coaching those who were less familiar with Zoom, allowing them to select and present their images through their home computers.

I’ve tried something new. Instead of asking presenters to email me a selection of their images, I simply photographed my 5K screen with my smartphone. Thus the images aren’t the same quality as the images presented by members, but they give a favour of the evening, including odd reflections from my iPhone.

Synopsis of 10th September 2020 Zoom meeting

Yet again, to meet the rules and recommendations relating to public / social meetings, we held another club meeting via Zoom. I counted about 24 members who used their computers, laptops, iPads, etc., to attend our virtual meeting. Ian S led the meeting as Zoom coordinator, handing over to our Chair, Joan, who welcomed one and all, but especially Erica Oram CPAGB,AFIAP,BPE2. Who returned to make a further presentation – following her well received presentation of her printed images in 2019. Erica judged our annual competition in 2018. You can view many of Erica’s inspiring images, if you type Erica Oram into your browser.

But first, Joan covered various announcements and updates, best encapsulated by viewing the calendar shown below. Joan hoped that Covid19 would be under some form of control by December, so that we can hold our annual Christmas party at Castleton Village Hall. However Joan said that if coronavirus was still an issue, arrangements were in place to hold a ‘virtual’ Christmas Party, where we could dine and drink at home, watching events such as our annual quiz using Zoom. Disadvantages – numerous: Especially missing the friendship and fellowship of meeting, dining and drinking with other members just before Christmas. Advantages – only one I can think of: No problems drinking and driving if the virtual party is at home!

Erica is a member of Sheffield Photographic Society. However, Erica is more than just busy juggling her challenging and busy day job, being mother to her young family, with photography. Erica gives lectures and presentations, as well as judging for many photographic societies. Erica doesn’t have much spare time for photography, so she concentrates on being creative, both in camera and in photoshop, to make use of whatever opportunities come her way. Interestingly, the smoke alarm sounded in her kitchen as she was giving her presentation. With Erica explaining that her son was trying his hand at cooking, and had clearly burned what he was creating. I think that the images shown below show that Erica is also creative as well as being highly talented. Thus I imagine that every member attending our Zoom meeting was (metaphorically speaking) glued to their screens, as we jointly enjoyed a thoroughly enjoyable presentation of Erica’s digital images.

Synopsis of August 13th 2020 ZOOM meeting

In response to Covid19, this evening’s meeting was held courtesy of Zoom. Our Chair, Joan opened the meeting, welcoming all on-line attendees, especially our guest speaker, Martin Addison FRPS. Who would conduct his presentation (courtesy of the wonders of modern technology) from the comfort of his home in Worcestershire. Joan encapsulated events for the coming four months (as shown on the ‘programme’ header section of our main website), drawing attention to the fact that our Christmas party, scheduled for the the evening of Thursday 10th December may(?) have to be revised, subject to government coronavirus advice.

Joan handed over to Chair Elect Roger, who for the remainder of the evening, handled the mechanics of our 4th Zoom meeting. Roger re-welcomed our speaker, Martin, contemplating that he had known Martin for some 40 years, through his and Martin’s affiliation to a camera club in Worcester. To illustrate the fact that the meeting was being conducted via Zoom, I took a (very poor) screen-shot of Martin, at his home,

My wife (Christine) and I joined Castleton & Hope Valley Photographic Society in 2008. During that time we have been privileged to see MANY outstandingly talented photographers, present either their prints or digital images. But we both agreed that Martin’s presentation was one of the most thought provoking and imaginative presentations we had seen. Martin demonstrated the multiplicity of options open to photographers. From conventional shots, using fish-eye or wide angle to long lenses. through to long exposure shots, to shots that were deliberately blurred, or when the camera shutter was deliberately kept open for seconds, whilst moving from one aspect of a scene to another, etc., etc.

Martin demonstrated how we all have the option of using different photographic styles to produce different types of shots, by thinking out of the box and using unconventional methods or perspectives. When (for example) the weather or light isn’t conducive to conventional photographic shots – by simply homing into objects that would often escape conventional photographer’s attention, or by dropping the camera down to knee level, or even right down to the ground. Martin also illustrated how mundane objects, such as weathered roof tiles, could be made visually fascinating, by processing the images through (for example, Lightroom) and dramatically altering the colour, saturation, curves, contrast, dehaze effect, etc. The following images give a hint of Martin’s imagination, allied to his clear and full understanding of cameras and photography.

Synopsis of 9th July 2020 meeting

In response to Government guidelines, subsequent to the Covid19 pandemic, we held our third ‘virtual’ club meeting online, using the Zoom App. Our Chair Joan was encountering intermittent WiFi problems, thus Ian S gave a screenshot of announcements and details for future meetings. There’s been a change to the August meeting, as this will now be presented by visiting speaker Martin Addison FPPS. To see the amended programme click here:

Once again Zoom proved to be an excellent way of participating in meetings, without physical attendance at our club venue in Castleton. The evening was divided into three parts, with three members of our club giving a presentation of their images:

Jason, showed and spoke about images he took during Easter 2019, during a visit to the Outer Hebrides;

Robert, who is attending university, studying ‘photojournalism & photography’, spoke to images and projects taken whilst at university and then showed images he took during ‘lockdown’, as his university had been closed due to the Covid19 pandemic;

Finally, Wayne gave a presentation entitled “Wayne’s World Production”, covering topics as diverse as travel, landscape photography, surrealism, people, etc. Here’s a selection of Wayne’s images:

Annual competition – June 11th

Our annual competition is alway well attended. But this year Covid19 cut our physical attendance at the Peverill Centre to zero. But (courtesy of Zoom) boosted our ‘online attendance’ to a goodly proportion of the membership of our club.

 Joan, our Chair welcomed everyone to our second Zoom club meeting, particularly welcoming talented photographer and our 2020 judge: Christine Hodgson BA (Phot) ARPS. CPAGB. Then Joan made a number of brief announcements, highlighting the hope that we can soon return to our monthly meetings in the Peverill Centre. Saying that until government advice and regulations change, it may be that for the remainder of the year, 2020 meetings will be held via Zoom.

Here’s a taster of some of the competition results: 2020 Catherine Cup (colour) and Denis Thorpe Trophy (monochrome) winning images: ‘Morning Mist’ by Stephen Elliott and ‘Spaghetti USB’ by Wayne Hallam

Many thanks to Ian S for organising the entire competition through the medium of Zoom, and our judge Christine, who rose to the challenge and gave experienced positive feedback (and sometimes advice) relating to each of the competition images. In addition to the ‘Open’ theme, this years ‘Special theme’ was “Whatever the Weather’ – with the proviso that all images were taken in the UK.

Open competition:

First, Spaghetti USB by Wayne Hallam

Second, Dreaming by Moonlight by Nick Chalkley

Third, Swiss Bike by Kate Brown

Commendations were awarded to ‘Ears looking at you’ by John Sampson, ‘Keeping an eye out’ by Wayne Hallam, ‘Ramshaw Rocks’ by Roger K Moore, ARPS, ‘Ulst Pony’ by Erica Dietsch, ‘Tornado approaching Hope Station’ by Keith Brown FRPS, ‘You can hide but can’t run’ by John Samson, ‘LLanddwyn sunset’ by Stephen Elliott.

Theme competition – Whatever the Weather

First, Stephen Elliott, ‘Morning mist’

Second, Ian Stanyon, ‘Will it Won’t it?’

Third Ann Smith, ‘Misty Bradwell’

Commendations for the Whatever the Weather theme were awarded to: ‘The washing must go on!’ by Ann Smith, ‘Tea Break’ by Keith Brown FRSP, ‘Paddling on the pier’ by Joan Clough, ‘Wet walkers’ by David Allwood.

Thursday 14th May – our first ‘virtual meeting’

If you’d like to see the all the images and the full text covering these strange Covid19 times, please scroll down one page, immediately below this post.

Our first ‘Zoom’ online meeting

Lots of hard and effective work was dedicated to making our first ‘virtual’ online meeting such a genuine success. Many were involved in the planning and implementation of this meeting, but I’d like to draw particular attention to our Chair Joan, and our Chair Elect Roger. For the first time (and I suspect not the last), a goodly number of members joined Joan & Roger on-line. Many thanks also to Ian S, who’s given lots of support, and also provided the screen shot of some ‘Zoom’ attendees listening and watching intently:

Joan updated online attendees with the following news: 1. Due to Covid19 Hope’s Wake’s Week has been cancelled; thus we won’t be holding our Annual Print Exhibition. 2. Unless events change significantly, it also appears that our coffee morning, due to take place at the end of August, will be cancelled. 3. Ditto cancellation of our informal evenings at the Angler’s Rest. 4. Joan asked that members keep on submitting images relating to what we’ve been doing during Covid19. Submit these images to me – Ian O. Ian S said that he’d already received 67 digital images for our June competition, also reminding members that they have until midnight May 14th to submit their digital images. Competition guidelines and other relevant or important / information is usually shown as a ‘header’ at the top part of our website. Ian S (who’s worked hard and effectively) will send our digital competition images to Christine Hodgson BA(Phot) ARPS CPAGB. Christine will judge the entries and give feedback, online via zoom, on June 11th.

Joan handed over to Roger, who entertained us by displaying a range of images, and an Audio Visual with the theme Blue & yellow, If you’d like to listen to Roger’s AV, click onto

Roger is an Associate of the Royal Photographic Society, but in my opinion the quality of his work is at FRPS level. Perhaps Roger will submit a panel of prints (may be on the blue and yellow theme) and apply for this distinction?. In the meantime I’ve included a number of Roger’s images, to illustrate how Roger entertained us with his work.

Images taken in our deserted villages & valley during these strange Covid-19 times

Members will have read that our Chair, Joan Clough, has suggested that you email me (Ian O) with images you’ve taken during the lockdown. So send me your images, perhaps with a few words, and I’ll add them our website, so that we can all see what we’ve been up to in these unusual times.

Taking images during isolating or self-distancing from Covid19 was our President’s (Ray Fowler) idea. Chair Elect Roger Moore is going to make a Blurb book from the the best images submitted. So send me these images in full resolution for the new book, and I’ll keep them in our archive. If you have lots of hi-res images, I suggest that you email them to me via WeTransfer.

President Ray enjoying an outdoor glass of wine. I used a zoom lens to maintain effective social distancing!

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Our Chair, Joan, has sent me images taken from her house, illustrating what it’s like in lockdown in her hamlet. By chance, Ann S, our Secretary was cycling past in her high visibility jacket. With the exception of cyclists, the footpaths & roads are unusually deserted during lockdown. Joan’s image of shopping left by a door and a sign in our farmer’s store, perfectly illustrate what strange times we are living in.

Keith & Kate Brown don’t live far from the children’s playground and medical centre in Hope village. Here are three images that Keith snapped to illustrate queues and closures in lockdown time.

Nick C and his family live in Chapel (locals will know where this is) and has been locked down, whilst working from home. Nick does the shopping and also takes his daughter to the nearby often deserted park. So here’s a few of Nick’s images, inc his G.P.’s surgery and people self isolating at a distance:

When Wayne H sent me some images covering empty supermarket shelves, and photographs he’s been taking of birds in his garden (as Wayne has been advised to lockdown for 12 week), he also let me into a secret. In addition to taking great photographs, Wayne’s also an amateur artist. He’s brushing up on his skills each evening, to pass the time under lockdown. But let us be in no doubt: Wayne is devastated that Covid19 may impact upon the pleasure he has, visiting cricket grounds, supporting his cricketing son, and photographing bowlers, batsmen and fielders.

A few photos to illustrate what’s happening in Ian & Chris O’s household under lockdown: Masks of all sizes and colour seem to be in vogue. Many of my friends have told me that during the lockdown they are drinking more than usual. So I thought that I’d take a contrived photo to reflect this trend. We are locked down for the duration, but neighbours buy our shopping and deliver it in a washing-up bowl. A bit of humour, as neighbours over our garden wall paid respect to our magnificent NHS. Finally, a surprise delivery – the NHS / Government has classified us as being vulnerable to Covid19 if we don’t self isolate. Hence this unexpected food parcel delivery to our front door.

When chatting to Steve (Mr Landscape) he told me that to support social distancing and to prevent the spread of Covid19, he has forgone his regular walks, with his camera. Here are a selection of Steve’s ‘home’ images, as he hasn’t passed though the gates of his house since the lockdown:

It was C&HVPS President Ray Fowler’s idea for members to take images in the valley, to demonstrate how different life is under Covid19. Castleton is (or should I say ‘was’), the busiest village in the Peak District. Whatever the weather, it’s always filled with tourists. Ray told me that in all his 45 years living in Castleton he’s never seen the pubs, restaurants, tourist centre and car parks empty, with the streets so quiet, wholly devoid of tourists. So here’s Ray’s photographic record of a deserted Castleton. Personally I think that Ray’s final image says it all – ‘Closed up and locked down’:

One of our newest members, Margaret, has taken some photos, as she walked around Hope, to illustrate how eerily quiet our village is. The school and church are closed, and there aren’t any tourists in the cafes, or walkers on the footpaths or hills.

Roger has taken an image of a car park blocked off — a sign of Covid-19 times. Alison, who’s working from home has submitted an image of a sign showing appreciation for the work the NHS is carrying out to fight those suffering from Covid-19, an empty street in Sheffield (Ecclesall Road) and a security van carrying shopping home. Allen B is similarly locked down, so he’s been keeping his eye in, taking photos in his garden. Whilst Ian S snapped some interesting images showing shopping and support for the NHS.

Synopsis of March 12 meeting

It’s strange these times we are living in at the moment when the world seems to have come to a stop and is dominated by the Covid virus pandemic.  It was only a short time ago when we last met at the Peveril Centre for our monthly meeting and we were being entertained by Jean Walker on her travels in the Polar region.

Jean explained that her work as a busy lawyer was not giving her the excitement she craved so became attracted by the test of taking part in the Polar Challenge.  It was a competitive, 350 nautical mile (650 kilometre) team race taking place in the Arctic, to the 1996 location of the Magnetic North Pole. The race ran between mid-April and mid-May, taking the teams approximately 4 weeks to complete, including the training time. 

Competitors raced in teams of 3, many joining as individuals and forming teams when they met other likeminded individuals during the training that led up to the race. The competitors were all from different walks of life (not necessarily explorers or people with mountaineering experience), sharing a quest for adventure and to achieve something that only a few others had done. 

Jean took part in the 2007 challenge which took place in April/May 2007.

She entertained us with stories about her journey through the white and cold polar environment.  Along with two male fellow competitors, their quest was to firstly achieve their goal of reaching the pole and secondly to race against the other teams in the hope that they might not be last.  Her photos illustrated the difficult terrain over which they had to travel and the hard conditions they endured.  Each night they set up their camp and it became apparent that to be successful at even this simple task they had to work hard as a team to do the different tasks of pitching the tent, unloading equipment, cooking the evening meal and finally getting some well earned rest.  

Clearly taking photographs in sub-zero temperatures is difficult enough but wearing three pairs of gloves made the task even more difficult.  It certainly makes taking photographs for entering into our own annual competition seem like child’s play.  The evening ended with a Q&A, members asking lots of questions to which Jean provided knowledgeable answers.  It is always a pleasure to invite somebody local to entertain our society and I am pleased that Jean was able to oblige.  I will look forward to our next visiting speaker whenever that may be.  So in the meantime, keep safe but importantly keep your mind and trigger finger active.

Sheffield Knockout Competition – Saturday 21st March 2020

Our committee recently met to select five images, plus a spare (in the event of a tie), that could be used to represent the club at the forthcoming Sheffield Knockout Competition. I’ll update the website after the competition, giving the name of the winning image from all of the clubs that entered the competition. In the meantime here’s the images that were selected to represent our club:

1 Blowing a hooley on Harris by Erica Dietsch

2 Those were the days my friend by Ian Ord

3 Into-the-mist by Roger Moore

4 Ladybower Dawn by Stephen Elliott

5 Seam Bowler by Wayne Hallam

6 (Spare) A Touch of (Swiss) Class by Kate Brown

Synopsis of February 13th 2020 meeting

Following the formal events of the previous meeting covering the requirements of the AGM we launched ourselves back into the more fun side of the societies activities.  Firstly, Joan took centre stage as the new Chair of the society and took us through the formalities of notices and the necessary pre-ambles to all our meetings.  She handed over to Ian Stanyon who took us on a whirlwind (apologies for the pun) slideshow of anything and everything weather related as a prompt for this year’s competition.  Ian had slightly broken the rules by including images taken outside of the UK but only in the spirit of introducing members to the concept of the competition theme ‘Whatever the weather: a truly British obsession’.  There were images from deep snow to wind to rain to sunshine and everything in-between.  Images should not just be limited to pictures of weather but may relate to activities or moments in time that reflect the subject.  However the main objective of the theme is to celebrate British weather and activities related to it with the weather being the main subject (so no landscapes with lovely fluffy clouds, they need to be a more explicit about weather).

Ian went on to demonstrate the change of rules this year by way of the introduction of a card mount to submissions and the move away from mounting onto borderless foam board.  A big thanks has to go to Ray Fowler for his instigating the whole process of mounting our images so professionally. With Ray’s blessing we are moving on to the next level and hopefully members will be proud to see their images with a mounted card surround.

Following the break, several members put forward their images to challenge the current chair Joan and the two previous chairs Ian and Nick.  The evening was littered with a wide range of images from close up detailing, to landscapes, light painting and photo montages.  Joan, Ian and Nick along with comments from the audience looked at each picture in turn and gave their thoughts to how the image affected them.  Where appropriate constructive critique was given that might improve the images but it has to be said that the standard of photography within the society is on the up and up.  It is this sort of evening that members enjoy because of the friendly and supportive nature of the society and not the more critical appraisal given at more competition oriented clubs.

We can now look forward to our next meeting in March with our visiting speaker Jean Walker Warden on her exploits travelling to the North Pole.