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.

Synopsis of January 9th 2020 meeting.

Every year the first 30 minutes of our first meeting of the year is taken up by the AGM, where the accounts are scrutinised and new and past committee members are elected / re-elected. This year’s AGM included one notable event. Being awarded a Honorary Life Membership is is rare event in our Club – to date only three people have been awarded this prestigious honour. So I’m delighted to report that we have a new Honorary Life Member – our Vice President Keith Brown FRPS! Keith has a string of photography related distinctions – too many to list in this web-post, and has served our club for many years. This new honour reflects the esteem that members hold for Keith and the work that he’s done for Castleton & Hope Valley Photographic Society!

A New Year in our photographic society brings a new Chair. So after the formalities of the AGM, Ian Stanyon handed over to our 2020 Chair – Joan Clough. From memory (not always reliable at my age) Joan has been a member of our Club for at least a decade. Joan, aided by the projected screenshot shown below, talked about upcoming events:

Then, as is the tradition, our new Chair talked about her interest in photography, showing images of her family and places near and far. Joan attended university in Newcastle, and later spent some years with her husband Tony in Canada. More recently Joan revisited Newcastle with members of her family, and talked about the new Newcastle Quay, with its new bridge (shown below) to supplement the historic bridges that cross the River Tyne. I’ve selected four of these images simply to give a taste of the topics Joan covered.

Synopsis of 14th November meeting

Ian Stanyon, our 2019 Chair opened the meeting by welcoming Peter Williams, talking about the donation that we’d given to Valley Care, and then giving details of forthcoming events.

Peter Williams’ illustrated talk on his wildlife adventures We welcomed Peter Williams as our speaker for the evening giving his print presentation on his wildlife adventures locally and further afield.  Peter is well known in Castleton and as many of our members will attest he makes some wonderful homemade fudge which he sells in his village shop opposite the Cheshire Cheese.

Peter clearly has a passion for wildlife starting at a very young age.  He went on to rescue amphibians and has been a bird of prey handler in his time.  Peter is fairly new to serious photography having played with his Dad’s Box Brownie in his formative years progressing to digital cameras as recently as 2006.  Peter was very generous on the evening passing his camera gear and prints around the audience. 

Peter talked enthusiastically and with a style of humour that visitors to his shop will know.  He clearly enjoys looking at wildlife all over the United Kingdom and has spent hours perfecting his skill in taking photographs of his subjects.  Peter organises his year around the different bird migrations or deer rutting time and makes sure that he is well placed in visiting these spectacles.  Peter’s patience clearly shows in his photography which the members really enjoyed.  Peter delivered his presentation as if he was talking to the individual; it was personal and not delivered to a script.  I think that this worked really well and I am sure that he audience really enjoyed the evening as much as me.  Peter was generous enough to let us know the location of several local bird spotting sites, but please be respectful both of the birds and avoid sharing these locations on social media

Peter declined to take a speaker’s fee for himself in his not unusual beneficial style but agreed that he would contribute a donation to his favourite charities Great Ormond Street and to Crones disease research.

Charity donation to Valley Care

Following our successful coffee morning hosted in Hope during August, Ray and Keith paid a visit to Valley Care in Bradwell to pass over a cheque for £70, part of the proceeds of the day.  Both Ray and Keith spent time chatting with the staff to express their gratitude for the support that they have recently been given.  We can hopefully make similar contributions to other charity organisations in the future if coffee mornings or other similar fund raising events are as successful as this year.

Synopsis of 10.10.19 meeting

Ian Stanyon, our 2019, Chair opened the meeting by welcoming two guests, then made a number of announcements – shown below.

Then the main event – actually ten events – opened, split 50:50 before and after the tea break. Namely 10 images, presented by 10 members of our society. All to be shown within 10 minutes, on our new high resolution projector.

Synopsis of September 11th meeting

We welcomed several visitors to the showing of this special event run by Kate and Keith Brown of their audio visual presentations.  In particular we were privileged to welcome Roger Thorpe of Castleton Garage and Les Lennon of William Lennon and Co. – boot makers. Both of whom were stars of the audio visual presentations called ‘Grease, gaskets and gears’ and ‘These Boots’, respectively shown during the presentation.  We also welcomed other visitors locally and from Sheffield.  There was an excellent turn out with the hall being all but full.

We were treated to a wide selection of AV’s, some of which have been aired before and a couple of new ones to the audience.  As usual these all went down well and feedback from the audience was that it was probably the best AV showing yet.  Some of theAV’s spoke for themselves images accompanied by music, other AV’s being narrated.  The audience was clearly appreciative and from earshot it became clear that some members are tempted to have a go at making their own AV too.

The interval saw us treated to not only biscuits but also cakes as well.  Things are definitely looking up; the society is well attended with prospective new members in the sidelines, a good range of presentations from visitors and members and we have also recently purchased a new projector and better display stands which means we can show off members’ images to their very best.

As a reminder, there is an informal evening arranged for Tuesday 17th September at the Anglers’ rest in Bamford.  If anybody would like to go, can they please let David Allwood know before Monday 16th.

Synopsis of August 8th meeting

A night of four parts: Firstly our Chair for 2019 – Ian Stanyon – opened the meeting and using his innovative monthly calendar, projected onto a screen, gave details of activities and things to see/visit over the coming month:

Ian then presented the certificates to members who had achieved recognition in our Annual Competition. With the exception that Ann Smith had to step in and present Ian with the certificate that related to his image. The results and some of these images were shown an earlier post (scroll down to the synopsis of June 13th’s meeting to see the results). MANY thanks to Club President Ray for producing (as usual) top class certificates, which included a copy of the relevant winning or commended image.

Bob Stone, who has lived in the famous ‘plague village’ of Eyam for 10 years, showed images from a project he’s running for 2019, to illustrate all of the many community events that run from New Year’s Day onwards.

After a break for a chat and coffee, Wayne Hallam, who is an accomplished cricketer, visiting many many cricket matches each year, presented a collection of ‘decisive moment’ bowling, batting and catching (or dropping the ball) images.

Here’s a few images to illustrate what happened during the evening: