Reports 2010-2011

IOMPS Reports During September 2010

29th September 2010 - Copy Of Press Release

Thie Ellyn was a hive of activity on Sunday afternoon as preparations were made for the opening night of the new season.

In a break with tradition the first night was not to be a presentation by the president but rather a night to welcome current and new members with an exhibition of prints, a selection of digital images and the opportunity to socialise over a cup of tea.

All this needed a willing group to set things up and they gave up their Sunday to make it happen. Prints have to be well arranged to make an attractive display and it all takes time, as does the editing of the digital images, so we are very grateful to everyone who is willing to work behind the scenes and look forward to a successful and interesting year to come.

Next week we are holding a practical evening with the chance to ask questions and get advice on photographic and digital imaging techniques. Do come along, we look forward to seeing you. You will find more details at

Pam Kershaw

22nd September 2010 - Copy Of Press Release

During this past Summer – for it is now all but over – the members of the Isle of Man Photographic Society have enjoyed several photographic outings which have included two boat trips from Port St Mary to the Calf and Sound and beyond; a visit to the Ballanette Nature Reserve in Lonan (with grateful thanks to the owner, Stewart Clague, for kindly facilitating this) and Lonan Old Church nearby; and an evening visit to the Douglas Fire HQ on Peel Road to witness and record a full drill, thanks to the Isle of Man Fire and Rescue Service. 

Our thoughts now turn to our new Winter Programme, which starts slightly earlier than in previous years on the 29th September.  It is a programme that has been designed to offer plenty of variety to reflect the differing wishes of the membership, with a mix of interesting guest presentations and competitions focusing on new techniques and aimed at improving photographic techniques.  I hope we have been successful in achieving the right balance because, whilst there is always a serious side to photography, our main focus is on enabling members and their guests to gain enjoyment from sharing a common interest in a friendly and welcoming atmosphere where we can all share ideas and make new friends.

 Four subjects have been set for our Winter assignment competitions.  These are ‘People at Work’; ‘Architectural Detail’; ‘Shapes’ and, for the Isle of Man Bank Cup, ‘Manx Landscape’. 

Originally formed in 1938, making it the oldest established photographic club on the Island, the Society is keen to encourage guests to come along to our weekly meetings.  Naturally, it is our hope that, if they are interested in photography, they might wish to return on a regular basis and become full members.  The members of the Society use film, digital or both media and possess a wide range of abilities from beginner to ‘expert’, in a few cases.  So, no-one should feel apprehensive about coming along or feel under any pressure to enter competitions, if that is not their scene!  All that is required is an interest in taking photographs, irrespective of the level of proficiency reached.  Whatever that level, new members wishing to improve the standard of their images will receive every encouragement and be able to seek assistance from those who are more experienced and knowledgeable. 

Our first meeting of the new season on the 29th September will this year take the form of a ‘Showcase of the Society’s Work’.  This will be a relaxed evening when a wide range of topics will be on view in both prints and projected digital images over light refreshments.  For our second meeting on the 6th October, there will be the first of our practical evenings when we shall seek to respond to requests from members to cover specific issues and subjects where guidance and practical help have been sought. 

We are extremely grateful that Mark Stringer has very kindly agreed to take on the important role as the Society’s Webmaster.  He has spent many hours over the Summer re-building a new website for the Society.  Whilst this is, to some extent, still a ‘work in progress’, it is now operational and further details about the Society can be obtained by entering in your browser of choice.  If you wish to contact the Society, please and we shall do our best to respond. 

I shall look forward to welcoming old and new members and their guests to ‘Thie Ellyn’, off Withington Road in Douglas, at 7.45 pm on Wednesday, 29th September

Will members who had prints submitted to the L&CPU competition last season please bring along their print folders on the opening evening to collect their prints.

Antony Hamilton

President of the Society

Picture caption:‘Acoustic Session’ by Webmaster Mark Stringer was one of the IOMPS prints retained for the Lancashire and Cheshire Photographic Union Folio

IOMPS Reports During October 2010

27th October 2010 - Eddie Enters the Breach

The evening of Wednesday 20th October saw the Isle of Man Photographic Society’s first open Digital Competition of the 2010/11 season.

Having spent all Summer gathering new images for the coming season, expectations ran high for a good competition. The Judge who had agreed to be the Good / Bad Guy (depending on whether or not you were awarded a place!), on this occasion, could not make it due to illness. Bravely stepping up at short notice for the task was Eddie Fryer, a long time friend of the society. Eddie is an excellent photographer whose comments are always worth listening to. Before starting, he told us that he had found the entries in all three categories were of a very high standard and that some of the Standard group could give some of the Advanced group a “Run for their Money”. Eddie started with our Standard group and carefully deliberated the pros and cons of each image and made helpful suggestions as to how improvements might be made.



1st Surfer by Robert Blyth – This was an excellent photo of a Surfer dynamically framed by the vast curling wave he was working. A worthy winner.

2nd Amber Eyes by Patricia  Harvey

3rd Black in Black by John Prince


1st Soul Man by John Dale – A different from normal head shot of a Jazz Saxophonist. A smooth toned photo with the addition of local detail enhancement. Very effective treatment that owed its success by not being overdone.

2nd Lilac Finger Coral by Natasha Wilson

3rd Mother and Child by Keith Molloy


1st Daryl Johnson by Tony Curtis – A most pleasing photo of the singer taken at full length, bathed in coloured concert lighting. Eddie’s main comment was the praise he gave the author for controlling the exposure accurately as to avoid “burn out” which causes bleaching of parts of the image to a pure white and therefore containing no detail. 

2nd Waiting for the Tube by Ray Davies

3rd Egret in the Rain by Chris Blyth

Next week entries are required for the 1stAssignment competition “ Architectural Detail” both Prints and Digital slides.

November 10thsees the Annual three way inter-club battle at Glen Helen between IOMPS, Western and Southern clubs.

By Bob Servante

20th October 2010 - Great start to new season


Isle of Man photographic Society President Anthony Hamilton welcomed members to the first competition of the new season being judged by local photographer Victoria Harrop.

Victoria started the evening by judging the standard mono section in which Robert Blyth took 1st place with Morning at Norris Geyser a landscape in an American National Park and 2nd place with another landscape of a a tree root in the foreground and mountains far behind. Isabel Cartmel came 3rd with a study of buildings overlooking the River Nidd.

In the standard colour section Robert Blyth again stuck twice with two absorbing underwater pictures. In 1st place he won with a picture of a dolphin pod and came second with a picture of a person snorkelling, taken from below with the sun forming an intriguing background. Isabel again came 3rd with a colourful and unusual shot of a multitude of umbrellas in front of a home.

In the next section, the intermediate mono, 3rd place was taken by Mark Stringer with a delightful picture of a French Bordeaux du Mastif, a loose skinned dog with a wrinkled face and droopy eyes. 2nd place went to Peter Cartmel with a very symmetrical vertical study of balconies and Peter completed the double with 1st place for ’Abandoned’ a lovely composition of a somewhat dilapidated boat, set in the foreground with a wonderfully overcast background sky.

In the intermediate colour section Mark Stringer was placed again with a highly detailed side-on view of a eagle. Janet Servante was awarded 2nd place with a well taken shot of a juvenile blue tit perched on a terracotta plant pot. Clare Stringer took the honours though with a close up picture of a tree frog perched on a branch taken from slightly below, with large eyes surveying the scene below

In the final section, the advanced mono, 3rd place was awarded to a nicely composed derelict boat at Jurby angled across the photograph with nice beach detail in the foreground. Ron Shimmin, a familiar name to regular readers came 2nd with ‘Street music’ a realistic study of a street busker caught during his performance capturing his arm and hand movements. Stalwart who recently turned professional photographer Sue Jones took the honours with a delightful study of the Houses of Parliament taken from across the river Thames

After the break Victoria judged the advanced colour section, which was another double as Ruth Nicholls took the top places, her superb study of farm buildings under a huge moody sky aptly entitled ’Heaven & Earth’. Her second place was an urban scene of people walking down steps set in the streets of Paris entitled ’Montmartre’. 3rd place was awarded to John Phipp, another excellent study this time of a Lynx yawning and showing of its menacing mouth and teeth

John Phipp was called upon to bring the evening to a close with a vote of thanks to Victoria for her excellent judging and thoughtful commentary.

By Ray Davies

14th October 2010 - Copy Of Press Release

The IOM Photographic Society season is now under way, and our latest meeting was, as always, very well attended.   We try to hold practical sessions on at least two or three occasions during each season to ensure that any queries amongst members concerning, for example, photographic techniques, presentation of images, software issues or equipment are addressed, and the opportunity given to ask questions in an informal atmosphere.

The meeting included practical demonstrations by a number of members – and judging by the questions and chatter that ensued, was a very successful session for all involved.

Ian Lumsden showed the various methods of mounting a print image on to card, making it suitable for display in competition, and ensuring that no damage would be caused to it or to other prints stored and transported in portfolio boxes.   Members were encouraged to “have a go” with the various cutters available to see just how easy is the process.

Mark Stringer, the club’s web-master and a very experienced computer user, took on the task of explaining “colour management” – not an easy task given the variations between the computer screen, the printer and the choice of paper being used, each of which can influence the final print being produced.

Tony Curtis demonstrated the use of flash equipment “off camera” – not an easy topic but again done with real enthusiasm, and with the intent of encouraging members to explore the artistic opportunities provided with this technique. Tony also explained various effects which can be achieved by the use of filters at the time of taking a photo rather than having to recreate an effect later during post processing.

Chris Blyth showed some of the basic processes of computer manipulation of photographic images – the use of various selection tools, the levels, brightness, and contrast tools, the conversion of colour images to black and white, and the techniques of dodging and burning. 

Next week’s meeting, on October 20th, is an Open Competition of digitally projected images – a very popular format which should include lots of excellent images to enjoy, and will provide some very tense competition for those exhibiting.  All are invited to attend – the meeting is at the Art Society in Withington Road, Douglas, starting at 7:30pm.

Chris Blyth

7th October 2010 - Successful Start to New Season, Albeit with Some Sadness

This week’s opening meeting of the IOM Photographic Society proved very successful – a display of members work over recent months, presented as both prints and digitally projected images – and which allowed for a very informal and sociable “welcome” to both existing and new members for our new season of meetings.  The exhibition included examples of a very wide range of images – including landscape, portraits, natural history, and architecture.

Our President, Antony Hamilton, introduced the meeting, and took the opportunity to congratulate several members on a number of successes in recent weeks – Ray Davies with a Certificate of Merit for an image accepted into the Lancashire and Cheshire Photographic Union current portfolio, and to Peter Cartmel and Mark Stringer for their first and second places in a photographic competition run over the summer by Home Strategic, here on the island.

The opportunity was also taken to pay tribute to John Cowan, a very popular and much loved ex-President of the Society, who sadly passed away on 25thAugust. A selection of his images was shown to remind us all of his photographic abilities and of just how much he will be missed.

As photographers, it is the image which is important, not the equipment used, which can vary from a simple “point and press” camera to some very sophisticated (and expensive!) kit. However, one of the “best value” investments available to us all is a membership of Manx National Heritage. Whilst including such obvious facilities as the Manx Museum, the House of Manannan and Peel Castle, its sites also include Cregneash, Cashtal Yn Ard, and Killabrega, as well as access to beautiful countryside and wildlife at places such as the Maughold Brooghs, and The Ayres – all providing some wonderful opportunities for superb photographs.  In addition, a membership provides reciprocal membership of the National Trust in UK – with access to literally hundreds of sites – and very well worth the fee!

Whilst writing about good investments, have you ever wanted to kick yourself (hard!) for the most elementary of errors?  Last week I found myself in just that situation.....  Having been asked to be the “official photographer” for my grandson’s christening, and having duly taken lots of shots of both the church ceremony and the party following, within 48 hours I found that I had clicked the button on my computer that deleted all the files from the memory card, without saving them first.....  In the near panic that then ensued, I at least had the good sense not to overwrite the card with new images – but hoped to find a way of recovering the deleted images. 

Fortunately, I found a relatively inexpensive software programme that does just that - it’s called “Klix”, and can be found at for the sum of US $29.95 – and very reasonable given the sentimental value of the images at risk!  A free-of-charge demo version is available – just download to your computer, and then run the programme over the memory card, against the files which have been deleted, and wait for about 3-4 minutes whilst the card is scanned. A screen shows a thumbnail of each file recovered, which in my instance included both RAW files and jpegs – some 270 of them!  The files will only open once the purchase has been completed and a serial number issued via email to register the programme – but all very easy and straightforward, and a highly recommended “fix” which saved my bacon on this occasion....

Next week’s meeting, on Wednesday 13thOctober, is an open prints competition, to be judged by Vicky Harrop.   All are welcome to attend – meeting starts at 7:45pm.

Chris Blyth – Club Secretary 

5th October 2010 - Bebington Salon

Entries for consideration for inclusion in the next Bebington Salon are now due - latest date is 24/11/10 with judging due 4/12/10.

As you know, the society has hosted the Bebington Salon for the past two years - and we have included it as the finale to our season for May 2011.

Bob Dennis - the organiser - always tries to include accepted entries with a "local interest" in the exhibition when it travels around the region.  Both recent years have included work by club members - the attached file is the entry form for this year. I hope you feel sufficiently enthused to have a go - it's well worth the excitement if and when you get an acceptance !!

Good luck....

Chris Blyth  - Secretary

5th October 2010 - Resizing of Digital Images

The new season of competitions is imminent - and one of the changes this year for digital entries is the "upsizing" to reflect the improved resolution of our club projector, as well as meeting the amended rules of L&CPU.

The attached file demonstrates the process for you to present your images "correct to specification" - getting them right will ease the task of the competitions department considerably, and ensure your images are shown to best advantage !

We will show the process as part of the practical session on Wednesday evening if that will help !

Best wishes

Chris Blyth - Secretary

IOMPS Reports During November 2010

24th November 2010 - Advanced Warning

Wednesday evening 17 November at Thie Ellyn saw the holding of the Isle of Man Photographic Society’s second “Small Print Competition” of the 2010 – 2011 season. The Small Print Competition was created to encourage newer members in the Standard or Intermediate groups to start entering competitions but without the complication or expense of producing large mounted exhibition prints. Unmounted prints up to 5 x 7.5 inches are judged by one of the Advanced members, and this time the challenge was given to our Club President, Anthony Hamilton. The diversity of image content in each section made life difficult for Anthony but the winning photographs did seem to stand clear for different merits. However, the overall standard was high, and a warning to Advanced Members not to sit on their laurels.

Standard Group

  • 1st Boats by Shirley Lofty – An excellent composition of three small boats in a Harbour, forming a triangular shape, and with good separation.
  • 2nd An African Serval by Patricia Harvey – A nice close-up of the big cat, correctly focused on the face with highlights in the eyes.
  • 3rd Triple Intent by Anne Bidwell – Three Swans, again arranged in a pleasing composition, heading for the photographer – though whether for food or for more aggressive reasons, wasn’t clear!


  •  1st Man playing Jesus by Jenny Shanley – An actor’s portrait, cropped close to the face, taken at a 45 degree angle. A worthy winner.
  • 2nd Bandits at One O’clock by John Dale – Humorous title from John as usual
  • 3rd Boy with Cockerel by Jenny Shanley – Colourful image, nice and sharp

The second half of the evening was devoted to showing the 2010 Lancashire & Cheshire Photographic Union Monochrome folio from their Annual Exhibition – 60 superb black and white images in a variety of styles, and representing some of the best work currently being shown in the region.  The Isle of Man is affiliated to the L&CPU and three Island Photographers had gained   places in the exhibition. Congratulations go to Ruth Nicholls, Ron Shimmin and John Hall.

Next week will be the second digital Open Competition and entries are also due for the second assignment competition, “People at Work”

Small Print Competition Results – Standard Group: Shirley Lotfy (1), Patricia Harvey (2 & 6), Anne Bidwell (3), Bob Corrin (4), Robert Blyth-Skyrme (5), Sam Bucknall (C)   Intermediate Group: Jenny Shanley (1 & 3), John Dale (2 & 5), Janet Servante (4 & C), Natasha Wilson (6), Phyllis Christian (C).

By Bob Servante


This week’s meeting of the IOM Photographic Society comprised a “double header”, starting with a small print competition judged by Tony Curtis, one of our committee members.  Although explaining that this was the first time he had been appointed as a judge, Tony gave a very confident performance, with helpful and constructive commentary on each of the entries - albeit with a very general thought that many of them had a point of focus rather too central for his liking, and would have had a better “dynamic” with a slightly “off-centre” placing.

Tony selected an architectural shot of “Old Portsmouth” by Hazel Walsh,  containing lots of textural detail and subtle colours in a high resolution image, as the winner in the standard group. Runner-up in this section was Shirley Lotfy with a lovely image of a Red Admiral butterfly, again absolutely pin sharp and full of  colour.  In the intermediate group, Janet Servante’s entry “When I grow up” was a deserved winner - a striking image with lots of impact of a young penguin looking up at a picture of an adult. Natasha Wilson’s delightful shot of a school of fish, sandwiched between two layers of coral and called ”A Family Affair”, came second.

Our main speaker and presenter for the evening was David Kneale, returning after a previous visit which had proved very popular.  Well known on the island, David has a growing international reputation as a photographer of the yachting scene.  The presentation provided us with a “potted history” of his career to date, starting with some super images of manx ports such as Castletown, Ramsey and Derbyhaven, taken from the air whilst hanging out of an open door of a light aircraft  - some from a height which suggested chimney pots had also been in some danger !

The scene then moved on to the water - with a whole series of action shots of small boats, some local from David’s home port of Port St Mary, many from the international racing scene, but both including several “world championships”. David emphasised the high-stress responsibility on the “official photographer” of such events - to meet the needs of both the competitors (to provide some shots to remind them of the events) and of the media being supported (the magazines and newspapers in competitors’ home countries) which require immediate supply of winning images.  Whilst the job of a professional sports photographer might sound very attractive - with warm climates, and lots of social life - the reality became apparent that it is a very complex and hard working life ! Meantime, the sheer quality of the images on display - pin sharp, colourful, lots of close action, the concentration of the competitors- made for a superb evening’s entertainment and an enthralling presentation., delivered with a “light touch”, and combining an interesting commentary with humour and an excellent technical understanding of his art.

Chris Blyth, our secretary, gave a well deserved vote of thanks to David for his presentation, with the hope and expectation that we would look forward to seeing him again, in another year or so.

The next club meeting is on Wednesday 24th Nov at Thie Ellyn, and will be an Open print competition. Meeting starts at 7:45pm, and all are welcome.

Chris Blyth

10th November 2010 - Evie Jones Funeral Details

For those wishing to pay their respects, the funeral for Evie Jones will be held at Trinity Church, Rosemount Douglas. At 12:30pm on Thursday the 18th of November. This will be followed by a gathering at the "Thie Ellyn" ( directions can be found on the Map and venue Page )

Donations In Lieu of Flowers can be made to the MSPCA or to the Isle Of Man Photographic Socicety.

10th November 2010 - Architecture on Show in Snappers Competition

President Anthony Hamilton welcomed members to the first of three competitions throughout the year with an assigned theme.  Architectural Detail is the first assignment and provided a diverse and interesting range of images for local judge Alex Maddrell to preside over.

Alex, a regular judge opened the evening with a few introductory comments; he was particularly amazed by the variety of the work and the extremely high quality of the classes, especially the advanced group who were hard to judge.

In the standard Mono class, third place went to new member Hazel Walsh, with an interesting shot of a derelict building exposing the old fireplaces.  Isobel Cartmell,  however started off an incredibly successful evening of top placings. Second place was awarded to her photo of a section of the Cathedral Façade in Florence, an extremely well captured beautiful stone Lions Head and first place with a detailed fresco entitled Façade detail, Santa Croce.

In the Standard Colour class, equal third place was awarded to another new member, Robert Blyth’s study of Clive don [Manor House] Gate and Shirley Lotfy’s Tympanum, a delightful mellow coloured stonework fresco.  But it was a second double of the night for Isobel with Door Detail, Florence Cathedral and first place for her wonderfully composed view of statue set in a detailed alcove roof housing. 

In the intermediate category, Alex explained that it was a difficult category to judge because every picture was of high quality and well composed; even the non-placed images were highly commended. In the mono section, he awarded third place to a lovely stained glass window entitled ‘in God’s House’ by stalwart Diane McCudden, second place to Claire Stringers Elements Relief Detail which was presented in an unusual but highly effective narrow vertical format, but it was Diane who took the honours with a detailed Celtic Cross image.

The quality continued in the colour section with a good number of top quality images but it was the Stringers who walked away with the plaudits.  Husband and wife Mark and Claire were awarded joint second place for Mark’s low perspective view of a white tower set against a beautiful blue sky called ’Stairwell’ and Claire’s well composed and wonderfully detailed record shot of Rivoli Clock and its workings.  But it was Mark who reigned supreme with ‘Mosaic Detail’ a detailed study of a colourful mosaic tiled fountain.

The advanced entries were also almost to close to call, and Alex made note of the extremely high quality of images on display.  Ron Shimmin and Tony Curtis shared third place with Wall detail and Roof Lines respectively, John Phipp took second place with a beautifully exposed Temple Carving in sumptuous colours but it was Tony who struck again with a delightfully simple yet effective composition ‘Niarbyl Cottage’, a delicate composition framed at the top by roof detail with the window as the focal point and held by a hint of grass at the base.

The Advance colour section joint third place went to Ron Shimmin’s well composed Mayfair Gate detail, and Sue Jones’ Steel Structure, an industrial urban shot of the Lloyd’s building in London.  Chris Blyth was awarded second with his study of Sanctuary Knocker, Durham Cathedral but it was a case of déjà vu as John Phipp was awarded top place with a near identical picture of Niarbyl Cottage taken from a slightly different perspective to Tony’s (perhaps a couple of steps to the right).  It was interesting to compare and contrast the mono and colour images. Well done both!

After the break Alex turned his attention to the digital entries which continued to provide high quality and variety.  In third, Hazel Walsh provided a very interesting image of the decaying stonework of the side of a Masonic Hall. Decay was the continuing theme with Bob Corrin’s Bandstand where a lick of paint will be needed before the spring, but it was the third win of the night for Isobel Cartmell with her Door panel, Florence Baptistry.

The Stringers struck again sharing second place in the intermediate group, Mark’s very competent composition of a chimney in a Mediterranean rustic setting, and Claire’s Spinnaker Tower, an impressive composition looking almost vertically into a uniquely shaped white metalwork structure.  The winner was a bright, well composed detailed shot of the Manx coat of Arms adorning the well known local Wedding Cake building taken by John Dale.

In the final section, the advanced entries were another close group that were hard to split.  Ray Davies and John Phipp shared second place with Ray’s ‘The Lamp’ and John’s ‘Temple Carving’ an particularly well taken shot of an intricate carving shown from the best possible view point.  The wining image was well deserved, taken by regular winner Sue Jones, was an colourful interior shot of the Natural History Museum in London showing an excellent composition of stairways, arches, columns and open space.

Anthony Hamilton concluded the evening with a vote of thanks to Alex for his inspired commentary and thought provoking remarks based on his impressive knowledge and eye for detail.

Next week is the judging of the second Small Print competition and the L&CPU Mono Prints Portfolio.

By Ray Davies

6th November 2010 - Evie Jones

Evie Jones

It is with great sadness that I write to inform you that Evie Jones, one of our Life Members, died suddenly and unexpectedly around lunchtime on Thursday. 4th November, 2010.

Evie has been a member of the IOMPS for over 30 years and a tireless worker ‘behind the scenes’.  She has been our Competitions Secretary for quite a few years and has been heavily involved in the Society’s activities, not just in physically finalising our Winter Programmes, sourcing our ‘local’ judges and providing refreshments, but in so many other ways.  She is one of the people many of us have turned to for guidance because of her extensive knowledge and we shall all miss her greatly.  There is no doubt that her passing leaves a tremendous void at the IOMPS!

I had the honour of being asked to declare open and to name officially the ‘Lady Evelyn’ water wheel in the Laxey Glen Gardens on the 20th August, 2006, and this will always remind us of Evie and her dedication to supporting the Society, the Laxey Mines Group and, of course, her daughter, Sue.

There is unlikely to be any information about the funeral arrangements over the weekend but, as soon as I am informed about what has been decided, I shall advise you all.

I am sorry to be the bearer of such sad news but I know that all our thoughts and prayers will be with Sue at this time.

Antony Hamilton

Society President

3rd November 2010 - Isle of Man Photographic Society

Christine and Don Langford with Isle of Man Photographic Society President Antony Hamilton (centre)

Being on an Island, it would be all too easy for us to become isolated from photographic developments and events taking place in England and Wales.  It is for this reason that the Society is constantly looking for ways to build upon the good relations it has established in recent years with the Lancashire and Cheshire Photographic Union (L&CPU), to which we are affiliated, and through that Union with the Photographic Alliance of Great Britain (PAGB). 

It was a great privilege and pleasure, therefore, to be able to welcome such distinguished guests as Christine Langford LRPS, CPAGB, APAGB and her husband Don Langford LRPS, CPAGB, APAGB as our guest speakers on the last Wednesday in October.  Don Langford is the President of the PAGB and his wife is an executive committee member.  They had kindly agreed to bring a large selection of mounted monochrome and colour prints to the Island from North Wales and to give us a joint presentation of them as an illustration of their work.  Don had titled their talk ‘Images by Accident’.

It quickly became clear why they are held in high regard by those across the British Isles by amateur photographers and yet they were keen to stress that the images on view were ‘simply normal club photographs’.  This modest approach was to be a theme for the evening in which they emphasised that gaining personal enjoyment from taking photographs was just as important as any competitive element.  Whilst they are firmly converted to digital photography these days, they admitted that their great love is slanted heavily towards print work, rather than projected images, though they do both.

Don and Christine gave an interesting commentary to accompany their images with a good measure of Don’s dry sense of humour adding to our entertainment.  They demonstrated examples of good composition and lighting but also described how a simple image was very often better than one that was ‘too busy’.  They explained several digital techniques to improve visual appeal along the way and introduced us to the use of the Poster Edges filter facility in Photoshop, which they found provided a degree of subtleness in certain situations with pleasing results.  However, if there is one piece of good advice offered by Don that all photographers should take to heart, it is the importance of avoiding (or toning down) any highlighted areas from the edges of images.

Tony Curtis gave the vote of thanks in which he commented favourably on the wide range and variety of subjects that Christine and Don had presented from different parts of the British Isles and Europe.  Additionally, he thanked them for their helpful tips for those present about the use of digital software tools, such as Photoshop.

Drawing the evening to a close, the Society President stated how good it was to see John Hall back again after his recent serious illness and sent best wishes for a speedy recovery from the Society to Evie Jones and Percy Morrison, the latter having only recently been discharged from hospital.

Then, on the Friday evening, Don Langford judged the local Inter-Club Slide Battle at the Glen Helen Hotel.  Whilst the Society lost out this year to the eventual winners, the Western Club, by just 11 marks out of a possible 600, congratulations are due to our own Ray Davies for being awarded the trophy for best overall slide in the competition with “Is he coming?”.

Readers can find out more about the Society, by entering in the browser of their choice. To contact the Society, they can e-mail

Our next meeting at ‘Thie Ellyn’, off Withington Road in Douglas, will be at 7.45 pm on Wednesday, 10th November, when we are looking forward to another stunning presentation of projected images by David Kneale who travels the world as a professional photographer coving international yachting events.  He is fortunate to be granted access to areas closed to the public and so is fortunate to be able to capture images from vantage points most of can only dream about!  So, this is bound to be popular with both members and guests, all of whom will be guaranteed a very warm welcome by the Society. As a bonus, we shall be starting the evening with our first ‘Small Print’ Competition of the Winter which is designed to encourage the less experienced to ‘have a go’ and receive constructive feedback.

Antony Hamilton

President of the Society

IOMPS Reports During December 2010

22nd December 2010 - First trophy of the year up for grabs!

Club President, Anthony Hamilton welcomed members to its annual Christmas celebrations which this year included the ‘Annual Print Panel’ competition, the winner of which would win the West Lea Trophy. On this occasion, the Club invited Michael Corrin as a guest and judge for the evening.  Michael is well known to many particularly as a regular on the Manx judges’ circuit.

The print panel competition consists of a single board on which are mounted between 5 & 6 individual photographs, all of which must relate to the subject matter.

Michael judged 6 entries which he felt not only covered a varied range of subjects but were all of extremely high quality. “The standard of photography from the Club is getting higher and higher” he said, “this is my first time judging the print panel and it is nice to see a different way of looking at a subject”.

Having difficulty judging the panel of entries, Michael explained that the technical quality was so high that in the end the top entries were decided by not only looking at the subject, its representation but also on the overall presentation which he conveyed was in his opinion most important. In 6th place, Tony Curtis presentation ‘Poses’ was a collection of women in various full-length poses from a bride in her wedding dress to models in the studio and singers performing on stage.  5th place was awarded to Claire Stringers’ study of Jersey’s annual Battle of the Flowers parade, where she displayed a number of colourful flower bedecked parade floats.  Anita Gould-Davies’ view of Lisbon, gave a scenic view of the Portuguese city with its combination of modern, old and picturesque buildings and modern art.  Ray Davies was awarded 3rd place with his various head and shoulder views of young model, Yasmin. Stalwart Sue Jones claimed second place with a presentation of youngsters dressed up as ghosts and ghouls in her panel entitled ‘Hop-Tu-Naa’. But it was advanced-class member and former President John Phipp who won the West Lea Trophy for his ‘Images of Whitby’.  Michael was full of praise for John’s panel as it excelled not only in its quality of images, all-round display of the seaside town of Whitby, but also through its excellent presentation which included a unique ‘circular’ photograph which formed the foundation of the entire panel.

Anthony rounded out the evening with a vote of thanks to Ian Lumsden for his tireless efforts in organising the event at the Cherry Orchard, the staff for the food and hospitality and judge Michael for his efforts in deciding the final placings and thoughtful comments.

It just remains for the Isle of Man Photographic Society to wish Courier readers and our column followers a very Merry Christmas, and a happy and prosperous New Year.

By Ray Davies

18th December 2010 - 3 Way Digital Battle + Season's Greetings

Dear Members,

We have a 3 Way digital battle scheduled for mid March against Oldham PS and Rochdale clubs - albeit Oldham have scheduled their edition of the battle to be in February.  This competition has arisen as a result of Christine Widdall's visit last year, when she was our Annual judge - she and her husband are Oldham members, and as you will be aware, Christine will be visiting us later in the season .......

We obviously therefore need to finalise the IOMPS entry very early in the New Year - and whilst we have some images available from the last Annual Competition and from the digital competitions so far this year, we wish to ensure every member has opportunity to enter whatever may be their latest and best work.

Accordingly, if members have images they would like to enter for the 3 Way Battle, could they please ensure these are submitted at the first Club Evening in the New Year ie on Wednesday 5 January - on a CD or Memory stick / flashdrive - so that due consideration may be given.    Please note - a maximum of 5 images from any one photographer.

The format suggested by Oldham PS (who are arranging the details of the competition) includes the following :

A resolution of 1400 x 1050, sRGB, maximum quality,Optimised but NOT progressive.

Your committee looks forward to as many members as possible entering......

Whilst writing to everyone, can I - on behalf of your committee - wish everyone a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.  We look forward to seeing you all in the New Year,  re-invigorated and ready for the second half of our season, with some super competitions and events to come !

Chris Blyth


15th December 2010 - Copy Of Courier Report

Antony Hamilton, Club President, had both good news and bad news when opening our latest meeting.  The good news was that two of our members - Diane McCudden and Sue Jones - had both been successful in gaining the accolade of a CPAGB qualification.  This is a much sought-after Credit of the Photographic Alliance of Great Britain, and only gained after submitting a portfolio of work for assessment by a panel of expert judges.  So a “well done” to them both !

The bad news was that our judge for the “People at Work” assignment competition, the very popular John Atkinson, was unfortunately indisposed, so unable to judge in person. We wish him a speedy recovery.  However, he had completed his judging so the evening went ahead, albeit without John’s usual absorbing commentary.  John’s “system” is to use a grid, compiling a score for each image on 4 main parameters, each with a maximum of 5 points, and giving a maximum possible score of 20 points.

The 4 areas are “technical” (meaning exposure, focus, and sharpness), “composition and viewpoint”, “aesthetics” (meaning items such as lighting, colour harmony, contrast, saturation, and suitability for the assignment), and finally the image‘s “impact” (the “wow” factor which makes the image memorable, and to stand out from its competitors).

In the prints competition, Isabel Cartmel took first place in both the standard mono (a very attractive image of a family riding in a horse and carriage) and standard colour sections (a couple of youngsters pushing a hay bale in a barn).  Our judge made particular note   - and complimented the standard group - for the high quality of their entries .

Natasha Wilson took the intermediate mono class with an intriguing close-up of a dentist about to extract a tooth (very close-up, as it was from the victim’s viewpoint!), whilst Claire Stringer won the colour section with an image of a masseur at work. In the advanced class, John Phipp’s mono entry of three trombonists took first place, whilst Ron Shimmin won the colour section with an excellent character image of a town crier in full voice.

In the digital entries, Robert Blyth-Skyrme took a first in the standard group, with an image of fishermen hauling nets on their boat.  Mark Stringer took the intermediate class with a shot of a worker using a chain saw on a large piece of timber, allegedly “making chairs the easy way”!  Sue Jones led the advanced section with - as one might almost expect - an image of a photographer at work, this time on the beach, with three models running across the wet sand.

There is no meeting next week due to the Christmas break, but the programme re-starts on Jan 5th with our President presenting some images of Peru - it should be an excellent evening.  All are welcome.  The meeting starts at 7:45pm at Thie Ellyn.

RESULTS : PRINTS   Standard Mono - Isabel Cartmel (1 & 3), Robert Blyth-Skyrme (2 & 4).  Standard Colour - Isabel Cartmel (1 & 2), Shirley Lofty (3= & 6), Robert Blyth-Skyrme (3=), Anne Bidwell (5).  Intermediate Mono - Natasha Wilson (1), Claire Stringer (2 & 3), Mark Stringer (4 & C), Janet Servante (5), Diane McCudden (6 & C).  Intermediate Colour - Claire Stringer (1 & 2), Ian Lumsden (3), Natasha Wilson (4), Diane McCudden (5), Mark Stringer (6).  Advanced Mono - John Phipp (1 & 4), Sue Jones (2 & 3), Tony Curtis (5), Bob Servante (6). Advanced Colour - Ron Shimmin (1 & C), Bob Servante (2 & 4), Chris Blyth (3), Sue Jones (5 & 6).

RESULTS : DIGITAL Standard - Robert Blyth-Skyrme (1 & 2), Jamie Teare (3), Isabel Cartmel (4 & C), Shirley Lofty (5), Patricia Harvey (6).  Intermediate - Mark Stringer (1), Phyllis Christian (2 & C), John Dale (3), Janet Servante (4 & 6), Diane McCudden (5).  Advanced - Sue Jones (1 & C), Antony Hamilton (2), Ray Davies (3), Jessie Russell (4), John Phipp (5), Bob Servante (6 & C)

Chris Blyth

8th December 2010 - The Art of Digital Competition

Deputy President John Phipp gave a warm welcome to the members who braved the cold snap to this week’s digital open competition which was judged by local painter, Margaret Oates. Margaret’s task was not an easy one with over 60 images spread over the three classes.

Margaret cast her artist’s eye over a wide variety of images including a number of landscapes, portraits, floral, animals and even a bicycle.  She was keen to point out the high standard of photography in every class, “Each picture is very good” she said “they are all taken by very good photographers; it’s hard to comment on the quality of the pictures”. 

In the Standard Class, special mention must be given to Hazel Walsh for her excellent image ‘An Exercise in Restraint”, a bold composition of a semi-naked man bound in chains. This was an exceptionally high quality and innovative image produced to the highest standards from one of our new members. Shirley Lotfy’s delicate study of a flower ‘Alpina’ was commended. In joint 5thplace Mark Corlett caught the judge’s eye with an artistic composition ‘Tree Lined Avenue’ as was Robert Blyth’s underwater shot of a ‘Long Nosed Hawkfish’.  Patricia Harvey came 4thwith ‘It’s Christmas’, Andrew Cowen was awarded joint 2ndwith a lovely portrait of a young lady; together with Hazel Walsh’s colourful ‘Lighthouse Sunset’.  Patricia Harvey won the class with an extremely well handled composition of a juvenile Grizzly Bear by the waters edge.

The intermediate group had the largest number of entries for Margaret to consider.  Diane McCudden’s ‘The Bicycle’ brought back memories of French Sticks, ducks and outdoor ovens for Margaret, and Keith Malloy’s ‘Yellow Carpet Treatment’ deserves a mention as it is an excellent, well presented study of a bright yellow carpet being laid; one assumes in preparation of a VIP visit. Natasha Wilson was Highly Commended for an underwater shot of ‘The Blue Shoal’ and Claire Stringer also for her ‘Hedgehog’. Janet Servante and Jenny Shanley shared 5thwith ‘Red Crested Pochard’ and ‘Scops Owl’ respectively, 4thplace went to Phylis Christian’s study of a mouse ‘Maisie’, John Dale was awarded 3rdfor his excellent view of ‘Clypse Reservoir’, Diane McCudden enjoyed a well deserved 2ndplace with her rugby study ‘The Lineout Lift’ although Margaret was concerned with where No 5 had placed his right hand! Mark Stringer won the class with an excellent portrait of resting Bruce Anstey during last year’s TT festival using a treatment that is fast becoming Mark’s signature piece.

The Advanced Group was also well supported and the competition was equally strong.  Grand Dame Ruth Nicholls just missed out on the points with an exquisite and highly competent composition of a lone tree dappled by the spring sunshine. Margaret also picked out Dave Welsh’s contemporary composition ‘Blue is the Colour’, a side on view of a blue car parked in front of a blue shuttered white walled cottage, “It works so well” explained Margaret ”because of the red chimney pots that bring it to life”.  Another blue picture ‘Royal Blue Rose’ by Ray Davies came 6th, ‘Seen Better Days’ by Anthony Hamilton was awarded 5th, a portrait of singer ‘Boy George’ came 4th, and Chris Blyth’s strong mono composition ‘Katy’ was awarded 3rdplace.  However, it was Sue Jones who won the day with a colourful landscape at sunset that clearly appealed to Margaret’s artist’s eye which was awarded 2ndplace and her well handled composition of a military saxophone player in close up which was awarded the top spot.

It was an interesting evening with members being given a glimpse into the artists’ mindset where the strong use of colour and natural balance is much more to the fore that the photographer’s need for precision, technical ability, impact and desire to explore new boundaries.

Ian Lumsden brought the evening to a slightly early close with a vote of thanks to Margaret and wished members a safe journey home.  Next week is the Social Night at the Cherry Orchard, Port Erin which includes the Print Panel Competition.

Ray Davies

1st December 2010 - Isle of Man Photographic Society

Local professional Landscape Photographer, Richard Kinley, was the guest judge for the November ‘open’ prints competitions and was given a warm welcome by a good attendance of members and guests of the Society.  Richard’s work is well known, not just on the Island, and adorns the walls of offices and various public places such as libraries and health centres.  The task he had been set was to judge and give feedback on 78 colour and monochrome prints in six separate classes. 

With his own easy style, he indicated that he had found the overall quality of the entries to be of a very good standard in both colour and monochrome.  There was a wide range of subject matter before him, including several abstracts, but he had found the variety pleasing.  By applying an objective approach to his assessments, he had been able to appraise the entries and then give clear, concise explanations and reasoning to justify the marks and placings he had eventually decided upon.  In each image, he related the story he could read into the author’s work.  In some cases, this could be seen through the composition and, in others, from a certain aspect of the main focal point. 

Richard paused to comment on technique and proceeded to point out the best examples of correct exposure; good composition; clear definition; and impact.  He was gentle with any adverse views and quick to compliment the better aspects of each of the images with which he had been presented. His final ‘orders of merit’ yielded the following results:-


Standard Mono Class – 1 ‘Fishermen’ by Robert Blyth; 2 & 3 ‘Lucca’ and ‘After the Storm’ by Isobel Cartmell; 4 ‘Cranstal Farmhouse’ by Hazel Walsh; 5 ‘Buffalo Silhouette’ by Robert Blyth.

Standard Colour Class – 1 &b 2 ‘From Here to Eternity Beach’ and ‘Snapper Shoal’ by Robert Blyth; 3 ‘London Skyline’ by Hazel Walsh; 4 ‘Water Lily’ at Ballannette’ by Sam Bucknall (one of the Junior Members); 5 & 6 ‘King Vulture’ and ‘Santa Croce’ by Isobel Cartmell.

Intermediate Mono Class – 1 ‘Storm Wrecked’ by Mark Stringer; 2 ‘Elgol Beach View’ by Peter Cartmell; 3 & 4  ‘Bicycle Man’ and ‘Lighthouse’ by Diane McCudden; 5 ‘Fountains Abbey Pillars’ by Claire Stringer; 6 Contented Chloe’ by Natasha Wilson.

Intermediate Colour Class – 1 ‘Arnhem Remembered’ by Peter Cartmell; 2 ‘Frog’ by Claire Stringer; 3 ‘Juvenile Sparrow, Quayside’ by Janet Servante; 4 ‘Male Cheetah’ by Diane McCudden; 5 ‘A Knotty problem’ by Jenny Shanley; 6 ‘Monument in the Clouds’ by Mark Stringer; and Commended, ‘Crofter’s Yard’ by Janet Servante.

Advanced Mono Class – 1 ‘Sanctuary’ by Ruth Nicholls; 2 Rhythm Sticks’ by Sue Jones; 3 ‘On reflection 2’ by Tony Curtis; 4 ‘ Emerging from Youth’ by Ray Davies; 5 ‘Penny Whistler’ by Bob Servante; 6 ‘View from Druidale’ by Chris Blyth; Highly Commended, ‘The Pathway’ by Sue Jones; Commended, ‘Paris Street Scene’ by Ron Shimmin; and Commended, ‘The Rhine at Basle’; by Chris Blyth.

Advanced Colour Class – 1 ‘White Orchid’ by Ray Davies; 2 ‘The Gold Dust Day Gecko, Hawaii’ by Chris Blyth; 3 ‘Taking a Break’ by Ron Shimmin; 4 ‘Hallowed Footsteps’ by Ruth Nicholls; 5 ‘Mersey Evening’ by Ron Shimmin; 6 ‘Hayfield’ by Ruth Nicholls; Highly Commended, ‘Fright Night’ by Sue Jones; Commended, ‘Waiting for a Dry Spell’ by Bob Servante.

Giving a well-deserved vote of thanks, Antony Hamilton commented on how fortunate the Society was to be able to call upon gifted local photographers from time to time.  Richard Kinley had demonstrated a keen eye and a willingness to encourage those who had entered the ‘open’ competitions by his perceptive and thoughtful observations. He had clearly applied considerable care and devoted much time out of his busy schedule to give members the benefit of his professional experience, knowledge and skills and, for that, the Society was extremely grateful.   

On Wednesday, 8thDecember at 7.45 pm at Thie Ellyn, the Society has an assignment competition for prints and digital images, the subject being ‘People at Work’ . That evening, the entries will also be due in for the Print Panel Competition which will be judged at the Christmas social evening at the Cherry Orchard Hotel on the 15thDecember.

By ANTONY HAMILTON, Society President

IOMPS Reports During January 2011

26th January 2011 - Competition is hotting up in second half of the season

Club President Anthony Hamilton, welcomed members to the third round of this year’s ‘open’ competition and introduced this week’s judge Eddie Fryer.  Eddie is a long standing friend of the Club and long serving member of the Western Photographic Society who provides entertaining and insightful commentary.

Eddie started the evening off by praising the quality of the 66 images on show.  ‘Of this collection,’ he said, ‘there are a large number of exceptionally sharp images, and the quality has remained extremely high throughout’.

The judging commenced as usual with the Standard Mono section and in 4thplace went to Robert Blyth with ‘New York from the Air’; in 3rd place, junior member Sam Bucknall with ‘Did you say Summer Hill road?’; in 2nd Isabel Cartmel provided a lovely display of backlit white roses against a black background, whilst Robert Blyth was awarded the winning honours for a photograph of Dolphins jumping clear of the water and crossing in mid air.

There was a wide variety of pictures in the colour section including Cruise ships, animals, puddle reflections and landscapes.  Bob Corrin and Robert Blyth were commended for their work. Sam Bucknall came 6thwith ‘Ready for Action, Peel Dip’, 5thwent to Isabel Cartmel with her ‘Lake Garda Reflections’; Shirley Lotfy was awarded 4th with ‘Silver Fern, New Zealand’; newcomer Anne Bidwell came 3rd with her ‘Friendly Seal’.  Robert Blyth was in the top places with ‘Bale Out’, another well captured all action surfing picture but he was piped to the top spot by regular winner this year, Isabel Cartmel with her picture of ‘Florence Cathedral’, a colourful highly impactful picture of the large cathedral, exceptionally well taken with the composition showing depth and detail.

In the intermediate class, Eddie’s skill was put to the test.  Peter Cartmel was highly commended for the ‘Knotty Bark’ composition, Diane McCudden was awarded 6thfor her ‘Beach Hut’ composition; Jenny Shanley’s ‘Tholt y Wizard’ came 5th; Mark Stringers ‘Squirrel’ came 4th; Peter Carmel was awarded 3rd for his excellent landscape ‘Loch Corruisk’, Mark Stringer was placed 2nd with a strong yet simple composition of a street light mounted on a wall with a vignette serving to place the emphasis of the centre of the light.  Mark was beaten to 1st though by his wife Claire with a wonderful close-up wildlife picture ‘Leopard’. In producing this picture Claire opted for a sepia tone which suited the nature of the picture and enhanced the beauty of the beast.

In the intermediate colour section, we were treated to a varied collection of images including landscapes, townscapes, birdlife and even a fairy.  Claire Stringer was commended for her image of a (realistic) Tree Frog; Peter Cartmel was highly commended for his superbly detailed and entertainingly entitled ‘Duck a L’Orange’.  Jenny Shanley came 6thwith ‘Cerinthe’; Mark Stringer was awarded 5th with a picture of Damsel flies mating; Diane’s lovely composition ‘Child’s Play’ came 4th; Claire Stringer ‘Curiosity’ was a delightful picture of a clearly curious big cat; Peter Cartmel was awarded 2nd place for his amusingly entitled ‘Logasaurus’ which was an oddly shaped fallen tree branch that looked like a pre-historic monsters head. Diane McCudden was victorious amongst a field of excellent work with ‘Brown Hare’, a well caught and detailed picture of a hare captured in motion running through a field of straw and grass.

In the advanced group and here I speak from experience; the competition is very tough!   And all of all placings are well deserved. Bob Servante was highly commended for ‘Tank Reflections’ and 6thfor ‘Rounding the Point of Ayre’; Ron Shimmin came 5th with a unique and pleasing image of ‘The Attic Room’; Tony Curtis was awarded 4th for his composition ‘Ramsey Harbour’; Sue Jones came 3rd with ‘Mooring Rope Texture’; Ruth Nicholls just missed the top spot with her exquisite ‘Tholtan at Gordon’  a gentle picture of a tholtan nestled into lush vegetation, all together an artistic photograph of an idyllic location.  Sue Jones was triumphant though with her picture ‘Ancient and Modern’ taken at the British Museum, which was made by the clean lines, strong tones and excellent shadows.

In the final grouping, advanced colour; Bob Servante and Ron Shimming were commended; Ray Davies was awarded 6thwith ‘Orchid’; Tony Curtis came 5thwith ‘Meayll Circle’; Sue Jones came 4thwith ‘Snow Day Post Box’; Ron Shimmin came 3rdwith an artistic ‘Smart Address’ showing a smart car parked outside of a town house; Bob Servante came an extremely close second with a fabulous picture of the violinists head, hands, bow and violin set against a backdrop of a sheet of music  called ‘Elements of a Violin Concerto’ but it was Sue Jones who took the honours with ‘Lamplight’.  Eddie was pleased with this being the final picture of the night as he felt that it was the best picture of the night! A strong, highly colourful highly dynamic composition of a street lamp lit up in dusky dark conditions.

Anthony rounded of the evening with the customary vote of thanks to the judge, for his time and patience in judging the photographs and his eloquence in explaining his thought so well.

By Ray Davies


Hi All;

I can now confirm that next seasons assignments will be:

  • Household Objects
  • Song,Book or Film Title
  • People At Play

And For the IOM Bank Cup.

  • Manx Churches



20th January 2011 - ZOOM LENS FOR SALE

Item:- One auto focus Sigma 70-300 f4-5.6 macro super zoom DG lens (Canon fit).   This is a fairly lightweight lens for a long zoom, with great optical quality and is in immaculate condition.  It is an excellent lens for sports and nature photography, in particular, but also simply to bring distant objects closer and into sharper focus.   

Reason for Selling:- Following recent surgery on my arm, I have found it much more difficult to hold the camera steady when using a long zoom lens without the use of a tripod.  As this means carrying more equipment, which is not always practical, I have decided, reluctantly, to part with this lens.

Price:- This lens is currently being offered for sale (used) on various websites for between £160 and £180.  My asking price is £130 and I will donate 10% of the price I receive to the Isle of Man Photographic Society.

Seller:- Antony Hamilton Tel:  01624 625388 (mobile 07624 450 292)

19th January 2011 - Copy Of Press Release

The Secretary of the Society, Chris Blyth, was the judge for the Small Print Competition last Wednesday.  He began by explaining what he was hoping to find in the entries in terms of composition, focusing, lighting and that extra ingredient sometimes referred to as the ‘Wow’ factor.  He then set about his task, offering honest and yet kind, constructive comments on each of the entries in the two classes.  There were 22 entries in the Standard Class, for the least experienced photographers, and 12 entries in the Intermediate Class.  Advanced photographers are not permitted to enter this competition.   

The Society has always been keen to help and encourage the less experienced to improve their photographic skills.  So, the Small Print Competition provides an excellent incentive for them to submit their work for appraisal and advice.  The usual need to have the print images mounted, which can be a bit time consuming and expensive, is also removed by way of further encouragement.  Up to three images are able to be submitted and the maximum print size for this competition is 5 by 7.5 inches, including any border.

All of those who had submitted prints were offered helpful tips on possible ways of improving the image and on the equally important aspect of presentation.  Not for the first time, the judge touched on the need for thoughtful positioning of the main subject within the overall image, the use of different apertures for different subjects to throw distracting background detail out of focus, and cropping to remove eye-catching highlights on the periphery in order to improve the impact of the image. 

One recurring comment, made by Chris Blyth as if to emphasise the point once more, was that the photography of those in the Standard Class has improved so much over the last couple of years that there is now very little to choose between the standards of the images presented by photographers in both of these classes.  In fact, he said it was difficult, in many cases, to tell which entries were from which class!  So, the members in the Intermediate Class need to take note and ‘pull their photographic socks up’!

Whilst there is obviously a serious side in any competition, the Small Print Competitions are a little more relaxed and light-hearted and there are never really any ‘winners and losers’.  However, Chris Blyth had been asked to select his personal order of merit for the two Classes, which he gave as follows:-

Standard Class– 1st Patricia Harvey with ‘Happy New Year’; a night scene of London capturing the fireworks in the sky behind Big Ben; 2nd Anne Bidwell; 3rd, 4thand 6thShirly Lotfy; and 5th Robert Blyth; and two images, by Hazel Walsh and Robert Blyth, received commendations from the judge. 

Intermediate Class– 1stand 4thJanet Servante, her winning entry being a lovely image of that well known local landmark, ‘Cashtal Yn Ard’; 2ndand 6thJenny Shanley, 3rdPeter Brew; and 5thAnita Gould-Davies. 

Antony Hamilton gave the vote of thanks and praised the easy manner Chris Blyth had demonstrated in his thorough and thoughtful assessments, delivered with a touch of humour.  He also congratulated all those who had entered the competition for the high quality of the work on display which had contributed greatly to an enjoyable evening’s viewing.

After a break for refreshments, the Lancashire and Cheshire Photographic Union’s Colour Print Folio Q, 58 mounted images from the North West region, was exhibited and it was very pleasing to see two prints from one of our own members, Ray Davies, had been included, once more demonstrating our ability to compete with the best.

Antony Hamilton gave the well deserved vote of thanks and praised the easy manner Chris Blyth had demonstrated in his thorough and thoughtful assessments, delivered with a touch of humour.  He also congratulated all those who had entered the competition for the high quality of the work on display.  This had contributed greatly to an enjoyable evening’s viewing.

Members of the Society were asked by the President to note that Annual Dinner and Prize-Giving will now be held one week later than shown in the published programme, that is on the evening of Friday, 6th May, 2011.  The venue and other details will be announced nearer the time.

Our next gathering will be at Thie Ellyn (off Withington Road) at 7.45 pm on Wednesday, 26thJanuary.  This will take the form of an ‘open’ competition for projected digital images.  The entries (prints and digital images) will also be due in that evening for our next assignment competition , the set topic being ‘shapes’, to be judged on the 2ndFebruary.

Anyone interested in photography is always welcome to come along and join us, without prior commitment, as our guest for a nominal entry charge which includes refreshments.


Dear Members,


Your Committee will be meeting shortly to consider what subjects should be set for the monthly Assignment Competitions in 2011/12 .  Naturally, we are hoping to introduce new topics, if possible, to add variety and stimulate our photographic thought processes so we are inviting you all to let us have your suggestions as soon as possible, please.

Please send your suggestions to me or to our secretary, Chris Blyth, without delay.


Antony Hamilton,

President of the Society

12th January 2011 - Copy Of Press Release

Our President, Antony Hamilton, started the programme for the second half of the IOMPS season with a superb presentation on “Peruvian Highlights” - the result of a holiday visit with his wife, Sandra.  Accompanied by the music of pan pipes - sometimes incongruously playing such well-known peruvian folksongs as “Greeensleeves” - the visit started in the capital of Lima, and became an enthralling travelogue through the coastal desert on the way to Lake Titicaca via Macchu Picchu. Lots of sunny weather, plus the lovely quality of light (and the expertise of our President!), ensured a very high quality of image being shown.

The presentation was richly illustrated with over 500 digital images, all contributing to the story of life in Peru, and an explanation of its peoples and their culture.  Amazingly beautiful birds such as boobies, Peruvian terns and plumbeous pigeons were found on the off-shore Bellestas Islands. Back on dry land, a coach tour heading south along the coastal belt showed both the aridity and large extent of the desert, interspersed with the occasionally rich agriculture of river vallies fed by the run-off from the Andes mountains. The clothes being worn by the local people, and which featured large in the products available for purchase by tourists proved particularly rewarding for photography, with their brilliant colours showing well on our screen. Antony was kind enough not to show too much of the local culinary speciality (of roast guinea pig !), but did show some images of the other food being provided by their hotels - although it was suggested that eating a meal at altitudes of up to 13,000  feet was actually quite difficult  .

Macchu Picchu is, of course, an iconic site, World Heritage designated, and only discovered 100 years ago. Thought to be the palace for an Inca Chief, the site is massive, and - given its age - the technology for the sheer size and complexity of its terrace walls and buildings little understood. What is also obvious is the physical effort required to explore sites of such a size and at such altitude - like squash, perhaps better to be fit before starting such a trip, rather than using it as the way to get fit!

Lake Titicaca also proved a photographic paradise - with islands built of floating reeds in the middle of the lake where the local people live, together with their reed boats built in historic style with an upturned bow and stern (albeit floating on an inner layer of plastic bottles for longevity).  Again, the colours and quality of light were superb, ensuring images of the highest quality.

The presentation passed all too quickly, aided by a spare but entertaining, humorous and much enjoyed commentary.  Chris Blyth gave a well deserved vote of thanks for the evening‘s entertainment, and - having been done in such detail - the feeling that we had almost been there on the trip, sharing the experience. The evening finished on a social note, with food and refreshments for members and their guests.

The next meeting will be on Wednesday, 19th January, when an Open prints competition will be judged. All are welcome. The meeting starts at 7:45pm.

By Chris Blyth

5th January 2011 - Copy Of Press Release

We are now well into the first few days of 2011 - and I’m almost at the point of remembering to date my cheques for the new year, rather than for 2010.

Hopefully, all our members will have had the opportunity of the Christmas / New Year break to explore the possibilities of the new photographic equipment that Father Christmas will undoubtedly have left under the tree for them - and we look forward to seeing the results in the continued programme of competitions running up to the end of our season in April. 

The programme of events up until Christmas proved as popular as ever, with our “standard” group producing a very high quality of work, and challenging both intermediate and advanced workers in many instances.  The second half of our season continues the competitive theme, with assignments including both “open” and “assigned” topics (“manx landscape” and “shapes”) before the highlight event in late March of our Annual Competition.

In the standard group, Robert Blyth-Skyrme, Isabel Cartmel and Patricia Harvey are playing “nip and tuck” for the placings in most of the competition categories, whilst Shirley Lotfy and Hazel Walsh are similarly neck and neck  in the small prints  - whoever is to emerge as the winner at the end of the season will need to be in good form for the next few weeks…..

In the intermediate group, it is a four way split in most categories, with Claire and Mark Stringer, Peter Cartmel and John Dale vying for honours, with Janet Servante and Jenny Shanley making the running in the small prints section.

Meantime, in the advanced group, the situation is perhaps less clear-cut - with a more confused picture as to success so far this season.  Depending on the category, Sue Jones, John Phipp, Chris Blyth, Ray Davies, Ron Shimmin, Tony Curtis and Ruth Nicholls have all shared in the points - and making it very hard to determine who will run out winner and take the silverware home at the end of the season !!

Our meeting next week will be on Wednesday evening at Thie Ellyn, with a “Small Prints” competition, which will then be followed by a showing of an L&CPU portfolio of colour prints - as always, certain to include some excellent images to stimulate and enthuse anyone with an  interest in photography.  All are welcome.  The meeting will start at 7:45pm.

1st January 2011 - Happy New Year

Just a quick message to wish you a Happy New Year, and to remind you that our first meeting following this brief holiday period will be on Wednesday 5th January

Antony, as Club President, will be presenting "Peruvian Highlights" - which is certain to include many superb images, and I am sure will be delivered with an entertaining commentary - an evening not to be missed.....

Whilst writing, could I take the opportunity of reminding members

  • To bring some food and possibly a drink on Wednesday (though tea and coffee will be available as always), as it will also be something of a social evening, to get the New Year off to a flying start.   Guests will of course be welcome as well....
  • For eligible members, a reminder to bring along your entries for the Small Print Competition scheduled for the 12th January
  • And for everyone, a reminder that, should you wish, to bring along a selection of up to 5 digital images on a cd or flash drive / memory stick for consideration of the club's entry into the 3 Way Battle with Oldham and Rochdale which we have scheduled for March (but the UK clubs have scheduled the competition in February) so we need to finalise our entry asap.

We look forward to seeing you soon

Very best wishes

Chris Blyth


IOMPS Reports During February 2011

23rd February 2011 - IOMPS

It was with considerable relief that Antony Hamilton welcomed Richard Kinley as the judge for our latest weekly meeting, since he had been persuaded to step in at the last minute in the absence of our chosen judge, who had unfortunately been unable to keep the appointment.  It was doubly fortuitous in that, whilst we had only 48 entries in the Open Prints competition, many of them turned out to be of Natural History subjects – and Richard, a very well-known local photographer (particularly for his landscape work) proved to have both a wide ranging interest and a deep knowledge of natural history, which became very apparent from the critique and expert commentary which then ensued.

In the standard mono class, Robert Blyth-Skyrme had an easy ride to a 1stand 2nd place, given a lack of competitors – but his winning shot of a shoal of convict fish was an excellent choice for a mono class, given the black and silver stripes on their bodies which led to their name. The arrangement of the shoal, with fish on a diagonal, gave a dynamic structure to the image.  In the colour prints section, Robert again came out as winner with a superb image of Makapu’u Head on Hawai’i in dawn light, the foreground rocks and shoreline very sharp but with a “time” exposure which blurred the movement of water – an image which Richard very much enjoyed.  Isabel Cartmell however, proved a worthy runner-up, with both a 2ndand 3rdplacing, the former being an image of three white tulips, pin sharp, filling the frame from corner to corner and with lots of impact.

In the intermediate mono class, Peter Cartmell’s image of the cellarium (cellar storerooms) at Fountains Abbey was a deserved and satisfying winner, a “gritty” B&W interior with high contrast, taken from an excellent vantage point, windows providing the light for the image, and the arches  giving deep shadows and a complex structure.  Peter also provided the runner-up in this section, with an image of the Ribblehead Viaduct, again printed with a grainy finish appropriate for the subject, and the chosen angle of the shot giving impact.  The intermediate colour prints became a natural history extravaganza, with the first 5 places all being on this subject. Claire Stringer’s superb close-up of a chameleon on a branch was placed first – the colour and texture of the animal’s skin being particularly noteworthy, with the tail curling round and providing a good “lead-in” line to the image. Diane McCudden’s image of an arctic tern came in as runner-up, the wings outstretched and filling the frame on a strong diagonal.

The  advanced mono group was dominated by Sue Jones with both 1stand 2ndplaces – her winning shot of three carefully arranged bottles on a plain background showed good composition, whilst some manipulation in computer software gave added texture and a delightful toned finish.  Sue’s runner-up shot of a midwinter landscape also showed good composition, with a dark and threatening sky providing drama, and a wall giving a strong lead-in to the image.  Bob Servante’s close-up shot of a seal enjoying a fish supper proved a stunning winner in the advanced colour section, the ripples around the head generating a strong central focus and the metallic-like reflections in the water giving real impact. Ray Davies’s image of a person walking through some trees in thick fog had an air of mystery, but was very well handled and taken at the “decisive moment” when the figure had shape and some identity, but not so much as to be defined – and gave Ray a 2ndplace.

A richly deserved vote of thanks was given by Antony Hamilton, with particular mention of Richard’s skilled commentary – both as a photographer and as a student of natural history – which had made for a fascinating evening, and ensured interest throughout the competition.   Next meeting is on 2ndMarch at 7:45pm, when members will be holding a ”Practical Evening”. All are welcome to attend.  Full details of club activities can be found at

RESULTS :  Open Prints

Standard Group Mono : Robert Blyth-Skyrme (1 & 2).

Standard Group Colour : Robert Blyth-Skyrme (1 &4), Isabel Cartmell (2&3), Shirley Lotfy (5), Anne Bidwell (6).

Intermediate Group Mono : Peter Cartmell (1 & 2), Diane McCudden (3 & 4), Mark Stringer (5 & 6). 

Intermediate Group Colour : Claire Stringer (1 & 3), Diane McCudden (2 & 5), Jenny Shanley (4), Peter Cartmell (6), Janet Servante (C).  

Advanced Group Mono : Sue Jones (1 & 2), Bob Servante (3 & 5), Ron Shimmin (4 & 6).

Advanced Group Colour : Bob Servante (1 & 3), Ray Davies (2 & 4), Sue Jones (5), Brian Speedie (6), Chris Blyth (C).

Small Print Overall - Standard Group :

1st Shirley Lotfy (25pts) winning the Groudle Cup,

2nd Patricia Harvey (18 pts), 3rd Anne Bidwell (12 pts).

Intermediate Group :

1st Janet Servante (28 pts) winning the Cochaslys Cup,

2nd Jenny Shanley (24 pts), 3rd Natasha Wilson (14 pts).

by Chris Blyth

21st February 2011 - Photographers for Commonwealth Youth Games

Dear Member

Brian Goldie of the Southern Photographic Club has initiated a project to photograph the events of the Commonwealth Games in September this year - and is looking to establish a group of individuals willing to join in this exercise.

The attached documents give some necessary details (dates, activities etc) - and I believe Antony will also provide details at the next club meeting - but it will obviously be a major event for the island later this year - and you may remember that "people at play" is one of the assignment topics for next season......

best wishes

Chris Blyth

Dear Fellow photographers; As you are probably aware, this year The Isle of Man is hosting the 2011 Commonwealth Youth games and the organisers have been looking for volunteers to help out. I have contacted the organisers and asked if they had a use for a photographer and was invited along for a chat, the result of which was that I suggested that I could probably get a team of photographers together and that we could create a photographic documentary of the games, as this will be quite a big event for the Island and it would be a shame if the only record would be a couple of photos taken by the press.

The games are to be run from Sept 7thto Sept 13th and will involve over 1000 competitors from 71 nations competing in seven events which will be Boxing, Cycling, Gymnastics, Athletics, Badminton, Rugby and Swimming.

The idea would be to record as many different aspects of the games as possible from social events prior to the games, venues, competitors, spectators, award ceremonies  as well as the competitions themselves, so this would not just be a job for those that like taking sporting photographs. Also, being official photographers would mean that we would have greater access to the event and hopefully be better placed to take photographs than if we were restricted to the spectator areas.

It was also suggested that we could supply photos to the international press who may be running a feature on the event and I’m sure that one or two of the Photographic magazines may like to run a feature on our exploits, so there may be a chance for some global exposure! As well as maybe having some of the images exhibited locally.

So I now find myself in a position of hoping that other photographers would like to help out and volunteer their services as well.

I know that September is a long way off but I would like gauge peoples interest as soon as possible so that I know whether I need to start panicking or not!

I am asking the three Island photography clubs to ask their members if they could help, so anyone interested could let their clubs spokesperson know, who could then inform me (maybe we could do it as a club initiative?) or they could contact me on an individual level.

Looking forward to your response, Brian Goldie

e-mail -

21st February 2011 - Message from the L&CPU President

Message from Christine Widdall, L&CPU President

L&CPU Big Day on Sunday 20th March at:
The University of Cumbria Lancaster Campus (was St Martin's College), Bowerham Road, Lancaster LA1 3JD

This year we have kept the price down to only £12 per member for the seminars. Coffee and tea will be provided free of charge on arrival.
Bring your own lunch or use the University Refectory to buy hot food or sandwiches.
Doors open 9 am. Event from 10 am to 5 pm approximately.

Ticket applications can be downloaded from the L&CPU web site. All enquiries to Norman Thompson 0161 766 6765.

Please ask attending members to bring some copies of a recently completed (perhaps the last season as well as this season) syllabus/programme card for the Syllabus Secretaries' Market Place, where syllabus/programme secretaries can exchange ideas. Please highlight on your programme any speakers that you would especially recommend to other clubs or any events that have proved especially successful. We will have an executive member on hand to help you to access this information.

The Big Day Print Competition:
Bring a print each for the print competition to be judged by our guest speakers who are:

Short biographies of the speakers are on the web site.

A selection of prints by the former L&CPU and PAGB President, the late David Marsh FRPS HonPAGB, will also be
on display, plus Ilford Harman will have a trade stand there.

I look forward to see you there and to having an enjoyable day sharing great photography and meeting up with old and new friends.
Kind regards
Christine Widdall

17th February 2011 - Annual Competion Forms

Hi All;

The forms for the Annual Competition are now available in the documents section for you to download.

Please let me know if you have any issues.


10th February 2011 - IOMPS Vs NW Bristol Battle

The results of the battle between North West Bristol Camera Club, and the Isle Of Man Photographic Society are in.

The Images were Judged on the Isle Of Man by Andrew Barton, leading to a very close result overall. Please see the attached Scores for each image, for the individual results and points awarded by each judge.

North West Bristol Camera Club 319

Wren Fledgling ( By Jenny Shanley IOMPS ) was voted best overall image by the Bristol Judge.

Sunlit Shore ( By Sue Jones IOMPS ) was voted best overall image by the Isle Of Man Judge,

9th February 2011 - Isle of Man Photographic Society

Small print winners Patricia Harvey (left) and Natasha Wilson with Judge Mark Stringer

The judge for the final Small Print Competition in the programme last Wednesday was one of our own members, Mark Stringer.  He began by explaining how he had approached his task, this being the first time he had been asked to judge a photographic competition for the Society.  There were 19 entries in the Standard Class, for the least experienced photographers and 14 entries in the Intermediate Class.  The overall standard of the entries was high and he commented on each one in both classes in turn (advanced photographers not being permitted to enter the Small Print competitions).  

These Small Print Competitions provide an excellent opportunity for the less experienced photographers to submit their work for appraisal and advice and, in this way, the Society seeks to help and encourage them to improve their skills.  The usual need to have the print images mounted, which might be a time consuming and expensive obstacle to entry for some, is also removed by way of further incentive.  Each author is permitted to enter up to three images and the maximum print size for this competition is 5 by 7.5 inches, including any border.

Photography should always be a fun hobby so the Small Print competitions are held in a more relaxed and friendly atmosphere.  Mark Stringer used his dry sense of humour to good effect when commenting on the entries, thus demonstrating that serious photographers can be light-hearted too.  His chosen order of merit for the two Classes was as follows:-

Standard Class – 1st Patricia Harvey with ‘Cheers’, an excellent image of two wine glasses with a lovely evening sky behind; 2nd (and 6th) Shirley Lotfy; 3rdMike Trout; 4thAnne Bidwell; and 5thRobert Blyth.  Shirley Lotfy and Hazel Walsh both received commendations from the judge for other images.

Intermediate Class – 1st Natasha Wilson for a happy family study of a mother playing with her young baby that made everyone say “Ah”; 2ndJenny Shanley; 3rd(and 6th) John Dale; and 4th(and 5th) Janet Servante.   

The last of the Society’s Winter “Assignment” competitions (the three specified assignments being architectural detail, people at work and shapes) was held recently and the opportunity was taken to announce that the overall winners of awards are:

Standard Class Isabel Cartmell (both mono and colour prints) and Robert Blyth (projected digital images).  Intermediate Class Diane McCudden (mono prints), Claire Stringer (colour prints), and John Dale (projected digital images).  Advanced Class Sue Jones (both mono and colour prints) and Ray Davies (projected digital images).  The full results of these competitions have been posted on the Society’s website ( and the awards will be presented on the 6th May at the Society’s Annual Dinner.

The main topic for the evening was the annual two way ‘Slide Battle’ – it’s all very amicable, really, and no-one actually comes to blows - between the Society and the North West Bristol Camera Club.  Each had been permitted to enter 25 digital images and two independent judges, one off Island and one ‘local’, had been invited to judge the entries, awarding a mark out of 10 for each image.  Neither judge knew of the other’s assessments or which images were from which club or society.

Society President, Antony Hamilton, stressed the importance for Island photographers to test their skills against their counterparts in the adjacent islands from time to time and then introduced well known professional photographer, Andrew Barton.  He had had agreed to be the ‘local’ judge for the battle and he announced at the outset that all of the entries from both clubs were of an extremely high standard.  He had enjoyed examining them, using three different monitors in his studio before arriving at his final conclusions.  He then gave an in depth assessment of every image against the British Institute’s standards.  Among a wide range of incisive comments, there were a couple of key themes which he offered by way of more general constructive feedback.  These were that quite a few of the images were ‘cool’ and needed to be ‘warmed up’ because, as a general rule, warmer images tend to be more pleasing to the eye, though this is not always the case.  Secondly, he suggested that if the brightness of some of the projected images was to be toned down, the resulting images would be more ‘punchy’, giving greater impact without losing detail in the darker areas.  After giving his individual scores, he then selected ‘Sunlit Shore’, a beautiful beach and seascape by Sue Jones of the Society, as the best entry from the fifty from the two clubs in the battle, commenting that it was a very saleable image

The combination of the two judges’ marks resulted in a close finish with only 9 points in it at the end.  The North West Bristol Camera Club scored a very commendable total of 319 points but the winners this year, with a total of 328 points, was the Isle of Man Photographic Society.

Giving the vote of thanks, the President expressed the Society’s gratitude for the great care, patience and thoroughness Andrew Barton had demonstrated in assessing the entries.  It was clear that he had devoted a considerable amount of time to this in spite of running a very busy photographic business, based in Ramsey.  His comments, as always, had been extremely clear, helpful and constructive and had provided useful instruction to those wishing to produce better photographs.  The President, congratulating all the winners, also thanked those whose images had been entered in the print competition and in the battle, which had contributed greatly to a most enjoyable and instructional evening’s viewing.

Members of the Society are reminded that the entries for the Annual Photographic Competitions (all formats) are due to be submitted on the 2ndMarch – now less than two weeks away!

The Society next meets at Thie Ellyn (off Withington Road) at 7.45 pm on

Wednesday, 23rdFebruary. Anyone interested in photography is always welcome to come along and join us, without prior commitment, as our guest for a nominal entry charge.

BY ANTONY HAMILTON Society President

2nd February 2011 - ALL SHAPES & SIZES

Wednesday evening, 2ndFebruary at Thie Ellyn, Douglas was the time and place for the Isle of Man Photographic Society’s last Assignment competition of the 2010 – 11 season. The chosen theme was Shapes and subjects both large & small were presented to our Judge for the evening, Ray Kelly. Three sections, Mono and Colour prints and Digital in the Club’s three classes, Standard, Intermediate & Advanced had been judged over the previous weekend.

The Club’s President, Anthony Hamilton introduced Ray to the audience and without delay, started to give his deliberations on the nine sections he had judged. It soon became obvious that Ray had spent a lot of time studying the entries with the detailed critique he gave on each one. Suggestions were also given on how he thought some of the images could be improved.


Standard Mono

1st All Different Shapes & Sizes – by Isabel Cartmel - A beautiful print showing architectural details, very sharp and covering the full tonal range.

2nd Lady Evelyn – by Hazel Walsh – A good photo showing central hub and spoke detail of the Lady Evelyn wheel at Laxey.

3rd Saturday Morning Relaxation – by Isabel Cartmel – Very original idea of combining the puzzle page of a newspaper with a cup of coffee placed on top.

Standard Colour

1st Octagonal Summerhouse – by Isabel Cartmel – A lovely bright and sharp photo of an octagonal Summerhouse without other distractions.

2nd The Herring Cran – by Robert Blyth – A nicely exposed and printed shot of a half barrel of Herring, a cran in weight.

3rd Saturday Evening Relaxation – by Isabel Cartmel – More relaxation from Isabel with a Decanter of Whisky and partly filled glass.

Standard Digital

1st Optical Illusion  - by Hazel Walsh – Interesting photograph of apparently three external corner faces of a step of different colours that appeared to change to a view of the internal corner of a room showing floor and two walls.

2nd Ready for the Pot – by Robert Blyth – A striking pattern image of crabs packed in pots with ice.

3rd Triangle of Peppers – by Isabel Cartmel – Bold coloured Peppers on a plain black background

Intermediate Mono

1st Reflections Under the Pier – by Diane McCudden – Very good and carefully exposed image of Pier legs and their reflections in the puddles below.

2nd Pot Luck Skyline – by Janet Servante – Unusual photo of chimney pots and stacks that had a solarisation effect applied to produce a bold image.

3rd Stonework Detail by Diane McCudden – A shot of walls displaying a nice range of tones and textures on a curved wall.

Intermediate Colour

1st Wheels – by Janet Servante – A bright and colourful photo of control wheels on a boat in blue against a red background.

2nd Baboon Bark – by Janet Servante – An interesting and well seen shot of a Baboon like facial image in the bark of a tree.

3rd Ancient shapes – by Phyllis Christian – Egyptian carvings and hieroglyphs in a rich sand colour, well exposed and printed to bring out the detail.

Intermediate Digital

1st A Multitude of Shapes – by John Dale – An attractive photo taken in the Villa Marina Arcade showing the arches of the steel-work and the square form of the lighting

2nd Colourful Shots – by Diane McCudden – 3 coloured Shot-glasses photographed effectively against a green background

3rd Green Brain Coral – by Natasha Wilson – Underwater photo of green Brain Coral.

Advanced Mono

1st Shadow Play – by Chris Blyth – Excellent study of external staircases and the shadows they produced

2nd Architectural Shapes – by Sue Jones - Beautifully printed & presented mono print of a window, steel bars and a variety of geometric shapes

3rd Steel Shapes – by Ron Shimmin – Well composed image of steel framework and safety equipment creating interesting shapes from the chosen viewpoint

Advanced Colour

1st Shapes in Stone – by Bob Servante – A creative print produced from large pebbles of varying shapes, colours and textures stacked into a single column. The isolated image of these stones was then placed onto a plain blue background.

2nd Transparent Shapes – by Sue Jones – A striking image comprising of a few interestingly shaped old bottles of various colours, carefully lit to emphasise the subject. A wavy reflection of the subject had then been added below.

3rd Sweet Shapes – by Sue Jones – A very colourful photograph of fruit jellies arranged on a plain, lit base, allowing the translucence of the sweets to produce the bright shapes and colours.

Advanced Digital

1st Japanese Parasol Detail by Ray Davies – Expertly lit and composed image of the inside of the Parasol detailing the framework ribs and support arms radiating from the central stem.

2nd Shapes and Shadows – by Ray Davies again – A great idea utilising a wire framed model car, obliquely lit to produce strong shadows and shapes through the wire frame.

3rd Tile Shapes – by Jessie Russell – Well-spotted image of several stacks of Ridge tiles on the ground, photographed at an angle to produce a range of interesting shapes. 

Next week will be the final Open Print competition of the year.

By Bob Servante

2nd February 2011 - Courier Report 3/2/2011

The IOM Photographic Society was delighted to welcome the return of local photographer Michael Corrin to judge an “Open Digitally Projected Images “competition at our latest meeting.  Michael has judged previous competitions for us, and his robust but always well considered and very fair comments are well appreciated by our members. 

However, it transpired that this was the first time he had judged a digitally projected competition, all previous such events having been based on prints.  It was apparent, he said, that the way an image is presented has an enormous effect upon the way it is perceived – that projecting an image onto a 6ftx6ft screen has a totally different feel to one seen only as an A4 print or as seen on a computer monitor.  In general comments, Michael made clear the need for any photographer to be discriminating and discerning in assessing a photographic image – to think carefully about the composition, resolution, sharpness, the use of contrast etc and the need to step back from the emotional involvement of actually having taken the image.  He was also very pleased to note that a number of entries were in monochrome, where recent advances in digital technology (both in camera sensors and in printing) were enabling images similar in quality to film based photographs.

In the Standard Group, third place went to Robert Blyth-Skyrme for “Protea”, a very sharp image of a protea flower-head, where the background had been thrown out of focus by a well chosen aperture, giving total control of the depth-of-field.   A well earned second place went to Mike Trout for “Contemplation”, a wonderful photo of a large waterfall in full cascade, but given scale by a human figure well placed in the image. But first place went to a superb monochrome image by Andrew Cowan – “Precious” – showing a tiny baby’s foot cradled in the hands of its mother....  a really emotive image, and definitely one for any family album.

The Intermediate Group also proved a very strong entry, with third place going to Keith Molloy for “South Pacific Ghost”, a close-up of a South Sea Islander with face paint and a well caught expression.  Janet Servante won a second place with “Watching Me, Watching You” – an excellent composition with a cat peering through a hole in a door, with the contrast in texture of the wood and the cats face and whiskers being particularly noteworthy.  It became a very good night for Keith Molloy, when his “On Parade In Beijing” earnt first place in the section – a shot of Chinese soldiers marching on parade, very sharp and full of colour and impact.

In the Advanced Section, Bob Servante’s “Ploughing Set Pride” came third – a very pleasing image of two horses in full harness with their owner.  Ray Davies produced a lovely monochrome landscape of “Ullswater” for second place – an image showing good tonal values and excellent composition, with a strong foreground and the line of the hills leading the eye into the scene.  However, as so often the case, Sue Jones emerged as the winner in the section with “Left to Decay” - a very clever and artistic composition with the faded red of an old tractor shading out into a monochrome background.

Ian Lumsden gave a well deserved vote of thanks for an excellent evening, and a very helpful commentary on the entries.  He also reminded members of the rapidly approaching Annual Competition, the highlight event of the year in our programme, and because of the special rules applying in some classes, entries may require careful consideration as to eligibility.

Our next meeting on Wednesday 9thFeb will be a Small Prints Competition, together with a 2 Way Digital Battle with Bristol Camera Club.  All are welcome to attend.  Meeting starts at 7:45pm.

Standard Group: Andrew Cowan (1), Mike Trout (2 & 6), Robert Blyth- Skyrme (3), Patricia Larkham (4), Patricia Harvey (5), Bob Corrin (C).  

Intermediate Group: Keith Molloy (1 & 3), Janet Servante (2), Mark Stringer (4), Phyllis Christian (5), Jenny Shanley (6), Diane McCudden (C).  

Advanced Group: Sue Jones (1 & 4), Ray Davies (2), Bob Servante (3 & 5), Chris Blyth (6).

IOMPS Reports During March 2011

30th March 2011 - Isle of Man Photographic Society

The IOMPS had the pleasure of welcoming a very distinguished and experienced photographer from the Lancashire and Cheshire Photographic Union to judge their annual competition this week – Tillman Kleinhans ARPS, AFIAP, DPAGB, proved a very grounded Liverpudlian, who until his recent retirement, had been head of the physics faculty in a Lancashire school, and indeed had taught photography as one of his subjects.  He proved a very enthusiastic and encouraging judge, with more than 20 years as a “circuit judge” for the L&CPU, but more importantly and very obviously, a sheer joy and enjoyment of photography, and a pleasure in looking at photographs in general.

In the Standard Group, the Monochrome Open class was won by Hazel Walsh with a lovely study of a derelict and decaying farmhouse at Cranstal – a subject which, it became evident, was close to our judge’s interests.  The Colour Open class was won by Isabel Cartmel with a very pleasing image of 3 tulips, where the texture of the white flower heads had been very carefully retained in a well exposed shot. Shirley Lotfy won the Natural History class with a close-up image of a silver fern unfolding its stem. A restrained but cleverly manipulated image of St Georges Church won the creative class for Hazel Walsh, whilst a close-up of door detail on Florence Cathedral enabled Isabel Cartmel to take the Record class.

In the Intermediate Group, the Monochrome Open was won by Peter Cartmel with a lovely landscape study of Loch Coruisk, whilst the Colour Open went to Mark Stringer with a moody, intriguing and enigmatic study of a young girl called “The Squat”.  Diane McCudden won the Natural History class with a monochrome action close-up of a herring gull in flight, and Mark Stringer took the honours in the Creative class with a lovely study of a figure sitting on a circle of steps in an arena, the use of colour and the composition with the circular rows of seats ensuring the eye was focussed on the figure, well placed in the image. Mark rounded off a very successful evening with first place in the Record Section for a close-up of a street light, very well lit.....

The Advanced Group was dominated by Sue Jones, as often the case. A lovely study of the Houses of Parliament won her the Monochrome Open, the letterbox format of the presentation perfectly suiting the subject, whilst the dilapidation and flaking paintwork detail on an old door earned her first place in the Open Colour section. Chris Blyth broke the run of her success by winning the Natural History section with an image of a gold-dust gecko, the green and gold colours ensuring the animal stood out against the dull browns of the tree branches on which it was located.  Sue’s very artistic presentation of a youngster asleep on a park bench set against a pen and ink background won her the Creative section, and a lovely close-up image from the Queen Mother’s monument - the detail and use of light and shade producing an almost 3D effect – did the same in the Record section.

The evening finished with Tillman showing examples of his print work over a number of years, and the often self-taught skills gained in exploring new techniques and processes – particularly with the then new possibilities of digital cameras and computer software – and often at taxpayers’ expense, with the school encouraging the new technology.  Brenda Shimmin gave a well deserved vote of thanks for a splendid evening and all the hard work that had gone into it – and a definite highlight event for the society. The IOMPS would formally thank The Arts Council for their support in enabling the visit of Mr Kleinhans.

Results : Annual Prints  Competition

Standard Group – Monochrome Open (Tranter Cup): Hazel Walsh (1 & C), Robert Blyth-Skyrme (2,3, VHC & C), Isabel Cartmel (HC).   Colour Open (Woodbourne Cup) : Isabel Cartmel (1,& C), Hazel Walsh (2,3,& VHC), Shirley Lotfy (2 x HC), Robert Blyth-Skyrme (3 x C), Christine Cullen (C), Sam Bucknall (C), Anne Bidwell (C).  Natural History (Baldwin Shield): Shirley Lotfy (1 & 3), Robert Blyth-Skyrme (2 & HC), Patricia Harvey (C).  Creative (Greeba Cup) : Hazel Walsh (1), Patricia Harvey (2).  Record (Dreemfroy Trophy) : Isabel Cartmel (1, 2 & 3).

Intermediate Group – Monochrome Open (Ballure Cup) : Peter Cartmel (1,2, VHC & HC), Natasha Wilson (3), Diane McCudden (HC, 2xC), Janet Servante C), Claire Stringer (C).  Colour Open (Coombe Cup) : Mark Stringer (1 & C), Peter Cartmell (2,3, 2xC), Claire Stringer (2xVHC), Janet Servante (HC), Diane McCudden (HC, 2xC). Natural History (Ballaragh Cup) : Diane McCudden (1, 3, VHC & C), Mark Stringer (2), Peter Cartmel (HC), Natasha Wilson (C).  Creative (Carnane Cup): Mark Stringer (1 & 3), Jenny Shanley (2, 2xC). Record (Lezayre Trophy): Mark Stringer (1), Claire Stringer (2 & C), Phyllis Christian (3), Diane McCudden (C).

Advanced Group – Monochrome Open (Bridge Cup) : Sue Jones (1,2,3, 2xVHC & C), Bob Servante (HC) Chris Blyth (HC), Nigel Owen (2xC), Ray Davies (C), Jessie Russell (C). Colour Open (Sanderson Cup): Sue Jones (1,VHC,& HC), Ray Davies (2, VHC, HC & C), Tony Curtis (3), John Phipp (VHC), Dave Welsh (2xC), Ron Shimmin (C), Bob Servante (C), Chris Blyth (C).  Natural History (Caraghan Cup): Chris Blyth (1,2 & 3), Tony Curtis (C). Creative (Snaefell Cup): Sue Jones (1, 3 &C), Ray Davies (2 & VHC), Ron Shimmin (2xHC), Bob Servante (C).  Record (Glenrigh Cup): Sue Jones (1,2 &VHC), Ron Shimmin (3), John Phipp (C), Chris Blyth(C).

Special Awards - Best Monochrome Print in competition (Mackie Cup): Peter Cartmel with “Loch Coruisk”, and Best Colour Print in competition (Redwood Trophy) : Isabel Cartmel with “White Tulips”.

By Chris Blyth

Supported by the Isle of Man Arts Council

29th March 2011 - Annual General Meeting

Dear All

Bearing in mind that we are holding Wednesday evening's meeting "off site" at Luminaires for Andrew Barton's demonstration, I think it necessary to remind everyone that the AGM is scheduled for exactly three weeks later, on 20th April.

In accordance with the constitution, members are reminded that nominations for committee are required to be posted on the board 21 days prior to the AGM (proposed and seconded), as are any motions / propositions for changes to our rules (also to be signed by both proposer and seconder).

As I have noted on several occasions, this is the time of year when excitement about the Annual Competition, the culmination of our various assignment and open competitions etc tends to escalate and the calendar runs away with us ... this year looks no different, with the AGM now a priority for your committee.

Please ensure that if you have any nominations or propositions that they are presented tomorrow evening.

Many thanks



Following the announcements I made to those present on Thursday and Friday evenings, I am now able to confirm that we have arranged an evening with a difference for this coming Wednesday, 30thMarch, 2011, at the usual start time of 7.45 pm.  As you know, our Programme shows that we are scheduled to have ‘An evening with Andrew Barton’.  Andrew has come up with a novel idea which I believe is worthy of our full support and so we are going to go ahead with it, partly because we are in his hands but, more importantly, because it presents an opportunity for us to try something new photographically in an unfamiliar environment. 

In collaboration with Ralph Peake of Luminaires, Andrew has arranged to give us a practical evening at Luminaires brand new, ultra modern showroom in James Place (Victoria Road), Douglas.  You will find these premises on the left hand side a little over 100 yards up Victoria Road from its junction with the top of Broadway.  I visited the showroom on Saturday where I met Ralph Peake.  He has offered to make available to our members the whole of his premises, comprising on the ground floor an entranceway, a rear room and an area behind the display window fronting onto Victoria Road, all of which lend themselves to interesting still life settings.  Then, there is a metal staircase leading to two rooms upstairs, one being an office.  All of the open spaces are clean and bright and there are interesting designs of the latest lighting ideas to use as novel subject material. 

Andrew is proposing to set up various ideas in these rooms before we arrive and is excited about what he has in mind for us.

I also had a meeting on Saturday with the manager of the Winerite store (on the right a shorter distance up Victoria Road from Broadway) about car parking.  Whilst I am not expecting to hear back from him until Monday morning, he gave me good reason to believe that his bosses will agree to allow the barriers to the Winerite car park to be left open on Wednesday evening so that we might park there, just in case it is difficult to find spaces in the side streets off Victoria Road.

I would encourage you to bring your cameras (etc) along with you to Luminaires on Wednesday evening and to let other members know that we will not be using ‘Thie Ellyn’ for this one week (and the Society won’t be charged for it!).  Ralph Peake has generously offered to provide refreshments too!

I believe it is always nice to do something a bit out of the ordinary and I would hope we might see between 20 and 30 members present on Wednesday, all enthusiastic about ‘having a go’  under Andrew’s expert guidance.

Antony Hamilton

President of the Society

23rd March 2011

Last Wednesday, the evening was devoted to something of a ‘first’ for the Society when it took part in a three way competition with two photographic clubs from the Lancashire and Cheshire region of the adjacent island.  Such opportunities to compare standards in photography with other clubs are rarely declined but this is thought to be the first time the Society has done so with two off Island clubs at the same time. 

The two other clubs were the Rochdale & District Camera Club and the Oldham Photographic Society and each of the three clubs was allowed to submit 25 digital images for critical appraisal by an independent, experienced judge from the UK panel.  That judge turned out to be one Geoff Robinson, who has been a professional photographer for more than 20 years and who has had work published in every National Newspaper in the UK and numerous magazines. So, clearly, here was a man with suitable credentials to assess the work of the three clubs, in whose judgement we could all feel confident.  So, the outcome was eagerly anticipated by all concerned.

The judging had taken place in Oldham and was filmed ‘live’ on compact disc.  The evening had been presented by the Oldham Chairman, Mike Lawrence, with typical Lancashire humour.  He had organised the competition, contacted the judge and introduced him.  Geoff Robinson turned out to be a straight talking, fair-minded man who began by praising the high quality of the images from all three clubs and then gave helpful, clear, no-nonsense comments on each of the 75 entries in turn. He gave some useful tips along the way about the essential elements of a good landscape and how ‘toning down’ distracting highlights might have improved some of the entries.  His advice was down to earth, sound and well received by members, no doubt in all three clubs.

Geoff Robinson proved to be a judge who clearly knew his mind and who was able to explain why he had rated some images better than others.  He concluded his interesting commentary by awarding each image a mark out of 20, so ranking them in order.  Then, at the end, the moment for which we had anxiously awaited – the overall result.  The final totals for the clubs were

Oldhamand District Camera Club – 439 points

Isle of Man Photographic Society – 428 points

Rochdale District Camera Club – 390 points

So, even though we had not won, we certainly had not been disgraced.  Then, Geoff Robinson delighted the ‘home crowd’ by announcing that, out of five images that he had awarded the maximum of 20 marks, he had selected an entry by Claire Stringer of the Isle of Man Photographic Society for the prize for the best overall image in the competition, an award that was extremely well received, not least by Claire, and richly deserved.

The highlight of the year for most members of the Society is our Annual Photographic Competitions which will be held on Thursday, 24th and Friday, 25th March at ‘Thie Ellyn’, off Withington Road in Douglas, starting each night at 7.45 pm.  The Thursday evening will be devoted to colour and monochrome prints and the  Friday evening to slides and projected digital images.  So, if like the writer of this article, you normally receive your Courier on a Wednesday evening, this might serve to remind you of these important events and assure you that guests are always welcomed by the Society, though there is a small charge for admission to cover costs.  The visiting UK judge this year will be Tillman Kleinhans ARPS, EFIAP (International ‘Excellence’; award from the Federation of Photographic Art), DPAGB.  He will also be showing a two part presentation (one each night) on “the Do’s and Don’ts of Digital Photography”. 

On Wednesday, 30th March, again at 7.45 pm, members of the Society are looking forward to spending ‘An Evening with Andrew Barton’ who has very kindly agreed to take time out of his hectic schedule as a successful professional photographer to share some techniques with us.  It promises to be instructional and educational so don’t miss it!

Antony Hamilton

Society President

22nd March 2011 - Oldham and District Camera Club vs Isle of Man Photographic Society vs Rochdale District Camera Club


Please see the attached PDF for the individaul image scores from the recent three way battle, and lock forward to the article in a few days time.

Oldham and District Camera Club vs Isle of Man Photographic Society vs Rochdale District Camera Club Scores [ PDF ]

16th March 2011

Living on this beautiful Island of ours, it is all too easy to take what we have for granted and (yes, we all do it) to moan and grumble when something is not entirely to our liking.  Yet, we have a great deal for which we should be thankful and never has this been brought into sharper focus, to use a photographic analogy, than when we witness on our television screens deprivation and disasters in other parts of the world.  The devastating effects of the recent earthquakes in New Zealand and Japan have surely made us appreciate our good fortune that little bit more!

So, it was a great privilege and pleasure to welcome John Riley to the Society as our guest speaker at the last meeting.  John is probably better known for his musical skills – he is a highly accomplished organist and leads the talented singing group, Musicale – and, prior to his retirement, for being the former Head Teacher at St Thomas’ School in Douglas.  However, word is spreading fast that his other great passion in life is in helping the people who live in the small village of Tang Ting, perched high on a mountainside in Nepal, one of the poorest and least developed countries in the world.  This was to be the subject of his fascinating and enlightening digital presentation to us. 

The village of Tang Ting, with a population of about 2000, is over three thousand feet above sea level and is approximately 200 km west of the capital city Kathmandu. It is a full day’s trek north-east from Pokhara, the second largest city in Nepal, over rickety bridges spanning fast flowing rivers and up steep gradients on ill formed tracks to the village.  The pictures revealed that this region is any photographer’s delight, or would be were it not for the physical effort of the journey.  So a visit is not for the faint-hearted and you would have to be pretty fit to capture the views!  The villagers are very pro British and most of them belong to the Gurung tribe.  Indeed, many Gurung men originating from this village have served in the British Army, Ghurkha Regiment. John’s beautiful photographs showed the very stunning setting of the village amidst magnificent natural scenery, surrounded by tall peaks, but also, with great clarity, the impoverished way of local life and living conditions.  Sadly, poverty and lack of opportunity for the people of the village are major causes of concern and many migrate from the village to make a new life nearer to the bigger centres of population. The main source of income in the village derives from farming on narrow terraces and he showed us images of the crops (barley, maize, wheat, rice, and potatoes), and the cows (these are sacred in this Hindu country), buffaloes, sheep and goats.  The diet of the people has little variation and life is hard for them.

Since setting up the charity called ‘Namaste Children’s House Isle of Man’ in March, 2005, with the object of raising funds to build an orphanage in Tang Ting, John and his committee have made great strides forward, with the generous help of Island residents and businesses.  The main aims of the charity are to help support the provision of care; education; healthcare; improved nutrition; a sense of family, community and cultural identity; and vocational training.  Today, most of the children are sponsored by people on the Isle of Man and in the UK.

The Namaste Children’s House orphanage was opened in June, 2003, and John told us of his involvement in it up to the present time.  However, he also made us aware that, because so many children in the region had lost their parents through floods, landslides, drugs, disease, alcohol and past violent conflicts, it was apparent from the outset to the charity that another orphanage was desperately needed.  So, for the present, a few other buildings near Pokhara are being rented to meet the needs of over 100 orphaned children from other regions of Nepal, aged from 15 months to 17 years.  However, the first major project successfully completed by the charity was to raise funds to build and open a two story school building a short walk from the village to provide a more conducive educational environment for the children than the previously used former cow sheds!

John visits the orphanage and the local school at least once each year and his hard-working committee is actively involved in fundraising for various projects, including the teachers’ salaries, school infrastructure, educational material and clothes for the children.  The committee is still raising funds to build a new orphanage and there is already a waiting list of children for it.  Referring to each of the children in his photographs by name, John was able to trace the progress of each one through their schooling until the older ones were awarded their School Leaving Certificates.   The children also loved their sporting activities.  Almost as an aside, he related that someone once commented that they had not before seen so many Manx tee shirts being worn outside of the Isle of Man!  Certainly, the sight of so many families proudly displaying the red flags bearing the three legs of Man was enough to bring a tear to the eye of any Manxman (or woman!)

The Patron of the charity (about which Readers will be able to obtain more information from the website is now

Joanna Lumley, OBE, and, in spite of her busy schedule, she managed to include a visit to Namaste Children’s House during a recent trip to Nepal.

Vice-President, John Phipp, gave the well-deserved vote of thanks, commenting on the high standard of John’s photography.  He also referred to the amazing support being given by John’s charity to help the friendly Nepalese people, strengthening their links with the Isle of Man in the process. This was a charity much deserving of financial support, the success of which could be seen in the lovely, happy, smiling faces of the children as they welcomed their Manx guests back each year, keen to see their friends return. 

The evening concluded with a presentation of projected digital images of the highest quality from one of the Lancashire and Cheshire Photographic Union’s annual portfolios, selected from the best images entered by clubs across the region.  This included one image from the Isle of Man, the photographer being the Society’s Sue Jones.  

There will not be a meeting of the Society on Wednesday, 23rd March because our Annual Photographic Competitions will be held at ‘Thie Ellyn’, off Withington Road in Douglas, at 7.45 pm on Thursday, 24th (for prints) and Friday, 25th March, 2011, (for slides and projected digital images).  The visiting UK judge this year will be Tillman Kleinhans who will also be showing a two part presentation on “the Do’s and Don’ts of Digital Photography”.  Guests will be made most welcome.

Antony Hamilton

President of the Society

11th March 2011

The IOM Photographic Society meeting this week was a “ practical”, with two events laid on for participation by the members –either a “studio lighting” session kindly arranged by Tony Curtis, or a demonstration of image manipulation in “Photoshop” computer software by John Phipp.

Both proved excellent and generated considerable interest and enthusiasm.  Tony’s lighting was with a white background, for a “high key” effect – very much in vogue, and deservedly popular for family shots, and for “product” shots such as flower arrangements or for selling items on auction sites such as ebay.  It gives a pleasingly clean image, with the subject very much the centre of attention, and with nothing to distract in the background. 

Tony also demonstrated the effect of using coloured gels on the lighting, to provide a different colour for the background – an inexpensive alternative to buying another backdrop.  A number of members were persuaded both to sit as models and to try their hand with a camera.  The lighting was “classic”, with a main light and a fill, giving enough shadow to define facial features, but not so much as to obscure detail – and members were very pleased with their results.

John Phipp meantime was demonstrating some basic selection and manipulation techniques in Photoshop.  This included replacing the sky in images where the sky is perhaps too bland or “flat” with a more dramatic effect to produce a more pleasing final image. Who said the camera never lies? Whilst the effect is fairly easy to produce with a computer and modern software, it is perhaps only fair to emphasise that the technique was practised by darkroom workers from very early times, albeit it was a much more skilled and time-consuming operation to produce the effect with an enlarger and “wet” chemicals......

Next week’s meeting is a Three Way Digital Battle between the IOMPS and the Rochdale and Oldham clubs – in which each club has entered 25 images and then independently judged, with each marked out of 20 points – and the overall highest score winning.  It should be another excellent evening.    The meeting is at Thie Ellyn (The Art Society) on Wednesday, 16thMarch starting at 7:45pm – all are welcome to attend.

By Chris Blyth

2nd March 2011 - Courier Report

Open digital competition winners (Left to right) Shirley Lofty, Mark Stringer and Sue Jones with Judge Andrew Barton

Wednesday evening 23 February, Thie Ellyn off Withington Road, Douglas was the venue for the Isle of Man Photographic Society’s last Open Digital Competition of the 2010 – 2011 season.

Our Judge for the evening was Andrew Barton LMIPP LMPA from Ramsey. Andrew is a professional Photographer providing a personal bespoke general practice photography service. He is a good friend to the Club who has judged many competitions and run several Master Classes over the years, and agreed to judge this one at very short notice due to our planned Judge not being able to make it.

Our President, Anthony Hamilton, introduced Andrew who then took over and started by going through the Standard Group entries. The judging was very enthusiastic, praising the high standard and contributing useful comments on how he thought improvements could be made where necessary.


Standard Group

1st Dandelion Clock Fountain by Shirley Lofty - Very nice image of three “Dandelion” type water fountains set slightly off-centre in front of red steps.

2nd Suspended by Patricia Larkham - A good high-speed photograph of the Humming bird about to feed.

3rd Arragon Veg by Hazel Walsh - Well handled Black & White shot of a ramshackle building.

Intermediate Group

1st Tree Frog by Mark Stringer - Beautifully lit photo of a frog on a leaf with water droplets and eyes staring into the lens.

2nd Every Cloud Has by John Dale - Serene image of a sunset over Douglas Bay with the Tower of Refuge silhouetted in the foreground.

3rd No Future by Mark Stringer - Bold shot of a plain wall with graffiti “No Future” on one side and a “Hoodie” young man on the other.

Advanced Group

1st Explosion of Colour by Sue Jones – Excellent photograph of a firework display from Douglas beach near the Villa Marina taken across the bay from the Sea Terminal area. Explosions of colour gave the image real impact.

2nd Clara the Clown by Bob Servante - Described by Andrew as bizarre as it was a portrait image of a soft toy clown with real eyes and mouth transferred onto the image to increase realism.

3rd Waiting for the Tube by Ray Davies – A strong image of a passenger waiting for a train at Notting Hill Tube Station in London, loaded up with shopping.

Next week sees a photographic presentation of Nepal by John Riley and a Lancaster & Cheshire Photographic Union slide portfolio, starting at 19.45 - Visitors welcome.

By Bob Servante

IOMPS Reports During April 2011

27th April 2011

The IOM Photographic Society very much enjoyed a recent travelogue presentation on Thailand by its Vice-President, John Phipp.  John is a frequent visitor to the country, and has been fortunate enough to visit many places off the typical tourist itinerary.  It is a beautiful country, blessed with excellent light – which adds a real “sparkle” to any photography – and John‘s presentation took us on a wide-ranging tour of some of  the obvious as well as less-obvious sights of the country, and all providing a wealth of opportunity for the keen photographer.

Thai culture is deeply religious, and the highly decorated temples with golden Buddha’s, rich carvings and ornate images reflect this.  But it is also a very vibrant, busy and colourful place, as could be seen in the fresh produce markets. These include the “floating markets” on the klongs  (the canals and waterways which run through Bangkok)where tourists vie with locals for fresh fruit, drinks and even cooked meals from the many flat-bottomed boats offering their wares.  John also showed us the less well-known “Maeklong Railway Market”, which operates from a very narrow lane through which local trains run – the shopkeepers proving very adept at clearing the line whenever a train is due (awnings and displays all moved just enough to miss by an inch or two !) – and re-opening within seconds of the train passing.

The wonderful “Bay of Islands” and nearby beaches, familiar to any James Bond fan, were a feature, and compared very favourably with Bangkok, where the “tuk-tuk” scooter taxis of with their consequent air pollution, and the overhanging street electricity cables appeared to provide some significant health and safety hazards – but all treated with apparent nonchalance by local citizens. Images of the Karen tribe, where some (though not all) women wear brass rings round their necks – and as a result, have elongated necks (allegedly to protect against tiger bites but perhaps as a sign of beauty)- provided an insight into another, very different culture.

John also included images of his own wedding ceremony, complete with colourful regalia and wedding clothes - much admired by Antony Hamilton in his vote of thanks for an excellent presentation of superb photos and entertaining commentary.

The evening concluded with a showing of a Lancashire and Cheshire Photographic Union portfolio of prints – always enjoyable, as the images are excellent and well presented, and provide real inspiration for our own photography.

As a finale to the programme, and as a major event of the island’s photographic year, the IOM Photographic Society is delighted to announce its sponsoring of a public showing of the “2011 Bebington Salon”, to be presented by Bob Dennis CPAGB, APAGB, BPE3*and Gordon Reid.   The Salon is highly regarded as one of the top shows in the UK.  The exhibition will be presented as a digitally projected slide show, comprising some 400+ images in total – competitively selected from an entry of more than 3,000 images. 

The exhibition is particularly noteworthy for its natural history section, with some wonderful images of wild life, but will also include images of a more general interest with portraits, still life and landscape.  The photography will be of outstanding quality, and the images will intrigue, interest, stimulate and provoke. Anyone interested in photography, the arts, or nature will enjoy a fascinating evening.

The “Bebington Salon of Photography” will be shown at Thie Ellyn, (the Arts Society building)in Withington Road, Douglas on Wednesday, 4thMay, starting at 7:45pm.  Entry fee of £2 for non-members, payable at the door. There will be a brief tea break at halftime, and the exhibition should conclude at approx 10.00pm.  All will be very welcome to attend.

By Chris Blyth

26th April 2011 - Notice to Members Re Castletown Regeneration – Photography Locations Project

Dear Member

As I announced recently, the Society has been invited by the Castletown Regeneration Committee of the Council of Ministers to assist them in identifying the best photographic opportunities for visitors to Castletown.  The Committee has undertaken consultation with the community and others in order to develop a regeneration concept (which has now been endorsed) and specific regeneration proposals.  The resulting regeneration concept is to enhance, rediscover, link and communicate Castletown together with specific physical regeneration proposals. 

One favoured suggestion arising out of the consultation and which the Committee wishes to take forward, was based on the premise that Castletown was a favourite town in which to take photographs and “ideal” locations could be identified which both showed off key features in the town and were safe positions for taking such photographs.  The idea is that these “ideal” vantage points and locations could be physically identified and made known in various ways, such as by being marked on visitor maps published in printed leaflets and posted on the websites of the local Commissioners and Central Government. 

The Society is pleased to have been recognised as a suitable organisation to provide advice of this kind and, accordingly, we are asking our members for their input.  So, any members interested in participating in the project are asked to visit Castletown and produce about 10 to 12 images that meet the above criteria.  These should then be submitted as digital images to the Secretary together with a plan indicating the position and direction from which each image has been taken. 

The deadline for submitting the images is the 28th July, 2011, after which the Committee will assess which 10 or 12 locations come out ‘on top’ as being the most favoured by the membership.  We shall then make a submission to the Regeneration Committee and ask for the part played by the Society to be acknowledged in and published material.

Antony Hamilton,

Society President

26th April 2011 - Notice to members re Annual Dinner and Prize-giving on 6th May

Dear Member

This year’s Dinner and Awards Evening is to be held at 7.30 pm on Friday, 6th May, at the ‘new’ Douglas Golf Pavilion, Pulrose, Douglas, where there is plenty of parking and a lift for those who might prefer not to use the stairs.  Naturally, it is very much hoped there will be a good attendance as this is an important event in the Society’s programme and an opportunity not only to be presented with and to receive cups, trophies, shields and other awards but also to congratulate others on their successes throughout the past year and in the Annual Competitions.

There will be a hot and cold buffet and the Pavilion is gaining a good reputation for its cuisine.  Normally, a meal would cost over £20.00 but the Head Chef has agreed to a specially reduced price for the Society of £16.00 to encourage attendance, provided we agree to let the staff collect up the coffee cups before the presentations begin.  To keep our costs down, we are not going to the expense of printing tickets.  Our Guest of Honour this year will be Bob Dennis (who will be presenting the Bebington Salon images to us two evenings earlier at Thie Ellyn, on the 4th May).

When giving in your names, please indicate whether you would prefer a vegetarian meal as this will aid the catering staff.  There will not be a vegetarian option unless it has been requested at the time of paying. 

As we do not want to be collecting money on the night, the Committee is asking if everyone could please pay their £16.00 to either our Treasurer, Nigel, or our Secretary, Chris, in advance, preferably by no later that Wednesday, 4th May, as I am required to confirm the numbers (and the number of vegetarian meals required) to the Head Chef on the Thursday morning. 

Antony Hamilton,

Society President

20th April 2011 - Bank Bonus for Diane

The Isle of Man Photographic Society has just held its last Competition of the 2010 – 2011 season. This was a Manx landscape competition for the Isle of Man Bank Cup. The competition is different from all the others during the season as no distinction between the usual classes of Standard, Intermediate or Advanced is used to determine winners. Two classes, one mono prints the other colour prints are judged independently and winners chosen, then the two winners battle for the Cup.

The job of judging the Competition was given to two members of the Western Photographic Society at Peel, Tricia Craig and Rosie Wood. Their approach when presenting the results was rather novel as a detailed description and history of each location was given before comments and recommendations were offered.   The results are as follows:-


1st- Distant Views by Dave Welsh – A very nice landscape taken on St Michael’s Isle featuring the Chapel in the foreground with Derbyhaven in the background. The rugged stonework of the chapel was the ideal subject for monochrome as it gave the image good texture.


Commended –Point of Ayre by John Phipp – A popular location but taken from an unusual viewpointout at sea. The whole photograph except for the lighthouse was rendered in pastel shades. This gave the print a watercolour effect.

Highly Commended – Glen Dhoo by Sue Jones – Beautifully captured scene featuring the river and derelict cottage. The photo was sharp from front to back and displayed bags of fine texture and detail in the cottage, tree bark and grass.

1st Cottage at Sulby Reservoir by Diane McCudden – An excellent image of a cottage at Sulby Reservoir featuring dry-stone walling in the foreground. The print had been carefully treated to bring out the whole range of delicate shades in the stonework and greenery.

The prize of the Isle of Man Bank Cup for the overall winner from both sections was awarded to Diane McCudden.

Next week the Society is holding an evening with Christine Widdall DPAGB EFIAP, President of the Lancashire and Cheshire Photographic Union to which the IOMPS is affiliated.

By Bob Servante

14th April 2011 - Bebington Digital Photo Exhibition

The Isle Of Man Photography Society is hosting The Bebington Salon Again This Year, This is a digital photo exhibition of nationally accepted photo's from the UK. It's being shown on Wednesday 4th May. If you are into photography or just like seeing great images come along. Everyone welcome.

13th April 2011 - Isle of Man Photographic Society

At the end of last month, the members of the Society enjoyed an evening with a difference.  The printed programme indicated that we were scheduled to spend ‘An evening with Andrew Barton’, the well know professional photographer, based in Ramsey.  He had planned to demonstrate various photographic techniques in a practical session at Thie Ellyn, where we meet each Wednesday evening.  However, at fairly short notice, Andrew had come up with a novel idea.  The President of the Society considered it to be worthy of full support as it presented an opportunity for members to try something new photographically in an unfamiliar environment. 

In collaboration with Ralph Peake of Luminaires, Andrew Barton had arranged to give members a practical evening in the brand new, ultra modern Luminaires showroom in James Place (Victoria Road), Douglas.  Ralph Peake had very kindly offered to make available the whole of his recently completed premises, comprising on the ground floor an entranceway, a rear room and an area behind the display window fronting onto Victoria Road, all of which lent themselves to still life and studio settings.  Then, a metal staircase led up to two first floor rooms, one being an office.  As might be expected from the premises of a lighting specialist, who offers his clients a unique blend of creativity and in depth technical expertise in delivering a wide range of lighting solutions, all of the open spaces were clean and bright and there were interesting designs of the latest lighting ideas to use as novel subject material. The showrooms certainly demonstrated how modern lighting can change our surroundings and the way we feel about where we live and work, bringing that all important ‘wow’ factor to our environment.

Andrew Barton had been busy before we all arrived, setting up ‘green screen’ in one room and applying his experience to place features in strategic positions throughout to entice amateur photographers to ‘have a go’.  Tripods and other equipment were on hand as he suggested various angles and lighting situations to us.  As always, he was on hand to offer helpful advice and the unusual shapes on display proved to be attractive subject material.

Few of us relish change and this makes trying something a bit different from the normal routine a bit risky.  In spite of this, there was a really encouraging turnout of over 20 members to the showrooms and the feedback since has been nothing but positive.  So, it is great to be able to mark the evening down as a success.

In bringing the evening to a close, Antony Hamilton thanked Ralph Peake for kindly offering the use of his premises and for generously providing refreshments.  He also thanked Andrew Barton for taking time out of his hectic schedule to share some techniques with usand for his patient, expert guidance to members.  Thanks were also acknowledged to the management of Winerite in Victoria Road for allowing members to park their vehicles on its car park that evening.

Next Wednesday, 20th April, at 7.45 pm the Society will be holding its Annual general Meeting at ‘thie Ellyn’, off Withington Road, Douglas, when reports on the past year’s activities and successes will be presented and elections will take place for the year ahead.  The following week will be very busy and readers can find out more about it and the Society, by entering www.iomps.comin the browser of their choice.  Suffice it to say that the highlight of that week will be the visit to ‘Thie Ellyn’ of Christine Widdall, DPAGB, EFIAP, the current President of the Lancashire and Cheshire Photographic Union on Wednesday, 27th April.  Guests will be very welcome to attend on payment of a nominal entrance charge.

Antony Hamilton

Society President

6th April 2011 - Isle of Man Photographic Society

The IOMPS certainly got full value from the visit of Tillman Kleinhans,  ARPS, DPAGB, EFIAP, the judge for the Annual Competition, and the highlight event of the year for the society. Having judged the prints the previous evening, Tillman was then tasked with judging the digital projected images and slides for the society, which was done with considerable enthusiasm and aplomb.  He is clearly someone who enjoys photography, and is happy to look at and comment on images over a very wide range of subjects, and to share his joy of the medium.

In the Standard Group, Hazel Walsh won the Open with an image of a door, with peeling paint and exposed wood grain evoking decay and dereliction.  Robert Blyth-Skyrme’s close-up of an arctic tern warning off intruders was a deserving winner in the Natural History class, the feather detail, catchlight in the eye, and clean background being especially noteworthy. A graveyard shot with “zooming” effect  and artfully called “Departing Souls”  won Anita Imberger the Creative class, whilst Shirley Lotfy’s lovely image of a stained glass window came top in the Record class.

The Intermediate Open was won by Claire Stringer with a gorgeous close-up image of a field mouse,  with lots of detail and loaded with impact. The Natural History prize went to Natasha Wilson with another close-up, this time of anemone fish, showing lots of colour for maximum effect. Jenny Shanley’s “exploding” image of a spiny seed head won her the Creative class, the effect being enhanced with lovely harmonious colours.  Jenny also won the Record section, with a stained glass window image taken in Onchan Parish Church.

The Advanced Open went to Sue Jones with a rusting gate hinge image (a subject enthusiastically shared by the judge!), whilst a pin cushion protea close-up won the Natural History section for Chris Blyth.  A well composed and well thought out image of a drug-takers syringe gave Bob Servante the winning entry in Creative, whilst Sue Jones took the honours in the Record section with a stained glass window image from St George’s Church in Douglas.

Tillman finished the evening by showing us various audio-visual presentations he has done over recent years.  These are slide-shows or digital image sequences, usually on a common theme or with a story to tell, and usually (though not always) accompanied by carefully selected music to add atmosphere and interest to the images being shown. It proved an enthralling end to a most enjoyable two evenings.  Ian Lumsden gave the well deserved vote of thanks.

Our thanks also go to the Arts Council for their generous support of this event. 

Results of Digital Annual Competition    

Standard Group: Open (Henry Roy Welsh Memorial Cup): Hazel Walsh (1,HC, 3xC), Shirley Lotfy (2 & C), Patricia Larkham (3, 2xVHC, & C), Robert Blyth-Skyrme (HC), Anita Imberger (C), Norma Cowell (C).    Natural History (York Trophy) : Robert Blyth-Skyrme (1, 2 & 3), Patricia Larkham (HC), Anita Imberger (C).  Creative (Salisbury Cup): Anita Imberger (1 & 2), Hazel Walsh (3).  Record (Atlantean Trophy): Shirley Lotfy (1), Sam Bucknall (2), Isabel Cartmel (3 & HC).

Intermediate Group: Open (Brockenhurst Cup): Claire Stringer (1, 3. HC & C), Keith Molloy (2 & HC), Janet Servante (VHC & C), Diane McCudden (VHC & C), Phyllis Christian (C), Natasha Wilson (C), Mark Stringer C).  Natural History (Jensen Trophy): Natasha Wilson (1), Janet Servante (2, 3 & C), Diane McCudden (VHC & HC), Keith Molloy (HC), Claire Stringer (C). Creative (Sheiling Cup): Jenny Shanley (1 & 2), Mark Stringer (3).  Record (Summerhill Cup): Jenny Shanley (1), Janet Servante (2), Claire Stringer (3).

Advanced Group: Open (Andrew Barton Cup): Sue Jones (1, VHC, & HC), John Phipp (2), Ray Davies (3, 2xC), Bob Servante (VHC), Jessie Russell (HC & C), Chris Blyth (HC), Antony Hamilton (C).  Natural History (Kelly Cup): Chris Blyth (1, VHC & C), Jessie Russell (2 & 3), Bob Servante (C).   Creative (Malew Cup): Bob Servante (1 & VHC), Sue Jones (2 & C), Ray Davies (3 & VHC), Dave Welsh (C). Record (Dreeym Beary Trophy): Sue Jones (1 & 2), John Phipp (3), Ray Davies (HC), Jessie Russell (C), Antony Hamilton (C).

Best Junior Digital Image (Plaque) – Sam Bucknall, Best Digital Image in Competition (Mistral Trophy) – Bob Servante

Results of Annual Slides Competition: Open (Glendown Trophy): Sue Jones (1, 3 & C), Jessie Russell (2 & C).  Natural History (Greenwood Trophy): Sue Jones (1 & 2).  Creative (Barrule Cup): Sue Jones (1 & 2).  Record (Coulson Rose Bowl): Sue Jones (1, 2 & 3).

Best Slide in Competition (Russell Cup) – Sue Jones.  Best Natural History Image in Competition (Spiers Trophy) – Diane McCudden

By Chris Blyth

Supported by the Isle of Man Arts Council

5th April 2011 - AGM

Dear Member,

Following the club meeting on Wednesday with Andrew Barton, I can confirm the following :

1) Nominations for Committee were received as follows:

Position                Candidate               

President              Antony Hamilton    

Vice President      John Phipp

Secretary             Chris Blyth

Treasurer              Nigel Owen

Comps Secretary  Sue Jones

Member                Ian Lumsden

Member                Tony Curtis

Member                Mark Stringer

Member                Claire Stringer

Member                Peter Cartmel

In effect, there are 5 members standing for the 5 "officers" posts, and 5 standing for 6 committee member positions.  Accordingly, there will be no requirement for an election at the AGM, and the committee nominally has 1 committee member vacancy.....

2) Propositions have been received as follows :

"As the number of competition entries seems to be on the increase, and that often meetings do not finish until quite late on, I would like to propose that the time of the weekly meetings be brought forward.  Many members still work and on many occasions, people leave at the tea break so that they are not too late.

I propose that the time of the weekly meetings be brought forward by half an hour so that they start at 7:15pm"

Proposed        Alistair McClelland   Seconded        Tony Curtis

"  The Treasurer will propose to increase the part membership fee for those joining after Christmas from the present £10 to £15.

He will be recommending to the AGM that the present full fee remains at £25 as has been for some years now"

Proposed        Nigel Owen        Seconded        Chris Blyth

Very best wishes

Chris Blyth

3rd April 2011 - Message from Antony ref the arrangements over the next few weeks...

Dear members,

As there have been a few changes to the printed programme for the end of April and the beginning of May, I thought it advisable to set out for you all of the revisions.

The final week of April will be a busy week because the Isle of Man is to be visited by the President of the Lancashire and Cheshire Photographic Union, Christine Widdall, DPAGB, AFIAP, who you may remember judged the IOMPS annual competitions in 2010.  Any visit by the President has to be a special occasion, especially as we seek as a Society to maintain and build upon our established links with the L&CPU and the PAGB.  Such visits give us a rare opportunity to learn from highly experienced and knowledgeable photographers from the adjacent isle and thus keep pace with the latest thinking and developments.

Christine is to be a guest of the IOMPS at Thie Ellyn on the evening of Wednesday, 27th April, (start time 7.45 pm), when she and her husband will give members (and their guests) a joint, digitally projected presentation entitled "The Science and Art of Panorama Photography".  I understand her husband will deal with the "science" in the first half and she will then show illustrative images in the second half.  Naturally, the Committee hopes for a high level of support for this event from the membership, please, and members of the Western and Southern Clubs have also been invited to attend as guests.

Then, on the Thursday evening, 28th April, Christine will be judging the Annual Open & Photographer of the Year Competitions for the Western Photographic Society, also at the Glen Helen Inn.  ..  (As far as I know, the start time is 8.00 pm.)  All members of the IOMPS have been invited to attend as guests, if they wish to do so.

On the evening of Friday, 29th April, there is to be a different presentation, also to be given by Christine at the Glen Helen Inn, in the form of a Public Lecture entitled “Playing by the Rules”.  The lecture is actually free and will start at 8.00 pm but those waiting to enjoy the buffet will need to produce a ticket, priced at £8.00 per head.  The buffet will be served promptly at 7.30 pm so everyone is advised to arrive in good time, please.  The tickets must be purchased in advance from our Hon Treasurer, Nigel Owen (or from Doreen Kelly on 413424).  Though this event has been arranged by the Western Photographic Society, the IOMPS and the Southern Club were both consulted over a year ago about this proposal and we all agreed (I am told) that it should be a joint event which all three clubs would encourage their members to support.

The following week, we have another eminent guest as we shall welcome the return of Bob Dennis APAGB, EFIAB, who will be showing the latest Bebington Salon of excellent digital images set to music.  This year, the presentation will be held at Thie Ellyn at 7.45 pm on Wednesday, 4th May.  Members of the Western and Southern have been invited to join us for this but, as this event is ‘an extra’ to our normal programme, there will be a small entry charge for all those attending to cover our expenses.

On the evening of Friday, 6th May, at 7.30 pm, we will now be holding our Society’s Annual Dinner and Prize Giving when trophies, shields and other awards will be presented for the monthly and annual photographic competitions.  This will be at the new Douglas Golf Club Pavilion at Pulrose where there is ample parking and a lift to the first floor function room (for those who might find that easier than using the stairs).  A hot and cold buffet meal is being arranged (with a vegetarian option) at the start of the evening.  The Pavilion has a good reputation for food and the 2 courses plus coffee will cost £16.00 (excluding any gratuity which is entirely at members’ discretion). 

Finally, Bob Dennis, who chairs the judging panel of the L&CPU, has agreed to remain on the Island an extra day so that he can offer some training and instruction for those amateur photographers who would like to gain a better understanding of judging techniques and current trends.  This event will be held in a relaxed and friendly atmosphere at Thie Ellyn on Saturday, 7th May, and will be split into two parts, the first in the morning and the second in the afternoon.  Lunch will not be provided, but there will be tea and coffee making facilities so those attending might wish to bring a sandwich (or similar) to tide them over!  There will be a small charge per head to cover costs (which will be announced a little nearer the time, as will the precise timings which have yet to be finalised). 

I am pleased there has been a good amount of interest shown in this final event from the 3 Island clubs but, if you haven’t already given your name to our Secretary, Chris Blyth, I should be grateful if you would kindly do so now as soon as possible. The aim of this extra event is to encourage more people to feel equipped to ‘have a go’ at judging in order to gain personal experience and to improve their self confidence in a supportive, learning environment. 

Your Committee very much hopes members of the IOMPS will support as many of the foregoing events as they can,

Antony Hamilton,

Society President.

IOMPS Reports During May 2011


Dear Members,

The Lancashire and Cheshire Photographic Union has recently completed the mammoth task of judging well over 2000 prints and projected images submitted into its 2011 Photographic Competitions by over 70 clubs and societies across the north west of England.  The results have now been posted on the L&CPU website but I am pleased to say that the IOMPS has done very well again, being placed 11th overall from all among the clubs in the L&CPU.  We were ranked 10th for our projected images and in 16th place for the prints we entered.

Individual honours have gone this year to Ray Davies who distinguished himself with 3rd place for his image titled ‘Waiting for the Tube’, and to Robert Blyth-Skyrme who has been awarded a Certificate of Merit for his image titled ‘Snapper Shoal’, which has also been retained for the Photographic Alliance of Great Britain.    Moreover, no fewer than 5 images have been retained this year for the L&CPU Folios which will be circulating over the Autumn, Winter and Spring months.  These are ‘White Orchid’ by Ray Davies; Glastonbury Afternoon’ by Sue Jones; ‘Loch Coruisk’ by Peter Cartmel; ‘Dow Boat Z10’ by Diane McCudden; and ‘Open Wide’’ by Natasha Wilson.

Congratulations to everyone who had examples of their work in our own Annual Competition submitted by the Committee to secure 11th place in the region but particularly to all of those I have named for their well-deserved awards.

Antony Hamilton,

Society President

18th May 2011

The IOM Photographic Society held its Annual Dinner and Prize Presentation at the Douglas Golf Pavilion in Pulrose on Friday, 6th May with Bob Dennis APAGB, CPAGB, BPE 3*, and Gordon Reid as its guests of honour.  Head Chef, Kevin, had devised a delicious meal which was enjoyed by at this splendid venue.  Bob Dennis then kindly presented the cups, trophies, shields and certificates to members of the Society who had been successful in various competitions throughout the past year and in the Annual Photographic Competitions.

Drawing the programme to a close, the President restated the assignment topics for the 2011/12 programme, starting in late September, as being Household Objects; Song, Book or Film Title; People at Play; and, for the IOM Bank Cup, Manx Churches. Full details of the 2011/12 programme will be published on the website shortly.

The weekend ended with something we don’t think has been done before on the Island.  The Society had arranged a Judging Seminar to coincide with the visit of Bob Dennis and which was led by him at Thie Ellyn last Saturday in his capacity as the Judges’ and Lecturers’ Secretary within the Lancashire and Cheshire Photographic Union.  This was in response to feedback the Committee had received which suggested that local amateur photographers wished to learn more about the art of judging and 15 of them attended, including individuals from all three of the island photo clubs – a most encouraging response to the initiative. Historically the various photo clubs on the island have sometimes had difficulties obtaining independent judges for their local competitions – and hence the idea of providing a training course so that the protocols of judging, and the standards expected of a judge, could be set, and a potential pool of persons willing to carry out the role could be established.

Readers are advised to monitor the Society’s website ( closely over the coming weeks and months for information about Summer outings and other items of photographic interest. 

To contact the Society, you can e-mail or telephone our Secretary, Chris Blyth, on 862082 for further information.

17th May 2011 - Jessie Russell

Dear Member

Following the very sad news last week concerning Jessie, I have now been advised of the arrangements being made for her funeral - details as below :


The funeral is to be at St Thomas’s Church in Douglas at 10.30 on Monday 23rd May (at the bottom of Crellins Hill, just below the Manx Museum, and close to Chester Street Car Park)

The funeral directors are Kingswood. Jessie’s request was for everyone to wear bright colours, no black. And donations in lieu of flowers, to Kingswood. The family are not decided yet to which organisation they will be given, possibly the Lupus foundation, or a breast cancer charity.

12th May 2011 - Jessie Russell

Dear Member,

It is with great sadness that I have to advise you of the sudden death overnight of Jessie Russell - she was a Life Member, and a regular attendee and stalwart supporter of the club over many years.  It has happened so suddenly that I hardly know how to express my shock - it was only last week that we celebrated the end of our season with the Annual Dinner, with Jessie, as always, in attendance and in good form, with a ready smile and repartee.

We await further information as to the arrangements to be made, but I am sure members will join with me in expressing their sympathy and condolences to her family for their (and our) loss.

Chris Blyth - Secretary

11th May 2011 - Isle of Man Photographic Society

Bob Dennis with one of his images from the Bebington Salon

It seems hard to believe that the Autumn, Winter and Spring programme of the Society has finally come to an end.  How the time flies when you are enjoying yourself, being indulged in such a fulfilling pastime as photography!  It has been a very full and varied programme, which is probably why we have failed to notice the days passing.

Our final fortnight was pretty hectic.  The first of these weeks was very busy with the return visit of the President of the Lancashire and Cheshire Photographic Union (L&CPU), Christine Widdall DPAGB, EFIAP, as our guest.  We had hardly had a chance to catch our breath after her departure before our second VIP guest arrived in the person of Bob Dennis APAGB, CPAGB BPE3*.  He has been helping several local photographers to gain their Photographic Alliance of Great Britain qualifications over the past year and we are very grateful to him for generously giving his time and experience in this way.  Indeed, two members of the Society were presented with their Certificate awards by Bob Dennis during his visit, namely Dianne McCudden and Sue Jones.

The principal reason for Bob Dennis, a former President of the L&CPU, coming back to the Island with fellow photographer, Gordon Reid, however, was to present the latest Bebington Salon of digitally projected images at Thie Ellyn, an event to which members of the Western and Southern photographic clubs had also been invited.  Under the umbrella framework of the British Photographic Exhibitions, the Bebington Salon was first introduced in 2003 and has produced an annual selection of images each year since.  This latest presentation comprised over 400 images of the highest quality, chosen from more than 3,200 submissions by two panels of highly respected UK judges, divided into four categories – Colour; Monochrome; Landscape; and Nature.  There was also a short humorous section to entertain the many who had attended the evening event.

We knew we were in for a real treat, this being the third time the Salon has been shown on the Island, but many of the images were quite breath-taking.  Those in the Nature category were particularly stunning, leaving many of us to wonder just how much time and patience had been devoted to capturing them.  Well chosen background music and an amusing commentary all added to our enjoyment.  One Island photographer, a member of our Society and of the Western club, Ruth Nichols, had received a commendation for an image of hers included in the presentation and she was presented with her Certificate by Bob Dennis.

The evening concluded with a vote of thanks given by the Society’s President who was delighted to announce that His Excellency the Lieutenant Governor, Mr Adam Wood, had kindly consented to become the Society’s Patron.  We shall all look forward to welcoming him to Thie Ellyn from time to time as and when his diary commitments permit.

Antony Hamilton,

Society President

4th May 2011 - An interview with L&CPU President Christine Widdall

Christine And Husband John Widdall

An interview with L&CPU President Christine Widdall

By Ray Davies

The Isle of Man Photographic Society was delighted to welcome Christine Widdall AFIAP, DPAGB, BPE3* and President of the Lancashire and Cheshire Photographic Union at the Club on Wednesday evening. Christine and her husband John were invited to the Island to come to the 3 individual photographic clubs as part of their visit and agreed to give members a series of short presentations on panoramic photography and to judge local club competitions. Just before the meeting with the Isle of Man Photographic Society began, Christine graciously agreed to speak to club member Ray Davies about her love of photography.

Christine’s interest in photography began at an early age, “At the end of the second World War, my father worked in Germany for the military Government” she explained, “before returning to England managed to barter a number of cigarettes for a Leica camera”. She smiled fondly at the memory, “I was about 5 at the time and as soon as I got my hands on it, I started taking pictures. My father must have noticed something quite soon because he quickly took away the Leica and provided me with my own Box Brownie to practise with, and he started to teach me the trade. I had to work very hard on my pictures but he taught me how to process images in our darkroom (in the cellar of our house) and to understand the functions of the camera. I helped him by focussing the enlarger and rocking the chemicals at first before progressing onto producing contact prints, then proper prints. It was a wonderful time.”

Christine’s memories are so clear and vivid as she leans forward recalling more. “I love to learn” she says almost conspiratorially, “ From the earliest days in the dark room my father taught me about how it all works. I got very excited and took lots of pictures of ordinary things. I read a lot of books and I remember how he spoke about reciprocity and how by making the hole [aperture] bigger I had to have a faster shutter speed to reduce the amount of light going into the camera. He taught me many things.”

Despite learning as much as she could, she also believes that she has an ‘eye’ for the craft, and that it’s not all about the technical side, although she agrees it is hard to take a picture if you can‘t ‘see‘ it in your mind‘s eye before you capture the picture.

Reflecting on her own work, she insists, “I take pictures for my own pleasure, and whilst some are good enough to enter competitions, mostly I just want to capture a moment in time and make them as beautiful and as interesting as possible”.

Christine has some useful advice for beginner’s “When I was young I practised and practised, but most of what I learned was through reading books.”, she says, “My advice is to get out there and start taking pictures, if you like your shots and want to improve then start reading up on the subject. I was lucky, I have always enjoyed reading and learnt quite easily. If it‘s something that you enjoy then you may find it easier to learn about it. You can learn anything from books!”

Her husband John is an excellent photographer but he is more technically minded and she agrees that they are quite different.

The evening began by Christine introducing John and then taking a step back so he could start off with a highly focussed (excuse the pun) presentation on the technical side of taking panoramic photographs. His detailed presentation explained in easy to understand terms and SHOWED examples of the right type of equipment for the various types of panoramic photographs. He explained and gave examples to members of many different types of panoramic photography including glass plate, mechanical drive, rotating turret, swing cameras and photo stitching and joining.

Christine has a son and a daughter who are also poles apart when it comes to understanding and taking pictures. “My daughter is an architect and uses her photography in her work. She is like me, - and has a natural eye - and she doesn’t care how it works as long as it does! Where as my son is much more like John. He is very technical, understands everything to do with photography but he really has to work hard on his composition.”

Christine lives and breathes photography, and whilst having a lot of hands-on experience growing up, it was only after she joined her beloved Oldham Photographic Society that her interest was really peeked. “Oldham is one of the oldest clubs in the country” she explains with some pride, “I was going through a difficult time in my life when I joined Oldham, and the club really helped me. My love of photography has crossed decades, and through the Club I started to focus on taking better pictures, concentrating on filling the frame and also getting involved in local competitions, then UK exhibitions and then I started to get involved in actually running the club. After this I began working with the Federation taking on more responsibilities eventually becoming the General Secretary and ultimately took on the role of President which I am really enjoying”

After retiring from her job with the NHS Christine was able to dedicate more of her time to her hobby, the Club and the Federation, but if that wasn’t enough, she even started her own commercial photography business ‘Steel Orchid’ specialising on social and commercial photography.

“Photography is my life” she says determinedly, “My husband thankfully completely understands and supports me [she laughs] he would never expect me to pick up a duster or to fill the dishwasher when at home, he knows exactly where to find me, sat patiently in front of my computer.”

John’s presentation provided members with an excellent background in panoramic photography, and although he is able to produce excellent photographs, he has not shared Christine’s fondness for entering exhibitions. She has had a great deal of success and has a range of her images, which she invites readers to view on her own website:

With all of her responsibilities, it is surprising that Christine still manages to find time to take photographs. “I have to be quite clever” she smiles, “I try to arrange my meetings in places such a Whitby to maximise my chances to get out and take some pictures.” On recent trip to the quaint seaside town she managed to get out and about to produce a selection of ’Gothic’ style pictures. “I love the place and try to get back there as often as possible.”

Commercial work takes a lot of time and effort, and the work for the Club and Federation also take their toll, but Christine still manages to fit in some exhibition work even now. Her belief is that you don’t have to have a great understanding of all aspects of photography to be successful in exhibitions, “ I do believe that if you have a good eye you and are instinctive, you can do very well indeed. You don’t have to spend lots of time planning your shots to any great extent but I do find that I spend time looking for good locations so that I can go back there at another time to get the picture that I want.”

Christine has an open respect for manipulating photographs through software such as Photoshop. “There has been a lot of debate about pure photography and photoshopped images, I really don’t mind it, it’s a tool that can used as much or as little as you like. I don’t believe that there is a point where photography stops and image making starts. I think photography is like a continuum with little adjustments at one end and significant manipulation at the other, it’s fine!” she shrugs and smiles “I love using the tools!”.

Looking ahead, Christine is quite excited about the future of photography, “I am all for education” she says, “I was delighted when the L&CPU this year introduced a mentoring scheme for photographers. It’s not for absolute beginners, it’s really aimed at good club photographers who want to develop their skills and are interested in the PAGB awards. Mentors will help members to achieve the Credit, Distinction and even the Master awards, although only existing Masters can mentor at that level. If anyone is interested in joining the mentoring scheme then in the first instance apply through Bob Dennis who will help to put photographers together with appropriate mentors.”

After John’s presentation and a short break, Christine provided an excellent presentation on panoramic photography from the ’natural photographers’ perspective. She presented a wide range of excellent pictures consisting of wide angle, joined and stitched images giving an unusual but ultimately highly rewarding view of various landscapes, woodlands and reservoirs. Interestingly, her efforts did not stop there and she presented some unusual abstract pictures, vertical panoramas and even the interior of a friend’s garage workshop.

Christine concluded her presentation with a number of superb high-quality HDR (High Dynamic Range) panoramas. Having a wider range of tones, these images more closely represent what the human ’eye’ normally sees and provided some stunning pictures, none more so that her final delightful image of Saddleworth Moor. Taken close to her home at sunset, the image captured a low lying cloud bank caught in a natural bowl of hills, with the sun-setting over the hills in clear skies casting an orange/yellow glow over the serene scene; a fabulous picture from a superb photographer.    

IOMPS Reports During June 2011

15th June 2011 - Castletown Regeneration Project

Dear Members

A reminder that we have a project to assist with the regeneration of Castletown - by identifying the best places to photograph the town, and which can then be included on the tourist maps of the town.....

Antony has now obtained a fully detailed map of the town which can be used to identify those sites which we as enthusiasts believe provide the best locations for those memorable shots of this most historic of towns - the castle, harbour, the old House of Keys, the nautical museum etc - and the views from both Langness and Scarlett etc.

The project links in very neatly with  the disposable camera exercise which will be located in and around the town - with a timing requirement for end July.

Antony will keep a number of copies at his home for collection if anyone is willing and able to do so - alternatively, if those interested will confirm with an email confirmation to myself, I will arrange to post a copy of the map to you (but promptly please as I will be away on a trip by the end of the week !!)

Thanks and very best wishes to all

Chris - Secretary

12th June 2011 - Summer Outings

Dear All

Now that TT is over, and some of us can consider venturing out on our roads again....  Can I take the opportunity of reminding everyone of the various outings that have now been arranged for members...  and request your firm statement of intention to attend, if you have not already done so. We now need to firm up the arrangements, in particular for the Castletown disposable camera competition (buying the cameras etc), so if you are interested and wish to take part in any of the events below, please confirm soonest possible.  Your co-operation will be much appreciated.


This will be on the lines of a similar exercise to Peel two years ago :

Participating members will be supplied with a disposable camera (27 shot film) at a cost of  approx £8 - £10 (to cover the camera and processing of the film), and with which they will be expected (hoped!!) to provide a print panel of their best image from each of  6-8 specified "topics"  - possibly harbour, castle, shops etc  - taken during the afternoon....

The Peel exercise was an eye-opening experience - the disposable cameras surprisingly effective, and the exercise a real challenge (with the requirement of taking only 2-3 images on each subject rather than blasting away with a digital camera and card the major obstacle) 

The panel will then be judged on one of the first meetings of the new season starting from late September.

2) Evening Visit to the Gaiety Theatre, Harris Promenade, Douglas – 6th July.

This will take place from 7.15 pm on Wednesday, 6th July, when we shall all meet in the theatre foyer when the Theatre Manager (Brian Murray) has kindly agreed to permit access for photographic purposes.  He says we should allow at least two hours as there is so much to photograph in the theatre.

There will be no charge for this facility but the Manager hopes that some, at least, of our members might be willing to consider making a subsequent donation (which is entirely optional) towards the purchase of one or more tiles as the money being raised by this scheme all goes towards the continuing restoration, begun in 1979 following its purchase by Isle of Man Government 8 years earlier, of this beautiful example of Frank Matcham’s architectural design.

The numbers have to be limited to a maximum of 20 members - so please let me know (625388 or by e-mail) asap if you wish to be included on this trip.

3) Evening Visit to the Tynwald Chamber, Legislative Buildings, Douglas – 10th August

I have spoken to the President of Tynwald about this and the Clerk of Tynwald has now written to me today to confirm that consent has been given for this unique visit, which will take place at 7.30 pm on Wednesday, 10th August.  We are advised that members must not photograph anyone in Legislative Buildings without their agreement and that none of the images captured are to be used for political purposes.  There will be no charge for this visit but it is obviously very important when visiting the precincts of Tynwald to pay due regard to its historical significance and to be careful to ensure that it is treated with appropriate dignity and respect.

It would be helpful if those attending could meet at the entrance on Finch Road at 7.30 pm, please, for this visit.

Again, the numbers have been limited to a maximum of 20 members - so please let me know (625388 or by e-mail) asap if you wish to be included on this trip.


we have the opportunity of an escorted tour of the house and gardensat Milntown in Ramsey.  The estate dates from the early 16th century when it was owned by the Christian family (of Bounty fame, as well as William Christian - perhaps better known as Illiam Dhone), and stayed in the family until bankruptcy overtook them in the late 19th century, when the estate came into the ownership of an Insurance company. It was used as a school, and then later as an hotel. In 1947, it was bought by Charles Yates (of Yates Wine Lodge )

In the 1960's, the estate was bought by the Edwards family, whose son was well known in the automotive industry, and which has resulted in a collection of historic cars and motor cycles. It is now owned by the MilntownTrust.

Therewill be a charge of £6 per person for the visit, with a party size of 12 (minimum) and 20 (maximum).


Many thanks

Chris - Secretary

12th June 2011 - Bob Dennis Sponsorship

Dear All,

As many of you will be aware, Bob Dennis (our Annual Judge two years ago, Bebington Salon, judges seminar etc) has received successful treatment for cancer and was given an "all clear" late last year.  He recently undertook a 15 Miles "Round the Wirral" walk to celebrate his treatment, and has been seeking sponsorship with any donations going to Clatterbridge Cancer Research.

Anyone wishing to donate, Please contact me.

Thanks very much


3rd June 2011 - Summer Outings

Dear Members,

Your Committee is busy trying to arrange interesting photographic opportunities for our 2011 Society Summer outings and the next two (following our enjoyable trip to Garwick Glen a few weeks ago) are as follows:-

Evening Visit to the Gaiety Theatre, Harris Promenade, Douglas – Wednesday 6th July.

This will take place from 7.15 pm on Wednesday, 6th July, when we shall all meet in the theatre foyer when the Theatre Manager (Brian Murray) has kindly agreed to permit access for photographic purposes.  He says we should allow at least two hours as there is so much to photograph in the theatre.

There will be no charge for this facility but the Manager hopes that some, at least, of our members might be willing to consider making a subsequent donation (which is entirely optional) towards the purchase of one or more tiles as the money being raised by this scheme all goes towards the continuing restoration, begun in 1979 following its purchase by Isle of Man Government 8 years earlier, of this beautiful example of Frank Matcham’s architectural design.

The numbers have to be limited to a maximum of 20 members - so please let me know (625388 or by e-mail) asap if you wish to be included on this trip.

Evening Visit to the Tynwald Chamber, Legislative Buildings, Douglas – Wednesday 10th August

I have spoken to the President of Tynwald about this and the Clerk of Tynwald has now written to me today to confirm that consent has been given for this unique visit, which will take place at 7.30 pm on Wednesday, 12th August.  We are advised that members must not photograph anyone in Legislative Buildings without their agreement and that none of the images captured are to be used for political purposes.  There will be no charge for this visit but it is obviously very important when visiting the precincts of Tynwald to pay due regard to its historical significance and to be careful to ensure that it is treated with appropriate dignity and respect.

It would be helpful if those attending could meet at the entrance on Finch Road at 7.30 pm, please, for this visit.

Again, the numbers have been limited to a maximum of 20 members - so please let me know (625388 or by e-mail) asap if you wish to be included on this trip.

Best regards,

Antony Hamilton,

Society President

IOMPS Reports During July 2011



The aim of the competition is to produce a calendar to be sold in aid of the MANX CHILDREN IN NEED organisation.

The competition is to showcase the manipulation of digital photos into works of art using any of the many software packages available.

The competition is open to all

Please Note : Entries are due for the end of the month.

IOMPS Reports During August 2011

24th August 2011 - President's Letter


It seems like only yesterday that we drew last season’s activities to a close at the beginning of May but it is now only a little over a month until we resume our weekly gatherings again on Wednesday, 28th September, 2011, at the new start time of 7.30 pm!  I do hope that, in the interim, you have all managed to enjoy a restful break and made the most of whatever photographic opportunities have presented themselves so that you will return to Thie Ellyn brimming full of fresh ideas and enthusiasm.

As your President, I can report that the Committee has been working very hard over the Summer months to devise a varied and interesting Programme for 2011/12.  This will be posted on the website by the end of this month but, to assist your planning and preparation, I would like to give you advance notice that the assignment competitions have been set provisionally as follows:-

* 2nd November - People at play (Prints and PDI)

* 7th December – Household Objects (Prints and PDI)

* 1st February – Song, Book or film Title (Prints and PDI)

* 21st March – Manx Churches Print Competition (for the IOM Bank Cup)

(Please see later the decision about the new format for our Small Prints Competition).

Continuing the Theme

A year ago, I listed my aims for the Society as wishing to see:-

1        a steady improvement in the overall standard of the projected digital images of Society members;

2        maintenance of the high standard of the Society’s print work, with  further improvements being sought at every opportunity;

3        the Society maintaining and building upon its links with the L&CPU and the PAGB;

4        the Society improving its liaison and collaborative working with other ‘local’ photographic clubs and societies;

5        greater encouragement being given to our less experienced members by listening to their views and seeking to respond constructively to them;

6        a furthering of our reputation as being a ‘welcoming’ Society so that new faces are greeted warmly and encouraged to feel ‘at home’ because I believe the doors of the Society should always be wide open for new members; and

7        the Society continuing to publicise its activities and to promote its successes.

We have made some progress and I continue to believe these aims are both relevant and appropriate for the Society.  So, I do hope we can all play our respective parts in working together towards achieving them.   As always, the thoughts and suggestions of members are most important in seeking to take the Society forward.  Please don’t be shy as your feedback is most welcome and I shall ensure it is considered by the Committee.

2010/2011 in Retrospect

Last year, the Society did well again with no fewer than nine of the images it submitted from members being accepted by the L&CPU for inclusion in its various Folios touring the region over the coming Winter.  This off Island exposure gives valuable publicity to the Isle of Man and much deserved recognition to the members of the Society who produced the retained images.  This year, these were Ray Davies, Sue Jones (2), Robert Blyth-Skyrme, Peter Cartmel, Diane McCudden (2), Natasha Wilson and Tony Curtis.  I must make special mention this year of Robert Blyth-Skyrme who has had one of his images titled ‘Snapper Shoal’ awarded a Certificate of Merit and this has been sent by the L&CPU to the Photographic Alliance of Great Britain.

Our Society was placed joint 11th overall out of 29 regional clubs in 2011 with a highly creditable 10th place out of 39 for projected digital images and 16th out of 32 for prints.  We should all feel extremely proud of this achievement 

Ray Davies secured third place in one of the L&CPU competitions earlier this year and was invited to attend the Delegates Meeting on 18th June in Chorley to receive his award from L&CPU President, Christine Widdall.  Unfortunately, I do not know whether he was able to attend as he has had other things on his mind of late!  [On which subject, might I send our love and very best wishes as a Society to Anita and Ray on learning of the successful delivery of their first child, a baby boy, very recently.  So, no doubt we shall see lots of baby pictures for the foreseeable future!]

Added to this very happy news, several more of our members have been granted a Credit Award by the Photographic Alliance of Great Britain this past year which entitles them to append the letters CPAGB after their names. 

I don’t propose to list them here for fear of inadvertently missing someone but congratulations to them all for having the standard of their photography recognised in this way.

John Cowan, Evie Jones and Jessie Russell - RIP

On a sad note, the last year has seen the passing of three stalwart members of our Society who have each left a void it will be impossible to fill. 

John Cowan was one of the friendliest and most welcoming of people when newcomers visited the Society.  He always had that warm smile to greet everyone and was never slow to offer help and advice to those who sought guidance.  He also managed the Society’s website and kept it up to date with a quiet but dedicated efficiency.

Evie Jones was one of our Life Members and never missed a Society evening or event.  She kept us all on our toes and did so much to ensure the smooth running of all our activities.  As we come to terms with her loss, we are still discovering more about just how much she did quietly behind the scenes for us.

Jessie Russell was another of our Life Members who never lost her keen enthusiasm for photography.  She was an ever present on Wednesday evenings and I once described her as ‘the Peter Pan’ of the Society’, which seemed to sum up for me her youthful exuberance.  Her passing came as a terrible shock to us all, especially with its suddenness so soon after she had attended our annual dinner to receive her latest photographic award.

I place on record my personal thanks (and those of the Society) to them all and would wish to convey the condolences of all members of the Society to their families.  We miss them all so much.

Members’ Exhibitions

It is always pleasing to see members of the Society with the confidence to display their photographic skills in public exhibitions.  So, I am delighted to remind you all about two such opportunities to see examples of this. 

First, a selection of work by Diane McCudden has been on display recently at Jurby Parish Church but there will be a further opportunity to view more of her photography at the Garretts Gallery, Unit 11, Kirby Farm Industrial Estate (almost opposite the Kirby Garden Centre) on Vicarage Road, Braddan, from 1st September.

Second, one of our newer members, Hazel Walsh, currently has an exhibition at the Sayle Gallery in Douglas where she is presently the photographer in residence.  It is called ‘Mann Abandoned’.  Having viewed it once already myself, I can recommend this highly with its stark images designed to provoke an emotional response to the subject of dereliction.

I congratulate them both warmly.

The Committee of the Society

Your Committee has met several times in recent weeks been working very hard over the summer months, meeting on three occasions so far, to deal with Society business.  This has included planning the Summer and Winter Programmes, of which more later.  Several important decisions have been taken.  Our Secretary, Chris Blyth, has circulated some of the details and many will appear in the new Programme for 2011/12.  I should, perhaps, just mention I believe I should repeat the main ones here briefly for completeness and as a useful reminder. 

1. There will be no classes for slides in either our Monthly or Annual Photographic Competitions this.  [This is because relatively few members are now using slides].

2. I should remind members, old and new) that all digital images entered for future Monthly and Annual Competitions must be at the higher resolution of 1400 x 1050 (rather than the current 1024 x 768

3. On a trial basis for this next year, it has been decided to respond to feedback we have received by introducing a requirement for a larger A4 print size for our ‘Small Prints Competitions’.  Whilst the other rules remain the same, such as no mounting to reduce costs and encourage participation, entries will have to fit an A4 format this year.  Provided that either the height or the width is A4, we are affording some image flexibility if entrants prefer to opt for a letterbox type style.

Re-Classifications for 2010/11

Based on the points awarded to members throughout the past year, it has been decided that, for competition purposes, Robert Blyth-Skyrme and Isobel Cartmel should be elevated from the Standard to the Intermediate Class; and that Claire and Mark Stringer should both be elevated from the Intermediate to the Advanced Class.  So, congratulations to all of them for having the improvement in the quality of their work acknowledged in this way.

IOMPS Exhibition

Though it seems some way off, you might like to know that the Society has been invited to stage an exhibition next Spring at the Hodgson Loom Gallery, Laxey Woollen Mills, St. Georges Mill, Glen Road, Laxey.  for a period of 3 to 4 weeks.  Your Committee believes this will be a good venue to showcase some of the Society’s work and has accepted.  Details have yet to be finalised but will be announced as soon as they have been confirmed.  At this stage, we are looking at a possible preview evening for the exhibition on the 16th February.  I expect we shall need around 100 images and we shall be asking members to provide prints about 2 to 3 weeks in advance for display on the basis that the majority will be for sale to the public

The Summer Outings, 2011

We have had a successful Summer of joint activities which have been well supported and from which I have received a good deal of positive feedback.  We have had good numbers joining in on the visits to Garwick Glen to photograph the bluebells; the Gaiety Theatre; the House of Keys Chamber and Legislative Buildings; and Milntown, Lezayre.  We also had our disposable camera competition around Castletown which proved very popular, though I was unable to be present.  The members’ print panel entries will be judged on the evening of the 9th November.

It is gratifying that they have proved to be so popular and I would like to thank very much those who planned and made the arrangements for them.

The Winter Programme 2011/12

As I write this letter, the Programme for the coming Winter is being finalised.  The Committee has done its best to construct a Programme which offers some variety to meet the differing needs of the membership and I hope it will be well received by the broad membership. 

Whilst there can be a serious side to photography with our regular competitions, I believe our main focus should be on enjoying our weekly gatherings and each other’s company in a convivial atmosphere, where photographers of all abilities and levels of experience are encouraged to share ideas and make new friends.  I hope, therefore, that members will try to persuade guests to come along to our meetings so that, if they are interested in photography, they might feel inspired to return on a regular basis and become full members.  New members should not be made to feel pressured into entering competitions or that they need to be proficient photographers in order to join us.  Our membership comprises a wide range of abilities from beginner to ‘expert’ and those wishing to improve their photography should seek help and advice on photographic problems on club nights from those who are more experienced and knowledgeable.  If we don’t have the answers to every query, we probably know someone who does!  We are very fortunate in the Society that most of our more experienced members are willing to take time out to provide advice to those asking for guidance. 

For our second meeting on Wednesday, 5th October, we intend to try something a little bit different to respond to a few of the requests we have received for practical tips on specific topics at the start of the Winter.  We are planning to concentrate on basic photography skills for our newer members in a series of very short sessions but these might also serve as handy ‘refreshers’ for other members too, especially if they have become too used to relying on the automatic functions on their cameras!  

Christmas Social Evening

Following the very positive feedback we received from those who attended the extremely successful dinner and prize presentation at the Douglas Golf Pavilion last May, a provisional booking has already been made for the evening of Tuesday, 13th December (NOT a Wednesday!) for our Christmas Social.  On that evening, we shall have a triptych competition about which we shall be circulating very clear guidance a bit nearer the time.  [There will not be a Society gathering on Wednesday, 14th December].

Recognition for the Society

During the past year, I am pleased that the good reputation and status of the Society has been recognised by external bodies.  Members have been asked to assist the UK War Graves Commission with its project to photograph and record all war graves on the Island.  Peter Cartmel has already begun work on this and anyone else who might be interested should have a word with him first.

Manx National Heritage then asked our members if they would help an initiative to create and image populate the newly opened I-Museum in Kingswood Grove, Douglas by photographing all war memorials on the Island, of which there are a fair number.  A few of us are now working on this project but, if any other members would like to participate, please speak to Chris Blyth, John Phipp or to me.  It would be great to have more help with this over the next couple of years.

Finally, the Castletown Regeneration Committee of the Council of Ministers asked us to help with its new tourist maps and this project has just been completed.  Thank you very much to those who helped with this piece of work.

The Society’s Website

As you know, Mark Stringer is our Web Master and he has done a good job in the past 12 months establishing and updating the Society’s website at  If anyone wishes to contact the Society, they can e-mail, and such messages will be ‘picked up’ by Mark. 

I shall look forward to welcoming you all to our first meeting at 7.30 pm on Wednesday, 28th September at Thie Ellyn with a ‘showcase of the Society’s projected digital images and prints.

With my very best wishes

Antony Hamilton

24th August 2011 - Next Garrett's Gallery Exhibition

Just a brief message to advise that the next exhibition at Garretts Gallery in Braddan (in the industrial estate close to Kirby Garden Centre, and on the opposite side of the road) includes work from our very own Di McCudden.

The exhibition starts 1st September,and runs till the end of the month. All will be made welcome. 


best wishes


16th August 2011 - Milntown Visit

Dear Members

Just a final reminder that the committee has arranged a visit to the Milntown Estate on Sunday 21st August starting at 2:30pm.

We have a group already "signed up" but there are still places available if anyone would like to join the party.

There are charges for the visit - of £6 per person for the house, and £2 for the gardens - as we will be given a guided tour and commentary during the visit.

Milntown Estate is in Lezayre, very close to Ramsey (it is on the TT course, just as you come into Ramsey from the south) with a lovely house and beautiful grounds.

There is also an excellent tearoom / restaurant attached to the house, ideal for afternoon tea after the visit, as well as lots of car parking spaces.

Please confirm if you wish to be added to the visit...  and we look forward to seeing you in Milntown.

Best wishes