Reports 2011-2012

IOMPS Reports During September 2011

29th September 2011

Isle of Man Photographic Society visit to Garwick Glen in early May

Members of the Isle of Man Photographic Society have had a busy summer, with regular excursions organised as part of the club’s informal programme.  A visit to Garwick Glen, courtesy of the owners, was a delightful and early start to the outdoor activities, and blessed with good weather, resulted in some excellent images for the participating members.

That was followed by evening visits to both the Gaiety Theatre and to the House of Keys and Legislative Chambers – superb architecture, the buildings loaded with character and history, and  again providing opportunities for our members to get some amazing images, at leisure and without causing disruption to the requirements and daily flow of other visitors.

A visit to the Milntown Estate, on another excellent day for weather, provided further opportunity for some pictures – both of the interior of the house and of the beautiful gardens.  The summer outings finished with a “disposable camera” shoot around Castletown – armed with a 27 shot disposable film camera, participants were given 8 “topics” to photo, and in due course will be expected to enter a panel of prints around the nominated subjects.......something to look forward to on a (probably wet and cold) winter evening.

Chris Blyth

28th September 2011

‘Snapper Shoal’ by Robert Blyth-Skyrme which was awarded a Certificate of Merit at the Lancashire and Cheshire Photographic Union Annual Competition

It seems like only yesterday that last season’s activities at the IOM Photographic Society came to a close (actually at the beginning of May!) but our weekly gatherings at Thie Ellyn resume again on Wednesday, 28th September, 2011, at the new start time of 7.30 pm 

The Committee has worked hard over the summer months to devise a varied and interesting Programme for 2011/12.  This is posted on the website. The assignment competitions for the new season have been set as follows:-

 * 2nd November - People at play

 * 7th December – Household Objects

 * 1st February – Song, Book or film Title

 * 21st March – Manx Churches Print Competition

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.  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 

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, and which was fortunate to have the benefit of some superb weather.

Whilst there is a serious side to photography with our regular competitions, the club’s main focus is on enjoying the 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.  Our membership comprises a wide range of abilities from beginner to ‘expert’ and those wishing to improve their photography can 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. 

I look forward to welcoming both existing and new members 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.

Antony Hamilton – Club President

26th September 2011 - Small Print Competitions

Dear Member

During the summer, your committee met to discuss the "small print" competitions - and as you will be aware, took the decision to change the format to A4, with images still to be unmounted.  The change was intended to give members a much better view of each image, given the difficulty of viewing 6x4 or 7x5 enprints at distance.

What I omitted to say was that the committee also took the decision at that time to limit entries to 2 per competitor (rather than the 3 entries as previously).

My apologies for the late announcement, and I hope no inconvenience will have been caused.

See you on Wednesday evening - don't forget your portfolio bags / boxes so that prints can be collected from the display.

Best wishes


24th September 2011 - New Season

Dear Member

Just a brief reminder that our new season starts on Wednesday, 28th Sept at the new start time of 7:30pm.

The opening meeting will be a display of members' work - both prints and digitally projected - chosen from the club entry into the L&CPU club competition.

It should provide an excellent evening's entertainment, and enable a "good chat" after the summmer break..... if only about the poor weather we seem to have had !

Please bring with you your portfolio bags as prints will be available for collection at the end of the evening.

Everyone is invited - both existing members, family members, and any prospective new members - and if you spot anyone you don't recognise, please ensure they are given a very warm welcome...

Very best wishes - and the committee looks forward to seeing you all on Wednesday.


15th September 2011 - Small Print Competitions

Dear Members,

Just a brief note to remind you and to confirm that - as usual - there are several "small print" competitions included in the programme for the new season, open to standard and intermediate classes.

However, to enable members in the audience to enjoy a better view of the images in competition during the judging, your committe has amended the rule regarding the size of entries - and will now require these to be to an unmounted A4 format (and not, as previously, a 6x4inch or 7x5inch).  Letterbox format wil be acceptable providing the longest side is at least of an A4 dimension.

Since most members will be printing at home, using an A4 printer, it is hoped this will not cause any problems or preclude any enthusiasm for entries, but will enhance the enjoyment of all members in these competitions.

I detail below the paragraph in Antony's "President's Letter" which announced the change -

"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 ".

We look forward to seeing you all on Wednesday 28th September - and don't forget, at the new start time of 7:30pm !! 

Very best wishes


7th September 2011 - Alf Kewley

Alf Kewley

Dear Member,

It is with great regret and sadness that I have to advise of the death last week of Alf Kewley - one of our life members. His funeral service is to be held on Monday 12th Sept at the Royal Chapel at St Johns at 2pm.Following private interment, there will be a reception at Peel Golf Club.


5th September 2011 - 2011-12 Programme

Dear Member,

The programme for the new season, due to start on Wednesday 28th Sept, is now available on the website.

Please take the time to check it out - your committee hopes that it will provide a season full of interest and which will encourage our common enthusiasm for the hobby (passion ? obsession?) of photography.

We look forward to welcoming you all back on the opening evening, together with family, friends and any potential new members 

Very best wishes


5th September 2011 - The Royal Photographic Society’s International Image Exhibition Comes to Chester on 30th October

The Royal Photographic Society’s International Image Exhibition

Comes to Chester on 30th October

Entrance includes free access to Chester Zoo. (normally £16)

On Sunday 30th October, The Royal Photographic Society’s International Digital Projected Image Exhibition will be shown in Chester.  This is a premier annual exhibition with both nature and general subject sections, and shows international photography at its best. The General category covers a range of subjects from Landscape to Artistic, Street Life to Still Life.

The showing will be in the Chester Zoo lecture theatre, and the tickets will ensure FREE ENTRANCE TO THE ZOO from 10 am.  The showing is scheduled at 2 for 2.30 pm. Tickets are £9, with concessions for full-time students and existing zoo members at £6. Send cheques to ‘Chester Photographic Society’, with a stamped address envelope, to Mike Coe, Stone House, Chester Road, Churton, Chester, CH3 6LB.

Any queries to or Mike Reed,

IOMPS Reports During October 2011

26th October 2011

Open digital winners (left to right): Diane McCudden, Chris Blyth and Shirley Lotfy with Judge Alex Maddrell (centre)

The Society’s first photographic competition for ‘open’ projected digital images was held on the 19th October at Thie Ellyn.  It was attended by between 40 and 50 members and guests, though the total number of entries, at just 40, was a little disappointing.  Perhaps it is still a bit early too in the season for some of our members whose minds are possibly still ‘on holiday’.

Alex Maddrell was warmly welcomed as our judge for this competition and, of course, is no stranger to the Society, having judged for us for several years.  He began by telling those present how pleasantly surprised he had been with the overall quality across the range of entries which, he said, displayed considerable photographic skill, creativity and imagination.  Because of the high standards being achieved by members of the Society, he had found his task of selecting the best to be a rather daunting one.  He was particularly complimentary about the images submitted by the least experienced photographers in the Standard Class, adding that “well over a third of them compared vary favourably with those in the classes above”.  This is a trend other judges have commented upon over the last couple of years and shows the value of belonging to a Society where help and advice from the more experienced members are always available to those seeking to improve.

It was immediately clear that Alex Maddrell had devoted much time and effort to his assessment of the entries in the three classes and, as each image was projected, he gave constructive comments on them, offering helpful advice to the authors.  He had been impressed by several images which had particular impact or conveyed emotion to him.  Well chosen titles also added merit to images and this was important in assisting a judge to understand what the photographer was seeking to achieve.  All in all, he had enjoyed examining the entries and had been pleased to observe good use of lighting and aperture to bring sharply into focus the key elements in the pictures.

Though he admitted to having found it quite difficult to arrive at his order of merit, he had decided to ‘bite the bullet’ rather than give in to the temptation to fudge the issue.  Consequently, he gave his overall results as follows –

Standard Class – 1st Shirley Lotfy (Green Bottle Fly); 2nd Jiri Podobsky (Gorrymag Chadjin); Joint 3rd Mark Corlett (‘Klaffi’) and Andrew Cowan (Water Splash); 5th Patricia Harvey (Short-eared Owl); Joint 6th Hazel Walsh (London 360) and Anne Bidwell (Midnight Rose); Shirley Lotfy, Mark Corlett and Andrew Cowan had their images titled ‘Church Altar’, ‘Dusk over Douglas’ and ‘Flipside’ all Highly Commended; and Patricia Harvey was Commended by the judge for her image ‘Electric Blue’.

Intermediate Class – 1st Diane McCudden (Girl in Pink); 2nd Robert Blyth-Skyrme (Whitespot Surgeons); 3rd and 4th John Dale (Looking at the World through Rose Coloured Glasses and ‘Gansey 2’ respectively); 5th and 6th Jenny Shanley (The Demolition of Albert Road School and Lichen respectively); Robert Blyth-Skyrme was Highly Commended for ‘Egret’ and Janet Servante was Commended for ‘Cringle and Beyond’.  

Advanced Class - 1st Chris Blyth (Hover Fly); 2nd Sue Jones (Net Textures); Joint 3rd Bob Servante (Crossing Paths) and John Phipp (Don’t tell a soul); Joint 5th Claire Stringer (Barclays Bicycles), Mark Stringer (Do you want my honest opinion?) and Chris Blyth (Eyes Wide Open); ‘Ramakian Figure’ by John Phipp was Very Highly Commended; Antony Hamilton (Castletown Beacon), Claire Stringer (Crane Silhouette) and Mark Stringer (‘Gaiety roof detail) had their images all Highly Commended; and the judge Commended Ray Davies for ‘What’s the Rush’.

In a vote of thanks given by the Society’s President, Alex Maddrell was complimented on the thoroughness of his assessments and thanked for sharing his knowledge and experience with the membership by the tips and suggestions he had offered in some cases.  The Society would be looking forward to his next visit!

The next meeting of the Society will be at our new, earlier start time of 7.30 pm on Wednesday, 2nd November at Thie Ellyn, off Withington Road in Douglas, when members’ entries will be due in for the Disposable Camera (Print Panel of Castletown) Competition.  However, the main subject for that evening will be our first Assignment Competition (both Prints and Projected Digital Images) on the subject ‘People at Play’.  Our judge for that event will be local professional photographer, Vicky Harrop, and I shall look forward to welcoming old and new members of the Society and their guests for what promises to be a really interesting evening.

Antony Hamilton

President of the Society

19th October 2011

Open print winners Bob Servante and Sue Jones with Judge Clare Payne

Antony Hamilton, Club President of the IOM Photographic Society opened this week’s meeting with the very pleasant responsibility of presenting one of our members, Ruth Nicholls, with her “Two Crowns” award from the British Photographic Exhibitions – a hard won honour as it represents 50 images entered and accepted by the 15 member exhibitions throughout the UK in open competition – each image gaining one point towards the award. Well done, Ruth!

It was also a pleasure to welcome Clare Payne for her first visit as our judge this week – and what a pleasure it was!  Her commentary was fluent, well-paced, enthusiastic, helpful, and with emphasis always to the positive aspects of the images on display – and with a professional eye appreciating the effort and artistry that had gone into the images. She was very complimentary on the overall standard of work being shown, as well as to the high quality presentation, with good mounts – which, as she confessed, had not made her task an easy one.

The Standard Colour section was won by Patricia Harvey with a lovely image of a leopard, the point of focus directly on the eyes, and an excellent composition. The runner-up was Shirley Lotfy with a picture of a Vampire V-Bomber taken during a turn, giving a very dynamic shape to the composition.

The Intermediate Mono class was won by Rob Blyth-Skyrme with an intriguing image called “Liquid Motion” – a close-up of the water movement of a dolphin’s fin breaking the surface showing the individual droplets and rapid beat of its tail.  Diane McCudden produced a lovely “fine art” image of a pier leading out into open water for second place, the water in the middle and clouds in the distance given a long exposure to blur their appearance.

Rob Blyth-Skyrme enjoyed further success in the Intermediate Colour Prints with both a first and second place, with two natural history shots.  The winning image of a turtle swimming towards the camera, the detail perfectly caught from beak to tail, whilst a close-up of a gold-dust gecko was pin sharp and the colours quite stunning.

Sue Jones produced the winning shot in the Advanced Mono section with a beautiful image called “Solitude” – a very evocative image of a person sitting on a tier of steps, the steps curving through the image to give it a lovely dynamic and leading the eye to the ideal positioning on the “thirds”. A picture of Half Dome in Yosemite National Park gained Chris Blyth second place. 

Two more winning natural history images completed our evening in the advanced colour prints, first place going to Bob Servante for a wonderful close-up image of a swallow feeding a young fledgling, the detail absolutely pin-sharp, whilst Mark Stringer’s shot of a rhino in an almost monochromatic treatment gave him the runner-up position.

Antony Hamilton gave a well-deserved vote of thanks.  Our next meeting is at Thie Ellyn (The Art Society) on Wednesday 26th October when there will be a small print competition, together with Hazel Walsh presenting her exhibition work of “Mann Abandoned”.  All are welcome to attend.

Results  - Standard Colour Prints: Patricia Harvey (1), Shirley Lotfy (2 & 4), Mark Corlett (3 & 6), Anne Bidwell (5), Walter Lumsden (C).  Intermediate Mono Prints: Robert Blyth- Skyrme (1 & 3), Diane McCudden (2 & 6), Janet Servante (4), Natasha Wilson (5). Intermediate Colour Prints: Robert Blyth-Skyrme (1 & 2), Diane McCudden (3 & HC), Ian Lumsden (4 & 5), Janet Servante (6). Advanced Mono Prints: Sue Jones (1 & 4), Chris Blyth (2), Tony Curtis (3), Mark Stringer (5), Bob Servante (6).  Advanced Colour Prints: Bob Servante (1), Mark Stringer (2 & 6), Claire Stringer (3), Ray Davies (4 & C), Tony Curtis (5), Sue Jones (HC & C).

13th October 2011 - Membership Fees + 3 Way Battle

Dear Member,

Just a quick note to thank those members who have paid their annual subscriptions already (still a bargain at only £25 per year for full members!) and a reminder to those yet to commit to joining (or re-joining) that subscriptions are now due.

Whilst writing, and as announced at last night's meeting, we are holding tickets for the buffet for the 3 Way Digital Images Battle to be held at Glen Helen between ourselves and the Southern and Western Clubs on Thursday 27th October.  Entry to the competition is free, but if you wish to partake of what is usually a very good buffet, the tickets for that are £8 each.

If any member wishes to buy tickets, you can either confirm by email reply (and I will reserve the tickets for you) or please remember to bring your cash '/ cheque book to next Wednesday's meeting ....

Thanks for your attention.
Best wishes


12th October 2011

The four Practical Evening presenters. Clockwise: Diane McCudden; Chris Blyth; Mark Stringer and John Phipp

The IOM Photographic Society meeting this week was a practical session, with members of the club presenting on various aspects of photography.

The evening began with Di McCudden talking about camera controls – of aperture settings, speeds, ISO settings, the importance of using a tripod if shooting landscapes, of the appropriate use of neutral density filters when contrast between sky and land is too high, of checking the “histogram” on a digital camera display to ensure that the image has been well and correctly captured – better to get the image right in camera than having to spend time later on a computer to correct any shortcomings...... . Her presentation was well prepared and laid out, and a very helpful reminder to all members of the importance of “the basics”.

Mark Stringer then followed with a well considered talk on the conversion of RAW (and jpeg) files on computer to extract the best possible image suitable for projection or printing, using several of the standard software conversion programmes available.  It soon became evident that “Lightroom” was Mark’s preferred software, with the particular benefits being its “library” system, and batch processing – enabling common adjustments (to levels and contrast, for example) to be automated, thus speeding up the management of multiple image files.

To follow, John Phipp gave an audio-visual display showing the frequently used adjustments to produce a finished image – taking a picture from Thailand of a highly decorated temple artefact as his model – and showing how the cropping tool, histogram, levels adjustments, masking techniques, and simple colour controls – can all be used to improve an image, and to ensure the best possible iteration is made.  It was an excellent presentation, from which everyone present would have learnt, and given benefits for their image making skills.

Chris Blyth finished the evening with a short presentation on the various methods available to convert a colour image to the black and white format, and the various tools required to maximise the impact for final presentation – the levels, contrast and curves tools, and the techniques of “dodge and burn” to lighten or darken particular areas of an image for maximum benefit to its final appearance – skills and techniques developed in the days of film, and adapted (and considerably simplified !) for use in modern computer software .

The overall impression was of an evening well constructed in terms of a sequence of presentations, taking the photographer through the basics of camera controls right through to the finished article of a print or projected image, whether colour or black and white – using all the basic skills of software manipulation to ensure the best possible final image.  Antony Hamilton, Club President, gave the vote of thanks.

Next week’s meeting is an “open digitally projected image” competition being judged by well known local photographer, Alex Maddrell.  The meeting commences at 7:30pm at Thie Ellyn (The Art Society) in Withington Road on 19th October.  All are welcome to attend.

11th October 2011 - Bebington Salon

Dear Member

You will know from previous years when we have shown the Bebington Salon just what a superb selection of images are on display - and just how competitive it is to win entry into the Salon and to gain marks towards a BPE award..

As in the past couple of years, we will again be showing the Salon as the finale of our season - in late April 2012. And as previously, the current competition requires your entries by 23rd November.  I would remind everyone that it is a digital only competition, in various categories - landscape, nature, colour open and mono open, all entries to be to a 1024x768 pixels format.

Competitors from the island have always had success in the Salon - but that success obviously depends on you, the members, making sure that your entries are submitted in time.   The Salon does not qualify as a "club competition", so entry has no impact upon normal club compettion rules and your images may be used in any open or assignment competition, or the annual competition.

I have pleasure attaching a copy of the entry form and of the rules.

Best Wishes and Good luck !

Chris - Secretary

6th October 2011

IOMPS Committee members Tony Curtis; Chris Blyth; Claire Stringer; Mark Stringer and Ian Lumsden help prepare the opening night exhibition

An excellent opening night for the launch of the new season for the IOM Photographic Society was marked with a “showcase” of members’ work – some 60+ prints and a “loop” of digital images all from last season’s competitions, were on display, all of the highest quality, and it made an impressive demonstration of the skills of the members.

Antony Hamilton, Club President, welcomed all to the meeting, which included a significant influx of new (and potentially new) members, who added to the chatter and pleasure of a very social occasion – and which promises well for the continued healthy state of the membership.  A brief introduction reminded us of the programme highlights for this year, and of the rules – and some rule changes – applying to our competitions.  Full details to be shown on the club website at

Ian Lumsden completed the evening with an explanation of the methods and materials needed to mount prints for the “open” and “assignment” competitions included in the programme – and to ensure no damage to other prints included in the entry.

All meetings are held at Thie Ellyn (The Art Society) in Withington Road, Douglas, on Wednesday evenings, commencing at 7:30pm.  Our next meeting on 12th October is an “Open Prints” competition.  All are welcome to attend.

Chris Blyth

1st October 2011 - Mann, Abandoned

Dear Members;

Please see the following note from Hazel one of our members, The exhibition contains some amazing images, so if you didn't get chance to see it first time around, and you have some time free, it's well worth a visit.

Following the success of the ‘Mann, Abandoned’ exhibition at the Sayle Gallery the exhibition is now moving up North to give viewers a second look.

A selection of photographs are currently on show at the Peel Centenary Centre until the 31st October and a further selection will be on display at St Patricks Church, Jurby from the 6th to the 15th October 10-4 daily.

The book ‘Mann, Abandoned’ will be available from Jurby church and can also be purchased from the Sayle Gallery and most island bookshops.

1st October 2011 - Resizing Digital Images

Dear Members,

Following on From our last meeting, I have now uploaded John Phipp's Video on resizing digital images, which is attached below, Even if you don't have photoshop it explains the requirements which you should then be able to meet with your software package of choice.

To Watch the video [ 43Mb ]  Or Download The Video [ 38Mb Zip File ]

This is also available on the documents page.

IOMPS Reports During November 2011

30th November 2011

Open Print winners (Left to right) Mark Stringer; Tony Curtis; Diane McCudden and Patricia Harvey with Judge Andrew Barton, centre

On Wednesday 23rd November members of the Isle of Man Photographic Society assembled for the results of the 2nd Open print competition of the year. President Anthony Hamilton opened the event with the news that one of the societies junior members, Sam Bucknall, has had an image selected for inclusion in the Crowe Morgan Accountants 2011-12 Desktop Calendar. This follows a competition aimed at secondary pupils aged 11-18 years old in which they were asked to capture the ‘Spirit of the Isle of Man’. Well done Sam!

The evening’s judge was Ramsey based photographer Andrew Barton LBIPP, LMPA who provided a thorough discussion of the merits of each image as well as helpful suggestions for improvements that could be made. With over 90 entries he had his work cut out for him! The evening was presented in a different format than usual with the Advanced section being shown first, and the Standard and Intermediate following after the break. This worked well as it allowed everyone to have a good look at the Advanced entries during the break.

In the Advanced Mono section there were 17 entries and Andrew looked specifically at the tonal range in the images and the printing as well as discussing contrast and providing suggestions for different camera angles. Runner up was Mark Stringer with a well thought out image of an empty director’s chair and abandoned cup of coffee. A well deserved first place went to Tony Curtis for his startling clear head-on shot of a herring gull in flight. These places were reversed in the colour section with Mark Stringer taking the honours with his image of an abandoned boat which demonstrated a versatile handling of depth of field. Tony Curtis’ image of Luminaires window was runner up and Andrew complimented the clever use of light and strong composition.

The Standard Mono featured 12 entries and Andrew pointed out that this group overall demonstrated higher contrast levels than the images in the Advanced Mono. First place went to Patricia Harvey for her entry Bygone Days, an interior shot of an old Manx cottage complete with an elderly lady seated by the fire. Andrew praised the use of natural light and the depth of shadows this produced. Second place went to Hazel Walsh for her image of Peel Castle and seagull. The Standard colour section was dominated by the junior members with Ernie Lumsden taking third with ‘Welcome Break’, a crystal clear image of drink cans on a bench with a stunning mountainscape in the background and Walter Lumsden took first with ‘Reaching for the Sun’, an unusual flower shot taken from the ground looking up at the underneath of the flower heads. Runner up was ‘Autumn Light, Cornelly Mine’ by new member Elaine Dewhirst.

The 8 entries in the intermediate mono were of an especially high standard and first place went to Diane McCudden for her moody and evocative shot of a wooden walkway disappearing beneath the water of a tranquil lake. The image was well captured and a pair of sleeping ducks in the foreground enriched the serenity of the image. Janet Servante took second with her image of snowy hills in Cumbria, a starkly contrasting shot reminiscent of the snow scenes of American photographer Ansel Adams. In the colour section Diane McCudden took both first and second place. In second ‘Leading the Way’ a bright image of three cheetahs walking through long grass and in first place ‘Forlorn’ a striking portrait of a young woman seated on a window ledge in a derelict house. Andrew praised this image for its skilful lighting and strong subject matter.

Life member Brenda Shimmin gave the vote of thanks and praised the achievements of the junior members. Andrew was thanked for his informative and insightful comments and received a well deserved round of applause.

December 7th will be the judging of assignment entries for ‘Household Objects’ so promises to be a varied and interesting evening. Entries are also due for the ‘Triptych Competition’ This is new feature in the societies calendar and entry guidelines can be found on the website along with a full programme and location map. All are welcome to attend – non-members pay £1 admission.


Standard Mono: Patricia Harvey (1 & 3), Hazel Walsh (2 & 6), Sam Bucknall (4 – Junior Member), Elaine Dewhirst (5). Standard Colour: Walter Lumsden (1 – Junior Member), Elaine Dewhurst (2), Ernie Lumsden (3 – Junior Member), Mark Corlett (4), Patricia Harvey (5), Norma Cowell (6). Intermediate Mono: Diane McCudden (1 & 4), Janet Servante (2 & 6), Natasha Wilson (3 & 5), Robert Blyth-Skyrme (HC). Intermediate Colour: Diane McCudden (1 & 2), Natasha Wilson (3), Jenny Shanley (4), Janet Servante (5), Ian Lumsden (6). Advanced Mono: Tony Curtis (1), Mark Stringer (2), Sue Jones (3), Claire Stringer (4), Bob Servante (5), Ron Shimmin (6). Advanced Colour: Mark Stringer (1), Tony Curtis (2 & HC), Chris Blyth (3), Bob Servante (4), Brian Speedie (5), Sue Jones (6).

By Hazel Walsh

29th November 2011 - 3 Way Digital Battle - Images Required

Dear Member,

Your committee will shortly need to finalise the club entry into the 3 Way Digital Battle with Oldham and Rochdale clubs - this is a competition judged in Oldham using an L&CPU Judge, and which Oldham kindly record to DVD for us to show later in the season.

It is a very rare opportunity for club members to assess their performance against equivalent clubs in the regional federation - and also the chance to see the work of fellow competitors across the water. Last year we came a close second - a very creditable performance against good competition.  I'd like to think we can do just that little bit better this year .......

We obviously have image files from last years Annual Competition which can be used - but you may wish to submit other images (and new members may also wish to submit images for consideration from this years competitions....).

Can members with images they would like to be considered please

EITHER bring them on a memory stick / flash drive and pass it to a committee member at latest by the Social Evening on 13th December

OR email the images direct to John Phipp on

We look forward to having a really good entry this year..

Best wishes

Chris Blyth

29th November 2011 - IOMPS CHRISTMAS SOCIAL

Dear Member

Another reminder for the "Christmas Social Evening" for Tuesday, 13th December, to be held at the Douglas Golf Club in Pulrose.

Tickets are £20 per person, which includes both a hot and cold buffet.....................

I should emphasise that the buffet will be extensive and includes a choice of two hot dishes (chicken curry and a vegetable lasagne), and a wide selection of  different salads, various "finger food" dishes such as sausage rolls, pork pies, scotch eggs, assortment of sandwiches, chips etc, followed by mince pies and coffee.

Tickets will again be on sale tomorrow night - it would obviously be helpful to have a good idea of numbers and your commitment, to assist the venue with their arrangements.  Alternatively, and if it helps, I am quite happy to take your reservations by an email request, (with money to follow !)....

The evening includes a print competition - this year's assignment being a "Triptych" - one entry per competitor.... and we would obviously hope to see as many members participating as possible, and to continue what has been a very good turn-out for our meetings so far this season.

I look forward to your confirmations...

Very best wishes


23rd November 2011 - Small Print Judge Comes a Cropper

A4 Print Competition winner Martyn Parnell with Judge Diane McCudden

On Wednesday Evening 16 November the Isle of Man Photographic Society held it’s second Small Print Competition along with the showing of a monochrome Print Folio from the Lancashire & Cheshire Photographic Union.

The Small Print Competition was introduced by the Club President Anthony Hamilton as a competition designed to encourage newer members to enter as just an unmounted A4 print is required, saving the cost of producing and mounting the more normal A3 print. The Judge for the event was taken from the Club ranks, Diane McCudden CPAGB.

There are two Classes in the competition, Standard and Intermediate. Diane went through each section, one by one, making various suggestions as to possible improvements that could be made such as reducing depth of field to blur backgrounds or tonal changes. She also felt that several of the images could be improved with a crop here and a crop there and demonstrated this by masking off parts using two small sheets of card.

Standard Group

1st We Have Lift-Off by Martyn Parnell – Worthy winner of a Rally car heading straight for the camera. The shot was taken from a low angle and timed to catch the car in mid-air.

2nd Hen by Shirley Lofty

3rd Gerbera by Patricia Harvey

4th The Victorious Salute by Patricia Harvey

5th The Race is On by Steve Bridson

6th And the Laxey River Runs Down to the Sea by Mark Corlett

Intermediate Group

1st Riding for Breast Cancer by Robert Blyth-Skyrme – A well caught shot of a woman horse rider in a pink blouse, riding hard and kicking up dust at a Rodeo. 

2nd It’s Good to Have a Chat by Phyllis Christian

3rd Old Man’s Beard by Jenny Shanley

4th Plant Pots by Ian Lumsden

5th Stairway to the Castle by Janet Servante

6th Canoeists by Ian Lumsden

The second half of the evening continued with the showing of a Folio of 49 monochrome prints that had gained acceptance within the L&CPU during 2011. To gain acceptance at this Federation level demands quality at the highest level as entries are drawn from 97 societies totalling just over 3900 members throughout Lancashire & Cheshire. Maximum possible score for any print is 15 and the following Photographers from the Isle of Man gained acceptance into the exhibition.

Ray Davies – The Alleyway 14 – Commended – IOMPS

Ruth Nicholls – Sanctuary 13 – The Western Photographic Society

Natasha Wilson – Open Wide 11 – IOMPS

Peter Cartmel – Loch Touch 11 – IOMPS

Next week is an Open competition for Digital images and entries are due in for the next assignment competition “Household Objects.”

Bob Servante

16th November 2011

Disposable camera competition judge Antony Hamilton (left) presents the winners trophy to Chris Blyth

The Society is always looking for new ideas to stimulate interest in photography and this past Summer organised a day out in Castletown on 24th July for its members who were provided with a standard, disposable camera and set the task of capturing 8 different subjects on film – yes, on film!  The subjects were Castle Rushen and grounds; harbour and boats; Callow’s Yard; streets and lanes; street furniture and railings; shoreline and beach; transport; and people.  At the end of the day, the cameras had to be handed back for developing and printing and the 27 images were then returned to their owners.  Finally, the authors of the images were required to present a Print Panel measuring 400 by 500mm containing one image of each subject.

The judge for this competition was Antony Hamilton who explained that, unfortunately, illnesses and absences from the Island recently of some of those who had visited Castletown on the day had reduced the number of entries.  However, he indicated at the outset that none of the panels submitted was short on quality.  All had been painstakingly presented to a high standard and, particularly considering that no alteration of the images was allowed, all entrants had done very well to portray the uniqueness of what the ancient Island capital had to offer.

After his preliminary comments, the judge proceeded to give a detailed critique of each entry, before announcing the results.  He had awarded first place to Chris Blyth; second place to Sue Jones; and third place to Bob Servante.

Tony Curtis, a member of the Committee, was then invited by the Society President to present to the winner the beautifully crafted trophy, made especially by him for this competition.

John Phipp And Chris Blyth

Members then viewed a short digital presentation by Vice President, John Phipp, on a visit he had made to see the Christmas markets in Ljubliana and nearby Lake Bled in Slovenia last December.  Ljubliana lies some 160 km north of Venice and has a population of around 2 million people.  The weather had been kind for the time of the year and he had managed to photograph many of the key sights and attractions around both the city, with its artistically painted, red-roofed buildings, and the more scenic landscapes in the vicinity of the lake.  The images, taken in daylight and in the evenings, brought back very happy memories for some members who had visited the area in the past.

After a short break, Secretary of the Society, Chris Blyth, gave a different type of digital presentation based on his fulfilment of a lifelong ambition he had to visit Yosemite National Park in California, which he had done with his wife, Moira, in July, 2011.  He began his introduction by asking his audience to imagine they were all back in 1830, some 180 years ago, and then gave a condensed history lesson on photography to put his presentation into perspective.  For example, he commented that Queen Victoria had been only 11 years of age in 1930 and that times were hard on the Island with fishing, farm labouring and mining by candlelight – Thomas Edison’s first light bulb would not be produced for another 49 years – being the main sources of income.   At that time, California was still a part of Mexico and would not be come a part of America for another 17 years, after the Mexican American War. 

He then traced the life of John Muir, a Scotsman born in Dunbar in 1838, who had emigrated in 1849 with his parents to North America where he was to campaign for the preservation of natural environments through his work as an environmentalist, geologist and botanist.   Muir is sometimes referred to as ‘the father of National Parks’.  From that point, Chris Blyth related a fascinating timeline of several key developments in photography he had selected.  He mentioned the work of such luminaries as Joseph Nicéphore Niépce who, in 1827, was credited with producing the first photographic image with a camera obscura, the only drawback being that the image required eight hours of exposure to light and later faded; and Louis Daguerre who, in 1837, managed to achieve the first image that needed less than thirty minutes of light exposure, was fixed and did not fade. 

Their British counterpart had been Fox Talbot who, using a camera in 1835, had made the earliest known surviving photographic negative of a small photogenic drawing of a window in Lacock Abbey, near Reading.  Over the next 15 years, many advances took place in photography leading to the invention of the albumen process in 1850. Another Englishman, Eadweard Muybridge, had carried out early experiments in photographing rapid action, using up to 24 cameras, which were to become landmarks in photographic history.  Muybridge had emigrated to America in 1852, and was later commissioned to take pictures of the Pacific Coast. He really made his mark when, in 1867, a series of his photographs of Yosemite were exhibited widely.  Others, such as Carleton Watkins and Ansel Adams, followed, the latter probably being one of the better known names by 21st century photographers.  In 1927, Adams made his first fully visualised photograph, ‘Monolith, the Face of Half Dome’, in Yosemite and it was images such as this that had enthused Chris Blyth and built up his desire to photograph the National Park for himself.

The digital presentation that followed of the Yosemite National Park revealed the majesty and magnificence of the dramatic landscapes in the Park.  As various famous locations were pointed out and named, an explanation was given to help the audience understand more from the visible geology.  This revealed that the Park had been formed by glacial action which had exposed the great granite domes and left stunning steeply sided peaks, spectacular waterfalls and the fast flowing rivers visitors see today.

The Society President gave a vote of thanks for the quality and interest in both presentations which had been enlightening, in their different ways, and had provided members with such a splendid evening’s entertainment.

The next meeting of the Society will be held at 7.30 pm on Wednesday, 23rd November at Thie Ellyn, off Withington Road in Douglas when we shall have an ‘open’ competition for monochrome and colour prints.  Entries will also be due in that night for the following Wednesday’s ‘open’ competition of projected digital images.  There is a nominal charge for guests who will be made most welcome.  As always, further information about the Society and its programme can be found at

12th November 2011 - IOMPS CHRISTMAS SOCIAL

Dear Member

As you will know from the programme, the Society has arranged a "Christmas Social Evening" for Tuesday, 13th December, to be held at the Douglas Golf Club in Pulrose.

Tickets are £20 per person, which includes both a hot and cold buffet, to include a choice of two hot dishes (chicken curry and a vegetable lasagne), and a selection of chips, sausage rolls, pork pies, scotch eggs, assortment of sandwiches and salads etc, followed by mince pies and coffee.

Tickets will be on sale from our meeting next week (16th Nov), and it would obviously be helpful to have a good idea of numbers and your commitment earlier rather than later, to assist the venue with their arrangements.  Alternatively, and if it helps, I am quite happy to take your reservations by an email request, (with money to follow !)....

The evening includes a print competition - this year's assignment being a "Triptych" - one entry per competitor.... and we would obviously hope to see as many members participating as possible, and to continue what has been a very good turn-out for our meetings so far this season.

I look forward to your confirmations...

Very best wishes


9th November 2011

Left to right, back row: Assignment print winners Sue Jones; Judge Vicky Harrop; Hazel Walsh. Front row: Diane McCudden; Janet Servante

An (almost) clean sweep for the lady members....

Antony Hamilton, President of the Society, opened the meeting with the news that the IOM Photographic Society had successfully campaigned in the annual Three Way Digital Image Battle with the Western and Southern Clubs during the previous week, whilst one of our members, Mark Stringer, had also been awarded the prize for best image in competition – an outstanding performance for the club against some strong opposition.

Vicky Harrop was then welcomed as the judge for the evening, tasked with evaluating and commenting upon some 80 images in both prints and digital classes, on the assignment of “People at Play” – something she was well qualified to do, given her professional work as a social photographer. Her comments were as always incisive and helpful, positive and constructive, with clear guidance given as appropriate for areas of possible improvement.  The Standard Colour Prints group was won by Hazel Walsh with a delightful image from the Castletown tin bath races – absolutely right for the assignment, sharp and with good use of dark water for the background giving emphasis to the colours of the clothing of the subject in his tin bath. Sam Bucknall, a junior member, produced an excellent image of climbers on a rock face to gain second place – a good, clean and uncluttered composition.  In the Intermediate Mono section, Janet Servante’s image of “Whistling Willy” came out on top, an excellent portrait of a musician, with lovely use of light, and with great texture in the face, beard and hair.  Di McCudden was runner-up with a very artistic image of children in a playground, well cropped into a square format.  These positions were reversed in the Colour Prints section, with Di winning with an image of rugby players at a line-out, showing good timing with her shot and some real dynamic to the image, whilst Janet followed into second place with an image of two youths wrestling playfully in sand, giving an almost monochrome background and again allowing and drawing attention to the two subjects.  Sue Jones completed the clean sweep for our lady members in the prints with first and second places in both mono and colour – with an excellent selection of images of children having a great time at a fairground.  “High Flyer” won her the mono section – children on a fairground ride, their faces showing all the excitement and with a very strong dynamic composition, whilst “Going Down” did the same in the colour section – two children coming down a slide, and with a well chosen and careful use of flash to catch the fun and movement in the image.

In the Digital Images, Phil Edge produced a superb image of two musicians in concert deservedly winning the Standard section, with strong colours and excellent lighting giving real impact to the shot.  Patricia Harvey was runner-up with a lovely underwater image of a young girl, good lighting and intriguing and colourful reflections in the water’s surface all adding to the effect.  Di McCudden confirmed her strong performance by winning the Intermediate Digital section, again with an image of rugby players. Natasha Wilson continued the excellent showing of our lady members on the night with a second place - a super shot of a young girl on the beach building a sand castle, taken low down at the subject’s level, and with a blurred background ensuring maximum emphasis on the subject.  In the Advanced section, Chris Blyth produced the winning image with a portrait of a young girl in a playground, looking through toy binoculars straight into camera and with some strong colours giving impact.   Bob Servante’s shot – “That Sinking Feeling” – a well-titled image from the Castletown tin bath races, came in as runner-up.

John Phipp gave the vote of thanks, with the obvious wish that we would soon see Vicky again at the club, as she is a very popular visitor!

The meeting on Wednesday 16th November includes a “small print” (A4) competition, together with a portfolio display of Mono Prints from the Lancashire and Cheshire Photographic Union – incorporating some of the recent best work of the region’s photographers, and certain to include some outstanding images well worth viewing.  All are welcome to attend – non-members £1 admission.  Full details of the society’s programme and location map can be found at


Prints - Standard Colour : Hazel Walsh (1), Sam Bucknall (2 - Junior Member ), Mark Corlett (3), Anne Bidwell (4), Patricia Harvey (5), Shirley Lotfy (6).   Intermediate Mono :  Janet Servante (1 & 4), Diane McCudden (2 & 5), Robert Blyth-Skyrme (3 & 6), Jenny Shanley (5).  Intermediate Colour : Dianne McCudden (1 & 5), Janet Servante (2 & 4), Ian Lumsden (3), Robert Blyth-Skyrme (6). Advanced Mono : Sue Jones (1 & 2), Bob servant (3 & 4), Claire Stringer (5), John Phipp (6).  Advanced Colour : Sue Jones (1 & 2), Bob Servante (3), Chris Blyth (4 & 6), Claire Stringer (5).

Digital Images – Standard Group : Phil Edge (1), Patricia Harvey (2), Anita Imberger (3), Shirley Lotfy (4 & 5), Anne Bidwell (6).  Intermediate : Dianne McCudden (1), Natasha Wilson (2), Robert Blyth-Skyrme (3 & 4), Jenny Shanley (5), John Dale (6).  Advanced : (Chris Blyth (1 & 3), Bob Servante (2), Sue Jones (4), John Phipp  (5 & 6).

by Chris Blyth

3rd November 2011 - Three Way Inter Club Competition

Antony Hamilton And Ray Kelly

The annual Three Way Inter Club Competition was held on the 27th October, 2011, at the Glen Helen Inn, St John’s.  The three clubs who compete for the coveted trophy each year are (in alphabetical order) the Isle of Man Photographic Society (IOMPS), the Southern Photographic Society and the Western Photographic Society.  These days, the competition is for projected digital images (PDIs) and it was the turn of the Western committee to arrange this year’s event.

The evening was very well attended by members and guests from all three clubs and there was hardly a seat to be found in the large rear function room of the Inn.  Following a delicious buffet supper, there was a lively atmosphere and the usual friendly banter as this year’s judge, Ray Kelly, gave his critique on each of the 90 images (30 from each club) and awarded his marks out of 20.  Ray Kelly is a popular judge on the Island and never disappoints his audience with his dry sense of humour.  He was extremely complimentary about the high stand of all 90 images this year and had gained much pleasure from viewing them. 

When the last of the 90 images had been viewed by those present, the total maks were totted up (using the very latest technology) and carefully checked before the final result of the competition was announced.  It was as follows –

IOMPS – 475

Western PS – 456

Southern PS – 433

Antony Hamilton, President of the IOMPS, was presented with the impressive winner’s shield and he expressed his considerable pride in accepting it on the Society’s behalf, thanking the judge and the Western Society for arranging such a successful and enjoyable evening.

Mark Stringer And Ray Kelly

Ray Kelly awarded the prize for the best image overall to Mark Stringer of the IOMPS for study of TT rider, Bruce Anstey, and presented him with the trophy

By Antony Hamilton, President.

2nd November 2011 - Small Prints Stay Small but Bigger at I.O.M.P.S

Small Print winners Martyn Parnell and Natasha Wilson with Judge Tony Curtis

Wednesday evening 26 October at Thie Ellyn, Douglas became the venue for the Isle of Man Photographic Society’s third competition of the 2011 – 2012 season. The competition was for small prints and is open to the Club’s Standard and Intermediate groups.

Traditionally “Small Prints” have been 7” x 5” in size but at this size, they are difficult to be seen by the audience when being judged. The rules have now been changed with the size being increased to A4.  This allows for comments regarding the photographic qualities of the print, along with suggestions on possible improvements, to be easily seen by the audience.

The Small Print competition is a more relaxed affair than others and was introduced to encourage newer members to enter. The Club employs an internal Judge, and for this competition it fell to Tony Curtis of the Advanced section.

Tony went through entries from both groups, making comments on key areas for a good photo, such as exposure, composition and impact. Some good natured comments regarding one or two shots were received from one or two authors in the audience. This friendly banter made no difference and Tony stuck to his guns as a good judge should, and awarded places as follows: -

Standard Group

1st  “The Wizard” by Martyn Parnell – A very well exposed and composed image of the carved wooden Wizard in Sulby Glen.

2nd     “Ballerina” by Norma Cowell – A well timed photo of a gull coming into land with it’s wings up looking like a dancer.

3rd  “ Well Grounded” by Elaine Dewhirst – Great landscape featuring two large but leaf free trees, standing firm against the elements.

4th “Pelican” by Anne Bidwell

5th “Mute Swan” by Elaine Dewhirst

6th “Wild Flowers” by Ernie Lumsden

Intermediate Group

1st “Has it Stopped Raining Yet” by Natasha Wilson – Beautiful photograph of her son looking through a window. The window was not directly in the image but reflected in her son’s eyes. It was presented as a monochrome print with the contrast kept low, retaining a soft feel.

2nd “We’re Going to be Kippered” by Ian Lumsden – An image taken on a Steam Train line showing an Open Carriage with passengers and Locomotive waiting to enter a smoke filled tunnel.

3rd “Celtic Nations Flag” by Peter Brew – A bright and colourful shot of the Celtic Nations Flag photographed against a plain blue sky. It had been taken at fast enough to freeze any movement from blowing in the wind. It was also pin sharp.

4th “Copper & Glass Flower” by Jenny Shanley

5th “Hislop and the Sea Mist” by Natasha Wilson

6th “Robin in Camouflage” by Janet Servante

Hazel Walsh

After a break for refreshment, we were all treated to a wonderful presentation entitled “Mann Abandoned” by one of our newer members, Hazel Walsh. Hazel became Artist in Residence last September at the Sayle Gallery Douglas, a post she is well qualified for with a BA (Hon) in Professional Photographic Imaging and MA Art, Design and Media.

“Mann Abandoned” was a 12-month project focusing on derelict and abandoned buildings around the Island. Our intrepid photographer has researched and photographed the inside and outside of no fewer than 156 buildings. Many of the buildings in Hazel’s digital presentation are off the beaten track, and this combined with the difficulty she must have gone to getting the camera angles she wanted, shows the dedication she has applied to the project.

The Presentation showed a variety of styles Hazel has used to display her work, both in monochrome & colour. It was amazing to see so many places in various stages of abandonment, some in locations not generally known about.  All this work has resulted in an exhibition, web-site and the production of a  “Mann Abandoned” book that is now available.

By Bob Servante

IOMPS Reports During December 2011

21st December 2011

Triptych competition winner Tony Curtis with Judge Pam Kershaw 

The IOM Photographic  Society held their Christmas Social Evening at the Pulrose Golf Club this week, where the society celebrated the completion of the first half of the current season.

The occasion provided an opportunity to welcome Pam Kershaw as our judge for a very special competition – a triptych – a print board showing three images, required to be related to a common theme.  This was the first time our members have had the opportunity to compete with a triptych, and it was intended to be a “stretch” of both artistic imagination and skills in requiring three excellent images to be used, all related in some way – and to be presented in a three part display to enhance the overall impact.....

Pam has been both a long-serving officer and member of the club, and is an excellent photographer and so had all the requisite skills and experience to comment upon and judge the entries.  Fifteen members submitted to her analysis, with a wide variety of both images and styles of presentation on display.  Pam made clear her enjoyment at reviewing the entries – and had been delighted to be given the opportunity.  Her comments were thoughtful and obviously very carefully considered – each entry in turn given the benefit of her experience, and her understanding of image making and composition – particularly important in the context of a triptych.

Patricia Harvey came in third, with “Start to Finish” - an excellent natural history “triptych with a story” – of a tropical bird building a nest, starting with just a small blade of grass, and finishing with the completed nest.  The images were bright and full of colour – the bird particularly so – and only slightly let down by a lack of sharpness in one.  Mark Stringer’s “Dancing Girl” came second – a very well arranged sequence of three images of a dancer at the recent Peel Panto.  The images were sharp, beautifully caught, and enhanced with a delightful composition that was eye-striking and artistic.  The winning entry however, came from Tony Curtis with “Me, Myself and I” – three self-portraits in a variety of working guises.  Again, a very imaginative layout was used, which provided interest and intrigue for the viewer, and again beautifully presented and arranged on the board.  As a result, Tony won the West Lea Trophy – some silverware to decorate the mantelpiece!

John Phipp gave a deserved vote of thanks.

RESULTS : Tony Curtis (1), Mark Stringer (2), Patricia Harvey (3), Sue Jones (4), Chris Blyth (5), Robert Blyth-Skyrme (6), Ray Davies (C), Claire Stringer (C).

Full details of the club programme can be found on the website  All meetings are open to the public and a warm welcome is given to visitors.  The next club meeting will be on 4th January at Thie Ellyn (The Art Society building in Withington Road, Douglas) when our President will be presenting a portfolio to delight the audience.

By Chris Blyth

14th December 2011 - Getting Creative with Household Objects

Judge Dennis Wood with print winners: Left to right: back row:

Janet Servante; Diane McCudden; Hazel Walsh. Front: Claire Stringer and Anne Bidwell

Who would think that common household items could inspire interesting and creative visual images? Well, that's just what the Isle of Man Photographic Society members and guests were presented with this evening (Wed. 7th Dec.) in an assignment competition entitled “Household Objects”, displayed in both printed and projected digital photographs.

The entries were judged by the chairman of the Peel & Western Photographic Society, Dennis Wood. Dennis has had an active interest in photography for well over fifty years and he brought a wealth of experience to his judging of the competition.

He explained how light plays on objects to build up images, which help us make sense of the world around us through our sense of sight.

It was obvious to everyone that Dennis had spent a lot of time on this task before deciding on the best pictures. He gave each photo a comprehensive critique along with hints and tips for future improvements. He suggested that some of the more imaginative entries might benefit from using some digital editing techniques, and that those with good technical skills might benefit from using more imagination!

Prints Results

Standard Mono Print:

The winner was Hazel Walsh with The Old Couch, an enjoyable image of an abandoned sofa.

Standard Colour Print:

1st Anne Bidwell with Light Through A Sieve, an imaginative image showing light pouring through the holes of a copper sieve.

2nd & 3rd Shirley Lotfy with Fruit Dish, and Candelabra.

4th Anne Bidwell again with Cut It and Mix It.

5th Bob Corrin with Help I've Been Mugged.

6th Hazel Walsh with Anyone Home?

Intermediate Mono Print:

1st Janet Servante with Glow Light, a wonderful sharp photo of a ceiling light with soft lighting and the use of solarisation which suited the subject well.

2nd & 4th Diane McCudden with Northampton 31417, and Antique Silver and Crystal Grooming Kit.

3rd Robert Blythe-Skyrme with Japanese Garden Drainpipe.

5th Janet Servante again with Sad Sofa.

Intermediate Colour Print:

1st Diane McCudden with The Red Book, a cleverly thought out composition of a red book with its pages partially open to tantalise the viewer.

2nd Dianne McCudden again with Perfume Bottle.

3rd Ian Lumsden with Ornaments.

4th & 5th Robert Blyth-Skyrme with The Rat Trap, and Happy Nappy Time.

6th Janet Servante with Galileo Thermometer.

Advanced Mono Print:

1st Claire Stringer with Lemon Juicer, a very strong image based on curves, with good lighting.

2nd  Claire Stringer again with Clock.

3rd & 5th Sue Jones with lemon Squeezer, and Egg Whisk.

4th Chris Blyth with The Way To A Man's Heart Starts Here!

5th & 6th Bob Servante with Shower Head, and My Little Woofer.

Advanced Colour Print:

1st Ron Shimmin with Times Past, showing an old fashioned study with a desk, books, lamp etc., set against a backdrop of beautiful tapestry. A real masterpiece, and a perfect photograph in every aspect, especially with the control of light.

2nd Chris Blyth with Mugs – All of Us!

3rd & 6th Sue Jones with Well Balanced, and Hand Whisk.

4th Ron Shimmin again with Up In The Attic.

5th Claire Stringer with Cupcake Cases.

As expected, the advanced group displayed good technical aspects with sharpness, texture and detail throughout their work.

Following a short break and a chance to have a closer look at the photos, everyone sat down to enjoy the second part of the evening with the judging of thirty three digital entries which again, included some very creative and imaginative ideas. 

Digital Results

Standard Group:

1st Shirley Lotfy with Lemon Squeezer, a sharply detailed and well thought out composition.

2nd & 6th Hazel Walsh with Lava Lamp, and Pots and Pans.

3rd Sam Bucknall (junior member) with That's Mine!

4th Shirley Lotfy again with Armchair.

5th Anne Bidwell with Steam Iron.

Intermediate Group

1st Jenny Shanley with Glasses in the Sink, a superb glassware image with excellent lighting.

2nd Natasha Wilson with Kids Cutlery.

3rd Janet Servante with Shades of Light.

4th Robert Blyth-Skyrme with Ceiling Fan Pattern.

5th John Dale with Kitchen Cabinet.

6th Diane McCudden with Twenty Past Eleven.

Advanced Group

1st Sue Jones with Rough Edge, an excellent image looking into a cheese grater, with great use of light to show the sharpness and texture of the metal.

2nd John Phipp with Wood Carving.

3rd Claire Stringer with Marmite Break.

4th & 5th Chris Blyth with Arabic Coffee Pot, and Oh...And Another Job!

6th Sue Jones again with Neon Phone.

An excellent evening ended with well deserved applause for Dennis Wood. Ian Lumsden thanked Dennis for his thorough critique and for giving so generously of his time and knowledge.

Ian also reminded members that this had been the last meeting of the year and ended by wishing all the members and their families a Very Happy Christmas!

The next IOMPS meeting will be on January 4th 2012, and will be The President's Evening. Hosted by society president, Antony Hamilton, it promises to be an informal social affair. So, perhaps members would like to bring along some food and nibbles to help make the evening even more of an event.

Also, don't forget to bring in your entries for the A4 Small Print competition.

Written by Anne Bidwell

7th December 2011 - Clean Sweep for the Ladies

Judge Mycl Corrin with Open Digital winners (left to right) Patricia Harvey; Claire Stringer and Dianne McCudden

The IOM Photographic Society was delighted to welcome Mycl Corrin, a well known and highly regarded local photographer as our judge this week.  He took pains to stress that judging a digitally projected image competition raised significant issued when compared with prints – in physical terms (you can hold a print and assess its quality close up versus others in competition) whilst a digital image is transitory, and necessarily viewed sequentially, as well as varying due to being seen differently on a computer monitor as to when projected (due to variations in colour management of the two systems).  In addition, an open competition raises difficulties for a judge in comparing a landscape versus a portrait or a still life versus a natural history image. Nevertheless, both technical  and artistic merit would be required to produce a successful (and winning) image.

The Standard Group was won by Patricia Harvey with a very well composed and artistic image of a green door set against shrubbery and a wall – giving a restful, even tranquil mood.  Runner up was Hazel Walsh with a very strong and colourfully striking image of the Manx 3 Legs  – the triskele – but with female rather than male legs....

Dianne McCudden dominated the Intermediate Group, taking both first and second places with two super images – the first of a young African child wearing the white muslim abaya – the use of monochrome and of well controlled lighting producing a powerful image, aptly called “Deep In Thought”.  Her second place came with “Happy Faces”, again a very appropriately titled image of two African children – offset in the image for a very strong compositional line, and smiling delightfully at the photographer.

In the Advanced Group, Claire Stringer’s image, “Faces”, came out on top – an intriguing image with large posterboards (of faces) providing a backdrop to a man sitting on a bench reading a newspaper.  An excellent natural history shot of a goldfinch in close up detail – excellent feather detail, a catchlight in the eye, and background thrown out of focus - earnt Chris Blyth a runner-up place.

John Phipp, Vice-President, gave the vote of thanks for an excellent evening and commentary on the various entries.

Our President was also very pleased to announce the award to Ruth Nicholls of her DPAGB (the Distinction for the Photographic  Alliance of Great Britain) given for a panel of 20 images which are assessed by 6 qualified judges and have to be of a consistently high quality to gain the award – generally regarded as being of at least open exhibition standard.  Very well done, Ruth !

The club programme now goes into “holiday season “ mode, with the club’s Christmas Social Evening being held at the Douglas Golf Club on Tuesday, 13th December, and the next photo evening being on Wednesday 4th January when our President will be presenting. Full details are available on the website

Results - Open Digital Images :  Standard Group  Patricia Harvey (1), Hazel Walsh (2), Patricia Larkham (3), Jiri Podobsky (4), Sam Bucknall (Junior – 5), Anne Bidwell (6), John Northey (C). Intermediate Group   Dianne McCudden (1 & 2), Robert Blyth-Skyrme (3), Janet Servante ($ & HC), Jenny Shanley (5), Phyllis Christian (6), John Dale (C).  Advanced Group  Claire Stringer (1), Chris Blyth (2 & C), Sue Jones (3), Ray Davies (4), John Phipp (5), Bob Servante (6).

By Chris Blyth

IOMPS Reports During January 2012

25th January 2012

Judge Ray Kelly with Open Print winners (Left to right) Anne Bidwell; Diane McCudden and Janet Servante

On Wednesday evening 18th January the Isle of Man Photographic Society held an Open Print Competition at Thie Ellyn, off Withington Road, Douglas.

Before introducing our judge for the evening, Ray Kelly, Club President Antony Hamilton announced details of a Club exhibition to be held at Laxey Woollen Mills. This will be officially opened by Steve Rodan MHK, Speaker of the House of Keys, on Friday 17th February and open to the general public on Saturday 18th.  The exhibition is to showcase the work of club members’ with prints being available for sale if required.

Our judge Ray went through section by section providing us with a most interesting and useful critique, whilst adding an element of humour which was thoroughly enjoyed by members of the audience.


Standard Group


1st        British Bank Holiday Weather by Anne Bidwell.  A fine image taken on Douglas Promenade on a wet, miserable day, portraying the type of weather which we have come to expect on a Bank Holiday.  A worthy winner.

2nd       Ashes to Ashes by Hazel Walsh.  Another good photograph within the dereliction genre for which Hazel has become well known on the Island.

3rd        Misty Trees by Patricia Harvey.  A good image of a wooded area bathed in Manx mist.


1st        Young Sparrow Resting by Anne Bidwell.    A very sharp and well-taken image of a juvenile sparrow taking a breather.

2nd       Red Admiral by Shirley Lofty.  A good, colourful shot of a Red Admiral butterfly

3rd        Juvenile Robin by Patricia Harvey.  Extreme close-up of a juvenile robin with a good catch-light in the eye.

Intermediate Group


1st        All Dressed Up – by Diane McCudden.  An excellent portrait of a gentleman in evening suit and top hat which was a very well deserved winner.

2nd       Maughold Lighthouse by Janet Servante.  A clear, sharp shot of Maughold Lighthouse taken from the cliffs above.

3rd        Palm Tree detail by Natasha Wilson.  An interesting pattern print detailing the palm tree trunk.


1st        Sinking into Dereliction by Janet Servante.  An interesting shot taken inside a derelict cottage depicting and old sink in a room rotting away.

2nd       Falls Between the Trees by Diane McCudden A good shot of  a rocky river bed taken through two trees which formed a frame to the photograph.

3rd        Lion at Watering Hole by Diane McCudden.  A close up of a lion in Africa taking refreshment at a drinking hole.

Advanced Group


1st        A Hard Climb by Ron Shimmin.  An excellent shot of a long flight of steps in an urban setting.

2nd       Injebreck by Sue Jones.  A photograph of a derelict cottage at Injebreck  showing good texture and detail.

3rd        Rodeo Rider by Sue Jones.  An excellent action shot of a terrified bucking bronco rider on a mechanical bull.


1st        Looking for an Exit?  An excellent shot of a surfer on board about to be engulfed by a huge curling wave.

2nd       Close to the Edge by Tony Curtis.  A beautifully panned image of a TT racer capturing fine detail on the motorcycle and displaying a sense of movement.

3rd        Deer by Claire Stringer.  A good natural history shot.

Members are reminded that entries are due in by Wednesday 8th February for the next small print competition to be held on the 15th February.

By Bob Servante

18th January 2012

A4 Print Competition judge Antony Hamilton (left) with Standard section winner Jiri Podobsky

Last Wednesday evening saw the penultimate small print competition of the society’s annual programme. President Antony Hamilton opened the evening by thanking those members who had attended and contributed to the presidents evening the previous week. He also updated members on the progress of Nigel Owen and John Phipp who have both been in hospital recently. The evenings scheduled judge Peter Cartmel is also recovering from illness so we wish the three of them all the best and hope for a speedy recovery. Antony took over the judging of the evening’s competition for which members submit A4 prints in Beginner and Intermediate classes. In the Standard group there were 19 entries and the results were as follows:

Commended - ‘Autumn in Ballaglass’ – Patricia Harvey

Commended - ‘Stone in my Shoe’ – Norma Cowell

6th - ‘Silent Night’ – Jiri Podobsky

Joint 4th - ‘The Fire Breather’ – Hazel Walsh

Joint 4th - ‘Tranquillity’ – Martin Parnell

3rd - ‘Dog on a Mission’ – Martin Parnell

2nd - ‘Feeling on Top of the World’ – Anne Bidwell

1st - ‘Stone-Eater’ – Jiri Podobsky

There is also an audience vote for the small print competitions. Votes are placed in a sealed box at the start of the evening and tallied and announced during the judging. In the beginners section the audience voted ‘Autumn in Ballaglass’ in first place with ‘Wasp’ by Hazel Walsh and ‘Stone in my Shoe’ in joint second place.

In the Intermediate class there were 9 entries and the results were as follows:

6th - ‘Clematis Seed Head’ – Jenny Shanley

5th - ‘Sam’ – Natasha Wilson

4th - ‘Robin’ – Janet Servante

3rd - ‘Running at Warp Speed’ – Robert Blythe-Skyrme

2nd - ‘High Flyer’ – Janet Servante

1st - ‘Paddle Hard’ – Robert Blythe-Skryme

In the audience vote ‘Corners’ by Natasha Wilson and ‘Robin’ were in joint third place with ‘Clematis Seed Head’ in second and ‘Paddle Hard’ in first.

After refreshments there was a showing of the Lancashire and Cheshire Photographic Unions Colour Portfolio 2011. This featured the best of the colour print entries and showed the high level of work currently being produced in the region. Special mention goes to Ray Davies whose image ‘White Orchid’ was selected for the portfolio and also to Sue Jones for her photograph ‘Glastonbury Afternoon’. Both prints scored 11 out of a possible 15.

In next week’s meeting the Open Digital entries will be judged and members are reminded to submit their entries for the assignment competition. The theme for this is ‘Song, Book or Film Title’.

By Hazel Walsh


Dear Members,

Since I wrote to you all yesterday (16th) with details about the above, I have obtained some further information from the Gallery Curator.  I set it out below and hope you will find it helpful.

I have already indicated that the Gallery is expecting to receive a mix of mounted and framed images for display.

I can now advise that all unframed pictures (either flat or window mounted) will be exhibited by the Gallery staff on large 8 x 4ft correx boards that they normally use for displaying such items.   Such mounts should be either 40 x 50cm or 30 x 40cm so please take note of these sizes where frames are not being used. 

With regard to framed images, the Gallery can accommodate a stringed back, that is two eyes screwed into the frame or a central hanging point.  [Clip frames should not be used as experience has shown these can be a problem as they often do not hang flush to the wall and the clips can tend to part company with the frame]  The hanging system used by the Gallery consists of cords suspended from a clip rail (called a C clip rail system).  Hooks are slipped on to the cords and their height adjusted accordingly.

There is a new exhibition at the Gallery from this next Saturday, 21st February, on the work of Artist and Sculptor, Josie Ellis.  If you are in the area next week, a brief visit to see first hand how the Gallery displays are presented might prove useful.

Best regards,



Dear Members,

Over the past weekend, I have received from the Curator of the Loom Gallery, Laxey Woollen Mills, St. Georges Mill, Glen Road, Laxey, the clearer particulars members need to aid their preparatory work.  Consequently, I am now able to set out for you the Gallery’s requirements for our exhibition next month.

The Society has been asked to provide up to 100 mounted images for the exhibition, but if the images are to be framed the number needed will be more like 70.  It is entirely up to individual members whether they wish to frame or mount their images for sale but, if they are framed, a higher asking price could be justified.  Diane McCudden has very kindly offered to bring some examples with her to Thie Ellyn on Wednesday evening which might help any members who are a little unsure, especially if this will be ‘a first’ for them.

We do need to move fairly quickly now because our Secretary, Chris Blyth, has been asked to deliver the prints to the Gallery on Monday, 13th February and the Curator will then take responsibility for hanging them in readiness for the Preview Evening and official opening by Hon Steve Rodan SHK, Speaker of the House of Keys, on Friday 17th February.   (The exhibition will be open to the public from the following day, Saturday, 18th February).

Consequently, the Committee needs to know as soon as possible, please, which members wish to submit print images for display and sale, roughly how many we can expect from each of you, and whether you intend to mount or frame them as we need to ascertain, probably within the next 2 weeks, whether we shall have sufficient (or too many) for display.  In the temporary absence of our Secretary, I am happy for you to supply this information to me by e-mail (but it might be helpful if you were to copy this information to Chris also for his return).

Chris Blyth has agreed to compile a listing for the Gallery of all the photographs, title, photographer and any technical details or equipment, if possible, plus the sale price of each (which should include the 25% Gallery commission).  So, when we ask you to bring your prints in to Thie Ellyn for the exhibition we shall ask you to supply this level of detail for Chris at the same time. 

All the print sales will go through the Gallery which will then issue a cheque to the Society (minus the 25% commission).  The Gallery has said it would be prepared to issue individual cheques to the vendors, if this is generally preferred, but I intend to leave that level of detail to our Secretary and Treasurer who, I am sure, would be interested to know what members would prefer.  They will then agree with the Gallery one method of payment or the other (but I would say that we do not want a mix of the two!)

The Gallery has asked our Secretary to supply a ‘potted history’ of the Society.  This will be copied and handed out for people to take away and it would also be used for promotional purposes.  After all, the reason the Society agreed to stage the exhibition was to promote the work of its members more widely through advertising and marketing.

The Gallery has asked for a few advance images which can be used for the invitations and advertising almost immediately so could I please ask members if they might be able to help with this in the next week or so, please?

I hope I have managed to cover everything, or at least the main points.

I shall look forward to seeing you all on Wednesday and the Society hopes very much that as many members as possible will wish to support this exhibition.


11th January 2012 - VIVA VALENCIA!

IOMPS President Antony Hamilton who gave a presentation on Valencia

January 4th was the Isle of Man Photographic Society's first meeting of 2012 and society president, Antony Hamilton, eased us into the New Year by hosting a   President's Evening, where members enjoyed a relaxed social occasion starting with a presentation of Antony's trip to Valencia, followed by a very nice buffet.

Antony doesn't enter many of the society's competitions, but said that he had derived a great deal of pleasure in compiling this photo travelogue of one of his favourite pastimes, visiting European cities.

Valencia is Spain's third largest city and was once the capital of the old Moorish kingdom. Through some stunning images, Antony began our tour of the city at it's impressive railway station, showing its beautiful interior full of ceramic mosaics making up many colourful, classical and romantic pictures. Then on to the old town with its amazing architecture, street sculptures and of course, the bullring.

The town square is dominated by a lovely fountain amongst wonderful neo-classical  buildings, all of which are clean and colourful. There is a wealth of eye catching modern street art blending in well with the many old ceramic wall tiles on most of the  buildings.

Next, we visited the cathedral built in 1238, the city's finest monument. A mixture of gothic and renaissance architecture and beautifully sculpted stone detail were awe inspiring. Inside is a small chapel in which some people believe the Holy Grail is housed.

Next, we arrived at the modern commercial district and the ultra modern Science and Arts area where the old gives way to the new. Antony's photos captured every detail of these innovative and modern artistic buildings.

Finally, we travelled by Metro from the city to the golden sandy beaches which are alongside a 3km promenade lined with bars and restaurants. With the average temperature at 18c all year round, it's an ideal place for dining out in the evenings.

Afterwards, and on behalf of the audience, committee member Ian Lumsden thanked Antony for his carefully composed and very enjoyable presentation, and said that his fabulous photographs had captured the essence of Valencia so well that we will all want to dash off there as soon as we can!

Later, while enjoying the buffet, ( and “thanks” to everyone who brought food and set it up), the room was buzzing with chat including the fact that on Feb. 17th at the Loom Gallery in Laxey, there will be an opportunity for society members to exhibit and offer for sale their work. Also, are there any thoughts or ideas about topics for next year's assignment competitions? If so, please email them to a committee member.

The next IOMPS meeting will see the judging of the Open Print competition. Entries are now due in for the Open Digital competition on Jan. 25th.

If anyone with an interest in photography would like to join the IOMPS, membership is currently £15. But, for a nominal fee of £1. Anybody is welcome to come along at 7.30pm on Wednesday evenings. Visit the website

4th January 2012

It seems hard to believe that we are almost half way through our Winter Programme already.  How the time flies when you are enjoying yourself, being indulged in such a fulfilling pastime as photography!  Members of the Society traditionally take a few weeks off to enjoy the festive season, perhaps hoping that Father Christmas might bring them a few photographic goodies on Christmas morning. (In fact, several members have been overheard in recent weeks talking excitedly about the prospect of new cameras, flash units, filters and other gadgets being discovered in their Christmas stockings!) 

Since our Programme began back in September, we have enjoyed good attendances at our Wednesday evening gatherings with quite a few new members joining and many guests being welcomed.   We have witnessed plenty of variety with practical demonstrations, friendly competitions and guest presenters.  As always, we have been most grateful to our visiting judges for generously giving their time to support the Society, all of whom have given expert feedback and guidance on our work.  

At this time of year, as we take stock and look forward to the remainder of our planned activities for 2012, we can feel very pleased that the Society is continuing to grow and proud that it is doing so well, though we must never become complacent as we all strive to improve the quality of our photography.  The Society is affiliated to the Photographic Alliance of Great Britain (PAGB) through the Lancashire and Cheshire Photographic Union (L&CPU) and, each year, the best of our work is sent the adjacent island to compete against other clubs and societies.  This is an excellent way of measuring our progress against the best and of the best in much larger geographic areas.  The results of the 2011 L&CPU Competitions were published recently and our Society was ranked 12th (out of 29 clubs) overall (that is for prints and projected images), having been placed 4th (out of 57) for general projected images and 16th (out of 33) for our print entries.  That is quite an achievement!

In our annual ‘slide battle’ in 2011 with the Oldham and District Camera Club and the Rochdale District Camera Club, our Society came a close second but we shall be doing our very best to improve on that when we compete with them again in March, 2012. However, in our ‘battle’ with the Western and Southern Clubs we recently came out on top for the first time since 2007.  These inter-club competitions may be keenly fought but the rivalry is purely friendly and conducted in a highly civilised fashion!

On an individual level, two of our members have been awarded their Certificates of Merit by the PAGB and one has recently been awarded a Distinction so we join with them in celebrating their successes.

Finally, members like to keep one eye on their successes in the Society’s monthly competitions so, at this half way stage in the programme, here are the first three placings only (for brevity) in each of the main categories, starting with the prints –

  • Standard Open Mono : 1st Patricia Harvey; 2nd Hazel Walsh; 3rd Sam Bucknell.
  • Standard Open Colour : 1st Shirley Lotfy; 2nd Mark Corlett; 3rd Patricia Harvey.
  • Standard Assignments Colour 1st Ann Bidwell; 2nd Shirley Lotfy; 3rd Hazel Walsh.
  • Intermediate Mono 1st Diane McCudden; 2nd Robert Blyth; 3rd Janet Servante.
  • Intermediate Open Colour 1st Diane McCudden ; 2nd Robert Blyth; 3rd Ian Lumsden.
  • Intermediate Assignments Mono 1st Janet Servante; 2nd Diane McCudden; 3rd Robert Blyth.
  • Intermediate Assignments Colour 1st Diane McCudden; 2nd Janet Servante; 3rd Ian Lumsden.
  • Advanced Open Mono 1st Sue Jones; 2nd Tony Curtis; 3rd Mark Stringer
  • Advanced Open Colour 1st Mark Stringer; 2nd Bob Servante; 3rd Toy Curtis.
  • Advanced Assignments Mono 1st Sue Jones; 2nd Claire Stringer; 3rd Bob Servante
  • Advanced Assignments Colour 1st Sue Jones; 2nd Chris Blyth; 3rd Ron Shimmin.

As for projected digital images, the current standings are –

  • Standard Open 1st Patricia Harvey; 2nd Jiri Podobsky; 3rd Hazel Walsh
  • Standard Assignments 1st Shirley Lotfy; 2nd Phil Edge; 3rd Hazel Walsh
  • Intermediate Open 1st Diane McCudden; 2nd Robert Blyth; 3rd John Dale
  • Intermediate Assignment 1st Natasha Wilson; 2nd Robert Blyth; 3rd Jenny Shanley.
  • Advanced Open 1st Chris Blyth; 2nd Sue Jones; 3rd Claire Stringer
  • Advanced Assignments 1st Chris Blyth; 2nd Sue Jones; 3rd John Phipp

There is still a long way to go before the final awards will be announced at the end of our year so the leaders at this point should not be complacent nor should other members feel too disappointed!. The full results so far are available on the Society’s website which also contains the full Programme and other information about the Society.

Our next meeting will be held at Thie Ellyn, off Withington Road at 7.30 pm on Wednesday, 11th January when we will have the penultimate Small (A4) Prints Competition and an opportunity to view the L&CPU Colour Prints Portfolio.  As always, guest will be most welcome but will be asked to pay a small charge, unless they are in full time study.

By Antony Hamilton, Society President

1st January 2012 - Happy New Year !

Dear Member,

A short note on behalf of your committee to wish you, your families and friends a Happy New Year......

And also a reminder that the first programme of the New Year is next Wednesday, when Antony - our President - will be presenting the programme, on an as yet to be declared topic - so, a surprise with which to start the year (but sure to be enjoyable, and excellent entertainment !).

As a "social evening", members are requested to bring along a contribution with some food (snacks, light bites, sandwiches, biscuits, cakes or whatever) - the second half of the evening will be an opportunity for a chat with other members....

Very best wishes


IOMPS Reports During February 2012

23rd February 2012 - Assignments For 2012-2013

HI All;

The Assignments for 2012-2013 Season are:

  • Attractions
  • Food
  • Agriculture and fisheries.

And for the IOM Bank Cup: Manx Glens

22nd February 2012

Open Print winners Phyllis Christian (left) and Sue Jones with Judge Eddie Fryer

The latest meeting of the IOM Photographic Society was an evening dedicated to an Open Prints competition – and the Society was delighted to welcome Eddie Fryer, well known local photographer and long-time friend of the club, as the judge. “Open” means the photographer has freedom of choice as regards the subject matter of any images being entered – but creates some difficulty for the judge in that he has to assess the relative worth, for example, of a landscape versus a still life, or a portrait versus a natural history shot.  Most importantly, the judge then has to justify his selection to a demanding audience, with appropriate words of wisdom as to which images are to take his awards.  Eddie proved more than capable of satisfying those demands, with a measured, authoritative and well paced commentary.  This was always entertaining yet with a thoughtful balance of sympathetic critique and considered praise – with little escaping his very experienced eyes.

In a reverse of the usual programme, the evening started with the Advanced Mono prints, where Sue Jones came out on top, with a well-composed still-life image of a knotted rope, “Under Tension”, the texture of the strands and deep tonal range providing great impact.  Tony Curtis’s shot “Cregneash”, of traditional Manx cottages, came in second, the careful composition earning particular praise.   In the Advanced colour section, it was again Sue Jones in first place, her image “Bandsman”, of a musician and his instrument at the annual Tynwald ceremony, gaining exceptional praise – the depth of colours, the bandsman’s reflection in the horn of his instrument, the composition with a very artistic use of colour and choice of viewpoint all combining in what was described as an exceptional print, gorgeous and an absolute pleasure to have judged.  Mark Stringer’s image “In Flight”, of a raptor in action, came in second place, head and feather detail being very sharp and the bird well placed in the composition, and importantly, with a muted background to ensure our attention remained on the bird.

In the Intermediate Mono section, Diane McCudden’s image “Boating Lake”, proved a worthy winner - a lovely foreground with the boats, a mid-ground with reflections of sky and distant mountains on the water of the lake, a dramatic sky and a very atmospheric treatment, all combining in a great composition to give real impact.  Janet Servante’s shot of a heron vied with another of her natural history shots for second place, the heron emerging as runner-up – a lovely side shot with great detail on the head and body of the bird, and its markings very clear. Phyllis Christian was the winner in the Intermediate Colour section, with “Sea Holly”, a beautiful shot of a sea holly head, taken from above to give a “starlike” appearance.  It had an immediate impact, thanks to a very crisp treatment and some lovely colours.  Runner-up was Robert Blyth-Skyrme, with “Duck Through” – a shot of a body surfer being engulfed in an enormous, breaking wave, again with wonderful colours in the water and sky beyond.

Patricia Harvey’s image “By Two”, of the heads of two elephants standing side on to the camera, and showing only their eyes and ears, won the Standard Mono group.  It was a very well seen image, deceptive in its simplicity, but full of texture with the creases in their hides, and a very balanced composition.  A junior member, Sam Bucknall, deservedly came in as runner-up, with a delightful shot of Jodrell Bank – bags of detail in the steel latticework, and a very well composed and considered viewpoint.  A very good night for Sam then saw his colour image “Street Art, Douglas Quay” win the Standard Colour section.  This was again a very well seen image, a “pared down” night shot of the North Quay sculpture, with the mauve lighting giving lots of impact, the shot well composed with the yellow lights of the hotel behind giving a balance to the composition.  Annette Slater was runner-up, with “Fright of the Heron”, the bird caught just in the moment of take-off, and providing a very interesting and dynamic shape to the image.

Antony Hamilton, Club President, gave the vote of thanks – and looked forward to our next competition, when Eddie would again be our judge.

Results - Standard Mono Prints : Patricia Harvey (1 & 3), Sam Bucknall (Junior Member – 2 & 5), Norma Cowell (4), Elaine Dewhirst (6).  Standard Colour Prints : Sam Bucknall (Junior Member – 1 & 6), Annette Slater (2 & C), Paul Dougherty (3), Shirley Lotfy (4), Norma Cowell (5), Mark Corlett (VHC), Patricai Harvey (C).   Intermediate Mono Prints : Diane McCudden (1 & 5), Janet Servante (2 & 3), Robert Blyth-Skyrme (4), Peter Brew (6).  Intermediate Colour Prints : Phyllis Christian (1), Robert Blyth-Skyrme (2), Ian Lumsden (3), Diane McCudden (4), Janet Servante (5 & 6). Advanced Mono Prints : Sue Jones (1 & 4), Tony Curtis (2 & 6), Ron Shimmin (3 & 5).  Advanced Colour Prints : Sue Jones (1 & 4), Mark Stringer (2 & 5), Claire Stringer (3 & C), Tony Curtis (6), Ron Shimmin (C).

The Society’s next meeting is at 7:30pm on Wednesday 29th February at Thie Ellyn (The Art Society, in Withington Road, Douglas) when renowned local artist and photographer Dr Jeremy Paul will be speaking on “Travels of a Wildlife Artist – Arctic and Africa”.  This is sure

By Chris Blyth

20th February 2012 - Hodgson Loom Gallery Exhibition

Hi All;

As you should all know, we have an exhibition currently on at the Hodgson Loom Gallery at the Laxey Woolen Mills.

Below are some Photos from the Preview Evening, and we must say it looks fantastic!

The exibition is set to run untill sat 10th of March.

15th February 2012

A4 Print winner Ian Lumsden with Judge Ruth Nicholls

During what can be a rather depressing period at the start of the year with wind, rain and general gloom, it is always something of a pick-me-up to transported to far away places where the sun can be seen once more.  So, we were delighted to welcome one of our own members, Ruth Nicholls, when she agreed to give a digital presentation of a trip she and her husband, Chris, had taken in April 2010 to the Republic of Turkey.  We all knew from previous sightings of Ruth’s work that the photography would be first class - and so it was! 

The 18 day visit had begun (and ended) in Istanbul, north western Turkey, with its present day mix of European and Asian influences.  Istanbul is the largest city in the Republic and is divided by the Bosphorus, which connects the Sea of Marmara to the Black Sea, into the more historic European side, with its economic centre, and an Asian side.  In its uniqueness, Istanbul is a destination which has so much to offer the photographer.  This was plain to see from Ruth’s splendid images of the Grand Bazaar, the Topkapi (Royal) Palace and the marvelous religious buildings which dominate the skyline, including the Blue Mosque and the Hagia Sophia, and a glimpse of a few of the other historic churches and synagogues, most within easy walking distance of the busy waterfront.  We were shown examples to illustrate the Byzantine and Ottoman architecture, reflecting the various rulers over the centuries.  Genoese, Roman, and even Greek forms of architecture remain visible in Istanbul alongside their Ottoman counterparts.

On display, there were also images of Gallipoli, which is the most frequently used name for the peninsula to the west of the Dardanelles Straits.  This is where the fighting took place there between British and French troops of the Allies against Turkish troops between April 1915 and January 1916.  It was also here that soldiers of the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps (ANZAC) first went first into action during the Great War.  The peninsula forms one land side of the Straits that link the Black Sea and the Aegean Sea. The peninsula is only 10 miles at the widest point and is about 45 miles long but was considered to be strategically important.  The steep-sided hills and deep gulleys and ravines of the peninsula proved to be a formidable obstacle for the Allied Forces and the assault proved costly on both sides, though the actual number of lives lost might never be known.  The well tended War Cemetery and the touching Turkish memorial to the fallen certainly brought a lump to the throat!

The tour of Turkey took us inland through changing landscapes via the country’s capital, Ankara, and south east to the pretty resort of Antalya (in the area known as Pamphylia in the Bible) on the coast of the Mediterranean Sea.  The journey, by motor coach, meant long, tiring days of travel but each was rewarded by spectacular sights.  One of these was the strange geology of Cappadocea, surely one of the most visually surprising natural vistas on the planet.  There is evidence of a civilisation in this region from between 3000 and 2000 BC and it was to here that many of the first followers of Jesus Christ fled when escaping from the tyranny of the Roman empire.  It was to become one of the most important places in the spreading of Christianity.

The Republic of Turkey was established in the 1920s by Kemal Ataturk, a nationalist leader, public statues of whom are to be seen throughout the country.  However, no trip to Turkey would be complete without spending at least a day visiting the ancient city of Ephesus, a short distance inland from the Aegean Sea.  This was one of the great cities of the Greeks in Asia Minor and home to the Temple of Artemis, one of the Seven Wonders of the ancient World.  Being a major tourist attraction, the ruins of Ephesus are always busy and can be quite exhausting as there is no shelter from the blazing Sun.  Nevertheless, this extensive site is sacred for Christians due to its association with Biblical figures such as St. Paul, St. John the Evangelist and the Virgin Mary.  Ruth’s images revealed how advanced the people living in Ephesus must have been with their drainage and other facilities.  Members of the Society could only imagine from the ruins just how grand the buildings must have been and caused them to realise how civilised a community must have lived here.

The President of the Society proposed a vote of thanks to Ruth Nicholls, not only for bringing the sunshine of Turkey to us on a cold evening but also for judging the last of the ‘Small (A4) Prints Competitions earlier in the evening.  This had been the first time Ruth had judged for the Society but, after her easy delivery and her frank but kindly constructive comments, she is bound to be asked again.  The results were as follows –

Standard Class – 1st Patricia Harvey with ‘Leopard on the Ridge’, an excellent image of a leopard glancing over her shoulder; 2nd Anne Bidwell with an image  titled ‘Sunshine Awakes’, 3rd Norma Cowell with ‘Please Let Me In’, Anne Bidwell with ‘Bar Headed Goose’, 5th Patricia Harvey with ‘Hope Springs Eternal’, and 6th Phil Edge for ‘St Peter’.  Annette Slater and Martyn Parnell were very highly commenced; Hazel Walsh and Shirley Lotfy were highly commended; and Martyn Parnell and Annette Slater received commendations from the judge for other images.

Intermediate Class – 1st and 2nd Ian Lumsden for a beautiful picture of ‘Poet’s Courtyard, Sarlat’ and an colourful image titled ‘Computer Corner’, (respectively), 3rd Janet Servante with ‘Smiler’, 4th Peter Brew with ‘Arc de Triumph, 5th Janette Servante with ‘Juvenile Herring Gull with Prey’, and 6th Phyllis Christian with ‘Formal Garden, Albi Cathedral’.  

The long anticipated Spring Exhibition of the Isle of Man Photographic Society’ will be open to the public from Saturday, 18th February at the Loom Gallery (above the shop) at the Laxey Woollen Mills.  This will provide the many readers of this weekly column with the opportunity to view a selection of the Society’s photographic images, most of which will be available for purchase.  Do please come along and see the high quality prints on display before it closes on the 9th March!

The Society next meets at Thie Ellyn (off Withington Road) at 7.30 pm on

Wednesday, 22nd February, when there will be an ‘Open Competition’ for digitally projected images.  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.

By Antony Hamilton, Society President

8th February 2012

(Left to right) Song, Book, Film Title print winners, Back row: Janet Servante, Paul Dougherty, Sue Jones.

Front row: Claire Stringer, Judge Marianne McCourt, Patricia Harvey

February 1st saw the Isle of Man Photographic Society's assignment competition Song, Book or Film Title. The competition was presented in both prints and projected digital images.

This was one of the hardest of the assignments and entries were many, and varied in style and content. Many of the images were fun and brought much laughter from the audience.

Judging the competition was Marianne McCourt, a well known and very busy local photographer who specialises in weddings and portraits.

Marianne did a super job commenting on the entrants technical and artistic skills, and their interpretation of the brief, saying that the balance was spot on. She gave a very consistent critique interspersed with a great sense of humour and some very helpful advice on ways to improve the images, especially in using high print quality for strong blacks and whites.

She said that a good way to improve our photographic skills is to study some older well known classics, and ask ourselves why we like that particular image, and how was it done?  Also, to train our eyes and study where the light comes from in order to emulate those authors.

Print Results

Standard Mono   1st & 2nd Patricia Harvey with “Under The Boardwalk”, and “Night Of The Living Dead”. 3rd & 4th Anne Bidwell with “Underneath The Arches”, and “The Sleeper”.  5Th & 6th  Norma Cowell with “This Old Water Wheel”, and “Those Magnificent Men in Their Flying Machines”.

Standard Colour  1st Paul Dougherty with “I Want To Break Free”. 2nd Sam Bucknall (Junior member) with “Friends”. 3rd Patricia Harvey with “Baywatch”. 4Th & 6th Shirley Lotfy with “Gandhi” and “These Boots Were Made For Walking” 5th Anne Bidwell with “On Golden Pond”.

Intermediate Mono  1st  Robert Blyth-Skyrme with “Flipper”. 2nd  & 4th Dianne McCudden with “Sailing” and “the Rose”. 3rd & 5th  Janet Servante with “Rock Around The Clock” and “Walking The Dog”.

Intermediate Colour  1st & 5th Janet Servante with “The Letter” and “High and Dry”. 2nd Ian Lumsden with “Can Can”. 3rd Dianne McCudden with “Fields of Gold”. 4Th & 6th  Robert Blythe-Skyrme with “The Patriot” and “Turtles Can Fly”.

Advanced Mono   1st Claire Stringer with “Nelly The Elephant”. 2nd & 3rd Sue Jones with “I'm In Chains” and “The Ring” 4th Bob Servante with “Stormy Weather”.  5Th   & 6th Ron Shimmin with “Empty Chairs” and “The Lion In Winter”.

Advanced Colour  1st & 5th Sue Jones with “Scrooged” and “Dr. Who And The Daleks”. 2nd Bob Servante with “Psycho”. 3rd Claire Stringer with “Eye Of The Tiger”. 4th & 6th  Ron Shimmin with “Candle In The Wind” and “Summer Holiday”.

Digital Results

Standard Group  1st Shirley Lotfy with “Lady In Red”. 2nd Hazel Walsh with “Bleak House”. 3rd& 5th Patricia Harvey with “Tragedy”, and “These Boots Were Meant For Walking”.  4th & 6th Patricia Larkham with “Lady In The Water”, and “Day At The Beach”.

Intermediate Group  1st & 6th Phyllis Christian with “When The Boat Comes In”, and “Hard Times”. 2nd & 3rd John Dale with “Cheek To Cheek”, and “Autumn Leaves”. 4th Janet Servante with “The Old Curiosity Shop”. 5th Natasha Wilson with “Little Shop Of Horrors”.

Advanced Group  1st Sue Jones with “Stephen King's IT”. 2nd John Phipp with “Blue Skies”. 3rd Bob Servante with “Rocking Robin”. 4th & 5th Chris Blyth with “A Bend In The River”, and “Watership Down”. 6th Claire Stringer with “Madame Butterfly”.

Society secretary, Chris Blythe, thanked Marianne for breaking into her busy schedule in order to judge the competition, and for giving so freely of her time and extensive knowledge. Everyone was happy with her positive comments and her encouragement.

Membership to the IOMPS is open to anyone with an interest in photography no matter what your age. Visit for details.

We have several members under sixteen and one of these “Junior” members is Sam Bucknall. Sam consistently produces some impressive work and frequently wins places in our competitions. His 2nd placed, “Friends” perfectly captures the closeness and cameraderie of two young boys.  Sam is surely a photographer to watch out for in the future.

The IOMPS are looking forward to an exhibition of their work at the Loom Gallery at Laxey Woollen Mills, open to the public from 18th February. Images from more than 20 society members will be on display and cover a wide range of work. But in particular, Manx landscapes and sporting activities including TT, also natural history and still life.

This is the first exhibition by the society for some years and re-confirms the wealth of artistic talent on our island, and the popularity of photography as an accessible hobby, and, for some members, a passion!

Anne Bidwell

1st February 2012

Judge Andrew Barton (centre) with Open Digital winners Andrew Cowan (left) and Bob Servante

There was a short delay to the start of our evening’s programme at the end of January but the time was well used to finalise the arrangements for the Isle of Man Photographic Society’s Spring 2012 Exhibition of Prints to be held at the Loom Gallery, Laxey Woollen Mills.  The Speaker of the House of Keys, Hon Steve Rodan SHK, Member of the Hose of Keys for the Constituency of Garff, has very kindly consented to open to exhibition and the doors will be open to the public from Saturday, 18th February.  This will be a great opportunity for members of the public to view a sample of the Society’s photographic images and most of the prints, some of which will be framed, will be available for purchase.

The evening’s programme was to be an ‘open’ competition for projected digital images and our judge was Andrew Barton, a local professional photographer who has his photographic studios in Ramsey.  The Society is extremely grateful to Andrew who has been generous enough to judge for us on many occasions in the past and who, therefore, was making a welcome return to surroundings very familiar to him.   Members of the Society always look forward to his visits as he tolerates any shortcomings we might have and patiently offers his knowledgeable guidance from a professional viewpoint. 

On this occasion, Andrew was asked to assess 44 digitally projected images, fewer entries than we normally receive.  Even though he had obviously had a busy day, running into the evening, which had delayed his arrival, he set about this task with his customary enthusiasm.  He is always comfortable in sharing his expertise with Society members.  With his easy manner, he has the happy knack of being able to balance praise, where it is due, with the need offer any negative comments in a positive way, adding helpful suggestions aimed at improving our techniques. He also introduced a nice touch of humour, especially when presented with one rather unorthodox image that almost defied description!

In the ‘Standard’ section, an unusual study of a Chess game by Andrew Cowin had impressed the judge and been placed first.  Jiri Podobski continued his recent run of success with a second place for ‘A Christmas Angel’, where a good choice of aperture and viewpoint had produced a most pleasing outcome.  Andrew Cowan was also awarded third place for ‘Matt’.

In the ‘Intermediate’ category, Robert Blyth came out on top with an image of two Grey Seals, basking in the sun.  A highly deserved second place was awarded to Phyllis Christian for a lovely image of a young Brownie proudly holding her Christingle, the lit candle being the only source of light.  Third came ‘Herring Gull in Flight’ by Diane McCudden.

Finally, in the ‘Advanced’ group, ‘The Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner’ by Bob Servante gained top marks.  A beautiful floral image titled ‘Alliam Big Bang’ by Chris Blyth was placed second and Claire Stringer’s stunning image of a snowy owl, with its wonderful, peering eyes, came third. 

The full Results were

Standard – 1st and 3rd Andrew Cowan; 2nd and 4th Jiri Podobski; 5th Patricia Harvey; 6th Richard Shafto.  Patricia Larkham was highly commended.

Intermediate – 1st Robert Blyth; 2nd Phyllis Christian; 3rd and 5th Diane McCudden; 4th John Dale; 6th Janet Servante.  John Dale was highly commended.

Advanced – 1st Bob Servante; 2nd Chris Blyth; 3rd Claire Stringer; 4th Sue Jones; 5th John Phipp; 6th and also highly commended Brian Speedie

The full results for the season so far are available on the Society’s website which also contains the full Programme and other information about the Society.

Antony Hamilton proposed the vote of thanks for the judge and thanked all those who had entered the competition for providing such a pleasant evening’s entertainment.

Our next meeting will be held at Thie Ellyn, off Withington Road at 7.30 pm on Wednesday, 8th February when we shall have our final Small (A4) Prints Competition and a presentation by Ruth Nicholls on Turkey.  Guests are always most welcome on Wednesday evenings and are only asked to pay a small charge, unless they are in full time study.

By Antony Hamilton, Society President

IOMPS Reports During March 2012

28th March 2012 - Isle of Man Bank Manx Churches Competition

Monochrome and colour winners Bob Servante and Diane McCudden with Judge Mycl Corrin (centre)

On Wednesday 21st March the Isle of Man Photographic Society was pleased to present its annual Isle of Man Bank Cup competition kindly sponsored by the Isle of Man Bank, the subject for this year’s entry being Manx Churches.

Due to other commitments, the judge who was originally assigned to judge the competition was unavailable, so we were most grateful to Mycl Corrin who stepped into the breach at the eleventh hour.

Mycl has judged at the Club on many previous occasions but this was the first time he had to judge a specific theme.  Before he started he stated that this had indeed made the job harder, not easier, to separate the winners.

Isle of Man Bank Cup competition winner Bob Servante (left) with Judge Mycl Corrin

The Competition is executed in two parts, the first being colour prints, the second, monochrome prints.  Each section is judged independently with six places being awarded in each category.   An overall winner is then chosen from the first two places.  


Colour Prints

1st        Diane McCudden – Jurby Church

2nd       Sue Jones – St. Thomas’s Church

3rd        Dave Welsh – Kirk Lonan All Saints, Built 1834

4th        Bob Servante – St. Mark’s Church

5th            Peter Brew – St. Runius

6th        Chris Blyth – Holy Trinity Church, Patrick

Monochrome Prints

1st        Bob Servante – Holy Trinity, Patrick

2nd       Sue Jones – Kirk Christ, Lezayre

3rd        Diane McCudden – Maughold Church

4th        Dave Welsh – Old Kirk Lonan St. Adamnan’s, Built 1834

5th        Ron Shimmin – St. Mark’s Church

6th        Chris Blyth – St. Maughold’s Church, Maughold

Overall Winner -  Bob Servante, Holy Trinity, Patrick- monochrome print.  Bob wins the Isle of Man Bank Cup.

After the break, we were treated to a folio of  international competition submissions from Wigan 10.  This is a “by invitation only club” comprising just 14 members, who meet to discuss and critique each others work, resulting in some of the best images produced within the UK.  It is hoped that these will provide us with inspiration to continue to improve our own work.

Next week there will be a presentation  -“Lantern Slides of the IOM” with Jack Kaighin followed by and L&CPU Documentary Portfolio.

26th March 2012 - Forthcoming AGM

Dear Member,

Further to my recent email, and as reminded at our meeting last week, the Annual General Meeting of the club is due on 18th April.  The agenda will be as follows :

Minutes of last AGM (held 20th April 2011)

  1. President's Report
  2. Secretary's Report
  3. Treasurer's Report
  4. Election of Committee for 2012/13
  5. Proposals
  6. Any Other Business

Members are advised that anyone wishing to stand for the committee is required to be proposed and seconded, and their candidacy posted on the Club's notice board on Thursday of this week (29th March).  The positions for election are :

  • President
  • Vice-President
  • Secretary
  • Treasurer
  • Competitions Secretary
  • And 6 Committee Members

Similarly, "Proposals" (such as a change to the Club's Rules) are required to be proposed and seconded, and formally advised in writing to the Secretary by Thursday of this week, for inclusion in the formal agenda.

"Any Other Business" is the opportunity for club members to provide suggestions or feedback to the Committee on club activities, or to raise queries, and not requiring changes to the Rules.

As an active society, with a very full programme, the AGM is an important date in the diary as the decisions taken at the meeting (or the feedback and suggestions provided), can have a significant impact on activities and the future programme - so it is vital that as many members as possible attend, and contribute to the meeting.

I look forward to seeing you at the meeting on 18th April.

Best wishes


21st March 2012 - Annual General Meeting - IOMPS

Dear Member

A reminder that the IOMPS AGM is rapidly approaching - 18th April - and perhaps sadly, the coming to the end of our current season.

The AGM is the opportunity for members to elect the committee for next year, and to raise any issues or concerns they may feel necessary, including possible changes to club rules.  Members wishing to be nominated for the committee or to action items for the agenda should please  be prepared - there is a requirement to give notice of such items or intentions, so the meetings tonight and next week will be your opportunity to nominate the committee or to raise formally any concerns for consideration at the AGM.

Thanks for your co-operation

Best wishes


21st March 2012

Juvenile Swallow Feeding by Bob Servante, one of four IOMPS images which scored 20 out of 20

On the 14th March 2012 members of the Isle of Man Photographic Society assembled for the three way inter-club digital battle with Oldham Photographic Society and Rochdale and District Camera Club. The competition was judged by Adrian Lines ARPS DPAGB BPE4* who travelled from Wigan for the evening. The event was filmed so that Isle of Man members could watch and hear the judge’s comments. It is only the second time this has happened at Thie Ellyn and the Isle of Man came second last year so expectations were high. Each image was awarded marks out of a possible 20 and Isle of Man members results were as follows:

15/20: ‘Miss Chaing Mai Flower Festival’ by John Phipp, ‘Spiny Seedhead’ by Jenny Shanley, ‘Departing Souls’ by Anita Imberger & ‘Directors Chair’ by Mark Stringer.

16/20: ‘Music Maker’ by Sue Jones, ‘Contemplation’ by Mark Stringer, ‘Something Blue’ by Hazel Walsh, ‘Deep in Thought’ by Diane McCudden, ‘Eagle Detail’ by John Phipp & ‘Rust & Rope’ by Sue Jones.

17/20: ‘Arctic Tern’ by Diane McCudden, ‘Road Races’ by Tony Curtis, ‘Children of the Corn’ by Sue Jones, ‘Out of the mist’ by Tony Curtis & ‘Faces’ by Claire Stringer.

22 images were ‘held back’ during the judging to be marked and placed at the end of the competition. The IOM results were as follows:

18/20: ‘Baby Eyes’ by Claire Stringer, ‘Arctic Tern’ by Robert Blyth-Skyrme, ‘Chameleon’ by Claire Stringer & ‘Bottlenose Dolphin’ by Robert Blyth-Skyrme.

19/20: ‘No Future’ by Mark Stringer & ‘The Body Shop’ by Ruth Nicholls.

We were then told that all remaining images had scored full marks and the Judge selected his winning image. This was ‘Punk’ by Christine Widdall of Oldham Photographic Society. However, the Isle of Man did extremely well with three members having four images marked 20/20. These were ‘Forgotten’ & ‘Red Billed Tropic Birds’ by Ruth Nicholls, ‘An Exercise in Restraint’ by Hazel Walsh and ‘Juvenile Swallow Feeding’ by Bob Servante.

At the end of the competition the club results were:

Oldham – 443

Isle of Man – 431

Rochdale – 406

A well deserved second place for the Isle of Man again.

Next week sees Colin Douglas ARPS AFIAP BPE*4 DPAGB travelling to the island to judge the societies annual competition. This is the culmination of the years work and a fantastic opportunity to see some great photography judged by a renowned UK photographer. Members are reminded that there will be no meeting on Wednesday 28th March as the annual competition will be judged on the Thursday 29th and Friday 30th at the usual time of 7.30pm. Non-members are more than welcome to come along.

By Hazel Walsh

16th March 2012 - Bebington Salon

Dear Member,

As in previous years, the club is delighted to be able to provide a showing of the 2011/12 Bebington Salon of Photography at Thie Ellyn on Wednesday 25th of April.

The Bebington is one of some 19 exhibitions held annually throughout the UK, winning entrants to any of the exhibitions then earning points towards the award of British Photographic Exhibitions "Stars"  (BPE stars), which can then be added as a qualification after your name - each accepted image to an exhibition gains 1 point, with 25 points entitling you to add the BPE 1*  first level of award to your name.  The top award is the BPE 5* award - but you will need 300 points to qualify for this one !

Typically, an open exhibition such as the Bebington will attract perhaps 3000 - 4000 entries in various categories - with perhaps only 350-400 gaining an acceptance (and thus a point towards the BPE star awards).  The winning entries - obviously all being of the highest quality - then go into the exhibition - the Bebington being a totally digital presentation.

The Bebington will, as usual, be presented by Bob Dennnis and Gordon Reid - and whilst the IOMPS hosts the event, it is an "open" evening to which club members can bring their families, and hopefully visitors from the other manx photographic clubs and members of the public will also be in attendance. Previous showings of the exhibition have been well attended and the images shown always superb - great quality, full of inspiration for anyone with a photographic or artistic interest - so excellent entertainment for an evening and well worth attending.

We look forward to seeing you and your families on the evening.....

Best wishes



Left to right: John Phipp and Bob Servante, who along with Hazel Walsh, presented demonstrations during the Society’s recent Practical Evening

On Wednesday March 7th the Isle of Man Photographic Society enjoyed a practical evening with demonstrations and explanations of how to enhance and resize photographs, and how to understand and control the histogram.

Committee member, John Phipp presented a pre-recorded demonstration on how to change the background of an image without disturbing the main subject. Using Adobe Photoshop, his first instruction was the most important – “before you start, save your image”! John then proceeded to show us how to transform an image by re-colouring and texturising it, and also how to move the main subject into a completely different photo.

Next, Hazel Walsh showed us how to create an Action in Photoshop. The “action” she demonstrated was how to resize all of the digital images in one certain folder so that they would automatically be presentable for competitions. Hazel succinctly explained each step and showed us how to successfully batch edit all the images in that folder, including how to add a thin border by adding a few pixels.

The second part of the evening was given over to advanced member, Bob Servante who endeavoured to teach us more about the histogram. Due to a technical problem he was unable to demonstrate using his editor of choice, Paint Shop Pro. Undaunted, Bob proceeded to explain things by using just his notes and years of experience.

He explained how the histogram makes up the colour of an image by spreading out the whole tonal range. Each colour has 256 tones, so there are millions of combinations of colours in the pixels which make up a digital image. Bob showed us how to expand or compress the tones by using the gamma controls of the histogram in order to manipulate the mid tones of a colour.

His best advice when taking a photo is to always under rather than over expose, as you can always rescue a darker image. But an image that is too light or burnt out can never be rescued, however experienced you are with your histogram.

Meanwhile, and throughout the whole evening, three of the IOMPS stalwart committee members, Sue Jones, Tony Curtis and Ian Lumsden, were hard at work sorting and cataloguing the many entries for this year’s annual print competition. Thank you Sue, Tony and Ian.

The annual competition is a big event for society members, who put forward their best work of the year for judging. This year the print competition will be held on the evening of Thursday March 29th while the digital competition will be on Friday March 30th, both will be judged by Colin Douglas ARPS, AFIAP, BPE*4, DPAGB.

Please come along to Thie Ellyn, off Withington Rd. at 7.30pm, and enjoy an evening full of many excellent and stunning photographic images. Entry fee is just £1.00

On March 21st the society is holding a competition for the IOM Bank Cup entitled “Manx Churches”. As always, guests are welcome to come along.

Last but not least, many thanks are due to those who make the tea, wash up and clean etc. These members who volunteer to do the more tedious tasks make the evenings more enjoyable for everybody and their efforts are very much appreciated.

Anne Bidwell

7th March 2012 - An Evening with Dr. Jeremy Paul – Wildlife Artist

Dr Jeremy Paul displays one of his many wonderful wildlife images 

Last Wednesday evening, 29th February proved to be one of the main highlights of the year for the Isle of Man Photographic Society. The Club enjoyed the largest audience of the season for a presentation given by the world renowned wildlife photographer Dr Jeremy Paul, who now lives in the Isle of Man.

Born in Accrington, Lancashire, Jeremy had a successful career in marine biology before becoming a professional Wildlife Artist, working in Spain and then on a small Scottish island where he became a leading authority on shellfish cultivation. During his time on the Island he began to paint seriously and during the 1980's developed his art still further.

Jeremy has many special achievements including BBC Wildlife Photographer of the Year -    Category Winner – 2010 and has had his work extensively used on Isle of Man stamps featuring 60  Island bird paintings.

Painting and photography are very closely linked to such an extent that without painting, photography may never have evolved. The idea of capturing an image using the principles of a pin hole camera first came from the Chinese several hundred years BC where an image was obtained in a darkened room through a pin-hole card at the window. In more recent times, the principles were used by artists to develop the Camera Obscura and later development of light-sensitive emulsions coated onto paper, inserted into the Camera Obscura and the camera was born. Jeremy uses his camera to capture a scene when out in the field as an aid to his painting when he gets home.

Dr Paul presented two slide shows to us, the first being of his trip to Spitsburgen, one of nine islands of Svalbard, an Archipelago belonging to Norway located in the Arctic Ocean, north of the Arctic Circle. Lots of bird, reindeer, dog and polar bear photographs to enjoy, the polar bear shots taken from the safety of a small boat. The images were wonderful but made us feel a little cold so we moved on after a break to his Safari shots.  Last October he travelled to Botswana for a Safari travelling from Maun to Moremi in the Okavango Delta, on to the Khwai conservation area and ending up at Victoria Falls. Photographs included African hunting dogs, elephants, cheetah, various birds and Zebras at a watering hole. It will be interesting to seeing some of the work when it appears on his web-site.

This was a rare opportunity to see work of this quality which was enjoyed by all and we    are very grateful to Jeremy that he was able to give us some time in his busy schedule.

Next week entries are due in for the last assignment competition, “Manx Churches” . This is a print only competition – One Colour and one Black & White.

7th March 2012

Open Digital winners Anne Bidwell and John Phipp with Judge Eddie Fryer (centre)

Well know local photographer, Eddie Fryer, paid a return visit last week to judge the Society’s February ‘open’ competitions for projected digital images and was given a warm welcome by the members and guests alike.  In his introductory remarks, the Society President thanked Eddie for generously giving of his time and for always being so very willing to agree to review and assess images entered in the various competitions.

Having judged the ‘open’ prints competition the previous week, Eddie might have been forgiven had he chosen to decline this extra, time-consuming chore but he admitted to having enjoyed the task he had been set, saying that the entries had been a pleasure to view and of a generally high standard throughout.  At less than 50, there were fewer entries in the competition than usual, but this had not made it any easier to pick the best and then rank them in order of merit.  Perhaps the small entry was a reflection of the considerable time members had devoted to producing such a range of excellent images for the current Spring Exhibition of the Society at the Hodgson loom Gallery at Laxey Woollen Mills.  This exhibition is open to the public until Saturday, 10th March, 2012, and is not to be missed!

Undaunted by the wide range of subject matter before him and with his naturally easy manner, Eddie set about his critique of the images with his usual enthusiasm and thoroughness.  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 rankings he had eventually decided upon.  He patiently described the different aspects of every entry, commenting on good and not so good examples of exposure and composition, offering suggestions, where appropriate, for improvement. 

Eddie is not one to dampen enthusiasm with a poor choice of words but is kind and encouraging with the expression of his views.  Ho offered praise for originality and impact, whilst searching for that extra ingredient which causes one image to rise above the others.  His final ‘orders of merit’ yielded the following results:-


Standard Group  – 1st ‘Portuguese Man of War’, a colourful, translucent image by Anne Bidwell of a dead jellyfish washed up on a beach;  2nd ‘Penguin’, also by Anne Bidwell; 3rd ‘Reflections’ by Patricia Harvey; 4th ‘Doors and Windows’ by Shirley Lotfy; 5th ‘The Embers of a Campfire’ by Sam Bucknell; and 6th ‘Dan’ by Hazel Walsh.  The judge thought that Jiri Podobsky’s image of an ‘Invader’ should be highly commended and he also awarded a commendation to Patricia Harvey for her image titled ‘’Trinity College Chapel’.

Intermediate Group1st ‘Up Close’, an image of a turtle taken under the waves and showing another diver in the background, by Robert Blyth-Skyrme; 2nd ‘Sparrow on the Rocks’ by Janet Servante; 3rd ‘Ornamental Garden’ by John Dale; 4th ‘Tired Lion’ by Phyllis Christian; 5th ’Tudor View’ by John Dale; and 6th ‘Standing Stone’ by Diane McCudden.  Robert Blyth-Skyrme was highly commended for his ‘Odd One Out’ and Janet Servante was commended for her image of an ‘Abandoned Scooter’.

Advanced Group – 1 ‘Floating Market’ by John Phipp, a Thai scene full of interest showing ladies busily selling their fruit and vegetables from their small boats in a narrow stretch of river; 2nd ‘Mellow Fruitfulness’ by Chris Blyth; 3rd ‘Goldfinch Data Collection’ by Bob Servante who was also placed 4th with Cashtal yn Ard’; 5th ‘Georgian Terrace’ by Sue Jones; and 6th ‘Spiral Staircase’ by Brian Speedie.  The judge gave two commendations, one to Sue Jones for ‘The Ventriloquist’s Dummy’ and the other to Chris Blyth for ‘Close Formation’.

Proposing a well-deserved vote of thanks, John Phipp remarked that Eddie Fryer had demonstrated a keen eye for detail and a thoroughness which resulted in fair and balanced guidance to those present.  It was obvious that he had adopted an objective approach and had clearly applied considerable care in order to offer members a few tips.  For this, the Society was extremely grateful.  

The Committee has now decided on the Assignment Competition Topics for 2012 to 2013.  These are to be ‘Manx Glens’ for the Isle of Man Bank Cup’; ‘Food’; ‘Attractions’ and ‘Agriculture or Fisheries’.

On Wednesday, 7th March at 7.30 pm at Thie Ellyn, off Withington Road, Douglas, the Society has another ‘Practical Evening’ when the more experienced and knowledgeable members will demonstrate a few techniques that newer photographers have enquired about.  At the time of writing this article, it has not been decided what will be covered but members might like to bring their cameras with them just in case they are needed.  Members should also note that all entries for the Society’s 2012 Annual Photographic Competitions must be brought in on the 7th March as, regrettably, late entries cannot be accepted.

IOMPS Reports During April 2012

23rd April 2012

Dear Member

A number of attendees at the recent IOMPS AGM expressed an intent to attend the forthcoming seminar to be led by Bob Dennis on the subject of awards and exhibitions - specifically the CPAGB, DPAGB, BPE, and FIAP. 

Bob is bringing examples of work suitable to meet the requirements of the various levels of awards or exhibitions - and will obviously explain the various processes to achieve them.  Delegates are encouraged to bring along examples of their work for comment and critique - but this is not a requirement of attendance.

The seminar will be starting at 10:00 am on Saturday,  28th April and is being held at All Saints Church Vestry in Alexander Drive, Douglas (between the Masonic Temple on Woodbourne Road and the Wessex Petrol Station, also in Alexander Drive).  Tea and coffee will be available, and the session is likely to finish between 12:30 and 1:00 pm.

Could anyone interested in attending - in addition to those already identified - please confirm their intentions.......

Many thanks in anticipation

Best wishes

Chris Blyth


23rd April 2012

Dear Member

Just a reminder that the Bebington Salon of Photography is on Wednesday evening, and completes the programme of events for the Club's current season - the Annual Dinner on Friday evening then the final remaining item, with the presentation ceremony for the cups and awards earnt during the season.

If anyone still hasn't confirmed their tickets for Friday night - £10 per person for the buffet supper at the Glen Helen - please let me know.  Your commiteee would obviously like the opportunity to welcome as many members as possible for this important social event, and for the chance to relax and enjoy each others company as part of the celebrations of the season just past, and to look forward to the next.

Very best wishes


23rd April 2012 - 2012 Annual Report of the Society President, Antony Hamilton

In April, 2010, when you did me the great honour of electing me to be your President, I looked ahead to what seemed like a very long 2 years.  Today, as I look back to my election, I can honestly say that I have never known such a period to go over so alarmingly quickly!

May I say as my term of office comes to an end that it has been a real privilege to serve as President of this Society and I am proud to have done so.  I hope very much that my past experience in other organisations has been put to good use and that you will feel I have done my best to lead the Society in the right direction.

As a Society, we should be pleased that His Excellency, the Lieutenant Governor, Adam Wood, accepted my invitation to be our Patron very shortly after he had arrived on the Island.  His busy schedule probably makes it difficult for him to join us on Wednesday evenings but I remain hopeful that we shall see him at Thie Ellyn at some stage.  (He succeeded his predecessor, our former Governor, Vice Admiral Sir Paul Haddacks KCB).

Two years ago I set out my key aims for the Society during and it might be helpful if I recount them this evening.  In no particular order, they were to see -

  1. a steady improvement in the overall standard of our projected digital images;
  2. a 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’; and
  7. the Society continuing to publicise its activities and to promote its successes.

Well, I believe we have made progress towards achieving most of these aims and hope you will agree.  Indeed, the Society has done well in so many areas over the last two years.  We have witnessed a steady increase in attendances at our Wednesday evening gatherings with quite a few new members joining and numerous guests being welcomed.   Indeed, I am told that the number of people present when our Annual Print Competitions were judged last month was a record!  I am sorry that the increased attendances have not been translated into an increase in the total membership, which currently stands at 62, but I greatly welcome the fact that we have attracted 6 new members in 2010/11 and a further 11 new members in 2011/12.

The Committee has organised a varied programme for Wednesday evenings which, whilst having a heavy focus on competition work to improve standards, has also included interesting presentations on places as far afield as Peru, Turkey, Slovenia, Africa, the Arctic and North America - to name but a few).  We have arranged quite a few Summer events which have proved successful and also tried our best to respond positively to requests for guidance from members.  We have done this by having several practical demonstrations on different topics and welcomed many experienced judges to whom I wish to express my grateful thanks for giving their time so generously to support the Society.  Whether professionals or talented and knowledgeable amateur photographers, they have each brought a different perspective to our competitions and offered valuable feedback and guidance on our work. 

As you all know, the Society is affiliated to the Photographic Alliance of Great Britain (PAGB) through the Lancashire and Cheshire Photographic Union (L&CPU) and, each year, the best of our work is sent the adjacent island to compete against other clubs and societies.  I hope this will continue as I feel it is an excellent way of measuring our progress against the best of the best in much larger geographic areas.  The published results of the 2011 L&CPU Competitions (in summary) revealed that our Society was placed 3rd (out of 57) for general projected images and awarded a Certificate to this effect.  Moreover, we were placed 16th (out of 33) for our print entries and were ranked 12th (out of 29 clubs) overall (that is for prints and projected images).  That is quite an achievement in my view.  However, whilst we can feel very pleased that the Society is continuing to grow and proud that it is doing so well, we must never become complacent as we all strive to improve the quality of our photography! 

Another way in which I hope we shall continue to measure the Society’s progress each year is in our ‘battles’ for projected digital images with the Oldham and District Camera Club and the Rochdale District Camera Club.  In both 2011 and 2012, our Society came a close second which gives us a target for which we should aim in 2012/13.

In our local ‘battle’ with the Western and Southern Clubs we recently came out on top for the first time since 2007.  Mark Stringer’s ‘Bruce Anstey’ was judged to be the best image in the competition too.  These competitions with the other Manx clubs may be keenly fought but I am happy to say that the rivalry is purely friendly and conducted in a highly civilised fashion!  In this and in other ways, I am pleased that our liaison and collaboration with these two clubs has been improved and, in a small place like the Isle of Man, more support for each other’s activities and greater dovetailing of what we do, wherever possible, must be the way forward as we don’t have the same opportunities as our counterparts in Lancashire and Cheshire.  Having said that, we must do our best to retain the inter-club ‘title’ in the next 12 months, but it won’t be easy! 

On an individual level, a number of our members have been awarded their Certificates of Merit by the PAGB and one was recently been awarded a Distinction.  I am not going to name them again for fear of missing someone but we join with them in celebrating their deserved successes.

Our strong links with the L&CPU have enabled us to attract to the Island in 2011 and in 2012 two extremely well qualified and highly regarded judges for our Annual Photographic Competitions in Tillman Kleinhans ARPS  EFIAP  DPAGB and Colin Douglas ARPS, AFIAP, BPE4*, DPAGB.   I was just a little disappointed that the latter gave two rather similar presentations when he had mentioned to me in advance for the second night projecting images of East Germany, Poland, Macedonia, Cuba, or Andalucía.

We have also been visited by the L&CPU President, Christine Widdall, and she has committed the L&CPU to supporting the Society (and the other Manx clubs) in any way possible, bearing in mind the potential for us to become isolated.  The annual hosting of the Bebington Salon (with hospitality being kindly and generously provided by Moira and Chris Blyth) is yet another way in which we are able to maintain our links with the best photographic standards being set in the adjacent island.

I think we can all share a great deal of credit for the high quality of the Society’s Spring Exhibition at The Loom Gallery at Laxey Woollen Mills, opened on the 17th February, 2012, by Speaker of the House of Keys, Hon Stephen C Rodan BSc (Hons) MRPharmS, SHK.  I again thank all those who made it possible, especially those whose images were exhibited and our Secretary who made most of the arrangements.  This was an excellent way of showcasing the Society’s work and attracted much favourable comment.  I believe we should be watchful of other opportunities to do so.  Of course, 2013 will see the Society celebrating its 75th Anniversary but, whilst we really must plan something a bit special for that special occasion, we should not wait until then to generate a wider awareness of what the Society does.

In that connection, I am firmly of the view that our weekly articles in the IOM Courier are vital and I thank the small team of members who willingly take their turn in writing the reports and Sue Jones for submitting them for us every week.  So many people who are not involved in photography in any way (as well as those who are) have approached me in the last two years to say how much they look forward to reading them.

I was pleased to be able to persuade the Isle of Man Bank to give the Society sponsorship of £400 this year which covered the costs of bringing Colin Douglas to the Island to judge our Annual Competitions.  I hope we might strengthen our association with the Bank in future years as Government funding can no longer be anticipated or expected in the present economic climate.  Having said that, we were also most grateful this year to receive a grant of £200 from the IOM Arts Council towards the cost of purchasing a new laptop computer to replace the one that is no longer capable of giving the level of performance the Society requires.

I must record the passing in the last year of three long-standing members of the Society, Jessie Russell, Alf Kewley and Leslie Jones, and a former member, Roger Evans.  Over many years, Jessie, Alf and Les were faithful members who dedicated themselves to supporting the Society in so many ways.  We shall miss them all.

Any Society that simply repeats what it has always done in the past is not as inventive or vibrant as it needs to be.  So, your Committee has tried new things occasionally, such as the disposable camera competitions, which have done well, and the change from a ‘small prints’ competition to an A4 format which has had a mixed reaction.  That’s absolutely fine because I have actively invited feedback from you all and it is the membership which must ultimately decide on the success of such initiatives. We shall be discussing this later, but it is right that I should mention it now and encourage you all to offer your novel suggestions and ideas that might bring about more variety and add interest to what we do.

Few people realise just how much hard and time-consuming work goes into managing the arrangements for both the Monthly and the Annual Competitions.  No words from me can adequately express the debt of gratitude we owe to the Committee members who, by their painstaking attention to detail, ensure that everything runs as smoothly as it does.  They oil the wheels of the Society throughout the winter, often unseen, and I would ask you, please, to join with me in showing your appreciation of all they do in the usual way.

Before closing and in addition to those I have already mentioned, I wish to thank everyone who has supported me during my Presidency.  I am not going to name names as you all know who you are but I include do our Secretary, our Treasurer (who, I am delighted to report, has recently undergone successful surgery on one eye and is now awaiting surgery to the other – I know we all send him our very best wishes and hope he will soon be able to join us again), and the other members of the Committee; our Projectionist, those who arrive early every Wednesday and make sure the tables and chairs in this room are re-arranged well before members arrive (and put everything back in its rightful place before going home at the end of the evening); our Webmaster; those who kindly make our refreshments each week and wash up afterwards; and those who organise and liaise with our visiting judges and who generously offer them hospitality.

Thank you one and all!

If there are any questions on what I have said or done (or not done) I shall do my best to answer them for you before the Hon Secretary puts my report to the meeting for acceptance.

Antony Hamilton, FCMI

Society President


Jack Kaighin with his Magic Lantern and one of his many glass slides

The Isle of Man Photographic Society has had a busy few weeks which included two consecutive evenings of judging the annual competition, followed by a further evening where all of the entries including those which had not been placed, and which time had not allowed us to see, could be viewed by members and guests.

This annual competition was only possible due to the hard work and dedication of several members of the committee, especially Sue Jones, Ian Lumsden, Tony Curtis and Mark and Claire Stringer who spent many hours sorting, cataloguing and arranging the hundreds of entries in a wide variety of subjects.

On April 4th the society was given a rare treat when Jack Kaighin presented a Magic Lantern Slide show.

The magic lantern was an early form of slide projector invented in the 17th century, which showed images from transparent glass slides which were lit by either candle light or oil lamp inside a projection box.

In the early days they were mostly used by magicians and charlatans. In Victorian times they reached their peak as a popular form of entertainment for all the family.

Jack has been collecting these slides for a long time and some are quite rare. We were enthralled by his presentation showing us how our holiday isle appeared in Edwardian and Victorian times. It was amazing to see vast crowds on the beaches, and all of them fully dressed including boots and hats! We saw the old markets and the circus where polar bears were kept.

Particularly interesting was seeing that holiday makers could get a ferry from Victoria pier in Douglas over to Battery pier, and then be pulled up the cliff by a funicular railway and down the other side to Port Soderick which was a thriving holiday venue.

The society is now coming to the end of the season with only two more dates in its calendar.

On April 25th, Bob Denis APAGB, CPAGB, BPE*3 will be holding the Bebington Salon and there will be a £4.00 charge to cover expenses.

The club's annual dinner and prize giving will be held on April 27th at the Glen Helen Inn. Everyone should enjoy a great evening and will be able to see all of our winners receive their awards.

By Anne Bidwell

17th April 2012 - Annual Dinner And Prize Giving

HI All;

We have now confirmed details for our annual dinner and prize giving.

It will be on the 27th at the Glen Helen Inn, at 7.15 for a 7.30 start; Food will be a buffet and they are aiming to bring that out at about 7.30 with an aim to start giving out the cups and certificates out at 8.30.

Cost is going to be £10 Per head. We do need to confirm numbers, so would ask if you could confirm as soon as possible.

We hope you can all make it, as always family and guests are welcome.


The Committee.

16th April 2012 - The Bebington Salon - Wednesday 25th April 2012 7.30pm

The Bebington Salon

11th April 2012

Some of the 2012 Annual Competition digital winners Sue Jones, Chris Blyth and Diane McCudden with Judge Colin Douglas (front right)

The IOMPS was delighted to welcome Colin Douglas ARPS, DPAGB, AFIAP, BPE 4*, as the judge (and obviously, a highly distinguished one), for its Annual Competition this year.  Colin brought to the task both his considerable skills and technical understanding as a photographer, as well as experience in national and international photographic exhibitions. He proved to be a very capable judge, with a speedy assessment and a succinct but perceptive and penetrating commentary.

The Standard Open section was won by Anne Bidwell with “British Bank Holiday Weather”, a monochrome shot of walkers on the promenade in the rain, a favourite subject for the judge.  Runner-up was Hazel Walsh with “Self Portrait”, given a contemporary treatment and taken from an unusual angle.  Patricia Harvey won the Standard Natural History section with “African Leopard” – a simple but very effective image with good lighting and lots of detail, whilst Norma Cowell showed depth of skill with both a 2nd (“Common Juvenile Gull”) and 3rd placing (with “Currant” – a shot of the shrub foliage).  Hazel Walsh then dominated the Standard Creative class with 1st, 2nd and 3rd placings, her winning image being a high impact treatment of the manx triskele, “The Legs of Woman”, followed by “London 360”, a 360 degree inverted panorama. Second in the Standard Record class was Shirley Lotfy, with “Lapa Church Altar, Portugal”, beaten into first place by Patricia Harvey’s shot, “Trinity College Chapel”, both shots showing similarity of symmetry and detail.

Robert Blyth-Skyrme proved too strong for Diane McCudden in the Intermediate Open section, taking both 1st and 2nd places with “Up Close” – an underwater close-up shot of a turtle, with a diver well-placed in the background, and “Hit Hard and True”, an action shot of polo players. Diane then had her revenge, winning the Intermediate Natural History section with “Goldfinch in the Rain”, with Robert coming in runner-up with “White Spot Surgeon Fish”, both being excellent images, full of colour and with lots of detail.   The Intermediate Creative class was won by Jenny Shanley, with “Clematis Seedhead”, a lovely swirling composition with good colours, whilst Janet Servante’s image “Shades of Light” came in second, an intriguing monochrome multiple image of a lit lampshade.  There being only two entries in the Intermediate Record section, Diane McCudden took both 1st and 2nd placings, the winning image being “Ducati Engine Casing” followed by a statuary shot, “Legis Olympifer, Bologna”.

Sue Jones came out on top in the Advanced Open section, with “The Clown”, in a high impact creative treatment, whilst Chris Blyth was runner-up with a more traditional landscape of “Half Dome, Yosemite”.  Chris’s success continued into the Advanced Natural History section, with both  1st and 2nd placings – “Hoverfly” beating “Goldfinch” – both being close-up images of their subject, sharp and with good detail, but the colours and composition of the hoverfly proving superior.  In the Advanced Creative section, Chris Blyth again took first place, with “Allium Big Bang” – a radial motion blur filter effect on a seedhead – narrowly beating off a strong entry from Sue Jones with “Georgian Terrace” – an artistic composition of a line of houses, given a “colour pop” treatment.  Sue then took both 1st and 2nd places in the Advanced Record section, with “Window Detail, St Adamnams Church” (a richly coloured, stained glass window image from Old Lonan church), and “Kings Own Scottish Borderers Memorial” (a close-up detail shot).

The evening finished with a personal presentation by the judge, introduced and ending with some amusing video clips.  He has been a long-term admirer of Eamonn McCabe (famed sports and portrait photographer), and showed a diverse and wide-ranging selection of his own work, covering events such as athletics, motor racing, horse racing, table tennis, rugby, jet skis, rowing, kayaking and even croquet.  The images were high quality, and included variations such as colour and monochrome versions of the same shot (to show the different “feel” and impact that can be created) as well as more artistic variations (with changes to backgrounds, or motion blurring techniques, for example).  We were also shown some of his slideshows (including several beautiful travelogues of the Grand Canyon and Bryce Canyon).  Life member, Brenda Shimmin, gave the vote of thanks for an excellent evening, much enjoyed by the members.

RESULTS.  Standard Open Section : Anne Bidwell (1st, 2 x VHC), Hazel Walsh (2nd, HC), Shirley Lotfy (3rd, 2 x C), Sam Bucknall (HC, 2 x C), Patricia Larkham (HC), Patricia Harvey (3 x C).  Standard Natural History : Patricia Harvey (1st,2 x HC, C), Norma Cowell (2nd, 3rd). Anne Bidwell (VHC, C), Shirley Lotfy (VHC).  Standard Creative : Hazel Walsh (1st,2nd, 3rd, 2 x C), Patricia Harvey (C), Sam Bucknall (C). Standard  Record : Patricia Harvey (1st), Shirley Lotfy (2nd), Norma Cowell (3rd).

Intermediate Open Section : Robert Blyth-Skyrme (1st, 2nd), Diane McCudden (3rd, VHC, HC, C),Phyllis Christian (VHC, C), Intermediate Natural History : Diane McCudden (1st), Robert Blyth-Skyrme (2nd, 3rd, C), Janet Servante (VHC, HC), Jenny Shanley (C).  Intermediate Creative : Jenny Shanley (1st, 3rd), Janet Servante (2nd).   Intermediate Record : Diane McCudden (1st, 2nd).

Advanced Open Section : Sue Jones (1st, VHC, 2 x C), Chris Blyth (2nd, 2 x C), Antony Hamilton (3rd), Bob Servante (VHC, 2 x HC, C), Claire Stringer (C).  Advanced Natural History : Chris Blyth (1st, 2nd), Bob Servante 3rd, C).  Advanced Creative : Chris Blyth (1st), Sue Jones (2nd, HC), Claire Stringer (3rd).  Advanced Record : Sue Jones (1st, 2nd, C), Antony Hamilton (3rd).

Best Digital Image in the Competition was judged to be “Up Close” by Robert Blyth-Skyrme, whilst Chris Blyth, won the award for the Best Natural History Image (prints or digital) for his image “Hoverfly”).  Best Junior Entry (prints or digital) went to Walter Lumsden for his print “Reaching for the Sun” – a flower image, shot low down for high impact.

Annual Competition Sponsored By Isle of Man Bank


9th April 2012

Dear Member

A brief note about this week's meeting which is a showing of all the entries by members into the Annual Competition - both prints and digitally projected images.

Could those members with print entries please remember to bring their portfolios with them as they will be asked (and expected) to collect them at the end of the evening - the exception will be those entries selected to go forward as part of the IOMPS entry into the L&CPU Club competition - and which will be advised to members following the selection panel later this week.

Many thanks for your co-operation

Very best wishes

Chris - Secretary

5th April 2012

Annual Competition print winnners. Left to right: back row:

Hazel Walsh; Jenny Shanley; Judge Colin Douglas; Shirley Lotfy; Ron Shimmin.

Front row: Mark Stringer; Sue Jones; Diane McCudden

The prestigious Annual Photographic Competitions of the Society, when members submit their very best images for critical appraisal by a highly qualified judge from the adjacent island, are one of the highlights of its programme of events.  Because there are numerous competition categories covering prints and projected digital images, these are held over two days and nights and it was very gratifying to see a record attendance at Thie Ellyn at the end of March, with guests from both the western and southern clubs.  Indeed, attendances on Wednesday evenings have been very good throughout the winter months and this just demonstrates the increasing interest in amateur photography on the Island. 

The Society is affiliated to the Photographic Alliance of Great Britain (PAGB) through the Lancashire and Cheshire Photographic Union (L&CPU) and, for this reason, is able to attract suitably knowledgeable and experienced judges from the UK in order to ensure a high standard of photography is maintained and that there is complete impartiality.  Naturally, bringing a top judge from the adjacent island is expensive, as it involves a minimum of three days so the Society is extremely grateful this year to the Isle of Man Bank for agreeing to sponsor the costs involved.  The Society has a long and happy association with the Isle of Man Bank, which donated a special trophy many years ago for a separate competition to be held each year on a Manx theme, reported upon in recent weeks in this column.

So, it was the pleasant duty of the Society President, Antony Hamilton, to introduce and welcome Colin Douglas ARPS, AFIAP, BPE4*, DPAGB, of the St Helens Camera Club, who had accepted the invitation to be the 2012 judge.  Colin Douglas is on the L&CPU Panel of Judges and came to the Island with a high reputation as both a well respected judge and a highly acclaimed photographer.  He has had his images accepted for exhibition at national and international levels over the last decade and, though his work covers a wide range of subject matter, he admits to being a passionate sports photographer.  In fact, he has been the official photographer for Liverpool St.Helens RUFC for over ten years.   

The first evening concentrated on the print competitions, for which there had been a total of 251 images entered in the various categories, made up of 82 Standard Class entries, 63 Intermediate Class entries, and 106 Advanced Class entries.  The judge had examined every entry with great care during the day and then proceeded to give his assessments with great clarity, adding helpful and, at times, humorous comments on areas where improvement might have been possible.  He expressed his disappointment at the small number of images entered in the ‘creative’ sections and, now that this has been identified, the Society will consider how best to encourage more creativity from its members.

After admitting that it had not been easy at times to separate some of the best images, Colin Douglas announced the awards as follows -

Standard ‘Open’ Monochrome (for the Tranter Cup) – 1st Hazel Walsh (If I lay here); 2nd Annette Slater (Resting in the dock); 3rd Annette Slater ( Lying Low).  An image titled ‘On being an Angel’ by Hazel Walsh was Highly Commended and she was also Commended for ‘Ashes to Ashes’.  Two other images ‘Get out of my shoe’ by Norma Cowell and ‘Port Mooar Coast’ by Patricia Harvey were also Commended by the judge.

Standard ‘Open’ Colour Monochrome (for the Woodbourne Cup) – 1st Martyn Parnell (We have lift off); 2nd Shirley Lotfy (Dish of tomatoes); 3rd Hazel Walsh (Shades of decay). Martyn Parnell was Very Highly Commended for his image of ‘Guy Martin’ at Creg ny Baa’, as was Anne Bidwell for ‘Biggest fan’.  The judge Highly Commended both Patricia Harvey for ‘Ballaglass Glen’ and Walter Lumsden, junior member, for ‘Reaching for the Sun’.  There were thee images Commended, namely ‘The Green Door’ by Patricia Harvey, ‘Red Tailed Buzzard’ by Shirley Lotfy, and ‘Welcome Break’ by Ernie Lumsden, another junior member.

Standard Natural History (Monochrome and Colour for the Baldwin Shield) – 1st Shirley Lotfy (Stag Beetle); 2nd Patricia Harvey (African Leopard); 3rd Patricia Harvey (African White Rhinoceros and Calf).  Anne Bidwell’s image of a ‘Juvenile Sparrow’ was Very Highly Commended and Annette Slater’s image titled ‘Heron 4’ was Highly Commended.  The judge also Commended Shirley Lotfy for ‘Red Admiral’.

Standard Creative Monochrome and Colour (for the Greeba Cup) – 1st Anne Bidwell (Cut and Mix it); 2nd Hazel Walsh (The Old Hospital); 3rd Anne Bidwell (Light through a Sieve).  Norma Cowell was Commended for ‘A Shower of Stars in the Moonlight’.

Standard Record Monochrome and Colour (for the Dreemfroy Trophy) – 1st Shirley Lotfy (Galway Cathedral Window); 2nd Shirley Lotfy (St Anthony Convent Spire); 3rd Norma Cowell (Alexander the Great).

Intermediate ‘Open’ Monochrome (for the Ballure Cup) - 1st Diane McCudden (The Squat); 2nd Robert Blyth-Skyrme (Dall’s Dolphin : Liquid Motion); 3rd Janette Servante (Maughold Lighthouse).  Dianne McCudden was Very Highly Commended  for Boating Lake’ and Janette Servante was Highly Commended for ‘Whistling Willy’. The judge also Commended Phyllis Christian for ‘Hong Kong Harbour’ and Janette Servante for ‘Snow in Cumbria’. 

Intermediate ‘Open’ Colour (for the Coombe Cup) - 1st Diane McCudden (Forlorn); 2nd Robert Blyth-Skyrme (Duck Through); 3rd Robert Blyth-Skyrme (Odd One Out). Diane McCudden was Very Highly Commended for two images titled ‘The Line-out Lift’ and Coastal Sunset’; Robert Blyth-Skyrme was highly Commended for ‘ Riding for Breast Cancer’, as was Janette Servante for ‘Tethered Boat’.  Three members were Commended and these were Ian Lumsden for ‘Pilgrims Hospital Ruins and Chapel, Rocamadour’, Robert Blyth-Skyrme for ‘Sun over Waimea Canyon’ and Janette Servante for two prints titled ‘The Old Switch Box’; and ‘The Letter’.

Intermediate Natural History (Monochrome and Colour for the Ballaragh Cup) – 1st Robert Blyth-Skyrme (Turtle); 2nd Jenny Shanley (Acorn Barnacle); 3rd Robert Blyth-Skyrme (Dolphin Pod).  Dianne McCudden was Very Highly Commended for two images titled ‘Cheetahs’ and ‘Lion at Watering Hole’, and Jenney Shanley was Commended for ‘Juvenile Wren’.

Intermediate Creative Monochrome and Colour (for the Carnane Cup) – 1st 

Jenny Shanley for ‘Copper and Glass Flower’ and she was also placed 2nd for ‘Foliose Lichen’.

Intermediate Record Monochrome and Colour (for the Lezayre Trophy) – 1st Diane McCudden (Montagnola Park Monument : Bologna); 2nd Phyllis Christian (Callanish Standing Stones); 3rd Jenny Shanley (The Demolition of Albert Road School).  Ian Lumsden was Commended for ‘Roof and Chimney Detail : Round House, Rocamadour’.

Advanced ‘Open’ Monochrome (for the Bridge Cup) - 1st Sue Jones (In Chains); 2nd Mark Stringer (Laura); 3rd Mark Stringer (In Thought).  Tony Curtis was Very Highly Commended for ‘Bronze in Black and White’.  Claire Stringer was Highly Commended for ‘Night Owl’, as was Sue Jones for ‘Solitude’.  Bob Servante and Sue Jones were Commended for ‘Hopping Mad’ and ‘Under Tension’ respectively.

Advanced ‘Open’ Colour (for the Sanderson Cup) - 1st Ron Shimmin (Times Past); 2nd Claire Stringer (Deer); 3rd Chris Blyth (Looking for an Exit).  Sue Jones was Very Highly Commended for both ‘Bandsman’ and Fairground Fun’, as was Bob Servante for ‘Autumn Palette’.  Bob Servante was Highly Commended for ‘Mill Road Crossing’, as was Sue Jones for ‘Scrooged’.  Four members were Commended for their images and these were Ron Shimmin for ‘Interior, York Cathedral’, Claire Stringer for ‘Walking the Stair Light Fantastic’, Chris Blyth for ‘The Name is Bond – James Bond’, and Sue Jones for ‘Heading Home and Mooring Detail Textures’.

Advanced Natural History (Monochrome and Colour for the Caraghan Cup) – 1st Mark Stringer (Baby White Rhino; 2nd Mark Stringer (African Wild Dog); 3rd Tony Curtis (Herring Gull).  Claire Stringer was Very Highly Commended for both ‘Baby Elephant’ and ‘Baby Baboon 2’ and she was also Highly Commended for ‘Baby Baboon 1’ and for ‘Meercat’.  Three members were Commended and these were Tony Curtis for ‘Red Legged Partridge’, Chris Blyth for ‘Small Tortoiseshell’, and Bob Servante for ‘Juvenile Swallow Feeding’. 

Advanced Creative Monochrome and Colour (for the Snaefell Cup) – 1st 

Mark Stringer (Dancing Girl); 2nd Sue Jones (Into the Vortex); 3rd Bob Servante (Pop-up Toaster).  Sue Jones was also Very highly Commended for ‘Vintage Post Box’ and Ron Shimmin was Highly Commended for ‘Yellow Chair’ and Commended for ‘The Staircase’.

Advanced Record Monochrome and Colour (for the Glenrigh Cup) – 1st Sue Jones (Scottish Veterans Residences Plaque detail) 2nd Sue Jones (Window detail : St Giles Cathedral, Edinburgh); 3rd Ron Shimmin (Statue : Hindu Temple).  Sue Jones was Highly Commended for ‘Detail : Scots American War Memorial, Edinburgh’.

The Mackie Cup for the best monochrome print in the whole competition was awarded by the judge to Hazel Walsh for ‘If I lay here’ and the equivalent award for a colour print and the Redwood Trophy was awarded to Diane McCudden for ‘Forlorn’.

The second half of the evening was handed over to Colin Douglas who gave an amusing, entertaining and informative presentation of many of the images for which he has been recognised nationally and internationally. 

In a vote of thanks given by Tony Curtis, the Society’s gratitude was expressed to our visiting judge, not only for the skills he had displayed when judging but also for the insight he had given to the standards need for major competition and exhibitions.  It had been a most enjoyable evening and the second stage, to be held the following evening, was now eagerly awaited.

The next meeting of the Society will take the form of a general presentation of all of the images (prints and projected) which were entered into the Annual Competitions.  Anyone interested in seeing a display of the Society’s work is warmly invited to come along and enjoy an evening with us.  It will be held at 7.30 pm on Wednesday, 11th April at Thie Ellyn, off Withington Road in Douglas.

Antony Hamilton

President of the Society

Annual Competition Sponsored By Isle of Man Bank

IOMPS Reports During May 2012

30th May 2012 - Summer Outings - the story continues....

Dear Member,

I am delighted to announce a further two outings now being arranged for our summer season......


Mark and Claire have organised a walk through Glen Maye on Sunday 17th June starting at 2:30pm - members should please confirm direct with them of their intention to participate so that we have a good idea of likely numbers.  Their email is


Claire has been very busy and has also arranged an evening tour of the Waste plant at Richmond Hill for Wednesday 11th July, starting at 6:30pm, and lasting approx 1.5 hours (ie until approx 8:00pm).  The tour requires "sensible" shoes, and is limited to a max of 20 persons (with a minimum of at least 6) - so strictly a "first come, first served" evening......... 

Because the numbers have to be confirmed with the plant administration several weeks in advance, those interested in going should please respond promptly, again please direct to Mark and Claire at

We look forward to seeing as many members as possible on these outings !

Best wishes

Chris - Secretary

27th May 2012 - Promotions ...the good news

Dear Member,

Your committee met this week, and the agenda included the subject of promotions - of promoting those individuals whose work during last season suggested that their work was of sufficient merit to justify being placed in a higher grouping.

I am delighted to confirm that the following have accordingly been promoted as follows

From Standard Group to Intermediate

  • Anne Bidwell
  • Patricia Harvey
  • Shirley Lotfy
  • Hazel Walsh

From Intermediate to Advanced

  • Diane McCudden
  • Robert Blyth-Skyrme

I feel sure that members will join me in congratulating all the above for their efforts, and of wishing them well for the coming season....

Very best wishes

Chris - Secretary

27th May 2012 - Summer Outing

Dear Member

Your new committee has had its first meeting this week, and amongst the agenda items was the subject of our plan for summer outings.

I am delighted to say that we will be advising you of a full programme covering a variety of activities over the next few weeks - the first of which is a boat trip from Port St Mary on Sunday 24th June.

This will be a 2 hour outing, starting at 11am, and - weather permitting - will include a visit to the Chickens Rock, and a circumnavigation of the Calf of Man, taking in the Chasms, the Sound, and the Chickens Rock, which should then include the bird life on the stacks at the Chasms, and hopefully the chance to see basking sharks offshore.

I have asked that our skipper includes a "chumming session" - feeding fish scraps and sand eels to the gulls - which will encourage some close up action with diving gulls and probably gannets as well.

The cost is £20 per person - limited to just 12 people maximum - and on a strictly "first come, first served" basis. 

If anyone is interested and wishes to be included, please let me know soonest possible - seats really are limited !!

Best wishes

Chris - Secretary

10th May 2012 - Annual Dinner And Prize Giving

The IOMPS has now come to the end of its current season of formal meetings – soon to be replaced by a programme of occasional summer outings and social events. It is perhaps opportune to review the major events of what has been a very successful season.

Membership levels are stable, and attendance at the weekly meetings has been excellent – suggesting a programme geared to and meeting members’ interests. External speakers have included Dr Jeremy Paul (with an excellent presentation of wildlife photography from Svalbard and Namibia) and Jack Kaighin (with a fascinating display of lantern slides of the Island – the IOM as it used to be).

As regards awards, the society is delighted to note the award of the DPAGB to Ruth Nicholls – the award is hard won, only goes to those exceptionally gifted as photographers and that certainly describes Ruth – so a big “congratulations”. Two members were awarded certificates of merit by the L&CPU for their entries in the L&CPU Club competitions – Ray Davies and Robert Blyth-Skyrme –whilst the Club achieved a very creditable performance in the 2011 Lancashire and Cheshire Photographic Union Annual Club competition –of 16th out of 33 clubs for Prints (overall), and of 10th out of 40 clubs for Projected Images (overall).

The repeat of the Three Way Digital Battle with the Rochdale and Oldham Clubs provided an interesting variation on our normal competition evenings, with Oldham providing the venue and the judge, and then recording his commentary and markings on the images to a DVD for us to play – an intriguing evening and one which enables us to measure ourselves against broadly equivalent clubs across the water. As previously, the IOMPS came a very close second to Oldham.

Much of the rest of our programme comprised regular competitions amongst the membership – with a mixture of open topics and assignments designed to test and to develop the photographic skills of all involved. The visit of Colin Douglas ARPS DPAGB AFIAP BPE4* as the judge of the society’s Annual Competition was another highlight event, topped off with presentations on two evenings of examples of his award winning work.

The season finished with a showing of the Bebington Salon of Photography – one of 19 annual exhibitions of the best of current British photography – and the fourth time the Salon has been shown on the island. Some 450 images were included in the slideshow, and it was very pleasing to see work by a number of manx photographers – Sue Jones, Mark and Claire Stringer and Diane McCudden from the IOMPS, and Pat Tutt, Ruth Nicholls and Dorothy Flint from the Western – independent evidence of the high quality work being produced locally.

We now look forward to summer, and the opportunity to update our various portfolios in readiness for the new season starting in September.

Full details of the programme can be found on the website, or contact the Secretary, Chris Blyth, on 862082.

3rd May 2012 - Oh What A Night It Was !

Bob Dennis (left) and Gordon Reid who presented the Bebington Salon of Photography

The IOM Photographic Society ended its current winter season of events with a presentation by Bob Dennis APAGB CPAGB BPE3* of the Bebington Salon of Photography – one of 19 British Photographic Exhibitions (BPE’s) currently held each year around the UK.  Chosen competitively from an entry of nearly 3000 images, the Salon accepted just 537 images for presentation in its programme, and which was being shown for the fourth year on the island.

These “acceptances” are important to photographers as each acceptance earns a point towards the award of “BPE crowns” – 25 acceptances being required for the award of the first BPE crown, and the holder then entitled to add the appropriate initials (BPE1*)after their name as a photographic qualification, and as a recognition of the author’s photographic skills.  It is to be noted that three hundred acceptances (!!) are needed to gain the BPE5* award – and very few have as yet reached that pinnacle......

The Salon consisted of 4 main groups of images – open monochrome, open colour, landscape and natural history – and was displayed in a mix of digital slide presentations, some being presented as slideshows with an appropriate musical soundtrack, some presented with a voice-over giving details of the authors.  Manx photographers were prominent in all sections – including Sue Jones, Diane McCudden, Mark and Claire Stringer from the IOMPS, together with Pat Tutt, Ruth Nicholls and Dorothy Flint from the Western Club – a welcome acknowledgement of the ever increasing popularity of photography as a hobby, and of the high quality and skills of island workers.

The images being shown were of a very high standard – as was to be expected of this prestigious event – and included some truly exceptional work in each category.  The natural history and landscape sections in particular brought gasps of appreciation from the audience, such was the quality - but all sections contained some wonderful images which held attention, and in many cases will provide inspiration for those present in their own work.

Antony Hamilton, President of the IOMPS, gave the vote of thanks at the end of the evening, and was pleased to note the excellent turnout for the event, with the audience including a wide spread of interest from all the photographic clubs on the island as well as the general public.

Further details of the IOMPS programme may be found on the website or from the Secretary, Chris Blyth on 862082.

IOMPS Reports During June 2012

24th June 2012 - Boat Trip

IOMPS Members

On Sunday 24th June the second of the IOMPS club outings took place - a boat trip around the south of the Island aboard the Gemini Charter catamaran.

On seeing the weather first thing in the morning in Ramsey I have to admit I thought it was going to be cancelled, and driving over the Round Table on the way to Port St Mary the fog was so thick I was convinced of it!
Arriving at the harbour the weather was beginning to improve, and by the time our twelve members had arrived it was looking pretty good.
We headed out on time and were treated to tea and coffee as we headed south. As we approached the Stack we could see there were plenty of birds diving, and anticipated some good shots. Our Skipper soon showed his knowledge of the area and suggested we carry on round to the Sound as by the time we came back the sun would be in a more favourable position for photography. We headed further south, and were treated to more tea and coffee and some of Moira Blyth's home made cake! The Skipper stopped the boat in the Sound off Kitterland where there were a number of seals basking on the rocks, which gave plenty of opportunity to get some shots. He commented on the fact that the seals stayed on the rocks for longer than usual.
We then headed towards the Chicken Rock, but it was decided that it would be too rough to go any further and we stayed in the lee of the Calf photographing the lighthouse between the rocks and plenty of sea birds.
Time had passed pretty quickly and it was soon time to head back to the Stack. During the day there was a run of Sandeels (or Gibbins to the Manxies) and there was still a huge number of Gulls, Gannets, Razorbills, Guillemots and other birds diving for them.
Our host had brought some Sandeels with him, and after cutting them up he threw them to the birds to get some nice close ups.
Our thanks go to Chris Blyth for making the arrangements for this trip.

 Tony Curtis

20th June 2012 - Tynwald Exhibition

Dear Member,

I am delighted to confirm that the Society is to hold a "for sale" exhibition in Tynwald, Legislative Buildings, commencing 23rd July, for approx 4 weeks.

The display area forms one side of what is the Tynwald Shop - where one can buy Tynwald memorabilia, manx flags, books on manx life and government etc - so is always fully manned with a retail selling facility, and is obviously a very secure environment.

Having checked the space available, and the display opportunities, it would seem that we have a potential to hang approx 55-60 images on a mix of two different display boards

  1. 1) wooden gondolas / wall - typical of high quality retail merchandising displays to be found in boutiques
  2. 2) tall folding display screens, felt backed

The opportunity to display images is open to all club members, with the hope that as many as possible will wish to take advantage of the exhibition and to publicise the work of the Society.   On the basis of our experience at the Laxey Woollen Mills, it is anticipated that perhaps up to 20 members will offer their work for inclusion - in which case, on an "equal shares for all" basis, each participating member would have 3 images included in the exhibition.  If only 15 members offer work, then they would each have up to 4 images included.

The quality and ambience of the Tynwald environment lends itself to framed work - but ideally with frames of modest proportions - not oversized - so 21/22 inches overall horizontal maximum is suggested.   The exhibition is also open to unframed but mounted work, but be aware that we will have to put velcro (or similar) on the back of mounted images to be able to hang them, with the possibility of minor damage to the mount boards when the velcro is removed.....

Work will be "for sale", so anyone participating will also have to confirm their required selling price - with Tynwald taking 20% commission for all sales.  This is a very competitive commission rate for such an opportunity.

Work will be gathered during early / mid July ready for an opening date of 23rd July - "drop-off" points around the island will be possible, with your committee members variously living in Peel, Port St Mary, Douglas, Ramsey and Laxey.......

Any members wishing to be included should please confirm their interest so that we may start the task of curating / preparing the catalogue, and of keeping everyone informed of progress  etc.  Once we know how many members are involved, we can then request final details of the work to be presented - titles, framed / mounted, selling prices etc.

Tynwald will prepare a press release for the event, but we obviously have details from the Laxey exhibition of all those who participated then - so already have a "starting position".

I hope that is a fair assessment of the state of play - and look forward to as many members as possible wishing to join in the opportunity !

Best wishes

Chris - Secretary

20th June 2012 - Trips

Dear Member

A very successful expedition to Glen Maye this last weekend - about a dozen members and family turned up, and the weather started fine and just got better and better through the afternoon.

Following the very wet weather earlier in the week, the river in the Glen was in spate, enabling some spectacular images of the waterfalls and of the rapids through the Glen - and I would expect some of the images to appear in competition in our new season.


You now have one last chance to book for this coming weekend's boat trip round the Calf of Man - it will start from Port St Mary at 11am, and is scheduled as a two hour trip, taking in the Chasms, the Calf, and (weather permitting) the Chickens Rock - and if we're lucky, some basking sharks and diving gulls as well.

There are currently just three seats available - and still a strictly "first come, first served" basis.

Please call me on 862082 or email by early return if you would like one of the seats - and just £20 per head

Many thanks

Chris - Secretary

17th June 2012 - Another Summer Outing... Legislative Buildings

Dear Member,

Your committee has been very busy, and I am delighted to confirm the details of another summer outing now confirmed, this one an evening visit to Legislative Buildings (Tynwald) on Wednesday 8th  August, starting at 7:30pm and running till approx 9:00pm.

It will include a guided tour with commentary, followed by a photo opportunity in the various rooms and chambers...

Numbers are limited to a maximum of 25 - so again it will be on a "first come, first served" basis........

Can those interested in attending, please confirm their intention soonest possible by return email, or give me a call on 862082....

Very best wishes

Chris - Secretary

IOMPS Reports During July 2012

11th July 2012 - Energy From Waste Plant

IOMPS Members

The Energy From Waste Plant was the third of our planned outings, and took place on Wednesday 11th July. It was also the shortest so far!
The first item on the agenda was a brief presentation on the plant which explained why its not just an Incinerator, but a valuable source of electricity for the Island and also a recycling plant for much that would otherwise have gone to landfill.
After this we went through to the reception area where we were issued with our safety gear and given our safety briefing. Then it was upstairs to the control room where we were able to overlook various parts of the plant.
Unfortunately that is as far as we got because an alarm sounded and we had to evacuate the premises and assemble in the main car park. This did not however deter the members from taking photos, and we all got some shots of the outside of the building in the evening sunshine.
A number of the group decided that as it was still early a quick trip to the Horse And Plough was in order for food and drinks!
This is the second of the trips arranged by Claire Stringer, and I extend our thanks for her work

Tony Curtis

IOMPS Reports During August 2012

14th August 2012 - Tynwald Exhibition

Dear Member

Just a brief note to confirm that the summer exhibition of work of IOMPS members currently on display in Legislative Buildings at Tynwald will run until the afternoon of Friday 31st August, when it will be dismantled and images returned to the exhibiting members shortly thereafter.

I hope all members have taken the opportunity to visit the exhibition – or will now do so, given the extension.

I understand it has been very popular and provided a considerable talking point for those who have visited – and hopefully will encourage some new memberships at the start of the new season.

Best wishes


13th August 2012 - Legislative Buildings And Crogga House

Members at the Legislative Buildings in Douglas

Last week saw the last two summer outings for members of IOMPS.

Wednesday evening (15th Aug) we had a tour of Legislative Buildings in Douglas, given by our very own Paul Dougherty. Paul is the Seneschal, or Clerk of Tynwald, with responsibility for the security of the building.
After a very informative half hour or so being guided around the various Chambers and other parts of the building, with a potted history as we went through, we were then let loose with our cameras to get some of the shots that we would not normally be in a position to obtain.

On this particular evening the sun was shining and the air was calm, and we were able to take advantage of this as one of the upper floor balconies faces the sea over the top of the other buildings.

On behalf of the membership I would like to extend our thanks to Paul for a great evening.

On Sunday morning I thought our last trip for the summer was going to have to be postponed as the weather was not on our side, but the weather reports gave a clearing picture and it was decided to "give it a go".
Thankfully we did, because although it was overcast it was still bright and stayed dry through the afternoon.

Crogga House in Port Soderick was the venue, and I think I am safe in saying that no one was expecting such an amazing sight!
Seventeen members took advantage of the opportunity to visit the house and we were treated to a fantastic miniature steam railway that in some places ran parallel with the Manx Steam Railway at a distance of only thirty feet or so.
The challenge of the day seemed to be to get the miniature trains and the bigger trains into the same shot.
Apart from the trains the lake held a variety of ducks and some black swans and even a couple of cignets. The owners had even laid on a driver for the boat that many of us used to get closer to the wildlife.
I for one didn't get up to the house to get any photos as the time absolutely flew past.

Thanks on this occassion go to Antony Hamilton for arranging this trip (I have a feeling we may do this one again!)

Finally my apologies to the members who are not in the group photo, but I took it early before everyone spread out and managed to take it before everyone had arrived.