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Photography Group 2014
    Photography Archive


The group currently meets monthly in members' houses, and is limited to members possessing reasonable skills in photography, emailing, and the ability to store pictures on a computer.
The emphasis will be on sharing skills and experience with each other, as well as working on practical projects each month.

Click below for Reports:

January Meeting

February Meeting

March Meeting

April Meeting

May Photo Shoot

June Meeting

July Meeting

August  Meeting 

September Meeting

October Meeting

November Meeting

December Meeting

Our “Winter” competition proved hard to judge, but Eric Smith’s winning shot in Torkington Park just stood out, and there were equal seconds, another from Eric in the park, and one from Brian Beck from Hazel Grove golf course.

Afterwards, Fred Goodier led a discussion on some aspects of composition, including the merits of the rule of thirds and the golden square, and on framing through trees and arches.

The Winner Equal Second Equal Second The Competition Entries

Walter Mason

5 members of the group started with a small but fascinating  competition on “Wild Birds and Animals” – 1st Brian Beck –  “Otter at Chestnut Centre”; 2nd Walter Mason – “Blue Tit about to feed young”. Then followed a discussion on photographing moving objects, which led to an exploration of the many rarely used settings on modern cameras. This was a foretaste of the exercise for next month – “Exploring your camera”. Next meeting – March 20 - Brian Beck’s house.
The Winner Second

Brian Beck hosted an exploration of manual camera adjustments, and photos from the same spot, looking at the effect of aperture, shutter speed and ISO, on exposure and depth of field. It was fascinating to see, how four members of the group had all tackled Brian’s challenge from slightly different standpoints, and with varying success. It was interesting to compare manual cameras with modern cameras, although the later were able to achieve some of the variations, using standard or intelligent settings. Later, the discussion explored methods of creating full screen views, and telephoto adjustment, during slide shows. There was no competition this month.

Our group of six found the competition on “Water” to be a hard one to judge. But from a wide variety of attractive pictures, selected Diane Saxon’s view in Chengde, China as winner, with Pam Wood’s picture of Poynton Pool second. Well done the ladies! An interesting debate ensued between advocates of “point and shoot” and devotees of hand selection of exposure conditions. We also discussed having a photo display at a u3a meeting.

Chengae, China Poynton Pool April Competition Entrants


Only 4 met at Lyme Park for an hour’s photo taking. It was a hazy sun, with distant mist limiting views, and the gardens had not yet opened. But there were plenty of varied subjects – how good the shots were, will be found out later! Then we retired to the timber yard cafe, and from previously printed pictures, we selected the 3 best – all of Hazel Grove gardens –  one each from Diane, Pam and Walter.

Hazel Grove Secret Garden garden Diane Walter's Garden

Walter Mason


The competition subject for this meeting was ‘Bridges’. We had a wide variety of photographs of bridges old and new. We found selecting a winning photograph very difficult firstly due to the small number of members attending the meeting but also because we found it very difficult to focus on the quality of the photography rather than the design of the bridge itself, the setting and the backgrounds. Chris Gibson’s photograph of the Millennium Bridge on the Tyne at Newcastle was selected as a narrow winner. You can see some of our other bridges here as well.   

Millennium bridge Gateshead Under the bridge Salford Quays

Diane took us through some things to think about when photographing bridges including formats, angles, contrasts and time of day. She then showed a YouTube video of some of the beautiful bridges of the world  which highlighted the advantages of taking photos at night-time. 

We finished with a look at some of the winning photographs in the 2014 Sony World Photography Competition – these were on display at Somerset House the last time Diane was in London and can now be viewed on the website at http://www.worldphoto.org/about-the-sony-world-photography-awards/national-award/

The winning photograph from the UK was a dramatic shot of the escalators at Canary Wharf station. Click here to see the photo

Diane Saxon

JULY REPORT  Local History Competition this month.
1st  'Lower Hilgate' Diane Saxon; 2nd 'Chadkirk Chapel' Pam Wood; 3rd 'Bramhall Hall' Walter Mason.
Lower Hillgate Bramhall Hall

August Monthly Meeting - Competion

A display of 67 photo prints in A4 size, complemented the Art display at the August monthly meeting. They aroused much interest and favourable comment, and gave U3A members a chance to vote for their favourite photos in 2 categories; the winners’ pictures now visible on the website. It will also prove very interesting for the photographic group to discuss at a future meeting, why some pictures were popular, and others less so! Congratulations to Eric Smith and Brian Beck, for their “Small Tortoiseshell Butterfly” and  “Pisa Leaning Tower, Reflected” respectively – both stunning photographs. Hopefully the event might encourage some new members to  come along and join the group.

Walter Mason

Small tortoise shell Leaning Tower of Pisa Reflected

photo display 1 photo display 2 photo display 3


The competition for our group of 6 on “Transport” was won by Brian Beck (decorated horse and cart), with Walter Mason second (ornamental wheelbarrow).

Horse & Cart wheelbarrow

Afterwards we discussed the recent display and competitions at the village hall, presented Brian with his prize, and tried to analyse what differentiated the winners from the losers, and whether the popular vote gave a different slant than “photographic rules”. Probably not really, when some of us would have voted similarly to the popular vote.
    We were very pleased at the favourable response to the display, and glad that it enhanced the August monthly meeting.


Four members attended the October meeting of the Photography group. The subject of the monthly competition was Portraits and this was won by a characterful photo taken by Walter.
The main topic for the meeting was to agree the programme for next year.
The next meeting is on the 20th  November when the competition will be Night Photos.

This group welcomes new members. Please contact Walter for details


It was the turn of Diane’s lovely night shot in Salford Quays to be the obvious best, with Walter’s  pictures of Old Town Square, Prague, and Christmas Markets by Debenhams, Manchester being second and third. In November, we welcomed Tony Cummings to our group, and hope he will continue. We also agreed next year’s programme.

Salford Quays Old Town Square Prague Christmas Market Manchester


The wiinner of the December Competition 'Reflections' was Brian Beck - A worthy winner, so sharp and colourful.

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