SNAP n CHAT #11 Wire Wool Spinning at Steetley Pier.

Ten keen DPS members descended carefully with tripods and camera gear onto Steetley Beach for an evening of Wire Wool spinning. Creative photography should not have any limits! Spinning steel wool is a unique technique that adds excitement to our photography skills and we were all keen to try it.

We had our dramatic location, the weather was calm so all there was to do is to get started. Dave, Kev & Sheila who had done this before helped others with the camera settings and the results made us all very excitable.

We had Martin (the spinner) under the pier, on top of the pier and below us on the beach, so 3 different viewpoints that all worked very well indeed.

The steel wool spinning technique is very simple (and a lot of fun). Take a wad of steel wool, pull the strands apart (to let the air in) and stuff it inside the whisk. Then tie some string to the end of the whisk. (or a dog lead) set the steel wool alight then whirl the whisk around in the air. The burning steel wool escapes from the whisk and flies to the ground, creating bright orange light trails. All that’s left for you to do is find a good viewpoint and take the photo.

We also tried adding some magnesium tape cuttings – these were very wild and sporadic as they burned and can be seen in the pictures as the bright white spark trails doing their own thing.

I hope looking at the gallery it has inspired you to give steel wool spinning a try. Ultimately, it’s another form of painting with light – the light from the burning steel wool illuminates the landscape in a dramatically, exciting and beautiful way.

Thank you to everyone who came out on a Friday night, I hope you all enjoyed yourselves.

Until next time – keep snapping & chatting


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1st Progress Print Section B Results

Judge: Dave Phillips

First – And to think I gave up brain surgery for this By John Cogan

And to think I gave up Brain surgery for this-John Cogan-First Progress Prints B-1st

Second – The Devils Own by Derrick Hopper

The devils own-Derrick Hopper-First Progress Prints B-2nd

Third – Misty Cold Morning by Dave Chisholm

Misty Cold Morning-David Chisholm-First Progress Prints B-3rd

Fourth – The Big Owl by Andrew Bowron

The Big Owl-Andrew Bowron-First Progress Prints B-4th

Fifth – Katrina Porteus By John Cogan

Katrina Porteus (Northumberland Poet)-John Cogan-First Progress Prints B-5th

Highly Commended – Lady in the Light by Derrick Hopper

Lady in the light-Derrick Hopper-First Progress Prints B-HC

Highly Commended – Reflected Quayside Veronica Barker

Refflective Quayside-Veronica Barker-First Progress Prints B-HC

Highly Commended – The Old Timer by Andrew Bowron

The Old Timer-Andrew Bowron-First Progress Prints B-HC

Progress Stage winners updated here

Progress Points updated here

1st Progress Prints Section A Results

Judge: Dave Phillips

First – Angry Eagle by Tony Mearman

Angry Eagle-Tony Mearman-First Progress Prints A-1st

Second – Rise and Conquer by Angy Ellis

Rise & Conquer-Angy Ellis-First Progress Prints A- 2nd

Third – In the Spotlight by Tony Mearman

In the Spotlight- Tony Mearman-First Progress Prints A-3rd

Fourth – Brown Hare (Lepos Europaeus) Michael Watson

Brown Hare (Lepus europaeus)-Michael Watson-First Progress Prints A-4th

Fifth – You have 15 Seconds by Angy Ellis

You have 15 Seconds-Angy Ellis-First Progress Prints A-5th

Highly Commended – Step Pattern by Joe Grabham

Step Pattern-Joe Grabham-First Progress Prints A-HC

Highly Commended – Up on the Roof by John Carter

Up on the Roof-John Carter-First Progress Prints A-HC

Highly Commended – The Scallop Aldburgh by Rodger Culpin

The Scallop Aldburgh-Rodger Culpin-First Progress Prints A-HC

Highly Commended – Darkness on the edge of town by John Race

Darkness on the Edge of Town-John Race-First Progress Prints A-HC

Highly Commended – Dedication Unknown Whitworth by George Hodgson

Dedication Unkown Whitworth-George Hodgson-First Progress Prints A-HC

Highly Commended –Big Brother by Joe Grabham

Big Brother-Joe Grabham-First Progress Prints A-HC

Highly Commended – Follow in Turn by John Carter

Follow in turn-John Carter-First Progress Prints A-HC

Points Tables to date are here

1st Progress Competition Prints Results night

Thursday 22nd March 2018

Last night was the first of our print competition results for 2018, and our members produced a large selection of prints that was an exhibition in itself!

Our Judge for the evening was Dave Phillips from Hartlepool who had an onerous task of sifting through a broad variety of photographic styles to select the winners. A big thanks to Dave who spent time making constructive comments on every image, to George Hodgson on his first results night as Print Secretary, and to everyone who entered this competition, well done!

Results to follow soon.

Peter Walton

Club Night Preview: 22nd March

Results : 1st Progress Prints

It’s the first print competition of the year and the first of three rounds of the Print Progress competitions in which points will be awarded – 10 points for 1st places, down to 3 for 5th and 2 for Highly Commendeds by expert judge Dave Phillips from Hartlepool. Dave will judge both sections – “A” for experienced workers and “B” for less experienced. Members can decide which section to compete in. The standards are high and anyone with any points is to be congratulated!

After the three rounds, the members’ with the most points in each section will win the coveted Harvey Adams Cup and the Sidwell Cup respectively

This is a night that has the lot – excitement, entertainment and drama plus great photography. Don’t miss!

Note: print boxes will be out for Don’s DPS Botanic Garden Exhibition (still a few places left to take part), and it’s last call for the Des Kelly Trophy and Lambert Hedley Cup competitions (you can enter two prints in one and one in the other)

Picture: Summer in the Dolomites, Pordoi Pass by Dennis Hardingham from 1st Progress Prints “A” 2017

                                                       Summer in the Dolomites, Pordoi Pass. Dennis Hardingham. 3rd, 1st Progress Prints A

Amateur Photographer magazine features DPS January 2000!

In a golden trip down memory lane, Athur Attle ARPS has compiled a gallery of images from the Amateur Photography magazine 29th January 2000 issue that featured Durham Photographic Society and the award winning and published work of members

Loved by millions over the years, appearing in Amateur Photographer was a big thing at the time for the Society and members, with superb (pre digital) photography from members

Evening Light. Arthur Attle ARPS

Golden Beauty. Arthur Attle ARPS

Lined up Ready. Bob Weill

True Colours. Colin Armitstead APAGB

Shadow Patterns. Malcolm Thurman

Enchanted Lake. Maurice Sanderson (also on the cover)

A gallery of images from the magazine are in Members’ Galleries 2018 here

More about Amateur Photographer magazine is here

Pictured: a “Slide Sandwich”, Enchanted Lake by Maurice Sanderson

                                                     Enchanted Lake. Maurice Sanderson

Photography News Issue 53:

Edited by Will Cheung FRPS:

Issue 53: is a Photography Show Special and even bigger, absolutely packed with interest and it’s here

There will also be some high quality hard copies at the club to share around and pass on

You can also register to read Photography News on the Photography News website here

Pictured: DPS members Ian Stafford and Stephen Bell on the Photography News stand with editor Will Cheung at The Photography Show 2016

                                                       Will Cheung, Stephen Bell and Ian Stafford on the Photography News stand at Photography Show NEC 2016

Assignment North Shields Fish Quay – 17th March 2018

From Peter Walton

Who would have thought that a March day could have been so cold!

Our assignment meeting place was at the mouth of the Tyne taking full blast of the winds from the North Sea… but that did not stop no less than eighteen hardy folk form Durham PS turning up for our March Assignment.

The day started with the DFDS ferry getting stuck on a sandbank when coming between the piers, the captain did very well considering the weather.

The thing about extreme weather is that it opens up different photo opportunities. On a normal day the fishing fleet would have been mainly at sea, but the inclement weather resulted in the fleet being docked and it gave us the opportunity to photograph some working boats of character, some clearly quite old with wooden hulls, but still in service.

The crew of the ‘Bountiful’, registered in Banff, were sheltering in the harbour. Filipino by birth, today’s weather must have been a bit too cold for the crew, but they were in good spirits for a photograph.

The Fish Quay seemed to have a resident Shag, who kindly posed for us! He must be used to camera clubs!

A big thank you to all who turned out, and to Aroma for some really good coffee!

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Club Night News: 15th March 2018

Ray Etchells : The Bigger Picture

Bigger pictures all right, probably the biggest ever seen at the club! In the first half Ray showed a remarkable display of giant canvas prints and talked through his methods of printing and production developed over only 10 years as a serious landscape photographer. For an audience of fellow photographers, plenty of satisfying detail about equipment (Nikon 850, Zeiss and Nikon lenses, HP 44”printer), technique (multiple focus, multiple exposure) and the wonderful world of canvas varnish, Stiffy bags and more Fascinating and impressive!

In the second half his love of landscape shone through as he took us on a glorious journey around the Lakes, Scotland, Venice and the Dolomites giving insights along the way. Altogether, good to be in Ray’s company and a very good night

Ray’s website is here

More about Stiffy Bags is here

Pete Tasker’s website is here

More about Lee Jeffries is here

More about the Photographer’s Ephemeris is here

More about webcams is here

Google Street View is here

Assignment N Shields Fish Quay

Saturday 17th March meeting at the Low Lights car park at 10.00 pm. See previous NewsBlog

The latest Assignment Beamish Museum gallery is on the Assignments Galleries 2010 to 2018 in Galleries here


Next up … wire light painting at Steetley Pier Friday 23rd March meeting at 5.30 pm

Followed in April by light painting in Victoria Tunnel Ouseburn with Clair Harper and East End Sunderland in May

Check out SNAP n CHAT Galleries They are in Galleries (with new drop down menu feature) and here

Next Digital Night

Wednesday 4th April, County Hall, 6.30 pm. Details to follow and you can put in requests to Dave Murrell

Spring Lake District Photography Weekend

The Jeff Teasdale Lakes Experience moves from Autumn to Springtime – 25th to 27th May, staying at the Blencathra Centre. Jeff is taking bookings from now. There is a booking form with all the information you need at the club

Proposed trip to Dungeness

By bus, 29th October, 2nd November. At this stage, express an interest on the notice board. Angy is organising

Members’ AV Night – Call for AVs!

One of the best nights of the year – Members’ Audio Visual Show 27th July. Time to start creating is now if not before! Aim for short pieces maximum 5minutes each and you can submit more than one. Check out the Audio Visual section of Useful Links for software. Fellow members can give guidance and there’s always YouTube

Durham PS Photography Challenge 2018

Members can borrow a glass mannequin head for a week at a time and use their photography skills to include them in photographs. Please return the following week. There will be a members’ night showing results: 15th November – The Society Challenge, your Images on View

Images from the 2016 Crystal Ball Challenge are here

DPS Botanic Garden Exhibition

Room for 47 prints in 20×16 inch mounts which need to be in by 29th March. Only a few places left. Sign up on the notice board to secure

More about Durham University Botanic Garden is here

Annual Exhibition Durham Cathedral

Theme is “Co Durham Heritage” covering the area between the Tyne and the Tees and across to the Pennines. The show will be in the glorious North Aisle of the Cathedral and be on for the month of August.

Mike Boult’s Hot Dates

This weekend, as well as Assignment North Shields and the Photography Show there is the Tanfield Great War Weekend. Link

Competition Countdown

Next closing date is next week Thursday 22nd March for the Des Kelly Trophy (best landscape print NCPF region) and Lambert Hedley Cup (best print portrait). You can enter two prints in either though maximum three in total (i.e. one in one and two in the other).

The President’s set subject for the Fillingham Trophy is “The Moment” – 90 days to closing date. Images have to be taken between the 2017 AGM 24th November and the closing date 14th June 2018

Also new, the Sterling Award PDI subject is “Humour”. And this year there will be 5 on a theme (rather than 5 or 6) in the Hon Members Cup (prints) and Digital Trophy (PDI).

Details are on the Competitions page and in your printed programme. Check rules carefully

Next Meeting: Thursday 22nd March

In a change to our printed Programme, having been postponed due to bad weather, we have the 1st Progress Prints results night judged by Dave Phillips

Pictured: Ready to Sail. Alan Sharp. Winner of the Lambert Hedley Cup 2017

                                                       1st Lambert Hedley Cup. Ready to Sail. Alan Sharp