Our 6th consecutive WEEKLY CHALLENGE keeps members on their toes!
The lockdown continues, but we successfully held both a Committee meeting and a regular Thursday session using Zoom, with increasing numbers of members now able to access and enjoy the facility. The website is going well and although it is a lot of work to keep updated, it is really worthwhile in terms of socially meeting up and having a good chat! Clearly people other than members are logging on and Zoom meetings are hot topics. This morning a message via CONTACT US from said:

“I'm a British professional landscape and travel photographer based in France. Like everyone else in the world I'm locked down over here but I've started to reach out to clubs such as yourself to see if you would be interested in some of the talks that I have that can be delivered by Zoom. Currently I have two that are ready to go: Patagonia: End of the World - the challenges of commissioned work and Mongolia: from the Steppe to the Altai. I saw that you were starting to hold talks by Zoom and thought that now was a good opportunity to offer what I do.

Perhaps we can check out his YOUTUBE channel (Julian Elliott Photography) to get a feel for what he does and be prepared to have an opinion on Thursday for Jill to maybe consider? Worth a look I think.

The next CHALLENGE is up. Last week saw almost 30 images in again from members, so everyone take a look and get commenting on those VIEWPOINT pics! We had a nice message from Nick reported by Jill, who says that the Zoom and the Challenges are “not his thing” but he is admiring of it and supports what we are currently doing , quietly from a safe distance!

So, comments and feedback on the CHALLENGE MY VIEWPOINT:

Jenny says :

[i]Jill: I like your images- as usual they are definitely your “thing” in terms of composition and colour and great overall effects. I hope getting down low was a bit of a challenge for you anyway but it did not affect the sharp focus you always get! Let’s see what you make of this weeks ICM!
[i]Diana: I do like the way you presented these two images with the different viewpoints side by side. I like the colour of the blue and the perfectly different views of the same bloom- nice use of the lens which I think you said is macro. The frogs eye view is not quite as successful for me I think the large leaves distract from the bloom a bit.
Graham: Plants and seeds are your thing too. I like the way you managed three of the viewpoints and very successfully got back up to level again! The Bugle is a great colour and I like it composed in its setting from eye level. The Oxalis is gorgeous from above with all the detail. The seed head is contre jour so really tricky light exposure I might have brought out a bit more shadow where the seed head meets the stalk but that might have made the sky to light.
Jane L: Against that sky well exposed cat and I like the viewpoint. If I was framing this I might edge it in black to define the top and edge as I look up. The snail is at eye level or perhaps just above The focus is good I might have gone in closer or cropped in but I am reknowned for cropping too close sometimes! The Time one is quite dark and ominous and again I might have cropped in a bit more but see above and caution! I like the black and white and it works from below looking up.
Jane R: This isolation is doing your focus good!!!Looking up against the light is nice and a black line around the picture would define the edges for you. I might have lifted the shadow a bit to bring detail at top of stems. Looking down is really nicely framed and sharply focused with great DOF the slightly lighter stalk is a bit distracting but it is a diagonal so has kind of two opposing effects ! I like the texture treatment on the Tulips very much- beautiful colours and textures. The yellow is a bit light for me but it is lovely.
Pamela: Some great variance in these three. Eye Shadow is an interesting study with a wide angled lens. I wonder if a shallower DOF would have focused more on the reflections and blurred the detail of the windos/doors at the other end of the room you are looking in? Super portrait of the dog from low level which works well and the wooden stair case detail is good for composition. Is it possible to lighten his/her eyes just a tiny bit? Eyes up is nicely done too You might go back for this week’s challenge and try rotating or zooming?
Tony: I adore spaniels and miss mine terribly. Those doleful eyes and that look! You capture that moment well and it is great from that viewpoint. Again the eye level piano keyboard works well The DOF and focus and fading are just right Love it! Your Spring Flowers are my two favourites and the blue and the yellow are opposite sides of the colour wheel so a great choice I like the very low level I wonder if you could have changed the angle or tilted the camera slightly so that there was no visible sky It is a bit of a bright spot top right.
Janice: Great study of same plant from different viewpoints All well exposed and good detail My favourite is the one taken at the same level as the boundary wall but it bothers me that the top of this is slightly angled rather than VERY angled or totally horizontal. Still nice tones though.
[i]Geoff: You certainly have a unique view of the world- especially in lockdown ! I wonder how you got the right angled effect with the Niagara falls type drop? Not sure about the other one or what the message is Armagheddon ??? Thanks for sending this week Keep it up!
Suzanne Apologies i just did not upload these when they arrived ! I like the low angle of the dog in Walkies best I think. That viewpoint is so perfect for that shot ! Same with the bluebells although I rarely get down that low ! I like the fact that the trees are slightly out of focus but nice shot . the viewpoint is interesting in the churchyard and I like b and w treatment. I think the tree dominates the shot when the main subject is actually the graves and church However the view up the tree, whilst it takes the eye away from the subject it is a great angle !

Pamela says
Jenny. Frog. I love the expression in the cat's eyes but I find the background a bit distracting. Garden. First thing I noticed is that you are better at gardening than I am. I like the angles and the shoes! Is there a body buried in the flowerbeds? I really like the radio mast, perhaps because I find it hard to take inanimate objects and to get everything in focus/or at the right exposure.
Geoff. Square world. I start the day with espresso coffee but I think you start with something different. This is intriguing and I love it. Last perfect day. I like the red ball and but I'm not sure where to look.= after that.
Graham. My favourite is clematis seed head because I like the angle; for me it is more artistic than the other two, even though they are very good. Initially I thought a little more blue on the left-hand side would be better but I'm not sure.
Janice. My favourite is Looking Up. I like the way the leaf divides the lovely blue sky. I would crop the right-hand side a bit but I have a tendency to crop a lot.
Jane L. Time. I like this angle and I think the photo is very striking but I would crop the right-hand side. It is very dark. Cat. I love the cat and I think you have caught the tension in its body. Not sure if puss is pleased to be located next to my dog! Snail. Again I like this but I think I might crop the yellow leaf out so that my focus is solely on the snail.
Tony. I am biased because I am such a dog person so I love Fed Up. I think you have really captured the dog's mood and his soul. Piano keys is an interesting and eye-catching composition.
Suzanne. Another dog and so well caught. This is my favourite. I think the angle on the bluebells is good and the soft background works well. The tree in Paulton churchyard is very dominant. I would crop top to bottom and have half a tree to frame the church.
Jill. All three are very good, my favourites are 02 and 03.
Diana. Good idea to show the two different views of the same topic. Lovely colour in Anenome but my favourite is Water Hawthorn which I love. The bit of brown in the second photo catches my eye so I would try and get rid of that. I love the refection in the water.
Jane R. I like the angles on all three but Challenged texture is by far my favourite and I love it. The colours work well and it is really creative.

Jane R says:
Looking up. Beautiful colours on your Wisteria and Red Robin,
I like how you have centralised the red robin with the softer
colours to the side. Looking down lovely colours.
Nice selfie in your eye shadow!! Good expression on your
dogs face, shame we couldn't see a bit more of him.
Really like your "eyes up" beautiful shapes to the trees,
nice sky. Great.
Beautiful shots around West Harptree, Wonderfully in focus
and composition -- great.
Lovely expression on your cats face, very superior!!
Good view looking out of your window make me want to
know what the rest of he garden is like.
Brilliant seed head, like something out of an Alien film.
Oxalis and Bugle lovely, beautiful colours.
Jane L
I love your seed head a very different angle, cats love sitting
on warm metal! lovely expression. Very good texture in your
leaf "sailing along" snails -- not my favourite creatures!!
Love your spring flowers, lovely time of year. Love your
spaniel, beautiful colour, tones with the carpet! very sharp
brings out the texture of his coat. Nice depth of field on your
Lovely texture on your tree, love this. On the ground again for the
bluebells? Beautiful such vibrant colours. Your dog is saying
"What another photo?"
Two very different shots of the anemone I like the defused
background. Very nice reflection of the hawthorn.
Entertaining as always, you must share how you do them!!!

Janice says:
Jenny- the high view point of your garden really shows it off. Good composition creating great shapes within the picture. Although I do like how you've taken the cat from a low angle for me the out of focus foreground could be cropped slightly.
Geoff- your Square World has lots of impact. A very clever and creative idea.
Graham- doing what you do best! Clematis Seedhead is dramatic and different, almost spooky.
Diana- a good study, well presented. I especially like beautiful colour of the Anenome.
Tony-Piano Keys has strong lines and good depth of field taken from a very effective view point. The spaniel is adorable, a wonderful expression that completely matches the title of this image.
Jill- all three images are very well composed. A good study of a similar subject taken from different points of view.
Jane L- a good decision converting Time Stands Still to mono. It really suits this image and has made it more atmospheric. I would be tempted to crop the right hand side which is very dark to create more of a portrait picture.
Suzanne- Lovely view point and focus in Bluebell Wood. The view point in the mono image of the tree emphasises its sheer size and strength, I love it.
Jane R -Textured is a beautiful creative image which would look great printed and framed. Lovely colours and textures. Great view point and compositon in Challenge Up which suits mono.
Pamela-lovely colours and exposure in Eyes Up. Although there are a lot of trees it doesn't feel 'messy' or cluttered. A well composed image. Eye Witness is a clever image, a great capture of the dog just a pity the eyes are not lighter.