Janice gets through the pain barrier, and family photos provide some interesting conversation.
Following the Fosse Way and the River Cam from the Odd Down Park and Ride proved a pleasant, if challenging three hour excursion for our walkers in terms of hill , vales and backache!! This was the penultimate walk of our summer after Lockdown, and I think for our final gathering we will keep it short and simple with perhaps refreshments at the end- I shall keep thinking and let you know when an idea materialises. All suggestions welcome in the meantime!

As July draws to a close this will be the last Challenge and next Thursday the final Zoom, before we take a short break during August, and have a committee meeting to plan for meetings henceforth while the threat of C-19 is still around. I do need a bit of a rest as I am finally running out of ideas, but it has been fun to keep this going for 16 weeks! Thanks to all who have engaged with me and the website, it has been brilliant to see all your images and improvements and share the company, friendship and laughter at such a difficult time.

Now…. Feedback on the FAMILY CHALLENGE:

[b]Jenny says:
I really enjoyed seeing the different takes on family from everyone! For me it was simple as I was away with Alice for the weekend at the beach with my sister, niece and great niece enjoying the seaside which is a rare treat. The portrait of Alice as an artist in the garden is my favourite but it does not come up to the standard of Suzanne’s portrait of the vaguely condescending Harry in Innocence I don’t feel. Jane Lewis also had a lovely photo of two nieces side lit in natural surroundings. Just a shame one foot was clipped off slightly Nice diagonals with legs though. Janice’s Big Sister….is lovely with the two girls playing together Nice lead in lines as always and great colours.
We had the swan families from Jill (nice diagonals and reflections with Dad bringing up the rear), Jane L with obedient followers of Mum but no Dad in sight, and her unusual ducks where I loved the colour and the composition. Jill of course also had the great shot of the lions with cubs that catches the individual personalities of the playful and the posers so well. I really like that shot there is a nice mix of menace and play about it. The traditional family shot of Jill’s is a nice record of everyone (except herself and the dog) in sunnies!!!
Then there were the old photos. Graham’s family collection in both pictures really fascinate me. Lovely to see younger versions of him and Iris and also to see the likenesses in the family male lines. He has the stories to go with them and the fact that many have been restored with colour added makes them really special. The Red Coat family is an interesting spot in the garden for a bit of variety- he can’t resist a plant can he?
Pamela also had a montage of family likenesses nicely arranged with herself as a young lady in colour in the middle. I find you look so much like your Mum and the farming one has many similarities, as I said, with a couple I have of my farming ancestors and horses. I will show you sometime. The Ancient label with broken hand was a good spot at the Cathedral, and I like the touch of mono to add an aged feeling. The family depicted next door look a bit sinister, but that is probably not the case!
Suzanne also had a family montage, this time arranged well with the addition of a texture which really gave an impression of aged records. She also had an animal theme with the cow and calf in mono which I like a lot for composition and treatment. Not sure the vignetting is subtle enough, but it is a powerfully put together shot for me. In the same vein we have the sow and her 12 or is it 13 piglets from Janice. Great composition on the diagonal with all those curly tails- really takes me back to my days on the farm. Janice’s Lego boat day out with Dad is so very typical of her- really lovely memory of her Dad from the times when she and her brother enjoyed the river trips . Very poignant considering how ill he is now- another one to make you smile in tough times Janice.
Jane R had her own ideas, and forced to be creative because her family was self isolating in advance of an op, she resorted to Bananas, Teddies and a Japanese Anenome for creative angles. Nicely thought out, arranged and focused- I particularly like the Anemone with the blurred out background and nice control of depth of field.

Pamela says :
Jill. Happy photo showing a happy time with your family and
how pleased you must be to see them. I think Family Outing works well
because you have included some of their environment and the way the
‘family’ is following from a slight distance. (social distancing?)
Lions. Beautiful animals, power and glory.
Jenny. I love Family 1. The
B&W works well and her expression of deep concentration is so well
caught. Family 2 I am always drawn to children on swings. A moment
where their imagination can run wild. I love her expression and the way
she is looking over her shoulder at you. I think I’ll sneak down to the
playing fields in the middle of the nigh and have a little swing.
Family 3 is just a lovely happy moment. I like the wave breaking in the
Jane L. Nieces. I really like this and the way the light
falls on your subject. They look relaxed and very natural. Following
Mum. Very sharp. I like the way the four cygnets are in line but it’s a
pity no. five has broken rank. I would prefer to see a bit more of the
surroundings. Stay close. Interesting ducks. What are they? I love the
colour in this one.
Jane R. Banana family. Made me smile. I wish my
bananas would breed. I hope your teddies enjoyed their moment of fame.
A lovely little gathering. My favourite is Japanese Anenome. It’s
original and lovely subtle colours.
Janice. Being Mum. Lovely
accommodating piglets and well caught. Big Sister.., another one for
your album. Very sharp and a good composition. But here comes my laugh.
Day Out is humorous but also tells a story. As you said, no health and
safety, just loads of fun.
Graham. The contrast between the two
entries is very noticeable with no 2 taken when smiling was not the
done thing. Interesting to look at families and seek out resemblances.
The Red Coat family is eye-catching and imaginative.
Suzanne. Calf. I
really love this. You have caught the subjects at the right time. The
format works well and the vignette is perfect. It’s my favourite.
Memories. An interesting treatment suggesting faded/vague memories?
Very effective. Innocence. Beautifully captured, lovely expression,
works well in B&W.

Janice says:
Graham, as always, your humour has shone through in picture 3. It would make an excellent ‘caption picture’. Nice shot of Iris. She obviously needed warming up. I like the way the background sets the scene. What an interesting tree in The Walking Dead. Quite eerie really, like a scene from a destruction/end of the world movie.
Pamela, lovely colours and scenery in Separate Thoughts. The spacing of the people does suggest separation but they may just be socially distancing. Bonfire In The Garden is gorgeous and I would have that printed and framed on my wall. The light and composition is superb. Image 3 is thought provoking. Why are the chairs vacant? Again, a very good composition of a lovely garden.
Jane R, Powerful shows the force of nature and the diagonal works well. Your untitled image makes me feel sad for the young girl. She is being left out which emphasises the generation gap. My favourite is Pensive and I’m wondering what she is thinking! The structure frames the image well and the broken section is perfectly positioned.
Jenny, great timing in Fun capturing the energy of youth. You excel at still life and your third image is another great example. It suggests the end of the day and a time to relax. The composition is good and I like the way the lighting highlights the glass.
Geoff, Elegance certainly is and I like the diagonal flow through the image. I like the irony of Happiness, the main character looks anything but. Initially I thought No. 3 was disturbing but on reflection it’s saying life is fragile and death is inevitable.
Suzanne, I like the drama in the sky and the composition in Threatening. What a good lead in from the path. Patience is very topical and works well in mono and will sum up 2020 for sure. I Feel has a surreal feel to it. It suggests something dramatic has occurred and this is the aftermath.
Jill, Serenity has nice reflections, calm and peaceful. When I look at Sad it makes me think oh bless him, he’s properly upset, real tears. Hopefully he recovered quickly. No. 3 is very atmospheric. The image works well in mono and the swans are perfectly placed.

Suzanne says :
GRAHAM: I love your FAMILY COLLECTION proudly hanging on that wall. With its mix of sepia ,b.w and colour taken by how many different cameras I wonder. It reminds me of the importance of just picking up a camera and taking a snap. Capturing real life - but the icing on the cake is not to keep them hidden in a cupboard and so Graham, well done to you and no doubt Iris for reminding us to do the same. NICHOLLS FAMILY CIRCA 1913- What a splendid capture that professional photographer produced. A real historical treat. I just loved looking at it. THE RED FAMILY- and why not! A bit of humour, something to make us smile is what we all need at the moment!
PAMELA: -ANCESTRY which is so interesting and well put together. Oh, how I love looking at pictures like these. Fashion, homes, people of all ages, shapes and sizes, so much to see. Great to have the picture of you placed where it is. Being the only coloured print, almost on a third and catching the viewer’s eye you certainly look “In the Pink.”. It brings your Ancestry picture up to the date when it was taken. (60’s maybe) – Love that hat too! ANCIENT HISTORY – Families are so interesting even when you know nothing about them. Just looking at this simple b/w photograph which you spotted, stopped to capture and which now makes me wonder. I would probably have passed it by but... I seem to have so many questions to ask now! FAMILY NEXT DOOR – Bang up to date, a colour picture, modern clothes, flowers, lawns and a triangle of people engrossed in conversation/listening. I like the shadow in the background as it highlights the family which is what this picture is about. JANICE: BEING MUM- I like the diagonal lead-in in this sharp picture which has good colours. A great animal family capture and I love those curly tails sticking above the rear piglet. BIG SISTER LITTLE SISTER –Both happy playing with their toys and seem oblivious to the photographer. Sharp, with good rendition of colours and a great snap for the album Janice. DAY OUT WITH DAD- as soon as I spotted this I knew it was yours. I remember you telling us of the good times you had with your dad rowing you and your brother down the river. A bright, simplistic photograph which would look good on your wall to make you smile on a grey day. It says it all. .JANE R: BANANA FAMILY - Nicely arranged, sharp and this format suits the bunch! With no family around to photograph, it’s a picture with a great chuckle factor. JAPANESE ANEMONE: This sharp picture with shades of two colours in its palette is eye catching. Good composition FAMILY PORTRAIT: Happy families (we all keep them] -a memory jerker, well photographed- looks good in this format. JANE L: STAY CLOSE KIDS: Love the title and the picture demonstrates the title well. Difficult to get separation between all of the ducklings as they are doing what the title tells them! FOLLOWING MUM: I have always found swans difficult to photograph for lots of reasons, mainly to get detail in their feathers but this is a well captured natural, animal family image. ADORED NIECES: I like natural poses with happy smiles; the lighting on their faces draws your eye to them and I like the lead in from the corner. That bit of missing shoe-well it happens to us all and hopefully we learn from it! It will still look good in the album for future generations to ponder over.
JENNY: FAMILY: 1 -I really like this b/w picture. The composition is good, you’ve captured that moment of working and concentrating on the task in hand really well. Subject is sharp, fills the frame and the placement of the girls hand holding the bowl on the third is just right. 2. Nice looking over the shoulder pose and picture has a feeling of movement resulting in a perfect smile. A great capture. No.3 Swimming in the sea - your picture says it all - FUN. I think this picture could be improved if you crop it down to about half an inch above the top smaller child and up to the bottom of the white tips of the l/h side small waves. I feel it would make both children much stronger in the frame, especially the younger one. I really like this picture too. A great holiday shot for you and the album. JILL: FAMILY BACK IN ENGLAND: What a happy family shot. Well composed, sharp and colourful. I like the contact between the dog, its owners and their children plus you smiling and holding on to the buggy connecting with them all. FAMILY OUTING 1 A well captured animal family with great lighting and reflection. 2: A natural wildlife shot which you do so extremely well and one we all love.