Category Archives: News

Tabletops are tops in March

Our competition judge this month was Daventry member John Lewis LRPS. Both the winning images he chose happened to be tabletop setups, and two of our number did well securing a first and third place each in the two categories.

In the open section Ron Wykes shot tethered in natural light and used focus stacking to get his “Red Red Bobbin”.

The Red Red Bobbin

1st in Open: “The Red Red Bobbin” by Ron Wykes

See all the placed Open images >>

The theme of “Culture” was a challenge both to us and the judge with so many varied interpretations offered. Building upon a second place in the open Richard Hollingum showed us that “Dead Life and Penicillium are the only Culture Here”.

Dead Life and Penicillium are the only Culture Here

1st in Theme: “Dead Life and Penicillium are the only Culture Here” by Richard Hollingum

Though I am also reminded of a line from the TV comedy Benidorm: “The only culture these people have got is between their toes”.

See all the placed Theme images >>

No Easy Road

Our February meeting had an open section and a set theme of “Roads”. Our judge, Brian Pere, had hit the road from Duston Camera Club to run the rule over our efforts.

In the open Alan Roffey won out, with his recent upgrade to Photoshop Elements 2020 paying dividends with his composite “Three Times a Lady” taken against  a backdrop of Willen Lake.

Three Times a Lady

1st in Open: “Three Times a Lady” by Alan Roffey

See all the placed open images >>

In the theme Ron Wykes stormed back with an image taken on a Derbyshire road “Between Showers”.

Between Showers

1st in Theme: “Between Showers” by Ron Wykes


See all the placed theme Images >>

As Ron Wykes was in attendance we were able to present him with the Peter Saul Cup for his open league win in 2019. It was his third win, but unlike football – where Brazil were able to keep the Jules Rimet Trophy in 1970 –  Ron will have to give it back at the end of the year; unless of course he wins it again!

Cup Presenttion

2018 winner Mark Blaber (left) presents Ron Wykes with the the Peter Saul Cup for 2019

Ring in the New

Our first meeting of the new year was a competition evening with an open section and a set theme of “Framed”.

Our judge for the night was Graham Heywood EFIAPp FBPE. Graham gave an informative and amusing commentary on our efforts with many valuable tips as to how images could be improved, even if they were good to begin with.

Boxing Day Dip

1st in Open: “Boxing Day Dip” by Ray Barnes

In the open, braving a beach in Northumberland on Boxing Day rewarded Ray Barnes with the first winning image of the year.

See all the placed open images >>

In the theme, a composite image of people looking out of railway carriage windows gained a laugh and a first place for Alan Roffey.

Frame Frenzy

1st in Theme: “Frame Frenzy” by Alan Roffey

See all the placed theme images >>

Our Cups Runneth Over

Members of SPG enjoy a social evening

Our December meeting was a social evening featuring a viewing of the images from this year’s Badby Challenge (which was won by the hosts Daventry) and a presentation of the cups from our annual competitions.

Unfortunately the three time winner of the Peter Saul Cup for the Open league, Ron Wykes, was unable to attend but the previous winner of the Andy Stewart Cup for the Theme league was on hand to present the cup to the current holder, our Chair, Richard Hollingum.

Ray Barnes (right) presents the Andy Stewart Cup to Richard Hollingum

They think it’s all over – it is now!

The last time Brian Pere of Duston Camera Club judged our competitions he awarded first place in both categories to the same author: and this month he did it again!

The recipient of his largesse on this occasion was Richard Hollingum, who happens to be our chair and who had arranged for Brian to judge the final round of our annual contests. (Conspiracy theorists are always welcome to join SPG).

A recent trip to Northumberland provided the winning shot in the Open.

Pair of Admirable Admirals

1st in Open: “Pair of Admirable Admirals” by Richard Hollingum

However this success was never going to be enough to deny Ron Wykes winning the Peter Saul Cup for the third time, having amassed 3 wins for the Open league through the year – together with  a second place on the night taking him well clear of the field.

See all the placed Open entries.

It was a different story in the theme of “Autumnal”.

Autumnal Morning Mist in the Churchyard

1st in Theme: “Autumnal Morning Mist in the Churchyard” by Richard Hollingum

A first win of the season with an early morning churchyard shot catapulted Richard from third to first in the league for the Andy Stewart Cup, getting his name on the trophy for the first time.

See all the placed Theme entries.

See the Final 2019 Standings

Self- judgement Day

The penultimate round of our 2019 competition was self-judged, all members in attendance voting for for their first, second and third choices in both the Open and Theme sections. So instead of being aghast at the critique of a judge we only had ourselves to blame for the result! Placings are decided by the most accumulated votes relevant to the ranked choices.

Fenland Wind Pump

1st in Open: “Fenland Wind Pump” by Ron Wykes

In the Open Ron Wykes pumped out his third win of the season, and he holds a three point lead going into the final round of this competition for the Peter Saul Cup.

See all the placed entries for the Open

In the Theme this month of “Anything with Wheels” a shot taken at the North Norfolk Railway earned Phil Roseblade a second win of the competition drawing him into a three way tussle for the Andy Stewart Cup.

Train Wheels

1st in Theme: “Train Wheels” by Phil Roseblade

See all the placed Theme entries

Return to Competition

On our return from SPG’s summer break the judge for the evening was Paul Nickerson from Desborough & Rothwell Photographic Society. Paul held many entries back for further consideration and gave a fair sprinkling of commended and highly commended to those who did not make the top three.

In the Open Phil Roseblade singularly echoed a old Who hit with a picture of a lily. Flower pictures proved popular with the judge as can be seen by the Open top places.


1st in Open: “Lily” by Phil Roseblade

The Theme of Monochrome was topped by a panorama of the Miami skyline, taken from the deck of a cruise ship in port. See all the placed entries under Theme – top places.

Miami Morning

1st in Theme: “Miami Morning” by Alan Roffey

Tangled Up in Blue

The Market Cross and Stocks

On the lovely summers evening of 1st July members of both SPG and West Haddon Photo Club got together for a walk around the Brixworth Heritage Trail.

Thirty buildings of interest in the centre of the village are adorned with blue plaques.

The groups were joined by the founder of Brixworth History Society, John Dawkins, who led everyone around the village highlighting the unusual, mystical and historic (very historic) elements of Brixworth.

John kept everyone well informed throughout the walk and gave an in depth background to a number of the buildings, and church, on the route.

The starting point of the George Pub naturally also made a perfect end point and the groups enjoyed a refreshing drink to round off an enjoyable evening

Brixworth Church

Brixworth Church


Going off the Rails

Signal Box

Stairway to the Signal Box

Our June meeting was a photographic outing to the nearby Northampton and Lamport Railway. The group  had access to the platform, signal box and carriages at the Brampton Halt station, and as there were no trains running we could also go onto the tracks.

It had been arranged for actors and models from “Star Now” to be in attendance in period dress to bring the scene to life. We were very pleased to have Naomi Jane Butcher, Jeremy Hotlom, Lucy Sosa, Nick Sternberg and Hilary W in front of our massed lenses.

Lee Miller: Bringing the lights and the smoke

One of our members, Lee Miller (LM Photography), brought along lights and a smoke machine so we could emulate a smokey platform.

We have to give a big thanks to the staff of the Northampton and Lamport Railway for organising the evening, keeping us safe and letting us roam amongst their preserved stars.

The evening seemed to go very well, with both the members and models enjoying the event. The models were attending on a “time for prints” basis. Some pictures have already been made available to the models and their reaction has been positive.

SPG Members: Going off the rails?

Balancing Act: L-R, Lucy Sosa; Nick Sternberg; Jeremy Hotlom; Hilary w; Naomi Jane Butcher

AGM Headlines

For the 2020 season it was decided to:

  • give more chance for members to show their work by having more competitions;
  • extend the age of entries to 2 years;
  • allow a maximum of 4 entries in any combination between the Open and Set Subject;
  • retain the current scoring system;

and have some longer evenings where a judge/speaker would also present.