Category Archives: News

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.

Burning Bright

TCWILDLIFEOur May meeting was a double header: it was our AGM and we had an excellent presentation from wildlife photographer Tal Chohan.

Tal made it clear that you don’t have to go to exotic locations to take fabulous wildlife shots – Cannock Chase will do! Tal made a start photographing animals in zoos, but he has also captured truly wild animals all round the UK and further afield. His great passion is the sadly endangered Indian tiger.

He now runs regular trips to a tiger reserve and in so doing hopes to help preserve these regal animals for generations of photographers to come.


A Double First

Authors are sometimes mystified by the decisions of judges but one SPG member can have no complaints about the deliberations of Brian Pere, our judge for April.

Ray Barnes scored 1st place in both the Open section and the Theme of “Wind and Rain”. Just for good measure he also got third place in both!. Ray is the current holder of the Theme cup and his win puts him well in the mix for this year.

The Stirrup Cup

1st in Open: “The Stirrup Cup” by Ray Barnes

Facing the Wind

1st in Theme: “Facing the Wind” by Ray Barnes

It is tight at the top in both competitions and everything will be up for grabs when our competitions resume in September.

By the left, quick March!

Our March meeting was judged by Peter Going from West Haddon who gave us all a valuable critique of our images.

In the Open Ron Wykes was again triumphant with an image of a Moorhen and now leads proceedings in that contest.
1st in Open: "On Sedge Fen" by Ron Wykes

1st in Open: “On Sedge Fen” by Ron Wykes

In the Theme of “Candid” we had our third different winner in as many months. This time it was Alan Roffey with an image seen in the late evening in Seahouses. Overall, some consistent placings by Richard Hollingum sees him lead at this stage,
1st in Theme: "You Need Your Head Examined" by Alan Roffey

1st in Theme: “You Need Your Head Examined” by Alan Roffey

All things must pass (or why no a chicken?)

Our February meeting was self-judged and saw  a rare event for recent times – Mark Blaber didn’t win the Open! Instead previous cup winner Ron Wykes’ “Goldfinch in Flight” landed in fist place to bring an end to Mark’s winning run at five  on the trot, although a second place keeps him well positioned at this early stage of the competition.

1st in Open

In the Theme of “Bridges” Richard Brown spanned above everyone else with a shot of Harringworth Viaduct, a title which reminds me of one of my favourite Marx Brothers routines: Why a Duck?
It was nice to see an old friend at the group again: Brian Pere, who has agreed to judge our April meeting. (More fool him?)

1st in Theme “Bridges”

Cups of good cheer

A highlight of the Christmas social was the presentation of our competition cups to the current champions and this year both cups had new names engraved on them.

In the Open, Mark Blaber was presented with the Peter Saul Cup, and Ray Barnes was presented with the Andy Stewart Cup for winning the Theme league.

Chair Richard Hollingum (left) presents the cup to the winner of the Theme league - Ray Barnes

Chair Richard Hollingum (left) presents the Andy StewartCup to the winner of the Theme league – Ray Barnes

How hard can it be to take a couple of pics of cup presentations? Well, firstly when deciding to grab a not so often used camera out of the bag do check it has a charged battery inserted [Check]. Secondly, check you haven’t removed the SD cards to use as spares on a recent holiday {Not Checked!].

Chair Richard Hollingum (left) presents the Peter Saul Cup to the winner of the Open league – Mark Blaber

Then, when relying on a mobile phone camera do check that you are not getting a nasty green glare being reflected by the light cast from the running projector.

So, having not shot RAW, in desperation convert the image to black and white and claim it as a homage to Mark’s recent excellent and winning monochrome images.