Chair’s Evening. 30th January 2014.

Chair’s evening was very successful, in that there were enough chairs to go around and the photography was interesting, varied and showed that even two people taking the same shot at the same time don’t get the same photograph.

The head count was approximately the same at the end of the evening as it was at the beginning, (Maurice insisted Steve take a headcount) which is always a good sign, even if only of strong security. Split into two the evening evolved mainly around images that were taken 8,000 miles and 15 years apart. Maurice’s opening took in his membership of the Air Training Corps (since 1963) and a trip with cadets to the Falklands in 1998 (and other locations), with bits of RAF Fairford and international cadet exchanges as variation interspersed with images of places not to be found in Venice. And some skiing. The post break slot was taken by Kevin Spiers’ and Richard Price’s long planned Iceland trip taken last October which produced some stunning shots.

The chair opened with the observation that Venice had previously been done, which had been his intention and thus we were treated to such delights among the main fare of such as: the Piazza de San Cabot Circus, several images of the Feeder and the Sharpness Canal;  the Pero’s Bridge after Mark S got at it with a hacksaw and minus its horns (I never realised how much those Horns masked its resemblance to the Bridge of Sighs, so well spotted Mark); Cardiff from San Giorgio Maggiore and Chiesa di San Francesco della Swansea Bay. Couldn’t help but be struck by their resemblance to the current views of the Somerset Levels. I understand UKIP are to field a candidate in that part of Somerset in the next General Election to campaign against the feared swamping of Mucheleny by benefit hungry Italian Gondoliers (as highlighted in a nine page spread in Tuesday’s Daily Mail). This could provide us with some photo-opportunities as it is cheaper to get to Mucheleny from Bristol than it is to get to Venice. Cornetto anyone?

The Falklands were/are still riddled with ordinance and some of the detritus of battle formed part of the subject of several of the images provided by Maurice, including the sanger from which Colonel H. Jones VC OBE was shot and killed. Although these places were the backdrop to the visit they were not the purpose and they certainly lived up to motto of the ATC (Venture Adventure). The Corps is as much about citizenship as venturing and adventuring and there were images of community and respect to balance this out. There were also behind the scenes shots from Fairford.  There is something about a photograph being a moment in time and Maurice was able to fill in some of the details of some of the cadets since. Every photograph tells a story, but the story doesn’t end at the click of the shutter.

The old saw that to fail to plan is to plan to fail cannot be applied to Kev and Rich’s expedition to Iceland (no Supermarket jokes, please). If it weren’t for the fact that they might dismiss it because the letters aren’t alphabetically organised one might be lead to suspect a touch of OCD.  That said, on the evidence, there is very definitely a need to plan if you have a must see list. Getting ten miles from your hotel they reported as an expedition stuffed with the temptations of some other stunning detail. This is the landscape that NASA used to train Astronauts in driving the Luna Rover, and where two continents meet and crammed with photo-opportunities. So being selective is based on knowing what comes next and, as they both pointed out, a little discipline.  And how that planning paid off. The land of ice and steaming hot geysers, the northern lights, black sand, ice sheets and volcanoes was beautifully framed and presented. I can fully see why they want to return, though not, apparently by taxi at £80 for 30 miles.

So our thanks to Maurice, Kev and Rich for an evening that was amusing, informative and entertaining and also to Mark for doing the background technicals. Next week is the open competition round three and based on earlier rounds I think we have a treat in store.

Ian G.


“The Photographic Angle’s free photography exhibition which will be taking place at Castlemead in Bristol from Saturday 15th  to Wednesday 19th February.

A Beautiful World features the work of 19 photographers who have been moved by our beautiful world enough to document it in all its glory.

Entry is free and the exhibition will be open daily from 10am to 3pm.

Please visit our website for more details”


And also PLEASE remember the Flikr competition.