Packhorse Bridge


Projects to try at home

Feel free to contribute ideas for home-based projects or camera skills that we could all try - and to send in the results for everyone else to see!

Here are some first suggestions from Gillian Duffy. Send any more to Simon for posting here.

"The two images of oil on water I entered in the Abstract competition this year were taken in the following ways:"

A video:

2) A Blog Post

Lightroom learning at home

Thanks again to Gillian Duffy for this (below) from the well-respected Laura Shoe

Hi Everyone,

One of the blessings of having an online business is that I get to be connected with people all over the world. I have been thinking about you all lately, knowing that some of you are at each stage of coronavirus impact, from unaffected to overwhelmed, healthy to unwell, families intact to having lost loved ones, financially stable to not knowing how you'll pay this month's bills. Please know that my heart is with each one of you during this stressful time, and I wish you and your loved ones the best.

I read an article yesterday that gave mental health tips for coping with isolation and stress. One of the tips is to spend some time each day or week doing something that you find enriching. If working on your photography and learning Lightroom fits that bill for you, remember that there are tons of articles and tutorials on my blog. To find topics of interest, scroll down on the blog, and on the right side you'll find an Article Topics section - click on a topic of interest and it will give you a list of articles. (If you're not sure whether an article applies to your version of Lightroom, leave that question in a comment at the bottom of the article, and I'll respond.)

Or better yet, for those of you who have my comprehensive Lightroom training on video, consider working through a video or two per day. If you don't already have this training, you may use discount/promo code MARCH20 in the shopping cart for 20% off published prices this month. The training videos can be downloaded, so you can get started right away.
march 21
Northern FocusClick here to see the latest edition of the NCPF newsletter Northern Focus, which contains a number of interesting and useful articles
Ollie Taylor
Morpeth Camera CLub

judges day
Death of Dave Shaw, Sunderland PA

David Shaw sadly passed away on Wednesday after a long illness. His funeral will be at 2.00pm on Monday 25th November at Sunderland Crematorium.

David was a past President and Syllabus Secretary of Sunderland Photographic Association and with his wife Hilary give many lectures to clubs in the NCPF. He will be sadly missed.

Regards, Joe Finlay

Secretary Sunderland PA

April 2019
Surplus Equipment

Dave Hudson has the following surplus equipment, which is free to a good home! Contact Dave directly if you are interested or email Simon

Kodak EasyShare V1233 plus spare battery & charger (working)
Kodak EasyShare V1233 plus usb adapter & charger (working)
Samsung DVD Writer SE-5084
Sigma APO zoom lens 70-210mm
Pentax ME Super body
Canon T90 body
FujiFilm FinePix F10
FujiFilm FinePix A600 (working)
2 x FujiFilm Zoom Date F2.8
9V Power supply
1 x FujiFim AC-3VX Power adapter
2 x FujiFim AC-3VX Power adapter (boxed)
Sigma 72mm petal lens hood
Quantum QFlash Model T2 (battery not charging)
Nikon AS-19 flash stand
Metz 45CL-4 Flash with power adapter (working)
FujiFilm A345 (working)
Jessops ball head Canon SureShot Supreme
Canon AV-1 with 50mm lens
Bell & Howell 85-300mm zoom with Canon FD adapter
Pullman camera bag (W11”xD7”xH6”)
Set of 3 55mm macro lenses +1, +2, +4
9” shutter release cable
Aluminium flight case 18”x13”x6”
Sony CyberShot DSC-S600 (working)


As many of you know, the NCPF is the body that organises the Annual Competitions and the Awards and Alliance Portfolios that clubs get on CD each year.  Events and evenings like this only continue with the support of existing volunteers, the majority of whom are getting older or have other commitments as well as the NCPF. We are in desperate need of several new volunteers who would be willing to help at these events and learn the skills necessary to keep them going. Sadly, without new blood they are in danger of ceasing. We all love entering pictures in competitions, for those who get chosen for judge’s comments or even better, a place in the Alliance entry, it is the icing on the cake.

Obviously, nobody is expecting anyone to be dropped in at the deep end as regards jobs, existing and past post holders will be only too happy to show you the ropes and gain the skills necessary to organise these competitions. Who knows, you might even have some new ideas that we can all benefit from!

Many of those volunteering at events (myself included) have been doing so since Fred Flintstone was in the handbook-indeed, he would often do portrait nights with Wilma and his knowledge of rock formations made his landscape judging an absolute joy to listen to. Seriously, we are in danger of losing many of those things that make our hobby so enjoyable, so please, think about volunteering some of your free time to help them continue.

If you would like further information or a chat about available roles, ask your secretary to put you in touch with a member of the Executive.

Thanks for listening and enjoy your evening.

President of the Northern Counties Photographic Federation

The club has received the following advertisment regarding wildlife photography courses by Paul Sawer:

I am a professional wildlife photographer based near Minsmere in Suffolk and would like to bring my business to your groups attention. I offer several photo courses that are suitable for beginners looking to improve their skills right through to professionals seeking to have a specific species perform in front of their lens. Among the potential subjects for UK workshops are kingfishers, little owls, harvest mice, brown hares, birds of prey and woodland birds along with many other species that I work as and when they are viable.

For the more adventurous I conduct annual photography holidays to Eastern Europe to connect with bears and birdlife just feet from the camera. Occasional trips to Montana USA to photograph big cats, wolves, bears, foxes etc. at a specialist photography facility occur with the next one in early March 2019 having a couple of spaces available.

My personal requirement for imagery showing the subject at its best in terms of its condition, lighting, background etc. ensures my clients also have the opportunities to take professional standard images when using my locations. I genuinely run workshops when the subject is at its best and don't use the excuse 'well that is wildlife' to get away with offering a poor service.

I would like to offer the members of your group an introductory discount of 20% off the cost of a UK workshop and invite you to view my website for further information including timings and equipment requirements for each course.

I would be grateful if you could direct this information to the members of your group that photograph wildlife or alternatively if you can arrange a small group to attend I can tailor the course to suit your agenda/abilities.

Max group size:

Kingfisher portrait 4

Kingfisher diving 4

Woodland birds 4

Harvest mice 2 (can be up to 4 but best with 2 shooting at a time)

Birds of Prey in Seasons 8

Mad March Hares 2 (possibly fully booked until 2020, I will know more in a few weeks)

Link to workshop details  should answer most questions but if you require further information on any workshop or tour please don't hesitate to get in touch.

Following on from her presentations to the Practical evening this week Paula has provided the following notes:
- White layers
- Printing from Lighroom
- Exporting an image from Lightroom for an SPS competition
- An article from Scott Kelby on choosing the print resolution in Lighroom
Aurora Photography Following his talk on his Greenland trip at the club in November, Richard Burdon has passed on these tips for " How To Shoot Auroras"
•    Fit a wide-angle lens
•    Remove any filters include skylight filter
•    Switch to manual focus
•    Set camera on a tripod and focus on a lit point at least 50-100m away using live view.
     Tape lens in position. (Use a full turn of tape, not just a small piece as it will fall off in the cold)
•    Set camera to manual exposure mode
•    Set ISO at 1600
•    Set lens at widest aperture (ideally f2.8 or f4)
•    Set shutter speed at 15 seconds

SPS Facebook group

We (Paula!) have set up an SPS Group on Facebook. This is a  ‘Secret’ Group. A secret Facebook group is the most secure of the three types. The only people who can see the group are the members of the group. The plan is to use the group to share ideas, information and post images for comment. If you would like to join the group, which is for current SPS members only, please contact Paula Davies or any SPS member who you know is already a member of the group and ask them to add you to the group.

For those who are unsure about the copyright or ownership of images you publish on Facebook, see below for an extract from the Facebook T&Cs - which does confirm that you retain Copyright of your own images.

Sharing Your Content and Information

You own all of the content and information you post on Facebook, and you can control how it is shared through your privacy and application settings. In addition:

  1. For content that is covered by intellectual property rights, like photos and videos (IP content), you specifically give us the following permission, subject to your privacy and application settings: you grant us a non-exclusive, transferable, sub-licensable, royalty-free, worldwide license to use any IP content that you post on or in connection with Facebook (IP License). This IP License ends when you delete your IP content or your account unless your content has been shared with others, and they have not deleted it.
  2. When you delete IP content, it is deleted in a manner similar to emptying the recycle bin on a computer. However, you understand that removed content may persist in backup copies for a reasonable period of time (but will not be available to others).
  3. When you use an application, the application may ask for your permission to access your content and information as well as content and information that others have shared with you.  We require applications to respect your privacy, and your agreement with that application will control how the application can use, store, and transfer that content and information.  (To learn more about Platform, including how you can control what information other people may share with applications, read our Data Policy and Platform Page.)
  4. When you publish content or information using the Public setting, it means that you are allowing everyone, including people off of Facebook, to access and use that information, and to associate it with you (i.e., your name and profile picture).
  5. We always appreciate your feedback or other suggestions about Facebook, but you understand that we may use your feedback or suggestions without any obligation to compensate you for them (just as you have no obligation to offer them).

NYSDPA Facebook page

NYSDPA has a new Facebook page, with 'Albums' for each of the member clubs (including Stokesley), compiled by John Devlin. This is what he says about the new venture..

"I've invited all the Gallery Photogroup to 'like' the page and can I ask that you do the same. I've also invited my 'friends' to do the same
which many have already done so. The big, big immediate bonus so far, is that people are also 'liking' the individual clubs photo albums.
A few of those are non-photography type people and that can't be a bad thing. If any of us just gains one new member then it's all been
worth while.

You will see I have made 'albums' for each club - just waiting on a few images coming in for one or two, to complete that. The images therein comprise
of the entries for the Inter-Club competition. All of that will of course grow over the months/years.
I have also listed within your album, each clubs venue details, start times, web site etc. I haven't included any contact details but if you want me to then I can.

So one immediate thing that has come to mind (although basically the page is only a start) some people have got back saying they couldn't find the page. I think it's because they typed in NYSD as opposed to the full North Yorkshire South D... etc Something to think about and comments are welcome on that.

I'm happy to hear of any suggestions on how to make it better but would rather not go into long drawn out debates.

If nothing else, its a page for the NYSD. The upshot is it could drive people to your site and ultimately your club."

Memory Cards

Why you should not delete images on your memory card using your camera - and other memory card tips!

Follow this link to Jeff Cable's blog for a very interesting article from a former Director of Marketing at Lexar dealing with the ins and outs of the memory card business.


Rob Louw has sent me an interesting link to a video on how the Lightroom Catalogue works. It can be found on the Members Only page by clicking the Tutorials link.
Histograms Club member, Rob Louw, has sent me a very interesting link to an article about histograms.
The Dark Skies of the North Pennines - A Photographer's Delight Graham Relf FRAS is a member of Tynemouth Photographic Society.

"Over the past few years I have been amazed by what I can photograph in a clear night sky with my Canon camera and very little additional equipment (away from light polluted areas). So much so that I have written a book about it. I am keen to encourage others to have a go and to experience similar amazement. Today's digital cameras enable amateurs to do things which required professional equipment only a few years ago.
The book contains more than 50 of my own images, mostly in colour, with a gentle introduction to the astronomy behind each one. The last part of the book goes into techniques for photographers but it aims to be less technical than most books on astrophotography. I have self-published the book through York Publishing Services (YPS) in order to keep the selling price as low as possible."

More details of Graham's book can be found at this link.

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Updated: April 2019