Wednesday, 20 May 2015

Battle of Middlewich 1643-Member Photos

Photo by Cliff Astles.........Royalist troops line up, ready for battle, at the Battle of Nantwich 1643

Next weekend, May Bank Holiday Weekend, will see troops line up in similar order, to re-enact the Battle for Middlewich.

I feel sure that many of our group will be out and about with their cameras taking similar photos of the action. If this is the case please, make sure you get your best photos (large Jpeg ), to the local Guardian Series of newspapers , where there is every possibility that some  of our members photos will be used by the paper.

The Guardian Newspaper Group have been very good in publishing a number of articles about the success of our group, and as they have today requested from myself some photos, I thought many of you would also wish to do this for them as well.



Tuesday, 19 May 2015

North Wales Group Photo Outing-Post Visit-Report.

Betws-y-Coed-From the rocks under the bridge, as river Llugwy passes under the road.

Another most enjoyable trip was undertaken by members of the group on Sunday 17th May, and in spite of the rather cloudy start and the odd spot of rain as we went over the Llanberis Pass, it was a good photography day, being cloudy, but nice and clear for most of the time.

We managed to take a number of photography stops starting at the aquaduct at Pontcysyllte, the waterfalls on the river Conway, and Betws-y-Coed, to a late afternoon stop at the small stream along the Llanberis Pass.

With the rain now beginning to be a problem for clear photos, and being early evening time, we decided to call it a day stopping at the lake in Llanberis for a few last minute shots, as the weather had improved sufficiently to get shots of the lake and back along the Llanberis Pass.

Great to see members getting together and having a good time, whilst being able to gain even more experience, photographing differing places of interest. A selection of photos by members taking part can be seen on the group Facebook page, and also very many more on the group FLICKR account link, on the web page:-( .

What a big difference in quality of shot and perspective is now being shown by members of the group, with some member shots, I would consider,  surely good enough to go into photo magazines. The group is obviously making a big difference to our members’ photography and understanding of their cameras. Great to see, and it can only get better.

The next group photo outing will take place at BUNBURY MILL, on Saturday afternoon 30th May, from 2.00 till 4.00 pm. ( £3.50 entrance fee, payable on entrance, parking free). Make sure you make this next photo outing day, so that you can gain even more experience using your own camera, with a group of sociable, like-minded members.


Saturday, 16 May 2015

June Group Meeting-AGM-Plus.

Monthly Group Member Meeting-Wednesday 24th June-2015-7.00 till 9.00pm

The meeting in June will commence at 7.00 pm PROMPT, with the first groups Annual General Meeting, followed by the normal break for refreshments at 8.00 pm.

There will be NO-CHARGES for attendance at the group AGM.

Member’s, will have the opportunity to meet the group committee and ask any further questions they may have about the group, and help by providing any suggestions to improve or enhance the present ways in which the group operates.

We would like as many members to attend the meeting as is possible, to ensure we have everyone’s input to what is being planned by the group, and that any input provided enhances the current format, to ensure this continues successfully into the future.

This will be the last monthly group meeting at the Willowmere-Middlewich, before the Summer break in July and August, re-starting in September, date TBA. However, we plan to have a number of local instructional photo outings during July and August. Watch the group Web Site ( for details of these increasingly popular outings.

Following the group meeting we plan to have a curry meal at a local Middlewich restaurant where all are invited. Members wanting to attend the meal should make contact with Cliff Astles, using the group e-mail of

Number of seats / places may well be limited at the restaurant, so please make sure you book early, requesting number of places required. Members will be required to pay for their own food and drinks.

Cliff Astles

Group Chairman.

Thursday, 14 May 2015

North Wales Photo Outing Update-Plus.

General Group Membership Update-Thursday 14th May 2015.

North Wales Photo Outing. Sunday 17th May-2015-Meet at 9.00 am- leave at 9.30 PROMPT!!!

    A) There is a Fun Fair on the proposed car park and meeting place, so we will now be meeting on the SALINAE Centre car park, at the same time. The SALINAE car park is opposite Middlewich Town Library, on Lewin Street. Go through the towns traffic lights on the road to Sandbach, the Library is on the right hand side, 400 yards from the traffic lights. Turn LEFT next by the small DIY Centre, the car park is on your left, and also at the rear. WE WILL ALL MEET AT THE REAR CAR PARK. 

We will then make sure we all have each driver’s mobile numbers (emergencies and  any other reason) and then commence the journey going by Nantwich Road in Middlewich, then Wrexham, to Llangollen, but calling at the first photo spot of where the Llangollen canal crosses the river called the PONT CYCLLTE Aquaduct, then through Llangollen to Betws-y-Coed for more photos, stopping on the main car park in the town.

Having had our fill of photos at Betws-y-Coed, we will go via Chapel Curig, to the Llanberris Pass. We will stop a number of times along these roads when we reach a number of photo spots indicated to me via a North Wales photographer.

As we have quite a long journey it is considered that packed lunches may be best, as we do not at this time, envisage stopping for any long time (this may change as the day progresses). A tripod will be useful, if you have one to use. It is likely there will be many stops for a quick toilet.

There are a few places still available, so anyone wanting to go on the trip needs to make arrangements by making your wish to go on the trip known on the groups FB site. People with cars will make contact via FB to fill up the places in their cars.

Bunbury Mill Photo Outing-Saturday May 30th-2015.

     B)The photo trip to Bunbury Mill carries a minimum charge of £ 40.00 (this is a special trip, organised for group members only, on a Saturday afternoon, hence the minimum charge). Trip info can be found on the Web Site Blog Page. Member charge is £ 3.50 per person, payable on admission.


Tuesday, 5 May 2015

Member photos-Marketing & Press.

Winter Sunrise-Over the old ICI Lime Beds-Middlewich-Cheshire.

Group use of member photos for Marketing and Press.

It is now some time since we asked group members for their permission for the group to use any of their photos submitted for use in order to create marketing and press interest. With the recent move to Flickr by the group to better display photos, I thought it was worth mentioning again.

We would obviously wish to continue to use member photos, but ONLY if members have no objection to them being used in this way. Therefore, would members not wishing for their photos to be used, please let me know via e-mail, so I do not make any mistakes.

The group has been able to gain many more members by using photos in this way, and we will continue to use them in the future.  Additionally, it is in the group’s future interest to gain more members and I would like to think that members will continue to send photos to any of the local papers, as they continue to request local photos to be submitted to them, where a mention of the group would not go amiss.


Photo Topic Reminder for MAY 2015.

Photo by Cliff Astles-River Wheelock from the Bridge on Forge Mill Lane-Warmingham-Cheshire.

Member photos-May Group Meeting-Willowmere-Middlewich.


Make sure you use your own and the group FLICKR Galleries to place your photos on-line, and to make them available to be sorted and placed into a photo presentation.

The quality of Flickr for photo presentation is allowing for some GREAT member photos to be shown, and is so very much better for the group to use than just using Facebook.


Friday, 1 May 2015

Group members working together.

Photo by Paul Macready
Photo by Paul Macready

Group members, working together to improve their photography.

One of the main objectives when initially forming the Group was for the more skilled members to offer help, and give guidance to other members, who were just, perhaps starting to use a digital camera, and wanting to get up to speed quickly. We believe we have achieved this in no short measure, with many new to photography, quickly creating photos of merit.

It was very satisfying therefore to see recently, that Paul Macready (using his excellent photos above) was helping member Donna, to also try to achieve a similar quality photo by providing photo settings and other advice, for her future use when presented with a similar photo opportunity.

With the move from placing group photos on Facebook, to members now  using Flickr, we can not only now see members photos in much better quality, but Flickr also provides all of the  technical information regarding photo settings for members to see for themselves, so they may use the information in order  to improve their own photo skills. A BIG step forward for the group members. 

The group continues to grow with new members and the more conversations that take place of this nature, the better and stronger the group becomes. Thanks to members like Paul, Mal Wetton, Brian Roberts, and others that help in this way, we are achieving one of our main goals with the group.

Getting members to shoot quality photos, all of the time J


Two pictures (see wingtips) are to show what happens when you use a shutter speed of  1/640 sec. 
Heron............ slight blur at the wing tips), which does give a nice motion effect, that you may wish to have?

Seagull...........when you use a much higher shutter speed (1/2000 sec). The wing tips are quite clear, with no motion to speak of.