On February 8, Tenby & District Camera Club had the good fortune to have a Fotospeed ambassador step in at the last minute for a truly inspiring evening with audience participation. 

Les Loosemore is an ambassador for Fotospeed and prints all his own photos. The quality of his images is outstanding. He started his presentation with a display of panoramas, and then waterfalls, Scotland, trees , landscape, and concluded with portraits. After each display, he invited the audience to closely inspect the photos, ask questions and critique them to see if they could find any faults.  Just what a camera club needs.

Les introduced a friend he brought with him, Riccardo Beghini, and during the tea break Riccardo displayed his brilliant landscape photos, they were amazing, he answered all the questions we asked, and proved to be a potentially great presenter, one of his ambitions.

Tenby & District Camera Club held its annual Mono competition on February 15.

Judge was Rob Mitchell from Swansea. There were 18 prints and 27 digital images. Rob, who is a retired Swansea University lecturer, praised the standard of the entries. 

It was a close run contest, with several photos awarded similar top marks. Rob critiqued, in great detail, every image with his usual humour applied to most of them with useful comments on how to improve the image. Results are as follows: 

Print Section: There were two Gold awards given, one to Janet Sullivan with ‘Breathtaking’ and she was also awarded 1st place. The second Gold and 2nd place went to to Gillian Mackay with ‘London’. Gill Mackay also was given 3rd place and a Silver award with ‘Feeling Shy’. Two more Silver awards were given, both going to Dave Bolton with ‘Billy’ and ‘Servants of the Wild Sea’. Bronzes were awarded to Francis White with ‘Lilly’ and Andy Watkin with ‘Cape Otway Lighthouse’. 

There were three Highly Commended images from Charlie Kidd, Donald Fraser and Rob Cox. Two Commended images completed the awards and they went to Gary Mayhew and Donald Fraser. 

Digital Section: There were three Gold awards, in 1st Place Gary Mayhew with ‘Snoozing Seal’, in 2nd place Jan Sullivan with ‘Spreading the Seeds’ and in 3rd place Rob Cox with ‘Swan in a Flap’. Silver Awards were given to Dave Bolton with ‘Running Scared’, Gary Mayhew with ‘Jessica Ione in the light’ and Jan Sullivan ‘The Dandelion Clock’. Bronze Awards went to Dave Bolton and ‘I’m a lover, not a fighter’, Harry Gardiner with ‘Frosted Cobwebs’ and Charlie Kidd and ‘The Chinese Elderman’. There were two Highly Commended images, both from Gill Mackay.  There were four Commended images from Sara Josey, Charlie Kidd, Harry Gardiner and Dave Lewis . 

February 18 was WPF Memorial Day.

Several Members attended this competition organised by the Welsh Photographic Federation, this year held in Talbot Green near Llantrisant. 

Three competitions were held during the day with 15 Welsh clubs competing . All the competitions were judged by Pam Lane and Eddy Lane, both with ARPS, DPAGB, EFIAP, ARPB qualifications. 

The first competition held was The Walter Morgan Trophy, with the entry being 4 Colour Digital Images. Tenby Camera Club came 4th with Gwynfa CC and Rhondda CC sharing 1st place. Gill Mackay’s ‘At the Barbican’ and Gary Mayhew’s ‘Mountain Dawn’ images both scored full marks and were awarded Certificates of Merit.  

The second competition was The Past Presidents’ Trophy with the entry being 4 Colour Prints.  Tenby Camera Club came joint first with Alan Nedd CC.  Again there were two prints scoring the maximum mark and also gaining Certificates of Merit. These went to Jan Sullivan with ‘Life is a Struggle’ and Dave Bolton with ‘Hunting swallow over summer meadow’.

Final Competition of the day was the Gwyn Morgan Trophy with the entry being a monochrome set having a theme or to meld together with some coherence. This competition is not scored but takes the form of elimination. After a nail biting finish, Tenby Camera Club was the winner, just pipping the sets from Rhondda (2nd) and Bridgend CC (3rd). 

Speaker on February 22 was John Archer-Thomson, a freelance coastal ecologist, photographer, writer and tutor, and a former deputy head of the Field Studies Council's Dale Fort Field Centre in Pembrokeshire.

John has visited Skomer many times, both on land and underwater for many years . His knowledge of botany, zoology, geology and ornithology was superb and he answered questions with ease. John’s photographic skills were also of the highest quality, so members were treated to some stunning images of the landscape and life of Skomer. He explained the history of the Islands, from their geographic formation to farming practices through the years.

It is amazing how such a small island can be such a plethora of life. John showed a wide range of photos capturing the different categories of bird life from land birds to seabirds including puffins, fulmars, Manx shearwaters, guillemots, razorbills, kittiwakes, owls, sedge warblers and all the gull family. 

The animal life was not neglected either with dolphin, Skomer voles, seals and rabbits featured. John filled the talk with tales of the lifestyles of all these occupants, all done with humour and enthusiasm. The floral displays were not neglected either with fantastic images showing the bluebells, thrift, campion, bracken and scurvy grass that cover the island.

Club members were also treated to a tour of the underwater world around Skomer that is rich in life with great diversity and rarity. Sponges, sea slugs, fish, crabs, tube worms, anemones, corals and seaweeds were just a hint of what is there - an exciting landscape so different to above water, and an enthralling evening for everyone.