Morpeth Camera Club
ON Tuesday, January 14, members were treated to a presentation from vice chairman Glyn Truman and competition secretary and webmaster Davy Bolam.
Mr Truman’s passion for natural history, especially birdlife, was evident in his presentation.
He showed a vast array of photographs that he had taken mainly in Northumberland and the Shetland Islands, capturing close up views of birds and their habitat.
He started by showing images of many woodland birds such as chaffinches, blue, great and coal tits, goldcrests, woodpeckers, dunnocks, tree sparrows and nuthatches.
Many of these pictures had been taken from hides at Wallington and the Northumberland Wildlife Trust’s Big Waters nature reserve.
He also showed some photographs taken in outdoor seating areas of cafes, which he said were often good locations for getting close up pictures.
For most of his pictures, he uses a 70-300mm lens and a fast shutter speed to try and ensure that the images are sharp.
Next was some close-up photographs of wild flowers, including a number of different types of orchids, and a variety of insects such as six-spotted burnets, sooty and tiger moths, cinnabar moth caterpillars, dragon and demoiselle flies and dark green fritillary butterflies, some of which had been taken with a macro lens.
Mr Truman went on to present a number of images of other animals including frogs, lizards, stoats and deer and red squirrels before going on to show a selection of pictures featuring swans, geese, ducks and wading birds, such as redshanks and lapwing.
These were taken at various locations along the Northumbrian coast, including Druridge Bay and Newton Links.
He then showed images taken on Northumbrian and Scottish beaches, with pictures of periwinkles and their trails, rock patterns, sanderlings, turnstones and oyster catchers in flight, interspersed with stories of nesting habits and useful information regarding his techniques.
His travels included Bass Rock, the Shetland Islands and the Farne Islands, showing several pictures of gannets, gulls, rock pipits, guillemots, shags and kittiwakes nesting.
He concluded with a selection of his amazing photographs of terns in flight and puffins gathering nesting material and flying with fish for their young.
Following Mr Truman’s excellent presentation of rural life was Mr Bolam’s contrasting passion for urban exploration.
On his day off from work, he is out and about to locations which are off the beaten track, rarely seen and in many instances no longer exist – including large buildings which were due for demolition, dark corridors, abandoned workplaces and eerie staircases strewn with rubbish.
He has captured shapes and shadows of concrete architecture, old abandoned trains, rusty plaques and peeling woodwork, all of which have taken on amazing colours and hues over the years.
There were shots of old railway lines and abandoned mines with rusted machinery, locker rooms with detritus from past times and, with the use of a head torch, he has succeeded in conveying the atmosphere of old tunnels with dripping water and colourful algae amassed over time.
Exploring Newcastle, Ouseburn and Poland, he has succeeded in finding great examples of graffiti, posters, stickers, paste-ups and stencil graffiti in alleyways and on containers and buildings, some in brilliant primary colours, pastel shades and in black and white.
Such is the transient nature of graffiti, Mr Bolam never misses an opportunity to photograph these images as quite often, when he has returned to the site, the image has gone.
Club chairman Steve McDonald thanked both men for an excellent evening of contrasting interests.
Also during the meeting, John Thompson was declared the winner of the Christmas quiz, which was compiled by Mr Bolam and featured on the club’s website.
A total of 24 local images taken from an unusual standpoint were produced for the quiz and Mr Thompson identified 23 of them.
For more information about the club, including its programme, gallery and forthcoming events, visit the website at www.morpethcameraclub.co.uk