Packhorse Bridge


Light and Land
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.

Gary Bankhead, who gave us an excellent talk on the Durham River Wear Assemblage last year, has sent the following update and request for support

You may recall my well received talk in 2017 to members of Stokesley Photographic Society on my self-funded work to recover thousands of remarkable objects from the submerged riverbed near Elvet Bridge in Durham City.  As the final dive season at this important multi-period underwater archaeological site has just drawn to a close – resulting in the recovery of over 12,000 late- and post-medieval small finds – work must now start in earnest to research, photograph and illustrate thousands of the objects for inclusion in two monographs, if we hope to publish our research by 2021. 

As you may already know, the regional interest in the ‘Durham River Wear Assemblage’ has been incredible, to date I have delivered over 150 talks to similar groups from as far north as Rothbury in Northumberland and as far south as Northallerton in North Yorkshire; not to mention the multiple articles which have appeared in the local press.  In addition, I have similarly delivered papers on my work in the River Wear to conferences at the British Museum, the Museum of London, the Ashmolean Museum (Oxford), Kings College London, and Durham and Reading Universities.

Key to our continued research is funding and although I am confident we will eventually attract significant research grants, there is a real risk that the total amount of funding we are awarded will fall short on what we require to publish two monographs; plus, the funding application process may take years to come to fruition.  We could publish a third if demand exists – we certainly have enough material!  Consequently, I am taking this opportunity to reach out to the wider north-east community with a simple request for you to help support some elements of our work – namely the illustration and photography of hundreds of our small finds.  Therefore, if you could be so kind as to pass on this request to as many of your groups members as possible and ask them to please visit our brand-new website where, not only will they be able to learn much more about our project, such as, object typologies, the importance of the dive site and an overview of our aims and objects etc., but, they will also have an opportunity, should they wish, to make a small donation via the 'go fund us' webpage.  It is important to emphasise however that donations do not need to be large, if every individual who has heard my talk were to contribute a single £1 then we would easily exceed our target! Donations could be made either as an individual or perhaps as a collective.  As soon as donations come in then work will commence – we do not have to achieve the full target for this to happen.  

In brief, we have an incredible assemblage of smallfinds, we will re-write Durham’s history, we just need your support to help us do it!

Thank you for your kind consideration.



Gary Bankhead    MPhil(Dunelm). Cert. Ed.

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.
Success for Rob Louw Congratulations to SPS member, Rob Louw, whose image Two Zebras Bite the Dust has been selected for the 2015 RPS Members’ Biennial Exhibition, which will tour the UK during 2015! Only 100 images have been selected for the exhibition from 3284 images submitted worldwide, so it is indeed a great achievement.
  Rob Louw RPS image
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: September 25th, 2018