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On 26th November Glynis Shaw presented her illustration of “Photovoice”, a topic and concept new to most of those present. It uses photography in an educational way to help disadvantaged people in deprived areas to express their opinions and to address what they see as serious issues, largely by giving them a free hand at taking pictures of subjects which concern them. In the process, they gain an interest in photography (and they get to keep the cameras afterwards) whilst producing work aimed at making change for the better. The projects Glynis was involved with have been undertaken locally, on Merseyside and abroad, notably Albania.

Kevin Hurst re-visited the club to judge the Gordon Roberts and Bernard Woolford competitions on 3rd December. The former is for the best monochrome print and - from a larger than usual field of entries - it was won by Jan with “Traveller Dog”, followed by Mary Carr’s “Long forgotten” (2nd) and, in 3rd place, Paul Parker with “Grass verge with cow parsley”. Kevin was evidently happy with the standard as in addition to his winners he made three Highly Commended and eight Commended awards. The Woolford Competition, for the best panel of 3 to 6 prints on a theme of the photographer’s choosing, saw Annie Davies take first spot (“A panel of puffins”), Jan in second place with “Little owls” and John Ranson’s “Models at the photo show” coming 3rd. In addition, there was one Highly commended and two Commended awards.

Mark Gilligan came from Chester to present his show “A bit of a journey” a week later. This transpired to be his photographic life story, in two parts. Before the break members heard about Mark’s fascinating career as a producer of films and audio visuals on topics in the news, some for the BBC and some for the Home Office. These dealt mostly with gritty, even tragic, subjects such asa plane crash and the IRA bombing in Manchester, and included famous faces such as Princess Anne and Tony Blair. The contrast could not have been greater in the second part, devoted (and that is a good word to use in this context) to landscape photographs of the Lake District, especially Wast Water and its surroundings - beautiful, peaceful, serene, calm. Whilst much thought and preparation went into these images, on occasions Mark demonstrated a quick and effective response to a changing situation including his classic shot of a foreground photographer taking a picture of a complete rainbow framing Wast Water.

And finally, as Trevor McDonald used to say on ITV News, our year ended sociably (and fully) when 25 members and partners enjoyed a Christmas dinner at Brookhouse Mill on 17th December. It will be back to normality for the club on 7th January at Tabernacle Chapel, Ruthin.

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