Abbey Camera Club Newsletter – September 2020

It seems a lifetime ago that we were sat together in the upstairs room at Lochvale House listening to Kim Ayres.  Though the storm clouds were gathering at that point in time, I don’t think anyone could have imagined exactly how the next six months were going to work out, and the impact that Covid-19 was going to have on all of us.

However, here we are in late September (and I really should be back in school*) and though things are still far from whatever “normal” is, or will be, as a club we’re getting going again.


Fixing Hands – J.Harkness

Before updating you on some of the developments that have taken place during the summer, I’d first like to thank everyone who took part in the “Lockdown” competition.  Running over many weeks, this joint venture with the Stewartry and Loreburn clubs, saw entries from many “new” photographers as well as some more established practitioners.  With sections for phones and cameras, many superb images were submitted.  Having relative newcomers win and therefore judge the following week’s competition also gave a fresh perspective on what makes a successful image.  Thanks also go to the aforementioned Kim Ayres for turning over one of his Facebook Live podcasts to discussing and judging the entries one week.  Coming from the perspective of a professional photographer, his insightful comments were very well received by all who participated.

Before moving on, I’d also like to thank Jim Glynn and Jim Harkness for all of their efforts.  By compiling the entries and forwarding them on, they ensured that the weekly competitions ran smoothly despite the consistently late submissions from the current Chair!  Unfortunately, Jim Glynn has recently had to resign his place on the committee and I’d like to put on record my personal thanks for the great deal he has contributed to the development of the club.


And so, to other news.










Vive la Liberte – W.Niven

Firstly, we have moved venue.  The general feeling was that we were perhaps a little tight for space in the Crichton Room at Lochvale.  Not only this, but given the stairs it was not ideal for access, or for getting heavier equipment into place.  Consequently, during lockdown, we started to search for alternative accommodation.  It was Willie H, who ultimately came up trumps by suggesting the St Andrew’s Church hall in Brooke Street.  With good parking, far better access, more space, plenty of storage and access to a kitchen, it is a superb venue, which will cost us virtually the same as we previously paid at Lochvale.  Thanks to the efforts of Willie and Gus, the cupboard and the rest of our equipment is now in place and we are good to go.  The original plan had been to restart meetings about now, but obviously this is now very much on hold.  Indeed, it could be well into next year before we are in a position to consider restarting meetings.  Certainly, the clear message from the PAGB (the Photographic Alliance of Great Britain), the main coordinating organisation of camera clubs, is that no indoor meetings should take place until early 2021.



Following a committee meeting, (outdoors and socially distanced at a rather wet Kilnford!), we decided to try and put together some sort of syllabus through to the end of the year.  I hope that you have managed to have a look at it.  Entries for the first competition close on the 9th of October. One monochrome and one colour image will be judged by our good friend John McVie of Dumfries Camera Club.  Submissions should be sent to Jim Harkness.

Before that we have our first virtual meeting via Zoom on Wednesday 7th October.  Please send an image to Jim that you’d be prepared to chat about for a couple of minutes (where you took it, what settings, why you took it, how you edited it etc.) and we’ll put it into a PowerPoint presentation. On the night, we’ll get you to discuss it whilst we show it.


Name that Tune – B.Brown

As for other meetings, it’s looking like Covid-19 guidelines will now probably put a stop to the portrait night at Kilnford on the 14th October (and probably the Food photography night in November).  We’ll have a look at other talks available to fill the spaces and let you know as soon as possible.

The “Dumfries at Night” project is based on a suggestion made by William.  The idea is to take a variety of images in and around the town at night with a view ultimately to compiling them in either a photobook or as the basis of an exhibition.

The proposed Saturday afternoon sessions at Kilnford will also be impacted by new Covid-19 regulations.  Unfortunately, it now will only be possible for a couple of people to meet up to share and discuss prints etc.  This will probably have to be done on an informal basis and I’ll arrange to meet up with some of you individually and report back.


And so, as they used to say at the end of the “Looney Toons” cartoons “That’s all Folks”.  I hope to see you at some point over the next two or three months either virtually or in person, but in the meantime don’t hesitate to get in touch if you’ve any queries about what’s going on as regards the club.


All the best.

Keith Walker (Chair)



Matilda’s eyeing You up – E.Laidlaw

*Name that tune?!?