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February 2022 Newsletter
William - Handle with care

Abbey Camera Club – Newsletter – February/March 2022

Another month has passed, and it now looks likely that our lives will hopefully return to some sort of normality towards the end of March; almost 2 years to the day since the first lockdown began.  Our last meeting prior to that was a talk at Lochvale from Castle Douglas based photographer Kim Ayres.   I know a good number of you have attended Kim’s weekly podcasts on Youtube throughout the Pandemic and have learned a great deal from it.  One of the significant benefits of the past 2 years has been the rise of online communication and the opportunities it has offered.  I’m not sure how many of us were even aware of what Zoom was, let alone attended a meeting on it prior to March 2020.  It’s now a central part of our syllabus and allowed us to continue to “meet” through recent months.  It’s meant that we have had judges for our competitions from all over the country and I have to say that I really enjoyed the insights of both Barbie Lindsay in January and Caroline Colegate in February.  It’s nice to get new and different perspectives, and I felt their critique style was both very supportive and informative.  Hopefully they will “return” to judge further competition in the years to come.

Talking of competitions, the next date for submissions is Friday 4th March, so get your images in to Jim Harkness for then.

I am completing this newsletter the day after this year’s Three-Way competition, when we yet again came third.  The quality of some of the top scoring images was astonishing, and the final image of the Orion nebula was simply magnificent.   It takes a huge amount of skill, knowledge, and creativity to produce such an image.  It also, as the author indicated, takes a significant amount of technology.  Good star trackers, essential to capturing such images can cost thousands, and I’ve no idea how you keep your camera working at -15oC, let alone are able to handle it.  That said, though we perhaps cannot match the equipment available to other clubs, we do perhaps need to consider how we select images for these competitions.  Given our track record, we clearly are not getting it right and the judges’ insightful comments on some of our entries provided much food for thought.





As well as a talk from local College photography lecturer Steven Taylor, we also have sessions scheduled from both Rod Wheelans of the Dumfries club and Libby Smith from Carluke Camera Club.  Both Rod and Libby have been major influences on the national photographic scene for a number of years and have significant experience of the distinctions/awards programmes offered by the Scottish Photographic Federation (SPF).  Though these programmes are not for everyone, they do offer a potential route for those wishing to develop their photographic skills and are an area which the club is actively considering greater involvement with over the coming year.  It is also perhaps time that we took the plunge and entered some national competitions.  Coordinating this, along with external awards/distinctions would be a significant job for someone, and so I’ll be proposing that we have a member of the committee whose sole responsibility this will be.

Unfortunately, I have not heard back from Matt Doogue, who was due to come in April.  This is disappointing on a number of levels, but we’ll do our best to fill the evening concerned.



As stated previously, we have two public exhibitions due later this year.  First up we will be displaying images on the theme of “Dumfries and Water” at the Stove in the centre of Dumfries. The exhibition will run in the cafe space from 19th-30th April during regular cafe opening hours. (N.B. Not March as I intimated last month.)  The Stove have very kindly offered to host an “opening party” on Friday 21st, details of which will be sorted out in the next week or two.  Space will be limited, so it will be important to know how many members wish to exhibit.  We’ll be asking about who wants to exhibit in the next couple of weeks and divide up space accordingly.  The images can be landscapes, abstracts, wildlife or in fact anything you like on the theme and the Stove will not take any commission for images sold during the exhibition.

Our other exhibition will be the much-postponed event at WWT Caerlaverock.  This will be from the end of April and be of wildlife/landscape images.  Again we will need to know in advance how many members wish to exhibit so that we can work out the fairest way to allocate the available space.  The WWT will take a commission on any images sold.

For some members, arranging to get prints made and mounted for an exhibition may seem a little daunting, so again this is something we’ll talk about at a club night, as well as using the club’s mount cutter to help everyone prepare.


Jim Glynn – Clyde Gloaming

Ideally, every club member should have prints at these exhibitions, so if you’re unsure whether or not you should put your work in, I’d say absolutely yes.


Bonus Ball

The bonus ball has been a great success in raising extra funds for the club.  However, it’s sometimes hard to know where you are with payments, particularly when we have not been meeting up in person.  To solve this issue, Willie Hiddleston, the club’s treasurer, has suggested that members might like to pay in advance using bank transfers. If you decide to pay this way, please let Willie know how much you have transferred and for how many weeks for his records. The Bonus Ball draw is £1.00 per week per number

Willie’s email address is

Bank details:

Abbey Camera Club

Sort Code 83-18-07

Account No 00278947


Shambellie House

There has been a lot of changes over recent month in and around Shambellie House near New Abbey.  They are offering a range of photographic courses run by former college lecturer, and regular visitor to Abbey CC, Rikki Nolan.  (Details on the Shambellie House website). Stephen Taylor will also be talking about this when he comes to the club next week, as he is one of the Trustees.  In the meantime the Shambellie Trust is running a pop-up shop in the Smithy in the centre of Dumfries from the 10th until the 12th of March.  It might be worth popping in to find out more.


Until next month, happy snapping!




Eunice Laidlaw – It’s my stick

Dunscore Tree - Jim Harkness

Busy Bumble Bee - Gus Stuart

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