January 2022 Newsletter

View from Solway – Caroline Legg

Abbey Camera Club – Newsletter – January 2022

First and foremost, I’d like to wish all Abbey CC members a happy and healthy New Year.  As the year turns, we find ourselves in the midst of the latest Covid-19 wave, with more daily cases than at any previous time in the pandemic.  The good news is that this latest variant, though highly infectious, probably doesn’t cause such serious illness.  This coupled with the vaccines means that with luck, this year might be a little less fraught than the last two.


As for our club, much has changed over recent months.  First and foremost, we have gained a number of new members, and so a warm welcome once again to all of those who came along for the first time in 2021.  New faces, new ideas and new perspectives help keep organisations fresh, and there has been a real energy at meetings through the autumn and the early part of the winter.  Of course, for the club to have kept going over the recent past has required input from those behind the scenes.  Consequently, I’d also like to say a big thank you to all members of the committee (past and present) whose efforts mean that we continue to progress.

Of course we are also now at a new venue, the Catholic church hall in Brooke Street.  With more space, and better catering facilities, this location seems ideal for us to grow and develop.  It was our treasurer, Willie Hiddleston, who suggested that the hall might be available and indeed it was Willie himself who carried out all the negotiations to ensure we had access. We all owe him a debt of gratitude.


We’ve had some interesting talks both online and in person, with those given by Margaret Salisbury and Allan Wright being particular memorable.  There are some super speakers too in the syllabus for the springtime, and I really hope that we get to meet some of them “in the flesh”.  Matt Doogue, who is due to come down in February, is definitely worth making a note in your diary for.  His macro images are some of the very best around, indeed he has been featured on the BBC, and I really recommend having a look at his website (www.mattsmacro.co.uk).

Percy the Spider - James Sauberlich

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

Red Squirrel – Mary Mackie

Given the rather disrupted nature of this season, club competitions have had to be rejigged.  So far, we’ve only had one external judge this year (the excellent Richard Spiers), but all being well this should become more regular over the coming months.  Leagues will effectively be suspended for season 2021-22, but I would still urge you to submit entries, as comments from the vast majority of judges can only help us all become more successful photographers.  Submission dates are in the syllabus, and I’ve also popped them in below.


Following recent embarrassing “technical challenges” resulting from the antiquated nature of our laptops, 2022 will see us finally purchase new equipment.  Despite applications to a number of organisations, we have unfortunately been unable to secure external funding.  Consequently we will have to pay for the new laptop from club funds.

Finally, just a brief reminder that we have two public exhibitions due later this year.  Firstly we are due to display images on the theme of “Dumfries and Water” at the Stove café at the end of March. Space is limited, so it will be important to know how many members wish to take part before deciding how we divide up what is available.  We will be asking whether or not you want to participate early in February.  The images can be landscapes, abstracts, wildlife or in fact anything you like on the theme.  The Stove will not take any commission for any images sold at this event.

Our other exhibition is the much-postponed event at WWT Caerlaverock.  This will be from the end of April and be on the themes of wildlife/landscape.  Again we will need to know well 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.

High flying birds – Brian Murphy

Have a healthy and photographically successful year.




January 2022

12th – ZOOM talk with Stewartry CC - Chris Carroll-Davis - Bury St Edmund CC "North & South”.

(Fri 14th - Entries for January competition.)

19th – ZOOM – Selection of images for 3 Way Competition.  (Can be rotated with 8th December)

26th – ZOOM – December/January Results evening – Judge – Barbie Lindsay


2nd – ZOOM talk with Stewartry CC –Nigel Forster – “Architectural Photography”

(Fri 4th - Entries for February competition.)

9th – Preparations for talk the following week. Favourite photographers. Members make short presentation.

16th – Talk – Joint event with Stewartry CC – Matt Doogue – Macrophotography and well-being.

Abbey – Willie Hiddleston


23rd – ZOOM - Results evening – Judge – Caroline Colegate


William gets published!!

Just in case any of you missed it on Instagram (and presumably elsewhere), our very own William Niven got his work published in the Winter 2021edition of the D&G Queerier.  The article entitled “Radical Gardening” featured a number of portraits and group shots taken by William whilst working with the local charity Deep Green Space.  Great stuff William, and hopefully the first of many such commissions.