Tetbury and District U3A - Photography Notepad

Updated 1st February 2024

This page has been set up to help share information about the Tetbury and District U3A Photography Group with its members. Click on the link below to go to the main district website (new page).

Tetbury and District U3A Website

This page will be updated with the latest information for group members, especially concerning meetings and trips out. It will not contain any personal details.


What Next!

February's meeting will be at Gloucester Cathedral. More later.

A few changes to this year's program.

In April Sandie Cox will give us a talk on Wildlife Photography.

March will be a trip to Chepstow Castle.

June will be an open day for u3a members to see our work and to ask questions about our group and their own photography (possibly open to the public as well?).

An updated 2024 Program can be found at the foot of this web page.


St Michaels Hall Tetbury - 30th January 2024.

After the November meeting, the Tetbury and District u3a Committee asked us to run a competition, with the winners going into the newsletter. Sandie Cox, well known Wildlife Photographer and International Judge judged the images, came along to give some really useful feedback. The winners are being shown in the Tetbury u3a Newsletter in January and February, and u3a members are being asked to select their favourite.

Anne gave us an illustrated '20 min talk' (more of these later) on Street Photography, and we all learned a lot about this interesting subject - thanks Anne.

This was followed by a really good post-Christmas meal at Casa with members, their partners and Sandie - thanks to Neil for organising again this year.

St Michaels Hall Tetbury - 28th November.

This was a review of members best images, with no restriction on date taken or subject. The meeting was very well attended and everyone brought or sent in their favourite images, explained what they liked about the images, what problems they had taking the shot, and what they thought could have made the images better. There was a lively, creative discussion on each image and the event was enjoyed by everyone.

The plan for 2024 (see bottom of this page) was discussed and Steve asked that the group take on a bit more of the organising in 2024. Plans for our next meeting and Christmas meal on 30th January at Casa in Tetbury were discussed. Neil is organising this.

Following a brief discussion the use of Lightroom, Neil kindly offered to run sessions on Lightroom and alternative editors, as some members of the group were not confident in this area.

St Michaels Hall Tetbury - 31st October.
With Gail's help we managed to get the room at St Michaels booked, and 8 of us were able to attend. We had a talk/practical on Macro Photography with image examples and samples of the kit that can be used. Everyone had brought their cameras and had a go. Phone cameras were extremely capable and whilst not true Macro (the definition is that the image is the same size or larger on the film or camera sensor), unless you are pedantic it makes no difference!

We then discussed how to take Firework shots (with examples) and how High Dynamic Range photography works (again with examples).

Tetbury Camera Club had contacted Steve as they were thinking of changing their name and objectives. They were concerned that it could upset us but as TCC has different objectives (image critique rather than camera use) and membership profile to us, we agreed that there was no conflict but that there is the potential for colaboration (if agreed by the group and compatible with u3a). Steve is to be invited to talk to TCC about our group in January, so more later.

It emerged that members are still having problems with Flickr, so the notes at the foot of this page have been updated.

Indoor Catch Up - Tetbury - 26th September.
Having been unable to get into the booked room (Steve received an apology from the venue), The Ormond kindly allowed us to use their (very comfortable) guests sitting room. We all had coffees and a very pleasant afternoon discussing photography, image storage, the impact of AI and what we will be doing over the next few months. Neil will be organising the Christmas meal (30th January) at Casa as last year, and also proposed that we look at a multi-day photo 'expedition' to somewhere like Northumberland (Steve suggested St David's in Wales as this is a bit closer) - watch this space. We then reviewed images from our visit to the Cotwold Sculpture Park in July. Jeremy N gave a very interesting presentation on colour vs. monochrome using Sculpture Park images, and led the subsequent discussion.

Purton Boat Graveyard - 29th August.
For the second year this trip was called off at the last moment. Most members were unavailable and the weather was looking 'grey' so we canceled. Ian had some questions so I set up an open meeting in Cafe 53 at short notice, in the end it was Just Ian and I, but we had an interesting chat and we cleared up a few questions on Lightroom and Photoshop.

Cirencester Sculpture Park - 24th July.
Warren kindly set up a trip to the Cirencester Sculpture Park. 11 of us attended - what a wonderful, calm place. Lots of opportunities to shoot the many sculptures in a wide range of materials, subjects and sizes, all of which were of stunning quality. Not enough time for a complete appreciation so another trip I think!

Tetbury Catch Up - 27th June.
Our mid-season catch up, with a twist. Everyone had a week to take photos in and around Tetbury on the theme Old and New. These were displayed on screen and judged by the group (9) to find a winner. Neil won the prize of a giant Toblerone bar with his low-level shot of The Goods Shed (new facade on an old building). We then discussed our Flickr accounts and looked at images taken at Swindon Steam and Avebury, the previous 2 visits. Everyone enjoyed the afternoon.

Avebury - 30th May.
Steve organised the meeting, with 14 people attending, including some guests. We started with lunch in the White Hart at Wroughton, followed by a short drive to Avebury. The weather was perfect (except for a lack of clouds) so we scattered around the village and stone circle which, despite it being half term, was not too crowded. The stones, their setting, and the long views from the high points are very impressive. Most of us happened to meet up at the National Trust cafe after a couple of hours for coffee/ice cream and scones. A really nice afternoon out.

Lacock Abbey - 25th April.
Chris organised an excellent meeting, with 11 people attending (including some guests). We started with lunch in the Red Lion, followed by a visit to the Abbey (the birthplace of photography) and the small photography museum. Unfortunately they were between exhibitions so the gallery was closed. The Abbey and grounds are very picturesque and the weather was perfect, with a nice backdrop of bright white clouds. We scattered around the site, meeting up occasionally and exchanging tips and ideas. Most of us happened to meet up at the cafe by the Red Lion for coffee/tea/cake and ice cream. A really nice afternoon out.

STEAM museum - 28th March.
Our meeting at the STEAM museum gave us the opportunity to shoot images of some of the machinery that made this country (and contributed to the development of a lot of the world). As we arrived at slightly different times we met as small groups but kept bumping into each other as we shot some wonderful machinery and the thoughfully composed museum settings. Given the low light levels photography was not easy, having to trade off sensor noise, depth of field and camera shake! Everyone I spoke to enjoyed the afternoon. There are some images on Flickr (in both groups) including one taken at ISO 819200 - just goes to show that if you really must have an image regardless of quality, you can do it given the right kit.

The group Flickr Showcase is here and publically available. (The private group requres you to to be authorised by me, and you to need to login via your Flickr account).

Editing and Composition - 28th February.
Just when we felt that Covid was going away, there it is getting in the way again - a useful reminder perhaps? On the morning of the meeting the Upton Mill Care home called to say that they were locking down as they had a case of Covid, and after a lot of calls, texts and emails, Neil offered his home, refreshments and TV for the afternoon, and it worked out very well. Many thanks Neil and Jane, and thanks to Jeremy, Neil and Steve for interesting presentations on Editing and Composition.

Tetbury Meeting and Meal - 17th January.
We covered a lot of ground (Camera use, Flickr use, this year's program and watched a video by Jo Cornish, followed by an excellent 'Christmas' meal at Casa; thanks to everyone who helped by organising the meal, arranging for the room and for providing an extension lead. Steve was asked about the slide pack he used; this took a lot of work to develop for the Photography courses he runs so it is not publically available. Even a PDF version is too big to email so it is at the foot of this page but encrypted. You will have received the password in an email.

Flickr access has been a problem for some members but there may be a solution. If you sign in to your account on Flickr, on the home hover over You, select Groups from the drop down menu, then on the Groups page click on Recent Discussions on the right just below the menu bar, then select Invites for You on the right of the mini menu, your outstanding invites should be there and you should be able to use this to register with the group. Let Steve know if this works for you!

Tetbury Meeting - 29th November.
We discussed how 2022 had gone, and what we can do in 2023, including longer trips, specific possibilities more on camera use, a session on editing, and being flexible with dates and times.
The first event would be a Christmas Meal and we decided that we would try the Trouble House, probably on Tuesday 17th January after a meeting in the afternoon (there is no meeting in December 2022). Whilst partners were not specifically included in the invite due to the logistics, any partner who wanted to attend would be very welcome. Neil has offered to organise the meal - more later.
Then, led by Steve who brought his studio flash lights, remote triggers and diffusers, we had an enjoyable session on flash portraiture with some really good results - everyone enjoyed the session (which, did not go exactly as planned as Steve could not get his cameras to fire the flash units until the very end when he discovered that he was setting the shutter speed slightly too high; fortunately most members cameras worked fine!).

Tetbury Meeting - 25th October.
Due to illness and unavailability, this event was canceled.

Purton Boat Graveyard on 27th September.
Unfortunately the weather (and therefore the path and land around the hulks) was wet so we decided to meet at Cafe 53 in Tetbury for coffee and a chat. We will try Purton again later!

Arnos Vale Cemetery in Bristol on 30th August.
A really good afternoon at the highly atmospheric Cemetery. It was nice to see a couple of new members on this trip; the atmosphere was great, so were the tea rooms!.

Catch up in Tetbury on 26th July.
On the 26th July we had a catch up session. We discussed the good and bad points of images taken over the past few months, sorted out some problems accessing Flickr, had a 'question time' on all things photographic, and discussed what we will be doing for the rest of the year. It was really good to be able to catch up, welcome a new member and welcome back a member who joined earlier this year but had been unable to attend. Very enjoyable.

Clevedon on 28th June.
Neil led this one and provided a comprehensive briefing note. On the day it looked like we could get a bit wet but, whilst it was cloudy, there was very little rain. The same could not be said of South Wales which could be seen across the estuary getting more than a little damp! Four of us spent some time photographing the pier and beach and walking down the pier to the Pagoda coffee shop for coffee and shortbread. The pier is very photogenic and the dark clouds added to the atmosphere. Though the afternoon we were all trying new techniques (long exposure, intentional camera movement, different viewpoints) before visiting a nearby cafe for a late lunch and heading home. Everyone had a great afternoon and we are looking forward to comparing notes at the July session.

Bowwood House Rhododendrons on 31st May.
Organised by Chris, four of us met in the car park and went into the grounds. Unfortunately within 10 minutes the skies opened and after a wait under the canopy we decided that it was not going to clear up and headed for a local pub for a pleasant afternoon chatting! We did manage a few shots, including a macro of a flower that was photo bombed - by a bee! A selection of these can be seen on the group's Flickr account.

Coaley Peak and the Uley Long Barrow on the 26th April.
A nice day out - the weather was very kind even if a little misty towards the Severn and Wales. Six of us spent a very pleasant couple of hours exploring, chatting, shooting and in my case 'waiting for the light to be right'. Hopefully there will be a few images uploaded to our Flickr pages soon.

Cotswold Aerodrome, Kemble, 29th March.
Our first shooting trip since the end of November 2021! Nigel set up the trip, and 5 of us met at 10:30 at the AV8 Cafe, unfortunately 3 of the group had recent Covid contacts and decided not to come. A dry but grey and cold day we spent some time drinking coffee, chatting and waiting to see if the conditions improved. Unfortunately they did not so we went out looking for something to photograph. There were plenty of subjects and we all managed to take some shots including static plane displays, aircraft waiting dismantling and a light aircraft landing - now we just need to see how successful we have been.

2022 Planning, Photographer's Question Time and How To Use Flickr, 22nd February.
This was the first meeting since the end of November 2021, so we all had some catching up to do. We discussed what the group wanted to do and agreed the 2022 Program, discussed questions on photography, editing tools and computing, and looked at how we use Flickr to support the group (with a live demo) - the notes and links to Flickr can be found in a document at the foot of this page. Everyone thought it was a good session and we even had a new prospective member - who has now joined!

Pre-Christmas Lunch - 30th November at The Cat and Custard Pot, Shipton Moyne.
This was the last meeting of 2021. Ten members of our group came along and we had a very nice meal with good company - enjoyed by everyone and a big thank you to the organiser (you all know who she is).

Westonbirt Arboretum Autumn Colours Shoot, 26th October.
9 of us plus a member of the Malmesbury U3A group met at the arboretum entrance; after a quick chat we spilt up for 2 hours of wander-and-shoot, finishing at the cafe at 16:00. The weather, whilst overcast, was dry and not too cold and everyone enjoyed the afternoon (if not the photography then the chance to chat).

Group catch up and basic flash portraiture, 14:00 on 28th September.
A really interesting, well attended and enjoyable catch-up, with 4 new members - welcome!. After introductions most people had brought along sets of images to review. The images were discussed and questions were raised and answered as to how they could be improved. What was clear was that everyone in the group has a 'good eye' for an image, some have an artistic background and sometimes struggle with the technical, whilst others have a technical background and struggle with the art! This was followed by a discussion of basic flash gun use and how to overcome some of the problems this can bring.

Know Your Camera Afternoon, 14:00 on 21st September
To help new members get the best from their cameras (and phones!) we held a session at Cafe 53, covering general camera use and basic composition.

New Members Meeting, 31st August and 7th September
Following the open morning at The Goods Shed in August, the group leader met with 6 prospective new members at Cafe 53. Whilst 2 have sadly decided not to join our group at this time, there are still 4 who would like to take up our passtime.

July Meeting - Pub Lunch.
Many members were away at the end of July, so it turned out to be a very small (2) group at lunch. As the summer holidays go by attendance at meetings will improve for the rest of the year.

June Meeting - Not held.

May Meeting - St Mary The Virgin, Hawkesbury
The group leader proposed that we had a session photographing St Mary The Virgin, Hawkesbury. He has had prior experience shooting here, having documented the creation and installation of 3 new stained glass roundels by a local artist, and was able to arrange access. It happened that a newly manufactured set of 8 bells was being stored in the church, newly dressed with fresh flowers and waiting installation. As a bonus the bell loft and roof were accessible (if you could take the steep, narrow climb up an ancient stone spiral staircase and the vertiginous height of the tower!). This was followed by a trip to a local cafe for lunch. Everyone enjoyed the shoot and we are looking forward to sharing the images.

April Meeting - Monochrome in Tetbury
After a poll of the members, we decided to move to Tuesdays as this seems to suit everyone. On Tuesday 26th we met at The Chippings in Tetbury for a walk and shoot with a twist - the images had to be in Monochrome. 5 people came along and we split up, meeting up again for an open-air coffee and chat in the Chippings car park. Everyone enjoyed the shoot and it will be interesting to see the results; monochrome requires a different approach, so the group leader provided a short note on the subject (see the bottom of this page).

Basic Editing and Problem Images Zoom Meeting - 24th February and 31st March 2021
We had a good discussion on editing workflow and how to edit problem images, with the group leader demonstrating his workflow using Lightroom. We held a follow-on session on 31st March at which members submitted an edited version of an image provided by the group leader, and one member provided a paper describing how to insert parts of images into other images. Members thought both sessions were worthwhile and informative.

Photographer's Question Time Zoom Meeting, 2nd February
Working on a series of questions posed by members with lots of discussion on a range of topics including Photobook production, software for slideshows with music, and computers and photography. Very well attended and enjoyable.

My Photographic Journey and Monochrome, 25th November
A very pleasant Zoom meeting; one member described his journey over the last 50 years, from a Kodak Brownie Vecta, via a Zorki 4 Leica look-alike made in Russia to modern digital SLRs, with holiday trips all over the world and latterly as a pro specialising in equine and industrial. Another member gave a talk on Monochrome photography.

Autumn Colours at Westonbirt Arboretum, 28th October - CANCELLED
The weather was very poor and it was decided to call off the trip a couple of hours beforehand. It did brighten up just before the due time so I went and got a few shots but the light was poor and it rained hard after about 40 minutes.

Malmesbury Abbey Gardens - 23rd September - CANCELLED
Very few members were able to attend the Abbey Gardens so the formal trip was cancelled.

Open Competition - July/August
An internet based competition of images by members of Tetbury and Malmesbury U3A photography groups. Entries were uploaded to a folder on Dropbox, max 4 images per person, with no restrictions on subject or date taken. There was a nice prize of a piece of custom made fused glass. The competition was won by a fine monochrome image of a classic dirt track motorbike and rider at speed. The image is pin sharp and beautifully timed.

Our work is still available to view on the photo sharing website Flickr.

The group Showcase is here.

Tetbury Wander and Shoot - 29th July
6 members of the group met up and spent a couple of ours taking photos of the town. A very enjoyable afternoon with some nice images taken.

Zoom Meeting - Favorite topics, Wednesday 24th June 2020
Most members had posted images on the closed Flickr group. Steve acted as MC, sharing the images for the group using Zoom and a number of interesting discussions ensued All who attended felt that the quality of the images was really good and that the session was very enjoyable.

Preparation for Zoom meeting, Wednesday 10th June 2020 by Email
After the last Zoom session it was clear that a Composition Quiz would be of limited use so instead Steve sent out details on what needed to be done to submit favourite images for the session on the 24th using Flickr.

A Zoom meeting in 2 parts, Wednesday 13 May 2020
Part 1 The group discussed composition, Part 2 the group discussed the editing challenge issued earlier in the month. These sessions were interesting and we all learnt something new about our art.

Editing Challenge,Wednesday 13 May 2020 by Email
A challenge was issued to edit 3 images provided by the group leader and loaded onto the Flickr Tetbury U3A Photo Group. Instructions were sent out by email and a couple of people have attempted the challenge.

Image Management and Image Editing Basics - Zoom Session, 29th Apr 2020
Two of the experienced members of the group organised a Zoom Video meeting covering Image Management and Basic Image Editing. As well as video/audio calling, Zoom can share your screen with other participants, so it was possible to demonstrate aspects of the discussion live, and everyone was able to contribute and ask questions. The session was a real success. The presentation on Image Management and the paper on Image Editing can be downloaded using the links at the bottom of this page.

Additional activity - Camera Quiz
The group leader put together a quiz about using your camera and sent it to everyone in the group as an aid to understanding how the camera controls work and interact. One of the members won with a score of 77% and will be sent a small prize. A link to download the questions and answers can be found at the bottom of this page.

Sharpness, 25th March - CANCELLED

Photo Session at Arnos Vale Cemetery, 26th Feb 2020
Despite the recent dire weather, the day was nice - cold, clear and dry with quite a bit of blue sky. 6 of us managed to make it in 2 cars and we spent 2 hours wandering around the Victorian graveyard; this provided many opportunities for creative shots and an ideal location to hone camera skills with each other's help. This was followed by a coffee in the excellent coffee shop on site (strange but true - they hold weddings on site as well) and everyone said that it had been a good trip with a couple of people saying they would be returning.

Meeting at the Railway Carriage, 29th Jan 2020
Another enjoyable meeting, this time covering the 2020 Program, entering competitions and composing images.

Feedback over the last few months and at the review indicated that we are doing what we agreed we would - be enjoyable, build camera skills and go out and take photos. Discussion confirmed that the group wants to get out and shoot (rather than stay in, chat, and look at images). The approximate program for 2020 is below; however this may change as the year progresses. We have lots more things we could do but agreed that holding monthly meetings was about right.

The group then discussed competitions and composition - for more information follow links below.

Useful Information

Group Program 2024

Take Great Photographs (encrypted)

Using studio flash

How to set up and use Flickr

Tips on Shooting Monochrome

How To Enter Competitions

About Composition

Organising Trips Out

Managing Images Presentation

Editing Images - Part One

U3A Quiz 1 Answers

Marco Photography

Fireworks Photography

High Dynamic Range Photography