** Top Club in NIPA 2016/17 **
20th April 2017
Catchlight Camera Club was crowned Top Club in Northern Ireland for the 4th consecutive year at the recent conclusion of the inter-club competition! The theme for Round 5 was "Bad Weather" and things were fairly close between the top 3 clubs, going in to Round 5. Thankfully a couple of top class images managed to see the Club maintain its position in first place, with a winning margin of 15 points from second place CBPPU. Bangor CC was 3rd.

Thanks to all Club members who contributed to the season's internal selection evenings, and made the task selecting the right images very hard indeed on a lot of occasions. As usual, the fact that we have up to 10 members that regularly compete in National and International Exhibitions, and who actively pursue photographic Distinctions, meant we had a great pool of images to draw on, many with established pedigree in larger Open competition.

This has been another successful season for Catchlight Camera Club, with many highlights throughout the season. We made the final of the PAGB Print Championships for the second time in October, which guarantees us entry for 2017/18. Our Members continue to win individual medals and awards in Open Exhibitions all over the UK, Ireland and Internationally. Hugh Wilkinson DPAGB BPE4* in particular, excelled himself by winning the coveted FIAP Blue Badge for best individual entrant in both the Bristol and Southampton International Exhibitions in 2017! To our knowledge, no camera club members from Northern Ireland had ever won FIAP Blue Badges previously, and now we have Bob Given (2), Ross McKelvey (4) and Hugh Wilkinson (2) all with FIAP Blue Badges! John Tinneny LIPF LRPS won the Will McCrum Cup for Portraiture run by CPA at the start of the Year. Several of our members have continued to successfully apply for Distinctions from the IPF, RPS and the PAGB.

In NIPA, Catchlight is unique in having 4 DPAGB qualified members and 1 MPAGB member as well as 7 CPAGB qualified members. Congratulations to NIPA Past-President Terry McCreesh in particular, who finally got round to adding letters after his name, with success at CPAGB level. Terry has taken on a whole new lease of life as a result!

Next up this Season is the NIPA Exhibition. Members are encouraged to put forward a full entry of 4 mono prints and 4 colour prints and 4 PDI's for selection by an independent Judge. All those members who achieved starred images in the inter-club competition will now be in the running for the top image title, to be judged at the NIPA 50th anniversary weekend in Bangor on the weekend of 20/21 May.

Catchlight is also taking part in the IPF Club Championships in Mullingar on the weekend of 13/14 May. Dundalk PS will be hot favourites this year, having not won the title of Top Club for 3 years, and the standard of their work this season is top class. Catchlight however, will be submitting a strong entry to at least keep the eventual winners and top placed Clubs honest! We are delighted to hear that fellow Belfast Club BPIC will also be taking part in the IPF Club Championships for the first time this year.

Thanks all,

Catchlight Committee 2016/17

A selection of our PDI images in the 2016/17 competition:

*** Catchlight comes 7th in PAGB Print Championships 2016 **
06th November 2016
The PAGB Print Championships takes place annually, and only the Top 2 Clubs from each Federation throughout the UK are entitled to participate. As you might expect, the standard of competition is as high as it gets. Top Clubs like Wigan 10, Smethwick, Dumfries, and Inn Focus etc regularly compete for the Championship Trophy, and traditionally clubs from Northern Ireland have not fared well at this level of competition.
Catchlight Camera Club was only formed in 2012, and when the Club was formed, the intention was to gather a solid core of members who were prepared to get involved in National and International Competitions, as well as attempting the higher levels of photographic Distinctions. (I am a firm believer that unless you are competing in National and International Salons, you have no real idea of the 'standard' of competition photography at this level). In 2013 we won "The Plate" in the Print Championships, which is for all those Clubs that do not make the Final 8. When I was preparing the entry for 2014, I felt that our prints were good enough to make the Final, and so it turned out - we were in 5th place after Round 1, and ended up 5th overall in the Final.
In 2015 we just missed out on a place in the top 8, and were 2nd in the Plate by a single point from Smethwick PS.
This year, I genuinely felt that we had our strongest pool of prints ever - so much so, that I sought the views of several independent photographers to assist with choosing our best 12 for the Round 1 entry. Many thanks to Gerry Coe FRPS, Darren Brown, Terry Donnelly MPAGB, Joan Blease MPAGB, and others who willingly gave feedback on the pool of potential prints.
After Round 1 the Club finished in joint first place with an incredible 154 points - averaging 12.83 points per print!! In the Final we unfortunately slipped down to 7th place overall, but this could have been several places better if several of our prints had scored the same in the Final as they did in Round 1. Such is life, and who would be a judge etc.....but what matters is that Catchlight has once again done itself and its members proud, and put Northern Ireland Club photography on the map once again.

This result guarantees our entry for the 2017 Championships, and allows NIPA a potential 3rd Club entry for next year. To cap it all, the Club wins a PAGB Bronze Medal for its performance, and 2 members won individual awards - Hugh Wilkinson DPAGB BPE4* was awarded a Silver PAGB Medal for "Indian Pride" and Bob Given DPAGB BPE5* was awarded a ribbon for "The Gentle Touch."
Many thanks to Club Chairman Bob Given and his wife, NIPA Vice President Anne Given for taking our prints over and dealing with all the admin on the day.

To say I am proud of this Club and its achievements is an understatement!


The Prints used are shown below, along with their scores and authors:

The Man from Calcutta - Hugh Wilkinson - 12 points in Round 1; 11 points in Final.

Big Nick on the Charge - Bob Given - 14 points in Round 1; 12 points in Final.

In the Hood - Ross McKelvey - 12 points in Round 1 and in the Final

Cold Stare - Laurie Campbell - 13 points in Round 1; 12 points in Final

Out of the Woods - Anne Given - 12 points in Round 1; 11 points in Final

Ode to Nestor - Ross McKelvey - 12 points. (Not used in Final)

The Gentle Touch - Bob Given - 15 points in Round 1 and 15 points in Final. Ribbon awarded.

Indian Pride - Hugh Wilkinson - 14 points in Round 1; 14 points in Final. Silver PAGB Medal

One - Gerald Gribbon - 13 points in Round 1; 14 points in Final.

Dark Statue - Ross McKelvey - 13 points in Round 1; 13 points in Final

Wet Jump - Bob Given - 12 points in Round 1; 13 points in Final.

Irish Red Squirrel - Hugh Wilkinson - 12 points in Round 1 and in Final

Uwimana - Ross McKelvey - 14 points in Final (not in Round 1)

Indian Queen - Ross McKelvey - 12 points in Final (not in Round 1)

The Quiet Man - Joe Vize - 13 points in Final (not in Round 1)

Nepalese Man - Hugh Wilkinson - 11 points in Final (not in Round 1)

** An Evening with Joan Blease MPAGB EFIAP ARPS **
22nd October 2016
Catchlight Camera Club brought another top quality guest speaker in Joan Blease MPAGB EFIAP from Warrington PS, to Belfast on Wednesday 19 October.
Approximately 70 people attended the Club night, with visitors from as far as Sutton Camera Club in Howth, County Dublin! Joan gave a mixed presentation of print and PDI's, to outline her journey from buying her first DSLR in 2007 to gaining the MPAGB in 2015. Her creative ideas and approach to image-making was a delight to witness, and everyone thoroughly enjoyed the evening.

Thanks to Joan Blease from travelling over from Warrington to give the talk, and Catchlight Camera Club looks forward to bringing many more top quality speakers throughout this season.

Thank you to all who attended! The Club is aware that our digital projection facilities are not of the standard that we would like, and the Club committee is actively pursuing options to try to improve the service that we provide.

NIPA "Top Club" Competition 2016/17 - Round 1
22nd October 2016
Round 1 of the NIPA Inter-club competition was hosted by Ards Camera Club in Newtownards on Friday 21 October. CBPPU are in 1st place with 109.5 points and Catchlight are on their tail with 106.5 points!
Catchlight members managed a fantastic 8 Starred images in the OPEN Round.

Harris Beach by Colin Ross :

One by Gerald Gribbon :

Gentle Touch by Bob Given :

Indian Queen by Ross McKelvey:

The Curator by Ross McKelvey :

Brown Rat by Hugh Wilkinson :

Also starred were:

Pandoras Box by Darrin Walker and The Doorman by Hugh McGuckian
Analysis of a successful season 2015/16
07th July 2016
Catchlight ended the season as Top Club in NIPA for the 3rd year in a row. Over the 5 Rounds of competition, we managed a total of 22 starred images from 13 different club members.
In the IPF, we finished 2nd in the Club Championships overall, and top club in Mono.
In the PAGB Print Championships we just missed out on the Final, and finished 2nd in the Plate, losing out by 1 point to Smethwick PS. In the PAGB PDI competition at Warwick we finished 5th out of 29 UK Clubs in the Plate competition.
In the Will McCrum Cup for Portraiture hosted by CPA, Hugh Wilkinson DPAGB won the Trophy - the fourth time in its 4 year history that a Catchlight member has won.
On an individual level, more than a handful of members gained either new Photographic Distinctions, or gained a higher level of Distinction.
At least 8 members now regularly participate in National and International Exhibitions, gaining acceptances, and winning medals and awards literally all over the World. This is something that has been lacking in NIPA club photography, but it is noticeable that members of several other clubs within NIPA have started appearing in the lists of successful authors now too. The standard of NIPA photography can only improve as a result. The recent NIPA success in the mono print section of the PAGB inter-Federation competition is the proof!

In the local East Antrim Exhibition, Catchlight members won 5 awards in the Colour section, and 7 awards in the mono section.
In the NIPA Annual Exhibition, Catchlight members provided no less than 45% of the final 100 prints in the exhibition, winning 8 awards, and the Trophies for the top Mono Print and the top Colour Print. In the PDI section of the exhibition, Catchlight members provided an incredible 29 of the 45 selected images, equivalent to 64% - and they also won 6 of the 9 awards in PDI. 6 of the 9 medals available in the Exhibition were won by Catchlight members.

Our Firmus Energy series has gone from strength to strength, bringing top quality speakers from all over the UK and Ireland. These events are open to any member of NIPA or IPF affiliated Clubs and have been very well supported and attended throughout the season. Expect more of the same next season, with a super array of top quality speakers already arranged!

So all in all, a very successful season.

Here are some of the starred images from the 2015/16 season, which encompass everything from sport, to still life, environmental portraiture, fine art nude, street, nature, wildlife, portraiture and landscape. (Apologies for the quality, but these are screenshots from the NIPA website) :

** 3 New FIAP Distinctions gained **
22nd June 2016
Congratulations to 3 Catchlight members who have been awarded new FIAP Distinctions this week -

Anne Given has been awarded AFIAP

Keith Elgin has been awarded EFIAP

Ross McKelvey has been awarded EFIAP/Silver

FIAP Distinctions are awarded for a certain number of images accepted into different Salons in Countries all over the World. Salon photography is more popular than ever, which makes acceptances and awards all the more difficult to achieve, but there is no doubt that the process has improved the standard of photography from all concerned. All 3 of the afore-mentioned have won Medals and awards in competitive photography throughout the year.

Anne Given AFIAP

Keith Elgin EFIAP

Ross McKelvey EFIAP/Silver

** Catchlight Roll of Honour **
28th May 2016
Members of Catchlight Camera Club are encouraged to apply for Photographic Distinctions, as we believe the process involved makes you a better photographer. Whether it is a 'panel' based Distinction like the LIPF or LRPS, or the individual scoring approach of the PAGB Awards for Photographic Merit, we have yet to see a single person who doesn't believe the whole process made them a better photographer. They have to understand everything from composition, content, colour balance, focus, sharpening, to printing and processing.

Our current Roll of Honour is as follows:



Hugh Wilkinson DPAGB BPE4* LIPF LRPS



Colin Ross ARPS AIPF

David Campbell ABIPP ARPS

Stephen Bassett LIPF CPAGB

Joe Vize LIPF BPE1*

Shirley O’Neill LIPF

Raphael Mason LIPF

Hugh McGuckian LIPF

Laurie Campbell MFA

Steven Ferguson LIPF

Brian McClure CPAGB BPE1*

John Tinneny LRPS

Valerie McKee LIPF

Walter Crozier LRPS
** Brian McClure CPAGB Success **
29th April 2016
Brian McClure was awarded the CPAGB Distinction at the weekend, in the Awards for Photographic Merit at Gateshead. Brian joined Catchlight 2 years ago as a novice member, and very quickly established himself as someone that was eager to learn, and eager to progress and improve.
The CPAGB is not an easy Distinction to get, as many NIPA photographers often find to their cost - 6 judges mark all the images images individually - this is not a 'panel' based Distinction like the LIPF or LRPS etc. The required score for a pass is 200 points, or an average of 20 points per image, and the images are marked according to the standard of what constitutes 'good Club Photography.' This standard seems to be increasing every year, as photographers in general are upping their game.

Brian got across the final hurdle with an impressive 219 points, and can now proudly put the CPAGB Distinction after his name.

Congratulations Brian! The 10 images along with their scores are shown below:

*** Top Club in NIPA - A Hat Trick **
19th March 2016
Catchlight Camera Club has been crowned Top Club in N.I for the 3rd year in a row! This is no mean feat, given the quality of opposition from several other Clubs within NIPA, and it guarantees our entry into the PAGB print Championships later this Year. Catchlight won the Colour Print Section, the Mono Print Section and the PDI Section as well as Top Novice Club, and Top Club overall.

We started the season in 5th place after Round 1, but quickly jumped into 1st place after Round 2, and consolidated our position thereafter with a very strong performance in Rounds 3 (Street theme) and 4 (Open). Round 5 with the tricky theme of 'contre jour' was just a matter of keeping our heads above water. The final score tally was as follows:

1st Place - Catchlight CC with 545 points
2nd Place - CBPPU with 509
3rd Place - CPA with 502.5
4th Place - BPIC and Banbridge each with 493 points

This was potentially a tricky year, having lost 2 very experienced members in Martin Courtney AIPF who joined CBPPU, and Paul Hanley LRPS who joined CPA. Paul had a whole clatter of images selected to represent CPA throughout the season, and managed several Starred images along the way - which helped to lift CPA from 12th place last year to 3rd spot this year!
Congratulations to all the Club members who contributed to this result by consistently raising the bar, and by providing the Club with a constant stream of quality images throughout the season. Most weekends, Catchlight members are out taking pictures whether in rain, hail or shine.

At least half a dozen of our members now regularly compete on the wider stage, learning what makes a good 'competition' image by competing in National & International Salons. We also had several members add the LIPF and/or CPAGB Distinctions to their name during the Year. This has produced a definite knock-on effect in our NIPA entries, as many of the images have already been accepted or won awards in larger-scale competitions.

Just some of our images from this year's Club entries:

PS - Just for "Jeff Smyth" - enjoy!
** 7 Starred images in Round 4 **
25th February 2016
Catchlight CC put in a very strong entry to Round 4 of the NIPA Top Club Competition, in an attempt to cement our position at the top of the leaderboard. An incredible 7 stars were awarded, with Hugh Wilkinson managing a Star in all 3 sections of mono print, colour print and PDI. Bob Given was starred in mono prints and PDI. Laurie Campbell was starred in colour prints, and Ross McKelvey in mono prints.
In mono prints, the images by Bob Given and Ross McKelvey were both scored the maximum 15/15.

With one Round to go, Catchlight finds itself in 1st place with a lead of 35.5 points over 2 clubs in joint second place, CPA and CBPPU. The final Round is a tricky themed Round, 'contre jour' so the overall lead is very welcome!

Blue Tit by Hugh Wilkinson:

Dejected by Hugh Wilkinson:

Preparing Supper by Hugh Wilkinson:

On the Charge by Bob Given:

Leap in the Dark, by Ross McKelvey:

Delicate Balance by Laurie Campbell :

*** Distinctions Night Success ***
13th January 2016
We had 12 successful Distinction Panels on display at Catchlight this evening, with visitors from several NIPA Clubs. The overall turnout for such a unique opportunity was disappointing, as this really did represent a unique opportunity to see successful panels up close, and to talk to the individual authors and seek advice and encouragement.

The event was opened by NIPA President Martin Spackman ARPS, and each participant received a round of applause for their achievement. One of the stand-out panels of the night was Kieran Casey's recent AIPF panel (pictured first).

Thank you to those who made the effort to attend, and a particular thanks to all the Distinction Holders who took time out of their schedules to attend with their panels.

Catchlight CC

Kieran Casey AIPF (Fairhead CC)

Gary Johnson LRPS (CBPPU)

Eileen McCausland AIPF (Dungannon CC)

Stephen Bassett CPAGB (Catchlight CC)

Anne Given DPAGB (Catchlight CC)

Raphael Mason LIPF (Catchlight CC)

Hugh Wilkinson DPAGB (Catchlight CC)

Julie McGovern LIPF (BPIC)

Adrian Wheeler LIPF (BPIC)

Roger Eager LIPF (BPIC)

William Strain LIPF (BPIC)

John Lawell AIPF (BPIC

NIPA President Martin Spackman ARPS addressing the attendees

Catchlight Chairman Terry McCreesh addressing the audience

** Guest Speaker - Adrian Lines MPAGB FBPE **
05th January 2016
There are still some tickets left for the Guest Lecture series, hosted by Catchlight Camera Club in association with Firmus Energy - Adrian Lines MPAGB FBPE is the guest speaker on Wednesday 20th January.

Tickets available from:
** Bob Given DPAGB on Sports Photography **
23rd September 2015
Bob Given DPAGB BPE4* EPSA was the presenter at Wednesday night's Club Meeting. Bob is a twice winner of the NI Sports Photographer of the Year title, and covers many and varied sporting events with a Canon 1DX and a 300 f2.8 Lens.
Bob's advice is to shoot in TV mode, at a shutter speed of 1/4000sec and auto ISO. The members were treated to literally hundreds of top class and award winning sports images.

** Guest Speaker - Paul Stanley FIPF EFIAP/B **
03rd September 2015
On Wednesday 9 September, our first guest speaker of the season will be Ireland's Paul Stanley FIPF EFIAP/B - a member of Dublin Camera Club, and an assessor on the IPF Distinctions Panel.

As usual with Guest speaker evenings at Catchlight, it is open to everyone and entry is free. Spread the word, and bring a friend!

7.30pm at Finaghy Community Centre.

** Hugh Wilkinson DPAGB **
19th August 2015
At the PAGB Awards for Photographic merit in Ormskirk last weekend, Hugh Wilkinson achieved the coveted DPAGB Distinction. The DPAGB is awarded for 15 prints, each of which is scored individually by a panel of 6 judges. Once all 15 prints have been scored, you need a total score of 300 points, an average of 20 points per print. The prints are judged according to the standard of Open Exhibition Photography - namely, in the judges' opinion, are the prints more likely to be accepted into an Open Exhibition than not.
Hugh scored a hugely impressive 341 points, with one print scoring a whopping 29/30! His panel of 15 prints is shown below, along with the score for each image.

There are now 5 photographers in NIPA that currently hold the DPAGB Distinction for photography - Anne Given, Keith Elgin, Bob Given and Hugh Wilkinson, all from Catchlight, and Kieran Murray from Banbridge CC.

During the coming season, Catchlight will be holding a Distinctions evening, where we will display a whole range of successful Distinction Panels, and the authors will be present to give you feedback/advice as required. This will be open to all NIPA Club members.

Catchlight Camera Club
August 2015

** Stephen Bassett Awarded Novice POTY 2015 **
01st April 2015
Stephen Bassett LIPF was awarded Novice Photographer of the Year 2015 at Catchlight Camera Club this evening, in the POTY Competition. Stephen obtained his LIPF during the season, but was still entitled to see the season out as a Novice.

A selection of the Novice entries in the Square Portrait Competition:

First Place Colour - Stephen Bassett

First Place Mono - Joe Vize

** Advanced POTY 2015 - Colin Ross AIPF **
01st April 2015
The Final Round of the POTY Competition took place this evening at Catchlight Camera Club, with the subject being "Square Portraits." Each member was entitled to submit one colour and one mono image to be judged by the guest judge Eileen McCausland AIPF LRPS from Dungannon Cooktown CC.

The standard of work was tremendous - what we lacked in quantity, we made up for in quality. At the conclusion, Colin Ross and Ross McKelvey were equal first, but on the count back system Colin Ross AIPF was awarded the Advanced Photographer of the Year 2015! Congratulations to Colin!

In the Novice Section, second place was awarded to Hugh McGuckian, with the Novice Photographer of the Year title going to Stephen Bassett.

This is a selection of the images entered:

1st Place Ian Humes -

2nd Place - Steve Wilson

3rd Place - Anne Given

Some of the others:

Colour Section:

1st Place - Colin Ross

2nd Place - Bob Given

3rd place - Hugh Wilkinson

** Catchlight wins GB Cup for Small Clubs 2015 **
09th February 2015
Catchlight CC has managed another "1st" in National Competition, and another "1st" for NIPA by winning the GB Cup for Small Clubs in the Annual Competition run by the PAGB. Entry to the 'small clubs' competition is not determined by the number of members, but by the number/ability of the club members to produce an entry.
Although Catchlight CC has a membership of 40+, only 4 or 5 members actually enter the BPE National Exhibitions and/or FIAP International Salons. Needless to say, our entry was comprised of images from those members.

A slideshow of the winning entry:

The winning entry was as follows:

'Alien' by Bob Given: (13 points)

'Alone' by Ross McKelvey: (12 points)

Blue Eyes by Keith Elgin: (12 points)

Chainmail Beauty by Ross McKelvey: (14 points)

Hard Times by Hugh Wilkinson: (14 points)

Crunch Tackle by Hugh Wilkinson: (13 points)

High Atlas Children by Bob Given: (14 points)

Little Red Riding Hood by Bob Given: (13 points)

Lulu on the Rocks by Hugh Wilkinson: (13 points)

Storm Warning by Anne Given: (12 points)

Total Winning Score - 130 points
** Catchlight Member wins NIPA Novice Competition **
22nd January 2015
Catchlight Member Stephen Bassett has won the NIPA Novice Competition in Colour prints! His winning image was "Ella's eyes" and he also managed 2nd place with "Naked Pose." Congratulations Stephen! The competition was held at Bangor CC and the 3 judges were Stephen McWilliams ARPS, Trevor Craig and Anne Given CPAGB LRPS. This is a great start to the Year for Stephen, who recently achieved the LIPF and as a consequence would have been in the Advanced Section next Season regardless.
Brian McClure got 2nd place in mono prints with "waiting."
Joe Vize was Highly Commended in PDI.
Well done all, and thank you to our Novice members who submitted a large entry to the competition.

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