Here are the successful Diploma panels from current members

 

General Diplomas

 

Sally-Ann Hathaway-Timms WGDP

Diploma in General Photography

A Selection of comments from the Assessors:-


Sally-Ann’s diploma submission was predominately based on portraits, which were excellent. These were balanced with some lovely, misty landscapes which added contrast to a delightful set of photographs”.

This is a really lovely panel which shows a good range of photographic techniques and some excellent photography.

A beautiful, well balanced, cohesive panel! Sally-Ann’s choice of subject matter shows good camera skills, ability to capture the moment, seeing and a creative eye. Here’s competence with elegant portrait photography, using both natural light and a studio set-up. Her misty landscape images were not only a delight but were quite exquisite, giv- ing an atmospherically mystical feeling! I enjoyed the middle picture of hoar frost on fencing, many photographers may have passed by. One standout image for me was of her daughter, the little girl in blue, running, her head turned, sideways set against a seaside back-drop. There is a real sense of the joy of childhood in this image, captured so well! Well done and well deserved, Sally-Ann!

This is a lovely, balanced panel from Sally-Ann which demonstrates her capabilities as a photographer. The softer surrounding images are offset by the harsh wire fence covered in spiky hoar frost, a juxtaposition that works for many people. I particularly like #10 with the dancer’s leg, arm, hair and satin scarf all aligned in parallel to produce a rather pleasing image.

A few words from Sally-Ann ...........
“Participating in the General Diploma Scheme has been a great way for me to develop my interest in photography. I have learnt so many new skills as a result and have thoroughly enjoyed the whole process.
I am very grateful to the club members who have offered support and in particular the help and guidance of Clive, which has been invaluable on my photography journey so far!
I would strongly encourage others to participate in the Diploma Scheme. I am now looking forward to embarking on a Specialised Diploma”

 

 

Richard Handley WGDP

Diploma in General Photography

Assessors' Comments:

Richard presents a variety of subject matter and an understanding of different camera settings, including fast and slow shutter speeds. There is also evidence of sympathetic post- production skills to give the images a good, but natural boost. Richard obviously enjoys taking some nature images and these have been successful, such as the Chaffinch, with a beautiful soft background allowing the subject to really stand out. The wheel-hub reflection of the Morgan shows a good seeing eye where others might walk past, resulting in an exciting image. The violin image, ‘Fiddling’, shows confidence to crop the image in an exciting way to direct our eye towards the violin. It was obviously not posed with evidence of the slightly blurry bow and broken hair from the bow, which adds to the authenticity of the image.

‘Tea Time’ ……. A good portrait of a chap having a cuppa. The exposure and depth of field is excellent, which provides clarity of detail right down to the tea stains in the mug.

 ‘Woman at the Spinning Wheel’ ….. interesting subject, good composition, and good exposure. The correct shutter speed was essential to portray the movement of the wheel, the bobbins and the spinner's right hand. This contrasts well to the rest of the scene.

Lovely portrait of a bald eagle. It's easy to get blown-out highlights in white feathers and Richard’s managed to avoid this successfully. A lovely image as a finalé to the set of PDIs.

This is a good set of images that demonstrates that Richard understands the essence of photography and what makes a good picture. He has presented a wide range of subjects, differing techniques and composition.

 

Richard says . . .

“I've been a hobby photographer for many years and am largely self-taught. I saw the opportunity to undertake the diploma as an excellent way to further improve my knowledge and skills, particularly as the support offered focuses on the practical aspects of delivering good photos. I also valued being able to set my own timetable and work at my own pace.

The mentoring and support offered throughout exceeded my expectations, with individuals willingly giving their time to share their own experience and provide guidance.

I'm pleased with my final panel and look forward to further practising and developing my photography skills”.

 

 

Doug Allen WGDP

Diploma in General Photography

Assessors' Comments:

............... Doug has demonstrated that he has a good seeing eye and empathy with the coastal landscape.
............Overall, Doug’s use of light and varying viewpoints brought this themed General Diploma submission to life. His choice to include a panel and statement was laudable and the mix of mono and colour images was very successful.
........... Doug’s successful panel is of a consistently high standard. The choice of keeping to a tight theme has worked well and the panel is well balanced. The colour images on the bottom row are beautifully handled with both the exposure and the long shutter speed contributing to the images.
The structures themselves are well displayed and meet his statement of intent.
............ the set of images shows a good mix of colour and mono coast and seascapes. His balance of slow shutter-speed and conventional pictures works well, adding both ‘artistic’ and ‘contemporary’ touches to the submission.

 

Here's what Doug has to say about his journey towards success:
“Working on a WCC diploma enhanced my awareness about what to look out for in a photograph - so it’s not just a snapshot. It encouraged me to get out there with my camera and take images but also to reflect upon the composition and consider the camera settings.
I found the processing of images to be as challenging as taking the photographs.
I received valuable advice about some over-processing in a couple of pictures, how to correct an image with colour-cast in the foreground and recommendations about good cloning practice. I learned a lot about how to construct a panel and would I like to thank Eric for his time and support, Clive and the other assessors for running the scheme. I am now considering registering for the Landscape Diploma as we come out of lockdown and the countryside opens up again”.

 

 

Steve Chilton WGDP

Diploma in General Photography

Assessors' Comments:

The panel shows evidence of a good range of techniques and a suitable variety of subjects. Overall the presentation was thought to be a good mix of subjects and to the standard required for the General Diploma.

Steve writes:

"I decided to participate in the diploma scheme as a vehicle to improve my photography. My preferred genre of photography is Landscape photography, however I hoped the selection of the final ten images contained within my panel were sufficiently varied in both subject matter, style and lighting, with some outside my comfort zone.
Whilst the diploma has at times challenged me, it has been an opportunity, not just to gain more skills, but to look at my photography in new and interesting ways. I can't recommend participation in the diploma scheme highly enough. I cannot finish without praise for the mentoring. I thank Martin and Clive for their time, advice and patience."

 

 

Wiola Ryczkowska WGDP

Assessor's Comments:

  • A most interesting and individualistic panel which strongly reveals original artistic seeing.
  • An excellent variety of subjects with many from not obvious sources.
  • Wiola's photography has progressed well from the start of her photographic journey, showing strong evidence of an 'artistic photographer’s eye'.

Wiola writes:

"It took me 2 years to succeed and achieve the Diploma in General Photography. It was longer and harder than I thought but absolutely worth it.

I have never met tutors so patient and helpful before, I would not have made it without them. The support is amazing. I would recommend this programme to everyone in the club".

 

 

Susan Lewis WGDP

Assessor's Comments:

  • A well presented panel offering variety and ways of seeing.
  • Good range of imagery from action to abstract and from different atmospheric conditions to humour (the cow amongst the cow-parsley)
  • The lacy pattern with its complex shadow is very well seen.

Susan writes:

"I signed up for the WCC General Diploma in January 2017. I was full of enthusiasm. Unfortunately, other aspects of my life got in the way and I was not able to devote the time needed to improve my photography. Consequently, when I entered my first panel for assessment in December 2017 I had a 'referral' - four of my images were not up to scratch.
I decided to go back to the drawing board.

During the last year I have had more time to devote to my photography and have greatly improved my camera and technical skills.

It has been a long journey but finally in February 2019 my new panel has been successful.
The WCC Diploma Scheme is to be commended and I am now fired up to work on a specialised subject and even an LRPS.

I would like to thank Maddy for her early mentoring, Judy for her tuition in Lightroom, Tessa for her gentle and positive critique and Clive for encouraging me “to get on with it!"

 

Nick Baldwin WGDP

Assessor's Comments:

  • Well balanced panel of landscapes. Each image has a 'feeling of place'.
  • Variety is conveyed through lighting differences and the 'intimate landscape' of the stream.
  • The well considered combination of both colour and the monochrome prints works to good effect.

Nick writes:



"I joined the Club primarily because I want to improve my photography skills. Soon after joining I entered a couple of pictures into the PDI competition and got some positive feedback. Being keen to learn I realised that the best way to improve was to enter the Diploma scheme. This gave me the necessary focus for improving my technical camera skills and learning new artistic skills needed for composition, processing and using monochrome.

I normally process my images in Lightroom but soon learnt that I needed to do more to bring my images to life. I got lots of helpful advice from Judy Knights, my Advisor, who spent time showing me how to improve my images using Photoshop and Nik filters. As I selected images for my panel I received helpful critiques and some more Photoshop techniques from Clive Haynes and Jayne Winter. Having successfully gained my General Diploma I’m keen to start on a WCC Specialised Diploma".

 



 

Successful submissions from Lawrence Keen and Judy Knights added January 2019

Lawrence Keen

Assessors' Comments:
 The images displayed good seeing and variety. The railway image is full of energy and power, whilst in contrast the prison yard provides an example of a personal response and 'intuitive seeing'. The 'dark sky' image complete with stars and a well illuminated landscape is very well done, whilst in contrast, dawn along the riverside is beautifully and lyrically portrayed. Lawrence has worked diligently to present a good range of pictures to illustrate the required level of competence to gain the General Diploma. Many congratulations to Lawrence, who can now add WGDP to his name!

Lawrence writes:


"Very much a novice, I joined the club around 18 months ago with the hope of developing my interest in photography which I have held for many years.
 About a year ago I read up about the diploma scheme and I immediately decided that I should enrol and during the year I contacted the team and started to submit images for critique, this is where I really started to understand the quality and composition the images require. The help and advice available both from the diploma team and that gleaned from attending the Thursday specialist meetings have been invaluable in me attaining my diploma.

Special thanks to Clive & particularly Maddy for the advice and direction given in response to many emails.
 As my knowledge and confidence develops I have no hesitation in moving on to a specialist diploma and recommending other members to join the scheme."

 

Successful submissions from Paul Minshull, Greg McLoughlin and Dick Sabey added February 2018

Diploma Successes Continue...

Paul Minshull

Some comments from the assessors:

  • Good illustrations, with a variety of subjects.
  • Appropriate and balanced mix of subjects included architecture, animals, portrait and an action shot.
  • The fair-ground ride shows excitement and real enthusiasm from the subjects.
  • A well caught moment and interestingly positioned in the frame.
  • Central abstracted mono worked well.

 

Paul's thoughts...

Like many amateurs I have been happy to bump along taking pictures for years. Some in my opinion good, some not so good. I joined the WCC a couple of years ago and found that I lacked many of the basic skills. Competition nights were a particular wake-up call. When the Diploma scheme came along I had two choices: carrying on as before or break out into the unknown and have a go. The experience was at times challenging to say the least as I could not use any of my previous images, I had to go out and start again. It took a number of months to come up with my first five images. By September, I had what I thought were 10 reasonable photographs to work on. After discussions with my mentors, I realised I had more work to do to create a balanced set. Eventually I made it. A big thank you to Maddy and Clive for their time and patience, as well as other members of the Club who kept me going.

 

 

Diplomas from Catherine Lane, Val Dawson, & Keith Norrington

From Clive Haynes FRPS, WCC Diploma Scheme Co-ordinator

"It was good to see four diverse panels which successfully illustrated the craft skills and 'seeing' required for this level of photography, plus evidence of an individual approach. The four successful participants had worked hard and taken advantage of advice and support given. They are now ready to move on to the next level and choose a Specialist Topic within the scheme. Our hearty congratulations to them all."

Catherine Lane WGDP

 

Val Dawson WGDP

 

 

 

Keith Norrington WGDP

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Specialised Diplomas

  

Karen Dewson WSDP

Specialist Diploma in Abstract and Pattern Photography

Assessors' Comments:

Her evident sense of personal style showed through more in the highly abstracted images.
I was surprised by some images, pleased by others, found humour in some, but I was delighted by them all.

Karen's panel arrangement was very skilled, clearly demonstrating the eye of a graphic artist at work. The use of the contrasting high- and low-key images was deftly managed and well balanced, and she maintained a real dynamic throughout.
The unusual composition of the central montage image provided a really strong 'anchor' for the panel and the high-key paper and sculpture images are simply delicate and beautiful.
There is an inherent potential tension between demonstrating variety while still achieving coherence and this panel covered a wide range of image subjects and types, from macro to architectural, all brought together by the intriguing composition, expert treatment and thoughtful arrangement.

This was an exquisitely elegant, balanced panel which lead us to explore, but did not give up the secrets. Choosing to render the images in black and white abstracted the images further.
I enjoyed the contrast of the dark images within the cross shaped centre and the very high key images on the outside. The panel shows excellent seeing, realisation, control and careful craft. Most importantly for me, this panel invited me to stay and observe, keeping my attention.

A beautiful panel presentation.
The delicate lighter wispy images bravely put to the edges, surrounding the darker heavy images shows great confidence and conviction. Karen’s strong graphic sense of balance was apparent in the individual images as well as in the presentation.

Karen's statement of intent
'Surrounded by an environment of clutter and distraction I seek to isolate an often unseen view of otherwise familiar places and objects'.

Karen says:
“I started the Diploma process a few years ago with a good selection of images taken at the Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery followed by a long weekend in St. Ives and a visit to the Tate. After that, images came in fits and starts and I realised that I had been waiting for the panel to emerge from images that I happened to take whilst out and about. I had at least a dozen photographs that worked well but now I needed to actively seek those final images to bring the panel together.

Limitations to travel have meant that I have had to look closer to home for shots to compliment photographs of much grander places. I resorted to my preferred method of photography - using the 150mm Sigma for close-up shots. Those little details of everyday objects allowed me to find the simple shapes I was looking for.
In February 2021 the panel has finally clicked into place. I have taken lots of additional photos just to get a few that fit but now I’m happy with the images, both as individual shots and as a balanced panel. If I could offer one piece of advice: be brave enough to remove your favourite image for the sake of the whole.
I would like to offer my sincere thanks to Clive for his unswerving support and encouragement throughout the process and thank the assessment team for taking the time to support the Diploma scheme and for your generous comments”.

 

Lawrence Keen

Specialised Diploma in Landscape Photography

Assessors were unanimous in awarding the Specialised Diploma to Lawrence
Here are some extracts from the Assessors remarks.


.....Lawrence has done a great job, taking the last round of comments and applying the suggestions to his panel. The photography and presentation is excellent and he should be congratulated on his work.
..... this a good, clean and well laid out panel. All the images are sharp and well presented. It meets the criteria for a Specialist Diploma in Landscape Photography.
..... many images are superb including ‘Menai Suspension Bridge’, ‘Storm’, ‘Sunrise’ and ‘The
Prince of Wales Bridge’.
..... a very well presented and thoughtful panel with good variety

 

Lawrence says:-
Spending time in the varied landscape of the UK is one of my favourite pastimes and I was
eager to concentrate on this for my specialised diploma, I have included images from various seasons, high mountains & moorland, to rivers, bridges and coastal locations.
After compiling my first panel many changes were made as I looked more closely at the photos composition, exposure and relationship to the other surrounding images. During this process I received assistance from various club members that were happy to spend some of their time helping me to reach the required standards.
Working on this diploma over the 18 months has helped enormously with both the
composition and taking of images plus post processing activity. With all of the problems this year of lockdown and limited travel I slowed to a halt and following my submission was extremely pleased with the help & support I received from the diploma team to complete my panel. I would recommend other members to engage in this scheme, it has really helped to improve my photography.

 

 

 

Angie Hill

Specialised Diploma in Landscape Photography

Assessors were unanimous in awarding the Specialised Diploma to Angie.
Extracts from Assessors comments when evaluating the panel


...................Angie’s landscape diploma panel is just beautiful and it’s evident that she has put an enormous amount of work into creating it. The subject matter is delightful, her composition is good and her use of light is excellent. She has certainly summoned up her genius loci to create this panel!
..................Angie’s panel includes many beautiful landscapes and they reflect her love of the outdoors and nature. The rolling hillsides are very typical of the Worcestershire/Herefordshire area and are rendered beautifully. The use of light has been handled very well in the panel and shows good craft skills. Overall an excellent panel.
..................The panel has a wonderful feel to it. The images really do bring over the warmth and the colour of the Worcestershire landscape. The Statement of Intent is excellent and most of the images really do convey the idea of 'tracks that thread their way through the landscape'.
...................We experience the warmth and harmony and the inspiration Angie gained from the landscape, expressed through a most sympathetic and loving interpretation. The images most definitely achieve the standard required.

Angie says:-
Landscape is a subject very close to my heart and has featured heavily in my artwork & photography since college days in the late 1960s, so choosing to do the specialist Landscape Diploma seemed the obvious choice for me. It enabled me to focus my attention on it with a greater intensity while at the same time improving my photographic practice. I am fortunate to live in a very beautiful part of Worcs. Its rivers, rolling hills, Iron age Hillforts, steep-sided, wooded valleys and pasture are a constant inspiration to me.
Walking the network of ancient tracks that thread their way through the land has become an integral part of the whole creative process. I walk almost every day and usually have my camera with me. My intention is to convey, in my images, the emotion I feel and my personal response to the spirit of place. Most of the photographs in my panel were taken within a 15 mile radius of home with only three taken over the border in neighbouring counties.
I would like to thank everyone in the club who has helped me along the way. Their generously given, expert advice has definitely helped improve my work, especially the technical side.
Through working for the Diploma I have had many memorable moments and have thoroughly enjoyed the journey so far. I look forward to the next chapter!

 

  

Jeff Steady

Specialised Diploma in Nature Photography

Jeff says . . . .

I am delighted to have been awarded the club’s specialised diploma in nature photography. 
Largely self-taught as far as taking wildlife pictures is concerned, my first attempt at presenting a diploma panel was not successful. In particular, there was a rather a lot I needed to learn in the areas of processing, selection and presentation of my images. In those important disciplines I have gained generous input from a range of fellow club members. My huge thanks to them. What they have instilled in me will be of lasting benefit.
It will be evident I think through my panel that this has been very much a love affair with this wildlife photography genre. It goes along with my life-long love of the great outdoors, of wildlife, and birds not least, of travel and a touch of adventure. I wanted images that inspired me and perhaps reflected something of my life and loves, as well as reaching the required standard. 
Attempting the diploma gave me every reason to get out and about. One outing took me, travelling alone, to a lodge on a forest river in Borneo. Another found me surrounded by a profusion of wildlife beyond Georgetown in The Gambia. Yet some of the best images in the panel are simply local. 
It has certainly been a lot of fun and it has surely moved my nature photography forward.

 

Susan Lewis WSDP

Specialised Diploma in Abstract & Pattern Photography

Assessors' Comments:

Susan's statement was interesting, emphasising how intriguing 'abstracts and patterns' can be explored by observing the forms of nature. The images invite the viewer to look closer and appreciate the finer details. The overall colours harmonised well, creating a attractive panel layout.

Susan writes:

"Over the last eight months I have been spending time in our countryside and on our coastline and waterways looking for subjects to abstract some interesting images from. I have entitled this panel ‘Abstract in Nature’ as all my images are derived from either natural occurrences in nature or where I have seen interesting light, texture, colour or shape for abstraction.

I have thoroughly enjoyed working on my Abstract and Pattern Diploma. It has taken me eight months to complete but has been well worthwhile. The challenge of looking in depth at things around you and seeing beyond what is actually in front of you is essential.

I would like to thank Ruth, Tessa and John for their advice and constructive criticism over the last few months. The help given by the more experienced photographers in WCC is very welcome and much appreciated. Now on to the next challenge!"

 

Nick Baldwin WSDP

Specialised Diploma in Landscape Photography

Assessors' Comments:


The overall presentation of the panel works really well. 
Classic panelling using 3 tiers presents good design, harmony and balance. 
Considering that Nick took these whilst doing long walks and constantly on the move, they are of very high quality. 
The lighting works well providing a good depth to the landscapes, for example, no. 4. 
No. 12 shows a good perspective along with no.7 with both using a firm 'lead-in line' to take the eye into the image. Overall there is evidence of personal input and style creating an interesting panel, which is up to the standard required for the Specialised Landscape Diploma.

Nick writes:


"My twin passions are being in the big outdoors and trying to take photographs that capture the magic of the countryside. When I joined the Club I was still struggling to make good landscape images. I started last winter and worked through the spring and summer to amass a large number of images in a variety of styles. It was then that the real value of the diploma process kicked in when I got invaluable advice from Eric on how to rationalise my images and create an effective panel, which I then tested on Martin. Seeing my final 15 images in the panel made me realise that I was finally beginning to capture the magic of the countryside."

 

Sue Abbott LRPS WSDP

Specialised Diploma in Creative Photography

Assessors' Comments:


An adventurous panel with a splendid and diverse selection of imagery showing a wide range of techniques, in a presentation full of vivacity and impact. There are no weak images - all pictures are interesting and successful, not only as individual prints but also as a strong synergistic contribution to the overall appearance and harmony of the panel. The presentation reveals strong evidence of a personal style coupled with a very imaginative use of creative techniques. The panel has many intriguing images which evoke a sense mystery.

This was remarked upon as being a good example of a very successful WCC Creative genre panel and highly worthy of the Diploma.

Sue writes:


"I absolutely love taking photographs. My hobby started in 2008 when due to a cancelled holiday I enrolled on a six week photography course. 

Too often people look at an object and that’s all they see. My panel shows examples of how I look at objects. I want to inspire others to look at everyday objects in a different way. My Creative Panel shows how I like to transform the ordinary into something that will challenge the viewer. Enrolling for a Diploma has made me concentrate on my photography. Instead of taking photographs, which I love, I focused on my Creative Panel. I had wonderful support from Clive, who encouraged me all the way."

 

Barrie Glover WSDP3

Barrie is the first WCC member to successfully complete three WCC Diplomas in Photography, as reflected in the 'distinction' 'WSDP3'.

I had done very little printing until embarking upon this project, all of my work prior to this was done for me by a commercial printing company. After buying a new Epson ET - 7750 on impulse at the Photography Show I decided I needed a new challenge so began to learn more about printing techniques. 

The help I received from club members was invaluable in the early stages of my work, my sincere thanks go to Martin and Clive for their understanding and guidance, I would have struggled without them.

For more information about Barrie's Printing diploma panel please click here...

 

Judy Knights

Judy presented an excellent print panel for her 'Abstract & Pattern' Specialised Diploma. The panel comprised 15 prints arranged as three lines of five. The assessors were most impressed and excited by the standard of work, as well as the imagination and coherency of the panel.

Assessors' Comments:

  • Well panelled and the square format is very attractive.
  • Thoughtfully conceived with all images relevant and well-related. Panel illustrates variety yet remains cohesive.
  • Beautifully printed and mounted. 
  • The textures are quite velvety, the colour palette reminiscent of richly brocaded fabrics with jewel-like tones. 
  • The panel viewed as an entity possesses an aura of creative intentionality.

 

Judy writes: 
"After a difficult year or so I felt my photography needed ‘rebooting’! This was around the time that Clive instigated the Club’s Diploma scheme - so I signed up for the ‘Pattern & Abstract’ Specialised Diploma. I know I wanted to be taken out of my ‘comfort zone’ - but goodness - did I struggle at the start! Without Ruth’s encouragement I could well have given up, it was only after I bought an iPhone and started working with the apps that things became more ‘exciting’!! I was thrilled with the way that quite ordinary images could be combined to produce a new vibrant image quite often with no recognisable connection to the originals! I am so pleased that the diploma assessors liked this panel as I really enjoyed working on it - eventually!

I really would recommend taking on one of these Diplomas - it is an excellent way to improve or completely change your style of photography".

 

Gill Haynes - added January 2019

Assessors Comments:

  • Good sense of depth, colour & seeing
  • Excellent in terms of composition, exposure and interest
  • Evident skills shown to coherently 'panel' the images
  • A well balanced panel with a good mixture of landscape subjects.
  • Printing and mounting of the highest quality

Gill's Thoughts

I was lucky enough to spend much of my childhood in the Somerset countryside and I grew up with a love of its landscapes. The Diploma Scheme gave me the wonderful opportunity to learn how to photograph such scenes. Through friendly advice the Club's Landscape Advisors explained the principles of composition and demonstrated how to use tonal management in order to bring pictures to life and allow them to express a mood or a narrative. They also reviewed my work offering kindly and constructive criticism.

It has been a very positive experience and I'd certainly recommend the Diploma route to anyone wishing to improve their photography.

 

 

Heather Mann

Assessors' comments:

  • Good variety of subject matter
  • Accurate focus
  • Good separation of subject from background
  • Appropriate environmental details
  • Attractive presentation and choice of framing

 

Dick Sabey

Dick Sabey has recently gained a WCC Specialised Diploma for his AV submission - Worcestershire Bridges. Listen here...

 

Barrie Glover WSDP2 - Audio-Visual Diploma

Here are some of the stills from Barrie's AV Diploma submission. Click on an image to enlarge and show slideshow controls.

 

 

Barrie Glover WSDP

 

If this has piqued your interest in Worcestershire Camera Club's Diploma Scheme, please go to this page for more information.