COMMITTEE MEMBERS

The following members are the Officers and Committee Members of Sidmouth Photographic Club.

President

Tony Spooner ARPS
Born in Exeter, my interest in photography goes back to childhood, when I had a Kodak Brownie reflex and would help my Dad in the darkroom. During National Service, in the RAF in Kenya, I bought a 35mm Braun Paxette with fixed 45mm lens. Kodakchrome slide film was available, speed ASA 10. Unfortunately, wild animals ran in terror whenever we tried to get close enough for a decent image from a military helicopter, or leaning out of the open door of an aircraft. We did however get some decent images on a climb of Kilimanjaro.

I did not return to photography for many years, then joined Newbury Camera club. My work, being London based, meant that getting to meetings was difficult. I was a Chartered Insurer and Senior Risk Control Surveyor. A heavy involvement in major projects such as the Channel Tunnel provided photo opportunities but I did not return to club photography until I retired to Sidmouth.

I soon realised that there was more to photography than Family Records, important as they are. I found Sidmouth Club friendly and helpful to new members, and in time found myself helping others, especially during the change to digital. I had nothing to show that I knew what I was talking about, and decided to join the RPS with a view to gaining an LRPS. It was not easy, but I managed it in 2010, and then the Associateship in 2016. Entering images for competition can be nerve-wracking, but I found seeing other images and noting comments very useful, even if I did not always agree with them!

Having used Canon and Nikon, including full frame, I now use Fuji mirrorless, as it is smaller, lighter and performs well in comparison tests.

Tony's gallery can be found here and his ARPS panel here

Chairperson

Harri Morris
I can’t draw…or paint…or sculpt, or play a musical instrument for that matter; so photography is my creative outlet. I love it. I lived overseas for 20 years working in the aid and development sector. I often had to write monitoring and evaluation proposals for development projects and I quickly realised that a picture speaks a thousand words. It was far easier to portray what I was trying to say with an image. I visited one of our projects, borrowed a friends camera to document it and the love affair with photography began. That was 20 odd years ago and the joy of seeing a photograph I have taken in print has not left me.

I have lived in 7 countries with vastly different cultures. Photography gave me a creative way to document what I was seeing, what I was feeling and what I was experiencing. It is a fantastic record of my life.

I grew up in Kent but when I moved ‘home’ 4 years ago I wanted to be near family which meant moving to Devon because my mum had relocated here a few years prior to my return. I joined SPC within weeks of moving to Sidmouth. It is fantastic to be around like minded people. I love the friendliness of the club and the passion for photography within it. I have learnt so much about photography, been inspired by my fellow photographers and have been pushed outside of my photography comfort zone; I was truly honoured when I was asked to become the chairperson of SPC.

Harri's Gallery can be seen here

Vice Chairperson

Michael Ginsberg
My family relocated to Sidmouth from Guildford in Surrey in 2018 with the intention that I would retire from work and do all the things I had not had the time to do before. As a keen hobby photographer, top of the list was photography and I joined SPC soon after arriving here. Never having been a member of a photographic Club before and entirely self-taught, I was apprehensive about what to expect but I was made to feel very welcome and I soon plucked up the courage to enter my first competition.

I have been on a number of trips with the Club including an overnight trip to London and I have learned so much from the enthusiasm and skills of the other members. In 2020, I won the Club’s print league, which was a significant milestone for me and I am applying for my first distinction with RPS.

Camera-wise, I am definitely "Nikon" having had a D50, D90, D810 and most recently a Z7 (and a small D3400 for carrying around).

I am in search of my own niche but my favourite genres are landscape, fine art and macro and some of my images are in the gallery and on Flickr.

Michael's gallery can be seen here

More links for Michael's images: Flickr

Club Secretary

Mike Hawkridge ARPS AFIAP
I joined SPC in 2017 when I moved to Sidmouth having been a member of my previous local camera club where I had been Chairman. Photography has been an interest of mine for as long as I can remember but it was only after retirement in 2003 that I had plenty of time to devote to it.

My passion is architectural photography and the abstract shapes in the man-made and natural world, though I will photograph pretty much anything that takes my interest and I do like macro and night photography too.

I have been Sony “mirrorless” for over eight years and recently downsized from full frame back to APSC to reduce the weight on my back!

Belonging to a camera club is a constant source of inspiration and motivation to my photography and provides a great environment for socialising and outings with like-minded photographers.

Mike's gallery can be found here
Mike's ARPS Panel can be found here and his AFIAP panel here

More links for Mike's images: Instagram Flickr Mike's website

Club Treasurer

John Marchbank
Brought up in Liverpool, university in Scotland and working in the West Midlands, Wiltshire, Bristol & Bath, taking photographs has been a significant part of my life since being given my first roll film camera at the age of 8. I moved onto my first 35mm at age 14, an East German Zeiss Werra bought with saved up pocket money, then came my first SLR, a Russian Zenit. I inherited my father's Nikon SLR and lenses in 1990 so have followed the Nikon trail ever since: F80, D90, D7100 and now D750. My main interests were family and travel photography, particularly landscapes.

Having moved to Sidmouth in 2010 to be nearer to both our Devon based children and their families, joining SPC in 2011 was an eye opener. I thought my picture taking was quite competent until I saw what was possible, particularly in the new to me age of digital photography. I have learned a huge amount from both speakers, judges and club members and have even been able to pass on some of my new learning to others. SPC is friendly and supportive and I would recommend joining to anyone with an interest in photography.

John's gallery can be found here

Programme Secretary

Paul Gale LRPS
All my family on my fathers side were born and bred in Devon. Although I never lived in Devon myself ( I was born in Kew - very near Kew Gardens) I always felt the ‘pull’ to return to the ancestral county. I guess it was some kind of genetic encoding!

When my wife retired in Jan 2019 the opportunity arose to move from Great Bookham in Surrey to East Devon and we moved to WestHill in May 2019. We’re very pleased to be here because we love being able to make a short journey down to the coast at Sidmouth, Exmouth, Seaton or Beer whenever we like.

Having had an interest in photography for a very long time - many years ago I even had my own darkroom for developing film - it wasn’t until I joined Bookham Camera Club that I found how to improve on just taking ‘snaps. That learning curve progressed until I achieved my LRPS in 2018 and guess what? Yes, like the rest of us, I’m still learning!

I am now very pleased to be a member of SPC which is a delightful friendly club with ambition to help all members improve their photography skills.

Paul's gallery can be found here

External Competition Secretary

Bob Reynolds ARPS
I first started taking an interest in photography after my children flew the nest, filling an enormous gap in what was then my first free time since school.

My first attempts culminated in achieving City and Guilds in photography at evening class which I enjoyed so much I took a step backwards taking a GCSE A level in the subject. The die was cast.

Soon after, I retired from the construction industry where I was a chartered surveyor and moved to Sidmouth in 2007, when, attending their exhibition in the town’s museum and commenting in their comments book, I was invited to join Sidmouth Photographic Club. I have never looked back.

The Club is very well attended by both experienced and novice photographers. There is always support and advice, both internally and from guest speakers and a sense of fun and camaraderie. Importantly I have never stopped learning.

I am an advocate of Sony mirrorless cameras and my photographic interests range from travel, street, landscape, contemporary and recently nature and macro and whilst I enjoy competitions my main sense of achievement comes from printing off an image that I like and am proud of.

Bob's gallery can be found here

Internal Competition Secretary (DPI & MPI)

Tony Velterop
My first camera was a Agfa little thing which I got in the late fifties. I mainly took some pictures from school outings to a zoo. Later I took pictures from family days out and family events. After a few more Agfa camera's I bought my first SLR camera in the mid 70's, a Practica which stopped working in the mid 80's. Bought various other camera's and at the moment I use a lumix.

In 1968 I came to the UK for the first time and came back several times a year till we moved to Sussex in the early 80's. After 20 years we moved back to Holland but returned 4 or 5 times a year for the holidays. Our son stayed in the UK. In 2011 our granddaughter was born in Budleigh and it was a no brainer to move to Sidmouth which was the best thing we ever did. At the same time I retired and joined SPC, a great bunch of people and a very friendly club.

In Holland I was a member of AFVP in Etten Leur. We stayed in contact and they are now part of our international 3 Way Exchange together with Kouvola in Finland.

I photograph everything and also use my mobile a lot for photography, it has a very good camera.

Tony's gallery can be found here

Internal Competition Secretary (Prints)

I would like be a better photographer, in the same way I’d like to be a better golfer. Both are extremely difficult; practice, effort, persistence and patience amongst many traits for development. I do like photography but I am pretty sure I do not get it, (I am aware I lack imagination/vision) in a way, many of my club members do not. As Print Secretary I enjoy the role and all that entails. I consider it a privilege to be associated with the club, relish my responsibilities and participation. I hope for an LRPS and I am hugely grateful for the support and knowledge of the club.

Training Officer

Ian Hosker LRPS
I joined the club in 2018. I was taught photography by a talented uncle who introduced me to the dark arts of image making when I was about 5. I can still remember the smells of the darkroom and the magic of an image appearing in the bath of developer under red light. So, my photographic background has been life-long.

I trained as a biologist and used my photography as part of ecology research and teaching, but as life stages change, so has my photography. My main interest in photography now is in documentary and ‘story-telling’, and so audio-visual (AV) work is a natural development of that.

I swapped from full frame Canon to Fuji X series mirrorless some years ago. Big SLR’s and lenses make it very difficult to be unobtrusive as a photographer. The smaller, lighter mirrorless technology makes it much easier for travelling and being an unobtrusive observer/photographer.

Now semi-retired from my own educational consultancy company, I have created a range of online materials to support skills development of our members.

Ian's gallery can be found here