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


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


Harri Morris LRPS
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

Brian Sherlow
I have been interested in photography for over 50 years. When I think back, what I actually mean is I have been interested in taking pictures since the 1970’s!

My first camera was a Prinz P600 which was Dixon’s own version of a Kodak Instamatic 126. I progressed onto a 35mm rangefinder camera which was a Beirette sold through Boots. It wasn’t until I started work that I could afford an SLR, my first being a Pentax KX. I moved onto Nikon equipment in 1982 and have used their kit ever since. I currently use a Nikon D850. Back in the pre digital era, I mostly shot E6 colour slides. These I would develop at home using a multi-bath processing kit. It involved tying up the kitchen for hours at a time, much to the annoyance of others! Water baths everywhere trying to keep all the chemicals at a constant 38c. How much easier digital processing is today?

Working in many different locations never afforded me the opportunity to join a camera club or partake in any formal training. Travel with work, and outside of it did allow me to capture photographs from many different and varied geographies, but more often or not these were pretty much point and shoot images.

It wasn’t until I retired that the possibility of joining a camera club became a reality. At the time, 2019, there were several clubs in the area. Some quick research made me settle on Sidmouth Photographic Club. I liked the look of their well balanced programme with an excellent cross section of club evenings, events, external speakers and field trips. Also, it was apparent from the images on their webpages there were some very good photographers in the club that I could hopefully learn from. Since joining, I have not been disappointed with any aspect.

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

Steve Andrews
My interest in the art of taking photo's really took hold in 2011 when I got my first DSLR camera. Prior to that, I was an admirer rather than a participant. Whilst I enjoy exploring all styles and genres, I favour landscape photography and mixing some abstract forms into the creating process. I love being in the right place at the right time to catch a glorious sunrise - even if that does require a 3am alarm call.

We relocated to Sidmouth in 2020 and proximity to the Jurassic Coast was on of the deciding factors. Soon after my arrival I was pointed into the the direction of SPC. I enjoy being involved in a group of likeminded people, and feel my photography has improved immensely during my time as a member. Exposure to the works of other members along with regular sessions detailing their workflow has helped me to hone in on the finer details. The monthly internal competitions offer a wonderful opportunity to have your work critiqued by an accredited judge, which once again aids improvement and progress.

I’m privileged to now have responsibility of the season program and endeavour to continue the path born out by my predecessors.

External Competition Secretary

Lizzie Hankin
I’ve been interested in photography since my favourite uncle used to show the family slide shows of his and my aunt’s travels and European mountain climbing. I was utterly transfixed – even though the majority of the family saw it as a bit of a ‘yawn’ and were more interested in the amazing food that my aunt always prepared. That was 60 years ago. My dad bought me a Kodak Brownie 127 and I was off on the start of my photography journey. As with any journey, I have experienced some dead ends, wrong turns and quite long rest stops. I’ve had a variety of cameras and eventually delved into digital as early as 2001 with a 1.5 megapixel Kodak. Camera technology has advanced exponentially since and I do have to pinch myself to remember that it isn’t the fabulous, expensive equipment that takes good photographs, it is the photographer. One of my favourite photos over the last few years was taken on my old mobile phone.

I moved to Devon from Rutland back in 1996 and have raised my two children here. Now, with both children having flown the nest (at last!) and having retired, I found that I had time on my hands. And so, in 2019, I joined Sidmouth Photographic Club. Fabulously friendly membership with a wonderful selection of photographic styles, expertise, preferences and talents which they are all more than willing to share. So I have learned so very much from them, through mainly virtual meetings, since joining. I look forward to many more years’ membership with them.

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)

James Leacock
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

Committee Member

Joanne Hawes
Raised in Harrow, I studied display in London - a course that, as it transpired, was creatively broad and introduced me to the delights of photography and print processing. My early career was in design and advertising as an artworker/typographer in studios around the Home Counties - working with photographs (and photographers) back then, certainly taught me a great deal about composition and vision.

I’m fortunate to have travelled widely over the last 20 years and my love of photography has enabled me to freeze memories from journeys, as well as challenge myself with mini projects. Although I lean towards travel, landscape and architectural, I plan to explore other photographic styles in the future. I've owned Nikon DX cameras for some years and recently switching to mirrorless, but confess I’d be most lost without a mobile phone camera in my pocket!
I moved to Sidmouth in late 2019 and joined SPC shortly after. It’s a friendly Club and meetings are always informative, with much to be learnt from judges, speakers and fellow members. I’m excited to have retired recently and look forward to developing my photography hobby through the Club programme and online learning resources.

PR Officer

Michael Ginsberg LRPS
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 in March 2021, I was awarded a first distinction, LRPS.

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.

UPDATE - Now experimenting with Fujifilm XT3 and enjoying it very much.

Michael's gallery can be seen here

More links for Michael's images: Flickr