The Volunteers


CHAIR: Colin Howard ARPS

Photography is an important part of Colin's life. He has been taking pictures since his parents gave him a Kodak Box Brownie around the age of eight. He quickly learnt the basics of printing and for much of his photographic journey he was a darkroom worker and for many years was a member of Brian Nevitt's advanced photography group at Missenden Abbey in Buckinghamshire.

Nowadays his aim is to capture how the immediate environment often determines human behaviour, especially in cities, and how the influence of human intervention on the landscape often produces buildings, monuments and other edifices of incredible beauty. He gained his ARPS in travel photography in 2013.

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VICE-CHAIR: Richard Lewis ARPS

My photographic interests are varied, but images of travel, landscapes, architecture, industrial archaeology and coastal locations appear time and again. Usually I keep my distance but sometimes, and I'm trying to do more of this, I get in close.

Winter and autumn are favourite seasons with the clear colours and light that come from a cold atmosphere and low sun. Snow and ice are good too. And I like the challenge of being set a theme, on some topic or concept I'd never have thought of photographing, to develop that lateral thinking.

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SECRETARY: John Speller​

John started taking photographs while at school and has passed through the stages of a home darkroom processing black and white prints and latterly colour prints and reversal in the family bathroom. He has now progressed to a 4th generation digital camera and lightroom in the spare bedroom.

The “day job” precludes devoting as much time to photography as he would wish but anticipates that shortly that will alter leaving sufficient time to consider balancing taking photographs that please him as opposed to those which the market, competitions or distinction panels require.

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TREASURER: Robert Akester LRPS

Robert Akester won his first (and so far only) prize for a photograph while still at school. Since 1999, however, he began to take his photography more seriously, achieving his LRPS in 2002, when he also became a member of the Travel Group. The ARPS still eludes him, but constitutes an important retirement project.

Travel has been a major part of his life, with a job that required visits, albeit brief, to many parts of the world. Some, but not all of these countries are on a long list to revisit at a more leisurely pace, this time with more comprehensive photographic kit.

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WORKSHOPS: Tony Ashford

Tony’s interest in photography started at a young age in the West Country when he was given his first Brownie grey camera at the age of 14. He has now progressed to the digital era with an assortment of camera – compact, SLRs and Bridge. One thing is certain – he is never without a camera.

Tony’s other passions include travel and wildlife so his 3 interests combine for an exciting life traveling both around Britain and further afield – Asia, Africa, South America, Easter Europe but to name a few destinations.

Tony spends his time living between London and West Sussex when he’s not traveling.

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John's interest in photography started when AutoFocus was made possible with a pre-cut length of string and Digital was a reference to a part of the anatomy used to depress the shutter release!

The recent advances in digital technology have enabled him to develop new techniques and skills, not just with the camera but also in the "PC Darkroom". He finds image fine tuning and, where appropriate, enhancement just as fascinating as original picture taking.

Upon retirement from business life he founded Better Photographs, a free website which helps folk who want to progress their photography & imaging skills.

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Hazel has been taking photographs with her husband James for many years. Photography started out of a love for travel and it is a hobby they both share. Their main interest is in the minority groups of South East Asia, India and especially Burma but they photograph where ever they are.  She has been a member of the RPS since gaining her LRPS in 2003, her ARPS with a Travel Panel of South East Asian Children in 2005 and her FRPS in 2014. Her husband is Regional organiser for Scotland and she sits on the LRPS panel.

Hazel is a GP in the Scottish Borders and so photography allows an escape form the NHS. She likes nothing better than to be walking in the Highlands with James and her dog, returning to the VW camper van at night

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Sue’s career as an English teacher and author has been an ideal opportunity to combine her twin passions for travel and photography. Working alongside local people has been a huge privilege, and an opportunity to delve a little deeper below the surface, to see and record, hopefully, with more clarity.

Sue’s introduction to wild places came when, escaping a boring education conference, she took off for Borneo. The experience of living in a longhouse deep in the jungle was magical and the die was well and truly cast for future exciting trips – Tibet, Libya, Mongolia, the more remote the better!

Sue has received over 60 awards in national and international salons and was a finalist in the Travel Photographer of the Year 2014 and 15, and the National Geographic Traveller Photo Competition 2016. Her work has been in exhibitions in Bristol (Royal West of England Academy), London (Mall Galleries), and Muscat (Photographic Society of Oman).

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TRIPS: Keith Pointon LRPS

Travel and photography have been an enduring part of Keith’s life since an early age. His first camera was a Christmas present when he was 12 years old and living in Malaya. He never looked back. He quickly learned to develop and print his own black and white prints and has always enjoyed the qualities of monochrome images.  A former teacher of Geography and Geology, it is not surprising, that landscapes and travel have been the backbone of his photography. Field trips and holidays to wide ranging places, Iceland, Antarctica, India, North Africa and the Mediterranean are a feature in his work.

On retirement he joined the RPS and the Travel group. He was elected a Committee member in 2007 and became Secretary in 2009 .  He has been a member of the Ludlow Photographic Club for more years than he cares to remember and was its Chairman for 12 of them. At his first attempt at a RPS competition he won the Gold Medal in the Open Digital for 2008 and knew that, from then on, it was downhill all the way.

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Liz has been a Member of the Travel Group for many years and a member of the RPS for more years that she cares to remember! Her main passion is travelling and has been fortunate enough to see many parts of the world through a number of overland trips but there are still large gaps to explore.

Her interest in photography stems from trying to improve the photos she takes while on her travels so that they will be worth looking at as reminders of where she has been in years to come.

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Travelling on about six cruises a year for Cruise & Maritime Voyages gives me the chance to take many photos and to share my hobby with others as I provide Lectures and Workshops on the subject.

I am no expert and do not teach 'Photography - the correct way' but I hope to inspire others by showing them 'my way'. No not a cue for a song but it brings together all that I enjoy, Travel, Photography, Meeting People and being looked after by my wife and the wonderful crew aboard the ships.

By the way – Just in case you are wondering, I never had a Box Brownie. My boyhood camera was a Eastman bellows courtesy of Grandad. No need for an enlarger. Contact prints were great.

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Brian grew up overseas which may be why he developed a taste for travel. His first camera was the inevitable box brownie, followed by a great 35mm Voigtlander. The first SLR was a Canon FTb with 50mm 1.2 lens which lasted for several decades during which he mainly took and processed his own black and white photos.

In recent years, he has visited Ethiopia, Cappadocia in Turkey, USA, Botswana, Namibia, Vietnam and Lebanon amongst others. Aside from the RPS, he is an active member of Sevenoaks Camera Club (Vice Chair), skis at least once a year, plays golf and badminton; just as well he’s retired!

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The Travel Group committee has worked hard in recent years to deliver an interesting programme of trips and other events, a revised and revamped Travel Log, a vastly improved website section and a presence on Facebook. Our membership has more than doubled in the last few years and has reached an all-time high of over 700.

We are always on the lookout for volunteers to help maintain our activities and develop new ones. We would love to hear from you, even if you might not want to be on the committee but are willing to lend a hand.

If you feel you have something to offer and would like to help, please get in touch with our Chair, Colin Howard.

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