PAGB Awards

30th May 2016
PAGB AWARDS MAY 20/21 2016


There was success for WAVES members at the PAGB Awards held at the Wantage Camera Club .
This is only the second event held for Audio Visual awards after an updating of the rules by the PAGB.

Sue Winkworth, already an LRPS , gained her CPAGB. Peter Rose was also successful and was awarded a CPAGB.






However the best result of the weekend was the award of the MPAGB to Shelia Haycox. She is only the eighth person in the country to gain the award and joins a select group of people including Ian Bateman Edgar and Lynda Gibbs.
Many congratulations Shelia.




Gaining an MPAGB in AVs

To decipher the above -
The MPAGB stands for Master of the Photographic Alliance of Great Britain - the highest
distinction one can gain in any photographic discipline with the PAGB - and equivalent to
the Fellowship, in the Royal Photographic Society. However, the difference is that the
PAGB awards are held for life without any additional annual fee and holders are entitled to use the designated letters after their name.

Each distinction demands the highest photographic standards in amateur UK photography
- and in addition, with an audio visual application - here are the requirements for the
MPAGB/AV as laid out on the PAGB website - MASTER AWARD OF THE PAGB IN AV (MPAGB/AV)

Applicants for MPAGB must have held the DPAGB for at least 11 months on the date of
the adjudication.
The standard is the very best of UK AV production and Audio Visual Sequences are
required which are likely win major national or international competitions. The entry fee is £95.00 ~ Resubmission £85.00

Three or more sequences are required with a total running time of not less than 20
minutes and not more than 30 minutes. Overlong sequences will be disqualified. A
proportion of better than competent original photography is required.There are a lot more requirements, set out in a leaflet, which can be viewed here, if you’re interested:
http://www.mcpf.co.uk/apm_leaflet_6_av_issue_2_oct_2014.pdf

I felt it was important to explain a little more about this Distinction, about how to try for one yourself! As there were only 7 successful MPAGBs in the UK until recently - it is with especial delight that I have been able to persuade the newest successful aspirant to this award to tell her story!

Here’s Sheila Haycox’s MPAGB/AV story.

I started by asking Sheila when she first started making AVs, and what was her inspiration:

SH: “My first AV was made in 2004. I wanted to record my grandchildren, from birth over
several years, and an AV was the obvious answer. It progressed from there with more
short AVs of the childrens’ trips and holidays. How they loved viewing the latest creation,and this really spurred me on to doing more.I then began to think about an AV from images I’d collected, and the idea I had was to illustrate a fantasy poem, called The Crocodile.

AO: Do you use images from your files - or do you shoot specifically? For instance, most
people know you go away on quite a few foreign trips. Do you set out with a “shooting
script”? What research do you do, especially when visiting a foreign country?

SH: I have seldom shot specifically when I’m away - but I always take “extra shots” of
anything different just in case I decided to make an AV? However, I have started doing
more research recently for some of the AVs I do, but in the main they are not of a
documentary nature. I tend to make up stories, or they are based on situations I come
across.

AO: Surely you don’t just start creating an AV? What help have you had?

SH: I recall seeing an AV by the late Val Rawlins at a WCPF AV Day, and was so
impressed I had to find out how she had created it. That’s when I discovered WAVES
(Western Counties Audio Visual Club) a club specifically set up to help and inspire those
interested in this genre. I joined it! That was in 2004, and it was the best thing I ever did!
WAVES meets once every three months in Trowbridge. A bit of a journey, but well worth it
as we get such a lot of help and inspiration with demonstrations from knowledgeable
speakers, help with sound, and various techniques for vision and how to use Pictures to
Exe, my preferred software.
What I especially like about WAVES is being able to show a piece of work in progress, and
then get comments and advice on how to improve it if necessary. Recently, small
offshoots of WAVES, called RIPPLES, have been formed, where members meet in each
other’s homes to discuss AVs, and help each other to perfect sequences. These are
usually interspersed with the regular WAVES meetings and are really useful, as work in
progress can be dealt with in much greater depth.

AO: I recall you first achieved your DPAGB/AV a few years ago. Please tell us more
about this? How does it compare, for instance, with the RPS one? How many images did
you need? Were they ‘story telling’ or images to music - I think there is now a category for this called Photo Harmony?

SH: I applied for my DPAGB/AV in October 2011. I had to produce 15 but not more than
20 minutes of audio visuals, which could be one or more pieces. I entered three - all of
which had narration and music. I was lucky enough to gain my Distinction on that
occasion. Photo Harmony wasn’t pushed so much at that time, but today, it has been
introduced as a separate category. Here is the definition, recently published for the WCPF
AV competition:
PHOTO HARMONY

should demonstrate skill in the production and visual progression of still photographs
linked to sound. No script or commentary with a specific beginning, middle and ending are
required but the images must flow well in a pleasing progression, not just in a random
manner.
The emphasis is on visual harmony in colour, tone or graphic design. The aim is not to
display a collection of single photographs which may be excellent when considered
individually but rather a sequence of pictures which blend well with each other and with the sound chosen. Good technique is essential and it is expected that the sound and the
pictures start and finish together and that the original ending of the music is preserved
rather than an arbitrary fade out.

SH: So, not an “easy option”! I applied for my ARPS/AV in April 2012, but did not hear
until October 2012 that I had been successful, as the RPS have a ‘referral system’. It was
felt that I should produce another AV to the same standard as the ones I had submitted.
This I did, and was then awarded that distinction.

AO: When did you start to think about trying for your MPAGB/AV?

SH: Goodness knows! It was always at the back of my mind, but I didn’t think I was quite
good enough. Then, just over a year ago, I decided it was time to put my name down - so
then I was committed! Fortunately, through going to WAVES and getting different opinions
on two of my latest AVs, I gained confidence and more experience, and managed to get
some sequences together for this May’s adjudications.

AO: You sound so confident when voicing a sequence! What tips can you pass on to
anyone reading this, who would like to give this a try?

SH: When I started doing this, my voice was very flat and monotonous! The advice I had
was “lift your voice; have a glass of wine before you start a recording; make the recording several times”. Over the years I think I have improved. Recently, I found someone from a drama club who was willing to do a voice-over for me, and he helped considerably. One of his tips was that I should over-emphasise - and I have found this certainly paid off "several times”

AO: Any more advice?

SH: I really can’t emphasise enough the value in joining a club like WAVES if you’re
serious and want to improve. To this end, we need more clubs for Audio Visual
enthusiasts in our area. I am trying to work on creating one, perhaps based in the Exeter
area?
I’m always thinking about different ways of producing a new sequence. For instance, how
can I make the images interesting? What sort of story shall I tell? AV Competitions such
as the RPS National and International ones are valuable as they give so much inspiration
and ideas. It really is a case of “getting out there”. Go to meetings. Talk to people. Go to demonstrations and see other AVs. Sitting at home will get you nowhere!

AO: Now - please give us an idea of the stress and tension involved with an adjudication
like the PAGBs? With only 7 MPAGBs in the UK in this discipline, suggests it is very, very
hard to achieve?

SH: I was certainly very nervous over the weekend. The Adjudications were being held
by the PAGB at Wantage Camera Club at Steventon, Oxfordfordshire on 22 May 2016.
There were five judges, three of whom were experienced AV workers, and two who were
international judges for photographic prints or DPI. The first day was for the CPAGBs.
There were seven passes out of the 14 applicants. The second day saw five DPAGB
entries.
By this time, I was getting worried. I was the last of the day and the only entry for an
MPAGB/AV. At the start of the proceedings on the first day, it was stressed that
photography was important. I knew that I had no problems there, but wasn’t so sure about
my techniques - in story telling, video use, sound etc.
The first judge stood up and said how stunning my images were, was moved by one of the
AVs, and enjoyed the humour in another. I relaxed a little!
The second judge also gave me some excellent comments. Then the Chairman of the panel stood up and gave his remarks. He just gave a couple of niggling points on my
presentation - so that heightened my nerves!
The judges then had to have a joint discussion - so more waiting! Finally, an announcement was made.
“Unfortunately, this afternoon we are unable to award . . . (with a pause) any D’s” The
tension in me grew!Then it went on
“But fortunately, we do have an MPAGB/AV Distinction”.
Mine was the only submission in that class - so I knew it was mine!! But I still couldn’t
believe it!!
After loads of hugs and handshakes, Linda Gibbs, a very well known AV worker told me
that there were only seven people in the UK who had been awarded this distinction - and
that she, Linda and husband Edgar Gibbs were the last persons to get the award in 2012.
I made number 8!

AO: Wow, Sheila! What a thrill! Thank you so much for sharing your journey with us.
Let’s hope it inspires others to give this wonderful hobby a try?
What next for you, though?

SH: Goodness knows!!

Ann Owens.
Publicity Officer for the WCPF
In conversation with Sheila Haycox ARPS : ARPS/AV : DPAGB/AV : MPAGB/AV
May 2016.


NEWS FEBRUARY 2016


Review of Meeting on Feb 13th 2016

We were delighted to welcome Ian Bateman FRPS APAGB AV-AFIAP as our speaker for the day. It is some time since Ian visited us and his expertise gives new incentives to members of every level.

As Ian had other commitments later in the day we altered our usual timetable and devoted the morning to Ian’s work.

He invited us on a visual journey of something old and something new. Starting with early sequences which had been made from slides and leading up to modern digital work, Ian commented throughout on his work. Never unwilling to say “I would do this differently now” Ian led us through the sequences teaching as he went.

We started in America where a stroll through woods to Mirror Lake turned into an uphill hike to reach the lake – the reflections were well worth it.
This was followed by a trip to Seattle to visit the Glass Museum dedicated to artist Dale Chilily. His amazing sculptures were very special. I, for one, want to go there!

We visited the unique wild life of Kangaroo Island of Australia’s south coast and then came back to Europe via Hong Kong.

Barcelona is a known attraction for most photographers but further along the coast Palau de Musica was a hidden secret brought to life by Ian’s mixture of family, club and show work. I think his hidden haven may soon be invaded!

Back to Paris the Promenade de Plante is a section of disused railway line turned in to an elevated walkway with a very different viewpoint of central Paris. Then we visited the Opera House for the true story of the Phantom. Did you know that one of the architects refused to leave the opera house when it was finished and spent the rest of his life living in the back corridors? And yes, from inside the building you can get to the sewers that run underneath.




Finally we returned to England to the light sculptures set up every year at Waddesdon Manor near Aylesbury.

This was a full and entertaining morning leaving us all with plenty to think about.
Thank you Ian.

After a late lunch we returned to a quick discussion about a sound system. We agreed that it would be useful as when speakers are talking from the computer table they cannot always be heard clearly by people sitting behind them. However it is difficult to justify the expense for only four meetings a year and arrangements have been made to borrow one from a local Probus Society.

There was also a discussion started on a new form of associate membership for people living to far away to travel to Trowbridge regularly. This was opened to the club for ideas but will be discussed fully at the AGM.

We finished the day with the attendees sequences and we were glad to have Linda and Edgar Gibbs visiting as guests. Their input is always very welcome by members. A discussion had started on what constituted “Photo Harmony” and Linda and Edgar were able to clarify this for us. Linda has since sent us a definition which I append to this news letter.

1 Victoria Falls by Sue Winkworth.
A first experiment in Photo Harmony This documented a trip to the Zambian side of Victoria Falls.

2 Avebury by Roger Bryan
The mystical stones of Avebury.
A compilation of images of Avebury Stone Circle taken over a three year period.

3 Life in Myanmar by Sheila Haycox
Depicting the different way of life of the Burmese and their economy


4 Welcome to London shown by Sue Latham on behalf of her grandson aged 12.
My grandson, Mace, had a school project (individually not as a group) to produce an AV of a favourite place in a way that would encourage tourists to visit. He chose London. He could use photos and media from the internet and had to put it to music. I was amazed at how sophisticated his AV was, particularly his fades, special effects and the timing of images to music. I asked him about the production and he thought the most difficult bit was learning to use the software. Stripping the music from an existing video and timing the photos to the beat. The software used was Adobe Fireworks.

5 Crianlarich to Glen Coe by Joe McNeilage
One of my favourite walking areas. Part of the West Highland Way.

6 Sydney by John Long
One from John’s archives.

The next meeting is on 14 May 2016 and is our AGM. This will be followed by the annual challenge which this year is “Seven Deadly Sins”
Although you voted for it the early indications are that it has become a challenge too far for most of our brains so there is likely to be plenty of time for ordinary sequences as well.

I think that is all for now.
Best wishes to all

Brenda S.

Addendum

Photo Harmony
Photo Harmony is intended to demonstrate skill in the production and visual progression of still images linked to sound. No words or story with a specific beginning, middle and ending are required. The emphasis is on matching the images with appropriate transitions and harmonising them with the sound. Video clips are not allowed in the sequence.
Techniques
The purpose is to display a set of images which harmonise with each other and with the sound used. The sequence should be constructed so that images progress harmoniously in terms of colour or tone and graphic design. The aim is not to display images which may be excellent when considered individually but which fail to harmonise with each other and with the sound chosen. It is recommended that the sound and the images start and finish together and that the original ending of the music is preserved rather than an arbitrary fade-out.
As with all techniques, digital manipulation can easily be overdone and result in an effect counter-productive to the one intended. Such modifications should be carefully matched to the overall concept being communicated by the images.