Joint Winners of The Plate at PAGB Print Championships 2013
26th October 2013
Catchlight Camera Club was very proud to represent NIPA at the PAGB Print Championships at Connahs Quay on the mainland on Saturday 26 October. Only the top clubs from each member Federation get to enter this event, and Catchlight was the only club from NI taking part.

We put in the best performance ever by a Club from NIPA, coming 11th out of the 37 Clubs taking part overall, and just missing out on a place in the Final by 6 points!
Then we were joint winners of The Plate Competition, which requires 5 Prints, including 2 images which were not used in Round 1!

To cap it all, Ross McKelvey was awarded a PAGB Gold Medal for Top Mono print for 'Subway Muscle' and Bob Given was awarded a Judge's Medal by Des Clinton for 'Wet Jumper.'

All 12 prints used in Round 1 came from 8 individual Club members, all of whom have achieved Photographic Distinctions. The 12 prints in Round 1 of the main competition and their scores were as follows:

1. The Shepherd by Hugh Wilkinson CPAGB - 11 points

2. Damselfly by Valerie McKee LIPF - 12 points

3. Geordie Tuft by Martin Courtney AIPF - 12 points

4. Wet Jumper by Bob Given DPAGB LBIPP BPE1* - 14 points

5. La Defence Reflected by Paul Hanley LRPS - 9 points

6. Subway Muscle by Ross McKelvey MPAGB AFIAP BPE3* - 15 points

7. Krossfjorden Spitsbergen by Anne Given CPAGB - 11 points

8. Lone Bull Bison by Bob Given DPAGB LBIPP BPE1* - 12 points

9. Land of Giants by Hugh Wilkinson CPAGB - 10 points

10. Fionnuala by Melissa Gordon LIPF - 11 points

11. One Black One, One White One by Ross McKelvey MPAGB AFIAP BPE3* - 12 points

12. Pat by Bob Given DPAGB LBIPP BPE1* - 14 points

The Winning Plate Entry:

1. Subway Muscle by Ross McKelvey MPAGB AFIAP BPE3* - 15 points

2. Oliver by Melissa Gordon LIPF - 11 Points

3. Wet Jumper by Bob Given DPAGB LBIPP BPE1* - 15 points

4. Pat by Bob Given DPAGB LBIPP BPE1* - 14 points

5. Stephen by Ross McKelvey MPAGB AFIAP BPE3* - 13 points

NIPA Round 1 Results 2013/14
24th October 2013
Catchlight Camera Club Members managed a total of 5 Starred images in Round 1 of the NIPA inter-club competition!

1. Land of Giants by Hugh Wilkinson CPAGB

2. La Defence Reflected by Paul Hanley LRPS

3. Yellowstone Fox by Bob Given DPAGB LBIPP

4. Tony by Caroline Hughes

5. Cathy by Anto Dargan

BPE1 award for Bob Given
17th October 2013
Following another 8 acceptances in the Dingwall Salon (1 Mono, 3 Colour, 2 Nature and 2 Travel) Bob has qualified for the BPE1 award.
Congratulations Bob.

British Photographic Exhibitions (Opens link in new window)
More Exhibition Success
17th October 2013
Congratulations to Ross for achieving 9 acceptances and a PSA Ribbon in the Tallaght International Salon. He followed this up with 11 acceptances, 1 medal, 2 Highly Commended and 3 Commended images in the Yardley National Exhibition.
Double Success in Shrewsbury
10th October 2013
Congratulations to Bob Given and Ross McKelvey from Catchlight Camera Club, for their recent success in the Shrewsbury National Open Exhibition 2013. The Shrewsbury Exhibition is one of the many Salons on the British Photographic Exhibitions (BPE) Circuit, attracting entries from all over the UK. Ross won a PAGB Silver Medal for his image 'Moody Hoody' and Bob won a PAGB Silver Medal for 'Loose Ball' and two Commended ribbons from his 8 acceptances.
Hugh Wilkinson also managed an impressive 5 acceptances.

Well done guys!

Wed 9 October - Guest Speaker Charles McQuillan from Pacemaker Intnl
06th October 2013
This week we have a guest speaker - Charles McQuillan, Press Photographer of the Year, from Pacemaker International.
Charles will give a presentation and talk on his award winning work as a Press Photographer in Northern Ireland!

Guests welcome
Ross McKelvey MPAGB - Passion for Prints - Guests welcome
26th September 2013
On Wednesday 2nd October, Ross McKelvey MPAGB AFIAP BPE3* will give a presentation entitled 'Passion for prints' - showcasing a selection of his favourite prints as well as the first showing of his successful MPAGB panel of prints since being awarded the Distinction in April 2013 in Birmingham.

The MPAGB is the highest Distinction awarded by the Photographic Alliance of Great Britain, and requires 20 prints, all individually judged to the benchmark of 'the highest standard of UK amateur photography.' Ross was only the 2nd photographer from NI to gain the Distinction, after Colin Thompson MPAGB who gained the award some 16 years ago! It is hoped that Colin Thompson MPAGB will also be in attendance.

There will also be an opportunity to view a fabulous selection of prints from 10+ members of the Club which will form the Club panel of prints for the forthcoming UK Top Club Print Championships at Connahs Quay on 26 October.

Guests and friends welcome

Catchlight Camera Club
Valerie McKee LIPF
14th September 2013
Catchlight Camera Club is delighted to announce that Valerie McKee was successful with an LIPF Panel in Waterford today! Congratulations to Valerie for the hard work and effort involved in putting this varied panel together. The Judges commented very favourably, and congratulated Valerie on the great variety of subject matter and the layout of the panel.

The LIPF Panel of Valerie McKee:

Catchlight Camera Club now has 10 members with Distinctions!
*** Notice Regarding Membership **
28th August 2013
Prospective new members are invited to attend our opening night on Wednesday 4th September, to view a selection of the members photographs, and to hear a brief outline of what membership entails, and what the Club has to offer.

However please be aware that there is a cap on the total number of members. We currently have space for approximately 18-20 new members, with a maximum of 50 members in total. This is in the best interests of the Club as a whole.

If there are more potential new members than there are spaces available, then there will have to be a selection process, and unfortunately that will mean some people will be disappointed. We hate to turn people away, but 50 members is more than enough for a healthy camera club. The committee will be tasked with carrying out a fair selection process, trying to get a fair mix of beginner, intermediate and advanced photographers of mixed age and gender.

***If you are unsuccessful, you are still welcome to attend any of our guest speaker evenings during the season, and also to participate in Beginner Workshops if appropriate. Anyone participating in our beginner workshops, and/or attending guest speaker evenings, will be first in line for future membership vacancies.***

Catchlight Camera Club Committee
*** Catchlight Camera Club - 9 members with Distinctions ***
24th August 2013
Catchlight Camera Club has 9 individual members with photographic distinctions from the various photographic bodies throughout the UK & Ireland.

Distinctions are an extremely worthwhile exercise - they involve reaching a certain standard, and there are slight differences between them, but by and large there are 3 levels of Distinction - entry level, mid level and top level. For example the Royal Photographic Society's Distinctions are LRPS, ARPS and FRPS; the photographic alliance of GB awards a CPAGB, DPAGB and an MPAGB etc.

Catchlight Camera Club encourages its members to try to achieve these standards and distinctions, as they are very good for focussing the mind, and giving your photography a purpose. We hope to add to these numbers in the current season by giving members encouragement, opportunities and advice.

Our 9 members with Distinctions are:

Brendan Gallagher LRPS
Paul Hanley LRPS

Melissa Gordon LIPF
John Lawell LIPF

Martin Courtney AIPF

Hugh Wilkinson CPAGB
Anne Given CPAGB

Club Programme for 2013/14
07th June 2013
The full Programme for 2013/14 Season is now available on this website or by clicking the link herein.

The Committee are delighted to have such a full and varied programme, which has been designed to appeal to all tastes, and in particular, we have secured the attendance of several notable speakers for the new Season:

Bob Given DPAGB a Catchlight CC member

Charles McQuillan NI Press Photographer of the Year from Pacemaker Press International

Ciaran deBhal AIPF ARPS AFIAP from Dundalk PS

Gabriel O'Shaughnessy FRPS FIPF EFIAP/b from Dundalk PS

** Visitors from other Clubs, or friends of members, are always welcome at Catchlight Camera Club, particularly for guest speakers, to ensure a full house and a big welcome! However it is normal etiquette to let us know in advance that you wish to attend on any particular evening. Please do so by sending an e-mail to catchlightcameraclub[at] (On some occasions there may be a nominal cover charge)
EAPU Exhibition - Catchlight Strikes Gold, Silver & Bronze!
06th June 2013
The East Antrim Photographic Union Open Exhibition 2013 was held at Clarion Hotel, Carrickfergus on Tuesday 4 June. This is a digital projected images exhibition, and is currently the only Open exhibition organised in N.Ireland for amateur photographers. Catchlight members accounted for 44% of the final exhibition!

We are very proud to say that Catchlight Members did extremely well in the Exhibition - in particular our members won the Gold, Silver and Bronze Medals in the Colour Section - Star showing was Melissa Gordon LIPF who won the PAGB Gold Medal with 'Oliver;' Ross McKelvey MPAGB AFIAP won the PAGB Silver Medal with 'Poppyfields are Forever;' and Caroline Hughes won the Bronze Medal with 'India.'

1. PAGB Gold Medal - 'Oliver' by Melissa Gordon LIPF

2. PAGB Silver Medal - 'Poppyfields are Forever' by Ross McKelvey MPAGB AFIAP

3. PAGB Bronze Medal - 'India' by Caroline Hughes

4. Commended - 'Flying Tackle' by Hugh Wilkinson CPAGB

5. Commended - 'Fields of Blue' by Ross McKelvey MPAGB AFIAP

In the Mono Section, Ross McKelvey was awarded PAGB Silver and PAGB Bronze Medals for 'One Black One, One White One' and 'Subway Muscle' respectively.

6. PAGB Silver Medal - 'One Black One, One White One' by Ross McKelvey MPAGB AFIAP

7. PAGB Bronze Medal - 'Subway Muscle' by Ross McKelvey MPAGB AFIAP

8. PAGB Ribbon - 'The Round Window' by Paul Hanley LRPS

9. PAGB Ribbon - 'Stephen' by Ross McKelvey MPAGB AFIAP

10. Commended - 'Chicago Morning' by Paul Hanley LRPS

11. Commended - 'Seana' by Ross McKelvey MPAGB AFIAP

In total, Catchlight Camera Club had 41 images selected in the final 95 images comprising the exhibition - a 44% representation by Catchlight Camera Club!

A selection of other images from Catchlight members. which were accepted into the exhibition:

Brendan Gallagher LRPS:

John Lawell LIPF

Martin Courtney AIPF

Gary McCulloch

Melissa Gordon LIPF

Paul Jepps

Hugh Wilkinson CPAGB

Gerald Gribbon

Hugh Wilkinson CPAGB

Melissa Gordon LIPF

Gerald Gribbon:

AGM and Chairman's Report
29th May 2013
Catchlight Camera Club had its AGM on Wednesday 29 May, with a total of 21 members in attendance, and the following Club Officers were appointed for next Season:

Club Chairman - Ross McKelvey
Vice Chairman - Terry McCreesh
Treasurer - Liam O'Reilly
NIPA Rep - Gary McCulloch

Additional Committee Members:
Brendan Gallagher
Paul Jepps
Caroline Hughes
Melissa Gordon

The Chairman's Report was as follows:


This has been a difficult year in many respects, with forming a brand new Camera Club at very short notice, and trying to arrange a suitable venue but I am pleased to say that I believe everything is progressing nicely – we have a new base at Finaghy Community Centre, a base which will allow us to increase our membership and function more like a traditional camera club. My thanks to Kirth Ferris and Catchlight Studio for allowing us to use the studio as a temporary home until we got established.
In terms of competition, Catchlight did unbelievably well – coming an extremely close 2nd place in the overall Top Club Competition, winning the Mono Section by a considerable margin, and also winning the Novice Mono Section. The fact that our former Club BPIC finished 4th, and Catchlight 2nd, proves to me that the time was ripe for a new smaller Club. Essentially it proves what I have said all along, namely that a Club like BPIC could often have selected 2 or 3 full entries for any particular Round, and still compete at the Top of N.Ireland Camera Clubs.
I would like to thank everyone who has contributed to the smooth running of the Club in difficult circumstances, particularly when we did not have a proper programme, and were having problems staying much after 9.00pm at Conway Mill. Thankfully our new base is much more accommodating, allowing us to stay comfortably after 10pm. Thanks to all our Committee members for carrying out their various roles with diligence throughout the season.
My thanks to everyone who ensured that Catchlight’s standard of entry into the Inter Club Competitions, the Will McCrum Memorial Cup, as well as events like the NIPA Annual Exhibition, were maintained to a high standard. Our performance in the forthcoming East Antrim Open Exhibition remains to be seen, but approximately 10 members have already been notified that they have been successful in having something selected. Well done all!
I cannot fail to mention my own surprise and delight at obtaining the MPAGB award at Birmingham in April – the culmination of an ambition I have held ever since I first became aware of the PAGB Awards for Photographic Merit.

Going forward, we hope to arrange a full and varied programme for next Season, and potentially open the doors for a number of new members. It has been an interesting exercise running a club with limited numbers, but ultimately unless the majority of members attend on a regular basis, a low turn out does not do justice to the varied programme we provide, and what we are trying to achieve. The likelihood is therefore, that with a larger meeting room, we will invite and attract a larger membership next Year.
I encourage all of you to get involved in the management of the Club, and look to help those in charge organising the weekly meetings, events and competitions.
I believe we have a bright future as a Club, and I encourage you to make good use of the Summer Season to gather up plenty of material for next year’s competitions. In particular, it would be great to see more members go for photographic distinctions such as the LRPS, LIPF or CPAGB.

Chairman 2013
** First Season almost over **
12th May 2013
The inaugural season for Catchlight Camera Club has almost finished, and with only a couple of meetings left, the onus now switches to the appointment of Officers for next Season, and the preparation of a fresh programme of events for the new Season in September.

Catchlight Camera Club now has the use of a large meeting room at Finaghy Community Centre, and the likelihood is that we will be open to new members come September 2013. So if you are interested in joining us next Season, please register your interest now by using the 'contact' section of the Club website.

The Club came 2nd overall in the NIPA Top Club Competition, and won the Mono prints Section by a large margin, as well as the Novice Mono print Section. Other highlights of our first Season were the members' successes in the Will McCrum Cup; the NIPA Annual Exhibition; and the NIPA Top Print & PDI Competition.

With an expanding membership we hope to establish Catchlight Camera Club as one of the Province's top Clubs, with lots of opportunities to improve our members photography through competition and gaining distinctions. We currently have 8 members with Photographic Distinctions - from LIPF, LRPS, ARPS, and CPAGB up to MPAGB - all of whom will be only too glad to assist newcomers to Club Photography.

Catchlight Camera Club Committee
* Composite Competition *
08th May 2013
Catchlight Members were given the opportunity to photograph a subject against a plain background a couple of weeks ago, and then tasked with cutting out the subject and placing it into a 'sky' type background - to create a 'digital composite.' The exercise was aimed to demonstrate to members that digital composites can be relatively easily achieved by people of all levels in photoshop - even with 'fur' and long strands of hair to be selected.
The starting point - just a model against a plain background:

The competition was won by photoshop wizard Gerald Gribbon, with John Lawell coming a close 2nd. The variety of the composites was great to see, and hopefully members will now become more confident in what they can create in photoshop from their pictures.

The winning composite by Gerald Gribbon:

Second Place John Lawell:

Other entries:

Catchlight Photographer of the Year
02nd May 2013
On Wednesday 1st May, we held the Photographer of the Year Competition, with each member entitled to enter one mono print and one colour print. All images had to have been taken on or after 7th March when the competition was announced. The judge for the evening was Bob Given DPAGB LBIPP from Ballynahinch Camera Club, who provided excellent feedback and critique for all the images. In the Advanced Section, 3rd place was shared by Melissa Gordon LIPF and Paul Hanley LRPS; 2nd place was Ross McKelvey MPAGB BPE3*, and the overall winner was Martin Courtney AIPF.
In the Novice section it was a tie between Dean Irvine and Keith Wilson, with Dean Irvine winning the judge's final nod to be the Catchlight Camera Club Novice of the Year.

In the mono print section, 3rd place went to Melissa Gordon LIPF :

2nd Place was Martin Courtney AIPF :

And 1st place was Ross McKelvey MPAGB BPE3* :

The Top Novice Mono print was a tie between Keith Wilson and Matt McHugh.

Keith Wilson:

In the Colour Section, several people were in third place.
2nd place went to Dean Irvine :

1st place went to Martin Courtney AIPF :

In joint third place overall was Paul Hanley LRPS with the following 2 images:

** You Tube Tutorial - Dodge & Burn **
30th April 2013
An excellent tutorial on burn and dodge technique, using curves:

** MPAGB Success **
22nd April 2013
Catchlight Camera Club is thrilled to announce that Ross McKelvey has been awarded the MPAGB Distinction at Birmingham on Sunday 21 April! The MPAGB (Master of the Photographic Alliance of Great Britain) is the highest accolade available to a Club Photographer - and this is only the second time the Distinction has been achieved by a N.Ireland photographer.

20 prints were judged by 6 Judges according to the 'highest standard of UK Photography' with an overall pass mark required of 450 points. Unlike a Fellowship application, where 20 prints are submitted as a single panel, with the MPAGB, the 20 prints are viewed and scored independently of each other. Ross scored 457 points, with every single image scoring in the range 20 - 28 points.

The Top Scoring Print was 'Stephen' with 28 points, which reflected its success at National & International level:

Likewise, 2 prints which between them have won numerous FIAP & PAGB Medals scored 26 and 24 respectively, 'Seana' and 'Subway Muscle':

'Out of the Blue' and 'Rough Justice' scored 25 points:

The entire panel can be viewed on his website at the following link:
** A Close Call - NIPA Round 5 Results **
20th March 2013
Catchlight Camera Club capped an amazing inaugural season by coming a close 2nd out of the 25 participating camera Clubs, in the NIPA inter-Club Competition, when the Results of the 5th and final Round were announced at Dungannon Camera Club on Wednesday 20 March. Dungannon & Cookstown Club has to be congratulated for the professional manner in which they hosted the final NIPA Round of the Season - an excellent venue, fantastic display system for the prints, and a very generous spread of sandwiches, buns and biscuits for the travelling guests. Thankfully their considerable efforts were rewarded with a great turnout. 9 Catchlight members were in attendance.

Catchlight won the Trophy for the Mono prints Section by a massive 21.5 points, and also won the Novice Mono print Section. Congratulations to everyone in the Club for their efforts during the Season's competition - and congratulations to the Winning Club - CBPPU.

3 Catchlight members got Starred images in Round 5 'Documentary' - all in mono prints. Unfortunately our Colour print and PDI's did not score as well as we would have liked, and we finished 2nd overall, a mere 6.5 points behind CB! Our final total was a hugely creditable 503 points - averaging 100+ per Round - a tally out of the reach of most Clubs. As the Club gets more established in its new base, and steadily increases its membership, we hope to give the Top Club title another good shot next Season!

Ross McKelvey ARPS DPAGB BPE3*
Catchlight Chairman

Starred Mono print - 'Caring' by John Agnew LIPF

Starred Mono print - 'Teenage Kicks' by Kirth Ferris

Starred Mono print - 'Eyes Front' by Novice Member Gary McCulloch

Some of the Clubs's other entries in the 'Documentary Round' -

'Room for One' by Tommy Dickson - a mere 9 points!

'Recreational Rioter' by Gary McCulloch - an incredibly low 8 points for an excellent story telling image. (Would the score have been different if the Judges knew the title? It certainly went down a storm at the Round 5 presentation at Dungannon!)

'Against the Flow' by Gary McCulloch - 10 points

'Sardana' by Paul Hanley LRPS - 9 points!

'Alaoir Fiesta' by Liam O'Reilly - 11 points

The remaining images from the Round 5 entry:

Dark Days' by Tommy Dickson:

'Fijian Baptism' by Paul Jepps:

'A Hard bed' by Paul Hanley LRPS:

'Alaoir Window' by Liam O'Reilly

** 2 FIAP Gold Medals **
07th March 2013
Catchlight Chairman Ross mcKelvey ARPS DPAGB has been awarded 2 FIAP Gold Medals in the Great British Small Print Circuit 2013, as well as an Honourable Mention Award.

The winning prints are shown below:

One White One, One Black One - FIAP Gold Medal

Subway Muscle - FIAP Gold Medal

Geraldo - Honourable Mention