Hello everyone.

I am afraid that I begin on a very sad note indeed.

It was with great sorrow that I learned of the recent death of one of our staunchest of members, Ted Baldry.

Ted had not had an easy time since the passing of his wife, Shirley. It was through them, in their respective career roles in teaching, that I was introduced to TPS, so I have much to thank them for but, that in itself makes the situation more acutely sorrowful.

Ted's health had been a big concern for all those who knew him and saw him regularly, but with the help of his friends and carers he seemed to be coping a little better just recently. Sadly, it appears that this was not the case and he was re-admitted into hospital where he died.

We send our condolences to his relatives - brother Russell and daughters, Bridget and Stephanie - and their respective families.

I was also sorry to learn that John McGuiness's father had passed away and our thoughts are with John and his family at this sad time.

On a happier note, I welcomed my first grandchild into the world in the middle of July. Eadlin Abigail Poole weighed in at 10lbs 1oz and both Beth (who was a member here briefly when she lived in Whitley Bay - some may remember her) and daughter are doing very well.

Last Friday evening I attended the "ART with the Big Open Heart" charity event in the Exchange Buildings in North Shields. Members of our Art Group had donated some of their work to help raise funds for Save The Children. There were also some photographs from a couple of our club members on display too - one of which had already sold in the first hour of the first night of the exhibition! There were some super items on sale and in the auction and I do hope they raise a good sum of money for this very worthy cause.

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Summer is well and truly here now and even the weather seems to have improved. There is a plethora of free activities to enjoy around and about in our area and all provide an interesting platform for photography - The Mouth of the Tyne Festival, The Folk Train, Cullercoats Harbour Day, The Wandering Ukulele Players and most recently at South Shields in Bent's Park - free Sunday concerts. I thoroughly enjoyed listening to Lindisfarne and the Proclaimers with a cool glass of ale in my hand and occasionally snapping a quick shot as I "people watched" in the sun!

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So, if you are able to, get out and about and take some holiday snaps. Then you will all be a ready to help Margaret and Graham out with their new Club enterprise on Monday afternoons. The first of these new sessions is going to revolve round "Holiday Snaps" and it would be good if some existing members could go along and support them. More about this later...

I wish you all a good holiday, hopefully with lots of sunshine for what's left of our summer. I shall not be at the first couple of meetings at the beginning of the new season as we have my younger daughter's wedding and then a holiday (to recover), but I am all set for the Presidential on the 22nd September, so see you all then.

Kind regards, Sarah

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Around the time that you receive this edition, you will also receive two copies of the Syllabus for 2016-17. One copy is for you and the other for a potential new member. Among the items to look out for are:-

On the Video Film-making Group programme:-

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 Summer Outings

30th June. Two of your editors turned out on what turned out to be a dull and eventually wet evening. Here are the photos to prove they were there.

"Waiting for more TPS Members" by Stan + Two others by Howard

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On July 14th six members visited Seaham. John Burton reports:

This was my first visit here and I thoroughly enjoyed it. It was a great idea of Jennifer's and to incorporate a talk by George at the Lifeboat Museum. I don't think there was anything he did not know about the old lifeboat, and he had obviously been heavily involved from the beginning with its rebuilding and refurbishment. He had every right to be so enthusiastic about such a beautiful restoration of what was once a very important lifesaving vessel. After our talk 6 of us had ample time for taking photographs and video in absolutely lovely weather. One or two of us needed our sunhats! The plentiful car parks were FREE right on the sea front, what more could anyone want? Ah yes, an ice cream. My rum and raisin was strongly flavoured and had loads of fruit more like the size of plums. I'll certainly go back again, er, not just for the ice cream!!!

John Burton

The George Elmy

Blyth Harbour 28th July. A wet evening and so far as we are aware, no one ventured to Blyth.

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 Summer News / Events

Other events:

There are many other events mentioned on our web site. Please do look at the events page.

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 Group Reports

 Art Group

Our next meeting is August 3rd. Then our summer exhibition on Saturday and Sunday of the bank holiday weekend including WW1 room downstairs. Hanging will be on Friday 26th unless you hear otherwise. The summer competition will be judged by public visitors at this event.

 Record Group

In conjunction with the Art Group, the Record Group will be staging their annual exhibition on 27/28th August. If anyone is able to act as a steward for 2 hours on either day, please contact Stan. Your club needs YOU.

In any case, please pop in to have a look at the work and support the Art Group as well.

 Nature Group

No news.

 Video Film-making Group

No news.

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 People & Places

Margaret Warren has been to Greenland and Denmark. The first picture is of an iceberg filled fjord in Greenland. The other two show the spire of Our Saviours Church, Copenhagen, which Margaret climbed, with the last part of the ascent being on the outside. [My feet have gone funny. Ed H]

Thomas Heaton had a two page article in the July edition of Outdoor Photography. Titled "A Quick Guide to.. Using Video and Social Media". Well worth a look if you can find a copy.

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Howard and Dorothy have been to Bristol for their son's 40th birthday, then on to Telford to visit Ironbridge Gorge, Blists Hill Museum and the National Memorial Arboretum outside Lichfield. Last Friday they visited The Rail Museum at Shildon and saw the Flying Scotsman.

Kilver Garden, Shepton Mallet Somerset

Blist Hill Museum

National Memorial Arboretum

Flying Scotsman

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TPS Afternoon Group, starting on Monday 26th September.

Earlier in the year I suggested to the committee that it might be worth while trying to set up a photographic group meeting in the afternoon. My idea was that it might appeal to people interested in photography, but who do not want attending meetings which involve leaving home on dark, cold winter evenings to travel on public transport, or to look for a car parking space on Front Street. Ok, the parking problem would be just as bad, but the Club Rooms are easily accessible by bus and Metro during the day. It was agreed that we should give it a go and as I suggested the idea, the project has landed in my lap. I am really grateful to Graham Relf who has offered to help with the technical side of things. I'm OK with tea and cake, but malfunctioning computers cause my blood pressure to rise.

The plan is for the activities of the group to be driven by the interests of its members, but could include a fortnightly photographic challenge, the results of which being shown at the next meeting and some basic instruction on image enhancement. There would be the possibility of afternoon group outings. I am envisaging meetings to be quite informal and the atmosphere to be non competitive.

I hope that eventually, we will attract new members to the main club, but realise that the activities of a traditional photographic society are not for everyone.

Our first meeting is to be on Monday, 26th September at 2pm in the Club Rooms. Meetings are to be fortnightly and will not require the normal T.P.S. annual subscription. Non members are to pay £2 a session. There will be no charge for fully paid up T.P.S. members. Refreshments are to be available at 50p to all.

At the moment I am working on ideas of how to advertise this new venture, so even if you are not interested yourself, but know someone who might be, please spread the word. If you know how I can get some publicity in to the parish magazines of local churches, that would also be a help, as I'm having no luck finding magazine editors via church web sites.

If you do intend to come along on the 26th September, it would be great if you could bring along a few images taken this summer to share with everyone.

Margaret Warren

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 Photographing the Night Sky - 2

by Graham Relf

At our latitude it begins to get astronomically dark around 1am BST from the beginning of August and darkness gets earlier quite rapidly from then on. As mentioned last time, you can find the times of each stage of twilight on a web site called The Photographer's Ephemeris.

By the 12th of August, the peak of the Perseid meteor shower, it becomes feasible to do some astrophotography at a reasonable hour (10:30pm-ish). It also becomes possible to photograph the Milky Way, which will be at its best from this date into September.

 Perseid meteors

In August every year we go through a dust trail left by comet 109P/Swift-Tuttle. Many meteors (shooting stars) can usually be seen. They appear to come from the direction of the constellation Perseus and so this is called the Perseid meteor shower. It is one of the most reliable annual showers. Perseids can be seen from 23rd July to 20th August but a strong peak is expected in the early hours of 13th August, when there may be up to about 100 meteors per hour.

As it gets dark on the evening of Friday 12th August, Perseus will have recently risen in the east and this year the moon, 2 days past first quarter, will be bright in the south but sets before 1am. It is not necessary to wait for Perseus to be high in the sky. Simply look upwards from there, around Cassiopeia (the W shape) and to the right, Andromeda and Pegasus (the large square of 4 bright stars). It is no good pointing directly at Perseus because the meteors from there would be coming head on towards you and so you would not see them. The free program Stellarium ( will show you where to look if you are not sure.

To photograph the meteors you need to set the camera on a tripod to monitor a large patch of sky. Use the widest angle lens you have, focal length 50mm at most. A series of long exposures will be needed, in the hope of catching the random meteors. A compromise will be needed between ISO sensitivity and exposure duration in order to avoid fogging the image, particularly if shooting from light-polluted suburbia. Here are some settings which I know can work:

In 2007 I was successful from Whitley Bay using a 24mm lens at f/4, ISO 400, 30s exposures. The camera was pointing at Cygnus, about 90 degrees away from Perseus. I took 80 exposures and recorded 4 meteors. That was before midnight - I may have got more results later.

In 2013 I was in the North Pennines, away from light pollution and so able to use higher ISO. I successfully used a 15mm fisheye lens to cover most of the sky at f/2.8, ISO 800 and again 30s exposures (185 of them).

If you take short enough exposures that the stars do not trail, my own image processing program, GRIP, is able to search though all the images to look for streaks that look like meteors and display each one in a small window, also producing a table of where each candidate is located and in which image. (It will also find satellite trails but you would soon see the difference: meteors do not have constant width along the track.) GRIP is free to download from and if needed I will help anyone to install and run it.

 The Milky Way

Now that it gets truly dark around midnight it is becoming possible to photograph the Milky Way from here. You do really need to get out of town for enough darkness. Look upwards towards the south to see the large cross-shaped constellation of Cygnus through which the Milky Way runs as a faint band, down to the horizon. The most interesting part is downwards from Cygnus and this is at its highest just after dark from late August into September. Again use your widest lens (50mm or less), camera on a tripod for a series of longish exposures (10 - 30s) at high ISO (e.g., 6400). Yes, high ISO means noisy (grainy) images but by stacking a long series together most of the noise averages out. My GRIP software can do the job.

Part of the Milky Way with a Perseid meteor below. Cropped from a single frame at ISO 1600. Canon 5D2 + Sigma 15mm fish-eye lens, f/2.8, 30s. 2013 Aug 12

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 New web site

As you know, Graham Relf has been working on our new website and we hope you have been looking at it.

We now have a new domain name - and it will be going live to the general public shortly.

One thing that Graham wishes to develop, is new galleries of members' work. Please let him have a few pictures, if you wish you participate - and we hope you will. Images should be JPEG, with maximum side 550px but Graham will resize if necessary. Also include a self portrait or something to use in the gallery index (135 x 200px). All described on the galleries page.

Please get used to looking at the web site on a frequent basis.

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That is it for this year [Film-Pack-wise].

Brexit happened and the ground shook. May became PM one afternoon. There was an almighty musical chairs and the "Cameron" Clan were generally left without one. BoJo came, went and reappeared. He was as surprised as us. The Eagle, like some other circling hawks, landed before she really took off. Corbyn an air of calm.

The England Football team petered out as seemed to be expected but now Sam is the man. The Welsh Dragon however, roared. There are also comings and goings at Newcastle United but I'm not sure what they are as the club is in the Championship now and no longer makes the news or main newspapers. I do know that Cisse has become a Chinese takeaway and another player, whose name I cannot spell, has been sold to Liverpool.

The new power station at Hinkley Point, which was to provide 7% of the nation's power has been put on hold and at the time of writing May or May not happen.. Plant your Chinese lanterns now.

A new Premier Inn is being built in Whitley Bay, next to the Dome. It won't have any parking except for disabled. Welcome to North Tyneside.

The latest Canon EOS magazine has an article about the resurgence of film photography, pointing out that film will capture pastel colours in particular, better than a digital sensor. Well, what can we say? So, I found an Agfa slide film, got my 23yr old EOS 100 out of its bag and found that the surface has gone all sticky, so I would have to put it into a polythene bag to use it. That's if I could get a battery. Aye well. On the other hand a 50yr old Voigtlander seems like new, as does a 40 yr old Petri 7S.

Seriously: Please support your Group at TPS and try to come along no matter what. If you know anyone who may be interested in a particular group or evening, please encourage them to come along. Remember also that if you know anyone who might enjoy a particular speaker or subject, please bring them along too.

Do volunteer for our first evening and for October 6th.

Any errors and omissions are purely accidental.

Your editors are:- Jennifer Cowley, Stan Bewick, Howard Wilson

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