An Evening of Photographic History – W.W.Winter Ltd

This month we were delighted to welcome our first guest of the 2017/18 membership year.

Jane Middleton-Smith archivist at W.W.Winter Ltd took us back in time through her fascinating presentation, from the birth of Walter William Winter in 1842 to his death in 1925, his acquisition and relocation of the business in 1867, where Winters continues as a photographic studio to this day.

While this year has marked the 150th anniversary of the opening of the studio with a superb exhibition at Derby Museums in conjunction with Format International Photography Festival,  it is 165 years since French photographer Emmanuel Charles first established a photographic business on Midland Road in Derby, which Walter Winter then took over on Charles’ death moving the business across the road, giving them claim to being the longest running photographic studio in the world.

Ockbrook enjoyed looking at some very old photographs many restored from glass plates, a fantastic archive of memories, through the continuing preservation of Winter’s collection of photographs and negatives, supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund.

More information on the work both past and present of this Derby photographic studio can be found on their website link

Beyond Limits – Chatsworth

To round off our evening there was a short presentation of images from nine members of Ockbrook, who recently enjoyed a pleasant day out at Chatsworth with their cameras.

With favourable light and weather conditions which improved as the day went on, the group wandered by the river before heading to the gardens for the sculptures, all set within a beautiful landscape full of photo opportunities.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.







The Experience of Creating Images with Vanda Ralevska

This month’s meeting brought closure to our fantastic 2016/17 membership year, and what better way to finish the season than with our very special professional guest from London, Vanda Ralevska.

What an absolute pleasure and privilege it was to welcome Vanda to Ockbrook and for everyone to be captivated not only by her presence but also her ‘photographic journey’, through some absolutely stunning imagery and thought provoking words.

Whether Vanda is walking in her local park, in the hills, by the sea, or in the City, she has an extraordinary eye, as she is drawn to the smallest of detail and the widest of views. Even on the streets of London, she gives us an insight into the beauty of life beyond that as we may know it. Her images are very poetic in themselves, and yet her use of words alongside some of her work adds another dimension to her art.

I like those moments in time, when everything goes quiet, my heartbeat gets faster, I take a deep breath and the time stops…until the shutter clicks, and the moment that took my breath away is preserved…forever…” VR.

Please read Vanda’s story Life Behind The Lens for yourselves, enjoy her beautiful photography and poetic language by browsing through her inspirational website.

Vanda’s award winning photography has been published and exhibited widely both in the UK and overseas.

Making Waves

All images copyright Vanda Ralevska

It is an illusion that photos are made with the camera…they are made with the eye, heart and head” Henri Cartier-Bresson

A quote from Vanda’s website and one to leave you to think about…

To our friends and supporters, have a wonderful Summer, as we look forward to returning in September, when we will be entering our 10th year together as a Club…now that has to be worth some kind of celebration!

Ockbrook and Borrowash Image Club





Perfecting the Print: An insight into printing and colour management with Doug Chinnery

Our village hall was once again full to capacity on Monday evening, when we welcomed back to Ockbrook our friend…professional photographer, teacher, writer and printing specialist Doug Chinnery. This is Doug’s third visit to our club and he never disappoints.

With an all round wealth of knowledge, each visit has brought with it an evening of learning at a level of understanding for everyone, making his presentations not only enjoyable but beneficial for all those attending.

This time Doug talked at some length to us about ‘perfecting the print’ through image preparation.  As a teacher of printing and colour management for the Fotospeed Academy, he also demonstrated through his stunningly beautiful images, how different photographic papers can have such varying results on output, a very important part of the creative process.

According to his website, Doug claims to have not won any awards, but it’s difficult to understand why, as he is such an accomplished artist, and very modest with it. He writes for a number of magazines including Outdoor Photography and On Landscape, and has also exhibited in a number of galleries. In addition to running his own very busy programme of workshops, he is also a leader for Charlie Waites Light & Land Photography Tour Company.

As you can imagine we felt very privileged indeed to be able to spend an evening with him, and wouldn’t hesitate in recommending him to your group…thanks Doug, we look forward to number four!

Please do take a look at Doug’s website when you have a few minutes to sit back and enjoy his work, but in the meantime a small selection to whet your appetite has been included in our post.

Moments In Nature – An evening of wildlife with award winning professional Ben Hall

It was an absolute great pleasure to welcome professional landscape and wildlife photographer Ben Hall to Ockbrook on Monday, when for the first time in the history of the club, it was standing room only for what was to become an unforgettable evening for us all.

Ben is an extremely talented and accomplished artist who has won multiple awards for his quite superb photography, and Ockbrook were in awe, captivated by his presentation, as one by one his stunning images were revealed to us on the big screen.

© Ben Hall – Mute swan at dawn

As Ben explained, pre-visualising the composition plays an important role in his work, and while we thoroughly enjoyed seeing the final results, it was clear that in order to achieve these perfect ‘moments in nature’ it must takes hours of dedication, hard work, patience and understanding of not only the light, but also the habits and movement of his subjects.

Ben’s unassuming modesty and passion for his art was evident throughout the whole evening, as he delighted us with wonderful stories from the UK and around the world, while at the same time sharing very useful tips on camera skills and framing techniques.

A truly inspirational evening of photography to aspire to. Thank you Ben, we will look forward to welcoming you back to Ockbrook again very soon.

As well as successfully running workshops both at home and overseas, Ben also regularly contributes to magazines and has co-written and illustrated The Wildlife Photography Workshop, which as the title suggests offers a complete wildlife photography course in book form. For more details, please do take a moment to enjoy his website…

© Ben Hall – Sea eagles fighting