Last week’s meeting: My Photography with Dave Belcher, followed by members’ Show and Tell

Last week’s meeting: My Photography with Dave Belcher, followed by members’ Show and Tell


Dave started his talk with superb shots of birds: owls, gannets fighting over food, ospreys lifting off the water with a catch, Olly the cuckoo at a secret location near Guildford (first sighting of a cuckoo this season!), a magnificent sea eagle, snowy owl, a group of oyster catchers perfectly composed, puffins from Skomer Island, and more. It was a dazzling display of bird photography which was mainly shot using a f/2.8 300mm with a 1.4 converter. These shots were followed up with images of seals on the beach near Horsey in Norfolk. Check out Dave’s wildlife photography here.


Next up were fun shot’s of his daughter-in-law’s dog running by the sea chasing a ball, it was pure joy on four legs, which didn’t touch the wet sand.


Action photography was his next theme: Some years ago Dave was commissioned to photograph a squash tournament in Abingdon, he also had to the run the Public Address system, so multi-tasking was the order of the day. His photography did not appear to be affected by the double roles.


He then showed action shots of sledging in the snow, dragon boat racing, cycle racing. Shutter speeds were the key element to getting the right sense of movement. Dealing with distractions were also something to overcome. Steam engines can look impressive, but not when you have dozens of people in shot with their phones held up high. Dave managed to position himself in such a way to avoid the crowds of smart phone snappers in his shots.


Avoiding messy backgrounds was something of a theme with his next set of images of horse riding and Isle of Man TT motorbike racing. Speedway racing had its own challenge of getting the sense movement, but Dave got shots of the bikes with that elusive sense of speed. Salon car racing at Goodwood gave the challenge of panning, shutter speed and those pesky spectators that are always there when you want to take a shot.


A place where the spectators are rarely to be seen is the sky, and Dave showed great images of aircraft in flight. Perfect pairing of Spitfire and Hurricane in flight, looking like the perfect tribute to ‘the few’. He had breathtakingly perfect cross-over of two Red Arrows display jets and a lots of miraculous shots of other display teams with their colourful smoke trails. One of many that stood out was a shot of a Korean display team, presumably the southern type.


Dave ended with shots taken at what is called the Mach Loop in Wales near Machynlleth. This is where military planes pass by at incredible speeds in a valley surrounding by high hills that give vantage points to capture them on camera. Some stunning photography. He also showed videos of the ‘show’ which you can see here and here. See Dave’s aviation images here.


You can browse Dave’s various themes of images from here.


In the second half of the evening there was a show and tell and several members showed some of their recent images within the very short time slot of five minutes allocated.

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Oxford Photographic Society