Meet the Committee

Rod Smith - Website

Rod Smith


Chairman: Rod Smith (Telephone 0191 236 7839)
My love of photography comes with the challenge of capturing the beauty of what I see around me. Turning a full colour, 3 dimension scene into something which conveys even part of it’s original beauty is a satisfying achievement. Photography is a constantly inspiring, challenging, thought provoking and even annoying especially when I see something from a new viewpoint.  Some of my best pictures where taken with my first SLR – a £30 Zenit-E which survived a fall down the stairs of a cross channel ferry over 40 years ago! Unfortunately no longer with us it was replaced with a succession of Contax, Kodak, Minolta and Canon models all of which have helped me to prove that the price of the camera is inversely proportional to the quality of the pictures! My Gallery

Helen Bradley - Secretary

Helen Bradley


Secretary: Helen Bradley
I joined PPS in 2009-2010 having bought a Panasonic Lumix G1 and deciding that I wanted to do more than just point and press. Photography has made me look at my surroundings with a fresh eye and the society has provided me with the friendship and support to look critically at and improve my results.
I love to get out and about with my camera, usually in the local area but I often return to my garden, which is where it all started. My Gallery

Tony McCann - Treasurer

Tony McCann


Treasurer: Tony McCann
I would describe myself as a keen photographer, who always enjoys trying something new. Maybe a Jack of all trades and a master of none. I suppose my preferences would be for wildlife, sports and portraiture. I am active on the photo sharing website Flickr, usually trying a number of weekly and monthly projects. Anything to encourage me to pick up my camera and create some photographs. I have been a member of Ponteland Photographic Society since 2011 and would describe it as relaxed and friendly. My Flickr Gallery

Veronica Congleton - Chairman

Veronica Congleton


Programme Co-ordinator: Veronica Congleton ARPS
I have dabbled in photography for many years, never really giving much thought to the what, why and how the image was taken. All this changed when I was given a compact digital camera for my birthday four years ago. Learning which button to press and when took time and commitment however, however the overall results made me want to take my photography further. Members of the Ponteland Photographic Society came to my rescue by giving me friendly photographic guidance as well as providing the encouragement for me to purchase my first Digital SLR camera, a Canon 400D. This opened up a whole new world to me which I was keen to develop further and so decided to try and gain a distinction from the Royal Photographic Society; I am happy to say that I was successful and satisfied the standards required to become a Licentiate member in November 2008. I have now moved on to a NIKON D300 and really enjoy taking photographs of people, animals and of anything ‘moving’. In fact photography has become my main hobby. I really do enjoy the whole range from planning and taking to printing and mounting the outcome of my endeavours. My Gallery

Bill Norfolk - Members Co-ordinator

Bill Norfolk


Committee Member: Bill Norfolk
[Members Co-ordinator]
I have always been a keen snapper and progress recorder, and also had a spell of monochrome developing and enlarging. Later I graduated to digital with a 2.0 MP Olympus compact, however getting my first digital SLR, which coincided with my retirement and desire to broaden my photographic knowledge, made me re-evaluate where and how I took my images. Observing what other photographers produce, together with supplementary reading, has helped me look at a subject not as just something to be recorded, but as something that is of interest and or tells a story. Joining Ponteland Photographic Society and the help and support I have received has given me further confidence. I use the seasons, our garden, visits and holidays to pursue a hobby I enjoy. My Gallery

June Atkinson - Publicity

June Atkinson


Committee Member: June Atkinson
[With responsibility for Publicity]
I was given a Box Brownie camera when I was nine and have been hooked ever since, exploring with various cameras including my 35m Pentax, Konica and Olympus , which sadly crashed recently onto the stone flags in Wallington Walled Garden. My favourite subjects are Wildlife, Architecture, Landscapes and Macrophotography. Several courses with local professional photographers have helped me to broaden my experience and an Open University Course in Digital Photography is a continuous reference guide. We are so fortunate in having a spectacular County backdrop whether it be country or coast, but France has also been a favourite. Being a member of Ponteland Photographic Society brings me engagement with like-minded folk and the encouragement to keep on exploring the mysteries beyond the lens. My Gallery

Kath Guellard - Competition Secretary

Kath Guellard


Competition Secretary: Kath Guellard
I first discovered PPS quite by chance a few years ago when I was actually looking for courses to attend which might inspire me in my retirement. At that time anything to do with “Digital Photography” or “Photoshop” seemed to be oversubscribed, overpriced or just plain inconvenient to attend. So I joined the local club right on my doorstep instead: and what excellent good value that decision proved to be. Not only did I learn how to straighten my horizons, but also to broaden them – continually – in the realm of all things photographic!
All my cameras have been given to me as gifts. As a child it was a 35mm “Halima” (or some such Japanese name) in a brown leather case. My fond memories of colour transparencies have left me with an enduring habit of appraising the weather each morning according to Kodachrome (ASA 100?) requirements: Ah, it’s f8 again: cloudy bright!
After tiring of pesky slide viewers and projectors, I became the proud recipient of the newly invented video camera during the now obsolete and fading era of VHS recordings.
It wasn’t until I took early retirement in 2009 that I received my first proper big SLR camera (Canon EOS 450D), as it was felt I should now embark on a serious hobby to fill my time. “SLR”- you may not realise – stands for “Seriously Large Real” photographer’s kit!
In truth I use my SLR much less frequently than a compact Panasomic Lumix (and even, dare I mention it, my excellent Android camera phone!) because they are much less obtrusive for taking spontaneous candid shots, which I enjoy because of the challenge.I also like to photograph animals a lot, cats especially. I have observed that my own cats seem to react badly to a large telephoto lens, occasionally even launching a full frontal attack on it!

Phil Robson

Phil Robson

Committee Member: Phil Robson
My interest in photography started in 2013 when I was looking for a possible retirement hobby and needed to purchase a new camera. I joined PPS in 2016 and have greatly enjoyed the club sessions and learning new things . I started with a NIKON D7000 DSLR but moved to FUJI X series mainly because of the size and weight of the equipment allied to great quality and ease of use. I cannot see myself changing to a different manufacturer. My SmugMug Gallery

The Committee want to encourage all members of the Society to be involved in shaping the programme of meetings, how our meetings are run and the Society’s other activities. If you have ideas for future sessions, new initiatives, or views on the current meetings or anything else, please talk to any Committee member.