Ponteland Photographic Society

Meet the Committee

Rod Smith
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
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

Kath Guellard - Competition Secretary
Kath Guellard

Treasurer: 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!

June Atkinson
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

Phil Robson
Phil Robson

Competition Secretary: 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

Tony McCann - Treasurer
Tony McCann

Committee Member: 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

Ian Morton - Committee Member
Ian Morton

Committee Member: Ian Morton
My interest in photography started when I purchased a Zenit B for £20.00 in my teens and migrated through Pentax to Nikon which I have remained with for well over 30 years. I was invited to attend Ponteland Photographic Society by a past Chairman who assured me a warm welcome would await me which was totally correct. I joined Ponteland Photographic Society in September 2017 and since then I have met some very friendly like-minded people and thanks to them, has opened doors into the world of photography I never knew existed. The club accepts members of all capabilities and provides a basis for personal development which I have founds extremely useful. I enjoy street photography where permitted and exploring for ‘different subjects’ wherever I happen to be.

Val Spencer
Val Spencer

Committee Member: Val Spencer
I have had an interest in the natural world and a passion for painting since early childhood .
Tha sale of some of my paintings enabled me to purchase my first digital SLR camera ,a Canon 450D .With this I was able to take good quality photos of my artwork .These were subsequently manipulated to produce and print a series of cards ,
Digital photography made it possible to combine and develop my interests.Travel widened my horizons to include subject material as diverse as African wildlife and the architecture of the beautiful cities of Europe .
 I joined the Ponteland Photographic group approximately five years ago and have enjoyed sharing ideas with other members of the group . They have both a wide range of expertise and humour !
Recently I have found it very convenient to use my IPhone 6 to record close up flora and fauna .It even has its own editing software!

Trevor Spencer
Trevor Spencer

Committee Member: Trevor Spencer
I got my first camera, a Zorki 4K rangefinder, when my family was young and soon left it in an airport departure lounge in the chaos of getting four tiny tots onto the aircraft. My next camera was a Praktica SLR which I had until about 6 years ago when a son, who thought I should move into the modern world, gave me his old Canon 400D. This sparked an interest in photography as a hobby rather than just a record of family and holidays. The PPS is a great club for newbies, friendly and welcoming and with a wide range of interests among the members. I have learnt a lot and had very enjoyable times.

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.