The Isle of Man Photographic Society enjoyed an evening with two excellent but very different presentations for our programme this week.

The first half was a delightful digital slideshow of images of New Zealand’s north island from Doug Allen - a long-term member at the Western Society and who has judged for us on a number of occasions, so well known to our members.

Using a ’bridge’ camera (with a telephoto but non-interchangeable lens), his images were sharp, with good colours and apparently without needing much adjustment straight out of the camera - all accompanied by a well-paced and informative commentary.

The trip was an ’all boys’ affair - Doug plus son and grandson - the first two weeks of which were spent touring north island in a three bunk campervan, taking in Auckland with its iconic harbour area, the volcanic field around Rotorua, the town of Napier re-built in the ’art deco’ style after being damaged in an earthquake, and Wellington.

The volcanoes around Rotorua together with the ’glow-worm caves’ at Waitomo and the Champagne Pool at Wai-O-Tapu with its colourful thermal salt deposits provided particularly striking images in a much enjoyed presentation.

Our second half was a practical and effective demonstration of the use of flash guns given by local photographer Andrew Barton LBIPP LMPA

This was a session provided at members request - many of whom own a flash gun but wanted help and advice as to how to get maximum benefit from their use.

Andrew started with the basics - a single manually controlled gun, moving on to the various other modes now available with the latest kit, and then to multiple guns connected wirelessly which enables more sophisticated results.

Andrew was able to connect his camera to a laptop computer and in turn to a projector in a technique called ’tethering’.

With member Sue Leeming as his model, we could immediately see the results of his work projected on screen, and see the effect and the improvements possible with changes to the output power or location of the flash units.

The overall message however was clear - the need to practise to make perfect!

The society meets at the Art Society Building (Thie Ellyn) in Withington Road, Douglas, with all meetings starting at 7.30pm.

Our next meeting on Wednesday, March 6, will be the judging of our third assignment competition, After Dark.

Meetings are open to the public, with a modest charge for non-members, and all will be given a very warm welcome.

Full details of our programme can be found on our website at

Chris Blyth