In the middle of last year the very existence of Gainsborough Snappers was threatened when their long term tutor, leader and inspiration, Alan Townsend, sadly passed away. His particular combination of skills, experience and willingness to devote his time and energy voluntarily to helping members thrive as photographers was never going to be found again in one person.
Members met to discuss what was to be done and agreed to try to continue as a self-help group. They set themselves a schedule for the remainder of the year and were delighted to see that the membership held up and attendance was good. They have planned a variety of field trips, plus practical and informative sessions which will be included in their programme of activities for the coming months. They also continue to have a weekly photographic challenge with a set topic to photograph and present to fellow members. Instead of Alan’s insight, they now talk about their own images and suggest how they might improve them and it seems to be working.
The club began the New Year with a celebration of the old when 24 members met to take part in the competition for the best overall photographer of 2018. This year, for the first time they were challenging for the Alan Townsend Memorial Trophy, named in honour of their late friend.
17 members had each submitted a set of three mounted images for judging. The unenviable task of choosing a winner fell to guest judge Mr John Whaler from Lincoln. His task was to select the set which showed the most skill across a range of styles of photography. He made a number of constructive comments as he reviewed each image, working through them in their sets.
Following a break, John picked out his favourite four sets and from those awarded joint second place to Pat Oaks, Alan Pinder and John Turner, declaring Des Lloyd as the winner.
Des was presented with the attractive new trophy by Pat Townsend, who has donated it to the club to be competed for annually in memory of her late husband. Des also received an engraved trophy which he keeps to mark his achievement in winning the annual competition for the second successive year.
Gainsborough Snappers welcome photography enthusiasts of any level of experience who want to join a friendly group and work on their techniques and anyone with photographic skills or expertise they could offer the group on an occasional basis. The only cost is a small weekly attendance fee of £2.50 per person, which includes refreshments.
They meet at St George’s Church Hall on Fridays from 1.30pm to 3.30pm unless otherwise advertised. Please check their new website, www.snappers.org.uk, to ensure they are not on a trip before you go along.