Successful diplomas so far this year . . . 

April 2021

Sally-Ann Hathaway-Timms WGDP

Diploma in General Photography

A Selection of comments from the Assessors:-

Sally-Ann’s diploma submission was predominately based on portraits, which were excellent. These were balanced with some lovely, misty landscapes which added contrast to a delightful set of photographs”.

This is a really lovely panel which shows a good range of photographic techniques and some excellent photography.

A beautiful, well balanced, cohesive panel! Sally-Ann’s choice of subject matter shows good camera skills, ability to capture the moment, seeing and a creative eye. Here’s competence with elegant portrait photography, using both natural light and a studio set-up. Her misty landscape images were not only a delight but were quite exquisite, giv- ing an atmospherically mystical feeling! I enjoyed the middle picture of hoar frost on fencing, many photographers may have passed by. One standout image for me was of her daughter, the little girl in blue, running, her head turned, sideways set against a seaside back-drop. There is a real sense of the joy of childhood in this image, captured so well! Well done and well deserved, Sally-Ann!

This is a lovely, balanced panel from Sally-Ann which demonstrates her capabilities as a photographer. The softer surrounding images are offset by the harsh wire fence covered in spiky hoar frost, a juxtaposition that works for many people. I particularly like #10 with the dancer’s leg, arm, hair and satin scarf all aligned in parallel to produce a rather pleasing image.

A few words from Sally-Ann ...........
“Participating in the General Diploma Scheme has been a great way for me to develop my interest in photography. I have learnt so many new skills as a result and have thoroughly enjoyed the whole process.
I am very grateful to the club members who have offered support and in particular the help and guidance of Clive, which has been invaluable on my photography journey so far!
I would strongly encourage others to participate in the Diploma Scheme. I am now looking forward to embarking on a Specialised Diploma”



March 2021

Karen Dewson WSDP

Specialist Diploma in Abstract and Pattern Photography

Assessors' Comments:

Her evident sense of personal style showed through more in the highly abstracted images.
I was surprised by some images, pleased by others, found humour in some, but I was delighted by them all.

Karen's panel arrangement was very skilled, clearly demonstrating the eye of a graphic artist at work. The use of the contrasting high- and low-key images was deftly managed and well balanced, and she maintained a real dynamic throughout.
The unusual composition of the central montage image provided a really strong 'anchor' for the panel and the high-key paper and sculpture images are simply delicate and beautiful.
There is an inherent potential tension between demonstrating variety while still achieving coherence and this panel covered a wide range of image subjects and types, from macro to architectural, all brought together by the intriguing composition, expert treatment and thoughtful arrangement.

This was an exquisitely elegant, balanced panel which lead us to explore, but did not give up the secrets. Choosing to render the images in black and white abstracted the images further.
I enjoyed the contrast of the dark images within the cross shaped centre and the very high key images on the outside. The panel shows excellent seeing, realisation, control and careful craft. Most importantly for me, this panel invited me to stay and observe, keeping my attention.

A beautiful panel presentation.
The delicate lighter wispy images bravely put to the edges, surrounding the darker heavy images shows great confidence and conviction. Karen’s strong graphic sense of balance was apparent in the individual images as well as in the presentation.

Karen's statement of intent
'Surrounded by an environment of clutter and distraction I seek to isolate an often unseen view of otherwise familiar places and objects'.

Karen says:
“I started the Diploma process a few years ago with a good selection of images taken at the Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery followed by a long weekend in St. Ives and a visit to the Tate. After that, images came in fits and starts and I realised that I had been waiting for the panel to emerge from images that I happened to take whilst out and about. I had at least a dozen photographs that worked well but now I needed to actively seek those final images to bring the panel together.

Limitations to travel have meant that I have had to look closer to home for shots to compliment photographs of much grander places. I resorted to my preferred method of photography - using the 150mm Sigma for close-up shots. Those little details of everyday objects allowed me to find the simple shapes I was looking for.
In February 2021 the panel has finally clicked into place. I have taken lots of additional photos just to get a few that fit but now I’m happy with the images, both as individual shots and as a balanced panel. If I could offer one piece of advice: be brave enough to remove your favourite image for the sake of the whole.
I would like to offer my sincere thanks to Clive for his unswerving support and encouragement throughout the process and thank the assessment team for taking the time to support the Diploma scheme and for your generous comments”.



February 2021

Richard Handley WGDP

Diploma in General Photography

Assessors' Comments:

Richard presents a variety of subject matter and an understanding of different camera settings, including fast and slow shutter speeds. There is also evidence of sympathetic post- production skills to give the images a good, but natural boost. Richard obviously enjoys taking some nature images and these have been successful, such as the Chaffinch, with a beautiful soft background allowing the subject to really stand out. The wheel-hub reflection of the Morgan shows a good seeing eye where others might walk past, resulting in an exciting image. The violin image, ‘Fiddling’, shows confidence to crop the image in an exciting way to direct our eye towards the violin. It was obviously not posed with evidence of the slightly blurry bow and broken hair from the bow, which adds to the authenticity of the image.

‘Tea Time’ ……. A good portrait of a chap having a cuppa. The exposure and depth of field is excellent, which provides clarity of detail right down to the tea stains in the mug.

 ‘Woman at the Spinning Wheel’ ….. interesting subject, good composition, and good exposure. The correct shutter speed was essential to portray the movement of the wheel, the bobbins and the spinner's right hand. This contrasts well to the rest of the scene.

Lovely portrait of a bald eagle. It's easy to get blown-out highlights in white feathers and Richard’s managed to avoid this successfully. A lovely image as a finalé to the set of PDIs.

This is a good set of images that demonstrates that Richard understands the essence of photography and what makes a good picture. He has presented a wide range of subjects, differing techniques and composition.


Richard says . . .

“I've been a hobby photographer for many years and am largely self-taught. I saw the opportunity to undertake the diploma as an excellent way to further improve my knowledge and skills, particularly as the support offered focuses on the practical aspects of delivering good photos. I also valued being able to set my own timetable and work at my own pace.

The mentoring and support offered throughout exceeded my expectations, with individuals willingly giving their time to share their own experience and provide guidance.

I'm pleased with my final panel and look forward to further practising and developing my photography skills”.


Doug Allen

Diploma in General Photography

Assessors' Comments:

............... Doug has demonstrated that he has a good seeing eye and empathy with the coastal landscape.
............Overall, Doug’s use of light and varying viewpoints brought this themed General Diploma submission to life. His choice to include a panel and statement was laudable and the mix of mono and colour images was very successful.
........... Doug’s successful panel is of a consistently high standard. The choice of keeping to a tight theme has worked well and the panel is well balanced. The colour images on the bottom row are beautifully handled with both the exposure and the long shutter speed contributing to the images.
The structures themselves are well displayed and meet his statement of intent.
............ the set of images shows a good mix of colour and mono coast and seascapes. His balance of slow shutter-speed and conventional pictures works well, adding both ‘artistic’ and ‘contemporary’ touches to the submission.


Here's what Doug has to say about his journey towards success:
“Working on a WCC diploma enhanced my awareness about what to look out for in a photograph - so it’s not just a snapshot. It encouraged me to get out there with my camera and take images but also to reflect upon the composition and consider the camera settings.
I found the processing of images to be as challenging as taking the photographs.
I received valuable advice about some over-processing in a couple of pictures, how to correct an image with colour-cast in the foreground and recommendations about good cloning practice. I learned a lot about how to construct a panel and would I like to thank Eric for his time and support, Clive and the other assessors for running the scheme. I am now considering registering for the Landscape Diploma as we come out of lockdown and the countryside opens up again”.