Lostwithiel Area U3A
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Photography GroupWe are a friendly photography group with a variety of skill levels and interests. The group meets twice each month. One of our meetings is based in Lostwithiel when we show and discuss photographs. The second sees us out around the county and further afield, taking pictures and helping each other to try new photographic techniques and challenges. We also arrange workshops for the group with renowned professional photographers. These give us the chance to improve and grow within our own particular area of interest. We have also held four successful exhibitions over the last seven years. We welcome members with all ranges of ability and equipment - most of us started using our phone as a camera!

Contact the Group Leader

Group contact: Stephanie Thomas

Telephone: 01208 841484

Group contact: Lindsay Southgate

Telephone: 01208 873371

Updates to website as at 25th May

Who'd have thought, way back in March, that we would reach week 10 in our group effort to maintain new weekly content for the webpage?  Initially our aim was to make lockdown more bearable by encouraging interaction between photography group members. Thanks to your efforts and contributions we are still able to offer fresh content this and every week which we think is a pretty impressive group effort. Well done to everyone. We do, however, need your continuing support so please do read to the last paragraph of this email (or skip straight to it of you prefer!)

Over recent weeks we have often mentioned the opportunity to learn new skills and techniques. This week we have several good examples of this:

  • A new sub-page for this week, Wildflowers of the Alentejo, will take you to a beautiful book which Lynda has created whilst in lockdown in Portugal. 
  • The Virtual Travel page offering this week is from Jasmina's trip to Bangkok. She has also written a short introduction on how she set about producing a slideshow for the first time.
  • The Staying local blog has a further ramble from Rose and also an update from David on some other new skills he is learning.
  • The Gallery continues to display a wide range of your work and interests. In fact the gallery has grown to such a size that we nearly broke the U3A website (oops) so we have created a second Gallery page, simply entitled Gallery2. We have a little housekeeping to do to retrieve some of the initial images into Gallery1 and we will try and do that for next week. Don't worry we have not lost the images, we just cannot display them all at the moment!
  • Jenny E continues to share her knowledge of flora and fauna with some fascinating insight into insects this week in the Meadow blog
  • Sadly there is bad news in Wildlife Corner as our nest has failed. Jane has, however, suggested an alternative site you might like to look at for similar "nestcams".

Not surprisingly we have been in contact with Victoria Hilman and Ross Hoddinott to cancel the two workshops which were coming up next month. The good news is that both of these events have been re-scheduled for next year.

  • Victoria will run a wild flower workshop in Somerset on Thursday 17th June 2021
  • Ross will run a workshop concentrating on butterflies at Upton Towans on the afternoon and evening of Monday 21st June 2021.

Booking will open nearer the time, but it is great to have those dates rescheduled, and to be able to support at least two of the very many professional photographers who have lost so much work in the last few months.

For those of you interested in trying out some new software, David has told us of a time limited offer for Aurora HDR.  The link is:- skylum.com/ap-aurora. Available free for Mac & PC but only until 29th May 2020. They just require your name & email address (which you then confirm on a second email & receive the download links).

We will finish this week's update with the usual request for feedback and/or more content for next week. As we look forward to coming out the other side of lockdown we would like to focus on your favourite workshop photos next week. So please, if you have been on a photo workshop, either with the U3A or elsewhere, send us a couple of your favourite images from that event and perhaps a few words about what you got out of it or what you would like to try next. Let's make sure we keep going virtually until we can meet again physically!


Updates to website as at 18th May

We hope you have had a safe week and that maybe some of you were able to take advantage of the slight easing in the lockdown restrictions. There was still time for photography of course so here is your weekly update :-

  • From your emails we know many of you are enjoying the variety of images in the gallery. Don’t forget if you want to see a larger version of any of the images you should be able to right click or double tap to achieve this depending on the device you are viewing on.

  • There are also updates to the Wildflower Meadow blog and Wildlife Corner . Huge thanks to Jenny and Jane who both put in a large amount of work each week to keep the content on these up to date. Both have said that they have enjoyed learning new skills and facts too.

  • Rose has continued her theme of Staying local with another lovely collection of images. It’s great to see how different people collate and present their work. Rose uses an iPad for all her editing which just shows what a great tool these are - in the right hands of course!

  • If the Virtual Travel page doesn’t make you too sad, then this week we are offering a tour of Southern Iceland from Lindsay’s latest trip there in February. 

  • One of the benefits of lockdown has been an extra newsletter each month! Part 2 of May brings you a few recommendations on very different photographers, including a description by Sue of a photographic trip to London. 

  • On that theme you may also like to take a look at Bosham Gallery which was due to be holding an exhibition by Charlie Waite, a renowned photographer and founder of Light and Land, a photography tours company. The gallery has put the exhibition online and included a video of a discussion with Charlie about “Hidden Works”. You are required to give your name and email address but the exhibition is then free to view. A future exhibition is planned here for Steve McCurry, an American photographer, freelancer and photojournalist. His photo "Afghan Girl", of a girl with piercing green eyes, has appeared on the cover of National Geographic several times.
So plenty to keep you entertained over a cuppa or glass of wine this week. Please do send your feedback and any contributions you may have for future weeks.
Until next week stay safe, well and alert,



Updates to website as at 11th May

We hope you are all still safe and well, and staying active. You have certainly still been working on your photography - either new projects or images from your back catalogues!

The updates available on our web page this week start with great news:-
  • We have chicks!! Have a look at the Wildlife Corner to see fabulous footage of the newly hatched chicks and the busy parents feeding them with outrageously sized insects!
  • The Staying Local blog has several new updates from members. Some of you are using these strange times to learn new skills so perhaps we could all be inspired to do something similar this week.
  • When you want to lose yourself for a few minutes pop over to The Virtual Travel page where Steph has given us a real taste of the Hebrides this week
  • Jenny has some further updates from the Wildflower Meadow, including a visitor in the moth trap
  • And last but by no means least our popular Gallery now contains nearly 200 images. The breadth and diversity of subject matter is just wonderful.
Do please keep sending your contributions this week  - there is always room for more. As ever if you need any help with how to put something together or how to transfer large files to us do please get in touch and we will be happy to help.
Until next Monday have a good week and stay safe,


Updates to website as at 4th May

Welcome to your weekly dose of photographic delights! We hope you and yours continue to stay safe and well, and that the regular updates to the U3A Photography webpage bring you a moment of light relief at least.

Once again this week we have a number of updates to the webpage:
  • The gallery is filled with yet more amazing images from our talented members. Just seeing the variety which you create or bring out of your archives each week is really inspiring
  • Jane and Peter have more news from our adopted blue tit nest in Wildlife Corner
  • The Wildflower Meadow page has also been updated by Jenny E who is also providing such lovely images each week to accompany her blog
  • The Staying Local blog has sparked interest from a few of you so there are updates there too.
  • This week the Virtual Travel page takes us to the beautiful city of Venice courtesy of David.
  • We also have a newsletter attached for you this week as it is the start of another new month. In it Kathryn has shared some of her experiences in preparing for her LRPS assessment.  
Please, please,please do keep sending your contributions for next week. If you haven't yet sent something in - it's never too late to join in! Feel free to email us if you need some help sending items in.
If you would like to see how other U3A's are continuing their activities have a look here at Ilkley U3A who have moved their exhibtion online instead of cancelling it.!
Finally - they say the sincerest from of flattery is imitation. well the U3A Garden Visit group have seen our work and decided to create a gallery of images from their gardens or their daily walks. So do pop over to their page and have a look as that develops too.
Until next week stay safe and keep sending us your images!


Updates to website as at 27th April

Another Monday, another raft of updates for you on the U3A Photography webpage. 
Thanks again to all those who have sent content for this week - we are sure you'll enjoy the variety of subject matter and want to linger for a few minutes looking at others' great work.
So for this week the updates are:
-on the Gallery images with a wide range of subjects and styles
-the Wildflower Meadow page has more fascinating information and images from Jenny E.
-there is progress in Wildlife Corner.........
-for those fancying a bit of escapism the Virtual Travel page includes a video of some images Lindsay took in the Provence lavender fields last year.
-and finally a great new page idea from Rose  - the Staying local blog. Please take a look and if you would like to have a go at something similar please do send us your words and pictures for next week.
A couple of other items that may interest you are:
We would love more content from you for next week whether it be a couple of images for the gallery or virtual travel or even a stay local blog.


Updates to website as at 20th April

Although these Monday afternoons certainly do seem to come around quickly we have several updates for you this week:
Jenny E has sent further news from her wildflower meadow along with an admission. She says "I have to say by studying the meadow in such detail, I'm finding out new facts myself!"
In the Wildlife Corner Lynda has sent footage of the huge variety of birds visiting her pond in Potugal, and Jane & Peter have updates on the blue tit nest and the hedgehogs. 
On the Virtual Travel page Lynda has shared some great images from a trip to Canada. We have some more travel lined up for next week too. If you would like to know how to put together a slideshow like this using Lightroom do ask and we can provide some instructions.
We have included a bonus April newsletter this week with some further information, hints and tips. This is attached and also available on the website as usual.
Last but by no means least is our wonderful gallery which this week contains images from no fewer than 16 members. If you haven't yet sent any please do join in and send some by next Monday lunchtime for inclusion in next week's gallery.
We would also like to bring your attention to a new page on the Lostwithiel U3A website accessible from the main page - Covid -19 Links. It has details of many activities available on all sorts of subjects and contains many useful links. If you have any others you think should be added here for our wider Lostwithiel U3A membership please send them to Lindsay and she will arrange for them to be added.
We look forward to your feedback on this week's updates, and your contributions to next week.

Updates to website as at 13th April

Once again thank you for all your entries for this week's magnificent gallery. This is now updated and available for you to view on the website (Gallery page)

You will also be able to see an update from Jenny E on the progress of her wildflower meadow and its visitors (insects and animals in case you thought she was breaking any rules!) (Flower meadow blog)
For those following Jane and Peter's blue tit nest there is an update on the Wildlife Corner page too. (Wildlife corner)
This week's brand new content is courtesy of David Platt who took an amazing trip to Alaska a few years ago. We may not be able to travel at the moment, but we can go on a virtual journey with David's beautiful images.(Virtual travel) We have a few more items like this if you would find them interesting- do please let us know.
You can access all of these pages via the links provided or from the page menu down the left hand side of the U3A Photography page itself.
As ever, we welcome more images from you for next week, and if you have any other ideas or requests for info do please get in touch. 
Thank you for the feedback on the work we are doing to keep everybody involved. We woud love even more of our members to contribute content so please don't be shy in coming forward with your contributions.
Until next week take care and stay safe,



Happy Easter

Jenny Edrich has asked us to pass on Easter wishes to you all with this lovely image. Thanks Jenny!


Update on Gallery as at 6th April

Well, what a clever bunch you are! The contributions to this week's Gallery are superb - once again so varied, showing the breadth of talent in our small group. Do please keep sending in your images, and if you haven't yet sent any it's never too late to join the party.

When you look at the U3A photography webpage you will also see a new option added to the left hand menu. Our new feature this week is Wildlife Corner. Several of our members have cameras installed to follow the adventures of any creatures popping into their gardens, and they have shared some footage with us via this page. Jane and Peter also have a camera installed in a nesting box so we will follow the adventures of their blue tits as the season progresses.

If you want to see even more Peter and Caroline have a page on Facebook called Wild Silverlake on which they post images.

David Platt has suggested that with the prospect of clear & non-polluted skies, there is a unique opportunity to include the new “Super Pink Moon” in images this Tuesday/Wednesday. This promises to be the “brightest & best” for many a year coming at a time when the moon is 30% closer to the earth. Scope for the U3A Photography “Gallery”? For more details please see

this article

For next week please do send more images, Jenny E hopes to have an update from the flower meadow, and we are also looking to add even more content to the website. Thanks for all the feedback so far but do continue to get in touch of you have any ideas or suggestions.

Stay safe but keep taking pictures!


Update on newsletter as at 1st April

The April newsletter is a little earlier in the month than usual because, as a response to social isolation and lock down, Lindsay and I thought you might enjoy some creative photographic ideas. The newsletter contains advice from Jasmina on bird photography in your garden, inspirational online resources from Peter and other ideas to fill your time when such things as cleaning, decorating and gardening become too dull.


Update on Gallery as at 31st March

We are absolutely thrilled with the response to our invitation to send in two images a week for the Gallery on the Photography page of the U3A website -  available by clicking on the word Gallery to the left of this page . Looking at this week's selection makes us so proud to be part of this amazing group of photography friends. If you would like to see the images in a larger format there are various ways to do this - right click in most browsers or double click on a tablet.
Please do send more for next week. You can email jpgs to either of us using the email addresses at the foot of this message. Ideally please resize them to 1080 pixels on the longest edge but if that is gobbledygook to you just send them and we will resize them for you!
Another exciting addition to our webpage is a blog which we have asked Jenny Edrich to write. Many of you will have visited Jenny's flower meadow in recent years. As it is unlikely that we will have the chance to do so this year we asked Jenny to keep us up to date with its progress virtually. We have tidied up the webpage by taking off some redundant pages and adding a subpage for Jenny's blog accessible by clicking on the tab to the left of this page.
Finally please keep an eye out in your inbox later this week for April's newsletter which has input from several of our members.


Update on Gallery as at 24th March

In these strange and worrying times it’s good to have something to enjoy and that’s what out new members gallery is all about, enjoying our photography during this period of social isolation. 

The gallery is the top tab on our group page of the Lostwithiel U3A website. If you want to view the image a little larger how you do this depends on how you are viewing the webpage:

  • most browsers work with a right click of the mouse on the image. Mac users can then choose how to view e.g. new window
  • iPhones and iPads work with a double tap or expanding the screen with two fingers.

If you are using another device there’s bound to be a way so let us know any tips for other members. 

Positive critiques of the photos are welcome. You could use the guidance from the last newsletter, or just say why you like the picture or what, for you, would make it even better. Send you words to either of us and we’ll add them to the pictures.

We all know that oak trees grow from small acorns and we’re expecting, with your help, that the gallery will grow week by week. Just send us more of your pictures by next Monday and we’ll share them in the gallery by Tuesday. If you’d like to try something new how about taking social isolation as a topic.

Keep safe and well


Update on Coronavirus Covid 19 as at 19th March

To support the strong government advice that we should practice social isolation, avoiding gatherings with friends and staying out of public spaces where coronavirus could be transmitted all photography group activities are immediately cancelled for the foreseeable future. To be clear we are cancelling the Charlestown field trip planned for Thursday 26th March and all group activity afterwards until we are given a Covid 19 all clear by the government.


Update on meetings as at 15th March

I am sure you have had various communications regarding the virus outbreak from other groups and activities you are involved in. We have been monitoring events over the last few days before deciding how to proceed with photography group activities given the current situation .

As of today we believe the best course of action is to cancel Platform meetings where we are in a confined space, but we will continue to run our field trips to outdoor, open venues.

We have also decided to delay the ballot for the upcoming workshops with Ross Hoddinott and Victoria Hillman until we can be more certain when they will go ahead.

We believe that each of us must take responsibility for their own health and well-being so please do not come on a field trip if you have any underlying health concerns or feel ill in any way. If, however, you feel that you would benefit from being in the open air then please join us at Charlestown on Thursday 26th March. The details are on the photography page of the U3A website but I suggest that we meet at the entrance to the car park instead of the cafe so that those who do not want to use the cafe need not do so. 

Obviously we will update this information as and when advice changes so please keep an eye out for emails and updates on the webpage. We hope that you will feel we have acted responsibly and proportionately at this time. In the meantime keep safe and maybe learn a few photography processing skills via the internet!



March Update

The February newsletter is now published and can be accessed from the In Focus Newsletter tab on the left.

There is lots to look forward to in March. Plans include:

  • Monday 9th March: Photography Extra meeting in the Platform room at 6.00pm. This is an opportunity to discuss our images in greater detail. Do bring along your prints or images on a USB stick.
  • Thursday 19th March is our regular Platform meeting when Jasmina will share her Australian Experience and we'll share our flower pictures.
  • Thursday 26th March is our field trip to Charlestown. The information sheet may be accessed from the field trip tab on the left.


February Field Trip 

The photography gods were shining on us once more as we enjoyed beautiful sunshine and dry weather for our February field trip to Lanhydrock Gardens. Eight members enjoyed the colour of the daffodils, magnolias, camelias and even the odd clump of snowdrops which had survived the worst of Storms Ciara and Dennis. We all agreed it was lovely to have the sun on our backs as we tried everything from traditional flower photography to macro to multiple exposures to "contre jour". The group all enjoyed the camaraderie of working together to learn different techniques. Inevitably we also tried out the offerings of the Stable Tea Rooms and enjoyed a good chat over lunch!





February Platform Meeting - The Weather 

A few sample images from our members presented at the last meeting

Jane Perris


Peter Tandy


Rose Cross Rose Cross



February update

Snowdrops and other flowers at Lanhydrock field trip: on the 27th the plan is to meet by the gatehouse at the entrance to house and gardens at 10.30am.

At Lanhydrock there are extensive gardens and with year-round colour including in the higher and woodland gardens snowdrops, daffodils, camellias, magnolias and rhododendrons.

Further information, including parking, fees and hints about flower photography is on the field trip sheet. Just click on the left.


February plans

The January newsletter has been published - access this from the In Focus Newsletters tab on the left hand side of this page. 

Plans for February include

  • Monday 10th Februrary - Photography Extra at 6pm in The Platform. A chance to look at some of our images in a little more depth, and to offer assistance to any member working towards an RPS distinction.
  • Thursday 20th February - Platform Meeting at 2pm. Steph will share some of her images from a recent Hebrides trip.
  • Thursday 29th February - Snowdrops and other flowers at Lanhydrock. The field trip sheet containing more details will be posted in the tab to the left of this page shortly.


Fieldtrip to Davidstow and Roughtor


 A typical January day for our fieldtrip this month but we made the most of the moody conditions and were thrilled to see a brilliant display of murmurations at Roughtor




First Platform meeting of the year - Thursday 16th January at 3pm

First field trip of 2020 - Thursday 23rd January. Davidstow Airfield and RoughTor Starling Murmuration
Organised by Jenny E


 2019 Exhibition is live!

On Friday we were so pleased to see Peter Bland open our 2019 Exhibition at Shire Hall in Bodmin. Pictures from the event are available to view in the 2019 Exhibition tab to the left of this page.

An online version of the exhibition catalogue is available from the top menu bar of the main Lostwithiel U3A webpage  Simply click on the tab “Expo” in the yellow menu bar at the top of the page 


November/December newsletter is published!

The November/December edition of our newsletter can now be read by clicking on the "In Focus Newsletter" tab to the left of the page, as well as all previous 2019 copies.


Dawn at Porlock Weir

Earlier this month I was lucky enough to join five photographers and caddy Maggie for a workshop trip to Exmoor. This was to be my first experience of a dawn to dusk day out with my camera and the chance to receive expert advice from professional photographer, Ross Hoddinott.

Ross had planned an itinerary to visit five beauty spots during the day, all ideal places for me to learn new skills, weather permitting. The day started well at Porlock Weir, a fine morning with little wind. Ross kindly brought along filters for me to use with my camera and I soon discovered the art of setting up the histogram and adjusting the filters to obtain the correct exposure. It was great fun!

Sue H


Update 29th Sept

The latest edition of our newsletter, In Focus, has been published. This, and all previous copies, can be read by clicking on the "in Focus newsletter" tab to the left of this page

September 2019 newsletter