News

Speed and Motion by Paul Dunmall (CPAGB / QGP)

If it is possible to have any advantages of a COVID lockdown, one of them must be that the use of Zoom meetings has opened up a large reserve of photographic content from around the country to be feasted on by Camera Clubs. Mid-Cheshire Camera Club being no exception, our Chair and Syllabus Secretary Ray Hill, arranged for Paul Dumnall from Ulverston in Cumbria to speak at our Club on the subject of ‘motion and speed’. This is especially interesting when you consider the subject of our theme competition for this coming year is ‘movement’.

Paul Dumnall (CPAGB, QGP) is originally from East Sussex but more recently you will find him in Ulverston Cumbria. He has been heavily involved in photography for fifteen years joining Bexhill Camera Club. He shoots with a Canon 7D Mk2, which is not surprising when you consider his main photographic genre of motorsport. Over the years Paul has also shot landscapes and studio portraits but as he states on his website, motorsport is still his main passion. After joining his first camera club Paul got the competition and salon bug and is proud to say he has had acceptances from all around the world. More recently, Paul is now a qualified Camera Club judge and has been asked by our Chair if he will judge our upcoming theme competition, which is especially fitting.

Paul’s presentation was a mixture of good quality still images and audio-visual clips evidencing his take on what speed and motion are and how it is portrayed and capture using a camera. His easy-going presentation style keeps the audience focused and engaged. He actively encourages audience participation and questions, answering them with quiet confidence.

As you may imagine, as an avid motorsport enthusiast, he devoted a lot of time in explaining the science of a good panning technique evidencing his process with some excellent images. He explained that there is not a fixed formula for panning and that due to a number of variables such as the speed of the subject versus how close you are to the subject will determine the optimum shutter speed required for a great panning shot. In essence, the rules that Paul has worked out in relation to panning are; the slower the subject the slower the shutter speed and the closer to the subject the faster the pan and vice-versa. Paul did talk about gear. His basic message was that gear did not matter as the correct technique for taking motorsport images was more important.

After tea, the second part of Paul’s presentation moved away from motorsport to other aspects that would show movement. He showed us an array of images from birds in various stages of flight, people walking, long exposure photography using neutral density filters, effects obtained from using intentional camera movement (ICM), and photographing water.

It is fair to say, Paul has thrown our theme competition wide open. His definition of speed and motion includes any moving object photographed with a shutter speed from 1/8000 second to 4 mins and includes the pin-sharp to the ultra-blurred and everything in between I sat there listening to him asking myself the question; how does a frozen pin-sharp image exhibit movement? It was if Paul had heard my thoughts, he explained to his audience that the only way you can show the form and shape of a fast-moving wave is by freezing it with a fast shutter speed. That statement linked in very nicely with his main message throughout his presentation which was in relation to shutter speed being the most important element in capturing the essence of speed and motion. One thing is for sure, I am glad Paul is judging this competition as I am not sure anyone else would understand the subject matter as well as him.

If you would like to see more of Paul's work, visit his website at pauldunmall.co.uk

For more information about the Mid-Cheshire Camera Club visit our website at www.midcheshirecameraclub.org or come along to a meeting on Wednesday evening at 7.45 for 8pm at the Dingle Recreation Centre, Winsford.

Paul Wilcock
Press & Publicity Officer
MCCC