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RECENT MEETINGS

Meeting by Zoom January 20th 2024

17 members joined the meeting and were treated to an excellent, interesting and varied selection of member’s audio visuals.

Well travelled Kath and Harry Gilbert took us to the wonders of the very south of South America and the wonderful scenery of ‘Where the rivers meet’ in Bangladesh. The sights and sounds of Dacca were very well presented.

Ron Henry treated us to a wonderful sequence called ‘Jeopardy in photography’ with memories from his youth and beyond, of the risks one might take to get that photo. 

David Niman gave us a look at one of the first AVs he presented to the group which gave a lively impression of the island of Cuba. Then he gave us an interesting, ‘A day at the show’ showing preparation, show day and clearing away at the end.

 A warm welcome was given to new member Gillian Reynolds who presented an unusual mono version of ‘Birmingham Street art’.  This worked extremely well and she went on to show us a lively ‘BMX world championship’.

David Rodway gave us a gentle stroll around the Water Lily garden at Burnby with some lovely close ups superimposed on the wider view and then a walk along ‘Whaw Edge’ in the Yorkshire dales with some fine scenery.

We joined the Robert Albert Clark rally in Kielder Forest courtesy of Gerry Stephens.  We enjoyed some fine pieces of video with appropriate sound effects taken on his Mobile Phone. 

Val Johnston took us on a tour of the Isle of Man with ‘Manx Heritage’ giving an insight into the fascinating history of the island. An Autumn sequence showed some beautiful Autumn colours and scenes around Aberfeldy in Scotland.

Pat Johnston took us through magnificent scenery to the ‘Top of Europe’ . The snow covered mountains are spectacular, we visited ice caves and he showed us the interesting journey from Grindelwald to the Kleine Scheidegg station and then onwards through the Eiger to Jungfraujoch.

We went back in time to an interesting and enjoyable sequence  ‘Gateshead games’ with Howard Wilson.  He had a press pass and was able to show us Seb Coe in action.  It was a remarkable quality considering it had been converted to digital from slide transparencies.  A valuable historical record.

 

All in all an excellent morning of AVs. So many thanks to those who contributed, those who attended and gave us their thoughts, to David Niman for his secretarial contribution and Pat Johnston for getting the sequences onto you-tube and showing them on the day.

Val Johnston 21st January 2024

Meeting at Snods Edge March 18th 2023


On Saturday 18th March 2023 the Northern Audio Visual Group returned to the Hall in SnodsEdge. The meeting was attended by an enthusiastic audience of 25 who heard two of our own members give two enlightening presentations.


The first presentation, Pixels, Myths and Magic, by Jim McCormack DPAGB/AV, described the origins of the 72 pixels per inch, for images, and why that resolution is probably not the best for modern day monitors and AV’s. Manufacturers no longer produce screens to 72 ppi and are now made to a much higher resolution. Reducing the image resolution from 300 ppi as used by modern day cameras to say 96 ppi will reduce the size of an image that is more manageable for
AV programmes.


Space does not allow for a full description here. However, https://www.photoshopessentials.com/essentials/the-72-ppi-web-resolution-myth/ explains the why’s and wherefore’s very well.


Jim also described and demonstrated how to use the Content Aware Tool in Photoshop to tidy up images of unwanted blemishes or objects.


At the end of the first presentation there was a short tea break before the showing of five members sequences.


The following sequences for both the morning and afternoon sessions were reviewed by Richard Speirs DPAGB, APAGB, BPE2, from Morton Photographic Society, who gave constructive comments in a most amiable way.


The first, Jamnagar, by Harry and Kath Gilbert transported the audience to the city of Jamnagar located on the western coast of India. The wonderful commentary blended with appropriate background music and excellent images gave a broad feel for the area in both the city and countryside.


Secondly La Gomera by Ross Bowyer, showed this island, the third smallest of the Canary Islands at its very best. Lovely pictures of flowers and the inclusion of a short video demonstrating the whistling language, left the viewer with the desire to visit the island themselves.


Next was The Ice Trail by Lynn Flounders. Competent photography and an excellent choice of background music, blended with a well spoken commentary captured the fascinating event of ice sculpturing. The viewer was taken through the sequence of transforming a block of ice into a work of art along with the tools used by the artists.


The fourth sequence of the morning titled The Seasons, by Pat Johnston was a very enjoyable evocation of the seasons and a pleasure to see where Pat had wandered over a 12 month period.
The sequence included variations of image fades and timings which fitted in well with the tempo of the music.


The final sequence for the morning session by Ian Gregory was Donna Nook, a nature reserve on the coast of Lincolnshire where grey seals go every year to give birth to their pups. This short AV showed nature in the raw with excellent photography throughout with some beautifully sharp images and well handled lighting.


Following an excellent lunch the afternoon session began with Ron Henry’s presentation “Sounds Good”. Ron explained how sound production and editing can benefit from the use of a sound editing programme such as Audacity.


During the presentation the audience where shown how to use Audacity to improve the quality of sound recordings by removing back ground noise and using the various effects within the programme.

 

A short tea break followed before the last six of the members sequences were shown.


The first, Sheffield Sub, presented by Ray McMillan, was an amusing presentation of a reunion event of the Sheffield University Ten Pin Bowling Club. There were some clever animations of the club members who would recognise themselves at a reunion.


This was followed by Trees in February by Val Johnston. A different approach to an AV as the competent script was made more interesting in that we were listening to the trees talking about themselves. Lovely pictures of trees, in February, and early spring flowers.


Andrew Nicoll presented “Whitely Bay Waves” which recorded the power of the sea over a period of two days in December either side of high and low tide. The choice of music suited the rough seas and the images depicted the stormy weather extremely well with superb pictures of gulls seemingly enjoying the turbulent conditions.


Railway Romance by David Niman was an excellent sequence about railways from a different aspect, linking memorable music with memorable locomotives in such an effective way. The quality of the commentary and soundtrack was exemplary with good balance between the two.


Le Nid’ d’Aigle by John Harbron, who unfortunately was unable to attend the meeting, was another excellent piece of scripting and commentary which took us on the Mont Blanc Tramway.
Lovely photography throughout with sound recordings of the train journey including the excited voices of the passengers above the creaking of the carriages. The ending was well thought out and effective with the tram emerging from a dark tunnel into bright sunlight at its destination.


Finally Peter Reynolds showed his sequence The Lort Burn which took us on a fascinating journey into the history of Newcastle with a clear commentary and appropriate music track. The Lort Burn once flowed through the centre of Newcastle and was used as an open sewer until it was put underground in 1696.


The meeting was closed by the Chairperson, Val Johnston, who thanked Richard Speirs for his thoughtful and constructive comments about the sequences and also for those attending and the members who presented their sequences.


Val also thanked the Secretary, David Niman, along with other committee members Kath and Harry Gilbert and Ian Gregory helped by by other members attending did a wonderful job in the background washing up serving teas and generally tidying up afterwards ensured that the day ran smoothly and was enjoyed by all those in attendance.


Many thanks to Val and Pat Johnston Johnston for organising a well planned and executed day that was enjoyed by everyone who attended.

Interim Meeting Saturday 14th January 2023

 

 

On Saturday 14th January The Northern AV Group met via Zoom to share AV's on a common theme of "My Favourite Place". The meeting was attended by 16 members and a total of 11 AV's where shown with a short discussion held after each one.

The first AV was from Ron Henry, titled; "Antelope" about a claustrophobic trip down Antelope Canyon in the USA with the constant threat of being washed away in a Flash Flood!

From the USA we were then taken on a guided tour of Venice with Jim McCormak. The excellent photography and the informative narration was accompanied with appropriate music showing Venice at its best.

Peter Reynolds showed an AV of Amsterdam, where he is a regular visitor on his bike. A bright and uplifting AV with fitting music, blue sunny skies and of course the bicycle rules in Amsterdam which were shown in their hundreds.

Next we were transported to the Averio Coast, in Portugal, by Val Johnston. Another cheerful and bright AV with calming music and interesting narration showing the area at its best and the unique architecture.

It was then a return to home territory with Malcolm Burns' AV about Brinkburn Priory in Northumberland. A well researched and narrated documentary with excellent photography of this historical site, leaving the viewer with the desire to visit in the future.

Geoff Longstaff showed, "Washington Remembers", an AV of Washington, USA. This took us on a semicircular walk around the Memorials of Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Franklin Roosevelt , Martin Luther King Jr. and finishing at the Lincoln Memorial.

Following a short coffee break David Nimman showed an AV of his favourite woods at their best during the splendour of Autumn. A relaxing AV with suitable music and lovely pictures showing the summer sunshine stored in the golden leaves before being discarded for winter.

Staying in Northumberland Pat Johnstone guide us round Alnwick Castle and the the historic town. The gardens, fountains and treehouse were shown, accompanied with pleasant music and narration. The AV finished with Christmas lights in the town of Alnwick.

Howard Wilson then took us on a "Nostalgic Journey" with an AV depicting the brilliantly painted railway adverts of the Golden Age of Rail Travel 1927 to 1950. Many of us remember those adverts during the 1950's and Howard's AV transported us back to that time with relevant music and historical description.

John Harbron took us on a beautifully photographed journey from snowy Upper Teesdle following the River Tees down to Barnard Castle. We were shown the remote farm houses, the splendour of the open fells, the torrent of the River Tees and the lovely wild flowers that Teesdale is famous for.

Finally Rosi Bower took us back to Portugal. We were shown the stunning coastline of the Algarve and the picturesque fishing villages. Further inland there were nature reserves with a great variety of bird life, which Rosi had competently photographed. A clear narration and restful music made this a great AV to watch.

It had been an enjoyable morning of AV's which brought members together, during the winter months, without the need to travel.,

Many thanks to Val and Pat Johnston for organising  the event and the showing of the AV's which went without a hitch. At least once we had all realised that we had to switch of our microphones!

The Northern AV Group Meeting October 15th 2022

On 15th October we held our Northern AV Group meeting at Riding Mill where we saw several excellent productions with constructive criticism from Andrew Nicoll  and Peter Reynolds.  Our guest speaker (see below) was Mark Allen.

 We started with ”Douro” by Pat Johnston, a river trip in Portugal, followed by “Scenes from Holywell Dene”, an attractive hillside location, by Andrew Nicoll.   Stuart Edgar showed us a sequence based on the paintings of Thomas Bushby entitled “An Artist in Demand” and this was followed by “Sicily”, a tour of the island by Malcolm Burns.  From there we went to Yorkshire, or more precisely “Kelham Island” on the River Don in Sheffield in which Ray McMillan showed us an AV exploring Sheffield’s industrial heritage.  From there we went to Saltburn where Lynn Flounders showed us around “Methodist Church – Saltburn”.

After an excellent buffet lunch we were entertained with Ron Henry’s good humour when he showed us “New friends” which provided us with a glimpse on the medication we might need as we move forward in life.  “Vikings” by John Harbron was an informative AV on Viking life, and this was followed by “Ogilby’s Great North Road” by David Niman based on an old coaching map showing us how the route has changed since its publication. 

 

We then saw a production based on the Great War entitled “The Fallen” using music by performed by The Fureys, “The Green Fields of France”.  This sequence was produced by Peter Reynolds.  We went on a “Norwegian Adventure” with Val Johnston who took us up the coast of Norway.  Anne Harbron’s  “Jigsaw Pieces” was an excursion into Nidderdale where we saw some attractive mosaic work.  We then finished with a piece by Kath and Harry Gilbert on Bhutan called “Into the Hidden Kingdom”.

 

Between sessions we were very fortunate in having Mark Allen on Zoom.  Mark showed us how he created audiovisuals from inception to the final production using PTE.  He also showed us some productions of his own, many of which were quite moving.

We had over 20 attending the meeting at our new premises.  The move was well-received, although, because Riding Mill is booked throughout next March, we will be in Snods Edge once more!

Interim  Meeting 
30th July 2022 via Zoom

On Saturday 20th July the group had a zoom meeting which was attended by 21 members.  Most of those who came online had sequences to show, and brief summaries of each one follow:

 

Jim McCormick gave us a very informative sequence on a salt mine in Poland which had been artistically modified entitled “Wieliczka” and, continuing the East European theme, Ron Henry gave us a satirical sequence on “Mithumania”. 

On the subject of themes we had “Washington” (not DC) from Pat Johnston and “Lost in the Garden of Statues” based on the Yorkshire Sculpture Park from David Niman.  

 

We had three walks – “Wainstones Walk” from David Rodway and “Watendlath Walk” from Andrew Nichol.  David Niman had a further sequence based on a coastal walk in Yorkshire entitled “The Cinder Track”.  

 

We had two sequences on the River Tyne, “Tyne” from Howard Wilson and “The River” from Peter Reynolds. 

 

Val Johnston gave us an excellent account of the “Northumberland Show” exercising her skills as a press photographer and Ron Henry gave us a second sequence based on the war years entitled “Pickering on Parade” which included appropriate music and speeches by Churchill. 

 

Finally Kath and Harry Gilbert gave us a sequence entitled “Madagascar” which brought home to us the dangers in which we are putting our environment.

 

The meeting lasted about two and a half hours and we received encouraging comments afterwards by email from a number of those who attended.

 

Our next meeting will be in October.  By Zoom or at Snods Edge in person?  This has not been finally decided – we are still sorting out technical issues.   Keep an eye on the website!

DAVID NIMAN

Secretary

Northern Audiovisual Group

www.thenorthernavgroup.co.uk

The Northern AV Group Meeting  March 12th 2022

Snod's edge1203.jpg

 This It was with great delight that the members of the Northern Audio Visual Group were able to meet in person after what seemed like so many years.  We predicted that twenty members might turn up so it was with even greater delight that we accommodated twenty-nine.

The meeting opened with an introduction by Val Johnston, our chairman, following which we were entertained by AV sequences by some of our members. 
We started off with “Where the Rivers End” by Kath and Harry Gilbert.  This was a fascinating journey around Bangladesh with some very good local sound. 
This was followed by “Baron Armstrong” by Pat Johnston, a biography of the North’s more famous sons who put northern engineering firmly on the map. 
We then went to Marske with Lynn Flounders as our guide in which we discovered that there was more to Marske than we could have imagined. 

Then Ian Gregory took us to the “Ugly Bug Ball” which was a series of close-ups of insects with a couple of short movie sequences.  Burl Ives provided the music. 
“When I’m 64” was David Niman’s take on the old Beatles favourite with a slightly irreverent look at advancing years. 
“Meadow Sutcliffe” by Val Johnston was a sequence about the photographer Frank Sutcliffe whose old photographs of Whitby are so well-known. 

All these sequences were reviewed by Anne and John Harbron, both highly experienced AV producers.   They gave favourable comments on all the productions and were not afraid to tell us how, if necessary, they could be improved.  Their input and advice would prove invaluable to all of us.

We then moved on to the highlight of the day which was a talk by our guest speaker, Ron Henry, who is know to all of us having been associated with the Group for many years.  He is known for his wit and sense of humour which was once again apparent as he talked us through fifty years of learning how to produce an AV.  One of the interesting things about this was the fact that we saw pictures not only of life fifty years ago but also of Ron fifty years ago.  Ron explained how he put a show together and gave a run-down on the equipment that he used.  He showed us how, over the years, equipment had changed, and he showed us some of his own work.  Well worth the journey to Snods Edge.

After a wonderful buffet lunch Ron continued his talk which was followed by a general discussion on how, as a club, we would continue and what format the meetings would take.  Would they be live or would they be by Zoom?   Keep looking at the website.

This was followed by the remaining AV sequences produced by our members. 
Jim McCormick took us on a tour of Paris.  His last photograph, a panoramic view of Paris at night, was particularly memorable. 
Andrew Nicoll’s “Aspects of Islay” took us on a trip round the Scottish island of Islay know for its Whisky as much as for its beauty. 
We went to the Alps with Pat Johnston and his sequence, “Top of Europe” and were treated to Tyneside architecture by Howard Wilson with “Behind the Byker Wall”. 
David Niman then showed us a sequence entitled “The Way through the Woods” based on Kipling’s well-known poem. 
Finally, we came back to Tyneside with a sequence by Val Johnston on the Tyne bridges which connect Newcastle to Gateshead. 

Once again we had the benefit of the thoughts of Anne and John Harbron.  The presentations were of a high standard and enjoyed by all.

After thanks to our guest speaker, critics, AV producers and to everyone present who made the meeting such a success, our chairman closed the meeting.

The Northern AV Group Meeting  October 23rd 2021
Zoom Meeting

The Group is Alive and Zooming

We had planned a "live" meeting of the NAV Group at Snods Edge on Saturday 23rd October and were all set to spend the morning discussing aspects of our Annual General Meeting followed by an afternoon of member's AVs, but Snods Edge was not to be

Half of our Group are reticent about meeting face to face whilst the other half dislike Zoom meetings and our Government was shilly-shallying about a fresh outbreak of Covid 19.
In the end, the committee decided to play safe and operate our second Zoom meeting with 24 members attending.

Holding an AGM was important because Paul, our esteemed Honorary Treasurer, had resigned and was due to be succeeded by Patrick, but before the bank would accept the change we needed the membership to officially approve the appointment.
Our Chairman and Secretary had also come to the end of their term. Thankfully, Val Johnston volunteered to take the role of Chairperson and David Niman was voted in as Secretary.
These appointments mean our Group is under new and dynamic management for the next year so thank you and good wishes to those volunteers who are keeping the Group alive.

The afternoon was filled with thirteen member's AV sequences from "Big Bands" to "Big Rivers". From "Life in the Slow Lane" to "Delta Days".
I have a recollection from not too many years ago when our members would screen mediocre sequences which were totally outshone by the slickness of AVs shown by guest speakers.
Not so these days.
Our members constantly produce programmes which are every bit as good.

Our "Oktoberfest" may not have been as we had proposed, but it was enjoyable, and we may be saving the planet by not having 15 cars on the road. Keep looking in this spot for advance notice of our March 2022 meeting - whether it be live or Zooming

The Northern AV Group Meeting  March 20th 2021
Zoom Meeting

 This one was a first: the first time the meeting was held online:-and It went like a dream!
There was no stuttering of AVs, the transitions behaved themselves, no one had to make 30 teas or serve 30 lunches, no one had to put out or clear away a hall full of chairs.
 
The wretched pandemic had meant we could not meet in person and this time we had decided we would not cancel the event: oh no!  We would grasp the nettle and get on with it.
 
Plans had been laid well and carefully: 15 AVs had been supplied by their authors in the requested form;  30 people made up our audience with members  joining from Cumbria, Tyneside, Teesside, and North Yorkshire; the programme for the day and help notes for successful viewing had been circulated to all.
 
 In true AV fashion we travelled the world; we explored our local area; we found ways of dealing with the “L” word (Lockdown); we found that there are ways to get out of chairs easily if you are brave enough!  Our memories were stirred by seeing places we too had visited in the past.

Our future hopes include new ideas on our mental holiday lists.It had been a great day and absolutely worth the time and effort involved so THANK YOU: thank you to the authors of the AVs and thank you to all the audience who “gave it a go”.

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