Journal – Archive

Welcome to the Mid Calder Camera Club Journal.

This is the page where we log our activities during the year. Certain activities are associated with several groups and organisations.

Livingston Players

Gardening Scotland

Miss West Lothian Pageant

PEYC Sailing Regatta

GreenSpace – People in the Park Event – Photo Competition

Almond Valley Vintage Association (AVVA/Ploughing Match)

If you are a member of MCCC and attended and/or photographed an event, please send the details or event information, including the date, the name of the event, the location, a short description, and who all attended, and any pictures to be displayed, to 

Month/Year Event     Descending Chronological Order
November 2012    

Speaker Night: Duncan McEwan – “Scotland Around the Edges”
28th November 2012

Duncan McEwan has been photographing the Scottish landscape for over 40 years and gave the Club the benefit of the stunning landscapes and natural history images he has taken over that time. The members very much appreciated him sharing his knowledge and experience with them.


September 2012    

Speaker Night: Dimitri Vasiliou – “Dreams and Nightmares”
19th September 2012

The Club again had the pleasure of having Dimitri Vasiliou give an entertaining input called Dreams and Nightmares – which took the members through a wonderful journey of Dimitri’s home country – Greece.

He took a both humorous but serious reflection on what is happening in his country at the moment as well as giving us many, many wonderful images depicting a range of situations there.

He also gave encouragement and valuable tips from his vast experience to the members in taking all kind of images from landscapes to portraits. It was an exceptionally enjoyable as well as educational input which was enjoyed by the club members.


April 2012    

Trip to the Isle of May: 29th April 2012

Well, the planned trip to the Isle of May, rescheduled from the week before, evaded the MCCC members again. The day started out optimistically with a good weather forecast from the Captain saying all seemed to be well for getting to the island, but when club members arrived at Anstruther they were met with the news that the wind had reached a level that the sailing would take place but that landing on the island would not, making disappointing news for the 14 who had turned up to take the trip.

No-one relished spending 5 hours aboard ship on a cold a blustery day so most decided to explore the villages around the area.

One group checked out Pittenweem first, where they thought there was a lifestyle metal camel which they hoped to photograph, but unfortunately it had only been an attraction of the previous summer and was no longer there.

They then went on to visit Kelly Castle, Hill o’ Tarvitt and Falkland Palace, whilst others went to St Andrews and some for explored some of the other villages. Despite missing out on the Isle of May trip members still enjoyed their day out.



People in the Park Event: Almond Park, Craigshill: 28th April 2012

Mid Calder Camera Club sponsored a Greenspace Photographic Competition as part of the People in the Park event at Almond Park, Craigshill, next to the Livingston Rugby Football Club stadium. Attending from the club were Fred Roe, Rab Stout, Margaret Lothian, Dougie Cockburn, Jimmy Jack, Ami and Chris. A promotional stall enabled the winning images to be viewed as well as showing the images that had been taken at the previous year’s event by the club and these proved to be a draw as lots of people stopped to look at them.

The photographers also were the official photographers for the event and spent a busy time catching images of all the different activities that were on offer from face painting to parachute games. A huge attraction was the dog show where, or it looked like, there were hundreds of entries. There were also police dogs, football skills, orienteering, a nature quiz, other outdoor games, kite making, bikes skills, acoustic music tent, fishing skills, a Fire Brigade tender and a BBQ which were captured by the photographers.

Debra and Willie Mills came along with their Mum in order for Deb to receive her first prize in the photograph competition. Debra had a very nice image of a bee, second was Wilma Pincott, whose image was of a woodland and water scene, and coming third was Jimmy Jack with a heron. The prizes were awarded by Becky Plunkett, the Greenspace Officer for West Lothian Council.


May 2011    

Swans at the Lanthorn Pond (25th May)

Margaret L, Fred R, Ian G, Bob S, Jack, Tom A, George R, June F, Rachel L, Dougie C, Joyce K.

Lanthorn Pond is situated in the middle of the Dedridge area of Livingston and complete with it’s Damselfly artwork on the south side of the pond.

Club member Margaret Lothian had informed the club that Cygnets had hatched to the resident pair of Swans. The pond is also home to Mallards and they’re recently hatched ducklings. This was the main focal point for the members who ventured out on what was probably the only dry night for days.

A possible return could be arranged to check the progress of the Cygnets as they failed to show from beneath the warmth of the Cob on the nest.


Tergazzi at The Astor (4th May)

Willie M, Blair C, June F, Tom A, George R, Peter G, Jack, Bob S, Steve C, Dougie C, Margaret L, Craig

A large turnout despite the route having a bridge that was demolished that very day. It seems that nothing will deter club members from getting to a good photo shoot!

Our field night took a different slant this evening, the part of budding rock concert photographers.

The band in question is local rockers, Andy, Stu and Chris of Tergazzi. The band set up with stage lighting and amps and proceeded to perform some of their self-composed songs and covers of rock classics.

This was an opportunity to be up and close to the band as they played and posed for group shots.

A high ISO and wide aperture was required and made for some fantastic individual shots from all concerned.

The Club will present the band with a DVD of images from the evenings shoot.

There might be another opertunity to have another session, this time out in the countryside, with the band posing in front of a castle ruin.

April 2011    

MCCC at Bangour (27th April)
Fred R, Andy B ,Stevie, Derek McF, June F, Jim R, Margaret L, George R, Bob S, Steve C, Jim, Gordon S, Dougie C, Craig T

Apologies if I have missed your name at the top.

Club members congregated once again, this time on a Spring evening at Bangour Hospital grounds to capture the old and now decaying buildings.

The area is popular amongst local Photographers. The church is the centre piece of Bangour, although Religious gatherings have long since stopped, it is still a very much photographed building.

Probably the next most photographed is the former Nurses Quarters, to the North of the church. The windows and doors are boarded since closure in 2004, but still offer terrific photographic opportunities.

Some amazing images were captured by our members, ranging from colour to infra-red  to high-contrast mono to abstracts.



Guest Speaker David Hay 3 Days in Venice (20th April)

David Hay’s talk focused on his "Four Days in Venice" and the photographs he took. In particular, he discussed what makes a good travelogue photo and what doesn’t.

He discussed where to place people in the shot, which mistakes in composition to watch out for and how to correct them, and when to use monochrome.

Learn more about David’s photography and workshops at

March 2011    

Field Trip to Southfield, The Paper People (2nd March)

Derek, the manager at Southfield started the evening with tea/coffee and a chat and by giving us ‘goodie bags’ that included some of our members’ photographs on business cards and other stationery items!

The tour of the factory was interesting and fun. Derek explained what they do and how they do it. There was a question & answer section at the end. It was a thoroughly enjoyable evening. For more information, see and

February 2011    

Guest Speaker Richard Wells Wildlife Images and his Approach to Photography (23rd February)

Richard Wells, from Haddington, spoke about his wildlife and landscape photography.

In particular, Richard has an abundance of photo ops on his doorstep and presented excellent shots that were taken near Musselburgh and Aberlady. As well, he has visited bird-filled islands, including Bass Rock, Isle of Mey, and St. Kilda, and he gave us insight into how to get there and what to expect from a photographer’ point of view. He has also travelled to the Western Isles and shared his favourite places to get great images. To end the evening, he guided us through the exotic locations of Greenland and Kanha National Park in India.

October 2010    

Guest Speaker Libby Smith (27th October)

On Libby’s first visit to MCCC we were treated to some amazing photographs and in sites into how Libby prepares her images for printing using Photoshop at a national level.

The evening was filled with hints and techniques on how to get the very best from your photographs. It is refreshing to see one of Scotland’s top photographers so willing to share her vast knowledge and experience on how to achieve the finishing touches and make what could be considered a "run of the mill" photo into something very special.

MCCC would like to thank Libby for making the night very interesting (and allowing us to videotape it), and also providing the club with her written notes from the evening!

September 2010    

Photographing the PEYC Regatta (18th& 19th September)

Attended by Fred, George R, Willie, (in the boats) and Dougie, Blair, Gordon from the shore on Sunday.

This was a different and challenging event, which came from our clubs two Wednesday’s visits to Port Edgar. Fred was approached by Keith Squire’s the Yacht club OOD Coordinator to produce some images for their web site, to be taken from their two Committee boats.

The weather was showery, with a slight breeze which gave a calm sea. (thank goodness) but overall, it was a dry sailing day. Sunday was too calm a day, resulting in the race being cancelled.

Sailboat racing is an event that is difficult to photograph from the shore, and best shot from another boat. We hope to have more opportunities like this in the future.


Trip to the Forth Road Bridge (8th September)

Rather than be in view of the two Forth Bridges from the side or under them, we decided to walk along the footpath of the road bridge to see if we could obtain some images of light trails across the bridge this was not a success as it proved that the use of Tripods on the bridge was not worthwhile, as the movement from the traffic was unbelievable high, although some images were taken, but most were sent to the Delete file. Some good shots were taken as the sun was setting from the hard standing just off the end and to the side of the footpath. 8 members turn up and were. Fred, Dougie, Blair, Nick, George R, Tom, June, and Rachel.

August 2010    

Trip to Edinburgh Festival (11 August)

Those who attend were Steve, Fred, Dougie, George R, Rachael, June, Laure, Nick & Glen

This was a hurried arranged evening visit to this year’s Festival with most of the membership away on holidays. It was a clear dry but very busy Edinburgh, with lots going on in the streets, and difficult to find room to take any interesting images.

Parking was the main problem and it limited us to just two hours. Despite these wee problems it was enjoyable trip and something we should look at next year .

July 2010    

Calder Wood (21st July)

After a two weeks lay of due to unsuitable weather we managed to arrange a Macro evening to the Calder Wood. This was lead by Ian Mac.

Although it was a small turnout (9), it was an enjoyable evening doing Macro photography, with Ian giving some helpful hints and tips along the way.

It also turned out to be a walking evening and we almost had to call out the search and rescue teams to find Dougie & Blair who were out looking for the early starters. In the end they both heard the calls and returned to the group.


Studio Equipment Demonstration Evening (4th July)

This demonstration was held in the Institute Hall. It showcased the clubs new studio equipment, and was led by Willie and Gorge O’T.

This was a rewarding evening with a very good turnout of members. Unfortunatly this meant that not many members had enough “hands on time” and the evening was quite short so that members could not have an adequate oppertunity to take all the information in. However since we plan on having a lot more of these studio sessions in the future, it will be the start towards the learning process in the skill of Studio Photography.

June 2010    

Outing to Port Edgar (30th June)

The jungle drums had been playing loudly on Wednesday evening about the Port Edgar Yacht Club holding local club yacht races in the Firth of Forth around the two bridges.

This became another new location for our summer Wednesdays evenings. The turnout was very good with 12 members in all turning out in very poor light conditions.

The more informed members knew about a disused Pier that the Yacht Club race officials used to control their races. We could walk out onto this pier, and had enough room to set up a number of tripods.

Some members stayed on or around the marina facilities and pontoon berthing area.

This proved to be an excellent evening has we were approached by the Port Edgar Yacht Club to supply them with some images for their club house.



Day Trip to Farne Islands (26th June)

Nine Club members attend this amazing trip to the renowned Farne Islands, although it should have taken place the week before but was cancelled owing to very bad gales. It turned out that the weather was perfect.

The 30 minute trip for Seahouses in Northumberland to the Islands of Staple Island and Inner Farne Bird Sanctuaries was choppy it was not unpleasant. As expect the sights that we saw and quite close up included Puffins, Guillemots, Razorbills, Sandwich Terns, Common Terns, Roseate Terns, Arctic Terns, Shags, Cormorants and Eider Ducks, as well as Gray Seal colonies.

The day ended with a fish & chip supper and stopping of at nearby Barnburgh Castle for a few more image’s before arriving back at Livingston. All in all a great day out, and something we should repeat for our new member’s.


Bangour Village Hospital (23rd June )

Bangour first came to clubs attention from a suggestion by Dougie Cockburn, and what an outstanding location for photography it turned out to be.

It stands in its own 960-acre and 4 miles of roads within the site, which is now in a sorry state of affairs.

The police currently use Bangour as a training ground for their riot squads, and to test their room breaching techniques.

At present there are a number of non-listed buildings and subsidiaries e.g. bus shelters, and old external plumbing pipes, which all go to make good photograph subjects.

Twenty-one members’ turned up for this Wednesday evenings local club field trip.


Gardening Scotland (Thursday 1st to Sunday 5th June)

As Gardening Scotland celebrated its 10th anniversary, The Mid Calder Camera club were the official photographers to Gardening Scotland for the fifth consecutive year.

The sun shone for two glorious days (except Sunday which it poured all day) and everybody had such a good time.

One of the highlights was the visit on the opening day of the show (Friday) by Scottish first minster. The Rt Hon Alex Salmond (This saw some friendly paparazzi type actions from the member’s to get images of the first Minster)

As a proven routine the member’s attend, were organised into small teams of 5 or 6 members. The club provide approximately 1000 images to the Gardening Scotland organisers.

Another successful event.



Knockhill Car Practise Night Tuesday (1st June)

Another new location for a club outing, many thanks to club member Peter Guthrie for arranging this new location. This event was well attended by the membership, and although the cars were not racing at high speed but this event allowed new members to learn or practise the art of “Camera Panning“. For many members this this was a new discipline.

It kept dry and was an enjoyable evening with very few restrictions on what area of the race track we could position ourselves.

May 2010    

Crammond Causeway (5th May)

This was a new location for a club outing, in as much as it was arranged that with the tide fully out. Some of the retired and some working members took the afternoon off and took the opportunity to walk across the one mile Causeway to Cammond Island. There was not enough time for a long investigation of the island itself.

Willie and George were having fun with long exposures, and filters. We arrived back on the mainland around 5.30, and while having a bite & and a drink we were asked to help out the Life Guard (yes you read it correctly) there motor would not start, so they asked for a push. That did not work so they had to call the AA. It was payback time as one of the life guards had found Willie’s tripod some weeks ago that he had left behind at Port Edgar (lucky!)

By 6.30 pm more members joined us (14 in total). Some decided to do some photography on the Causeway, as the tide had not fully come in. Most members then took a walk around the marina and took images of the boats while the tide came in. A small party went to the water falls further inland (The is a 2nd car park close by the waterfalls). Some members even went back the next evening to the falls – Another good outing but still on the cold side and not a very good sunset even with the Volcanic Ash in the sky…



Avant Gardens (8th May)

This has been a regular club event to give Hopetoun garden centre images for their Web Site. This year weather was nothing like last years (rain), bright and sunny and warm. There was a good club turnout consisting of 8 club members. Some members had brought their wives with them (a mistake). As they went into garden centre and spent their husband’s money, while hubby was taking photos. Avant-gardens are the catwalk of garden design. They are on display from May to October at New Hopetoun Gardens. These six small gardens were chosen from a design competition. The winners had the opportunity to present their work and skills to a large audience, to have their ideas presented as a complete garden space, to indulge their creative ideas and to be recognised as an Avant-garden designer! The design had to be their interpretation of the 2010 theme ‘Earth’

April 2010    

North QueensFerry (7th April)

It turned out to be a dry night although on the cold side. 22 members (a lot of beginners which was great to see) turned up to this location. This made a change from the normal location of South QueensFerry and gave a completely different view of both bridges. In particular the rail bridge which is quite close. The sunset that we hoped for did not take place, but a number members were playing around with low light photography. and left well after 9 pm. Other members also went on to South QueensFerry before returning home. The reports that were received overall were good, and that this location and should be visited again when the lighter nights arrive. This time it was too short a window for good light as it was dark just after 8.30 pm. Something to remember next time.

February 2010    

Appraisal 3, Open by Gerry Tomkinson (24th February)

Appraiser Gerry Tomkinson from Midlothian Camera club gave his opinion on the members entries for the third appraisal of the year.

Congratulations to all those that did well. I felt that the judge did a good job, and he commented favourably on our request to have appraisals instead of a competition. He mentioned that there is a trend to go this way in club evaluations. Being more constructive, and having the appraisals more of a learning process.

By appraisal 3 it is difficult to keep coming up with excellent images, but I felt that Louise did a brilliant job with her projected images of the horses – stunning! As well as her Causeway and Frozen in flight prints. George Rosie also had a great night overall, especially with his Glasgow waterfront shots – very well done! It was also nice to see June and Rachel entering images for the first time. The appraiser liked June’s Winter Wonderland, and had some good things to say about Rachel’s Gossiping Women. It can be a bit intimidating at first, but we all benefit from seeing your images.

The top scoring images on the night were from Willie Mills with Great Blue Heron and Beaming out from The BBC and Louise Greenhorn with Stormy Causeway all scoring 20 marks.