Phoenix Group


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The Phoenix Group provides an informal forum for constructive criticism and analysis of members’ work through mutual discussion.
Advice is available on entering national and international exhibitions and on gaining photographic distinctions from RPS,
FIAP and PAGB. It is open to all members of the Society who wish to take their photography to a higher level.
Group Secretary Neil Scott FRPS EFIAP/s DPAGB


The Phoenix Group is an informal discussion group – no subscription – and its raison d’être is to act as a forum for people to talk about their photography.  The general idea is to bring along a few images (prints and/or PDIs, and maybe up to a dozen) and put them up for discussion.  These may be images from a personal project that you are undertaking, from an idea that you are pursuing; they may be the germ of an idea for aiming for a distinction. You may be thinking of entering exhibitions or salons.  You might just want to get an opinion of some of your favourite photographs!

But – BE WARNED!  You will get honest opinions.  If there is room for improvement in your work, you will be told, although in a gentle manner.  We are not a beginners’ group – we do not give basic instruction in technique or equipment.  Having said that, we do welcome members of all abilities who feel they can take advantage of our approach.

So if you think you can benefit, come along and join us.


Meeting on 20 October 2016

We had a good start to the season with 20 members attending.  I think this is close to the largest number we have had.  Of course, one consequence is that there was insufficient time for everyone to show their material.

Richard Bingham started us off with “Realising the Surreal”, a description of how he has created some images, based on the work of William Blake, (1757-1827)  poet, painter and printmaker.  Richard took us through his workflow, putting together elements that matched Blake’s and building up the final image.

Sandi McOrist followed with some incredible shots of sea foam in Aberdeenshire while Branko Lesjak displayed an amusing and clever set of images of “alternative Olympic Games” athletes.  These showed people posing for example, as a javelin thrower using a broom for the weapon, someone sledging down a grassy slope on a sheet of cardboard.  Well thought up!

The Kirkcaldy duo – Frank and Alan, (Frank Sala and Alan Givens) showed us what they have been up to – Frank’s rusty images and Alan’s soft focus pictures.  Dave Johnstone showed us some more of his fascinating collection of aeroplane shots, many from the USA.  The consensus of the audience seemed to be in favour of his moody, mono, abstract shots.  Alastair Cowan claimed to be relatively new to photography but displayed some excellent shots, in particular one which stirred up some discussion – a Gormley statue in front of a huge, red ship.  A lot of opinions were voiced about the exact placing of the statue and the cropping of the image.  This is what the Phoenix Group is all about.

Eric Robinson then showed us two striking mono prints from a current project – people at work.  These two engendered some discussion – whether mono worked better than colour, the choice of paper etc.  Another example of the benefits of coming along to a Phoenix Group meeting.

Unfortunately time ran out before everyone could show their material, but we will put them high on the list for the next meeting on Thursday 24 November.

Jan Jerome will start the meeting off showing her panel of prints which she recently presented to the RPS in application for an Associateship.
Neil Scott
Phoenix Group Secretary