u3a - u3a Eye

Get involved in U3A Eye

  • Are you a budding photographer?
  • Keen to learn a new skill or simply interested in the world around you and how it appears? 
We are running a fortnightly project to encourage people to take and submit pictures of their surroundings during this unprecedented time. We are going to be posting a different theme each fortnight and inviting U3A members to submit their photos on that topic.
 
This is not a competition and it is not about your photographic skill – what we want from you are interesting photos, possibly different ways of viewing things, anything which has captured your imagination or caught your eye. The photograph must have been taken during the lockdown.

At the end of every fortnight we will choose and publish up to 15 photos on an online gallery for each theme so that all of our members can enjoy the images. All you need to do is upload your photo using the form below (you will receive an acknowledgement once submitted).

Please only submit one photo per person. Your photo should also not include any people.

To mark the 10th instalment of this initiative, one of the judges, Jeff Carter, offers his reflections on what makes he thinks makes for an interesting photograph and highlights some of his favourites to date: https://sources.u3a.org.uk/2020/08/21/u3a-eye-some-reflections/

Learning Manager Alison May adds “We consistently receive a fantastic array of photographs taken by U3A members on devices ranging from smartphones to professional cameras. For every topic, we have far more photographs than we are able to showcase, but with every theme I am delighted to see new contributors amongst the names of members I see regularly (although all entries are anonymised for judging). We know of at least one U3A which has formed a new photography group, inspired by this project. Thank you to everyone for taking part. We will be continuing to run the U3A Eye because of your continued enthusiasm for this project”

 
 
The theme "Shadowsis now closed.

The current theme is: "Autumn"

Deadline for submissions: 1pm Thursday 22nd October

Submit your photos by clicking here. 


Thank you very much to everyone who took the time to submit a photo on the theme of Shadows. Please see a selection of some of our favourite submissions from this theme below. 
 

'Danger' by Gerard Hayes of Witham & District (Essex) U3A

'Danger' by Gerard Hayes of Witham & District (Essex) U3A

I had the idea of an 'out of frame' subject. The egg (artwork courtesy of my partner, Angela) is threatened by a balloon whisk which is indicated by its shadow. Hence a humorous picture with something menacing as an element.

'Shadow of steam' by Jim Bartlett of Cardiff U3A

'Shadow of steam' by Jim Bartlett of Cardiff U3A

I took this shot when Cardiff U3A's Photography Group (Morning) had the theme of 'something beginning with S'. I thought the shadow of steam would be a double whammy.

'Shadow Transformation' by Ian Weatherley of Witham & District (Essex) U3A

'Shadow Transformation' by Ian Weatherley of Witham & District (Essex) U3A

This simple, almost monochromatic image, shows the shadows of the rhinoceros ornaments somehow transformed into the heads of two tweeting birds in silhouette!

'Fork shadow' by Jonathan Ruddle of Hartley Wintney & District U3A

'Fork shadow' by Jonathan Ruddle of Hartley Wintney & District U3A

Lockdown proved to be a good time to work on abstract photography and in the spring we had a lot of sunshine. The photo only needed one fork, two bits of white paper, bright sunlight and 30 seconds to turn the photo upside down.

'Poppy for the Soldiers' by Angela Owen of Worcester Area Group U3A

'Poppy for the Soldiers' by Angela Owen of Worcester Area Group U3A

In a meadow on a sunny day out, I was drawn by their striking illuminated colour, to focus on taking photographs of poppies. I took some photos of this poppy from above and was impressed by how it was the ‘exact’ same shape as a traditional remembrance poppy. When I was home and viewing the photos that I took from the side, I ‘saw’ shadows of ‘soldiers’ at the heart of the poppy

'Leas Bandstand' by Roy Morton of Sidcup U3A

'Leas Bandstand' by Roy Morton of Sidcup U3A

I photographed these shadows at about 3pm when the sun was just reaching the point of creating long but still defined shadows of the ornate wrought iron work.

'Greatest Hits' by George McVitie of Wearside U3A

'Greatest Hits' by George McVitie of Wearside U3A

Cropping the Original twice left me with this photo. I was trying to add to the Natural Shadows created by the trees and leaves by placing "The Shadows Greatest Hits" LP in the foreground. I wanted more symmetry by having the LP placed centrally but didn't look at the photos on the day I took them. I wanted to have another attempt today but was thwarted by the sun not creating strong enough shadows until mid-afternoon by which time a visitor had decided to park a car while visiting the area which would have spoilt the mainly natural look I wanted. An American friend of mine had pointed me towards a book which inspired some of his landscape paintings and used the height of trees etc. to create letter shapes which seemed to make art or photos look more attractive. I was thinking the tree trunks and the grass roughly had a "U" shape although the bottom of U is rather thick.

'Follow Me' by Diana Heaton of Mawdesley Villages U3A

'Follow Me' by Diana Heaton of Mawdesley Villages U3A

During Covid 19, I have taken my daily walking exercise in the nearby local countryside. This always has the benefit of observing natural beauty, and the opportunity to take photographs of anything interesting or unusual. The attached photograph was taken on one of the walks at Rivington Pike, which also has two reservoirs, but as you can see I was not on my own, I was following my shadow, instead of it following me!!

'Shadows everywhere' by Marion Clark of Newquay U3A

'Shadows everywhere' by Marion Clark of Newquay U3A

Bright sunlight produces shadows everywhere.

'Foul Anchor Bridge' by Jonathan Bye of Sutton Bridge U3A

'Foul Anchor Bridge' by Jonathan Bye of Sutton Bridge U3A

This shadow is of the bridge to Foul Anchor, a village much more attractive than its name suggests. Foul Anchor is part of Cambridgeshire but is an enclave within Lincolnshire and effectively a river island. Photo taken 26th July 2020

'Contorted Shadows' by Vivian Clarke of Banstead U3A

'Contorted Shadows' by Vivian Clarke of Banstead U3A

'Glasses' by Rosemary Gibbs of Rugby U3A

'Glasses' by Rosemary Gibbs of Rugby U3A

I chose an assortment of smallish glasses with different cut patterns or twisted stems which all caught the light and interrupted the uniformity of their shadows. I played about with different arrangements on a sheet of white cartridge paper and waited for the sun to appear from amongst the clouds. Just before finishing the session I lifted one corner of the paper and liked the whacky distortion of the shadows that resulted.

'My Shadow' by John Bolt of Balsall Common U3A

'My Shadow' by John Bolt of Balsall Common U3A

One late afternoon a few days ago I saw the last rays of sun streaming through the trees and across the road. I quickly took this photo of my shadow.

'Nettles' by Carol Greatrex of Broomfield & District U3A

'Nettles' by Carol Greatrex of Broomfield & District U3A

A few members of our photography group took a socially distanced walk in a local park for a photoshoot. It was a bright sunny day and I was struck by this stinging nettle casting its shadow on a recently cut log.

'Fork handles' by Janet Rutter of Devizes & District U3A

'Fork handles' by Janet Rutter of Devizes & District U3A

A lovely sunny day and with the light passing through this yellow beaker balancing the forks across the top made a very interesting image.


View our selection from previous themes: