A camera club has teamed up with St Leonard’s Hospice to produce the charity’s 2013 calendar. MATT CLARK takes a sneak preview

THE summer just gone will hardly be remembered for lazy days spent picnicking by the river, bucket and spade revelry at the seaside or barbeques in the back garden. But even in the wettest summer for 100 years, York Camera Club members have made the most of what decent weather we had to produce these stunning photographs for next year’s St Leonard’s Hospice Calendar.

Summer months usually provide good conditions for photography, so the club takes a break from regular meetings to take advantage of the warmer weather.

Not this year maybe, but at least the tulips at Burnby Hall Gardens in Pocklington taken by club member Paul Gunning remind us that amid all that torrential rain we did have a few pleasant afternoons.

The calendar features a good mix of photographic styles and subjects from local landscapes to buildings. Take John Saunders’ evening pictures of York’s Art Gallery and St Helen’s Square.

Then there is his fine cityscape with the Minster sitting prominently centre stage.

As well as featuring in the new calendar, York Camera Club has supplied these images as large format prints which are now hanging in St Leonard’s Hospice on Tadcaster Road.

There is another reason for the club to celebrate. This is its 60th year and president Jon Wolfe says the new season, which has just kicked off, promises to be a bumper one of activities – and hopefully a better summer to look forward to.

“Our evenings consist of a mixture of practical advice and competitions and we have a packed schedule of talks and workshops,” says Jon. “We are delighted that St Leonard’s Hospice asked us to shoot the calendar photos again in this our anniversary year following the success of our 2012 calendar shoot.”

Affiliated to the Yorkshire Photographic Union, the club meets every Thursday evening from 7.30pm and each season is sprinkled with social and photographic trips; these have included visits to the Keukenhof festival in the Netherlands and boat trips to the Farne Islands.

Speakers booked so far include acclaimed social documentary photographer Ian Beesley and John Giles, a former photographer at The Press who was picture editor for the Press Association during the London Olympic Games.

Members might not get John’s once-in-a-lifetime chance to shoot photos of Usain Bolt or Mo Farah at the London Olympics, but with York and North Yorkshire being as pretty as a picture, there are countless opportunities to grab the camera – come rain or shine.

“At least this year’s lack of sun could be supplemented with a flashgun,” says Paul Gunning. “And taking wildlife pictures in the garden meant the house wasn’t too far to run when the heavens opened.”

• The 2013 calendar is available now, priced £3.50, from St Leonard’s Hospice shops and the hospice reception, and will be in selected local outlets soon.

It can also be ordered via the website stleonardshospice.org.uk

• Meeting from September until May, York Camera Club welcomes everyone with a genuine interest and enthusiasm for photography, from beginners to serious amateurs and professionals alike.

York Camera Club meets on Thursday evenings, at St Lawrence Church Hall, Lawrence Street, York, from 7.30pm. Visitors and new members are welcome.