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 "animals (real, pictorial or otherwise)is now closed.

The current theme is: "Radio". This is becuase theTrust launches the first of its U3A Radio Podcast programmes on the 29th September, which will run on our YouTube channel. Selected images will be used to acompany the audio and to start and finish the programme during the second broadcast. This is for this fortnight only. Another topic will be named on Thursday as usual. Thanks for participating.

Deadline for submissions: 1pm Thursday 24th September

Submit your photos by clicking here. 


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

'Oh my!' by Frank Hill of Castle Bromwich U3A

'Oh my!' by Frank Hill of Castle Bromwich U3A

'Squirrels' by Carol Andrews of Haywards Heath U3A

'Squirrels' by Carol Andrews of Haywards Heath U3A

These are two of the four cheeky squirrels that have been visiting my garden this summer to partake of the food provided for the birds!

'Hampshire Cows' by Caroline Jauncey of Fleet U3A

'Hampshire Cows' by Caroline Jauncey of Fleet U3A

These beautiful cows were enjoying lush grass in a field in Hampshire.

'Jaguar' by Graham Wood of Sidcup & District U3A

'Jaguar' by Graham Wood of Sidcup & District U3A

On a visit to Folkestone on the recent bank holiday we stumbled on a car rally on the Leas. Amongst the cars was a fabulous vintage Jaguar with the emblematic big cat on the bonnet. As you can tell the bonnet had been polished meticulously.

'Sheep' by Rita Miles of Pembrokeshire U3A

'Sheep' by Rita Miles of Pembrokeshire U3A

As I was walking around Hook in Pembrokeshire, I spotted some sheep in a field that were standing in a line. It looked as though they were waiting for their photo to be taken. A surreal moment!

'Mystified Mandrills' by Ian Weatherley of Witham & District (Essex) U3A

'Mystified Mandrills' by Ian Weatherley of Witham & District (Essex) U3A

I thought these Mandrill monkeys at Colchester Zoo looked slightly mystified, or even maybe a little apprehensive, at the appearance of post-lockdown visitors, many of whom are now wearing face masks.

'I’ve got my eye on you' by Derek Oakley of Droitwich Spa & District U3A

'I’ve got my eye on you' by Derek Oakley of Droitwich Spa & District U3A

Walking along a path towards a farm I spotted an Ostrich in an adjacent field. It spotted me at the same time and came bounding towards me. Luckily there was a fence between us and I just had time to focus before it was too close.

'Cows' by Rosemary Gibbs of Rugby U3A

'Cows' by Rosemary Gibbs of Rugby U3A

On a local walk this herd of cows was nicely separated from me by an electric fence until the last 100 yards, when it was necessary to enter their area and soon they all wandered over and hemmed me in against the hedge. I was very glad to get over the stile and to have the adjacent gate separating us when I got out my iPhone to record their inquisitive behaviour.

'Who's Coming?' by Christopher Baron of Brighton & Hove U3A

'Who's Coming?' by Christopher Baron of Brighton & Hove U3A

One of my hobbies is cultivating bonsai trees, and one responsibility is looking after two young granddaughters from time to time. I thought that this would be an interesting project for them and me. The bonsai pot was buried in topsoil, and then moss added to give the appearance of grass. Finally, animals from my granddaughters' collection were added. I would have liked to have the background a different colour so as to differentiate it from the tree. It was also a photographic educational project. We tried different lenses so as to blur the background as much as possible, and concluded that the best result was from a telephoto lens.

'The Inquisitive Fox' by John Bolt of Balsall Common U3A

'The Inquisitive Fox' by John Bolt of Balsall Common U3A

One morning recently this little fox was looking through the glass in our back door. I managed to take a few photos before moments later our cat leapt through the cat flap and chased it away.

'Iron Horse' by Roy Morton of Sidcup & District U3A

'Iron Horse' by Roy Morton of Sidcup & District U3A

I have attempted to approach "Animals" from a different perspective, although I suspect pub signs could be popular. We have the occasional heritage locomotive steaming on our suburban line, but I don't think there is any call for a cow catching, wood burning, monster. The Iron Horse Pub is situated by the side of Sidcup Station, often hosting live music pre Covid.

'Alpaca' by Brian Snelson of Hockley & Hawkwell U3A

'Alpaca' by Brian Snelson of Hockley & Hawkwell U3A

An alpaca at Vauxhall City Farm. We visited there while doing one of the Hidden Walks of London.

'Frog' by Peter Marrs of Droitwich Spa & District U3A

'Frog' by Peter Marrs of Droitwich Spa & District U3A

Fortunately for the Water strider this frog only had eyes for me when I took this photo.

'Shadow Hare' by David Muir of Bearsden & Milngavie U3A

'Shadow Hare' by David Muir of Bearsden & Milngavie U3A

A wet afternoon saw me playing around with light and shadows. The result was this somewhat eerie image of a stained glass hare's head lit by a torch. No fancy equipment involved - just a cheap torch and a mobile phone so this is something that anyone with time on their hands could easily do - and probably do much better!

'Young Moorhen' by Malcolm Emmett of Windsor & District U3A

'Young Moorhen' by Malcolm Emmett of Windsor & District U3A

This young Moorhen explores its new world, stepping from lily pad to lily pad on those amazing, almost comical, giant feet. Enjoying the many young animals around has been a lifesaver during lockdown.


View our selection from previous themes: