Overton Photographic Club

In fond remembrance of Keith Biggs

Keith Biggs was a much-respected member of the Overton Photographic Club and advocate of digital technology and AV. It was sad for us all when he passed away in the spring of 2017.

On this page we tip our hat to Keith and remember the valuable role he played as the club entered the digital age. Thanks, Keith.

A bit about Keith

Keith was a very private man. He was always very keen to share his knowledge and encourage others, however few learnt more about the man himself. So, it is with pleasure that we can share a few insights from Keith’s wife, Tess.

“Keith was born in Windsor in 1934, but moved to Basingstoke as a young child. At 16 he left the local Grammar School to train at the Post Office Research Establishment at Dollis Hill. He continued his education through evening classes and became a Member of the Royal Institute of Electrical Engineers.

“His career took him to work in Farnborough at the Royal Aircraft Establishment (RAE) and Solartron, and later at Stanhope Seta. There was much travel overseas for installing or repairing equipment. His happiest time was as leader of the transducer section at Solartron.”

Keith and his camera

Keith’s interest in photography began at an early age and stayed for life. He originally belonged to Basingstoke Camera Club, but after moving to Overton in 2003, he joined the Overton club.

After attending a course at Urchfont Manor College he also became interested in audio visual and became part of a group that met annually at Urchfont.

I think we can all relate to what Tess tells us next:

“Members of the family sometimes teased Keith because at family gatherings and outings he was more often to be seen behind his camera than joining in, but now we realise that we owe him a huge debt of gratitude because he has left us a wonderful record of family life.”

Our digital advocate

John Hodge remembers,

“Digital photography began to appear at the club around the turn of the century.  Most people thought the concept of digital cameras was rather fanciful. Digital scanning and printing began to be adopted first. Keith Biggs was one of the leaders on digital, giving talks on how this new technology worked, what pixels were, explaining raw converters etc.

“He was the first – and for a long time only – person in the club to delve into Digital AV, and was very keen to encourage others to follow, offering regular talks and tuition. With his encouragement quite a few of us were drawn into doing Digital AVs. This led to the Digital AV group within the club, which he operated from home with a monthly meeting.

“He was very proud to achieve a DPAGB Distinction in AV. His AVs were invariably on really interesting topics.”

Sue Teagle shares,

“I knew him better for all his technical support and demonstrations with Photoshop Elements, and Faststone, along with helping me choose a modern DSLR camera, and then a computer. I always regarded him as a mentor. He was a whizz with the actual hardware (cameras and computers), and always well read on the subject.

“In his quiet way, he was a rock of stability for the club. He was also very kind and understanding of mere mortals struggling to get to grips with technology, like me.”

OPC, AV and U3A

Keith valued his involvement with the camera club and the AV group meant a lot to him. He was an enthusiastic contributor, and won many awards in club competitions. He was also the first OPC member to gain an RPS Licentiateship, which he did very quietly.

The AV group started in September 2009 and met each month, usually to further everyone’s knowledge of using the main software, ProShow, or Pictures to Exe and to provide opportunities for group members to share what they’d been doing.

Keith provided an atmosphere where critique was welcomed. His love of AVs was infectious and he was always very positive and encouraging.

As well as his membership of OPC, Keith ran several programmes with the University of the Third Age in Overton.

Srdja Popovic says,

“Keith was always very supportive and generous with his time. His U3A Photograph and AV Group flourished through his patient teaching and clear demonstrations of various editing programs. He made it fun.”

Bob Gardner shares,

“My wife and I moved into Overton about 12 years ago, which coincided with the start up of the U3A Overton branch, which we joined as well as the photographic club.

“Keith ran a U3A group at his home to teach and discuss photography and the use of various photographic programmes. He taught us all we know regarding Photoshop Elements then Lightroom and opened up a whole new approach to photography for us. Later we joined him in a group to learn about AV’s and the use of Proshow.

“He was always available by telephone for advice when we came across a problem that could not be solved. He invariably came up with an answer for us to explore. Needless to say, we enjoyed his company very much and he is sorely missed.”

Keith’s top tips

Keith’s software of choice was Proshow. Unfortunately this software is no longer available – more on that in the post AV Software Update.

Members of the AV Club agree that Keith’s top tips would be:

  1. TRANSITIONS: Keep them simple – avoid lots of different ‘clever’ transitions.
  2. MUSIC: It’s fine for the music to start some way into the piece, but always make sure it finishes properly at the end of a show.
  3. THE THIRD IMAGE: Look out for nice ‘third image’ effects during transitions.

Keith sets you a task

Keith enjoyed setting projects. Here is a fun one that is remembered fondly and affectionately known as ‘The Bigg One’.

  1. Select around 50 random images
  2. Share them with your group
  3. Piece together as many images as you can in to a story
  4. Create your AV
  5. Share with the group and see how different they all are
  6. Laugh a lot

Keith’s Roll of Honour

1998 and 1999 gained maximum marks in the intermediate category by Basingstoke Camera Club.

2002 gained Licentiate status with the Royal Photographic Society.

2009 gained a Distinction from Photographic Alliance of Great Britain.

2011 awarded the Oak Leaf Salver for his AV ‘Postman’s Park’ by North Hampshire Photographic Society.

2011 enrolled in the Southern Counties Photographic Federation Roll of Honour.

A sample of Keith’s AVs

Here are a couple of the AVs we currently have access to. Apologies to Keith for the reduction in sound quality as a result of recovering the files.

Watch Keith’s award-winning ‘Postman Park’.

Watch Keith’s AV, ‘The Secret Flight of N9945’ – a tribute to his father and his role in the RAF as a Special Wireless Operator.

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