Chat Lines with Tony Myers  F.R.P.S

Interviewing Mike McWade, Photographer

Saturday 1st February 2014

Mike McWade Chat LinesMike has kindly agreed to be my first member.


‘Harley Davidson Engine Detail’. The picture was taken in Helmsley, North Yorkshire in November 2007. Lots of motorcycles were parked outside a cafe in the centre, and as as a very keen motorcyclist (now in the past), I have always been attracted to them. I think that Harley Davidson’s are great to look at, and the finish is always eye catching. I concentrated on just the engine detail. I converted it to Monochrome, I think it brings out the chrome better than a colour image.

In the new phase of Chat lines which will be published on a 6 weekly basis on the South Liverpool   Photographic society web site. It’s a chance for me to have a chat with various members both old and new and a chance for members to get to know fellow members. Mike was happy to chat to me about his photography, and his future plans with his main passion, photography.


‘Fast Bowler’. This was taken at Bowring Park Cricket Club in the summer of 2003. The idea was to get both the bowler and the batsman in the picture, which was OK. The problem was getting the ball in the right position. This is where digital cameras come into their own. It took a lot of images to get the right one! This print was placed first in the pictorial section of the 2004 Annual Print Competition.

Mike first started photography when he was in the police, and then joined Crosby camera club when he went along with another ex-South member Graham Pickthall who was also in the police. Mike was a Nikon owner during these early days and soon decided to join a bigger club and put his Nikon kit to the test during 1991. It was then he joined the South Liverpool Photographic Society. Many of the clubs competitions were in two separate divisions, Advanced and Intermediate, the only way to get into the Advanced section was by winning the Intermediate level entries in the monthly competition, and this wasn’t easy.

"George Singh". This picture was taken at Chevasse Park on 13th August 2003 during the Mathew Street Festival. He was playing with the famous sitar player Shalil Shankar. This Print was placed first in the portrait category at the Annual Competition in 2004.

George Singh

Mike wasn’t one for sitting around and soon got involved with various positions on the committee starting as the Equipment secretary, then onto the Syllabus Secretary and finally Club Secretary where he played a very active role.

Cathedral Walk

“Cathedral Walk”. This picture was taken in August 2009. I had just bought a Canon 15 mm fish eye lens and this was one of the first pictures I took with it. I happened to be in the right place at the right time, which doesn’t happen very often. I had walked up the steps leading to the Metropolitan cathedral and moved to the right to try and get the side of the structure in the shot. I had only been there about five minutes when I saw a woman walking towards me from my right hand side. She had dark hair, was walking quickly and was dressed in RED! I couldn’t believe it and managed to get three or four shots as she walked in front of me. I was a very lucky man!! The picture, a mono version, won the Alec Balmer Trophy and came first in the Annual Anglican Photo Competition.

Mikes photography became serious when he got a press pass to enter the stage areas for the Mathew street festival, this gave him the chance to get some unique images of the performers from close up. Being a very keen music lover he was able to combine both interests.

The year 2000 saw him pick up the Annual Competition trophies for Pictorial and Illustrative and the much sought after Portrait Trophy.


“Bo Didley” Taken at the Cavern Club on 12th November 2001. This was one of the last pictures that I took on film (Fuji 400 ASA Slide film). I decided to sell all my Nikon equipment and buy the Canon D30 digital camera with a 3.2 MP sensor, which had just been announced. I used this camera and a variety of lenses until I bought a Canon 5D quite a few years later.

As the digital age came about it required lots of experimenting with numerous Photo shop talks and visits from some of the best teachers in the country including people like Dr Ed Sethna. Mike finally took the plunge and changed to Canon digital system, however before he made the change he took his last film shoot at the Mathew Street festival, including his award winning photographs of Bo Didley.

Many more prize winning images were to come from the Mathew street festivals.

Karl Terry and the Cruisers

“Karl Terry and the Cruisers”. Taken at the Caverns 40th Anniversary on 26th January 1997, using Kodak Tri X film. This picture was awarded 1st Place in that years Mersey River Festival Competition.

Mike has again changed his style of photography equipment and has now off loaded all his SLR equipment for two mirrorless cameras, a Fuji x100 and a Sony RX giving him a high quality lightweight system.  He spends a lot of his photography time on the street shooting mainly candid style photography of people. He does however prefer to stay away from the Adobe photo shop stereo type images and HDR type of images. Mike feels the club is moving forward in many areas including the very high quality of its lecturers, and competition judges. And a high level of photography.

Chat Lines by Tony Myers FRPS