The South Wales Argus Camera Club has more than 4,300 members and we regularly feature their pictures both in paper and online.

But we thought it would be good to find out more about the people who make up the club.

If you are a member of the club and want to be part of the our Behind the Lens feature go to and fill out the easy to use Q&A.

South Wales Argus: Trying to look cool,failing miserably!Today we meet Alan Phillips, a field service engineer, aged 56, who lives in Pontypool.

When and why did you take up photography?

I took it up in about 1986. I got the bug from Dad who was into it. He took photos of buses every where he went... he loved them. Sometimes it was the case of go shopping with mum or tag along with Dad. He would make sure the sun was right and make sure he in best position to get that one film shot right. I had to follow - but not buses!

South Wales Argus: Red Arrows Swansea

Red Arrows over Swansea


Why do you love taking pictures?

It can be quiet relaxing. You are in your in own world. Hoping to create something which is pleasing to the eye. It is a great buzz if you are sure it's a great shot and more rewarding if other people think it is too. I am not very creative but the camera allows you to be. I love getting water to look smooth or catch a propeller on a plane to look like it's moving because if it is taken still it should be falling out of sky! You catch a moment which may not happen again.

Where is your favourite place to take pictures and why?

My local park is Fishponds Park, Panteg, Pontypool. Before the lockdowns I would hardly go there but during my daily walk I found myself drawn there. There is such a variety of plants and flowers with such lovely colours - I just had to take some shots. I can follow all four seasons and am slowly learning what plants are called.

What equipment do you use?

Pentax KR - 18-55mm lens and Sigma 70 - 300mm lens and Tripod

South Wales Argus: Cldach Gorge

Clydach Gorge

What is the favourite picture you have taken and why?

My favourite picture was of a waterfall taken in Clydach Gorge near Brynmawr. I always wanted to take a photo of a waterfall and put all I had learnt with my camera into practice for what I hoped would be the perfect shot. I'd never been there before - it was like an exciting adventure. I had to climb down some slightly wet steep rocks to get to position I wanted to take shot. The water and scene I wanted was breathtaking in my opinion.

Why did you join the SWACC?

I had seen what pictures were in the Argus and thought perhaps I can produce a picture as good. I love looking at other peoples photos in the group, some are so brilliant. It's nice getting to know and in some cases meeting a member. It is great to chat to someone with same interest and get the odd tip on how they took a particular shot.

What advice would you give anyone who wants to get into photography?

Work out what you want to take shots of most of the time and research and research what type of camera would suit your subject matter. Check the cost and how often will you use it and chat to other people who use a camera often.

If you could photograph anyone or any place who/what would it be and why?

My father next to a bus as he would very rarely pose for me. He took hundreds of photos of buses. But for him to stand and be photographed in a manner I wanted - no.