Melanie Chalk

A photograph is the pause button on life.


Results of an experiment in Eco Printing, made a sandwich of paper and leaves and a few rusty nails, tied up securely and steamed it over the barbecue. Three hours later it was exciting to cut the package apart and reveal the resulting leaf prints.  Dried overnight I was thrilled with my experiment.

Operation Stack Lorry Park

Here is an Audio Visual I made in PROTEST about the obscene waste of money for a monster Lorry Park that won't solve Operation Stack!

Is it my age? Is it because I have time on my hands now I'm retired? Is it because I care more?

Whatever the reason, on a daily basis, I continue to be enraged about the plan to build a Lorry Park to solve Operation Stack. To build it near to sites of SSI and ANB, to ruin our beautiful views, to affect so many properties and the lives of those who will live so close to the site, for what? A barren concrete or tarmac wilderness ready and waiting for another occurrence of Operation Stack, this monster site will not solve it, just create more chaos, and we haven't needed OS for 15 months and counting!

There have to better, less destructive measures that can be properly explored before a spade is lifted!

In my sixty plus years I have never written to the Prime Minister, Secretary of State, Chancellor of the Exchequer or marched at a Demonstration, or Consulted with a Government department. Well I have now!  I have written to local Councillors but they don't reply, and didn't even bother with my MP but I am eagerly awaiting Mrs May's letter in reply!  I am becoming a boring old women but my demonstration for the cause will NOT see me joining in the Naked Cycle Ride, there are limits to my support!

But I do make Audio Visuals, and having purchased the fund raising CD, Big Yellow Taxi, featuring Emilee Boyce and produced by Martin Hayles, who has kindly given me permission to use the track in my sequence, I was inspired to make it. See below to watch and listen on Vimeo.

Some of the images were taken very recently, and as luck would have it a Balloon ride, we made with Kent Ballooning last year, bailed close to Op Stack and close to where the Lorry Park may be, so I was pleased to see we had captured images of Stanford from above that I could use.  Others are screenshots from publications and FB and websites. The "March" images were taken by my friend Simon Newlyn. I am probably breaking all sorts of rules by recording sound from broadcasts found on the internet, but what the hell.  The crime of covering our part of Kent in concrete is more heinous than mine, and its on the internet for all to listen to.

So that's the end of my rant and it gave me great personal satisfaction to create this to the words from the song!



Operation Stack Lorry Park from Melanie Chalk on Vimeo.

A Spark Page

22 July 2016

So a lazy Saturday in the sun beside the sea, some dips in the channel to cool off, and a chilled prosecco whilst listening to Snow Patrol. So i thought I would watch some Lightroom Tutorials by Julieanne Kost to brush up my skills. The first post spoke about a Spark Page from Adobe, easy to set up and a way to share a story with images and or video. So I watched the vid. downladed the free app and whilst sitting in the garden with the music and the prosecco and the sunshine created my first page.  I use collections in LR and these I can readily access via mobile LR on my Ipad, so I can easily go and find the images.  The story was recorded using the mic facility on my pad so really no effort involved.  I was really pleased with the professional looking page I created in about half an hour.

Check it out here.

Now I have got the hang of these the possibilities are endless. Another one compiled after visits to Summer Gardens.

Belmont and Salutation Gardens

The Baptism of Audrey Poppy Elodie Chalk

February 7th 2016 was the day that Audrey, Poppy, Elodie Chalk was baptised at the Holy Family Church in Reigate. Here is a very short Video of the actual Baptism, she reacted as many babies are renowned to do, and screamed throughout.   A glass of Prosecco was raised, to toast her, in the adjoining hall where the close family, godparents and friends enjoyed a delicious lunch and cake. Thank you Tim and Stacey and Evelyne and Audrey for a lovely and memorable day.

View more

Audrey's Baptism  |  68 images

Send in the Clowns

To extend my photographic knowledge I decided to book a one to one photo shoot with Kristina Locke, Sister of Sinister at her studio in Tontine Street. I wanted to use a clown theme, but a subtle take on perhaps what is usually very colourful. I scoured Pinterest for inspiration, finding lots of ideas to stimulate my thoughts.  I decided I wanted to use a ruffle to circle the models neck so started to investigate availability on the internet.  What was advertisd seemed to me a bit naff so decided to make one.  I sourced a vintage bridal veil and recycled it into a tulle ruffle, and the results are shown in my images. My thoughts and plans for the effect I visualised were realized and I am very pleased with the results straight out of the camera.  I will enjoy processing them.

Kristina 1
View more

Kristina  |  17 images

Melanie Chalk DPAGB ARPS

Its now official a Distinction with the RPS, I have achieved ARPS in Multimedia. I set myself a goal in 2014 that I would go for my DPAGB and ARPS in 2015 and have achieved both at the first attempt. The judges at both panels included top experts in this discipline so to hear them comment on the photography and creativity in my application was affirming, confirming I had reached the high level to pass. When you consider the amount of images they contain, when presenting them for a distinction, the entrant is showcasing possibly 100’s of images as well as combining it with music and voice and effective transitions. If anyone is contemplating a distinction in Multimedia, either with the PAGB or RPS please contact me and I will be more that happy to pass on my experience. Audio Visuals often elicit groans when mentioned in Camera Clubs, have a bad press as being boring, but they don’t have to be! They can take hours and hours to create an entertaining 3 minutes! But they can be a very effective medium for displaying beautiful images as well as creative use of many PS skills.

Here are the links to Time, my latest that came second in the recent Annual KCPA AV Competition and then the three that gained me the ARPS in Multimedia.


Forgotten Heroes 

Mist and Fog


Another Piece of Chalk

We are pleased to announce the safe arrival of Audrey, Poppy, Elodie Chalk our new granddaughter, sister for Evelyne Grace. I did a photo shoot and there is are gallery of the images I captured of her and Evelyne. Another little personality to watch developing.

View more

Audrey and Evelyne Photoshoot  |  50 images

About Me

Melanie Chalk an avid photographer specialising in atmospheric seaside shots and delightful macros of flowers. Living a stones throw from the sea in Sandgate on the south east coast of England gives her great opportunities to capture both the power and tranquility of the sea and it's surroundings. Through her career as a florist she has a great affinity with flowers, and photographing them in their natural habitat as well as in "closeup" is something she just can't resist.