This was an evening where instead of having a presentation from an outside speaker, members viewed one another’s pictures in the form of themed “panels” of three prints. 28 panels were shown in total from 14 members and it proved to be a fascinating and enjoyable evening where we could look at very personal and sometimes quirky images that were often very different from those we would enter into competitions.
Ronnie Gilbert set us off with themes of “Diving for food”, showing a Grizzly Bear and a Lesser Black-backed Gull with a fish each and an Otter with a crab, and then three icy scenes containing a handsome male Wigeon, (a duck), a flying Mallard and a Snipe.
Roland Harries showed intriguing pictures taken from the window of his upstairs flat, three of wonderful cloudscapes and three showing the recent roadworks proceeding near Booths supermarket. Two of these at night were particularly atmospheric.
Richard Jakobson had contrasting panels of impressionistic views of grasses and birch trees, with a pleasing blur caused by moving the camera vertically whilst taking the picture and dramatic monochrome portraits of a White Rhinocerous, a Cheetah and an Elephant, taken in Namibia. Roy Knowles panel was on a theme of “Walls”, a pleasingly isolated zig zag of dry stone walls taken near Caldbeck Common, the graffiti covered interior of an abandoned Irish coastguard station and a dramatic house wall mural from Londonderry remembering the events of Bloody Sunday. Tony Marsh showed three different lemur species taken in Madagascar and Carol Minks featured more “Winter” scenes of a Cygnet on ice, a wonderful sunset overlooking Derwent Water and a flock of brightly coloured Waxwings adorning a tree like exotic Christmas decorations. She then followed with three beautiful butterflies, surrounded by grasses or flowers taken in the Bulgarian mountains where the insect life is untouched by modern farming practices in a way we can only dream about.
Ed Richardson then took us to New Zealand with shots of the same tree standing in a lake and with a backdrop of mountains. Taken over a number of years it showed very different lake water levels. Ken Rennie, one of our most skilful landscape photographers treated us to four sets of landscape prints. A section of Hadrian’s Wall near Housesteads in very different conditions but all in beautiful light, ethereal low key shots of Ullswater, Rydal Water and a Scottish Loch, rays of sunlight streaming between the trees in a foggy Gelt Woods and minimalist shots of sand and sea from the Solway, Cornwall and Brittany. Keith Snell’s shots were all taken within 20 paces of one another in Wasdale, each using novel techniques and showed how much interest can be gained by looking imaginatively in a small space whereas Tom Stenhouse treated us to a sunset performance in a hotel infinity pool in Thailand where a fire-lighting finale was matched by the pyrotechnics of a setting sun backlighting splashes of water. A second set was of two colourfully lit modern towers in Tokyo and Kyoto flanking a serene but equally colourful ancient Buddhist temple.
Carole Waterhouse, showed three panels, one of a Heron at Muncaster Castle, a trio of Indian Street characters and idiosyncratic portraits of street performers from Edinburgh and Whitby. Marilyn Woodthorpe showed landscapes, three snowy Cairngorms scenes and three of lava fields and amazing flower displays from Idaho. David Woodthorpe’s panels were of beautiful coloured smoke trails at a Red Arrow display and detailed bird portraits all taken in one day in Scotland. Perhaps the most intriguing presentation was by Robert Webb: he has been experimenting with an ancient plate bellows camera that he has been renovating using bits from e-bay and custom made metalwork. Using film he acquires from the Czech Republic and home developing he has successively produced images of tree bark but this is very much the beginning of a work in progress.
All in all, this was a highly enjoyable evening with a great range of photographic enthusiasms on show and with the explanations given gave us much insight into each other’s photography.