A Visit to Morton Camera Club 25th January 2018

The usual Wednesday weekly meeting of Keswick Photographic Society was transferred to Thursday following an invitation from Morton Camera Club for members to attend and present their images.  A group of volunteers from Keswick set out to Morton Community Centre in Carlisle where they were welcomed by Chairman Gerald Chamberlain.

The evening was started by Keswick’s Chairman, Keith Snell with an image of a nude model holding a discreetly placed chiffon. It had been taken at a Royal Photographic Society course when the model was relaxed and not consciously posing. Keith had used a small Canon G15 camera without flash producing an image which fulfilled all the rules of fibonacci sequence.  He then showed a lone Red Fox in Yellowstone in scenic snowscape, a reminder that these are lone animals who can survive in wilderness and travel huge distances. Next was an example of Intentional Camera Movement (ICM) which was achieved by panning from left to right with the appropriate camera settings. He ended with an example of In Camera Multiple Exposure (ICME) where three images of heather, reeds and water were superimposed on each other giving a surreal appearance.

Richard Jakobson then gave a talk on “A Novices Guide to the Milky Way” showing beautiful images of the night sky and the Milky Way. His tips were to be awake at 3am(!), use a tripod and to focus on infinity. Amazingly the camera sees a totally different image from that of the eye.  Richard had added foreground interest by either using longer exposures, a torch or a little help from the quarter moon. However he encountered two problems; condensation on the lens and falling asleep.  Despite the title of ‘novice’ these images were very good.

Ken Rennie then showed some stunning landscape images of Dornoch Point in Scotland, Castle Crag in Borrowdale and the steamer on Ullswater taken from Gowbarrow.  His talk included the various techniques he uses in lightroom and photoshop to obtain impressive improvements which were often counter intuitive. In addition he changed from using a wide angled lens to a telephoto lens to emphasise the more interesting aspects of the landscape, hence the adage “less is more”.

Following the interval Carmen Norman showed some studio shots of a ballerina (Kirstie) in a variety of poses displaying her versatility including an amazing standing splits. The use of a step ladder gave some additional interesting postures and lighting challenges.  Outdoors, Kirstie did some ballet leaps and spins adjacent to Crummock Water, waterfalls and Cathedral Cavern where a point pose reflecting in the water was beautiful.

Carole Waterhouse showed a number of images that at first sight appeared ordinary but after some radical cropping to focus on an intriguing part of the image then copied up to 6 times, she produced some exceptional work, “Hands of Buddha” being a good example.  Images of bubbles and reflections were manipulated into creative and visually impressive compositions.

Ronnie Gilbert ended the evening with some of his natural history shots. He explained that  for certain animals it was essential to be in a hide because of the sensitivity or the ferocity of the subject including kingfishers, sparrowhawks and a European Brown Bear whereas less sensitive and more curious fauna are hares, squirrels, and the deer in Bradgate Park.  The RSPB sites at Leighton Moss, Martin Mere, Bempton Cliffs and the Farne Islands all provide ideal sites to photograph various species of water loving birds. One of Ronnie’s beautiful images was of two humming birds on the decking of an apartment in California, taken with camera in one hand and a G&T in the other.  His finale was an image of an adolescent grizzly bear running towards him, he chose to stand still and fortunately the bear passed by about 5 feet away. Phew!

The feedback from Morton members was very complimentary and Keswick Photographic Society look forward to the 2018-2019 season when Morton Camera Club will visit Keswick to reciprocate the session.