Kirk Norbury, Landscape and Timelapse Photography. September 11th

At the second meeting of our new season Kirk Norbury gave us a contrasting presentation in two distinct halves. Kirk is a professional photographer and timelapse cinematographer who now lives and works in Ayrshire.  He described how he his work has changed recently with more emphasis on commercial work, for example with several whisky distillers, and in his landscape photography with more emphasis on monochrome work.

In the first half of his talk he showed and talked about his monochrome images almost exclusively. We were shown a series of very atmospheric and moody images from the Scottish Isles, Ayrshire and Iceland.


Kirk demonstrated how concentrating on monochrome enable him to concentrate much more on composition.


Although his images are taken in colour and then processed to produce monochrome images, when taking his photographs he has his camera set up to only show a monochrome view on the rear screen. He also showed several monochrome images taken close-up to demonstrate the textures and effects of light. He demonstrated that in contrast to the usual practice of finding the best light at the beginning and end of the day, for his images highlighting texture the harsh midday sun is often more effective.

At the end of the first half he did show us some landscape photographs in colour including some beautifully evocative photographs of the Aurora borealis taken in Iceland.


The second half of Kirk’s talk was devoted to his timelapse photography. He showed us several of his timelapse films which varied from coastal landscapes to urban landscapes to commercial shoots of workers fitting new glass panels to a state of the art new build whisky distillery. Timelapse photography was new to most of the audience and Kirk demonstrated the techniques and equipment he uses. He explained why he believes he gets a superior result using timelapse rather then just shooting video in that with a series of high resolution images there is much more control over the quality of the final video. He did also refer to the downside of timelapse in that it, by definition, it involves standing next to your camera for often, hours at a time to obtain a result. However the quality and uniqueness of the timelapse videos Kirk showed us demonstrated how the result justified the time and effort he had put in. His timelapse videos can be viewed on his website at

Worldwide Photo Walk October 5th

One of our members, David Leighton, is leading a walk in Keswick as part of the 12th World Wide Photo Walk:

“The Scott Kelby Worldwide Photo Walk, dubbed the world’s largest global and social photography event, has grown immensely in size and popularity since the inaugural walk in 2007. Last year, more than 24,000 photographers of all walks of life and skill level converged to explore their corners of the world through photography and social community. The concept of a Photo Walk is simple. Photo Walks are created by Walk Leaders in cities all over the world. Walkers meet up at a pre-designated location to spend a few hours socializing, capturing images, and sharing with like-minded people. At the end of the Photo Walk, most groups convene at local restaurants or taverns to share their images and experiences over food. In addition to the event, photo walkers will be able to upload their favourite picture to our popular Photo Walk contest for a chance to win prizes like a DSLR, gift cards, apps, and camera bags. We will also name a Grand Prize winner and 10 finalists to be selected by Scott Kelby himself! Every year, we encourage every photo walker to help support the initiative to “Walk with a Purpose” by donating to the Springs of Hope Orphanage in Kenya! The event is free, but pre-registration is required.  Register at, locate your city, and complete the free sign up form. Additionally, participants can connect socially before, during and after the event using the hashtag #WWPW2019 hashtag on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.”

For more information and to sign up for the Keswick walk pleased go to –

Season Opening, September 4th

The 47th season of Keswick Photographic Society was launched on September 4th with our new chairman, David Woodthorpe introducing ten club members who would show and talk about some of their successful images from the competitions the society held last year. Just prior to doing that, however, he announced that we had achieved fifth and third places in the Open and Nature competitions respectively, run by the Photographic Society of America. These are prestigious competitions run over a number of rounds over the year and is open to all camera clubs from anywhere in the world. The fact that we have done so well against what the best of the world has to offer is a tribute to the high standards and strength in depth of our society.

David Woodthorpe started the main business showing three bird portraits taken locally as well as a quirky one of a white Mountain Hare cleaning his face with a hind paw, wittily entitled “Hare Washing”.


Our previous chairman, Keith Snell took us first to Scotland with a landscape shot of the River Orchy in spate, but also to far flung locations in Botswana and Svalbard with pictures that included a Juvenile Elephant stamping its feet in frustration and a delightful family portrait of Polar Bears.


Keswick’s doyenne of nature photography, Ronnie Gilbert, also transported us to exotic places in the Brazilian Pantanal, (Jaguar and Toucans), and India, (Tigers) but also Spain with Golden Eagles in golden light and most memorably a wonderfully caught encounter with the incredibly rare Iberian Lynx.


Next up was landscape expert, Ken Rennie, although in this selection, along with landscapes from Borrowdale, Skye, Brittany and north Spain was an atmospheric shot of a girl in a white dress and floppy sunhat surrounded by lavender plants. You could almost smell the aromatic oils and the magic was only slightly diminished when Ken explained that he had actually cloned out the girl’s outstretched arm and selfie-taking mobile phone.



Alan Walker showed expertly taken examples of a Grizzly Bear catching Salmon and a Polar Bear battling into a blizzard. He also showed three pictures based on studio portraits but transformed into intriguing stories with the addition of atmospheric backgrounds. His final shot was of an athlete splashing into the water during a steeplechase race, taken from a low perspective with a wide-angle lens.


Heleen Franken-Gill, a relatively new member of the society showed an ethereal landscape shot of Cat Bells and sunlit trees emerging out of the mist. Similarly striking was an artfully arranged collection of blue glass bottles on a window ledge, gently lit from behind. A monochrome close up of a Calligrapher concentrating on his work was taken in the historic Round Church in Cambridge.


Julie Walker took us to the Tetons with diamond dust glinting the air as four Elks picked across a thermally warmed river, Dalmatian Pelicans squabbling over fish on a frozen lake in Northern Greece and as change of temperature an aging rock star giving it his all at the microphone stand.


Ted Jordan reinforced his reputation after being given an award for most improved photographer last year and belied his rather self-deprecating remarks about just taking snaps with a variety of excellent shots ranging from a carnival performer in Gran Canaria, a classical view of Wast Water made special with fabulous light, to a Barbary Ape clutching a piece of fruit on the Rock of Gibraltar.


Marilyn Woodthorpe was similarly broad in her material with a gentle and evocative shot of early morning Varanasi taken from a boat on the Ganges through a wet Seathwaite Farmyard with a glimpse of the sodden fellsides and clouds beyond to a nicely observed close up shot of rusty iron work on an old gate.


Finally, but not least, one of Keswick’s other nature photographers, Carol Minks delighted us with two shots of a wonderful Great Grey Owl gliding in and plunging into deep snow, an imperious Golden Eagle standing over a Red Fox carcass, and much closer to home, a handsome Brown Hare, all twitching alertness in deep grass.


Keswick Photographic Society is a relatively small and friendly club and we welcome anybody, whether expert or beginner to our meetings, and we have set up a mentoring scheme to help everybody to improve their photography. Meetings are weekly over the winter and we meet at the Friends Meeting House just the other side of Booths car park on Wednesdays at 7.30. Our next meeting is a talk by professional photographer Tony Higginson about his landscape work

Edinburgh Festival Success

Congratulations to members Alan Walker and Keith Snell who have their prints exhibited in the 157th Edinburgh International Exhibition of Photography which is a part of the Edinburgh Festival fringe event. Acceptance into this exhibition is particularly prestigious because only 11% of the submitted prints are accepted. Alan did especially well, having two prints accepted for exhibition. The Exhibition runs until 25th August at 68 Great King Street in Edinburgh and of course the rest of the Edinburgh Festival is going on at the same time. Also worth noting is that the Scottish Parliament building is hosting the 2019 World Press Photo awards, a free exhibition of some stunning photojournalism photographs which is well worth seeing

“Whose idea was it to shelter here” by Alan Walker:


“Tree Sprite” by Keith Snell:


“Fish Frenzy through the Ice” by Alan Walker


Drumburgh macro outing July 2019

On Friday July 26th Tony Walker yet again led a select but intrepid group into the depths of Drumburgh Moss. They braved the ferocity of the local cleggs to capture macro images of the local wildlife.

Emerald damselfly by Ken Rennie


Hoverfly by David Leighton


Golden Hoverfly by Ted Jordan


Cicadella viridis by Tony Marsh


Southern Hawker by Wendy Jordan




NCPF Annual Competitions Results

The Northern Counties Photographic Federation Annual Competitions are held in the spring of each year. These are competitions for individuals primarily,  though awards are also given for clubs. Yet again KPS did very well with this year, members winning several awards and the club winning the awards for best club entry of colour prints and best club entry of projected digital images. The individual awards were:

Best Mono print: “Wild Tiger Family” by Tony Marsh:


Best Landscape: “Misty Morning Paddle ” by Tom Stenhouse

















Best Nature Print: “Alert Brown Hare” by Carol Minks


Best Human Portrait PDI: “Christine in Mauve” by Julie Walker


Best Nature PDI: “Hare Washing” by David Woodthorpe:



Best Beginners PDI: “Retro in Rome” by David Leighton

Exhibition and Sale of Prints, May 11th and 12th, The Borrowdale Institute, Rosthwaite


We are holding an Exhibition and Sale of Keswick Photographic Society Members’ pictures at The Borrowdale Institute, Rosthwaite on Saturday 11th and Sunday 12th May.  Doors open at 10am to 5pm both days.
There will be some fantastic mounted prints from worldwide Natural History to local landscapes.  It is free to enter. The sale of prints is to support and promote Keswick Photographic Society, currently one of the most successful photographic societies in the country, despite its modest size.  Visitors will get the opportunity to learn about the society as well as take away photographs at a fraction of their retail value.

Portfolio of the Year 2019

April 3rd saw us holding our members portfolio competition in which each of their three entries in each section (print and projected image) has to be a different photographic genre. This takes some of our members out of their usual comfort zone and provides a great variety of images. Our judge for this competition, Rob Hockney DPAGB, was from the far-flung reaches of the empire, namely North Cheshire, and was a very experienced judge from the Cheshire and Lancashire Photographic Union. The judgement of each image was made on a twenty-point scale and taking no account of the photographic genre depicted, the aggregation of the three scores by each photographer being assessed at the end as their portfolio score.

Rob set about his judging with 36 prints covering the diverse themes of natural history, landscape, urban scenes and portraiture and people. The images were taken in equally diverse locations, Kazakhstan, India and Japan perhaps being the furthest afield. Top scores of 20 were awarded to a beautiful monochrome study of a Scottish mountain hare by Julie Walker:


and an atmospheric seascape of breaking waves by Ken Rennie. Four scores of 19 were awarded: two to Ken Rennie for an informal portrait of a young girl in a lavender field and a group of snowdrops in the wild; to Tom Stenhouse for a delightful photograph of two very elegantly-dressed south-east asian ladies walking away from the viewer; and to Alan Walker for a wildlife image of three Dalmatian pelicans  fighting over fish in a break in the ice-covered water. Rob awarded 18 points to five prints: four of these were landscapes, including two by David Woodthorpe of Path to Frosty Morn in a wintery glade and a night-time urban landscape featuring the illuminated Squinty Bridge across the Clyde; The Lone Tree by Keith Snell was a solitary tree in a snowy landscape in Yellowstone Park; Glen Etive Waterfall in a Scottish glen was by Alan Walker; and John Macfarlane had an action photo of a Stellers Eagle landing talon-first in the snow.  The overall best of show print was Ken Rennie’s seascape:


He also took the Print Portfolio of the Year award for his three images, with David Woodthorpe and Alan and Julie Walker as the joint runners-up.

Forty-five images were submitted for judging in the digital section, covering a similar variety of subjects as the prints but with some still life and sports-oriented images too. Top scores of 20 were awarded to Keith Snell for an autumnal landscape shot of a raging torrent in Glen Orchy:

and to Ken Rennie for a studio-lit still life of a fruiting St John’s Wort. Rob awarded 19 points to just one image, that of an atmospheric landscape titled Derwent Mist Catbells by Heleen Franken-Gill in which the upper slopes of the mountain emerge mysteriously out of the lake cloaked in thick mist:


Two images were awarded 18 points: a wildlife image by Julie Walker of two Dalmatian pelicans, again Pelicans On Ice, but this time competing for a skating crab;


and a monochrome photograph by Alan Walker of a girl leaning backwards as she clears The High Jump. The overall best of show projected image was Ken Rennie’s still life of St John’s Wort, making it a double success for Ken in each section and showing that his renown in landscape photography is not the only genre he excels in:


However, the Projected Image Portfolio of the Year award was accorded to Julie Walker for her images of the pelicans together with a portrait of an ageing rock star in action (Still Rocking) and a winter landscape of elk does crossing the Snake River in Grand Teton National Park (Cold Morning On The River Snake). The joint runners-up were Alan Walker and Ken Rennie.

All the images entered in the Portfolio of the Year can be seen on our gallery pages:

2018-2019 Galleries

Annual Short Sets Competition, March 13th, 2019

This was the evening for our annual Short Sets competition.  This competition has two categories, Projected Digital Images (PDIs) and Audio Visual (AV) presentations.  There were ten competitors in total, six delivering PDIs and 4 producing AVs. Each competitor is allocated 10 minutes in which to deliver their presentation which can be on any theme. The entries are judged by the audience who, by secret ballot, collectively choose the best of each category.

Marilyn Woodthorpe’s opening presentation was a light hearted and candid look back at the society’s trip to the Falkirk Wheel, the Kelpies and Edinburgh, last April.  As well as records of the event, which also included Edinburgh Zoo and the Royal Yacht Britannia, there were a few cringe worthy, candid images of members in less than glorious poses:


This was followed by a much more sensitive (and sensible) offering by  David Leighton who produced some wonderful images of waterfalls in Yorkshire.  He had experimented with different angles, close-up distances and exposures to get the best effect of moving water through some iconic Yorkshire landscapes. He included some unusual night shots of the waterfalls which included spectacular lighting effects:

Carol Minks, not surprisingly, produced a very competent selection of pictures from a recent expedition to the western isles of British Columbia where she had sought out whales and bears.  Her photographs including some extreme close-ups of whales, revealed her experience in weather which varied from the warm and benign to the absolutely ghastly; and she had experienced some of this weather on rough seas whilst on a boat the size of a small dining table:


David Stephenson, who delivered the winning entry in this section chose to show us images from Iceland in Winter.  The stark and hostile weather conditions experienced by David were well documented showing snow to the first floor windows of his accommodation and clearing snow to free cars stuck in snowdrifts.  But he produced some stunning images of remote churches, waterfalls and winter landscapes both in colour and mono:


Keith Snell, one of the society’s  experts on nudes, photographically speaking, alluded to the comparisons between some of the world renowned artists’ approaches to nude portraiture and his own photographic attempts at capturing form, shape and beauty. Keith demonstrated the art of nude photography with particular reference to the creative use of light, or lack of light, to create the illusion of shape and form and to model symmetry:


Last but by no means least was Edward Richardson’s Beast!  His presentation entitled ‘Moving East with the Beast – To Venice in Snow’ portrayed, amongst other quite unusual vistas, the very unusual scenes of snow on the gondolas, in St. Mark’s Square and at the airport!  In fact his journey was seriously influenced by last year’s Beast from the East which almost succeeded in preventing him from travelling to Venice at all.  His final image taken on his last day in Venice showed a wonderful sunny, dry and warm day at the airport, which had, of course, arrived a week too late:


The first AV presentation was from Julie Walker and it was a stunning portrayal of bears in the wild. Entitled ‘Just Bears’ her presentation included bears from all corners of the world. There were Brown bears, Grizzly bears, Polar bears, bear cubs and she showed them in their natural environments playing, hunting, fishing or just being quietly menacing.   Richard Jakobson produced an incredibly entertaining mock-up of Test Match Special as he described the 2013 Village Cricket Championship at Lords, the home of cricket.  His local team, the Cleator village team, won sensationally and Richard created a really light hearted but very professional AV of the event.

The winning AV followed.  It was the work of Ken Rennie, a very accomplished landscape photographer who, on this occasion produced a collection of high key, minimalist seascapes from England, France, Scotland and Spain. The delicate and restrained colours of the sea, sand and sky in beautiful compositions were so easy on the eye proving a worthy winner on the night.

The final AV was from another well known and accomplished natural history photographer, Tony Marsh, whose presentation, ‘Tiger family morning’, followed a family of three cubs and their mother in the Indian state of Rajasthan as the cubs nuzzled, relaxed, cooled themselves in a stream and generally chilled out whilst the adult tiger, always alert, stalked, chased and ultimately successfully provided an antelope lunch for them all!

The standard of this year’s entries was very high and all were very entertaining, which was reflected in the scoring with all entries getting votes and the two winning entries just pipping others at the post.

Presentation by Morton Photographic Society, 20th March 2019

At this week’s meeting we were entertained by members of Morton Photographic Society from Carlisle.  This was an opportunity for their members to demonstrate the variety and quality of their work and to show images that might not otherwise receive a public airing. During the evening we enjoyed a range of subject matter from various locations as well as different styles of presentation including stills, slide shows and audio visuals prepared  by both experienced and novice photographers.

John Reed kicked the evening off with a presentation simply titled “Cumbria”. He showed a collection of beautiful and atmospheric landscape images, all taken over the last three years.  He included shots taken at a variety of locations in Cumbria and at different times of year and he presented both monochrome and colour images:




Richard Speirs followed with a presentation titled “A Sense of Place”. Richard too focused on the Lake District with landscapes taken at several of his favourite locations throughout the year.  He also demonstrated how an image could be improved by tweaking it during processing and he explained how he added elements such as light and mist. The quality of both presentations served to remind us of the  potential that exists for wonderful images so close to home. The  first half concluded with an audio visual presentation titled “Route 66” prepared  by Ian Gregory. This dealt with the history of the A66 and took us along its route from the east to the west coast stopping at some of the highlights along the way including Brough and Appleby.

There was more variety in the second half with Gerald Chamberlin presenting several slide shows on different subjects. The first of these focused on classic cars which he had photographed in various stages of decay. A number of images of cars, or parts of cars, taken in woodland illustrated Gerald’s ability to produce unusual and artistic work .  The subject of his next presentation was infrared photography and he showed a number of images taken in Scandinavia.


Finally he presented some of his intricate composite images, explaining briefly how he had achieved them. We then enjoyed some still  images of Iceland, a popular destination for many photographers,  taken in snowy and sometimes blizzard conditions by Fred Bell. A further set of his images taken at the South Lakes Zoo demonstrated that you do not have to travel to distant lands in order to photograph exotic animals such as tigers and snow leopards. This was followed by an entertaining audio visual presentation prepared by Gilly Linton of a recent trip to St Kilda which featured towering cliffs, lovely seascapes and abandoned buildings. The final presentation, another AV, had been prepared by Steve Jeffery. Steve is a keen mountaineer and adventurer and  could not attend the meeting because he is apparently currently kayaking in the Antarctic.  His presentation of stunning scenery in the Himalayas and other mountainous regions vividly illustrated his love of adventure and wild places. Altogether it was a very enjoyable evening.