KPS 1st Open Competition, October 3rd 2018

The judge for our First Open Competition was Tony Potter, ARPS, EFIAP/p, APSA, GMPSA, DPAGB, APAGB, a Northern Counties Photographic Federation judge from West Cumbria.  The 38 prints and 44 projected digital images had been delivered to the judge beforehand and Tony arrived on the evening having awarded a score out of twenty for every print and projected image. Tony discussed each image, commenting on the good points and, in some cases, suggesting where improvements could be made.

The first half of the evening was devoted to the print entries and Tony commented that the prints, in particular, were of a very high standard and that this was reflected in the large number of images awarded a top score. Both prints entered by Julie Walker achieved a top score of twenty and four other Society members were awarded top scores for one of their prints. The winning prints were: ‘Horses Emerging from the Forest’ by Julie Walker:


‘Forest Maidens’ by Julie Walker:


‘The Beast from the East’ by Roland Harries:

‘Brown Hare’ by Carol Minks:


‘Hockney by the Sea’ by Ken Rennie:


and ‘The Laird’ by Alan Walker:


At the end of the print judging, Tony selected his personal overall winning print and this was ‘Hockney by the Sea’ by Ken Rennie.

Two prints scored nineteen points and these were: ‘Off Street Parking’ by Roland Harries:

and ‘Misty Great Bay’ by David Woodthorpe:

Another print by David Woodthorpe, entitled ‘Chinese Bridge’, was awarded eighteen points:


Prints by two other members also achieved scores of eighteen and these were: ‘On Reflection’ by Richard Jakobson:


and ‘Great Grey Owl Hunting’ by Carol Minks:


After a break Tony then reviewed the projected digital images. Of these six received a top score : ‘Teenage Tantrums’ by Keith Snell:


‘The Widow, rural Mongolia’ by John Macfarlane:


‘Spring Growth’ by Ken Rennie:


‘Christine in Mauve’ by Julie Walker:


‘No Trespassers’ by Alan Walker:


and ‘Puffin Returning to Sea’ by Tricia Rayment:


Tony selected ‘Teenage Tantrum’ by Keith Snell as his overall winning projected digital image.

Three projected images received scores of nineteen and these were: ‘Carnival Time’ by Ted Jordan:


‘Evening Light’ by Richard Jakobson:


and ‘Under Warnscale Beck’ by John Macfarlane:



Images with scores of eighteen were ‘At Full Pelt’ by David Woodthorpe:


‘Reed Bunting with Damselfly’ by David Woodthorpe:



‘Never to Fly Again by Michael Rowlinson:


‘I Told You It Was Slippy’ by Keith Snell:


‘The Happy Window’ by Carol Minks:


‘Face Off’ by Alan Walker:


and ‘Phalarope Hunting for Food’ by Tricia Rayment:











David Rayment thanked the judge for all his hard work judging and commenting on the images.

Howard Brown: Simple Seascapes. September 26th 2018

There was a warm welcome for Howard Brown at the society’s meeting tonight.  Howard is an amateur photographer, a member of Chorley Camera Club and an expert in seascape photography.  Indeed his photograph of Mangersta Sea Stacks from the Isle of Lewis was short-listed for the Scottish Landscape Image of the Year 2016.



Although Howard’s talk was called ‘Simple Seascapes’ it soon became apparent that his work, the preparation for it and often the degree of physical difficulty actually reaching some of the remote locations, meant that his seascapes could hardly be described as simple.  The first part of Howard’s presentation centred upon the technical and practical considerations of being a seascape photographer.  For all photography the essential ingredient is good light but this is even more critical when taking the striking landscape photographs which are almost always taken during the hour or so either side of sunrise or sunset.  The added complications with seascapes are the tide and the continually changing point at which the sun will be at the horizon throughout the seasons.  There are several phone apps which help with some of these problems and Howard explained which he used.  Howard is meticulous in his planning and will often sketch out the scene beforehand to get the best composition.  He is an advocate of the British Army adage of the 7Ps – Proper Planning and Preparation Prevents P*** Poor Performance.  I’ll leave the reader to consider the fifth P!!


Most of Howard’s seascapes are taken around the British Isles, but the highest concentration of lighthouses, which are in the main very photogenic, are apparently around the Brittany coast so this area is a great attraction to him, too.

The second half of Howard’s presentation entailed a detailed explanation of his approach to a number of his images.  Through his photographs of seascapes taken all around the British Isles he explained his journey from a novice photographer only seven years ago to the expert he has become in such a short period of time.  He has moved from the use of heavy vignettes and the use of HDR (High Dynamic Range) software to give punch to his images post production, to his current approach of light touch adjustments in Adobe Lightroom.  In order to achieve the right image in camera Howard uses an array of filters and light metering equipment and constantly monitors the changing light in his long exposure shots.  His images varied from very dramatic punchy colour images, through monochrome to much more subtle almost pastel colours. He demonstrated his significant progress in getting the light and composition right in camera thereby minimising the amount of computer manipulation to produce his quite outstanding images.


All in all this was a very informative presentation which was much more than a simple display of a presenter’s images but was a detailed analysis all that is required both technically and practically to get outstanding photographs

David Woodthorpe (Vice-chairman)

Season Opening 12th September 2018

This was the opening meeting  of the 2018-19 season and, as is traditional, involved a presentation by the Society’s chairman, Keith Snell,  called “Winter Wonderland”. This was based on images taken on a trip that Keith undertook to Yellowstone National Park this January. To start Keith explained a little about the human history and geological past of the area. Yellowstone was the first National Park in the USA, being signed into law by President Ulysses S. Grant in 1872 and the largest major volcanic activity there blew up about 600,000 years ago and produced approximately 600 cubic miles of rock and ash having a major impact on the whole global weather system and ecology and left a caldera some 40 to 70 miles across. Geo-thermal action persists with multiple hot springs and geysers scattered around most of the park and Keith showed pictures of marvellous cascading terraces of pools formed by mineral rich hot springs running down a hillside. Exotically colourful algae transform the hot pools and edges of geysers.

Keith then moved on to landscape shots of the dramatic snow covered mountains, forests,  rivers and lakes and the wonderful wildlife there which ranged from Trumpeter Swans to Moose. His group were very lucky to see not only large herds of Bison but to be able to capture a brief head to head encounter between two bulls and, in one beautiful and striking image, a line of bison walking along a ridge skyline above a perfectly situated lone tree, all surrounded by deep snow. This luck continued with the news of a killed Bison close to the road where, with patience, they were able to observe a wolf pack approach, wait for the alpha male to start feeding and then howl their appreciation of full stomachs before playing with one another in the snow. A short video added to the magic.



Keith also visited the Grand Tetons National Park, which holds a dramatic mountain range, with the highest mountain, Grand Teton, rising to 13,775 feet (4,199 m) above sea level. The weather here was bitterly cold and a toe and finger tip threatening 2hour wait next to a traditional farm barn in minus 20 degrees was eventually rewarded by 60 seconds of lifting mist which revealed glorious warm light illuminating the mountain peaks behind the barn before the mist closed down the view again. The resulting image was magical and summed up the harsh beauty of this portion of the United States.


After the break some of the members who had scored the highest points in last season’s internal competitions spoke for a few minutes each about how they had achieved their shots. Keith Snell started with a picture of an Eagle Owl peering round a tree at us the viewer, Keith was rather shamefaced about it as he knew that the owl was sat on the wrist of its handler, albeit hidden behind the tree, but the shot was extremely striking.  Tony Marsh then talked about a picture of a perky Wren atop a gate post, David Woodthorpe discussed shots of a flying Kingfisher and a Jay landing on a branch, both taken in hides near Kirkcudbright and Ken Rennie analysed how he had built up three of his exquisite landscape shots.

Tony Marsh

Drumburgh Moss Photoshoot

A small group of us headed out to Drumburgh Moss nature reserve on July 30th on our annual Macro field trip. The trip was timed to coincide with the likely emergence of Black Darter Dragonflies, in which we were not disappointed but there were lots of other insects to peer at and photograph ranging from Damselflies, Butterflies, Moths, Spiders and Shieldbugs not to mention the diminutive but amazing insectivorous Sundew plants. The weather was pleasant and the vegetation had freshened up after some much needed rain.
Black Darter by Alan Walker
Copulating Emerald Damselflies by Tony Marsh
More images from the outing can be seen in the gallery:

Final PSA-PID Competition of the season

The results have come through for the final round of this season’s Photographic Society of America PID-Group B competition. KPS came first out of 19 clubs in the May competition and joint first in Group B in the end of season standings. We will be promoted to Group A next season. Three of our images received Honours Awards in the May competition:

Col de Bavella by Ken Rennie

The Story of the Fox and Vole by Alan Walker

and Deadvlei Milky Way by Richard Jakobson

“Only Mono” Competition

KPS for the first time entered the “Only Mono” print competition held on May 12th. This a competition for mono print images only with 4 mounted prints entered from each club.

The results have recently been published and we came second. The submitted images were

Lone Tree and Bison – Keith Snell

Dornoch Point – Ken Rennie

After The Snowfall – Julie Walker

The She Warrior – Alan Walker

PSA Nature Division End of Season Results

After our club’s promotion to Class A of the Nature Division (the “Premier League”) of the PSA (Photographic Society of America), the end of season results have been published. Keswick Photographic Society came 4th out of the 32 clubs in the A league. A really creditable performance which again emphasises the strength of nature photography within our club.

Details and scores will be posted to the members section.

Keswick Photographic Society Trip to Edinburgh 17th – 19th April 2018

Early in the morning of Tuesday 17th April, 14 intrepid travellers, all members of Keswick Photographic Society, set off from Keswick in pouring rain and howling wind for a three day club visit to Edinburgh.  As we headed up the M6, with heavy spray on the windscreen obliterating the view, I was concerned about our prospects for surviving this weather let alone enjoying an adventure. Some of our members have still not moved from Leica, Nikon or Sony cameras to Canon, so I was fearful for their equipment too!
Fortunately, I had ordered perfect weather and by the time we reached Falkirk, the rain had stopped and confidence in my planning skills had been restored.  We all enjoyed the experience of The Falkirk Wheel trip on this quite unique apparatus which lifts canal boats up 30 metres from the Forth and Clyde Canal to the Union Canal. Previously this operation took a whole day to navigate through the staircase of 11 locks.
It is just a few miles to drive to The Helix eco-park where we had a delightful lunch in the visitor centre.  This was eagerly followed by a photographic exercise around the very impressive Kelpies.  By this time we were experiencing glorious weather which presented interesting skies for the many ‘snaps!’  We later made our way to the hotel in Leith where a number of us strolled along the shoreline before meeting up for dinner and a ‘few’ social
drinks to round off a perfect day.
After breakfast on Day 2 we all visited the Royal Yacht Britannia.  This is Scotland’s premier visitor attraction and with good cause.  The vessel is impressively maintained.  It is in an excellent location which has been significantly developed over the last few years to capture the interests of the tourist and shopper alike. The tour itself is complemented by a very good individual audio system and even the on-board tea room served excellent snacks and meals.  The group was appropriately lectured about looking both ways before crossing the busy Edinburgh streets and they spread out into the city centre to enjoy the many sights and attractions on offer, including the Royal Mile, The Castle, Scott’s Monument, Arthur’s Seat and much more.  Thankfully everyone made it back to the hotel in time for our planned dinner appointment at the Loch Fynne restaurant a short distance away. It was a brilliant meal and another very enjoyable social occasion for us all, which after all, is what the trip was about.
On Day 3 as we checked out of the hotel the group could have been forgiven for making their way back to Keswick but with the weather behaving much better than most of our party there was a reluctance to abandon this beautiful city just yet.  Though the day was unplanned, at least ten of us found ourselves being entertained by Meerkats, Pandas, Scottish Wild Cats and Gelada Baboons in Edinburgh zoo. This facility has changed dramatically over the years and now, to its credit, focuses principally on the preservation of endangered species.
By late afternoon most of us managed to escape from the premises unchallenged which rounded off what we all felt had been a really good social event, where photography quite properly was secondary to the main purpose; having FUN!
David Woodthorpe

Portfolio of the Year Competition: April 11th 2018

Keswick Photographic Society’s annual Portfolio of the Year competition was held on Wednesday 11th April. This was the final internal competition of the season and it was judged by Gerald Chamberlin DPAGB, EFIAP, from Morton Photographic Society in Carlisle and a Northern Counties Photographic Federation judge. The competition was divided into two sections: Prints and Digital Projected Images. Within each section, members enter 3 images, each in a different photographic genre. Entries are marked out of twenty and an award is given to the member achieving the highest combined score in each section. Fifteen members entered the competition, giving a total of forty-five prints and forty-five digital projected images for scoring.


The print entries were the first to be judged and included the following photographic genres: natural history, landscapes, weather, creative, sport, the hand of man, transport, people, portraits, abstracts and patterns, Before awarding a mark, Gerald discussed each image, in some cases suggesting where improvements could be made. The winner of the print section of the Portfolio of the Year competition was Alan Walker with a superb total score of fifty-eight out of a possible sixty. Two of Alan’s prints achieved top scores and these were: ‘The Story of the Fox and the Vole’ and ‘Back Stage before the Farewell Gig’:

In joint second place with scores of fifty-four were Julie Walker and David Woodthorpe and in joint third place were Ronnie Gilbert and Keith Snell with scores of fifty-two. In addition to Alan’s two top scoring prints, notable prints which achieved scores of nineteen were ‘Young Grizzly in Clover’ by Ronnie Gilbert:

‘Siberian Jay’ by Tony Marsh:

‘Autumn Beauty’ by Julie Walker and ‘Hare Brakes’ by David Woodthorpe:

After a break for refreshments, including some delicious cakes cooked by Marilyn Woodthorpe, the second half of the evening was devoted to the projected image entries. As with the prints, there was a wide range of photographic genres represented. The joint winners of the digital projected image section of the Portfolio of the Year competition were Richard Jakobson and Julie Walker, both of whom only dropped four points to achieve excellent scores of fifty-six. One of Richard’s projected images, entitled ‘Power on the Horizon, received a top score of twenty. This showed a very dramatic view of distant wind turbines out at sea under a threatening stormy sky:

In second place with a score of fifty-five was Alan Walker, closely followed by Ronnie Gilbert and David Woodthorpe in joint third place with scores of fifty-four. Within the projected images section, an image by Rosamund Macfarlane, entitled ‘Backlit Puffin’ was awarded a top score of twenty:

Seven other images received scores of nineteen. These were ‘Langdale’ by Julian Carnell:

‘Eagle Hunter and His Eagle’ by Ronnie Gilbert, ‘Deadvlei Milky Way’ by Richard Jakobson,  ‘Girl with Tattoos in the Red Hat’ by Alan Walker and ‘Sprinting Hare’ by David Woodthorpe, ‘Dreaming of Leaving’ and ‘Buachaille Etive Mor’ both by Julie Walker:

David Rayment thanked the judge for all his hard work judging the images.

This was the final indoor meeting of the season, although there is a three-day Society outing to Edinburgh taking place this week. Our next season begins on Wednesday 5th September at The Friends Meeting House, Elliott Park, Keswick, CA12. You will be most welcome to join us.

Tricia Rayment