“Isolation” Competition, June 30th,2021

The Society’s fourth Set Subject Competition took place via Zoom on the evening of Wednesday 30th June. The competition was the last meeting of the extended season. Members were invited to enter up to three digital images according to the theme ‘Isolation’. The judge was Robert Given MPAGB FBPE EFIAP EPSA, a Society member based in Belfast who is a renowned and talented photographer. Seventeen members entered the competition resulting in a total of forty-seven images for Bob to judge.

People, animals, plants, structures and transport all featured within the ‘Isolation’ theme. One particularly poignant image by Carol Minks featured a view of central Keswick deserted by people as a result of the pandemic.


Before starting the judging, Bob commented on the exceptionally high standard of the images that he had received. He then gave a critique of each image and, on occasion when needed, suggested where improvements could be made. Marks were not awarded but at the end of the judging Bob revealed his chosen first, second and third images as well as seven further images he designated as being within the Highly Commended/ Commended category. In first place was ‘No Escape’ by David Woodthorpe.


This was a strong graphic image with a viewpoint looking up towards the top of two intersecting, extremely tall, concrete walls. The feeling of isolation was intensified by the rungs of a ladder fixed to one of the walls failing to reach ground level so being out of reach to someone standing on the ground within the walls. Bob pointed out how well this superb graphic image illustrated the theme of isolation. In second place was ‘No Boundaries’ by Alan Walker, a beautifully captured snowy scene with an S-shaped line of fencing leading up to three distant deer on the far horizon, the whole image anchored by a fence post just peeping out of the snow.


In third place Bob chose ‘Restriction’ by Marilyn Woodthorpe. This was a very strong side-lit image of a man with piercing blue eyes and a mask staring out from behind a grid, the mask adding an increased sense of foreboding to the image.


Bob’s chosen Highly Commended/Commended images were ‘Winter’s Solitude’ by David Stephenson, ‘Isolated Church’ by Alan Walker, ‘Lone Penguin in Blizzard’ by Julie Walker, ‘Arctic Isolation’ and Icelandic Isolation’ both by Keith Snell, ‘Lockdown Hair Cut’ by Barbara Keen and ‘Alone Again’ by Ken Rennie.

All the images submitted can be viewed on our gallery page:

Isolation images gallery

David Woodthorpe, the Society Chairman, thanked Bob for his hard work giving a critique of the images. David also pointed out that the range of images entered covering the theme of isolation certainly justified having set subject competitions. The Society now has a summer break before starting its 49th season on 1st September with a meeting titled ‘The Magic of India’ given by David Woodthorpe CPAGB. If you are interested in joining our friendly club for the next season either as a beginner or as a more experienced photographer please email us at contactkeswickPS@gmail.com.

Tricia Rayment

“Images with Impact” by David Clapp, 12th May 2021

We were privileged to have an evening with David Clapp on 12th May. David is a professional landscape and travel photographer from south-west England. He has recently been giving talks all over the world via Zoom and in normal times he runs numerous workshops and photographic trips both close to home and in countries further afield. As well as being an award-winning photographer David is also an accomplished musician and he has spent the last few months perfecting his technique on a vintage banjo.


David is a highly entertaining speaker and he showed us numerous examples of his superb work starting with landscapes. His normal technique is to take seven or so images in portrait mode which he then stitches together to create a panorama. This creates a huge file which allows him to select smaller areas of the image without any loss of quality. David went on to explain the importance of the proportions in his images. Careful alignment is also essential which he demonstrated in his architectural images taken in India. He had carefully positioned his camera in these to achieve a symmetrical image. The direction of the light is also important, his preference being for side lighting. It is his attention to such details that have contributed to his success. David also presented several infra-red images taken on a camera converted for this purpose. Theses included some beautifully tinted photographs of the Taj Mahal.


During the second half of the evening David talked about a visit to a refuge camp in Palestine which had clearly made a deep impression on him. He had been accompanied by local guides and was able to access areas of the camp that might otherwise have been impossible for a European. His aim had been to document life in the camp and as such he had only used a small and discreet camera.


This visit had influenced the direction of his photography and he was now determined to carry out more project-based work.

David’s advice to other photographers is that they should avoid seeking to please others but instead focus on developing their own creativity. He also believes that impactful images can only be achieved through observation. It was important to capture the moment, particularly in travel photography. This ability had to be learned. He also considered it important to experiment in order to develop an individual style and unique images.


Our season has been extended until the end of June and we will be meeting via Zoom twice a month until then. Our next meeting will be held at 7.30 p.m. on Wednesday 26th May when we will be holding a fun battle with Northallerton Camera Club which will be judged by Ross McKelvey, an award-winning photographer from Belfast.

Julie Walker