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