Keswick Photographic Society’s annual Short Sets Competition was held on 28th March. This competition, which is open to any member of the Society, is divided into two sections: Still Images and Audio-Visual. Submissions have to be on a particular theme chosen by the author and must be no longer than ten minutes in duration. The evening was organised by David Woodthorpe, a Society member, and the entries were judged on the evening by the audience, each entry being given a score out of twenty.
The meeting commenced with the Still Images of which there were five entries.
First to be presented was a set of images by Marilyn Woodthorpe featuring the city of Berlin. The presentation featured buildings in Berlin, including the Chancellery, the Reichstag with its glass dome and Berlin Cathedral. Other places of interest included the Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe, remnants of the Berlin wall, Checkpoint Charlie and the modern steel and glass skyscrapers constructed on sites once occupied by the Berlin wall, hence their very narrow dimensions.
The second presentation was by Carole Waterhouse and entitled ‘Harris via Skye’. Carole interspersed coastal and inland images of the beautiful Harris and Lewis scenery with images taken visiting art galleries and seeing weavers at work on their looms. Carole also featured man-made structures she had seen, namely the ancient Callanish Standing Stones, Dun Carloway Broch and the traditional straw-roofed blackhouses.
The third presentation was by Tony Marsh and entitled ‘Moorland Wildlife’. Tony showed images of birds, moths, dragonflies and plants, all taken on the moors of Northern England and the Scottish Borders. Sixteen bird species were featured, the photos including red grouse amongst purple heather, black grouse displaying at a lek, the aerobatic display flight of a male hen harrier and a snipe drumming as it power dives.
David Woodthorpe presented the fourth set of still images entitled ‘Grantown on Spey’. These consisted of a set of snowy images, many featuring the antics of a white-coated mountain hare in its natural habitat on a snowy mountainside. Backlit photos revealed the long whiskers of the hare and David was able to photograph the animal sitting in its snowy hollow and grooming itself as well as running towards him, seemingly completely unperturbed by his presence! He also included pictures of the local birdlife, in particular the crested tit and the very tame coal tits.
The final presentation was by Stephen Harris and simply entitled ‘Signs’. Stephen showed a set of images featuring strange, amusing and sometimes confusing words written on road signs, buildings, shop doors, fences, walls and memorials. For example, one such sign read ‘In bad weather no guarantee of a return journey can be given’. He also included images of amusing doctored road signs seen in Florence.
After a break for tea and biscuits, the second half of the evening was devoted to the audio-visual (AV) entries. There were four entries and each one featured a large number of still images set to music.
The first to be shown was ‘Mist in the Landscape’ by Ken Rennie. This was a collection of atmospheric and ethereal images of misty landscapes, featuring lakes, seashores, mountains and woods, photographed mainly in Cumbria but also including images from Scotland, the French Alps, Corsica and as far away as New Zealand.
The second presentation was by Julie Walker and entitled ‘Bosque del Apache’ which is the name of a wildlife refuge in southern New Mexico. In winter the wetlands of Bosque del Apache attract huge flocks of sandhill cranes and snow geese that roost in the wetlands but fly to local fields during the day. The images in Julie’s AV were all taken in the wetlands and featured these two bird species.
The third AV was by Keith Snell and its title ‘The Ice was Here, The Ice was There’ was taken from The Rime of the Ancient Mariner by Samuel Taylor Coleridge. Keith chose this title because his images featured both the Antarctic and Iceland which lies very close to the Arctic Circle and has the largest glacier in Europe. There were many evocative images of snowy landscapes, impressive glaciers, intricately shaped icebergs and delicately coloured ice.
The final AV was ‘As Time Goes By’ compiled by Richard Jakobson. This featured seven time lapse sequences taken from various mountain and seashore locations in West Cumbria. Many of the sequences went from sunset through the night and finished at dawn. Clouds flowed swiftly across the sky, mist cleared from the landscape, stars and the Milky Way followed a course across the sky, car headlights shone and torches flashed on the mountain path leading to Scafell Pike.
Before announcing the winner of each section, David Woodthorpe thanked all the authors for their hard work and commented on the very high standard of all the entries. In first place in the Still Images was David Woodthorpe with his presentation of ‘Grantown on Spey’ and the winner in the AV section was Richard Jakobson with ‘As Time Goes By’