Isle of Man Photographic Society column by Chris Blythe
The weather is changing, and autumn seems very close . . . the ‘season of mists and mellow fruitfulness’ will soon be upon us.
It has been an excellent summer, and for the Isle of Man Photographic Society, a very busy one - the highlight perhaps being a very successful exhibition in conjunction with Manx Heritage and the House of Manannan in Peel.
The exhibition was to mark our 75th anniversary - the oldest club on the island dedicated to the art of photography - and combined a showing of a wide range of images by current club members with a display of camera and darkroom equipment used over the years.
In addition, Andrew Barton, a leading local professional photographer, was generous in organising a series of four full-day workshops, each exploring aspects of photographic skills, and which was directly linked to the society’s exhibition.
In addition, a series of outings was arranged during our ‘out-of-season’ months, giving opportunity for members and potential members to explore and to take photographs in areas likely to provide good images - so included Billown Mansion (lovely gardens and lakes), Ramsey lifeboat station, a boat trip to the Calf of Man (for wonderful coastal scenery and wildlife), and Ballaglass Glen (for the bluebells and river scenery) - and some of which will no doubt appear in competition in our new season, starting shortly......
The opening night is Wednesday, September 25, at Thie Ellyn, starting at 7.30pm – and will combine a social get-together after the summer break with some ‘practical activities’.
These will include an explanation of print mounting techniques and the rules for competition entries - important since many of our evening programmes include competition work - together with a studio set-up enabling either some still-life ‘table-top’ shots lit by torches and side-lights or some portrait images lit by studio flash.
Members are requested to bring their cameras to make use of the studio facility, and to provide some images for our meeting the following week (on October 2).
That meeting will be in the format of a ‘two judges’ evening - and listening to their respective thoughts and commentaries on a series of images to gain an insight into just what a judge is looking for in a competition entry. This is not a ‘competition night’ but is intended to provide good entertainment (and lots of debate) while demonstrating the difficulties – and the foibles / personal taste etc implicit in taking on the role of a judge..... and the different opinions and results that may come from having a different judge on an actual competition night.
Isle of Man Photographic Society meetings are open to the public – non-members with a charge of £1 on the door – and all will be given a very warm welcome.
Meetings are at Thie Ellyn (the Art Society building) in Withington Road, Douglas, starting at 7.30pm.
Full details of our programme can be found on the website at www.iomps.com, which also includes a personalised gallery for the display of work by our members.
The photograph shows Isle of Man Photographic Society president Tony Curtis, tutor Andrew Barton and the students who attended the final summer workshop on ‘Victorian Photography and Greenscreen’ posing with the ‘Prison Camera’