All clubs and societies need to demonstrate a degree of ingenuity in being willing to adapt to change.

The Isle of Man Photographic Society is not only the oldest in the island, but one which is an excellent example of this need by leading the way in striving to move with the times and embracing the latest technology which, try to resist as some might, simply cannot be ignored.

On the second Wednesday evening in March, further evidence of the society’s forward-looking attitude to photography was on display for all to see as it hosted an ‘open’ competition devoted purely to photographs (on any subject) taken using a mobile phone.

The hard-working committee was rewarded with one of the best attendances of the 2023/24 season so far for this more relaxed evening.

It is hardly surprising that mobile images are so popular these days with hand-held devices being so easy to use and capable of producing such high-quality images.

Mobiles are so convenient, fitting easily into a trouser or jacket pocket without having to carry more expensive, heavy, cameras and equipment around, especially when flying off island to foreign lands.

‘Leading Light’ by Barry Murphy
‘Leading Light’ by Barry Murphy (Barry Murphy)

So much has the quality of the mobile images improved, even in the last decade, that it is now very difficult to distinguish images taken on a phone from those taken with top-of-the-range cameras.

As was clear from the attendance on the night and the number of entries, phone photography continues to grow in popularity.

There was a total of 42 entries and society president Barry Murphy had decided to encourage audience participation by providing a voting slip for those present to award their own marks (anonymously) without knowing the names of the entrants.

These marks were collected up and the scores combined to produce the three most popular images, which were: 1, ‘Sky Spiral’ (156 marks) by Alan Blythe; 2, ‘Leading Light’ (154 marks) by Barry Murphy; 3, ‘Monkey Business’ (153 marks) by Alan Blythe.

The president then nominated his personal favourite on the night, which was ‘Smile, you’re on Camera’, a great example of street photography by Nigel Owen with both winners being presented with a nice bottle of wine.

The March Challenge will be ‘Double Exposure’ with the images being shown later. The next gathering will be at St John Ambulance’s Headquarters off Glencrutchery Road at 7pm on Wednesday, March 27, when former member, Nessie Gillen, would be giving hints and tips on photographing babies and young children, including a presentation of her own professional work.

Antony Hamilton