This week Keswick Photographic Society’s members were entertained by Carrie Calvert who gave a talk titled “A Walk on the Wild Side” accompanied by numerous prints. Carrie’s passions are nature photography and walking. In her spare time, she spends many hours walking miles on the fells near her home in Brampton, and further afield in Cumbria and Northumberland, searching for wildlife subjects to photograph. Carrie is a full time NHS employee at the Cumberland Infirmary in Carlisle so she has little time to spare but at weekends and during holidays she rises as early as 3.30 a.m. to be out on the fells by dawn. During the recent stressful times due to the pandemic, she has found it very therapeutic to be out and about in the fresh air with her camera.
Carrie prefers to photograph in the wild rather than from a hide and she is very protective of the wildlife she photographs, making sure that she does not cause distress by getting too close. Her wonderful photographs of a variety of species have been achieved by observing their behaviour from a distance, sometimes for hours, while deciding on the best location to photograph from, working out a good composition and waiting for perfect light.
Carrie’s prints covered a wide variety of creatures. Owls are a particular favourite of hers and she had images of a number of different species including Short Eared Owls, Barn Owls, Little Owls and a Long Eared Owl. Other birds included in her presentation were Terns, Red Kites, Puffins, Gannets, and Sanderlings. She has twice had images selected for BBC Countryfile’s Calendar. One of Greylag goslings in 2017 and another of a cygnet under its mother’s wing for the 2022 calendar.
As well as birds she also has numerous images of mammals including Red Squirrels, Brown Hares, Red and Fallow Deer and Badgers. She also photographs domestic species such as Highland Cattle, Longhorn Cattle and local breeds of sheep.
Carrie explained that she often has to put up with considerable discomfort to achieve her images sometimes lying for hours on the wet and cold ground or scrambling over slippery rocks and wedging herself into position between them. She emphasised the importance of a flask of coffee which is almost as essential as her camera on her early morning outings!
Carrie’s enthusiasm for her subject was apparent throughout her talk which was also full of helpful tips particularly for those new to wildlife photography. Her prints of native wildlife were inspirational and more than adequately demonstrated that it is not necessary to travel huge distances to locations abroad in order to achieve prize winning images. In conclusion it was a most enjoyable evening.