On 27th September Keswick Photographic Society were pleased to welcome as their guest speaker, Kathryn Scorah MPAGB EFIAP FBPE, who had driven up from her home near Southport to deliver her talk ‘Ever Changing Perspectives’. Although it was a projected image presentation, we were delighted to see that Kathryn had also brought along print versions of her images which revealed the full quality of her work, including a striking print of tree trunks where the textures seemed convincingly three-dimensional. Many of the members had to touch it to convince themselves that it wasn’t printed on textured art paper!
Kathryn explained that the primary motivation in her photography is an emphasis on depicting mood or relating a story to engage the viewer. In order to take her images to the next level from the moment of capture, Kathryn makes extensive use of post-processing manipulation in the computer. This could selectively enhance areas of contrast or brightness in the image to focus the viewer’s attention and evoke an emotional response. An isolated boat adrift in a calm sea or a stormy wave bearing down on a lighthouse were both images which benefitted from this treatment. And she showed many before-and-after examples of how her post-processing skills could transform an initially mundane image into one with striking emotional impact.
Many of her photographs were composite images in which she seamlessly combined elements from separate images to produce a newly-created picture which conveyed a scene born out of her own imagination. Again, the goal being to tell a story or create a mood for the viewer to engage with. A beautiful girl with her lambs in a snowy winter scene and an isolated church next to a stream out on the mountain side were examples of her imagination at work to produce creative images with impact.
In finding appropriate people to populate some of her composite compositions, Kathryn travels widely to photograph the actors at the Edinburgh Fringe street shows, the Goths who appear every year at Whitby Abbey, the World War veterans at Pickering or the peripatetic Ragged Victorians. There is much skill in evidence in ensuring that wherever these subjects might then appear in her composite photographs, all elements of the scene are carefully and convincingly combined with due consideration to matching their tones and colours.
Members were in awe of the skill and imagination which Kathryn brought to her creative photography and registered their approval with enthusiastic applause at the end.