“Short Sets” Competition, 3rd March 2021

This week the society held its annual ‘Short Sets’ competition.  This is a contest judged by the members on the night.  This was the first time it had been conducted via Zoom which  presented a few challenges. There were eleven contestants, each of whom had eight minutes during which to impress the voting audience.

Entries could be either a selection of still images (PDIs) on a theme which the contestant explains as the images are projected, or it is an audio visual (AV) display set to music.

The evening began with John Macfarlane’s ‘Nature’s Show’, an AV composed of short video clips, stills and some excellent time-lapse photography of the north-western fells showing  day turning to night and some dramatic winter scenes.

He was followed by Ann Healey’s take on the summer of 2019 with a couple in top hat and tails captured singing in the grounds of Snowshill Manor, before a Morris Dancing troupe performed on a village green, in the picturesque Broadway in The Cotswolds.

‘A road trip around Washington and Oregon’ by Julie Walker began with the wonderful undulating countryside of The Palouse, before moving through the dramatic canyons landscape and concluding with glorious coastal seascapes.

Ken Rennie then presented a monochrome sequence of soft, long exposure waterfall images with very dark landscape environs. The milky water cascading over rocks and into rivers and streams delivered such peacefully smooth shape and form.

Richard Jakobson’s ‘Sky at Night’, the winning entry in the AV section, began with a wonderful panoramic skyscape around Castlerigg Stone Circle before moving to Crummock Water and Seascale Beach.  Richard then moved into much more telescopic detail of several distant constellations and some weird and wonderful nebulae; including The Veil, Heart and Soul and Crescent. The AV concluded with a tracking of the Comet Neowise.

Philip Cartwright’s ‘Seasons Medley’ was a selection of photographs of landscapes, flora and fungi through the seasons, culminating in some wonderful winter scenes.

Marilyn Woodthorpe’s AV described the peace of living in Grange during lockdown and centred upon the flora and birdlife in her own garden, concluding with images of a Red Squirrel.

Alan Walker’s Oregon Rodeo images complete with lively cowboy music and very dramatic, and painful looking, rodeo experiences completed the AV line-up.

Fred Bell’s PDI presentation was a selection of very high quality colour and monochrome landscape images from a recent holiday in The Outer Hebrides, Skye and Glen Coe.

This was followed by Edward Richardson’s ‘Newcastle by phone’, which explored the historical and iconic sites and sights of his regular walk through the city.

The final, and winning PDI Short Set, was David Woodthorpe’s presentation ‘A month of change on Grange Crag’.  The images of views overlooking Grange, Derwentwater and Castle Crag showed the dramatic changes in the weather from an ethereal cloud inversion, to snow scenes through to warm light on trees and rocks from late winter sun.

It was once again a pleasure to see so many of our members’ fascinating photographs.