The photographic society now known as Reading Camera Club this year celebrated its 65th anniversary with a social evening looking back at the history of the club. Originally formed in 1954, and then known as South Reading Camera Club, it recently changed its name to reflect the greater catchment area which it serves. Members old and new enjoyed short talks from members, displays of members' work, a collection of cameras dating from the 1950s, and a chance to see photography the " old " way, with sequences of projected slides provided by members, some of whom have been members for over 40 years. The evening was part of the clubs' " Sapphire " sequence of events, which included our highly successful Robert Canis evening, held earlier in the year.
Friday 8th February " North Kent to Northern Finland " presented by Robert Canis. Part of Reading Camera Clubs' 65th Anniversary celebration.
For this special anniversary event, Reading Camera Club opened its doors to other local camera clubs, friends and relatives in order to enjoy a very special evening presented by nationally and internationally recognised wildlife photographer, Robert Canis. The event took place at a larger venue in Caversham in order to welcome many guests.
Robert comes from north Kent, and specialises in photographing the wildlife on the marshes there, and also travels further afield to Scandinavia, Iceland and other European countries in search of still more stunning shots. He also runs courses and workshops and his website is well worth a visit.
For this particular evening, He presented " North Kent to Northern Finland ", and in the first half, featuring Kent, we were treated to some absolutely superb images of the birds and mammals that live on the marshes. What made this so different was the brilliant usage of early morning and evening light, largely contre jour. Robert likes to present the birds and animals to show their surroundings i.e. the vegetation and ambient lighting conditions., avoiding the record shot approach. There were also some short video sequences interspersed with the stills to show birds in the air and in particular boxing hares, these being some of the outstanding images of this section. When necessary, Robert resorts to lying flat on the ground, finding holes to stand in, and makeshift hides in order to get the best shots, not to mention using a netting face cap to make him less visible. He is also prepared to go out in the middle of the night and wait for dawn - dedication indeed!
We then moved on to Finland in the winter, a snow wonderland, where the images concentrated rather more on landscapes and snow scenes. There were fascinating images of snow " sculptures " formed on bushes and trees, and of course an amazing video sequence of the aurora borealis. Bears with cubs featured together with some unusual bird life. Robert described some of the problems encountered when photographing in these conditions, the camera becoming frozen to the tripod, lunch having to be thawed out, and spectacles becoming frosted up.
This was indeed a presentation with a difference, and Robert's entertaining style of speaking kept everyone riveted. The quality of his work is on another level to what is normally seen in clubs, and comments afterwards reflected this. It was an evening that will be long remembered.
Report submitted by Dorothy Wood