Locked down but not out

Fiona Wallace tells us how the Kilmaurs Club has coped with a year of restrictions

Martin Clark scooped the top award in November’s Competition with “Zaha Cyclist in the Storm”.

Like many clubs and societies, Kilmaurs Photographic Club has been hit fairly hard by the various restrictions over the past year.   With the first lockdown bringing an abrupt halt to the 2020 season, members found themselves not just unable to get to meetings but so many of their regular photo haunts were now out of bounds. Taking new images almost overnight became a considerable challenge.  Those lucky enough to have beauty spots on their doorsteps within the travel restrictions fared slightly better, but all in all, the situation has meant that the majority of members were left clicking their heels rather than their shutters, certainly as far as outdoor photography was concerned.

Undaunted, some members ventured into new indoor projects such as product photography, while others found a new interest in still life and tabletop photography.  For others, it was rediscovering the beauty in the flowers and wildlife in their own garden.

But the committee decided that if the members couldn’t get to the club for meetings, then the meetings should go to them. And so a series of online club meetings over the winter was born. This featured several guest speakers who all presented slide shows of their stunning images to a rapt audience.  Subjects ranged from newborn photography to interesting techniques such as encaustic media. The schedule also allowed for a handful of very informative tutorials on topics such as creating presets and using levels while editing.

Jim Muir took top spot in the Colour image section of the March competition with his gold-winning image of a garden aquilegia.

And of course, a camera club year could not be complete without the club competitions.  Two such events were held – in November and again in February – with entry being entirely digital.  While we certainly missed the usual presence of colour and mono prints, the members all felt that the digital events did not result in any dilution of quality.   Pictured are a number of the winning images from across both competitions.

This innovative quirky image bagged John Sommerville a Gold award in the March event

With the likely continuation of some sort of restrictions in the short-term, how Kilmaurs PC will operate in the 2021-22 season remains to be seen.  The experience over the past year has shown that going online is effective as a stop-gap measure, so contingency plans are underway to cover all bases for the new season in September.  Hopefully this will mean a return in some form to in-person meetings, but even if we need to stay online, we are now far more aware of what that medium can offer.

We are keeping our fingers crossed for a return to “normal”, but in the meantime, the shutters remain open on the new normal.

Best mono image in March was Robert Quig’s “In the Mood” which also netted a Silver award.
Fiona Wallace gained a Silver award for Miska, a Tengmalm’s Owl
Gaining a Silver award in the November competition was Bill Stitt’s “In His Element”
Martin Clark stole the show in November, gaining Silver for “Urban Teen”.