2015 09 - Keaton's Way

25th September 2015
Retford & District Photographic Society - Press Release - Joy Allison
Images provided by Alan Townsend & Des Lloyd

Keaton’s Way

The new season’s great start continues with members returning to enjoy the new programme and plenty of visitors coming to find out more and deciding to join. Over fifty people attended to hear Keaton Roebuck speaking about 'My Way 3'. The evening was split between colour and monochrome images. All of the latter had been taken on film and a fair number in infra-red, which offered considerable technical challenges working in the darkroom.

Keaton, one of our most popular speakers, joined us for the third time. His Barnsley accent adds colour to his chatty style to ensure an amusing and animated evening which both entertains and informs. He brought his friend and 'external memory', Bill - the person who told him not only where he took his images, but also in which year and with which camera, as well as whether his wife take sugar …. They make a great double act, and at times it is easy to just enjoy the banter.

A firm fan of film and a late convert to digital, Keaton is one of the rare speakers whose presentation is exclusively prints. He shared with us some amusing tales of his initiation into digital processing, starting with his dismay when he failed to save his work and was shocked when removed elements returned.

Keaton spoke about a wide range of photos, including his rendition of 'that image everyone always intends to take, but everyone drives past.' Some of his work is done in his garden, using carefully concealed food to entice birds into range or noticing flower images which jump out at him. He shared the tip that using the motor drive will give a burst of images and increase the chances of one being just right. He is fortunate to have the elusive harvest mouse as a relatively easy subject as his wife breeds them for release. Alan Townsend and Des Lloyd have also captured this delightful little creature recently.

Keaton competes with his images and has also been to us as a judge, so he is familiar with both sides of that fence. His talk title arises from his absolute conviction that his photography is first and foremost for him, and he recognises that the emotions he has for certain images will not be evident to a judge. No judge will recognise the childhood memories evoked by a steam engine which he explained while showing the Sir Nigel Gresley at Grosmont. He spotted it as a boy and many years later was invited onto the footplate. He encouraged us to take the photo which cries out to be taken as we look at a scene and not to be deterred if a judge does not pick up on the emotion behind our entry.

Keaton explained how he likes to look for small elements in shots which others may overlook. He also looks for different views of a familiar subject. He had a good number of images showing the Humber Bridge from the south bank, which may have inspired members to experiment. Pictures taken just feet apart were very different and suggested ideas to pursue.

Following a tutorial evening with Gary Bailey, who helped us to find the right aperture for the subject, we will have an opportunity to follow up on Keaton's topic when Jim and Fred Price come to discuss what makes an exhibition print. This will also be the last opportunity to submit images for our first club competition of the season, which will take place on 12th October. The meeting on 5th October will feature another print based talk from Dave Butcher, called ‘Lake Light’

We have been delighted to see record numbers of visitors this season and pleased that many have returned with a view to joining us. We have also had expressions of interest through the web site and we encourage anyone else who is considering coming along to do so. We have a great season in prospect and want to share it with as many new and returning members as possible. Everyone is sure of a warm welcome.