Keith & Kate Brown - THE EXTRA ASPECT

31st March 2015
The Extra Aspect - Words by Joy Allison

Keith Brown came from Derbyshire to share with us the audio visual presentations he and his wife Kate produce form their photographs.

After Easter we have our own AV competition so this evening provided some last minute tips and inspiration for members wanting to enter. Keith introduced his presentation with a brief resume of his photographic career. He began in 1977 making compilations of his slides to tape recorded music. The arrival of digital photography and sound briefly halted progress, but Kate shared her computer skills with him and soon both were taking digital images and showing them to digitally recorded sound tracks.

In our normal competitions we are looking for that one special image, but for an AV presentation many images are needed to portray a theme. The skill comes in choosing music which complements the images and suits their mood. Dramatic emphasis is created by fitting the timing of the change from image to image to the music. The technology allows you to fade one image into another over a variable period and in different ways, giving the author a lot of creative freedom.

Keith began with a compilation on Liverpool where he had cleverly identified text to photograph which introduced different sections. The backing track was instrumental renditions of Beatles music and many of the places referred to in the lyrics featured in the images.
There was a strong Liverpool connection to the AV entitled 'Imagine' shown against the Beatles track of the same name, blended with recordings of reports of John Lennon's shooting.

On a more tranquil note, Kate's compilation of photos taken in Sheffield Botanical Gardens in her lunch breaks followed. It is a place which inspires her and her own narration accompanied the images. Later we enjoyed some of her macro images of flowers skilfully blended with another of her passions – photos of stained glass windows.

Some enviable images of the mist in the Hope Valley near their home were the basis of a presentation, set to music by Karl Jenkins. More glorious landscapes featured in a presentation on Mürren near Interlaken in Switzerland. This was accompanied by 'A Passage of Life' by Kitaro. So inspiring do they find this track that this was the third version of the AV, which Keith later told us was being shown for the first time tonight.

Kate had worked to achieve her Licentiate of the Royal Photographic Society, which had impacted the time she could devote to other voluntary activities, so the AV entitled 'One L of a Panel' was prepared to explain the work involved in achieving this to her friends. It gave a good insight into what trying to achieve this endorsement of a photographer’s skill requires. She had to select photographs from her body of work collected over some time. Not only are ten high quality images needed, but they must link together pleasingly to form a cohesive panel through colour, content and visual impact. Kate's compilation demonstrated this beautifully, explaining with her own commentary how the images were taken and selected.

As members of the Castleton and Hope Photographic Society Keith and Kate had taken part in a project to photograph the local garage when the owner, Roger, looked like retiring. They had presented him with a book of their images and then persuaded him to prepare a sound track talking about himself and the garage. Roger was a natural and breathed life into this fascinating show of vintage cars, tools and local scenes.

Humour can also add an extra aspect to an AV and cars again featured in a compilation shown to the 60's track 'Beep Beep'. Kate had used animation to good effect in this sequence which complemented the soundtrack.

Keith had enjoyed talking to members in the interval and it was good to know he found us a happy group with an impressively large audience.