It’s story time at the camera club

Patricroft Station Murals by Paul Appleby.
Patricroft Station Murals by Paul Appleby.

Morpeth Camera Club

The Vice Chairman’s Challenge Storylines was the theme of Morpeth Camera Club’s meeting.

Members were invited to submit four images, each containing a story with a beginning, middle and end. The viewer had to be able to see the story or read a story into the image.

As usual, John liked to add a twist and instead of the author explaining their images, it was put to another individual, chosen at random, to describe what the scene was supposed to depict. These views were then compared with the author’s interpretation.

It didn’t quite go to plan. As the evening progressed more and more members put in their pennyworth, sometimes with comical comments, and being a very friendly bunch, there was a lot of cheeky banter by some, who in turn were given equally critical comments when it was their turn to present their images.

Some images were seriously discussed at length, while others were given short shrift for not having a specific story and not following the brief.

An array of subject matter, such as a figure of a plague doctor, birdwatchers, beachcombers, children with snowmen, bronze figures, glass blowers, racism marchers and Hari Krishna parades, was included.

Paul Appleby’s traditional barber shop images showed customers having their hair washed, dried and then styled, while a scene at a railway station of three murals illustrated the day in the life of a steam train.

Kate Phillipson’s Belsay exhibition followed, which included the Eiffel Tower, a bust of Napoleon, the Sphinx, a train set and slaves carrying cotton reels. The audience pondered on the connection between the elements and eventually Kate revealed that it illustrated Belsay Hall’s family history.

Dave Bisset’s Cenotaph with poppies gave rise to the suggestion that one could imagine young soldiers going to war, then the erection of a commemorative monument, and finally poppies laid annually in remembrance.

Glyn Trueman’s image of candles in front of a fire, one unlit, one lit but being melted, then a heap of wax followed, before a still life study of a pencil sharpener, shavings and a newly sharpened pencil. Both were considered fair examples of following the brief.

With John Thompson’s contribution of an air-sea helicopter exercise and inflatable inshore rescue vessel approaching a stranded car on a causeway, he stressed that although they didn’t depict a beginning, middle and end, they had potential for interpretation.

It was established that few were able to fit the brief fully in one image, many told a story and some succeeded by submitting three images.

John thanked everyone who contributed to the evening, which included a wide selection of interesting topics and lively interaction. He said this was a challenge to read something into each image and look more deeply into content, establishing that any ten images could have resulted in ten different opinions.