On Friday 6 November 2023, Ilkley Camera Club held a member’s project night. The session invited 8 members of the club to talk about work they had been doing as part of specific projects.
Richard Ramsay kicked off with an audio visual presentation about Titus Salt and the story of how his business grew by the side of the Leeds Liverpool canal and the birth of Saltaire village. Saltaire was a self-contained community of more than four thousand people, mostly workers. “I learned quite a bit as I researched the story”, said Richard. He went on to describe how he had put the presentation together using a professional microphone and specialist editing software.
Julia Kay talked about the history of the Meer Stones on the moors above Grassington. The stones marked the ownership of land used for mining lead. There was mining going on in the 1500s. Those mining the land were allowed to do so but had to give a percentage to the land owner. It is thought that there are 73 stones, “some are not easy to find“, siad Julia.
Stu Thompson presented some of his evocative black and white images of the Yorkshire. Stu moved from Kent to live in Yorkshire and loves the area. He said it was a challenge to represent the area in monochrome and said he intends to produce a book and possibly an exhibition. There are 46 dales, and his images included some famous and not-so-famous scenes including Swinsty Reservoir, Staithes, Sutton Bank and scenes closed to home in Ilkley.
Keith Allen talked about his fascination for butterflies and wildflowers. There are over thirteen thousand species of wild flowers in the UK and many of them are threatened.
Keith presented a series of beautiful images and described how he had taken them. In some cases he had photographed them in-situ and placed a black card behind the flowers.
Mark Waddington gave a short history of Cyanotype photography, a technique pioneered by Anna Atkins in the mid 1800s. The process involves painting light sensitive chemicals onto watercolour paper, laying objects onto the coating and then exposing them to the sun. He included a display of more than 20 prints. Mark explained how some of the effects had been achieved using the addition of household substances like soap bubbles and vinegar.
Charlotte Sayer presented photos from her family history. She took members through the process of gathering family photos several generations back and compiling them into a book. Charlotte described the challenge of researching all the names in the photos and arranging the many different sized photos into an arrangement with explanatory captions.
The service Charlotte used to make the lay-flat book was Snapfish. “It’s easy to do once you learn the basics, laying out the text takes getting used to”, she said.
John Fontana talked about his experimentation with InfraRed photography which involved converting a digital camera to receive frequencies of light normally not seen. He explained that the Chlorophyll reflected a lot of Infrared light which made foliage glow.
David James presented images of Hellifield Train Station in the dales. His black and white photos included the tiled walk-through and other details of the station built in 1849.