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The magic of Audio Visual and other stories...

On Friday 16th October three members of Bangor and North Down Camera Club Jane McIlroy Judith Kimber and Jack Thompson presented their work in Audio Visual (AV) photography and in which all three have distinguished themselves in the Northern Ireland Photographic Association (NIPA) Audio Visual Festival, or other national and international forums.

Jack was first up and displayed two of his AV presentations one with the spoken word and another an example of photo harmony which is to show a group of competition level photos with suitable musical accompaniment. Jack is first and foremost a storyteller who writes and narrates his AV presentations. In this his first presentation Jack related a story of an American gent's return to his ancestral roots on the shores of Strangford Lough. The story reveals how his ancestor who worked as a butler in a grand manor house overlooking the Lough and how being falsely accused of theft by the jealous household gardener and knowing the outcome would mean prison escapes in the dead of night to embark on the ship The Saint Hilda the remains which are still visible today and journey to Bristol where he finds passage working as a stoker on a ship bound for America. Jack gives us a cracking good yarn superbly narrated and superbly photographed.

In his second AV Jack presents his favourite place and takes us on a walk through the trails and river of Crawsfordburn Country Park. This AV, an example of Photo Harmony, has a quiet and restful musical accompaniment.

Next was Jane who explained that going to see River Dance with her daughter was the inspiration for her AV. In this Jane presented an animation sequence of colourful rose images which represent the dancers. If you imagine the changing shapes of a kaleidoscope image you will understand. Jane explained the long process of building up her piece in software set against a music timeline, with the establishment of key frame locks that are an important element in the production. Here Jack Thompson mentioned that it was Walt Disney who invented the key frame principle where a chief artist would draw a figure and afterwards other artists would move an arm or leg and, thus frame by frame build up a sequence. The difference is that it is the software Jane employs that fill in the movement, nevertheless this is a skilled and time consuming and dedicated process.


To round off the evening Judith Kimber presented an AV which was arguably the most complex in production, content and meaning of the work displayed. In this AV Judith presents a metaphysical juxtaposition in time and space between two teenage girls one existing in the 1940's called Betty, and another existing today called Ella. The conduit between the two is a book entitled One Hundred Poems for Girls and, this is also the title given to the AV. Judith a music teacher composed the music, wrote the script, enlisted the help of her 15 year old niece who lives in Cambridge who has an interest in acting and who played the part of both girls. Judith was allowed a slot of one and a half hours by English Heritage to complete the photographic shoot in a museum close to Cambridge. This museum was a suitable location with superb light coming through the windows. However, towards the end of the shoot it started to rain which meant hat camera setting needed to be reset to allow for the changing conditions. Suitable props a dress, a wig and a ribbon needed to be made available for this high stress shoot. The narrative reveals Ella a young woman of today finding meaning in a message from the past.

While all three AV's are very different a matter common to all is the amount of time, effort and consideration needed to make successful and telling AV presentations.Those present were well entertained and thank Jane, Judith and Jack for presenting their work.

Next week is the judging of NIPA round 2 which is on the theme of ‘Abstract’ photography.

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