The evening of Monday 18th February saw a fascinating talk given by Shelley Knight from Doncaster Camera Club. She split the evening into two halves – her development into nature photography and then visits to Iceland.
Shelley started the first half by explaining that she used to visit a friend in Scotland and frequently took snaps but she found she wanted to do more to capture the sense of place and the wildlife. She decided to go on a landscape course in the Lake District but subsequently discovered that she wasn’t “getting on well” with landscapes. She went on a trip to Bass Rock and started to photograph sea birds and felt some affinity to the genre. Images were entered into competitions as she learned what was required to be successful in these competitions. Then she moved onto different wildlife subjects such as stags and, an obvious favourite, red squirrels, usually captured in Scotland. Throughout her talk Shelley displayed a large number of images to show how she has developed, all of them directly related to her commentary. Many of them were shot in winter and there was great control of the white snow areas to capture the detail and the atmosphere. It must have been pretty cold getting the shots. On one trip to Finland the temperature dropped to -20 degrees! It was also on this trip to Finland that she was converted to lighter and more compact Olympus micro four thirds cameras. It was clear that Shelley’s technique developed over the period and the images she was producing were quite stunning. She likes to display prints as she feels they give the most depth to the image and she had brought along a good selection to display over the half time interval which members thronged around.
In the second half Shelley concentrated on her ten trips to Iceland (she must like the cold!). She first flew there on the first day planes were allowed to fly following a volcano eruption and has been regularly since, usually in the short summer period, mainly because that is the best time to see wild life. The landscapes did take her interest though and there were several excellent images of waterfalls etc. In the summer there a lot of migrating birds and since there is no real night the birds can be noisy 24 hours a day! As her images amply demonstrated that Shelley like to show the animals in their natural environment.
It was a really good evening with plenty of high-class images on view, and a very personable and entertaining commentary received warm applause at the end. If you want to see more of Shelley’s work you can see it on her website by clicking here.