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U3A photographic exhibition triumphs despite the virus

Kingfisher in Goa by Phil Snowden

Challenged by the current lockdown, Ilkley & District U3A, a group for retired and semi-retired folk, has turned to modern technology to showcase its annual U3A Photographic exhibition. Rather than gracing the walls of Ilkley’s Manor House during May, the 2020 exhibition will instead take pride of place on the U3A’s website from 4 May to the end of the month. Visitors to the website, including the general public, are asked to choose their favourite photo and at the end of the exhibition a first, second and third place will be revealed from these votes.

Entry to the Exhibition was open to members of all three U3A photography groups. These range from almost complete beginners to those who have been taking photos for many years. There are 85 entries submitted by these talented amateurs - a maximum of three from each member who chose to enter.

This was an open exhibition and members were asked to submit photographs which they were pleased with, and they were all given the opportunity to have their work shown to their group for feedback before they made a final choice of entry. As a result, there is a range of images covering a wide spectrum of subjects, locations, cameras and techniques.

To make the photographs easier to view, they are presented in galleries. There is also an online catalogue, which gives the number of the entry, the title and for some photos includes technical information.

Fluid Grass by Chris Sides

Peter Robinson, the leader of the Beginners’ Photography Group, commented, “My beginners’ group generally find submitting photographs for any exhibition a little frightening which is understandable considering a large number of them had never used any advanced cameras before joining the group. However, three quarters of them have overcome their concerns and submitted entries. I told them last year that most members felt exactly the same but to everyone's surprise someone from our group actually won. This gave them the encouragement to have a go, because you never know what will happen. I have not seen all our group’s entries but those I've seen are quite good, so lightning may strike twice!”

Mary Podesta, who leads the other two Photography Groups, said, “It has been a privilege for me to collate the exhibition and to preview the entries. The overall standard this year has been excellent, and our members have sent in some great photos which we hope everyone will enjoy looking at. I am excited to see what visitors to our website think of the work on show. “ She continued, “It's amazing where our photographers get to on holiday! We have photos from Bhutan, Alaska, Corfu, Stockholm and the Dales to name but a few.”

To see the Ilkley Photographic Exhibition and vote for your favourite image, visit the website at The exhibition will remain on the website from 4 May until the end of the month.

Morecambe Bay from Silverdale by Peter G. Smith


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