We’re in the picture

Chatsworth Snow Storm by Janet Thorpe
Chatsworth Snow Storm by Janet Thorpe
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THEY are pictures which seem to have absolutely nothing in common.

Some are cityscapes, some were taken on safari. Some show intricate up-close detail, some are vast panoramas. Some show incredible feats of human endurance, some - in fact just one - shows a bloke half asleep.

And yet all of these photos – all 200 plus of them which will be displayed in Sheffield’s Winter Garden next week – have one thing in common: they are the work of photographers from our fair region.

“The talent in South Yorkshire astounds me more with each passing year,” says Mike Smith, organiser of Sheffield Photographic Society’s seventh annual Perspectives exhibition. “The variety of ideas and execution is quite exciting.”

Having seen a sneak preview, The Diary concurs.

The exhibition – which sees 41 amateur photographers displaying around six shots each – is a relatively new addition to the 147-year-old society’s calendar. But, with its prominent place in the Winter Gardens, it is fast becoming the most popular with visitors.

And little wonder.

For this collection is not only proof that pictures can indeed speak a thousand words, it also disproves the notion the camera never lies - for Gerry Sweetman’s snap of Sheffield’s St Paul’s Tower manages to make the ugly skyscraper look genuinely beautiful.

The snappers range geographically from Hope to Hillsborough, and span the generations. The youngest is in his early 20s while the oldest contributor has long seen off 80.

“That’s Ray Brightman of Norton,” says Mike. “Amazing photographer, up to date with all the latest digital technology.” His shots of extreme sports in the Peak District, meanwhile, suggest an agility of a man a quarter his age.

But Mike’s favourite picture is of brown bears in Finland. “I have to say that, though,” he notes. “The president of the society took them – and she also happens to be my wife, Judy.”

Family loyalties aside they are just one highlight in an exhibition of more than 200 such. “I’m proud of what the members of the society have done,” says Mike.

Perspective 7 is officially opened by Lord Mayor Sylvia Dunkley at noon, November 7. It runs to November 13.