Sheffield Photographic Society brings its finest work into focus

Riding the Edge, by Mike Newman
Riding the Edge, by Mike Newman
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Members of one of the country's oldest camera clubs are putting the world in the frame at their annual exhibition.

The Sheffield Photographic Society, founded in 1864, is displaying nearly 170 pictures at the cathedral from Friday - and the topics covered this year are many and varied.

City of Scenes, Tudor Square, by Eddie Sherwood

City of Scenes, Tudor Square, by Eddie Sherwood

City scenes sit alongside prints of wild animals, Fabergé eggs and exotic locales, offering a showcase for members' best recent work.

The society has around 100 photographers on its books, ranging in age from people in their late 20s up to those in their 80s. Among them are professionals and semi-professionals, as well as many enthusiastic amateurs, all of whom use lightweight digital cameras and modern editing techniques - a far cry from the methods the society’s first members would have used.

It is believed the group was formed following the Great Sheffield Flood, when people with cameras at the time would have rushed out to capture shots of the aftermath, and subsequently
kept in contact.

Today the society prides itself on keeping up to date, but members do not need the latest kit to join, or even to own a camera - an interest in photography is the only requirement.

Faberge eggs, by Ann Woolhouse

Faberge eggs, by Ann Woolhouse

Prof Vanessa Toulmin, Sheffield University's director of city and cultural engagement, will open the exhibition at the cathedral at midday on Friday. Entry is free, and society volunteers will be on hand at lunchtimes throughout the show's run to speak to visitors until the closing day on March 18.

John Scholey, the event's co-ordinator, said a total of 272 entries were whittled down to 169 that fit into eight categories - open; beginners; junior; photo essay; record; natural history; Sheffield, its life and environs, and small prints. Portraits and photojournalism are represented along with monochrome pictures, such as a ghostly image of a flight crew beside a wartime plane.

"This is our most prestigious exhibition," said John. "​If you are in town with time to spare, come along to the cathedral and look at some of the best work of our members. The standard gets higher every year​ and it​ may even be worth making a special trip."

In addition, a special show is planned in late spring. The Yorkshire Photographic Union Annual Exhibition will this year be held in Sheffield at Channing Hall on Surrey Street. The finest pictures from around 60 societies throughout Yorkshire will be on display for two weeks from May 5.

The Ghost Crew, by Gareth Morgan

The Ghost Crew, by Gareth Morgan

The Sheffield society also holds an annual Perspectives show at the Winter Garden each November. As well as its weekly meetings at St Peter’s Church Hall in Greenhill, the group has outings and regular exhibitions.

Visit www.sheffield-photographer.org.uk for more information.

Hoverfly collecting pollen, by Mike Newman

Hoverfly collecting pollen, by Mike Newman

Ha Long Bay, Vietnam, by Jim Charlton

Ha Long Bay, Vietnam, by Jim Charlton

Cockchafer Beetle, by John Scholey

Cockchafer Beetle, by John Scholey