Review - Rarekiek Exchange Evening, 14 Feb 2022

A review by Phil Whiffing - Rarekiek Exchange Evening, 14 Feb 2022
We have run informal exchanges with Fotoclub de Rarekiek of the Netherlands for many years, but this was the first time we have actually had a joint meeting. We took the opportunity of Zoom to bring our clubs together online and to see each other’s faces.

The theme was “the story behind the picture” and first image shown by Ton and Sue was a map to illustrate the locations where Rarekiek and Dorchester meet. If you have ever used the Harwich to Hook-of-Holland Ferry you were not far away from the Rarekiek club house. We were then treated to a display of images, some reflecting recent events and one taken 40 years ago!

The first set of images from Rarekiek covered a range of topics: traditional equestrian games, travel and abstract images in both colour and monochrome. They included images intended to question the audience and illustrate friendship.

The first group of pictures from Dorchester were also in both monochrome and colour showing wildlife, street scenes and telling the sad story of Gladys the highland cow on Eggardon Hill. The story of Spike facing down a two-metre-long barracuda in the Red Sea before going to the aid of a fellow diver was also told.

In the next group of pictures from Rarekiek it became apparent that many of the photographs being shared with us were from series or panels. This provoked requests to see the rest of the series, perhaps an idea for another meeting? Among this group of images, again in colour and monochrome, were two different approaches to recording the experience of the pandemic which echoed shared experience in both countries. One was a windswept beach and the other a beautifully lit still life in which four pears and a jam jar represented quarantine, mask wearing and social distancing. This was both very creative and technically excellent. The other images in this part of the evening illustrated travel, mental illness and an imaginative self-portrait without a face, all illustrating good techniques and creativity to tell stories.

The next group of images from Dorchester included pictures of travel, an event, an art installation and nature. These provoked discussion about the story being told in each image and entomology.

We then crossed the North Sea again for a set of photographs covering sport, family portraits, travel and the holocaust. More strong storytelling and wishes expressed to see other images in the series. We were all amazed by the low-light capabilities of the iPhone in a chapel in a quarry!

The final group from Dorchester included travel, nature and a very wet artist. Each of these illustrated a good story. Of note was the heart-warming tale of Jane following a red rose on its journey from Athens to London.

The final image was of an old apple tree presented by Rarekiek. A high-quality image showing a tranquil atmosphere which rounded off an enjoyable evening. It was good to see the faces of members of our twin club and be inspired by some new ideas. I cannot finish this review without complementing the quality of English spoken by our Dutch friends.

Find out more about Fotoclub de Rarekiek

Bedankt Rarekiek!

~ Phil Whiffing