Catherine Knee: "Reality is Overrated"

Date Published 
Tue 8 Jun 2021

This week, both our President (Harry) and Vice-President (Idse) were away, so it fell to me as Immediate Past President to host our Zoom meeting. It wasn’t entirely straightforward – I started the meeting in very good time and Mary joined in so we were happily chatting when it dawned on us that it was time some other members logged on. Then Whatsapp messages started arriving at 7.20pm indicating that no-one else could get into the meeting: cue a moment of panic on my part, following which I realised that somehow I’d clicked on a button called “Lock Meeting” which I didn’t even know existed (whoops!). Naturally I corrected that straight away and lots of other members immediately started “arriving” – as did our visiting speaker who had also begun to panic. Needless to say this was a tad embarrassing in view of my recent appointment as “IT manager” for the club, but in spite of me offering to be fired from this job no-one took me up on this.

That wasn’t the only glitch of the evening, but the other one wasn’t my fault: after talking for about 40 minutes our speaker suddenly disappeared from the meeting. Happily she reappeared after about 5 minutes. Seemingly her lovely fiancé had switched on their oven to cook her meal and owing to a fault it tripped their house circuit breaker – so they had to disconnect the oven before they could get the power back on.

In true “The Show Must Go On” tradition, our speaker Catherine Knee maintained her composure and gave us a most fascinating presentation, entitled “Reality is Overrated”. She took us through her “photographic journey” with a great deal of modesty showing us an amazing selection of highly creative and imaginative images which left us all puzzling how on earth she has such incredible ideas. She included an insight as to how she goes about her Photoshopping although sadly I don’t think I’d be capable of even beginning to emulate her techniques. She did tell us how to make our own brushes though, and that’s something I may be able to manage.

She included some useful tips in her talk, some of which she’d learnt the hard way and which were presented with great humour. These included the inadvisability of using a smoke machine indoors (cough, splutter) or having a lively dog around when using feathers or wine glasses (the posher the glass the more likely a disaster is to occur). I particularly liked the fact that she emphasised the value of not always taking one’s hobby too seriously, of always having one’s camera available and of keeping the “inner child” alive.

All too soon her talk was over – I could have gone on enjoying her fascinating photos for hours.

David Cottrell.