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A Masterclass in Storytelling

Through the magic of Zoom, members of the Dawlish & Teignmouth Camera Club were entertained by one of the Club’s favourite guest speakers, Sheila Haycox. Sheila, a member of both Exmouth and Exeter Camera Clubs, is a first-rate photographer with an impressive back catalogue of images spanning her travels to a remarkable 43 countries, but it is for her sense of fun that she is really appreciated.

At her last talk a few years ago she shared her particular brand of creativity with an amusing set of abstract images about an elephant on an adventure, but for this talk Sheila delighted her audience with an eclectic and entertaining mix of audio-visual presentations. (AVs are a sequence of photographs with an accompanying soundtrack of music, or narration, to relay factual interest about a subject, or to weave a story).

Sheila admitted that she loves researching people and places and then produces a documentary AV about them, such as the ones she showed us about Samuel Johnson and Cold Harbour Mill. But she also hoodwinked us with a couple of her other ‘documentaries’ about the secret lives of family members, showing her vivid imagination and creativity.

Her AV on the famous Venice Carnival focussed on the eyes behind the elaborate masks and costumes and the whispered narrative that she had written gave it real atmosphere.

Masked in Gold © Sheila Haycox
Masked in Gold © Sheila Haycox

With a swift change of pace, Sheila played her very poignant AV about the impact of Covid-19 across the world - something she was inspired to make after hearing The Great Realisation poem on the radio.

And for something completely different, her AV on the graffiti seen in Holland was set to the Monty Python theme song.

Sheila combined her exceptional photography with her superb narrative and story-telling skills to give us “one of the best evenings at the club” one member said.

If you are interested in joining the Club, which meets on Wednesday evenings, you can find out more on our Thinking of Joining the Camera Club page.

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