Courier Report 3rd December 2021

Date Published 
Fri 3 Dec 2021

David Kneale, Chief Photographer with Isle of Man Newspapers, was the guest speaker for the Society’s last November evening. Interestingly, though he has judged for, and given presentations to, the Society about his many jaw-dropping experiences as a professional photographer in the past, this one was a bit more personal. It comprised a wide-ranging commentary, accompanied by numerous images, cataloguing his role with the newspaper group since he was appointed to his present position in late 2016. To that extent, his presentation could become a valuable source of social history for future researchers.

David is clearly under constant time pressures to capture and submit newsworthy images from across the Island. These are on diverse subjects ranging from National news events, such as the Laxey flooding in October, 2019, to aspects of local culture and heritage. With each image, he tries to convey a story of interest to the reader. [Though pictures are vitally important to busy readers, they are rarely given prominence on front pages, yet one good image can be worth a thousand words!] He showed us the way the Cabinet Office Covid news conferences have evolved over time to reflect the rise and fall of Coronavirus infections. Manx residents returning to the Island and being escorted by tight security to quarantine in Santon also featured, as did the strangely empty streets during the recent ‘lockdowns’, and the all-important vaccination rollout.

His is a fascinating job as David enjoys meeting all manner of local people and visitors. One might be tempted to think it is glamorous, but many jobs involve outside work in challenging lighting conditions and all weathers, with much travelling. To that extent, it must be something of a logistical nightmare, being expected to arrive in good time at venues, capture the decisive moment quickly, before dashing off to the next job! So, life as a photojournalist can be demanding. It calls for the ability to deal effectively with all personalities, requires a personable manner combined with gentle negotiating skills to obtain the desired images.

The presentation concluded with a second half covering such more recent local events as the ‘Bra Dash’, World Tin Bath Championships, Relay for Life, and the Parish Walk, earning him a rapturous round of applause for a great evening.

The Society meets at 7.00 pm each Wednesday at the St John Ambulance Headquarters, off Glencrutchery Road, Douglas. Guests are always made most welcome but are asked to make a nominal contribution towards expenses. We are always looking for new members, so please come along and join like-minded people, no matter what your experience or present skills level, to share in this fascinating hobby! If you are interested, please look at our new website for details.

The IOMPS gratefully acknowledges the continued support of the Arts Council.

Antony Hamilton