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An International Audio Visual Retrospective

Audio Visual (AV) started out in the days of the Magic Lantern, followed by the use of 35mm slides, and since the turn of the century AVs are shown using the digital medium. One of theflagship events run by the RPS AV Group is the biennial RPS International AV Festival.

Unfortunately, due to Covid 19, the 24th Festival, which was due to be held in Cheltenham, on Saturday 26th & Sunday 27th September 2020 has been postponed until 2021. However, in its place the RPS AV Group put on an online Retrospective event using Zoom video conferencing, which was free of charge.

The Retrospective was a balanced Programme of carefully selected AVs starting with the winner of the first digital award at the 2002 International Festival all the way through to the International Grand Prix winner in 2018.


It was a great success and below is some of the feedback from the International Audio Visual Retrospective Weekend.

Awesome event. Moved to tears by Beeswing.
Thanks for having me.

Alan Hodgson
President of the RPS

I have just come off zoom following a wonderful weekend of viewing some incredible AV sequencies, it’s very refreshing to see other peoples work which also gives ideas for future sequencies [achieving it may be a bit more difficult].

I would like to congratulate you and your fellow RPS members for putting this International Audio Visual Retrospective weekend’s event together, it was well organised from start to finish.

There was mention of people joining in from as far away as Australia, India, South Africa and many European countries and without zoom this may not have been possible.

Robin Davy
Clacton Camera Club

Whatever the success of the weekend (I’m certain that feedback will be totally positive), the same amount of effort and time is required from all of the organising team and contributors alike.

From a personal perspective, it certainly exceeded my expectations (not that I really knew what to expect). Without going into specific details of the individual AV Presentations, I wish to convey my own congratulations for what was a very compelling, entertaining and successful weekend.

All of the Presentations had a combination of Purpose, Contemplation, Reflection, Emotion, Passion, Happiness, Joy, Love, Peace, Beauty, Sadness, Anger, Outrage and Sorrow, to name a few. Also, such powerful and personal memories, feelings and experiences, coupled with a preparedness to share the above with total strangers.  All collated with complementary imagery, music, narration and text. Extraordinary, to say the least.

What other genre of art, music or literature is able and willing to share such a wide and diverse range of stories as we have witnessed through the medium of Audio Visual, beautifully presented through the Audio Visual Retrospective? Wonderful.

Les Loosemore
South Wales

A real triumph, especially with so many logging on from all over the world. Great organisation.  Zoom is a great way of reaching so many people. 

Peter Warner

Thank you for a great weekend, a lot of time and effort obviously went into it, the final presentation was very professional.

A great choice of sequences, bringing the occasional tear to my eye. It was sadly not the real thing, I missed the social side, but was a brilliant substitute.

Jeff Mansell

It was better than I ever imagined. Well done everyone.

Alan Tyrer

Once again, we want to say just how much we enjoyed the RPS International AV Retrospective held over last weekend. We were most impressed with the smooth and very professional presentation throughout, even when there was a Zoom glitch on the Saturday evening! We thought that the RPS AV Group AGM went well too. At this end the only problem we had was a broadband outage during Sunday morning, requiring us to re-establish the modem connection and re-join the meeting, but we didn’t miss much.

It was great to be in touch with the AV community again, and we should like to thank you all most sincerely for everything you did to make the event such a success. No doubt an enormous amount of time, effort and hard work went into all the planning, organisation and preparation, as well as all the stresses and strains on the day - we really do appreciate it. Let’s hope that we’ll all be able to get together properly before too long. Meanwhile this type of alternative meeting is a brilliant substitute to help keep AV alive.

Malcolm and Jenny Gee

Well, it was a tremendous success. Congratulations on your retrospective.

Jeff Morris
AV Makers South Africa

I just want to congratulate you on an excellent Retrospective Weekend.  I think it is pretty amazing to be able to experience an event where every sequence justifies its inclusion.  With respect, I had expected that certain authors might dominate the event, and congratulate you on not letting that happen.

A most enjoyable two days, so thanks to both yourself and Linda.  I know what it is like to spend a couple of tense hours behind a live system, expecting something to go wrong at any minute, but two whole days!!!!!!!  So my thanks also to the “techies” on this occasion, Alastair, Jill and John.

Alan Boothman

Just a few words to say how delighted I was with this event.  I can well imagine how much effort will have gone into getting this off the ground, well done.

Will you please pass on my thanks and gratitude to all of your team who made the whole event so enjoyable.  It was also good to catch up on people’s news and have some light-hearted banter at the same time.

Chris Bate

I would like to congratulate you and all people supporting RPS International Audio Visual Retrospective.

It was a great idea to keep active the links between all Av enthusiasts. It was a pleasure to meet virtually again friends from British AV world.

I particularly appreciate the overall quality of the event, since I know the difficulties one can encounter in managing transmission of High Quality video over the web.

I also had the opportunity to watch again old sequences from another point of view.

Lorenzo de Francesco
Director of Audio Visual Service, FIAP

I thought the Zoom weekend went remarkably well and I really enjoyed the whole event.

The entire team and yourselves deserve a huge vote of thanks for the very professional way in which it was carried out.

Eddie Spence

Heidy & I truly enjoyed this 'Zoom video event' and the positive, joyful atmosphere that reigned with all watching it. You - and your assisting team - have brilliantly managed this ambitious task, and your and Linda's comments lead us so well through the sessions.

We have spent most of the weekend before the screen, enjoying the flashback at nearly 20 festival years, and it was marvellous so see again so many good AV's from many different authors, which brought us to tears of emotion!

Your idea to replace the physical event by a retrospective was more than a compromise: it transformed the makeshift event to a new way of coming virtually together and enjoying the AV world which we all have at heart..

Erhard and Heidy Hobrecker

Many thanks to you and Linda, and everyone involved in the making of the IAVF 2020 Retrospective.  It was a great success and it was wonderful to be able to sit at home and enjoy the sequences.  I watched them through a digital projector on a big screen and they looked really good.  It was the first time I used Zoom and it was very impressive.  The hours of preparation and rehearsal that were mentioned certainly paid off. 

Thanks again to all involved

James Hamill
Northern Ireland

It was a wonderful weekend of sequences and attendees from all around the world.. some of whom I knew very well (both sequences and attendees) and other sequences which I had forgotten and a delight to see again and a couple I hadn't seen before. 

Likewise with attendees, there were many I did not know.  Others joined whom I may not have met but have been in contact with when they entered the Irish Photographic Federation's International competitions so felt great to be included in the AV worldwide family - even though socially distancing at way more than 2 metres - and much more safely!

I was also honoured to have been included in the Retrospective and thanks to Linda for her kind comments on "A Celtic Blessing"... and also for remembering my involvement with "Thomas"!

It was a mammoth undertaking - deciding to hold the event - making a list and gathering in of the Audio Visuals, producing a programme, timed to perfection, and I don't know how Jill managed all that technology - amazing!  Thanks to Alistair for his idea and hosting the event and letting in and out all those who attended at some point during the weekend!  Thanks to Edgar for his role as AV Director of the event.  Linda was a brilliant MC and kept up the banter between sessions.  Jill & John - without you - there would have been no sequences to see - the only hitch was from Zoom outage.  

Lilian Webb

Enjoyed watching the International AV Retrospective.  Its 1:30 so I won’t get all the way through It’s a great and diverse program.  A lovely opportunity to share from the other side of the world.

Canberra, Australia

Congratulations to all involved for a brilliant show. Not the same as seeing everyone but a very good substitute.

Pat Mansell

I would like to add my thanks to Linda and Edgar and the AV Group Committee for organising and the smooth running of this weekend’s Retrospective.  I did not think I would stay throughout but I thoroughly enjoyed every sequence. Well done.

Dave Wilcox

Congratulations to all concerned - a great show.

Here's hoping we don't have to do too many of 'em in the future, but if so I reckon you've all got it sorted.


Andrew N. Gagg

Well done to all involved it was a great weekend of top quality classics. Lovely to see so many joining in from around the world and being able to put faces to the names.

Marion Waine
North Wales

Brilliant weekend!. Thank you so much to everybody involved in the planning production and presentation, such a professional job.

Malcolm Imhoff

The Retrospective was marvellous Thoroughly enjoyed the whole experience.

Got such a sense of belonging, even more so because we have seen many of those names on our salons and could now put faces to them

Adri and Roel van Oudsheusden
Port Elizabeth,
South Africa

Thank you so much. It’s been fascinating Lots to think about

Elyse Cox
Port Elizabeth South Africa

Thanks very much to everyone who organised hosted and contributed to an excellent weekendof AV talent I really enjoyed it.  It’s great to see and gain inspiration from other people’s work. Well done everyone.

Malcolm Moorehead
Northern Ireland

I am really enjoying the Retrospective, very well presented and good to see so many excellent AVs Thank you all. Your efforts are appreciated.

Kathleen Bird

A fantastic day. Thank you to everyone concerned We have thoroughly enjoyed the AVs as well as being able to chat.

Joan and Clive Ryder Rathband

Just a brief note to thank you and the team for an amazing weekend. Not having been to the festival for two or three years (increasing years setting in!) it was good to be able to 'attend' again without having to drive a long distance. Several of the sequences we had seen previously but many were new and quite a number I had read about in AV News and it was good to see them at last, all in the comfort of home. Congratulations.

One of the good things to come from the pandemic.

Thanks again and best wishes,

David Grimwade

Thank you and congratulations to you and your team for a marvellous weekend of AV viewing! A lot of hard work and coordination must have been involved by all who participated in both arranging and running the event - well done all.

In Norway, as far as I can see there is no AV activity, and for someone who works alone, there are no such forum/events where other peoples’ AV work can be seen. Thus for me it was fascinating to see how other people approach the making of AV sequences. I have always thought that the quality of the photography was a major component! Clearly not, the range of subjects chosen and the various styles adopted had other priorities which were well demonstrated – story-telling, picture quality/styles, use of the various AV techniques, soundtracks, voice-over, etc. Many of the sequences must have called for much time and effort in their planning/preparation as well as demonstrating considerable technical know-how on many levels. All very fascinating and instructive as well as giving food for thought.

I am honoured that “Arctic Dreams” was chosen to be shown in the Retrospective – thank you.

Finally, I must apologise for an unfortunate error in my presentation of myself. I am not four score and ten years, but in fact a mere four score and one years old!!

Bill Bruce

What a wonderful and truly international event. I am sure I am not alone in thoroughly appreciating the different techniques and approaches used.

Mark Allen
Northern Ireland

Hi Linda and Edgar

A quick email to thank you both for a fantastic AV weekend. You obviously worked hard to ensure the smooth running of it all.

We hope you will soon be sitting down to a well-deserved large gin and tonic/glass of red wine!!

Bev Tyrer

What a fabulous weekend you have given us all. So professionally done and a smashing alternative to the IAVF during the pandemic. My sincere thanks to you all.

Regardless how good it was online will never match real life, but when push came to shove the event was marvelous.

Keith Watson

Linda, I really must express my congratulations for the great idea of this AV weekend! It was wonderful to see all those beautiful AVs at home! Selecting and grouping must have been an immense work for you and Edgar.

What you achieved was not only the substitution of a festival, it was much more!  The development of style and expression in the last 20 years no festival can show so clearly as you did on this weekend!

Therefore: many, many thanks and compliments to you and Edgar!!!!

Heidy Hobrecker

The weekend was fantastic, the quality was superb and I really enjoyed every minute of it. Thanks to all the team.

Roy Appleby

Grand Prix Trophy

Grand Prix Trophy

Grand Prix Trophy

The Grand Prix Trophy (see photo) which is awarded to the winner was designed by Lord David Linley, the son of Princess Margaret and Lord Snowdon, and was purchased for the Festival in 1990. Arthur Rackham was then the Chairman of the Festival Committee, and he generously donated the money to make the purchase. Arthur visited Lord Linley’s studio to select the design, which is reminiscent of the top of an Ionic column. He recalled that in those days the RPS meetings were held at Princes Gate in London, and that visiting speakers were required to wear dinner jackets when giving lectures!

The Festival itself has been running since 1976, and prior to the current trophy being commissioned, the Grand Prix winners were presented with a unique piece of glass. These were provided by the Whitefriars Glassworks, and were actually made from by-products of the glass production process. At the end of each firing there would be a residue of waste glass of various shapes at the bottom of the oven. These were utilised as highly individual glass sculptures for the trophies!

Today, the Grand Prix Trophy is kept at Fenton House, and because of its value the winner only gets to be photographed with it rather than keep it! A plaque, also kept at Fenton House, was subsequently commissioned from Lord Linley to record the names of the winners. A list of these can also be seen on the website in the Grand Prix Winners section. The current holder of the Trophy is Richard Brown, the Grand Prix winner from the last Festival in 2018. 


IMG 1141 As Smart Object 1

AV by iPhone?

I've never blogged before, so this could be fun! I'm also having a lot of fun taking pictures with my iPhone to use in an AV. If you've seen an AV that I recently produced, you'll know that I'm interested to understand why the current smart-phone generation haven't taken to making AVs. As we know millions of phone pictures are taken every day and I have quickly realised the attractions.

The camera is easy to use and the quality,  with the 8Mb sensor in 'normal' lighting, is good.

And then there are the 'apps', you don't have to stick to the basic camera software, there are so many others.

Viveca Koh's article in a recent issue of the RPS 'Digit' magazine gave me a lot of ideas. I like the look of the 'Hipstamatic' app, choosing a 'film' and 'lens' to give a grungy monochrome look, so I took quite a few pics while we were in Snowdonia for the weekend.

More on my progress soon!     

Having discovered apps like Hipstamatic which give you instant gratification, but little control, I'm trying post processing 'straight' iPhone images. So far my favourite image editor is Snapseed which has a convenient and speedy interface. 

And then in Snapseed I adjusted contrast, saturation and then added some 'grunge' and possibly some HDR. The software allows a huge range of adjustments, some 'traditional' and some 'way out'. The interface is interesting, with only a small touch screen to control the image editing, it uses up and down strokes to change the effect to be adjusted, while side to side strokes change the amount of adjustment.

There is a huge range of ways of adjusting the image including centre-focus, tilt-shift, retrolux and drama. And the adjustments need not be across the whole image, you can make selective adjustments to part of the image.

So a week with a lot more photos on the iPhone, I even have a tripod attachment for it now.

Oh yes, I also caught a member of Council taking pictures on his iPhone.

So the camera in the iPhone seems of good quality and I can post-process the images. The next thing to think about, for AV, is how I can record sound on the iPhone. More next week.

Howard Bagshaw



2016 02 20 WGAVG Workshop 2015

Story Telling with a Camera - Workshop

A workshop, bringing together AV and film workers with creative writers, is being run at Wilmslow on 7th March. Led by Jill Bunting and John Smith, this should be a day to help photographers and writers plan how best to tell stories through the medium of AV.

The details of the workshop are on the Wilmslow Guild AV Group website 


Sir George Pollock

Sir George Pollock BT Hon FRPS

It is with great sadness that we inform you that Sir George Pollock passed away on Monday 30th May 2016.

Sir George was a past President of The Royal Photographic Society and a leading light in Audio Visual.
Along with Lady Doreen they started the AV News Magazine back in the 1970's.
The Sir George & Lady Doreen Pollock Medal was presented by them in 2012 to encourage newcomers in AV. It is awarded at up to 5 festivals a year for the best sequence by a new entrant.

For tributes to Sir George click here