On Friday Jan 12 Ilkley Camera Club held a lively members’ evening highlighting some of the special work and projects undertaken during 2023. Nine members (not ten as hoped) each gave presentations of around ten minutes.
John Fontana kicked off with, “A Foggy Afternoon at the Cow and Calf”. He presented a series of moody black and white prints which told the story of his visit to the moor in thick fog, including getting lost. The highly atmospheric shots included the silhouettes of fir trees around the old quarry and some striking Infrared images which added to the mysterious appeal of his work.
Max Rowe presented “Peats, Posts and Paths”. This project started two years ago in the isles of Harris and Lewis looking at the landscape’s pathways, waymarkers and peat bogs. The main idea of his presentation was to show different ways of presenting the work. He explained how photos were arranged for books, exhibitions and magazines. Some of the images were arranged in a box designed to look like a brick of peat. “It is so easy to leave our photos as digital files or in the bottom of a drawer. A print can be a really tangible way of presenting work”, Max said.
Jayne Sanderson presented some recent images taken along the river Wharfe. Jayne’s style employs creative techniques such as very long exposures and intentional camera movement, by which the images are intentionally blurred. She was able to capture the movement of wind on the water and the reflections of trees. Photos of the sun reflecting on the water and rich abstract colours were what she described as painterly and reminiscent of a Monet painting.
Andy Pinch took members of a visual journey along the “Karakoram Highway” The highway runs approximately 800 miles from Kashgar in the Xinjiang region of China, to Abbottabad, of Pakistan. Andy’s images captured the liveliness and colours of the people, markets and industry along the route. “I want to use my photography as a language. I spend a lot of time thinking about what I want my images to say”, he said.
Adrian Hendley’s talk was titled, “Thoughts and Personal Experiences of Club Judging”. Adrian has been judging camera club competitions for many years. “We are all judges”, he said, “even if we only think it”. He said he tries to be fair and encouraging, and to put aside his personal likes and dislikes, “I try to pick up on the positive attributes and be encouraging”. He said he likes to think about what a photo makes him feel and that a good way of preparing is to visit lots of exhibitions and learn from other judges.
Richard Ramsay presented some recent images including some slalom canoe shots taken at the Lee Valley center in Hertfordshire. He described the challenge of capturing the motion with just the right shutter speed.
Peter Farmer invited members to consider “What photographers can learn from painters”. Taking members through a history of great art, he looked at the way Rembrandt and others achieved wonderful lighting. Through a wide range of examples he included the way Degas broke compositional rules and how Van Gough achieved vibrancy using complementary colours.
Keith Allen asked, “How Well Do You Know Your Gear?” Keith talked about some of the equipment he uses and how important it is to make the right choices. Understanding how the gear works and being able to test the performance of your camera and lenses can help improve your work. He included some guidance of how to use special software to produce a chart indicating the best settings to get sharp images.
Andy Thomas rounded off the evening “Looking Up – the best of a cloudy 2023” His talk presented some spectacular images of the solar system and the moon. He described the frustration of cloudy skies and some of the techniques for photographing deep into space.