Big Event Report, Sandy Cleland FRPS AFIAP - Tuesday 11th November 2014.


On Tuesday 11th November 2014, Morpeth Camera Club held their Annual Big Event and welcomed Sandy Cleland FRPS AFIAP, to give a presentation entitled ‘Both Sides of the Coin’, his subject matter being General Portraiture and Nature.

Sandy stated that he arrived late into digital photography as he thought that it would be short-lived but soon immersed himself into the medium using similar techniques which he had employed in the dark room.

Living in Edinburgh, Sandy is always keen to attend the Festival and take photographs of general street scenes and more importantly, portraits of performers and local characters. Rather than use a long lens he prefers to approach individuals, ask their permission and often takes them to less crowded areas where he can include a more interesting background in the shot. He always shoots in colour and converts the photograph to monochrome, resulting in excellent dark, moody portraits in amazing detail sometimes with a retro slant.

In contrast he displayed his minimalist theme of snow laden trees and branches in crisp detail against heavy winter skies, a lone horse on the skyline silhouetted by moody clouds; graphic images of metal chairs with shadows. Portraits of shopkeepers and workers at the Black Country Museum, car booters, Canaletto style views of Venice, the vibrant colours Burano, beautiful high key portraits with emphasis on the eyes, and Ventriano inspired figures.

Natural history has always been and still is Sandy’s main interest and the second half of his presentation comprised of beautiful photographs of Hooper Swans in flight, geese silhouetted by a red sunset, Golden Plovers in murmuration, beautifully detailed droplets on feathers, translucent light shining through feathers, Waxwings perched on an aerial, hares, deer, a Stonechat on a frosty fence, colourful frogs reflected in amazing detail. Detailed macro photography was a highlight in Sandy’s presentation, colourful butterflies, moths on Yarrow, thistle and bark, caterpillars, scorpion flies, clegs, the giant horntail, spiders on sunlit webs and delicate damsel flies with diaphanous wings.

Many of Sandy’s photographs were taken when out and about on the Forth, Linlithgow Loch, Martin Mere, Glen Coe, the Farne Islands and during his work with the Scottish Agricultural College.

Despite there being so many beautiful photographs, too numerous to describe, the evening flew by, an hour and a half of wonderful photography and combined with Sandy’s interesting dialogue and dry humour, the result was a truly enjoyable evening.

Steve McDonald thanked Sandy for his excellent presentation after which the results of the raffle were announced. Morpeth Camera club have donated all proceeds of the raffle to the Ebola Crisis Appeal and a cheque for £174 has been forwarded to this worthy cause.
        Stephanie Robson.