Club Meeting, "Mavis's Mixture" with Mavis Ord - Tuesday 4th October 2016.


On Tuesday 4th October 2016, Morpeth Camera Club welcomed Mavis Ord from Durham Photographic Society.
A friend of the club for many years, Mavis had decided to put together a compilation of her photographic work
and give a print presentation looking back at her forty years in photography.
Starting with a small selection of her early monochrome prints, she explained that these had all been made in
the darkroom from film negatives. Teaching herself, learning from her mistakes and after many hours of practice
she had eventually learnt her craft and was able to meet her goal of good highlights and shadows. These early
prints featured street life, children playing and portraiture that we were viewing them forty years later was
testament of her original skills.
Mavis presented many examples of her work, she remarked that she had been a colour slide worker, had tried
cibachrome printing and lithe printing, but at this time had always come back to monochrome prints. Hints and
tips about technique, various forays with different cameras including her Pentax Spotmatic F, memories evoked
by certain prints and the stories behind them kept the attention of the audience.
The advent of computers and the move to digital photography changed things dramatically and Mavis had grasped
this challenge, taking courses and learning Photoshop to produce accomplished results with early digital equipment.
A wonderful set of prints followed with various effects including infrared landscapes, selenium toning, and several
prints used in a panel to gain her Associateship of the Royal Photographic Society.
Travel had been a major influence on Mavis's photography and her ability to see a photograph was demonstrated
as we were shown prints taken in Cuba featuring school children, street life, old cars and pastel coloured buildings.
From landscapes of New Zealand to the architecture of Paris in stunning detail. Mavis stated that she took images
for herself and not for judges, that a picture should make people think, ask questions or tell a story and that you
should always "do your own thing".
The last section of the presentation covered a theme that she had called "a moment in time", where being ready
with a camera to see and react to a situation, she had produced a range of prints with impact and beauty. A recent
set of prints taken at Beamish Museum and printed using mono layers and colour masks showed that she is still
moving forward and trying new skills.
Following a vote of thanks from Club Chairman Glyn Trueman, members welcomed the chance to view Mavis's
prints in close up as they were displayed around the room, prompting comment and questions over coffee as the
evening came to a close. As Mavis had earlier commented, whether it was made in the darkroom or printed from
a computer, there is just "something special about a print" and we had to agree after such an enjoyable evening.

Davy Bolam.