Club Meeting Report, " 50 yrs of Vince " - Tuesday 23rd February 2016.

     

At the meeting of Morpeth Camera Club on Tuesday 23rd February 2016, club members together with many old friends and
acquaintances enjoyed a lecture given by Life President, Vince Rooker, EFIAP, DPAGB, APAGB who, this year, is celebrating
his 50th year as a member of the club.

Vince's interest in photography started during World War Two when his father handed him the family Box Brownie, a packet
of printing out paper and some negatives, to keep Vince out of his hair while he polished the local Fire Engine between the
visitations of the Luftwaffe over Sheffield.

As an adult, on demobilisation after defending King and Country in the R.A.F. on National Service, his first foray into the
world of photographic clubs was to join a works camera club in Sheffield.

In 1966, Vince moved to Morpeth and joined the YMCA Camera Club and started entering club competitions, his source of
inspiration being the riverside, market traders, the rural life and especially churches. The audience enjoyed photographs
of cyclists in the snow in Rothbury, action shots of rugby players; Blagdon open cast mine, motor cross action in Shilbottle,
Shire horses at Stannington and beautiful interior shots of cathedrals and churches in the region. Being pre-digital times,
Vince explained the problems which arose and his painstaking methods to overcome them. A collection of Cathedral pictures followed, in Wells, the star vaulted ceiling in the Lady Chapel, Lichfield memorial statue, the Ripon Choir Screen, Lincoln
Cathedral’s towering archways and the intricate wood panels in Durham.

In 1984 he became redundant and as a result, Vince and his wife Joan embarked on a career taking wedding photographs,
examples of which were shown of lovely brides, candid shots of bridesmaids in soft tones, retaining the amazing detail in
silk and lace, during which Vince entertained us with anecdotes of their experiences.

Vince’s inspiration then came from travelling, firstly to Naples with colourful street scenes, buffalo, the source of the local mozzarella cheese, shots of Vesuvius, Amalfan coastal scenes, Monte Casino, providing anecdotes of its wartime links, and
in Florida’s Cape Canaveral with Saturn rockets and space shuttle, followed by images of the Florida Keys explaining the
quirky lifestyle of the Key West residents, including tales of the ‘Conch Republic’ and drug running.

     

At the onset of the digital era, Vince’s first competition entry of boats among reeds won him an A3 Epson printer and he
was then approached by North West Water for permission to use it in their literature which proved to be a very lucrative
introduction to this new technology.

With this new found digital freedom, or ‘ jiggery pokery ’ as Vince would describe it, he did not hesitate to experiment,
merging unlikely subjects together resulting in mystical, eerie creations, sky replacements, colour popping and innovative
use of filters. A combination of war time aircraft and modern jets, a howling wolf superimposed into an eerie Yellowstone
landscape and metallic looking sprites riding the waves were included in this section.

Vince went on to present an extraordinary variety of his work, images of France in the Autumn when the vines are at their
most colourful, Pyrenean landscapes in early morning mist, infrared shots of ferns, masked Venetian characters and snow
scenes in the city, Santorini with its crisp white houses set against azure sea, sand and multi coloured rock patterns on
the Dingle Peninsular and Belfast’s thought provoking wall art and local children. Scenes of the Grand Tetons followed with
golden autumn colours reflected in still lakes and Yellowstone National Park with Mammoth Springs and its unusual calcium
deposits. Nearer to home, there were sharp action shots of microlites, stunt riders, show jumpers, birds of prey, and
Lakeland scenes of receding mountains and misty lakes and Northumberland’s majestic castles.

Vince then presented a selection of his much acclaimed still life photographs, taken using natural light, his creations
of flowers and fruit placed before soft textured voile are second to none.

Club Chairman Glyn Trueman thanked Vince for giving the audience such a descriptive and entertaining presentation, and
that it was such a pleasure to see the wide variety of subjects in his catalogue of work. Vince concluded by stating that
photography has been a most wonderful hobby and would gladly do it all over again. Refreshments and a buffet supper
were then served and the audience were able to view a selection of Vince’s excellent prints displayed around the room.