Club Meeting Report, " Its all in the Print " - Tuesday 12th January 2016.

    

John Thompson ARPS, EFIAP, CPAGB, a long time member of both Morpeth and Alnwick Camera Clubs, was welcomed
on Tuesday 12th January 2016, to give a talk entitled " It’s All in the Print ".

When asked to give a presentation on minimalism, John explained that there is always a portion of a photograph which
has a minimalist feel. One can remove modern elements in a scene, such as telegraph wires, to create a minimalist
landscape, or, alternatively one can create a truly minimalist scene where the focal point is retained & the surroundings
are cleared to achieve a white ethereal quality, creating spaciousness around the subject, therefore releasing the essence
of the picture with space.

As an example of this John displayed a set of scenes in Morpeth of the Chantry, St George’s Church and Telford Bridge
where he had removed all surrounding features, exposing the subject, enabling the viewer to appreciate the fine detail,
giving the effect of fine pencil drawings. As were his images of Newcastle’s Catholic Church and the High Level Bridge
together with the use of Photoshop to select and delete unwanted backgrounds, one was able to appreciate the detail
and grace of the architecture.

John continued with beautiful images of Venice in calm pastels set in beautiful light, explaining that one must carefully
compose to capture the essence of what is in the mind. The object of his attention then went to crowds of colourful
international tourists, groups of busy, involved people, demonstrating the different moods which can be achieved from
the same location. His night time shots in the photographer’s paradise of Burano & Murano were examples of minimalism
taking advantage of small pools light from glowing street lamps but still maintaining detail in the shadows. Early morning photographs of washing lines, fabrics blowing gently in the breeze, set against colourful interlocking buildings, perfectly
captured these beautiful towns.

He went on to explain that there can be problems when there is a lack of a focal point, but with the use of a fisheye lens,
landscapes can be seen in another dimension, with a 180 degree view, a wonderful depth of field, and by using the
distortions carefully one can produce some amazing results. Taken from a low vantage point, blue and white striped
deckchairs in a rotunda, a bandstand with curving pillars, an amazing low level shot taken in York Minster, abstract
archways, staircases and corridors, converging lines of roof spans at Newcastle’s Central Station the deliberate retention
of curvature revealing a sense of space, all in amazing detail, demonstrated what exciting effects can be achieved.

A selection of high key photographs followed of Blyth, his favourite place. Following the path of a trawler surrounded by
a flock of birds as it sailed further and further into the distance, shot into the light, created an almost silhouette effect
with a definite element of minimalism. Proving that white areas in a composition are influential in successful minimalistic photography, his shot of a family playing cricket on Bamburgh Beach in the fog, highlights and heightens what is happening
in the shot and tells a story with no distractions. A lady walking power walking through the water in dense fog, a lone man
with three buoys, figures in wetsuits reflected in wet sand all illustrated this simple but dramatic technique.

John concluded his show by describing his latest project, ‘iphonography’, taking photographs with his iphone using an
application which converts his phone to a camera, examples of which demonstrated how much depth, mood and clarity
can be achieved, lobster pots set against stormy skies, Beadnel harbour wall and jetty and dark, moody images taken on
St Mary’s Island, all in strong monochrome.

Having found this an exciting new concept, John has set himself a new project of revisiting iconic places, many set around
Morpeth, including the Bell Tower, Collingwood House, and Telford Bridge, he has employed the disciplines which have to
be followed, not having any control over aperture and shutter speed, and by just using a five megapixel iphone, he has
achieved excellent results which were all enjoyed this evening. John is certainly not a man to rest on his laurels and it will
be interesting to see what exciting new projects he will provide us with in the future.

Chairman, Glyn Trueman, thanked John for a great evening’s entertainment and for sharing his skill and imagination
after which the audience were able to view his many excellent photographs at close range, displayed around the room.

Steph.