Club Meeting Report - Tuesday 3rd November 2015.

On Tuesday 3rd November 2015, bad weather caused an enforced change to the programme as Richard Speirs,
our planned speaker for the evening was sadly unable to travel from Carlisle to Morpeth to give his presentation.
However, our trusty IT team stepped in with a worthy alternative and club members were treated to an audio-visual
presentation by Gwen and Phil Charnock, former members of the Wigan 10 Group. This is a small photographic group
who joined together in 1988 to share their enjoyment of photography.

The first sequence contained top tips and examples for successful photography such as filling the frame, being aware
of backgrounds, using unusual angles and levels, removing unwanted elements, harmonising colours to add impact,
shooting in all weather conditions to add drama, saving backgrounds for future experimentation and to save only the
best. A series of beautiful images followed using ethereal characters and bubbles set in woodland, demonstrating photo
montage; combining separate backgrounds, figures and objects in one photograph.

Next came the Charnocks’ archive of their favourite photographs of pre-digital experiments on negatives, burning,
bleaching and using Vaseline and water on glass. After spending time with Patrick Lichfield, they became professional;
their presentation tonight covered examples of commercial photography, food illustrations, pamphlets, map books and
holiday brochures. Stark images of Auschwitz, vibrant colours of Moroccan street scenes, and waves lashing against
piers were included in their many favourites. Demonstrating how technology had added another dimension to their
photography were examples of Photoshop trickery placing tiny children amidst giant ketchup bottles and open topped
boiled eggs.

Their inspiration is often taken from films, music and art forms, placing flowers behind wet glass, dew drops on flowers,
tango street dancers, devils and demons and Dali-like abstracts. A series of montages followed covering the Normandy
beaches, Breton characters, medieval villages in the Dordogne and the French Alps. Stunning images depicting life in
Marrakech streets followed; hooded figures, old alleyways and ancient doors, markets and characterful portraits of local
men and women captured the essence of this colourful city.

Next was an av entitled Wonderful World, a thought provoking series of images, firstly of war cemeteries, poppies, ruins
and victims, contrasting with happier images of post war life of happy children, fathers with their children, lovers young
and old, illustrating the legacy of freedom. Several further sequences of Venice sunsets and masked figures; ‘Through
Seasons of Tranquility’, peaceful images with a message encouraging a gentler pace of life, and ‘Rainbows’ a colourful av
of Keukenhof. A vast array of beautiful images confirmed the undoubted talent of Gwen and Philip Charnock, an evening
from which club members will certainly take inspiration.