Club Report, Alternative Photography with David Hall - Tuesday 7th October 2014.

On Tuesday 7th October 2014, Morpeth Camera Club welcomed guest speaker David Hall ARPS EFIAP, DPAGB, BPE3,
of Gateshead Camera Club who gave a presentation entitled ‘Alternative Photography.’
Despite the age of digital photography, David has continued to work with 35mm film and develops all his own prints
in the traditional darkroom. He prefers to work by producing a set or small series on a theme and started with four
prints on ledger paper which he acquired and stored in his loft for years before using them to great effect. Here he
had matched the he information on the ledger sheet to his subject, i.e., if the ledger related to a company in Hexham,
he would then print a view of Hexham retaining the information in the background. Another set of prints were taken
by using a home made pinhole camera and images of moving water were followed by some impressive, selectively
toned prints of abandoned cars.
David is not your usual photographer and is willing to experiment with different techniques and chemical formulas,
getting as much pleasure from the process as he does from the finished result. He created a surreal series by burning
the negative to create distortions, he experiments with long exposures, sometimes up to 25 minutes. He then showed
examples of printing through tissue paper resulting in soft beautiful images and brushing the paper with developer
rather than immersing in a bath.
After this followed an array of superb prints produced by different darkroom and printing techniques including infra
red, gold and sepia toning and hand colouring with food dye. Here is an example of someone who is now using old
fashioned and outdated methods to create work that is being accepted in salons and exhibitions as 'Alternative
Photography'.
In his humorous, self deprecating way, David describes his methods as ‘wizard-like’ but instead of stirring a
cauldron, he often finds himself scolded by his long suffering wife who finds the bathroom in a mess once again.
David is a truly imaginative photographer whose passion for the craft is reflected in his animated, entertaining and
humorous presentation. During the show, members may not have understood how he did it, but they certainly
enjoyed the results of his efforts.
Club Chairman, Steve McDonald thanked David for a very different and inspiring evening.