Club Big Event, Barry Payling - Tuesday 12th November 2013.

On Tuesday November 12th Morpeth Camera Club held its annual ‘Spectacular’, at Morpeth Methodist Church, where Rotherham
based professional photographer Barry Payling treated an audience of about 120 to an excellent entertaining presentation entitled ‘Wild Britain.’

Barry started by explaining that he practices the art of ‘pure’ photography, only uses a mechanical camera, without any of the
“aids” seen in modern digital cameras such as autofocus, auto exposure, image stabilisation and zoom lenses. His showed his Hasselblad camera that uses film to produces 2¼ inch square images (the same size as that produced in many of the old roll-film box cameras). However with this high quality camera and lenses he produces slides that are both colourful and extremely detailed. He also explained that from his extensive experience and knowledge of his equipment he is able to quickly produce well exposed images without needing to use light meters or any computer manipulation.

Barry’s philosophy has always been that, rather than manipulate an image using a computer; the essence of the whole picture
taking process is to actually be there, to capture the moment as it was.

While his presentation was witty and included many amusing anecdotes he was also able to illustrate his knowledge and skills by projecting images of some subjects from different angles and under different lighting conditions to show the importance of having good observational skills, the ability to vary the composition and use different lighting conditions in the production of attractive and sometimes dramatic images. He explained some of the techniques he used when exposing his film e.g. to avoid the need for special filters to create pictures with a dramatic sky, how he produced a soft focus effect by gently breathing on the camera lens (or clear filter) and that by positioning the camera carefully how he avoided some problem like glare from the sun, and potential distractions in his pictures. Thus enabling him to achieve the picture he had visualised in his mind on film, without the need for any editing later. Some examples of Barry’s work can be seen on his website:

Before the main part of the meeting and during the interval members of the audience had the opportunity to see an excellent
display of about 70 black and white and colour prints produced by members of Morpeth Camera Club. These covered a wide range
of subjects including landscapes, buildings, people, birds, flowers and some abstract images produced using smoke trails. Other images produced by Morpeth camera club members can be seen in the gallery page of the club website.
Also during the interval, tea and coffee was provided and all monies given for the refreshments have been donated to the Henry Dancer Days charity. This is the chosen charity of the Morpeth Mayor (Joan Tebbutt ) for 2013-14 and is a small charity that provides assistance to improve the wellbeing and relieve hardship for families who include young people with Osteosarcoma, a severely disabling and sometimes fatal form of childhood bone cancer.

Throughout the presentation Barry’s intention was to appeal to both novices and professional alike, to encourage aspiring photographers to work on improving their camera skills, taking a simpler approach and confirming that amazing photographs can be produced when using the simplest of equipment. Club Chairman Steve McDonald thanked Barry, the clubs committee and members for their contribution to the night and to those who kindly donated raffle prizes including local photographic retailer Kenneth Stait. Thanks also to all friends and members from other photographic clubs who supported our event.

Stephanie Robson.