Club Night, "My Photography" - Tuesday 31st October 2017.

On Tuesday 31st October 2017, guest speaker George Ledger ARPS DPAGB gave a talk entitled ‘My Photography’. A member
of Hexham and District Photographic Society, George is a freelance professional photographer based in Consett and his talk
included a mix of his projected images of landscapes, sport, nature and people.

He began by saying that he is not precious with his photography and welcomed debate from the audience. Many iconic
landscapes such as Durham Cathedral, Sycamore Gap, the Kelpies and the Selfridge building have all been photographed
before but he prefers to take alternative shots for added interest. The landscape section of his presentation included images
of gigantic icicles on Hill End rock face in Weardale, limestone rock formations at The Burren, in County Cork, milky waterfalls,
Sycamore Gap taken in snow from an unusual angle, infra red shots of ruins and Alpine tracks disappearing into the mist and
a beautiful shot taken at sunset of cottages reflected in the river in Dumfries.

Nature shots followed with George demonstrating how he captured the fine detail of a Brimstone butterfly which when lit
from behind captured the details of wing veins through their translucent wings. His photograph of a yellow flower covered in
dewdrops he explained, was achieved by using focus stacking, a method of taking a series of images at different focal lengths
which are then blended together ensuring that every detail in the flower is in focus. Images of mating damselflies and toads,
common lizards and adders, grey seals courting and a pup with its mother, a wet mink fishing on the coast, red squirrels and
moorland birds by Derwent Reservoir followed. George explained that a good opportunity to photograph birds of prey can be
found at release centres where, at the feeding sites they can be photographed at relatively close range.

Throughout the evening the audience enjoyed photographs of Georges family and studio shots of fellow camera club members
which were dark characterful and skilfully lit. George was involved with a Consett Area Project, in which all aspects of Consett
life were recorded, images of community characters, allotment and pigeon men, market traders, rugby players, and a veteran
proudly showing his medals. From this George was asked to produce a series of recruitment posters depicting volunteers for
the Army Cadet Force, together with merchandise photographs to promote Search and Rescue dogs taken with their handlers
on training sessions in the Cheviots, on Helvellyn and on helicopter exercises near Craster. Images of Police dog drug training,
riot squad exercises, dramatic shots of flames ignited from Molotov cocktails, promotional images of community support
officers working with school children boxing and hula hooping had all captured the essence of Consett.

George dreamt of being a professional sports photographer and after retirement pursued his dream by emailing many sports
establishments to obtain permission to be allowed pitch side, which led to him to attending leading sporting events, the six
nations, Murrayfield, speed skating events in Sheffield, Durham cricket ground, Newcastle racecourse, dramatic action shorts
of these sporting events followed. He was then commissioned to take promotional poster shots for The Talented Athlete
Scholarship Scheme (TASS) for up and coming young athletes. A big part of George’s life is taking photographs of his local
Consett rugby club, the training of youngsters and all aspects of local rugby life.

George ended his presentation by showing the panel of photographs he submitted to obtain his DPAGB (Distinction, The
Photographic Alliance of Great Britain) which calls for a selection of varied subjects and included stunning examples of natural
history, Goths, interiors, still life, portraits, landscapes and wildlife. A second panel of images for his ARPS (Associate of the
Royal Photographic Society), which is a recognised standard of achievement throughout the world, then followed. Selecting
Applied Photography, (Photography which has a specific end, purpose or use) he submitted work on the subject of sports
photography and his excellent action shots of short track speed skating, mountain biking, canoeing, hurdling, high jump,
gymnastics and football action were successful. George provided a very entertaining evening which included anecdotes of
his experiences and generous advice on camera settings and equipment.


Chairman Mark Harrison duly thanked George for his presentation of an excellent array of photographs after which coffee
was served and members were able to admire a selection of his prints.