Club Meeting, Quotations Challenge - Tuesday 17th April 2018.

With the theme of ‘Quotations’, the third and final challenge for this season was set by the Vice Chairman, John Barnes.
Members were supplied with five quotations and invited to submit two images that illustrated their interpretation of their
chosen quotes. Entrants were requested to produce something which was not their usual type of image and that had not
been shown before. Thinking widely/laterally to get some sort of inspiration or direction from the quote, members had
approached the task using imagination, creativity, personal preferences and humour. Each person was then required to
introduce their images which was followed by a discussion across the room and a vote to establish whether the photographer
had met the brief.

The first quote was: “Landscape is no longer characterised by wild or unspoiled nature for man has stamped
his mark upon it: intensive farming; urbanisation; communication lines; electrification; industrial wasteland;
battlefields or leisure.” by Henri Perez - Magnum Photographer.

John’s aim was to see images which depict the impact of humanity on the landscape and among the entries for this category
were a lovely landscape taken from Henry VIII’s gun tower; looking out of mans war into nature; an old walled cottage on a
cliff side marring the view of the ocean; a view of Northumberlandia with open cast workings in the background; large over
spilling dustbins in a city centre, a lone wind turbine depicting the landscape of the future and a eyesore of a walkway leading
to the Selfridge building in Birmingham’s’ Bullring.

“Water, water every where and all the boards did shrink; Water, water every where nor any drop to drink,’ by
Samuel Taylor Coleridge,
came next which John expected to be a more difficult and challenging subject. Entries included
dirty puddles filled with moss and detritus, filtered to create an eerie, foreboding effect; floodwater flowing over Morpeth`s
stepping stones; a half sunken boat in a muddy estuary with rotting timbers; penguins turning their backs to the water; a
submerged tree in a stagnant pond and a montage of images of the ancient mariner, polluted water and a fiery sky which
depicted disaster.

“I think that I shall never see a billboard lovely as a tree. Indeed, unless the billboards fall I’ll never see a tree
at all.” ‘Song of the Open Road’ Ogden Nash;
which highlights the impact on manmade features which have an impact
on the environment and this category included entries of a local ‘For Sale’ sign hiding a lovely silver birch tree and a
metaphorical surface mining scene at sunset, the open cast holes gouged out of the beautiful landscape by man, and even
though they will be filled in and ‘beautified’ in the future, the land will never be the same.

“She uses the light of a window as some photographers use batteries of carefully placed lights.” By Patrick
O’Donovan – journalist,
John explained the quotation is related to Jane Bowen, a photographer who never uses flash
photography and only uses natural light with amazing effect. A statue of a nun in Bordeaux Cathedral lit only by a beam
of light, an ape in a zoo with natural light catching every facial feature; poppies in the sunshine and multi coloured lit
windows were included in this category.

“Technical efficiency is common place in our modern world but the [photographer] who will use imagination
is a rare creature.” By Madame Yevonde – fine art/fashion/portrait photographer.
Images in this final quotation,
John said, must stem from the mind of the photographer but must also relay emotion to the viewer, adding that photography
is technically easy, but it’s the use of the imagination and lateral thinking which makes it not a rare thing especially if one
escapes the rules and guidelines of club photography. Mirrored tables above a coffee shop, far away fantasy galaxy patterns
in glowing circles, subtle grey tones of stylised water resembling Japanese Art, and red buoys bobbing in the sea sparked
off anecdotes on what inspired the authors, leading to an enthusiastic discussion on photography versus art.

Artistic license featured heavily in the evening, which led to lively discussion together with lots of friendly banter but overall,
it was considered that most of the entries complied with the brief. Chairman Mark Harrison thanked John for setting the
challenge, for his usual interesting, funny, and interactive evening and said that he looked forward to seeing what challenges
he would come up with next season.

               

Stephanie.