Comparing and contrasting duo

Trams fauvism by Mavis McCormick.
Trams fauvism by Mavis McCormick.
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Morpeth Camera Club

Alan and Mavis McCormick, from Hexham and District Photographic Society, came to Morpeth Camera Club on Tuesday, March 8, to give a presentation entitled Captured Moments.

Shift Change by Alan McCormick.

Shift Change by Alan McCormick.

Both are accomplished photographers, as well as competition judges for the Northern Counties Photographic Federation.

Taking photographs on their travels, locally and at home, and setting themselves projects, they end up with very similar photographs, but their points of view are markedly different. Whereas Alan prefers to produce simple, untouched images, his wife Mavis has a flair for manipulation and enjoys producing montages, surreal images and colour popping.

Their presentation opened with a portraits of their granddaughter Annie. Alan goes for a full body portrait, or posing in different locations, Mavis prefers to focus on detail in the hair and eyes.

Portraits of Whitby Goths, graveyard scenes, Pickering 40s’ girls, Spooks Night at Hexham and Gay Pride characters followed, together with anecdotes.

At Beamish we saw Alan’s portraits of stationmasters and lorry drivers, whereas Mavis captured rare deserted street scenes and atmospheric alleyways. Alan explained the history of an old tram, which before restoration had been used for apple storage.

Captured images through two lenses took us to Greece, with graphic images of white steps and shadows, Syros graffiti, old merchants’ houses, street scenes and monasteries in early morning light. Mavis likes to capture old church exteriors, abandoned houses and back streets, whereas Alan’s images showed pristine white churches and candid portraits.

Nearer to home, we saw buskers and spectators at the Durham Street Festival, Dublin’s rain-soaked streets, storytelling images, flowers sellers and smoky back streets.

They continued with images of the poppies at Woodhorn. Mavis’ Tynemouth beach scene in the wind contrasted with Alan’s calm landscape of the same beach.

From time to time they like to produce a themed panel of photographs. Examples of Alan’s storytelling were World War I re-enacted images of nurses, Gordon Highlanders on camp, and soldiers off to war on a station platform. Mavis’s choice of subject was dolls, a French doll in an attic, the same on an abandoned chair among weeds in Greece, and a study of puppets.

Throughout the evening there were examples of their Fauve-inspired shots, a technique which accentuates colours, with bold graphic results.

Alan and Mavis concluded their presentation with a tribute to the North East, Alan with a dramatic image of the Sage with the city in the background, and Mavis with a sweeping shot taken from the Tyne Bridge of the Quayside, curving along to the Millennium Bridge.

Club Chairman Glyn Trueman thanked Alan and Mavis for presenting their superb prints, together with a very interesting commentary, after which coffee was served.