Vince marks 50 years at club

Wansbeck Boats, Morpeth Camera Club
Wansbeck Boats, Morpeth Camera Club
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Morpeth Camera Club

At the meeting of Morpeth Camera Club on February 23, members and friends enjoyed a lecture given by Life President Vince Rooker, who is celebrating his 50th year as a member of the club.

Vince’s interest in photography started during the Second World War when his father handed over the family Box Brownie, negatives and printing out paper to keep Vince out of his hair while he polished the local fire engine between the visitations of the Luftwaffe over Sheffield.

As an adult, on demobilisation from the RAF after National Service, his first foray into photographic clubs was a works club in Sheffield.

In 1966, Vince moved to Morpeth and joined the YMCA Camera Club and started entering competitions, his source of inspiration being the riverside, market traders, rural life and churches.

The audience enjoyed photographs of cyclists in the snow, action shots of rugby players, Blagdon opencast, Shire horses and beautiful interior shots of cathedrals and churches. Vince explained the problems of pre-digital times and his painstaking methods to overcome them.

In 1984 Vince became redundant and he and his wife embarked on a career taking wedding photographs. Examples were shown of lovely brides and candid shots of bridesmaids, and Vince entertained us with anecdotes.

His inspiration then came from travelling, firstly to Naples with colourful street scenes, buffalo and Amalfan coastal scenes, then Monte Casino, providing anecdotes of its wartime links, and on to Florida’s Cape Canaveral and Florida Keys, with Vince explaining the quirky lifestyle of the residents.

At the onset of the digital era, Vince’s first competition entry of boats among reeds won him an A3 Epson printer and he was approached by North West Water for permission to use it in their literature, which proved to be a lucrative introduction to this new technology.

With this new found digital freedom, or “jiggery pokery” as Vince described it, he did not hesitate to experiment, merging unlikely subjects together, resulting in mystical, eerie creations, sky replacements, colour popping and innovative use of filters.

There were images of wartime aircraft and modern jets, a howling wolf superimposed into a Yellowstone landscape and metallic looking sprites riding the waves.

Vince presented an extraordinary variety of his work, from images of France and multi-coloured rock patterns on the Dingle Peninsular to shots of microlytes, stunt riders, show jumpers, birds of prey and castles.

Vince then presented a selection of his acclaimed still life photographs — his creations of flowers and fruit before soft textured voile are second to none.

He said that photography has been a most wonderful hobby and he would gladly do it all again.

Chairman Glyn Trueman thanked Vince for giving the audience such a descriptive and entertaining evening. It was such a pleasure to see the wide variety of subjects.