Morpeth Camera Club
An image assessment was the theme of Morpeth Camera Club’s meeting on September 25. Members were asked to bring images to get constructive comments. They could be any subject and more than one version, such as alternative compositions and monochrome versus colour.
The discussion was led by John Thompson, a long-term member of Morpeth and Alnwick clubs, who said that although this was not a judging evening, the act of discussing an image is a form of judging.
He opened with three of his prints placed together, scenes at Alnwick Garden of plants, pots and blossom, asking the audience which they preferred; the blossom was chosen for composition.
Three more followed of a bandstand and deckchairs — one low key and minimalist, one in monochrome, and the same scene from a lower point of view. The one taken from a low perspective attracted most conversation.
The final three were Venetian scenes — a crowded St Mark’s Square, canal-side houses and people waiting for a water taxi. The favourite was the water taxi scene, the least popular, St Mark’s Square, but the audience had much to say about the people in this image, which suggested that the content held more interest.
Glyn Trueman’s prints were a Tyneside Toffee Factory scene, stylised flowers, and a seascape. There were differing thoughts on cropping, but overall people liked the way the eyes were drawn to the blocks of colours in the factory scene.
Digital images followed, with new member Emily Parkin’s white and cerise lilies taken from different angles showing good focussing and sympathetic positioning.
Gordon Hine was next with a sand yachting shot taken into the sun. Members liked the detail and cropping, but he was advised to raise the saturation. A swan and cygnets, close-up of a horse, and a tank on the moors followed, with advice on lighting and levels.
John Barnes’ The Couple, with big skies and a lone seagull, brought much debate on composition. John had defied ‘the rules’, but proved they can be broken. South Shields in the rain was a high key image and some thought it should be darkened. A racist protest march was so powerful one could almost feel the atmosphere. An in-focus piano player surrounded by passers-by blurred by movement at St Pancras Station created a centre of tranquillity.
Peter Downs’ backlit tern in flight had good composition and was well taken. A high key, soft focus of veils, hearts and items hanging from coat hooks made for a pleasant still life, and was followed by a surreal orange glowing tailor’s dummy against a black background. Peter’s abstract in stark monochrome of black hills, white lake and black trees led to much discussion.
John Thompson encouraged good humoured and constructive debate.