Creative take on pictures

Mark Illingworth's photo of the Mad Hatter.
Mark Illingworth's photo of the Mad Hatter.

Morpeth Camera Club

ON Tuesday, October 8, Morpeth Camera Club welcomed Mark Illingworth, who gave a presentation about his work manipulating digital images.

The meeting was very well attended and the audience included a number of visitors from Gosforth Camera Club.

Mark is a member of Cramlington Camera Club who has gained a reputation for creating imaginative and unusual or surreal pictures from the photographs he has taken.

Many of his pictures have won awards in both local and international competitions.

Following a short presentation he gave last season, Mark was invited back to give members some insight as to how he manipulated his images to achieve the desired results.

For each image he showed the original photograph, followed by the final image, and then described the many different stages he went through to achieve the final picture.

Mark explained that when he first started this work it was largely experimental and he would try out different effects and techniques, using computer software such as Photoshop and Nik Effex.

Now, having gained expertise in using different software packages, he often takes photographs with a plan to change them.

He explained that work on each picture can take several hours and that he would often work in stages over several days.

Techniques he uses include the removal or addition of colour to an image, adjusting the brightness and contrast to create a more pleasing or dramatic effect, building up images from one or more photographs using several layers to add textures or additional components, and manipulating images by moving elements in the original picture.

Mark also explained that while some aspects of an image may be made to deliberately look unreal, he paid a great deal of attention to making his images look realistic, eg by creating shadows when inserting new objects.

The club’s Chairman Steve McDonald thanked Mark for his excellent presentation, which will no doubt inspire some members to have a go at some creative manipulation.

Examples of Mark Illingworth’s work can be seen on the Cramlington Camera Club website

Morpeth Camera Club meets on Tuesdays at 7.30pm in the Methodist Church in Howard Terrace. Visitors are welcome to come along to three meetings with no obligation to join for a charge of £2 for each visit, including raffle and refreshments. More details are available at