Stunning images at annual event

Arctic Tern in flight by Sandy Cleland
Arctic Tern in flight by Sandy Cleland

Morpeth camera club

On Tuesday, November 11, Morpeth Camera Club held its Annual Event and welcomed Sandy Cleland, FRPS AFIAP, to give a presentation entitled Both Sides of the Coin, about general portraiture and nature.

Mr Cleland said he arrived late into digital photography as he thought that it would be short-lived, but soon immersed himself into the medium using similar techniques he had employed in the dark room.

Living in Edinburgh, he is always keen to attend the city’s Festival and take photographs of general street scenes and, more importantly, portraits of performers and local characters.

Rather than use a long lens, he prefers to approach individuals, ask their permission and take them to less crowded areas for a more interesting background. He always shoots in colour and converts the photograph to monochrome, resulting in excellent, dark, moody portraits in amazing detail, sometimes with a retro slant.

In contrast, he displayed his minimalist theme of snow-laden trees and branches in crisp detail against heavy winter skies, a lone horse on the skyline silhouetted by moody clouds, graphic images of metal chairs with shadows.

There were also portraits of shopkeepers and workers at the Black Country Museum, car booters, Canaletto-style views of Venice, the vibrant colours Burano, high key portraits, with emphasis on the eyes, and Ventriano-inspired figures.

Natural history has always been Mr Cleland’s main interest and the second half of his presentation comprised of beautiful photographs of hooper swans in flight, geese silhouetted by a red sunset, golden plovers in murmuration, detailed droplets on feathers, translucent light shining through feathers, waxwings, hares, deer, a stonechat and colourful frogs reflected in amazing detail.

Detailed macro photography was a highlight, with colourful butterflies, moths on yarrow, thistle and bark, caterpillars, scorpion flies, clegs, the giant horntail, spiders on sunlit webs and delicate damsel flies.

Many of Mr Cleland’s photographs were taken out and about on the Forth, Linlithgow Loch, Martin Mere, Glen Coe, the Farne Islands and during his work with the Scottish Agricultural College.

Despite there being so many beautiful photographs, too numerous to describe, the evening flew by. An hour-and-a-half of wonderful photography combined with interesting dialogue and dry humour resulted in a truly enjoyable evening.

Steve McDonald thanked Sandy for his excellent presentation. The club donated all proceeds of the raffle, totalling £174, to the Ebola Crisis Appeal.

Morpeth Camera Club meets on Tuesdays between September and May at 7.30pm in Morpeth Methodist Church in Howard Terrace. Visitors can attend up to three meetings for a charge of £2 per visit, including refreshments.

More details about the club are available at www.mor