On Monday evening we will be joined by representatives of the Morecambe Brass Band, dressed in costume and bearing instruments. Our visitors will populate a series of studio settings with backcloths and studio lighting and will provide our members with an opportunity to capture portrait images in a studio environment. Members will work in groups, and learn from each other, as they become familiar with the challenges of positioning the lights and their subjects, setting the light levels, and determining the optimum camera settings.
17 February 2020: Competition 4 - President's Challenge - inspired by a book or film title (digital)
Our 4th competition of the season presented quite a challenge for our judge Simon Ray. Simon prefers the title of ‘commentator’, had much to say about each and every image and had clearly taken time to prepare for his visit by studying the images at length and forming thoughtful and instructive comments. There was an interesting mix of strong, graphical, abstract, allegorical and conventional creations on display. This made scoring difficult, produced some unexpected scores but won universal applause for his selection of those images meriting the highest score.
Some of our newer members continue to perform well in competition and the accolade of winning image went to, ‘Looking for Red October’ and its author Steven Worrell.
On Monday evening Brett Aspinall and his colleague Kirsten introduced members to the photographic courses they run at Myerscough College. There was considerable member interest in the make-up of the courses, the way students were tasked to experiment and work individually and in teams, and the passport the Myerscough courses give students to direct employment and progress onto degree learning at the University of Central Lancashire.
Both Kirsten and Brett must pursue personal, research projects to maintain their lecturer status. Kirsten who returns annually to New England shared and discussed the challenges of documenting her experiences working with local, deep sea fishermen. Brett described his continuing research project on the environmental and visual impacts, both negative and positive, of coastal protection works on the North Lancashire coast. The presentations created food for thought and in particular the pursuit of photographic, project assignments involving society members.
On Monday evening Mike Atkinson delivered a hugely instructive and thoughtfully assembled presentation on macro and close-up photography. The large, attentive audience was clearly impressed by his rich knowledge of natural history, and the practical skills and techniques he has mastered in getting close to and illuminating small, uncooperative subjects.
Mike introduced and explained the pros and cons of the different lenses, lens attachments, lighting accessories, and tripods used in macro and close-up photography, his experiences and the way this has influenced his approach and working methods. He also described the technique of ‘stacking’ images, and with helpful illustrations demonstrated how this overcomes the depth of field limitations associated with close-up work. After this helpful introduction to close-up work and refreshments members were treated to an impressive portfolio of images that exemplified Mike’s passion and thoroughly professional approach to this type of photography
The evening shoots in the Priory Church and Cathedral provided new members with opportunities to work with the Society’s more experienced photographers and for everyone involved to express their personality and photographic skills in the images captured. On Monday evening members shared their images, talked about the challenges and opportunities they encountered in the rich interiors of the buildings and the impact this type of shoot has on the learning process and the acquisition of technical and artistic skills.
After refreshments members looked at the best images entered into competitions during 2019 and selected the images which will feature in the Society’s presentation to members of Morecambe Movie Makers.
Stephen is a highly accomplished landscape photographer and his still photography oozes the deep, loving relationship he has with wild places and dramatic landscapes. His presentation chronicled his progress over the last 5 years in moving into the dynamic world of time-lapse photography and mastering the technical and artistic challenges of this increasingly popular genre.
Members were treated to a thoughtfully constructed, hugely entertaining and highly informative presentation in which Stephen expressed his creativity, invention and technical expertise in a series of time-laps films. The films brimmed with drama and emotional impact and transported our spell bound members into the wild places he loves. Stephen's clever marriage of visual images and sound tracks intensified the viewing experience and planted indelible memories in the minds of our members.
Stephen’s work and his thoughtful advice on equipment, process and software will surely generate interest in this rewarding photographic genre and stir in our members a desire to experiment.
This lively and hugely entertaining club night featured images captured by the 5, member groups that ventured out into the City centre on November 4th armed with cameras, tripods and a challenging brief set by Fraser Colman. The conditions were difficult, time was limited, the creative juices flowed, and there was much to admire in the results of their efforts. The ‘Brad Group’ was foolish enough to win the most votes cast and earn the task of setting the competition guidelines for next season.
After the break members were given revealing insights into the photographic journeys, preferences, and work of members Ken McGrath and Alan Philips. This is a great way to get to know fellow members better and see more of their work. It will surely feature in future programmes.
Ken’s journey from work based photography in nuclear power stations to his growing passion for the great outdoors and landscape photography was peppered with memorable images. Alan’s tribute to the influences of the late Dave Bleasdale, the resultant stirrings of his ‘inner Dali’ and his evangelic desire to get us all to look at our immediate surroundings with new eyes and see beauty in the mundane, delighted and entertained an appreciative audience.
We now have alternative dates for the creative weekend workshop which will be led by Maria and Paul. The workshop starts on a Friday evening with drinks, nibbles and a guided look at and into the work of various photographers. It then continues over the weekend until 5 pm on Sunday. The usual cost is £200 per person but in our case there would be no venue costs, we would put Maria and Paul up and the fee of £1,000 pounds would be in the range £80 -£100 per person with 12 to 10 members participating.
This represents excellent value for money for a weekend spent in the company of Maria and Paul. We will, of course, seek to ensure that there are no more than 12 members and no less than 10 members on the course.
Maria and Paul run two weekend workshops. Please let us have your preferences for the weekend courses and the alternative dates and please be as flexible as possible. The alternative dates and courses are described below together with a bio for both Maria and Paul.
Alternative Dates in 2020
- April 3, 4 & 5
- May 15, 16 & 17
- May 10, 11 & 12
- May 22, 23 & 24
Workshop 1 - Photography’s Easy – Creativity Isn’t
More photographs are being made today than ever before, but do the makers want to express anything? Do you want to ‘say’ something with your photography? To communicate with a wider audience, other than your friends and relatives? Does the increase in smart phone image making democratise photography or devalue it? And how has the popularity of social media sites influenced the photographic aesthetic? On this workshop you will be guided through a series of presentations and practical exercises designed to help you ditch the photographic cliches and bring out your creativity and unique vision.
Workshop 2 - Seeing Photographically
How we translate the three-dimensional world into an interesting two-dimensional picture is often called the art of photography. It is called seeing photographically or camera vision.
The subject matter is just the starting point. It is the photographic approach that is important – how you orchestrate all those complex elements in front of the camera into an arresting and personally relevant image. Also, what are you trying to reflect in your images? Is it about the place, or a particular style? In other words, will the photographs ‘say’ anything beyond what you see in the viewfinder?
Paul and Maria will explain the importance of framing, lighting, and vantage point to the creative process, and how they relate to their own work. This will also be illustrated by showing images made by other contemporary and historically important photographers.
Paul Hill – photographer, journalist, author and teacher
Born in 1941 in Ludlow, Shropshire, Paul Hill worked as a newspaper reporter from the late 1950s until he became a freelance photographer in 1965. As a photojournalist he worked for the Birmingham Post & Mail, The Guardian, The Observer, The Telegraph Magazine, and the BBC, amongst others. He became a full-time lecturer in photography at Trent Polytechnic, Nottingham in 1974 where he was later appointed head of the Creative Photography course, the forerunner to all current student-centred higher education courses in the medium. Another notable achievement around this time was the establishment, with his wife, Angela, of The Photographers’ Place – the UK’s first residential photography workshop - at their Peak District home.
He has exhibited regularly since 1970 throughout the British Isles, Europe, North America, Japan and Australasia and is co- author (with Thomas J. Cooper) of Dialogue with Photography (1979/2005), Approaching Photography (1982/2004), and White Peak Dark Peak (1990) and Corridor of Uncertainty (2010). His work is in the art collections of, amongst others, the Victoria and Albert Museum, London; National Museum of Photography, Film and Television, Bradford; Arts Council England; Bibliotheque Nationale, Paris; Museum of Modern Art, Stockholm; Australian National Gallery, Canberra ; Museum of Fine Arts, Houston and Cleveland Museum of Art in the USA.
A former member of the Arts Council’s first photography committee in the 1970s,he helped set up the trend-setting Derby Festival of Photography in 1991 and was a director of East Midlands Arts for four years during the nineties. A major influence on contemporary British photography, he was made a Fellow of the Royal Photographic Society in 1990 and, four years later, was awarded an MBE by The Queen for services to photography. Between 1995 and 2010 he was a professor at De Montfort University, Leicester, and set up the MA in Photography course in 1996, which was of the first in Britain. Birmingham City Archives, which houses one of the country's major collections of photographs, acquired the Paul Hill/ Photographers’ Place Archive in 2004. He was awarded an Honorary Doctorate of Fine Art by Derby University in 2011 and De Montfort University in 2012. ‘Hill tackles life’s big subjects but his approach is oblique, evocative, always pointing beyond, which is why he moves us. If a camera could capture poetry, this might well be what it would look like.’ The Guardian (6th September 2008)
Maria Falconer, photographic practitioner, teacher and writer
Maria is a Fellow of the Royal Photographic Society, holds a BA Hons. in Dance Theatre (Laban) and an MA in Photographic studies (University of Westminster). A photographic practitioner, teacher and writer, Maria lectures at De Montfort University and also runs photography workshops in Britain and abroad.
Commercially, Maria's specialty is Dance Photography and Videography, producing promotional and editorial material for clients around the UK. Clients include Scottish Dance Theatre, Gary Clarke, Rosie Kay, Ballet Ireland, Dance Base (Scotland's National Centre for Dance), Festival Theatres, Edinburgh Fringe Festival and Elsevier Publishing. Her work has been published in The Guardian, The Times, The Herald and The Scotsman. Maria also runs specialist Dance Photography workshops, delivers presentations to photographic groups and societies, and has written articles for magazines, including the Royal Photographic Society Journal.
Maria's personal photographic projects often draw on her contemporary dance background, using the body and the camera collaboratively as a vehicle to express her ideas and experiences. Her personal projects explore the world around her, often dark, sometimes humorous, always inquisitive.
Maria's photography has been exhibited in the UK, the US, Belgium, Ireland, East Asia and at Arles Photography Festival.
To register your interest for these workshops, please contact the Society via the contact page.
At our first meeting of New Year we were treated to a tsunami of intriguing stories told in words and images by the foremost landscape photographer, Mark Gilligan. Mark invited members to share with him his rich and highly entertaining account of a hugely rewarding life spent working in the world of photography. His portrayal of the personal experiences, life events and human interactions that have shaped him as a person and photographer, and influenced his approach to photography was revealing and thoroughly absorbing.
His articulate, carefully structured and passionate presentation was peppered with humorous one liners, interesting stories, striking and dramatic images, wise words and memorable advice. Mark has nurtured a close and loving relationship with the mountains, valleys and lakes of North West England and Wales, his images brim with wonder and beauty and he advocates an approach to landscape photography that is both refreshing and timely. It focuses on the joys and rewards of maximising the time spent outdoors in the landscape, of keeping things simple, of carefully assessing, composing and exposing in the field and of minimising time spent in the digital darkroom.
We will surely see more of Mark in the future, both as a presenter and a tutor in the field.’
Our decision to depart from convention and invite someone from the art world to judge entries for competition 3, ‘Abstract and Conceptual’ provided our Judge, Carolyn Primett with an entirely new experience and our members with many talking points, and much to think about when reviewing and developing their own work. The inventive, the unfamiliar, the brave and the beautiful scored highly. It was refreshing to hear thoughts which did not centre on focus, exposure, unwanted dust and other technical distractions but rather on the subject matter, the ideas generating the work, and the feelings and impressions it created.
Carolyn had clearly studied the images, sought the views of colleagues in the art world, including the younger generation, and had formed clear views about what she liked, disliked and why. We thank her for that, for her revealing thoughts and for a keenly anticipated and successful evening.