First Meeting of DIG Yorkshire and North East

25 June 2019

SIG: Digital Imaging

22 June, 2019

Clements Hall, York

 

An excellent and informative speaker and a good venue in York ensured that the very first meeting of the DIG Yorkshire & NE Regional group got off to a very good start.  We were pleased to welcome twenty one people to the afternoon meeting, which, with the four of us involved with the organisation meant we ended up with a group size that worked well for the range of activities we envisaged.

Keynote:  Richard Spurdens `Being There’

Our afternoon got off to an excellent start with Richard’s talk, `Being There’, where he shared photographs taken in a variety of situations ranging from winter sports, to the annual Bradford Dragon Boat Race and then his studio portraits.  Through his portrait work Richard demonstrates both his artistic vision and his skill as a master photographer.  In his own words: `I like to photograph what gives me an emotional response and each time I pick up the camera my pictures become personal. What I am passionate about is all to do with visual beauty, and that is an important element in my work. From intimate portraits to elegant timeless figure studies, I try to apply the same demanding standards to all my photography.’

My memory of Richard’s work goes back quite a few years starting with his photograph of a pair of black and white legs emerging from a white bath where I particularly enjoyed his sense of humour and focus on visual pattern.  It was also good to be brought up to date with his later work especially the `dance’ portraits, which are a fairly recent addition to his portfolio.  I’m looking forward to seeing how these develop in the future.  I’d also like to say a personal thank you to him for including some photographs taken in Iceland, a special  interest for me as I visited in winter whereas he visited some of the same landscapes in autumn.

So a very big thank you to Richard from all of us who were there and an extra thank you for donating this print for a raffle prize.

You can see more of his work at:    https://richardspurdens.co.uk/porfolio/

 

Refreshments and a time to chat

We needed an opportunity to find out what local photographers might want from a newly forming Regional Digital Image Group, so we built in an extended refreshment time and encouraged people to chat and share ideas.   We had a very simple questionnaire to provide a focus for discussion which we hoped would help us when planning future meetings: 

What brought you here today?

What would you like to see at a future meeting?

I’m sure the conversations were, happily, far more wide ranging than this, but the process has provided us with some interesting and valuable information.  For example, we know a few people specifically came to hear Richard’s talk whereas others focused on the importance of supporting regional meetings and networking and we know from the feedback that our various approaches to  publicity were effective in recruiting the people who came.

The feedback also indicated that a mix of good speakers, competent technique tuition and peer-discussion will prove attractive in the future, something I think we are already gearing up to achieve in the autumn through our choice of speakers.

Final Session: Show and Tell

We wanted there to be an opportunity for us to get to know one another as photographers and so ended our first meeting with a `show and tell’ session where we each shared an image.  We hoped that this would help us to understand the kind of photography each of us is interested in and I think, by and large, we succeeded and everyone seemed to enjoy the session. 

I initially began the session by sharing my image and asking them about what kind of photographer they thought I was.

After taking a few suggestions from the audience I was then able to talk about the context and circumstances in which the image was taken.  I’d hoped that this in turn might set a pattern for others to follow, though I’m sure that each of them found their own way.

We then split into three main groups - I’d already pre-prompted a few people to take a lead if they felt things needed it.  Most people brought an image to share and I felt this worked well though possibly there was one group that missed out because of a lack of images , (I need to get a bit more feedback).  Initially I shared my laptop with the two people who had brought digital images, before we too split and joined the other larger groups.

The overwhelming impression I had was that this session was the very thing that many people wanted and came to the meeting for, a point reinforced by the feedback. 

Our thanks go to all those who helped out with the publicity (a huge undertaking) and the organisation for the day, i.e. setting up the projector, getting out chairs and putting them back and for the extra help we had with washing up.

 

 

Wendy North

DIG Centre Organiser

Yorkshire & North East Region

 

 

A few thoughts for future meetings (I’m sure there will be more!)

 

   We need someone to take photographs

   and someone to take notes and write the meeting up

   We need to think about the arrangement for refreshments - especially if it going to be a big meeting