On a Roll

20 May 2017

SIG: Visual Art

The second Rollright meeting of 2017 recently took place, and it was wonderful to witness the continued support for this group. It has been running for only two years, but its format clearly appeals to what has become a cohesive membership.

The word "art" is the common denominator for the group, whether it be presented by its diverse range of invited speakers, or the participation of its members who show their own work from time to time.

Photographic images are viewed and discussed in a non-competitive environment, the outcome being a friendly and informative mix of participants. This criterion was in evidence again on the 20th May when we welcomed three speakers whose presentations had us all thinking about minimalistic, graphical images, multiple exposure and traditional strong mono pictures.

Stuart Allen started the day showing his graphical images of buildings from around the world, incorporating steel-work, windows, grids and skies. The limited colour palettes added to the strength of the minimalistic approach Stuart takes, with dark shadows being incorporated into many of his pictures. 

The square format images were of particular interest, with each side of equal length seeming to hold the eye from wandering from the point of attention. Combining a number together as a panel on a big white wall would make a terrific sight.

By way of a finale, Stuart showed some of his images where he had approached the subject very much closer, proving the guidance that having closed in on the subject, things can get even better if one gets closer!

Immediately before lunch, David Townshend "took us" to the capital city of Wales, to demonstrate multiple exposure photography. I would have hardly recognised Cardiff had it not been for an image of Brains Brewery!

Inevitably graphical images were once again on display, but this time the word "minimalistic" couldn't have been further from the truth. Complicated compilations were presented, but this said, each image had a point of focus, by way of colour or form. 

I am sure that there were more than a few of us from the three dozen attendees who would go home and look at the multiple exposure settings on their Nikons, Canons, or in my case, Olympus.

After what is a consistently fine lunch, Colin Trow-Poole presented his take on photography. Such a time slot can often mean a "sleepy" audience, but his humour and enthusiasm kept us all alert, right up to the tea-break and beyond. Nobody left early!

Primarily a mono print worker, Colin reminded us about producing pictures that draw the viewer's eye to what the image-maker believes is the principle subject matter. Do this by way of light, sharpening and composition.

Showing first a number of landscapes, Colin moved on to a series of panels with the first being (also) of a graphical nature. Taken in museums and galleries, his methodology is to concentrate on the architecture first and then wait for people to fill the space. The tension created by putting people not "on the thirds" was palpable.

Moving on, images of the Titanic Museum in Belfast were created by superimposing a number of shots and this produced a visual history of the ship yard.

Street photography is obviously a forte and having shown us a number of gritty black and white people pictures, Colin presented the panel of work that secured a Fellowship. It was informative to be told of his sometimes tortuous path to achieving this worthy Distinction.

Andreas rounded up each session and all agreed that the programme put together, time after time, creates and maintains an educational and artistic interest in the world of photography. Our hobby. The attendees freely share their views and the speakers articulate the content of their pictures. That, in the round, appeals to all tastes.

Robert Bracher ARPS AFIAP

‘Oval Basin 1’ by David Townshend