Club Night, "As Long as it's Black & White" - Tuesday 12th September 2017.

On Tuesday 12th September club members welcomed guest speakers, Edward Forster ARPS and Mick Howe from
Whickham Photographic Club with their duel presentation entitled ‘As Long as It’s Black and White’.

Mick started off the evening with an array of projected images which consisted mainly of street life and landscapes.
He suggested that if anyone is nervous about taking candid shots of people then they should begin by going to events
where one is less noticeable. He went on to show images at a steam rally, screaming fairground ride passengers,
and tattooed individuals. At the Pickering War weekend we saw lookalikes, GI’s, nurses and glamour girls, and at a
music event we enjoyed singers at the mike in dark, moody surroundings. Mick recommended another way of taking
unobtrusive photographs is to ‘shoot from the hip’ (holding your camera at waist-level and shooting upwards without
looking through the viewfinder), examples of which were Barristers taking a cigarette break and fellow passengers on
the metro.

He demonstrated that black and white photography emphasises texture and brings out detail especially in hair, beards
and wrinkles by showing gnarled gritty portraits of people in character at re enactments and in the homeless on the
street which he has encountered. More candid street shots of stallholders, joggers, students studying, hen parties,
people sleeping on benches and at bus stops, people texting and random shots of people going about their business
followed. The audience then enjoyed dark and moody storm clouds over Newbiggin, windsurfers on shimmering water,
dramatic cloud formations in the Lakes over Wastwater and Elterwater, shafts of light through caves, huge waves over
Tynemouth Pier and concluded with a project on stuffed animals and birds displayed at the Hancock Museum. Mick’s
images showed an amazing range of tones and textures and portrayed his obvious passion for monochrome.

                                

Edward opened his presentation explaining that he deals in projects, some of which are completed and some ongoing.
Being a darkroom man at heart he presented the audience with prints from film saying that he preferred a dark and
grainy effect and his lithographic work demonstrated sharp blacks and whites with no greys which were striking and
stark. We also saw an example of his real infra red in an atmospheric shot of ballet dancers. With Mick and two other
photographers, they make a point of going out each week to different locations. He is a member of the RPS documentary
group where he has made a project of agricultural shows, taking photographs of judges, wrestlers, horses.

The audience saw street demonstrations in Rome, Ho Chi Min City and a vigil in Hiroshima, prints of landscapes which
many have photographed before, but in silhouette, of Sycamore Gap, the abstract walkways at St Pancras, dramatic
trees at Copt Hill and Alnmouth’s church hill cross. He stated that he has to be selective when visiting familiar locations
such as at the Edinburgh Fringe, by taking different unusual shots of characters, singers and participants. A project on
WWII commemorations followed where with access to Catterick Camp he captured action shots of military exercises
climbing the 9 foot walls and doing press ups. Other great photographs included dark, gritty shots taken in Cuba, the
stark, almost mysterious landscape of Dungeness, a wasteland in the shadows of the power station, musical instruments
at The Americana, Cambodian people at shrines, Lakeland scenes, and skateboarders on the South Bank. Edward then
concluded his talk by offering the audience comparisons of the same prints taken in colour and then black and white.

          

With humorous anecdotes of their days out and wonderful photography it was a feast of monochrome texture and tone.
Club Chairman then thanked Mick and Edward for a very entertaining evening.

Stephanie.