Sales of filters and polarisers in our part of London will surely have gone up after a fascinating evening with Slawek as he demonstrated how he uses filters to maximise light in his landscape images. Rather than just talk about it, Slawek set up his camera and showed the effects of each filter and how he angles and combines them, maybe also using a polariser to sculpt the natural light to best capture the contours and mood of the scene and using a big stopper to give slow shutter speeds in daylight long exposures.
Even people who often use filters in their photography saw some new approaches they might try and those of us who keep our filters safe in the cupboard were inspired to try again. It was encouraging to hear how little post-processing - maybe a minute per image - is needed with more care taken in the field to achieve the envisaged end result. We saw beautiful landscapes, enhanced by using filters creatively, images taken at the blue hour of dusk helped along by judicious use of a torch for painting in light and the use of a tilt-shift lens for straight architectural images.
Slawek is based in Sussex but travels extensively around the UK and in Europe, and he emphasised the importance of planning and scoping his excursions to reach the best viewpoint when the weather and light might be most favourable, but to be creative when thwarted, making the most of every opportunity and circumstance. He changes his website regularly and many of the images in his presentation were shot in the last few weeks and are there for you to see if you missed last night or just want another look: http://www.photoss.net
In his Tweet about last night, he described us as a ‘very engaged and responsive audience’. He also runs workshops on landscape photography and these are listed on his website.
On display at CoL&CPS last night were our newly restored collection of trophies and shields, previously awarded to members from 1889 to a few years ago when they fell into disuse. The committee is working out how best to bring to use them again to award success and make that link with our long history.