Natalie Robinson started the programme with minimalist and often abstract images from her travels in South America and Florida. She talked about how she post-processes in different ways to achieve the look she has envisaged at the time. She also brought in some Photobooks showing how she groups her images creatively into themes of texture, natural elements and atmosphere.
Paul Shelley chose images taken around his home in the west of France, of the local people and fishing industry and his message was that getting up early and making good use of adverse weather conditions can pay off by making more dramatic skies and good light.
Ilya Fisher has only recently come back from a five week trip around Cambodia and Vietnam and wanted images which most vividly brought back the sights and sounds she had experienced. For her, the images which stood out had a strong composition with great colour and atmosphere - sometimes found by looking down: an image of insects enjoying the luscious flesh of a split mango and an arrangement of debris on the floor of the vegetable market illustrated her point.
Des Hill looked back over an archive of forty years of photography and travelling, so took us to Helsinki, Japan, Cuba, Rome and Columbia. His architectural background shows in his love of lines and shapes, stairs and perspective, but he also showed examples of street and people photography he is proud of.
Alan Ainsworth is an experienced photographer and has travelled widely, so had thought what advice he might offer, grouping his images to illustrate his point. He suggests travelling light, with a minimum of kit, to be prepared, make good use of light to help take strong portraits, maybe using a different angle or style and then Alan had a story to demonstrate the importance of persisting and being prepared to ask for access to a building or place in order to achieve the image you want.
Susi Luard took us to Myanmar, Cape Cod and London, to show us her favourite images, although we might not all be able to take her advice to get in a hot-air balloon in order to take the best shots of the other hot-air balloons. She likes street art and the juxtaposition of colours and shapes, using her iPhone, Fuji mirrorless camera or her Canon DSLR, according to where she is when she sees an image she wants to make.
Brian Groves finished the evening off with a clever walking tour of his favourite images based around one of the lakes, from many years of visiting the Lake District. Each scene took us to a vantage point linked to the previous one and wonderfully demonstrated the points made by previous speakers that getting up early, being prepared to walk, taking note of the light and framing the shot with an eye to detail results in an image with impact which ‘works’ for everyone.
We are very appreciative of how our fellow members approached this brief so thoughtfully, being generous with their time, their experience and sharing their approach to their own photography. It is clear that first the image has to please its author and if others or the competition judge agrees, then that is a bonus and a reinforcement of our own sense of what works. Many thanks to you all.