Review - John & Di Tilsley, 09 Dec 2019

A review by Helen Jones of the talks by John and Di Tilsley "Two Pairs of Eyes"
Monday 9 December could have been a disaster when poor Matilda Temperley had to postpone her talk at the last moment due to illness. Luckily the Club has a wealth of talent amongst its own members. Val rang John & Di Tilsley who were prepared to drop everything to present their own brand new talk at just a couple of hours’ notice.

“Two Pairs of Eyes” is an entertaining talk, full of humour and banter. John and Di show how they can visit the same places and stand next to each other yet come away with completely different photos, due to their very individual styles and ‘seeing’ eyes.

John’s spoke for the first half, showing a wide selection of his beautiful prints, all printed on Fotospeed paper. He explained how carefully he chose each paper to match the print and create a particular effect. The photos he showed were all in 50 x 40 mounts but for exhibitions he prints some of his work as larger panoramas to really show-off the magnificence of the landscapes he loves.

John took us to stormy Tenerife, to Mull and to Norfolk. We travelled down a canal in the fog! We saw his creative, dreamy nature prints – very little sharp and all done in-camera. Finally we looked at some of John’s street and people photos: Wimborne Minster Folk Festival in the rain, and two on-going projects – the Swanage Steam Railway and the wonderful characters of the New Forest Pony Sales.

John prefers to work in panels and gave us a lot of tips for panelling photos – useful for the up-coming Panels Evening on 13th January! He also explained some of the Photoshop techniques he has developed to help create his own style.

Di’s second half presentation was all digital. Again we visited the canal, Norfolk, Tenerife and Mull but Di’s photos were so different to John’s despite them visiting together. Di is a landscape and nature photographer, rather than a people photographer and she concentrated her presentation on these genres – no steam trains either! Di has a real eye for quirky detail and making the most of stunning light. She is such a wonderful story teller too – we felt we were with them on holiday as there was such great narrative in her photos.

Di does less post-processing that John, preferring just to tweak her photos a little bit to make them appear as she saw them. Di’s lovely nature photos were sharp and showed context – again so different to John’s but both equally good. Di ended up with a sequence of Sea Eagle photos from Mull and an account of their boat trip to watch them feed.

It was a lovely evening and there were many appreciative comments from our members about how much they had enjoyed the presentation. John & Di refused to charge us a fee so the club has made a donation to Weldmar Hospice as a thank-you.

We wish Matilda Temperley a speedy return to health and very much hope to reschedule her talk for a later date. We fully understand her reasons for cancelling – these things happen! Get well soon, Matilda!

~ Helen Jones
John and Di Tilsley 'Two Pairs of Eyes'