Review - Bill Ward "In Search of ...", 16 Jul 2020

A review by Janine Scola - A talk by actor Bill Ward "In Search of ..." - Landscapes & Seascapes, and Creative Photography, 16 July 2020
What a thrill and delight for Club Members to invite Bill Ward to join us on a Thursday evening. Bill provided us with an insight into, not only his acting career, but also how this led him to photography and his many achievements both on and off screen.

Initially he started working in the advertising industry - Saatchi & Saatchi - which he thoroughly enjoyed, but acting was ‘in his bones’, although not in his genes! So much so that he felt he had to follow this path, if only to satisfy himself if he was any good - he was!

His acting career has been varied, but he is best known for his roles in Coronation Street and Emmerdale, where he sadly met his ‘demise’ in both series. This latterly presented other diverse acting roles to undertake and with it, travel to different parts of the country.

Bill is a self-taught photographer and from his first camera - a Kodak Instamatic (how many of us had one of those!) - his interest in photography grew.

With long filming schedules and demanding roles, he needed to find some peace and tranquillity as an antidote - and away from the public eye. Finding himself in various parts of the country, this enabled him to explore the many and vast landscapes, his favoured genre, and which water is often a main feature. The light and minimalism played their part in his ethereal pictures. In addition, with his keen interest in history, he would often be in cities walking the back-ways of urban areas not usually frequented by people, and this gave him the opportunity to produce some ‘gritty’ images which he showcased during the evening.

For him, the time spent way from in front of the camera, to behind the lens, has formed the basis of his work. In essence, his ‘ying’ and ‘yang’. Wherever he has been based, he has found a ‘project’ taking photographs of what he notices and his wonderful images were evocative of everyday life as seen in those moments in time.

He loves experimenting, from taking stunning pictures of ‘murmurations’ of starlings on the Somerset levels, to multiple exposures. Over the last few years he has started to move towards the more creative route and mastering ICM. For him, his documentary style images did not give the sensation he felt at the time, but with the inclusion of some movement, this evoked the emotion he wanted to portray. His showcase of such images certainly gave a different perspective on some of the country’s famous landmarks – including the Bristol suspension bridge. For those toying with the idea of ICM, his images were certainly inspirational.

The final element of his talk switched to macro and various shots of an old tree trunk. This gave a completely different viewpoint, from the weird and wonderful, where one imagined gargoyle like faces within the knarled facets of the wood, to the beauty of the lines and textures therein.

A fascinating evening, with amazing and wonderful images highlighting the expression of how Bill sees the world through the lens and how we catch a glimpse of the real Bill Ward.

~ Janine Scola