Review - David Sadler "And Now for Something Completely Different", 28 Sep 2020

A review by Cheryl Connor - David Sadler ARPS, CPAGB, EFIAP BPE3*, "And Now for Something Completely Different", 28 September 2020
Dorchester Camera club welcomed David Sadler to give a zoom talk on his style of photography. Professionally a forensic pathologist, but in his soul a punk rocker who loves skateboarding, his wacky selfies, using a fish eye lens, reflected his unique take on the world. His presentation had us laughing out loud at his wonderfully humorous images complete with imaginative titles and added text.

David is a master at portraying, through his images, ordinary ‘everyday’ environmental situations and turning them into something special. Making use of low angles and very clever set-ups David brought daily activities alive by capturing the ’decisive moment’, often in a humorous way, and making it feel very real to the viewer. His use of HDR and gritty post processing seemed to ‘pull’ the viewer into the situation he was capturing.

He took great care to explain in detail how he set up each shot, the gear he used and what he was trying to achieve so that others could have a go at it for themselves; eg explaining how, with each position he fixed his camera to, his skateboard gave a different point of sharp focus, whilst at the same time achieving sense of movement within the image. But being David he bought his unique sense of fun to the series of images ending up getting us to believe he had skateboarded at the top of a car park and then fallen over the edge ... the final image being himself spattered on the ground below!

His degree of experimentation, creative use of props such as scythes, hooded figures, masks, axes etc, and how he wove those props through to create a series of images which told a developing story, from one image to the other, was mesmerizing. Each element within the images was very carefully thought about and showed a keen eye for detail and storytelling; eg in one series of images he moved from death itself to still death to near death and finally to an image which related to the disposal of the body! He also took things one further step by creating an AV which combined his love of punk rock music.

Some of his most successful images included an element of pure luck and he would argue that a photographer was more often ‘lucky’ if he\she prepared carefully and the camera ready to go … sound advice! He emphasised the importance of titles to an image and had many of our club in stitches with some of his.

For David though, the reason to create an image was not to please judges but to simply enjoy the journey. Not to be put off by being rejected time and again in salons or competitions but to have faith in your own image and creative concepts. He would argue that trying to please what judges deemed to be an acceptable image can reduce narrow the creative process and urged us to ‘stay fresh ‘ and to take pleasure in our own unique style whatever anyone else thought.

So club members enjoyed a superb series of images in a very personal style reflecting the man himself, the thinking behind each image, how it was created and the fun and humour David displayed in each one. David is a true master of his craft and it was a wonderful evening for all who were able to attend the zoom meeting.

~ Cheryl Connor