Review - Club Night, 11 Jan 2021

A review by Janine Scola - Club Night with presentations by our own members, 11 Jan 2021
On a grey, damp evening, what a delight to be entertained by four Club Members, each providing their own diverse outlook on what they have been doing over these last, rather restrained, months – and what an inspiration to us all!

First up on the evening was Lisa Rendall and how she has found creative photography to help her with anxiety issues. Who knew in her younger years, that she was a dancer and choreographer and that her involvement in dance helped her forget about any anxieties she had at that moment – including taking on the role of Michael Jackson and being able to do the “moonwalk”! Over time Lisa ventured into different interests and avenues, but found her solace in macro photography. She provided wonderful images of all sorts of bugs and butterflies found in her garden; with those photos that were not ‘quite up to scratch’, she let her imagination wander into the creative use of different textures and bokeh in the background and thus changing the whole perspective of her image. As Lisa said, it is a bit ‘hit and miss’ but you don’t know unless you try it. So that is Challenge No.1 for us in lockdown.

In what has been a strange year for us all, wildlife photographer Tim Downton took a look at his photography in a slightly different way. To start, he bought a moth trap, which arrived towards the end of the summer! Undeterred, he set this up and through the magic of his photography, showcased amazing macro images of colourful moths – giving advice that it is best to take your photo from above in order to get the best image (and the ability to identify your specimen!). His own garden seemed a natural thoroughfare, from local birds to hedgehogs. His usual haunts of Lodmoor and Radipole, became ever-more popular with other photographers during lockdown, as did Kingfisher Barn and as usual, with his patience, he was still able to provide stunning bird images. When he had managed to venture further afield before all the restrictions, Cornwall and Scotland beckoned in their diversity, with each providing wonderful scenery – even if he did encounter a named Storm in each location! Challenge No.2 – is to look at your garden and all who visit it, from ‘little critters’, to birds and small animals, with Spring just around the corner there will be much activity!

After a short break, Tony Gill took us into the world of landscape – all accessible on our doorstep – you just need to get up really early or, go to bed really late! As always very atmospheric pictures of local places of interest, which also took him into night photography with great images of Neowise. With lockdown in place, Tony set himself an “autumn project’, to record the colours of the changing seasons in local woods and to challenge himself in the art of ICM. His final image of early sunrise over Colmers Hill was simply stunning and was applauded by all members. Challenge No.3 – it may be muddy, but get your boots on and enjoy a walk in local woods, take in the sense of peace, listen to the birdsong and be inspired by nature (and have your camera with you!).

To end the evening, we were entertained by a mini-world trip by Jane Tearle and her Travellers Tales. With time on her hands, this provided motivation for her to look through images of past journeys, of people she had met on the way and put these into a book. From her images of the chilly delights of Norway and the amazing Northern Lights. Hotting it up a little to Cuba, with their trademark old cars and colourful buildings, her foray into the backstreets and nearly being led astray! And lastly, the delights and colours of India – with many of us wishing we could feel the warmth exuded from her photographs. Challenge No.4 – with time on our hands, take a look through images of past journeys and relive some happy and exciting memories and perhaps make your own journal.

An inspiring evening, showcasing not only a diverse range of images, but ways in which we can all reconnect with our cameras and challenge and motivate ourselves to try something different.

~ Janine Scola