Review - “No Portraits? – No Problem!” with Glyn Dewis, 27 Sep 2021

A review by Janine Scola - “No Portraits? – No Problem!” An evening with Glyn Dewis, 27 Sep 2021
Surprisingly, it was nearly a year ago when Glynn Dewis joined us on a Club Zoom evening and spoke about personal projects, and in particular his own, charting through photography, the lives of World War II veterans. His amazing portrait images gave us a real feel of the character of the person, alongside the accompanying story of each individual, each amplified by their photograph.

Glynn referred back to those moments, but due to Covid he found himself very much restricted, in not only where he could go, but that his main genre in photography had suddenly become impossible to continue safely in lockdown. That said, he needed to get out and do something, otherwise he felt his creativity in the medium of photography could diminish – and that was not good! His audience were ‘at one’ in this regard, as many had suddenly found themselves in a similar position.

Undeterred, Glyn forced himself to venture into areas of photography he would not otherwise have thought of doing and was very glad he did! During this period, he put into practice ‘what he preaches’ – simply to slow down, become more aware and possibly photograph less – in essence, it is all about the connection between the subject and the photographer. And so his journey began, firstly photographing cars and motorbikes from various angles, including the use of a drone, to the opposite end of the scale to images of flowers – as he said, not necessarily the best images but merely for his benefit as part of his ‘learning curve’.

His recent move to Devon, alongside the easing of lockdown, enabled him to explore the landscape in his locality and turn his attention to this genre of photography. Initially he became overwhelmed with the vastness of the vistas in front of him and quite simply, where to begin! Glynn presented his early images of Hartland Quay and Flashdown Woods which led him to his “SIR Principle”: S – think small – when you see the vista before you, concentrate on the smaller parts – and slow down. I - immerse yourself in your surroundings and enjoy being there, you will become more receptive to what is around you. And lastly, R – for repeat, by familiarising yourself of a particular favourite area and returning to photograph and see it differently on each occasion. This also opened up the world of macro and in particular fungi.

From here, Glynn turned his hand to time-lapse photography and the excitement of capturing a dandelion flower opening from the warmth of the early morning sun, to the rising tide at Lynmouth quay – he was suddenly discovering so much more at not being ‘blinkered’ to other areas of photography, and importantly, the enjoyment he was gaining along the way.

After the break, Glyn presented some Photoshop tips and tricks – one which will probably get several members having a go, was of an image depicting the various lush greens of trees in spring surrounding a lake, after a couple of ‘clicks’ this was transformed to the deep hues of an autumn day (and not a raindrop on the camera!).

Another great evening, enthusiastically presented, with so much of what Glyn had said resonating with many of us – so no excuses now, get out and about and in a different ‘comfort-zone’, and enjoy and really see your surroundings!

~ Janine Scola