Review - "The Industrial Tourist - Exploring the Industrial North" with Andy Marland, 21 Mar 2022

A review by Penny Piddock - "The Industrial Tourist - Exploring the Industrial North" with Andy Marland ARPS, 21 Mar 2022
The title of Andy’s talk hinted that he would show something very different but still of interest to the majority of our members - and he did not disappoint. We welcomed him to the club via Zoom and he demonstrated his appreciation of decaying northern industrial architecture and landscapes, presented as atmospheric images mostly in monochrome. In each case, he shared information on how to access these places and how to find people with stories to tell about their history.

Paying homage to other photographers he shared the lessons he has learned about story- telling, presentation and exhibition. And, most importantly, researching your subject in order to get the photographs that you want from the best viewpoints, sometimes using a drone to get different angles and composition. He uses a wide variety of research material from Google Earth to Facebook before he sets out but also watches all the time for clues about abandoned and derelict sites of interest.

His talk covered a wide variety of industrial sites often showing the juxtaposition of industry and the surrounding community that so often depended on the industry for a living. Docks, steelworks, coalmine, cooling towers, slate quarries, abandoned textile mills. So many of these are now just piles of rubble and I'm sure I wasn't the only one wondering about the people who once relied upon them.

His processing is, like his subjects, often contrasty & gritty showing texture and form appropriate to his subject. He's not afraid to use a high ISO rather than an artificial light-source and pre-visualises what he wants from his images in a form of creativity to convey his vision. Using backlighting, mist, mud, low level and height makes his pictures stand out from the purely documentary.

Unusually for a camera club, no-one asked about his choice of kit as he made it clear he uses what is best for any particular subject from a Camera-phone to high spec DSLR lenses, tri-pod and hand held, no filters to 10 stop. The same for processing, almost always using Lightroom b/w conversions but also prepared to use other methods and the occasional inclusion of colour.

I like to reflect on what I have seen after sleeping on it then recalling my personal highlights in this case the list would take another page.

Thank you Andy for sharing your passion and inspiration for 'The Industrial North'.

~ Penny Piddock