Review - “The Inner Landscape” by Andy Phillips, 16 May 2022

A review by Carole Zimmerman - “The Inner Landscape” by Andy Phillips, 16 May 2022
Dorchester Club members were treated to a talk by our guest speaker Andy Phillips, who joined us online via zoom to present “The Inner Landscape”.

When I found that he specialised in landscape photography I had expectations of seeing stunning images of rolling hills, mountains and sea. In fact we did see all those things, but only as an introduction to his work because the main focus of the evening was still-life photography.

Andy and his wife are both photographers, which is a probably a good thing because she certainly wouldn’t be surprised at the way the house was being adapted. As lockdowns began, Andy started experimenting with the still-lifes that he calls the ‘Inner Landscape’. Not pure still-life photography but ‘landscapes’ taken indoors. More specifically, the kitchen.

Some might describe him as ‘Mum’s Kitchen Nightmare’ as he turns the kitchen into a photographic studio. However, I would prefer the title of ‘Photography the Fun Way”. No expensive studio lights and props for Andy. He has found that the natural light at a specific time of the day, can be steered and manipulated to light up his subjects perfectly. Using old net curtains and tracing paper as diffusers and pieces of white/ black polystyrene or plastic together with multitudes of clamps to reflect/deflect light, the studio is open for business. Why call them landscapes? The arrangements are not just beautiful arranged subjects, they are set up in a way to tell a story.

With the use of a colour calculator Andy carefully selects backgrounds and props to surround the subject with an attractive colour palette. With the addition of his many personally created textures, he may then use Photoshop to enhance the look further. He works in both colour and mono and the tip of over saturating the colours of images before changing them into mono to make them really stand out, was a good one.

Apart from being photographically informative, Andy’s presentation showed us how working indoors can be done inexpensively and creatively. His sense of humour along the way made this into a fabulous evening. Certainly worth checking out his web site and looking at the various workshops he leads.

~ Carole Zimmerman