RCPS Press Report 9th March 2017

Over seventy people almost filled Allhallowgate Church Hall for the visit of international, award-winning photographer, Steve Gosling, to hear and see his two talks, one on ‘The Nature of Creativity’ and one on “Exploding the Myths of Landscape Photography’. Steve challenged, informed, educated and entertained the audience with carefully scripted audio input accompanied by a range of stunning images from close ups to wide angle vistas. Steve’s emphasis was on creativity being a state of mind with the photographer and not with the complexities of a camera. To illustrate, he showed an image that he had taken using the most expensive filter he ever possessed, worth £22,000, namely the windscreen of his car in a storm! He stayed dry, took the picture from inside the car and got a creative image that people had just gone ‘wow’ about! He stated that failure is an integral part of learning, that creativity is a journey, not a destination and it comes with pushing boundaries, practicing and trying new things and setting oneself new challenges. He urged people to re-visit their childhood, re-develop a sense of awe and wonder and always ask ‘What if…?’ He opined that curiosity, an open mind, working out of one’s comfort zone and taking pictures for oneself, not for a competition or to abide by rules, all enhance the development of creativity in photography. In his second talk, Steve alluded to the rules of photography being there to enable easier measurement of an image whereas he wanted to promote anarchy in landscape photography. He urged people not to go looking to replicate the images of others and not to achieve a detailed representation of a location but to capture the spirit of a place through an individual interpretation. He said the essence of good landscape photography depended upon the three Ps; Planning, Patience and Persistence. For example, re-visiting a location many times may be necessary to get the right image with the desired light, content etc., or waiting for people or animals or even the tide to come in or go out of an image may take a patient wait. In contrast to this, Steve also said that sometimes the three Ps go out of the window if an opportunistic shot presents itself and has to be grabbed there and then. Regarding equipment, Steve said that whilst a tripod was often helpful it was by no means essential and that looking for somewhere in the natural environment to perch a camera can result in a different interpretation of an image. Equally people did not have to have expensive cameras; anything from a pinhole camera to mobile ‘phones, Compacts, Bridge to DSLRs can produce good results and whilst wide angle lens are often claimed to be the best for landscape photography, telephoto lens’ can be used as an ‘optical machete’, again to produce different landscape images. Steve also said that great pictures can be taken at any time of day, not just in the ‘golden hours’ and that overcast light can produce stunning effects whilst water can give a high light to an image when natural sunlight is low. He showed images where the rule of always having an uneven number of subjects in the frame had been broken, where the rule of thirds had been ignored and where subjects did not necessarily fill the frame and yet all worked perfectly well. He ended by urging people to go out and try, to push themselves out of their comfort zone and experiment. The comments from the departing audience were very positive and several mentioned how inspired they had been, so if you have seen an increase of photographers around and about, think and thank Steve Gosling!Our most recent speaker, Christine Whitehead started taking pictures with a box camera passed down from her dad and has now progressed to being the Chair person of Wensleydale Camera Club. In her talk, ‘Near and Far’, Christine showed a variety of landscape images and many of flora and fauna from around the UK. Christine said she is now pursuing an interest in fungi that, according to her words, is edging towards ‘geekiness’! That may be, but her pictures of fungi were excellent as indeed were all her images!

Next week is the President’s night when Geoffrey Blackman will be judging the entries, a panel of three images that link together, for The President’s Cup. This is the last of our photographic programme nights because the week after we have the AGM. If you can help the Society by putting yourself forward for the Committee please do so as new blood is required.