Alnwick, Camera Club

View of Alnwick near the War Memorial by Jane Coltman
View of Alnwick near the War Memorial by Jane Coltman

There was a change of venue for Alnwick Camera Club from the usual club room to Alnwick Playhouse.

Each year the club organises a special event at the Playhouse, and this year, the club’s 21st anniversary of Playhouse events, played host to Peter Brisley and Sue O’Connell, with a presentation entitled Travel Towards The Edge.

Peter and Sue are a husband-and-wife team of travel photographers, with a preference for less usual locations.

The evening opened with Sue talking about some of the countries that they had visited, before showing photographs from their travels.

The first location was Libya, beginning in Ghadames, with photographs illustrating the architecture of the city, moving out to a desert festival, and then detailed photographs of ancient rock art.

Moving east, the next set of images were taken in Syria, showing Damascus, Aleppo and the ancient city of Palmyra. Some of the buildings have since been sadly destroyed, making their images items of historical record.

The next country visited was Oman, with fine architectural shots of castles and mosques, and also of camel racing in the desert.

Further east, there were photographs from Indonesia, including breathtaking dawn images of a volcano and some showing the harsh reality of workers who gather sulphur from volcanic sites.

Staying in the Far East, Myanmar yielded many images, illustrating not only the country, but also its people, with shots of fishermen, monks and nuns.

The next destination was Mongolia, where Peter and Sue had spent time with a team of eagle hunters, who spend their days training eagles to hunt.

The final set of images in the first half were taken in Iran, showing people and architecture. These gave insights into the country, its people and its views towards Westerners, something which Sue explained travel photographers had to be mindful of when working amongst peoples of different cultures.

Peter hosted the second half of the evening. He observed that whilst he and Sue travel and work together, they always seem to take different photographs.

Building on the scenes set during the first half, Peter’s photography allowed a more in-depth exploration of the countries. He showed sequences of images focusing in more detail on different subjects that he and Sue had encountered.

Whereas Sue tends to work in colour, Peter showed a mix of colour and monochrome images, including very effective monochrome images taken using infrared film.

It was an evening of quality photography, interesting stories and insights into the working life and experiences of two accomplished travel photographers – a fine way to mark Alnwick Camera Club’s 21st Playhouse anniversary.