Alnwick, Camera Club

The gates at Alnwick Garden.'Picture by Jane Coltman
The gates at Alnwick Garden.'Picture by Jane Coltman

Alnwick and District Camera Club‘s latest meeting featured the photographic talents of two of its members.

First was Paul Penman with an impressive selection of photographs relating to music. As an active member of the Alnwick Playhouse Concert Band, he is in an excellent position to take pictures of its members and the instruments they play. His images ranged from close up details of the instruments to portraits of the musicians themselves. Some simply focussed on the hands of the players while others revealed the intricacies of the musical instruments, which ranged from woodwind to brass and percussion. Paul successfully avoided run of the mill pictures by selecting interesting viewpoints which seemed to capture a connection between the instruments and their players. Group pictures in the playhouse were mainly taken during rehearsal sessions, but still managed to give a good impression of the band in action.

Paul’s other pictures mainly featured jazz musicians, photographed both in a New York jazz club and at Ronnie Scott’s in London. Both black and white and colour images captured the atmosphere and excitement in a way that only an enthusiast can.

In complete contrast, Barry Robertson’s presentation was based on his professional work as a wedding and portrait photographer. He first explained how wedding photography has moved on in recent years with digital images replacing film and photobooks replacing photograph albums. The type of pictures required has also changed so that customers demand more than just the traditional wedding groups. Barry’s photoshoots now cover the entire occasion so that his pictures tell the whole story of the day. He talked about the challenges of working with unusual locations, crowds of people and difficult lighting conditions.

Portraiture is another matter as Barry is working in his own home studio and is able to control lighting and backgrounds. He showed diagrams of a number of lighting arrangements that he uses and showed some fine examples of the results he achieves with different setups.

There were plenty of tips on photographing challenging subjects such as family groups, babies and lively youngsters and Barry completed his presentation with a short audio visual sequence of delightful pictures of his young granddaughter.