On Friday 1st November 2019, the talks at Bangor & North Down Camera Club were given by three of the club’s own members. The three speakers were Jane McIlroy, Conor Davidson and Harry Watson.
The first speaker was Jane who had taken her first photograph at the age of 10 and despite a gap of some years she has recently restored her interest in photography as a member of the club. Jane presented a number of the images she has taken over the last few years, explaining the stories behind the images and the techniques used in taking and processing them. The subject matter of Jane’s images was varied, including landscapes, close ups and flowers. In many of the images Jane explained how she had used her considerable Photoshop skills to improve the original photograph. This Photoshop skill was also very evident in the fascinating audio-visual which Jane presented at the end of her talk, entitled ‘As Time Goes By’ if showed images of landscapes with amazing transitions showing old and new images of the same places.
Our second speaker was Conor Davidson. Conor’s original interest in photography came from an old Minolta film camera which was owned by his grandfather, a camera which Conor still owns today. He too showed us a wide variety of images including portraiture and landscapes. However, Conor’s love of animals and in particular dogs have led to him taking some fabulous dog photographs. He has also developed a growing interest in street photography, he enjoys visiting Belfast with his camera and trying to capture images of the many interesting characters to be found there. He also showed images from a recent visit to New York, showing photographs of some of the city’s iconic locations. New York has to be one of the best locations in the world for street photography, and Conor showed us some wonderful examples of this photographic genre taken on his visit there.
The last of tonight’s three speakers was Harry Watson. Harry runs a photographic studio at the Ulster Folk and Transport Museum, where he takes photographs of visitors to the museum dressed in period costumes. While taking these photographs, Harry has developed an interest in the history of photography, he now has a collection of old cameras and has become skilled in the use of old film based photographic processes. To demonstrate this to the club, Harry used a photographic negative, a piece of art paper which had been coated in a salt solution and silver nitrate. The paper was then exposed through the negative using a ultraviolet light source, the result a genuine silver based photographic print. Obviously, this type of process cannot compete directly with today’s high resolution ultra-sharp digital photography, but this type of image has a charm and artistic feel all of its own. It was fascinating to see the process at work.
Our thanks to all of tonight’s speakers for sharing their own personal photographic journeys, the club members thoroughly enjoyed the evening, and in particular the wonderful images produced by Jane, Conor and Harry.
Next week is this year’s Audrey Argue competition, which is an annual club competition for photographs of animals.