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Mark Allen - An Evening of Audio-Visual

On Friday 7th we had Mark Allen join us via zoom. Mark was a club member of BNDCC from 2007 to 2020. He and current member of BNDCC, Judith Kimber, are only 2 out of 10 people that hold an MPAGB/AV in the whole of the UK. This accreditation standard is extremely difficult to achieve. So, they have both done Northern Ireland very proud.

Audio Visual or AV for short, is another aspect of photography which brings your photos to life, loosely speaking. Audio Visual is a way of showcasing very high standard images and setting them to music, poetry, speech or a mixture of all. The artist/photographer will put a sequence of images together that can be arranged in such an order that it reveals a story, documentary or travelog. AV can cover a wide range of subjects such as nature, travel and tourism or historical events to name but a few. They can be amusing, educational, campaigning, inspiring or eccentric.

Mark started the evening by telling us that he had first been inspired by two members from Bangor Camera Club who had come into the club one evening and they had put together some of their photos into a slideshow. Mark discovered one of the programs that had been used was called PTE AV studio (pictures to exe) He got himself a copy of the software and decided to have a go himself with a selection of holiday photos.

Mark’s first AV was called Photographers paradise featuring Icelandic images that he had taken on holiday. He went on to tell us that he created the slideshow mainly for himself and his family. However, his audience of the AV widened to the camera club and then through recommendation from others, he entered it into a competition. Mark revealed that when putting together a production there are a number of things you need to keep in mind. Things such as keeping horizons of the photos all aligned so that when one photo fades and the next comes into view, the slideshow flows and is more pleasing to the eye. Mark explained by adding sound effects and a particular piece of music specific to the slideshow's images can also enhance atmosphere. In addition to this, he uses the same size ratio in all his photos that go into a production.

He also showed us how he could make parts of his images move, such as the water or clouds while the rest of the image was still, by using another type of software called “photovibrance”. This provides a point of interest although it was very subtly done. Mark also showed us 2 more AV’S called Wild Scotland and A Landscape of Love featuring images from Yellowstone before showing us the masterpiece that won him his MPAGB/AV.

“All human beings” was created from a selection of photos Mark had taken on his iPhone at the Oskar Schindler museum and Auschwitz-Birkenau. This AV was extremely powerful and Mark has obviously spent a great deal of time to perfect every detail, embedded images along with sound clips, voice overs and accompanying music. The images he used ran through in sequence to tell a story which stunned everyone into silence watching. Mark had added subtle “ghostly” images to give ambiance to the presentation. To say the least it was a very moving and thought-provoking Audio Visual that drew you right into the emotional side of what it was all about.

Mark does have a copy of this AV on you tube if you follow this link on YouTube

AV is much more than "pictures to music" AV at its best has the power to touch people’s hearts, communicate feelings and emotions, and to change people’s lives.

Bangor and North Down Camera Club would like to thank Mark for returning to be with us again to give us such a fantastic evening’s viewing and tips on how to do our own AV’s.

Next meeting is on Friday 14th and is “iPhone editing Snapseed vs Lightroom - Gerry Coe & Hugh Rooney”

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