|'That's Not a Landscape Photograph!'||3 March 2020|
|The club was treated to an excellent presentation by Shaftsbury photographer Huw Alban. Huw was used to photographing Formula 1 events capturing high speed racing cars but has now turned his photographic interests to capturing landscapes in a variety of forms. Some images are what most photographers regard as a typical landscapes but in others Huw sets out to capture the atmosphere that he felt at the time – perhaps it was very wet and windy or very still and calm.
Sometimes Huw uses Creative Camera Movement to create an image he feels captures the feeling he had when taking the image. He suggests looking back at your images and recalling why you took the image and what was the feeling that you tried to capture.
In order to get an image that conveys feeling of a damp still day Huw even uses a pinhole camera to give that soft, dreamy impressionistic image. Simplify the composition to only include what interests you. Be patient and wait for the right moment.
‘Rules’ of composition help when you start out in photography but if everyone follows the ‘rules’ there is no self-expression. In time a personal style is develops and a photographer’s images become instantly recognisable. Look for something different rather than the flock to well-known photogenic scenes – look for a different view.
If you break the ‘rules’ then know how or why. Take photographs to please yourself and don’t allow the opinions of other to stifle your interpretation.
Looking through his favourite images Huw found that he was drawn to straight lines and they continue to feature in many of his images.
Huw showed club members some views of Minnis Bay, Kent and no one present thought it looked an inspiring place to photograph but then he went on to show why after taking time to explore it has become one of his favourite destinations. He showed imaginative images of the breakwaters, jetties, decaying wood groynes and even making a striking image of the rusty sea defences!
Another favourite destination visited time and time again is Cumbria with its lakes and Castlerigg stone circle.
Huw advises - plan in advance by researching the area using maps, check on the expected weather conditions and the position of the sun but also be prepared to keep an open mind and be responsive to the situation that you find. Plans can go awry, so take any opportunity that arises and be open to new ideas. Images can be taken at any time of day or in any conditions.
Huw advocates keeping photographic equipment simple – the latest expensive camera and gismo’s do not give necessarily get you better images! He finds that an Olympus mirrorless four thirds camera with top quality zoom lenses (12-100 and 40-150) cover all his photographic situations. The camera is lightweight and the 20 megapixels adequate for up to A2 printing and the zoom lenses allow precise framing. Although Huw almost always uses a tripod so that he can set up his image precisely but, when the occasion calls for it, the cameras good image stabilisation allows it to be handheld.
Huw holds group and 1 to 1 workshops for those who would like to learn more about landscape photography.
Steve Hardman thanked Huw for his very entertaining, informative, thought and action provoking presentation. PM
Images © Huw Alban. Images of Minnis Bay, Kent See website for more information on Photographic workshops, equipment etc.