Inspired by Abstracts
25/05/18Club members last encountered Simon Caplan (LRPS), of the Reflex Camera Club, as the judge in the recent Tri Battle Competition in Frome. In the more relaxed atmosphere of our regular weekly meeting he was entertaining and thought provoking in his presentation entitled “Extra Ordinary/Ordinary.”
As a photographer, Simon strives to find beauty and inspiration in the not so obvious aspects of the environment that most of us overlook. Observing everyday objects and places from a different point of view, he uses his camera creativey to frame his subjects as abstracts, using depth of field and basic principles to simplify the imageand stimulate curiosity and comment. His presentation clearly illustrated the fact that he favours no particular genre but has an obsession with colour , shape and pattern. The symmetry, line and balance to be found in urban architecture take him out on days when photographing anything else might be tricky, and we were treated to his take on the street furniture of Cardiff and the art deco of downtown Chicago as well as through a tour of the “found still life” along, beside and part of, the streets of Exeter, Barcelona and the ever colourful Madeira.
Whilst Simon is not a fan of rising early to catch the golden hour so favoured by landscape photographers, he does enjoy viewing “popular with tourist” landscapes through unusual frames and playing with long exposures in the Brecon Beacons. He shared useful tips on lighting subjects using simple LED torches to create Renaissance style still life and ensuring colourful backgrounds where none occur naturally or where creative solutions are required . Simon’s fascination with tiny details, the textures and patterns revealed in peeling paint and rust and a predisposition to finding a different angle lead him to explore a range of venues that include museums and exhibitions, scrap yards, docks and harbours as well as the more formal settings of churches, cathedrals and chapels.
Simon’s commentary was informal, animated and lighthearted. He kept us entertained with a variety of high quality images , the print versions of which he discussed further with us over a drink at the interval. . It was a highly sociable evening, and even those of us who perhaps balked at his obvious dislike of glamour photography, could not fail to be impressed by the portraits he did take that captured the very essence of the forgotten craftsmen and women working with wood and clay that rounded off his evening.
Thursday was an evening where we welcomed another new member, David Chown, and were pleased to see Mike Witcombe back to good health. Hard work and expertise over the past week has ensured that our projector is now well calibrated and our images sparkle! Members are eagerly looking forward to a visit soon to the Speedway in June which supercedes the planned visit to Bear Flats and Alexandra Park in Bath that week.Next week we welcome Pam Jones LRPS who will present images and her own insights into Iran.
Jenny Short 24.05.18