RECENT NEWS > An aversion to orange!

An aversion to orange!

Mike Martin: Layers and lateral thinking.
Like politicians and school children, NRPS members get a summer break and return (hopefully) refreshed in September. The final meeting finished our season on a real high, with an intriguing presentation by highly accomplished photographer, Mike Martin, in which he illustrated his unique approaches to shooting “People and Their Stuff”.

With a style all his own, Mike works primarily in black and white and muted, desaturated tones. He takes photos to please himself, because he can, and encourages us to do the same. His finished images often challenge the received wisdom of judges in terms of composition and sharp detail, not to mention subject matter and points of view! Mike has a creative eye and uses his camera as an artist would a notebook, recording details he can recycle and recompose later. A true friend of Photoshop (and, it would seem, of Facebook challenges), he blends and layers with an overriding philosophy that demands that he first simplifies, then makes the most of what he has captured, and then, if necessary, he adds components to achieve the often highly symbolic effects for which he is best known.

Using a range of stunning models and make-up artists, Mike creates portraits with aptly chosen titles, that utilise snakes, lizards and tarantulas as well as bananas and bouquets as props. Holding lights or steeped in rivers, Mike’s photographic stance is often compromised or challenging , but never dull! The result is a series of highly unorthodox, but strangely haunting, portraits that prompted at least one besieged, club competition judge to question his sanity!

During the evening a series of prints illustrated Mike’s photographic journey from the early 90’s to the present day, and after the break we were treated to digital explanation and analysis of his post production techniques, that take images straight out of camera to their final triumph via numerous layers and a plethora of lateral thinking.

This was a highly stimulating evening that left us in awe of Mike’s ability to gently prod our social awareness, often subliminally, and to use the tools of the trade so effectively in his art. He was warmly thanked by all in attendance, and leaves us with an enduring image of a devil-may-care artist with an obvious aversion to the colour orange!

Throughout the month of June members are invited to gather in four locations across the county to practise their photography informally, and to meet up socially at a convenient hostelry nearby once the light fails! Full details can be found in the new Summer Activity section of the website.

We look forward to resuming our interesting programme on Thursday 5th September, and hope to welcome new members from the community. In the meantime the NRPS will mount an exhibition at the Midsomer Norton Summer Fayre on the afternoon of July 13th.

Jenny Short 31/05/19