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Movement in the Rainforest

Studio set ups in sub-tropical South America

Duncan Armour gives us food for thought!
One could be forgiven for thinking that a talk on “The Rainforest” might be fairly predictable photographically. Knowing the quality of our speaker, Duncan Armour, members nevertheless keenly anticipated the evening, and attendance was high. What we actually got was a totally unexpected, highly creative approach to capturing the opportunities and challenges of this South American environment, together with the privilege of viewing some extraordinary images and hearing an informative, empowering commentary, that left us all inspired.

Duncan and his wife Deborah are a formidable team with a wealth of experience and expertise in travel and wildlife photography. On location in the rainforests, they set out to capture the sights, sounds and spectacular colours of the sub -tropical environment. They routinely seek out the patterns in the trees and the undergrowth, lines and contours of spectacular waterfalls, making the most of windows of light that occur in what is a naturally dark, damp backdrop to the plant and animal life that thrives there. However, it was their determination to capture the drama of the forms and fleeting moments afforded them in what can be a hostile and dangerous environment that impressed us most.

Supported by “ forest angel ” guides that call forth dancing birds, uncover the secret lives of ants and warn when venomous snakes lurk in the canopy or the undergrowth, Duncan and Deborah transport camera flashes, triggers, tripods, perspex and reflectors to far flung places where , ever mindful of the welfare of their subjects , they create studio like set ups. These enable them to control and manipulate the light, using a range of shutter speeds and techniques that defy the oft held opinion that all must be sharp and detailed to be of high quality. We marvelled at parrots detoxing on claylicks, bats on black and birds on bananas.

It was a truly breathtaking evening that opened all our eyes to the possibilities for photographing the wildlife closer to home, armed with the knowledge that Duncan so freely shared.

Members are reminded that the final competition of the year is an Open print and that the deadline for submissions is next week.

We anticipate an enjoyable social evening with Hanham members showing us what they do.

Jenny Short. 18.04.2024