In the Herald - The beauty of black and white

Date Published 
Fri 2 Oct 2020

After an initial relaxation on restrictions on meeting in public places, they are now beginning to be imposed again. This brings several challenges when trying to keep even a small camera club running. Irvine Camera Club have a full programme of events planned out for the winter season, but we are already realising that we may have to juggle our activities between meeting in person and falling back on virtual meetings when we have to.

This week was a good example of how we can, quite quickly, alter our events to suit the needs of the members and our guest speakers and judges. We were intending to host Stephen Lipton to give us an illustrated talk on his experiences as photographer during the last six months of lockdown. Given the announcements of the previous week, the club committee decided that it would be better to meet on-line on this occasion. Unfortunately, Stephen was not able to join us online and the club had to instead use one of my talks on Black & White photography. Now, it just so happened that I had already given the talk the week before on Zoom for Ayr Photographic Society and they had recorded it. So, with a little bit of editing by our resident club videographer, Pete Heywood, we were able to playback an abridged version of the talk for our members on Wednesday evening.

The presentation covered a technique I call “Breaking the Light” that I used to produce dynamic monochrome images. I illustrate concepts of abstraction and simplification with several examples employing different types of photography, covering landscapes, architecture, people & animals. After showing the audience the results of my processing and sharing why it is that I do certain things, I worked on a few example images to show just how easy it is to create strong monochrome imagery.

As we go through the rest of the year I have a feeling that camera clubs across the country will need to start to work more closely together and collaborate to produce content that can be shared around, keeping our members engaged and maximising involvement in photography at a time when it many clubs may find their membership dwindling.n a rapidly changing world Irvine Camera Club are determined to keep running and to provide a social and educational platform for local photographers who want to continue to enjoy their hobby. If you are interested and you are perhaps thinking about joining it all of our details can be found on our web site or on the various social media platforms. Stay safe and enjoy the light!

Clive Watkins


Well done to Pete for editing the presentation and to Clive for his superb talk.

Submitted by paul-kelly on Fri 2 Oct 2020 5:02pm