In the Herald - Focus is put on phone photos

Date Published 
Wed 23 Jun 2021

On a rather gloomy Wednesday evening last week several members of Irvine Camera Club ventured to Saltcoats promenade to chance our hands and capturing the essence of the seaside town.

One of the challenges this week was for our members to take a “seaside” photo using their mobile phones.  I have to admit that this idea was inspired by the recent BBC4 TV programme “Great British Photographer” where each week the contestants were asked to put down their expensive cameras and only use their phones to make compelling images.  This really helps to dispel the adage that photography is all about your kit.  The most important aspect of photography is having a good idea and being able to compose an image using the light available.  The idea is that once liberated from the complexities of the modern camera, our members would be able to express themselves more creatively.

The other challenge this week was to get a feel for the Saltcoats urban landscape through our images.  Documenting the town on a quiet evening allowed us to focus on the contrasts in the architecture of the town, recording it as it looks in the process of coming out of lockdown, perhaps asking questions about its ability to bounce back after COVID.

We were also hoping to practice a technique called “contre-jour” where the camera is pointed directly toward the source of light, producing very high contrast, silhouetted subjects.  Although a few of us managed to get some rather lovely seascapes with the sun setting behind the clouds, the rather soft light and low cloud didn’t really allow us to do too much, so the alternative theme of “contradiction” was quickly thought up by our club secretary, Alan Kempster.  The resulting images may leave a lot to the imagination but, to my mind anyway, that is part of the joy of photography.  It’s as much about what the viewer sees in an image as it is about what the photographer’s original intention was.

I hope you enjoy looking at our perspective on Saltcoats and seeing how sometimes the ordinary can be lifted by the clever positioning of the camera into something a little more interesting.

Irvine Camera Club will continue to meet up over the summer before we start back properly for the new season in September.  If you would like to find out more about the club please visit our website where you will find all of our details.