That and a few other details out of the way, it was time to move on to the subject of tonight’s meeting, namely black and white photography.
Each member was invited to submit and showcase a selection of their monochrome images in order to explore this field of photography, its merits and limitations and the challenges it presents.
Alan Thompson opened the proceedings with a photograph of the 0-4-0ST Tank Locomotive Sir Cecil A Cochrane now preserved at Tanfield Railway which beautifully demonstrated how the use of monochrome can place a subject in its proper place in time. He then presented us with a stunning yet informal family portrait incorporating Tynemouth Priory before moving on to an upturned boat hut on the Holy Island of Lindisfarne, again demonstrating the power and impact the careful use of this style of photography can portray.
Dave Brennan followed with a demonstration of his skills in this area, presenting a varied collection of his work incorporating studio work using his ever patient daughter as a model, a fly past by a Lancaster bomber, street portraits and studies and a selection of urban landscapes. Each image was discussed in detail, with Dave sharing his thoughts on why each image benefitted from it's lack of colour.
Next was Derek Rootham who took us on a tour of Newcastle from Scotswood to the Quayside evoking images of the past with his sepia tinted photographs. This journey included the bridges over the Tyne, to long forgotten remains of its industrial past, through to the old and sometimes ancient bars and waterfront buildings surrounding this once bustling port.
John Redpath then again demonstrated his ability to get the shot most people miss with his trademark use of very low points of view combined with his mastery textures and exposure, this time of a view from Hadrian’s Wall west towards Cawfield Quarry skilfully rendered in black and white.
Finally, Tony Stevens gave his take on the use of monochrome by using the removal of colour from selected areas of a photograph to either highlight a subject or create a comic effect, and on to how he preferred the use of monochrome to created dreamscapes using an array ND filters to extend exposure time.
Throughout the evening, everyone was able to comment on the images shown, giving or seeking advice and suggesting ideas that would allow the subject to be taken that little bit further.
The night ended with a discussion on Dave Brennan and Alan Thompson’s offer to arrange a days use of a fully kitted and equipped studio for use by the group. A subject to be discussed in more detail at a later date as time again ran out tonight.