• Iain McGowan FRPS

    For our first meeting of 2018 we were delighted to welcome Iain McGowan to our club this week and were greatly impressed by the quality and variety of the print collections he brought to show us. Entitled "From the Garden Shed", Iain began his presentation by explaining that he had been a late convert to digital photography - only six years ago - and had made up his mind at the outset to avoid all computer-based digital processing and produce pictures by directly plugging the memory card from his Panasonic compact camera directly into his printer. In his approach, Iain aims to exploit all his camera settings for the subject and conditions in order to achieve his very individual yet amazingly inspirational approach to photography.

    Iain held us spellbound throughout the evening with an amazing variety of print collections, which he explained and displayed initially using the club's light box and then passed around among his audience to enable us all to fully appreciate them at close hand. This was particularly appreciated as the many were small pictures mounted on large mounts and collages composed of twelve square prints.

    Among the collections, we saw some very colourful pictures taken at the marathon in Hastings with the camera set on 1/4 of a second showing close-ups of competitors moving against a blurred background. Other sets included twelve picture collages mounted on A1 boards showing close-ups of a very rusty skip, Beatles inspired graffiti in Liverpool, a collection of close-ups of the side of old boats at Dell Quay, an advertising board in Cromer, fruit and vegetables and close-ups of the bark of a long dead tree in Somerset.

    Iain went on to explain how he particularly enjoys taking pictures in wet windy weather, and showed us a set taken on such a day through the windscreen of his car in the Scottish Highlands and another collection of close-ups of various items on a seaside stall in Skegness through a rain-soaked polythene cover. Evidently this caught the attention of a nearby stall holder who took a dim view of Iain's photographic activities !

    Following the interval for refreshments served by Debbie Platt and Louise Satturley, and the usual raffle organised by Beryl James and Bob Hoare, Iain presented further inspirational print collections including misty views of the Royal Crescent and Circus in Bath, reflections around Birmingham's New Street Station, views around Accrington overprinted onto pictures of an advertising hording in Blackpool, a collage of a 1940s themed weekend on the Severn Valley Railway and finishing with a wonderful collage showing a variety of images taken of the ground immediately below the photographer on a visit to the Isle of Harris.

    Iain is a truly gifted and creative photographer who produces fantastic prints from situations that many will find hard to see. He finished by answering questions and urging us all to be impatient to enjoy our photography wherever it may take us.

    This most inspirational evening concluded with a heart-felt vote of thanks from Club President David Nicholls and a rousing round of applause from those assembled.