Last night Christine Widdall showed us examples from her outstanding portfolio of work. She started with landscapes of her local area around Saddleworth then went onto Salford Quays, flowers photographed in her conservatory, equine pictures, garden birds, wee beasties and finished off with portrait / composition images.
When viewing Christine’s landscape images it was the use of light to add atmosphere to the images that made them memorable. She demonstrated that a moody atmosphere cam be created by deliberately under-exposing. The majority of the images were taken locally and she recommended repeat visits to discover different moods of the same scene as the light varies. She only uses a tripod when necessary, in very low light conditions and rather than use graduated filters in high contrast situations she prefers to take multiple exposures and merge in post-processing to create High Dynamic Range (HDR) images.
The Salford Quays images again demonstrated her appreciation of how light impacts on images and that by only using a tripod when absolutely necessary due to low light levels until then she can “work the scene” and take many images rather than a single composition and waiting for the “correct” light.
The flora images that were shown were taken during lockdown in her conservatory using natural light. She used a limited palette and de-saturated some colours to create the atmosphere of the image. Plain backgrounds were used and often a texture layer was added in post processing and colour blend mode used to preserve the luminance value of the base image.
The equine images were from Appleby Fair and the eventing phase of 3 day eventing. Her images demonstrated the importance of being at eye level with the subject to establish a connection.
The garden bird images were taken on perches set up in her garden. She sprays some perches with milk then leaves for several months for lichen to grow.
The “wee beasties” section looked at damselflies, dragonflies, hoverflies and even the humble dung fly. They were almost exclusively single exposures with the appropriate aperture to obtain the necessary depth of field. She uses a stabilised 180mm macro lens to be further away from the subjects which improves the depth of field.
Christine concluded her presentation with a selection of her people images which were almost exclusively composites. The subjects were taken at a number of events such as Whitby Goth and Steampunk weekends, Edinburgh festival, and Ragged Victorian meetings or in studio settings. The backgrounds were taken at various locations including Edinburgh and Bliss Hill museum in Shropshire. She stressed the importance that the composite image must tell a story.
Our thanks to Christine for a very enjoyable evening.
Next week, 8th October, is our 1st open competition of the season, John Williams is the judge. Remember that it also the submission date for entries for the 2nd Open competition.
The following week we have a 2 for the price of one when Paula and Gary Davis will be presenting “Double Act 2”.