Mike Dales thoughtful and skilful presentation last Monday led with his principle view that you should take photos first for yourself and if anyone else likes it, including competition judges, that’s a bonus. If you end up selling the photo as well, that’s a special bonus. That poignant view was admirably illustrated in the superb “Magnum Manifesto” exhibition, at Compton Verney which Mike, John H and I visited on Wednesday. The Exhibition takes you on a thought-provoking trip through the 70 year history of the cutting edge Magnum photo journalist agency, universally recognised as the best agency in the world. Photographers are selected to join the agency, on the basis that photography has been the “lens” through which (often gritty) social and cultural events have been exposed and explored in a constantly changing world. The use of accompanying supporting contextual prose to set the scene for each of selected photo “group” made such a difference to one’s understanding of the photographer’s intended message. We are not talking here of photos of the sort which might secure a club competition award(!). Quite the reverse. Very thought provoking and one which we may revisit for a club discussion in the future.
So, if you fancy getting away from the traditional way club photos are judged and examine how top-drawer photographers have been influential in reporting 70 years of global change, it’s a trip well worth making. You really won’t be disappointed.
The exhibition runs until 15th December. Check out the Compton Verney website https://www.comptonverney.org.uk/thing-to-do/magnum-manifesto-2/
The BBC’s “Week in pictures” news feed
Here’s last week’s link to the BBC’s “Week in pictures”. Always an entertaining and inspirational part of its comprehensive website https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/in-pictures-50515596. A further one can be found on https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/in-pictures-50486844
Steve Russell. Mountains of the Moon. Tetbury Goods Shed. 6th Nov – 8th Dec
As Mike mentioned at last Monday’s meeting, there is a photographic exhibition in the Tetbury Goods Shed called Mountains of the Moon by Steve Russell. It is also accompanied by talks given by Steve. Here’s an abridged extract of the publicity about the event:
Russell has built an enviable reputation over the years as the photographer of choice for many celebrated contemporary artists, both in the UK and internationally. His remarkable images of African subjects taken during his trips to the continent over the past six years show another facet of his creativity, revealing him to be an image-maker of great vision and sensitivity.
One of the highest mountain ranges on the African continent and supporting an amazingly diverse, endemic flora and fauna, the Rwenzori Mountains on the border between Uganda and Congo take their lunar reference from a description by early astronomer, mathematician and geographer Claudius Ptolemy. Five thousand metres up, the Rwenzori Mountains, with their glaciers, rocky outcrops and unique variety of plants and animals are like nowhere else on Earth.
The Rwenzori range was first professionally photographed in 1906, when Italian photographer Vittorio Sella accompanied Luigi Amedeo, Duke of Abruzzi, on an expedition to document and record the mountains and surrounding areas. Sella was particularly interested in the glaciers and the resulting images later prompted Ansel Adams to describe them as ‘inspiring a definitely religious awe’. Russell’s images of the remains of these glaciers reveal to us the gravity of the effects of climate change, exposing as they do the alarming extent to which the ice has retreated.
Steve’s work features in both private and public collections including ‘Nature In Art’ Gallery and Museum in Gloucestershire, the Royal Geographical Society Collection and the British Council in Kampala, Uganda. Steve’s images have been recognised in various competitions including Hasselblad Masters 2016, Travel Photographer of the Year 2015 and the British Book Design and Production awards 2013, where his book ‘Katonda Wenge’ was shortlisted for Best Book in the ‘Photographic, Arts, Architecture and Monographs’ category.
“Mountains of the Moon” runs from Wednesday 6th November to Sunday 8th December. The Goods Shed is closed Mondays and Tuesdays and occasionally at other times for private functions, so if you are coming from a distance, we suggest you might want to check with us before setting off.
For more details see https://shed-arts.co.uk/event/mountains-of-the-moon/2019-11-28/
Next Monday is competition night judging so best wishes to all entrants – did you get any inspiration from Damien Demolder’s “street” talk?
That’s it, see you Monday