Central London Group December Meeting

Our topic for the December meeting was ‘When does a technical flaw or weakness invalidate a photographic image’. This produced another interesting discussion.

One of the ideas emerging was that where composition is sufficiently strong this can sometimes carry an image, in spite of some technical limitations to its quality.
For example Brendan Delaney’s photograph was taken on an iPhone in a strobe-lit room of a night club, where cameras would not have been permitted. It has a grainy quality but the composition is powerful enough to balance this weakness.

Although, in Edith Templeton’s image of the moon and diagonal strings of lights, the lights were not in clear focus, most of us found it striking. We again discussed composition, here both simple and evocative. There was discussion of the value of a well-crafted object versus chance or random elements which can produce a special kind of beauty, provided the elements are, in themselves, pleasing.

Sue Czapska’s photo was taken moving the camera but had sufficient contrast to survive the distortion, producing an ominous effect, reminiscent of a Golem.

Ariadne’s black and white prints of Kolcata are always a delight – in this diptych the woman asked to be photographed, then stuck her tongue out (pulling the tourist’s leg). Working as quickly as the medium of film allows, two images were taken but the second one is totally out of focus. However, it is as a pair that the prints work, despite one being blurred.

The last contribution to our topic was from Hugh Look, who raised issues of when it is vital to have clear focus. Again this related to the overall composition. In an image of a young man moving in front of a blue brick wall, only the wall is in sharp focus. We suggested cropping to reduce the image to just these two elements, when the blurring might become a strength instead of a weakness.


Slimelight Club, Angel by Brendan Delaney


Moon Lights by Edith Templeton


Man in the Wood from the series Moving the Camera Like a Paintbrush by Sue Czapska


Bidi Woman 1 and 2 by Ariadne van de Ven


Hugh Look

For more images relating to this topic, please visit our blog.

There was also a briefing on the Hargreaves Report on Intellectual Property Law. This recommends a shift in onus of responsibility from those seeking to use material having to trace an owner of copyright and obtain permission, to the author needing to protect their rights by making their identity clear and providing a means of contact. Hugh’s advice is that the essential thing to do is to embed your name in images. Adding a way to contact you will assist but is not essential.

Our next meeting will take place on Wednesday 11th January 2012 at 18.45 at the usual venue – The Artworkers Guild, 6 Queens Square, Bloomsbury, London WC1N 3AT. Given the season, our topic this month will be Out with the Old and in with the New which will give us the opportunity to review the past year’s achievements and also discuss our plans and photographic New Year’s Resolutions. As usual if you would like to show examples of your work relating to the subject, please bring along up to 6 images either as prints or on a memory stick.

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