Jeff’s interest in photography spans many years, with some very unusual studio and wildlife work. In this talk he explained how he started with film photography, in the 1970s and 80s and then, after a break, came back to explore digital photography and all that the new technology can provide.
Through examples of his work, Jeff showed us how, in the early days, he experimented with close up and still life work in the studio. He went on to capture water droplets, bursting balloons and items falling into water, using laser activated flash. From there, we saw colour popping, posterisation, base relief and cross polarisation, illusions and special effect using props and double exposures. For those of us who have little experience with film, it was fascinating to see just how much could be achieved using purely analog techniques - and how much patience and skill is involved! It required hours of laborious work in the dark room, with lots of experimentation and creative thinking.
Pushing the boundaries of special effects brought Jeff to a point where the time he spent in preparation far out weighed the effects he was able to achieve. His enthusiasm faded and he gave up photography for several years.
When, in the early 2000s, his interest returned, the world of photography had moved on and digital was the way to go! Now, we saw examples of landscape and cityscapes, sport and wildlife images, including some astonishing macro photos of insects, “showing what you would never see with the naked eye”.
After the break, Jeff returned to his studio work, this time with examples of how the same effects as he achieved with film, could be produced with digital techniques, using in-camera and Photoshop tools. He then went on to present some very unusual images made with smoke trails and multiple layers, as well as different lighting effects and light painting.
Finally, Jeff indulged his passion for Photoshop and Computer Generated Graphics, with some fantesy/ si fi images. He used layers, masks, multiple images and multi exposures in Photoshop to produce spaceships, a “Living Encyclopaedia” and some bizarre interpretations of familiar phrases, like “A penny for your thoughts”’. Even image animation is possible and Jeff had an example for us, of a balloon being shot, where the bullet moved across the image.
I think, apart from gaining a deep respect for the amount of work and skill involved in both his analogue and digital photography, my over riding impression is of Jeff’s creative drive and need to push the boundaries of what his equipment can do. A great example of being open to anything!
Thank you very much to Jeff for this fascinating talk.
Next week, we have another talk with Sarah Bradley.