Imagez Club Night – Looking Local – Guest Speaker Chris Shepherd
Tuesday September 28, 2021, — 28 Attendees
“As photographers we often suffer from Locational Myopia constantly wishing we were in some exotic location” Chris Shepherd
Chris Shepherd gave an inspiring talk last night to the club about his personal journey as a photographer. He described how he had come to use locations close to his home instead of travelling miles and how he began to really look at what they offered in terms of photography.
His journey began with a shot of a snow-covered tree in the local nature reserve Roding Valley Meadows which he soon discovered offered opportunities for wonderful photographs especially after a snowfall. This area became a Nature reserve in 1986 and before this had been occupied by RAF Chigwell from 1936 to 1964. He said he spent many evenings and weekends shooting images in the nature reserve for his forthcoming exhibition. As he said, “People like seeing something that is close to home.”
At Roding Valley Meadows he described how he had spent time looking at the landscape, planning where and what to shoot. He said “getting to know the location really well is essential and the photographer will begin to see more opportunities for photographs. By visiting in different seasons, at various times of the day, and in different weathers you see changes to the same scene. He said, “Fog for example adds depth and an air of mystery to many woodland scenes” He described light as the photographers’ raw material to capture and understand how to use in their photographs.
Chris accompanied his talk with a power-point his wonderful images, and humorous anecdotes.
He said the only way to learn is to go and keep taking pictures and when you get something wrong learn how to get it right. He uses photoshop minimally, teaching himself and learning as he went along.
Chris alluded to David Ward’s book which said when shooting woodland be aware of the three C’s –Chaos, Contrast, and Complexity. Chris likes to shoot in HDR at times as he says it can bring definition and depth to trees, separating the trees to counteract the chaos. He wants to ‘capture what he has seen with his own eyes’ and finds HDR can help with this. Chris said he loves to get lost in the process of taking pictures. Something I think we can all agree with.
Chris went on to show his images of boats and beach scenes taken along the Essex Coast. He was delighted when the Tour De France came through his village, He also had wonderful images of Epping Forest.
Chris ‘s work has been published in many magazines such as the BBC Country File Magazine, The Sunday Times, the Guardian, Black and White Photography magazine and many more.
The evening was informative, interesting and Chris has a natural gift for story telling which made the evening flow well. After the talk some of the club members told Chris he had inspired them to get out to local areas to reappraise them and start taking photographs.