We were privileged to have an evening with David Clapp on 12th May. David is a professional landscape and travel photographer from south-west England. He has recently been giving talks all over the world via Zoom and in normal times he runs numerous workshops and photographic trips both close to home and in countries further afield. As well as being an award-winning photographer David is also an accomplished musician and he has spent the last few months perfecting his technique on a vintage banjo.
David is a highly entertaining speaker and he showed us numerous examples of his superb work starting with landscapes. His normal technique is to take seven or so images in portrait mode which he then stitches together to create a panorama. This creates a huge file which allows him to select smaller areas of the image without any loss of quality. David went on to explain the importance of the proportions in his images. Careful alignment is also essential which he demonstrated in his architectural images taken in India. He had carefully positioned his camera in these to achieve a symmetrical image. The direction of the light is also important, his preference being for side lighting. It is his attention to such details that have contributed to his success. David also presented several infra-red images taken on a camera converted for this purpose. Theses included some beautifully tinted photographs of the Taj Mahal.
During the second half of the evening David talked about a visit to a refuge camp in Palestine which had clearly made a deep impression on him. He had been accompanied by local guides and was able to access areas of the camp that might otherwise have been impossible for a European. His aim had been to document life in the camp and as such he had only used a small and discreet camera.
This visit had influenced the direction of his photography and he was now determined to carry out more project-based work.
David’s advice to other photographers is that they should avoid seeking to please others but instead focus on developing their own creativity. He also believes that impactful images can only be achieved through observation. It was important to capture the moment, particularly in travel photography. This ability had to be learned. He also considered it important to experiment in order to develop an individual style and unique images.
Our season has been extended until the end of June and we will be meeting via Zoom twice a month until then. Our next meeting will be held at 7.30 p.m. on Wednesday 26th May when we will be holding a fun battle with Northallerton Camera Club which will be judged by Ross McKelvey, an award-winning photographer from Belfast.