Fine Art Architectural Photography by David Garthwaite, Sept 8th, 2021

This week’s meeting was the second of the new season. Our speaker was David Garthwaite, a fine art photographer from Leeds. His speciality is architecture but he photographs landscapes and does some portraiture work as well. The talk was given via Zoom and most members watched from the comfort of their own homes, but some chose to attend our normal venue, the Friends Meeting House, where we watched via a laptop linked to the television screen.

David began by showing a short video of some of his monochrome images. These included several of the stunning City of Arts and Sciences in Valencia designed by Santiago Calatrava.

Some, taken closer to home, were of the Roker Pier and Berwick Lighthouse. There were images too from London, including an image of The Shard.

 

There were also images from the Netherlands.

 

David researches his locations thoroughly before travelling. Once on site he spends time viewing his subject from every angle and then he decides on the best composition. All this before even taking his camera out of the bag.

 

Unlike many photographers he prefers to shoot on dull, overcast days as this does not create strong shadows and provides a flat image that he can add his own shading too as he sees fit. On bright days he waits until the sun disappears behind a cloud. Sometimes he also uses long exposures to eliminate distractions such as people or vehicles moving through the scene.

David’s distinctive style is largely due to his meticulous approach to processing his images using Photoshop and other software and most of his talk comprised a master class in this.

 

He can spend hours processing one image and he employs such techniques as replacing skies and selectively lightening and darkening parts of the image. While many other photographers also employ such techniques David goes to great lengths to ensure that these changes are employed gradually to ensure they look natural.

 

It was a very informative and enjoyable evening although many of us will need to watch the recording of this meeting several times before mastering his approach.

Keswick Photographic Society’s welcome both beginners and expert photographers, either as new members, or as guests, to their meetings. Due to the COVID pandemic live meetings are restricted to members only for the time being. However, meetings are also being broadcast via Zoom and guests may join these. For information about how to join Keswick Photographic Society or to participate in one of our Zoom meetings as a guest please e-mail: contactkeswickPS@gmail.com.

Chairman’s Evening: 1st September 2021

This week saw the start of the 49th season and the resumption of physical meetings.  After months of zoom it was good to have the personal interaction badly missed by many of the members. The society provided a simultaneous zoom transmission for those not able, or uncomfortable with attending such a gathering.

As is tradition, it was The Chairman’s evening, and David Woodthorpe presented some of his favourite images taken during three visits to India, the country which has captured his heart. India, he explained, is a place where everything that bombards the senses of western visitors and appears to be extraordinary and at times quite shocking to us, is in fact quite normal.   Unlike European countries which differ in quite minor ways, India is a world apart in terms of the history, religion, culture, behaviour and sheer number of people.  With a population of 1.3 billion it is more than 20 times that of the UK.

 

David began by showing images from some of the iconic Sikh and Buddhist temples in Delhi, Guwahati and across Rajasthan explaining how many of the temples prepare and provide thousands of free meals a day to the poor, hungry and homeless of the city, funded by donations. During the pandemic as the numbers of needy grew the Gurudwaha Bangla Sahib Sikh Temple in Delhi increased its provision of meals from around 30,000 to an eye watering 100,000 meals a day and expected to increase that number. One of David’s favourite buildings is the Lotus Temple in Delhi, a Baháʼí House of Worship.

 

Many of the temples are of a scale difficult to comprehend, with for example, the Ranakpur Jain Temple having 1444 individually and uniquely carved marble pillars supporting 80 domes over 29 halls.

In Varanasi, possibly the oldest inhabited city in the world, it is normal from the banks of the mother river Ganges, to launder clothes, to bathe, to drink and to cremate bodies.  It is difficult for the western visitor to comprehend these simultaneous activities.  But every evening the Aarti Festival, a well-choreographed ceremony restores peace, calm and tranquillity to the Ghats.

 

India has retained an enormous wealth of ancient buildings, maintained in superb condition and accessible to all.  Members were shown images of a wide range of forts, castles, palaces and historic monuments.  But it’s the very talented, colourful, characteristic, often beautiful or handsome and happy people who really make any visit to India unforgettable.  David showed many portraits and scenes of people carrying out their everyday activities, whether at home, in markets, at work or simply relaxing or playing.

 

Rajasthan is a land of colour with the Amber Fort, The Blue City of Jodhpur, the Pink City of Jaipur and the White City of Udaipur, all of which are populated with colourful characters.

 

Of course, no presentation would be complete without reference to the special wildlife and David showed images of One Horned Rhino, fearful Monitor Lizards, Gharials, Crocodiles, colourful birds and Butterflies from across Northern India.

 

David concluded his presentation with some amusing examples of the transport system from the Toy Train of Darjeeling, goats on Motorways, incredibly overloaded vehicles and the rather dangerous habit of farmers choosing to drive the wrong way along the fast lane of motorways!

 

Such is the captivating sub-continent which is India.