Inter-City Photography, March 16th, 2022

The scheduled meeting this week had to be postponed at short notice due to illness. As in the past our programme secretary stepped into the breach with “something I prepared earlier”. In truth Alan’s presentation “Inter-City Photography” had only just been completed. We need not have worried. Alan gave us an apparently effortless and fluent trip round the world viewing many superb images of cities he has visited.

He began his presentation giving detailed advice on how to take candid street photography and also detailed advice on the techniques and equipment he uses for his architectural photography. We then had a trip around a selection of the UK and the world’s cities starting in London

 

and moving to Tokyo, New York, Belfast, Berlin, Venice, Florence and finally Havana.

 

There was a wide range of images from stunning skylines and nightscapes to candid shots of people going about their daily lives such as a New York traffic policeman on a junction on 42nd Street. In contrast there were several abstract images where Alan was able to capture a visual appearance which took his eye at the time. These included a polluted waterway in London where the interaction of a discarded plastic bottle floating on an oil slick created a paradoxically fascinating, attractive photograph.

 

With each image Alan was able to give advice on aspects of photography including composition techniques, depth of field, storytelling, the influence of light. He showed three images taken from a hotel bedroom window in Tokyo at different times of the day which demonstrated the huge difference on a scene that differing light conditions can make.

There were many stunning architectural shots where at times Alan made best use of adverse weather conditions. These included an image of the Oculus taken in the mist in New York.

 

His street photography captured the essence of the cities they were taken in: a woman striding through a colourful scene in Havana and a group of Japanese commuters “doing what they do on a Tokyo subway”.

 

Included in his presentation was a series of monochrome images from Alan’s youth in London in the 1970’s. These photographs demonstrated that even then Alan had the ability to capture the essence of a scene and its time.

After entertaining and engaging the audience yet again with one of his presentations Alan was thanked by our chairman David Woodthorpe for another “Stunning performance”

Richard Jakobson