Journeys

June's meeting was an opportunity to see a variety of new work from our members.
Dorota Boisot took us on a train journey through Poland and Sean McDonnell on a road trip through the American Deep South.
Jonny Baker showed portraits of actors from the Synergy Theatre Project and images from their production Smithereens at Brixton House Theatre. 

Dorota 3

Dorota 2

[Both images above by Dorota Boisot]

 

Baker 2

Baker 1

[Both images above by Jonny Baker]

We also had a chance to look at some striking printed work.
The Royal Photographic Society has just published a monograph of Ray Higginbottom's rich creativity.
Fran Black introduced us to another of her fine books, this time on Uzbekistan.

We then discussed the theme for this year's annual LIP show, Subjective : Objective. It provoked a good discussion and was nominated as a topic for one of our future meetings. We also reviewed topic ideas for the rest of the year and the group will decide on those at the next meeting. A number of members are busy with the People challenge to be presented then too.


People

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[Claudio Carvalhaes by Jonny Baker]

We spent May's meeting sharing photos of people. This inevitably led to a discussion of what makes a portrait as opposed to a photograph of a person. I'm not sure we concluded much but this has inspired another group photo challenge where people have been randomly paired to take photographs of one another and bring back results to the group in a couple of months. 

Vagabond girl

[Vagabond Girl by Chris Bellinger]

It was amazing to see the range of styles of photographs of people and contexts in which they were taken.

AB01

[Photograph by Angelika Berndt]


In print: zines and books

The topic for this month's meeting was Zines and Book Publishing and the group shared a range of work and a stimulating conversation about the stories behind them followed.
 
Brigitte Flock brought what felt like a library of her self published books across a range of topics, including one using Hahnemühle paper which we were all taken by. Joining us for the first time Fran Black shared a powerful collection of photographs from her time as a teacher at a school in south London. We were taken on a tour of Japan by Carolyn Fallek with a rich collection of images. Sean McDonnell brought some of his street work from before his lockdown series.
 
Here's a lost of the range of printers we'd used - thanks for Brigitte for noting them!
 
We then discussed ideas for the topic for next month's meeting, Portraits.
 

Of monsters and machines

For our March meeting the group shared a diverse selection of recent work all, in their own way, celebrating this month's theme, Spring.

Richard Baker showed a collection of photos taken over three evenings following a serendipitous view at a distance of the demolition works at Ealing Studios, where he saw the shadows of two excavators “as monsters fighting”. He returned with a camera and while it was not possible to reproduce the original image he was able to build a relationship with the team to take a variety of images that captured the energy and atmosphere of the night-time works.

Jonny Baker immersed us in the depths of a lost rainforest in Scotland and the heights of Snowdonia. 

We were taken to Mexico courtesy of Sarah Wilikie's photographs from her recent trip and the vibrancy of colours was a tonic for the soul. 

Back in London Sean McDonnell showed some dusk and night pictures from the West End.

Robert Vaas then shared a powerful image he had created promoting a performance at Questors Theatre plus the video promo that accompanies it.

Richard Baker_01

Richard Baker_02

Richard Baker_03

[All images above by Richard Baker]

 

Jonny Baker_02

[A lost rainforest on the isle of Seil, Scotland by Jonny Baker]

Jonny Baker_01

[From the Snowdon Horseshoe by Jonny Baker]

 

Sarah Wilkie - Centro Historico  Oaxaca

[Centro Historico, Oaxaca by Sarah Wilkie]

Sarah Wilkie - Fallen bougainvillea  Oaxaca

[Fallen bougainvillea, Oaxaca by Sarah Wilkie]

Sarah Wilkie - Rarámuri woman at sunset  Copper Canyon

[Rarámuri woman at sunset, Copper Canyon by Sarah Wilkie]

 

McDonnell_01

McDonnell_02

[Both images above by Sean McDonnell]

 

Robert Vaas_Find Me

[Find Me by Robert Vaas]

 

In conclusion we discussed recent shows we'd been to and Richard shared a guide he'd found at the Serpentine

The Deutsche Börse has just opened at the Photographers' Gallery so the group discussed a trip there as the last time we visited was 2020 before the pandemic. It would also be an opportunity to see both Frankie MacAllister's and Arun Misra's books which are now on sale there.

We concluded by thinking about the topic for next month's meeting, Zines and Book Publishing


Using digital: blogs, websites and social

The group's usual venue is being refurbished so Robert Vass generously made his home available for February's meeting.
 
We started the evening with new work. Frankie McAllister's landscapes brought us into the heart of Glencoe. Arun Misra then took us through the work behind his image used on the cover of the current edition of fLIP. It was actually stimulated by a prompt from Jonny Baker's creativity app which was great to find out about too.
 
Frankie_-4617
 
Frankie_-4562

[Both images above by Frankie McAllister]

 
Arun-Misra-19
 
Arun-Misra-3
 
[Both images above by Arun Misra]
 
 
Next we had a fascinating tour around people's use of online to display and promote their work, sparking discussion on different template providers, how blogs can build a community and why Essex coastal towns are such fertile places for photography!
 
Here are links we visited. Do take a look!
 
 
Robin Segulem also introduced us to some great examples of members' work on the LIP website. It's an inspirational place.
 
We just had time for Frankie to update us on a profile of Ray Higginbottom that she's been discussing with the Ruislip LIP group that he was also a member of. The plan is to create a page on the LIP website that people can add tributes and memories to.
 
Finally we discussed the topic for next month, Spring. Members were invited to interpret that in any way between now and then and bring work to the meeting.
 

Ray

Ray

We are really sad to share the news that Ray Higginbottom died on new year's day. He was a terrific person, an amazing photographer and a much loved member of our Ealing group. He always brimmed with enthusiasm, creativity, ideas, and never failed to bring new work to show which always impressed. We will miss him very much. There is a web site here which is a tribute to Ray.


Dividing Lines at Photobook Cafe 11 and 12 Jan

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Dividing Lines The book of ‘Dividing Lines’ is being launched at the Photobook Café on the evenings of 11 and 12 January 2024, and accompanied by a pop-up exhibition of images from the project.

Frankie McAllister’s book ‘Dividing Lines’ is an essay responding to the effect of Brexit on Ireland and more specifically to the landscapes of Donegal, one of the border counties and a place she has strong connections with. Using the landscape as a metaphor, she has created images exploring the artificiality (and absurdity) of externally imposed borders, whether they are borders we impose on ourselves or those imposed from outside.

Runs: 11 – 12 January 2024
Open: Launch & Pop-up 11 January 6pm to 9 pm, 12 January 6pm to 9 pm
Also open for view on Saturday 13 January 1pm to 5pm
Private View: 11 and 12 January 6pm to 9pm

Gallery: The Photobook Cafe, 4 Leonard Circus, Shoreditch. EC2A 4DQ
Public transport: Nearest tube Old St.
https://www.frankiemcallister.com
https://photobookcafe.co.uk


Imagination and trust

We opened October's session by sharing some recent work. Frankie McAllister gave us a preview of Bassin, a project inspired by Arcachon Bay in France. She's also curating this work as a zine to launch in January.  Jonny Baker's images were a different take on Niagara Falls as well as long exposures of star constellations. Richard Moseley brought our attention to a new photography book, No Passa Nada. Sean McDonnell then showed new street work from trips to Mexico City and Marseille.
 
Arcachon-1
 
 
Arcachon-2
 
[Both images above by Frankie McAllister]
 
 
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[Both images above by Jonny Baker]
 
 
McDonnell_Mexico_23
 
[Both images above by Sean McDonnell]
 
Jonny also introduced his current project on creativity and demonstrated an app he's designed with calls to action to stimulate our imagination. Each of us chose a Get... action to think about how we could apply it to our own work. 
 
We then had an engaging discussion on AI and photography, referencing the history of technology, examples of AI in practice and its ethical implications plus ways it's being challenged. .

 
Mel Meigh then presented a demo of her use of generative AI in Photoshop and Richard Baker showed examples of images he'd produced by refining prompts using DALL·E 3. 
As a challenge we decided to explore this technology, play with it in our own ways and share the outputs with the group
This is an important topic so we'll keep it on the agenda for future meetings.