2017 02 - By Land, Sea and Air

18th February 2017
Retford & District Photographic Society - Press Release - Joy Allison
11th February 2017
Images by Peter Yeo

By Land, Sea and Air

We were pleased to welcome a return visit from speaker and judge Peter Yeo from nearby Marton. Tonight he came to show his prints under the title of 'By Land, Sea and Air', which enabled him to show a variety of images from places he has visited using his preferred method of panels of images on a theme.

New this time were his infra-red images. Having had a camera converted to capture images in this way, it registers the heat patterns given off by the subjects and creates an interesting effect. Hot areas appear pale and cooler areas are dark, so they often resemble snow scenes and Peter has a considerable collection now alongside his more usual colour and monochrome prints.

We started close to home with shots taken at the Yorkshire Sculpture Park and at the Hepworth Gallery as well as on a snowy morning in Gainsborough. Peter has developed a style of candid photography showing people studying art and we saw several such studies in this group.

Following his own advice to 'keep it simple', Peter showed several prints of a flooded field which had frozen and then been dusted by snow. The scene provided very simple compositions of wisps of grass appearing through the ice. Their impact was in their simplicity.

A much grittier and more detailed image showed dry stone walls and a shepherd's hut in the Dales. This might have been an image which had been worked on to increase the impact, but when asked about this Peter said he does minimal processing. This was followed by some images from Derbyshire when he introduced a friend to the photographic potential of this beautiful area.

Through a link between his Lincoln photographic club and Lincoln, Nebraska, Peter had paid a visit to the area. He showed a range of images from the ornate parliament building with its Native American Indian decoration through to remote settlements, virtually deserted small towns and changing agricultural landscape. This was clearly an area which was struggling to find a new prosperity in a changing world - a fact amply demonstrated through Peter's prints and commentary.

Peter shows few natural history images, but he took the opportunity to include some very sharp and well-captured shots of a male gorilla in a zoo. He was particularly taken by the fact that he was only separated from this dangerous and powerful creature by a sheet of glass - albeit a thick sheet.

In stark contrast we moved on to some images from New York. Peter found the huge sky scrapers intimidating and not to his taste, but he eventually ventured out and took some shots of the towering buildings around him. As his comfort level increased he also got some shots of yellow taxis and a wedding in which, by his account, the groom was very much a prop. In a comment on what is considered historic in the new World, Peter showed a view which included some historic buildings against a background of skyscrapers.
Leaving the high rises behind we returned to British shores and the incredible geology of part of the north Devon coast. Peter was able to take advantage of his camera's adjustable LCD screen to get low level images without the physical demands of getting low himself.

The first half of the evening concluded in Southwell Workhouse where Peter had successfully captured some evocative shots without including other visitors in the view.

The second half of the evening was largely composed of images from Scotland, and from the island of Barra in the Outer Hebrides in particular. The early months of the year are virtually guaranteed to produce stormy weather and for this reason Peter and friends had booked a week there. They arrived to blue skies, which persisted for much of their visit. Their quest for stormy scenes and skies was not entirely fruitless as one day brought winds of 70 - 90 mph. Peter’s image, humerously captioned ‘No Place for a Canoe’ graphically portrayed the sea running towards the camera while the wind created secondary wavelets which ran at right angles to the shore. This set included some wonderfully captured shots of the heavy seas, waves and spray whipped up by the gale.

Peter’s stormy shots provoked a discussion on how they were taken. He had already described his hand holding technique, but freely admitted that it was impossible in such conditions. To capture stormy scenes he uses his camera on a tripod and adds weight to the tripod to stabilise it. Some tripods come with a net to hold stones or similar as weight while others have a hook from which a camera bag can be suspended to provide stability. He also increases the shutter speed to minimise the impact of buffeting causing camera shake although this can lead to more digital noise if light levels are low. The final shot in this panel was of an aircraft taking off from Barra’s beach runway.

The final section of the presentation was, as usual with Peter, a selection of A2 sized images. Peter works for paper suppliers Fotospeed, and so has access to the paper and printer to produce these large images. It is very good to be able to see the differences a larger format makes and the detail captured in modern images, even at this level of magnification.