2017 10 - Print Presentation

25th November 2017
Retford & District Photographic Society - Press Release - Joy Allison
31st October 2017
Print Presentation

Ian Pinn’s visit followed our evening painting with light and by chance he was the first speaker to draw attention to his use of the technique to draw out details in low light images. He is also remembered from a previous visit when he stoically completed his presentation in torchlight after the power failed just as he began.

Ian manages to cover an extraordinary amount of miles in pursuit of his images. He enjoys motor sport, but his great love is landscapes. He enjoys the Inner Hebrides and we saw many images taken here and in different areas of the Highlands.

Ian showed us different ways of producing an image. He uses a digital SLR for many of his images, but the weight of his kit is beyond most mortals and understandably he sometimes uses his good quality compact. He demonstrated how this small camera can produce stunning results, even when the image is heavily cropped. As Ian said ‘The best camera for the job is the one you have with you.’ A quality compact is light weight, easily carried and gives great depth of field which is well suited to landscapes. Many have with powerful zooms and offer a versatile option when a full kit is impractical. Ian proved his point, showing us several images taken with this camera which had won multiple medals in exhibitions.

Frequently a shoot results in a collection of images which fail to come up to the ideals we had sought to capture. Ian brought sets of prints showing what he had done with a shot of an appealing scene of trees on the horizon taken on his compact through a car window. Most of us would have passed this image by and regretted a lost opportunity. Firstly Ian cropped it then adjusted the tones before turning it to monochrome and giving it a punchy look resulting in a vastly superior result which has done well for him.

A shot taken at a rugby match, when all the action was far away, looked unpromising. Using a frame to reveal small areas of the image, Ian showed how you can home in to isolate a powerful crop. The print of the chosen crop represented only about 7% of the full image after processing. Once rendered black and white everyone agreed that it was a great demonstration of what a good crop and appropriate processing can do.

Ian spoke of pre-dawn starts, which are almost a given with landscape photography. In the hour before dawn the light is blue, giving the scene a tranquil and unusual colour. As the sun rises, many effects can unfold including spectacular colours, amazing reflections and intriguing shadows. Many of the sunrise views we were treated to were seascapes. Seascapes on the shoreline are best captured with a receding tide. An awareness of what is around you and what is likely to happen can make all the difference to the results. Waiting a few minutes for the tide to recede further can provide interest in the foreground and enhance the image.

Ian described how he goes equipped with wellingtons and waders on such trips as he believes in getting into the water to eliminate the area of beach which results if you don’t. By using an exposure time of 1/3 to ½ second it is possible to convey the movement of the water while retaining some detail in it. When the clouds are moving, this can also be captured by arranging the ISO and aperture appropriately. The big difficulty can be the impact of the water on the tripod during a long exposure, which can result in the tripod sinking or tipping, producing an out of focus image. Managing all these actors is a matter of planning and experience.

Throughout the presentation Ian showed us his images printed in a variety of ways. He had varied the papers he used and it was impressive to see the impact this can make. Most striking was a night shot with a starry sky which was dull and lifeless on matte paper but vibrant with many more stars visible on glossy paper. Ian uses some 30 different papers which include art, satin and lustre finishes as well as the more conventional ones. It was an inspiring opportunity to see first-hand how different types of paper influence the appearance of the image.

Trees featured prominently in the presentation – principally lone trees and dead trees which offer dramatic features in landscapes. Some are well known and a ripple of recognition greeted a particular tree which stands beside the A614 and has been seen many times in our meetings. Ian also spoke of how he had dragged a large and interesting log along the shore to create foreground interest in an image he knew wold otherwise be lacking.

Enthusiastic applause demonstrated members’ enjoyment and appreciation of the insight and inspiration Ian had given.