A Compelling Narrative!
It was a packed house at Brookhouse Club on the evening of Monday 23rd January for the visit of Gavin Prest and they were amply rewarded with a super evening. As a photographer Gavin says he loves to create images with a narrative and give his viewers reasons to ask questions. His love for portraiture allows his creativity to express this story-telling side of his craft and he loves his images to have a narrative. Having been brought up with black and white film he has a passion for this medium. With a colour image one can sometimes be distracted by the different sensations on the eye whereas with black and white your focus is purely on the subject of the image. He does shoot colour and loves the results but says he will always remain a black and white fan for its truth, grittiness and power. His photographic journey began many years ago in the days of film but it fell by the wayside until about 5 years ago when he met a French photographer and his interest was rekindled. Gavin has lived on the East Coast of Yorkshire all his life and has spent many hours capturing the beauty of this environment. This could be seen in the great images displayed.
After Gavin had given some background he started to show his portraiture work. Rather than talk about every single image, he left a slideshow of his work running whilst he spoke about his approach to his work and some of his experiences. The slideshow ran pretty quickly such was the scope of Gavin’s work but every single one was of excellent quality. The audience was spellbound by the black and white images projected onto the large screen. Gavin maintained an interesting and informative commentary which included his views on photography and portraiture. He confessed that he is always learning although many in the room would be thrilled just to achieve an image on a par with his! Every now and again Gavin would stop the slideshow to talk a little more about the image and the story behind it. For lighting he usually uses just two lights and has recently started to use LED lights as a more compact light source. As the evening went on the expositions and anecdotes continued to flow bringing the images to life. There were plenty of questions from the audience which he always answered fully. What is difficult to get across in a report is the sheer quality of the images and the impact contained in each.
In the second part Gavin turned his attention to his landscape work. This was exclusively black and white. Just like his portraiture work they were all arresting images with a variety of approaches. Many were of the sea or subjects by the sea – not surprising for someone who lives in Hornsea! Sometimes they were of details such as breakwaters and sometime of large skies but all showed a fastidious composition – Gavin confesses to being a little OCD in this respect. His commentary again related to the images but also ranged over many topics close to the heart of members, including some really interesting observations on critiques and judging.
Unfortunately the evening had to come to an end and our President, Sally Sallett, summed things up nicely by reflecting that we often had evenings with great photography and others with a great speaking but rarely did we have both together. Tonight was definitely one of those nights and the large audience was very appreciative. You can see some of Gavin’s impressive work on his website here.