On the evening of Monday 20th November a packed room was treated to John Gardner’s Annual Retrospective evening. John is a highly regarded professional photographer who works both locally and nationally. He is a keen and very knowledgeable naturalist and has been a member of Wakefield Camera Club for many years. Each year he gives a visual retrospective over his photographic year – both work and pleasure. They are always eagerly anticipated and tonight was no exception.
He started the evening by presenting a short biography for more recent members explaining that he mostly shoots people and commercial work now. His first love, though, is nature photography but this is just for his own personal satisfaction nowadays. The introduction to the evening was an AV presentation that showcased the breadth of the work John had undertaken in the year, which was impressive to say the least.
Then it was on to the meat of the evening. The first half of the evening was given over to nature photography. Images of birds, butterflies, flowers and insects paraded across the screen, with John giving plenty of interesting background to the subjects themselves and the way he got the shots. It was clear that he was true to his word that he enjoyed the commonplace as well as the rare. Particularly informative were the comments about the techniques he uses to get these superb nature shots. The images were mainly taken in this country but some from France and Holland were included. John rounded the first half off with some examples of his commercial work including some of the wedding photography that he rarely does nowadays.
In the second half John went into a little more detail on his commercial work showing examples of work with shopping centres, Redrow Homes, Yorkshire Air Ambulance and Viamaster Transport amongst others. He gave an account of the Viamaster shoot when he had Steve A Wood along and managed to get some great shots on the motorway with John driving and Steve hanging out of the window with the camera!
The final part of the evening centred on his work with various models, both in the studio and on location. There was a wide range of styles but all shot through with a quality which is difficult to obtain. As usual he was at pains to explain why he chose the pose and the lighting to gain the effect he wanted. All of it was very practical and gave an insight into the production of striking images.
As usual, although John probably overran his time, it finished far too soon for everyone watching. It is always amazing that these annual retrospectives always appear fresh and impressive ….. but they do. Thanks again John for another great evening.