Les Forrester – VISIONS

One of our best club photographers with a national reputation, Les presented his vision of models, equine art and long exposure photography.

The first set of images were a series Les took for his degree project in which Les tried to show something different; his take on equine art.  There were some close up images of parts of the horse and their equipment in addition to the traditional portrait style approach and some including a horse and a child the two subjects they say you should not work with though Les’s results were excellent. Some of the images had received between 8 and 16 post production hours to get the highlights and shadows just right to show the true power of a horse.  Les’s Equine Art portfolio is here.

Next were the models, working almost exclusively in black & white, the first half were taken in the studio with studio lighting and the second half taken with only natural light and a reflector.  In each of Les’s images he has tried to do something slightly different, he wants them all to be a little quirky. Many of the images have had ‘quite a bit of work’ to get them looking just right.  You can see the images in the Portrait plus collection – Mono portfolio.

After the break Les moved on to his current favourite topic which is long exposure photography, again all in black & white.  In addition to showing many of his excellent images Les shared his tips and tricks and some excellent advice that the club members can put to good use for the upcoming Clubman Competition.  Les explained how he uses filters, how to calculate the exposure time using the Longtime Exposure Calculator app on his iPhone and to know exactly where the sun will be at the time of the planned shoot using The Photographers Ephemeris (TPE) another app on his iPhone – I’m sure there are equivalent apps for the Android users.

In addition to equipment tips Les explained how to stop light leakage in our camera using a rain hood or an old piece of dark cloth clipped around the camera and some very useful health and safety tips, like making sure you know which direction the tide is going and where it will be after an 8 minute long exposure – don’t forget your wellies or waders and make sure you tripod is properly anchored.  For the last part of his session Les showed how the images were edited with a series of shots progressing from the original RAW image to the finished article – it was simply fascinating to see how Les produces multi-award winning images from an original.  You can see the long exposure images in the Land and Seascapes – Mono here

I think everyone at the club will have learnt something from Les this evening, his images are tremendous and the results are very much his own. It was a very enjoyable evening.

You can see more of Les’s work at his website face on images.

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