Looking Back On 2019 With John Gardner

Looking Back On 2019 With John Gardner

On the evening of Monday 18th 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.

In a change to previous years, John chose not to produce his normal slideshow. He claimed he hadn’t done a great deal this year – however his images showed otherwise! With his professional hat on John mostly shoots people and commercial work but his first love is nature photography.

So it was that he started the evening with a marvellous collection of images of mainly birds and insects. He had been bought a moth trap as a present and to date has collected over 100 species, some of which we saw in great detail. After this came a short section on infra-red photography taken with a Fuji XPro camera which John had converted after buying the Fuji XT1.

Moving away from nature he moved on to Masham Sheep Fair which he regularly attends. He says it is a great place for candids/street photography as no-one seems to mind or be aware of lenses pointing at them. Then John moved on to his commercial work and studio work. When doing this type of work he always uses flash, even when there appears to be plenty of daylight because then he can control the light with highlights and shadows where he wants them. He has, though, been experimenting with LED constant light sources now coming onto the market.

The second half 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 well as being very amusing at times. Towards the end John showed some of his compositing work – images produced by combining various images (e.g. dropping in a completely different background). The results were really striking.

To say that John claimed not to have much new stuff this year there was a full evening of high quality work with a commentary that was informative, humorous and entertaining.  As usual 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.

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