Forest of Galtres Camera Club

Monday 14th November 2016


All in the Mind

John Illingworth












John’s aim was to encourage members to take a fresh look at the way they might create images; he wanted the rule book that dictates the opinions of many judges to be tossed to one side. The results of his own photography come from the inspiration of the subject he is engaged with and the way he achieves the outcome he seeks in his own mind. Using Lightroom and/or Photoshop, he manipulates the image from the camera to be become the one his mind anticipated.


He often takes four or five exposures, using different shutter speeds or apertures and combining them to achieve the desired effect. In Lightroom, you can add a more evocative sky and explore the impact on the image of the effect of light falling on different parts of a landscape. This, John demonstrated using the Old Man of Storr on the Isle of Skye. He showed that the impact of a landscape can be altered by cropping and accentuating the contours within a view as well as using the graduated filter element of Lightroom and exploring saturation levels.


After considering landscapes, John moved onto Music and Events. Capturing a performing artist in full flow, requires the photographer to be below them and pointing the camera upwards. This gives the individual great presence within the frame of the image. John likes to capture emotion by getting close up with the lens. Atmosphere can be captured by incorporating stage effects such as lighting and smoke effects. He shared great portraits of celebrities such as David Starkey, Jenni Murray, Peter Hennessy and the comedian Helen Lederer.


John’s next theme was The Street. He loves to look up, discover shapes and converging verticals and capture, as appropriate, the feeling of power that certain buildings evoke. An example of the latter being the Lloyd’s building in London. To capture the scale of a building, he will often wait - having already set up the camera - for that moment when a single individual is in frame.


Further photographs were shown featuring Castle Howard, some of the Minster’s grotesques, Venice, Iceland, autumn, Isle of Mull and all with that special John Illingworth treatment that produces images with impact. Some had met the requirements of John’s vision once he had used the silver effect within Lightroom or its oil filter effect, never overplaying the impact that such procedures can have but using them subtly.


John had also brought along a few framed photographs of certain images referred to through the evening giving a real sense of the quality of his work that a projector cannot always do. He also stated that, in his view, images needed to be printed before they could be considered a photograph.


The evening gave everyone a great deal to consider. Many thanks to John for sharing his ideas. Next week, Richard Egan will be the judge at the digital and print battle against Northallerton in the Parish Rooms.