A Fantastic Forrester Evening
There was a full house for the talk by Les Forrester on the 10th April – not surprising as Les is a long-time member who has gained accolades and awards from around the country and the world. His images are always striking and out of the top drawer …. and then some. This talk was looking back over the last 12 months, his first year of retirement. He started by explaining the research he does before he makes a trip – underground maps, building locations, sunrise and sunset times, etc etc. This saves him an enormous amount of time on site and raises the chance of success. He then took us through his kit. He has now ditched his traditional SLR and lenses and now just packs a travel tripod, Fuji XT2 and lenses, Leica Q and various filters and memory cards – not forgetting a large chamois leather for when it rains.
The first half started the trip around various countries. The first stop was Valencia last May. Valencia is a city with some stunning architecture and Les showed it off to its very best. The sunrise was at 7:00 so he made sure he was on-site by 6:00 which meant getting up even earlier! The images were dramatic, stunning, almost other-worldly and it was hard to imaging they included a car park. On some of them he demonstrated the RAW image that came out of the camera and the manipulation he used to get to the final image. Relatively small changes produced dramatically different images. Lots of notes were being taken by the audience. He uses Photoshop and Lightroom with Nik Filters. He has moved towards trying to create a “CGI” feel to the images and is also experimenting in trying to create the lightest image possible whilst still retaining all the detail in the highlights and the impact of the image. Everyone was both impressed and fascinated. From Valencia we moved to the UK and this included Sheffield, London and Whitby with subjects including, wind generators, piers, buildings, sports and long exposures. Then we were off to Munich and Stuttgart to see underground systems and libraries with the images emphasising the graphical qualities of the scene.
In the second half we visited Myanmar with atmospheric shots of people, markets and novice monks. At each location there was a real “sense of place”. Then off to Singapore on holiday to photograph apartment blocks, subways and office blocks – some holiday! Again there were lots of early mornings to get the scenes without people (which on one occasion resulted in Les getting lost on the way back to the hotel). Before long we were whisked off to Berlin, London, and Halifax and Les’s photographic travels. As with the first half Les showed how he had achieved a few of his images, explaining why he had used the various techniques.
In all it was a sparkling evening with over 100 images of superb quality (even if some judges don’t recognise it!) and we can only thank Les for giving us the opportunity to experience them. You too can see his images at https://500px.com/lesf and https://www.facebook.com/lesforresterphotography/