A Night That Was Truly Presidential!

The evening of Monday 28th November was “President’s Night” where the club president picks the theme and speaker reflecting their own particular taste. Well Steve Womack, as President, somehow managed to get the ever-popular Richard Egan to give the evening’s talk …………… and then couldn’t be there himself, having just moved to Hornsea. Never mind, the rest of the club had a wonderful evening.

Richard Egan has been a photographer for 35 years and has photographed most things although he finds nature one of the hardest areas. He doesn’t do much in Photoshop which could give encouragement to many if it wasn’t for the fact that his images were so good in the first place! He started the evening’s presentation with a section on landscapes including shorelines, Bambrough Castle, Castle Howard, winter fields, bluebell woods and waterfalls amongst other locations. He says that he tries to included everything in the frame that he wants and then just uses cropping to create the final image. He then moved on to male nudes which were very effective in monochrome with the lighting emphasising the muscle detail. With a logical progression the subject matter then turned to female nudes. Richard explained that he does not do glamour photography and usually keeps to art nude images. He explained that he uses only 5 models so gets to know what they can do and they know the sort of image he wants.  Usually they are also athletic so can achieve the poses he desires. He says he has learned a great deal from the models themselves, who often seem to know better than he does, what will work! Virtually all his work is with natural light and a reflector. He does not use flash very much at all finding it too technical. After this sequence it was on to architecture starting with buildings and bridges in London, then on to staircases and stately homes where female nudes featured again.

All I have done is give an overview of the subjects but what should feature more prominently is the quality of the images Richard had produced. At times deceptively simple, the excellence was there to be seen in all the work. There were lots of monochrome images that were of the highest standard and the audience was spellbound by the photography. It wasn’t a silent evening though, as Richard accompanied the images with humour and forthright opinions and a multitude of anecdotes. The delivery was very amusing but managed to also explain how the shots were achieved and worked on,

In the second half Richard started with architecture in the form of York station before moving on to a series of images of steam trains. These shots were sometimes of whole engines and sometimes of sections – whatever he found interesting.  Basically he said that he shoots for his own pleasure – if anyone else likes it it’s a bonus. All of the train shots were full of atmosphere. The subject matter kept moving forwards – horse racing, landscapes, atmospheric monochromes and back to art nudes, all accompanied by wonderful images and Richard’s lively commentary.

This truly was an evening where everyone was impressed and possibly inspired to do more – and to enjoy the process as well as the results. The only pity was that the President couldn’t be there!



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