John Gardner’s Annual Retrospective
John is a highly experienced local professional photographer who is well known to most members for his often amusing and entertaining presentations on what he has been up to in the year, it is usually a great night that is well attended by the members and this year did not disappoint. John started the evening by telling the audience that he had not been up to much this year but then projected one fantastic image after another.
John, a keen wildlife photographer, not only explains each image but he passes on many useful tips and tricks about how they were captured. For the birds it is about using the right perch, luring them with their own songs on MP3 or even baiting an area near a hide and waiting patiently. Some of the images shown included Kingfishers, Cuckoos, Lapwings, Hawks, Kites, Buzzards and even pelicans taken whilst hanging over the edge of a canoe and he did mention something about getting a camp bed so he could lie in the river to get an image of a duck at eye level but I’m not sure I heard him correctly.
Next the macro shots covered spiders, moths, butterflies, dragonflies and grass hoppers to mention just a few, each image would do well in any competition, well depending on the judge, of course! John explains how he uses his tripod and quite literally creeps up on the little creatures taking images all the time in case they make a run for it.
During the second half of the evening John showed images from some of his commercial work, there were weddings, promotional workplace images, feline tooth removal and an eye watering Great Dane at the vets, the cathedral choir, college portraits, a wedding shop, a hair salon and the list goes on. For each image John enthusiastically explained how the images were taken – the biggest challenge is the lighting and how to take control.
Lighting, flash and stilettos played a major part in the final set of images most of which were taken in John’s studio. John explained how different looks could be created in the studio using different lighting, from sunny afternoons using natural light and tungsten bulbs to that Sunday morning with a hot coffee look. We learnt about controlling the lighting ratios which John does using a light meter as he shoots with everything on manual including the lights, flashes and cameras and this gives him total control as the settings do not change allowing him to concentrate on getting the best images from the subjects he is photographing.
A thoroughly enjoyable, entertaining and informative evening we cannot wait to see what John gets up to next year.
You can see more of John’s work at www.johngardnerphotography.com