posted by Frank Loveder in Club Meetings

Today we were treated to a fascinating insight into the photography of Caroline Colegate - already well known to the Club as a judge, but here she was talking about her own photography.

In 2009, she took up the challenge of taking a photograph every day for a year. Initially a landscape specialist, she took the opportunity to challenge herself in other areas of photography. She described the challenges she faced, sometimes when she was so tired that picking up a camera was the last thing she wanted to do, at other times of personal crisis when she had other, more important things on her mind.

She presented a selection of her photographs in small groups, displaying both the range of photographs she had taken, and the feelings they engendered. In the end, she admitted that the discipline of the year long exercise had improved her photography in two main ways. Firstly, she now took a camera with her everywhere; secondly, she had developed a "photographer's eye", and was able to see a good potential photograph more easily and take it more quickly.

In the second half, she described how the experience had led her to submit a panel of photos, taken mostly from her "365" challenge, and apply for "Associate" status to the Royal Photographic Society. She assembled the photos into "mood" groups, which inspired her to choose a theme which can be summarised as "from darkness to light", or "despair to hope", and related to the use of photography as therapy. She then displayed her panel of 15 photos, arranged in 3 groups. The first she described as representing her personal feeling of being "shut in", the second as an intermediate stage, which could face either way, and the final group as representing "hope". She also read her Introduction, submitted with her panel of images to the RPS judges. She then discussed why she had chosen to present her panel as monochrome images, and described colour as a 'distraction' in this journey. We were pleased to hear that her application for ARPS status was successful.

This was an unusual and deep look at the feelings which underlie the photography of a well-respected judge; we came away both inspired to make a difference to our own photography, and with much to think about in terms of the deeper meaning of the photographs we take.


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