From Light To Life To Photography

posted by Ian Lewis in Club Meetings

This really was different! A camera club evening with very few photographic images! But in it we would discover a good reason why craneflies are poor readers and that golden retrievers can perform scientific research! The talk was called "From Light to Life to Photography" and in it, Dr. Robert Bell, a paediatrician by profession with a long interest in photography, took us right to the roots of our picture taking. We started our journey with the sun and how it affects every part of our lives (this included a foray into photosynthesis: - enter the scientific dog!!) and our health (well, he would look at this, wouldn't he - he's a doctor!). We were taken into the human eye and that part of the brain (think mine was still working at this point) which processes vision. Did you know that men are more likely to have red/green colour blindness? Apparently this was great in the 1940s for aiming bombs out of a Lancaster (better vision in the dark it seems!) Oh - and on the subject of colour, women are much better at colour matching than men (we've all experienced it, chaps - "You're not thinking of wearing that colour tie with that shirt ..?"). Bob then proceeded to introduce us to a formidable list of scientists, philosophers, artists etc who've contributed to the development of photography (no- I'm not naming them all!!). We also found out about the creation of colours for art - especially lapis lazuli - more expensive than gold in its time and used by renaissance painters to make ultramarine - the colour used for the Virgin Mary's robes (although they apparently knew little about the Middle East's landscape and customs!).

Altogether an incredibly entertaining, interesting - and dare I say it - educational(!) evening and, judging by the rapt attention and enthusiastic comments afterwards, one that was thoroughly enjoyed by all! (oh- I still didn't get the bit on fractals - anyone enlighten me?).


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