When a speaker tells his audience he only produces 12 good images a year, you instinctively know, to do so, needs a hundred other good ones, and your going to be in for a visual treat. So, began a presentation, which Brian received not one but seven rounds of applause from an enthralled gathering.
Brian acknowledged the emotional and physical elements in creating an image, where the personal time and effort invested have a bearing on how it is rated by the photographer. Therefore, the photographer must step back and rate images more dispassionately.
Brian likes to compose 5×4 size, in camera, as it is a more pleasing aspect for the work he presents. He also prefers working in soft, diffused light against high contrast. Unusually for someone who works with a tripod he prefers the camera self-timer and not a cable release. Although it has been said using a ND grad filter is a cheap trick, Brian enthused on the use of such magic!
What followed over the next 75 minutes was a progression of outstanding images, from his home base of Crail, around the East Neuk of Fife, The Cairngorms, Wester Ross, Harris, The Highlands of Iceland, Tuscany, Lofoten, Senja, and finally Hokkaido. Each area with its own individuality and challenges. Brian presented the images through the medium of Audio Visual, accompanied by atmospheric music to synchronise the ambience of each one.
In the Highlands of Iceland access to the locations were so remote, access could only be gained by a 4×4 vehicle. The dramatic and stark contrast of the snow and the black sand created stunning compositions which were very Tolkienesque.
Tuscany around the area of Val d’Orcia is undoubtedly the epitome pf a fine landscape, with spring and autumn delivering the most beautiful vistas. An area where, Brian is convinced, the landscape must have been designed by a photographer. Watching the AV, time seemed to slow, the marvellous panoramas of the early morning and late evening, washing over the watchers.
Brian prepares meticulously the compositions for his images, yet as he readily admits, luck can play a very significant role. On one occasion driving to Skye he stopped for a break to a vista where the mountains and mist were separating in the early morning. He set up his tripod, took the photo, he presto, an SPF print medal.
The images of Lofoten and Senja where the temperatures can be -22 with clear blue skies provide contrasting set of challenges, creating stunning canvases of the towns and countryside. Brian’s skill as a photographer bring out the sharp detail, a visual tapestry, the depth and contours of mountains and buildings you feel you could reach out and touch.
His most recent work on the Island of Hokkaido, Japan’s most northly point, was simply stunning. The simplicity of his work, belied the rugged and dramatic features of the area. In covering over 1000 miles and enduring the biting Siberian cold, Brian expressed his feeling for the landscape, producing a series of images of such beauty, where less is more. His audience was left in awe of his skill and composition. A memorable evening, thoroughly entertaining, unforgettable.