Donald Stewart FRPS – Speaker 7th December


For the second speaker in a row the members were treated to a visual feast of printed images, opposed to digital images. This time from Donald Stewart FRPS who presented a new body of work.

Donald is unusual in today’s photographic environment ion that he still predominately captures all his images on film, using his square format Hasselblad. The film of choice is Fuji Acros, soon to be discontinued, which is of great sadness to him. He also develops and prints all his images himself. Paper of choice is a fibre-based Ilford brand.

Donald started his talk from where he had finished on his last visit to the society, with images of coastal sea defences. Through those images from the local area and around the Tay Forth estuaries and Orkney, ably demonstrated the slow erosion taking place. His settings for these images normally utilised a 10-stop filter, a slow film, F16 with a half to four second exposure.

The members were then treated to a travel show of black and white prints. Taking in, Berlin, Utah, Arizona, Colorado, New Mexico, Iceland, Tuscany, Romania, British Columbia. A plethora of images and tales, covering the incidents and locations he visited.

Discovering one site of a church was reachable by road and a ten-minute walk. Rather than the three hours walk he had set out on. Learning about the Navajo Indians in New Mexico. In Arizona, Monument Valley it is not wise to park too long to take photos, or the state police will be on your case very quickly. Yet not far away in the Valley of the Gods, you can wander at ease, with little or no impact from other tourists. The site of the original screen set of Gunsmoke where the town, slowly deteriorating, still stands. That it is very difficult to capture the Aurora Borealis in black and white! Of the series of images depicting life as it once was on a farm in Orkney.

In each, and every image Donald presented could be seen the care and attention that had been taken in composing the story he wanted to tell. The great talent is to make an image look so natural. A skill Donald carries off with ease. Following his talk, members were able to look more closely at his work on display. A thoroughly entertaining and informative presentation.