Published on Friday 24 February 2012 12:18
THE Isle of Man Photographic Society, the oldest in the island, was founded in 1938 at a time of rapidly increasing popularity for the hobby of photography – spurred by the accessibility of cheaper cameras such as the ‘box brownie’.
‘The technology was fairly simple then,’ explained secretary of the society Chris Blyth, who has owned a camera for nearly 60 years. ‘It was black and white film only (colour film was only just becoming available and was very expensive), together with home or commercial processing using “wet chemistry” in a dark room – often the bathroom or a cupboard under the stairs – and requiring an enlarger plus trays of developer and fixer chemicals.’
He added: ‘Today the technology is radically different and nearly exclusively digital – with mobile phones and digital cameras, downloading to a computer and usually linked to a home printer.
‘But again, the growing popularity of photography this day is being driven by the simple accessibility, low cost, and the increasing sophistication and ease of use of cameras and computers. However, regardless of the equipment and technology, the common theme for the photographic society’s members – whether in the 1930s or in 2012 – is an enthusiasm, and sometimes a passion, for the art of photography.
‘The subject matter can be as wide as one’s imagination – indeed, with modern digital techniques, photography is able to merge seamlessly with drawing, art and design – but the traditional subjects of people, family portraits, sport and other activities, landscapes and still life, remain the foundation and focus of much of the work of the society.’
Such themes are in abundance for all to see in the society’s first exhibition for around four years.
Members of the public are encouraged to view the array of work by members on display at the Hodgson Loom Gallery in Laxey Woollen Mills until Saturday, March 10.
‘We feel very privileged to have been offered the opportunity to hold it at the Hodgson Loom Gallery,’ explained Chris. ‘The facility is a brilliant location for a pic exhibition, being large, airy, and very well lit – with south facing windows and excellent track lighting. And Julia at the Gallery has done a fantastic job for us with her curating. Hopefully we will be inspired to do this more frequently in the future.’
Most of the images on display are for sale – ranging from £15 to a £225 unique, one-off signed image of John McGuiness at the TT.
The society currenty has more than 60 members of all ages, including a small junior section for under-16s.
‘There are no requirements as to skills levels,’ stated Chris, ‘just an interest in photography, an enjoyment of looking at images (whether prints or digitally projected), and possibly a desire to improve one’s artistic output.’
The society, under the patronage of His Excellency Lieutenant Governor, Adam Wood, meets at Thie Ellyn in Withington Road, Douglas, on Wednesday evenings at 7.30pm and also runs several practical sessions during its season (September to April), covering subjects such as camera controls, studio lighting techniques, and software manipulation (Photoshop), and organises excursions and events in the summer.
Full membership is £25 per year, with free membership for juniors. www.iomps.com
Submited at Friday, February 24th, 2012 at 2:00 pm on Uncategorized by ArdisRossetti
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