If there was one piece of advice we should all take away from Andy Beel’s presentation last night it was, ‘Be your own photographer’. Andy was of course a very welcome late stand in for Richard Walton who was unable to join us due to ill health, and he was able to take up the planned theme of ‘Mostly Mono’ with his own very fine mostly black and white images.
Andy is well known for his mono work and also for his enthusiasm in encouraging others and sharing his skills and we enjoyed seeing his large scale work and the wealth of tips and suggestions he provided. His thinking about understanding your own ‘trends’ by analysing what and how you take pictures and – consequently – being able to change was interesting, and he demonstrated this by his habit of taking ‘left hand pictures’ (as in panels) and his need to make more right hands images!
He holds that there is good lighting somewhere, sometime in any day and he couples this with Hugh Millsom’s advice of photographing during ‘gentlemanly hours’, for Andy is no early morning riser!
He summed up his approach to printing as, ‘Brighten what you want people to look at, darken everything else – thank you and goodnight’, although in truth his very thorough approach to post-process planning (fully explained in his books) gives much more about how exactly to achieve the desired light and dark. A full evening with tips across the spectrum, from camera and lens use, right through to how the colour of the mount you chose can change the look of the print – and all put together at such short notice, for which we were very grateful. Jan recommends you follow Andy’s blog, here is his post about West Sussex https://www.andybeelfrps.co.uk/black-and-white-photography/read-thoughts-west-sussex/