Thursday 26th January

Our period of misfortune and ill-health has continued with news this week about Mem Baybays.  Mem, who had taken on the role of Sussex Photographic Federation Secretary last year, has stepped down from the Club as the treatment he has been having for cancer has not been effective and, as he put it, ‘has run out of options’. Our thoughts are of course with Mem and his family.

We had further bad news when Pete Bamforth who was to have been our speaker on Thursday, heard his son has been taken seriously ill.  In Pete’s absence we were very lucky to have three stand-ins, with Janey Devine, John Bradshaw and Iain McGowan.

The three are all Fellows of the Royal Photographic Society, superb photographers and all very different in their approaches. John showed us a number of his projects, and the story behind these was enthralling.  Hearing some of the thinking, the research and the development of his Meridian and Irish history projects was fascinating, even if the debate between him and Ann McDonald over the true version of the witch in the lake myth remains unsettled!

Janey treated us to very new images from her recent visit to Cuba, just after the death of Fidel Castro.  Janey’s people pictures are second to none, and again hearing the history captured in Janey’s images made for a wholly entertaining and informative evening.

Is it possible for any Club member not to know Iain’s multiple ‘patchwork’ pictures? We ended our evening with a typically enthusiastic presentation by Iain explaining how he had developed this style, from his earliest black and white studies of the Hebrides with a mere two or three images in a single mount to the 3xA1 colour versions he produces now.  As Mike Hancock noted in his vote of thanks, how many Clubs could at such short notice put together three such diverse talks by three such talented photographers? A splendid evening, despite the sad circumstances that led to it. 

You will be able to see more of the trio’s work at the Focus Exhibition in April.

Mem Baybars Girl with the Pearl Necklace scored 9.5 in the recent Club Class PDI competition

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