I attended the launch of the Summer Open Exhibition at the Joe Cornish Gallery in Northallerton a couple of weeks ago. I was delighted to learn that three of my prints had been chosen to be displayed at the exhibition, so I went along to see the photos in situ and to see what my fellow photographers are producing these days.
Before announcing the awards Joe Cornish said a few words before introducing Neil Mackenzie from Epson UK. Joe’s words struck a chord with me, as they echo my own sentiments, which are: photographic images need to be printed. They come alive when printed. A photographic print has completely different qualities from anything you see on a screen. So, be kind to future generations and make prints of your best work using the very best materials that you can.
Neil Mackenzie had a couple of thoughts which are worth noting and passing on. Firstly, it doesn’t matter which medium you print on. Really. It can be Hahnemuhler, Epson, Moab, canvas, anything, as long as you have a proper colour profile for that medium. What is important is that you use manufacturers own inks for a given printer. Now, I know that this is an Epson man urging us to use Epson inks in Epson printers, but he does have a point. There have been huge advances in print technology over the last decade and inks are designed and made to work with certain ink-delivery technologies. The only people who can guarantee that an ink will work with this piezo head or that bubble jet head without clogging the mechanism are the manufacturers of the printers themselves, not third-party ink providers. I think this is a valid point and worth bearing in mind.
The last thing that Neil mentioned was dust. It is your printer’s enemy, so make sure you keep the printer cover whenever possible, and keep your paper clean and dust-free too.
Anyway, back to the exhibition…
What struck me about the work on display was the sheer variety of styles to be seen, and we must thank the judges for that. I imagined that, as this exhibition was hosted by Joe Cornish’s gallery, we would see just classic British landscape photography. While there are many stunning images in the best traditions of landscape photography, there are many other genres and styles on display: portraits, wildlife, abstracts and travel photos.
Jennifer Hewson deservedly won the Gold award for her Father and daughter portrait, part of a portfolio of images of a traveller’s community, and Jonathan McGee had some wonderful portraits from his travels in China (Cormorant fisherman, and Skin, bones and Rolex are well worth a look).
Wildlife photography was well-represented too. There is a lovely series of horse portraits from Nicola Billows, polar bears and swans by Patricia Kearton and African wildlife from Stephen Morgan. There were even a few abstracts on display, including Carol Bloor’s Vortex.
There were many beautiful landscapes on show. David Marshall won Silver for his inspiring panorama Sublime View, Keswick. I was also especially taken with the muted colours of Tony Crossland’s images, Ingleborough from Twistleton and Coire na Creiche. I was not surprised at all when Tony won the Bronze award for his work. I would strongly recommend that you pop over to Tony’s web site for a closer look at Coire na Creiche and his other entries.
The exhibition runs until Saturday 21st July, so you still have time to get over to Northallerton and be inspired by a varied and thoughtful collection of photographs (all for sale too, by the way). And while you are there why not round off your grand day out with a proper traditional tea at Betty’s.