There are currently no IMAGinE meetings scheduled for the 2018-19 season.

IMAGinE 2017-2018

Imagine is all about expanding the visual imagination, seeing the world in new ways, and taking photography beyond the literal image towards being a medium of expression.

We ask questions… Can photography be art?….. How is it possible to see the everyday in a new way?……Can we photograph the world creatively?……How can we express ourselves in photography?…..How can we create a world of the imagination through photography?

We will explore these and other issues relating to creative photography in this new season of the Imagine group. We discuss ideas, techniques, and share information.

We find inspiration…..We all need inspiration. Ideas rarely emerge from a blank mind. So we look for and discuss inspiration offered by other photographers and artists.

We learn to perceive what we see….Seeing a two dimensional image is a learnt process which we take totally for granted. But how much do we understand about how we really perceive a scene? Imagery is bound by sets of conventions, which evolve over time. today we read an image differently from our ancestors. Awareness of the limitations and conventions of the flat image helps us to better use it to express our intentions.

Is it possible to re-interpret the standard genres?…..Conventionally, camera clubs adhere to a number of standard genres: landscape, portrait, nature, and so on. Little attention has been paid in the past to how the artist – the painter –  has for a long time applied their own vision to these genres, in order to better express their responses to a scene rather than simply recording it.

Can we do the same using photography and post-processing as the tools? Are we hampered by “too much reality”? How can we get beyond that limitation? Let’s discover new possibilities with Imagine.

We meet on the last Thursday evening of each month, except December and August, at the United Reformed Church, Victoria Avenue. ALL are welcome, regardless of experience or expertise.

The Group Co-ordinator for the 2017-2018 season is Barrie MacJannette who also updates this web page

To cover the cost of room hire there is a charge of £3 per person per meeting, payable on the night.

Meetings for 2017-2018 season are as follows:

Thursday 28 September 2017 – In our first meeting of the season, I will outline the new direction Imagine will be taking this season. We then will consider the abstract image. Can the abstract image be meaningful, or even beautiful? How can the photographer produce abstract images when the medium is so literal? We look at the work of artists and photographers and invite members to show and talk about their own work or that of others who have inspired them.

26 October 2017 – “Too Much Reality”. The literal nature of the photographic image can help or hinder the photographer-artist’s intentions. We look at the work of established photographers who create space for the imagination and the thinking behind their work.

30 November 2017 – We consolidate the topics we have discussed so far in considering “Too Much Reality” – Abstract, Impressionism, Minimalism. Members are invited to bring a small number of images within these genres.
Given time, we will then consider the counter-argument to “too much reality” namely “not enough reality”, when we will look at hyper-realism, and the work of artists and photographers who take you right into the picture. As usual, we ask what techniques are used, and are they helpful.

Here is a selection of members images based around the topics discussed so far:

December 2017 – No meeting

25 January 2018 – “Not Enough Reality?”. As we were out of time at the November meeting, we consider what constitutes realism in art and photography, and how it has grown into the hyper-realist styles made possible through camera and post processing techniques. As usual members are invited to bring examples of their own work or that of other photographers who have inspired them.

22 February 2018"Inviting the Imagination" In the realm of photo-art, photographers strive to distance their images from literal reality, in order to open up the possibility of interpretation by the viewer. In this topic we look at some of the techniques used: Texture overlays, distortion, blur, double "exposures", reflections, secondary images. Some of these techniques, evolved primarily by photo-artists, have fed back into the world of painting. Are they effective? Or just eye-catching gimmicks? The artist's intention is an important component, which may or may not be effectively communicated. 

29 March 2018 - "Inviting the Imagination 2" Following last month's topic, we take a closer look at Reflection, Shadow, and the Indistinct Image as techniques for drawing out the viewer's imagination. Reflections are frequently part of the photographic image, and can be used to add context, create ambiguity, or simply to confuse. Clarity of purpose helps ensure their effective use. Shadows, especially in the absence of the object casting the shadow, can add a sense of mystery. The indistinct image can be in many forms, such as very low resolution, different kinds of blur, and limited tonal range. Reducing the literal detail of the image in this way can engage the viewer's imagination.

26 April 2018Metaphor, symbolism and allegory. In this topic we will look at the meaning within the image, both in the world of the painted image and in photography.

31 May 2018Surrealism. This month we look at images created from the imagination, with particular reference to the Surrealist painter of the early to mid 20th century, and recent photographers who create composite images to express surreal and imaginary themes.

28 June 2018Compositing and Pop Art. Pop Art was an art form that arose in the 1950's and has since gone into relative decline, but its use of composite images, e.g. collages, translates well into the digital age. We look at the development of pop art and how we can apply it to our imaginative work.

26 July 2018 - The Inner Eye. This month we look deeper into the techniques required to create a  fantasy image, created entirely from the imagination using photographed elements.