Chat Lines with Tony Myers FRPS talking to Paddy Green on 25th July 2014
Paddy was delighted to accept my invitation to do Chatlines with him and to talk about his past experiences of almost forty years as a member of South Liverpool Photographic Society. He has chosen six of his favourite images to show here. Please click on the photos to enlarge.
This picture was chosen because it was one of my early creative pictures. Niki is now about 30, so it was taken a long time ago, long before I had ever heard of Photoshop. The picture was created using two mirrors, one of them a two way mirror and all done in camera.
His photography actually started when he was in the Army in 1951, stationed in Egypt when during the long hours off duty soldiers got together for a game of cards and a bit of a gamble. It was the when the winnings ran out of money they often used small desirable items to pay the bill. Paddy was on a winning streak this night and won a small inexpensive Bakelite cheap camera. Being the determined type it wasn’t long before he got hold of some film and started taking photographs, having no darkroom, films had to go to the nearest town for processing. Paddy soon made friends with the camp doctor who owned a quality camera who was able to give the advice he needed, he also frequently lent the camera to Paddy to take photographs when he was out on army patrol. It wasn’t long before he was soon moved to do service in Kenya so this also gave him good opportunity to have some great subjects to practice his new found hobby. The year 1954 brought his demob from the Army dressed in the appropriate suit and trilby hat.
He soon found work in Fords factory which had its own Photo club in house but it didn’t fit with his shift system, it wasn’t very long after that he joined the SLPS.
It was 1975, and the club then met in rooms in Olive Mount hospital which also included a bar which included pipe as well as many cigarette smokers. It was interesting that the club had 30 plus members which include only 2 women members, sadly many of those members have now passed on. One of our longest serving member Ted Baker FRPS, is still a very keen member of the club. As a newcomer to photography many existing members were always enthusiastic to help in any way possible, including the building of a darkroom. This was a essential part of the setup if you were to progress to the top of the clubs winning elite photographers competitions.
Many members visited the club bar where all the real banter took place and where you got to meet up with lots of new people. This gave you a great chance to talk photography, especially if it had been a competition night when the level of judging would seriously be up for discussion.
The pictures of the Four Horsemen were taken at the Liverpool May Horse Parade, for using in the Mersey River Festival then combined to make this picture.
Paddy was busy constructing his darkroom and building the home built development processing tanks to go with the enlarger. He had just recently finished painting the whole room black only to find out from a very senior member that darkroom walls should not be painted black …. by then it was a bit too late! It wasn’t too long before the darkroom was in full speed producing mono and colour prints. It really didn’t take him long to get up amongst the top photographers and winning images and grabbing the odd trophy, there were a number of top quality competitions including the Mersey River Festival which came up with some top quality sponsors including Kodak and Epson. He said members were far more competitive 20 years ago when almost every member entered all the clubs competitions. One of the best prizes to win then were trophies made from solid acrylic blocks awarded for various achievements, however I do remember our supplier could not provide us anymore and we were never able to find another supplier, a great pity that we no longer have these very sought after trophies.
Why did I choose this picture? Well we have a bottle over the fireplace containing the Golden Hind and I often wondered what else I could put in a bottle. I had loads of ideas, such as ships, cars, people, and nudes … lots of things really but I chose the Pierhead and I must have been right because it’s the only picture a judge wanted a copy of, being the Pierhead being well liked by people living abroad. There’s copies in America, Australia and even in the south of England somewhere. To me that’s better than any judge giving it top marks.
As the digital period evolved digital photography came into the club Paddy decided to join Riversdale College and joined a computer repair course where he was able to learn the basics of digital photography, but did not have his own computer at that time, as this course produced lots of computer parts you were given the challenge if you could build a computer from the parts you were able to keep it so it wasn’t long before Paddy acquired his very own and was able to print his own digitally manipulated images of a variety of subjects including dinosaur images for his grandchildren. His knowledge of Adobe Photoshop started to grow with the new technology in the various levels of Photoshop where he was always experimenting with various images exploring all the new techniques.
I like this picture mainly because a judge commented on how I had the speed of the camera just right to get the clarinet blurred. The speed was about two hours in Photoshop – it has about 14 layers!
He has always been a very competitive member and would like to see the club bring back the number of monthly comps there were years ago. He would like to see a better system of photo selection for the Inter club competitions. He feels maybe the club would benefit with a member mentor system due to the large amount of new technology being used in these club competitions.
This was just a bit of fun, I collected the flowers and took them home to Eileen – of course she told me what to do with them! Instead of doing that, I took a picture of them.
It was seen at the Annual Exhibition and someone bought a copy, plus quite a few of the family have it on their walls.
His equipment is the Canon 10D and 50 D with a Tokina 28-70 lens and a 50 mm Zeiss lens. His pocket camera is the Canon G10 . He finds this equipment quite suitable for all his needs.
I enjoyed creating this picture. Can’t say where the idea came from, I was messing about with a hard drive and noticed how reflective the disc was. That was it … find something to reflect, and the dancer came out best!
Paddy says the club should always be trying to encourage the new members in every way and is always one of the first to offer any help in any area of photography. He often walks miles to get a good image even at the great age of 81. One of his favourite sayings is “A picture is not a picture until it’s printed. “
It’s been a great pleasure to chat with Paddy who is a truly great ambassador for the South Liverpool Photographic Society.
Tony Myers F.R.P.S