Review and pics by our very own Mal Holmes

It was so refreshing to watch such an outstanding presentation, on the ‘Wilder Parts’ of the world from an equally outstanding and accomplished landscape photographer such as… Paul Gallagher.

Paul gave the Society a brief insight into his imagery which included Yosemite National Park and the Grand Canyon, to Iceland with its ‘unusual’ black beaches, sparse vegetation, and dramatic scenery plus waterfalls… to his travels nearer home… To Ireland and onward for his love of the wilder places in the UK, including the magnificent scenery… which is of course ‘Scotland’.

Paul’s mastery of ‘in camera’ composition was superb, and the way he explained the thought process, which motivates him… to the camera craft needed to produce his photographic scenery, was as exemplary as the finished images themselves.

Paul is a really confident presenter/lecturer, and this confidence really shone through, in his relaxed manner, which of course relaxes his audience enough that even the shyest of members felt free to ask questions throughout the evening in what was a truly fantastic Society meeting for our membership.

Paul, began his presentation by explaining that he was primarily (back in the day) a 5×4 analogue photographer… but as ‘digital’ photography has evolved into, what it is today… A more reliable format from its early conception back in the 90’s, he has progressed his art-form along with his skill base, and has therefore entered a new digital era. This super knowledge base, coupled with his ‘full frame’ equipment and his prized tilt and shift lens, allows him the freedom he requires to produce his stunning array of world class images, which make up one of the finest landscape portfolios I personally, have ever seen. So much so… that he is one of a small selection of Landscape Photographers, whose book I rushed to purchase on the SLPS presentation night.

His book…. ‘Chords of Grey’ is a celebration of Monochromatic Imagery, which encompasses the Visible light spectrum, along with the Near Infra-red light spectrum. Again… it is a refreshing change to witness a landscape photographer who is not afraid to produce landscape images in B&W, and in particular is confident enough to… not ‘play’ with the I.R. spectrum as most other landscape photographers do, but to embrace the concept of I.R. fully, and therefore take this style of imagery to new heights and subsequently make it his own art-form style… in its own right. I personally feel I have to commend Paul for this aspect of his photographic journey.

Of course, Paul also produces fantastic Colour imagery, showing the more subtle and at times sublime natural tones which form his outstanding work. His use of naturally occurring leading lines is dominant throughout many of his individual pictorial shots, this really gives the viewer a structured but unconscious path into the entire dramatic content of the scene itself. Paul’s artistry also gives a hidden dynamic to the image in that it contributes to give even more mood to an already astounding scene, and using the Tilt and Shift lens as Paul does,,,makes the image simply, ultra sharp, from front to back. This culminates to a point where Paul manages to focus the eye to whatever he wishes the viewer to see…

I do hope that in a few years the SLPS can book Paul again, as I for one will really look forward, to seeing his progressional journey as an outstanding, award winning photographer, and it will be interesting to compare the new concepts he embraces to further add and enhance his already exceptional skill base…

I would really encourage our membership to check out Paul’s website, and peruse his portfolio images, and the information contained on the site…