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Tag: themes (Page 2 of 5)

August 2016 – Postfactualism

Elaine Robson will introduce Postfactualism for this months theme on Thursday 4th August from 7pm at Stills.

As we progress through referendums, leadership elections and are bombarded with the USA presidential candidate races, the “truthiness” (Colbert Report) of facts as they are presented to us becomes more and more in question.

Looking through Adam Broomberg’s instagram he reposted a quote from the comments section of a Brexit story in the Financial Times which went viral. The quote seems to define the next era, how we move beyond the age of postmodernism into the era of postfactualism.

Nicholas Barrett posted –  “…Thirdly and perhaps most significantly, we now live in a post-factual democracy. When the facts met the myths they were useless as bullets bouncing off the bodies of aliens in a HG Wells novel. When Michael Gove said ‘the British people are sick of experts’ he was right. But can anybody tell me the last time a prevailing culture of anti-intellectualism has lead to anything other than bigotry?”

I’ll be taking a non-partisan look at how images are used to form and support the stories being told by politicians and public figures – often at the expense of verified facts. I hope people will bring in images of their own coverage of events or examples of “truthiness” and postfactualism in action.

If anyone has particular images from the press they would like mentioned please email a link.

Please donate £3 directly to Stills on the night to help them maintain the gallery.

July 2016 – Form

David Buchanan will introduce Form for this months theme on Thursday 7th July from 7pm at Stills.

This month’s theme is Form. I will explore Form through the work of sculptors (such as Barbara Hepworth and Henry Moore), painters (e.g. Alison Watt) and photographers: Edward Weston, Lucien Clergue, and others.

In preparing your own work for the theme you may wish to be guided by these quotations:

Wikipedia: Form is the shape, visual appearance, constitution or configuration of an object. In a wider sense, the form is the way something is or happens.

Paul Hill: Form, in photography, refers to the arrangement or ‘gestures’ of shapes made by the tones, not necessarily by the objects photographed.

Paul Hill: There could be as much grandeur in a photograph of forms made by the light and shade on the back wall of your house as there is in the picture of a distant mountain range.

But, don’t feel limited by them.

Please donate £3 directly to Stills on the night to help them maintain the gallery.

June 2016 – Open

June is “Open” with no specific theme. Now is the time to bring along your larger projects, the works-in-progress and the tiniest germs of ideas to get some feedback from everyone.

7pm, Thursday, June 2nd at Stills.

Please donate £3 to Stills on the night to help them maintain their facilities for our use.

If you want to volunteer to host an evening there are 2 slots available (September?, October?), leave a message if you are interested.

May 2016 – Dancing About Architecture

The May meeting will be at Stills from 7pm on the 5th of May.

The theme is ‘Dancing about Architecture’; somewhat confusingly my is neither about either dancing nor architecture.

The title comes from a quote attributed to various people including Elvis Costello; he said ‘Writing about music is like dancing about architecture’ The point being that about the difficulty of using one art form to describe another.

With that in mind I’ll be talking about various efforts that visual artists have attempted to interpret other media and the interplay between various art forms.

For May’s DCC meeting all work shown must be made within the last month (I’ll be strict on this) and should be an interpretation of a work of art. If possible it would be good to hear poems or excerpts from books that have inspired your photographic work.

Looking forward to seeing you next month.

James Sinfield

Please donate £3 to Stills on the night to help them maintain their facilities for our use.

The Wild

For April’s DCC on the theme of ‘The Wild’, we started by looking at photographers who brought images of wild places to new audiences, including the Abraham Brothers with their rock climbing guides and photographs of hitherto quite unknown corners of the Lake District, Snowdonia, and the Cuillin of Skye. Ansel Adams made famous the wilderness of Yosemite in the 1930s, but long before him Carleton Watkins made Yosemite iconic in the 1860s and had a profound influence on the politicians of the day, paving the way for the US National Parks system. This political aspect to their work may counter criticisms such as those of Henri Cartier-Breson that this photography of wild places was of no social significance. Political concerns about wildness have also been at the forefront of work by photographers such as Fay Godwin, with images portraying the impact of land management practices and restrictive access.


Some photographers have sought to portray the human side of wild places, including Paul Strand‘s work in the Outer Hebrides in the 1950s. This is echoed in the work of contemporary photographers such as Colin MacPherson, who photographs places in the west Highlands and islands of Scotland that are traditionally considered wild and remote – but from where? Sophie Gerrard‘s work was another example of a photographer seeking to avoid the romantic view of our rural landscape and discover something more authentic in her images of female farmers across Scotland.


Finally, some photographers were discussed who have explored the wildness closer to home, such as Jonathan Stenvall‘s images of semi-urban nature near Stockholm, and Chris Payne‘s images of wildness reclaiming what was once human-dominated on North Brother Island, New York. We finished with Eric Sanderson‘s images depicting Manhattan in 1609 at the point of European discovery, and his suggestion that we should “dedicate ourselves to granting back to nature warmth and possibility in the cities where we live”.


DCC Wild


The evening may have somewhat broken with DCC tradition in terms of the number of landscape images, but the theme must have resonated given the impressive proportion of people who had brought some work to show! We saw images on a range of takes on the theme, including the wild Highland landscape, elemental coastal scenes and wildlife, woodlands, and the wildness that can be found in our urban fringes and ‘edgelands’.

April 2016 – The Wild

April’s theme is “The Wild”, presented by Phil McLean. From 7pm on the 7th of April at Stills.

For April’s DCC I will be exploring the theme of ‘The Wild’.

As someone who is never happier than when tramping through some midge-infested bog in a damp corner of the Highlands, I am interested in reflecting on the notion of ‘the wild’, or ‘wildness’, and what this means to us.

How has photography influenced our ideas of what wildness means, and how in turn have photographers responded to this concept?

Did photography help shape our very notions of wildness in the early days of the medium, by bringing images of unfamiliar and remote people and places into our homes?

Has photography simply been a neutral observer of the wildness that is ‘out there’, or has it touched on wider social and political implications of the concept?

How has photography and its relationship with wild places shaped our national identities and sense of self?

What remains of the notion of the wild in this age of goggle maps and satellite imagery, where every corner of the globe has seemingly been categorised and photographed? Are we losing touch with the natural world? Does it matter?

I will (probably) be looking at the work of some or all of: George and Ashley Abraham, Ansel Adams, Paul Strand, Fay Godwin, Colin Prior, Richard Long, and Sophie Gerrard, among others.

As always, there are many ways of interpreting the theme and I look forward to seeing a wide range of responses – happy image-making!

Please donate ~£3 to Stills to help them maintain the facilities for our use.

March 2016 – Solitude

March’s theme will be “Solitude”. Hosted by Dan Clipsom.

When: Thursday 3rd March from 7pm
Where: Stills

Just a reminder that I will be presenting next Thursday night on the theme of Solitude and steering the discussion around the work you bring to present.

I think it’s quite a broadly interpretable theme, whether solitude refers explicitly to the subject matter or implicitly as you look through the eyes of the photographer. It could be literal solitude in the sense of physical isolation, or you might consider aspects of social solitude and exclusion in the context of the local community or the global family.

I’ll be putting together a slide show exploring how the artists and photographers who have inspired me convey solitude. And those of you who know my work would probably say they were quite successful.

Please donate £3 to Stills on the night to help them maintain the facilities for our use.

February 2017 – Nightlife

The next Democratic Camera Club will take place on Thursday 2nd February at 7pm at Stills.

The theme is NIGHTLIFE.Darkness can make things seem mysterious, exciting, and often frightening.

Many photographers have exploited this. Have a look at:

Todd Hido – Houses at Night;

Maciej Dakowicz – Cardiff After Dark;

Daisuke Yokota – Nocturnes.

What does Nightlife mean to you?

Bring along one or more prints to illustrate your interpretation of the theme. As usual, you are free to interpret this theme in anyway that you see fit.

Simply bring along your photo, or short series of photos, in printed form.

Doors open 6.30pm for 7pm start.

(The club is open to everyone who likes to take photographs and talk about them. You don’t have to present any work if you don’t want to. Just come along and join in the discussion.)

Please donate £3 directly to Stills to help them maintain their facilities for our use.


February 2016 – The Present

February’s theme will be “The Present”. Hosted by George Clerk.

When: Thursday 4th February from 7pm
Where: Stills

I’m planning to look at the ways ‘the present’ has been explored in photography by briefly looking at how a few photographers in the past have represented ‘the present’, both in relation to the current world around them, and to attempts to represent the ‘present moment’, something that perhaps photography has an opportunity to do well.

Then I’ll be looking at the ways that photographers have approached these two aspects of ‘the present’ during this century. A few of the photographers: Eugene Atget, Walker Evans, Henri Cartier-Bresson, Daido Moriyama, Rinko Kawauchi, Ryan McGinley, Paul Graham, Melinda Gibson, Yao Lu and Richard Prince.

Please donate £3 to Stills on the night to help them maintain the facilities for our use.

Fake – Homage to Saul Leiter

Saul Leiter’s use of colour photography brought a painterly subtlety to the traditionally black and white photographic world. Some images stay with you and influence how you frame your own work.

This image from Cap Martin, Côte d’Azur, France, was not intended to fake one of Leiter’s works – a sense of déjà vu in a place I had never been to before crept in and lined up the image.

Leiter Worker

Leiter Worker, 2015. (ENR)

And here is it compared to Leiter’s Mondrian Worker, 1954, as pictured in Early Color.

Leiter Worker / Mondrian Worker

Leiter Worker, 2015. (ENR) and Mondrian Worker, 1954. (Saul Leiter)

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