16th April 2014 - Get me a doctor - my brain hurts!

There’s a Monty Python sketch in which Mr Gumby stumbles into a doctor’s waiting room exclaiming that his brain hurts. Now it wasn’t quite like that at the most recent meeting but I guess that for some club members it came pretty close. That’s not to say anything negative about Dr Greg Duncan’s presentation ‘Not everything is as it seems’ or alternatively ‘It’s just a straight picture except for….’.
Seated behind a mysterious hidden console Greg Duncan instructed, explained and entertained the club with a lecture on just how difficult it is to believe your own eyes when engaged in creating something as straightforward as a photographic image particularly if you are going to process it using digital software.
Basically, digital pictures are just series of numbers and it all depends on which type of computer programme or piece of editing software you use to interpret them on how the final result will look.
It was soon very clear that this was no ordinary or slung together presentation but the result of much scholarly work and an understanding of mathematics delivered with tons of irony and caustic humour. Without this it would be fair to say that a real doctor might be needed to assist the presenter who had taken several series of images in total darkness with a lens cap on his camera merely to demonstrate in 3D form the amount of photographic noise created on images at different exposures.
But Greg Duncan was no backroom nerd without a real life. During the talk he showed a range of his photographic images from his travels and they were simply stunning. Extraordinary wildlife shots, landscapes and candid portraits were mixed with a humorous and self-deprecatory commentary. These were Greg’s ‘Marmages’ – shots that had won him as many awards as rejections but to all intents and purposes were examples of a very standard of photography. This was supported by an audio-visual presentation ‘Footprints in the Sand’ – images taken in the Namibian desert – a haunting piece with a song written by the author to accompany the desolate but beautiful swirling desert landscape of this part of the world.
Finally Greg exposed some of the issues surrounding colour printing and colour balance and emphasised the importance of choosing the correct colour profile for competition and exhibition work.
As far as club presentations go this presentation was indeed something completely different.