Opening night of the season

Tom    September 18, 2016

Opening night of the season – write up, 15th September 2016

On Thursday in front of a packed room, Andy welcomed returning and opening-night-3-of-6prospective members to the opening evening of the season, with his (now traditional) rousing greeting.

In addition to announcements of the forthcoming lectures and competitions, featuring a great range of subjects, we were joined by Chris Gravett, a local freelance photographer specialising in documentary, social documentary and live music photography.

opening-night-5-of-6Chris shared his fascinating personal journey as he developed a second career as a photographer after graduating as a mature student from the University of Westminster with a Bachelor of Arts (BA) Honours in Photography with First Class Honours. In a talk which made full use of slides, photos and audio visual presentations, he described how a chance spelling error led him to visit his namesake town of Gravette in north west Arkensas to record the small town and its people. He also gave us an insight into his motivation to record the stories behind some of major events which captured widespread international attention. Some highlights included being spurred to visit Bangladesh 20 days after the Rana Plaza textile factory collapsed. His moving collaboration with a local student who narrated the subsequent audio visual, with music from a local artist who wrote a song about the tragedy, was followed by another project to capture the earthquake which devastated Nepal in April 2015.

Chris finished describing his other projects (see for details) and answered questions which gave us insight into his motivations and his personal experience of a career as a photographer, as he exhibits his work and continues his quest for a commission. The evening closed with the members thanking Chris for an inspiring and thought provoking presentation.

Notices and announcements included:
– Terry Linton has now taken on the role of Secretary
– Steve Grainger and Marcus Jackson will take on the role of Programme Secretary next season
Our Hitchin Our Streets is running until the end of September, so a short time is left to take and upload photos
– The new website is now live and is being regularly updated with ideas of what and where to shoot

Please also note that subs are now due (current membership is needed to enter the competitions, with the Open competition taking place on 29th September). If you would like to do a presentation at the “Members’ own” night on 6th November, please contact Gareth. We also have the Assignment night (topics are “Selfies” and “Glass”) on the 13th October.

Images below reproduced with the permission of Chris Gravett
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