Speaker and Image Discussion: Mike Longhurst – ‘Well Seen’

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Date(s) - December 1, 2022
7:30 pm - 9:30 pm

Coaver Club


Mike Longhurst – ‘Well Seen’

Mike is a retired journalist living in South Devon and a member of Plymouth Camera Club. He regards himself as an opportunistic photographer and he takes inspiration from whatever he sees around him – this means that he is a varied and eclectic photographer willing to try his hand at almost any discipline.

In June 2021 Mike was awarded a Fellowship of the Royal Photographic Society for my Visual Arts semi-abstract panel on the giant dune systems of Namibia. I have exhibited at salons around the country including the London Salon.

In the first half of the evening Mike will present a talk titled ‘Well Seen’ and to outline this talk he says, “this is a well-worn  expression that club competition judges, in my view,  employ all too often. And it frequently contains a hint of patronising sentiment. But in my opinion, what can possibly be wrong with ‘well seen’? At one Plymouth CC competition the judge said of one image that he thought it ‘Well Seen’ and that he really liked it – but he couldn’t quite put his finger on why. I couldn’t resist a heckle, something I had never done before: “Because it’s interesting!’ I said.  It was too. It wasn’t my picture by the way, although everyone assumed it was…

I would suggest that a ‘well seen’ picture is the base rock  of what non-commercial photography should be about.

As a group, and I certainly don’t exclude myself from this, we too-often allow ourselves to be carried away on waves of fashion or fad. A new in-camera gizmo or post-production add-on allows us to explore such excitements as multi-image exposure, multi-layer post-production, intentional camera movement, infrared conversion. But we risk losing sight of …er…the picture. Before you know it everyone is at it and the unusual quickly becomes the commonplace.

I’m not knocking any of this. I love ‘em all. I’ll have a go at anything. But with the competition so intense, with so many tens of thousands of lovely images pumped out in all these genres, how often does a photograph come along with real added value? That stays in your mind? That’s genuinely interesting?

So I would suggest – now and then, go off piste, take a side road, literally or metaphorically,  even if you have no idea where it leads. And there will be rewards…..

In the second half Mike will host a discussion of members images submitted on the theme of ‘Well Seen’.

You can see more of Mike’s work here