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Feeling the Land - photography and emotion

Astrid McGeachan, a photographer originally from Germany but living in the UK since 1997, gave us a really interesting talk on the idea of how photography evokes an emotional response in the viewer.

Image making for Astrid is intended to evoke a memory, a feeling, an emotion, or a connection with a place. She explained how to make an "open-ended" photograph helps to give a story or interpretation to the image and part of her process is to help those looking at her images to have a connection or to recognise some sort or emotion that has been provoked in them. The photographs that we were shown were those that Astrid knew had been successful in achieving this and she explained that she liked to get feedback from those that had seen her images, for example how her harmonious, beautiful and calm landscapes had made them feel better or brought back a memory of a particular place for them.

Astrid uses various techniques in her images such as multiple-exposure, texture layers, ICM or deliberate defocusing and works hard on her composition to help with her aim of capturing a mood or feeling, better conveying a place or picking out a detail in a scene to make the image more powerful. She also makes the decision to convert to black and white to help make a stronger abstracted image, particular of the urban environment allowing certain elements to be emphasised to invoke a more powerful response.

I personally enjoyed seeing Astrid's images and understanding how she works in terms of producing really evocative and story telling photographs, also linked to how she feels herself at the time of making the image.

I am sure that all of the club members from seeing these images appreciate that "Photography and emotion go hand in hand."

Astrid helped us all to think about how letting go of the camera, having freedom to express ourselves allows us to capture moments in time and wonderful beautiful, emotive images of the landscapes that we enjoy.

"Feeling the Land" sums this up perfectly.

A quote from Astrid

I realised then that being able to convey an emotion with my photographs is very important to me. So I started to try and be more aware of what I feel when exploring a scene, and determine what influence my state of mind has on the resulting photograph. Over time, this process has helped me to change the way I make my photographs, and, hopefully, to produce photographs that convey feelings and thoughts and thus evoke an emotional response in the viewer.

Take a look at Astrid's website to see some of her wonderful work.

An interesting and thought provoking evening !!

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