Sunday, 25 July 2021

Henley Probus Club

AT the 408th meeting of the club, Rolf Richardson entertained and informed members with an account

AT the 408th meeting of the club, Rolf Richardson entertained and informed members with an account of how from ancient times until today we have used images to express important concepts and feelings.

In early cave drawings and more recently in ancient Egypt, people and animals were expressed in an idealistic way rather than as reality.

Perspective was unimportant and no thought could have been made of composition. These are comparatively new ideas.

It wasn’t until more recent centuries that artists were given opportunities to express the might or beauty of their subjects.

And once Daguerre and then Fox Talbot showed what photographic methods could achieve, we had taken a mighty big step.

When early cameras were mass–produced and came into the public domain, exciting and, at times, horrifying images were widely available.

Wars and natural disasters, fashion and travel were illustrated with greater impact than could have been achieved by traditional art forms. World wars, civil disturbances and revolutions were set alongside pleasurable pursuits and were available to all.

But the camera can lie. It was during purges in Soviet Russia, the growth of Nazi propaganda and during civil wars that people could be added or removed from photographs using great skill and patience.

With film cameras and more recently digital images, an image can be made to appear very different from what had been captured by the lens.

Today anyone can obtain sophisticated computer programmes to create a false image in a process known as cloning. Photoshop can be used to create rather than edit images.

It is thought that all images in any media form could have been “doctored” or simply “improved” to show celebrities or other news items in a better light.

Henley Probus Club meets at Badgemore Park Golf Club on the second Tuesday of the month at 10.30am.

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