Welcome to our monthly focus on one of our Society members.
For September 2018 we talk to Jean Sutton, President of Dunchurch Photographic Society.
Can you tell us what first got you interested in photography?
I have been interested in photography since I was a child. My mother had a Box Brownie and I had a camera in my early teens. Like most people it was for snapping family and friends and it was much later when I was married that we bought a Zenit which was so different. My introduction to DPS was in the early 90’s when I bought a camera where you just dropped a cartridge in and I could get nothing worthwhile from it. My friend’s husband, Peter Stubbings, suggested I came to the club to find someone who would help. I’ve been here ever since.
What type of photographs do you most enjoy taking?
I do not have a ‘type’ of photography. I look for a picture which might be of anything. Possibly easier to say what I don’t do which is serious wildlife and macro. My holiday pictures are generally of no interest to others because they do not record my journey or the highlights of other countries, rather they are taken to fit our club competition topics. My Danube cruise a couple of years ago consisted of numerous different window shots. (Ed: For those that don’t know, “Windows” was one of our past Merit Competition topics.)
What type of photographic equipment do you use?
When I joined DPS John Hughes suggested I should get a Pentax which I did and stayed with Pentax until Sony came on the scene. I have been with Sony ever since. I have had the experience of an SLR with numerous different lenses – macro, wide angle, telephoto and zoom. I have carried bags full of kit with a tripod on my back but now I have discovered my perfect camera. It’s the Sony Bridge camera with a 50x optical zoom and it does everything I want other than macro.
Can you identify some photographers that have inspired you?
I have not taken a great deal of interest in other photographers other than those in the club. The only exception is a picture in the National Portrait Gallery of someone (cant remember who) head only on a black background. Last season I tried this for the Monochrome competition. I liked it but the judge was not impressed – the story of my life!
Can you show us a selection of your photographs each with a short explanatory paragraph ; what inspired you to take the photograph or process it in the way you have?
This picture was taken on my first DPS outing to the Black Country Museum. I loved it then and still do. It was also the first picture I put into our annual exhibition.
I always had an ambition to be published and so have been a fairly staunch supporter of the Rugby Calender. I have been in it for 5 years and my donkey was the first of these.
My next picture is an example of unexpected opportunity. I had booked to go to the Shard and half an hour out of Rugby we ran into fog. That I thought was the ruin of my photo chances. However when I got to the top of that incredible building I could see the top of buildings of Canary Wharf rising out of sea of mist. Gradually as the mist lifted more and more was revealed and I got this and several more pictures of Tower Bridge. The one I submitted for our Floor One exhibition was voted favourite and was just pipped by Mark Varney to win Best Print that year.
The final offering was accepted in the Rugby Open Exhibition (with 2 others) this past year. Unfortunately the judge of the “Windows” competition did not see its merits but I like it and as we all console ourselves that is the important thing. This came from somewhere in the region of the Danube.
How do you see your photography developing in the future?
I am not sure where my photography is going in the future. I keep telling myself its time to give up but I don’t listen!
Thank you Jean for sharing with us some of your great images and your enthusiasm for photography.