Rod Wheelans from Dumfries presented what he referred to as his “holiday snaps” to the meeting. These were not just any snaps though as many were award winning prints. He also showed photographs taken by his wife Anne Greiner, who is also an award-winning photographer. Rod is well-known in the photographic world and he is a past president of the Photographic Alliance of Great Britain.
Rod explained that their main interest was in travel photography and in particular photographing people. He and Anne had visited both Georgia and Turkey many times and he kicked the evening off with a selection of photographs taken in Turkey. He said that he always ensured that the guides he employed took them to remote villages in the mountains where residents of the lowlands traditionally took their animals to graze during the summer months. Many continue to spend their summers in their temporary dwellings in the mountains, which are little more than huts, although they no longer have any livestock.
Rod and Anne had photographed some of the villagers over several years and Rod recounted many amusing tales about their encounters. Most were more than willing to have their photographs taken and some were even prepared to queue. Rod always made a point of taking their photographs back with him on subsequent visits as gifts. He has even learned a little Turkish so that he can communicate with the local people.
Rod then moved on to his photographs in Georgia where his experiences were similar to those in Turkey. In both locations many of the photographs were taken in people’s homes. In Georgia he described how the Russians had taken everything with them when they left except for a large number of yellow buses. The local people had now put these to good use, in some cases converting them in to homes for themselves and in others turning them in to shelters for their animals.
During the interval Rod displayed his successful Royal Photographic Society Fellowship Panel comprising 21 monochrome prints of images taken in Georgia. In the second half of the evening Rod showed us images of people taken on a recent trip to Brazil and then went on to show us other work including images of dancers, portraits and domestic animals.
Rod is a very entertaining speaker as well as an excellent photographer and we had a most enjoyable evening.