On Wednesday 22nd March we had a wonderful presentation given by award winning photographer Tim Pile. Tim is a member of Smethwick Photographic Society. His specialism is in fine art images of women taken in the open air. His aim in his own words is to “capture the beauty of the female form in the manmade and natural environment”. A unique characteristic of his work is that his model usually only occupies a very small part of the overall image thus emphasising the grandeur of the backdrop.
Tim started the evening by talking about his photographic journey which began in 2008. He said that at that point in his life he was too shy to take photographs of people. However, this changed as his confidence grew as his photography developed. In the early days he experimented with different types of photography including infrared. He quickly moved on to taking portraits of women and developed his own style through contrasting the curves of the female body with the geometrical lines of the manmade world.
In pursuit of this Tim has taken images in some seemingly unpromising places. These include derelict buildings, empty office blocks, a derelict railway station, a disused swimming pool, an old nightclub, and an abandoned hydro-electric power station. He very rarely takes studio images and even then he prefers to use natural light.
The second half of Tim’s talk was dedicated to his collaboration with a particular model whom he met in 2014. Their partnership has led him to photograph outdoors in many different locations both in the UK and abroad. Their travels have taken them to Scotland, Ireland, Portugal, Norway, Iceland, Italy, Corsica and France amongst others. Some of his favourite settings include moss covered rocks, coastal scenery, woodlands, volcanic lava fields and waterfalls. He carries out extensive research before settling on a particular location and most shoots involve a very early morning start. His priority is always for the wellbeing and safety of the model. In cold locations his model is only required to pose for a few minutes before warming up.
A particular aspect of Tim’s photography is the unusual angles that he sometimes photographs from. Many of his most striking images are taken from above. He experimented with different angles from the outset of his photographic journey. Attention to detail is also paramount and he will often spend half an hour or more setting up a shot before taking a single image.
Tim illustrated his talk with a huge number of superb prints including those that made up his successful Royal Photographic Society Associate and Irish Photographic Federation Fellowship panels. It was a master class in fine art photography and a fascinating and most enjoyable evening.