“Unremarkable Scenes” by Lizzie Shepherd, October 31st 2018

For our last meeting of October we welcomed Lizzie Shepherd, a professional landscape photographer from North Yorkshire, who spoke to us about her journey in photography to find a new inspiration

Lizzie explained how she wanted to find compelling subjects without having the need to travel. Her talk was called Unremarkable Scenes, but unremarkable it was not!

She wanted to find something new, to experiment and be playful and not too formulaic, to find a revelation and see things differently. When showing her stunning images, she explained how she wanted to find continuity through the image, using light, the shadows, reflections, shapes, angles, patterns and varying her depth of field. She found on her journey that she is very drawn to diagonals and verticals which add a great movement through an image.

Lizzie told us that it’s not always about the light, amazing images can be created on rainy dull days. They can be more evocative with the soft light.

She looks for patterns on a big scale and repetition through the image. With blocks of colour and space so the viewer has to work their way around and image. The images have a graphic cleanliness and demonstrate how a busy image, a chaotic scene, can have simple elements of minimalism but there is a definite structure within an image.

Lizzie wants to make sense if an image and looks for scenes where colour can offer a warm and cold contrast or where there are harmonious colours complimentary to each other. She continued to explain how the absence of colour simplifies a busy scene, showing us images that demonstrated her findings.

When creating an image Lizzie want to create intriguing stories and puzzles, placing objects to create a visual puzzle. Scenes that can suggest more than one thing and keep the viewer looking, creating tricks of eye, showing us an image of a reflection of a that had been turned upside down. She described this as Pareidolia – seeing objects or scenes within an image. It certainly made you consider the image longer.

Through the talk we were shown visually stunning and creative images that had great mood and emotion, energy and depth, power and restfulness. Where composition leads to mood and curves and shapes lead the eye. Lizzie has a real ability to capture the sense of a place.

The journey Lizzie start five years ago has left her seeing things she wouldn’t usually see, and she hopes to continue to improve, to try new things and of course to enjoy it.