NRPS takes advantage of the distortions of street photographers

The Norton Radstock Photographic Society speaker on Thursday took us to places most of us have never ventured into in our own attempts at street photography.

An absolute master of his craft, Jerry Webb is from Brighton, and many of the distinctive urban and street photographs in his presentation showcased the people and places in and around that environment.

Much of Jerry’s work is typically black and white, with an occasional self-proclaimed “color frenzy”, but it is his obsession with ultra-wide angles, creative views, and utter disregard for the lighting standards so dear to judges that really make his images stand out and have provided us with true inspiration.

Jerry often takes large photos that feature small people – something that makes his image of the Brighton Wheel in the snow so Lowery-esque. He plays with angles both in architecture and when shooting against and through light. He reveled in the distortions of the close-ups produced by his lens choices and the excruciatingly low angles that were his hallmark.

Jerry avoids the deepest blacks, cares little about the conventions of converging verticals, composes and reframes in ways that surprise and delight in equal measure.

It was a fascinating tour by a talented man, which included photos that showed his skills in using long exposure blur techniques and raindrops left on lenses.

It took us to the realms of film noir and silhouette, with crowd studies and the symbolism of random movement and close-up portraits. The members were very intrigued with his presentation and skillful commentary, and I have no doubt that our February 2022 competition, which focuses on street photography, will reflect that and lead us to our own interesting images.

Next week John Scaife has the unenviable task of judging our recent attempts at creating triptychs.

Jenny Short

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