• John Knipe

Chris Ibbotson - photography brought me from the 'darkness' into the 'light'.

On 5 September the Members of Ballynahinch Camera Club welcomed German-born, landscape photographer Chris Ibbotson as their guest speaker. He surprised his audience by starting his talk with an admission that he believed that photography had saved his life. After a painful relationship breakup in 2012 he had been in a very dark place and landscape photography gave him a newfound purpose and brought him from ‘darkness’ into ‘light’.

Chris showed a series of stunning images and used some of them to explain the concept of composition and the importance of careful planning, both from the point of view of photography but also personal safety. Chris is not adverse to climbing cliffs or getting very close to the water’s edge to get his shot but this means he needs to be aware of the weather and state of the tides. He also shared a few of his ‘tricks of the trade’, including sprinkling a few leaves in the foreground to brighten up the image.

Most of Chris’s photographs were taken along the North Coast, close to his home in Ballymena, but he also included images taken in County Down, Slovenia and the Faroe Islands. To see Chris’s work, it is worth visiting his web site -

This week’s meeting is a camera hands on night when members can bring their cameras and share knowledge of what the various buttons actually do. Most people get into the habit of using their camera in a way which is comfortable to them, usually in auto mode, and have little or no idea what else their camera can do. This is an opportunity to pick up some useful tips, so cameras should be brought along to the meeting.



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