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Paul from 'The Times'

At last Thursday evening’s meeting of the Club, club chairman Alan Chowney welcomed renowned photographer Paul Sanders. Paul’s extensive career has been very varied and has included glamour, fashion, local newspapers, national newspapers and Reuters. For eight years he was photo editor of The Times. Paul now concentrates on landscape photography and is especially interested in how photography can help people’s mental health.

Paul gave a fascinating insight into how newspapers use photographs. Who knew that the use of photographs in serious newspapers, such as The Times, was quite a contentious issue and that it wasn’t until 1910 that they first appeared? Paul’s work as photo editor involved looking at thousands of photographs each day and deciding which were the most appropriate for inclusion in the newspaper. Many photographs, especially those taken in areas of conflict, may have placed the photographer in danger and decisions had to be made as to whether the risk involved was worth getting the picture. Paul was very mindful of the long-term effects of exposure to trauma on the mental health of his photographers.

Understanding the story behind the photograph and knowing the reason a particular photograph was being taken are essential features of a good newspaper photograph, according to Paul. These, along with the mantra of ‘dignity at all times’ were behind Paul’s philosophy as photo editor. Paul certainly left his audience wanting more as the evening was brought to a close long after the usual quitting time.

This week’s meeting could not be more different from last week’s as members look at the genre of Still Life photography. Variety certainly is the spice of life!

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