April 24th 2021 – ANDREA HARGREAVES – “Art of Metamorphosis (part 1)”

If we ever feel that we have reached the limit of innovation in photography then we should simply wait and along will come an exceptional person with ideas – this was our visitor on Monday evening, Andrea Hargreaves MPAGB EFIAP/b BPE3 an outstanding presentation.

Andrea is an ultra-creative, thoughtful and artistic producer of some of the most stunning composite images that many of us have ever seen. Like so many of our friends in this hobby she is more than happy to describe her pathway, share her methods and to take us with her on the journey.
Her fundamental method is to bring into print the mythical monsters creatures and legends whose origins are, often, in great literature. Our first adventure with her was into the world of mermaids. Following a photoshoot with a nude model, in a rundown building in Birmingham.

She herself admits that her ability to communicate with and direct models has grown in recent years and a number of images were demonstrated. Almost without direction she lets her imagination run riot and, using Photoshop, she follows her meandering path to modify the model, add her own skies and/ or water or backgrounds or textures and the metamorphosis takes place. The ultimate works of art revealed, Mermaid on Rock, Mermaid in Underwater Seascape and Mermaid Reclining on the Sea Surface.

In each case the elements which were brought together were of Andrea’s own making – she takes pictures here there and everywhere and catalogues them into what must be a vast collection. She is able to use her complete mastery of Photoshop in order to skilfully modify to the result desired (a black pearl started life as a silver ball on a water feature in a garden centre). A wonderful feel for composition, colour and atmosphere are the principal elements which come together to form the final image which, the observer will lose themselves within, there is always emotion underlying the work.
Following the wonderful mermaids we were treated to her “Ladies who Lounge” selection. The original image of two blonde haired models, taken on a mansion’s staircase, seated closely, was treated in similar spectacular style by modifying skin tones or introducing subtle shadows, or changing backgrounds or placing them in alternative environments. Through the author’s boundless imagination we saw a journey of their way through life – Ladies in waiting, Ladies lost in transit, Ladies go off the rails, Ladies take a breather, Ladies take a cruise, Ladies Summer break, Ladies by boat, Ladies down under, were just a few from this series – the extent of the detail and the attention to colour demonstrated the hours of work that is put into this stunning form of art.

We at SYPC look forward to seeing Part 2 and perhaps one day a face to face to see those digital images as mounted prints would be a night to remember.
If you are tempted then be aware that there is much much more to see at – https://www.andreahargreaves.art/about.html

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