Everyone present at this meeting had the privilege of seeing a fantastic collection of prints brought by Hunter Kennedy, who had once again made the long journey from Carluke to be with us. Hunter started by presenting his earliest darkroom prints, explaining how tones were managed by literal dodging and burning – waving shaped pieces of card between the paper and the projector lamp. Manipulating images was a hit and miss affair in those days, and several prints went into the bin before the desired effect could be achieved. Nowadays, the same thing can be done in Photoshop with no wastage.
If Hunter’s early images were impressive, his later prints were absolutely jaw-dropping: portraits with impact, and soft landscapes with pin-sharp detail just where needed. Every print was a “20”. Hunter’s technique for creating such jaw-dropping images was to reduce the contrast in the background – a combination of reduced contrast and increased saturation gives the images a pastel effect. The use of Permajet textured paper also makes the images look like painted works of art. But the post-processing merely improves what has already been shot, with many of the images captured in remote locations in just the right pre-dawn light. Correctly exposing the images, with the histogram as far to the right without losing highlights, also improves the quality of the images. Tonight was a real treat for all who came.