Neal Gruer visits Alba PS
On Wednesday 30th November Alba Photographic Society were joined by members of Eastwood PS, Lesmahagow PS and Motherwell PS for an exciting St Andrews evening with guest speaker Neal Gruer from the much acclaimed Sky Arts programme Masters of Photography. Masters of Photography is a Europe wide competition which follows the format of other reality shows where the contestants enter a selection of images, or a single image, and the judges then decide the best images of the week with the contestant having the weakest image being sent home. (Neal was in the top three on the first shoot in Rome)
Neal's cousin sent him the application form for Masters of Photography which he filled in and sent with a portfolio of 10 images along with a short video. After several interviews Neal was chosen as one of the final 12 contestants from across Europe upon which his writing career was put on hold. The contestants were set different tasks each week including capturing the beauty of Rome, Berlin on a cold Monday evening and some starkly posed nudes, to name but a few. Neal came 5th overall in the competition and says, with tongue in cheek, that he is now waiting for National Geographic to come calling. Alba PS hope that his dreams come true as he is a gifted and inspiring photographer.
Alba PS and friends were treated to an excellent evening of Neal's transition from lawyer to photographer, and how, due to the recession, he had to put his start date as a lawyer off for a year. Neal had decided to become a writer and took this opportunity to travel to his mother's birthplace in Ghana as well as Singapore, China, India, USA and Australia, hoping for inspiration and took hundreds of pictures every day. Neal is self taught and says this was an amazing hands on experience with his preference being candid street photography.
Neal's conversational style put his audience at ease as he recounted back the story of his participation in the Sky Arts program recently shown on TV. His presentation included clips from the program as well as many behind the scenes anecdotes the viewers did not hear. Feedback to Neal was very complimentary and he appreciated that.
Alba members would like to thank president Rob Niven for having the gumption to invite him to the club and of course Neal himself for accepting the invitation and providing us with a thoroughly entertaining evening. This was another first for Alba.