Photography biography: Chris Saunders (part 2)

©Chris Saunders©Chris Saunders

In the 19th of a series of articles by members of the Woodford and Wanstead Photographic Society, Chris Saunders discusses how his preferred subject matter has changed in recent years.

I last wrote here in July 2015. Since then, my photography has changed and hopefully improved. Whereas in the past I liked to photograph moving things, like a band at a concert or a bike race, I now prefer to take pictures of things that don't move, like landscapes.

And, instead of recording the scene as I see it, I like to play about by adding things like birds or clouds. I also like to use long exposures to smooth out water and make clouds stretch.

Last summer, I had five pictures on display at Café Chicchi during the Art Trail Wanstead. They were long exposures taken in Venice. Venice is ideal for this type of photography because there's so much water around. I went back there in November on a photography workshop to try to improve my picture-taking. It's a fabulous place but it was absolutely freezing while I was there. I did finally get to see 'acqua alta' which is when St Mark's Square floods. That made it all worthwhile. It wasn't deep, a pair of wellies was enough to get through it, but it makes everything look even more spectacular than it already is.

There's a small group of us at the Woodford and Wanstead Photographic Society who try to get out somewhere most weekends to take landscape or wildlife photographs. We tend to stick mostly to Essex, but we have been as far as Norfolk, although that makes rather a long day of it, with a lot of driving. And in the summer, the four of us rented a house in Cornwall for a week for some very different scenery to photograph.

I joined the Woodford and Wanstead Photographic Society at the end of 2014. They're a very friendly bunch. Every month or so there's a competition that I find really useful because the judge will make comments about each picture, suggesting ways in which it could be improved. There are also trips to various places and there's always someone around to give useful advice.

I would recommend joining a camera club to anyone who's remotely interested in photography because being with like-minded people will give you encouragement and help.

To find out more about the Woodford and Wanstead Photographic Society – which meets weekly at Wanstead House – visit

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