Death and Decay warps the lens of photo club

Keely Dakin
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Every year the Northern Image Photographer (NIP) club hangs a collection of their work in the Mann Art Gallery. This year curator Griffith Aaron Baker handed them the theme of Death and Decay.

The Northern Image Photographer club is a group of photographers with the common goal in aesthetic beauty and technical skill. This year their theme has travelled beyond those boundaries. Instead they interpreted the sphere of Death and Decay and its manifestation in people and the world.  The show is up at the Mann Art Gallery from Sept. 4 to Oct. 26. 

Geoff Payton, founder and president of NIP for 17 years, said it was a bit of a challenge to work with the theme.  Traditionally the group angles more towards nature photography and landscapes.

In response, Payton took a subject he enjoys shooting, decrepit buildings, and framed it within the spectrum of the theme of death and decay.

“How do I fit the theme with it, to show decay rather then, oh this is an old building.”

While the group imposes no hard rules about what is to be included in the gallery show, Payton admits that they did discuss what they did and didn’t want to present as a group.

“I didn’t really want to see pictures of road-kill, or something like that. I mean it has no redeeming artistic value. That’s me.”

Instead his interest lays in the morphing of a solid structure to warped and wind-swept wood.

“(It is) more the decay for me, rather than the death, I think,” Payton said.

“Everything ages and falls apart, you know over time. And all these old buildings are disappearing so fast, you know, that’s sort of one reason I like to shoot old buildings. Have some record of what was. It’s a historical sort of record across the province.”

“I didn’t really want to see pictures of road-kill." Geoff Payton

NIP meets on the second Tuesday of every month at the Prince Albert Arts Centre at 7 p.m.

Gatherings include presentations geared towards skill and experience building.

As a part of nudging the creative juices, NIP also has a monthly club challenge, Payton said.

“The one for October is, ‘shoot something that rhymes with fall,’ given that it’s fall.”

NIP tries to inspire and support its members by sharing ideas, skills and time rather than using a point garnering system, Payton said.

“We are non-competitive within the club.”

Anyone interested in learning more about the club is invited to attend a Tuesday meeting or check out the website at

“As cliché as it is, we are kind of a big happy family,” Payton said

Organizations: Prince Albert Arts Centre

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