Training: 1-2-1s, Walks & Workshops
"I think a photography class should be a requirement in all educational programs because it makes you see the world rather than just look at it." With the influx of enthusiasts new to the photography world, I have recently been sharing my knowledge through teaching. In order to get the best results, you must first understand your tools and then try to master your craft. To this end, I ensure that all my classes start with helping people to understand their gear. Without this strong foundation, you will not understand how you achieve any good results you're already getting, probably won't be able to repeat them and won't be able to work out how to improve on them. To date, my tuition has involved walks, 1-2-1s and workshops, each offering something different.
Having received several requests from people asking for private personal tuition on how to use their cameras, I developed some new training programs which have proved very successful. I work through the theory and look at what makes good composition, run through camera settings and techniques and additionally work on how you can get professional results. If this sounds like a program which would benefit you, then please get in touch to book a 1-2-1 so I can help you create better pictures.
For a while, I have been leading large and small groups of people on walks around Brighton and other interesting places. The participants are all keen to enhance their photography skills and to help train their eye to see rather than just look. These are wonderful opportunities to get out and try things you may not otherwise have the confidence to do. If you are looking to attend a photowalk, here are some 'top tips' - know your rights as a photographer, keep your kit to a minimum (ideally just one lens), wear comfortable shoes, try to blend in rather than stand out, play with angles, invest in a good camera strap (Black Rapid straps are great) and most of all, have fun. If you are walking around an area you're already very familiar with, go somewhere new, walk streets you haven't investigated before, keep things fresh and interesting. If this is not an option, give yourself a specific target, for example photograph only red-coloured things, smiles, emotion, shadows ... you get the idea. Try working in small groups - you can inspire each other and share knowledge which is much better than doing things alone.
This year I will be leading Scott Kelby's Worldwide Photowalk in Brighton. To give the walk a more defined purpose and try to help people avoid taking the 'typical Brighton shots' I have decided to follow in the footsteps of American photographer William Eggleston - we will be ‘At War with the Obvious’. The challenge is to avoid all the cliché shots – beach huts, piers, seagulls etc, and look for the interesting in the mundane. If you are not aware of William Eggleston's work, check out this video – William Eggleston: At War With The Obvious. I am expecting great things from this walk so do please come and join us, but be quick - there are only a few spaces left!
I have also run a couple of low-light workshops, playing with ambient light and light painting. The ambient light is easy enough to work with - a good tripod definitely helps you to capture longer exposures or to work better in low light conditions. Light painting is a very different story. This typically involves even longer exposures and more pre-planning because you are creating light in an otherwise dark environment. I have found this to be a huge challenge and one that always requires a great deal of creativity.
On top of all that, I ran a studio lighting workshop at the Brighton Media Centre. It's a great course, teaching you how to work with light and how you can control every aspect of the finished image. My workshop runs through everything from the basics to creating an image to be proud of, but more importantly teaches you how you got to that result and how to repeat the process. The infinity cove at BMC is a joy to work with. If you have never used one, you really should try it.