We are always grateful to those members prepared to organise and share a presentation about their own work and last night was no exception. Following the familiar format of 'Four for Fifteen', Des Hill, Sue Judd, Darren Wilkes and Cathryn Rees gave us a wide-ranging evening's programme, covering two trips to Cuba, comparing film and digital images of the same subjects, a personal journey of engaging with new photographic techniques, including a project on Street art and slow shutter speeds, Street musicians and a trip to Bhutan.
As we only had two out of the three tutors available, the shape of the evening was changed to accommodate that. Instead of everyone moving round, we sat still and Michael Wayne Plant and Rob Johns from Photography Workshops London (www.photographyworkshopslondon.com) took half the evening each and addressed the group as a whole.
Michael talked about his professional experience and the need for different styles of images to suit different clients. He has worked as a social documentary, and fashion and style photographer, in addition to being the lead photography lecturer at Idea Store Learning, in Tower Hamlets. Photography Workshops London is a new venture, a co-operative of of photographers. Michael shared tips and techniques for making portraits with a variety of lighting conditions and those members with a camera with them were encouraged to try manual focusing whilst moving backwards and forwards to get accurate focus on their subject's eye. It was so good to have the challenge of a hands-on exercise and a lively discussion followed.
Rob Johns described his development as a photographer and illustrated his interest in Street with a selection of his work. He advocates using a small, discreet camera and looking for interesting light to make ordinary scenes special. He gave us a preview of the forth-coming film about Vivian Maier and his advice to us was to make sure we pursued personal projects in order to explore and develop our own photographic style, as she did. It was a very interesting evening and we look forward to seeing more of the Photography Workshops London in the future.