In the first half, Ben talked about how he first became interested in photography and as with so many of our speakers, the lead came from his parents and childhood experiences, which he followed up at university. He has travelled extensively, often to remote areas and with research projects on endangered species. As he described his adventures, it became obvious that he has the persistence, ingenuity and technical inventiveness required to get the images he wants. He showed us images of macaws, pigmy elephants and lynx which were the result of patient research, local knowledge and a certain recklessness.
Ben accompanied Sasha and the swans in the epic flight from Russia last year as they tried to establish why numbers were dwindling and some of his thousands of stills from that trip formed the basis of our second half. Ben gave us three separate briefs: to pick images to illustrate different angles of the story for a potential magazine editor. Our members rose to the challenge with alacrity and some acrimony, but thoroughly enjoyed the very practical and hands-on activity. We bore in mind Ben's five requirements:
an establishing shot
introduction of the main subject
details or 'moments' in the story
a concluding image
all bearing in mind what adds and what doesn't add to the message you are trying to get across.
Now we just need to put the advice into practice in our own story telling projects.
We were also delighted to present Alan Larsen (again) with the Tiger Trophy. There were some great entries in Abstract, the theme for September in our Flickr group competition, but Alan's Angel Wings was an outright winner. He has chosen 'Light and Shadow' for the October theme.