A new year is literally hanging on the door knob with promises of new beginnings, learnings and projects to sink your teeth in to for the next twelve months. What this past year has really reinforced is my passion and the belief that photography is something I really want to keep doing, to get better at and also that I need to have a goal to work towards. A venture of some sort with a beginning, middle and end with something to show for it.
Myself and a lovely motley crew of other photographers attended a three day workshop in Soho with Matt Stuart in November.
Incredibly, even though Matt initially kind of rips you to shreds when you go through some of previous (what you think is your better) work, he does it tailored to you as he takes the time to listen to what your dreams and ambitions really are, with empathy and compassion to your situation right now, to guide and show what potential is actually there and what you can achieve if you take on the advice and guidance. and really truly listen.
Matt is incredibly generous with sharing his own views, teachings and experinese and and it reinforces my desire to achieve photography as a profession even more.
What I did learn over these three days was to really look at the light, to understand where it came from, how to use it to my advantage and not to be scared of it’s harshness and to adapt the settings on the camera when walking in and out of the shadows between the buildings and streets. To fish, to follow and to always be ready for that potential ‘oh F*ck moment’, to really utilise the negative space, to look like you belong and not to doubt what you can achieve.
The realisation that it is ok to shoot 1500 images in one day including out of focus, blur, missing the shot all together and to only like maybe two of them but by continue to do all these things, now and again you will capture a quite good image, just have patience and learn from mistakes.
I know that a certain amount of what I shoot are in some minds graphical bullshit but it is something I enjoy alongside of the traditional street photography and everything is in the eye of the beholder at the end of the day and everything has a place where it belongs.
If you have read my previous posts you will have read that my heart belongs in Soho and the West End. This is where I spend a lot of my time, before and after work and also at the weekends and holidays. From dusk to dawn and sometimes in the middle of the night. I’m there in all kind of weather. Rain, snow, storm and sunshine, it’s never bad weather, just dress accordingly and protect your gear.
I’m lucky enough to know people residing and working in the area as well as other passionate photographers that comes and goes. Groups of us that set up specific days where we all are in the same area at the same time but not quite together as everybody wonders off like the magpies we are to seek the twinkling light to capture and to chase images down alleyways , shopfronts and tube entrances. So despite spending an awful lot of time shooting on my own, I never feel alone.
I have a lot of material now from this area sitting on my hard drive, some shared on social media and my website, some never seen and I think now is the time to consolidate all this and narrow it down to maybe a book or similar and see if I can complete that project from start to end and to see if it can stand its own out there in the big bad world.