Last Monday morning at 0620 you would have found me waiting for the 0640 train to London Waterloo to attend another Light and Land Photography workshop. I had had a moment of indecision in the station car park as to whether I needed my thermal bobble hat. I decided to take it, and believe me if I hadn’t I would have been purchasing yet more emergency head gear*. It was so cold, bitterly, biting to the bone, fingertips numb, cold all day long.
The workshop was being lead by the wonderful Charlie Waite and the super Benedict Brain and focused on creative imaging using multiple exposures and intentional camera movement. Having wandered along the South Bank I found myself with half an hour to kill before the workshop started, so I went into a café for a warming beverage. Sat in the corner were two men, who looked like Ben and Charlie, but never having met either of them, I wasn’t sure. A few furtive glances and a Google later, I was able to ascertain, they were indeed who I thought they were, so I went to introduce myself**.
There were twelve of us on the workshop, and with knitwear and thermals set to maximum, we headed out into the cold armed with guidance from Charlie and Ben on taking multiple exposures. Wisely, we decided a good place to shoot would be on the opposite bank of the Thames, where at last there was some sun to take the edge off the cold.
After a break for a cup of tea, we moved on to intentional camera movement. I have tried this technique before with varying degrees of success. I was a lot more focused this time, Ben and Charlie having given us permission to shoot and shoot and shoot until we got the look we wanted. Shooting hundreds of shots is not my normal modus operandi, I rarely shoot more than one hundred over a day of photography.
Shooting in this “anything goes”, and very experimental way was liberating, so many workshops I have attended get bogged down in “the rules”. Charlie and Ben were great tutors, helping us with approaches and ways to think about building an image.
I often come back from workshop having met some lovely people, and picked up one or two useful tips, but this workshop was different. It’s very easy to keep to your comfort zone, to shoot what you know, and guarantee a couple of keepers. That approach doesn’t move you forward, or help you develop and this course was exactly what I needed to make me think differently. So, thank you Charlie and Ben, standby for more experimental work from me.
* See Jan 19th blog post for more on the Great Bobble Hat Crisis of 2019.
**Thankfully I hadn’t made an embarrassing mistake.