The fusions and confusions of a curious mind

Learning from the heart outwards, by kempspace

Category: inspiration from others

The World Press Photo Awards 2016: The Royal Festival Hall, London

The photographs for First Prize Spot News (Richardson) and Second Prize General News (Doumany) are beautifully tragic, candid images of trauma and war. Mine weren’t the only eyes brimming and I was grateful for that jolt in me, because the artwork of an outstanding discrete press photography image should be to evoke feeling and connection, where the gluttony of general media saturation with life’s darker side can leave you feeling numb. Numbness is of course one of the symptoms of trauma, a protective move to defend against the horror of what is witnessed and cannot be easily taken in. The dissonance of the Jazz chords playing in the Festival Hall after was apt.


World Press Photo Awards 2016

The Southbank Centre (including The Royal Festival Hall)

The London Jazz Festival

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A collaboration


A new creative endeavor came and found me in the guise of a friend. These shots are straight off camera and pre-edit. They are an interpretion of my friend’s ideas currently under development. The innards of her project are informed by her understanding of the mind, I have an insight into what she is doing as we both trained as clinical psychologists at the same institution. It’s helped me to see into the early form of what she wants to develop and how I might represent that in images.
 
After our initial discussions on the day of the shoot, she trusted me to run loose through her ideas with my own for the camera. Tight for time, we flew through street photography haunts I felt would work, and as the half hours passed, tentative interpretations were shaped and solidified on the hoof. This process was as much a testament to our good connection, as to any of the skills either of us brought that day.

Street photography is a solipsistic pursuit for me, the connections I seek are striking moments in time between myself and the subjects I shoot. This time, the subject I shot was also breathing oxygen into the ideas behind the camera with me, expanding the perspectives on visions of my own. It was a revitalizing and magical experience this fusion of ideas. A collaboration indeed.

With thanks…

There have been people over the last few months who have gone out of their way to help me with photography: connecting me with others who can help, encouraging me to find my own style and story, sharing experience of putting an exhibition together and hanging it, learning more Photoshop retouching skills, and thinking about the market out there! I would like to say thank you to them. As any beginner knows, things can seem like a tangled rush of information unless others with experience can shelter you for a moment, and point out the woods from the trees.

I realise there is only so much I can learn alone, and after 3 years of exploring and making connections, I’m now enrolling in courses at West Herts College to get some formal teaching and I couldn’t be more excited. For me, this beckons a potential life change and I know that I can check in with those I’ve met along the way, I wanted to thank them today.

I’m not sure what the future holds (it can’t be known), but I know I’m not ready to stop, the image ideas are coming thick and fast and invading my dreams, and I need to know how to realise them. This is somewhere I didn’t imagine I would be when I picked up my first Canon IXUS 60, or my Canon G12 bridge, my interest really caught grip when I held my first DSLR (Canon 60D) in my hands. Training my eye through the viewfinder on anything from the landscape glory of the Gower coastline to the cropped, close focus grit of Hoxton. I learned slowly from many mistakes and still managed to enjoy the frustration!

For all those wishing to take things further, I cannot recommend enough seeking out others who share your interest, who have two good ears to listen to your questions, a mind that is generous in sharing experience and a heart which reaches out and gives encouragement along the way.

Thank you…

Jason Arber

John Vaughan

Richard Kalina

Chris Shelley: Hertfordshire photographer and exhibitor

Suzanne Grala

Louise Paige

Syd Nadim

Lukasz Warzecha

Related links:

Bureau of Freelance Photographers

Alamy Stock Photography has a strong philanthropic agenda.

Canon

West Herts College

Photoshop

The Gower Coast

Edward Hopper and the High Keys

I look at the final edits of some of the photos I took at Southend, and I spy Edward Hopper jumping out from memories of loved posters on my uni room wall, and stamping himself on my images.

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It was one of those days where the in – camera settings, the light, and a newly discovered photoshop tool, allowed me to produce something in a style I love but had never cracked before.

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I looked back and found these black and white ones in a similar style from a shoot at the pier in Weymouth.

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There is something about the mannequin men and women.

This, and getting a favourite high key effect working on another image (the siblings on the beach) – has simply left me with a big grin.

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Here’s to sticking with the learning curves and bearing with the many shots you have to delete, because without this, you’d never recognise the keepers.

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