Project Journal 26/08/10

Day 4 of Training – Thursday

It must have been a 24 hour bug because this morning everyone is in bright-eyed and bushy-tailed even the ladies from NW2 are down stairs waiting for me to arrive, well done girls I’m impressed!!

It seems like everyone has come back with a real positive energy this morning, they are all eager to get started with the day ahead. I guess we must be doing something right!

With all this positivity in the air it’s a shame that I have to start the day off with a sad message. I inform the group that today will be Mark’s last day with us today and that he will be leaving at 13:00 today. There aren’t any tears but the group are clearly disappointed, many of them asking why and concerned that they haven’t grasped the techniques enough. The truth is he doesn’t love us anymore and he’s off to travel the globe, without a care in the world for us stuck back in cold wet London.

Ok so that’s a lie he does love us, but, he’s off to India to help charity that works with young people create a documentary about their lives. And once group hear why he is leaving us all is forgiven. He reassures everyone that they all have enough skill to produce really accomplished work and quickly runs through the work we have done over the last few days ending in a short pop quiz. Then it’s Marks’ turn, we have a short Q&A session about careers in photography any advice/tips he can give.

Next we pack our bags and head down to the Wellcome Collection, we are privileged to be allowed to go down on mass and do a photo shoot of exhibitions on the first floor of the collection. Something that very few groups have ever been allowed to do, we are given our rules:

  • No photo’s at all in the Skin Exhibition – Pieces do not belong to the collection.
  • No flash in the Medicine Man gallery – We don’t want to scare the mummy or the shrunken head now do we?
  • The galleries are still open to the public so no papping members of the public

then we are on our own. The group is off exploring the exhibits one more time only this time they have their artistic hats on. They have really listened to Marks advice.  The weird and wonderful object housed under the Wellcome Collection roof make for a photography feast. If you’ve never been down to Wellcome check out the pics and we are sure you’ll want to visit.

We take a bop back to One KX and begin picking our favourite shots from the ones we collect at Wellcome (these are all in the album), Mark gives us a little bit of feedback then it is time to say a fond farewell to our fantastic photography tutor.

“Have a great time away and come back and see us soon!!!”

Over the past few days Mark has been great to work with, as a Participation Officer I would have no hesitation in recommending him to other organisations. He is professional, enthusiastic and has a natural connection with young people.

Thank you for all your help Mark, we will see you when you get back.

All by my self!!

So with Mark gone its down to me to finish off the rest of the week, giving the group everything they need to move forward with the project. Thankfully we’ve started so strongly there isn’t much to do.

I set the group a task to do over the lunch time period;

  • They have to approach a member of the public that they think is beautiful and take their picture. With that persons consent obviously!!
  • If models are wiling they should take a shot of their favourite and least favourite part of their body.

I make no stipulation on the definition of beautiful it is up to the individual to decide. They have one hour, GO, GO, GO, GO!!!!!

Here are the shots they came back with. As you’ll see every single photographer went for someone completely different from the next. Many of them found it difficult to get models and when they did most of the models would respond with, “Why me? I’m not beautiful” proving just how little people can think of themselves.

“Beauty is personal, its in the eye of the beholder” – Elvis Miranda.

I asked the group, so why these people? What was it about them that was beautiful?

The response are varied but they all shared a couple thing in common,

“All of the people who agreed to have their picture taken were kind, friendly people willing to help someone else out.” – Maisie King

“They all had great smiles, and smiling eyes too” – April Hughes

The Journey So Far

At this point I think it is a really good idea to reflect on the journey we have taken so far because we have come along way already, not only in terms of skills but also in our attitudes and feelings towards the subject matter. We discuss the exercises and talk about our favourite and not so favourite bits to date.

Next we sit down and have a look at some of the shots we have got over the week and pick out ones we really like.  Through doing this we realise we haven’t got head shots for everyone, so the next exercise is everyone has their mug-shot taken, well everyone but me.

Mug-shots can be found here. Everyone had to have their picture taken and everyone had to take  a shot too. This time there were no complaints, no-one was rushing for the delete button and it was quite remarkable that everything had actually made a difference. Three days ago people were reluctant and nervous in front of the camera, ok so some are still a little shy but they did it and the change is great to watch.

This entry was posted in Aperture, Mark Sherratt, Photographic Techniques, Project Journal, Rule of Thirds, Shutter Speed, Texture & Light, Young photographers. Bookmark the permalink.

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