Max Colson: Tales

Photojournalism MA student at the LCC

Posts Tagged ‘david hurn

Manual Labour (going back to the basics)

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Well all I can say after my experience of the group tutorial sessions is that I’m impressed.

Some of the work from people on this course is really getting me going, making me want to go out and improve, and I don’t think you can ask for much more than that. I need to learn more and I need to learn more fast. I can confirm that I’m getting some great incentives to do so.

I think out of the things that I’m learning at the moment it’s developing a simple, careful, shooting methodology. I need the patience and the trust in my sense to find a scene amidst the chaos of wherever I’m shooting, and then being patient enough to sit with it, work it, work it again, and if all of the shapes of the scene are not there then leaving it, and coming back to it later when everything might hopefully be in place. And remember that there are only a limited number of frames: Foreground. Check. Background. Center. Check. Foreground. Right exposure? —-> Yep, seriously!

Really rudimentary, downright simple, basic stuff. I need to be slower. Back in the day everyone shot film and knew that each frame cost something. I sometimes pass over both.

There’s this phrase from the very helpful book ‘On Being a Photographer‘ (by the Magnum photographer David Hurn and the photographer/academic Bill Jay) which is haunting me at the moment:

“Very few people who take photographs are visual. They do not see. They record – but that’s not seeing. It’s very hard to see…”

At first I thought Hurn was talking about photographers not seeing images of historical significance and whilst yes you could infer that, I think really he is talking a lot more simply. It’s just about composition: I need to spend a serious amount of time looking and framing, and working out where the shapes are before I decide to haphazardly press the shutter and jump onto my next whimsical fancy. Breathing easy might help too.

To anyone who’s reading who is not on the course, we have just completed our first assignment shooting people at work. I took some okayish pictures and here’s one of them:

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