Light, light, light, “if you only remember one thing from this course; that’s it” said Derek Richards to FOPP members yesterday. How fast, or slow, the light is picked up by the camera, what sort of light you are shooting in, where is the light and the shadow for interest: an overcast day can produce much more interesting photographs than a sunny one. A small tip was to think carefully about light if you were shooting groups with black and fair-skinned people, otherwise you would either get dark silhouettes or light ghosts. So, let there be some light – certainly a number of members were a little bit more enlightened about how their cameras actually worked, and what all the dials and buttons were for.
Derek Richards had come to teach us how to get better ‘storytelling’ pictures for the information boards, leaflets, and digital record we are producing as part of the All Our Stories project, and was extremely enthusiastic about his subject. An IT professional and photographer, he is a volunteer for the Media Trust, who are support skills enhancement for the All Our Stories Project. Derek is also setting up his own charity to help give young people a sense of purpose through creative skills, opening the door to positive self-expression and making more of themselves; an idea he had following the 2011 London riots. His course with FOPP yesterday was a means of beta testing it before going live, and we will give him feedback on how much we learnt.
Derek’s other main learning point was homework – “go out with your camera and take pictures every day, and download them when you get home” he said “run, your own 365 day project, it’s the only way to get better. You can go out into the Park every day and you’ll get a different shot. Otherwise, you may as well just put your camera away and forget it, along with the digital imprint of Aunt Mable you took 3 years ago”. So, now we know – light, dial, download.