In early December I celebrated my bus pass birthday. The next best present was an e-ticket to a Guardian Masterclass weekend workshop in Street Photography with Antonio Olmos, scheduled for 24 & 25th January 2015. Excited?? It took all the intervening seven weeks to gain control of my heart rate. Sleep was even more elusive than usual.
Of course I had a totally glorious time; from the moment I boarded the local bus, (with new bus pass), to catch the train to London, until blearily viewing my photographic efforts on the journey home three days later.
Antonio Olmos, (aka Tony Clooney, see below) originates from Mexico, via USA. In other words, British reserve does not come into his teaching style: “ Why spend all that money on a LEICA and keep it on AUTOMATIC?!!!” and: “There is no point to jpeg setting – RAW ONLY! Storage is cheap!” and: “NO SHOPPING at Camden Market! You’re there to take pictures!” and “NO deleting files – we learn from sharing our mistakes!” and “You HAVE to come back with pictures of PEOPLE!”
My fellow adult learners turned out to be a friendly and humorous bunch. Sunday afternoon, the last few hours of the weekend workshop, were spent in The Guardian’s meeting room, viewing our (unedited- eeek!) raw files on a HUGE screen via Tony’s laptop. The prospect of this exercise was unnerving, but in the end I found myself more interested and excited to see my fellow students’ results than my own. What had we each “seen” and chosen to photograph in the same Camden Market environment? Suffice to say that our spontaneous responses to, and debates about each other’s (brilliant) work became sufficiently noisy to provoke (polite) remonstrations from Masterclass management; we were disturbing (real, live) Guardian journalists working to deadlines for Monday’s paper.
What did I learn? A lot: about my sense of street photography, about trying to “see” like my camera, about my editing confidence, etc. etc.etc Check out my (edited) results in my new gallery posting and tell me what you think.
The best lessons of all?
Sixty is definitely the new thirty. Especially with a bus pass, and a camera.