Here Come the Girls - British White Cattle at Chevening
I realise that it has been some time since I last published a newsletter. There has been a lot going on bedding down the new f32 Community and closing the studio, both of which have taken a lot of my time over the last few months.
The studio was just paying its way, but with a lease renewal on the horizon I decided to close it down and focus on my online teaching and workshops. This has worked out well and as you will see there are some exciting new workshops and courses coming in the next few months.
Currently I have a small exhibition,” We are the Music Makers” running at the Anchor pub in Sevenoaks. The images are from jazz events that I’ve been photographing in and around Sevenoaks. You can see the images online here - I’d love to hear you feedback
Sevenoaks Jubilee Celebrations
Moving Away from “Greatest Hits” Images
I have many favourite images that I’ve taken over the years. These images stand alone, and I call them my greatest hits images. Whilst these are (I think) good photographs, I’ve concluded that all of my best work comes when I’m focussed on making a series of images that explore a concept or tell a story. Why is this? If I stand back and look at these “projects” as I like to call them, they all have a similar high level structure:
Statement of Intent (written or in my head)
Exhibition, Book, Online, Prints etc.
I find projects far more satisfying.This approach leads me to a closer understanding and engagement with the subject and to images that relate together often with a stronger emotional content.
I’m not alone in this view. If you look at any book of photographs or exhibition by an established photographer, you will find a project rather than a collection of random images.
Having mastered the basic photographic techniques, moving on to projects and producing a body of work, rather than greatest hits images should be the next step on your photographic journey. If you haven't tried this yet why not think of an idea for a project? It doesn't have to be new and could include work that you have already done as well as new images.
If you are interested in looking further at how to get started with photography projects, I’m running a half day online masterclass ‘Mastering Photography Projects’ on Saturday 2nd September more details and a booking link below.
V&A Photography Centre Installation
I was fortunate to have been mentored in the 1990’s by the famous landscape photographer, Fay Godwin. The most valuable piece of advice she gave me was.
“Look at lots of exhibitions and books, don’t get hung up on cameras and technical things. Photography is about images”
I believe that she was right! Spending time looking at exhibitions and books of photographs by established photographers, rather than the often poor or mediocre images that you will find on social media, will definitely improve your photography. Why avoid social media?I believe that having work published in book form or as a gallery exhibition implies a measure of quality control not found on social media.
There are some great, free exhibitions currently on in London.
The Victoria and Albert Museum in Kensington has recently opened it’s vastly expanded Photography Centre covering seven galleries and showing work from the beginnings of photography to current cutting-edge new commissions. Definitely worth a look.
The Centre for British Photography in Jermyn Street opened earlier this year. The gallery has 6 exhibition spaces dedicated to British photographers. If you are in the West End this is a great place to spend a pleasant half hour.
The Photographers Gallery in Ramillies Street, near Oxford Circus always has several exhibitions running. Subjects are often more cutting-edge and sometimes controversial so be aware.
Talking of books, I’ve recently been reading The Interior Landscape by Guy Tal. Guy is a professional author and photographic artist living in Torrey, Utah. In his photographs, Guy intends to express emotions and mood rather than to document the appearances of places or events, which is a concept that I find very interesting and attractive. Even if you don’t find the concept interesting, the book is worth buying for some of his amazing landscape images.
Guy is a regular contributor to On Landscape Magazine, an online fortnightly magazine on landscape photography run by Tim Parkin, a Scottish based landscape photographer and his wife Charlotte. It is full of amazing landscape photographs and articles. I have contributed on occasions, and it is worth a look and possibly a subscription. The current issue has a particularly interesting article on Zen Photography
Guy’s method of working involves engaging with the moment and his surroundings before picking up the camera. This is often referred to as “mindful photography” and is a technique that has proved very effective in my work and the work of people that I’ve introduced the technique to. If you are interested in discovering more, I’m running a Mindful Photography workshop in a private woodland setting in September. More details and booking link in the workshop section below
New Websites, New Workshops
If you’ve visited my website www.paulburgess.photography recently you will have noticed that it has a new look and that my courses and workshops have moved across to my www.f32.co.uk site. My site is now focussed on promoting my own work. You will find images from an increasing number of my current and historic projects in the portfolio section if you are interested.
I’ve moved the workshops and courses to the f32 brand as it gives me scope to include events from other tutors on the site in future.
I’m planning more workshops for the autumn and winter months. Here is the list so far:
Crossness Pumping Station should be a particularly Interesting. We will have exclusive access to this historic victorian masterpiece of engineering. (see picture below)
Crossness Pumping Station
Creative Photography Courses
The Monday and Wednesday evening online creative photography courses are working well under the new f32 format. Weekly online classes are supplemented with monthly face-to-face meetups. More information here
10 Week Beginners Course
In September, I’m running a 10-week online beginners’ course on Thursday evenings or Wednesday mornings. The course teaches basic photographic and editing skills and is aimed at anybody who is confused and frustrated by their camera and/or editing program. As with all of my courses, the emphasis is on the image rather than the technology. If you think that this course would be good for you or a friend you can find details here
I’m still offering 121 tutoring covering most aspects of photography – details here
This Month’s Technique Tip
With each month’s newsletter I’m including a technique tip. This month it’s a short video showing A different way of showing movement in landscape photographs as an alternative to long exposures.