Friday 19 October 2012

St Peters Photography Group

Last year we were asked to do a talk for a local camera club, based at St Peters Church in Shipley.  For that event we did some work based around my "Light Trails" work, which effectively meant lots of people wandering around in the dark playing with torches and glowsticks, and doing long-exposure pics with their cameras.

The room as people came in- possibly after last years talk they'd have been expecting something unusual from us, but still people were somewhat surprised by the train set...

Rather than just showing images of our work and talking in a dull monotone about our pics, we like to try and do something interactive, based around a technique or style of shooting that people might ordinarily not get a chance to do.  This year we were a bit stumped for a topic for a while, until we hit on the idea of doing photographing moving objects.

Demonstrating the technique, a shot of a Rafale taking off, at the RAF Fairford Airshow which we attended earlier in the summer.  Blurred background, fixed target.

Might sound odd, but this isn't something we were ever really taught at Uni, and we picked up the techniques in an experimental fashion photographing rally cars etc.  Basically its all about following the 'target' with your camera, and getting the target frozen and the background blurred, with room to create unusual or abstract images.

A more abstract variant, taken by Ben at Blackpool a couple of years ago. 

Having come up with this as an idea, agreed it with the organisers of the camera club, and got it written down into the program, it suddenly occurred to us that doing this sort of photography indoors might be tricky.  So we did a bit of improvisation...

For photographing moving airborne objects (anything from birds to aircraft) I came up with the idea of using paper air planes- which seemed good in theory, but in practise with the room we were in proved too unreliable... until we attached it to a stick.

Likewise, photographing moving people was fine, but vehicles was a trickier prospect, until Ben's habit of hoarding props and rubbish from model-making projects came to the fore, and we were able to use a train set.  Basically the demonstrations we used were improvised and a bit unusual, but it gave people the chance to try the ideas and techniques, and everyone seemed to have fun.  Now just to think about what we would do if asked again...