Our latest regular bi-monthly tutored workshop was as popular as ever when we welcomed Clive White as a new tutor to our proceedings. Clive has kindly agreed to share the load of the meeting with Sharon Boothroyd, our regular tutor, as she’s finding that her workload has become a bit too much to attend every workshop we hold; so welcome Clive and thank you for joining us.
The format of each workshop has settled down into a familiar pattern of work-in-progress reviews in the morning and a discussion on a topical subject in the afternoon. To ring the changes a bit Clive asked if we’d introduce a practical aspect to the afternoon when he was in attendance which we readily agreed to as many of the attendees still have much to learn when it comes to how to do many things with their images. On this occasion we had two subjects which we tried, printing and working with Clive’s mono-rail 4 x 5 camera.
The morning session saw a range of different course images being reviewed and it kept everyone on their toes switching from one to the other and the different disciplines being discussed. It’s interesting from a perspective of having finished Level 1 and now doing Level 2 work to be able to discuss the challenges that new students are encountering with their first course. The questions they ask and the challenges they face are a reminder that I asked precisely the same questions and faced very similar challenges and now to be able to offer advice from experience is a very fulfilling experience, one shared by others who’re further along than the beginners. Clive’s input was most welcome and his style is markedly different from Sharon’s but the messages from both are very similar, just delivered with a different emphasis. All those who received advice and feedback on their work were appreciative and agreed that they would be leaving at the end of the day having learnt something worthwhile.
The afternoon session on printing fell foul of ‘Murphy’s Law’, whatever could go wrong did. Although the presentation had been prepped before the session having to move equipment from one room to another and hooking up to a projector introduced some practical problems which were eventually overcome but not without some delay. The eventual outcome was worth the wait, I think, as it showed the substantial differences between a 4 colour, A4 printer and a 9 colour, A3 printer and the necessity to have the best possible prints available for assessment purposes. I think everyone was appreciative of the effort it took to arrange this demonstration, but I don’t think anyone liked the wait for things to happen, although it did give time for several informal discussions to take place between small groups.
Clive’s camera was something none of us had seen before and it was an eye opener to find that quite a bit of mathematics had to be done before the equipment could be set up properly to achieve the stated image goal. To know that Clive went through this many, many times when he used the camera professionally was very impressive display of the fortitude he had to carry on, but then money was involved which is a fine incentive. The manipulation of these types of camera are very different from the smaller digital models we all tend to use today and they do have a couple of very profound advantages, one they slow down the photographer and give them time to think things through properly as you can’t just point and shoot as many times as you want. Two, the quality of the image is superior, unless you can afford one of the latest full-frame digital cameras which come close in quality of output.
The day ended as usual at 5-00 pm with everyone agreeing that it’d been a very worthwhile day and were looking forward to our next workshop on 31st May.
Thanks are due to the committee at OCASA for providing full financial support to us so we could have the input from Clive