Image by Keith Moss
Written by Guest Blogger Sarah Blenkinsop
It was a grim and grey (fortunately not raining) day as four of us descended on Edinburgh for our Street Photography course. We met in the Gallery Café, and Keith chatted with his students for the day, about what they were looking for and getting to know them. Fortunately their requirements and skillsets were similar, which meant that as the day went on they could compare and contrast their work with understanding.
Due to the low light, Keith painstakingly explained how the cameras should be set up, and what the ensuing ‘depth of field’ (area of focus) would be. The challenge was then to find subjects and material within the required distance, but the team soon got the hang of it.
With the settings correct, the next job was to snap happenings in the busy streets. We roamed, looking for subjects that encapsulated Edinburgh’s vibrant personality, hoping to snap them candidly.
Keith taught his technique for holding the camera on his hip and looking the other way. His shots came out perfectly, the rest of us were blessed with a series of blurred passing knees, but Keith assured us that it was all in the practice – this from a man who has spent 25 years becoming as one with his camera.
Street photography is definitely not something that can be totally learnt in a day. Keith’s eye for beauty in the strangest things and the strangest places is something acquired through his years of obsession with his art, but after a few hours we began to think and feel like him about the surroundings. We began to notice the un-obvious. We started to notice areas of interesting light, contour and reflection. We began to see and feel the beauty of the people and the place and his passion for capturing the normal and making it beautiful was infectious.
We left, footsore and inspired, with a thousand dud photos to delete, but a handful that showed we had understood – hopefully next time the handful will be bigger, and the dud collection smaller. Either way, we will keep in touch with Keith and can be assured of his support as we head through our photography journey.
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