On Monday evening we were both taught and entertained by Roy Essery (MPAGB) with his talk “Creative Expression – The difference between taking and making an image”.
Surely one of the great benefits of being a member of a club like SYPC is the diversity of presenters’ own skills that we are privileged to enjoy and the resultant opportunity this affords, to extend our range of ideas and stimulate fresh approaches. Last night Roy Essery delighted us with his own, unique, mind blowing processes and the chance to compare many of them both before and after.
As Roy himself said “An image elicits a response, the viewer needs to respond and great photographers create great images.” He went on to describe how you can take a picture but you can’t make one – it’s all about creative interpretation. From the invention of photography in 1839 the growth of our wonderful hobby has seen, almost from the outset, how the imagination, coupled with a refined skill set can present us with photographs that stimulate our emotions and tell us a story through the author’s care, attention and imagination.
There are three stages to achieve an intended target: –
1. Making an image from your imagination. In this way, in advance of the actual shoot, you should plan exactly what you are seeking, taking props as necessary, drawing up notes and committing your ideas to paper – stretching your imaginative boundaries
2. Conceiving something at the “taking” stage. This can be a whole range of possibilities and Roy gave us some:
a) Intentional camera movement (ICM)
b) Shooting through anti Newton glass
c) Shooting through cling film, Vaseline laden glass, frosted glass
d) Lens choice – wide angle portraits from very close, or odd, angles
e) Adding antique tones
f) Camera choice – Infra red, Black & White, the limit is your imagination.
3. Post capture, this now leads to a huge choice at our disposal:
a) Convert to monochrome
b) Dodging and burning
c) Colour toning
e) Adding a single element or background
f) Using pre-sets
g) Texture overlays
h) Plug-in filters (fabulous examples of flood and collodion wet plate were shown).
The speaker made it clear that an image might be made through using any or all three of the above described. We were given examples of all of them showing the thought, persistence and sheer creative gift that he brings to bear on his work.
It was clear that he has devoted a great deal of time, thought and sheer hard work in pursuit of his love of photography. His final piece de resistance was his personally developed painting technique which facilitated the hand finishing of an ordinary monochrome shot to bring out certain facets using a “colour by numbers” method derived from his mastery of Photoshop.
He also briefly showed us a couple of grab shots which he knew could be “re-mastered” to a new fascinating story-telling image. Roy’s enthusiasm is infectious and a visit to his work on-line (see below) should be compulsory. The seeds sown this evening will, without doubt, influence a number of our members for many years in the future.
Roy’s website – http://www.shuttershot.co.uk/