Our club’s meeting last night started with that most fundamental of questions “What does photography mean to you?” This alone set the scene for an evening with our speaker, David Keep (ARPS DPAGB FBPE EFIAP), to approach the entire subject from an alternative angle. Many of us will attempt to create images that can tell a story and in the case of David he drew on his Engineering background describing his work as a process of reverse engineering. The audience were both puzzled and intrigued, as to how he went about it. Like many top flight photographers their skills have been developed and refined and they are always delighted to share their knowledge.
We were taken through the why and the how of three projects, boxing, dance, and athletics.
Our speaker was entirely unashamed to tell us that his final image had started life by seeing something from other people’s work and, by use of research, care and expertise. Having been provoked by seeing something he himself had admired he then set about, in a most determined and professional way, to find out more about that particular topic in order to take the photograph that would be one of his base points and then, using Lightroom and Photoshop and attendant plug-ins he would work to modify that original shot to the standard of composition, colour, setting and atmosphere that he wanted. We were amazed at his development to shots in a boxing gym how the subject, and an adjacent wall poster, were brought together to provide us with a story – the detail and continuation of that story is left entirely with the viewer and David’s great success in competitions is testimony to his driven urge for success.
The sources of his work were most interesting, he creates pre-shoot storyboards, taking art, cartoon or drawn images from, for example, Pinterest, magazines, literary works, Flickr, he is always prepared and having gained access to a boxing competition, athletics meet, or dancing evening he is ready and armed to take, literally, thousands of pictures – he even shared his technique for analysing this huge amount to narrow it down to a workable number. The evening’s presentation was punctuated, most effectively, with short bursts of video to contextualise his working method and to re-enforce, if we needed it, the amount of thought and effort that goes into his end product – no wonder he achieves such success.
One of his most informative segments followed an evening at a high-level dance competition where he built up a relationship with a couple and invited them to be photographed in studio. We were able to see this sequence go forward when the author recognised the shape of a photograph that he had taken and saw that this could be developed into a dream like image with a grand chateau in the background, a lake providing reflections and, using white layers of decreasing opacity, a dreamy result called Waltz with me was revealed.
The overall message from this high quality speaker is:-
VISUALISE…….. PLAN…….. SHOOT…….. PROCESS
David’s presentation included a number of links to documents which are available to us in order to embrace and learn from his story and to take up your quality several notches. An exceptionally well-prepared and professional presentation.
We look forward to seeing David at SYPC again with another chapter of his work.
Make your first port of call David’s website at – https://www.davidkeepphotography.co.uk/