Leeds Photocamp ’09

Well that was a fun day. Photocamp aims to take the same ideas of unconference that make Barcamp so successful and bring them to photography. This is the second Photocamp held in Europe, both have been held in Old Broadcasting House in Leeds. Sessions over the day have ranged from theory of composition, through to strobism and urban fashion photography.

Later in the day we got the opportunity to recreate some classic photographs. We split into groups and decided to tackle Bailey’s photo of Paul Lennon and John McCartney and Andreas Feininger’s “The Photojournalist”. For your consideration our results and the originals are shown below.

Ours

Our PhotojournalistOur Bailey

The Originals

photojournalistbailey

For those interested in the lighting, we used two strobes, one set to flash against a solid white background at 1/32 for both photos, and for the Feininger a single light tightly snooted pointed directly at the model’s face and for Bailey, a single light behind a shoot-through brolly front and slightly left, with black material directly light to absorb any spill (and hence generating the strong shadow on the side of the face).

The hands on sessions were wonderful, and managed to learn a huge amount in the short time we had. The walk and talk by the fashion photographer (apologies for not catching your name) was a multi-part exercise in working with models, making use of available light, fill-flash and textures. All packed into an hour.

In contrast, the “theory” sessions didn’t carry so well. It’s my own view that while sessions like this are important, they need to be backed with practical work to reinforce the learning experience. Slide-shows are all well and good, but people haven’t just brought piles of gear with them to sit in the corner doing nothing. It does appear that pleanty of photos have been taken, you can follow them on Flickr with either the photocamp, photocamp09 or photocampleeds tags.

We enjoyed ourselves, that’s definite and we would love to see more sessions run like this. To that end I’ve got a secret project in mind, which hopefully you’ll hear more about in the next few weeks.