22 Sept 2011

life class

It was wonderful to give another talk at The School of Life earlier this month. Many thanks to Nick Turpin and the participants of the Photographing London weekend workshop for a really inspirational afternoon.

I am impressed at the quality of work at these sessions. Once again it's a real lesson for me in setting oneself parameters or a challenge. Inevitably I search for a metaphor in these instances and the mental and physical effort required is certainly of Olympian proportions.

Two marvellous images are worth noting from Laura Fitzpatrick and Tony White. Each in their own way exemplify for me the essence of street photography.

Tony's image, and style now I'm glad to have discovered more of his work, has a real warmth and a resonance with the sensitivity of Tony Ray-Jones. There's certainly an undefinable Englishness to this picture which is a joy.

In contrast Laura's photograph at the foot of Nelson's Column is a tour de force of geometry and timing. It feels so perfect that it ironically touches on contemporary practices of digital manipulation and staged flash mobs, even though the image is entirely of the moment, taken as found with no intervention other than being in the right place at the right time and having the presence of mind to take the picture.
Easy, eh?