Mark Gillett

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“You taught me to find things others could not see”

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This is a quote from a student I recently wrote to complimenting his photography. I did not send him the email looking for this reply, I sent it because I noticed. I noticed how good this young man was becoming as a photographer. I wrote it because I thought he should know.

But his reply made me think a lot. It made me notice more stuff. I realised the importance of what EyeforLife really does teach and that working with people is a far better way of improving their photography than just working with how to use a camera.

It reminded me of a colleague who told me a story of how much she learnt with one of her teachers when she was told to spend and hour and a half photographing a tin can on a white table. Faced with the daunting and seemingly boring task of spending this time on such an inannimate object she set to task. In the end she had huge fun and really worked her creative mind.

I did not teach this young lad to see what others don’t see but I did enable in him what was already there. What is in most of us. My reply was that most people see the same things but its what they notice (read the piece on words) that is important.

Armed with the ability to notice stuff, using a camera to record it becomes just another tool for the photographer. Learning how to use it becomes a pleasure when you know what you want to achieve and so on… The basics of photography are pretty easy once you know what you want.  For example, someone may ask me how I make my images out of focus in the back ground. A simple and common question for a beginner. Because they have an idea of what they want, the process to achieve it is easily understood. If I just try to teach this without their desire to achieve it, the process is cumbersome and pointless. The same applies to all; sports, landscapes, fashion and then what you want to achieve within those genre’s.

So many students initially think they just want to know how to use the camera and that on its own will turn them into photographers. It simply does not work like that.

When you begin to apply this thinking you find your whole world opens up. Not just with your camera but you work and family life too. I suppose we could sum it up with one word. Purpose.

The images below are things I noticed on one of our Kuwait workshops for the KSC. Part of the trip was to a pipeline site in the desert. Not the most exciting place in the world but I noticed a lot in an hour. The we went to an old port followed by a tower…..

Written by markgillett

September 23, 2011 at 6:19 pm

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