Flash, Bang, Wallop

Posted by editor on July 2, 2010 under Art, sport and leisure, Environment

On the same afternoon as England’s bid to reach the World Cup quarter finals, photographer Len Grant led a photography workshop at Clayton Vale hosted by Groundwork.

Photography workshop in the beautiful Clayton Vale. Photo: Len Grant

I was surprised anyone showed up at all. This was the big one: England versus Germany and it seemed every other house in east Manchester was sporting a massive St George’s flag or half a mile of bunting. Many had both.

But as our own kick-off arrived there were many eager snappers fingering their dials and knobs ready to capture the beauty of the Vale.

Billed as being totally non-technical, I firstly extolled the virtues of ‘looking at light’, imagining the sun as one massive photographic light that could be either on, off or many variations in between.

Getting a different viewpoint. Photo: Elliot Brown

The committed participants also heard my recommendation for ‘moving about’, looking for the best viewpoint and not being content with the view of a scene that first presents itself. It sounds incredibly basic but it is consistently overlooked and can make a good photograph even better.

I remember my photographic education – such as it was – took great leaps forward when my evening class teacher encouraged us to start taking pictures in a sequence rather than looking just for that killer shot. So my workshop participants were sent off to take a series of images, of any subject matter, that might be the beginning of ‘story-telling’, or at least thinking about they wanted to say with their photography before lifting the viewfinder to the eye.

Congratulation to all involved. It was a constructive afternoon for photography if not for English football. Here are some of the results.