Well, it's Friday now and ickledot is back up north following another journey down to the smoke. A number of trips out included one to Somerset House to see The Jam exhibition, About The Young Idea. The number and range of items on show: tickets, posters, instruments, tour jackets and a myriad of other pieces of memorabilia, along with performance footage, interviews and a stage complete with lighting made it a must for any fan of the group.
In addition to being a great venue in itself, Somerset House is only few steps away from the London Camera Exchange on The Strand, thus making a visit virtually unavoidable. Did I really need that lens for the mirrorless? Probably not but, you know, it was there, pristine, much cheaper than new. Would have been a crime not to.
The main purpose of the trip though was to attend the 'Shoot Like A Pro: Reloaded' presentation by American photographer and educator, Scott Kelby. As the title suggests, it was follow-up to an original seminar last Autumn which ickledot also attended. Once again it was an information packed day catering for both beginner and experienced enthusiast. There was certainly something in it for everyone. I recall describing last time how Scott had taken the time and trouble to adapt the content and pricing of equipment to a UK audience. It was also true on this occasion as a whole section which dealt with US copyright - virtually irrelevant in the UK - was switched to advice about the value of producing and ease of making photo books. Overall it was a great day and although I could recall occasional snippets of information being mentioned previously in episodes of his online TV show The Grid, to hear detailed advice, in the flesh and in such an entertaining format was invaluable. Scott's summing up at the end of the day was quite moving, illustrating a sincere and genuine passion for his subject. Basically, the closing message was that ultimately types of equipment, camera settings - F stops and the like - should always be secondary considerations. The important element, the thing to get really excited about, is what's in front of the camera: the subject, be it people, landscapes or whatever. Seems simple but also so easy to forget.
It was also impressive that Scott took the time to meet each member of the audience who waited behind. ickledot had his couple of minutes and took the opportunity to 'rattle spoons' and show his Rugby Union Yorkshire book. It kind of demonstrated the 'specialness' of print Scott had referred to earlier. Last time I'd shown him a couple of pictures on an iPad. This time it seemed more real; he could turn the pages himself, look where he wanted. Now I know Scott is always positive in his critiquing of anyone's work but his exclamation of 'You took all of these?' felt like a real seal of approval. Being a keen American football fan, whether he quite understood my descriptions of the finer points of Rugby Union is a different matter.
I know I closed the post about Scott's last seminar with an encouragement to you to see him next time he was visiting. If you did, hope you enjoyed as much as me. If not, my recommendation still stands. And if you're in the US, the tour's still on so book a ticket! If you have any interest at all in taking better pictures, no matter your starting point, a day with Scott Kelby would be well worthwhile.
Although the day was spent talking about photography, it never seems appropriate to me to actually take photographs. Don't know why. S'just me. So here's one of an elephant in a garden instead. An elephant in a garden. Not the elephant in the room. Have a great weekend, wherever you are, whatever you're doing.