Light, Gesture, Colour & Striking While The Iron's Hot

Light, Gesture, Colour & Striking While The Iron's Hot

Here's a little postscript to last week's Scott Kelby posting. If you've ever been to an event like this, could be about music or sport just as much as photography, there's always merchandise on display and often special conference or seminar offers.Bowl No exception here. ickledot has been a member of online training, advice and discounts 'club' KelbyOne and its predecessors NAPP and Kelby Training for a number of years now. This enables renewals at a very low price and that day's two year offer was too good to miss. As part of the deal, KelbyOne was giving away no less than two photography books for free.

What to choose? So many volumes on offer made the selection quite difficult. This time though I decided to narrow things down by opting for books of photographs rather than ones giving advice. Probably like you, I've already got many of those and as I get older I think I'm finding online video tuition easier to digest than ploughing through tomes of instruction. We all learn in different ways though and you might prefer the hard copy versions.

I'd bought the renewed membership before the seminar even started and so the choosing began early. For a number of months now Scott and the people at KelbyOne have been speaking in somewhat reverential terms of Light, Gesture & Color by New York veteran photographer, Jay Maisel. They'd also produced a wonderful online video interview between Jay and KelbyOne's Mia McCormick, in which he revealed himself to be a down-to-earth, blunt individual who tells it as he sees it, using occasionally colourful language (I do recall writing to KelbyOne at the time of its release, complaining that some of Jay's mild expletives had been 'bleeped'. Scott agreed and the bleeps were removed. Unfortunately the link to it here might not work for you as it may require membership of KelbyOne).

Light, Gesture & Color was there! Even a quick flick through revealed how beautiful this book is, containing so many examples of how Jay is able to turn everyday life scenes into something of real beauty. And his more recent publication It's Not About The F-Stop was there too. Done! Choices made. But the queue was long, moving slowly, and time was ticking down to the session's start. I abandoned the quest, reasoning the books would still be there on my return during a break.

Wrong! Mid-morning, the piles of books were somewhat diminished and Jay Maisel's titles were nowhere to be seen. By lunchtime panic had begun to set in as newly opened boxes did not reveal the desired titles. Lesson One: Always strike while the opportunity's there - seconds later it could be gone. There were still many other options on offer but, you know how it is? Once you decide you want fish & chips, you're inconsolable when the fish & chip shop's closed.

Thankfully, the afternoon break brought with it a shorter queue and fresh copies of Light, Gesture & Color. This time one was snapped up immediately. No Not About The F-Stop though. Won't tell you about the replacement choice. Wouldn't want the author to think they were second best.

Back home now, I'm making my way through Light, Gesture & Color really slowly. Its rich, exquisite content deserves to be savoured. Fast food this is not. Limiting myself to three photographs a day. Although not a teaching book as such, the text contains many words of sound advice from man who's been producing beautiful work for six decades and more so if you're looking to learn, the tuition's there. The best teaching though is by example and the photographs contained within are truly inspirational.

Once again, there's not really a photograph which would obviously accompany this post and I'm not about to break any copyright ruling by including one of Jay's pictures. So here's one of a bowl in an aforementioned garden. In no way to compare with the work of Jay Maisel. In fact, just think of it, an English garden on an overcast day, as being as far away as possible from the busy streets of New York. Have a great Sunday!