At Madgex I have the opportunity to talk to people about photography, even though it isn't related to my day job. I occasionally run training sessions or workshops to share my passion with others. I enjoy doing this as it makes me think in a different way - I often find explaining needs a deeper understanding than just doing. I'm not the most talented photographer in the company, but I want to learn more, and by teaching I do just that. In November I ran the first of a new style of workshop - this was challenge based. It consisted of 2 parts, the first setting the scene, and issuing a challenge (in this case taking photos where the main colour of the image was one of the Madgex colours - you can see Kevin's submissions here) and the second reviewing the submissions. Amongst the feedback from the attendees of the session was that there was too large a gap between the people who had high end cameras, and those using their iPhones or low end digital cameras, and also that those who had an aptitude for photoshop had an advantage. When I started thinking about my 2nd workshop, and what the challenge would be I took these into account.
Today, I issued the new challenge, this was partially inspired by this blog post which I read some point last year. I'd bought 2 identical disposable cameras (Kodak Fun Flash 27+12 for those who want the exact details) to be shared between the 8 attendees (somewhere between 9 and 10 shots each). I then issued them with a list of 8 items to take photographs of (inspired by lomokev's hot shots course) and as they like an element of competition, some scoring element.
So, the photos:
- a number
- something taken from ground level
- a Brighton landmark
- something red
- a dog
- shoes (this one is in tribute to lomokev and his fine collection of shoes and feet photographs)
- street art
- the person you're handing the camera over to
And the scoring:
- 1 point per picture that matches the brief
- 1 bonus points for doing them all in order
- 2 bonus points if you can manage a theme that runs through all 8 of your images
- 1 bonus point if your picture is judged to be the best of that category by me
- 1 bonus point if you use only 8 exposures rather than the allowed 9
- Lose 1 point per day you're late handing your camera over to the next person
- Lose 1 point if the last photo of your set isn't the person you're handing over to
- Lose 1 point per extra exposure over your allotted 9 you use
- Lose 20 points if you break or lose the camera
The intention is to get everyone thinking more before they press the shutter, to really commit to the image they are attempting to capture. Having been "playing with" film cameras for the past year I've begun to appreciate how much more focussed I am in what I take with film than when shooting digitally. I also hope that this takes away the concern about equipment and allows them to focus on composition and colours rather than technicalities. I'm really excited to see what they come up with and manage to produce, and despite the initial look of mild shock on their faces, I'm hoping that they really engage with it and enjoy this challenge.