Realising Your Potential by Dr Brian Law
This week the cohort of members were treated to an insight and education from Dr Brian Law – an L&CPU Judge and member of Macclesfield Camera Club, Brian has been taking photographs for many years. Having moved to digital format in 2000 he started to realise his true potential by being able to create the art that he had always dreamed of. Brian has used a number of cameras over the years but now uses the Olympus OMD EM1. He mainly works in colour taking what he describes as ‘straight’ images. He has taken his influence from the painters of the Symbolist and Expressionist eras, but more recently Brian has been attracted to the Pictorialist photographers of the late nineteenth and twentieth centuries especially the textured painterly effect they create in their paintings.
Brian’s presentation is aimed at inspiring us as amateur photographers to get the best out of our hobby. Brian started off his presentation asking if we wanted to be great photographers and then followed up that question with another – can you afford the time? Whilst we all pondered his introduction in our minds, Brian set out his presentation. He provided us with a 13-step approach for us all to get the best out of ourselves, to make us great – if we want it. These points had been built up in his experience as a photographer, judge and educator.
Brian asked the audience some soul-searching questions, “Is photography your number 1 hobby?” This is an interesting point. There is little point in complaining under your breath on competition night about your poor performance if you do not put the effort in to learn about this craft. Brian added that taking your camera out with you when you walk your dog is not committed learning and will not improve you as an image taker.
As Brian worked through his 13-point plan, he offered advice and support showing his deeper understanding of his subject backed up with photographic examples from his PowerPoint presentation. As part of his plan, he encouraged us to view the work of other visual artists by visiting galleries, using the internet or reading books. He dared us to copy the work of the greats citing Picasso “Good artists copy, great artists steal” and Goddard “It’s not where you take items from, its where you take them to.”
Looking back on his presentation, I did enjoy it. It has forced me to be honest with myself - I am a perfectionist, I can’t help it and get frustrated with my photography when the results differ from what I was expecting. Brian pointed out to me that I need to be serious about learning about my art before I can start to demand perfection from myself and he has given me 13 building blocks to at least get me on my way.
For more information about the Mid-Cheshire Camera Club visit our website at www.midcheshirecameraclub.org or come along to a meeting on Wednesday evening at 7.45 for 8pm at the Dingle Recreation Centre, Winsford.
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