Saturday saw the successful completion of my Shoot Experience Documentary Photography workshop, and offered me an opportunity to show off my photos from the Michael Jackson mass moonwalk event the day before. While the first day of the course saw me out and about in Shoreditch snapping photos of unwitting bystanders, the second and final segment of the workshop gave us a chance to edit each other’s photos into a final documentary.
The class had originally included six students but one, tellingly, didn’t make it back to the second day of the course and called in sick while another had broken his camera during the previous two weeks so didn’t have any photos to share. Of the four of us remaining, the documentary subjects covered were mass moonwalking (my contribution of course), F1 racing, dilapidated buildings in Dalston and empty public spaces at night.
After the first day of the course, I had the sense that I would have gotten more out of the workshop had I known more about photography and photojournalism prior to attending and this feeling continued through the second day. I don’t know if it was the heat in the small room where our course took place or the fact that I didn’t have the same background in photography as some of the others but the five and a half hours seemed to drag by with a lot more looking at bad photos than learning about how to take good ones. There didn’t seem to be quite enough instructor feedback to help settle issues of order and editing as well – three of the four photographers (myself included) looked at the edits their peers had made in horror, stating flat out that those not only weren’t the pictures they would have chosen but that the rest of the group completely misunderstood the subject of their intended photo documentary. While of course such an editing process is highly subjective, it does seem a bit like we may have missed the point of the lesson if such wildly different interpretations, without a real understanding for the other’s perspective, were really the end result of our hours of work.
I’m very grateful I had the opportunity to attend the Shoot London Documentary Photography class and feel I did pick up some useful knowledge, particularly as to what types of photographs are generally included in a photo documentary. Unfortunately, I also feel I should have learned a lot more, especially related to how to approach people to ask permission to take their pictures. Although we were told this is a skill you learn over time, I would have liked to talk about the best ways to start such a conversation, what to do to make the person feel more comfortable, how to direct the shot, and what to do afterwards.
My experience with the Shoot Experience workshop was definitely mixed and not necessarily something I would repeat. As I have said, much of my ambivalence to the course could have been due to my lack of photography background and a student with a stronger understanding of the skills needed to take solid photographs may have gotten a lot more out of it. I am, however, very much looking forward to the next Shoot Experience event, Shoot Shoreditch (similar to Shoot London) in July which I highly recommend you attend if you can.
Shoot Experience is an experiential photography organisation. They host instructional workshops, photo treasure hunts, corporate events and have an online photo library containing selected photos from the Shoot Experience archive of events and competitions.
Seems I’m not the only one loving Top Floor Flat life – I was so flattered to be featured in the Londonist, a fantastic London-wide weblog. If you’re particularly curious as to my favourite post on the blog, what up and coming London blog I’ve got my eye on, whether I’ve ever been sick on the London underground and other important questions, then check out The London Blogger Interviews #21: The Top Floor Flat on the Londonist.
I have to admit, my attention was initially caught by the cake. Yes, the sailor hats and flags around the outside of the shop were festive and certainly enticing. The objects in the shop were alluring as well – jewel encrusted skulls, pearl pendents, owl wings, beaded masks and sparkling frocks hung from the walls and shelves. But in all honesty it was the cake that first drew me into Luna & Curious yesterday afternoon during their 3rd birthday party. To be fair, it was quite delicious-looking cake.
Luna & Curious, located on the north end of Brick Lane, is a shop of the most attractive curious London has to offer. From jewelery to clothing to household objects (if one might consider a jeweled skull a household object), its offerings are unique, beautiful, and more than a little odd. I had noticed the shop before while on Brick Lane but as it was closed at the time I hadn’t had the opportunity to explore the shop. On it’s third birthday, however, the doors were wide open inviting anyone passing by to come in for a look at their strange offerings, a sip of ginger beer and a bite of cake. How could one resist?
Luna & Curious is only open Thursday through Sunday, noon to 6pm but if you are in the area, they are certainly worth a look.
Luna & Curious
198 Brick Lane
It’s been quite a fortnight for Twitter. First, it proved a degree of usefulness and worth when the recent conflict in Iran saw many Iranians using the microblogging tool as their primary means of communication with the outside world. Last night, I got word of Michael Jackson’s death over an hour before the BBC announced the news. And today, I saw Twitter mobilize hundreds of Londoners for a flash moonwalk mob, organised in honour of the late King of Pop. The Mass Moonwalk took place on 26 June at 6pm in London’s Liverpool Street Station. The event was organised by Milo Yiannopoulos, a local tech writer and twitter/online celebrity who managed to spread the word, find a sound system, coordinate with police, get shed loads of press and pull off a successful event in half a day.
I’ll do a more thorough post, as well as post some videos, over the weekend but I was right at the centre of the action for the event are here are some photos from the mass London Moonwalk.
Last night I had the opportunity to see some amazing improv theatre at the Canal Cafe Theatre in Paddington. It’s been a while since I’ve reviewed anything for Spoonfed so glad to get something new on the site. Take a look:
The life of a Spooner can be hectic – what with so many great London events every week. So it seems appropriate that tonight I’m winding down the post-work day with a classic film and some mates. We’ve checked the titles, weighed the options and now viewing the trailers for Roulette Slaughter – you know, the romantic horror set in a Casino; Sand in Your Pants which, as you remember, is the costumed drama set in the Sahara Desert; and TERMINUS, that sci-fi classic about a pair attendants from Tooting Beck Bus Depot who get abducted by aliens.
Not ringing any bells? Hardly surprising as these films are from the infinite collection of imagined movies provided the Scat Pack who welcome us to the Canal Cafe Theatre tonight for their Lights, Camera, Improvise comedy show.