Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Magnum Workshop Day 4/7 - Starting to Find My Way

Day 4. Wednesday. David Alan Harvey (DAH) had arrived on Tuesday night, and I knew that I'd be working with him for the rest of the week.
My final meeting with Bruno Barbey in the morning allowed me to share my images from Rego Automotive, two or three of which Bruno actually liked. I also showed him my shots from meeting the NYC surf fishermen. Bruno suggested that I try to find them again.
I joined DAH at around 10:30AM, and each of us students shared what we had so far. David was clear in telling us that we didn't have much for being on the third day of the workshop, and I agreed. He shared some of his own work, including a series from a strip bar in NYC, and showed us every exposure. This helped us to understand how he built up to the final few amazing images by working the scene. DAH doesn't believe in walking around looking for images. He finds a spot and sticks with it until a photograph emerges. This was an important lesson for me, and one that would pay off in the end.
After lunch, I grabbed my bike and headed back toward the beach, hopeful of finding the surf fisherman again.
On the way, I noticed this scene, which has some relation to the changing of seasons in Ptown. Trying to follow directions and work the scene, I shot this one, which I thought was just an ice breaker. Then I proceeded to get close, and shoot images of individuals working. Technically fine, they just showed one or two guys painting. DAH picked this shot below because the real visual draw was having all of these ladders in place on one house. It gives the impression of working to get the painting done quickly. So, this was the only one that made the cut.
Winter Preparations
I never did find the surf fishing group again. However, on this day, I did finally start to find my groove. It was Wednesday, DAH was in town, and the pressure was on. Walking the beach, I caught a flash of brilliant color out of the corner of my eye. It was this young lady, letting her beach towel blow in the breeze. Walking over to her, I explained that I simply had to have that image for my workshop series. She happily obliged. I knew at this point that things were starting to go somewhere, at least a little.
Golden Towel
Then, I happened to catch this amusing little moment. Having my Lumix DMC-GX7 and kit zoom allowed me to quickly capture this image without anyone noticing. One second later and it was gone.
Caught in the Moment
Not five minutes later, I found this somewhat similar scene:
A Theme, Perhaps?
Deciding that a final day or two at the beach did fit my story line of Ptown shutting down for the season, I was happy to bring these into my image collection. I knew that I would need some pictures of people departing, and grabbed the shot below to try to capture that feeling.
Leaving the Beach
That shot didn't make the cut. DAH liked the concept, but not the execution. Getting a couple of closing shots would prove to be no simple feat. At least I had a start, however. I went into Wednesday evening feeling much more confident. Maybe too much so.
The public talk was by DAH on this evening. Knowing that he'd just arrived after days of trying to fly in from Europe, and had worked the full day that day, I was impressed with his energy and clear thought in presenting his work. There are many great examples of DAH's work to look at. Having been a National Geographic photographer for many years, of course he had stories. One of his latest projects, "Based on a True Story," demonstrates an edgy, energy-filled depiction of Rio de Janeiro. I was very pleased to get a copy of the book, complete with signature, as part of being in David's workshop.
So, I had a start. Far from really having a full story, I knew I had to find more good images in the coming two days, but at least I had a start.