Leica Camera Asia Pacific Advanced Street Photography with Eric Kim, 14-15 - Pt #1/3
by, 20th January 2012 at 05:41 PM (2656 Views)
It was an exclusive invitation that I could not refuse, even though I was wrecked by fever from food poisoning earlier on in the week!
An eye-opening experience awaited me ... learning from one of the most entertaining and inspirational Masters of Street Photography saw two days of my life as a Professional Photographer very well-spent exploring an entirely different genre!
A gifted communicator and inspirational educator empowered with skills and knowledge to impart to workshop participants, Eric was the epitome of vivaciousness while being totally down to earth.
Before a short chronicle of the weekend events, I managed to spend a few minutes with Mr Sunil Kaul, Managing Director of Leica Camera Asia Pacific as the other workshop participants came streaming in.
DM: It’s really exciting that Leica has been conducting workshops (here in Singapore) recently.
SUNIL: Fundamentally, there have two categories of people, there’s the existing customer, and the other is a new customer. For a new customer, it is a revelation, because when somebody acquires a Leica, he loves it because of the beauty and he wants to learn all about it as soon as possible
When you buy a new Mercedes Benz, you don’t drive it at 180km/h, but start at 100 because you always fear that something might go wrong and you want to take good care of it. But these workshops help you understand the length and breadth of a camera, and in a way, they teach you different sorts of experience. Maybe this is something ‘hidden’ – a hidden talent inside you that you will never realize or recognize.
While for example, we do Eric’s street photography, or we do Abbas’ ‘special moments’. We try through other people, to inculcate their experiences for the benefit of our customers.
Right now, we’ve been having something or the other and I think our ‘family’ members and prospects have been enjoying it, and so do our ‘conductors’ of the programmes.
DM: I think you guys are really on to something here … compared to the past when you have tea parties and gatherings …
SUNIL: Thank you very much because we learn from you … that’s why we’re here, and that’s why I am also here. I could also be in bed, like you said, but I also want to learn some new things by which I can do my job for my customers, for my ‘family’ members better.
DM: Thank you Sunil.
The day started with breakfast of Cedele cupcakes and breads, fresh coffee and tea getting to know each other. Displayed are works of Chia Aikbeng.
Tabled were these objectives:
1. Understanding what elements make a compelling street photography project or essay
2. How to effectively edit and sequence the work in your portfolio or project
3. Personal guidance on developing your strengths in street photography
4. Advanced techniques on how to approach and take photos of strangers
5. How to show your unique personality through your images
6. How to market yourself as a street photographer and get your work more recognized
7. An in-depth study of famous Magnum and contemporary street photographers
8. Specialized street photography themes for both days
9. How to create images that tell compelling stories
10. An online book of all your work shot from the project afterwards
The first morning was packed with presentations, participant’s portfolio reviews and a guest speaker’s talk. The entire morning was also instructional in nature, and very entertaining! Key to everything (I felt) was the identification of strengths and weaknesses in just about everyone’s photos, even dissecting the works and essays of Magnum photographers and other contemporaries. This provided important reference points which participants could reflect upon, and then take and start crafting into their own unique ways of seeing!
During presentations and dissections from Eric, Chia Aikbeng, who has a solo exhibition, SWIPE(D) – Stolen moments from the streets of Singapore at the IPA Galley, was a guest speaker. Aikbeng is a handphone shooter who used a Leica for the very first time during the workshop – to great effect!
Besides the main objectives that were on the list, it was really great that the main objective of the entire ‘Advanced’ workshop was to put everything learn and turn it into a single, focused, practical project.
Even though we were give pre-workshop assignments to think about, and come up with three potential project ideas, Eric went to each individual during lunch to discuss anything from brainstorming to conceptualization of the project.