LIP Shoreditch January Talks, upstairs at the Red Lion

January 11, 2011
Red Lion Pub Shoreditch
Red Lion Pub Shoreditch
The Red Lion Pub in Shoreditch

The Shoreditch group of London Independent Photography meet every month in the Red Lion Pub. Its a warm, sales friendly place – with an extremely small front door. So always a tight fit if you’re entering with a back-pack and projector…

Copyright: Andy Preston
'Wandsworth' by Andy Preston

Andy showed us a selection of his recent urban landscapes. They look like they’ve been shot on a large format camera – but are in fact digital images. Andy has an eye for capturing revealing moments of urban life – often with an underlying sense of humour – and these garden chairs in front of a massive gas holder are a great example of this.

It’s well worth some time looking at more of Andy’s photography portfolio online. Andy composes beautiful and rhythmic images out of subject matter you wouldn’t initially think could be interesting – like industrial estates.

Waiting for the Bus: Jerusalem
'Waiting for the Bus: Jerusalem' Jonathan Goldberg

Jonathan showed us work from his ‘Waiting for the Bus’ project which he’s been photographing around the world for several years. The series includes photos from Japan, sickness India, drug Turkey, Australia, Italy, Mexico, USA and this image shot recently in Israel.

I think this project is a great example of building up a body of work over a very long period of time. If Jonathan had tried to shoot all of this project at once he’d have needed a lot of time on his hands (and he’d also probably need to be independently wealthy!) And photographers, as a general rule, are neither time or cash rich… But, by adding one or two countries each year he’s creating an impressive collection of images that are all of the same thing – a bus stop – but are actually all completely different and reveal specific details about the culture and way of life where they were shot.

You can see more from this project on Jonathan’s editorial photography website.

Copyright: David Solomons
'Marble Arch Subway' by David Solomons

David is a highly respected street photographer that has been taking photos for twenty years. He did a fascinating talk showing his work from pre-student days, through college and up to his present projects.

His work captures moments of great spontaneity like this image above – but there is a huge amount of thought, patience and planning that goes into his photos. This image is from an on-going series entitled ‘The West End’ and David has shot over 1000 rolls of film for what he expects to be a 60-70 photo book.

In other words, these apparently spontaneous images are actually the result of many hours of hunting down these moments. (And then being ready with his camera when they happen.) Back in the studio, another process then begins – which is to edit and select the images that reveal story David wants to tell.

Something I found particularly interesting was David describing his journey from using film cameras, to digital cameras and then back to film again. He now shoots on a Leica – which is small, discreet and very quiet. This allows him to get close to his subjects which he felt the larger and noisier digital cameras prevented.

You can see more of David’s work on his street and editorial photography website.

On a string: Patrick Wilken
'On a string' by Patrick Wilken

It takes something special to impress a room of photographers with a single shot – but that’s just what Patrick Wilken did with this fantastic photo of a horse being led by a man driving a van. He took it on a day out in Tornowsee, eastern Germany. He heard a noise behind him and turned round to see the horse on a string. It’s one of those ‘once in a lifetime’ shots where you just hope you have your camera with you and around your neck (and not at the bottom of your bag…)

Patrick is relatively new to photography and has already got a firm technical foundation. One of the things I hope these slide-show talks will encourage is helping people with a portfolio of excellent single shots, start developing longer-term projects like the ones Jonathan and David showed.

You can see more of Patrick’s work on flickr.