It’s a misty, damp day here in southern Spain. I’ve been out on the beach with my kids combing for interesting things. My daughter in particular loves finding things with me – we are always looking for the most interesting stones possible.
My son loves to drift off – walking and running and playing. It’s a beautiful sight to see the kids in this fresh air, away from the intensely urban life we were living before. It’s quite a gift.
I had a lot of fun on Sunday hosting my webinar on the photo challenge – Finding Beauty in the Mundane. There were lots of interesting entries which I discussed.
I love looking at peoples photos and giving my feedback – it’s really fun.
I hope you are all doing very well and having a great summer. I have been really getting into teaching live online classes this past year and I have to say, I’m loving it.
I was so nervous at first, and it took me a while to not get freaked out by talking to what I felt was a black hole of empty internet.
Gradually, though, I’ve figured out how to engage with groups in my live webinars and classes, so they have a similar feel to my in-person classes. In fact this is why so far I haven’t done any pre-recorded classes. I am loving the live element so much.
I don’t like talking at people for hours, so working out how to engage people as a group online has been amazing. I love that feeling of back-and-forth in teaching. The discussion, the questions, the contrasting thoughts. That is what makes it so fun and what helps people learn so much.
One of my plans as I travel around the world is to keep teaching online wherever I am — so that I can bring learning and knowledge from the beaches of Sri Lanka, the jungle of Mexico and the misty hills of Kerala.
I want to bring you on my world adventure too! Plus share all the cool new things I learn along the way (learning never stops, people! Arrival is the death of inspiration, said my favourite photographer Ernst Haas).
Before I head off to my first stop of Arles and the French Riviera, I will be running a free Photography Masterclass on August 13th at 8pm BST. I will be talking about my two favourite subjects — Light and the Art of Seeing (although really they are one subject to me, which I will weave together), I’d love for you to join me!
When I take photos I am always photographing light. You might think it’s a photo of a chicken but, no, I am focusing on how the light falls onto the wings of the chicken through the barn doors, creating a beautiful pattern on the floor and enhancing the reddishness of the feathers of the bird. OK, I don’t have a photo of a chicken like that but you get the idea, right?
I love light! I focus on light almost exclusively — you could say that the cities, the people, the textures I photograph are mere light receptacles for me. Ways to show the myriad of wonderful things that light does.
I love what light does to the world! I love that it changes how everything looks and feels. Think of your garden on a day when the light is grey and flat — and how that looks and feels to you. Now think of when the light in your garden is warm and sunny. The garden feels totally different, doesn’t it — all because of the light.
That’s what I love about light — it communicates so much feeling, as well as just being beautiful, intriguing and interesting.
“Embrace light. Admire it. Love it. But above all, know light. Know it for all you are worth, and you will know the key to photography.” George Eastman
So in this free Photography Masterclass I will be discussing this fascinating subject — and give you some awesome tips about how to capture the many moods and feeling of light.
I also want to discuss the art of seeing! Another favourite subject of mine.
If you read my blog regularly, you will have seen that I write about how we what see is a very, very limited amount of visual information to what is actually out there. Our brains purposely filter what we notice, because otherwise we would become too overwhelmed with visual information.
Therefore you are only noticing a tiny portion of what’s out there.
“Vision is the art of seeing what is invisible to others.” Jonathan Swift
This is perfectly illustrated by a conversation I had with Di this morning.
Have you ever noticed that giant luminous green statue at the entrance of the park? She asked me.
Errr, yes, why?
Because I only noticed it this morning! I thought it was new but was told it had always been there. How weird!
This is at a tiny park near our house that my wife goes to every single day. I was a little surprised by this, but it shows that we often see less in our familiar surroundings because we are so used to them.
Now, this point illustrated in another way. This is a conversation Di and I have (apparently) all the time.
Me — calling from the kitchen — Di, have we run out of cheese?
Her — No, it’s in the fridge.
Me — I’m staring at the fridge and there is no cheese.
Her — It’s there, Tony! I just saw it, it’s on the middle shelf.
Me — It’s not Di!
By which time she will have got so annoyed that she has come down, immediately found the cheese (which was right there on the middle shelf! Who knew!) and given it to me in a huff. What can I say? We all have weaknesses 🙂
So what we are doing all the time in photography is learning how develop our abilities to see more in our surroundings — to go against that helpful brain and stop it from cutting out so much interesting visual data.
I will be offering my essential tips on how to develop your ability to see more of what’s around you — and how to discover those magical gems of subjects and elements so you can build them into incredible images.
Obviously I can’t help you in the art of finding things in a fridge, still something I’m terrible at, but finding great subjects for your photos — yes! I’m your guy!
I’ll also be spending some time answering your burning questions about these subjects — and I love this part because I get to talk to you and help you with what is really bugging you.
This will be a jam-packed session full of tonnes of useful and, dare I say, inspiring knowledge. You know why I do dare say that, because look at the review I just got from someone who took an online class from me last year:
“Although being a professional photographer for many many years, Anthony has still the fire and curiosity of somebody detecting the fascination of photography the very first time. Anthony’s still strong enthusiasm and curiosity and his ability to transmit his enthusiasm to the workshop participants is what impressed me most.”