Bob Train LRPS CPAGB was welcomed on his first visit to the club. He is a member of Gloucester Camera Club and is also a judge of photographic competitions.
Bob said that some time ago he found his interest in photography had somewhat waned after he found himself alwys looking for images that would impress a judge rather than images taken just to please himself.
After taking several RPS courses Bobs particular interests now are mainly Street, Urban and Documentary photography and he went on to explain the differences in his interesting presentation.
‘Every image should tell a story’ – in street photography Bob looks out for everyday people in sometimes amusing and sometimes incongruous situations. His advice was to be inconspicuous and quietly observe what is going on. ‘Shoot first – think later’ be quick or you miss the moment he advises. Sometimes he has an image in his mind and then waits patiently until suitable passers-by walk into the frame to complete the story. The best images are often captured when the subject is completely unaware that they are being photographed.
Bob uses a Sony A7R compact system which is small enough to pack in a pocket and is unobtrusive. An advantage is the flip out screen and features like the face recognition system enabling perfect focus, the ability to capture images in mixed lighting conditions and the excellent low light ability. Intelligent auto and motor drive means you do not miss the crucial moment so Bob says ‘embrace the new technology’ even phones are handy nowadays to capture a moment in time.
The idea with Urban photography is to look out for thought provoking, interesting situations which are devoid of people but show evidence of past occupation. Bob showed his set of images taken in the now empty Gloucester Prison but with haunting evidence of what prison life was like in the past – messages on the wall – some socks tied to a bed.
Another topic of Bob’s is to find images where just a tiny part of the image has a big impact – maybe a tiny figure or a single tree. Simple creative images that concentrate on patterns and shapes – less is more says Bob.
Many images are converted to monochome to better convey the feeling of the image.
Bob showed us some excellent night shots without the use of flash but explained that the camera must be on a tripod because of the slow shutter speed required. Some panoramas created in camera were shown and Bob says he is always experimenting and trying new ideas to keep his interest in photography alive. PM
Images © Bob Train Top left 'Good Buddies' Right 'Begging Zone' Left 'Walk to Freedom'