There is so much more to being a photographer than just shooting paid work.
We are creatives, and it is vital to feed that creativity through personal shooting, networking with like minded shooters, and through training. I made the commitment to myself at the start of this year, that I would take every opportunity to develop my photography by pursuing these things. So last friday I jumped on the early morning Rex flight for a weekend in Melbourne totally focussed on my photography.
The reason? A Peter Coulsen workshop on the Sunday. Peter sits at the very top of the studio photography food chain, and for anyone who wants to learn how to really light a subject, a Peter Coulsen workshop is an absolute must. But I crammed more into the weekend than just that, so we'll get to the workshop later!
So anyway, as soon as I knew I was going to be able to get into the workshop, I decided to make the most of the opportunity to head to Melbourne, and turned it into a 4 day weekend. Fridays order of business was to catchup with some other photographers/ industry types, have a look around and test out another Lab for film developing, and do some street shooting.
So at 6:30 I boarded the SAAB 340 headed north.
It was just on 9am by the time I arrived in the CBD, and I had some time to kill before my first important appointment, lunch with Leigh Diprose from Fujifilm Australia and F-Stop Lounge website, so I headed straight for my favourite patch of the CBD, Little Bourke Street, right opposite the GPO. Now if you're a photographer, your probably familiar with this spot, as its the location of Camera Lane, a nice little store, filled with a beautiful array of new and used items, but for me, before I even look in the window there, I have to go a little further down the hill, to Brother Baba Budan, and get my fix of the finest coffee.. I know, this isn't very photographic, but that coffee is beyond amazing.. so, anyway, while I enjoy my espresso, I start trying to think like a street photographer, after all, I'm in one of this countries most culturally diverse and vibrant cities, so if I'm ever going to have a go at street shooting, this is the place, and I've got plenty of time!
So charged up on caffeine, I hit the streets, alternating between my Fujifilm X100S and my freshly acquired Canon A-1 35mm film camera. 2 very different beasts, one small and stealthy, the other sporting a 35-70 zoom, and making a very distinct click click shutter, which in this day of digital cameras, definitely does not go unnoticed!
Heres some of my efforts from Fridays time on the streets.
My afternoon kicked off with Lunch. I met up with Leigh Diprose to talk all things Fujifilm, which was great. Aside from the amazing IQ that the actual cameras and lenses exhibit, one of the things that has always stood out is the company itself, and its desire to communicate with the photographers who choose to use their equipment. While we had lunch, Leigh demonstrated that Fuji DNA, asking me for my honest feedback on their equipment. He wanted not just to know what I liked, but what I didn't like, and what I would like to see in the future. He wanted my honest and forthright opinion on the X-System I shoot with, and it was great to hear how serious Fujifilm are about supporting their users, and building a system that we will continue to use, and that will reach an ever increasing sector of the industry. Now Leigh didn't spill any secrets, but I can assure you that our conversation did leave me feeling pretty excited about the future of the X-System.
After lunch, I hit the streets for while longer, until a quick catch-up with John Yau. John is a true film enthusiast, and part time photographer with an enviable collection of Contax, Leica, Rollei, Yashica film cameras and more! John has been a great source of inspiration and advice to me in my return to film shooting. Check out his Wedding & Portrait photography here.
So that was friday! The weekend had only just begun! But I'll leave it there for now, and will be back with more, including a bit more street photography, another catch-up, and the main event, the mind blowing Peter Coulsen workshop.