Tuesday, October 03, 2006

MPW reflection paper

A trebuit sa pun pe ecran niste ganduri despre workshop, pentru un curs. Daca tot le-am scris, m-am gandit sa le impartasesc cu voi. Va rog sa ma scuzati ca le-am lasat in engleza. Sunt o putoare. Copy/paste e prea la indemana.

"The week I spent in Moberly has probably been the most important photographic experiment I have ever seen. It was extraordinary.

First of all, I was lucky to be a photographer there. Before heading out to Moberly, I was thinking perhaps I should have gone there as staff, to save some money. One day in the workshop, I realized it would not have been the same.

What made the difference in my case was the pressure. The short time and the frame count. Of course, the faculty's input was crucial. They guided us throughout the week, from the first story pitch to the final edit.

Someone asked me what changed in my storytelling techniques. "Nothing", I answered. That is because I didn't have any clue of what storytelling meant before I got to Moberly, so there was nothing to change. I could always pick one good picture out of a group, but sequencing is different. That was the reason why I came to study in the US. I feel really fortunate to start my journey in storytelling with such a strong foundation like the MPW.

I have learned about approach and access. The faculty was a hundred percent right when they told us that most times the best pictures would not come before the last days of the workshop. One of the photographers was complaining that she felt very bored, because her subject was not an active person. The time one invests with his/her subject pays off towards the end, once the subject has gotten used to the photographer and starts revealing his/her true self.

The same thing happened to me. The faculty and I could have drafted an edit out of Thursday's take alone. It took two days to break the barrier my subject was hiding behind. By Friday, she seemed to have accepted me in her life.

There were many other things that I got out of this workshop. I learned about the structure of a story and the importance of individual elements such as: opener, lead, transitions, visual variety, portraits, interaction, surprise, closer (ender) and so on. I also learned that it was important to analyze images according to the title or the main idea of the story and to be able to let go of your favourite images, if they don't support or add to your thread. I think I will always remember Kim Komenich's comparison: "Pictures are like a fistful of pearls. No matter how precious they are, they need a 5 cent thread to make up a necklace." So I did give up a few of my pearls to get a stronger necklace. "One has to press the button with the title in mind", someone else said during a presentation.

It was extremely valuable to meet so many photographers, from all over the world. We heard stories about what it is like to cover events in Brazil, Canada, Scotland, France, US, Holland and so on. Some of my favourite stories in the workshop came from people who live thousands of miles away from one another. I enjoyed very much the stories about Norman from Liverpool, the organic farm, the busiest mom in Moberly, the pains in mobile 24, the well-known Kenny or the baby doctor. These are only a few stories that come to mind. The fact is there were so many amazing photographers in this workshop.

I guess it all comes down to this: if there are stories in Moberly, Missouri, there are stories everywhere. If there’s a will, there’s a way."


monica said...

ne-fotograf fiind pot sa iti spun ca am urmarit cu interes proievtul asta al tau. am si intels asa, in mare ce probleme s-au pus cu ce te-ai confruntat si mi-a placut mult si cum ai povestit si ce a iesit.
m-a impresionat firescul femeii aleia si faptul ca pana la urma s-a si comportat firesc, ignorandu-te cand erai in preajma ta.
ceea ce ma intreb: oare in satul jibou de la noi un candidat la alegeri or smth ar fi putut sa reactioneze/ manifeste/primeasca un strain asa...de dragu unui porect ...in viata lui? ar fi recunoscut ca are probleme, le-ar fi pus/expus, in mod natural in fata unui aparat foto?

andrei said...

draghe monica, da. cred ca da.

am mare incredere in candidatii de jibou. cred ca se poate si cu ei. fara indoiala. poate e mai greu cu candidatii de carlibaba, da' se poate.

apreciem enteresul

Cristian said...

Ai zis matale in felul urmator:

<< I also learned that it was important to analyze images according to the title or the main idea of the story and to be able to let go of your favourite images, if they don't support or add to your thread. >>

Parca mi-a venit sa te iau in brate cand am auzit-o p-asta. Asta am invatat si eu cu cuvintele. Cred ca am construit un cimitir al citatelor care au murit pentru ca in ciuda finetii, agresivitatii sau excelentei lor nu se potriveau cu ce era de spus.

Greu, dar pana la urma corect.