ABOVE : Plymouth Arts and Community Event Photography. The Artist Alan Qualtrough
Take Back Control | Point of view and Event Photography
Being a Plymouth event photographer covering talks , workshops,exhibitions, performances and pop ups it is rare to be asked to photograph them all in the same day, but on Saturday May 13 at Plymouth's Creative School of Arts that is just what I did.
The 'Take back Control' event was set up to discuss and examine the change in communities that will result from the Brexit negotiations. The calling of a general election in the UK may well have thrown a slightly different aspect into focus, but the attendees and speakers were certainly not all from the labour party supporting left.
ABOVE : Plymouth Workshop Photograph thru Glass outside of The Plymouth School of Creative Arts
The opportunity to work in this amazing building afforded me many chances to put into practice the Greenbeanz Photography ethos of seeking out the unique and not compromising on realising those images, as unforgettable documents of such a great day.
Point of view is something that all photographers are familiar with, but with event photography this is not something everybody utilises. For me it is a powerful tool, as important as any other creative decision in realising the image. The ability to stand outside of a situation and document what is happening without imposing ones own viewpoint has it's place, but POV is a way to get inside an event and convey the feeling of being present that no other tool will give you.
I have for a long time been associated with the ground level shot, in which the camera placed upon the ground captures the footwear and stance of those present. For gigs this is particularly effective in conveying the diversity of fans and to present the viewer with an image that requires them to read something other than people's faces. It is novel and unusual, and not something, unless you are a dog with human eyes or lie down on pub floors a lot, most people get to see. POV though is way more than that.
ABOVE : Plymouth Fantasy Orchestra Photgraphed from floor level. The urban worm's eye view
It is a story telling device. So much like the wide shots that I employ in getting people to move across the image, rather than being passive, the POV can add value to an image by signalling perspective.
ABOVE : Plymouth's Chris Webb talks about the beautiful game and it's capacity to change (in a personal capacity),with David Feinduono from the Plymouth Hope Football Club. Passion is possibly the most important ingredient in Photography.
In practice this can be something as simple as sitting down when photographing a workshop, to give both a subjects eye view of the event and an eye level view of the people leading it. It also means that when you stand up, and if possible elevate yourself further by standing on something ,you are providing a contrasting viewpoint to be juxtapositioned when the image sequences are assembled. It is often said that this elevated view can make people feel superior to, or protective of, the subject. As though they were a human looking down at a worm, or a parent looking over a child, but the reality is that it can simply provide a degree of separation, a chance for the viewer to stand back and not have to engage for a first person perspective. The rational unthinking CCTV document.
ABOVE : Plymouth Workshop shot from slightly above
Take the POV up even higher and the object becomes even more object like. It strips away the artifice and context of it's site specific placement and reveals it's ability to stand alone as both an clean uncluttered version of itself or an abstraction. It can work with people in the frame too, and the strong diagonal lines that can give an image dynamics, are often more noticeable from above.
ABOVE : Plymouth Pop up stall holder photographed wide and high
ABOVE : Pop up Barber Cut the Punx in action at Take Back Control
ABOVE : Take Back Control Plymouth - Timothy George Kelly Director of 'Brexitannia'.
ABOVE : Plymouth presentation 'Mapping our Communities'
ABOVE and BELOW: Take Back Control in the Main Hall
Greenbeanz Photography is proud to have been involved with Take Back Control and you can find out more about the event here
All Images ©Greenbeanz Photography.Co.Uk and Take Back Control