7 Building Blocks of Photography Review December 2018.
For quite a while I've been thinking that my photographs were lacking something. I've been taking photographs for about 64 years now and am well up to speed with the technical side of things, so concluded that as I am an art philistine and don't have an artistic bone in my body, it was a lack of art. I just don't get art, so that must be the issue.
At my camera club we had a couple of presentations on composition which were based on artistic parameters, and to be honest, most of it went over my head. But one of the presentations did resonate with me just a bit. The door to composition had been cracked open. I could see some of the basics, but the recommended book, duely bought, was a hard read. In fact I have still not got very far into it.
I got to hear of Mike Browne at my camera club from another member. I was impressed with the videos, especially the way Mike presents and structures them. The fact that Mike also reflects my own outlook is a bonus too. I have many years of experience in photography. I know lots of the tecchie stuff. I don't have problems taking photographs in any conditions - in fact I try to go outside of my comfort zone quite often so I have to use my BB ;). But there is a but. As I said at the start, my photographs are missing something. I have often thought about doing a course.
Back in the 1980s I started City & Guilds at evening school, mainly to get access to a darkroom! I took the decision to use only my Rolliecord for the course, the only non-35mm camera there. But a job that required my having to stay late with no notice nibbled away at my attendance and eventually I threw in the towel.
I've looked at other courses both physical attendance and on line and found nothing that I had confidence that would actually teach me anything, and the physical attendance courses were very expensive too. Pure photography at night school seems to have disappeared. Photography is now a part of art courses, and as you know, I'm an art philistine.
Looking at Mike's courses the 7 Building Blocks always seemed to be the one for me, but having watched many (most?) of Mike's videos, would this course actually give me what I needed? I have to say that yes, it did! Not in the technical side, and no, I'm NOT saying I know everything - I (we) never stop learning about photography. I mean that over the years I've made lots of mistakes that I've learned from and over 64 years I've had opportunities to make many, many mistakes.
So how has the 7 Building Blocks of Photography helped me? It made me realise that contrary to my default logical and structured approach, outlook and methodology with everything I do, I was not doing this with my photography! I could always get a shot, but not always a 'good' shot. Now I know why, and it is not a lack of art (although I'm not saying that artistic input would not improve my pictures), it was a lack of structure and at last Mike has made pre-visualisation meaningful to me rather than the distorted interpretation I had that was rooted in the art world.
While this is clearly not a beginners course, everyone from the photographer who has just become conversant with the principals of photography to the wizened old photographer like me who have been there, done that and have collections of T shirts can get something from the 7 Building Blocks of Photography. I wholeheartedly recommend it to anyone falling into this grouping.