On Saturday 9th May 2015 I had the pleasure of attending my very first Photography Workshop and Photo Walk LNDNWLK 3.0 hosted by Mathieu Gasquet and Heather Broster of Mirror Lessons and Johnny and Rebecca Patience. This is the third such event, but the first that I have attended.
The day started off at 10am at the Leica Akadamie in Mayfair for the 3 hour Film Photography Workshop lead by Johnny, with Rebecca, Mathieu and Heather around taking pictures. There were 8 of us in attendance, myself, Josef Szotten, James Greenoff, Hamish Gill, Matthew Dodwell, Martin Lux, Chris Mann and James Fox-Davies. We were each given a bag with 5 rolls of Kodak film of our choice (I chose Portra 400 135) kindly provided by Kodak Alaris and vouchers for Richard Photo Lab. Everybody there was really nice and friendly with a broad range of skills and experiences which allowed for interesting discussions. Up first was the usual round table introductions with each of us giving a short bio and explantion of how we got into photography and what we wanted to get from the workshop. I rambled on as usual and probably made no sense at all. After the introductions Johnny started the workshop proper, I won’t go into detail about what was imparted to us, you will need to go to one of his workshops yourself. It was all very interesting though and left me eager to try out his ideas. After a short break for lunch there was a prize draw give away of Johnny’s very own Leica M2 which went to the very lucky Josef. Following the give away there was more of the workshop and a Q&A. The workshop was over by about 2pm which gave us plenty of time to walk to Buckingham Palace where the photo walk would start.
For the photo walk I brought 3 cameras, Leica M6 TTL with Zeiss 50mm f2, Fuji x100s and Yashica 124G all in my Think Tank Retrospective 7 bag. The leica was already loaded with a half exposed roll of Kodak Tri-x 400, but I was keen to get through it so I could load the Portra that I had been given. Since buying the Leica in March I have shot pretty much exclusively in B & W, mainly because I home develop my own B & W film. I do love colour photography though and I really wanted to see what kind of results I could achieve with the Leica loaded with Portra 400. Even thought I had brought those other cameras I only used the Leica all day, that was a lesson learnt for me, only take one camera!
The Photo Walk
We got to the meeting point for the walk quite early and as we waited we chatted and more people showed up there were supposed to be 35 in total, I don’t know how many actually attended but it must have been pretty close to that. When everybody was there Mathieu and Heather held another prize draw, everybody had a name tag which was put in a bag and names were pulled out at random. The prizes on offer were various straps and bags, I myself won a very nice Dead Cameras leather strap which is now firmly attached to my Leica. All the winners lined up for a quick photo with the hosts and then it was time for the off.
Even though the forecast for the day was rain, it was actually a really sunny, beautiful day. The route took us from Buckingham Palace to Trafalgar Square where there was an anti Tory protest going on, it was such a great photo opportunity it was almost as if it had been put on for us specially. Other than this brief bit of excitement and flurry of photo taking I don’t think anybody was taking that many pictures as we were all too busy chatting. I personally don’t know many photographers so it was nice for me to be able chat with knowledgeable people about photography, I met some great people who I hope I will get to meet again some day. From Trafalgar Square we moved on through London cameras in hand talking and snapping away, the walk lasted roughly 3 hours ending in Shoreditch at the Boundary Restaurant where an after walk dinner was to take place. Sadly I couldn’t stay for the dinner so I said my goodbyes and headed for home.
All the photos taken on that day were with the Leica M6 TTL and Zeiss Planar 50mm f2, all B & W is Kodak Tri-X 400 home developed in D76 and all colour is Kodak Portra 400 developed by AG Photo Lab and scanned at home. Even though I didn’t take any great pictures during the walk (mostly Bicycles), I’m pleased with how they came out and I will definitely be shooting more Portra 400, I love the colours and fine grain.