Good to Great

by | Feb 13, 2018

Words and Images by Roger Matthews.

Last Thursday evening we were treated to some real education from Bob Ryan, a professor of photography no less, ably supported by his wife, Alison Price, an accomplished wildlife photographer in her own right. The plan was simple – give our Members the tools to go from ‘good’ to ‘great’. Back to school we went. I learnt that there were ten constructs that contribute to the strength of an image – technical, focus, exposure, use of light, use of colour/tonality, depth of focus, composition, narrative, creativity and impact. I must have been paying attention because four days later I can still remember all ten.

Now, as I understand it, all you have to do to move from ‘good’ to ‘great’ is to be able to capture an image without consciously having to think about getting each of the individual constructs right. Having never consciously thought about any of the above, I can only conclude that I have already achieved greatness! If only life were that simple. More deep learning and hard-wiring of skills required on my part I think.

Having understood the theory (or not), we were treated to some fantastic image sets from Alison and Bob of proboscis monkeys, gorillas, orangutan and zebra. Few would not have been moved by the narrative power and impact of the images shown. What more did I learn from these images?

  1. Great photographers capture great images.
  2. If you escape from crocodiles with a scratch, you may still be eaten by lions!

We welcome Bob back to Stroud on 22 Feb to judge our next Inter Club Battle.