Home thoughts from a camera 6

02 October 2015

Region: London

By Mark Percival LRPS


In the 1980s I worked at a University.  The Doctor Who Appreciation Society packed the auditoria for a weekend most summers.  For some fans, getting their extra-long scarves stuck in the lift seemed exciting and a required part of the experience.  Living the Doctor Who story was everything. 


This year the Doctor Who Festival is packing them in at Excel: 100 acres of London exhibition centre.  Talks and film clips are no longer enough.  The Festival will show sets and demonstrate special effects alongside script writers giving platform performances.  Being close to a spotty up-pended wheeled bin with a protruding sink plunger and an insistent vocal manner is not enough.  Now we want more than the storyline.


It is the same for us photographers.  Making good pictures remains our aim.  The storyline is still there.  What is now behind our viewfinders far more than it was in the 80s is the technology to film our stories as well as take still photographs. 


John Tarby's 3-session course on cine basics concluded this week (Monday 28th September).  As before, participants took Flip point-and-shoot video cameras on-street, filming clips to experience different techniques.  This week’s workshop concentrated on combining sound with pictures, experimenting with perspective and the need for congruence between sound and framing - demonstrating, for example, the subtle conflict created by having a long (distance) shot with closely captured sound (sounding close-up).  John also demonstrated different lighting tools, sound captured with microphones with different characteristics (cardioid, omnidirectional et cetera) and how to avoid rain sounding like maracas in your sound track.  Thanks to John Tarby FRPS for another successful cine basics course. 


Cine Basics workshops are an excellent preparation for joining one of London, Cine's pop-up crew - ad hoc film crew assembling for a specific short project under the supportive gaze of someone with skill and experience.  Email Londoncine@rps.org to receive pop-up crew event alerts irrespective of how experienced you are in cine. 


Stop-press:  a pop-up crew opportunity is starting to develop at the CameraWorld event in central London, documenting something of the exhibition and the RPS’s role in the event.  These are early days but filming would be on Saturday 24th October.  The crew needed would include people for the following roles: camera, assistant camera, sound, possibly editor and/or director. London, Cine would try to arrange for a skilled mentor to be on hand.  Interested? Please email Londoncine@rps.org