Where to begin describing what was an intense and fun filled experience? Thanks to an opportunity provided by Maine Media Workshop I traveled to Paris for a few days to focus on street photography with Peter Turnley. Now, that name may not be familiar to you, but chances are you’ve seen his work on the cover of Newsweek where it has appeared 43 times or on a Sixty Minutes segment featuring him and his twin brother, also a photojournalist. Peter is recognized as one of the world’s best, and he is also a renowned street photographer splitting time between Paris and New York when he is not traveling to one place or another.
So, what does it mean to take a workshop with Peter? Knowing his credentials, I thought learning from him might be a bit intimidating. Not so. Peter is not only interesting but interested in the people he teaches. He is warm and approachable, qualities which show in his work. Most importantly, he provides positive critiques that give clues how to improve.
What I focused on this week was seeing.
That meant walking with my head up paying attention to all that was around me.
I had my camera ready to fire away in an instant so as not to miss the moment.
I attempted to find a story in what I saw through the camera’s lens.
Most importantly, I tried to own the idea that I am a photographer which is a pretty tall order.
With those thoughts in mind, I hit the street remembering that, in Peter’s words, a camera is only a tool. What matters is what is done with it.
I will share with you my results and the tips that may help us all become better photographers. Stay tuned!
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