Snowdonia Monochrome Masterclass October 2018

Originality 2 – the 4 S’s of Creativity


Following on from last week’s post about the 4 S’s Creative Funnel I thought I would extend the information available giving you some pointers on how to start the process.


  1. Sieve and Select: Choose 3 photographers whose work you love and wish to emulate.

The first action is to select three photographers whose vision and or style you want to build into your own practice. This is a critical choice because choosing the wrong people will make life very much more difficult than it need be. If you want to get under the skin of a photographer the ideal situation is it you have access to text and pictures they have created.

If you do not have access to text as well as pictures you will be studying somebody else’s view of the photographer’s work in a written form. However, eruditely written many writers are not photographers and don’t think like photographers and therefore they will not be speaking with the same authority as the photographer themselves.

An obvious choice would be Henri Cartier-Bresson or Ansel Adams who both have very well documented thoughts on photography.

It is suggested you study three photographers so you do not end up plagiarising the work of one


  1. Study: the work of your 3 selected photographers until you understand their vision, intent, seeing and emotional cues.

The raw material to be studied may be in the form of photographs, monographs, films, videos, web pages, exhibition catalogues, contact sheets etc.

Questions to answer for each photographer:

Why is this photographers work, important to me?

What is the difference that makes the difference?

Is there a natural blend of a new look into my current style?

  1. Steal: choose a favourite picture from each of your chosen photographers and emulate it as best you can.

As a part of the learning process, it is suggested that you choose a very well-known picture by your chosen photographer and attempt to recreate it. A well-known picture is required so you are not tempted to pass off a lesser-known picture as your own creation. A good example would be the Henri Cartier-Bresson picture of a man jumping over a puddle.

What you are seeking to do is to analyse every part of the chosen picture the composition, lighting, timing, depth of field, focus and exposure and anything else that gives the picture impact. Once all the details are written down then you can actually set the picture up and start learning. It is at this stage more than likely than not to refine your ideas about what you thought the picture was about and how it was taken.


  1. Synergise (bring together) the vision, intent, style, seeing and emotional cues of all three photographers into your work.

    The idea is not to copy others but to combine into your own work:

    • Their ideas
    • Their style
    • Their unique way of seeing
    • The emotional cues they have identified and
    • The relationships that they observe between the subject of their images and the world outside.

“One major input from each contributing photographer will have a strategic effect on your vision and style”.

Andy Beel FRPS

26 Nov – 2 Dec 2018

Andalusia – Southern Spain

2 Places available

  • Discover your ability to see photographically
  • Suitable for Colour and Mono Photographers
  • Extra Free 1 day Introduction Workshop worth £99
  • Free copy of the Workshop Manual worth £25
  • Accommodation included – no single room supplement
  • Participant picture reviews
  • Only 4 participants with 121 tuition
  • Fitness level 1 of 3
  • On-going email support after the workshop
  • Excellent value for money
Reproofing waterproof clothing

This post was prompted by the taking of the feature shot above on the Snowdonia Monochrome Masterclass in October 2018. I was wearing Gore-tex trousers that had not been reproofed for years. The drizzle went straight through the supposed protective layer.

It might sound blindly obvious that you will not be able to concentrate on expressive photography in the outdoors in winter if you are not warm and dry. If you’re cold and wet you will not be thinking creatively, all you will be thinking about is how miserable you feel.

In the past, you may have gone to the expense of buying waterproof clothing? For the waterproof clothing to work properly it needs to be clean and reproofed regularly otherwise it will let the rain and drizzle through.

Nikwax provides a range of cleaning and reproofing products for Gore-Tex and similar products.

Nikwax provides a huge range of cleaning and reproofing products. “Being a bear of very little brain” to quote Winnie the Pooh I wrongly assumed that the washing products also reproofed, this is not the case. I suggest you refer to the Nikwax product finder page on their website and choose the appropriate cleaning and reproofing product for your clothing and or footwear.

See for more info.

A careful reading of the Nikwax website suggests any fabric not only expensive Gore-tex and similar fabrics can be waterproofed with an appropriated proofing solution. I will be proofing my Montane Lightweight Tactel fibre (100% Nylon) Trousers as a test.

What you need to do next is… workshop 

7 – 11 December 2018

1 place Hartland Quay – North Devon 

  • Discover new directions for your photography
  • Dramatic Hartland Quay – North Devon
  • 4 nights B&B at the Hartland Quay Hotel
  • A free copy of The ABC of CameraWork Manual worth £25
  • Great for both colour & mono workers
  • 4 Places for individual guidance
  • Fitness level 1 of 3
Fujifilm Firmware Updates

Fujifilm posted new firmware updates for the X-H1, XT-1, XT-2 and XT-3 on 25 Oct. The new updates generally deal with the new 200mm f2 lens and 1.4x Teleconverter.

There was also a range of bug fixes for the XT-3 for those of you who have splashed out. Did your new purchase make you a better or more efficient photographer?


Club Talks and Lecture Tours for next Season 

It’s never too early to book a speaker for next years season beginning in September 2019. Why not consider organising a lecture tour that reduces travel costs if you are located a long way from my base in Bristol? Share the cost with other clubs in your area. See what I offer here