The Creative Photography Workshop with Vehbi Koca was booked via Virgin Experience and like so much of my plans for 2020 had been postponed due to lockdowns. My day started with an early morning train from Farnborough station.
Then from Waterloo I made my way across London to Old Street Underground station. This station is being redeveloped and I managed to begin walking the wrong way. When I didn’t pass Moorfields Eye Hospital I realised my mistake and had to take a taxi to arrive a little late for the start of the workshop at Westland Street Studios.
Westland Place Studios
The course was being given by Vehbi Koca and I joined the other two participants grateful that I wasn’t too late.
The day was arranged such that we would have a presentation from Vebi, then go out on the streets with him, then walk towards Shoreditch as a group taking pictures, pick up a late lunch, return to the studio and select six images each to be shown and commented on.
Vehbi started the workshop then by presenting to us example images and the appropriate the camera settings associated with the chosen images.
Our practical on the streets
We turned left out of the studios and came to the street that my cabbie had commented on when he took me to Westland Place earlier. This was ‘Ebenezer Street’ and the cabbie had stated that this was where Dickens had plucked the name from for his famous Christmas novel…
We stopped on the corner of Ebenezer Street and Vestry Street and started our day trying out some of Vehbi’s earlier suggestions and I tried some of my own as I watched the streets.
This woolsack was made out concrete and sat in the open space in front of the nearby cafe. I noticed that mixed up with cars and buses passing by it was a very popular route for cyclist.
Through the window of the closed cafe I tried my hand with this basket of oranges on the window ledge.
Along Chart Street we stopped and spent time photographing the small gardens cultivated between the houses and the pavement.
I was distracted by this motorists trying to decipher the parking rules along the road.
At the end of Chart Street, where it meets Pitfield Street, I spotted this mural at the end of a garden.
Inside the gardens we practised using TV mode to capture Vebi leaping off a bench!
One of the other participants captured me in the corner of their shot.
Vebi positioned himself leaning against a tree as he modelled for us. We took it in turns to give him directions – good practice at shooting a model outdoors.
Walking towards Spitalfields Market
From the gardens we left Vehbi and as a group walked down Pitfield street to Great Eastern Street and started walking down towards Commercial Street and Spitalfields Market. As I had managed to get lost earlier, I joined in nominating Malcolm as our leader for the walk along with his smartphone map!
We passed this mural by Stik.
Another mural in Charles Square and other large mural by Stik
The busy junction along with some passers by.
This mural really caught my attention.
We then turned back to the studio and picked up some lunch. I did hold everyone up as I now had more time to watch the street.
As we walked we did get several large drops of rain.
We called at the Sainsbury’s Local by Charles Square, picked up lunch and headed back towards Old Street Station. Malcolm successfully navigated us onto City Road towards Westland Place. This building is quite different, all angles and nothing at first seeming to match up.
Taking pictures can sometimes get extra interest from security guards.
This decorates the pub at the end of Westland Place.
Inside the studios we could hear lots of noise from behind this door into the basement.
I wasn’t the only one to think of the back door into the mines of Moria!
Wrapping the day up with Vehbi Koca
While we ate our late lunch we took it in turns to select images off our memory cards and add them to Vehbi’s Mac to be shown to the whole group. We then spent time looking at each other’s images giving lots of feedback.
Malcolm lived in Woking so we travelled back to Waterloo together and after he caught an earlier train, I picked up a cold drink and watched the station concourse.