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Previous | Next :: Motion and Emotion Sao Paulo with Jez Coulson : Sony Educa WPO City Project Workshop | December 16, 2012, 12:25 pm

Motion and Emotion Sao Paulo with Jez Coulson : Sony Educa WPO City Project Workshop
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I wrote this below as my entry on the WPO blog.............. If you pop over there now you can see the work of the Students on the course I was running in Sao Paulo .......... The whole event was a Sony Educa happening organized by The World Photography Organization ........... Sony paid for all the students to take part at no cost to them....... I have to say thats a fantastic gift to photography education....... hats off to Sony for making this workshop and all the diverse range of WPO experts available ................ :

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'Motion and Emotion' ........... that's Sao Paulo in my minds eye........ I said that to an artist friend of mine from Brazil....... she laughed out loud and said thats it ....... "That really is Sao Paulo !!!"

I had not been back there for a few years ....... but it was exactly as I had remembered on my return ............ a city in constant motion......... a city that wears it heart on its sleeve ........ the movement on the sidewalks......... the constant traffic..... the bikes ......... the drivers yelling ........ the lovers kissing.......... yeah Sao Paulo "Motion and Emotion" this was the right way to approach a street photography project for this place.

The Sao Paulo City Project workshop was all new for me in one important regard ......... it's the first time I have attempted anything like this.......... in simultaneous translation.......... I was kind of worried about it......... but I have to say it was no problem and I found immediately I had the connection with enthusiastic students of photography that I always have. It's so enervating for me to work with people enthusiastically making strides in their photography, and the people doing this City Project in Sao Paulo were no exception.

In the opening sessions i showed folios of images. We talked about my work and some of the things I have done and my approach and philosophy in reportage photography. People were great ...... enthusiastically picking it up and questioning me........ making me think........ Helping me to articulate to them the things I love about reportage and the things I have learned that help me to make stories in images.

Then we got out to shoot.......... breaking into smaller groups so I could spend time with as many of the participants as possible. I was really grateful for the help of Eric Levin a commercial photographer a Boston based WPO expert who also joined us out on the streets he himself is a marvelous upbeat photographer who shares his passion for photography enthusiastically with the participants ....... He is definitely a people person......... as well as a mega photographer so he was a mighty resource for the participants on the shoot.

We had great fun on the streets and the participants all shot interesting stuff. I worked closely with participants looking to try and help them get into that lifted place where they are making photographs that they are really motivated by........ images that follow our brief...... but more than that..... speak to them.... and speak to others about their home City and the people that make it the place it is.

I shot with the little Sony NEX7 it's a perfect camera for street photography because it is so unobtrusive. It's also a perfect camera for teaching with as when I am holding it I can show people what I am up to with the flip down screen in real time........ and when I let them use it I can see what they are doing.

I feel one or two of the participants will have made their strongest pictures ever during these sessions...... thats really exciting for me...... and collectively it lead to a fantastic exhibition. Something that has a feeling for the vibe of central Sao Paulo.

The editing stages were equally interesting to me. Discussing how people felt about their work how they had excelled or how they might take it on from here. We had great editors. Many of the WPO experts love to get involved with helping students. I felt privileged to work with them myself. But I felt it's really an amazing privilege for a student to get Chien-Chi Chang of Magnum to discuss their work or Chloe Limpkin Director of photography at Harpers Bazaar Magazine (UK), or the international artist Irina Werning as well as all the great local artists and professionals like Anali Dupre. We literally had an amazing group of photography experts gathered to edit this project .......... I enjoyed the editing enormously I think the students were learning a lot from the collective input of all the WPO experts.

Then of course the big debate amongst the whole panel of us as to the winning images ....... drama drama.

I felt really rather proud and emotional announcing the results and talking through the final images at the big show at the end ........... I did feel collectively these students had made a telling piece of work from their time shooting in the city center .......... and individually made strides in their approach to reportage photography........ I always loved Sao Paulo....... yeah..... I must go again soon.

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Cheers Jez XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX

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PS........... Palmer + Pawel were also working in Sao Paulo as Sony sponsored WPO experts working on their project Sao Paulo Nights.......... they r cool guyz too :-))

PPS.......... The Image above is made on the Sony NEX7 which is a great little camera for street photography as it is so unobtrusive ....... If you have a big pile of cameras you have much more presence as a photographer which is sometimes unavoidable ........ but with the Sony NEX series you drift with much less impact on potential subjects ....... Which can be very useful especially in a place like Sao Paulo ........

PPPS........... Don't forget to checkout the work of the students......... http://www.worldphoto.org/images/image-gallery/14443/?FromImageGalleryCategoryID=46

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