Tag Archives: big issue
By Tom Collier.
Paul Swift travelled a good distance from his home town of Durham, to visit Bournemouth with his friends and family to showcase and perform stunt driving. Continue reading
Week 2 of Poached Creative and The Big Issue journalists and photography class in Poole started with Jessie (Poached Creative) giving us a run down on what we were going to be doing for the following 5 weeks. I felt a tingle of excitement as I’d not done any work or training for a while now and the thought of getting involed in something worthwhile was just what I needed.
Week 1 had been a great start wih us all getting to know each other and jumping straight in with a talk on journalism by our guest speaker Ann Luce from Bournemouth Uni. We then paired up to do a NIB story together which was a lot of fun so this week I felt all set to learn more and get creative.
Straight after Jessie’s chat our guest speaker Sophie Bowdler arrived to give us a lecture on wedding photography, Sophie being a great example of someone that had made a huge success from learning photography. When Sophie was just 15 she knew she wanted to be a photographer and after leaving school started working for a local photographers agency learning wedding photography. Ten years later Sophie has her own wedding photography business and is now well known throughout the area for her outstanding coverage of weddings. When she started her business she was charging £300 to £600 per shoot and in just 3 years has grown to the point where she can charge anything from a £1000 to £1700 per shoot, I thought that was pretty impressive so wanted to pick up on everything she could teach us.
Sophie stared by outlining her business strategies and how she’d got to where she was today, after that it was all about getting “the shot” and using her camera (Nikon D600) to do the work. I found it very interesting that a lot of people getting married did not want Sophie to use a flash in the church, churches being quite dark and dingy inside made this a challenge which Sophie overcame by using her camera’s light/shutter speed and ISO settings. We learned that using natural light gave a much better colour balance to the photo’s and created a more natural looking picture and when shooting outside often shot her pictures facing into the sun and using her flash to highlight her subjects instead of having the sun behind her. This made a lot of sense as people facing the sun tend to squint and scrunch up their faces trying to keep the sun out of their eyes. Sophie also told us how she trained up an assistant to take pictures of the groom and guests so that she could concentrate on the bride and getting the main shots of the day. Typiclly Sophie would shoot in the region of 1500 photographs at a wedding which she would then filter down to around 100 to 120 for the main album. The main thing was getting the important shots just right because with a wedding there are no second chances. We stopped for a break and chatted amongst ourselves about Sophies pictures and success for 10 minutes and then Rob our photography tutor gave us a run down on the importance of light/colour balance, cropping and exposure.
Friday started out with us all getting excited about our field trip into Poole to do our photo essay, we broke up into groups of 3 or 4 and discussed what our photo essays would be about. I was with Helen and Jamie, Helen decided she was going to take pictures of the birds that are a common sight in Poole and titled her essay “They’ll do anything for chips” while Jamie was going to concentrate on people using their cell phones and he appropriatly titled his essay “Cellular division in Poole”. I decided my subject would be about dementia as I’d seen an elderly gentleman who suffers from dementia in the library that morning and just the day before i’d noticed an empty shop now being used to highlight dementia in our society. Unfortunately my subject in the library had left and then chatting with the people in the dementia society’s shop I discovered I would not be allowed to take pictures of people suffering from dementia that were visiting the shop. I then decided my subject for the day would be the other students doing their photo essays. We all rambled off into Poole high street to find and shoot our chosen subjects, the streets were quite busy and offered up a huge selection of photographic opportunities. We took our photo’s and headed back to Poole Library’s seminar room to enjoy a huge lunch made by Jessie (Poached Creative) and her mother, great sandwiches and plenty of sides and drinks filled us all and gave us the energy for the afternoon.
Back to work, we downloaded our photo’s to pc and learnt how to use Picaso 3 to edit our pics, once done Rob helped us upload to bigissueonlinejournalists.wordpress.com We then wound down with Rob doing a small presentation of our combined works.
I can’t wait for next weeks class now!
After another successful course, trainees interviewed each other to find out what they thought of it and if it’s worth continuing.
The Big Issue secured funding for four six-week courses that have now been completed, but given its success its hoped new funding can be found.
John Watts, a former screen-writer, who has secured a work experience placement at homeless charity Broadway’s press office since finishing the course, said: “I learnt loads and totally stimulated my enthusiasm for [journalism] and can’t wait to get out there and do it for real. If you want to go into journalism the hands-on practical skills will seriously benefit anyone doing the course.”
During the year-long programme the course has developed a balanced and accessible schedule for people from a range of backgrounds with a range of experiences, but all united in their desire to get back on their feet and into work.
Most of the trainees already have an interest in writing or photography and want to develop it further with a view to getting work experience and ultimately paid work. Others appreciate the importance of developing their communication skills whether it be for business, the media world or their personal life.
Seb Taylor, who has toyed with photography as a hobby for years and has since got his first gig as a festival photographer at the Wickerman in Scotland, said he hoped the course would continue. He said: “There’s a hell of a lot of talent out there, but people don’t know ways into doing this and it’s been a fantastic way to do that. Now I’m set up with the tools to know what to do next.”
The course is based around producing real content to publish online so trainees learn how to write in different styles: news, features and blog-posts, and for specific audiences. They also learn how to use a camera: from composing a good shot, using the built and natural environment for effect and how to take the dial off ‘automatic’.
By week two the trainees are out and about taking pictures for a photo-essay and by week three they’re interviewing people for actual news stories. While some theory is taught before the practical sessions, it is after and on reflection the majority of it is learnt.
Throughout the course the importance, relevance and use of social media is integrated: from using a blog to finding stories on Twitter to getting them read on Facebook. Technophobes are broken in gently.
By week six the trainees have the basic skills, knowledge and confidence to try their hand in the real world, so we end the course preparing them for work: from coming off benefits, creating a portfolio, becoming a brand, building a network and nailing down a 12-month ‘career’ plan.
And it seems to work.
Trainees who have completed the programme have gone onto study for a professional journalism qualification, produce videos for charities, work at the Big Issue, freelance for news agencies, volunteer in press offices and become a festival photographer. All have attributed their success to the course.
Wash, peel, chop, simmer, whisk, stir, mix, fry, bake, talk, teach, learn, invent, relax, share, taste, and connect…
Sound like a good way to spend your Sunday afternoons?
A project called the People’s Kitchen has come up with a recipe for successful social interaction in Dalston. Every Sunday a banquet created from surplus food donated by local suppliers is put on at Passing Clouds and other local venues. Continue reading
By Sharon Payne
Chat’s Palace is a community space situated in a wonderful Victorian library built in 1913. The building is used for an amazing variety of events and activities designed to appeal to all ages and interests. Manager Candy Horsbrugh, the only full time member of staff, is full of enthusiasm for the building and its role in the community since the library closed in 1976.
Despite funding difficulties the space, which took on charity status in 1981, hosts barn dancing, exhibitions, workshops, youth projects, club nights for teenagers, live music, comedy nights, darkroom hire and tuition, karate, traditional music tuition, dance classes and even a knitting group for older people that they are hoping to encourage younger people to come along to. Continue reading
By Samuel Hooper
A seventeenth century Clapton building is facing demolition after a charity put it up for sale, claiming that renovations would be too expensive.
The Grade II listed Bishops Wood almhouses, which have housed poor elderly people for more than three centuries, are being put up for sale by owners the Dr Spurstowe and Bishop Wood Almshouse Charity which plans to use the proceeds to build a larger facility on a new site in Hackney.
However, the sale has raised fears that a private developer will purchase the building and demolish it to make room for the creation of more profitable luxury flats. Demolition would also mean the loss of the chapel, which forms part of the structure and is notable for being the smallest of its type in the country.
The charity says that while the sale is regrettable, refurbishment would cost as much as £750,000 for only four flats while selling the building would enable them to build significantly more homes for the elderly.
Fr Rob Wickham, rector of nearby St. John at Hackney church and member of the charity’s board of trustees, defended the decision. He said: “As a charity for housing elderly people … they cannot justify spending that kind of money to provide only four modern flats. The trustees have tried to get help from heritage organisations but without success. They are therefore considering their options, one of which is to sell the precious old building.”
The news of the sale and potential risk to the historic building came as little surprise to some locals. Construction worker John Doyle, who fears what may happen at the hands of developers, said: “That’s Hackney for you. They’re all after making money and they just don’t care about the history or the heritage.”
Others were more pragmatic, such as local shopkeeper Marcus Solak, who said: “Better it be used for something than lying empty. Anything is better than empty buildings.”
Despite the concerns, any buyer wishing to demolish the almhouses will require permission from the council, because of its listed status. In considering the request, the council would take expert guidance from English Heritage before making a decision.
Councillor Ian Rathbone, chair of the Clapton Pond Neighbourhood Action Group, hopes to take advantage of this fact by including the threatened building on an upcoming tour of the borough by English Heritage. Cllr Rathbone said: “We’re trying to involve them to keep pressure on the trustees to sell to a responsible buyer.”
A new session of The Big Issue Online Journalism Course started on 13 February 2014 at the Elise Centre in Dalston with nine new students, including myself. On the first day we had an introduction to the tutors Charles, Glenn and Zoe and also an overview of what we would hopefully be learning on the course.
In the morning we all paired up and interviewed each other to find out basic personal information such as where we come from, what experience we have in writing and photography and what we hope to get out of the course. We also covered methods and mediums of communication and feedback and looked at some examples of successful and not-so-successful communication.
We then had an introduction to the Answers From The Big Issue site which promotes social enterprise, and were told that hopefully by the end of the course we will be capable of writing articles for the site.
In the afternoon we learned the basic tenets of a good news report and how to write a concise NIB (news in brief).
On Friday afternoon we all worked on our individual NIBs and downloaded them to the course blog and also received our schedules for the six week course.
More news from the course next week!