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Street Photography Workshop


Street photography workshop

Saturday 5th and Sunday 6th July

We still have some places on our Street Photography workshop. Some of the most iconic street pictures ever made were shot on black and white film. If you are a modern digital photographer this workshop is going to take you back to basics and put flesh on the bones of your experience. If you’re a practiced darkroom worker a whole new world will open for you and if you love street photography, you shoot film and scan this workshop will give you the chance to get your fingers wet and learn some of the techniques of print-making… In fact this is going to be perfect for everyone from complete beginner to experienced worker.

Street photography

Two days, the first in the seaside resort of Morecambe, subject abounds, the second in the darkroom and our gallery. We will practice techniques of street photography, look at what has worked before and process and print our own work.

Photography Workshop

To book send an E mail


The fee is £250 but if you book before May 31st we will give you a 10% discount.

Streets Ahead…


Street Photography

It’s all very fashionable again.


My heroes during my formative years were well known for their Street Photography even if they made a living from documentary or journalism.  In the seventies Susan Sontag put the practice into question, theorising about the connections between photography and voyeurism and suggesting the act of photographing was an aggressive one, pointing out the language shared between camera users and gun users.  I suppose that’s why formal photography education didn’t take Street Photography as seriously as conceptual and documentary photography for such a long period in the eighties and nineties.


Street Photography Workshop


Street Photography is back. I see it all over Tumblr now and camera manufacturers seem to have picked up on the trend. With it’s near silent shutter, small discreet looks, switchable optical or electronic viewfinder and depth of field scale in eyesight, Fuji’s X100S has to be pretty close to being the perfect Street camera.

Documentary Photography

Photography itself has never been more popular. More photographs have been made since the digital revolution than were made in the whole 160 odd years of photography that preceded it. The Street, as a subject, is right there, literally on most people’s doorstep.

Street Photographer

Apart from the need to put bread on the table I have two chief motivations for being a photographer. I love the craft of printmaking. I get so much pleasure from creating a fine print in the darkroom.  That’s pretty much what The Alchemist’s Workshop project is all about. I love the process but I am also a huge fan of the result and greatly admire the work of other print-makers. I also love telling stories. People who know me will vouch for the fact that once I get started I don’t shut up. My wedding photography is all about telling stories. As a print-maker I am interested in light, texture and form. I can find those aspects in most subjects but I also want to tell about my own and other people’s lives.

Urban Photography

Street Photography for me then is a bit like thinking aloud. If I am somewhere among people who are not normally a part of my life, I watch, I listen, not with any bad intent or toward any personal gain but because I am curious. I make up my own little stories about what I observe. If I don’t have a camera or a friend to tell, I keep it to myself.  With a camera I can think aloud. Street photography for me then is about communicating those little stories I have in my head.


Clearly the majority of Street photographs made today are made with a digital camera, but before we had digital technology they were made on film, and because, as I said earlier, there was a time that Street Photography was not fashionable, a time that coincided with the advance in colour film technology, it was usually black and white film. Black and white is popular among Street Photographers again. Without the distraction of colour and by reducing the image to a more graphic form, it is easier to follow a narrative.

Workshop on Street Photography

Some of the most iconic Street Photographs made were black and white.


With that in mind, and the fact that The Alchemist’s Workshop is a facility for the making of black and white film prints, the Street Photography workshop on Saturday 5th and Sunday 6th July this year will be on black and white film.

Photography Workshop

The two-day workshop will appeal to digital and film photographers alike. The techniques we will explore will translate to colour film and digital technology but we will be working within the strict disciplines of black and white film. It will be like a foundation course in photographic story telling and we’ll have all the fun of working in the darkroom on the 2nd day.


On day 1 we will work in Morecambe, a traditional English seaside town, subject abounds. Delegates will be supplied with a film camera but are welcome to bring their own if they choose. We will look at framing and composition, juxtaposition and mirroring, use of reflections, empathy and compassion, humor and narrative. Also technique such as pre-focusing, zone focusing and alternative exposure modes.


On day 2 we will come back to The Alchemist’s Workshop gallery and darkroom where we’ll process and print the results, we’ll look at some of the great Street Photographs of the past and discuss what it is that made them great and we’ll take the time to look at and discuss our own efforts.


Saturday 5th and Sunday 6th July 2014

The Alchemist’s Workshop

The English Lake District


£250 for the two days.


Please phone 01229 860588 or E mail to book.

In case you have missed them…

There is a tab on our site called “wedding stories”. It is actually our portfolio. You see we are Documentary wedding photographers that terminology is key. We are not like other wedding photographers who are making a pile of pictures. We are story tellers. Lots of other wedding photographers these days call them selves documentary wedding photographers but I would like you to have a good look at what we do, I think you’ll see the difference.


For that reason, I am going to re present that “wedding stories” post here again, one at a time , over the next 9 days.


First off here is Beth and Jon’s Lake District Wedding. They got married in Finsthwaite, home ground for us, last year.




See what I mean?

A Velvet Hand, a Hawk’s Eye


“…In whatever picture-story we try to do, we are bound to arrive as intruders. It is essential, therefore, to approach the subject on tiptoe… A velvet hand, a hawk’s eye… these we should all have…”


Henri Cartier-Bresson from “The Decisive Moment” 1952.



Back in the eighties, when Steven began making observational wedding photography it was in response to what he saw as the intrusive, contrived style of wedding photography that prevailed at that time. He was trained in that tradition ten years earlier but had never felt comfortable about asking intelligent people to contrive events and expressions for the sake of the photographs.


That type of wedding photography dominated the day as well. Every event had to be re-staged for the camera. Steven remembers his own wedding day in 1983. “ It was like one long photo shoot, I was constantly being checked that I had exactly a quarter of an inch of shirt cuff extending from my jacket.”


They have often heard “we hate having our picture taken, so we would like you to make our wedding pictures”. Steven and Josh set out to make intelligent wedding pictures for intelligent people. It is important that the pictures they make have integrity, that they are credible. They won’t ask their clients to adopt unnatural poses or create comedy moments purely for the camera, they won’t ask anyone to smile into the camera or gaze into the flowers. If it didn’t happen they are not going to contrive it.

Wedding make up

Steven Taylor Photography is about making a sympathetic but accurate record of your wedding day with the absolute minimum of interference. The expressions you see in our galleries are real. Of course they will make any family group and portrait pictures you ask for but the poses will be natural, the expressions unforced and they will work with speed and respect for the occasion.


Steven and Josh Taylor are renowned for working quickly, intelligently and unobtrusively to produce a picture story of your day. Details, moments, beautiful family portraits and stunning art works are captured with spontaneity and integrity.

Wedding Photography, New House Farm, Lorton… And a New Years Eve Party.

Happy New Year… I know but we are craftsmen and some things should not be rushed.


So, Georgie and Aaron had a wedding and a fantastic New Years Eve party. We’ve been to New House Farm up in Lorton a couple of times, it’s proving to be a popular, if remote wedding venue. The house itself is beautiful but not big enough for a wedding what they do have there is a gigantic barn that is just perfect. It was great to work with Annabel from Weddings by Annabel again.


Georgie and Aaron live in London, although Georgie was brought up in the Lake District, apparently of all of the guests only Georgie’s mum lives in Cumbria the rest of their guests came in from all over the world. They were not just cosmopolitan, they were talented as well. The bridal processional was accompanied by a “flash mob” style rendition of “Only You”. Strategically seated members of the congregation gave their line of the song and the last line was triumphantly delivered by Aaron himself. During the signing of the register there was more singing, each section of the Church sang their own line of “The 12 Days of Christmas”.


It was a 4.30 ceremony on the last day of the year, so when the newly married couple emerged into the darkness there was only an opportunity for us to grab a couple of quick, flashed pictures before we boarded the vintage buses back to the barn. We’re photographers so we love great light and when we got into the barn, that’s what we had supplied by Fluid Productions, we’d like them to be at all of our weddings. The flowers were by Rob Van Helden

Part two of the day was the New Years Eve party. We think the pictures give a hint of what that was like…

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