What follows is a copy of my Facebook post in The Photographer’s Corner Collective on 9th January 2016 regarding Michael Armstong's book.
Jonathan, I brewed the coffee, placed Beethoven on the turntable and in the quiet of this morning studied your Dad's book “My Lucky Third Eye”.
Loved every minute of it!
Some highlights that stood out for me:
- Find fascinating juxtapositions. I think Michael is too humble when he says: 'What a large part chance plays in photography'. I think he knew when a scene needed that something special and he waited for it and he innately knew where to stand and when to press the shutter. He employed a lot of patience. And revisited a scene many times until the light was right.
- Tell a story, e.g. Town Hall steps (How often have I walk past those steps thinking "There's a photo there somewhere.") the Train station girl, the Boy meets Girl, the separated couple at the picnic table.
- Be poetic and spiritual - Dante's Inferno, his use of fog
- Reference the masters of painting from the Dutch Masters, Rembrandt to Turner
- Photograph an Icon differently, or, how not to just produce that postcard photo everyone else does.
- "If you want to get lucky...it pays to be ready." Your Dad describes waiting to buy a coffee and in that time still has his camera ready to see and take a great photo!
- He likes the wide angle lens and does not manufacture a photo that was not there but is very conscious of forming an image to suit the mood in post e.g. the boy in the boat and the people dragging branches on the beach.
- Find the fun moments. The leg is pure Matt Stuart and then the tag! The yawning Masai? How ordinary for him but special for us?
- Finally, I could very much relate to Michael's reason for taking photos: "I feel compelled to".
Wonderful book and great set of photographs Jonathan. Very entertaining looking through the book and inspiring as well.
Thanks again to you and your Mum.