Robert Capa, one of the best press photographers ever, once said “If your photos aren’t good enough, you’re not close enough”.
He wasn’t telling us to use our zoom lenses more, but to physically place ourselves in the thick of the action. That is exactly what RIC A-level and GCSE Photography students did over the days when Rochester became big news. The Rochester and Strood by-election meant all eyes, and lenses, were on the town, in anticipation of, and subsequent victory by the UK Independence Party.
As UKIP were effectively the centre of attention, students made their way to the UKIP shop in Rochester High Street, keeping their eyes and shutters open along the way, documenting the mood around town as voters went to the polls in what would be a crucial election. Once outside UKIP headquarters they were given a lesson in press photography, by observing, and subsequently competing with, dozens of reporters and photographers from national newspapers and agencies.
In between documenting highlights of the day (an appearance by UKIP leader Nigel Farage, a demonstrator burning a UKIP badge), the students engaged in insightful and well-articulated discussion and debate with members of UKIP, often at UKIP’s request.
An exciting and eventful experience, with RIC Photography students not only making their mark by documenting the news, but by expressing their opinions directly, and in turn listening to what others had to say. They did themselves, and their college, proud.
[Breaking News] A-Level Photography student Joe Sutton beat the rest of the Press pack by having one of his photos chosen to appear on the BBC Twitter feed. Well done, Joe.