New Vibes Visuals
This project celebrates the passion and identity of Jake, Sam, Simon Slim, Mel, Amanda, Tracy and Bengy.
This web page will chart the process of the group as they undertake a series of eight photography workshops organised and delivered by Simon Peter Green. The participants will develop skill, experience and confidence while creating visual work that collectively and individually represents the society around us.
The participants will share experiences, observations, photographs, and anything they find interesting. This page will grow to become a document of our working time together.
New Vibes Visuals will be exhibited at Between Spaces in May 2020, as part of the Coventry University Photography Degree Show.
Please follow this project on Instagram and Twitter:
Simon Peter Green is a photographer based in Coventry, UK. Under the umbrella of the New Vibes movement he recently delivered a series of music tech and event/production management workshops to help build a team of DJ’s. New Vibes DJ Sound System are now established in Coventry and have played many shows and events. Simon photographed the journey of the Dj collective and produced a body of work called “New Vibes Dj Sound System”.
The Build Up
During the DJ project it became clear that a few people hanging around with the sound system loved to take photographs. Namely Simon G. Watton, Amanda Thomas, Mellisa Smith, Bengy, Tracy and others. Some asked Simon Peter Green if he could help them to become stronger photographers. This would have been a logical progression however Simon was too busy working with the DJ’s. “Maybe we could do this after Christmas? If I can find time?” became his normal response.
After Christmas there was an informal discussion about future activities and the demand for photography workshops came out high on the New Vibes wish list. The photography group was created by a democratic vote and the group began to write down objectives. How might a photography workshop run? What might be the outcomes? Could we find somewhere to host it? Could we photograph animals and sunsets? Could we stand up on our own as a photography collective, supplying images for publication and distribution?
Setting Up The Workshops
Simon approached his tutors with the concept of the workshops. The tutors were supportive and said he may ask the University if they could be held in the Ellen Terry building. The Ellen Terry building is a student facility containing studios, a darkroom, scanners, lighting, computers, etc. Support from University management was a massive step forward. Additionally, permission to use the photographic equipment in the University Media Loan Store was granted. This meant good access to cameras, lighting, tripods, etc.
Simon set about designing and figuring out the workshop delivery, including everything that had been discussed at the first meeting. He included additional ideas around what was the “use” of photography and representation, insider, outsider and othering. Everything was considered, organised and ready to roll.
Workshop One / 6 February 2020
During workshop one we discussed how to behave as students on campus, how to build and maintain a creative working environment, we discussed representation, insiders, outsiders and othering. We discussed the potential outcomes of the project. We covered and understood the necessary ethics and bureaucracy. We did a practical session on polaroid photography. We took portraits of each other, focusing all the time on “representation” and good camera techniques ie: lighting, perspective, gaze, composition, figure to ground, etc
Feedback from Workshop One
“It was good to play and think about backgrounds and lighting. I enjoyed being inside the Ellen Terry building as it helped me to understand what goes on in there and what Simon Green gets up too when he’s not with New Vibes! I loved that we all had the opportunity to do this.”
“We covered some complex stuff but everyone stuck together and helped each other to learn. It was good that Simon had a student crew to get involved as this will help us develop further links at the university.”
I think this will help everyone to produce better photographic work that can be used to represent not only themselves but also the Connecting For Good/New Vibes movement.” – Mellisa Smith https://twitter.com/FeelGoodMel
Workshop Two / 13 February 2020
During Workshop Two we revised how to build and maintain a creative environment, representation, insiders, outsiders and othering. We discussed the final outcomes of the project. We discussed organising a photographic equipment appeal because some of the group members do not have access to photography equipment and this is a creative barrier. We discussed mapping the City of Coventry and highlighting all the safe places. We did a practical session on macro/still life, including lighting and atmosphere (Caravaggio). We took macro/still life images of our own personal possessions and this helped to build an intimate portrait of the group. We focused on “representation” and good camera techniques ie: lighting, perspective, figure to ground, composition, gaze, etc
Feedback from Workshop Two
“Second instalment of the creative exploration with Simon Green – the group with no name now have a name. Although it was a hard decision between City Of Visuals & New Vibes Visuals the latter just pipped the post! Tonight was about macro and still life. We had to choose things that represented us and take various shots of them individually and as a group. Enjoyed being part of the process, exploring with everyone and learning about Caravaggio.”
“Our homework is a perfect opportunity for us to map our hot spots in City Centre which we are planning on doing together. Thanks Simon.” – Melissa Smith https://twitter.com/FeelGoodMel
Workshop Three / 20 February 2020
During Workshop three we revised how to build and maintain a creative environment, representation, insiders, outsiders and othering. We discussed the final outcomes of the project. We discussed the potential of an exhibition at Coventry Market. We discussed organising a photographic equipment appeal because some of the group members do not have access to photography equipment and this is a creative barrier. We discussed mapping the City of Coventry and highlighting all the safe places. We did a practical session on documentary, social documentary and street photography, including the decisive moment, emotions, echos, contrast, illusion, mystery, mood, abstract, unpeople, portrait, dynamic, busy and urban.
We took street photo images of ourselves and this helped build a representation of the group. We focused on the defining moment and emotion.
Feedback from Workshop Three
“💯 Loving this opportunity 😊👍” – Tracy
“Definitely magical how everything coming together – Leave feeling positive and hopeful which is rare for me to feel like that so late in the evening!” – Melissa Smith
“Last nights session was awesome! We had a full team plus two guests – Jon Legge came to help fix our cameras and Mon Cher joined the workshop. A brilliant example of network weaving… The teaching was focused on street/social/documentary and we had the opportunity to explore famous photographers work. We learnt about the technical aspects of this style of photography but in a fun and accessible way.
I think it will help us as the goal/mission of New Vibes Visuals is to document the journey of the grass roots movements that are forming in Coventry as a way to tackle isolation, so our style is very much akin to street/social/documentary
Highlights – Simon Watton accomplished his first brief at the Collaboration Station on Wednesday night and Bengy will be going out to photograph the Lord Mayor this Saturday.” – Melissa Smith
Photography Equipment Appeal
what? – Only a few of the participants own cameras. If you have any photographic equipment laying around unused, for example cameras (analogue or digital), lenses, lights, tripods, flash guns, developing trays, etc – please send ANY photography equipment to “new vibes visuals” and we will give it a new creative life.
send to: New Vibes Visuals, Photography Equipment Appeal, c/o Print Manufactory, Unit 10, Fargo Village, Far Gosford St, Coventry CV1 5ED
(or deliver by hand to the Print Manufactory shop)