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Behind the lens

Behind the lens

Getting out and about with your camera, inside Ipswich Institute - An interview with Photography tutor Keith Locke

After previously meeting with manager Hugh to find out more about the Ipswich Institute, we decided to find out more about the leisure learning courses by meeting with their Photography tutor, Keith Locke. He is a dedicated and enthusiastic tutor who has been teaching at the Institute for four years, for three terms per year, with no intention of stopping any time soon!

After being asked about his relationship with the Ipswich Institute, Keith told the interesting story of how he came to be a tutor there. After working as an Artist in Residence at the Town Hall on an exhibition, he entered the Ipswich Institute to put up a poster advertising his work. Upon seeing that leisure learning classes were offered, he inquired as to whether there was a Photography course available. When he found out that there wasn’t, Keith couldn’t possibly miss the opportunity to share his passion and expertise by offering to teach a course!

Keith shared some details about his course, and he explained that his sessions were quite different each time and that he often inclined towards the requirements of his students. He made it clear that he is devoted to helping his students understand the depths of photography and explore what it means to the individual, and went through some elements of his teaching. The courses that Keith is running this coming term are: Photography – Composition and members-only Photography – Out and About with Your Camera, and the latter is a more practical course.

Keith explained that his methods have proved effective in the past, his classes go on trips around Ipswich and the surrounding areas on alternate weeks, including Woodbridge, Shotley, Ipswich Museum, the Waterfront and parks. Apparently, it’s all about what the individual wishes to photograph, applying what they have previously learned in the classroom. Agreeing that we live in such a beautiful county, Keith knows that people often don’t appreciate what is around them, advising that, ‘If you move anywhere new, photograph everything in the first 6 months, because after that you won’t see it’.

Keith helps to demystify aspects of photography and give confidence and control to those wanting to use a camera, saying that photography is often now just pushing a button on our smart phones. He aims to overcome this by producing students that complete the course feeling confident in the aspects of photography and have a deeper knowledge of what professional photography is, means and entails. Keith noted that throughout the course, students tend to become more thoughtful about what they photograph, breaking down which separate elements work well so they can get it right every time.

Keith enjoys the concept of continued learning and thinks the Institute has a brilliant range of subjects available, going on to praise all elements of the institute and especially on how well it cares for its members. He explained that, as the members of retirement age could not use their bus past before 9:30am, the Institute assured that the day time classes would not commence until 10:15am at the earliest. Keith was keen to express his gratitude to be able to work at such a place, saying that it is ‘a fantastic job and everybody is so helpful and accommodating’. It is clear that, in becoming a member at the Ipswich Institute, you embrace a sense of care and community as well as access to a whole world of new things.

The participants in Keith’s class are usually more mature students, maybe retired individuals who want a better grasp of the digital world. The photography class is a popular course for both members and non-members. If you enjoy spending time behind the lens and want to sharpen up your focus, be snappy and book your place on the course before the spaces are taken.

For information of upcoming classes, including how to book CLICK HERE.

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