Review - An Introduction to Sport and Music Photography - Michael Berkeley, 25 Nov 2019

A review by Helen Jones - an evening of Sport and Music Photography presented by guest speaker Michael Berkeley LRPS.
We are very lucky at Dorchester as Penny puts together such a great programme. We have some top speakers and some excellent talks...and sometimes we get someone who is new to us who absolutely amazes us!

Last night was one such night - we welcomed Michael Berkeley LRPS with "An Introduction to Sport and Music Photography" and I have lost count of the number of people who came up to me in the break or afterwards saying what a brilliant speaker he was. He was entertaining and gave us so much useful advice - accompanied by some excellent photography! Everyone thoroughly enjoyed the evening. You could tell by the number of people who gathered round Michael at the interval that his talk really did provoke a lot of interest.

So what did Michael talk about? He started with sport - mainly football and cricket - showing us some of his work, telling us what equipment and settings he used, and giving examples of the way it was used in the press, in publicity and on social media. Many of us were in awe of the fact that he transferred his photos straight from his camera to a tablet and then straight into an album shared with the local paper or sports clubs - minimal editing! That takes confidence, skill and experience! He then showed us examples of his music photography, taken at The Joiners in Southampton, and explained the unique challenges that music photography presents.

After the break Michael showed us a far wider range of sport photos - indeed there can't be many sports he hasn't covered. He entertained us with photos of his one and only attempt at Festival photography. He was brave enough to show us the photos that didn't work as well as the successful ones - and also explained why sometimes a photo which is less good technically than others, is far more successful because of the emotion and atmosphere it conveys. That decisive moment is all-important in so many genres of photography.

He reminded us not just to concentrate on the obvious shots but to look for quirky details and candid moments. He said that what he loved about sport and music photography was the unpredictability and the lack of control - you needed knowledge of your subject and understanding of your camera to capture the right moments and that came with experience...and a little bit of luck!

Michael's message to us was to have a go - contact venues and ask for photo passes, offering to share photos in return. Some photos won't work; some might be used - but the important thing is to have a go, learn from your mistakes, get yourself known and gain vital experience in as many areas as you can!

Do have a look at Michael's website and follow his monthly blog:

Thank you again for a fantastic evening, Michael.

~ Helen Jones