Students impress former Head of Photography at The Guardian and Sony during masterclass

Roger Tooth gives feedback during Sony masterclass
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Ravensbourne’s BA (Hons) Digital Photography students impressed The Guardian’s former Head of Photography, Roger Tooth in an immersive four-day masterclass.

Roger joined the paper as Assistant Picture Editor in 1988, working in various roles for The Guardian, The Observer and Guardian Online for nearly three decades.

The masterclass was supported by Sony and Wex Photo Video, who provided students with the latest Sony A7M3 camera bodies and a selection of lenses in different focal lengths.

Students were challenged to present a total of six stills as well as a moving image piece on a theme of their choice, with the intention of presenting these to a news outlet’s picture desk. Projects ranged from a photojournalism series capturing the Extinction Rebellion and Brexit protests taking place around Westminster to a nostalgic look at the Bakerloo line. Other groups explored themes including inner-city cycling loneliness and food photography.

As well as giving students involved in the project access to their specialist kit, Sony held a stand in the Ravensbourne Welcome Space across the week, giving all students and staff the opportunity to learn more about their kit. The stand was joined by professional photographers Ron Timehin and Casey Gutteridge to offer first hand experience of working with the Sony Alpha range.

The project culminated with students displaying prints of their work and screening their moving image pieces, explaining the concepts behind their work and commenting on the challenges of delivering to a time-pressured brief. Roger and Mark Baber, Technical Marketing Manager at Sony offered feedback on the work, giving insight from their own specialist backgrounds in photography.

Izzy Ablewhite, a third year BA (Hons) Digital Photography student commented, “We had a day to plan, a day to film and a day to edit. You have to think really quickly and go with your instincts which I guess is the reality [of the industry]. We decided to do a political [project], we interviewed some people and went round central. The equipment was amazing, which is really cool. It was nice that [Sony] let us take the equipment out and gave us that responsibility. ”

Commenting, Roger added, “Students were divided into teams of three across different years and it was entirely up to them to come up with the subject. As an editor you are really looking for a broad coverage of the topic. A highlight has been the amount of work that has been produced. It’s almost as if the students have known each other for years and years. There’s a really great atmosphere in the room, which is great.”

Mark added, "“It’s been a fantastic week working with and meeting students at Ravensbourne. The students have had great time producing content for their courses whilst others have been discovering our kit. The quality of work produced in just 48 hours has been exceptionally high. A group of very talented Alpha Creators!"

Find out more about Ravensbourne’s BA (Hons) Digital Photography.

Roger Tooth in an immersive four-day masterclass.