I found the talk Daniel Meadows gave us was really refreshing. (Probably because I’m a little wannabe hippie).
Despite being a success in numerous ways, Daniel Meadows is very down to earth. Described as one of the icons of the digital storytelling movement, he has won numerous awards, managed to get the first ever shot of Maggie’s (Thatcher) handbag, and has worked for the BBC. However, but he has still kept a strong clasp on his hippy beliefs. He hasn’t been bothered about climbing the ‘greasy ladder’. He enjoys lecturing, teaching, and learning about the lives of every day people.
Daniel began his career at 21, embarking on a crazy self driven double decker bus trip around the UK, snapping photographs of the great British public in the streets. The idea seems so simple, but was very innovative and exciting at the time. The pictures were just so real. It’s still interesting today to see portaits of the people in their natural, every-day form. Years later, in 1999 Daniel made appeals to find the people in the portraits in local newspapers, those people were hunted down and and another photo was taken, same pose, same people, different decade.
Daniel had since worked on BBC on a Capture Wales project in which members of the public to create their own narrative story. This way of working goes back again to the idea of the audience becoming a bigger and important part of the media. Who can tell a story better about the locals than the locals.
I like the idea of using photographs, going back to the original form of capturing an image. Photographs capture and freeze a special moment. In film these moments can be lost forever amongst the vast and fast frames we see in a moving picture. A frozen moment allows the viewer to absorb the scene and interpret the situation for themselves. As Daniel explained about the two shots in the 70s and in the 90s of the people on his bus trip, with a photograph the audience can fill in the story, the gap in between the two images. Like people do when they look at a painting.
This talk was inspiring. It’s nice sometimes to stand away from all this new flashy technology stuff and appreciate the old school things, like photographs and postcards that allow us to enjoy and absorb one single moment in time.