100 Years Of Photography At Newport

Michael Steele

May 1, 2012  by admin  •  Alumni

I was a student on the Doc Phot course from 1984-86 incredibly 26 years ago, I can still remember travelling down from the North by train for my interview and nervously waiting to be accepted.. then came the realisation that I was leaving home at 18 and starting a new life studying what I desperately wanted to become a photographer.

I guess like all years on the Doc Phot every student had different aims and hopes for their future in photography and ours was no different. Everybody was encouraged by the tutors and given great freedom to explore and express their ideas..yes there was a structure to the course within the first year but this lead perfectly to being ‘set free’ in the second year to develop personal projects

I was the first student to want to become a sports photographer at Newport and although none of the tutors cared or knew too much about sport they always guided me in the right direction, encouraged me to cover different sports and build up a folio. To this day having worked as a sports photographer on national newspapers for 13 years and now Getty Images for 13 years I always think back to how we were taught to structure a picture story and I feel sometimes the way photography has developed technically especially in the last decade it’s made me stop, think and wonder how I would approach assignments in the Doc Phot way..it’s far too easy now to overshoot, check the back of the camera and hope you’ve got a good frame rather than stand back, think and go back to visualising the image.

Being inspired by the tutors, fellow students and having my eye opened up to the many facets of peoples work has stood me in good stead and believe everything I have achieved in my life in photography was only possible by my 2 wonderful years in Newport, they were special days that will never be forgotten.