John Migden - Photography

This week, in our fourth Meet our Tutors interview, we’re heading to Sittingbourne Adult Education Centre to get up close and personal with photography tutor John Migden. We spoke to John just before his digital photography course on Thursday evening.

John has been working in Adult Education for the past 5 years and currently teaches all photography and digital imaging courses in Sittingbourne and Canterbury. Let’s get to know a bit more about John himself.

Age: 38
Place of Birth: UK
Favourite Meal: Pizza
Favourite Hobby: Cycling

Favourite course?

John enjoys teaching the digital photography advanced projects courses at Sittingbourne because “learners have more opportunity to develop and take a project in the direction that they want to go.”

Think about focussing, light and composition, and how you can use these elements to tell the viewer exactly what they are looking at.

What do you enjoy most about teaching?

“I enjoy seeing people getting satisfaction out of achieving something that they think is unreachable.” John said photography was a dying art and that it was satisfying to be part of breathing life back into it.

Camera collection?

John described his collection of assorted courses as “crazy,” and confessed to owning an assortment of weird and wonderful cameras and lenses.  Highlights include a rare vintage rolleiflex twin lense kit, a rangefinder Leica M6 and a Hasselblad XPan with an unusual panoramic rangefinder. On a usual working day, John prefers his Canon 5D Mark III and his Canon 5D S.

Favourite Technique?

John describes himself as a “documentary/photo journalist/travel photographer.” He uses reportage which is an observational style of photography that tells a story entirely through pictures. John says he likes to use prime lenses, with fixed focal lengths to mimic natural eyesight.

How did you get in to professional photography?

John went travelling and didn’t want to return home. He sent slides from his camera, back to an agency in the UK and they paid for him to continue on his travels. It was a dream come true!

Why do you like teaching for KAE?

John likes teaching adults and undergraduates and enjoys the range of classes he teaches.

Have you won any competitions or awards, or exhibited your work anywhere?

John has exhibited his work in joint exhibitions in Thailand and Paris, contributed to a David Seymour exhibition and at the International Centre of Photography in New York.

Who are your favourite photographers and why?

Steve McCurry – “I like his use of colour and his approach to documentary photography.”

Robert Capa – “His choice of subject is interesting.”

Eric Soth – “He uses colour to make something grim beautiful.”

What are your top three tips for anyone attempting photography at home?

“Think about focussing, light and composition, and how you can use these elements to tell the viewer exactly what they are looking at.”

What would you say to anyone who can’t decide whether or not to do an adult education course?

“Do it! Don’t worry about learning as an adult. We don’t assume any prior knowledge, it’s a friendly and welcoming environment – I’d highly recommend it!”

Many thanks to John for giving us a glimpse into his experience as a KAE Tutor. If you’ve been inspired by what John had to say, why not take a look at our photography courses, or even those taught by John himself.

John’s Courses

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