You know how it goes with teaching things – opportunities are like busses, none for ages, then several come along at once! So, hot on the heels of being asked to write a blog for the NYIP, I’ve been asked to teach some courses at the brand shiny new Nikon School, which has just opened in London’s fashionable West End.
I’m seriously excited about the stuff we’ve got planned, as well as the chance to teach at this new, custom built facility, so allow me to take you on a virtual tour:
This is the main teaching space in the basement. Comfortable seating for about 15 or so, and maybe 30-40 people could squeeze in there for a one-off day if some were prepared to stand. There’s a high definition projector, with full AV gubbins, and you can see a 9ft colorama on the left hand wall there.
This is the rear of the teaching area, and shows one of the things I’m most impressed with about the whole facility. Most places where lecture are given are fairly innocuous, white, corporate style rooms. These places are not only boring for anyone sitting listening to a lecture, but they’re pretty uninspiring if you have to demonstrate anything photographic in them. The downstairs of the Nikon Centre has a variety of different corners, finishes and nooks and crannies in it which will allow anyone demoing or teaching technical stuff to work through a range of looks and techniques without even venturing outside.
That’s the same seating area, but you can now see the daylight – which can be controlled by a blind, along with the exterior stairwell. Just to the left of this are 2 fully-specced mac work stations, with all the required software on:
And just to the left of them is a sofa and another variation in decor that will allow for a different shooting style:
Tucked away under the stairs is a pretty comprehensive set of lighting gear, with softboxes, fresnels, LED panels and even a wind machine. Needless to say, there’s a host of Nikon gear in the building as well, but you won’t be short of lighting options if you’re trying to teach something.
Behind the screen is a make-up/changing room, with 3 fully lit mirrors
And just behind that is the all-important kitchen, with what looks like proper coffee (mmmmm, proper coffee…)
There’s also a conference room upstairs, for teaching non-practical stuff in small groups
And the whole place has been decorated with photography very much in mind, with prints on most of the walls:
There’s a mini-showroom at the front, kitted out with all the latest gear, as well as some bits of classic gear. How prepared the Nikon guys are to let you get your hands on this kit I don’t know, but it’s good to know it’s there for teaching/demo purposes.
So, there you have it. A specialist photography teaching facility, right in the West End, that’s had a great deal of thought and care put into it’s design. Many of the courses they’ll be teaching there are along the lines of “How to use this piece of kit” or “How to be a better X Photographer”, and I’m sure they’ll be very popular. From my end, the two courses I’m confirmed to be teaching are: A one day course on Editorial Photography, and a one day course on Commercial Creativity. Both of these are aimed at the slightly more experienced photographer than the outright beginner, and obviously I’ll be posting full details such as dates as soon as I have them. There are also plans afoot to split these one day courses into evening courses, as well as taking them on the road to a few colleges.