I like to compile a few notes for workshop participants after a photography workshop while the locations and topics covered are fresh in everybody’s mind. Well done to the recent group that joined me for a wonderful few days on our north coast – for working hard, both physically and creatively – we actually walked over 10 km on Sunday! You were a great group and as well as getting on with our photography, we had a laugh over the weekend.
The Great Pollet Arch, Fanad, Donegal, at dawn.
When we first met on Friday afternoon, I mentioned that there are three areas that are important in your photography: I would summarise these as being:
Vision, Field craft and Processing.
From our first shoot at the Forest Park and waterfall, I encouraged you to explore a scene and look for compositions before taking out your tripod and camera. Using a simple frame or an optical viewfinder, it gives us the freedom to explore more angles, heights, perspectives and encourages compositions other than that from the full height of your tripod. Some compositions are just harder to visualise than others, particularly with extreme wide-angle lenses or for panoramas for example.
Camera or Field Craft
Being outside in nice locations and with nice light is the core element that has attracted us all to photography. We just like to savour this sense of place, moment and light and to capture how that feels to us in our photographs. In refining our skills in the field, or main job is to capture the best raw file possible and I enjoyed seeing everybody grasp that concept really well. Our light meters, especially in low light, or with strong neutral density filters, only give us a starting point. As we make our exposures, we assess our histograms, not just the main luminance but all three colour channels, to ensure that we do not lose any data in our capture. This often means that the raw file looks underexposed but as we saw this gives us the best starting point for our processing later.
This is an excerpt from the full pdf of notes from the workshop. Check the workshop pages for upcoming dates..
The 'Dark Hedges' at Dusk.