Monday, 21 June 2010

Landscape Photography Workshop

On Saturday 19th June 2010 I led a group of photographers in dual classroom and outdoor landscape photography workshop for Park Cameras. And what a day! 12 excellent students with a desire to learn and have fun at the same time. I can't wait to see the results of their efforts on the UK Photo Walks Flickr group sometime soon - one guy has already emailed to say that he needs to wade through 400 images - ouch!

What is gratifying is that without exception, the students were prepared to try something new, especially getting down and dirty, quite literally. In one of the exercises I encouraged the students use the wide angle end of their zoom lenses to give maximum foreground with a focal point in the distance.

As you can see, attend one of my workshops and you'll need to be prepared to get mucky & wet!

We spent the morning in Park cameras training centre going through the basics of good landscape photography, then after lunch, drove to Hope Gap on the East Sussex coast to put the theory into practice. I like Hope Gap as a location because of the variety of landscape and seascape opportunities within a reality small area.

On Saturday we were blessed with typically English diverse weather conditions - fast moving cloud propelled by a stiff northerly wind, intermittent sunshine and rain showers. What more could you want?

Here's a quick shot from the few that I took on the day. There has been a reasonable amount of work on the colour version in Adobe Camera Raw and only resizing for this blog in Photoshop.


I particularly like the curve of the pebble beach leading the eye into the focal point created by the sunlit white cliffs in the distance. I have lifted the colours, contrast, clarity, vibrance, saturation, sharpness, lens vignetting and lens aberrations. I could have added a polarising filter to reduce the reflections from the water and give more clarity and even a ND graduated filter to the sky for more drama, but I needed to keep tabs on 12 photographers and guide them as necessary. I could have spent time creating some stunning images, but that would have been to the detriment of the workshop participants.

One of the guys even had a Lee 10 stop ND he was playing with - a bit like looking through a piece of glass used in welders eye shields!


I'm not too sure which version of this image I prefer, colour or monochrome? The black and white/monochrome conversion is pretty easy in Photoshop. Normally, all I do is add a Hue/Saturation adjustment layer, move the middle slider all the way left then add a Curves adjustment layer and create a gentle 'S' curve to control the contrast. In this case I needed to create a Black & White adjustment layer and tune each colour range to monochrome individually to maintain a good tonal range and maintain detail in the chalk cliffs.

Congratulations to Frank on winning the end of day Chimping Competition - an excellent shot that both myself and Andy F from Park Cameras agreed looked good on the camera preview screen. As soon as I have copy I'll post it here for all to see.

FOOT NOTE
I've just checked the UK Photo Walks Flickr group and one of the students from the landscape workshop has uploaded some wonderful images already - excellent stuff, well done.

Must close now as I've got two Siamese cats demanding food and two daughters pretending that I never feed them. Oh well, a Dad's work is never done;-)

TTFN

Ian



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