Norene & Photography Workshops

Things are slowly getting back to some sort of normality as Norene recovers from her heart surgery. She is now back home and each day brings a little improvement. We are told it will be a long time before she is back to her usual bubbly self, though.

Meanwhile this weekend I have had a group of photographers on a Photography Workshop here in Kirkcudbright, and what a lovely group of snappers they were. All very keen to learn and all prepared to share. We spent the morning with talks and a ‘Portraits in Natural Light’ demonstration.

Photography Worrkshop portrait session

Photographer Campbell More, one of the 'volunteers' to face the cameras during our 'Portraits in Natural Light' shoot during the Photography Workshop in Kirkcudbright at the weekend

One of the lessons I stress in these short portrait sessions is the difference between ‘inclusive’ and exclusive lighting techniques when using natual light. In other words, it can be just as important to exclude light from areas of the subject where it is not wanted, as it is to include light in other parts. We achieve this very simply with white and black cards.

The ‘studio’ area we use has plenty of natural light available, but a lot if this is from top windows. By excluding this using a black card, we can achieve the most beautiful soft side or front light for our portraits.

It always gives me a tremendous buzz to see the way our PhotoActive groups gell so well right from the start. Although most of these photographers have never met before, by the end of the day it is as though they have know each other for years. Such is the power of a shared passion for photography. I always stress that both our Photography Holidays and our Photography Courses are about sharing knowledge – and it is an approach taken very much to heart.

group of photographers line up during a photography workshop

Different skill levels, different cameras, different approaches, but all photographers with one thing in common - a shared passion for photography during a Photography Workshop. Note the windows in the roof of our 'studio' - this can create far too much 'toplight' but there are ways of dealing with that

I think the photograph below illustrates exactly what I am saying. None of these photographers had met before the Photography Workshop, but here they are enjoying and sharing the fun.

photographers share fun during photography workshop

It's a cracker! Andrea, one of the photographers on the Photographer Workshop, shares the fun with David and Campbell during their photo shoot in Broughton House, Kirkcudbright. All part of the enjoyment of photography

Of course, we didn’t spend the whole day’s workshop in the studio – after lunch we were off to take pictures on Kirkcudbright harbourside before heading for Broughton House, a National Trust For Scotland property here in the town where our photographers are always made very welcome.

You can learn more about shooting great portraits in Natural Light with my DVD ‘Portraits in Natural Light’ available from the website.


  1. Andrea Lingwood-Owen says:

    I attended the recent Kirkcudbright workshop and what a fantastic, fun day it was. The tuition was first class- clear and concise. The science of it all, soon became a language I comprehend. No questions were left unanswered.
    Philips passion for photography is apparent and an inspiration to improve. My ‘light monkey’ will remain with me – always!!
    Looking forward to joining you on one of your holidays in the not too distant future.

    Many thanks

  2. Get well wishes to Noreen from all the team at the Selkirk – great to see Andrea on the site – she had a wonderful time.

  3. I’m glad to hear Norene is getting better.

    I really enjoyed the course and thought it was great value for money. I look forward to joining you on one of your other courses or (dare I say it) holidays!

  4. Great news about Norene!

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