Photography Workshop – with Laughs

The Photography Workshop here in Kirkcudbright yesterday seemed to go well judging by the first responses from the photographers.

Photography Workshop Colin by Gemma

A beautiful portrait of shed owner Colin Saul reading his newspaper. Lighting conditions inside the shed are very difficult, but this has captured the atmosphere perfectly. Photograph by Gemma McDowall

Norene and I thoroughly enjoyed ourselves, but then we always do when we have a lovely group of people with us.

All but one of the photographers came from the Stranraer Camera Club – their second Photography Workshop with me.

We spent the first part of the day with a Q&A session and I offered crits and advice on the images the photographers had brought along. These ranged from ‘How do I use Exposure Compensation?’ to ‘How do I take better photographs through an aircraft window?’

By coincidence, I posted about Exposure Compensation only the other day.

Photo Location
We certainly made the right decision about our choice of locations for the afternoon, choosing to head off to the amazing shed and garden all my students love photographing so much in Kirkcudbright.

We chose the shed rather than going down to the shore. Shed owner Colin had lit a fire in the shed’s stove and on one occasion, we huddled around this as a tremendous shower of hail blasted the garden.

I have been involved with the Stranraer Camera Club for a couple of years now and I’ve watched a steady improvement in the images produced by the club members. I have not yet seen all the photographers’ work from this latest workshgop, but I did spot a really cracking picture taken by Gemma McDowall.

Photographer Gemma McDowell on Photography Workshop

Photographer Gemma McDowell - unphased by the difficult lighting conditions inside the smokey garden shed during her Photography Workshop

With just a little touch of post capture adjustment – which I did on the big screen as a demo when we all returned to our base later in the afternoon, I think this picture is outstanding. See portrait above

When the sun shines in though the clear roof of that shed, the light conditions are very difficult. Add the smoke from the stove’s chimney and you have all the ingredients for great pictures – but very tricky to deal with.

Gemma’s portrait of Colin reading his newspaper while sat in his shed overcame all the problems. It is a very fine portrait.

Gemma captured the photograph with her Canon EOS 550D

  • Shutter Speed: 1/80sec
  • Aperture f/5
  • ISO: 200

It was great to watch the others, too – just quietly gathering their photographs in this remarkable venue. It was particularly good to see Joe Dodgson’s enthusiasm for photography rekindled, and newcomer Jennifer McCracken snapping away so happily.

When I looked at the ‘team group’ photograph this morning, I was struck by just how much I enjoyed the pictures captured when the group was unaware the shutter was being pressed.

Norene exhibited her usual impressive camera skills by taking the group picture with me in it, but when I went over to check the picture and the group laughed a some remark, I pressed the button again.

Photography Workshop Group 1

I perfectly good picture of a happy group of photographers during their Photography Workshop - but take a look at the second shot below

Photography Workshop group laughs

Okay - there's some movement due to the slow shutter speed, but how much more fun is this photograph than the one above

I know this second picture has some blur due to the slow 1/10 sec shutter speed, but the feel of the picture is more fun than the first, more formal shot. This is very common, and just goes to confirm how important it is to keep taking more pictures, especially when the subjects think the session is over.

Facebook posting
Gemma posted on Facebook about the Photography Workshop: “Had a fantastic day! Have learned lots and come away from today with renewed excitement for taking more photos! Thanx Philip and Noreen x”

And Donald McHarrie added: “Here Here Gemma well said, thank-you Philip & Noreen for a wonderful day of photo taking!! Hope to be at another class soon.” Donald

Catherine Cambell said: “Yes had a super day and always come back with some good ideas and pictures many thanks”

Now I shall have to get around to fixing up some more dates for more Photography Workshops.

There are still some places available for the PHOTOGRAPHY WEEKEND BREAK March 30th-April 1st so don’t miss out on that.


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