For some years I have been helping friends and associates to learn the technical and artistic aspects of photography, through a camera club, structured courses and on-location field work.
I retired from my previous career in April 2014 and I decided that the time was right to offer my knowledge to others by running workshops, individual and small group training.
A common story among those I have helped with their photography is that they are intimidated by the apparent complexity of modern cameras, which means they put their nice new camera in the cupboard or use it only as a point and shoot. I will show you that the key elements of modern photography are actually very simple, as they always have been. It is my belief is that it is essential for photographers to attain a level of technical understanding that no longer limits their creativity, so that both their technical and artistic skills can continue to develop. My training therefore ensures that you will gain a good working knowledge of the key principles of exposure in a simple and easy to understand manner. We will be taking our cameras off automatic modes and exploring Manual and Aperture Priority exposure mode, to give you the confidence to shoot in any conditions, with any camera you own in the future.
For landscape workshops we will discover how to scout a location for opportunities, to set up our tripods, image type and quality, aspects of composition, focusing and metering, remote triggering and the use of filters including neutral density, graduated neutral density and polarisers for dramatic effects. Importantly you will not be told what to shoot but given guidance and freedom to use your own ideas about a scene and capture it as you see it, which is of far greater value.
Also offered is general photography training for those who have been gifted that new camera but do not know where to start, or those who wish to take better photographs of their family and friends with or without flash.
The training can be pitched at any level from complete beginner to the more experienced photographer who wishes to share ideas and the company of others who share a common passion. You are guaranteed to have an enjoyable experience in an informal atmosphere injected with humour.
For those who already own their own equipment I wholly recommend that you bring this with you as it what you will be shooting with as your photography develops.
How many locations will we visit?
Generally for all-day sessions we will try to visit 2 locations to give you some variety and different shooting opportunities. For shorter sessions, best use of time may mean 1 location. I strongly believe that you will gain far more by exploring a location in detail and giving yourself plenty of time to concentrate on the technical and artistic aspects, rather than rushing around trying to cram in as much as possible. Less time in the car also means more time behind the camera and more teaching time, which is what its all about!
What do you need to bring?
Well, let's start with your own camera, suitable lenses and other kit, such as filters, a remote release and a tripod. Try to bring gear suitable for the day we have planned and remember you have to carry it! To get the most out of the session you will ideally need a camera with manual exposure mode, usually shown by the letter "M" on the exposure mode dial. Just advise me if you will need to borrow anything.
For outdoor workshops and training bring warmer clothes than you think you will need and ensure you have a wind and water proof coat, plus suitable footwear to traverse uneven ground on the way to locations that require a walk. A weather proof camera bag is a good idea. By all means bring drinks and snacks though we will endeavour to find a suitable pit-stop at a convenient point in the day, supporting one of the local tea rooms or cafes.
Above all, bring a sense of humour and enthusiasm to learn!
How much will it cost?
Do you ever cancel workshops or training sessions?
I will do all I reasonably can to ensure a session goes ahead as planned to avoid any inconvenience. However, photography is meant to be fun and for the sake of you and your expensive gear, the session will be rescheduled if the weather forecast includes persistent rain and/or very strong winds. We can do something in almost any other conditions and in fact most of the best images can be shot in changeable weather. There are even good possibilities on those grey, overcast days. In the event of a day being cancelled, I will confirm this the day before and we can reschedule it to a mutually convenient time.
Risk, accessibly and mobility
To get the most from a session we may have to walk with our gear to and from the locations we are shooting at. This may involve some moderate exercise and steep or uneven sections of path (especially on the Jurassic Coast). You are responsible for your own health and safety at all times and it is suggested that you pack and dress thoughtfully if the day is likely to involve some more energetic routes. Please let me know in advance if you have any particular mobility or health issues as there are plenty of locations that are easily accessible.