Landscape Photography Workshop : March 2011

Landscape Photography Workshop :  26th March 2011

 I had originally planned to do this day in February but my camera broke and had to be repaired.  In a way it was good because it meant the weather was a little warmer by the time March arrived.  The Workshop was run by Simon Parsons, Sussex Landscape Photography, and to learn some basic photography skills.

Before I went I was able to download a nice booklet from him to do some preparatory reading and preparation.  It was an early start as the Workshop was in the Seaford area, East Sussex.  I took my tripod and zoom lens, plus my remote release and some filters.  I also had some small index cards with me noting down the various exercises necessary for TAOP Part 2 and what was needed for Assignment 2.

There were two of us there on the day which was good because we had more individual attention from Simon.  Once we had arrived at a spot overlooking the beach Simon spent some time talking about the light and how to handle it.  It was a very bright day, without sun but casting a silvery light which was reflected in the white cliffs.  Simon’s advice was to use the camera on manual so that we would have full control over aperture and shutter speed.  He explained how the meter can misread the light so you need good control over exposure and it’s important to take note of the histogram so that as much highlight detail can be captured as possible without blowing it out.

My first challenge was walking down all the steps to the pebbly beach carrying my equipment and then to be able to walk over the slippery pebbles., often covered in seaweed.  This made me reluctant to set up my tripod.   The second challenge was to get used to using manual and keep adjusting the exposure due to the bright light.

I had noticed lots of shapes and patterns in the pebbles, plus small rock pools and, for the morning I got quite carried away these and also bits of flotsam and jetsam which had been brought in by the tide.

We worked our way over the beach with a view of the Seven Sisters cliffs and beach groyns in the distance

I was also able to get some images of people as points which I’ll make use of for the exercises.

As we walked our way back to the cars I thought how much I liked the landscape with its muted tones even in quite ordinary scenes

After lunch we drove a short distance to the other side of the Seven Sisters.  It was quite a steep climb up to the cliff tops and rather frightening as there is no fence.

I took this shot overlooking the café where we had eaten and then another as we walked over the cliff to overlook the Beachy Head Lighthouse.  It was very windy and I had to hang on to the tripod –

By the time we’d worked our way back down to the café I felt very tired and decided to forgo taking photographs of the sunset and drive back home.  I have a lot more photographs to use, some of which are on my Flickr page as well.

It was a good if tiring day and I think I acquired some useful skills for landscape photography.  I’ve noticed that I can now use the manual setting and alter exposures much more quickly. I like the different light by the sea and want to go back there now.

26th March 2011

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