The image above sums up the vibe of this workshop rather well – beautiful, raw…and cold. Having initially carried out a recce back in March, it was decided that early mid May would be a great time to return for a workshop. The weather should be nicer…
Well the weather forecast for this particular week had been for quite a lot of wind and rain! Fortunately the rain held off, but the wind was biting, especially for our brave model, Sophia. This did not stop us from creating some very nice imagery though.
Incidentally, we understand that not everyone wants to work with models and would rather learn and hone their skills without the pressure that working with a model may create. With this in mind we are organising a trip to the Peak District purely to practice our photography on the beautiful vistas and nothing else. If you’re interested please click here to find out more.
Our day of photographic fun started in the morning. Meeting everyone at the handy park and ride at Forest Park, Nottingham we all boarded our minibus and headed off on our little adventure.
We arrived at Padley Gorge mid-morning to be greeted by a strong, chilly wind. It was overcast but not too dark and the cloud structure gave us some hope of some interesting sky in our photos.
Now dullish conditions may not look too exciting to the naked eye but if we meter and set our cameras appropriately we can really bring out tones and textures. I tend to underexpose slightly for these scenarios – by somewhere between 1/3 to 1/2 a stop. And if that means little to you try spot-metering on a mid-tone in your composition, taking a test shot and then reducing the exposure by one click* at a time until the image looks a bit darker than average. This enables us to capture more tones and then we can boost contrast and brightness, shadows and highlights in post-production to get the maximum out of each image.
*Each adjustment of either shutter speed, aperture or ISO can be termed as a ‘click’ whereby you don’t have to worry about the f stop numbers or specific shutter speeds or ISO rating. eg. one ‘click’ darker on aperture is just closing the aperture by one increment.
I had brought along my speedlites in case I had to augment the ambient light by using them ‘off-camera’. However the lighting provided by mother nature was more than ample on this occasion.
Having initially walked up higher ground to get to some very interesting rock structures and fab views, by lunchtime we’d worked up quite an appetite so off we went to find a local tavern for refreshments. This area has numerous lovely pub restaurants and the one we found was no exception. The food was lovely although they struggled a bit with Sue’s gluten intolerance and Michael Seddon’s request for a local beer resulted in a brew all the way from Belgium! Still we left with our stomachs full and in very good spirits.
Deciding it was a time for a change in scenery we headed to some lovely trees and heather filled fields before finally arriving at the gorge itself. The beauty of this area is not just in its beauty but the fact that you really do not have to go far to find something extremely photogenic.
We did not have the advantage of a proper ‘golden hour’ but as photographers sometimes we have to look for opportunities and create the magic ourselves.
It was a very enjoyable day spent with good people and a very game model.
If you’re interested in taking part in future – please check out our current workshops and events to find out more.
|A photographer stalking his prey.
|If you go into the woods today…
|Unfortunately the onesie did not offer a huge amount of protection from the biting winds…
|Michael demonstrating one of the (many) reasons he is a photographer and not a model.