We all met up at Green Door Studios in Kendal at the far too early for holidays time of 8 AM. It turned out that we were a very mixed group both in terms of age and experience and equipment. In fact I had borrowed my dad's tripod as its something I have't yet bought for myself. We discussed what we all wanted from the day, Eric and Colin told us what they had planned, then we jumped in their cars and headed for Swindale near Shap.
The weather was not too promising as it was cold and very wet! However we had been advised to wear good waterproofs and bring umbrellas to protect our equipment so we were OK to head up the valley.
At the first point of interest Eric and Colin told us to look around and see what caught our eye. Then as we started to take shots they gave us advice on how better to frame it and use the aperture and focal settings to experiment. These were some of the photos I took there:
After a while when everyone started to get a bit chilly we headed further up the valley to some waterfalls to have some more instruction in using the manual settings. It was nice to see how the moving water looked better when I went off auto:
We ate our lunch nearer the head of the valley before splitting up into 2 groups for a longer session on composition, framing and use of either colour or mono. Eric had us wander around for about 15 minutes to look for what we thought were the best angles for our chosen shot of the landscape. We had to think about the key features and what we wanted to include. Then he talked us individually through composing the shot:
Next Colin took us closer to the waterfall that featured as backdrop in my other photo:
Here there was plenty of water to experiment with. Colin had a timing remote on his camera that allowed him to take very long exposures which had lovely results. A shame my camera can't do that... I had a chance to try out using the half depress function on my shoot button to get some more interesting shots of the broken wooden bridge (again iPhoto currently not letting me show you..).
It was getting a bit gloomy for photographs now so we headed back to join the others. Just after safely negotiating the bumpy, steep terrain I managed to slip on a flat bit. Luckily I only got bruises but I did break the tripod..
Once we had all made it back to the cars we headed into Shap to have a well earned coffee and cake. Whilst enjoying these Colin showed us the apps he uses for turning his colour shots into mono ones. It was also a last chance to ask any questions before driving back to Kendal.
A very good course for an enthusiastic amateur who wants to get more out of their camera and take better landscape shots. It was very good value at £25 per head as well as it was a taster session for the tutors. I've had a look at what future courses Eric will be offering and they are priced higher. I do quite fancy 2 days wild camping with photography though...