Skye Workshop Report
7th May 2013
Skye in spring is an amazing place for landscape photography, changing weather can mean crystal clear blue skies one minute and spectacular cloud formations the next. The landscape photographer needs to be prepared for all eventualities and adapt quickly to the changing light and conditions if they are to make the most of the opportunities.
The course started on the Sunday evening with instruction on camera care, keeping lenses and camera in tip top condition is one way of making sure the images you make are captured at the highest quality possible. Dust, finger marks, rain drops and general atmospheric grime on the lens glass can all compromise image quality and are easily avoided.
During the week further instruction on the thought process involved in planning to make an image and capture workflow, 'hyperfocal distance focusing', composition, using 'live view', using histogrammes to confirm exposure, RAW processing and the processing workflow and finally using Photoshop to carry our basic image processing, sharpening and resizing.
We visited many locations to put our skills to the test - Sligachan, Neist Point, The Quiraing, Eilean Donan Castle and Glen Brittle, we also tried our hand at photographing star trails and making creative images by 'light painting' the scenery - both new ventures for those on the workshop. I must mention a little bit more about the 'light painting' evening - we visited an old, derilict churchyard one afternoon to consider various compositions and how we could make some creative images, we then returned before dark to get set up and take some test images. As darkenss descended I illuminated the ruins of the church and a single grave stone for Chrissy and then we wrapped Hilary in an old white sheet and light painted her during a 30 second exposure as she walked across the graveyard. The idea was for her to be rendered as a ghostly figure walking from the illuminate gravestone up to the old church. We tried several times but each time a car would appear on the single track road and the light from its headlights would interfere with the carefully judged exposure of the light painting. Not only that but we all feared the sight of a figure, swathed in a white sheet and wandering around a lonely graveyard in the dead of night would be far too much for a motorist to take in without them carearing off the road in shock. So everytime a car appeared everyone ran to shroud Hilary with their coats and jackets in an attempt to hide her from the sight of the passing motorists. This was done to shrieks and howls of laughter as everyone stumbled around the humps, hollows and rabbit burrows. I will post the resultant images once Chrissy has finished processing it.
Here are a few comments about the week.
"excellent accommodation and great food - a really well organised workshop"
"clear explanations and demonstrations of various techniques by Chris and his advice on settings, composition and exposure were excellent"
"excellent practical sessions and the ability to ask questions and learn at my own pace really helped me to improve"
"I really benefitted from taking images in a wide variety of locations, under different conditions while using different techniques"
I will be hosting another Skye workshop in March 2014 - details to be confirmed.
Please contact me to register your interest in this workshop, places will be limited to 5 photographers and I already have 4 people who have declared an interest.
If more than 5 people register their interest, I may run two workshops over successive weeks.