A day at the office
A few weeks ago I held my first landscape workshop in the shape of a day's one-to-one tuition and I've finally got round to writing about it. Workshops are something that I'd often thought about, both attending and running them but I'd never got round to doing anything about either. The former because annual leave and spare cash is usually taken up by family holidays and the latter because, well I've never quite thought I had enough knowledge to pass on so it never seems the right time to start. In the end while I continued procrastinating I got an email out of the blue from somebody asking if I could do one as a gift for their friend which kind of made my mind up for me.
I spoke to Tony, the friend in question, several times before the day to get an idea of what sort of stage his photography was at and what he wanted to achieve from the day, I came up with a few ideas for an itinerary and we decided on a sunrise shoot at Herringfleet windpump followed by a visit to the picturesque villages of Flatford and Dedham in the heart of Constable country.
Conditions on the big day were looking a bit disappointing with clear sunny weather... not ideal for sunrise at all but I met Tony in the car park at 4.45am (lesson 1 - get up early!) and as soon as we headed down towards the mill it was clear that the frost and nice blanket of mist spread across the fields was going to save the day. I'd planned to take a hands on approach to the tuition, I thought that shooting alongside Tony and offering advice or answering questions rather than looking over his shoulder all the time would keep things more relaxed and allow us to compare shots as well. So after looking at a few different angles we set up and got stuck in. While shooting we looked at composition and went through a few techniques such as using the histogram, focusing with live view and filtration amongst other things. Tony clearly had a good eye for a picture and I was pleased to be able to help him fine tune things where necessary.
When the rising sun had burnt off all the mist and frost at Herringfleet it was time to head back to base for some breakfast and to discuss some of the things covered in the morning and look at some processing techniques before heading off to finish the day at Dedham and Flatford.
After being a tad stressed beforehand about the weather and the timing of everything, I enjoyed every moment of the day but it's not really what I think that matters which is why I was delighted to see this message from Tony posted on my Facebook page...
"If anyone is considering a workshop then I can highly recommend Justin. A very friendly easy going chap. By the end of the day I had learnt so much. A great day"
My first workshop and a satisfied customer, at least if I get no more bookings I'll end on a high!