Thursday, 20 March 2008

The workshop: the review

Wind and wave, Northumberland, March 2008

So having completed my first workshop, what did I think?

First the details: the workshop was given by Garry Brannigan of The Digital Dawn - one of his Advanced Landscape courses in Northumberland. 3 days, including image reviews, 2 early starts for dawn and a host of coastal locations. I'm not going to go into a blow-by-blow account, suffice it to say that the "instruction" was very much tailored to the individual with plenty of one-to-one through the days, helped by the fact that there are only 5 participants on each of his workshops.

The weather was windy much of the time, which in some ways helped: it was hard to pull off the cliched grand scenics of the area and so we were forced to look for the less obvious pictures. This is exactly what I needed.

I had been looking for a workshop that would get beyond the technical camera/Photoshop stuff that most seem to offer and move towards helping me produce better work.

What did I think? In a word, excellent. Through the discussions and reviews I picked up a number of extra aspects of composition that I don't give enough attention. It was useful to have the discussions about what does does not work in a print and therefore how to go about representing the world we see effectively in a flat image.

Garry has a broad appreciation of photography and is able to guide each participant based on their own goals and vision. It is always from the question "what do you want to achieve?" that advice stems on how to better achieve it. There is no agenda and no style being pushed. The whole thing is run ins a relaxed, easy-going atmosphere that meant I never felt rushed and could get whatever help I needed, whenever.

It is certainly easy to see why there are 75% repeat bookings and I will be looking to add myself to their number next year.

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