Nigel Hicks has been a professional photographer for over 20 years, photographing all over the world for a range of travel clients and photo libraries, including Dorling Kindersley and the National Geographic Creative. He is a Fellow of the BIPP, and has been running his own photography workshops, mostly in southwest England, for the past eight years. Although he works in a number of photographic genres, his first love is landscape photography, and it is in this field that most of his teaching is concentrated.
The day will cover photography of coastal landscapes and the many wonderful wild flowers that will be in bloom along this lovely stretch of Devon coastline at this time of year. Landscape views will include cliff scenes, Start Point lighthouse, and bot rocky and sandy beaches. Flowers in bloom will include sea pink, bluebells, kidney veitch, gorse, birds’ foot trefoil, and sea campion, among others.
The aim of the course will be to teach the following skills:
1. How to control and make use of the balance between shutter speed and lens aperture to gain the best exposure;
2. How to use some of the semi-manual modes, in particular shutter-priority and aperture-priority, in order to help you to get away from 'auto-everything'.
3. How to use a few other important digital camera functions, such as the ISO setting, the image histogram and exposure compensation;
4. Spotting elements within the landscape that may make for good images, and then previsualising how it might be possible to compose them in an image frame;
5. Essential close-up/macro photography skills, using the minimum amount of close-up equipment;
6. Executing the image, using positioning, perspective, focus control, use of light, and lens focal length to create simple, strong compositions.
Participants should have at least a basic understanding of what shutter speed and lens aperture mean, plus a knowledge of how to operate their own camera in order to get at least basic images.
Beyond this, the only requirements are enthusiasm, and an open mind and readiness to learn!
What to Bring
Camera equipment: Participants can use either a digital SLR or a compact camera. For those with interchangeable lenses a focal length range from about 17mm up to about 200mm is ideal. Those without interchangeable lenses, or who have just the one lens, should not worry - they will still be able to take perfectly good images, and they won't have to worry about which lens they should be using!
Those using SLR cameras should also have at least basic close-up kit, such as an extension tube or close-up lens, if not a macro lens. Anyone using a compact camera should not need any such kit.
Those with neutral density graduated filters should also bring these. Such filters are not necessary, so those without them should not worry.
All participants should bring a tripod, spare camera batteries, and spare memory card(s).
Anyone with doubts about how to use their camera should bring their camera manual.
Other items: a) water-proofing for both their camera gear and themselves; b) good quality walking shoes, or possibly wellingtons if the weather has been wet; c) a packed lunch and snacks; d) mobile phone (although there is little, if any, phone reception at Start Point).
Times: 10am – 5pm
Address: Location: Start Point car park, near Kingsbridge, South Devon.
GPS coordinates for the car park are 50deg 13.559min N, 3deg 39.290 W.
Parking: There is a car park at Start Point TQ7 2ET
Image© Nigel Hicks