The day will cover photography of coastal, moorland and woodland landscapes in this northern part of Exmoor National Park. Likely locations will be the cliffs and moorland scenes at the Valley of Rocks, the dense woodlands and the beautiful River Lyn at Watersmeet, and the open moors near Countisbury Hill and Porlock.
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. Executing the image, using positioning, perspective, focus control, use of light, and lens focal length to create simple, strong compositions;
6. Use of a slow shutter speed (with a tripod-mounted camera) to blur the motion of water as it swirls around rocks;
7. The use of neutral density graduated filters to reduce contrast range in bright skies.
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 with neutral density graduated filters should also bring these. Anyone without them shouldn't worry - I have some that people can borrow.
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 in some of the valleys).
About the Tutor
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. To see examples his work go to www.nigelhicks.com.
Tutor: Nigel Hicks FBIPP
Location: The Valley of Rocks car park, Lynton, north Devon.
Directions: Map reference: SS707494; Latitude: 51.2301 North, Longitude 3.8358 West. No postcode available.
Take the B3234 towards Lynton. Turn left on to Station Hill. Take the next right to Sinai Hill. Keep following the road until you reach the Valley of Rocks. The car park is on the right, shortly before a small roundabout.