Encompassing moorland, coastal and woodland photography, the afternoon will start with the coastal and moorland views around Porlock, steadily moving westwards towards Lynmouth, stopping at some of the most photogenic moorland scenes along the route. We'll also stop at the massive Foreland headland, just outside Lynmouth, to photograph the wild flowers that should be at their peak on this headland at this time. In late afternoon/early evening we'll then head down into the woodlands of Watersmeet for some woodland and river photography. The day will end with evening light, sunset and dusk photography at the Valley of Rocks, a rugged and beautiful coastal setting near Lynton.
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 a few other important digital camera functions, such as the ISO setting, the image histogram and exposure compensation;
3. 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;
4. Executing the image, using positioning, perspective, focus control, use of light, and lens focal length to create simple, strong compositions;
5. Specific skills needed for close-up/macro photography of wild flowers and plants;
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;
8. Low-level light photography during dusk.
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 12mm up to about 200mm is ideal. Those using a DSLR camera will need at least basic close-up/macro attachments/lenses for flower photography. 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.
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 phone reception is at best unreliable on much of this coast).
Date: Saturday 6th June 2015
Location: Porlock, Lynton and Lynmouth, along the northern, coastal edge of Exmoor National Park, Somerset and Devon
Times: 2pm to dusk (approx 9pm)
Meeting place: The car park at Porlock Weir, near Porlock, Somerset. Post code of the nearby Cafe Porlock Weir: TA24 8PB. Map ref: SS865480
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 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 nine 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.