The day will cover coastal landscape photography on the dunes, beach and rocky shoreline at the magnificent Woolacombe Sands, followed by the stunning, rugged headland of nearby Morte Point. The day will finish at the lovely Rockham Bay, an attractive mix of sand, pools and rocks. If the weather permits, we'll stay to photograph the sunset and dusk.
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 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 300mm 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 (which you don't mind being subject to salt water) or wellingtons; c) a packed lunch, drinks and snacks (or at least the means to buy these); d) mobile phone.
Date: Saturday 17th October 2015
Location: Woolacombe Sands, nr Barnstaple, north Devon.
Meeting place: Outside the Tourist Information Centre, The Esplanade, Woolacombe, EX34 7DL
Directions: From the M5, turn off at Junction 27 and take the A361, following signs for Barnstaple. Stay on the main road all the way to Barnstaple (ignore earlier signs suggesting you turn off to the right for Woolacombe and Ilfracombe). Once at Barnstaple, follow signs for Ilfracombe and Braunton, continuing on the A361 through Braunton and on towards Ilfracombe.
Shortly before Ilfracombe turn left at a roundabout onto the B3343, following signs for Woolacombe. Follow this road all the way down to the beach, turning right just before the main beachside car park. You will now be on The Esplanade.
Park anywhere along here, of possible. If there is nowhere to park on The Esplanade, back track to the beach car park. The Tourist Information Centre is on The Esplanade, opposite the car park.
About the Tutor
Nigel Hicks has been a professonal 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.