The afternoon and evening will cover coastal landscape photography, shooting along the cliffs south of Hartland Quay. Photography will include a couple of waterfalls cascading down the cliffs, and will take in the sand, rocks and pools of Speke's Mill Mouth beach. Weather permitting, sunset and dusk photography will cover the rocks and shoreline close to Hartland Quay.
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, lens aperture and ISO 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 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 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.
Directions: From the M5, turn off at Junction 27 and take the A361, following signs for Barnstaple. Just outside Barnstaple, follow signs for Bideford on the A39. Stay on the A39 past Bideford (do not go into Bideford), following signs for Bude. Shortly after the Clovelly turning (a mini-roundabout) and on a sharp lefthand bend in the main road, take a right turn onto the B3248, following signs for Hartland (the village, not Hartland Point). After Hartland village follow signs for Stoke and Hartland Quay. Shortly after Stoke the road comes to a hill brow with huge views across the sea. From here the road is privately owned, so you may be charged a toll (if anyone is in the kiosk). This road drops steeply towards the sea. Follow it all the way to the bottom, the road coming to an end in the car park next to the Hartland Quay Hotel.
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 10 years, as well as occasional photography tours to Iceland. 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.
Time: 1pm to dusk (approx. 8.30pm)
Location: Hartland Quay, near Bideford, north Devon.
Meeting place: In the car park immediately alongside the Hartland Quay Hotel, Hartland Quay.