Yesterday I went on a landscape photography workshop organised through the Royal Photographic Society and run by Kathy White, a landscape photographer based in Dorset. It had originally been scheduled for September last year but was rained off, so I was looking forward to finally getting down to the Jurassic Coast.
We spent most of the day in Swanage, shooting around the old pier and the seafront. Weather conditions weren’t great unfortunately, but there was enough definition in the clouds to offer some interesting images – and at least it didn’t rain. It was a great opportunity to spend some time working on long exposures using a combination of ND and ND grad filters, something I’ve been meaning to do for quite some time. It’s amazing the difference that this technique can make in your images, and it’s also interesting how it develops your understanding of other photographers’ work. I remember when I first started to learn the guitar I began to notice more what the guitars were playing in my favourite songs, and it’s the same principle here.
Other than getting a better grip on using filters and coming away with some shots I’m very pleased with, the most valuable part of the day was remembering the importance and the joy of taking your time. I’m still going through the pictures from my road trip around the USA last October (only a few hundred to go now!) where, because it’s really unlikely I’ll go back to those locations any time soon – if at all – the imperative was to see and capture as much as possible. When you can afford to take your time you remember that photography is not just about capturing scenes or images, but about crafting them.