There’s no question for me and perhaps many of you that the desire for exploration doesn’t just end when you get back from travelling. But more and more I have been trying to find ways to explore destinations within my own back garden so that when I’m home I don’t lose out on that feeling of excitement and curiosity you get when you stumble on something new.
Which is exactly why I signed myself up for one of the local Photography Walkshops last weekend. I’d had my eye on the walkshops for a while, which are a cross between a photo walk and a workshop, but my travels had kept me from attending so I was excited to have a free Saturday last weekend to try my first one in Farlington Marshes!
The dude below in the yellow is Paul, the Photography Walkshops teacher and guide…
Paul is the co-owner of Strong Island Media and a self-taught photographer and filmmaker. He’s also super down to earth and happily answered the many questions I threw at him about my camera and it’s settings.
In the photo above he’s encouraging us to move the camera viewfinder away from our eyes so that we can shoot from various angles and directions. Which inspired these photos below…
But before that he began by teaching us all about focus. Our group had varying degrees of experience with photography and/or our cameras but this didn’t phase Paul in the slightest, who carefully explained how we could shift the focus of our photos to get the outcome we wanted, rather than the automatic focus that the camera chooses for us.
But the Photography Walkshop is more than just a crash course in manual photography. It was such a beautiful way to experience more of the outdoors and get to know other people with similar interests.
The walk I attended took place at Farlington Marshes, a ten minute drive from my home and yet a nature reserve I had never visited. Needless to say I will be returning for another mini Snapchat adventure to share more of it with you guys.
Whilst I knew the basics of what Paul was teaching thanks to my previous crash course with the incredibly talented Michael Vanarey, it was great to have the technical whens, whys and hows spelled out more clearly over the course of the two hours our group spent together.
And it was also quite the lesson in patience, practice and slow living. Most group experiences I take part in are fast paced walking tours, but the Photo Walkshops require you to take things slower and really pay attention to what’s around you.
I never in my life would have thought myself to have enough concentration to have spotted the beginnings of a spider’s web below…
The walk was also a great way to see what I need to work on in my photography. At one section Paul led us down to the reed bed where I discovered that I’m really just bloody awful and getting my camera to focus when there’s so much going on in one frame.
I failed at getting the photo I wanted from the reeds. But I’ll be back to practice…
Overall I’m so glad to have made time to attend and I’m already looking forward to the next one – as are the other members of the group I was in on Saturday! We’ve stayed in touch via Instagram since then and I’ve already added the dates to my diary.
If you’re local to Portsmouth then I couldn’t recommend Paul’s Photography Walkshops more! We’re all very excited for Portchester Castle so that’s the one I hope I can make the most! But he also has a couple coming up sooner that I’ll try and attend – click here for upcoming dates. Oh and I forgot to mention, most of the Walkshops cost just £10 – what a bargain!
What creative ways are you exploring your hometown area?