How to maximise your
Attending a Landscape Photography Holiday or Course is the best way to learn new skills and sharpen up those you already have. Not only will it improve your technique and expand your knowledge, it will also expose you to a range of interesting subjects to shoot and give you an opportunity to meet and have fun with like-minded people.
Whether you decide to go on a Lake District Landscape Photography Holiday with me, a group Lake District Landscape Photography Course or even for a full day’s intensive 1-2-1 (2-2-1 even 3-2-1 if you have mates who’ll share !!!) following these few simple guidelines will help you to get the most out of your experience
Define your goals
That may sound a bit ‘arty’ to some, but seriously think about why you want to attend and what you are aiming to get out of the course. Be realistic. As intense as days with me can be I can’t teach you everything you will ever need to know about Lake District Landscape Photography, so don’t only think about what you’re hoping to achieve but TELL ME too
I need to have a pretty good idea of where you already are with your photography to ensure I pitch my tutoring at the right level, if I pitch too low you’ll get bored, too high and you’ll wonder what the Hell I’m talking about
NEVER be afraid to say STOP – and ask me to run over something again, and again, and again if necessary; though after spending years teaching all manner of subjects I tend to find that if someone doesn’t understand me the first time around that’s probably my fault, so I don’t say the same thing again in the same way, but change the approach and phrasing until you do understand. I’m even known for having a little ‘Exposure’ dance and another for explaining Depth of Field and Hyperfocal Focusing 😀
Tell me what style you’re after learning
It could well be that you’re so new to Lake District Landscape Photography that learning anything is good. You may feel that you’re struggling with composition, where & how to focus to get the sharpest possible image. It may be that you’d like to try Long Exposure Photography, and that you’d like images full of streaking clouds, flat lakes or creamy waterfalls. Or you may have bought a new superwide lens and are struggling to get the best out of it; perhaps you’re even wanting to challenge yourself to shooting with a telephoto lens, which kinda seems alien to many in Landscape Photography but there is definitely a time & a place for them
The point being its better to have a point that you’d like me to address than it is for us to wander around almost aimlessly shooting anything – so TELL ME what you want
Prepare a list of the most important questions you’d like answered while we’re together. It’s easier to forget things when you are rushed or excited
Feel free to ask me about any specific recommendations that will help you to prepare for the particular subject to be covered. The more you can learn before your holiday or course with me the more you will get out of it
There are at least 2.79 gizillion images of the Lake District online, and an ever increasing number of my own too, so use such as Pinterest to create your own ‘library’ of images you’d like to better understand and potentially even recreate, and of course make sure I can see those images too to help me structure your course so that you get the best you possibly can out of it 🙂
And please remember that trying to recreate an image is NOT WRONG – its a fantastic way to learn!!!
You will NEVER be able to totally replicate an image as something about the time of year, the plant life, the light, the weather, your equipment, your post-processing will ALWAYS be different and uniquely yours; but trying to copy an image means you have to learn how to first dissect it, to ‘see’ what the author had seen and how they were thinking and this process alone helps you too to move your photography forward. Copying is a vital learning tool, don’t feel guilty about it, embrace it
Copy mine !!! If you like some of my images them feel free to take a screengrab or link to them, TELL ME, and we’ll go there and try to not only recreate it but better it too 🙂
Check your equipment
Make sure that your equipment is in a good working order, batteries charged, blower brush to hand and dust bunnies removed if possible. There is nothing worse than being in the field and having your equipment malfunction, but if that does happen – use mine – I’m not going to let you go home without any images just because your lens broke or your camera didn’t want to play 🙂
Know how to operate your equipment
If you read your camera manual in advance and practice until you feel confident about how to use it you can spend your time with me doing what you really want to do – learning to take great photos!!!
That said, all camera manuals appear to have been written either by Geeks who can’t speak ‘normal’ or someone with only a basic command of English, so if you are not 100% with how everything works – bring your manual with you, and we’ll figure it out together
And during your
Be an active participant
I honestly cannot stress this highly enough – ask, ask and ASK again
Work hard to get the most out of your time
Don’t be afraid to ask questions I’m there to encourage, assist & teach you
If you are not comfortable asking in the group simply ask and we’ll step to one side for a quite moment, but if you are in a group don’t do that all day long – others will notice !!!
There is no such thing as a daft question !!!
You cannot possibly think of a question I have not heard before or asked myself back in the day, the only ‘daft’ thing is walking away having not asked about something you’re unsure of
Don’t immediately expect to make great photographs
Use this time to practice using new techniques and experimenting rather than trying to produce great photos. Great photography is about being there at the right time and that may not coincide with the timing of our course. The weather may not be our friend, but it cannot stop you from learning. The true aim of any Lake District Landscape Photography Course is NOT the taking of awesome photos, though hopefully it may happen, its the learning of how to take better and yes maybe awesome photos when you can
Be open to suggestions
Participate in each exercise fully and enthusiastically and accept feedback with an open mind. Its quite possible that I’ll see some problems with your technique and approach so I’ll jump in to help you
At times you’ll find I stand back and just watch when I’ve set a challenge, this is partly for me to assess how you’re approaching the challenge set and partly as its useful for me too to see how you ‘see’ things differently to me
Once we’ve got past the issues of exposure, DoF, composition etc. (the techie bits) it becomes all about the interpretation of the Landscape and we all see that differently, its a lovely thing to sit back and watch people enjoying themselves creating their own art from the landscapes set out before them
After your course…
Well, as this page is already VERY long I’ll have to post that as a part II – so follow this link to read that too