Mil & Marny had arranged a 2-to-1 workshop with former club member (and still friend) Huw Alban for Saturday with Mottisfont National Trust property as the location.
Both ladies have been looking to move their photography on from being rather average to being something more thoughtful and creative.
They were blessed with good weather and Mottisfont presented plenty of subject matter for them to get stuck into, but only after sitting down with Huw to discuss what they hoped to get out of the day.
Huw was a pleasure to be with and helped them concentrate on selecting subject matter that said something to them, e.g. why one flower and not another, considering the best angle and technique to use, and considering the light conditions and how they might change in a short space of time. The day wasn’t without its lighter side and many a laugh was had by all.
Huw is a very thoughtful photographer and how an image makes him feel is at the heart of his image taking. Getting it as right as possible in camera is still important as radical cropping in the computer will diminish the usable pixels. Huw also made good use of some of those bits of card that print makers end up with when cutting a mount aperture, and gave Mil & Marny small pieces of card with different shaped apertures e.g. rectangular, square, letterbox, so the end result can be imagined without even looking at the camera.
Not being sure what they expected from the day both ladies felt they actually gained a lot from the workshop.
Mil thought she had been given more confidence to use her tripod despite the attention it attracts from non-photographers, to wait for the light to be right for the shot, to consider how she might influence the light with the help of reflectors or a big white umbrella like the one Huw had taken along, and very importantly to question what an image is trying to say, because if she didn’t know she can’t expect anybody else to either.
Marny summarised her thoughts “I learnt a lot – I don’t really know what I was expecting, I just wanted to learn – and I certainly did. I’ll need to keep reminding myself to use what I learnt – Use my TRIPOD, and before taking and image STOP and THINK”.
Huw takes the delivery of his workshops seriously and believes it should never be used to help him build his own image stock, so he kept all but his little point-and-shoot camera in its case. He concentrates 100% of fulfilling the expectations of his pupils and is constantly on hand to give guidance without being overbearing. The choice of what to take was very much left in Mil & Marny’s hands while Huw asked gently probing questions to make them think about what, why and how they were taking images. It was a conversation not a lecture.
I think both ladies will agree they can recommend Huw’s workshops to anybody who feels they want to take their photography to a new level. http://www.huwalban.com/
Images: Huw Alban, Mil Chimley & Marny Thompson
Report: Mil Chimley LRPS