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Black and White Photo of a group of people in the streets of Chester. The photos was taken on the Chester Walls - A Photographic Adventure with Welshot
Image Credit: Sue Mannings

A Photographic Adventure, Welshot Does… Photography Workshops, Courses, Events, Themed Photo-shoots, Mini-Modules and WelshotReward Days – These all describe what the Welshot Photographic Academy is all about. Having fun with your camera, learning a thing or three about how to use your camera, taking great photos and, just generally, hanging out with like-minded people who just love photography. From Liverpool to Chester, from Anglesey to Wirral, from Snowdonia to London – We even have our very own Discover-Experience-Photograph Overseas Adventures where we've travelled from Hong Kong to Iceland, from Paris to Venice, from Budapest to Luxembourg and Rome to Krakow. Why not join us on an photographic adventure, grab your camera and come have some fun and get a can full of photos at the same time.

Chester Walls – A Photographic Adventure with Welshot by Christine Bluett

It was My first Photographic Adventure with Welshot event!

I did it, I actually attended my first Welshot Academy photo event.  I was filled with trepidation, my first trip out in 15 months, with people I’d never met before.   Anxiety levels were high!

It was a gloriously hot day as I arrived at the Chester Cross, 20 minutes early.  Scanning the crowds looking for likely Welshot members … basically anyone with a camera was a potential candidate.   A lady tentatively asked “is the photography group?” and I knew that I had found the right spot.   It turned out to be Sarah, a lady also attending her first event.  The others all arrived and I have to say were all remarkably friendly from the very start.  Eifion did the introductions and off we went down to the Roman Baths near the City Walls.   Even on that small journey I learnt quite a few things from Eifion and that continued throughout the event.   He seems to ooze photography knowledge from every pore and I took full advantage.   It was comforting also to know we had the same camera, as did John Evans, another experienced photographer very willing to share his extensive knowledge. 

We spent some time in the Roman Baths before heading up on to the Walls in the direction of the Eastgate Clock.  I was instantly taken back to my youth… actually a few youths.  I was brought up in Chester and the City Walls was a popular meeting place.  As they say, if only they could talk…  but that’s definitely not for this page!   

Black and White Photo of the Eastgate Clock on the Chester City Walls - Taken on a Welshot Photographic Academy Mini - Module
Image Credit: Christine Bluett

By this time Eifion had explained a few settings on my camera which I was unfamiliar with, including some arty settings.    I took a picture of the clock using these settings and was amazed at how easy it was to get such a different type of image.  More practice required but a whole new world opening up to me.

Like many people, I had too much time on my hands during lockdown and whiled away the hours browsing for all things photography (which is how I stumbled on Welshot Photographic Academy) and how I found lots of “bargains” to be had on photography kit.  I talked myself into investing in some new lenses and assured my husband that I won’t need any more new kit for several years.   Oh dear, John and Eifion each had a different type of fisheye lens for their cameras and I just love the effects you can produce from those.    Perhaps this is the down side of mixing with like minded people, it can cost you a lot of money.    I’m definitely thinking about an additional purchase now although perhaps I need to justify the kit I’ve got before forking out for more?   Who am I kidding, of course I’m going to get one!

We continued along the Walls, visibly wilting in the heat so did a quick detour for some refreshing cold drinks.  I must admit, by this time I felt “the spirit was willing but the flesh was weak” so it was an effort to concentrate on photography and the weight of my bag was taking it’s toll!   I packed too much and realise I must learn to be more selective with my kit on the next trip.  I’m definitely a “just in case” sort of packer.    The cold drinks helped though and slightly refreshed we ambled on around the walls.

We eventually ended up off the walls at the Canal basin which has had significant investment over the years and is now a popular area to sit and watch the world go by.   We strolled down to the locks and spent time practicing taking pictures of moving water.  It was a great end to a very enjoyable event.  We touched on many aspects of photography and I learnt much from Eifion and John. 

The City Walls have so many photographic opportunities I really wish I still lived in Chester but as is so often the case, you don’t always appreciate a place when you live there, only once you’ve left.   I snapped away like a tourist.   A return trip is definitely required so I can work on getting better images.  For that reason I’m particularly looking forward to the Welshot Rewards event in Chester later in the year.   

The other members on the event were really friendly and it was a great introduction to Welshot.  I was sad not to meet Lee that day but I do look forward to meeting her and everyone else in the future.   Thank you all for making me feel so welcome both at the event and during lockdown.   I am so glad I stumbled on you

Chester Walls – A Photographic Adventure with Welshot by Sue Mannings

It was great to be “back in the saddle” for a socially-distanced mini-module based on and around the Walls of Chester. I thought I knew Chester pretty well, but discovered places that I had never seen before, so it was an eye-opener for me. As always, I was accompanied by a great bunch of fellow togs led by Eifion and John E and for the first time, a guest appearance from Clive Iggulden. He’s real! Two newbies were given plenty of 1:1 attention by the leads and lots of opportunities to practise new-found techniques. They were also introduced to the Welshot “sneaky photo” opportunities – behind the scenes and often at the least dignified moments! (Sorry, John)! It happens to us all.

I know Chris was eager to have a souvenir photo and she had two – one from Eifion and one from John and now, a third from me – so plenty to remind her of her first Welshot event.

A group of people on the Chester City Walls who are attending a Welshot Photographic Mini Module
Image Credit – Sue Mannings

My! Was it hot!! I confess to sitting quietly in the shade whenever I could. We all met up by the Cross in Chester and from there, walked to the amazing Roman Gardens where we tried out various photographic techniques and enjoyed the view. Sarah and Chris had lots of camera-specific guidance here while John E showed his prowess in getting down on the floor to take photos from different angles – and, even more impressive, getting up again without the slightest bit of effort (unlike some -i.e. yours truly)!

From there, we began our walk along the city walls taking in lots of iconic landmarks, described and illustrated by Eifion both verbally and in a really helpful booklet which he had compiled for us. As always, Eifion “goes the extra mile” for us. Along the way, we noticed the beech (?) trees which were completely covered in sticky sap which had dropped onto the walkways and our shoes stuck to the paving as we walked along!

There were lots of opportunities to take photos of views, architecture and street photography whilst learning about the history of Chester through the buildings along the wall including King Charles Tower and The Water Tower which I had never seen before.

Black and white Photo of King Charles Tower in Chester
Image Credit: Sue Mannings

For me, the focus was on details from architecture and the chance to use the Dramatic Filter on my Olympus Pen F – plus a few grab shots, street-wise and some BTS when I could.

Black and White Photo showing architectural details from along the Chester City Walls.
Image Credit: Sue Mannings

From the walls we descended to the canal and spent some time photographing the locks (and sitting down in the shade). This was where we finished – and from where we made out way home in various directions, having spent a great afternoon amongst friends and learning lots along the way.

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Lee & Eif