I am an amateur photographer almost 40 years in the making. I was incredibly lucky to be given my fist SLR aged 14 and haven’t been without a camera of some description since.
However, 40 years is time enough to acquire a few bad habits and to become a bit “stale” and not sure where to go next. I knew all about aperture and shutter speed and how to point the camera in the right direction but was lacking a bit of “art”.
Then back in March I came across adverts for the Welshot Open Day.
So I went… sat at the front in awe of Gavin Hoey and his sessions on photography with flash. Had my first experience of Lee in full voice and spent time with Welshot members.
Conversation with my other half during a break in the afternoon went along the lines of:
Me: I am really enjoying this I think I will join.
Me: Good, glad you agree. I’ll go do it now.
A few weeks later I made my way with some nerves to “Still-Life Photography with Post Processing” and come away with a big grin and a flash card of images.
Then came my 1 to 1 with Eifion, going back to basics was a good reminder and chance to talk cameras (bliss).
Next move was into action with a session out Anglesey Circuit – Trac Môn learning how to take panning shots (very good core work out!) and another set of shots including an elusive still/moving photo or two.
An evening out on the beach (on one of the hottest days of the year) at Talacre and the Point of Ayr Lighthouse gave me sunsets and sandy toes.
Then came a bit of a light bulb day: Creative Photography and Editing with the brilliant Nuala O'Rourke and an understanding after many years of the power of RAW. The one on one coaching and the chance to “improve” my own pictures was brilliant and gave me a grounding in the basics that I have been using since. I now realise how much I had been missing in some of my pictures and a brief glimpse of what I can still learn to do (Booked up for more sessions in 2020, just haven’t told him indoors yet!)
A session in Chester working with restricted depth of field gave me a different view of the city and a scary “mission”. Go take a picture of a “random stranger” Eifion said…. Hmmm… if anyone ever asks me what I take pictures of my reply is “anything that doesn’t talk back” People… no.
So, there I was in Chester wondering how I was going to pluck up the courage to ask someone to model for me…. I cheated… We were approached by a guy who was intrigued as to what we were up to. I asked if he was “random” he burst out laughing and I got my picture, it might be a bit soft, ISO was too low for movement, but I still love it.
A toe dipped in so to speak…
So for my birthday, I dipped a little further and did “Film Noir”. Definitely out of my comfort zone, Models and Studio Lights, EEK!. All made wonderfully easy, simple ground rules gave each participant time with the model without distractions, no one trying to get a shot “over your shoulder” ensuring the models did what you wanted. They were brilliant, putting up with inarticulate requests to look “up there” or “think thoughts”, not my finest direction, but Andrea Evans managed it anyway.
This was followed up a couple of days later with indoor action, smoke, water drips and the ultimate Bokeh set up. All under the watchful and always helpful eye of Eifion.
At all times I have been made welcome by Eifion, Lee and their team leaders and helpers. No question is dismissed, advice is given when struggling and I have always come away with pictures I am more than happy with and wouldn’t have achieved on my own.
Everyone uses different kit and is at different levels but evenings and days are set up so everyone gets something out of it, on some days us “newbies” are teamed with the more experienced so learning from and helping fellow attendees is also a part of the enjoyment for me and there isn’t much that stumps the BossTog!
And all of this and and chips too!