Learn how to see creatively by identifying the opportunities that light, subjects, patterns, tones and forms present to you as a photographer. This introductory course for DSLR camera users will raise your graphic awareness and encourage you to understand and fully exploit the essential compositional and lighting principles that will stimulate your personal vision and advance your portfolio.
In our technology dominated 21st century, we can all too easily become seduced into believing that without much forethought or input from us, our incredibly sophisticated digital imaging equipment will do all the hard work and produce photography competition winners for us. Whilst it is true that with recent advances in capture technology, producing well-focused, well-exposed images has become much easier (and understanding these technical matters is an essential part of photography) none of it is as crucial as being able to see creatively in the first place.
Creative vision is so much more than merely noticing a good view, identifying good light or spotting a good subject. Without a fundamental understanding of compositional principles, as well as knowing the advantages and limitations of your equipment and the images it can (or cannot…) produce, these elements will not necessarily, effortlessly or routinely convert into successful photos.
Personal vision and the previsualisation abilities that accompany it are what make each of us unique as photographers. This course will encourage you to identify, enhance and refine these aspects of your skill set, so that you can consistently identify and produce compelling shots.
Part of seeing creatively is developing the expertise to include and combine all the best visual elements and exclude the redundant ones, as well as mastering the skills to produce an effective graphic conversion from a three-dimensional view of a subject or view into a convincing and flattering two-dimensional final image.
The tutor aims to make best use of the weather and light conditions on this weekend, if the opportunity arises – and subject to group approval – if circumstances allow, we may make an early excursion out of the college to the coast, with a early start on Saturday morning (at pre-5am).
Throughout the course, you will strengthen and augment your photographs by learning how to:
•Recognise compositional structure
•Exploit rules of composition
•Use lines, forms and patterns
•Identify the right light
•Create visual balance
•Generate positive tension
•Choose the right focal lengths
And by taking control of:
•Depth of Field
•Field of view
•Point of view
•Compression and expansion
•Inclusion and exclusion
Once mastered, seeing creatively becomes an instinctive, natural part of the way you routinely process visual information and mentally convert it into graphic opportunity. You will start seeing the world differently as you develop your personal vision; your photographer’s eye will evolve and, as time passes, will become a continuous and mutable source of inspiration.
The course will combine demonstration, presentation and practical tasks on location, with the use of Adobe image interpretation software in the digital photography studio – where we will apply apposite enhancements to the images that you acquire during the course.
If you are interested in learning more about the localised modifications possible with digital editing to take your images to the next level – you may like to consider booking the additional one-day course arranged with Benjamin Graham on 24 March for students who have attended his weekend courses.
Arrival Day - this is the first date listed above
Courses start early evening. Residential students to arrive from 4pm, non-residential students to arrive by 6.45pm.
6.45pm: Welcome, followed by dinner (included).
8 - 9pm: First teaching session, attendance is essential.
Classes 9.15 - 5pm, lunch is included.
From 6.30pm: Dinner (included for residential students).
Evening working - students may have access to workshops until 9pm, but only with their tutor's permission and provided any health and safety guidelines are observed.
Classes 9.15am - 3pm, lunch is included.
Residential students are to vacate their rooms by 10am please.
(This timetable is for courses of more than one day in length. The tutor may make slight variations)
What students need to bring
- Please submit your current favourite image to your course tutor by emailing: [email protected] at least two weeks before the course starts. Please ensure you include your name, as well as your tutor’s name, course title and dates. Participants’ images will form part of a group discussion after dinner on the first day of the course.
- Ensure you pack appropriate outdoor clothing for the time of year, including waterproofs and walking boots/wellingtons, and be prepared for some reasonable walking.
- Ensure all equipment is clean and ready to use. Please bring:
- Your DSLR camera, with clear memory cards and lenses, together with any filters you may have, with spare batteries and a charger, plus camera to computer leads
- A tripod, if you have one
- Camera instruction manual (if available)
- A notebook and pen
- A USB memory stick/portable hard drive via which images can be transferred to your own computer at the end of the course or for saving work in progress (The College Shop, which opens daily from 8.30am–2pm, usually has a few for sale.)
- A note of your Adobe login, if you have one
- Please note that while each student will be allocated a PC workstation, some of the other equipment provided in the studio is shared amongst the group.
You need to be familiar with using a computer. A basic understanding of Adobe Photoshop or Lightroom is desirable, but not essential.