Workshop Review

I'm just back from Torridon, where I had a very enjoyable weekend conducting a photographic workshop with six enthusiastic photographers.

Michael, who was on the course, has been in touch today to tell me he's written a review of the weekend.

Image © Michael Marten

I always come home from a workshop with something new that I've learned myself.

It's easy I guess for folks who haven't been on a workshop to assume that the teacher is the 'all-knowing' one, but that simply isn't true. All I can do is pass on what I know, and how I do what I do, but other than that, the trip is a setting for folk to get involved and discuss ideas and try new things.

The trip becomes a melting pot of ideas and for me - that's great. I love to see everyone get involved - it's a much more engaging exchange if everyone is contributing and as my friend Andrew said :  a workshop is successful if the group are up for putting effort into it.

This weekend, we had terrible weather and as much as I thought it might be a 'wash-out', the attitude of the group was extremely positive and we went out - regardless of the conditions - and came back each day with a lot of very surprising and powerful images.

So I thought I'd show some images from the weekend:

Image © John Black

John took this at Loch Claire on Saturday morning. It had been tipping down most of the night and when we left in the morning, the sky was full of rain and it didn't look like things would improve, but John was positive and said that things could change : and they did. We had a very beautiful morning at loch Claire and it just goes to show that if you don't go : you don't get. So no matter what the weather - you have to go out and see what happens.

Image © Mabel Forsyth

Mabel shot this near Sheildaig at the edge of upper loch Torridon. I think the 'soft focus' effect was created by her camera and filters being so wet from the previous days shoot - and it has a Charles Rennie Mackintosh feel to it.

Image © Teresa Reddy

Teresa shot this not too far away from Mabel's Rennie Mackintosh photo, and this just goes to show that exploring your location can really make a huge benefit. I noticed throughout the weekend that Teresa was 'an individual'. If the group were at one spot, she was often at an entirely different area. The crop I feel is due to me showing the group different crops and this is something I borrowed from Andrew Fackle who was on my Eigg workshop. It just goes to show that one thing leads on to another.

Image © Louise Black

Louise took my advice about looking for foreground interest and she found it in the colour of the red kelp seaweed at Upper Loch Torridon, despite it being a rather miserable day. Very soft, overcast light often makes vegetation and seaweed colours 'sing'.

Image © Stephen Kowal

Stephen really went to town looking for leading lines in this location. I've shot at this spot a few times in the past, but the light on this occasion was dramatic. Windswept horizontal rain was predominantly the order of the day and everyone was soaking, but happy. From my perspective, I always worry that folks feel they're being forced to go out in driving rain to make pictures, but what I find funny is that it's often hard to get them to come back to the van with 'just one more shot left to make'..... being the usual reply I get from them. Love the leading in stream Stephen.