About our workshops – a quick overview of what we offer
Small group tours set in the Yorkshire Dales
Mark and Sam think its important to have small groups on the workshops in order to make the most of the day. Our maximum number for any tour is 6 people. This gives lots of one to one time to each of the group and because there is always two tutors you can have as much attention as you need. Also we think that having two photographers on all workshops adds a lot to the learning experience as Sam and Mark sometimes have quite different styles of photography and it’s good to hear two ideas for every composition. Read more about Sam and Mark on our Tutors page.
The great thing about our workshops is having two photographers on hand throughout which means that when we have people at various levels we can make sure that everyone’s needs are met.
Visit some of Yorkshire’s most famous views
Yorkshire makes the perfect backdrop to improve your photography, and its not short of a spectacular view or two. Our workshops are aimed to make the most of a location at certain times of the year.
Photography is all about planning and although we can never guarantee the weather, we hope to capture the views at their best. Early in the year we head out to Aysgarth Falls, made famous by the Robin Hood film with Kevin Costner, this is a good time to practice moving water shots, we then explore Bolton Abbey and Strid Wood in time for the Bluebells and even a little later for the garlic to bloom. In the summer months we make our way to the spectacular landscape around Malham and Gordale Scar. Heading towards the end of the year we visit the awesome Ribblehead Viaduct with views of the Yorkshire Three Peaks before returning back to Aysgarth and Bolton Abbey to make the most of the Autumn colours.
Although its impossible to photograph everything in one day we aim to give a good grounding into how to plan a trip in the hope that you can return at a later date and put into practice all that you learn.
Get to know your camera and turn off Auto Mode
Getting the exposure of each image you make just right is the technical part of photography – but don’t be put off; just like driving a car anyone can learn it. Understanding exposure will allow you to tell your camera what you want from it, rather than letting it make decisions for you.
During the workshop we’ll cover what you need to know about your camera’s exposure modes and metering so you can work effectively and fine tune your exposures with a variety of landscape subjects. If you’re shooting with a digital camera we’ll have a close look at the histogram and see how this relates to exposure accuracy. We’ll discuss depth of field, a crucial part of landscape photography, and how this is controlled by your camera exposure settings. Also, we’ll cover situations where you might need to use filters in landscape photography, such as polarisers, neutral density (ND) filters and graduated neutral density filters and cover more complex exposure techniques such as multiple exposure.
We provide a detailed twenty page magazine style handout during the workshop with a complete section on exposure along with examples.
With two photographers on hand on every Natural Light workshop there’ll be plenty of time for one to one tuition so that everyone gains an understanding of exposure regardless of experience.
See the landscape differently and change how you capture images forever
With a good understanding of exposure this will free up more time for you to concentrate on the artistic side of landscape photography. We’ll start your workshop with a short talk (with examples) covering the key elements that go into making a great landscape photograph, and follow these up in the field throughout the workshop:
Subject Selection – without a strong subject to work with, no amount of waiting for the light and struggling with composition will yield the great image you want. Seeing your subject is the first step and we’ll explore a variety of examples from big vistas to intimate landscapes and details.
Light – With a bit of planning you can get yourself in the right place at the right time with a good chance of getting some decent light. Add to this a little luck with the weather and it could be great! Here we’ll be looking at time of day and year, direction of light and comparing the use of direct, diffused and reflected light to make the most of your chosen subject.
Composition – This is where you design your photograph, presenting your chosen subject in a visually pleasing way. Producing a well balanced composition is critical to producing a great image. We’ll talk about image orientation and framing, focal point, foreground and lead-in, using patterns and lines and abstraction.
These elements come together to form your artistic vision of the image you want to make, and your understanding of exposure allows you to capture that vision. Our workshop magazine style handout also contains sections on subject selection, light and composition with lots of examples for you to refer back to after your workshop.
Post-Processing: Learn Lightroom and Photoshop techniques to create fine art prints
Once you have your perfectly exposed image you’re nearly there. By applying a few basic adjustments to ensure correct tonal range, contrast and saturation you’ll have an image worthy of exhibition.
On each of our day workshops we offer an optional post-processing session the following day where we cover a couple of alternate workflows for fine tuning your images based on Adobe Lightroom and Photoshop. We’ll cover using raw files, making global adjustments for white balance, tonal range and contrast and local adjustments such as applying graduated filters in Lightroom through to burning and dodging in Photoshop. Finally, we’ll talk about preparing your images for output to get the most out of your home printer or lab. You’re encouraged to bring along a few of your favourite images from the workshop for us to use as examples during the post processing session.
Our post processing sessions also include a separate 30 page magazine style PDF handout covering Photoshop, Lightroom and printing, full of tips and examples which you can download after the post-processing session. The fourth edition shown here also includes a new section on how our workflow can be used in Affinity Photo.
We don’t have the facilities to make prints at the post-processing session, but we do offer a supplementary print service, so if you have a particular favourite image taken on the workshop day we can supply an unmounted A3 print on 100% cotton fine art paper. The print is supplied along with the processed Photoshop file and a print-ready JPEG file of your image. Full details are supplied during the post-processing session.
We hope that’s given you a flavour of what you’ll learn from a Natural Light Photography Workshop!
After the workshop
There is also the opportunity to upload your images to a dedicated group on the image-sharing site Flickr, which is only accessible to workshop participants. This will enable you to continue discussing your work with us and your fellow students, so even after the workshop is over, there is continued support to help develop your photography further.