I've not posted for a while and that's because I've been away on a photographic course. Now, in all my years of taking photographs, I've never been on any sort of photo course. Never belonged to a camera club. Nothing. It just never floated my boat to be honest.
But, I've longer been an admirer of David Nightingale's work and decided to take the plunge on his 'Creating Dramatic Images' workshop. Why? To be honest, I think my work had become a bit 'formulaic' in that I was taking photo's and processing them quickly without giving too much thought to what I was trying to achieve or indeed, could achieve.
Now, whilst I've always advocated not spending too much time in front of the computer fiddling with your images, I was moving at lightning speed!! Most of my images could and would be processed out in less than five minutes. Truthfully.
I had found a workflow that suited me and I refined it to the point of (almost) automation. So I thought it would be a good thing to learn a different way, something new. Enter David's course.
An interesting man is David. The author of three books on the subject of photography he was one of the first to embrace HDR. His book Practical HDR: The Complete Guide to Creating High Dynamic Range Images with your Digital SLR remains a useful starting point to understanding the finer points of HDR. To be fair, he has moved away from the 'grungy' type images that first defined and brought HDR to people's attention and when he works with HDR, it's of a more realistic nature.
The course is a mix of classroom and practical set over two days in Blackpool, UK (with an optional evening shoot) and teaches you the value of shooting with an idea in mind of how you want the image to look before you press the shutter . I don't suppose that's anything new really but, for me, I had gotten a bit out of the habit of doing it. But that mind set forces you to slow down and think about what it is you're doing and that's not necessarily a bad thing is it?
There really is too much to discuss here but suffice to say, it was a jam-packed weekend full of extremely useful technical and creative information and I can only highly recommend the workshop to you.
Of course, no man is an island and David is no exception being ably assisted by Craig Judd, a fine photographer himself and an all round good guy. Craig, if you're reading this, thanks for your time.
Have a look at these images all taken with my X10 on my arrival on the Friday evening. I went walkabout to get a feel for the place. I'll post up some more images from the weekend later on.