Natural light portraits workshop – 16-Feb-2012

What a great evening! Instead of the usual BPC club meeting at the Memorial Hall, Jenny & Mark Pedlar invited us to hold a workshop on Natural Light Portrait Photography at their house. A cloudy start to the day had turned into a lovely clear evening, and more than 15 BPC members attended – most with cameras. We also had 2 prospective member visitors – Howard & Henk, and as an added bonus, Julie & Ray’s grandson Jase, and Jeremy Watson with his model colleague Anna.

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Yvonne had been in contact with Jeremy earlier in the year through a UK ex-pat network and had invited him to attend the workshop as he had relevant experience. Jeremy is a professional photographer who also runs workshops and has a passion for portraiture (you can visit his website or his Facebook page), whilst Anna is a full time model who works with Jeremy and others (having done shoots and promotional work around Australia). We were very fortunate to have them with us, as they helped us to learn new (or hone established) skills in portrait photography with our willing (and unwilling 😉 ) models.

Jeremy’s helpful suggestions (such as spot metering, using the light, large apertures, the classic inverted triangle of light, close cropping, directing the model etc) were a valuable lesson. In concert with this information, Anna’s skill at picking whose shutter was flicking helped provide perfect expressions for images of her on a window seat, in a doorway, and in the back garden gave almost instant success for the budding portrait artists. For those not focusing on Anna, Jase also had his fair share of images recorded too. A few surreptitious shots of members were taken as well as one of the President and a visitor 😆 . Club visitor Howard even managed a few images of Anna in doors after the shoot as we had tea & coffee – now that’s thinking about natural light.

Having fired off a stack of images, and our light fading, we retired indoors to have a drink, a nibble and a chat. Jeremy was asked to tell us about his work and answer questions, to which he willingly obliged. The discussion was certainly wide ranging and fascinating, with tips and insights on breaking the (photographic) rules, street shooting, photographing family gatherings, black & white vs colour, introducing grain, composing in camera, landscapes, photographic safaris, wild animals, model agencies, concert and long lens photography, judging, image processing & software and lots more. We were held fascinated and fired questions back and forth as both Jeremy and Anna gave us the benefit of their knowledge and experience.

The evening wound up with a lot of very happy BPC members (I’ve had nothing but good feedback), some great natural light portraits and the knowledge that Jeremy would be back later in the year to judge at one of our competitions to share his experience and enthusiasm.

Thanks to all that attended Anna & Jeremy for their insights, Jase for posing for a bunch of strangers with cameras, Jenny & Mark for hosting (and feeding/watering) the workshop and Yvonne for the inspired invitation of Jeremy. Apologies to those that didn’t get images to me fast enough for inclusion in this post – but I’ve included a selection that represents the evening including some unexpected (and rather good) natural light portraits!

Cheers

Chris 😉

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