We’re back from a wild and wooly weekend of landscape photography with 17 workshop participants in the South West of Western Australia.
Though best known in touring circles as a region of vineyards, wineries and great surfing beaches, the South West also boasts some of the most magnificent natural landscapes: deep, rocky coastlines carved by the surging Indian Ocean, and deep forest kingdoms, home to gigantic karri trees. Our “Landmarks of the South West” landscape photography workshop took participants to five locations, from the tranquility of a dawn shoot at Shelley Cove to the explosive power of the ocean crashing against Wyadup Rocks.
The focus of the weekend was to develop both technical and creative skills in landscape photography — we showed participants how to expose for single frame landscapes, to shoot long exposures, to use with auto exposure bracketing for high-dynamic range processing, to frame for panoramas and to compose for light, layers and leading lines. But in amongst the learning were many opportunities for laughter and banter: one of the best things about a weekend workshop away is that it gets participants to socialise and to develop camaraderie.
When planning this workshop, we decided that the main aim was to make sure that each and every participant had individual time with us, so that they could be confident in gaining skills in landscape photography. Participants moves between areas within a location, with each area-based instructor thus bring able to assist photographers on a one-on-one and as-needs basis. For many, this was the first time they were shooting long-exposures or using auto exposure bracketing, and the result of their photography delighted and astounded them. This, and the fact that we were shooting across a range of varied locations, led to Jay, one of our participants, telling us that the workshops was an “amazing adventure”!
We capped off the weekend with a three-hour post-production workshop in Dunsborough, showing photographers how to work their landscapes into works of art by Raw processing, dodging and burning, high dynamic range processing and panoramic stitching.
All in all, it was without doubt a fantastic weekend for participants and instructors. Yours truly had an absolute blast and what made the experience so much more enjoyable was getting to know each and every participant on an individual level, and seeing their photography develop across the five location shoots. Everyone took home images that they would’ve been proud to print and hang on their wall and that, we reckon, is the hallmark of a successful landscape photography workshop!
Here are some shots (taken courtesy of Instagram on the iPhone) from the weekend — they give a “taster” of where we shot and what fun we had!