Having managed to get access to a teaching space at Sheffield Park & Gardens I ran my first workshop there in May this year (2019) , I have another one in early October to photograph what the gardens are best known for - Autumn Colours.
We started the day in the classroom with a talk about what was going to happen on the workshop. I did a slide show via the projector of images taken in the gardens and we looked at prints made of some of those images, more about prints towards the end of this post.
The students then spent several hours as a group in the gardens shooting a wide variety of subjects. I don’t like workshops where you are led to wow images, I much prefer to allow the students to engage with their surroundings and find images for themselves, this way I feel they have a greater sense of achievement and ownership of the images. I do of course point a few things out if I feel they may have missed a particular opportunity. I also don’t like looking over someone’s shoulder and telling them how to take the picture. Instead I like to engage them in discussing what it is they are trying to achieve and helping them where necessary.
We went back to the classroom, which is located adjacent to the lovely tea rooms and toilet facilities, to have lunch. Tea and Coffee was waiting for us and the students who hadn’t brought a packed lunch went to buy from the tea rooms. Over lunch I loaded a few images from each students camera onto my laptop and we discussed the images. This was a mixed ability class but everyone was encouraged to give their opinion on the images they were seeing because I firmly believe that seeing others images and hearing their reaction to yours is a great way to learn and improve your photography. If anyone had any particular comments such as cropping or quick post processing I did those via Lightroom Classic so the students were able to see how even simple adjustments can greatly improve what the camera gives you.
Another couple of hours were then spent exploring other parts of the garden before returning to the classroom to select 2 images from each student to be worked on in Lightroom and then printed out on my Epson P600-SC printer. Unfortunately we ran out of time to print both images for each student but I did the others later and posted them onto them. The reason why I take time to show students a bit of post processing and printing is that as I came from a film/darkroom background I don’t believe it’s a finished picture until you’re holding it in your hand. Also when the students get home they have something tangible to share and if they like it enough it’s archival and ready to be framed and hung on their wall or presented as a gift to someone.
Here are some images from the day, enjoy and feel free to contact me with any questions.