A couple of weekends ago I was asked if I would like to go along to the very first Active Photographer Jolly, run by Giles (The Active Photographer) with his sidekick Will (Whole Life Photography). It’s a course/workshop/experience designed for people passionate about the outdoors, who want to take better photos, or photographers with a keen interest in the outdoors.
I had previously exchanged Tweets with Giles, and had met him two weeks previously at Terry BND’s outdoor boggers meet in Monsal Dale where we ended up nattering quite a bit. I have a rather bruised and battered Canon S90 with a busted flash, which I had managed to break a couple of weeks previously. I mentioned at the time that I was unsure about what to expect and was slightly nervous about my lack of photography skill and equipment. Giles reassured me that so long as I could manually control everything on my camera (which I could), I would be fine and dandy.
Turning up on the Saturday morning, I met Giles at the Back of Beyond Touring Caravan park. My initial apprehension about the rows of caravans dissipated when I was guided through to a field at the rear which revealed a delightful woodland glade and site of special scientific interest. Some of the folks attending had been there since the Friday night so I was greeted warmly as I pitched up my tent.
After the initial icebreakers, we set off through the park to some gorse bushes and open space on the far side of the Park. Early September is one of my favourite times and the feeling in the air was of the last vestiges of summer twinged by Autumn pushing through. The rain started to come down though, so we nipped in to the woods and were confronted by a quite extraordinary site, the floor having a strong sprinkling of mushrooms with the most gorgeous purple tops.
By the end of the day, my mind was buzzing with filters, composition, ISO settings and the like and we settled down to an amazing BBQ with toasted Marshmallows to finish. I took the rare opportunity to get a decent nights kip and was woken to the sound of a torrential downpour in the middle of the night bouncing off my Nemo Obi 2P which coped admirably. The morning afterwards saw us putting in to practice everything we had learnt the day before, the Back of Beyond park really came in to it’s own with woodland, lakes and the glade like campsite giving plenty of differing opportunities to shoot a wide variety of outdoor subjects and landscapes.
What’s your experience of outdoor photography and if there was one tip you would pass on, what would it be?