‘The Sun Always Shines In Southsea’ is something we say a lot at Strong Island and back in November (for the second time) our Southsea in Winter Photo Walkshop geared up for capturing Southsea in the wind and rain ended up initially with a beautiful blue sky and a calm sea. This fully booked walkshop started off at the Rose Gardens where we explored the flowerbeds and elements of the original fort looking for ways to dial in our focusing. Here and there were the last of the rose flowers, covered in dew drops.
As we came back out of the gardens it was clear that this initial sunshine might not last, with huge storm clouds out over the Solent. This was the day before Storm Angus hit the south coast and the first of the front was arriving over the Isle of Wight and out on the water. We went straight down to the beach to capture these dramatic seascapes and skies and worked on composition techniques like the Rule of Thirds and looking at different perspectives. We also applied these to portraiture and looked at controlling aperture to create a short depth of field, with people pairing off to get atmospheric and blurry seas behind their subjects.
By now the rain clouds had crept around behind us and the rain quickly began to fall so we headed back up to the colourful beach huts for shelter. Despite the heavy rain we used this time to capture the water droplets on the wood and different views through the wood panels. In next to no time the clouds passed and we came out to find a full rainbow overhead. We worked with geometry and symmetry as well as continuing to experiment with depth of field at the beach huts.
From the beach huts we cut through the large carpark on the way to Canoe Lake, the large puddles on the tarmac meant we could look at reflections and changing the angles of attack to get interesting compositions at lower angles. It is always fun using the weather conditions as an opportunity to turn a negative in to a positive. From here we used a path down to the lake to develop ideas on leading the eye and even combining different composition techniques in one image. The lake had lots of swans that all came to welcome us as we arrived. The high water line meant we could look back at reflections and low angles and develop on the ideas from earlier in the walk. Our last stop was at South Parade Pier, where we looked at light levels and locations effecting exposure, leading lines, natural framing and much more. Once again we survived the weather and had a great walkshop, a big thank you to who came along!
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