More than a little behind on these walkshop write-ups, apologies on that, Strong Island has been a really busy place for the last few months for all sorts of reasons, but looking forward to sharing photos from the many workshops we’ve had since the start of the year. Back in mid February on a bitterly cold late winter’s day we visited the historic Milton Lock area of Portsmouth for the 45th walkshop. This is always a popular walkshop location and is a great location for photography with plenty to discover with our cameras every time.
We first met up at the entrance to the Hampshire and IOW Wildlife Trust Milton Locks nature reserve, which at this time of year is not quite yet coming to life for spring. We started off at the top of the reserve and looked at different focusing techniques using the trees, branches and ivy leaves as subjects. This area even at this time is fairly sheltered so it was a bit of a surprise to make our way down to the Milton Lake shoreline and discover the cold wind. We never cancel our walkshops unless it is storm conditions…but the rain was holding off for the moment so all was good.
At the shore the tide was on its way in but we still had lots of mud to explore for old items such as the old houseboat and chalet bricks, beach glass, old rope and more. On the shore line itself there were the roots of the trees on the edge of the raised bank and the strange stones revealed from the erosion. These branches of these trees closest to the ‘lake’ (it isn’t a true lake, just the large open area behind the Eastney spit) were covered in beautifully coloured lichen. Whilst exploring different perspectives on the beach we also caught sight on a few occasions of the geese flying in formation overhead as well as a group of swans too.
The old boat wreck at the end of the shore is always a popular spot to take photos, and even despite the then recent vandalism of the beautiful ‘whale’s tail’ stern being cut off the boat still had some visual secrets to share with us as the water began to lap around our feet. We made our way up to the bridge crossing the old lock gates and from here looked at leading lines and some other composition techniques. This exposed spot meant we really were really feeling the cold northerly wind. Over the bridge and amongst the small sailing club boats meant we were really at its mercy as it hit us from over Langstone Harbour.
It’s along this Milton waterside that another beautiful old wooden boat normally resides, tied up with many different rope lines. This is also a much loved boat with local photographers, so it was a surprise to see it being guided along the shore by a group of people. It turns out that the boat is thankfully not being broken up but rather restored this year. We’ll miss it though, with its characteristic coloured beams and the myriad of ropes and knots.
We wound up the walkshop inside the lock gates looking at the different boats tied up before calling it time and making our way back to warm homes (and some even hit up the pub too). A big thank you to everyone who came along and braved the weather!
Want to get involved and come along to one of our walkshops? The 2017 walkshops for Spring & early Summer are now available, find out more about these upcoming walkshops at:
Check the Strong Island Photo Walkshops Instagram account packed with photos from all of the last 40+ walkshops and soon to include photos from the photographers who have come along on the walks too:
We also have a new Facebook page for Photography Walkshops, with more photos and information plus, if you like, leave us a review too: