The 46th photography walkshop was a little different to ones we have done before, rather than focusing on a location we looked at a particular individual and their journey. Speaking of journeys, it was great to have someone all the way down from London for this walkshop! Nelson spent his last evening in Old Portsmouth and in the morning of Saturday 14th. September, 1805 he left and walked down to the shore before catching a boat out to HMS Victory, for his last battle. For the walkshop we retraced his steps (as best as they are known) and looked at the many different historic locations along the way.
We first met up at the entrance of the Cathedral before making our way up to what was once the George Hotel. The building was sadly lost during the Blitz but some elements remain including the old street lights. Nelson is said to have left via the backdoor due to the crowds of wellwishers so we too went around the back to the historic Penny Street and began looking at taking photos of these old buildings. We looked at interesting details in the houses and worked on different focusing techniques. From here we crossed the road to the railings on the other side of Penny Street and looked at leading lines and leading the eye when shooting portraits/people.
We deviated from the Nelson route here a little bit, it is thought he continued down Pembroke ROad to a small pathway running at the back of the large field but we made a short cut down Penny Street to the Royal Garrison Church. This church was also bombed during WW2 and lost its roof but it makes for a fantastic location for photography. We looked at natural framing and also tried different perspectives with low angles using the raised churchyard and the church gates.
We headed south and past the Nelson statue and up on to the old sea walls before walking back a touch and on to the fortifications and a little raised area and then worked on foreground and background as well as interesting old details and textures. We next began to correct our route by turning west and making our way along the back of King’s Bastion. The steps leading up to the top we used to create leading line compositions and used the vertical angle to create sky backdrops, with the moody clouds making an atmospheric background to photographer Charlotte.
The wind was strong up top so we climbed back down and made our way down to the tunnel. In the tunnel we looked at silhouettes and adding atmosphere and narrative to our images before walking through to the bridge. On the bridge we looked at textures and geometric shapes as well as views out over the old moat. From here it was on to Spur Redoubt, the old guardhouse from which Nelson departed. The old ruins are fantastic for exploring with your camera with many interesting angles and views through and even under the footbridge as large container ships passed on their way to the harbour and port.
We wound up the walkshop after trying to catch the large, crashing waves on the sea wall, on this cold and windy winter’s day. A big thank you to everyone who came along and braved the interesting weather!
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