Note: Sorry we’re so behind with the photos from this year’s photo walkshops, we’ll be sharing lots of them to catch up ready for the next walkshops in January.
The 53rd photography walkshop was something a little special (with thanks to the help from Tash who plays for the Portsmouth FC’s women’s team) as we were able to explore the mighty Fratton Park with our cameras. Portsmouth FC’s stadium is a place many people have visited on match day but this may well have been the first time you could explore the stands, the edge of the pitch and even the changing rooms with a camera. The group initially met up on Frogmore Road by the ticket stand: a great mix of photographers and diehard fans, all looking to have a unique experience seeing the ground in a totally new way through a lens.
With the team recently celebrating promotion and winning the league we started off our walkshop at Fratton Park at none other than the infamous Fratton End stand. Despite being a somewhat different location to our usual photo walks we still worked on different techniques, adapting them to the many different photo opportunities available before us. The seats themselves were perfect for leading lines, repeated patterns and also for working with depth of field too. We worked along the rows looking for angles down, up and along the line. At this point the clouds began to break up and give us a blue sky backdrop too. At the bottom of the stand we also used the goal net to create natural framing for different parts of the ground, such as the floodlights at the opposite corner of the pitch. That’s not something you shoot everyday…
We worked our way down to the Fratton End/North Stand corner and got as close to the hallowed turf as we were allowed. From here it was great to work on low angles, using the touchline to lead the eye and to also get very low perspectives of the pitch from the grass level. We normally joke about this being a worm’s eye view but funny enough we had a snail turn up, kindly modelling for some of the photographers as this diminutive fan made their way slowly across the pitch. The North Stand has some real history and many of the seats and steps have some great details, lettering and texture.
We continued to circle the pitch and headed for the Milton End/South Stand corner. This spot allowed us to explore up between the stands, along the back of the Milton End and discover some really interesting angles with stairs and turnstiles. This little area may well be completely forgotten about normally but revealed some unusual textures and views.
With great trepidation it was on to the South Stand, and to the tunnel for our next stop. Everyone wanted a shot of themselves in the team seats and also on the touchline. Being at the mid point of the pitch it also created perspectives where we could use the halfway line as a leading line, and the tunnel view looking out on the pitch as a natural frame. From here we headed in to the stand, for the next part of the tour. Along corridors and through doors we ended up at the locations normally unavailable to the public and particularly photographers. First up was a look around the team changing rooms and then on to the manager’s office. The corridors themselves were great for lines of perspective and centre compositions. We discovered photo opportunities everywhere we looked.
Finally we headed back out of the tunnel and back on to the touchline, with a last chance to explore up in the stand, the turnstiles, stairs and more. The floodlight in the corner was also great to capture as you can walk right underneath it, looking straight up! Time often flies on photo walkshops but this was something next level, in what felt like only a few minutes our two hours was over and it was time to leave. We got the chance to really explore and photograph a location that despite being so well known and heaving on match day…had many fantastic photographic secrets to capture with a camera. A HUGE thank you to Tash and Pompey in the Community for helping make it all happen, Portsmouth FC for welcoming a group of wide eyed photographers in the gates and of course to all the people who came along on the day. Hoping that we can maybe do this again another time.
Want to get involved and come along to one of our walkshops? Find out more about the many different upcoming walkshops at:
Check the Strong Island Photo Walkshops Instagram account packed with photos from all of the last 70+ walkshops:
We also have a Facebook page for Photography Walkshops, with more photos and information plus, if you like, leave us a review too: