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The 58th photography walkshop was at the always popular Foxes Forest and Hilsea Lines on a damp summer’s morning. Despite the lack of sun, the morning rain had made the forest woodland a lush green and the lakes were also alive with birds and their young. We met up at the footbridge and started out down at our first lake. The trees were now green with their new season of leaves and we began looking at focusing techniques and getting some low detail shots by the water.
We wandered down the path to one of the old canon ports now hidden by bushes and plants and also began to look at perspectives, looking at low angles and also looking up. This area of the Hilsea woodland at the top of Portsmouth has many great photography opportunities and we looked around the tracks, ‘the circle’ and up to the reinforcements. Our next stop was the tunnel that runs through the lines, which we first used for shooting creative triptychs. We then moved inside the tunnel and created silhouettes and played around with some simple techniques in helping to create a mood & atmosphere.
We headed back out of the tunnel and walked the path that slowly made its way back to the lakes. Along the way we found, of all things, a guitar in the bushes. The red colour of the body really complimented the background greens of the woodland. As we placed the guitar on a post to photograph, we found the trees reflected in the guitar and looked at depth of field looking up the strings.
The last stop of the walkshop was the wetlands down by the railway bridge. The bridge is the only rail route on and off Portsea Island and spans one of the freshwater lakes. We explored around this location with the small wooden bridge, the reedbeds, the old trees, swans and even the repair works going on the bridge itself. This location is always a favourite for me as it is always different, the weather and the seasons have such an impact on the woods and the lakes plus there is such a striking contrast between the forest, the old defence structures of the lines, the wetlands and habitats…a place you can never get bored of discovering.
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