The 59th photography walkshop was at Milton Locks in Portsmouth at lowest tide and on a glorious summer’s day. We began at the nature reserve entrance and entered the tree lined path before starting out looking at different focusing techniques. The tree branches and leaves were great for working on off-centre focusing and the small plants and flowers in pockets of light from the tree canopy allowed us to really stretch our skills on getting maximum sharpness when the subject is small or fine.
We headed out of the wooded part of the reserve to the grassland space. Here also were different plants and wild flowers, plus many, many different butterflies and insects. Soon were were down at the Langstone Harbour shoreline. This part of the harbour is often called Lock Lake or Milton Lake, even though it isn’t strictly a lake but a shallow pocket of the harbour itself. The tide was at its lowest point and it meant we could go out on the mud and explore. We worked on Rule of Thirds, textures and perspectives, aiming to capture low angles of the derelict boats out in the channel and deep mud.
We headed along the shore and tide wall, looking at the remains of what was the Milton Locks community of chalets and houseboats. Old, worn concrete steps led up to what once would have been someone’s home. The boardwalk was a great spot for exploring leading lines and some in the wild portraiture. We were soon down to the remains of the old boat, one of the last signs of the houseboats that occupied this area for almost 70 years. With the tide out we could walk out to the old sea lock entrance and discover old objects in the mud and seaweed.
The last stop of the walkshop was out to a tied up old fishing boat, sat on the mud but safe enough to reach and explore. The bright orange peeling paint, rusty chains and knotted rope was a perfect place to finish and develop the techniques we had worked on over the previous two hours. Once we wrapped up a few people took advantage of the weather and tide conditions and headed down the long slipway to the channel, revealing views out over the beautiful harbour. Thanks to everyone who came along!
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