Calshot, New Forest


Saturday 16th March 2024


10:00am to 12:00pm



Combine Quiet Marine History With Busy Solent Coastal Life at Calshot

This is an all skill levels photography workshop at Calshot on the coastal edge of the New Forest National Park,  that takes in the rich mix of marine history, a castle on the beach and a busy Solent sea and shore. This is a new location for Photo Walkshops, after a really successful photography workshop I ran there in 2023 working with Culture in Common.

We’ll be starting off in the Calshot Beach carpark and heading straight down on the the beach itself. The views here over the Solent taking in the Isle of Wight and Portsmouth on the sea horizon are excellent plus the wooden sea defences and low tide shore will get us creatively looking for layers, using rule of thirds, leading lines, details/macro and more. We’ll move to capture the colourful beach huts and then over the road to the wilder corner behind the spit of land that Calshot calls home. Here by the marshes are wildlife, water sports and a meadering beach leading the eye to the buildings or the oil refinery in the distance.

We’ll take our time moving along the shore seeing what detritus has been washed up, before heading in to the small boat yard. Here we can look at details, look at little narratives, reflections in puddles and then make our way to the old Naval Air Station at the end of Calshot Spit. This was at one point home to both Lawrence of Arabia and world racing seaplanes and there are still overt and subtle clues to the marine history of this place from the giant murals to the quiet and unassuming buildings and details. We’ll explore around these areas and then on to the viewing tower and onwards to the medieval castle. We finish up looking at leading lines, dynamic diagonals, textures and not to mention the ships and boats passing the point in/out of the Solent.

This workshop involves a leisurely 2 hour walk with fun & creative photo activities allowing you to find out much more about your camera and how to get the best out from it in the future. We’ll be looking at composition, perspectives, textures, leading lines, creating narrative and also how to take control of aperture and shutter speed.

Expect to see loads of fantastic historical elements from a castle all the way to little hints of the marine history, wide open beaches, quiet nature, busy seas and so much more.


Who will be there?

Group size is limited to 15 per workshop. All ages very welcome, if under 16 please be accompanied by an adult. Please arrive around 15 minutes early for a prompt start for the walkshop.


What do I need to bring?

All you have to do is bring along your camera to take part. It can be anything from a digital compact through to a DSLR and if you want to shoot 35mm film, cool! If you don’t have your own camera we have a selection of digital compacts you are free to borrow for the workshop (please let us know in advance). We can even offer 35mm SLRs for you to use if you like. Many people just bring along the camera they have in their pocket everyday, their smartphone and you’ll learn loads that’ll make a big difference to your mobile photography.


What is access like?

This walk is not very wheelchair accessible, with very poor surfaces and shingle beach.


What is a walkshop?

Through Strong Island Media, professional photographer Paul Gonella has delivered photography workshops over the last 10 years to over three thousand people of all ages and abilities across the south coast. Working with partners such as Chichester Harbour Conservancy, University of Portsmouth, Making Space, Hampshire Cultural Trust plus many schools, colleges and youth groups. We developed ‘Walkshops’, where rather than sitting down in a classroom you actively learn different photography skills and techniques out and about with your camera, with support from a professional photographer at every step.

We’ve delivered well over 100 walkshops from Worthing through to Bournemouth and as far north as Surrey and from the summer of 2015 we have run a very successful series of walkshops open to the public in and around Southsea & Portsmouth and along the coast.


Walkshops are 2 hours long and cost £15 per person either, paid either in advance online via PayPal or cash in person at the start of the workshop (please book online for both).

Please book through EventBrite online HERE or via the button below, a booking fee will be added.

Payment can be done online via PayPal or in cash on the day.


If you pay in cash on the day just pay the £15 and we’ll absorb the booking fee – it saves on the inconvenience of having all the loose change in person on the walk.

Where to Meet

At the Calshot Beach carpark off of Jack Maynard Road (pay & display), will be at the north end of the carpark by the beach huts, near the toilet block.

There is a bus stop 10 minutes away at the main beach carpark, routes 9 and C4.

Beaulieu Road train station is the closest train station but too far to walk.


List of the course tutors

Paul Gonella