Photos From Milton Locks Nature Reserve Photo Walkshop

Over the last 18 months or so of Photography Walkshops we’ve covered many different locations but we’ve also been lucky to tie walkshops up with different organisations & venues such as Portsmouth Historic Dockyard, Southsea Castle, Southsea Rowing Club, The Explosions Museum and more. Back in late October we worked with Hampshire and Isle of Wight Wildlife Trust with a photography walkshop at their Milton Locks Nature Reserve which is nestled in a quiet corner of Portsmouth and on the shore of Langstone Harbour. Autumn was in its early stages and the reserve had recently been cut back by the HIWWT team in preparation for the winter months. This was a sold out walkshop and we began at the carpark entrance to the reserve.

With the hanging tree branches, ivy and more as you walk in to the nature reserve we started off looking at focusing techniques including back button focusing, off centre focusing and manual focusing. The leaves were starting to change colour and we used them for foreground/background switching. We then moved down to the wider, open space where the path heads off down to the water. This space meant everyone could go off and explore with their cameras looking at the trees, views through the grass and more. At the southern edge the nature reserve becomes a gently sloping beach to the harbour.

The nature reserve is the only nature reserve on Hampshire and Isle of Wight Wildlife Trust Portsea Island and is home to all different wildlife such as birds, mammals and insects but the shoreline is also an important element. The shore is along ‘Milton Lake’ and this area has up until recent years been heavily used so we explored the mud looking for old bricks, chain links, beach glass, etc. As well as the small fish in the water we were also greeted by a beautiful dog enjoying the shallow water. Everyone on the walkshop ended up photographing the dog who seemed to love all the attention.

Along the shoreline going west we looked at different perspectives and how to free the camera from the eye. The plants and trees at the edge made for really interesting closeups and low angle views and we used the same angles looking out over the water. Along the path and then the wooden walkway we looked at leading lines, textures and had a few precarious moments with cameras held just over the water. The old boat wreck on the shore was also a really good spot to combine different composition techniques and accurate focusing.

This part of Portsmouth is called Milton Locks due to the old canal that used to run in from Langstone Harbour and travel all the way in to the centre of the city. Almost all of the canal is now gone but the lock entrance still stands. We moved up to the footbridge that passes over by where the old lock gates were located and extended the leading lines technique. We also hung our cameras over the edge looking down at a passing group of swans too. We finally ended up where the lock meets the harbour and caught some small craft sailing by as the tide came up.

A big thank you to HIWWT & everyone who came along for the walkshop!

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