The 40th Strong Island Photo Walkshop in December was back at Old Portsmouth on a cold winter night. Our night photography walkshops are always really popular and fun and lots of brave photographers made it out despite the cold and previously damp conditions. We started off at ‘The Point’ which has amazing views out over Portsmouth Harbour. The Spinnaker Tower was lit up like a Christmas tree at this time so we initially worked on our first settings for our cameras and discussing aperture and, in this situation, more importantly shutter speed. The tower happened to have two search lights casting light up in to the sky so we tried to capture those framing the tower too. Whilst we were taking photos of the tower ferries and craft would pass in front of our lenses, creating great motion lines of light.
We moved positions slightly and began taking photos of the Spice Island pub, lit up in the dark. Next up was learning the basics of light painting to bring up elements of a composition. We used the marker light out in the harbour which we could just about light with a torch or two to make it stand out over a dark harbour looking north west. The Point was busy with photographers and tripods, everyone experimenting with their camera settings and with different compositions.
We walked down Bath Square and West Street to Tower Alley, which runs from the back of the old buildings to the main street and is lined with a beautiful old wooden wall. The alley is lit on the street end and this is a great spot to use a fill flash and with a volunteer we created ghost-like images by ‘popping’ the person at different points in the exposure. It wasn’t easy squeezing almost 20 photographers down the alley and a few passerbys must have thought we were the paparazzi waiting for someone famous to come by in the Portsmouth night.
We were due to head down to the Hotwalls beach but instead found a dark corner behind The Round Tower that included a view out over the entrance to the harbour. We used this corner to work on a few different techniques and occasionally got the passing ferry or two in the shots as well. The first shot was an extension of the popping we had done down the alley, this time though it was capturing a jumping photographer about to land on himself! Next up we worked on light painting with torches, always struggling with the S and the N in Southsea and Strong Island. Before we knew it the two hours had flown by and everyone went on their way with some new techniques and creative ideas ready to try out as soon as they could.
The 2017 walkshops for January to March have already started, most are now booked up but we will be adding more upcoming walkshops for February and March very soon. Find out more at:
Check the Strong Island Photo Walkshops Instagram account packed with photos from all of the last 40+ walkshops and soon to include photos from the photographers who have come along on the walks too:
We also have a new Facebook page for Photography Walkshops, with more photos and information plus, if you like, leave us a review too: