Photo Walkshop - GCSE Students from St Edbunds School

Photos from St Edmunds School GCSE Night Photo Walkshop in Old Portsmouth

Photography Walkshops began with private workshops for schools, colleges and community groups back in 2012. I would share photos from these walkshops and get asked about making them for the general public, which I then did back in 2015. It’s funny how things go but when I shared photos recently from a night photography general public walkshop I got asked by a teacher at St Edmunds School in Portsmouth if this was something their GCSE students could do? The answer was YES!

I met the staff and the 15 students at The Round Tower at dusk, and as we waited for everyone to get together we looked up as Jupiter and Venus sat together in the darkening sky over Gosport. From here it was a short walk to The Point and we got all our cameras up on tripods. First task was to go through different settings and why we choose them, things like aperture, shutter speed, ISO but also manual focus, etc. Out first photos were of The Spinnaker Tower lighting up the waters of Portsmouth Harbour. The longer the shutter speed, the smoother the water.

We kept our eyes and ears open for the arriving Isle of Wight ferry, with the lines of light passing through our compositions. We moved our focus to the harbour marker with a green flashing marker light and experimented with painting it with light to bring it out of the frame of a backdrop of Gosport lights. As another ferry passed we aimed to capture the passing lights behind the marker and still have time to move our cameras around to capture the ferry passing by the Spinnaker Tower again. With some great results we spoke about how and why you can see the lights of the tower shine through the dark areas of the ferry as it arrived in The Camber.

We headed off to move to a narrow alleyway tucked away off the cobbled streets for the GCSE students to begin to have a go and experiment with basic light painting. Everyone was really patient getting their shots.

Our last spot was a viewing platform that overlooks the entrance to Portsmouth Harbour. We were anticipating the arrival of a brand new Brittany Ferries ship, and used the time before to develop an understanding of experimenting with different types of lights for painting and using a flash to ‘pop’ and freeze action. Just as our two hours was up the ferry passed and we got our last lines of light, we also watched the drones in the sky leave their own lines in our photos. A huge thank you to the young photographers and the staff supporting them!

If you are interested in booking a photo walkshop for your students, please get in touch.   – Paul.


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