Photo walkshops for 2023 picked up pace this weekend with two in Old Portsmouth. The morning photography workshop focused on the historic Camber harbour.
The morning conditions were a little overcast with flat light and we started off looking at the rule of thirds composition technique, with the landmark Spinnaker Tower being an excellent subject to experiment with. With the Portsmouth Harbour at low tide we could walk down the old car ferry ramp and under the concrete pier edge, where you can photograph not only oysters at the edge of the shore but also a striking view of a concrete stairs dipping down in to the green waters.
As we came back out from under the pier lip we found the clouds breaking to the north, with a blue stripe running behind the tower and sunlight illuminating the north of the harbour and Portsdown Hill, allowing for a different take on the perspective we had photographed minutes earlier. Also catching our attention was a lone Cormorant perched on top of the three legged marker guiding harbour traffic away from the rocks of the Spice Island shore. Leaving The Point we moved to the temporary barrier wall that blocks off the scrubland that is above the pier we were underneath earlier. Using the gaps and holes in the fence, we worked on controlling focus on foreground and background details and natural framing views through to the wild plants beyond.
Our next stop was just yards away with the old tram rails in the cobblestones acting as leading lines, guiding the eye down the road leading out of Spice Island. The standing water in the rail allowed for reflections and we discussed why alternative perspectives make for interesting photographs. We also looked at some tips on shooting these type of photos with smartphone cameras and the advantages they can have over DSLR cameras.
By now the sun had come out from behind the clouds and gave us some beautiful warm winter golden glow to our next stop, the slipway leading in to the waters of the Camber, by the Ben Ainsley Racing building. This slipway is edged with a quayside and a ramp leading down to a pontoon, which helps provide some unique views of the landmark Spinnaker Tower. The structure is often under high tide waves so much of it is rusty and covered in seaweed, a prime location for images focused in on details and textures.
We ended up talking about manual control settings for our cameras, including aperture, shutter speed and ISO. This discussion led us on to experimenting with Intentional Camera Movement photography looking down to the Spinnaker Tower. We looked at the best setting for the light and conditions and then tried different camera movements (tilts, pans, twists and zooms).
With so many great photography opportunities at every single step, we didn’t even get half way around the planned route by the time our two hours were up! A huge thank you for everyone for coming along.
If you are interested in coming along yourself you can join in on one of the upcoming walkshops including: shore walking in Emsworth, then a new route at Hilsea Lines, the shore wrecks at Portchester, and exploring the meadows at Fishbourne. As always, these workshops are for all abilities and everyone is welcome. – Paul.