Photos From The Explosion Museum Photo Walkshop with Portsmouth Historic Dockyard

In the past 18 months we’ve had a couple of photography walkshops that we have run in partnership with different locations and organisations, such as Southsea Castle, Haslar Marina and Southsea Rowing Club but in August we did something a little different with Portsmouth Historic Dockyard. The first thing that was a little different was that this walkshop was during the week, rather than the weekend, which was a bit of an experiment and something we’ll be doing more of in the future. Second, we were going to work with The Explosion Museum and Portsmouth Historic Dockyard as a group to document their new Escape Room attraction and supplying photos in exchange of unprecedented access to areas to the museum closed to the public, plus travel over Portsmouth Harbour by boat…all included in the photo walkshop normal price. The dockyard also kindly gave everyone a year-long pass to all of the dockyard and associated museums too.

We started off at Portsmouth Historic Dockyard getting on the harbour boat to take us over to Gosport and The Explosion Museum, or Explosion! The Museum of Naval Firepower, to be precise. It had been raining fairly heavily but by the time we had landed on the quayside the rain had stopped but it was still cloudy and gloomy. The weather was, if anything, better for this walkshop as these conditions helped create the right atmosphere and mood for our images. The museum’s friendly staff met us at reception and guided us through some locked gates to the hidden away gunpowder store building that is the new escape room. We explored in the space looking at light and shadow and finding interesting textures. Without anticipating the light in the building being quite low we cobbled together an ad hoc tripod from a barrel and took turns taking photos of the vaulted ceiling and arches of this historic old building soon to be open to the public for the first time. We moved outside to then capture the building and it’s large wooden doors keeping the brief in mind.

With the escape room building captured we got to explore other parts of the museum for the remaining time, so we moved to ‘The Camber’, the little harbour namesake that has views out over the northern part of Portsmouth Harbour. Here we worked on different focusing and composition techniques using some of the old industrial elements on the quayside. The museum very kindly opened up access for us to the old derelict buildings that line the water’s edge from the Camber down to the long concrete pier that is MOD property. The buildings still had many old military marks and signs and were great for exploring around to capture some pretty unique perspectives and views. Our two hours at the museum flew by (and we all talked about returning again with our cameras to explore more) so we made our way back across the harbour and had great views of ‘Rat’ Island, Type 45s at the Dockyard and much more. A huge thank you to Portsmouth Historic Dockyard for this creative partnership and also to all the people who came along and got involved!

The Autumn & Winter photography walkshops begin in October with a first time visit to the coastal village of Langstone, find out more about the upcoming walkshops at:

Check the new Strong Island Photo Walkshops Instagram account packed with photos from all of the last 30+ 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:

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