5 September 2020. Hartland Quay, north Devon
Course location: On the coastline at and around Hartland Quay, near Bideford, on the north coast of Devon
Times: 2pm to sunset (approx 8pm)
Price: £95 per person
The wild, rugged Atlantic coast of north Devon is a dream for landscape photographers, a place of sheer cliffs and coves, waterfalls cascading straight onto the shore. Facing west, this coast is ideally photographed in the afternoon, and so this course runs throughout the afternoon until the sun sets over the sea.
The coast at and just to the south of Hartland Quay is among the most photogenic places in the whole of the southwest, and is well worth the effort needed to walk along this coast to catch the best shots.
However, please see the note at the bottom of this description.
The course will aim to teach the following skills:
● How to spot potential image compositions within this wild coastline, juggling juxtapositions of jagged rocks, sand and water;
● How to control and make use of the balance between shutter speed and lens aperture to gain the best exposure, and to control depth of field (ie the amount of the image that is sharply in focus);
● How to use some of the camera’s most important features, such as semi-manual modes, in particular shutter-priority and aperture-priority, in order to help you to get away from ‘auto-everything’, as well as the ISO settings, image histogram and exposure compensation;
● Executing the image, using positioning, perspective, focus control, use of light, and lens focal length to create simple, strong compositions;
● An overview of certain specific techniques, such as the blurring of moving water to add mood and dynamism, and the use of neutral density graduated filters (ND grads) to darken over-bright skies.
Participants should have an understanding of what shutter speed and lens aperture mean, plus a knowledge of how to operate their own camera in order to get at least basic images. Beyond this, the main requirements are enthusiasm, an open mind and a readiness to learn!
A special note about this Hartland Quay course
Please be aware of the following:
- This course involves a certain amount of coastal walking, amounting to about three miles – 1.5 miles out from Hartland Quay and about 1.5 miles back;
- The walk from the cliff down to the beach – and then especially back up again – is very steep, with a short part of the path not in great condition;
- Much of the main beach we’ll be photographing on is quite rocky and in places takes some care to walk on.
Therefore, don’t sign up for this course if you find walking difficult, particularly on steep, rough paths or on rocks.
That said, this is definitely one of the most beautiful parts of Devon’s coast, and is hugely rewarding, photographically, to those able to make the effort.
One final, general note:
Since we’ll be working outdoors, what we are able to do during the day is very weather-dependent. Weather conditions may make it necessary to vary the itinerary.