Oil, Water, Smoke & Macro – Creative Photography at the Welshot Photographic Academy Evening – Holiday Inn Ellesmere Port.
Well, it was a much-anticipated event, the Oil, Water, Smoke & Macro – Creative Photography session at the February Photographic Academy Evening – being held at the Holiday Inn, Ellesmere Port and it was my first Academy Evening.
On the night the weather was freezing so I wondered how many people would actually show up as it was fully booked. I was a bit anxious too as I realise I have a lot to learn and some members have already developed great camera skills.
The venue was pleasant and reasonably easy to find, in a lovely location on the banks of the Shropshire Union Canal. The evening was presented in the conference suite. Parking was free and the car park was busy but I managed to park in a convenient space.
There was a warm welcome for all from the Welshot team, Eifion, Lee and Nuala who were helping with tips and setting things up for everyone and generally being supportive. There was a mixture of abilities in the room, some existing members and some new, all were made welcome and everyone was very friendly.
The room was laid out in banquet style with 2 large tables. Around the outside, 4 work stations and lighting were set up to deliver what we needed to fulfil the challenges on the agenda, oil, smoke, water, macro. I was looking forward to learning some new techniques.
We divided off into smaller groups and made our way around each table/task. I think that my favourite was the water with oil. There was more license to be creative with the colours and the patterns, rather than objects, I like imagination stuff! Smoke was good too and after Eifion kindly sorted a couple of settings on my camera for me, I managed a couple of decent shots that I was quite happy with.
Making Photographs using Oil, Water and Coloured Backgrounds:
The smoke came from joss sticks and by some stroke of luck the smoke alarms in the hotel didn’t go off. It was a bit like snake charming as you couldn’t control the smoke, you had to wait for it to develop in front of you and be quick to capture the pattern before it separated. It was my first experience of off camera flash.
Macro is something I haven’t ventured into before but Liz one of the other new members kindly offered to lend me her lens which was really kind of her. I decided instead to observe others and enjoyed chipping in with Sue’s duck line up and suggested putting emery board skis on the little duck with the union jack to keep in with the Olympic winter games spirit! It was Valentines the next day so some people were using the letters and love hearts to be romantically creative 😉
On the next work station, I wasn’t very good at capturing the dripping water making ripples in a bowl, it’s all about ‘timing the drip’ I think and I’m sure that will get better as my camera confidence grows. I struggled to get a sharp image but that will come I guess. I need to remember to turn of the ios when using the tripod.
Supper was chilli (plus a veggie option for those who wanted it) and rice plus chips! Some people had seconds! Water and coffee was available too.
All in all a good night, it was my first academy evening so I am sure I will enjoy the next one even more as I now know what to expect . Also, I have a few things to practice with my camera to improve my photographs and my confidence. My next event is booked, the 70’s Glam Rock themed photo shoot in Chester in March. Would I be giving my age away if I said it was my era? Sure it will be fun and I am looking forward to it.
Thanks to the Welshot team and the Welshot members for a friendly, creative and productive evening. There is a lot of hard work that goes into setting these evenings up and I’m sure it doesn’t go unnoticed.