15 Go Mad in Dorset – ATP Photography Weekend in Weymouth and Portland
September 2011 saw a group of members from all over the country descend on Dorset for our second ATP Members meet up of the year over the entire weekend of the 17th and 18th.
We all met on the Friday night at one of the guest houses where we chatted for a few hours over a few bottles of wine before they all headed off to the local Chinese restaurant for some supper and I headed home.
Saturday morning looked a little bleak at 9am but we all got into the 17-seater mini bus and headed off to our first destination…Portland Bill and the lighthouse.
As soon as we arrived, the clouds cleared and we had a few hours of really good light and sunshine which allowed us to play with off camera flash, super slow shutter speeds (using big stopper ND filters) for that milky water effect and various other landscapey-portrait type shots.
It is interesting to see the different interpretations from each setting and environment that we all have as each member starts to upload their images to ATP Members.
Lunch was had in a nearby pub and then we headed off to Weymouth promenade to a cool location that I had previously spotted on a day out with the family.
We had time to take a few shots of our great, and very patient models before the clouds came over and the heavens opened once again. Still, after a quick coffee in the local cafe overlooking the beach, the sun came out again and we carried on further up the beach back towards Weymouth.
We then set up Ross’s (one of our members) Quadra Ranger lights to take some more portraits using the technique of killing the bright sunlight and “dumbing” it down to create a real moody look to the lighting.
Then, as a bunch of young skateboarders went by, Claire grabbed them and asked if we could shoot them for a bit and “did they know any cool tricks to perform”? Well, they were only too happy to oblige and show off their skills much to the delight of everyone there.
A good chance to test out camera angles, fill in flash and fast shutter speeds.
Once that was done and we were about to depart, a van load of people dressed as “Where’s Wally” for a family party arrived and once again, they were commandeered and shot in a number of poses much to the kids delight.
Of course, emails were exchanged and both the family and the skateboarders will receive an abundance of great shots from all the members…
That night we headed off to Enzo’s Italian Restaurant for a great meal (totally recommended by the way…great place, great ambiance and great food and service).
The next morning the weather was horrendous.
Two of our members, Ross and Rob got up super early and went over to Durdle Door and Lulworth Cove…a location we had planned to visit but vetoed in light of the weather forecast. They managed to get a couple of shots but then once again the heavens opened putting the kibosh on that.
At 10am we headed back to my house and the garage studio where we made camp.
We then made our way to a derelict barn a stone’s throw from the house which again, I had found a few months earlier and was dying to test it out as a grungy portrait location.
Ross set up his Quadra’s again for a few shots which worked well but the “star of the show” was the wonderful natural light streaming into the old barn.
Both models were incredibly patient as we tried them out in all different poses and locations within the barn. The contrast of light coming in against the dark backdrop of the barn interior worked wonders, as did the additional light sources from windows and doors inside.
After a couple of hours, it was over to the local pub (surprise) for another good lunch before heading back to the studio. Here we covered various things such as how to create a white, isolated background with limited equipment and then the complete opposite…how to create a deep, black background with nice, key lighting on the subject.
Once everyone had a go, we discussed the basics of Video DSLR’s and how best to set up your DSLR camera for shooting video as well as touching on the possibility of shooting video for stock.
All in all it was a great weekend and all the members got on famously! It is great to see the sort of community we have created over at ATP Members and if you are not yet a member, why not try it out for yourself.
For a limited time, we have opened up most of the site for free access. There are more than ten hours of video tutorials there for you to try and if you see the benefits, you can upgrade to a full member (from just £10 per month) and get access to the Wedding Photography Blueprint 2.0 section with a further 15 hours of training.
Go to the link above and get learning today (whilst it is all free).
Remember, this free content may be charged for soon so if you are reading this after that time…sorry!