West Country Walkabout with ATP Members

15 Go Mad in Dorset - ATP Photography Weekend in Weymouth and Portland

West Country Walkabout

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. The West Country Walkabout!

We all met on the Friday night at one of the guest houses.

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...

However, 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 landscape-portrait type shots.

West Country Walkabout
West Country Walkabout

It is interesting to see the different interpretations from each setting and environment that we all have. I notice this as each attendee starts to upload their images to ATP Members. Lunch was had in a nearby pub and then we headed off to Weymouth promenade. I took them to a cool location that I had previously spotted on a day out with the family.

West Country Walkabout
West Country Walkabout

Quadra Ranger Lights

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. She 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.

West Country Walkabout
West Country Walkabout

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).

West Country Walkabout
West Country Walkabout

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. Again, I had found this 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. However, the "star of the show" was the wonderful natural light streaming into the old barn.

West Country Walkabout
West Country Walkabout

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. Topics 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.

West Country Walkabout
West Country Walkabout

Once everyone had a go, we discussed the basics of Video DSLR’s. 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. If you haven't visited this section yet, why not check it out for yourself.

ATP Members advanced training

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.

ATP Members

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!

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