Saturday, 13th October, early morning and we’re on our way to the National Trust’s Stowe Landscape Gardens near Buckingham for our Landscape Photography course. A cold and misty start caused a bit of concern over the weather – it’s not been the best of years in good old GB where the weather’s concerned – as it turned out we needn’t have worried.
We arrived early, as did our delegates – not a lot of traffic around at that time of day – so we made a start setting up in the wonderful location of the Bennett Room for our presentation on landscape photography. We deliberately kept the session short to maximise time in the gardens behind the camera.
With the presentation done and dusted – lots of great questions too – we were all keen to put into practice what we’d covered – but first, lunch.
The October sun remained relatively low in the sky and was behind us as we were presented with our first view of Stowe School from the lake. Time for the first shots of the day – cameras out, tripods at the ready. After a few exposure tests, the fitting of a polarising filter or two, the shutters started to fire. There was just enough cloud to make the shot interesting but this was constantly changing as the wind blew clouds in front of the sun, which started to put some of the view into shade – lots of variables and challenges for our delegates to deal with – and, lots more questions for us to answer.
With a few shots in the bag we made our way to what is one of the more iconic views within Stowe, the Palladian Bridge with the church in the distance. Once again the group moved into various positions looking for the ideal composition. The light was once again changing constantly, which made getting the correct exposure more challenging. And then a swan burst into flight, which one of our party was quick enough to capture.
For the rest of the afternoon we make our way to various locations to try out composition techniques, handling challenging exposures and so on – there’s plenty on offer at Stowe. Adam and I were continually able to provide advice and were always on hand to help with any particular problems.
As the afternoon was drawing to a close the rain did manage to make an appearance. Spirits weren’t dampened too much though, as we had all had a great afternoon and already had a number of good shots in the bag.
We wearily made our way back to the visitor centre, courtesy of the National Trust tractor and trailer and after a quick debrief, some much needed tea, we packed up and headed home, happy and tired
We covered a lot during the day, including:
- The importance of light
- The use of filters
If you would like to attend one of our Landscape courses please see the website for more details. We also run classroom courses which are intended to equip you with the necessary skills to suit your individual level of photography knowledge.