Developing Skills and Understanding: Our teaching approach is different: our emphasis is on you acquiring skills and understanding to underpin your own development and image making that will stand you in good stead across a range of contexts. There is absolutely nothing wrong with learning by copying the tutor’s style and technique on a field trip, but we know from teaching at all levels that most students make better progress when technique is learned and reinforced in a setting where the emphasis is on education: we hope you will leave us with some great images, but we would rather you left having truly understood the technique in question, rather than some images you won’t be able to reproduce by yourself.
Small Groups: We also believe it is important for students to learn in small groups: at Purbeck Light we aim to work with a maximum of one tutor per four students for location based workshops, 1:6 for most others. This means that you get the maximum amount of attention, with hands on learning and practical tuition in a friendly supportive environment.
We are also happy to offer one:one or other bespoke courses and workshops, either on general photography skills or in specialist areas – these are popular as presents.
The Workshops: Cameras haven’t really changed that much since the 1960s, they just seem to have sprouted lots of knobs and buttons. We want to help you to “uncomplicate” things and regain control of your camera to get the images you expect – digital or film. We run a few different types of workshop:
- Camera Skills: Technique based – so although we might explore the variety of shots a location has to offer, we concentrate on learning camera skills.
- Technique based workshops often have access to a classroom talking through the theory and demonstrating results.
- Camera Skills: Location based – timed to make the most of the site, for example a sunset shoot at Kimmeridge.
- Some location based workshops stay in one place; others – like our Corfe Castle Dawn to Dusk shoot where just about every location has views of the castle, do require some transport during the day.
- Post Production – classroom based workshops in Adobe Lightroom, Photoshop, etc – including Open Source alternatives if you prefer (let us know in advance so we can install a copy ourselves).
- You will normally need to bring your own laptop and software to Post Production workshops – don’t forget you can usually install a time limited demo for the workshop.
- Workshops are advertised as Adobe Lightroom, but just about everything can be done with Apple’s now defunct Aperture or Adobe’s Bridge. Photoshop Elements offers some basic archiving function and is suitable for the Digital Workflow workshops.
- Tutor:student ratios will usually be 1:8 for these classroom based workshops.
- Studio Photography – practical sessions introducing basic studio lighting techniques and equipment handling. A series of workshops is aimed at photographers who want to explore studio (portrait, still life or product) photography. It would be ideal for anyone considering buying their own lighting equipment, or thinking about renting studio time.
- Ad Hoc Courses – intended to develop creativity, or explore alternative technologies such as cyanotype.
We are confident that you will walk away from one of our courses with a much greater understanding of what you can achieve with your camera, an insight into the type of images you will be able to create, a better idea of how to manage your images, and if the light is kind, some wonderful images.