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Garden photography weekend at West Dean college

I love taking photos of what i'm doing in gardens. - I share a few of them on this blog, and i've received some lovely comments about them, but I have to admit that up to very recently, I didn't really know what I was doing to get the pictures, which meant that the good ones were rather random.

However in the last couple of months, i've sent myself on 2 photography courses to help turn my snaps into proper pics.

The first was at the end of September with Vicki Knights. - you can read about it on her blog.

I learnt a huge amount about light, and how to get it to fall on your subject, and we had a lovely morning practising, but it whetted my appetite to learn even more, - so this weekend I had a WHOLE weekend away at West Dean College near Chichester.

For anyone that hasn't made it to West Dean, - the college is set in the most wonderful landscape and garden surroundings.

Majestic trees and parkland are interspersed with sheep grazing.

Our first assignments were about composition. - Ensuring we were using the rule of thirds (or knowing when we were breaking it)

The kitchen gardens gave us a plethora of subjects,- and the rows of fantastic vegetables meant that I took more than my alloted 8 shots for this session. (yep how often do you go out on a an hour's session and take only 8 shots, - really makes you think)


Then we went on to practise depth of field,


Jacqui Hurst our tutor put herself up as a model so that we could practice techniques including White Balance, Using flash and back lighting.


we even got to try some night photography (no flashes allowed)


and although by the end of the course my brain was aching with the amount of information i've taken in, - i'd had the most wonderful time been fed and watered really well, - had some great company for the weekend, and was really happy with the photos i'd acheived.


I'd really recommend West Dean as a Garden to walk around, and if you are into photography, fine arts or crafts, their short courses are excellent.




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Robert Webber

Great pics!
Especially loved the kitchen garden ones and how you had used the lines to advantage there.

Hanna at Orchid Care

Hi Claire,

Your photography courses obviously paid off because the photos in this post are great. Photography is not an easy art form and I commend you for picking it up so quickly because your composition is excellent and the lighting is quite good as well.

Keep practicing and you’ll become as good as any professional.

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