Creative photography – twilight landscapes with Benjamin Graham

Photography and digital image manipulation

Ref: SWE12525

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About this course

Understand how light evolves from pre-dawn to post-sundown, master important camera settings, and learn some specific post production techniques and how to mix these. This course is about introducing those settings and techniques and mixing them with practical in-the-field tuition.

Course Description

Learn how to fully exploit the rapidly changing light of twilight and understand the principles of capture and composition to take stunning landscape photographs.

In daytime photography (i.e. in broad daylight), as a general rule, the light remains generally similar outside of pre-dawn and twilight. Plus, the image that your smartphone produces in those broad daylight conditions will probably be just as satisfying as the one produced on your DSLR or mirrorless camera. When the light levels fade, landscape pictures become more interesting. At the same time, these conditions make it impossible for smartphones to capture anything worthwhile. There are physical limits to what sensors and lenses in telephones can do.

If you are looking to progress from smartphone photography, then you need to master the way a camera deals with low light. Your landscape photography will only evolve to its full potential if you master your equipment in these conditions. Learn how to adjust your camera’s primary settings by manipulating the exposure triangle and use the compositional principles that will all fine-tune your pictures.

You will also learn how to control your camera with filters, so that the images you produce in daylight are elevated to a level of art that smartphones cannot muster.

We will be travelling to the beautiful coastline of West Sussex to acquire the images that we will work on together in the IT suite at West Dean.

With demonstration, presentation and practice, this course will change the way you view the landscape.

If you are interested in learning more about the localised modifications possible with digital editing to take your images to the next level – you may like to consider booking the additional one-day course arranged with Benjamin Graham on 26 March for students who have attended his weekend course.

Timetable

Arrival Day - this is the first date listed above

Courses start early evening. Residential students to arrive from 4pm, non-residential students to arrive by 6.45pm.

6.45pm: Welcome, followed by dinner (included).

8 - 9pm: First teaching session, attendance is essential.

Daily timetable

Classes 9.15 - 5pm, lunch is included.

From 6.30pm: Dinner (included for residential students).

Evening working - students may have access to workshops until 9pm, but only with their tutor's permission and provided any health and safety guidelines are observed.

Last day

Classes 9.15am - 3pm, lunch is included.

Residential students are to vacate their rooms by 10am please.

(This timetable is for courses of more than one day in length. The tutor may make slight variations)

Course Materials

What students need to bring

  • Please submit your current favourite image to your course tutor by emailing: bookingsoffice@westdean.ac.uk at least two weeks before the course starts. Please ensure you include your name, as well as your tutor’s name, course title and dates. Participants’ images will form part of a group discussion after dinner on the first day of the course
  • A DSLR/mirrorless or similar camera with manual control over its primary settings, with clear memory cards and lenses, a tripod, a remote shutter-release, an ND 10-stopper and a polariser (These are all essential.)
  • Have plenty of space available on your memory cards and bring spare batteries and a charger and the camera to computer leads. Ensure all equipment is clean and ready to use.
  • Your camera instruction manual (if available)
  • A notebook and pen
  • A note of your Adobe ID login, if you have one
  • A USB memory stick/portable hard drive via which images can be transferred to your own computer at the end of the course, or for saving work in progress
  • Ensure you pack sensible, appropriate outdoor clothing and footwear (walking boots/wellingtons) for the time of year, and be prepared for some reasonable walking.
Please note: You will be allocated a PC workstation for the studio based sessions. At least a basic understanding of Adobe Photoshop or Lightroom is desirable. Please wear appropriate clothing/aprons for the workshop or studio. This includes stout covered footwear, i.e. no open-toes or sandals, and safety boots, if specified.

Tutors

Benjamin Graham

Benjamin Graham is an award-winning internationally-published landscape photographer with over forty years' photography experience. He has been a category finalist several times in the Outdoor Photographer of the Year and, with a local image of West Wittering beach, was awarded the prestigious title of Overall Winner of the UK Landscape Photographer of the Year in 2017. A private tutor and group leader, dedicated to celebrating the beauty of the UK's coast and countryside, his work regularly appears in the UK and across the globe in major newspapers, magazines and on-line editorial galleries.

Accommodation

Residential option available. Find out accommodation costs and how to book here.

Courses of interest

Further study options

Take the next step in your creative practice, with foundation level to Masters in Fine Art study. 

Depending on your experience, start with an Online Foundation Certificate in Art and Design (one year, part-time), a Foundation Diploma in Art and Design made up of 10 short courses taken over two years (part-time) or a Diploma in Art and Contemporary Crafts (10 three-day study blocks, over two years). All will help you develop core skills, find direction in your practice and build an impressive portfolio in preparation for artist opportunities or higher-level study. See all degree and diploma courses.

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