Today I had the opportunity to explore a new part of Portsmouth that I’ve not been to before, the historic dockyards. I went as part of a photography workshop put on by Strong Island and The National Museum of the Royal Navy. It’s a course that will run over the next few weeks as we photograph and document the historic M.33 and create an exhibition about it.
Today was Part 1 of the project and we spent the day exploring the M.33, a WW1 warship, and taking photos of it. Paul from Strong Island was leading the course and gave us lots of help and guidance onto how to use our cameras and take great shots. He gave us guidance on composition – using the rule of thirds and leading lines, controlling the aperture – creating depth of field, and focusing, as well as just generally being on hand to answer any and all photography related questions. I learnt loads of useful things and it really made me think about what I was doing as I took each photograph. Particularly helpful were the tips on finding light sources when you’re shooting in low light conditions, such as the inside of the ship. Often I don’t even bother trying to take photographs when the lighting is poor because I just assume they’ll come out badly, but by finding where the light was coming from and using it well I discovered that even my old DSLR can come out with some pretty creative and atmospheric shots!
After we’d taken lots of photos and got thoroughly cold(!) we headed back inside and we each had to choose 1 photo to show to the rest of the group. Showing straight-out-of-camera shots to a group of people is pretty scary, but it did actually make me much more careful when taking photos as I knew I couldn’t rely on any type of post-processing before people saw them! It was really nice to see everyone’s photos and see all the different angles, textures and views that they’d captured.
It was great to meet lots of other people who enjoy photography and I’m really looking forward to the next parts of the project in the coming weeks. In Part 3 we get to shoot using traditional film which is very exciting, so now I’m off to hunt through the charity shops of Portsmouth to find myself a film camera!
These are some of my favourite photos from today: