Sunday 17 May 2009

She Magazine

Back in February I ran a special workshop so that a journalist from She Magazine could attend and write a small feature about it. That has now been published, and you can find it on page 134 of the June 2009 issue of She, as part of the feature entitled 'What A Difference A Day Makes'.

Subtitled "Looking to try something new? The U.K. boasts plenty of fascinating locations, with a range of activities, from horse riding to cookery courses", the feature sent 6 journalists off to attend different days out of their choosing, taking part in activities that interested them. Helen Anderson was so keen to take part in one of my workshops, that I arranged an extra one specially for her, and we managed to get a few more attending at short notice. It was a fun day, if a little cold at that time of year.

The original can be seen here, but the text of the article is as follows...



Helen Anderson and her daughter Poppy visited Thorndon Park Nature Reserve in Essex.

Point. Click. Fingers crossed. That's pretty much how I've always taken photographs. Some of them have come out well, but I couldn't say what went right... or wrong. A short photography course sounded ideal, so camera in hand, I took my daughter on a one-day workshop given by wildlife photographer Daniel Bridge at Thorndon Park Nature Reserve, near Brentwood in Essex.

Daniel takes groups of up to 12 people (there were just six of us) of mixed ability. Some were quite adept and wanted to learn new techniques, while others were fairly inexperienced. But we all had one thing in common: none of us were making full use of our cameras.

Daniel promised to help us translate a scene into a great picture by first explaining the technicalities of photography - ensuring we got to grips with apertures and shutter speeds in a way that was straightforward. Next, he explained how to compose a picture and showed us some of his photographs. As well as being stunning, they illustrated the benefits of understanding composition and other hints, such as why blue flowers photograph better in a slightly shadowy light, whereas yellow flowers really sing in full sun.

After lunch, we ventured out into the park in search of gnarled tree trunks, interesting bark and lichens and pattern-forming shadows. As we clicked away, Daniel advised each of us on shutter speeds and apertures.

The course offered the right amount of technical know-how and insight to enable us to feel we had really learned something, with plenty of inspiration thrown in from Daniel. By the end of the day even the most photophobic had produced something to be proud of - and knew how it had been achieved.


One-day SLR Photography In The Park Workshops (; 01277 232944) cost £35. See for more days out.

I'm obviously very pleased that Helen had a great day out, and it's wonderful to get this sort of publicity in a national magazine. I'd like to confirm that this is not paid advertising, it was just a normal workshop, and normal fees for participants were made.

I'd like to say a big "thank you" to Helen for choosing to come on one of my workshops, and to She Magazine for publishing this article. There's lots more of interest in the magazine, so I urge you all to go out and buy it today!

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