I don't profess to teach on my walks with the camera, because for one thing I'm not qualified to do so, but I do feel ably suited and passionate about my work to inspire thought provoking ideas when helping others to develop their visual skills, which has always been at the forefront of my work.
Although I feel a lot more competent in many aspects of the technical side of photography now, I still continue to learn not only through suitably qualified professionals, but also through the people who like to work with me for my own artistic input.
I spent yesterday with Sharon who is a final year student on the HND Art and Design Course at Chesterfield College. She loves nature which plays a very big part in her art, and is always experimenting with different creative techniques, including the use of photography. Why then would she wish to spend some time with me? I'm not sure to be honest but we arranged to meet for a walk and with her interests in mind I chose The Chestnut Centre at Chapel en le Frith as our venue. What a lovely day we had, which actually turned into a family affair with her hubby and daughter joining in as well.
I absolutely love this image which Sharon captured during feeding time. What an expression, perfect timing.
Anyway, hopefully I was able to impart some of my knowledge to help Sharon on her creative journey, but as I said above learning is a two way thing and for me I also gained a little more technical knowledge as a result of our day together.
I found myself continually frustrated by the distance and wire mesh between us and our subjects, which for me caused focusing to be a real problem. The longest lens I have is 45-200mm which I use on my Lumix G3 but I found myself struggling to capture really close detail which was my intention. Here's a couple of images so you can see my dilemma...
So this is where Sharon comes in…she kindly offered me her camera to try out, a Canon PowerShot SX60 HS bridge camera and I felt as if all my birthdays had come at once! Straight in there, overcoming the barriers. The shots are all taken handheld on auto with the fantastic zoom and they are straight from her camera with no processing at all…while none of the images are sharp I will admit, and my tripod would have been welcome, I was still very impressed...I need to give serious thought to my next lens purchase.
A productive and useful day for us both though, brought to an end with a few lovely words from my new best friend Millie (aged 8) "It's been fun, can we go for another walk with you soon Valerie?" Please take a look at Sharon Louise Art next time you're on Facebook…I think she could be one to watch!