David Clapp Workshop – 9 March

Last Friday (9 March 2018) eight intrepid LBPC members were down at Newton Abbot in Devon for the first of David Clapp’s two photographic workshops.  A motley crew – Val and Dave Bolam, Terry Godber, Nigel Harding, Paul Kirkham Patrick Linford, Lynette MacNicol, and Michael Stoughton – of varying experience and expertise.

A 5.30am departure from the hotel saw us all bright-eyed and bushy-tailed (honest) and keen to get snapping.  Unfortunately, though, the weather gods did not shine on us that day.  A dull start (no dramatic dawn skies) soon deteriorated into drizzle and then into persistent rain.  Wet lenses made shooting difficult and cleaning/drying cloths quickly became drenched.

Such is the lot of the outdoor photographer.  And, as David cheerfully put it, “it is what it is”.  So we were all pleased to enjoy some interesting photographic opportunities.

Before breakfast we went down on the coast to Start Point, clambering up the rocks to shoot the archetypal lighthouse from above.  After breakfast we were up on Dartmoor, yomping across country (admittedly not that far) to shoot a picturesque red-roofed barn in the fog.  (More accurately, in the middle of a very wet cloud.)

A late lunch was spent discussing the pros and cons of different camera formats, the “black magic” of the digital photographic process, and the theory underlying the RGB colour model.

A further shoot inside St Pancras’ Church at Widdicombe in the Moor had to be abandoned before it had started when the church was found to be engaged in its proper business of holding religious services.  At that point, as the rain was steadily increasing, we all agreed to call it a day and headed back to the hotel to commence the lengthy task of drying out ourselves and our gear.

Overall, despite the inclement weather, we all seemed to find it a worthwhile experience.  David is a knowledgeable and stimulating tutor, full of cheerful enthusiasm and optimistic encouragement.  We all enjoyed the benefits of his expert guidance, both as photographer and as tour guide, and we certainly learned how we can still make interesting images when the conditions are unhelpful.  We also enjoyed getting to know each other better.  The only disappointment was that we could have got so much more out of the workshop if the elements had been kinder.

Let us hope the second workshop on 16 March has better luck!