Light and Land Northumberland Coast and Castles


RobL

Link Posted 15/11/2018 - 21:29
Just back from this course which ran from mid Monday until midday today, and will post images when I get a chance. Someone asked me what I thought so here goes. The two tutors were Doug Chinnery and Valda Bailey, both excellent and original in their own ways, but - and this is a big but - at the outset there was clearly a lack of communication between the Light and Land organisation and the tutors. The course notes and agenda indicated there would be dawn trips and the implication, given the title, was that generic landscape opportunities would be presented; the notes also mentioned that the tutors’ particular techniques would be demonstrated. In Doug’s case this is ICM, and Valda’s abstract multi exposures.

At the first meeting Doug said there were no dawn trips planned, and only agreed when it was pointed out this was part of the agenda - it transpired that they hadn’t seen the course notes which were two years old. They also assumed we were all there just to learn their techniques, furthermore they have just set up their own courses and this was their last with L&L.

To be fair they both went along with what everyone wanted, made it clear they were available for the whole duration and on the two good mornings we went out before breakfast. There were 14 on the course so at each session Doug spent a few minutes with individuals, Valda gave one field demonstration and spent the rest of the time taking her own photos. She was helpful when asked but not once came to see how I was doing. One highlight at the demo - she said the Canon can do ten multi-exposures, the Fujifilm two, the Sony none and Rob’s Pentax does 2000! Stunned silence followed.

Doug was very knowledgeable about general techniques and helped with composition by telling you where to go and what to point at but one person complained he just took her camera and used it for five minutes. Problem was he was really only interested in his ICM no matter what the location, and waved his camera about to get blurry images and encouraged everyone to do the same. He owns one camera, one lens and no tripod because that is all he does. Devotees kept using the term Turneresque but didn’t like that I kept pointing out that Turner always had a clear focal point in his paintings. Frankly that left me cold, a gimmick applied every time despite other opportunities presented. Valda’s abstracts were more interesting but similarly does nothing else; neither were location dependent so they could have been anywhere. Once taken to a location the good viewpoints were indicated but then we were mostly left to just get on with it.

So, the positives: good company throughout the day and evening including two from Australia; driven to excellent locations timed to suit light and tides; good cafes for lunchtimes, and a two hour session on Lightroom and Photoshop. And I doubt if I would have made the effort for the dawn trips if on my own. Would I do it again? I don’t think so. I could have stayed at the same hotel all in for a quarter of the price, the group size and the tutors’ preoccupations with their own shots and styles meant that the personal tuition time I received was very limited. I went with L&L assuming they were the best; they have well known photographers but from my limited experience are more interested in their own agendas so I would only award them three out of five stars.
Last Edited by RobL on 15/11/2018 - 21:47

JAK

Link Posted 15/11/2018 - 23:18
Rob, you could have taught the two tutors something having just looked at some of their work on their respective websites (which I wouldn't give house room) compared to your gallery photos here. Just waving a camera around is what a two year old child would do and the abstracts are akin to primary school artwork. Surely they are capable of better?

Also, if they are running a course, they shouldn't go off on their own tangent doing their own thing for themselves. I'd be onto the organisers with a complaint.
John K
Last Edited by JAK on 15/11/2018 - 23:42

ilovesaabs

Link Posted 15/11/2018 - 23:47
I know Doug very well and done a few courses with him - the stuff he has done with L&L since is way different to what I've done with him, and the current ICM stuff isn't my thing..

Would've been good to read his blog, and follow what has happened to him this year, especially since April - this would've probably hinted at what you might expect on his courses (or those remaining with L&L)....

For old classic Doug Chinnery stuff I'd check out his protegees Charlotte Gilliatt and Terry Gibbins
AKA Welshwizard/PWynneJ
Assorted Pentax/Nikon/Mamiya stuff

RobL

Link Posted 15/11/2018 - 23:51
JAK wrote:
Rob, I sure you could have taught the two tutors something having just looked at some of their work (which I wouldn't give house room!)

Also, if they are running a course, they shouldn't go off on their own tangent doing their own thing for themselves. I'd be onto the organisers with a complaint.

Some of the group thought it wonderful and the taking of ‘classic’ landscapes boring and by implication unimaginative. One evening we were joined by two other ‘photo artists’, one who scanned everything he found on the beach and another ICM devotee - so-called limited edition sets of 10 A4 prints for £150. Another gripe of mine is the limited edition con which is borrowed from printing techniques where the artist makes a master like a lithograph or linoprint and which degrades over use so genuinely can only print say 50 times and the lower the edition number the better the quality. When I pointed this out and that there is no limit to the number of photo prints I was told it is limited because the photographer says so. Yea, right. Write on 5/20 and print a little certificate to go with it and some mugs think it has added value.

One of the group is on a photography course where this sort of stuff is highly rated and conventional photography not allowed, like trendy art schools in the 1960s.

ilovesaabs

Link Posted 16/11/2018 - 10:57
JAK wrote:


Also, if they are running a course, they shouldn't go off on their own tangent doing their own thing for themselves. I'd be onto the organisers with a complaint.

They are off and doing their own thing - look at ValdaChinnery.com.

A huge gripe I've heard about L&L is that the tours are very highly structured (standard views etc) and the tutors do their own thing. I prefer tours where the tutors spend their time looking at everyone's composition and output but mostly they point their own cameras, some check more than others (Robert Canis is one of the better ones, while Charlotte Gilliatt does her photography in her own time)...
AKA Welshwizard/PWynneJ
Assorted Pentax/Nikon/Mamiya stuff

RobL

Link Posted 16/11/2018 - 12:32
ilovesaabs wrote:
JAK wrote:


Also, if they are running a course, they shouldn't go off on their own tangent doing their own thing for themselves. I'd be onto the organisers with a complaint.

They are off and doing their own thing - look at ValdaChinnery.com.

A huge gripe I've heard about L&L is that the tours are very highly structured (standard views etc) and the tutors do their own thing. I prefer tours where the tutors spend their time looking at everyone's composition and output but mostly they point their own cameras, some check more than others (Robert Canis is one of the better ones, while Charlotte Gilliatt does her photography in her own time)...

Well that was my experience but you live and learn. November in Northumberland has the added advantage of there being few people about, but of course there are 15 other people arriving with you. On the last morning on the beach below Dunstanburgh castle there are limited viewpoints so several crowded onto a favoured large flat rock together with a couple of Japanese photographers one of which pushed in, just ignored everyone else and kept getting in the way. At other locations this was much less of a problem as we spread out. The guy who joined us for dinner one evening with his limited edition print sets was the local Andrew S Gray, another wobbly camera devotee. All very painterly apparently, so why not just get a brush and paints?

michaelblue

Link Posted 16/11/2018 - 15:41
RobL wrote:
ilovesaabs wrote:
Quote:


Also, if they are running a course, they shouldn't go off on their own tangent doing their own thing for themselves. I'd be onto the organisers with a complaint.

They are off and doing their own thing - look at ValdaChinnery.com.

A huge gripe I've heard about L&L is that the tours are very highly structured (standard views etc) and the tutors do their own thing. I prefer tours where the tutors spend their time looking at everyone's composition and output but mostly they point their own cameras, some check more than others (Robert Canis is one of the better ones, while Charlotte Gilliatt does her photography in her own time)...

Well that was my experience but you live and learn. November in Northumberland has the added advantage of there being few people about, but of course there are 15 other people arriving with you. On the last morning on the beach below Dunstanburgh castle there are limited viewpoints so several crowded onto a favoured large flat rock together with a couple of Japanese photographers one of which pushed in, just ignored everyone else and kept getting in the way. At other locations this was much less of a problem as we spread out. The guy who joined us for dinner one evening with his limited edition print sets was the local Andrew S Gray, another wobbly camera devotee. All very painterly apparently, so why not just get a brush and paints?

You were lucky then, you should have been with us in Iceland earlier this year......HUNDREDS of Chinese (or Japanese) doing exactly that at every location we went to. The same thing in Prague later this year, the local photographers told me they (the chinese) have completely ruined the tourist areas there
Regards,
Michael
My new website:link

RobL

Link Posted 18/11/2018 - 14:52
As promised here are a few I have processed so far:

















And finally for now, an ICM image from Seahouses harbour:

derek897

Link Posted 18/11/2018 - 20:05
Cracking shots,
4 and the icm stand out for me,
I do like them all,
Can't help but feel the 3rd is cropped too tight at the top, would be a cracker for me if there was a little more room at the top.
Super shooting 👏👏👏
I know what i like, If not always why.

Sry

Link Posted 18/11/2018 - 21:17
I'm partial to 6 and 7, not only for their graphic qualities, but also for their conveying of human effort to harness, or cooperate with, the sea.

RobL

Link Posted 18/11/2018 - 23:25
Thanks both. You are right Derek, I wasn't sure about the no.3 crop but I will change it.



I have put more images on Flickr, link
Last Edited by RobL on 18/11/2018 - 23:56

derek897

Link Posted 19/11/2018 - 00:04
Some really nice shots in there Rob,
I think part of the issue with courses like that is that it's not being run by the tutors, with little or no communication between tutors and organisers.
There are 5 or 6 really good landscape photographers over here that run tours and courses, the one thing they seem to have in common is their love of photography and a passion for sharing their knowledge.
They run ad campaigns on social media and it seems to work for them. Not heard of any gripes about them.
They do take their own shots too but the emphasis is definitely on the participants.
Try not to let the experience put you off trying again, or maybe hook up with a smaller group of like minded photographers, and learn from each other.
Great shooting regardless 👍👍👍
I know what i like, If not always why.

RobL

Link Posted 19/11/2018 - 08:47
Thanks Derek, and for your likes. One of the issues I struggle with is getting everything sharp from close up to the horizon. Doug did a set-up on location with me using hyper focus and it 90% worked with the wide angle 15-30mm lens; I also tried focus stacking but of course things like waves and clouds are changing between shots so I used longer exposures, but for some reason my focus stacking software leaves fringes around everything so I am still experimenting. The only time I was completely successful was with the Samyang 24mm tilt-shift lens like the rope in sand photo above and I regret not having used it more.

Another thing I took away was being more experimental in Lightroom, which I have applied to these images.

pschlute

Link Posted 19/11/2018 - 12:26
Nice set. I like 1 and 3, and prefer the second crop.

Interesting write-up on the whole organised tour thing.
Peter



My Flickr page

womble

Link Posted 20/11/2018 - 13:32
Lovely set of images. I prefer the 2nd crop of no. 3. I also really like the rope.

K.
Kris Lockyear
It is an illusion that photos are made with the camera… they are made with the eye, heart and head. Henri Cartier-Bresson
Lots of film bodies, a couple of digital ones, too many lenses (mainly older glass) and a Horseman LE 5x4.

My website
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