Autumn Woodland Workshop

Autumnal Weekend Workshop Goodness

We had a ball on the woodland/fungi/autumnal photography weekend from Saturday 19th through Sunday 30th September.  Last year storm Ophelia put this workshop back a month and damaged the woodland enough to wipe out all the interesting mushrooms and fungi; this time round we had storm Ali the week before, and although trees were down, the mushrooms survived!

Woodland Photography

The woods at Oxford Island are loaded with photo opportunities in the Autumnal season, not least the mushrooms and fungus that thrive in the leaflitter and trees that have fallen over the years.  The sloe berries are ripe, blackberries are providing food sources for insects and birds, the leaves are wonderfully bright coloured as the chlorophyll starts to disappear.....what a great time to be out in the woods with a group of photographers teaching nature, photography and an appreciation of the wild.

One of our attendees using Ringflash to capture the berries in macro 


The most obvious opportunity for photography in the woods this time of year is the fungi and mushrooms that are there in abundance.  I'm no expert on the shrooms so I won't even try to ID them!

They make amazing subjects to photograph both in macro and with traditional wide angle lenses.  Some shots can even look like you are part of the environment if you use perspective correctly to compose your shots to create surreal habitat shots:

Mushroom shot with Sigma 105mm macro lens on Olympus E5 body - Fill in flash

Puffball shot with Macro to show spines and detail

Wideangle (10mm) shot of mushroom group

Don't Forget to look Up

Trees are the most obviously overlooked woodland subject!  Lookup, use a wideangle lens, pick a nice blue area of sky and lie on your back.  Voila:

The Competition

Our group was up into double figures again for this workshop, which is busy over the two days, but with help from Sandra from the education team at the centre, we split the group up and with her ID skills she could locate and identify the mushrooms and fungus and then I could follow up with the other group and teach some woodland techniques.  As usual, skill level and kit being used was extremely varied but this is part of the fun of teaching courses, you just don't know who are what cameras you may have to teach on - keeps me on my toes!

One of our changes for this season was the introduction of the instructional competition.  I framed a popular photo of a kingfisher that I took on a Norfolk trip, and offered this for the best woodland shot of the weekend.  Sandra kindly judged the shots on Sunday after everyone had a chance to select and edit only ONE photo from their weekend of photography - it all got very competitive!

Workshop veteran Eileen won the competition with a very well composed photo of a mushroom growing from a log with a fortuitous pine cone embedded in the host log.  A well deserved winner, Eileen has a great eye for nature photography and never ceases to impress on the workshops.  Here she receiving her prize from Sandra, with your truly photobombing:

Eileen (on the right) receiving her well deserved prize from Sandra Currie (education team), and myself - Photo courtesy and Copyright of Rosie McConville 2018

That wraps up our 2018 program of workshops - it's been a great year for the DGPix courses, with a broad range of attendees from professional wedding photographers to absolute beginners, we have introduced over 35 people to world of nature photography this year, and long my that continue. Next up is the Wild Bird Photography Weekend in Jan 2019!


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