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Digital workshop just the ticket

The CWG digital workshop held in March was well received by all who attended. Here is what new member Jo Vaughan had to say.

"When it’s nearly 20 degrees outside in March, the temptation is to sit in the sun and make the most of the all too- brief heat wave. But 11 members of the Guild, together with respective partners, were too busy for such trivialities as we all arrived at Blackmore Camping and Caravanning Club site for a two-day workshop aimed at honing our photographic and Photoshop skills.

It was soon clear that the two-day workshop was going to be so enlightening that we workers weren’t going to mind being stuck inside – although there were a few moans when more than one partner was caught dozing in the sunshine (photos provided on demand). Rik Whittaker, chairman of the Motorcaravanners Club, was in charge of the photographic sessions. After a discussion on our camera’s many features, we were soon sent outside to snap scenes of springtime caravanning using manual settings in order to aid our understanding of our camera’s secret workings.

On returning to our temporary “classroom” we downloaded the results and Rik (as well as other nosey parkers from adjacent desks) provided extremely constructive and helpful criticisms and compliments, as well as many ideas on how to improve composition, exposure and focussing skills.

Meanwhile, Guild membership officer Terry Owen had obviously spent hour upon hour putting together a presentation on Photoshop Elements (and CS3 for the single awkward sod who used this system instead – erm, I think that would be me). Terry’s Friday sessions were mostly spent learning the principles, while Saturday saw him give individual tutorials using either provided photographs or our own works of photographic art.

workshop in progress

His depth of knowledge, and patience, was endless, and I learned more in two days than in a year spent struggling with on-line tutorials.

On Saturday afternoon we also welcomed Ken Brookes of the IOJ who gave us a fascinating talk on copyright, as well as the rules and regulations of how the relevant laws should be used. He was bombarded with a huge number of questions from the house which he answered succinctly – and he even managed to say he’d enjoyed the experience at the end with a straight face. We certainly found it all fascinating – thanks Ken.

Don’t think it was all work and no play. Linda Norris, Flora Lloyd and Brenda King provided the most delicious buffet at lunchtimes as well as a constant supply of tea, coffee and biscuits (I apologise to all for my uncontrollable appetite for the chocolatey ones). Friday night saw us heading to the Blue Bell pub at Ryall via minibus for a simply huge two-course meal that was delicious.

We tried to keep it civilised despite our rabble element hooting and hollering as they used the adjacent bowling lane. Saturday was fish and chip night – Alison had even made sure ketchup was provided for all.

The weather was fantastic, the company was terrific, and I learnt more amongst friends than if I’d have paid three times the price for an external photographic and Photoshop course. To those who didn’t come, you better have had a good excuse for staying at home because if you were aware of how much we all got out of it, both socially and educationally, you’d be kicking yourself black and blue. My sincere thanks to Rik Whittaker, Terry Owen and Ken Brookes for their hard work, which was much appreciated by all."

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