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Seascapes Part 2

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For Financial Adviser Bob Walsh a 3 day Seascape Workshop back in May opened his eyes to photographing Cornwall's magnificent coastline. So inspired was he that he booked to come back to refine what he'd learnt and explore new approaches while Autumn's 'soft glow' covers the clifftops.

As a bit of background, Bob was looking to immerse himself in a new hobby and chose photography. He read a lot and started to put together a really nice DSLR set-up. He looked to book himself onto a workshop course to help him get to grips with his new art and luckily for me, he saw one of my adverts in a photo magazine and got in touch. Prior to his arrival we had spoken about the ideal set-up for his Workshop and he got busy refining his gear. Selectively using eBay and mainstream dealers, he is now the proud owner of a superb Canon 5D MkIII, an EF 16-35mm 2.8 lens, a big EX 600 flash gun and a slick carbon fibre tripod alongside a decent assortment of Lee filters and some other fine lenses. He also put Adobe Lightroom and Photoshop Elements onto his laptop.

Bob's attitude towards his kit is that he wants the best but can see that there are bargains to be had out there. Cleverly using on-line auctions he's saved himself hundreds of pounds, although he is first to admit that he can be a little bit trigger happy with the 'Bid' button. For instance, he's now got a selection of seven camera bags to chose from! But what is really good to see, is how he has thrown himself into his new hobby. Bob won't mind me saying that he has just hit his 6th decade yet he shows an awareness and youthful eagerness to learn and refine his chosen craft. Bolstered by extending his skill set through lots of hands-on practice, both on location and in the studio, he left from his first workshop with what he happily stated was "A desktop full of really nice images" that he was "More than happy with". As a self-confessed wine lover and 'Foodie', he also really enjoyed tucking in to some tasty suppers washed down with a decent selection of wines. He had even brought a half case of his favourite vintages down with him, so I knew from the outset we were going to get on famously!

And we did. So much so that he booked to come down again just a few days after arriving back home.

When he arrived for his second stay, we got his luggage unpacked, had a cup of tea, went up into the studio for a quick course appraisal and gear check and then we set off for Bedruthan Steps. This is one of finest gems in the Cornish coastline, yet in the Winter the gates to the access stairs remain locked and the beach is 'shut'. However, I showed Bob a little known alternative cliff path that he was happy to negotiate his way down. It is important to stress at this point that I matched my knowledge of the topography with the current weather and tidal conditions to Bob's physical abilities, and at no point did I put ourselves at risk. I cannot stress how important it is never to take risks when at such places. When we walked out onto the beach we had this magnificent location to ourselves for the entire afternoon!

And this was the beginning of another hugely enjoyable and educational three days. Bob really pushed himself hard and literally threw himself at times (as the picture shows!) into his learning. His Photoshop skills really improved and he began intuitively using the Camera Raw software to develop his images. I'm delighted to say that while he is going to look around for a wildlife workshop, Bob announced his intention to return each year during a different month so that he builds a body of work that covers an entire Cornish 'year'. We are also talking about my taking him on a Photo Tour of the West Coast of Scotland and some of the Inner and Outer Hebridean Isles. I'm not sure there could be a be a better testament to my new business venture and the rewards to be gained from my Seascape Workshops. If you'd like to find out more, please go to my dedicated Seascape Workshop section and then get in touch.