One on One around Bequia

15th April 2013
Tuition : One on One around Bequia

Last week I spent a great day with Robin and Mike who were visiting the island from the US and who wanted to explore more of the island. Having visited once before a few years ago by yacht as they sailed the Grenadines, this time they were spending a few days on Mustique, followed by a few days on Bequia.

As Robin was also a keen photographer, she also wanted to learn more about some of the techniques I use when shooting around the island and to visit some of the locations they had seen across the gallery images.

The day started with a coffee and chat at the Gingerbread hotel where I went through the 'Basics of Landscape Photography' with then looking at subjects such as Exposure, Histograms, Composition, Depth of Field, Hyperfocal Focusing and Equipment. Once we were happy with the basic understanding and how it could be applied to her own equipment, we set off.

It was a good fun day, visiting many of the locations I regularly shoot from giving them a new perception of the island. We visited some of the more 'off the beaten track' locations as well and those which are on the regular tourist trail, but we tried to look at them from a different angle, creating our own perspective.

One of the issues we discussed at length was that of artistic interpretation., As photographers, I consider us as artists. We may not paint with brushes and oils, but the 'tool' we use these days is just a way of collecting zero's and one's on a digital sensor. How we choose to show that data as an image can have millions of differing interpretations, each one very personal to the photographer.

To ensure the maximum amount of data from each of our 'captures', I taught them the 'expose to the right' approach of shooting in RAW and using histograms.... explaining that the image shown on the reverse of the camera may not look great, but if the histogram says its good, then a better image will result from post processing.

Over lunch we discussed more details of equipment and the 18-200VR lens that Robin was using was already showing its limitations for landscapes. Although great as a general lens, giving the flexibility of zooming in and out depending on subject matter, its 18mm wide angle was showing itself limited against the 10mm Sigma lens I usually use for landscapes and seascapes.

The afternoon was again spent visiting some of the great viewpoints of the island and as we get closer to sunset, the clouds had rolled in and the sky was looking very grey indeed. We headed for one of the bars along the Belmont Walkway, the Whaleboner, ordered some beers and sat and discussed the day, what they had learnt, how much more of the island they had seen and how they now had a completely different set of memories to take away with them.

As we sat and chatted, the cloudy sky above started to break up and along the horizon a very small gap appeared, providing a hole for the sun to peek through for the last 5 minutes. A final burst of activity as the sun came into view against the yachts moored in the harbour provided a golden end to the day.... or so we thought!

10-15 minutes after sunset, as the dusky pinks rolled across the sky, the clouds started to glow and provided a truly amazing and very colourful end to the day. A much more fitting end than the grey clouds of an hour earlier.

It was a great, fun filled day, spent with a wonderful couple. From their comments it seems that they loved the day too and have fallen in love again with the island and have been inspired to continue practising with their photography, learning new techniques and already have a wish list of new equipment.

I love these days, when you spend time with people who are truly interested in both Bequia and learning and expanding their photographic skills. Its one of the most enjoyable sides to my job as a Professional Photographer.

If you'd like to spend the day learning new skills and techniques and have a great look round this magical island, please get in touch and let me know when you'll be here. I look forward to it.

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