Splash Workshops

Having had success with my eggcup image in the club competitions, I have had several people approach me asking how I’d captured the shot. Although I’d already published a blog on the subject. I decided that the best way for club members to learn would be through trying by themselves, so I decided to put together a hands-on workshop.

One of the key challenges with this type of photography is the use of the flash, and the thought of using a flash often sends chills down the backs of inexperienced photographers, causing them to put off playing with flash for as long as possible.

I had four aims for students at my workshop,

  • Learn basic guidance on how to Post-Process Splash images

  • Instil a sense of confidence and enthusiasm to explore flash based photography further,

  • have Fun !!

  • Educate - students leave with basic understanding of Ambient Light Exposure versus Flash Exposure.

I guess that's LIFE :-)

2 days of workshops, with a total of 6 timeslots were tentatively scheduled, and it was not long before they were all booked. So I had to make sure I got the setup together...

I called in a few favours : borrowed a fish tank from a work colleague, and a Remote Trigger system from The Right Honorable Alan Meeks. This took a few hours to figure out and get the set up arranged, such that I was able to grab a few test shots..

The first day was a fantastic success, everything went pretty much to plan. It was very interesting to see the selection of objects that people brought along for dropping, and they made for some exciting images.


Here are a small selection of student images from the workshops...

(Image by David Head)

(Image by Kathryn Phillips)

(Image by: Andrew Kemp)

(Image by Kathryn Philips)

(Image by Stella Fagg)

(Image Brian McGibbon)

"Load of Bull" by Ian Hoskin

(Image by Sadiq Norat, Peter Worley, Jennifer Worley)

Feedback from everyone that attended has been fantastic - with great reviews. My attention to detail and prep work was particularly appreciated..

  • "Thanks for a great workshop last night. I enjoyed both the practical side and the post processing we did.

  • "You were extremely well prepared both with the equipment set up and the handout you had prepared. You also took us through the whole process in a very methodical way. "

  • "the workshop exceeded my expectations, I achieved everything I wanted to and learned a lot. You deserve a lot of credit for the effort you put in."

  • "Thank you so much for all your tutoring, helpfulness and hospitality yesterday! I felt that I learned a lot and enjoyed the learning experience as well!

  • "Enjoyable and informative workshop"

  • "Great fun and a unique opportunity to play and learn"

  • "Thank you so much for this inspirational opportunity! It has certainly opened my novice eyes to many aspects I have been over-cautious about"

  • "Thank You for giving us an insight into the realms of possibility"

  • "Your workshop was enlightening and very much appreciated for your time and effort"

  • "Many thanks for the very instructive and enjoyable session. You should think of setting up in the photo workshop business"

So, Two full days of workshops, 20 hours of training completed. Each day finishing beyond 11pm !! At times I was wondering if the students would actually leave ! :-) Every hour was great fun, and great to see such enthusiastic students, with such wide range of existing skills/experience, yet all of them taking away something from the session.

Some amazing creativity with drop objects - from the classic Fruits, to Globes, Lit Torches Ogre's. It reminded me that there are endless possibilities with this type of photography, both in 'Take' and 'Make' Stages. We didn't even explore changing the backdrops or using top/bottom lighting, etc.

The Highlights for me however must surely be the feedback from less experienced students who now feel more conifdent about using Flash themselves, and those have learned enough about Lightroom/Photoshop to be dangerous with it.. some student have since acquired Lightroom and are now delving into the deep dark recesses of the tool.

My mission this year was to push myself beyond my comfort zone... so that's one item ticked off the bucket list !

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