Behind the workshop (and new dates for 2018!)

In this blog series I will show behind the scenes of the workshops I’ve given. I’ll try to show how I teach my groups and of course how much fun we have in the field. This particular workshop was a basic landscape photography workshop that I gave on a nice summer afternoon in June. The light was beautiful that afternoon so we were really lucky!

The basic workshop starts with some theory. This is given in our beautiful Ford Transit Mk1 campervan. In this photo we are discussing the basic functions of a dSLR.

Staring with some theory

We started our workshop with some theory. I strongly believe that knowledge about your camera will improve your photography. If you know your camera’s functions, and how to put them to use, you can use this in the field. Therefore this is an important part of the workshop. In our group were two girls with a dSLR and one with a mirrorless camera. Although different in technique, the basic functions are quite similar. Both types of cameras can be set to fully manual, and offer more or less the same settings. After talking about our cameras we proceeded with talking about exposure, aperture, shutter speed, ISO and their relation with each other. We also spoke about depth of field (and how it relates to aperture) and how this can be used to your advantage. Of course, this is a lot of theory so I’ve written a nice paper for the participants to take home! This can be really helpful, because it is hard to memorize all theory at once. With this paper you can read and rehearse all the theory when you feel like it. Or use it as a guidance when photographing on your own.

For our workshop, we had some lovely light to work with!

Into the field

Of course we can talk about photography for as long as we want, but the best way to learn is by doing! And also, this is the most fun! In my opinion, fun is what a big part of photography is about, if you enjoy what you are doing, you will get greater results! But of course, it is not much fun to work on an empty stomach, so we ate a fantastic meal and then it was time to start shooting!

We had fantastic conditions during our workshop. Also, this location offers different opportunities. There are trails, hills, open plaines and a lovely forest.

The workshop location is absolutely stunning. There are lots of photo opportunities. There’s a beautiful forest, some dunes with nice trails and lonely trees, a beautiful field and nice pools. There are also highland cows and sheep wandering about. This, and the beautiful light got the girls really excited to start shooting.

The Gasterse Duinen offer incredible possibilities! Blooming heather, lonesome trees, mist, sunsets, sunrises. All in all a really diverse and stunning landscape!


We explored wide angle shots, but also intimate close ups. One of these intimate shots was a spiderweb lit by the golden sunlight. In order to isolate this web you want the background to become nice and soft. The treads are so delicate that they will get lost in the detail of the background. In the theory part we spoke about how aperture affects depth of field. So the girls could try this first hand. I love to use examples like these in my workshops because it makes learning by example possible. Putting the theory to use makes it easier to consolidate and remember for future usage.

One of the big questions was how to make a good composition. To answer this question we first had to find out what the definition of a good composition is. In order to do so, I gave the girls a challenges to take a few different photos of one subject, then decide what the best composition was, and why they thought this was the best. We discussed different ways to compose an image, and tried to work with these methodes to see what effect this has on a photo.

The best way to explain how to make a ‘good’ composition is by example. Here we are discussing and trying different compositions of the same tree.

When the sun disappeared behind the trees we quickly moved to a different nearby location to photograph the setting sun. This location offers one, really simple and straightforward image. But it is a beautiful image nevertheless.

This dead tree offers a simple, yet stunning photo!

After this, the light was gone and it was time to do a little recap and question round. Then it was time to say goodbye! I would like to thank the girls for joining my workshop!

If this got you interested, the next Basic Landscape photography dates are 17 and 18 februari and they can be booked here.

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