Photography walk with Sarah Mason

Sarah has taken lots of photos of us over the years.  She did our bump and baby shoot, pre-wedding and then our wedding too.  I love Sarah’s style of photography and every photo she has taken of us I utterly adore. 
I often find myself scrolling through her Facebook and Instagram feed (seriously check her Instagram feed out, it’s beautiful) admiring her latest captures and not too long ago whilst scouring Facebook I noticed she was organising a photography walk.  I instantly signed myself up along with my friend, Steph.  The aim of the walk was to bring together people interested in photography, no matter their experience or equipment and share hints and tips. A chance to spend some time with a professional photographer willing to share her knowledge and advice and help other create beautiful photos of their own.  This in itself I think is truly wonderful, there are too many people in the world who aren’t willing to share their expertise in a bid to keep them a secret.  Sarah is the complete opposite and is the type of person who restores your faith in humanity. Therefore this wasn’t an opportunity I was willing to pass up. 

So last Saturday, in the pouting rain, we set off to Hebden Bridge to meet Sarah, Suzy and the others who had signed up for the walk too. 
Photo courtesy of Sarah Mason
Luckily the rain passed pretty quickly, well they do say that the sun shines on the righteous don’t they?  
We wandered down to the canal and Sarah instructed us all to put our cameras onto manual mode.  My camera hasn’t been in manual since we first bought it.  All my photos have been taken on auto in a vain attempt to grab some nice shots of Luca as a wriggly baby, through to a crazy toddler and now my little pre-schooler who careers around like a whirlwind wherever we are.  Turning it onto manual was a bit daunting to say the least but also very exciting. 
Sarah then took the time to chat to us about ISO and aperture and how to use them.  These are all things that I have read about and things I know in theory but have never really practised or put into use.  Plus having someone there to help you when it doesn’t exactly go as you’d planned also helps.  We wandered down the canal taking shots and experimenting with changing the aperture and ISO settings and seeing the difference in the shots we got. This below is my favourite shot from the day. 

After a short walk we regrouped and had a play with shutter speed and capturing movement which was definitely a handy lesson for me, did I mention my careering child?  We practiced using each other as waving models, taking shots that captured the movement versus shots that captured a still shot.  This is definitely something I’m looking forward to practicing with Luca when taking photos of him playing in the leaves and with sparklers.
Following this Sarah talked to us about using different perspectives and which methods we could use to create depth in our images, such as shooting along things are through things. To practice we set off down the canal once more to play around with these tips we had been given. The photos below are some of the ones I took, they aren’t great but like I said, they were purely for experimental purposes and to see what happened. 
After a quick pit stop for out lunch (which I threw on the floor) we headed into a stone masons yard to have a lesson on the rule of thirds.  This was something I already knew about and try to practice whenever I can but was lovely to go over it again.
Just as we set off to take some images in this labryinth of textures and props, a local gentleman spotted us and told us about an old water wheel that was hidden literally just behind where we were.  It was such a great little place to take some photos and just take in the beauty of a dilapidated, rusty, moss covered piece of history and the rushing river beside it.
By the time we had finished here it was time to head back along the canal and towards the pub.
I didn’t get many great photos as I spent most of the time fiddling with the settings to see what effect they all had on each other and generally just experimenting.  I came home though full of excitement and with a reignited passion for photography.  I am determined that with these new skills I will get some amazing photos of Luca over the last bits of Autumn. I am determined to get a shot of him with falling leaves and one with him playing with sparklers.  
I’m also waiting eagle eyed for the announcement of the next photography walk Sarah has planned to learn even more. 
So thank you Sarah, and Suzy who also shared her skills with us.  You have most definitely helped me consolidate lots of theory I had read up on into practical use.
Since I wrote this we have had the sparklers out.  The first two were taken whilst I was trying to figure out the best settings. 
Then I found the best shutter speed for the shots and managed to get these which I’m very pleased with.  We even practiced spelling Luca’s name. 
So once again, thank you Sarah for teaching me these skills to allow me to capture some more memories but this time in manual.  These photos feel even more special because I did all the hardwork myself.  

5 thoughts on “Photography walk with Sarah Mason

  1. Rachel Lucie Johns says:

    Hi Franki, it was lovely to meet you on the walk!
    You got some great shots on the day. Really nice to see someone else's pictures of the day, because as Sarah said, different eyes see different things, even in the same place.

    And those sparkler shots are amazing!!

    Keep up the good work, Rachel xx

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