A few weeks ago, I had the great fortune of meeting a lovely English couple, Paul & Pam, living here in France, who run French Photographic Holidays. Having long wanted to learn how to improve my photography skills & finally learn how to use my current SLR properly, I was thrilled when they invited me along to one of their day courses.
Rolling up to their home in Les Âgés, a week after our original meeting, I spent the day in their in-house photography studio, learning about depth of field, shutter speed & Photoshop. It took a while for all the jargon to fully filter into my brain & stick, but by the time lunch was ready, I felt I was starting to get to grips with it all. Thankfully Paul is a very patient teacher.
Both their day courses & photography holidays, come with lunch included & I was most pleased to find that Pam was well equipped for whipping up a superb vegan friendly lunch. Quinoa salad, homemade guacamole, fresh bread, mixed summer berries for dessert & best of all, a dairy free banana milkshake to wash it all down with! Delish!
After lunch, Paul took me out into the cosy quiet hamlet, to put my new found skills to the test. Finding an abandoned building, we took some great shots of the dusty furniture, left by the previous tenants. Capturing the light shining through the windows & the cobwebs blowing in the wind. It was beautifully haunting.
I found the whole lesson really invaluable, it truly inspired me to want to get out there & take more photos & start experimenting with settings, lighting & subjects. Unfortunately, during our lesson, I learnt that after nearly seven years of keeping my camera in auto, the shutter speed & aperture dial has stopped working. Therefore, in order to feed my photography hunger, I am having to look at investing in a new camera, which, having now been educated on the subject, I will at least be able to make far better use of. That's my justification, anyway.
Having made firm friends in Paul & Pam, the three of us wasted no time in finding new things to photograph, a week later, when we took a trip to Perigueux market. Whilst my camera may be a little restricting on some of the settings now, it still seems to work well on macro, so I had great fun snapping away at all the flowers, fruit & vegetables. I love photographing inanimate objects, it has to be said. I think a new camera & a few more lessons from Paul & I could be well on my way.
If you fancy a day's one-to-one photography & Photoshop course, or indeed, a week away in the sunny Dordogne, brushing up on your photography skills, whilst snapping the French roses, sipping the vin & nibbling on (it has to be said) fantastic food (Pam's vegan chocolate brownies are divine, whether you're a vegan or not), pop along to their website here & check them out. I fully recommend them!