STEVE HEDGES at PARK STREET CC…..14th OCTOBER 2021

Date Published 
Fri 15 Oct 2021

A break from competitions for a while and we were entertained by Steve Hedges with his presentation on Landscape Photography. With our current focus on this particular genre’s definition inspired by the approaching interclub Landscape event and the inevitable annual furore that this creates, it was interesting, even refreshing to note how wide Steve stretched his definition. Two usually very prominent aspects to any talk were also notable by their absence. I don’t think he ever mentioned judges and there was hardly a reference to any photoshop technology. One got the distinct impression that here was someone who was approaching the subject of photography possibly from the way we should all approach it and are beginning to forget.

“It’s a picture for heavens sake – let’s keep it in proportion”. My line not his.

So having relaxed us he set about explaining and illustrating many aspects which we thought we knew but might just have easily forgotten. The effect of lenses and their focal length for instance. This is quite a difficult subject to convey and even harder to explain technically. Steve did it cleverly with pairs of pictures of the same subject taken with different lenses, the differing perspectives being clearly visible. At the same time he explained rules of thumb about where best to focus and how the lens you choose has a bearing on depth of field.

Vantage point also being crucial, one of his illustration depicted a long row of beach huts reflected in a lake or river in the foreground, but it was not what it seemed. By getting really close to the water and low down he gave the impression of a lake when it was a mere puddle less than a foot long. It transformed the image into something really engaging and unusual. It is easy to forget the effect on an image of camera placement. Down low emphasising the close foreground and the higher up it is held then increasingly less so. He also explored the old chestnut of verticals converging and illustrated how by angling the camera (or not) this effect can be controlled.

From his huge stock of photographs it was clear that Steve’s success was as much to do with timing – when he took the picture, and position – where he took it from. To enforce this point he showed some more pairs of pictures of exactly the same scene under different light conditions. We sort of knew this already but it’s always nice to be reminded and it tends to encourage you to be more patient in future. For instance work out when the tide condition you require will occur and when that coincides with your favoured light, like sunset or sunrise, then all that can mess up the planning is the weather. He had some interesting theories about getting around that too. For example when dull light is useful - even preferable taking pictures of people’s faces, pictures in woodland and forests and of course pictures of flower blooms could benefit. When fog or at least mist can be used to improve an image was also examined.

There were quite a few long exposure shots of water but he expanded on the idea a bit with suggestions as to just how long you should leave the shutter open. Just how soft do you want the water ? Something which is often not thought about and overdone. Also the way such treatments on the sea alters the geography of the beach in one way or another and can quickly change the mood of a water fall.

Steve had a light hearted and amusing manner and I can imagine workshops with him (he operates mainly in the South East) being both fun and educational. He is available at:- https://www.stevehedgesphotography.co.uk/  also https://www.stevehedgesphotographyonlinecourses.com/

He can also be found on You Tube simply by typing in his name and he is also on all the usual Social Media.

Dave Hipperson