Not having set foot in Kilkenny city or county for over nine years it was a tad strange to find myself there, like a homing pigeon who had temporarily shifted its domicile, three times in as many months this year. What is the Universe trying to tell me? The first two trips were tenuously related: I was in Kilkenny city in late February with friends and I returned in March to collect a small piece of pottery I bought at an exhibition on that earlier trip.
Once I had collected the piece of pottery I wasn’t expecting to go back to Kilkenny, lovely and all as it is, any time soon. However I spotted a tweet about a photography workshop for bloggers and when I checked the link and read more about it, I knew it was something I wanted to do. And quelle surprise said workshop was to be held in Kilkenny. So back I went the Sunday before last to a delightful farm in Bennettsbridge a picturesque County Kilkenny village.
The workshop was given by kind and talented Suzanna Crampton. She welcomed us to her beautiful farmhouse with pots of tea and coffee and plate loads of biscuits. We started the day looking at some of her stunning photographs while she talked us through the principal elements of photographic composition. We then went outside to wander around the magical gardens surrounding the farmhouse, shooting images as we went, before returning indoors at around one o’clock for a delicious home-cooked lunch.
Lunch over we went back outside and Suzanna talked again about photography and we took more images practising what we had just learnt. We also got the opportunity to get up close with some friendly Zwartables sheep which Suzanna breeds on her farm. For information about this noble breed click here.
We finished the workshop indoors; we had tea, chocolate cake and scones while Suzanne gave us all feedback on our photographs. She was extraordinarily generous with her time given that the workshop was due to finish at four and it was closer to six before she had examined all the very many images we had all taken.
My brian is *not* sponge-like so I tend to take away just a few bite size pieces of information from classes and workshops I attend. Suzanna’s workshop was excellent and she gave us lots of helpful tips and info. Two things, I learnt, that stuck in my mind are: the desirability of taking lots of images of the same scene to increase the likelihood of getting just the right shot and the importance of patience in photography. I was also glad to have some revision on the rule of thirds (putting points of interest in a photograph off-center, at about the one-third marks from the top, bottom or either side, makes the image aesthetically pleasing).