The second Chiswick Calendar photowalk

I’m convinced that the Chiswick weather gods have something against me. There are many lovely places in Chiswick to take photographs, but Strand-on-the-Green in particular has a lot going for it (notably, the river and a lot of pubs). And when you have beautiful blue skies, it’s easy to take some lovely images.

Sailing boat by the Thames, Strand-on-the-Green, Chiswick

We didn’t have lovely blue skies on Sunday lunchtime. (Just like we didn’t have blue skies for the first photowalk.) Which meant that the lovely group of photographers that came out for the walk were not blessed with the chance to take easy, beautiful images. But you learn more from difficult situations, right?

Comedy pirates on the Thames, with Spongebob Squarepants

On the plus side, it was warm and the skies had some life to them (rather than just a flat, grey spread). And it gave us a chance to discuss the best way to manage extremes of bright (the sky) and dark (the ground!) - from using a graduated filter (which we didn’t have on us), to focusing on details so that the ground and sky weren’t in the image at the same time, to options for HDR. The last of which was easier for those using their iPhones, which can do all the HDR magic with one click - those poor souls with dSLRs would have to do it all in post-production.

Kew Bridge close-up

We also met a performing dog (retiring this week, in fact), that gave us the opportunity to take some portraits with a difference - as well as a discussion about considering your background (not just the subject) when framing a shot. In fact, the overarching theme of the walk was about being deliberate about what you want to do - and that when you don’t think the weather or the location is playing ball, use your time to practice; taking a series of photographs of one theme (for example, finding circles, or windows, or numbers), and seeing how you can make those interesting.

I’m sure that the participants took better images than I did (I didn’t take that many, but I did help others with theirs!), and I’ll post those when they are shared with me. In the meantime, some of mine are included in this post, and the quickest off the mark of my photowalkers has shared his fine gallery here.

I thoroughly enjoyed myself on Sunday, and I hope everyone else did too (and learned something as well). I fully intend to team up with The Chiswick Calendar again to do this again. I’m not even going to bother hoping for blue skies, but if we plan an autumn date at least we can plan for some colourful foliage… Drop me a line if you’re interested, and watch this space for more news when I have it.

The least efficient way to play in Ealing

Headshot session at The Barley Mow Centre, Chiswick