We’re down south this week. Visiting family, attending a wedding, and (for me) doing a course. The first two were the reasons we booked the flights, and then by chance I spotted the photography course at a local college, which happened to not only bridge my old and new skills, but also fitted the dates we were in the area.
So I am back learning for three days! The course is being run at the beautiful West Dean college, which for my overseas readers, is probably every cliche of an English college you can possibly imagine. It’s a beautiful historic building in the Sussex countryside, with formal gardens and rolling hills full of sheep.
There are four other students on my course and it’s run by an excellent tutor with 25 years experience of press photography. It is a VERY steep learning curve, with very talented fellow photographers and a mind-boggling amount of crucial information about the way papers work (who knew that one newspaper has strict rules about the way women dress, and another bans photos of people on sofas?)
Included in our agenda today, we had 10 minutes to do a portrait session of a fellow student for a news piece. I became completely distracted by the building and came out of it with a photo that was more about a nice door than the person I was photographing. I think this is what living in a military quarter, with absolutely no architectural features does to you!
Tomorrow I return for the second day and (weather permitting) a field trip to the Weald & Downland Open Air Museum. Already I feel like I’m going to need to lie down for a week to absorb everything I’ve learned – fat chance of that!