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Episode #39 – Thoughts About The First Ever TAP Jolly

[ 3 ] September 12, 2011 |

This week: I’m in the car once again, this time heading back from the very first Active Photographer Jolly, held in St. Leonards, Dorset.

This weekend’s event, set in the glorious English countryside, gave attendees the chance to indulge themselves in their enthusiasm for photography and the great outdoors. The weather wasn’t perfect, but everyone had a great time, picking up hints, tips and tricks which will help them take better photographs in the future. There was also a lot of story-sharing and laughter, too!

Some quick links to things mentioned in this show:

Music featured in this episode is courtesy of Matt Stevens. You can check out more of his work here.

Category: Jolly, Location photography, Photographic education, Podcast episodes, Technique

Comments (3)

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  1. Alvin Vassoodaven says:

    Hi there guys,
    I wanted to comment earlier but was quite busy, doing the uploads for the photos and some other stuff. Well I wanted to come on friday night, which wasn’t meant to be due to the traffic, I was kicking myself about that as I had already promised that I would be there on friday. But anyway I woke up early to come on saturday morning and at that point maybe all I was expecting was your typical workshop and recommendation of equipment. But I was pleasantly surprise by the setup of the camp and the way I was welcomed by the Will and Giles and the rest of the people. As Giles and Will were going through the program, I was starting to think that this could actually be fun and yet all the equipments I could see, were some tripod. As to my surprise we were given no fancy stuffs, just rice, sock, really some DIY stuff(which I’m not gona go in details, so as not to spoil the fun). So we started out in the rain, with Giles and Will leading the pace and explaining to us the function of ISO, Shutter Speed and Aperture, it took me a little while to digest all these, but at the same time it wasn’t that difficult as these functions were very simply explained (which made it very easy for me or anyone, without a photography background, to understand).
    I don’t want to drag this review, so I’ll try to make it short. I went from being shy, about lying in the dirt to enjoying lying down in the rain and damp soil in the woods taking all sort of photos. But what amazed me more, is that I actually couldn’t believed I took these photos. This workshop had a social side to it, with the bbq among other stuffs, which made it very friendly. All I can say is, that Giles and Will are great teachers, who can explain technical stuff very easily and making it simple. They also showed me that my best asset wasn’t the equipments, but my knowledge and they made the whole workshop so exciting, that when I came back home I was still raving about it to my wife( who now really wants to come to the next Jolly). I’m now very motivated to continue with this and I would, very much,like to get involved in the near future(even as a helper and learner). So Giles you can count on me for the next one, autumn is very pretty as well.

  2. Giles says:

    Eleanor (the first of our guinea pigs to arrive) sent me the following in a Word document. Thank you so much for taking the time to put pen to paper, Ele – and for letting me share this with everyone here!

    The Active Photographer Jolly: Reflections and Resolutions

    Do a 180 and look around you. What do you see? Well I would normally see the other side of my office or the non-TV wall of my flat. But not this weekend. I braved the English elements and a bunch of strangers from Twitter and joined inaugural Active Photographer Jolly weekend. And I’m really glad I did, despite the voices of my friends in my head saying “You’re doing what? With who? From Twitter??!” as I drove down a dark dirt track, quite literally to The Back of Beyond! Cue horror movie-esque lighting and music…

    As a self confessed “jack of all trades” who also happens to be extremely passionate about my non-photography or outdoor related day job, there is much I love about photography. But I do find it hard to balance with life, and don’t give it the time and attention it deserves. So when I came across a random re-tweet about this active photographer jolly I decided to check it out. It sounded like the perfect opportunity to allow myself a whole weekend to get out & geek out about photography, whilst embracing the glorious English countryside, and meeting some new people. And if I could learn something along the way, to offer my poor neglected photography skills a chance to develop, well that would be jolly fantastic!

    Giles and Will – you couldn’t ask for two nicer guys. Their knowledge and experiences is immense, yet with such a down to earth approachability and passion that they want to share, without hidden agendas. They made me feel right at home. No question was foolish and my work and efforts were validated. I won’t go into the details of what we covered; I’ll leave that for you to discover when you join the next Jolly. It was much more of a fluid process than a structured set of lessons. I was given advice and tips (like always do a 180 before leaving a spot because the best view might be behind you). I had questions answered, played around with some techniques and experimented with some interesting props to aid my work. I thought about composition, exposure, subject matter, colour, and even some more tecchy stuff like RAW. But one of the best things is knowing I can contact Giles for any advice in the future, and he will happily oblige, with a “what-ho”, in-depth knowledge, and a smile.

    More than developing my knowledge and skills, this weekend has given me a much needed injection of inspiration and enthusiasm for both my photography and the outdoors. I still have much to learn, but perhaps now will allow myself more time to develop these skills, and just get out there and do it. In fact, if anything it has just made me recognise that at this stage in my life perhaps being a “jack of all trades” may not be such a bad thing. If it means I get to dabble in macro & landscape & action & portrait photography, as well as my other passions and interests, then I’m happy. This weekend even helped me get more out of camping and enjoying what this wonderful country has to offer – sometimes it takes sitting under a gazeeebo, with the heat from a BBQ and a Kiwi squealing with delight over a rabbit foraging in front of us, to realise how lucky we are! I may never be a hardened camper and like my blow up mattress too much, but the TAP Jolly made everyone feel part of the club, both camping and photography wise.

    So, I go home still a jack of all trades. With a head full of ideas and clear resolutions to get out and practice. Inspired of course by Giles and Will, but also the great British outdoors , my fellow TAPpers, and a sock filled with rice…Thank you Giles, for letting me part of such a great experience, and to all my fellow TAPpers for such a jolly old time. Can’t wait to see the photos!

  3. Giles says:

    Gareth (another of our intrepid guinea pigs) very kindly wrote two – yes, two – reviews.

    You can take a look at them here and here

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