Behind the Scenes: Mobile Phone Photography Workshop

Running a nature mobile photography workshop in winter is challenging. I was asked to run a workshop with Port Adelaide Enfield libraries on the 5th of June. You think that being the first week of winter would mean that the weather would be cold but able to go outside. In reality though it was a freezing cold day, blowing a gale and raining. We were not going outside. This meant that I needed to be organise and plan ahead to run a nature workshop inside.

Different exposures taken on a mobile phone camera.
Practising exposures on the water fountain before mobile photography workshop

I had an idea in mind of teaching 5 different areas: settings, taking lots of photographs, using your imagination, light and enjoy. This meant that I had 5 stations set up.

First the first station, settings, I sat down with the group (which turned out to be one attendee and the lovely lady helping me to run the workshop) and talked about the best settings and tricks to use the camera on their phone.

Second station, taking lots of photographs, I set up a beautiful bouquet of flowers in a vase. This gave my attendees the chance to take lots of photographs of many different flowers. To get the best photographs you need to take lots of photographs both to practice and to find the best way to take the photograph.

The third station, imagination, I had a plant in a pot. This gave the attendees a chance to use their imagination. You do this by moving around your subject and looking at all this angles. You also move your body up and down to get a different view of your subject. A photograph can be completely changed by taking a photograph from above or below and not just at body height.

The fourth station, light, was a special type of light box that allows you to move the light around the subject and turning one off at a time. By deliberately looking and thinking about the light on your subject, it radically changes your photograph. The best photographs have great light, whether it's soft and diffuse or sharp and contrasting. To play with the light attendees had a range of shells, coral, leaves and flowers.

The last station, enjoy, was a water fountain where the attendees could play with the shutter speeds on their phone to get either a long exposure to blur the water or short exposure to freeze the water. It's a fun thing to learn and was a great way to end the workshop.

Indoor water fountain.
Slow motion water
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