A couple of weeks ago I visited Donnington Hall here in Lincoln to attend a photographic workshop run by Through the Lens Photography’s Adam Winfield.
Between 28th July and 9th September, Donnington hall was holding a Sculpture and Ceramics exhibition. This had over 400 fabulous sculptures and ceramics from the UK and abroad displayed throughout the gardens and in the Stable Yard Gardens.
Adam had secured exclusive private access to the exhibition & gardens a full 2 hours before the exhibition was open to the public. He had two workshops, one on Sunday 26th August and the other on Friday 31st August 2018. I wanted to go on the first date but was unable to so the second date was the one I attended. Both workshops started at 8:45am and finished at 11am, this also allowed you to spend the rest of the day in the gardens of Doddington Hall. I was unable to spend more than the 2 hours at the hall as I had to be somewhere else which was disappointing as 2 hours were not enough. 😦
From Adam’s website:
Discover & explore the stunning Doddington Hall Sculpture Exhibition through your camera lens with guidance, advice & tuition from professional photographer & tutor Adam Winfield.
With exclusive private access to the exhibition & gardens you’ll learn to use natural light and composition to capture beautiful & unique photographs of the sculptures and their surroundings.
Adam will help you to combine shapes, colours, patterns & textures and you’ll learn new skills and techniques to take away with you to improve your own photography.
Your workshop entry includes:
- Private access to the exhibition & gardens two hours before they open to the public.
- Free exhibition guide.
- Pre-workshop guide & notes to make the most of your time photographing.
- Access to exhibition & gardens for the rest of the day for you to enjoy & explore at your own pace.
- Post-workshop support & feedback.
Tickets for exhibition were a very reasonable £22 and had to be purchased directly from the Doddington Hall’s website.
Adam gave a brief tutorial before we were left to go and photograph the various exhibits situated throughout the gardens. He asked us to get down low and work the scene to try different angles of view and play with the aperture to isolate what was needed. Fortunately it was a very nice day so I could leave my ISO at 100 and use the aperture as required. He also suggested focusing on parts of the sculpture you thought was important or most interesting, i.e. if the sculpture had “eyes” then ensure that these were in focus.
I had my Sony A7 III with me with the 24-105 f4 G lens attached and I also manged to try out my Sony FE 55mm f1.8 ZA Sonnar T Carl Zeiss lens for a few shots too. During the 2 hours I took quite a few shots trying to “work the shot” at different heights, getting low as required (sometimes lying on the slightly damp grass) and trying out different things. I am used to the extended depth of field from my Olympus cameras and lenses so I didn’t extend the aperture enough for some for the shots meaning that I didn’t have enough depth of field.
Along with some of the lighting issues from direct sun, I had problems with the spider webs that were on many of the sculptures. Secondly there were a lot of flies and other small flying insects on any part of the sculpture in direct sun too. Fortunately, I could remove most of these in Adobe Photoshop Lightroom Classic (thank you Spot Removal Tool).
However I also managed to get some photo’s that I did like and after a quick trip through Lightroom here are my favourites.
Boxing Hares: Martin Duffy £1410 (Iron Resin) – 258 shot 1 of 2
Boxing Hares: Martin Duffy £1410 (Iron Resin) – 258 shot 2 of 2
Running Hare: Martin Duffy £825 (Iron Resin) – 261
Pouncing Fox Cub: Martin Duffy £698 (Iron Resin) – 259
Circular Mirrored Sculpture: Alan Witson, Portal £30,000
Pebbled Squared: Richard Creswell £1862 (Aluminium Anodised Red and Blue) -352
This sculpture clearly shows the Spider’s Web