Street photography workshop

I had the pleasure of attending a Street photography workshop day in Bournemouth.

The day was organised by my local camera shop Castle Cameras and Panasonic. The guest speaker was Damien Demolder.

Damien is an experienced street photographer, has been the editor of Amateur Photographer magazine and now writes camera reviews. He also holds street photography workshops around the country. Damien was quick to point out that he is not an ambassador for Panasonic cameras, but  Panasonic G cameras are what he uses for his own street photography.

Josh the technical guy from Panasonic was on hand with a large collection of Lumix G cameras and lenses for us all to try out.

The day started well and I was in awe of Damien`s work. He talked us through some excellent examples of his work, explaining his methods and techniques. The main thing that I took from his examples was the use of light. Something that we all take for granted, but Damien is a master of using different light levels within a shot to produce outstanding results. He also demonstrated and explained his own methods for not standing out as a photographer in the street to get those candid shots.

Damien then explained why he preferred Panasonic cameras for his own use. I was impressed with the features that he highlighted. The touch screen focus area and shutter release facility is excellent. The dynamic range is better than top of the range DSLR`s and the 4K facility is an interesting feature for “catching the moment”.

The afternoon session was to be our chance to pick a camera and lens from the range. I chose the GX800 and a 25mm f1.4 lens. I chose this particular model as it was of similar design and size as my Fuji X70. A few minutes to find our way around the controls and set the cameras up to apeture priority and 400 iso.

Unfortunately, the weather and time was against us. So instead of roaming the streets of Bournemouth learning from Damien another plan was needed. we moved outside to a covered alley where Damien gave an impromptu master class on the use of light in portraits. He demonstrated the use of exposure compensation which we then practised using fellow students as models. I found this very useful and certainly learnt from it, probably more useful than 13 photographers on the street.

Overall an interesting and useful day out from which I learnt some new methods and techniques. Would I buy a Panasonic camera?, if I was considering changing camera systems and lenses then yes I would.

Damien Demolder

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