Let it Snow! Wicklow Mountains, Co Wicklow, Ireland
When I booked a day's landscape workshop in the Wicklow Mountains in March with Explore Light, the last thing I expected to be photographing was a winter wonderland landscape. The plan was a morning's shooting in the Sally Gap and Cloghleagh woods followed by an afternoon session on post production and location planning. The one-day masterclass with Peter Gordon was focused around creativity and composition, training the eye to focus on the small details such as separation between subjects in the scene.
The weather had other ideas for our sunrise shoot as shortly before dawn the snow began to fall heavily in the mountains. This prevented us reaching the Sally Gap as the roads soon became unpassable. Forced to turn back, we battled on and scouted the lower slopes of the mountains for some snow scenes. Working through the different scenes we focused on visual awareness and how small shifts and changes in position can make significant gains in the overall image. Studying the frame to removal distractions, looking for shape, line and form and then ensuring these shapes and forms were isolated from each other and not overlapping. It was a games of inches as small movements left and right and up and down sought to isolate the subject from the background or adjacent objects. Later in the morning we were able to drive slightly higher up in the Wicklow Mountains which enabled us to get the winter landscape shot at the top of the page.
Hats off to Peter for getting us out and shooting in the snow. He persevered with the conditions and managed to get us to several locations to capture the winter scenes. His enthusiasm and teaching on the day gave me a greater appreciation for the finer details in compositions and creativity and I look forward to putting it into practice in the new locations I learned about in the afternoon session.