Free Long Exposure Photography Workshop in Downtown Toronto.

Teaching and Learning.

Free Long Exposure workshop group | 1/20 second exposure | f4.5 | ISO 800
Free Long Exposure workshop group | 1/20 second exposure | f4.5 | ISO 800

Vincent Croos and I are both studying The Matador U (http://matadoru.com/dashboard/), Online Travel Journalism course. We found that we have a lot of common interests outside of study, and we share a focus for blogging and travel photography.

I want to inspire people to explore through photography and what better way to do that, than by hosting a long exposure photography workshop in Downtown Toronto. This meant finding a location suitable for a potentially large group, where we could come together and make some Toronto images that the group could then share with others.

We offered the workshop via Meetup.com. A growing social media platform that allows people with the same interests to connect. There are a lot of photography groups, but most charge for the services. We offered the class for free to appeal to more people and to gain exposure in sharing our knowledge.

I added my recently published article, to stir excitement on the kind of images attendees to our workshop could look to produce : http://matadornetwork.com/notebook/take-first-long-exposure-photo/

We chose Friday May 1st at 7pm as the time and date. We advertised in two Meetup.com groups. Our own group http://www.meetup.com/Toronto-Travel-Blogging-Photography-Lifelong-Travellers/ and a popular Toronto group http://www.meetup.com/AllYouCanMeet-GTA/ . We had about 15 people turn up, all with different abilities and equipment.

Patrick adjusting his settings | 1/25 second exposure | f1.8 | ISO 400
Patrick adjusting his settings | 1/25 second exposure | f1.8 | ISO 400

Meeting at a Tim Hortons allowed people to get some consumables and mingle before heading to Nathan Phillips Square. Vincent and I had found a great spot previously that has elevation, a lot of space, and also a lot of opportunities to make long exposure images with the cars and streetcars driving past. We also brought along some extra equipment, should people need to borrow something.

Talal with his setup | 1/25 second exposure |f3.5 | ISO 12800
Talal with his camera on my tripod | 1/25 second exposure |f3.5 | ISO 12800

The workshop started by Vincent and I explaining the basics of making an image. We discussed ISO, shutter speed and aperture and learnt the abilities of the group. The students first task was to find a spot and set up their equipment. Once they were all set up, Vincent and I would walk around the group, ask them questions about where they set up and why they chose their spot, and also, what kind of image they wanted to achieve.

Vincent talking to the group attendees | 1/160 second exposure | f16 | ISO 12800
Vincent talking to the group attendees | 1/160 second exposure | f16 | ISO 12800

Spending a few minutes with each person, allowed us to tailor our knowledge and help them achieve the image they wanted to create. As everyone had different equipment, ranging from a point and shoot to pro grade DSLR, a lot of the questions received were about equipment. Vincent is a Canon shooter and I am a Nikon shooter so this helped us answer most questions, the other camera questions we were able to answer, by delving a little deeper and taking a little more time to figure the answer out.

While we were teaching the group, Vincent and I found that by going over the simple points of photography, we were re learning the basics. We were reinforcing what we knew and so everyone was benefitting. We even found that some of the group had some methods and ideas that were different to our own that we learnt from.

I asked the group If I could take images of them, while they were making their own images. They were happy to oblige.

Closer shot of the group | 1/20 second exposure | f4.5 | ISO 800
Closer shot of the group | 1/20 second exposure | f4.5 | ISO 800

I had loaned out my tripods so, I was shooting hand held. It was fun seeing what my camera (A Nikon d750, with 50mm 1.4 attached) could do in the low light without using a flash. I chose not to use my flash as I did not want to interfere with anybody’s long exposure images. I also tried to make some hand held long exposure shots by showing the group the best way to steady yourself, by keeping the arms very close to the body and leaning on something very sturdy, in my case, the wall.

Not bad for a handheld low light image. |0.5 second exposure | f16 | ISO 800
Not bad for a handheld low light image. |0.5 second exposure | f16 | ISO 800

We moved around Nathan Phillips square for about 2 hours. There was a lot of excitement from the group as it got darker and their exposures got longer. The highlight of the day was Talal’s AH HA moment. He got the image he had been trying to make for the last three years, and had said the internet had confused him. By attending our workshop he now understood how to make the image he wanted. Talal was so happy, he wanted everyone to come and look at his camera LCD to show what he had just created. His buzz stirred the group more, everyone wanted to have the same moment and people were now sharing their images with others.

Talal working on his AH HA moment | 1/25 second exposure | f1.8 | ISO 400
Talal working on his AH HA moment | 1/25 second exposure | f1.8 | ISO 400

As people started to leave, Vincent and I stayed to make our own long exposure images and reflect on the evening.  When the workshop attendees came to us and were so thankful  for the short amount of time we had spent with them, we knew that it had been a success.

People are already enquiring about our next workshop too, so we better get planning.

Queen St Movement | 20 second exposure | f13 | ISO 100

I really enjoy making Long Exposure images. When the LCD flickers and you see the image that you have been waiting the last few seconds for, puts a smile across my face and makes me want to look at different angles to create more images. It has also encouraged me to explore Toronto and its surrounding areas. There really is a lot to photograph, you just have to look for it.

Queen West Swerve | 20 second exposure | f22 | ISO 100
Queen West Swerve | 20 second exposure | f22 | ISO 100

Would you be interested in attending a workshop ? Is there something that you would like to know about making images ?Leave a comment below.

Paul

2 Comments Add yours

  1. Thanks for posting this Paul. Make sure to post it on the U forum and Facebook page.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. WandererinBlue says:

    Great shots everyone! Thanks for sharing the results, Paul. I’ll definitely try to make it out to the Toronto Island workshop.

    Liked by 1 person

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