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Social Media SUPER STARS Drop In

But it's not every day that one of your students is a genuine Social Media influencer with hundreds of thousands of followers and millions of video views to her credit.

*If you'd like to learn more about Candia and her adventures there are links at the bottom of this page

For Lisa and I, there's a huge reward to be had, when a student has an "ah-ha moment" when we know that another lesson has landed. Each of our weekends is different as students arrive with differing levels of photo experience and camera confidence. Our June 30th Weekend workshop was one to remember and even boasted an international client list.

Candida tries out my Fujifilm XT3 and 100-400mm lens for size

I knew that our June 30th weekend was going to be fun but different, the moment that Candida asked me to grab some footage of her riding up the farm track to the centre. A few seconds later and I was sitting on the roof of the ISUZU 4X4 as Lisa belted up the track and I held on for dear life. I pressed 'record' on Candida's snazzy new iPhone 13 Pro Max and hoped for the best.

Lisa and I have known Candida as a friend for a couple of years now. We first met her in the USA as a relatively shy motorcycle adventurer from India, who shot to fame after her first solo ride from India to Australia. Today she entertains her 162,000 followers on Instagram and her almost 200,000 followers on Youtube with daily reels and videos that are full of energy, insight and a genuine passion for travel that's a joy to watch.

"What do you want out of your weekend with us?" I asked Candida on Thursday afternoon before the workshop began.

"You know what, I just need to take better photos and take more control of what I'm recording. I want to be able to capture what I see with better quality and impact" Candida answered with a coy smile.

Stephan Thiel in the bar at the Living Lens Photographic Workshop
Candida Louis on her many travels

It was interesting I thought; here is someone with an extremely successful media-based business, but her answer to my question was almost a mirror of what almost all our clients say.

"I want to take control of my camera and capture images with detail and impact"

By 5:30 pm the lower cinema room was full of smiling faces as we started our 'Camera Craft' session. Helen and Clive were already scribbling notes, Candida was filming the session, Simon was looking intensely at the large screen and Tony was smiling as he multi-tasked eating a large slice of home-baked cake and taking notes on shutter speed.

By 7:00 pm starters were being laid on the table and wine was being poured. The Welsh cheese platter was a delicious way to start what was a fantastic meal.

Lisa and Roz talk cameras and travel in the bar at the Living Lens Photographic Workshop
The Welsh cheese platter.

Robin at the Living Lens Photographic Workshop
The sweet home-produced candied walnuts are a delicious accompaniment to the cheese.

The home cooked duck confiet was incredible and the sweat mashed carrots (prepared with home grown wild garlic and cream) was a perfect accompanying side dish.


A furry friend in the waterfall
we were joined by a few furry models who were kind enough to get in on the photo action

As with most of our workshops, day-1 kicked of with a visit to some of our favourite hidden waterfalls. It's a chance for our students to put into action the lessons from the previous evening. The look of surprise and accomplishment on their faces when they capture there first images of fairy water (it's a thing) is just brilliant.

On location with Living Lens Photography Workshop
After Tuition: This was Helen's first attempt at capturing 'Fairy Water'.

At the end of the weekend we asked Helen if she was pleased with how her photographic skills had advanced. she beamed and said that she'd taken shots that she couldn't have imagined being capable of capturing before the course. The shot above is one of the images that she was referring to.

OK one last waterfall image. This shot was captured by Clive who freely admitted that he has some understanding of basic photography but genuinely couldn't have imaged that he could intentionally craft an image with mood, depth and atmosphere. Check out the image below.

This shot shows works for a number of reasons: the composition is balanced and well thought out. There's great contrast between the brightest and darkest areas and there's plenty of detail throughout. What Clive has really nailed is the colour tone that has both atmosphere and balance between the warm highlight tones in the top and the bluer white tones in the shadow areas. The slow exposure and use of a tripod allowed Clive to create the ethereal fairy water effect.

One of the fun part of writing this blog post is being able to share just a few of the images captured and created by students. So, I'll end with something a little different. Several of our students over the past weekend had specifically asked to learn both in-camera and editing techniques that would allow them to craft great macro shots. Macro photography can be tricky, but with the right process and employing the right approach it's amazing what you can capture with regular photo gear. Check out this beautiful shot of a dandy-lion head. This is the same image, with one cropped tight just to emphasize the detail. I hope you enjoy it.

Click the images to view a larger photo.

Dandy lion head
Delicate beauty in all its glory

Dandy lion head super macro
Check out that super fine detail

Its exciting to see just how much improvement can be seen on student images over the course of just a few days, and even more so to realize that the techniques and skills we teach will stay with our clients for life.

One of the key takeaways' I'll remember fro this weekend was when I asked a student if they thought our workshop was good value for money. They answered like this...

..."Absolutely and without a doubt YES! I could easily spend over a thousand pounds on a new camera or lens, that would ultimately just add to my confusion. With you, I've invested my money and I've come away with skills, techniques and camera confidence that will help me take better pictures for life!"

Lisa and I want to thank all our group for attending and helping to create another wonderfully memorable weekend at Living Lens Photography Workshops.

We also need to acknowledge the time and effort so many students have made, in creating and then sharing their thoughts via online reviews of our workshops.

If you would like to learn more about Candia Louis and her adventures links are below:

If you want to check what other students have shared just visit our **Reviews page here**

Thanks for reading. Check back soon and please comment if you like the student images we've shared here.


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