Last of the Dark Nights

It was great to celebrate the end of the long dark nights of British Winter Time with a ?Playing with Light? workshop on Westward Ho! Beach. Apologies to anyone who, after seeing the centrefold in the North Devon Journal, had come down to Westward Ho! hoping to witness a light spectacular and missing us. I started the workshop in the warmth of the Waterfront pub, over a coffee, discussing the merits of various long exposure photographers and explaining various technical considerations for the camera. We didn?t get onto the beach until about 7.45pm where we made our way away from the lights of the village and far down the beach to the wetter sand near the sea. Even at this remote spot we attracted a couple of groups of teenagers who had been spending the evening playing around the pebble ridge. Both groups were keen to engage in our activities the first group of I think 6 had read the Journal?s feature and had come specially to get involved. The image above was made through a 50 second exposure each of the workshop participants and the teenagers had torches and Mike Bentley and I added some flash into the shot. Any of the people who participated in the making of this image can click on it to get a larger version for printing out.
A couple of weeks ago I ran a similar course at Spacex in Exeter. Here a lot of image making was achieved in one of their gallery spaces. It was designed for video art projection, blacked out with black curtained walls, so it was perfect for light graffiti. The image above was made by Claire Gladstone and describes the process through the 30 second exposure; the running around with torches swinging on string and flash fired from the sides at a low angle. I?ve cropped the image below because that to me is the part so totally full of life and colour.

I?ll be doing more night photography during a Beaford Arts residential over Easter and look out for the Bideford Bay Creatives Night Light Extravaganza which will hopefully be happening at the Westward Ho! Potwalloping Festival for the late May bank-holiday.